I have added my name to a cross party amendment to the Small Business Bill that would give a ‘Market Rent Only’ option deal for local pubs which are owned by one of the large pub owning companies. The Small Business Bill already includes plans for a Pubs Code and an Adjudicator to support pubs and their tenants but does not include the essential market rent only option which is needed to stop large pub companies forcing up beer prices charged to pub tenants to unacceptable levels.
The amendment will allow pub tenants tied to the large pub companies, ones which own more than 500 pubs, to opt for a rental only deal, allowing them to buy beer on the open market at prices up to 70% below what pub companies currently force them to pay.
As things stand we are due to vote on this amendment next Tuesday (18th November). The campaign to allow pub tenants to sign up for a rental only deal has been backed by over 200 MP’s from all parties so there is a realistic prospect of winning the vote. The amendment is also backed by the national Fair Deal for Your Local campaign which consists of ten leading national organisations, including CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale), the Federation of Small Businesses, the Forum for Private Business and licensee organisations.
I should of course declare an interest as I am a member of CAMRA!