Commenting on the forthcoming two euro fare hike by Ryanair , Andy McClenaghan, Senior Consumer Affairs Officer at the Consumer Council said: “Under European Union (EU) law , when a flight is delayed or cancelled all airlines have a responsibility to ensure passengers are provided with meals, refreshments and overnight accommodation if necessary. In some cases, passengers are also entitled to compensation if their flight is cancelled. All airlines know that they must abide by EU law and therefore, they must ensure they price their fares to be able to cover the cost of providing assistance to passengers.
Consumer Council monitoring of local fuel prices just before and after the Budget (23 March) show that the reduction in fuel duty by one pence has not fully filtered through to the price motorists pay at the pumps. In the week after the Budget, figures show that the average price across NI for unleaded fell by 0.75 pence per litre (ppl) and for diesel 0.5ppl.
Commenting on the recent Which? Travel report - which looked at how disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility are treated at airports – Aodhan O’Donnell of the Consumer Council said: “This report highlights that passengers with a disability or reduced mobility are, at times, not receiving the level of service they are entitled to.
The Consumer Council has identified through an independent audit that irregular salary payments amounting to £230,000 have been made to a total of 29 staff over a six year period.
Responding to the results of Translink’s Charter Monitoring survey for Autumn 2010 (released today 24 March 2011), Ryan Simpson, Senior Consumer Affairs Officer at the Consumer Council says: “These latest results show poor performance and falling levels of passenger satisfaction across all Translink bus and rail services. In addition, passenger numbers continue to drop on Ulsterbus and Metro services , whilst only marginally increased on NI Railways year on year.”
Commenting on today’s Budget, Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council said; “Today’s announcement by the Chancellor gives a helping hand to hard-pressed consumers in Northern Ireland (NI) but the Consumer Council feels that the Government could do more.
John French, Head of Energy at the Consumer Council said: “firmus Energy customers will be breathing a sigh of relief today as the company announces a price freeze until October 2011. The price freeze is welcomed by the Consumer Council; with energy and fuel prices at such high levels, any let up to household bills is good news.
Immediate joined up Government action to improve the financial capability of every Northern Ireland (NI) citizen should be the number one priority for political parties in the forthcoming Assembly Election. The Financial Capability Partnership Northern Ireland comments come as the Partnership holds a breakfast briefing in Parliament Buildings, Stormont today (22 March 2011). The event will be held in the Long Gallery from 8:30am to 9:45am.
- Personal Finances
- Consumer Skills
The Consumer Council has called on the UK Government to reduce Air Passenger Duty (APD) for flights departing from Northern Ireland (NI). The Consumer Council is concerned that the difference between APD and the Republic of Ireland Air Travel Tax (ATT) is undermining the Northern Ireland aviation sector. Currently, Air Travel Tax (ATT) from the Republic of Ireland is €3 to all destinations, whereas in the UK APD ranges from £12 to £85 depending on the distance of the flight.
The Consumer Council says that the decision not to support a motion to reduce the VAT on petrol and diesel is unwelcome news for Northern Ireland drivers. This is at odds with the commitment from Government to share the burden of high fuel costs with consumers.