The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for the beer tie to be scrapped after taking a survey of its pub members, writes Ewan Turney. A whopping 94% of its licensee members said they believed the beer tie must be scrapped and a further 99% said pubcos have taken little action to improve conditions since the 2004 Trade & Industry Select Committee (TISC) report. The FSB had played a leading role in securing the TISC inquiry and has now thrown its full weight behind the Fair Pint campaign to scrap the tie and limit pubcos to owning 500 pubs. The FSB submitted its evidence to the Business and Enterprise Committee, which will review progress made since 2004, this week. “Pubs are not just a part of the local community, in many places they are the local community," said FSB trade and industry chairman Clive Davenport. "They generate employment, local income and an opportunity for people to meet. “However, 36 pubs are closing down weekly and FSB members give testimony upon testimony how difficult it is to survive in the pub business today. “Pub licensees often pay up to double the price for beer and cider, than they would if they were buying in a free market. If the tie was eradicated this would create a level playing field to enable pub landlords to compete with those who are not tied.”