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Research by leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First, found that 1 in 6 consumers in the UK have bought a fake electrical item as a Christmas gift – and most of us are unable to identify a genuine electrical product from a fake.

Electrical_Safety_First_.jpgNow Virendra Sharma MP, Ealing, Southall,  is helping the charity raise awareness of the dangers of counterfeits in the run up to the Christmas shopping period when high street and digital retailers offer a range of special offers and discounts. 

“Christmas is always expensive and we are all keen to get a bargain but Electrical Safety First’s research makes it clear that shoppers must beware of fakes – particularly via the web”, explains Virendra Sharma MP. “The Charity found that 3 out of 5 fake electricals are purchased online, with a third of buyers experiencing major problems with the item. And with almost half of all domestic fires in UK homes caused by electricity, this is a risk you don’t want to take.”

Electrical Safety First also found that it’s not always easy for people to spot a counterfeit product. Three quarters of UK consumers were unable to identify Genuine GHD hair straighteners and 3 in 5 could not spot a fake Apple charger - and with the rise of online shopping, it can be even more difficult.  One in 5 online shoppers admitted they didn’t consider the authenticity of the product, with over half simply presuming that the electrical items for sale online were genuine.

And, of course, some people are deliberately buying fake products. One in 6 of those surveyed said they would consider buying a product – even if they suspected it was fake – if it was cheaper than the original.

Virendra Sharma MP added “Fake goods are often cheaper because they omit key components which can affect both the safety and functionality of the product. To make sure you buy ‘the genuine article’, Electrical Safety First has developed advice to help people spot a fake electrical product. Visit: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/electrical-items/safe-shopping/ to find out more. I’m urging all my constituents to check this before they do their Christmas shopping.”

ELECTRICAL BARGAINS NOT ALL THEY SEEM

Research by leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First, found that 1 in 6 consumers in the UK have bought a fake electrical item as a Christmas gift – and most of...

I recently attended an event in parliament to learn more about initiatives that offer help to those struggling with their energy bills.

ESG_Launch.jpgI was surprised to hear that 92% of households in Ealing Southall have not taken advantage of the significant savings available by switching energy supplier.

With many people struggling to pay their bills this winter I encourage everyone to shop around and see if there is a better deal for them. I know that switching can seem like a daunting task but the Energy Switch Guarantee promises to make it simple, quick and safe.

If you struggle to pay your bills get in touch with your supplier. There are many initiatives and schemes that can help you.

I'm backing the Energy Switch Guarantee

I recently attended an event in parliament to learn more about initiatives that offer help to those struggling with their energy bills. I was surprised to hear that 92% of...

Virendra Sharma MP visited a Guide Dogs event in Parliament on 16th November to show his support for taxi and minicab drivers receiving disability equality training when getting their licence. A Private Member’s Bill that sought to introduce such training was debated on 18th November but was not voted on due to a lack of time.

Guide_Dogs_.JPGAt the event, guide dog owners told the MP for Ealing, Southall how taxi and minicab drivers refused to carry them because they had their guide dog with them. They explained that they had missed important appointments due to the refusals and how it had left them anxious and reluctant to use taxis and minicabs again. 

Although the Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal for a taxi or minicab driver to refuse to carry an assistance dog, Guide Dogs research found that 42% of people living with sight loss were turned away by a taxi or minicab in the last year because of their guide dog. The research also uncovered that 38% of assistance dog owners have illegally been asked to pay an extra fare for carrying their dog.

Guide Dogs is calling for disability equality training to be made a requirement for all taxi and minicab drivers to help them understand the rights and needs of disabled people and how to welcome assistance dog owners. 

Virendra Sharma MP commented:

It is shameful to hear from so many people who are illegally turned away from taxis and minicabs because they travel with an assistance dog. I’m asking the Government to act to ensure all taxi and minicab drivers receive disability equality training so they are aware of the law and how to assist their disabled customers in the right way.”

 

James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, commented:

Imagine you were turned away by a taxi driver or asked to pay an extra fare, for no good reason. Despite legal protection, this regularly happens to people living with sight loss because they are travelling with a guide dog. 

This discrimination is not only illegal, it knocks people’s confidence and can stop them doing everyday things that most people take for granted.

We are very disappointed that we didn’t see a vote on the Disability Equality Training Bill. We were encouraged by the Government’s supportive comments and hope they will take action to introduce training for all taxi and minicab drivers.”

“Stop discrimination against disabled people” says Virendra Sharma MP

Virendra Sharma MP visited a Guide Dogs event in Parliament on 16th November to show his support for taxi and minicab drivers receiving disability equality training when getting their licence. A Private...


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