Budget 2016: Support to protect consumers
Budget 2016 provides an extra $15.2 million of operating funding over the next four years for the Commerce Commission to better protect consumers and promote competition, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith says.
“The extra funding means the Commission can actively enforce our recently reformed consumer and credit laws, which gave them more tools and powers to protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“We’ll also see faster enforcement action to stop consumer harm caused by non-compliant businesses, including those engaged in irresponsible lending.
“More consumer education and advocacy will help reduce the potential for harm to occur. For example, more work will be done to help New Zealanders better understand what they are getting into when borrowing money or buying goods on credit.
“With this increased focus on education, compliance and enforcement, New Zealanders, including those in vulnerable circumstances, will have more protection from businesses using dishonest practices while enabling honest traders to compete on a level playing field.
“The additional funding will also support timely investigation of competition matters such as merger clearances, so that businesses can operate with greater certainty.
“The Commission’s work embedding the new consumer and credit legislation, and enforcing competition law and responsible lending practices, will help consumers and businesses transact with confidence, which in turn promotes sustained economic growth,” Mr Goldsmith says.