Competitions and Markets Authority

Business, Innovation and Skills written statement – made on 10th October 2013.

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Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Competition and Markets Authority will be a new non-ministerial department created by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. The authority will become operational on 1 April 2014 and exists as a legal entity from 1 October 2013. It replaces the existing Competition Commission and Office of Fair Trading which will close on 31 March 2013.

There is a need to meet the cash requirement for the Competition and Markets Authority from 1 October 2013 to pay for staff costs. Although Parliament has already approved the specific enabling legislation, the resources to fund the creation of the Competition and Markets Authority are currently within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Pending the commencement of full operation in April 2014, when the budget for the Competition and Markets Authority will be delivered from the existing budgets of the Competition Commission and the Office of Fair Trading, immediate expenditure estimated at £1.6 million for staff costs will be met by repayable cash advances from the contingencies fund.

If further costs arise that would be irregular for BIS to pay on behalf of the CMA, between now and March 2014 when the Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill achieves Royal Assent, I will return to the House.

Parliamentary approval for resources of £1.6 million for this new expenditure will be sought in a supplementary estimate for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £1.6 million will be met by repayable cash advances from the contingencies fund.