MP John Leech joins rebellion to get pub landlord earnings up from £10K a year average

South Manchester MP John Leech is joining the rebellion against the government ‘beer-tie’ scheme in a bid to get local pub landlords off the breadline.

The scheme was recently deemed to be the reason behind most pub landlords currently earning less than the minimum wage and struggling to pay rent, with over half making less than £10,000 a year.

MPs have since voted to reduce the control parent companies can exercise over pubs, allowing landlords to request an independent rent review along with being granted allowance to buy their own beer.

So-called ‘tied pubs’ are currently required to buy supplies – often at high prices – from the companies that own them.

Withington Lib Dem MP Leech, who is a Parliamentary Beer Champion, joined the rebellion with 28 Lib Dem and 15 Tories. 

“I was proud to rebel and stand up for local pubs,” Mr Leech said. “Currently, many landlords are forced to pay whatever rents they are charged, and whatever prices they are quoted.

“They are forced to pass these costs onto the customer. That means more people choose to buy from supermarket chains offering loss leaders, and local pubs close.”

The impact of the ‘beer-tie’ scheme has been greatly damaging to a lot of smaller or local pubs, meaning the majority of pub landlords are now struggling to get by.

Federation of Small Businesses Regional Chairman for Manchester & North Cheshire Richard Gregg said:  “Research has shown almost 60% of landlords in tied tenancies earn less than the national minimum wage equivalent salary of £10,000 a year.

“Publicans will now be allowed to request a rent review as well as being allowed to buy beer on the open market, effectively meaning landlords can call time on time on what has been an appalling situation for them.

“The other winners are local breweries, and the wider regional supply chain. The freedom to stock a wider range of beers will provide a boost to local economies while giving consumers greater choice.”

The amendment was also supported by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) an independent, voluntary organisation campaigning for real ale, community pubs and consumer rights.

Tim Page, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale, said: “I am delighted that after 10 years of our campaigning, MPs have voted to introduce a market rent only option for licensees tied to the large pub companies – a move that will secure the future of the Great British pub.”

Image courtesy of Virgin Media, via YouTube, with thanks.

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