§ Mr. Anthony Grant
asked the Minister for Trade whether he is yet in a position to announce proposed changes to the Bargain Offer Order; and if he will make a statement.
§ Dr. Vaughan
On 29 July I said that I had instructed my officials to undertake a comprehensive review of section 11 of the Trade Descriptions Act and of the Bargain Offers Order and to consider proposals for new primary legislation.
I indicated that it would not be appropriate to impose new burdens on traders in this field in advance of the results of this review. I proposed, therefore, to simplify the Bargain Offers Order so that all concerned have a clear understanding of the legal position. The most important change would be to ensure that the order applies only to price and value claims where a trader quoted a comparative price or value or provided information from which such a price or value could be calculated. This should avoid the possibility of advertising slogans making general claims about value being interpreted as contrary to the order.
My Department issued a consultation document today which includes drafts of the proposed new Bargain Offers Order and of the guidance notes for trading standards officers. It seeks views within three months on the draft order, the draft guidance notes and on possible future primary legislation.
I have placed a copy of the consultation document in the Library.