Today the Lords starts its scrutiny of the Consumer Rights Bill which has its second reading before going onto to clause by clause attention in the autumn. This is a Lib Dem Bill put together by Ministers Jo Swinson, Jenny Willott and Vince Cable.
The Consumer Rights Bill seeks to consolidate key consumer rights covering the contracts of goods and services, digital content (for the first time), and the law concerning unfair terms in consumer contracts. It introduces easier routes for consumers and small and medium businesses to challenge anti -competitive behaviour through the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
Currently key consumer rights are covered by 12 pieces of legislation and around 60 pieces of legislation cover the investigatory powers of consumer law enforcement. The aim is not only to consolidate this legislation but also to improve rights and greater clarity, through a Bill that is easier to understand. Overall reducing complexity and improving understanding will bring significant benefits for both consumers and business. The impact analysis for this Bill suggests quantifiable benefits of over £4bn.
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