The Consumer & Competition Bill, which paves the way for the creation of a grocery Code of Practice, will be presented to cabinet on 25 March, an industry source has told Checkout.
While it is not anticipated that the draft Bill will include details on the contents of a proposed Code, it is believed that it will outline the procedure through which the Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton intends to implement it.
"It is doubtful that the Bill will make provisions for the creation of an 'adjudicator' overseeing a proposed Code [similar to that of Christine Tacon's role as Grocery Code Adjudicator in the UK], and government ministers have already spoken out saying that any proposed Code cannot be used to set prices," the source said.
Once the draft Bill has been signed off by cabinet, it will pass through the various legislative processes, and could be made law within weeks. However, a Code of Practice for the grocery sector could be weeks, if not months, in coming.
A spokesperson for the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation stopped short of confirming to Checkout that the Bill will be presented to cabinet on the 25th March, however they did confirm that it would be unveiled "by the end of the month."
Last week, a Department spokesperson told Checkout that "work on drafting the Competition and Consumer Protection Bill, which is included in the “A list” in the Government’s current Legislative Programme, is at an advanced stage and it is hoped to publish the Bill in the coming weeks."
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones