Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson joins forces with CAMRA to get a better deal for pub landlords

Bill Esterson

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said the Labour Party and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) was working together to get a better deal for pub landlords.

Last week, CAMRA revealed that 60% of publicans tied to the big pub companies, earn less than the minimum wage.

According to the CAMRA report, 60% of licensees tied to the big pub companies earn less than £10,000 a year.

Bill said the figures showed the "shocking" way hard working licensees are being treated by some of the biggest pub chains.

Bill said: "I have met a number of licensees throughout Sefton Central in the past few months who have all raised concerns about the difficulties they are having as a result of being tied to some of the larger chains.

"Many tell me they are struggling to survive on the pitifully small amount of income they get for running the pubs. I would agree with Camra that what we are seeing is outright exploitation of hardworking people who are trying to keep a small business going, while all along being bled dry by unscrupulous business practices.

"The landlords that I have spoken are all working 15, 16, 18 hours a day to keep their pubs going. Pubs that are at the heart of our communities. But as money is tight, so they are finding themselves unable to reinvest in the business to help them grow and attract the customers they need to survive."

Labour is working with Camra in Parliament to pressure the government to call time big pub companies' abuse of landlords.

Earlier this year, Labour held its first Opposition Day Debate of 2013 (a rare opportunity when parties not in government are able to set the business of the House of Commons and force a vote on an important issue) to call for statutory regulation of the pub chains. Within 24 hours of this debate the Tory-Lib Dem government spectacularly caved in and backed Labour’s call for a statutory code despite dismissing it out of hand as little as three months ago.

Bill said: "My Labour colleagues and I recognise the importance of our pubs in our communities. That is why we have been working with Camra on making sure that we can get a fair deal for our pub landlords and our community pubs.

"Pubs are vital hubs for communities here in Sefton Central and are valued strongly by local people. We need to do all we can to help them thrive and stem the ever increasing rate of pub closures."

 

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