Weir welcomes nuisance calls action plan

Angus MP Mike Weir has welcomed the publication by the UK Department of Culture Media and Sport of an “action plan” to tackle the problem of nuisance calls.

Mr Weir has long called for action on the issue but he has now called for a speedy introduction of proposals to lower the threshold for consumer harm.

Commenting on the document Mr Weir told the Review: “The action plan is very welcome and, at last, shows that the UK government are beginning to take the issue of nuisance calls seriously.

“Allowing Ofcom and the Information Commissioner to share information will bring down one of the barriers to effective action and, hopefully, allow much greater investigation of those carrying out these calls and quicker action to deal with them.”

Mr Weir continued: “It is disappointing that the department are only consulting on the reduction of the threshold for “consumer harm” since at present the test is far too high and almost impossible to meet in individual cases. Allowing a lower threshold demonstrated by several similar cases would make much more sense and allow action against the worst offenders. I hope this consultation will be undertaken quickly and further action taken.”

Mr Weir warned, however, that these changes would not end nuisance calls.

He said: “Unfortunately there is no silver bullet to end the menace of nuisance calls. Many of them come from outside the UK and it is very difficult to take effective action against them.

“As well as government action the telecommunications companies have to accept some responsibility and look at technical solutions to deal with incoming calls, a point made strongly in the recent report from the All Party Group on Nuisance Calls in which I took part.”