Bias In Pub Panel Chair

31 Jan 2012

GMB, the union for pub tied tenants, commented on the news that Rodger Vickers from Punch Taverns will chair the newly-formed Pub Independent Conciliation Advisory Service (PICAS) deal with disputes about matters other than rents between pubcos and tenants.

Paul Maloney, GMB national officer for pub tenants said “Ed Davey has been taken for a gullible fool by the pub industry. Appointing Rodger Vickers is the equivalent of the FA appointing Sir Alex Ferguson to referee a game between Manchester United and Liverpool. The bias is that blatant. Vickers is part of BBPA to his last sinew so GMB members can expect him to press the cases of the pubcos. Even today he is in the pub of a GMB member pressing the case for a 60% rent increase in the middle of a recession.

This new PICAS, which we are told will be up and running at the end of February, is part of the self-regulation deal between the British Beer & Pub Association and the Government in the wake of the Business, Innovation & Skills Committee (BISC) report which Ed Davey signed off.

PICAS will operate alongside another toothless bodyPIRRS (Pubs Independent Rent Review Scheme) where Vickers has also been an advisor since 2009. PICAS remit is disputes other than rents and will have the same dismal record as PIRRS. MPs on BIS Select Committee need to probe why Ed Davey has proved such a soft touch.

The underlying issue not being tackled at all is sky high rent that have pushed the price of a pint £1 above the level justified by inflation and changes in taxation. This has priced pubs out of the market. This additional revenue ends up offshore paying pubco bondholders in tax havens. BBPA, which justifies this rip off culture, has the bare faced cheek to launch a campaign for tax breaks as its members blatantly shovel money offshore into tax havens”.