HC Deb 09 February 1994 vol 237 cc279-80
10. Mrs. Roche

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to extend the scope of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 to embrace services as well as goods.

Mr. McLoughlin

The Trade Descriptions Act has always applied to services as well as to goods.

Mrs. Roche

Will the Minister take this opportunity to explain why the Government have done nothing to protect consumers from rogue cowboy firms such as those that install double glazing, carry out car repairs or service household appliances?

Mr. McLoughlin

The simple fact is that the hon. Lady's question referred to the Trade Descriptions Act and she asked whether it would embrace services as well as goods. I have explained that it does. Under section 14 of that Act, there were 171 prosecutions in 1991–92 and 238 in 1992–93. On conviction in a magistrates court, a person is liable to a fine of up to £5,000 or, in a Crown court, an unlimited fine or two years' imprisonment.

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