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Consumer White Paper

On 2nd July 2009 the previous Government published a consumer White Paper “A Better Deal for Consumers: Delivering Real Help Now and Change for the Future”.

A Better Deal for Consumers set out the real help available to people in financial difficulties including:

  • help keeping people in their homes
  • advice to those in debt
  • dealing with sharp business practice
  • helping vulnerable people cope with essential bills

Looking further ahead the White Paper set out a new approach to consumer credit that learns lessons from events and aims to help consumers make better borrowing decisions.

It stated that consumer policy should be active in identifying and dealing with new consumer markets; proportionate in its approach to business regulation and concentrate resources on rooting out rogue businesses.

Overall the white paper focused on four key themes:

  • Real help now for vulnerable consumers
  • A new approach to consumer credit
  • Empowering consumers through better enforcement and information
  • Modernising consumer law

The proposals and actions in this White Paper will form the basis of a consumer policy that is able to adapt to change and help all consumers make informed and responsible choices.

You can read the full Consumer White Paper and accompanying documents below:

A better deal for consumers: delivering real help now and change for the future [Consumer white paper Cm 7669] (PDF, 1189KB)  

Welsh Language version:

Cynnig gwell i ddefnyddwyr: darparu help go iawn nawr a newid ar gyfer y dyfodol [papur gwyn Defnyddwyr Cm 7669] (PDF, 786KB)   

A better deal for consumers: delivering real help now and change for the future. Equality impact assessment (PDF, 424KB)  

Welsh Language version:

Cynnig gwell i ddefnyddwyr: darparu help go iawn nawr a newid ar gyfer y dyfodol. Asesiad o'r effaith ar gydraddoldeb (PDF, 188KB)   

A better deal for consumers: economic narrative (PDF, 1845KB)  

Background to the White Paper

In May 2008, the previous Government issued a consultation paper calling for evidence on a comprehensive review of the UK’s consumer protection regime. The Consumer Law Review had looked at whether there were new approaches to deliver better outcomes for consumers, whilst at the same time reducing unnecessary burdens for business and promoting fair and competitive markets.

The Consumer Law Review sought views in four main areas:

  • the case for reform
  • options for legislative reform
  • consumer empowerment and redress
  • securing compliance with the law

Around 100 responses were received from a wide range of business associations, individual businesses, regulatory and enforcement bodies (including many local trading standards departments), consumer interest groups, legal and academic institutions, professional organisations and other individual consumers.

The responses informed the proposals set out in the Government White Paper, particularly as detailed in chapters 3 and 4 on empowering consumers through better enforcement and information and modernising consumer law.

Summary of the responses (PDF, 1.22MB)

Consumer Law Review Responses A-B (PDF, 11.66MB)

Consumer Law Review Responses C-L (PDF, 5.36MB)

Consumer Law Review Responses M-R (PDF, 11.67MB)

Consumer Law Review Responses S-Z (PDF, 4.11MB)


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