New Consumer Rights bill: what does it mean?

Rui Vieira / PA

From poor value products to restrictive contracts and pushy sales practices, as consumers it can often feel like we get a pretty raw deal.

Now the government has announced a new bill that aims to streamline and simplify our consumer rights, but what does it actually mean?

The consumer minister Edward Davey (pictured) announced that a new bill would replace the existing rules, which he describes as overlapping and confusing.

The bill will update the law for goods and services and for digital content, clarify the law on unfair contract terms, consolidate consumer powers for Trading Standards, and provide much stronger protection for vulnerable customers.

Mr Davey said: "The Consumer Bill of Rights will consolidate, clarify and strengthen the consumer laws already in place, which will make it easier for everyone to understand and consumer rights in the UK will be stronger than ever. This Bill will give everyone a single place to find all their consumer rights."

He warned that the current system involves laws drawn from a wide range of different acts and regulations – basically making it difficult for anyone without a law degree to figure out what their rights are.

Davey added: "This is bad for consumers and bad for business as people don´t know their rights and the cost of compliance for business is higher than necessary.

The Bill will consolidate consumer rights currently found in 12 Acts or Regulations and the incoming European Consumer Rights Directive. The aim is to substantially reduce red tape to make this complex area of law clearer for both consumers and businesses.

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