The Consumer Council welcomes the opportunity to respond to Ofcom’s further consultation: recovering postal regulation and consumer advocacy costs, which proposes amendments to the relevant regulatory condition (CP1) to clarify that only turnover relating to domestic services, and not international letters and parcels, should be included when calculating relevant turnover.
The Consumer Council response to the Department for Transport’s ‘Aviation 2050 – the future of UK aviation’.
The Consumer Council supports the government’s objectives for its long term Aviation Strategy. Northern Ireland is unique in the UK in having no road or rail links with the rest of the UK. As such, it relies heavily on aviation to connect its people and its economy to the rest of the UK and the world. We therefore welcome the commitment within the consultation paper to deliver the connectivity that Northern Ireland needs.
We welcome the proposal to develop a Passenger Charter. We would emphasise that a comprehensive framework of regulations already exists and the key issue is to ensure that the requirements in these regulations are delivered consistently for all consumers.
Citizens Advice published its review of the Post Office restructuring programme, which started in 2012 and finished in 2018, supported by £2billion government investment. Our response outlines the key highlights from the report.
The Consumer Council has reviewed with interest the European Regulators Group for Postal Services (ERGP) report on Developments in the postal sector and implications for regulation. We note the report raises a number of strategically important policy considerations for the postal sector and regulation in the postal market. We provide some general comments below and highlight The Consumer Council’s research which is relevant to many key areas discussed in the ERGP report.
The Consumer Council welcomes the opportunity to respond to The Money and Pension Service (MaPS) listening document and enjoyed participating in the Belfast Listening Event on 6 June 2019 at the Skainos Centre. Our Chief Executive gave a presentation on the key issues facing Northern Ireland consumers and a number of staff gave extensive comment on the issues and questions posed on the day. Therefore, this response will focus on the key points made at the event, and will refer to the National Strategy and the five life stages discussed at the event.
The Consumer Council of Northern Ireland welcomes the invitation to respond to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) Mortgages Market Study Interim Report. The Financial Conduct Authority have investigated the extent to which certain existing mortgage customers are trapped in high rate mortgages from which they cannot escape.
There is a higher rate of so called ‘mortgage prisoners’ in Northern Ireland than in the rest of the UK. The Consumer Council’s response seeks to ensure consumer need here is represented and fully considered in any future regulation of the mortgage market.
The level and fairness of parcel surcharging remains a longstanding and frustrating issue for consumers in Northern Ireland, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and other remote areas in the United Kingdom (UK). Four in 10 UK online retailers apply an additional delivery surcharge for consumers living in Northern Ireland. This can cost on average an additional £6.72. With the predicted growth in online shopping this additional cost can potentially exclude or cause significant cost to consumers.
This report is part of The Consumer Council’s partnership approach with Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland to review complaint handling in the postal market. This is the first in a series of reports by the Consumer Advocacy Bodies on postal complaints.
The Consumer Council of Northern Ireland welcomes the invitation to respond to the FCA’s Call for input and welcomes the plan to evaluate the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) and Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR). Due to the technical nature of the questions posed within the Call for Input, The Consumer Council believe it is best placed to provide an overview of the issues in relation to RDR and FAMR that it would like the FCA to consider moving forward.