Group formerly known as Enterprise Inns adapts to growing independence for publicans
Business secretary says new statutory code and independent adjudicator could save tenant publicans £100m a yearVince Cable has attacked the "exploitative financial practices" of large pub landlord companies, pressing ahead with proposals for a statutory code and an independent adjudicator to help protect the interests of thousands of tenant publicans.Among those likely to be subject to the regulation are landlord groups with more than 500 pubs. These include stock market-listed Punch Taverns, Enterprise Inns, Greene King and Marstons."Although some pub companies behave well, the evidence I have received makes it clear that in too many cases tenants are being exploited and squeezed, through a combination of unfair practices, lack of transparency and a focus on short-termism at the expense of the long-term sustainability of the sector," he said.He suggested aggressive and financially stretched landlords had contributed to pub failure rates in recent years. Approximately 18 pubs are boarded up a week. Cable said he hoped the regulation would save tenants £100m a year.Thousands of publicans rent the pubs they operate and enter exclusive supply deals with their landlord firms. Many complain this arrangement, known as the beer tie, leaves them paying inflated prices for beer and high rents. Landlord companies disagree, insisting the tied model remains well-liked by many tenants because it offers them lower rent and start-up costs.Setting out his consultation paper on Monday, Cable said he was satisfied that the tie, the subject of repeated parliamentary inquires for more than a decade, was being abused. "[Landlord groups'] behaviour, especially alongside the many other challenges facing the sector, risks damaging the British pub industry, which not only consists of small businesses employing hundreds of thousands of people across the country but also contributes substantially to community spirit and cohesion."Cable said the government's goal was "simply to ensure that the tied tenant should be no worse off than a free-of-tie tenant".Vince CablePubsFood & drinkSimon Bowersguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
Froma Harrop, Providence JournalMEDFORD, Ore. -- "Obama says he's going to make middle-class jobs," the breakfast room troubadour bellowed at the Holiday Inn Express to those who wanted to listen -- and to those who didn't. "Did he make your job?" he went on, cornering a female employee. "Private companies make jobs."The commentary was not entirely wrong. Private enterprise creates the great majority of jobs in this country. But the baritone assumes that entrepreneurs can easily grow good jobs in a world filled with smart young people working for less money.