Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Niall Collins has said that the gap in protection for consumers who purchase gift vouchers will become more evident in the lead up to Christmas.

Deputy Collins was commenting after he introduced a new Fianna Fáil piece of legislation that would strengthen consumer rights and protection and increase the validity of all gift vouchers to a minimum of five years.

He commented, “The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill 2017 is a pro-consumer piece of legislation that is desperately needed to protect the rights of people. Currently, gift vouchers and gift cards remain largely unregulated in Ireland. This is very concerning as we face into another very busy Christmas shopping period.

“Specifically, the period of time that these vouchers remain valid can vary, and as a result people are left at a financial loss and feeling angry and frustrated when they go to redeem them.

“The gift voucher sector is a multi-million euro sector, but what most people buying vouchers don’t know is that these purchases are neither regulated nor protected. Fianna Fáil has been calling for regulation in this area for some time. Consumers need to have their rights protected.

“We look forward to bringing this legislation through the Oireachtas as quickly as possible to ensure that consumer rights are protected, and that there are no nasty shocks or surprises for people next year,” concluded Collins.