The SNP Scottish Government is working hard to protect consumers in Scotland, to ensure that they are given a fair and just deal. In Scotland, ticket touting in a public place is an offence under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.
I am aware that the issue of secondary ticketing – although not illegal – is causing problems for consumers as they are faced with paying over and above the price at which the ticket was originally sold. Professor Michael Waterson published a report last year into secondary ticketing and made a number of recommendations to the UK Government which would strengthen the rights of consumers in relation to secondary ticketing. I am disappointed that the UK Government have not responded to these recommendations – which were made almost a year ago – and I am concerned that the UK Government are not treating this issue with the urgency that it demands. My SNP colleague Patricia Gibson MP, the SNP’s Spokesperson on Consumer Affairs, has now written to the UK Government to ask them to update her on their progress in strengthening consumer protection in this area.
I should also highlight that the EU also provides regulatory frameworks and guidelines for consumer protection, and I am deeply concerned about the adverse consequences of the UK’s decision to leave the EU on consumer protection. The EU protects consumer rights by guaranteeing the safety and quality of products and services purchased within the European Union, and the UK Government must provide a commitment that these protections will not be rolled back after the UK leaves the EU.