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Residents tired of empty promises for consumer protection bill

-Hon Penn says its up to the AG to draft the Bill
Consumer protection legislation has been promised by government for many years but a Bill in relation to that has never reached the House of Assembly. Photo: Internet Source
Honourable Marlon A. Penn, Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion and Eighth District Representative, speaking in the House of Assembly (HoA) in April, called on Baba Aziz, Attorney General, to finish the draft of the consumer protection legislation. Photo: VINO/File
Honourable Marlon A. Penn, Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion and Eighth District Representative, speaking in the House of Assembly (HoA) in April, called on Baba Aziz, Attorney General, to finish the draft of the consumer protection legislation. Photo: VINO/File
During his Speech from the Throne in the House of Assembly on March 1, 2018, Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert promised that the Consumer Protection Bill will be ready by this year. Photo: VINO/File
During his Speech from the Throne in the House of Assembly on March 1, 2018, Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert promised that the Consumer Protection Bill will be ready by this year. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - “We are at the point where it is in the Attorney General’s hands now, where the AG has to bring forward swiftly consumer legislation that not just protects the consumers of this territory but also works to protect the business sector from unfair accusations. We’ll now have a process and a mechanism to actually manage the consumer affairs of the territory.”

This is according to Honourable Marlon A. Penn, Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion and Eighth District Representative, during the House of Assembly (HoA) in April where he called on Baba Aziz, Attorney General, to finish the draft of the consumer protection legislation.

Consumers have been begging for the current government to put legislation in place to penalise vendors who are being accused of inflating prices.

Following the August floods and the hurricanes of September 2017, prices for many essential items skyrocketed and nothing was done to protect the consumers who were in a perceived state of desperation.

Hon Penn stated that the consumer protection bill is very important especially due to the difficulties that were seen following Hurricane Irma.

He explained, “We saw what happened through the price gouging. Persons manipulated prices and did all manner of things during this very difficult period for consumers and residents of this territory and we want to make sure that this does not happen again.”

Even Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert promised that the bill will be ready before the end of this year during his Speech from the Throne in the House of Assembly on March 1, 2018.

The reality on the ground

The discussion of protecting consumers have been on the table for many years and to date, despite many promises from Government, consumer protection legislation has not been brought to the VI parliament.

Speaking with a number of residents who are dissatisfied with the absence of a consumer protection legislation, they all shared the same sentiments that the bill is “long overdue”.

In an invited comment with a resident who wished to remain anonymous, they said such legislation is “long overdue”, adding that it should not have taken this long to put forward a policy that protects the people of the territory.

“I hear them always coming in HoA talking that they going bring consumer protection bill to protect us but all now you can’t see a thing. The leader [Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL)] need to move fast on this legislation that is long overdue,” said Warren D. Richards.

Cheryl A. Winter told our newsroom that a restaurant she recently went to is selling a bottle of water for $3, while adding that you can get a Case for $5.

“We need this legislation because some business places prices on items are ridiculous. Can you believe that a restaurant selling one bottle water for $3 and you can get a case for $5? That’s a shame.”

Dora B. Hope said, “This bill has been around for years and still can’t make it to the House. So why should we even listen to them who we call our representatives that it will be ready by the end of this year? Another empty promise, while the people suffer.”

