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Statutory code: Government faces challenge to get legislation right claims shadow pubs minister Toby Perkins

By Michelle Perrett , 09-Jan-2013
Last updated on 09-Jan-2013 at 10:23 GMT2013-01-09T10:23:10Z

The Government now faces a major challenge in getting the legislation right over plans for a statutory code of practice and an independent adjudicator, shadow pubs minister Toby Perkins said on breakfast TV show Daybreak this morning.

He was being interviewed after the Government announcement yesterday in which it said it would consult over the plans which would regulate the relationship between pubcos and their tenants.

Perkins said: “This is the action we have been calling for, for a year and this has come on the back of the fact the Labour Party have called a debate today.

“You don’t get many opportunities when in opposition to change the policies of the Government.

“The challenge is that the Government get this legislation right, that there is a free of tie option so that the landlord can buy their beer from wherever they want.  As long as the Government does that, and even though they were slow to do it, we welcome it and will work with them to try and make sure it works.

“Pubs are struggling because we have the recession and we have a difficult economic climate. There are various other challenges but just because these other challenges doesn’t mean we shouldn’t sort this out. Hopefully the Government will get this legislation right and get it though as quickly as possible.”

Minister Jo Swinson, who previously refused an interview with the Publican’s Morning Advertiser over the issue after her Government department said all the requirements of the self-regulation agreement had been made, told Daybreak that pubs are a really important part of economy and local communities.

She said: “There has been a problem that the big pubcos, have in some cases, been abusing the relationship that they have with the small publicans.

“For example, using this business model means that half of those publicans under that tied model are earning less than £15,000. In the non-tied model it is only one in five that is earning under £15,000 a year. It is about making sure there isn’t abuse of that relationship and that is why the Government is going to bring forward a statutory code of practice and an independent adjudicator to make sure that works properly.”

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