Press releases

Coherence and consumer empowerment at the centre of TSI’s vision for new Consumer Landscape

       
The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) has highlighted its vision for the next generation of consumers in an interim response to the Government’s Consumer Landscape consultation today (Monday 15 August).

TSI’s chief executive Ron Gainsford said: “We welcome  a review into the current consumer landscape to drive efficiencies into the system and to facilitate a more effectively joined up approach to consumer protection.

“ Consumer confidence is integral to their willingness to spend. Our economy and businesses of all sizes desperately need confident, empowered consumers.  ”

TSI wants  to see more policy coherence across Government in its demands upon trading standards, where resources are  increasingly stretched due to cuts and vagaries of local government funding.

Mr Gainsford said: “It is important to emphasize that trading standards professionals and services up and down the country are doing the very best they can with the reduced resources that they have to keep our communities safe, healthy and prosperous.

“The appetite to embrace change is evident within the trading standards community but central and local government has to play its shared part in supporting the coherence in delivery and funding.  

“ We are optimistic that this institutional review of the consumer landscape will allow the system to be redesigned to be stronger, more coherent and fit for purpose.  But  it remains difficult to assess to what extent this will happen when the consultation document is largely silent on the challenges caused by current base level resources  and any new levels of investment that may be invested in the new regime.”

TSI welcomes the recognition of TSI as the natural new home for the business consumer education role, currently with the Office of Fair Trading, to work alongside Citizens Advice as the new single provider of consumer advice and education.

Mr Gainsford said: “Consumers and business deserve the right to strong advocates, strong enforcement and good, clear information and advice.

“As a non-profit social enterprise that has for 130 years championed trading standards for the benefit of our communities and country as a whole, we believe TSI is an essential part of the landscape simplification exercise this consultation represents, helping to create a regime that respect the devolved nations’ desire for an independent solution whilst ensuring that consumer policy is delivered in the most coherent way.”

TSI’s ‘triple lock’ of key elements for the new Consumer Landscape:
1. Growth in the confidence and skills of consumers: through education,
peer to peer support, or by accessing information that is easily found and
presented in a user friendly manner.
2. Enforcement of consumer protection law: We want to see a UK consumer
protection regime that delivers fair  and adequately resourced consumer protection outcomes for all not just in areas that has a well resourced trading standards service.
3. Empowered consumers who are well supported to access justice:
We believe advice services such as Consumer Direct and other advice services
that make the process of securing a fair deal and justice are a crucial cog in
the system.

TSI has launched a National Trading Standards Conversation to help ensure our final, full response to the Government’s Empowering and Protecting Consumers consultation represents as widely as possible the views of not only our members, but also consumers and businesses from across the board – let’s make sure the new Consumer Landscape is the one that we all deserve!
 Join in the National Conversation on
http://www.linkedin.com/groups/National-Trading-Standards-Conversation-3987023


Notes for Editors:
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Irja Howie at TSI press office on 08456089430  or pressoffice@tsi.org.uk


Trading Standards Institute (TSI)
TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally.  We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.

TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses.  We are also supporting the delivery of initiatives such as the advice services Consumer Direct, UK ECC and UK ECCS.