Legislation to establish a new consumer organisation has been unanimously passed by the Scottish Parliament.
Consumer Scotland – a new body dedicated to protecting the interests of consumers – is expected to be operational next year.
It will focus on campaigning on issues that particularly affect people in Scotland and will conduct in-depth investigations to identify and address underlying causes of harm.
Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said:
“Consumer Scotland will be a champion for everyone across Scotland, dedicated to investigating consumer harm and developing solutions to tackle it.
“The majority of our experiences when buying goods and services are positive, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes there are persistent problems that have a big impact – such as delivery charges in rural Scotland or a lack of access to cash machines – that need to be addressed.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on how we shop as well as the availability of goods and services, highlighting the importance of a powerful advocacy voice for consumers.
“In passing this Bill today, the Scottish Parliament has helped ensure that a fairer Scotland means fairer outcomes for consumers.”
Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin said: “I welcome the creation of this new body which will improve the interests of Scottish consumers.”
“Covid-19 has highlighted the important role that shopping plays in our society, and this consumer rights agency will work to improve rights and standards for all.”
“I’m delighted that it has been proposed by this Scottish Government, and unanimously passed by our Scottish Parliament!”
Consumer Scotland will work alongside existing consumer organisations and Trading Standards Scotland to represent the interests of Scottish consumers.