A new independent pubs Adjudicator will be set up by the Coalition Government to help struggling landlords suffering from unfair practices in the industry, Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, Vince Cable has announced.
The Adjudicator will enforce a new statutory Code, which will oversee the relationship between publicans and large pub companies (pubcos). It will ensure publicans get a fair deal on rent and the prices they pay for beer.
Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland has long campaigned for a fairer deal for pubs. Welcoming the move, he said:
“Pubs are a cornerstone of our community and many have been struggling in recent years.
“This is great news for pubs, pubco publicans and customers and is a huge boost in terms of the Coalition Government delivering the promise to be a pro-pub Government. This will at last enshrine in law that a pubco licensee is no worse off than a Free House licensee.
“The latest attempt at self-regulation has been a farce. There was a deliberate attempt to avoid the central problem of pubcos taking more than is fair from pub profits. It’s a great credit to Vince Cable and the Coalition Government who have finally taken the necessary action.
“Liberal Democrats will be continuing to work in the Coalition Government to ensure tied pubco licensees can keep a fair share of their profit and have a much brighter future.”
Commenting further, Business Secretary, Vince Cable said:
“Some pubcos are exploiting and squeezing their tenants by unfair practices and a focus on short-term profits. This has led real hardship for some publicans, who are going to the wall as they struggle to survive on tiny margins.
“While the Labour government oversaw three Select Committee reviews into these problems, they only acknowledged the need for action in their last few months in office. The Coalition Government is now taking action.
“Last year we gave the pubcos one last chance to change their behaviour but it is clear that the self-regulation approach was not enough so we are changing the law.
“These measures will give hard-working publicans a fairer chance at running their pub so they can continue to serve their communities.”