Consumers and Markets Taskforce


The remit of the Taskforce is to provide Scottish Ministers with strategic advice on priorities and actions relating to consumer and market issues in Scotland, promoting a culture of strong partnership, intelligence sharing and constructive challenge.

The Consumer and Markets Taskforce began in February 2018 and ended in November 2019 as a pre-cursor for Consumer Scotland.

The Taskforce will:

  • provide oversight on the development and delivery of consumer and competition policy that that puts consumers first and improves outcomes for consumers and businesses in Scotland
  • provide a forum to evaluate evidence; disseminate best practice; and develop new and innovative approaches to represent and tackle the most persistent and detrimental consumer issues
  • prioritise current and emerging consumer and market issues based on agreed criteria in line with the guiding principles outlined below
  • agree on an annual basis a number of priority issues for action; identify the outcomes it will achieve and how these will be measured
  • establish an appropriate mechanism to engage with relevant stakeholders and experts to develop and implement a programme of work around each priority issue
  • oversee the progress of work on identified priorities while also ensuring any new or emerging issues are considered and prioritised as needed
  • report on an annual basis on the outcome of its work and future identified priorities

Guiding Principles

The Taskforce will be guided by the following principles in:

Identifying and prioritising issues

  • collaborative – issues should be those that cannot easily be solved by a single organisation or action
  • Scottish focused – the focus should be on addressing specific areas of concern in Scottish markets, or where specific issues affect Scottish consumers and/or businesses in UK markets to a greater degree due to differences such as geography, demographics, or consumer behaviours
  • additionality - account should be taken of existing or planned work elsewhere on similar issues and care taken to add value, including the opportunity to influence the wider UK position, and avoid duplication
  • balanced – in prioritising, a balance should be struck between representing the needs of vulnerable groups of consumers and addressing inequalities with the general consumer and business interest
  • evidence-based – assessment of consumer detriment should be based on a wide range of evidence, including academic research, market studies, members' data, and intelligence from other relevant UK and Scottish bodies
  • future proofed – as far as is practical account should be taken of emerging and predicted changes in the consumer and markets landscape including technological developments
  • actionable – issues where there is the opportunity to put change into practice

Developing, implementing and reporting

  • participatory – stakeholder engagement should be timely and incorporate an extensive range of views, including government, sectoral expertise, and consumer and business groups and, where appropriate, consumers themselves
  • practical - advice on tackling issues should be where possible tested and demonstrate capacity to achieve practical solutions, or provide clear recommendations for improving outcomes in the future
  • outcome focused – there will be clearly identified and measurable outcomes as a result of the Taskforce's work


Members of the Taskforce will be appointed by the Scottish Government and secretariat will be provided by its Consumer, Competition and Regulatory Policy Team. The Chair will be the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills. Sue Kearns, Deputy Director Consumers and Low Carbon will chair in the absence of the Minister. The core membership skillset should include – competition law, consumer protection, business, academic and regulation. The Taskforce should look to work closely with the UK Consumer Protection Partnership and develop an appropriate mechanism to achieve this. It should also engage with the Scottish Government's Regulatory Review Group and maintain a wide overview of developments across sectors including the work of the Competition and Markets Authority, regulators and organisations in the public and third sectors.


  • Arianna Andreangeli
  • Jo Armstrong
  • Sonia Brown
  • Liam Delaney
  • Brendan Dick
  • Phil Evans
  • Peter Freeman
  • Susan McPhee
  • Fiona Richardson