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Minister Favours Utilities Ombudsman

Consumer Affairs Minister Phillida Bunkle said she favoured the idea of an independent ombudsman to ensure the rights of consumers of utilities such as power and water.

She will be asking Ministry officials to investigate the benefits of having an ombudsman in this area.

"The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has had a role in establishing ombudsman offices for the banking and insurance industries respectively.

"I believe that having learned from that experience, an independent ombudsman in the utilities area would be of great assistance to people currently facing difficulties with vital services.

"Electricity users have already expressed concerns about power companies and the delivery of service and the quality of that service. I believe many of these issues could be addressed by the companies concerned.

"But I also believe the rights of consumers will be guaranteed under an Ombudsman's watchful eye."

The Minister said a utilities Ombudsman needed to have enough influence to make a difference to the concerned consumers.


ENDS

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