OFT:  Major electrical retailers have offered legal undertakings to improve the way the extended warranties market works, the OFT announced last week.  The promised measures include improving the information these retailers provide to shoppers and the launch of a comparison website. 

Parties wishing to make comments on the proposed undertakings should do so by 7:00pm on Wednesday 7 March 2012.  The OFT expects to reach a final decision on whether to accept the undertakings later this Spring.

As part of the OFT's Know Your Consumer Rights campaign the OFT has produced a short online film to inform shoppers about their statutory rights when buying electrical goods and to encourage them to shop around before buying an extended warranty.

Press release & links ~ market review page & consultation

WAG:  The Welsh Government has opened a consultation (closes on 5 April 2012) on proposals to provide support for those who need help with their Council Tax bill.  The move follows the UK Government announcing plans to abolish council tax benefit and localise support for council tax.  From April 2013 the provision of support for council tax will be devolved to WAG and funding will be reduced by 10%.

Press release & links

WAG:  The Deputy Minister for Children & Social Services, Gwenda Thomas, has launched a consultation (closes on 30 April 2012) on how to strengthen Welsh language services to ‘meet the care needs of Welsh speakers, their families and carers’. 

The Strategic Framework for Welsh Language Services in Health, Social Services and Social Care was launched at Meddygfa Canna Surgery in Cardiff, a GP surgery that recognises that delivering services  through the medium of Welsh is a fundamental element of care for many Welsh speakers.

Press release & links

FSA:  The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has recently published a report that shows most sale & rent back (SRB) transactions were either unaffordable or unsuitable and never should have been sold.  Consultation on new guidance closes on 29 March 2012
Press release
~ Consultation on new guidance

ScotGov:  Radical changes are being proposed to the way 600,000 houses in the social rented sector are allocated & managed.  The closing date for responses is 30 April 2012.

Press release & links 

FSA:  A Norwegian company has applied to the Food Standards Agency for approval to market the oil from a miniature shrimp as a novel food ingredient for use in food supplements.  Views are wanted on this application by Thursday 1 March 2012.

Press release & links

WAG:  Environment Minister, John Griffiths has launched detailed proposals around his decision to establish a single body to manage ’ natural resources.  The aim of the new body will be to ensure the most sustainable & effective management of ’ natural resources.  

Over a 10-year period, it is estimated that the transition from 3 environment bodies could result in savings of up to £158m before costs.  The consultation will close on 2 May 2012.

Press release & links

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