The long awaited Consumer Protection legislation is expected to be passed this year. This announcement was made by Junior Minister for Trade and Investment, Hon. Marlon Penn in the presence of Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith on 18 January.
In response to questions from the media on when this critically needed Bill was going to be ready Hon. Penn noted that he is just as eager to see the legislation before the House. He told reporters that his position is well chronicled on the matter and that the Trade Department has been pushing the initiative forward.
In fact, Hon. Penn explained that the Bill is almost ready for the House where it would become law: “We were able to get that legislation drafted. There is now a Cabinet paper prepared for Cabinet to make a decision for us to finalize that legislation. The next step now is for Cabinet to make the decision, and then for the Attorney General to finalize the draft legislation to go to the House of Assembly.”
Hon. Penn said that he is very interested in seeing this Bill passed and told reporters that he even told the Premier that he is open to presenting the Bill as a Private Member section of a sitting of the House.
Hon. Penn said that Consumer Protection legislation will also protect businesses who are getting blamed for matters beyond their control: “When you look at the cost they have to pay for shipping, and the cost they have to pay for increase in price in a lot of the products since the hurricane has gone up as well. If we have a situation where we can monitor a lot of what is happening within the economy. It gives us a better perimeter to see what the shocks are in the community and when persons say to us that businesses are taking advantage we have data to prove that it is so or not so.”
Hon. Penn further said that he will ensure that the Premier receives the draft legislation, and also mentioned that the intent is to work to ensure that the Bill will be passed 2018.