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BIS: CAMRA accuses Government of weak reforms

By Michelle Perrett , 24-Nov-2011
Last updated the 24-Nov-2011 at 16:36 GMT

Related topics: General News

The Government response to the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee report will not be enough to avert the “disaster” facing thousands of British pubs, claims consumer group CAMRA.

BIS: CAMRA accuses Government of weak reforms

The Government failed to implement the BISC recommendation of a Statutory Code of Practice for the pub industry, instead claiming the current Industry Framework Code will be strengthened and made legally binding.

CAMRA welcomed the “small steps” forward including a new arbitration service, a requirement to follow rental guidelines and plans to publish national wholesale price lists.

However, it claimed these "small steps will not be sufficient to avert the disaster facing many thousands of tied pubs being charged excessive rents and forced to purchase grossly overpriced tied products".

Mike Benner, CAMRA chief executive, said: “The Government has been cavalier in rejecting the recommendations of the BISC and instead putting its faith in the ability of the very companies accused of malpractice to finally put their house in order.

"The lack of any formal public consultation on this package of measures is truly remarkable and suggests a failure of Government to listen to all interested parties including the consumer.

“We are pleased the Government has recognised the serious problems of unfair practice in the relationship between the large pub companies and lessees but deeply disappointed that they are proposing only a weak package of reforms. Given repeated broken promises from the pub companies, consumers and publicans will no doubt be highly sceptical whether much of this will be delivered.

“Pubs are vitally important not just to the millions of regular pub goers but also to the health of communities and the overall economy. The failure of the Government to secure a more substantial reform package is a massive blow to the Prime Minister’s aspirations to lead a “pub friendly Government”.”

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