The Scottish Parliament received new consumer advocacy and advice powers via the Scotland Act 2016 on 23 May 2016. Scottish Ministers also gained the power to act with the UK Secretary of State in certain circumstances to refer a market for investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) where they have reasonable grounds for suspecting that competition within that market is being prevented, restricted or distorted.
These changes give us an opportunity to make real improvements for Scottish consumers.
Over the coming months, we will be working with stakeholders to develop a Consumer and Competition Strategy for Scotland and take decisions on the best way to deliver new consumer advice and advocacy powers in Scotland.
Our focus will be on taking forward the steps set out in the Scottish Government's response to the report of the Working Group on Consumer and Competition Policy for Scotland.
Working Group on Consumer and Competition Policy for Scotland
An independent Working Group on Consumer and Competition Policy for Scotland was established in June 2015 to consider the best arrangements for consumer protection and competition in Scotland and to advise the Scottish Government on how best to deliver our vision for consumers.
The Working Group’s final report was published in October 2015 and made a total of 46 recommendations.
The Scottish Government published its initial response to the Working Group’s report on 23 March 2016.