HC Deb 08 July 1992 vol 211 c325
8. Mr. Hutton

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what recent discussions he has had with the Institute of Trading Standards Administration about updating the Trade Descriptions Acts.

Mr. Leigh

There have been no recent discussions, but the institute was fully involved in the 1990 review of the Act.

Mr. Hutton

Is the Minister satisfied with the present range and scope of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 or does he agree with me and with the trading standards officers that it needs to he extended to include false statements on services, particularly mis-descriptions, and bogus claims about professional qualifications?

Mr. Leigh

I agree that the Act is old and needs updating. We want to make sure that it covers services as well as goods. There are a number of concerns about green claims, for example, so the hon. Gentleman is right. In our review of the Act, on which we have already consulted, we shall address those points. I hope that we shall be introducing the informed markets Bill fairly soon. That will deal with all these points and update the Trade Descriptions Act. The hon. Gentleman has made a fair point.

Mr. Rupert Allason

While I welcome the action that the Government have taken on timeshare, there is still concern about the related practice of pyramid selling. Has my hon. Friend had any representations from trading standards officers or from members of the public who have entered into what amount to almost legalised pyramid selling organisations?

Mr. Leigh

We have had representations on terms of selling and we keep these matters under review, but at present we have no plans to change the legislation on this.

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