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Red-tape madness hits M&B for six

From The Publican

23-Feb-2004

Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has provided further evidence that the pub business has been gripped by red-tape madness.


M&B, which has 2,000 pubs, has been hit for a total of £62m in six years in new red tape and regulatory costs.


Britain's second biggest managed group faces an additional £17m in red tape costs this year alone. This comes after a whacking £18m rise in the previous 12 months.


The startling figures revealed why the managed house is becoming an endangered species in the UK.


The industry has faced a burgeoning list of new regulations like the climate change levy or the disability discrimination act.


M&B spokesman Jeremy Probert said £62m was an accumulative figure across six years - that equates to £31,000 in extra costs per pub.


Experts believe that the number of managed houses in the UK has dropped from 14,000 to 10,000 in recent years. The startling figures from M&B show why the managed sector could contract further.


City financier Peter Hansen believes the number of managed houses will halve over the next five to 10 years.


He said: "The Government is doing a very nice job of trying to kill the managed pub industry. It creates social policy and doesn't even look at the impact on UK business."