02 March 2011

The Case For Consumer Protection UK vs Australia

There is a certain amount of cheering going on as a result of the IRISH (that is not a misprint) beating the English at Cricket in the World Cup. The shock defeat was not due to just poor performance by the English - but rather a stunning performance by the minnows from the Emerald Isle. Congrats to the Pink Haired Mr Kevin O'Brien.

Given the relative approaches to cricket and travel from the British Isles to the Antipodes it is interesting to see the difference between the level of consumer protection provided in the Northern Hemisphere and that in the South.

An consultation paper entitled "Consumer protection in the travel and travel related services market" A Consultation paper dated March 2011
was commission by the Canberra Government and found that the regulatory cost of consumer protection and travel licensing in Australia is nine times the value of compensation paid to consumers each year, the independent report into financial protection has found.

In the UK the nature of the Consumer Protection has been in disarray for many years and successive governments have passed the buck. The result has been that the coverage for travel in the UK is poor and essentially the fund covering it is in deep deficit. Yet at the same time a string of Her Majesty's Administrations has taxed and levied costs against the air traveller. The current cost for a family of four to travel between the UK and Australia is close to a thousand pounds of APD - Air Passenger Duty. The latest proposals by HMG have managed to please just about no one.

So a little advice for the Government of Ms Gillard - free, no charge - don't change it. Keen the high level of the cost structure you have in place today. If you do you will be sorry. However there are some good recommendations in the report.

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