Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary says a Bill bring brought forward by his party will plug a gap in the current laws, which can leave customers who buy gift vouchers exposed to extremely restricted time limits.

Deputy Calleary warned that this issue will become more prevalent in the run up to Christmas, when the majority of gift vouchers are bought.

“The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill 2017 will put consumers first and ensure that there is clear regulation of the gift voucher sector.  This piece of legislation will impose a minimum validity period of five years, which should ensure that anyone who receives a gift voucher has ample time to use it”, explained Deputy Calleary.

“At the moment, the period of time that these vouchers remain valid can vary, and sometimes people can find out that that their vouchers have already expired when they go to redeem them, leaving them out of pocket and extremely frustrated.

“As we are now in the run up to the busy Christmas shopping period, it’s important that people are aware of the situation.

“The gift voucher sector is a multi-million euro industry, but many people don’t realise that these purchases are neither regulated nor protected. Fianna Fáil has been calling for regulation in this area for some time.

“This Bill, which was introduced yesterday, puts consumers first. We need to ensure that it moves through the Oireachtas quickly so that consumer rights are protected and that shoppers are not being unfairly penalised”.