In an act held this Monday and in which it was assumed that the consumer should be the center of the debate, the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, took the opportunity to attack the opposition parties. "Let me be a bit provocative in social terms: I think there is no real liberalism in our country". Garzón was so blunt at the closing of the presentation of the guide 'The benefits of competition for consumers' of the National Markets and Competition Commission. For Garzón, talking about competition is something absent from public dialogue, a circumstance that leads to "wrong policies". In this sense, Garzón pointed out that the majority conclusion of the historical analysis was that "there was a liberal revolution in our country in the 1930s, but without liberal revolutionaries" and that, therefore, "a certain doctrine was imposed that it had to do something with the doctrine of Adam Smith, but that it assumed certain questions without an implantation of real base ”, argued.
“There is a dissociation, a gap between the ideological use that is usually made in public debate of the concept of competition and its practical instrument in the field of public debate, in Parliament. We still have a lot to do to understand how competition works, what benefits and effects it has on the implementation of real policy on the relations of consumption and of the society ”, emphasized Garzón.
In the opinion of the holder of Consumption, when, for example, a reduction in taxes such as VAT is claimed for different goods or services -
and in clear allusion to the controversy over the increased cost of the electricity bill last January-, "The necessary contextualization of the market structure is always forgotten" on which this public policy is exercised. “It is not the same to reduce costs in a market via taxation in a competitive market where one must assume that this has a direct effect on the final drop in price for the consumer than to do it in a monopoly or oligopoly market. In these cases, it usually leads to an increase in the profit margin and not to a reduction in the price, ”Garzón explained.
It should be remembered that in other interventions, the minister has made it clear that he considers that there is an oligopoly in the electricity market "where three large companies control more than 60% of the offers in the auction and their subsidiaries more than 60% of the purchases" , in his own words. For this reason, Garzón believes that a reduction in taxes would mean that the profit of the companies increases and at the same time, the price of the products is maintained. «The debate that I have given as an example has operated in Congress against parties that called themselves liberal, but manifestly, explicitly and even bloody ignored the market structure. This contradiction includes an element of cynicism in the policy that we have to be able to overthrow, "said the Minister of Consumer Affairs.
To conclude and go back to specifying in the CNMC guide, Garzón recalled that for there to be competition there must be good regulation. «The tool that provides the guide is information on the functioning of the CNMC. If we are also able to introduce it into the public debate, we will be able to denounce those elements that do not work well, "he insisted.
Real cases of companies
The CNMC guide includes real cases of companies and practical examples so that the citizen knows how markets work and why the existence or not of competition will mark variables such as prices, the variety and the quality of the products and services acquired in their day to day. Competition, according to those responsible for the CNMC, will also determine, among others, the resources that companies dedicate to innovation and development.
The document is structured in the form of a "question and answer" with real cases in private and public companies that "facilitate the understanding of the content," according to the note sent to the media. Likewise, a series of videos and infographics have been included on the YouTube channel and on the CNMC website that can help students and teachers when it comes to approaching disciplines related to competition and market regulation.