Debates between Lord Desai and Lord Callanan during the 2019 Parliament

Competition and Markets Authority

Debate between Lord Desai and Lord Callanan
Thursday 25th June 2020

(3 years, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan
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We committed in our manifesto to tackle consumer rip-offs and bad business practices. The issues that the noble Lord, Lord Tyrie, set out in the CMA’s letter have helped shape public debate as well as informing government action. For instance, he said that consideration should be given to how to capture the benefits for competition and consumer welfare of the growth in the digital economy. We agree and have set up smart data proposals that we look forward to implementing.

Lord Desai Portrait Lord Desai (Lab) [V]
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My Lords, through the 100 days of Covid we have heard many complaints from consumers who have not been refunded for cancelled trips and cancelled products by the sellers; they have had no recourse. It is a serious situation that the Government ought to look into. If the Government are to make the UK globally competitive after Brexit, as they have promised, it is very important that they adopt a competition policy in line with the latest research in economics. I think they need an economist to head that authority, but the noble Lord, Lord Tyrie, will be difficult to replace.

Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan
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I agree that we need a robust competition regime in the UK. That is what we have; the CMA has already announced reviews into many of the practices that the noble Lord highlighted, taking action against profiteering from some pharmaceutical companies, for example. We will not hesitate to take further measures if required.