As a co-operator I know just how important consumer rights are. Our movement was built on empowering consumers.

As a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee I was pleased to put forward amendments to the Consumer Scotland Bill aimed at improving the Bill and empowering consumers. I was delighted to work with the Scottish Co-operative Party on this.

I moved what I call my ‘Whirlpool Amendment’. White goods cause a house fire in Scotland every single day. Product recalls only have a 10 to 20 per cent success rate. I think that Consumer Scotland should be a single, central body – a trusted source co-ordinating recall information.

One of the main areas of concern about the proposed new Consumer Scotland body is that there is already a crowded landscape of consumer protection organisations. I was pleased that my amendments on this were accepted I think that it is important the new Consumer Scotland body produces reports which make it clear how it is working with other organisations. I hope that this will go some way to preventing duplication of efforts.

It is important that Consumer Scotland is not just another quango. It should not be a body made up of the great and the good. For a body dealing with consumer issues it is important that consumers are represented. We need to recognise that vulnerable consumers are often taken advantage of and this new body needs to understand this and accurately represent their views and experiences.

I will continue to work with the Minister and others on this to ensure that the Consumer Scotland Bill is as good as it can be and that this Bill empowers consumers.