BISC: BBPA claims statutory code will close more pubs

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Statutory code, Lease, Renting, Bbpa

BBPA: deeply disappointed
BBPA: deeply disappointed
The British Beer and Pub Association has hit back at the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, claiming its recommendations for a statutory code of practice will lead to more pub closures.

The BBPA came in for stinging criticism in the report, which said it had been “impotent” to impose any sanctions on code of practice breaches and its implementation of codes of practice had been “half-hearted”.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said she was “deeply disappointed” with the report. “We believe we have demonstrated to the Select Committee that significant progress has been made by BBPA member companies which operate tied tenancies and leases, and we reject the Committee’s calls for a costly statutory code.

“This would pile more costs onto pubs and lead to more closures — something we hope Ministers will consider carefully when they come to look at these recommendations.

“Furthermore, we have continued to develop proposals to strengthen self regulation, building on what we have already done as an industry; the pub company codes of practice, the low cost arbitration service for tenants and lessees and the business advice already offered by the BII. We have also now published cost benchmarking data on our website, which ALMR and the BII have supported.”

She added: “Tied pubs continue to offer a low cost means of entry for self-employed pub entrepreneurs. The new codes, together with the pre-entry training now required by our members, ensures that would-be licensees have a clear understanding of what it takes to run a pub.

“BBPA members have invested some £265m into supporting the leased and tenanted sector over the last year at a time of unprecedented economic pressure.

“It is a combination of the smoking ban, economic recession and the 35% increase in beer taxation which the industry has endured since March 2008 which are the real reasons why pubs are closing.

“We call upon the Government to recognise these economic pressures and ease the burden on pubs. The pub sector needs less tax and less regulation, not more, if it is to continue to create jobs and sustain much needed economic growth in our communities.

“We look forward to discussing with Government how this is progressing before they respond to the Select Committee Report.”

Related topics: Legislation

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