The government should accept that the Quality Mark is a dead duck and let it sink without trace (2 July, page 15). This may well have been a manifesto commitment, but it will be a manifesto embarrassment at the election if taxpayers’ money continues to be squandered.

The original intention was to curtail the activities of conmen who use well-worn tales to relieve gullible or confused householders of their savings. But does anyone really believe that this householder would check with the Quality Mark register while the conman waits at the door? In the real world, most domestic work is carried out by recommendation, and customers do not tend to recommend failures or conmen.

Now that the Quality Mark has been in place for three years, I would be interested to know how many cowboys have actually been banished from society by the scheme and what the projected figures are for the next three years.

A final question: in your article, the DTI spokesperson referred to working with “the more reputable trade bodies”. Would the DTI please issue a list of these “reputable trade bodies” to enable us to identify the less reputable ones?