Statutory code: Government to commission independent research on code impact

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Tenanted pub company, Government

Vince Cable said the government would commission research on the code's impact on the pub sector
Vince Cable said the government would commission research on the code's impact on the pub sector
Business secretary Vince Cable has revealed that the Government will carry out independent research to analyse the impact of its statutory code proposals on the pub industry.

Speaking at the PMA's​ Tenanted Pub Company Summit in London today, Cable announced that the Government received 7,000 online responses and 1,200 written responses to its consultation, which closed last week.

He said that the government will respond in the Autumn.

The volume of responses received to the consultation on a statutory code to govern the pubco-tenant relationship was "quite exceptional" and "reflects the strength of feeling on this subject", Cable added.

The government has commissioned London Economics to analyse the impact of the proposals on the number of pub closures and employment levels, he said. "Our task now is to assess and consider the submissions and carry out proper independent research. We have to have independent research on which to base decisions on," Cable said.

He told delegates that if the implementation of a statutory code and an adjudicator is supported, the Government will then seek to introduce them by primary legislation.

He said that he is open minded in fulfilling the principle that 'the tied tenant is no worse off than the free-of-tie tenant'.

Cable added: “Our current estimate is that the net regulatory burden on businesses from the adjudicator for an industry levy is just under £2m annual. When we are assessing costs and regulatory burdens, again, we have an independent body that does that, we don’t just pluck figures out of the air.”

He explained that after the first year of the code being implemented, the Government proposes to put a greater levy on those companies that are slower to comply.

"A pub code, meanwhile, we estimate has the potential to transfer £100m a year from large companies to hard working publicans," said Cable.

He added: "The bigger picture is that Britain’s beer and pub sector makes a really valuable contribution to the economy and that’s why the Chancellor scrapped the beer duty escalator and reduced the tax on beer at the recent budget.

"I recognise like other parts of the economy, pubs have been have been hit very hard in this very, very difficult economy following the economic crisis, though I think the evidence suggests that the rate of pub licensee failure has actually been no higher than that of other small businesses."

Related topics: Legislation

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