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Government to streamline consumer protection

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The Government has announced proposals which will see a simplifying of the way that consumer protection rules are enforced.

A report from the National Audit Office had suggested that the current system is “fragmented and underequipped”.

In response, the Business Department has put forward plans which would give Trading Standards teams a greater degree of co-ordination across local authority boundaries.

This would help enforce consumer protection rules in cases of rogue traders and counterfeit businesses that operate in several areas.

Announcing the new plans, Consumer Minister, Edward Davey said: “Our consumer policy is all about empowering consumers to make the right decisions for themselves when they buy goods and services.

“But we also need to ensure we have the right system of help, advice and protection when consumers need support. For too long people have been faced with a confusing landscape of different, public, private and voluntary consumer bodies, with overlapping roles and responsibilities.

“Trading Standards are trusted by the public to do a good job in enforcing consumer law and standing up for consumers.

“But there are barriers which get in the way of effective responses to rogues who operate across authority boundaries. Our proposed reforms will strengthen their hand in tackling these threats to consumers.”