Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has welcomed a £50,000 fund announced by the SNP Scottish Government to install call-blocking technology for those most at risk from nuisance calls.
The fund is one element of a national Nuisance Calls Action Plan, launched to raise awareness and empower people to protect themselves from scam callers.
The plan will also develop a strategy for tackling scams in general, update the Business Pledge with a commitment to support vulnerable customers and develop best practice for organisations involved with the Scottish Government schemes to adhere to.
Gavin Newlands MP said:
“The SNP Government’s Action Plan contains a range of measures to raise awareness of nuisance calls, making it easier for people to identify them and take action to protect themselves. This Scottish Government fund that allows call-blocking technology to be installed for those most at risk is one such measure.
“The Scottish Government is doing all it can to tackle the problem of nuisance calls but unfortunately, the power to regulate in this area lies with the UK Government. My SNP colleague Patricia Gibson MP, who has campaigned in Westminster on stopping nuisance calls, has written to the Secretary of State for Culture to call for them to make good their promises to act and add ‘belt and braces’ by allowing people to automatically opt out of unwanted calls.
“The UK Government previously agreed to legislate to make directors personally responsible for their company’s actions, should it be involved in making nuisance calls. For too long, fines or sanctions have been easily avoided by companies dissolving and resurfacing using a new moniker. The UK Government agreed that company directors would be held to account and could face personal fines of up to £500,000, should it be proven that their company acted unlawfully.
“Sadly, The Tory Government has reneged on these promises and kicked them into the long grass. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people are still plagued by nuisance calls every day. Such calls often target the elderly and the vulnerable and have the potential to be very harmful.”
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, added:
“Scots continue to receive more nuisance calls than the rest of the UK, and the SNP Government’s Action Plan will deliver positive changes to ensure people are no longer bombarded by these unwelcome calls, while we await action from the UK Government.
“Which? has long campaigned against this everyday menace that can intimidate and discourage people from answering their phones. We’re delighted to help people tackle these unwanted calls.”
Members of the public can pledge to support the Which? Nuisance calls campaign at: https://campaigns.which.co.uk/nuisance-calls-scotland/