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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?
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Comments
Pamrla Fernandez says:
6 December 2019

As a nurse I feel passionately that having a properly funded social care system is absolutely essential. Social care provision to the most vulnerable people in our nation is utterly scandalous and our current Government has egregiously failed to include it in their manifesto. The provision and guarantee of well funded, non- negotiable standards of care, full training, monitoring and support of care staff, clearly defined and firmly enforced systems and channels of accountability, care quality standards and legally enforceable sanctions for non-compliance by social care service providers MUST be enshrined into new service provision legislation. Voluntary agreements are simply not enough and are unsafe.

Riotus says:
6 December 2019

Electoral reform.

Don Munro says:
6 December 2019

We need proportional representation; not first pass the post!

Douglas Sutherland says:
6 December 2019

We need to get rid of the rules which allow MPs the right to commit perjury to mislead the public and to knowingly make slanderous statements in Parliament without the risk of prosecution.
Treat MPs like the rest of the public they are supposed to represent because the “HONOURABLE Ladies and Gentlemen?” ought not to be above the Law.

Terence Bryan says:
6 December 2019

Your listed priorities are obviously very laudable but are comparative side issues when compared with the real, vital problem of destructive material consumption. It is still only a handful of people across the country who have actually, emotionally engaged with the damage (soon to be irriversible) that we are doing to the environment for the younger generation and generations to come.

Dave My says:
6 December 2019

Protect the NHS by investing on a percentage of GDP. Invest in the staff. Stop any suggestion of privatisation.

Barrie Knoyle says:
6 December 2019

All your points are important and needed….picking one was challenging. But until MP’s and big business is punished for not conforming to a Good law then corruption will unfortunately continue.

Fairness in the care charging sector and correct figures in your allowances pre charges

Frances says:
6 December 2019

Trump must never be allowed to get his grubby mitts on any section of our NHS & nor must he ever be allowed to do any deals involving sending sub-standard chlorinated chicken nor hormone/chemically injected beef or any other contaminated meats/foodstuffs.

Paul S says:
6 December 2019

We need good, affordable, decent transport throughout the country, in particular throughout rural routes. There are many, many people who are virtually housebound because there is no public transport close to them, either at all, is very infrequent, is unreliable or just doesn’t turn up. Public transport should be a service available to all and I believe many, or most, of our road problems will disappear at best, reduce at worst. Whoever promises to deliver this gets my vote!

ALBERT RAYMOND SHARPLES says:
6 December 2019

Our nearest bus service is1000 yards. This may sound good but one way up the other down. I have heart decease, my wife is disabled.

PAT FIELDING says:
6 December 2019

I am of the opinion that if any MP is proven to have knowingly misled (lied) to the public they should be banned for life from holding such a position. The antics that went on with proroguing of parliament and immediately thereafter has destroyed my total faith is all politicians.

Linda Bowater says:
6 December 2019

All of the above but also respect from politicians for the public. We have witnessed in the last year their terrible behaviour. So please deliver what you promise and respect the voters..

Mr O Ojelade says:
6 December 2019

Better social care!

colinclay says:
6 December 2019

scraping of the bbc licence fees

Mr Moore says:
6 December 2019

Make TV licencing more answerable. It took me over three months endless email, phone calls and complaints to get my TV licence refund when I moved. I did not much of an apology and then the refund cheque finally arrived there was no covering letter. I put complaint on my letter twice but replies did not come from a dedicated complaints reply address. Apperently the BBC are sitting on millions of pounds worth of unclaimed refunds. Form such a large institution the administration is appalling. It is not good enough to state the ols cleche, “we deal with millions of people each day”. If not enoght staff then it shows that the manangement is in even more dissaray.

Relating all problems to Climate Emergency!

Anthony Craven says:
6 December 2019

As a victim of horrendous odour from pre treated human waste in agriculture I want the product banned or pharmaceutical and heavy metals tested. Antibiotics are contributing
to resistance by pathogens

John Sanders says:
6 December 2019

I am sorry Which, your issues are too parochial. The big issues are global. See:

https://www.surrey.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2018-03/johan-rockstrom-presentation.pdf
(presentation on planetary boundaries)

We are facing irreversible planetary changes and people are worrying about regulating banks and the NHS

The money-values systems of the world have been compromised and set to get worse – with effective distruction of the bond mechanism and quantative easing (ie debt management) , stock market gambling mechanisms are rife and the market has lost sight of its original purpose (investment) .

The growth of pseudo currencies mostly there so that a few can get rich (bitcoin et al) while corrupting the finance system still further.

The deplorable use of political correctness to stop anyone “noticing” global overpopulation.

Britain is suffering from inadequate infrastructure because there are too many people for the country to safely support with both the resources and income it can acheive. We have a poor model for earning currency and have become public sector bound – we can’t actually afford all the improvements people want. Relying on Finance as a major income contributor is dangerous – we need to diversify but the other countries are faster and better at this than we are. Brexit is not as much about leaving the EU, but redefining the UK.

Our political system has now demonstrated just how far away from democracy it really is, and this poor party system has too many career politicians and too few thinkers. To achieve a consensus-based political system we must do much more all party-agreeing. Time for proportional representation. See
https://www.makevotesmatter.org.uk/ge2019-map-candidates-on-proportional-representation
Take a look at the above and see who is on the gravy train and who is trying to be fair to the electorate.

(A which campaign for Fairness in the electorial system could be good for all consumers)

Krista Lonsdale says:
6 December 2019

A consumer system that doesn`t take the planet to breaking point!

Relate all issues to Climate Emergency!

Margaret Shea says:
6 December 2019

Watchdogs like Ofgem are really effective to actively close down fraudsters that are ripping customers off as soon asap. Currently Together Energy springs to mind with loads of customers complaining and nobody helping us!!!

Michael Smith says:
6 December 2019

The most overriding priority at the moment is the damage we are doing to the environment and this needs to be addressed in the short term well before the 2050 target.