The Consumer Council has described the 14.5 per cent increase announced by Phoenix Natural Gas today as a hard but predictable blow to the household budget. The average Phoenix customer will now pay around £77 extra per year. The Consumer Council also called on the Regulator to move quickly to pass through any savings to consumers if gas costs start falling as they are predicted to do.
The Consumer Council is today demanding upfront guarantees from the Government to avert the danger of water bills soaring from 2010 when water and sewerage services become self-financing. It is also warning that its powers are being curtailed and the water consumer’s voice is being eroded in the Government’s rush to get things done rather than getting things right now and in the future.
Following Met Office forecasts of severe gales affecting various parts of Northern Ireland from 4:00 pm today (21 September 2006), the Consumer Council is reminding people of the practical steps they can take if their electricity goes off.
The Consumer Council today urged people to have their say on proposals to reform the taxi industry by attending public meetings being held across Northern Ireland over the next ten days.
Independent research carried out in Spring 2006 and released today shows that Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) has met its punctuality target, but Metro and Ulsterbus are still not managing to get people from A to B on time. This is the fourth survey in a row that Ulsterbus has missed its target for punctuality, which often causes inconvenience and hardship for those relying on this service.
<p>On the day that the Office of Fair Trading announced a national investigation into unauthorised overdraft charges, customers in Northern Ireland are to benefit from Bank of Ireland’s announcement that it is to overhaul its current account charges.</p>
- Personal Finances
<p>The Consumer Council’s referral of unauthorised overdraft charges in Northern Ireland has helped spark a national enquiry by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Three weeks ago, the Consumer Council took the unprecedented step of referring the unauthorised overdraft charge practice in Northern Ireland to the OFT and they have promptly responded.</p>
- Personal Finances
<p>The Consumer Council has applauded the decisive action taken by Maria Eagle, the Children’s Minister’s to make school bus journeys here safer and more comfortable.</p>
- Consumer Skills