HC Deb 02 May 1977 vol 931 cc25-6
28. Dr. McDonald

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if he proposes to publish a White Paper on consumer safety.

Mr. John Fraser

My Department is currently reviewing the suggestions set out in the consultative document entitled "Consumer Safety" published in February 1976, Cmnd. 6398, taking into account the many comments received. I hope to make firm proposals for new consumer safety legislation later this year, possibly by means of a White Paper.

Dr. McDonald

In view of public disquiet about the safety of some imported items such as toys and electric light bulbs, will the White Paper contain special reference to items of that kind?

Mr. Fraser

I do not think that it will contain special reference to those items where we have already acted with regulations for electrical goods, electric lamps and toys. What it will do is address itself to more effective methods of getting unsafe goods off the market or preventing them from appearing on the market in the first place.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

Since my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State sought to justify the increase in gas charges a little while ago by the need to reduce the borrowing requirement, and since the Treasury now admits that it had the estimate of the borrowing requirement wrong by £2,000 million, could the consumer now be protected against Treasury economists?