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Tied pub tenants converge on Westminster

By Ewan Turney , 20-May-2009

Fair Pint: want changes

Fair Pint: want changes

Around 200 tied pub tenants are due to descend on Westminster today to lobby MPs for support to change the pubco model.

The Lobby Day, organised by anti-beer tie campaigners Fair Pint, will see tenants call for action following the damning Business and Enterprise Committee report into pubco power.

Fair Pint will launch a new report, which calls for the Government to:

• Refer the pubco model and the tie to the Competition Commission

• Urgently review the fairness of contracts between licensees and pubcos

• Establish a statutory code of practice which allows tenants to choose to operate free of tie when leases are renewed

• Ensure fair and transparent rents

• Insist on full disclosure of mark-ups on beer prices from pubcos

• Establish a fully independent and low cost arbitration scheme

"The fact that nearly 100 MPs from all parties have said that they will attend the lobby shows the strength of feeling in Parliament about the need for reform of the tie," said Fair Pint founding member and Enterprise lessee Steve Corbett.

"The Business and Enterprise Select Committee was clear in its conclusion that the tie is causing damage to the UK pub sector.

"As their report pointed out, the vast majority of tied tenants a struggling financially and earning less than the minimum wage even in pubs with large turnovers.

"Tenants do not have a fair share of profits but bear most of the risk and an increasing number of them are being forced out of business.

"The business model of the big pubcos is broken. The Government now has a choice to do nothing and see more and more pubs closing or to take action to help the sector by freeing pubs from the tie."

For all the latest news and reaction from the Lobby Day, keep watching morningadvertiser.co.uk.

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