PracticeConsultingJohnson unveils insolvency shake-up

Johnson unveils insolvency shake-up

Parliamentary under secretary Melanie Johnson today launched two white papers which are expected to shake up competition and insolvency laws.

The proposals put forward a ‘sound and credible’ means by which the UK can achieve higher levels of sustainable growth, according to the minister.

Johnson said: ‘The government wants an enterprising economy that makes the UK the best place in the world to do business.’

The insolvency white paper, ‘Insolvency – a second chance’, proposes reforms to bankruptcy laws toughening penalties for dishonest bankrupts but lessening restrictions for people who become bankrupt through no fault of their own.

It also promises a new modernised financial regime with increased transparency and simplicity and the removal of crown preference, where government agencies get paid first from of the proceeds of insolvency.

There will also be an increased restriction of the use of administrative receivership and a reform of administration laws to make it a quicker simpler process.

The competition white paper proposes to strengthen the power of consumers by introducing a ‘super-complaints’ system in which the public, through named consumer bodies, will be able to complain to the Office of Fair Trading about markets that are not operating properly.

It will also give strong deterrents against anti-competitive behaviour, making the setting up of cartels an imprisonable offence. The white paper also promises to take politics out of competition decisions by giving competition authorities, rather than ministers, the right to rule on mergers and acquisitions.

Links

Queen unveils Labour’s second-term agenda

Bankruptcy reforms are ‘cosmetic’, says R3

News extra: The Insolvency shake-up

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