Orkney MSP Liam McArthur used a debate in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon to reaffirm his commitment to end nuisance calls.
The debate highlighted the success of a campaign by consumer group, Which?, Calling Time on Nuisance Calls and Texts, which has secured the support of nearly 250,000 petitioners.
Which? report a staggering 8 in 10 people find such nuisance calls and texts a disturbance to their daily lives.
Liam McArthur, who led a similar debate three years ago, joined MSPs in calling for senior executives to be held responsible for ensuring their companies comply with the law on consumer consent. Orkney’s MSP spoke in favour of the introduction of mandatory caller identification to assess how data is collected and make it easier for consumers to report companies of wrong doing.
Commenting after the exchanges, Liam McArthur MSP said:
“Too many people, particularly older and more vulnerable people, have been left distressed and frustrated by nuisance calls. Indeed, one Orkney constituent described them as a ‘personal assault.’
“Since we last debated the issue, I am pleased that Liberal Democrats in the previous Coalition Government were able to increase the powers of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to take action against firms making nuisance calls. This was a good first step, but more action is still needed.
“Which? recommend new legislation to hold board level executives to account and to see Caller Line Identification made mandatory, enabling consumers to report companies of wrong doing. These ideas deserve serious consideration by the UK Government, which also has a role in encouraging more businesses to sign up to proper codes of conduct. This is something that Scottish Ministers should also support north of the border.
“If this repeated cold calling was happening door-to-door and face-to-face with the elderly and vulnerable in our communities then we would rightly be up in arms. Just because the intimidation is happening over the phone should make no difference. We must call time on nuisance calls and texts.”
1. Liam McArthur led a debate in Holyrood on nuisance calls in September 2012; Motion S4M-04204: No to Nuisance Calls (can be found by clicking here).
2. Today (30/09/2015) Glasgow-based Home Energy & Lifestyle Management Ltd has been fined £200,000 by the Information Commissioner, a result of Liberal Democrat reform of the ICO.