Labour MPs backed an amendment to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill to stop large pub companies (PubCos) exploiting tenants in so-called “tied pubs”. The Government opposed this change, but thanks to the votes of Emma and other Labour MPs the Coalition were defeated and the amendment was passed by 284 votes to 259.
Currently tenants in these pubs have to buy supplies from the PubCo that manages them, and often pay rents that are far above market rates. The amendments to the Bill would give local pubs the option to buy beer on the open market and give them the right to take a tenancy at a fair market rate.
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill introduces a new code to regulate pub companies, something which Labour has argued for to stop the decline of the pub industry.
Currently 27 pubs are closing every week because of rising costs and a decline in customer numbers. Tied pubs are worst hit, with over half of tenants saying they earn less than £10,000 a year.
“This is a great day for pub owners and local communities. People feel really strongly about their local pubs and it’s always a huge loss when they are forced to close. Today’s deal will help more pubs stay open and serve their communities, and I’m proud to have voted for this change today.”