Consumer Update

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written statement – made on 20th July 2021.

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Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Today I will lay before Parliament two consultation papers on competition issues which respond to proposals that have been put to Government in recent years from a variety of stakeholders. This includes those directly commissioned by Government from Jason Furman, John Penrose MP, Lord Tyrie and the Competition and Markets Authority. The consultation periods will end on Friday 1st October.

The first document, entitled “Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy - Driving growth and delivering competitive markets that work for consumers” sets out the Government’s vision for the future of competition and consumer policy. We aim to create a competition regime that reflects the Government’s strategic priorities and intervenes quickly and effectively when markets are not working, and consumers are being harmed. It also updates consumer rights so that consumers can navigate changing and new markets with confidence. Our proposals also aim to provide easier routes for consumers and traders to resolve problems amicably on their own and ensure the Competition and Markets Authority and regulators have the powers they need to fix consumer problems, delivering our manifesto commitment to give the Competition and Markets Authority enhanced powers to tackle consumer rip-offs and bad business practices.

These proposals will create a prosperous economy where vigorous competition drives growth and productivity, where businesses that do the right thing are rewarded with greater market share so that consumers can engage in markets with full confidence they will get a good deal.

The second publication called “A New Pro-Competition Regime for Digital Markets” is a joint publication with my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. I will invite him to provide further detail on this consultation.

Both consultations invite views from consumers, businesses, civil society, think tanks, academics, public authorities, and the devolved administrations to ensure our new approach works for the UK economy and supports growth and productivity in markets in every part of the country.

Subject to the outcomes of the consultations, the Government will bring forward legislation to implement reforms.