David Hanson MP has today voted to support a “market rent only” cross party amendment to the Small Business Bill that would deliver a fair deal for local pub company pubs in Flintshire.
Mr Hanson MP voted for the measure as part of the Small Business Bill, which already includes plans for a Pubs Code and an Adjudicator to support pubs and their tenants but did 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 allows pub tenants tied to the large pub companies (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.
Mr Hanson was part of a majority of MPs who voted for this measure defeating the government’s resistance on this issue. The campaign to allow pub tenants to sign up for a rental only deal was backed by 212 MPs from all parties and 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.
David Hanson MP commented:
“I am very pleased to have voted for this clause and defeated the government to at last give the tenants of large pub companies a fair deal and to help keep pubs open in Flintshire.
The Government’s plans for pub company reform didn’t address the fundamental issue of excessive beer prices and rents charged by the large pub companies so that’s why I supported the CAMRA and small business and licence holder backed ‘Fair Deal for Your Local’ amendment, to introduce a market rent only option. I’m glad it’s passed and it’s good news for our area.”
Tim Page, CAMRA Chief Executive added:
“CAMRA is very pleased that David Hanson MP has voted for the amendment, which calls for an important change to improve the relationship between pub-owning companies and their tenants. It is simply unacceptable that so many tenants running successful pubs are earning less than the minimum wage and are unable to invest in the future of their pub. Far too many pubs have been lost permanently as a result of the pub companies squeezing the life out of them with excessive rents and tied beer prices.”
“Allowing pub tenants to choose the best deal for them will put huge commercial pressure on the large pub companies to cut their beer prices to competitive levels. Such a move would benefit over 10,000 pubs, help pub tenants make a living, help keep pubs open and help keep the cost of a pint to consumers affordable.”
John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“Pubco tenants aren’t getting a fair deal and this will continue unless they have the option to go free of tie, with an independently assessed rent.
“Our research showed that the ‘market rent only’ option would bring significant benefits in terms of investment, employment and consumer choice. This New Clause will give MPs the opportunity to ensure that the Small Business Bill provides a fair deal for tied pubs.”