CONSUMERS are being failed by government cuts to trading standards departments, an institute warned yesterday after finding that spending had dropped to just £2 per person.
A survey by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) found that the total spend across Britain had slumped from £213 million to £124 million since 2009.
Staffing had also been cut by more than half over the same period, the study found.
The cuts coincided with rising public anxiety over standards failures linked to vehicle emissions, fires in tumble dryers and hoverboards and horsemeat in food products.
With some councils budgeting as little as £200,000 for the service, experts said a single complex court prosecution was now unaffordable for some trading standards teams.
Of 122 trading standards departments responding to a CTSI survey, some 81 per cent said cuts had affected their ability to protect consumers.
CTSI chief executive Leon Livermore said: “Trading standards teams in local councils are tasked with holding multimillion-pound firms to account with just a handful of staff.”