Speaking in response to Save the Pub Group chairman and MP Greg Mulholland during an adjournment debate last night in the House of Commons he responded claiming: “We shall soon respond to the consultation, and I cannot say more about it other than that I will not be intimidated by scaremongering, which seems to be his fear.”
He said he recognised that Mulholland has played “an enormous and disproportionate role” in getting the debate in this House.
Abuses not unique to pub trade
However, he said that many of the abuses Mulholland described not unique to the pubco industry.
Cable said: “We saw problems of over-leverage in a whole set of industries, notably banking, and the horrible consequences of that. He has provided examples of another sector where those problems occurred in a different way.”
Cable said he is aware there is a consensus on both sides of the House that although this is an important industry that makes a significant contribution to the economy, it is also an area in which many of the publicans have faced “hardship, adversity and unfairness”.
Tied model "probably" not main source of problems
Cable stressed that the tied business model is “probably” not the main source of the problems in the industry. But said he recognises that the Pubs Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service and the Industry Framework Code “have not gone far enough, and the problems persist”.