BVI News

2018 goal; consumer protection draft on Premier’s desk

Junior Minister with responsibility for Trade Marlon Penn (left) and Premier Dr D Orlando Smith.

Junior Minister with responsibility for Trade, Marlon Penn said the first draft of the consumer protection legislation has been prepared.

While answering questions from members of the media about the long-awaited legislation, Penn said the document is now “on the Premier’s desk” for it to be brought before Cabinet.

“I think the next step now is for Cabinet to make a decision and then for the Attorney General’s chambers to finalise the draft legislation to go to the House of Assembly.”

When asked if the consumer protection legislation will be implemented this year, Penn said: “That is our intent.”

Residents have been clamouring for consumer protection laws for years.

Persons are now particularly antsy to see the law implemented given the spike in price gouging in the territory since the hurricanes.

“I think it’s very important for us to really protect not just the consumers but to protect the businesses as well because the businesses are being accused of things which in fact they are not actually doing,” the Junior Minister said yesterday.

Penn, who is a second-term legislator, had ‘guaranteed’ that the highly-anticipated legislation would be before the Cabinet by November 2017.

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10 Comments

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  1. Watcher says:

    Its about time, hurry up!

  2. soon says:

    the public should have input in these matters

  3. Hmm says:

    It needs public input, reveal what it is about dont just pass something thats vague and has no consequences if the law is broken.

    Like if Government members dont reveal their financial interest to the election office there is no punishment for them.

    Dont try to pull a wool over our eyes and then we are stuck with a law that cant work.

  4. Skeptical says:

    This is a piece of consumer protection legislation that is very late, but much welcomed.

    However, there are as many concerned and some have pointed out, no legislation will be worth its ink if it is not enforced.

    Consumers must be fully protected from incessant price hikes, gouging and excessive price mark ups.

    There must be no loop holes. A business should not get tax and import fees exemption from government with the agreement to pass those savings on to the customer, but instead the customer sees and feels more and more price increase pressure instead.

    Further, there must be real accountability, policing and consequences constructed into such legislation if it is to benefit the consumer, especially the least of the financially incapable population, and those laws must be enforced fully.

    Lastly, such legislation was crafted years ago and still exist somewhere. The pressure to bury it then is the same pressure existing today.

    Further, the business community does not want, and will not accept nothing that will make them honest and human to others.

    They will not be honest brokers to no one other than their humongous profit line.

    So even it becomes law, expect little to no change in the status quo and no relief for the poor people.

    So what then will be the ultimate game changer? The nationalizing of the economy and businesses.

    • Albion says:

      Careful about welcoming it too much. We don’t even know what it says yet, or how good or bad it will be.

      As for your comment that nationalising the economy and businesses is the best way forward? That is just crazy talk. We should follow Venezuela’s example of state run economies? (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/how-venezuela-went-from-the-richest-economy-in-south-america-to-the-brink-of-financial-ruin-a7740616.html)

      • White Elephant says:

        Good point Albion! Why don’t we get to participate in this democracy? Why don’t the people get to vote on important matters?

    • Eagle and Buffalo says:

      Consumer protection legislation is LONG overdue. Other than resistance from some businesses and lack of will on government part to bring it forward, it should not have taken this long. Consumer protection is not price control so we should not get our hopes up in that regards.

      The BVI practices capitalism so supply and demand set prices. Fair and open competition should control prices unless oligarchical behaviour exist. Consumers should boycott businesses that are price gouging, setting unreasonable prices, demonstrates poor point of sale and post sales practices……….etc and embrace and reward good business practices.

      Further, we should avoid nationalising businesses. Government has a poor track record of running anything. Invariably, what happens in nationalized businesses is that they are staffed by unqualified, inexperienced cronies that run them into the ground. Further, the BVI depends heavily on external investment and nationalizing businesses is a poison pill to external investment. Some of our regional sister countries have engaged in the practice with poor results and success.

      Finally, the Dr Hon Premier needs to move with alacrity in getting this piece of long over due legislation to the HOA. Dr. needs to jump on this legislation soonest. He must become more hands on; delegating is not working. And Trump style chaos is a non starter. Dr. needs to lead strong through strength from the front. Let’s get ah dun!

      Let’s lead like eagles, not careen off the cliff like buffaloes.

  5. Sam the man says:

    And on his desk is where it will remain! This is just the usual bluster and noise to fool people into thinking something is happening! About as likely as the government settling its utility bills! They are broke….don’t be conned by the hype and talk – it’s just talk…

  6. Skeptical says:

    This is a piece of consumer protection legislation that is very late, but much welcomed.

    However, there are as many concerned and some have pointed out, no legislation will be worth its ink if it is not enforced.

    Consumers must be fully protected from incessant price hikes, gouging and excessive price mark ups.

    There must be no loop holes. A business should not get tax and import fees exemption from government with the agreement to pass those savings on to the customer, but instead the customer sees and feels more and more price increase pressure instead.

    Further, there must be real accountability, policing and consequences constructed into such legislation if it is to benefit the consumer, especially the least of the financially incapable population, and those laws must be enforced fully.

    Lastly, such legislation was crafted years ago and still exist somewhere. The pressure to bury it then is the same pressure existing today.

    Further, the business community does not want, and will not accept nothing that will make them honest and human to others.

    They will not be honest brokers to no one other than their humongous profit line.

    So even it becomes law, expect little to no change in the status quo and no relief for the poor people.

    So what then will be the ultimate game changer? The nationalizing of the economy and businesses?

  7. No,, just truth says:

    To suggest a non popular solution does not indicate craziness.

    Craziness is a malfunctioning of the cognitive reasoning ability. One who writes as such should never be insulted in public cyber space as “crazy.”

    Suggesting an idea does not make one crazy.

    If socialism or even communism was suggested, one wonders what the adjectives would’ve looked.

    It appears that some business owners fair intervention control of their exploitation of the poor and the regulation of their unworthy profits.

    Lastly, a model that may have worked in South America may not be the right or workable model for the BVI.

    Frankly, the model that will limit unchecked human greed is the “nationalist model,” think it crazy or not, which is why it is the most hated model by the capitalist.

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