Bosses of firms which bombard people with nuisance calls could be fined up to 500,000 under government proposals to make them personally liable. A consultation is being launched about the plan - although the idea was first unveiled by government in 2016 and was meant to be in force by spring 2017. Consumers received 3.9 billion nuisance phone calls and texts last year. At the moment, only the companies themselves are liable for fines of up to 500,000 if they break the law.Since 2010, the data protection watchdog has struggled to recover fines because some firms have gone into liquidation to avoid paying. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said it had collected just 54% of the 17.8m in fines issued over the past eight years because some directors "try to escape paying penalties by declaring bankruptcy - only to open up again under a different name".

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