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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what his plans are for the £3.5 million funding announced for tackling nuisance calls in paragraph 2.289 of the March 2015 Budget, HC 1093 of Session 2014-15; how much of this funding has been allocated to which local authorities; what information his Department holds on the number of call blockers that this funding has paid for the installation of in domestic properties; and what assessment his Department has made of the effect of that funding in the volumes of nuisance calls received and reports of such calls made.
The Government is taking forward a range of measures to tackle the problem of nuisance calls, including strengthening the regulators’ ability to take enforcement action against organisations that break the law and increasing consumer choice by consulting on making it a requirement for direct marketing callers to display their calling line identification. As part of the £3.5m package announced in budget, Government launched a competition for innovative solutions to tackle the scourge of nuisance calls - and contracts have been awarded to successful applicants, to help develop their products to launch on the open market and benefit customers right across the country. In addition, £0.5 million funding is going to the National Trading Standards Scams Team - via East Sussex County Council - to provide call blocking devices to vulnerable people nationwide and report its effects.