Alison Thewliss – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Alison Thewliss on 2016-06-14.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to tackle nuisance calls and text messages.

Mr Edward Vaizey

The Government is taking forward a range of legislative measures to tackle nuisance calls and text messages, which will increase consumer protection and choice by strengthening the Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) ability to take enforcement action against organisations that break the law. Specific actions include; strengthening the ICO’s direct marketing guidance by giving it statutory status; and exploring extending the ICO’s powers of compulsory audit to more of the organisations that generate nuisance calls. This is in addition to action the Government has already taken against nuisance calls, including lowering the legal threshold for ICO action against nuisance callers and lifting the cap on fines ICO issue to companies breaking the rules. Recently a record high £200,000 fine was issued, and between the 2010 – 2015, the average fine has been £85,000 – considerably higher than in 2010, when fines were capped at £5,000.