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Supermarkets: Complaints

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of a supermarket ombudsman in each of the next six years. (257434)

The Department has made no such assessment. The Competition Commission (CC) is continuing to pursue implementation of all aspects of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice. Should no voluntary agreement be possible and the matter be referred to Government, we would need to consider the costs and benefits of a range of options before deciding on a way forward.

However, in its report the CC produced some initial annual costs associated with this remedy which were in the region of £3.9 million to £5.4 million comprising £3 million retailer costs and £0.9 million to £2.4 million costs for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). There may be additional costs incurred by the Ombudsman driven largely by the number of disputes.