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Fair Pint jubilant at pubco report

By Ewan Turney , 13-May-2009

Fair Pint: happy with outcome

Fair Pint: happy with outcome

Anti-beer tie Fair Pint campaigners were understandably jubilant following the publication of the BEC report.

Fair Pint steering group member Brian Jacobs congratulated the Committee for examining the problems with "forensic vigour".

He said: "The report comprehensively addresses the problems caused by the tie and the unfairness of the current relationship between tenants and their pubco landlords.

"The fact that the committee found the evidence from the Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns gave only a 'partial picture' or were 'positively false' is reflective of the way in which the 'pubcos' have sought to avoid debate about the effects of the tie on the sector

"The survey of tied landlords undertaken on behalf of the committee allowed them to see through the smokescreen.

"The results provide further evidence to support our view that the current relationship between tied tenants and the 'pubcos' is inequitable and isn't working.

"The simple fact that 67% of licensees are earning less than £15,000 a year despite in some cases having turnovers of £500,000 is quite shocking but clearly proves that lessees may share the risks with their pubco but they do not share the benefits.

"We agree with the committee that the tie should be urgently referred to the Competition Commission.

"It is now for the Government to respond urgently to the report's recommendations and investigate the rent review system. It must also refer the operation and inequity of the tie to the Competition Commission without delay"

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which played a major role in the 2004 inquiry, also gave its backing to the report.

"Pubs are not just part of the local community they hold the local community together. But we are watching over 40 pubs closing a week, which affects not just the owners and their families, but the communities around them," said Clive Davenport of the FSB

"The FBS welcomes the Committee's recommendation that pub owners be given an opt-out of the tie. This needs to be written into contracts immediately. We would then see pub owners voting with their feet and walking out of the tie in five years which means it will be effectively lifted."

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