Consumer Scotland Bill: Fairer Scotland Duty assessment

Fairer Scotland Duty impact assessment for the Consumer Scotland Bill.

Fairer Scotland Duty: Consumer Scotland Bill

Assessment not required at this moment declaration

Policy title

Consumer Scotland Bill

Directorate: Division: team

Directorate for Energy and Climate Change
Consumer and Competition Policy Unit
Consumers and Low Carbon Division

Policy lead responsible for taking the decision

Wendy McCutcheon

Rationale for decision

The Consumer Scotland Bill is a high level Bill to establish a consumer body that will identify and develop solutions for tackling consumer harm. To do this, it will have four key functions:

  • to provide strategic oversight of the consumer landscape to develop a full understanding of how markets work for consumers in Scotland and ensure resources are targeted to tackle harm;
  • to conduct in-depth investigations into areas where harm in Scotland is most acute and recommend solutions;
  • to facilitate access to a consumer advice system that meets individual consumer needs and aggregates collective data to support prevention work; and
  • to comment on Scottish Government policy with significant impact on consumers, and support public authorities in Scotland to comply with a statutory consumer duty.

This new body will not be a front line operation for consumers.

The legislation requires the new body to have particular regard to impacts on consumers who are vulnerable (including those on low incomes).

An EQIA has been completed.

Our assessment is that greater impact could be achieved through carrying out a Fairer Scotland Assessment at the point at which 'strategic decisions' relating to Consumer Scotland's operation are taken. This will ensure that strategic decisions consider opportunities to improve outcomes for people experiencing social economic disadvantage. This may include for example decisions relating to:

  • Staff recruitment and location of Consumer Scotland
  • Communication and awareness raising amongst the general public
  • Prioritising which issues the organisation focuses on
  • Organisational governance / membership of sub groups
  • The role of the organisation specifically in addressing issues related to the Poverty Premium etc

I confirm that the decision to not carry out a Fairer Scotland assessment at this point in time has been authorised by:

Name and job title of Deputy Director (or equivalent)

Sue Kearns
Deputy Director Consumers and Low Carbon
Directorate for Energy and Climate Change

Date authorisation given

30 May 2019



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