Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur took part in a debate in parliament on the issue of nuisance calls, highlighting the impact such calls have on constituents in Orkney, many of whom are vulnerable. Mr McArthur has been a long-standing supporter of the campaign by consumer group, Which? and indeed led a similar debate on nuisance calls in the last session of parliament.
Orkney's MSP said:
“These calls are not just a nuisance, but a menace that preys on the vulnerable, increases isolation and drives many to despair. Care workers have highlighted to me the risks to the frail and elderly, who can injure themselves trying to get to the phone in time. Likewise, those who may be suffering from dementia can find the experience of nuisance calls extremely distressing.
“Despite recent action to tackle the problem, and heavy fines against companies found guilty of breaking the law, there appears no let-up in the number of calls being received. It is clear that more needs to be, including tougher penalties against directors whose businesses engage in these practices, mandatory caller ID and more effective call-blocking technology.
“I also want to see the UK government follow the lead of the Scottish government in not using cold calling to promote government-backed schemes. The boiler scrappage scheme, for example, seems to a favourite of cold callers at the moment. Ministers should be making every effort to improve the situation, and certainly not making it any worse”.