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Prices: Coronavirus

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 4th June 2020.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Labour, Birmingham, Hodge Hill

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of replicating the steps that other countries have taken to tackle price-gouging during the covid-19 pandemic.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

We are committed to tackling consumer rip-offs and bad business practices, including profiteering. Although the vast majority of businesses are acting responsibly during the national effort to tackle Covid-19, a small minority are seeking to exploit the situation. The Competition and Markets Authority are seeing the number of complaints against firms engaging in profiteering decreasing.

We are working with the CMA and other consumer and retail organisations to monitor the extent of profiteering and will update the law if it is proportionate to do so. The CMA has approached over 250 traders and trade associations to challenge price rises for essential products.

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