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Act to ‘ease’ price burden

Article taken from the Weekend Nation – September 24, 2021

Consumers will be better protected if the new Metrology Act is passed, says Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Kerrie Symmonds.

He gave that assurance yesterday during the Small Business Association’s State of the Sector conference where he pointed out Barbados’ high cost of living which he attributed to the country being a price taker.

Symmonds, however, said an adjustment to the act which established and enforces standards of weights and measures, could shield local customers.

“Every time you pay for a loss, a negligent transaction, an inaccurate mechanism of measurement, you then add to the cost of doing business at the end and build out more inefficiency. My ministry accepts that even as price takers, there are some things you can do. And one of the things we have to do is provide this country with a robust mechanism for doing its metrology. We have done a new Metrology Act; it has passed the Chief Parliamentary Council’s scrutiny.

On way to AG

“It now is on its way to the office of the Attorney General. Once that bill is debated and passed into law, we would have taken another step towards containing costs, creating greater certainty in business operations and protection of consumers,” Symmonds said.

During his address he also noted that fuel prices this year increased by 70 per cent as well as shipping costs, which both affected many other industries and led to consumers paying more for goods and services.

“In a modernised economy, it is necessary for us to have a regulatory framework of metrology which ensures that quality of measurements is at best practice stage. It ensures that the pest control operator who travels across the country is getting a litre he paid for and no less. It ensures the retailer trades 20 pounds and not 19 pounds,” he added. (TG)

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