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Food: Retailers

House of Lords written question – answered on 28th June 2012.

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Photo of Lord Harrison Lord Harrison Chair, EU Sub Committee A - Economic and Financial Affairs

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will review competition policy to ensure that it supports retail diversity and entry to markets for new food businesses.

Photo of Baroness Wilcox Baroness Wilcox The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Following a review and consultation in 2011, the Government announced reforms to the public competition framework on 15 March 2012, which will help businesses, consumers and the economy. As part of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, we now intend to create a single Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and modernise its competition toolkit with the aim of:

improving the quality of decisions and strengthening the regime;supporting the competition authorities in taking forward the right competitioncases; andimproving the speed and predictability for business.

It will be for the CMA, as responsible competition authority, to decide where to prioritise its resources.

The Government are committed to supporting high streets and town centres, as evidenced by our response to the recommendations of the Mary Portas review of the high street, published on 30 March 2012. In addition, the new National Planning Policy Framework, published by the Government on 26 March 2012, states that, in drawing up local plans, local planning authorities should promote competitive town centres that provide customer choice and a diverse retail offer.

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