The Public Accounts Select Committee (PASC) has published a report on the enforcement of consumer law in the UK which records the losses suffered by consumers and lists recommendations for improvements. The PASC found that consumers in the UK are suffering losses of about £6.6 billion due to defective or faulty goods and fraud, whether online or offline.
The report concludes that the current consumer protection system in the UK is ‘incoherent and fragmented’, and that many of the rogue traders fall between the gaps between local authority enforcement bodies. The recommendations include:
- listing strict obligations and responsibilities for consumer protection bodies to ensure a clear framework of accountability;
- ensure funding is spread appropriately between local authorities to avoid gaps in protection;
- ensure that enforcement bodies have sufficient awareness of new forms of consumer harm; and
clear enforcement obligations and support for large scale investigations and court proceedings.