Consumer Scotland has published its first four-year Strategic Plan setting out its purpose to improve outcomes for current and future consumers.
Consumer Scotland’s ambition is that every consumer can participate in a fair and sustainable economy, confident that their needs and aspirations will be met.
Under the Strategic Plan 2023-2027 Consumer Scotland’s three strategic objectives are to:
- enhance understanding and awareness of consumer issues by strengthening the evidence base
- serve the needs and aspirations of current and future consumers by inspiring and influencing the public, private and third sectors
- enable the active participation of consumers in a fairer economy by improving access to information and support
Consumer Scotland has also published and laid before the Scottish Parliament its Work Programme for 2023-2024.
The Work Programme sets out Consumer Scotland’s priorities across a range of subjects including energy, water and postal services.
It also covers key markets in the rest of the economy, the development of work relating to the Consumer Duty on public bodies, our investigations function and information for consumers.
Both the Strategic Plan and the Work Programme are underpinned by three cross-cutting themes which inform all Consumer Scotland’s work – the cost of living, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and consumers in vulnerable circumstances.
The two publications also demonstrate the importance to Consumer Scotland of working in partnership with a wide range of organisations in the public, private and third sector.
Chief Executive of Consumer Scotland Sam Ghibaldan said:
“The annual collective economic power of consumers is worth over one hundred billion pounds, contributing nearly two thirds to Scotland’s GDP, underpinning the importance of their voice and contribution.
“However consumers are in an era of challenge and change. The UK’s exit from the EU, the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are affecting the supply and cost of goods and services for consumers and small businesses. At the same time, the evolving transition to net zero is transforming markets and services.
“In the face of these, and other significant challenges, Consumer Scotland seeks to work in partnership with others to improve the lives of current and future consumers and to empower them to become the shapers of markets and services in the future.
“This Strategic Plan and our Work Programme incorporate feedback from key consumer organisations and individuals and we are grateful to all those who responded.”
Established under the Consumer Scotland Act 2020, Consumer Scotland is a Non-Ministerial Office, independent from government and accountable to the Scottish Parliament.
Under the Act, Consumer Scotland must publish an annual forward work programme setting out its priorities for the year and lay it before the Scottish Parliament.
The Act provides a definition of consumers which includes individual consumers and small businesses that purchase, use or receive products or services.