Scotland's Economy

Protecting consumers & businesses in Scotland

June 28, 2016 by No Comments | Category Business

Consumers and businesses in Scotland have a distinct voice and this deserves to be heard. The Scottish Government recognises this and that’s why we intend to use our newly devolved powers over competition to achieve greater fairness for Scots buying and selling goods, services or digital content in the public and private sectors.

The devolution of certain competition powers gives us the opportunity to ensure that Scotland’s markets are competitive and fairer to consumers. To do this, we need to know where markets are not working as well so that action can be taken to help.

The Strategic Assessment of Markets in Scotland research informs our first steps in identifying markets where Scottish consumers may not be getting a fair deal. It

highlights areas where Scottish consumers’ economic, geographic and social circumstances are different to other parts of the UK and may pose a different set of challenges.

In doing so, it informs the process of creating a tailor-made approach to protecting consumers’ interests in Scotland.

The research identifies a number of key issues that will require further work. These include:

  • The impact of new types of ‘disruptive’ business models on markets – for example businesses that allow people to sell goods and services online in new ways
  • Why Scottish consumers don’t switch more often in regulated markets, such as with gas and electricity
  • How Scotland’s geography, and spread of wealth, affects the way people buy and sell goods
  • New ways to empower consumers to make informed choices in complex markets such as health, social care and in the legal sector
  • Ensure that on-going competition and regulatory investigations take sufficient account of Scottish issues

The Scottish Government will use its competition powers to ensure that Scotland’s markets are competitive and fair to consumers and, where this is not the case, to work with stakeholders to develop the appropriate evidence to address these concerns. This research offers crucial insight into how we will go about this work.

Read The Strategic Assessment of Markets in Scotland in full


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