19 Responses to “Residents tired of empty promises for consumer protection bill”

  • Please, Please (09/05/2018, 10:07) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    NDP come through with something worthwhile like this to at least assure us that you care alilittle about us, the hard working people. Please. Even the contractors are out here taking full advantage of us because we are here trying to get our homes secure before the next hurricane hit and we have no other options. Please NDP take control of these situations, we are being taken advantage of under you’ll administration. Please do the right and Godly thing right now. We are out here are hurting.
  • guy hill (09/05/2018, 10:18) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Promises do not comfort fools anymore. Now is the time and the time is now you act on this. Seize the time.
  • today (09/05/2018, 10:23) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am an unemployed female with a three years old son and using my savings to pay bills and feed my family at the same time. When I go to the grocery stores it seems like the prices on goods are going up weekly. The only place I seem to get a brake is when onemart have their specials. Something must be done soon, or else I am going to eventually loose it .
    • I am with you on this (09/05/2018, 10:38) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      @today. I am also a mother of 2 children and their father has been unemployed after the hurricanes, It is really getting hard out here. Something must be done like yesterday.
    • Why (09/05/2018, 18:34) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
      Stop complaining you all give them a land slide you all had for get a country need a strong opposition. So enjoy what you all are getting from them.
  • righteous (09/05/2018, 11:02) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    The entire ndp is a waste of time. Just get rid of them all.
  • 123 (09/05/2018, 11:04) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    too much game they well know no bill is going to pass the House
  • sorry to say (09/05/2018, 12:40) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
    I read the stories of the intended march, the consumer protection legislation and Thomas Famous' article was enlightening but things will not get any better until we begin to face THE TRUTH. These islands (Caribbean) and the Americas were not " discovered by accident "as they would have you believe. For thousands of years (tens maybe hundreds or more) there has been trade and communication between Africa and the Americas. The Europeans were encouraged by the Pope to conquer these lands from as early as 1452. Once you are aware of this fact the atrocities that were perpetrated right up to what we are dealing with now can be understood. These are acts of war. The last 500 plus years have been a war against people of color and its getting set to escalate significantly. We are living in a very sad and tragic time. My dear brethren your demonstration will not accomplish anything. Its just a smoke screen by those who don't really care about us and the slave masters know it. Irma was a birthday party compared with what is getting set to be unleashed on us...not many will survive.....Sorry to say.
    • True Dat (09/05/2018, 14:55) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      True....Dr. Ivan Van Sertima "They came before Columbus" check his videos on YouTube and then
      check Dr. Walter Williams "There was no Jesus" no...is name was not Jesus...Check YouTube if you have internet lol
    • Rubber Duck (10/05/2018, 08:15) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Do you know how ridiculous you sound
  • See (09/05/2018, 12:48) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Talk talk talk . More bs everyday . Through people a bone promise and hope they get a vote . Pathetic .
  • sam the man (09/05/2018, 13:41) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Anything to make sure stability NEVER sees the show of our island.
  • Buju (09/05/2018, 13:43) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply

    It’s politics time again now, who yah gonna vote fah....ndp government been in for two consecutive terms now so what’s all the BS about? Pass the damn law and setup the office to deal with violators and penalties for contravention. Ayo just like to collect a salary for doing didly squat and get up in the HOA to spew nothing tangible each and every time!

  • wize up (09/05/2018, 15:38) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I suppose to join a march for a set people that are looking some of us(just saying)
  • BOTTOM LINE (09/05/2018, 20:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    i paid lime $1020 for an iphone in december 2014 and it is defective and in fact not the exact version of that product
    it supposed to be. and a samsung galaxy, much less in cost, lots of funny stuff. the lady is right about good costs
    in the grocery store too. and there's much more - dumping a lot of money and whatever you buy doesnt work right
    or isn't worth nearly the price. some defective items in the bvi, that the usa just dumps 'cause they're not wanted.
    trash. love to get my money back too. and then there's this rent and landlord stuff keeps coming up for many
    people. where's the police?
  • Rubber Duck (09/05/2018, 21:21) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    So what? No one forces you to go to that restaurant.
  • Political Observer (PO) (09/05/2018, 22:50) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    A consumer protection agency bill (CPA) is long over due. Dr. Hon Premier Daniel Orlando Smith, AL and MoF, needs to weigh in and bring this CPA to the next sitting of the HOA. Does the Premier have any juice? Are there personal reasons why legislators are slow walking this vital piece of legislation? Why the long and endless delay? Many other locales have consumer protection agency so it should be relative ease to benchmark other locales. There is no need to reinvent the wheel; others have already done the heavy lifting.

    The long sufffering consumer need some relief; bring the CPA to the HOA now. The consumer need protection from price gouging, real estate rental, product exchange and return, property insurance, small claims resolutions, product safety, product expiration, auto repair, contract enforcement, price control, skyrocketing cost of living............etc. Though many residents are clamoring for price control, IMO price control does not work. Price control leads to shortages and poor quality. For example, if there is price control on cereal, businesses will procure and sell the cheapest cereal. Further, if there is price control on apartment rental, land lords will do the mere minimum or get out the business altogether, creating shortages. Minimum wage is a price floor mechanism that may hurt the very people that it was intended to help.
  • Rubber Duck (10/05/2018, 08:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It seems some people imagine that consumer protection is designed to set prices. And imagine they will be set lower.
    It isn’t. If you don’t like the prices something , don’t buy. And if government interferes and forces suppliers to make over the top guarantees it costs money and ultimately the consumer pays.
  • wize up (10/05/2018, 09:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    administrations in power also gives the people the shaft: look at your light bill; the add on fees are no less than half your actual consumption cost: some are “offered tax exemptions” in order to establish business up in here while some of us have to jump through all manner of hoops for the same tax brakes: your tax money being spent on certain items; if our tax money was being spent in the people’s best interest one will see us having good sewage systems; an adiquate Street water system and a more stable power supply system......


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