Market rent only’ option ‘unlikely to happen’ says Punch chairman

By | November 13, 2014


Story of the Day: from Propel by Paul Charity

‘Market rent only’ option ‘unlikely to happen’ says Punch chairman: Punch Tavern’s executive chairman, Stephen Billingham, told City analysts yesterday (Wednesday) he did not believe the so-called “market rent only” option, allowing pub tenants to abandon the beer tie, would make it onto the statute books as part of the pub industry statutory code. The Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland, chairman of the Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, and MPs from the Labour and Conservative parties tabled an amendment to the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Bill at the weekend that would allow tenants, after negotiation, to pay an assessed “market rent” and buy their beer from wherever they choose. Mulholland claimed the amendment would stop pubcos charging “unfair and unrealistic rents and rip-off prices for beer”. At a presentation to analysts on Punch’s 2014 preliminary results, Billlingham said: “My current view is that the market rent option for pubs is unlikely to happen in the legislation. That doesn’t seem to be where we’re going. The government has said that they don’t want to get involved in economic intervention in the pubs sector – they’ve actually ruled it out. Where the government is heading towards is a statutory code on how we conduct ourselves. While we think that’s unnecessary, we are willing to work with the government to make the code work effectively.” The market rent clause is due to be voted on at the report stage of the Small Business Bill on 18 and 19 November. MORE


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