Fine Gael Senator and election candidate for Dublin Bay North, Catherine Noone, has highlighted new consumer protections for shoppers as the latest retail figures show the strength of the economy.
The most recent figures released by the CSO show the volume of retail sales is up 3% in the last 12 months.
Senator Noone said: “With retail figures booming in a strengthening economy, it is really important that we protect consumer rights.
“Government legislation introduced towards the end of this year brings good news for anyone that received gift vouchers as Christmas presents.
“The new law ensures that all gift vouchers have a minimum expiry date of 5 years – bringing much needed certainty to consumers. Too many people previously lost out when their voucher expired. This new law gives shoppers time and choice. It also brings consistency, as in the past there was often confusion over expiry dates, with the big retailers ranging from 6 months to a couple of years. A set expiry date of 5 years will give certainty to anyone receiving a voucher as well as giving peace of mind to the person gifting the voucher.
“The new law strengthens consumer rights in other ways relating to gift vouchers. There will be a ban on shops requiring gift vouchers to be spent in one transaction, something that can be a great source of frustration for consumers currently.
“There will also be a ban on the cancellation of gift vouchers, or the imposition of charges, where the recipient’s name is registered incorrectly. This situation saw people unfairly penalised through no fault of their own.”
Senator Noone continued: “I commend my Fine Gael colleague, the Minister for Business and Enterprise, Heather Humphreys, for bringing in this new legislation in time for the Christmas shopping period and the New Year sales when they may have received gift vouchers as presents. The new law is really benefiting consumers when they need it most.”