Dáil Éireann - Volume 362 - 10 December, 1985

Written Answers. - National Consumer Advisory Council.

31. Mr. Taylor asked the Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism the cost to the Exchequer in 1984 and the estimated cost in 1985 of the National Consumers Advisory Council; the work which was produced by this council in 1984; and the work on hand at present.

Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism (Mr. J. Bruton): The cost to the Exchequer in 1984 of the National Consumers' Advisory Council was £22,000. The estimated cost of the council for 1985 was £20,000 but with the dissolution of the council the actual expenditure was £11,000.

During 1984 the council discussed and [1613] gave their views to the relevant authorities on several items of consumer interest. These included:

—IIRS standards and other IIRS proposals

—various proposals under discussion at EC level.

—certification and guarantee schemes operated by certain industrial sectors

—problems relating to motor insurance and vehicle tax evasion.

The council was dissolved in July last. At that time items which it had on hands included a draft IIRS standard for laminated safety glass for motor vehicle windscreens, a Restrictive Practices Commission report on conveyancing and advertising by solicitors and questions relating to environmental pollution and door-to-door selling.

The decision to terminate the operation of the council was taken after very full consideration of the matter. The council played a major role in the development of legislation in the consumer area in the past and I would hope that bodies which were represented on the council will continue to play an active role in that regard in the future. Budgetary constraints was one reason for deciding to dissolve the council but the decision should also be seen in the context of the proposal to strengthen the institutions involved in consumer and competition matters by rationalising the functions of the Director of Consumer Affairs, the National Prices Commission, the Restrictive Practices Commission and the Examiner of Restrictive Practices.