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consumer protection in the uk October 14, 2010

Posted by Bradley in : consumers , trackback

More details on what is to happen with consumer protection here (wouldn’t it be nice if the announcement of changes to quangos (or non-departmental public bodies) linked to other related departmental press releases and announcements ?). Enforcement will be transferred to the Citizens’ Advice service and to local Trading Standards bodies:

In our proposed new regime, Trading Standards will be given responsibility for enforcement of almost all consumer law. Local threats to fair trading will continue to be handled at local authority level. But national and regional threats will now increasingly also be addressed through one or more dedicated, expert teams, within Trading Standards with work co-ordinated nationally for this purpose. Specific arrangements may need to be made in Scotland and Wales.
This approach chimes with the Government’s Localism agenda, should lead to significant efficiency savings and is a potential model for integrating local and national funding for regulatory enforcement in other areas.
In addition to these measures, I propose that responsibility for all non-financial consumer education, information and advice, and notably the Consumer Direct helpline, will transfer to the Citizens Advice service. I believe there is scope for other Government advice and information services also to become part of the Citizens Advice service, to reinforce a simple message to consumers — if you need information or advice, go to Citizens Advice.

Yes, but will they provide proper funding? And how is this decentralization of enforcement consistent with the idea of increasing transparency touted in the quangos announcement?

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