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Labour announces half-day debate on pubco-tenant regulation

By Adam Pescod , 20-Dec-2012
Last updated on 20-Dec-2012 at 16:40 GMT2012-12-20T16:40:53Z

Perkins:

Perkins: "It is right that Parliament gets the opportunity to debate this vital issue"

Labour is to use its first Opposition Day Debate of 2013 to discuss the issue of pubco-tenant regulation, the PMA can exclusively reveal.

It was announced in Business Questions this morning that the half-day debate will take place on 9 January, a year after MPs voted unanimously in favour of an independent review of the self-regulation deal.

The deal was agreed between the Government and British Beer & Pub Association at the end of 2011 and included the setting up of the Pubs Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service, the industry framework codes to be strengthened and made legally binding and the setting up of a Pubs Advisory Service.

It follows the news yesterday that business secretary Vince Cable is considering “possible options” after claiming the pubco-tenant deal is not “far reaching” enough.

The motion to be debated on 9 January is: “That this House notes the motion passed by this House on 12th January 2012; recognises that a wide body of experts shares the view that only a statutory code of practice which includes a free-of-tie option with an open market rent review and an independent adjudicator will resolve the contractual problems between the pub companies and their lessees; and calls on the Government to lay before the house a timetable which will lead to that statutory code being enshrined in law as soon as is practicably possible and before the end of 2013 at the very latest.”

Shadow Pubs Minister Toby Perkins MP said: “Pubs are vital hubs for communities up and down the country but due to the Tory-led government’s inaction and broken promises on backing small landlords they are closing at an ever-increasing rate.  

“Enough is enough and landlords and the pub industry have no confidence in this government to take the action needed to back pubs. A year after ministers promised action on this issue which has still not materialised, it is right that Parliament gets the opportunity to debate this vital issue.

“While ministers drag their feet, Labour will begin the process of consultation on what exactly a new statutory code should include to support pubs.”