Election 2010 Coalition Government : Consumer Protection
The Government believes that action is needed to protect consumers, particularly the most vulnerable, and to promote greater competition across the economy. We need to promote more responsible corporate and consumer behaviour through greater transparency and by harnessing the insights from behavioural economics and social psychology.
* We will give regulators new powers to define and ban excessive interest rates on credit and store cards; and we will introduce a seven-day cooling-off period for store cards.
* We will oblige credit card companies to provide better information to their customers in a uniform electronic format that will allow consumers to find out whether they are receiving the best deal.
* We will introduce stronger consumer protections, including measures to end unfair bank and financial transaction charges.
* We will take forward measures to enhance customer service in the private and public sectors.
* We will introduce, as a first step, an Ombudsman in the Office of Fair Trading who can proactively enforce the Grocery Supply Code of Practice and curb abuses of power, which undermine our farmers and act against the long-term interest of consumers.
* We will introduce honesty in food labelling so that consumers can be confident about where their food comes from and its environmental impact.
* We will increase households’ control over their energy costs by ensuring that energy bills provide information on how to move to the cheapest tariff offered by their supplier, and how each household’s energy usage compares to similar households.
* We will give Post Office Card account holders the chance to benefit from direct debit discounts and ensure that social tariffs offer access to the best prices available.
* We will seek to extend protection and support to ‘off-grid’ energy consumers.
The Coalition: our programme for government © Crown copyright 2010