Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Mr. Miyagi

Rogue Traders Will 'fleece The Streets' As Trading Standards Are Cut

Recommended Posts

Cowboy builders and rogue traders will be free to "fleece the streets" as cuts to trading standards leave consumers vulnerable to scams.

With grim economic prospects forcing more people to take a chance on dodgy deals, inspectors face a "cataclysmic" cut in funding from £247m to £140m within four years, the chief executive of the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) cautioned yesterday.

Ron Gainsford said that Britain's reputation is at stake, with the London Olympics vulnerable to ticket and merchandise scams. There is also significant growth in intellectual property theft, counterfeiting and piracy.

Mr Gainsford said that current economic conditions provide "fertile ground" for rogue traders and widespread scams to flourish.

"If you look at the 2012 Olympics, there is a big role for trading standards. There's no real new money going with it and yet the country's reputation is dependent upon effective trading standards work and getting rid of those who will fleece the streets."

The model of 204 different services across England and Wales is not viable, he will tell the TSI conference in Bournemouth this week, pointing to a recent cut to the budget of the Gloucestershire service of 50 per cent.

Mr Gainsford said: "These are massive cuts; the service is losing huge amounts of funding. This is serious and things can't go on as they are. There is an assumption that consumers are protected within an infrastructure of Trading Standards."

Concern is also growing about the Government's Green Deal, which will insulate thousands of homes and help to cut energy costs and carbon emissions. Campaigners claim homeowners wanting to save on bills face an offensive from cowboy builders because of a "patchwork quilt" of cuts.

TSI officers have written to MPs over their concerns that firms will oversell the potential savings from the Green Deal, which is expected to launch next year.

Erica Jobson, the senior advocate for Which? magazine, expressed concern about the Government's "golden rule" that the cost of any energy-reducing measures built into people's homes are paid for in the long-term by savings in fuel bills. "It is not guaranteed. We would like it to be but realistically, because it's over 25 years, energy prices will fluctuate and most likely go up while personal usage will also change."

A National Audit Office (NAO) report revealed last week the scale of unfair commercial practices, pressure selling and criminal scams that cost victims and the economy £6.6bn a year. It described how consumer protection is spread over a large number of local and central government bodies, with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills holding responsibility for policy.

The TSI conference will hear that as people face frozen pay packets, benefits cuts, job losses and rising living costs, they are looking for cheaper goods and services. The Citizens' Advice Bureau will publish a new report, Desperate Times, Desperate Consumers showing consumers are becoming vulnerable to counterfeit goods, fake websites and loan sharks.

Susan Marks, the consumer policy officer and author of the report, said: "We will be stressing the vital importance of advisers, enforcers and regulators working closely together at a time when resources for consumer protection are being squeezed."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rogue-traders-will-fleece-the-streets-as-trading-standards-are-cut-2299773.html

Admittedly I have a self interest here. The reality of the coming cuts is laid bare of all to see. We are very much a service that goes unnoticed by a lot of the general public as a substantial amount of work the we do goes into preventative measures, although we are becoming an increasingly a reactive service, particularly when it comes to rogue trading incidents.

Large complex investigations are already over stretching individual authorities, these level of cuts will only make less likely that such investigations are simply not started.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a consumer based economy this isn't important.....

Less regulation is better isn't it? That's the free market mantra, if you rip people off you'll go out of business as word spreads meaning trading standards is a mere luxury.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bankers loot billions due to ineffective bank regulation. However we need "protection" from dodgy plumbers and people selling knock off trainer copies on Ebay,

What a joke this country is.

Trading Standards are totally ineffective.

Edited by Sir John Steed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a consumer based economy this isn't important.....

Less regulation is better isn't it? That's the free market mantra, if you rip people off you'll go out of business as word spreads meaning trading standards is a mere luxury.

That sounds wrong on all levels. If you rip people off, you change your trading name and rip another bunch of people off. You shouldn't be able to rip people off in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is it always assumed that without the careful guiding hand of the state, anarchy will ensue?

