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Citizens Advice response to the Consumer Scotland Draft Work Programme 2023-2024

2 February 2023

CA response Consumer Scotland Draft Work Programme consultation Feb 2023 [ 200 kb]

Citizens Advice welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation. We also responded to the Consumer Scotland Interim Strategic Plan consultation in September 2022. We will continue to liaise with Consumer Scotland in the coming year for the benefit of Great Britain’s consumers. 

Consumer context and priorities

We agree with the context in which Consumer Scotland will be operating including the noted serious impacts for people facing the cost of living crisis. The inflationary environment, particularly from energy price rises, has created financial difficulty for many. There are heightened risks of self-disconnection from power and heating, and from cutting back on other essentials including food. The most vulnerable in the community will be hit hardest as our Cost of Living Dashboard highlights. It will be a priority for Consumer Scotland to focus on these pressing issues while also looking to progress longer term policy imperatives. 

These overarching policy aims will include addressing the support needed for consumers to take measures to meet net zero targets. Advice services for consumers will be needed while also ensuring access to appropriate support for consumers to take practical measures such as improving energy efficiency. Identifying and correcting structural consumer market unfairness is also noted within the consultation as a key area to benefit consumers in the long term.

Collaborative working with other parties, including consumer groups

It has proved effective for us to work closely with other agencies to advocate for consumers. It has certainly worked to increase visibility for our campaigns and drive impactful changes from decision makers such as regulators, Members of Parliament, governmental agencies, and ministers. Consumer Scotland has the aim to build strategic partnerships as a contributor to its consumer policy activities. We look forward to sharing evidence and policy positions to benefit consumers across Great Britain during this affordability crisis.