/ Home & Energy

Announcing our consumer agenda for government

Whoever wins the keys to No. 10 needs to deliver positive change for UK consumers. Our consumer agenda for government sets out our priorities.

Ahead of December’s General Election, we today launched our consumer agenda for government.

It sets out the commitments that we want all political parties to make to deliver positive changes for people across the UK.

From buying products online from a global marketplace, switching energy provider on a smartphone, or making payments from a banking app, the digital revolution has delivered opportunities for wider choice, faster deliveries and enhanced personalisation.

Tackling the challenges

But it hasn’t all been good news. Fraudsters use advances in technology for sophisticated scams, unsafe products repeatedly make their way onto online marketplaces, and fake reviews take advantage of consumers’ trust in online reviews.

At the same time, the move to digital is leaving behind those who have poor mobile or broadband coverage and those who rely on cash. We also need to ensure that those who aren’t online can still get a fair deal with their day-to-day bills.

We know from research we did this summer that eight in 10 areas in the UK lack full 4G coverage from all four operators.

And our latest research – published today – has found more than 250 communities across the UK that have poor cashpoint provision or no cashpoints at all.

Parties need to commit to policies that tackle the challenges and risks posed by this transformed consumer landscape, whilst widening access to this new digital world, and not leaving behind those who aren’t ready or able to go fully online in all areas of life, such as banking and making payments.

What we want to see

We need the next government to set out an ambitious, joined-up strategy to deliver an improved digital infrastructure that guarantees a reliable online connection for everyone – whether they are at home, at work or on the move.

The next government must work with industry and regulators to guarantee access to cash for as long as it is needed. And we must ensure that those who bank online are fully protected from Authorised Push Payment (bank transfer) scams.

We have one of the strongest consumer rights frameworks in the world, but the enforcement systems that support it are broken.

That’s why we’re calling for a stronger Consumer and Competition Authority that can stand up and impose tough sanctions on businesses that are breaking the law, as well as an independent product safety regulator to tackle dangerous products.

There must also be greater responsibility on online platforms and marketplaces to prevent scams, fake reviews and the sale of unsafe products, and security needs to be built into the design of connected devices.

Working with Which?

The next government must also work with Which? to build a fair and transparent pensions system –  one that enables people to track their pensions, addresses the pensions gender gap, and helps ensure that retirement income products are value for money.

On the increasingly important topic of trade, our position is clear; future trade policy must be built on the foundation stones of world-leading consumer standards, consumer rights and enhanced choice.

Whilst a future national food strategy must maintain the UK’s high food standards. 

We’re really excited about our consumer agenda for government, because we believe that it embraces the best of the modern consumer world, but will also help everyone have a stake in it.

Read our full manifesto here.

 

Which area from our consumer agenda is your top concern?
Loading ... Loading ...

Comments

We should require a bank in every town village island etc.

David says:
6 December 2019

Surely Climate Change must be the top of everyone’s agenda

You would think so…

Kevin Rigby says:
6 December 2019

I agree Norma Sadler above but disagree with capped wages for MP’s they should not get a pay increase for a couple of years as they always give themselves a pay increase above inflation every year.
Also Pensioners should be brought in line with most other countries and get a rise in pension. We pay into the pension fund for over 40 years and do not reap the benefits when we retire.

Todd Kingsley-Jones says:
6 December 2019

Animal Rights and Conservation, AND Geoengineering [i.e. the control and manipulation of the weather of which there is overwhelming evidence to be found by anyone open to investigating the possibility, but I only know of one politician [in Europe] who was brave enough to raise the subject in her parliament to her cost

Equalise tax relief on pension contributions so that higher and additional rate taxpayers do not get more State aid than basic rate taxpayers.

Elsa Hamilton says:
6 December 2019

I want to see an emphasis on global fairness and accessibility for as many communities as possible. i want the UK government to develop policies which enable people throughout the world to compete on as level a playing field as possible. I believe strongly in a strong nation state – strong in ethical values, strong in offering support to other countries and peoples. I would like to see an independent Scotland because I think it would promote better values than the rest of the UK but I know that that will not happen overnight. So I call on Westminster which for the time will continue to make policy to prioritise the values in which strongly believe.

ROBIN JOHNSTON says:
6 December 2019

i worked for 49 and a half years for a pension of only £170 what do those who have incomes of over 30 thousand need more for or is it just pure greed when 6 of the richest britons have more than 7.7 million of the poorest on earth. the one in charge of this life might let those unwilling to help those in need of with sutch crulity but in the next life the certaily will be the loosers in a far worse situation than these poor people now.

(Edited by moderators: We have edited your comment as it was all
written in capital letters. Please read our commenting guidelines for
more information).

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Jeanette Drysdale says:
6 December 2019

Something needs to be done to stop the scammers from ruining hard working people’s lives. The government and banks need to be doing more. The banks are all closing down and want us all to use internet banking but they need to get a foolproof setup so the scammers can’t get access to our accounts so they can empty them of our hard earned cash and pensions…. I am at the stage where I do not answer my phone unless I know the number for fear that it’s a scammer trying to extract my bank details from me for some reason or another…

Teach and encourage all people to follow high principles in their lives so that much of the crime, deception and violence will disappear –and we will all be happier !

Irresponsible lending by banks and building societies with regard to loans on property. Their policy seems to be to beggar everyone in order to maximise profit and improve their security at the same time. They are primarily responsible for housing becoming unaffordable. Their loan books for existing property should be frozen at current levels and if they want to increase business then they must fund new builds. This would prevent ever increasing funding from the banks and building societies going into a static housing stock and provide impetus to the new build sector

frances Moles says:
6 December 2019

NHS and dementia care for a fair system. My sister can’t walk, can’t voice her choices, has difficulty in feeding and has to be monitored. It takes two carer to get her up, two carers to but her to bed and two carers to toilet her. In other words she will need constant care for the rest of her life. Yet she does not qualify for the Continuing Health Care benefit how can that be.
The system is scandalous.

