Adjudicator to help ‘struggling pubs’

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Business secretary Vince Cable today unveiled plans to appoint an “independent adjudicator” to settle disputes over beer prices and rents between publicans and their pub companies.

Cable said he will also consult on a statutory code of conduct for the adjudicator to enforce.

He added: “There is some real hardship in the pubs sector, with many pubs going to the wall as publicans struggling to survive on tiny margins. Some of this is due to pubcos exploiting and squeezing their publicans by unfair practices and a focus on short-term profits.”

Last month the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) mounted a protest outside Westminster, claiming that – since the policy of raising beer duty by 2 per cent above inflation was introduced by the last Labour government – more than 5,800 pubs have closed and the number of pub-goers has fallen by three million.