Consumer Scotland will be the official, independent and expert voice of the consumer in Scotland. The Consumer Scotland Act 2020 gave it the general function of providing consumer advocacy and advice with a view to:
- reducing harm to consumers
- increasing confidence among consumers in Scotland in dealing with businesses that supply goods and services to consumers
- increasing the extent to which consumer matters are taken into account by public authorities in Scotland
- sustainable consumption of natural resources and,
- other environmentally sustainable practices in relation to the acquisition, use and disposal of goods by consumers in Scotland
- otherwise advancing inclusion, fairness, prosperity and other aspects of wellbeing in Scotland
Consumer Scotland is being established to be in place from April 2022 and, as a Non-Ministerial Office, will be accountable to the Scottish Parliament.
The Board designate of Consumer Scotland has set its interim vision, mission, values and areas of focus, which can be found on the next page. It is now developing an Interim Strategic Plan for its first year of operation.
A key part of Consumer Scotland's role will be to provide levy-funded advocacy in the energy, post and water sectors. This role was previously undertaken by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS), and this document has been prepared jointly with staff currently in CAS who will transfer into the new organisation in April. This document is our draft plan for that work, which we are now publishing for consultation.
Consumer Scotland is mindful that there are other organisations with expertise in consumer issues around the UK. We will work closely with these bodies, particularly those also responsible for levy-funded advocacy such as Citizens Advice, the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland and the Consumer Council for Water, to share insights and expertise and deliver real value for consumers.
In taking forward this work, Consumer Scotland will be supported by the Energy Consumer Commission (ECC), which has established a key role monitoring and advocating for consumers on energy issues. From April 2022, the ECC will continue its role working in close alignment with Consumer Scotland.
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