The bill to create the proposed Consumer Scotland body has passed its final stage in Holyrood with the unanimous backing of MSPs.
Members from all parties supported the bill despite some reservations over the number of bodies now operating in the field, including Citizens Advice Scotland, Advice Direct Scotland, Which? and the Competition & Markets Authority, as well as Trading Standards Scotland.
Consumer Scotland will have the power to campaign for consumer issues, for example high delivery charges for rural Scottish communities; to research and investigate consumer issues; to provide information on consumer issues; and to work with other organisations to provide consumer advice. In particular it has to consider the interests of vulnerable consumers.
The bill also places a new duty on public bodies to consider the impact of their policies on consumers.
Minister Jamie Hepburn said the Government had made it explicit in the bill that the work and roles of other bodies must be recognised by Consumer Scotland. Citizens Advice Scotland and Advice Direct Scotland both supported its establishment.
For the Conservatives Maurice Golden said his party would support the bill because the definition of "consumer" had been expanded to include small businesses.