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Better regulators, fairer markets

The current economic model under the capitalist system is currently in crisis. This report suggests that stricter regulation is a solution to this issue and a way to restore public faith and confidence in markets.

This research has come as a result of a seminar by Citizens Advice and the SMF that was attended by senior staff from UK regulators, several Government departments, members of Parliament and experts with extensive experience in markets, government, politics and the interaction between the three.

Recommendations

1. Maintain the principle of independent economic regulators discharging a duty set out in legislation – but expand and clarify those duties.

2. Politicians should lead a debate about a move away from implied focus on “consumer welfare” in aggregate and consider regulation that addresses the typical consumer(s) – and perhaps (building on current interest in vulnerability) specific subgroups, including low-income households.

3. New duties should include an objective of delivering “trust and confidence” in markets

4. A new British Markets Survey should track the public’s “trust and confidence” of markets as institutions

5. Government should review again the legal footing of the Competition Appeals Tribunal and consult on examining appeals on a judicial review basis.

6. Government should consider the case for regulators offering Ofsted-style ratings for suppliers or kitemark “good business” badges

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