Main content

Cost of Living

Cost of Living

Gigabit Takeup Advisory Group’s call for evidence - Response

The Consumer Council for Northern Ireland response to Gigabit Takeup Advisory Group’s (GigaTAG) call for evidence

Consultations

Cost of Living

The Consumer Council welcomes proposals to tackle unfair insurance pricing policies

The Consumer Council welcomes the publication of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Market Study on General Insurance and its proposed measures to tackle unfair pricing practices.

Cost of Living

FCA guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers - Consumer Council Response

The Consumer Council for Northern Ireland response to the Financial Conduct Authority’s consultation on GC20/3 - Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers.

Consultations

Cost of Living

Consumer Insight Survey 2020

Consumer Insight Survey 2020

Research Reports

Cost of Living

Review your banking needs in advance of Danske Bank branch closures

The Consumer Council is urging Danske Bank customers to review their banking needs ahead of the upcoming closure of four local branches later this year. The branches in Ballycastle, Comber, Kilrea and Strabane are due to close on 4 December 2020.

    Cost of Living

    Open Up about financial and mental wellbeing

    Progressive Building Society has partnered with Action Mental Health and The Consumer Council NI to launch its third annual Northern Ireland Savings Week, from 7-11 September. Savings Week was developed with the aim of instilling a savings culture across Northern Ireland. This year, the coronavirus pandemic has encouraged Progressive to shift the initiative’s focus to encouraging people across Northern Ireland to ‘open up’ about our finances, savings and how they impact on our mental health.

    Cost of Living

    Has COVID-19 affected your personal finances? There is help available

    Today (31 August 2020) marks the start of The Consumer Council’s ‘True Cost’ campaign, which is raising awareness of the practical help available to Northern Ireland households that are struggling financially during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

    Cost of Living

    Help improve access to cash in Northern Ireland

    The Consumer Council is encouraging individual consumers or local organisations to take part in a new initiative to help improve access to cash within Northern Ireland.

    Cost of Living

    Activity Sheet - Help Peanut Crack The Code

    Help Peanut the Squirrel crack the code by decoding the secret messages. Each message contains a tip on how to either save energy, avoid food waste or shop responsibly.

    More activities are available here: https://www.consumercouncil.org.uk/activities

    Other

    Cost of Living

    Unscrupulous traders profiteering by exploiting COVID-19 warned

    Trading Standards and The Consumer Council are warning unscrupulous traders to stop exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic to profiteer, or face action.

    Cost of Living

    Review how you are spending, advises The Consumer Council

    The Council Consumer is advising consumers in Northern Ireland to review how they are spending, as household outgoings are changing with many of us spending more time at home.

    Cost of Living

    Home heating oil prices drop to a four year low

    Consumers in Northern Ireland will welcome the news that home heating oil prices are on track to hit a record low, according to The Consumer Council’s weekly survey of home heating oil prices.

    Cost of Living

    Advice for consumers as Oasis and Warehouse appoint administrators

    Fashion retailers Oasis and Warehouse have both entered administration. The announcement may have left many of their customers with gift vouchers wondering what their rights are now.

    Cost of Living

    Advice for consumers as major retailers appoint administrators

    Cath Kidston and Debenhams have both announced plans to enter administration. The announcements may have left many of their customers with gift vouchers wondering what their rights are now.

    Cost of Living

    Food Banks in Northern Ireland

    Information on various food banks in Northern Ireland. Last updated 17 August 2020

    Consumer Guides

    Cost of Living

    Coronavirus: What are your consumer rights?

    The Consumer Council has launched a dedicated website that provides a variety of helpful information for consumers in Northern Ireland who may have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic

    Consumer Skills

    Information about the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) to general services in Northern Ireland, such as MOT centres.

    Food

    Information about the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) to retailers, supermarkets, food safety and sales & pricing practices during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Cost of Living

    Advice for consumers as Laura Ashley permanently close half its stores

    Laura Ashley announced on Monday 23 March that it has permanently closed half of its stores and appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as administrators.

    Cost of Living

    Think of others and shop responsibly

    The Consumer Council and the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium have come together in an unprecedented joint plea to ask consumers to "be considerate" and stop over-buying food and other products as unfortunately means others are going without. This call is in response to the rise in over-buying in the past few weeks fuelled by Corona Virus worries.

    Cost of Living

    Videos: Consumer Parliament and Regional Parliaments

    Highlights video of our fourth annual Consumer Parliament and summary video of issues raised at our four regional parliaments. 

    Cost of Living

    Interactive budgeting tool launched to help consumers identify areas to save money

    The Council Consumer has launched a new free online interactive budgeting tool to help households take control of their spending and identify areas where they can potentially save money.

    Cost of Living

    For further information on each event, please use the links below 

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Parliament - Newry

    To register click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/consumer-parliament-newry-tickets-88823636889

    10am start time. Registration from 9.30am. 

