§ 10. Mr. Ioan Evans
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if Her Majesty's Government will seek to extend the Sale of Goods Act to people who hire goods or have them supplied as part of a service to give them the same protection that other shoppers have.
§ Mrs. Sally Oppenheim
As the hon. Member knows, I welcomed the Supply of Goods and Services Bill, which received its Second Reading on 22 January and, in addition, I announced that my right hon. and noble Friend the Lord Chancellor will be asking the Law Commission to undertake a wide-ranging study of services. The Law Commission will consider whether and how the law should be reinforced further.
§ Mr. Evans
As the Government are supporting the Bill introduced by my right hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey), which has had its Second Reading, will the Minister, when the Bill becomes law, give publicity to the fact that people receiving services will in the future have the same protection as those purchasing goods?
§ Mrs. Oppenheim
A good deal of publicity has already arisen out of the Second Reading debate on the Bill, which I warmly welcomed. When the Bill is enacted I shall examine the case for publicising particularly those parts that will bring new protection under the law to consumers.
§ Mr. Squire
May I congratulate my right hon. Friend on her statement about the Government's support for the measure? Does she recognise that for certain services, such as plumbing, only registration will protect the consumer over the whole range of services, in addition to selective supply?
§ Mrs. Oppenheim
I do not recall recognising precisely that. I thought that my recognition was more general. The codification under the law of existing consumer rights will be helpful in pursuing such cases. The future of safety in that industry, which relates back to the gas industry, is the subject of further measures which have been announced for future Sessions by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy.