Northampton South MP calls for more Government help to support local pubs

MP Brian Binley speaking at a Northampton Alive event
MP Brian Binley speaking at a Northampton Alive event

Northampton South MP Brian Binley has urged the Government to do more to help local pubs stating that “their value to our community is as great as almost any other institution that we might name”.

Mr Binley was speaking in Wednesday’s debate on the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, which included a statutory code of practice for the pub industry.

Referencing the Committee’s 2013 report, Mr Binley said: “When the BIS Committee took evidence, we found that many tenants had been attracted to pub tenancies by misleading information given by pubcos—I am excluding small and sizeable family breweries—that turned out to be untrue. The Committee proved that estimated profits were often overstated and that the effect of estimated costs relating to a combination of dry and wet rent was often understated.

“The result was tenants investing money on a fake premise. They lost that investment over time by supporting an ever-more costly business which eventually failed. What happened then? Similar tenants came in to support a pubco financial model that is heavily laden with debt and that simply does not work without that sort of subsidy—but it is a criminal sort of subsidy, and I say that without fear or favour.”

Mr Binley added: “If hon. Members have, like me, seen a woman in their office in tears because she owes £94,000, having taken on a pub on a false premise, or seen a husband trying to comfort his wife because they know they are going bust, having sold their house to invest in a pub—there are many examples of that kind—they would recognise that reality.”

Mr Binley also spoke in today’s Backbench Business debate on the Universal Postal Service obligation.