Pubs code revised - but no implementation date set

By Oli Gross contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pubs code revised - but no implementation date set

Related tags: Inflation, Consumer price index

The amendments to the pubs code have been detailed by small businesses minister Anna Soubry following the publication of the revised legislation yesterday.

A new date has not yet been set in stone for the implementation of the code, but the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has told the Publican's Morning Advertiser ​it is on track to be ready before parliament's summer recess on 21 July.

Soubry has claimed there are no widespread changes to the policy framework in the revised regulations, but the small changes were necessary to make sure the code is right for both tenants and pubcos.

The original code had issues with trigger points for the market rent-only option (MRO), relating to a significant increase in the price of ties products and services, according to Soubry.

The changes include:

  • To replace the ONS Producer Price Index with Consumer Price Index
  • To treat a Consumer Price Index change as zero in the event that it falls below zero
  • To exclude excise duty from the calculation of price changes, and to disregard the effect of any discounts that the pub-owning business was not contractually required to give to the tied pub tenant
  • To increase the tolerance in the 'alcoholic drink other than beer' category from 6% to 8%

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has welcomed the move towards clarification but urged the Government to implement the code at the earliest opportunity.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "The publication of the revised code will provide licensees with some peace of mind and a sense of clarification on an issue that has dragged on for some time now.

"We note with some concern, however, that the revised code appears to give no mention of a solid implementation date, only that the legislation will take effect the day after its approval.

"Any further delays risk adding to the sense of uncertainty, undermining confidence and investment and will pose further problems for any lessees with ongoing issues.

"The ALMR will be pressing BIS and the committee clerk to provide us with a degree of certainty regarding the timetable for implementation. The ALMR will also continue to work closely with its members, providing support and information at our workshops, during this period of transition."

See the full revised code here​.

Related topics: Legislation

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