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Parliament - Omagh

    To register click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/consumer-parliament-omagh-tickets-88823231677

    Check back for further updates.

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Parliament - Enniskillen

    To register click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/consumer-parliament-enniskillen-tickets-88822417241 

    Check back for further updates. 

    FREE EVENT. Refreshments provided. 

    Cost of Living

    Draft Forward Work Programme 2020-21

    The Consumer Council’s draft Forward Work Programme for the final year of our Corporate Strategy 2016-2021. (Including the combined business cases for our statutory functions in Energy, Transport, Postal Services, and Water and Sewerage).

    Submit your feedback by 31 January 2020 by emailing eoin.mcshane@consumercouncil.org.uk or via our Survey Monkey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TCC-FWP-2021 

    Consultations

    Cost of Living

    Year at a Glance

    Some highlights of The Consumer Council's work, 2018-19

    Corporate Reports

    Cost of Living

    Energy Saving Tips, Holywood

    Cost of Living

    Currys to improve sales process for extended warranties

    The Consumer Council welcomes the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) announcement that Currys is to adopt a range of measures to improve the sales process for extended warranties following feedback from mystery shops at 100 of its stores.

    Cost of Living

    Expected impact of Brexit on NI consumers

    The Consumer Council commissioned Perceptive Insight to undertake quantitative research with a representative sample of consumers across Northern Ireland (NI). The aim of the research was to ascertain public perceptions about the likely impacts of Brexit for NI consumers, particularly in relation to: Utilities/energy; Transport; Postal services; and General consumer detriment.

    Research Reports

    Cost of Living

    The Consumer Council reminds drivers to shop around for car insurance

    The Consumer Council is renewing its call for drivers to shop around for car insurance as the confused.com car insurance price index reveals another significant increase in the average annual renewal cost for Northern Ireland drivers - up 8% to £942 per year.

    Cost of Living

    Educating the whole family with a consumer rights themed day of fun

    The Consumer Council and Radius Housing have teamed up to host a Friday Funday on 23 August 2019 from 10am to 1pm.

    Cost of Living

    NI Chamber Annual Networking Conference and Business Showcase

    The Consumer Council are exhibiting at the NI Chamber Annual Networking Conference and Business Showcase.

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Parliament 2020

    The Consumer Council's fourth annual Consumer Parliament. 

    Theme: "Cost of living". Hear from expert speakers and #HaveYourSay about issues which affect you. 

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Parliament Report 2019

    The Consumer Council's Third Annual Consumer Parliament. 

    Corporate Reports

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Insight Survey 2019 - Summary Report

    In February 2019 YouGov conducted a survey across Northern Ireland on behalf of The Consumer Council to understand key consumer issues. This report covers key findings around Northern Ireland consumers and their household expenditure, if they shop around for essential goods and services and switch and save. In addition, it also highlights if they have been targeted by scams and how well they know their consumer rights.

    Research Reports

    Cost of Living

    Santander Branch Closure - Antrim

    The Consumer Council is reminding consumers to think about their banking needs ahead of the Antrim branch closure on 30 May 2019.

    Cost of Living

    Home Budget Planner - Russian

    Планировщик домашнего бюджета - русский

    Consumer Guides

    Cost of Living

    Home Budget Planner - Latvian

    Majas Budzeta Planotajs - Latviešu valoda

    Consumer Guides

    Cost of Living

    Debenhams enters into administration - know what to do with your gift cards

    Debenhams announced on Tuesday 9 April that it has officially gone into administration, appointing FTI Consulting as the administrator. 

    Cost of Living

    Northern Ireland consumers paying more for car insurance

    The Consumer Council is urging drivers to shop around for better deals on their car insurance, as the latest figures from confused.com reveal Northern Ireland motorists pay more than the UK average. 

    Cost of Living

    Enquiries and Complaints Report 2017-18

    This report covers all contacts received by The Consumer Council from consumers for the year to 31 March 2018.  

    Corporate Reports

    Cost of Living

    St George's Market

    Consumer rights information stand, and freebie give aways 

    Cost of Living

    New guide to help steer clear of car purchase pitfalls

    Second-hand cars top complaint in Northern Ireland

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Clinic

    We are inviting consumers and businesses to come along to our drop-in Consumer Clinic with questions or complaints relating to any consumer issues. 

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Clinic

    We are inviting consumers and businesses to come along to our drop-in Consumer Clinic with questions or complaints relating to any consumer issues. 

    Cost of Living

    Portrush Air Show: 1 & 2 September

    We will be attending the Portrush Air Show on Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 September to provide information on transport, travel, and general consumer rights. 

    Cost of Living

    Have you pounds 'a round' to cash in?

