The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) today responded to the release of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee’s (BEIS) report on the safety of electrical goods in the UK.
The report was highly critical of appliance manufacturer Whirlpool for failing to modify or replace faulty machines in good time. It also highlighted the use of legal agreements to silence consumers and its focus on deflecting the concerns of customers and safety organisations. The report also criticised the speed and scale of the regulator’s actions taken to resolve the crisis.
As well as criticising Whirlpool, the report expressed concern that funding shortages for Local Trading Standards (LTS) have not yet been addressed. Describing LTS as “the eyes and ears” of the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), the report notes that Local Trading Standards still struggle due to cuts in funding.
CTSI Head of Policy Craig McClue responded to the report: “Yet another report recommends action to tackle the dire state of local trading standards after more than a decade of swingeing austerity cuts. While OPSS support for training and safety sampling is welcome, it won’t reverse the greater than 56% cuts local services have faced in more than a decade. Our system of trading standards is much more than the ‘eyes and ears’ of OPSS, and we echo the report’s calls for any new Government to stop hiding and provide a funding solution that resolves this crisis.”