Operators anxiously awaiting the Lyons Inquiry report - expected to propose the introduction of a bed tax - are facing more uncertainty after confusion over the publication date increased this week.
It was expected that Sir Michael Lyons's report into local government funding would be published next month, shortly after it was delivered to ministers.
But it was reported this week that while the report will go to Chancellor Gordon Brown and Local Government Minister Ruth Kelly on 21 December, it will not be made available until February.
A spokeswoman for the Lyons Inquiry said while it was still on course to deliver to ministers in December, no decision had been made on when it would be published. But speaking in the Commons on Monday, Kelly added to the confusion by telling MPs the report would be published "when it is finished".
It is thought that the Government does not want to have to respond to Lyons's report - which could include politically sensitive proposals such as increasing council tax by as much as £500 - until after the local government elections in April.
• Caterer's campaign "Say No To Bed Tax" has now received a total of 4,257 signatures, which have been forwarded to the Lyons Inquiry. They have come from all sectors of the industry, including hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses, restaurants and pubs. We would like to thank everyone for filling in the protest letters and supporting our campaign to stop a bed tax in its tracks.
By Chris Druce