Doubts over Consumer Bill being passed before election
Opposition from retailers could stop the new Consumer Rights Bill from being passed before the next general election, the Government has been warned.
The Consumers Association of Ireland (CAI) has welcomed the new Bill but fears that the power of the retail industry will stall the legislation.
Dermott Jewell of the CAI said: "I think it's just too short of a time period to go through. Never say never, but retailers are certainly going to have something to say on a lot of the proposals. They have fought against bringing in legislation on some of these issues for years."
Mr Jewell also said that there were a lot of long overdue positives in the Bill, and that it has addressed a lot of grey areas in consumer law.
These include a ban on expiry dates for gift cards and vouchers, as well as a 30-day period in which consumers can return faulty goods and receive a full refund.
Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton remains hopeful that the Bill could come into legislation before the expected spring 2016 election.
Mr Bruton said: "That will certainly be the hope. Perhaps the consultation might throw up a few issues, but I hope not - because that can become very time-consuming."