§ Mr. Amess
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his reply to the Adjournment debate of 27 March,Official Report, columns 1092–4, if he will detail the action he has taken to outlaw unfair and misleading timeshare promotion schemes.
§ Mr. Leigh
We intend to make false or misleading descriptions in offers of free gifts (including offers which feature in timeshare award schemes) an offence under the Trade Descriptions Act 1968. The Government will legislate as soon as parliamentary time becomes available.
I have raised the issue of timeshare with the European Commission and it is considering putting forward a proposal for an EC directive. I would like to see such a directive include a requirement that prospective timeshare buyers should be given a written prospectus, a 14-day cooling-off period and protection of deposit moneys. A cooling-off period would help counterbalance the high pressure sales techniques employed by some timeshare operators.