    The Consumer Council is encouraging consumers to check their homes for old round £1 coins, following the announcement that 169 million of the coins remain unreturned.

    Cost of Living

    University of Ulster Fresher Fair – Coleraine

    We will be at University of Ulster Freshers' Fair providing students with useful information about their rights. We will also be promoting our Student Guide which helps students manage their household bills and get consumer savvy.

    Cost of Living

    University of Ulster Freshers Fair – Jordanstown

    We will be at University of Ulster Freshers' Fair providing students with useful information about their rights. We will also be promoting our Student Guide which helps students manage their household bills and get consumer savvy.

    Cost of Living

    University of Ulster Freshers Fair – Magee

    We will be at University of Ulster Freshers' Fair providing students with useful information about their rights. We will also be promoting our Student Guide which helps students manage their household bills and get consumer savvy.

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Parliament Report 2018

    Report on our Consumer Parliament, which was held at the Guildhall in Derry/Londonderry on 23 March 2018. 

    Corporate Reports

    Cost of Living

    Energy Switching Workshop

    The Consumer Council is inviting consumers to come along to our drop-in Energy Switching Clinic to see if they can save money on their electricity and gas bills, and answer any questions you may have. 

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Clinic

    The Consumer Council is inviting consumers and businesses to come along to our drop-in Consumer Clinic with questions or complaints relating to any consumer issues. 

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Clinic

    The Consumer Council is inviting consumers and businesses to come along to our drop-in Consumer Clinic with questions or complaints relating to any consumer issues. 

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Clinic

    We are inviting consumers and businesses to come along to our drop-in Consumer Clinic with questions or complaints relating to any consumer issues.

    Business

    Council Minutes - June 2017

    Minutes from the Council meeting on the 20 June 2017.

    Other

    Cost of Living

    ‘Shrinkflation’ report: Consumers should shop around for better deals

    The Consumer Council is encouraging consumers to shop around for better deals on their food and groceries, as the latest figures from The Office for National Statistics show that while more than 2,500 products have shrunk in size over the past five years, they are still being sold at the same price.

    Consumer Skills

    The Consumer Council Annual Report and Accounts 2016-17

    The Consumer Council Annual Report and Accounts 2016-17

    Consumer Skills

    Council Minutes - May 2017

    Minutes from the Council meeting on the 16 May 2017.

    Other

    Business

    Council Minutes - March 2017

    Minutes from the council meeting on the 21 March 2017.

    Other

    Business

    Consumer Council Consultation Response - Economy 2030

    Consultation response to Economy 2030 - A Draft Industrial Strategy for Northern Ireland.

    Consultations

    Cost of Living

    Food Shopping Guide

    Making your money last longer a go further. A food shopping guide by The Consumer Council, including food shopping tips. 

    Consumer Guides

    Business

    Consultation Response to the Programme for Government

    Consumer Council consultation response to the Programme for Government consultation.

    Consultations

    Business

    Consultation Response to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Draft Community Plan

    Consumer Council consultation response to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Draft Community Plan Consultation.

    Consultations

    Business

    Consultation Response to the Newry, Mourne & Down Community Plan 2030

    Consumer Council consultation response to the Newry, Mourne and Down Community Plan 2030.

    Consultations

    Business

    Consultation Response to Lisburn & Castlereagh Community Plan 2017 - 2032

    Consumer Council consultation response to the Lisburn and Castlereagh Community Plan 2017 - 2032.

    Consultations

    Business

    Consultation Response to the Ards and North Down Community Plan 2017 - 2032

    Consumer Council consultation response to the Ards and North Down Community Plan 2017 - 2032.

    Consultations

    Business

    Enquiries and Complaints Report 2015 - 2016

    The Enquiries and Complaints report 2015 - 2016 provides an insight into our complaints handling work.

    Research Reports

    Business

    Consumer Council Draft Forward Work Programme 2017/18

    The Consumer Council's draft Forward Work Programme 2017/18 is now available for consultation

    Consultations

    Business

    Response to Draft Programme for Government Framework

    The Consumer Council is committed to developing a better Northern Ireland and therefore is encouraged and enthused about the outcomes based approach taken by the draft Programme for Government (dPfG) for 2016-21.

    Consultations

    Business

    Consumer Council Response to BIS Consultation on Improving Consumer Landscape & Switching

    Consumer Council consultation response to BIS call for evidence on Improving consumer landscape and quicker switching.

    Consultations

    Consumer Skills

    Bring a Bill to Balmoral Show!

    Consumer Council's New Energy Price Comparison Site to Save Consumers Money!

    Business

    CCNI Consultation Response to Citizens Advice & Citizens Advice Scotland Draft Work Plan 2016-17

    Consumer Council consultation response to Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland draft work plan for 2016/17.

    Consultations

    Business

    Consumer Council Wants to Hear from You!

