FSB urges government to act now or lose pubs forever

by Emma White, Thursday 27th August 2009 16:26

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged the government to abolish the beer tie in order to save Britain’s pubs.

A new FSB report has found that one in eight tied pubs is struggling to survive and paying up to 50% more for beer compared to untied pub owners, forcing them to pass these inflated charges to the customer.

The report of 227 FSB publican members also found that 73% would support a complete removal of the tie and nearly 80% said that transparency in rent reviews is an issue.

“Tenanted pubs are being crippled by high beer prices and if action is not taken now the great British pub will become extinct – leaving the next generation unable to visit a traditional pub,” said Clive Davenport, chairman of the FSB.

The report makes three clear demands: abolish the tie where it doesn’t give tenants the opportunity to make a fair profit; create an independent ombudsmen to support and advise tenants in conflict with their Pubco; and enforce fully transparent rent reviews through a statutory code.

“Tenanted pubs are not being given a fair deal from the Pubcos that own them: nearly one in six say they do not receive enough business support and a further seven out of 10 are left to their own devices once the contract has been signed,” said Davenport, adding: “Without urgent action, we could see the pubs at the heart of our communities disappear forever.”

Half of rural pubs missing out on business rate relief >>

Industry rejects MPs' call for beer-tie investigation >>

Rulings on tips draws mixed feelings from the industry >>

By Emma White

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