The latest Pubs Code proposals fail to ensure tied pub tenants will not be worse off than if they were free-of-tie, according to CAMRA.
Speaking to Imbibe, Jonathan Mail, CAMRA head of public affairs, said the proposed draft in its current form leaves pub operators open to inflated prices on beer and other services.
'Under the current draft, tenants will only be able to request a Market Rent Option (MRO) if their pubco increases rent beyond the rate of inflation,' he said, 'meaning tenants already living with over-priced rents will be left powerless.
'It would also create a perverse incentive for pubcos to impose above inflation increases in tied beer, product and services prices in exchange for keeping rent increases below inflation.
'Adding a proviso that an MRO option can be offered if tied beer prices are increased by more than 5% in six months is a vastly inadequate safeguard, meaning that few, if any, tied tenants will be able to opt for an MRO option due to a price increase.'
CAMRA has long been a strong supporter of pubco reform, calling for an end to 'unfair business practices' that it says sees licensees paying at least 50% more for beer and often paying above market value for rents.
The Government has already amended its draft bill since first publishing it on October 29. The clause allowing Parallel Rent Assessments (PRA) was reinstated after a backlash from the trade. The PRA is intended to ensure tenants with tied rent are no worse off than if they were free of tie, through calculating projected rents and earnings.