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Work and Pensions Committee Chair Stephen Timms welcomes Government announcement on Online Safety Bill and paid-for adverts

9 March 2022

Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee Stephen Timms has welcomed the announcement from the Government that the forthcoming Online Safety Bill is to impose a new legal duty on social media platforms and search engines to crackdown on scam adverts.

Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

"We are pleased that nearly 12 months after we first called for the inclusion of paid-for adverts in the proposed legislation, the Government has finally taken this important first step to protect people online from the devastating financial and psychological harm that scams have been causing.

Over the last year, the Committee, along with a growing number of voices from Parliament and beyond, have been warning of the pernicious effects of online scams. It is only right that those internet giants, which have been profiting from hosting fraudulent adverts, should be compelled to take action. We look forward to seeing more details on how the proposals will work when the Bill is introduced to Parliament."

The Work and Pensions Committee first called for a crackdown on online fraud in its report on pension scams in March last year. In its response, the Government rejected the recommendation that financial online harms should be included in the Bill.

In December, a joint committee published a report on the draft Bill, which is due to be introduced to Parliament this year.

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