North Devon MP calls for a fairer deal for pub tenants
North Devon MP and Vice Chair of the All-Party Beer Group Nick Harvey is supporting a proposal which would ensure that pub tenants are not forced to pay over the odds for beer.
Currently pub tenants who are ‘tied’ to Pubcos have to buy their beer directly from them. Pubcos can set the price, which means that tenants can pay as much as 70% more than the market rate for beer.
The amendment to the Small Business Bill (which contains a series of measures designed to help small businesses such as pubs) would allow tenants to opt out of the tie so that they just pay rent for the premises, and purchase beer on the open market.
The amendment has received cross-party support from 212 MPs. It is led by the Fair Deal for Your Local group, whose members include the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and organisations representing private business.
Nick said: “There is enough pressure on pubs at present without tenants being charged excessively high amounts for beer as well. More than half of pub tenants tied to Pubcos earn less than £10,000 a year due to high rents and overpriced beer. This is neither fair nor sensible for the long-term prospects of the pub industry.
“There are many tied tenants in North Devon who are struggling at the moment, and this amendment will ensure that they are able to run their pubs in the best way for them, rather than having all of their profit squeezed out by large pub companies. In the long run this should lead to fairer tied agreements, and less pub closures.”
Tim Page, CAMRA chief executive added: “CAMRA is very pleased that Nick Harvey has added his name to the amendment. It is simply unacceptable that so many tenants running successful pubs are earning less than the minimum wage and are unable to invest in the future of their pub.
“Allowing pub tenants to choose the best deal for them would benefit over 10,000 pubs, help keep pubs open and help keep the cost of a pint to consumers affordable.”
(from a press release)