Increase staff/investigatory services for both Trading Standards & Customs controls to combat illegal imports of counterfeit goods and enforce much higher product standards in the high street including takeaways and other food outlets

Joy Bowden says:
6 December 2019

I want my Democratic right back . I am fed up being dictated to by the people who have ignored a democratic vote .
Many young men and women died in the last war to keep our country free .
This lot just wants to give it away and its all in the name of greed .they are making a mockery of our country and all those men and women who died for freedom and our Democratic right.
GET BREXIT DONE lets be free again.

Arlette Herrenschmidt-Moller says:
6 December 2019

Free again to do what : eat USA chlorine washed chicken , Stoping having access to Europe Intelligence free to ruin our NHS by selling it to USA whose medical system leaves much to be desired
I fear you just repeat a slogan and don’t have the faintest idea what’s is about

Sadly, WW2 isn’t now “the last war” but NATO and EU alliances have helped to prevent any further wars in Western Europe.

There will still be a choice of chicken in the shops, so you will be able to avoid chlorinated stuff.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

My father fought in the war for freedom and harmony amongst all European nations. That’s also what Churchill strived for at the end of the conflict and that’s what we now have. Being in the EU has brought both peace and prosperity to the UK. The first trouble spot to flare up again after we get this half baked Brexit will be in Northern Ireland

Along with the proposed policy of vetting potential immigrants to this country, those with any prison or crime record in their country’s records should be made available to the UK authorities and their admission refused – thus putting a stop to the present policy of allowing all and sundry to enter. A large number of convicted people in the last ten years have come into the country from elsewhere, with no check on their records. Allowing imams like Choudary to give hate sermons, inciting extremism should be banned and regarded as criminals that we do not want in this country.
The legal system needs overhauling, and sentences should go the length set in court and not end halfway through, with no connection to the parole board, as has been reported recently in the press. It is time for the law to side with victims and not the failed rehabilitation programmes, where those let out early go and commit their crime very shortly after release.
The banking system needs to be pro-customers and ensure that cash machines are available in rural areas; cash is important to many low income earners, especially those relying on tips in their jobs.
I could go on, but these certainly need action.

Perhaps you should go on further by correcting the lies you’ve swallowed and just repeated. For example, you mention “the present policy of allowing all and sundry to enter” but, even now, we do actually control those entering the UK, see:-https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control

alan colbran says:
6 December 2019

we deseve better politicians, if that means paying more o.k. the current lot are a career
bunch of scammers.

Phil says:
7 December 2019

I would pay MPs more BUT ban them from holding any other jobs whilst in office. That would include directorships, writing for newspapers and after dinner speeches.

Mary Carter says:
6 December 2019

I believe the current environmental crisis underlies all major issues: Which really needs to up the tempo on environmental impacts of goods and services considered.
I would also agree that dementia care, as described by other contributors is another desperate need and one that is likely to affect most families in this country, one way or another.

Merlin says:
6 December 2019

It is impossible to have free markets, which are essential, unless they are fair markets.
This is nothing like a simple proposition, discuss.
R

This comment was removed at the request of the user

We need to scrap “first-past-the post” voting. It militates against all but the two ‘main’. If, in the smaller countries – Scotland, Wales and Ireland – we don’t vote Labour or Conservative we can’t influence which party will rule us. We all need Proportional Representation.

Proportional representation might mean they can never agree on anything.

I would like to see political parties scrapped completely and MPs elected on their own merits who have real life skills that make them capable of running a country.

Well, PR was foisted on the devolved assemblies by the UK government, the idea being that it would effectively prevent them from gaining a big majority. It seems to have worked out very well for the Scottish Nats and it could work out even better for the UK Government. The benefit it that it would force MPs to nail their individual colours to the mast.

The party concept is supposed to have evolved, since it’s not written into law anywhere. And I agree that the current system is unhelpful to the UK.

I am not present with the present system. Where I live at present, the Conservative candidate is likely to be elected, having had a majority about equal to the votes for all the other candidates in the general election. Where I used to live the Labour candidate had a similar majority. I am only ten miles from where I used to live.

Many people who vote in elections know well that their vote can make little difference. Perhaps we should give PR a go.

Government bureaucracy and heavy-handed control should be loosened and be much more flexible, having respect for the public and allowing them a voice. I have been through a harrowing Court of Protection case where I was slandered and libelled by the Social Services, and the Office of the Public Guardian., and my Power of attorney for a vulnerable relative is suspended. These organisations are simply a money-making racket.
Justice doesn’t come into it. They neither Guard nor Protect the vulnerable. These government organisations are self-serving, greedy, controlling, domineering, and undemocratic.
Our so-called Justice system is utterly corrupt. It needs a thorough overhaul and new identity.
It is nothing but a hypocrisy.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

David says:
7 December 2019

Delivering and concluding the UK’s full withdrawal from the eu – as promised and guaranteed in (1) the terms of the 2016 eu referendum (in which 476 electorates voted to leave and 174 electorates voted to remain), (2) by Parliament both before and after the result (MPs of all parties), and (3) in the Labour and Conservative Parties manifestos in the last General Election (attracting 80% of the UK’s votes) – is the bottom line to ALL other considerations. Only when the UK is once again a self-governing nation will we be able to move on to improve our society, re-establish British democracy and freedoms, and join together in creating once more the most humane and just society in the world.