Representation of Consumer Interests in Wales
HC 1558-I, Seventh Report of Session 2010-12 - Volume I: Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Welsh Affairs Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
'Representation of Consumer Interests in Wales (HC 1558-I)' reports on the important part consumer advocacy plays in the Welsh economy. Organisations including Consumer Focus Wales (CFW) and Citizens Advice represent consumers' interests in their dealings with businesses, industry regulators and the UK and Welsh Governments.
A significant aspect of their work is to ensure that consumers receive a fair deal in their daily lives. Advocacy is particularly important to those termed the most vulnerable in Welsh society.
The Government announced its plans in October 2010 to abolish CFW and to transfer some or all of its functions to Citizens Advice Cymru. The final decision will be taken once Ministers have considered the findings of the public consultation, but this delay has caused ongoing uncertainty and the Committee calls on the Government to publish its detailed plans without delay.
MPs are not wholly persuaded by the Government's reasons for abolishing CFW, but recognise that given the current financial situation there is a strong case for examining whether consumer interests are represented in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
The Committee recommend that the Government provide guarantees that the best features of CFW are protected by any successor, including:
statutory independence from interference by ministers or its parent organisation;
a "Welsh focus", and
the present level of funding.
As consumer matters fall increasingly under the responsibility of the National Assembly for Wales, the Committee calls for a review, on whether to devolve responsibility for consumer affairs to the National Assembly for Wales and that The Commission on Devolution in Wales should consider this matter when it reviews the powers of the Assembly.
|Format||Paperback||Published||10 Jan 2012|
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