Kwasi Kwarteng – 2022 Statement on Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy

The statement made by Kwasi Kwarteng, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in the House of Commons on 20 April 2022.

I wish to inform the House that the Government have today published their response to the consultation “Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy—Driving growth and delivering competitive markets that work for consumers”, which was published in July 2021.

In this response the Government reaffirm their commitment to boosting consumer rights and preventing scams and rip-offs. This includes modernising the existing framework of consumer rights to better reflect today’s shopping practices and in particular increasing digitalisation. We set out an ambitious set of proposals to enhance enforcement of consumer rights, by sharpening the powers of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the courts, delivering our manifesto commitment to tackle consumer rip-offs and bad business practices. The response sets out reforms to competition law to further the dynamism of UK markets, and ensuring the CMA is able to act quickly and effectively to support this.

Implementing these reforms will create a prosperous economy where consumers can engage in markets with full confidence that they will get a good deal; and where vigorous competition drives growth and innovation while minimising burdens on business.

This agenda was consulted on in summer 2021, and received strong support from a broad range of interested parties and stakeholders. We received 188 written responses to the consultation, and further engaged directly with stakeholders in a series of roundtables and meetings on specific matters to determine how to best implement these ideas. We are grateful for the views received through the consultation process and will use these views to refine our reform programme and seize the opportunity to build back better.

The Government have also published today:

The results of a UK consumer protection study; and a post-implementation review of the Competition Appeal Tribunal Rules 2015, including the response to the related call for evidence of March 2021.

Copies of the consultation response, together with the other documents, may also be found online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/reforming-competition-and-consumer-policy.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/post-implementation-review-of-the-competition-appeal-tribunal-rules-2015-call-for-evidence.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/consumer-protection-study-2022.