A clampdown on nuisance calls has been welcomed by a Wigan borough MP following a long campaign targeting rogue company bosses.
The government has this week announced firms could face fines of up to £500,000 if they are behind constant, nuisance calls.
For vulnerable people, nuisance calls can cause great distressMakerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue
New regulations will mean company directors will be made personally responsible for the fines.
As past incidents have shown unscrupulous bosses trying to dodge company fines by moving on to create another firm.
Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue has campaigned on the issue alongside consumer group Which?, who hailed the move as a “massive victory.”
Ms Fovargue said: “For most people unsolicited calls are a nuisance, but for vulnerable people, especially those in debt or on low incomes, they can cause great distress.
“Many feel so intimidated by these unwanted calls that they are afraid to answer their phones, while others can end up being talked into taking on high cost credit products they can ill afford.
“The Government’s announcement of greater fines for directors who ignore the rules on cold calling is a move in the right direction and at last begins to redress the balance in favour of the consumer. Firms will now be far more accountable for their actions and will now – hopefully - think twice before they harass the public.”
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will be able to impose the fines if firms and the people running them are found to be in breach of the privacy and electronic communications regulations.
The digital and culture minister, Matt Hancock, said: “Nuisance callers are a blight on society, causing significant distress to elderly and vulnerable people.”
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home and Legal Services, said: “This is a massive victory for the hundreds of thousands of people who supported our Nuisance Calls campaign.
“It’s good to see the Government has listened to consumers and will be introducing new rules to hold company directors to account.
“This legislation will stop rogues dodging fines for bombarding consumers with nuisance calls and side-stepping the rules by closing one business and re-establishing a new one.”