This is just a whining piece from a department facing essential cuts, expect lots of similar alarmist pieces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is it always assumed that without the careful guiding hand of the state, anarchy will ensue?

This is just a whining piece from a department facing essential cuts, expect lots of similar alarmist pieces.

I've nothing against cuts!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds wrong on all levels. If you rip people off, you change your trading name and rip another bunch of people off. You shouldn't be able to rip people off in the first place.

But in this world how do you stop people from being ripped off? Who pays for the consumer police?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is it always assumed that without the careful guiding hand of the state, anarchy will ensue?

This is just a whining piece from a department facing essential cuts, expect lots of similar alarmist pieces.

Lets hope your elderly parents don't get a knock on the door from a friendly trader with an Irish accent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P.S. There wouldn't be any on here arguing that Slum Lords should be allowed to rip renters off whilst renter saves his/ her deposit and waits for the 'crash'/ bottom.

They aren't "allowed" to do this now?

As it happens the rental market proves the article in the OP wrong; the removal of rent controls hasn't caused a disaster, and no one seems to be seriously considering their return.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lets hope your elderly parents don't get a knock on the door from a friendly trader with an Irish accent.

They'll tell him to go away?

Isn't that a tad racist for a lefty civil servant?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But in this world how do you stop people from being ripped off? Who pays for the consumer police?

Mostly from local authority budgets, with some funding from national government departments. A £100 million funding cut is huge. So much for frontline services being protected. As a service there is one professional/non professional officer for every 45k citizens. We are already fighting a losing battle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They'll tell him to go away?

Isn't that a tad racist for a lefty civil servant?

No, it's factually correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lets hope your elderly parents don't get a knock on the door from a friendly trader with an Irish accent.

This anti regulation screed sounds almost the same as that spouted 150 years ago about the use

and abuse of Arsenic in almost every good imaginable.

It seems they would prefer to see the country poisoned and robbed in order to protect their holy vision

of a laissez faire paradise.

We tried that before. It didn't work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They'll tell him to go away?

Isn't that a tad racist for a lefty civil servant?

There's one reason why people use pikeys, because they're cheap and the customer is too tight to pay a proper price

I can't see what this lot did anyway, ever heard of checkatrade?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's one reason why people use pikeys, because they're cheap and the customer is too tight to pay a proper price

I can't see what this lot did anyway, ever heard of checkatrade?

The point is they are not cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are already means to deal with people who break the law : the police, courts, fines and jails for example.

I personally think that we spend way too much money trying to oversee compliance with the law (think diversity officers, trading standards officers etc).

Wouldn't a simpler solution be to put 10% of the compliance staff into a prosecution role and fine or jail people who break the law and let the other 90% find something more useful to do with their lives?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh dear. Calamity! Where will we be without our Dear Nanny State?

Ain't that exactly who the silver spoon in gob mob had - Osbourne with a £4 million off-shore trust (benefited from £1.6m inheritance tax saving by using offshore trusts) + Boris etc?

So the 'nannied' State are now the Statesmen - rattling the UK population!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The point is they are not cheap.

When was the last time a pikey charged you VAT? they don't have to be to beat a proper company

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When was the last time a pikey charged you VAT? they don't have to be to beat a proper company

They do charge VAT, they just don't pay it to HMRC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are already means to deal with people who break the law : the police, courts, fines and jails for example.

I personally think that we spend way too much money trying to oversee compliance with the law (think diversity officers, trading standards officers etc).

Wouldn't a simpler solution be to put 10% of the compliance staff into a prosecution role and fine or jail people who break the law and let the other 90% find something more useful to do with their lives?

I'm not sure what you actually mean. You need officers to both prevent and prosecute criminality. The Police/CPS for example have no powers to either prosecute or investigate consumer law breaches. It's hardly appropriate to compare the role of a trading standards officer and diversity officer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.