    The Consumer Council is currently inviting views on its draft Corporate Plan 2016-21 and Forward Work Programme 2016-17.

    Business

    Consumer Council Draft Corporate Plan 2016 - 2021

    The Consumer Council's draft Corporate Plan 2016 - 2021 is now available for consultation.

    Consultations

    Business

    Consumer Council Draft Forward Work Programme 2016/17

    The Consumer Council's draft Forward Work Programme 2016/17 is now available for consultation.

    Consultations

    Business

    Consumer Council Welcomes Power NI 10.3% tariff reduction

    The Consumer Council has welcomed Power NI’s 10.3% tariff reduction. The Consumer Council’s Head of Energy, Richard Williams said: “This is good news for Power NI customers. Domestic consumers will see prices reduce by around £54 per year and £200 for regulated business customers.

    Business

    Consumer Council signs 'Consumer Rights Initiative' Memorandum of Understanding

    The Consumer Council in partnership with Advice NI, Citizens Advice Bureau Northern Ireland and the Law Centre NI yesterday (07 October 2015) signed the ‘Consumer Rights Initiative’ Memorandum of Understanding.

    Business

    Enquiries and Complaints Report 2014 - 2015

    The Enquiries and Complaints report 2014-15 provides an insight into our complaints handling work.

    Research Reports

    Consumer Skills

    World Consumer Rights Day takes a look at food!

    It’s World Consumer Rights Day on 15 March and the Consumer Council is joining with many other consumer bodies around the world to highlight this year’s theme of healthy, affordable diets.

    Business

    Consumer confidence static despite falling prices

    The Consumer Council has warned that nearly half of consumers here struggle to keep up with bills and financial commitments. Today’s announcement comes as the Consumer Council launches its second wave of ‘Consumer Outlook’ research.

    Business

    Consumer Outlook Index January 2015

    We have examined whether consumers are seeing the benefits of the “green shoots” of recovery in the Northern Ireland economy or still feeling the pain of recession through our ‘Consumer Outlook’ research. This report is part of building a ‘Consumer Outlook Index’ and will be used to track consumer optimism about the local economy every six months.

    Consumer Guides

    Consumer Skills

    70 per cent of consumers not yet feeling the green shoots of recovery says Consumer Council

    The Consumer Council has today revealed that despite positive signs emerging in the wider economy, these are not filtering through to consumers, with 70 per cent not yet feeling the green shoots of economic recovery.

    Consumer Skills

    Consumer Outlook Index Full Report

    The findings of our 'Consumer Outlook' research which provides an insight into consumer confidence, spending priorities and areas of concern.

    Research Reports

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Outlook Index - Summary Report

    A research report which provides an insight into consumer confidence, spending priorities and areas of concern.

    Research Reports

    Business

    Annual Report and Accounts 2013 - 2014

    Annual Report and Accounts for 2013 - 2014

    Research Reports

    Business

    Consumer Council Puts a Record £1/2million Back Into Consumers’ Pockets

    Almost £500,000 has made its way back to consumers' pockets over the last year after they turned to the Consumer Council for help with their complaint.

    Business

    Consumer Council welcomes Competition Commission’s fifth price control for NIE network tariffs

    The Consumer Council has welcomed the Competition Commission’s final determination which sets the cost to be paid for electricity by consumers over the next three years.

    Business

    Updated Consumer Council Website Goes Live

    Making information consumers want clearer and easier to access has been the key aim of the new updated Consumer Council website, which has gone live.

    Business

    Air and Fuel Duty - Time for a Change - Opinion Piece Aodhan O'Donnell, Interim Chief Executive

    The recent Budget revealed measures that will bring changes for Northern Ireland consumers across a range of issues including the price of a pint, pensions, savings limits and tax allowances.

    Cost of Living

    Northern Ireland Consumer Context Ahead of Budget 2014 - Opinion Piece-Aodhan O'Donnell Interim CEO

    The Consumer Council will be watching with keen interest what the 2014 Budget will deliver for consumers in Northern Ireland. Consumers have told us that almost half of them (49 per cent) are worried about their ability to make ends meet currently, but even more consumers (56 per cent) are worried about their ability to make ends meet in the future.

    Cost of Living

    Consumer Concerns - Cost of Living Brief

    Research on consumers' views on the cost of living.

    Other

    Business

    Complaints & Enquiries Report 2011 - 2012

    Welcome to the Consumer Council Annual Enquiries and
    Complaints Report for 2011-2012. We previously published
    two reports Complain, Campaign and Gain: Championing
    Consumers spanning 2006-2009 and 2009-2011
    respectively. This report will now be produce

    Research Reports

    Cost of Living

    Christmas Budget Planner

    Do you feel under pressure and tempted to spend money that you cannot afford at Christmas? To help you stay within your budget, The Consumer Council has put together this food and present planner. Click on the link to download your free copy

    Other