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Nuisance Telephone Calls

Volume 572: debated on Thursday 12 December 2013

12. How her Department measures the success of steps taken to reduce the number of nuisance telephone calls. (901615)

The issue of nuisance telephone calls is a priority for the Department, and we will be publishing our action plan shortly. We would like to see more effective enforcement by the Information Commissioner’s Office and Ofcom, through use of their substantial fining powers. Also, we are keen for them to more easily share information with each other.

A 90-year-old constituent of mine who has signed up for the telephone preference service continues to be plagued by nuisance calls. There is not enough urgency from the Government on this matter. Will the Minister commit, as a starting point, at least to implement all the recommendations made by the all-party group on nuisance calls? That would be a start.

I reject the accusation of a lack of urgency. I have worked closely with a number of stakeholders over many months. We are publishing our action plan in the new year because we want to take account of the excellent reports by the all-party group and the Select Committee.

I am glad that the Minister wants the Information Commissioner’s Office to be able to take more enforcement action to tackle this menace. Will he therefore lower the legal threshold above which the Information Commissioner is able to take enforcement action?