Queen's Speech notes several key areas for consumer protection
This year's Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, which was for the first time given on Her Majesty's behalf by the Prince of Wales, contained several references to upcoming legislation relevant to consumer protection.
The speech stated the UK Government's intent to help ease the cost of living crisis. CTSI recognises the impact of the economic situation on consumer detriment along with the activity of fraudsters seeking to capitalise on the problem.
The speech noted the goals of the UK Government to provide "sustainable investment in public services, underpinned by a responsible approach to finances." It also emphasised the goal of the Energy Bill to "deliver the transition to safer, cheaper, cleaner, and more secure energy", as part of the Government's Net Zero agenda. It referenced new legislation that will "protect competition, consumer rights and businesses" and "new rules for digital markets."
The speech also underlines the Government's intent to make it easier to repeal EU Laws through its Brexit Freedoms Bill and develop new free trade agreements with countries outside the EU.
One potential area of concern is the reference to "removing and reforming" regulations on businesses – CTSI will want to better understand the impact this may have on levels of consumer protection.
CTSI Chief Executive, John Herriman, said, "This year's Queen's Speech was comprehensive in scope, and we welcome the UK Government’s recognition that public services need sustainable investment.
"We recognise that regulatory reforms can assist with economic growth, which is crucial; however, it shouldn’t be at the expense of consumer protection.
"It is crucial that the UK Government develops a combined consumer protection strategy that alleviates these concerns. CTSI is ready to work with Government and our partners in the wider consumer protection sphere to achieve the goals of a sustainably funded consumer protection system that aids the economic recovery and protects the public from the worst effects of the cost of living crisis."
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is a national not for profit established in 1881 which supports the UK’s trading standards profession, and works to protect consumers and safeguard honest businesses. CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services at local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.uk