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New research says Scots pay extra £36m for deliveries

NEW research has revealed that Scots pay an estimated £36.3 million more a year in online delivery charges than the rest of the UK.

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott said the figure “confirms in scandalous terms the outrageously inflated prices” islanders pay to have items delivered to them.

But the news comes amid a commitment made by UK consumer minister Margot James on Wednesday that the government will publish a green paper next year on the matter which will look at issues such as transparency and fairness.

The new research comes from the Scottish Parliament’s information centre, which estimated how much the country pays in surcharges compared to the rest of the UK.

Scott reaffirmed his support to SNP MSP Richard Lochhead’s campaign for fairer delivery charges and said he hopes the issue will look a lot more positive for islanders by next Christmas.

The matter relates to couriers and retailers charging over and above the norm for delivering items to rural areas like the Highlands and Islands.

“This issue is highly emotive to many people. And rightly so,” Scott said.

“It has been dragging on for years. It is time the government took real action to right this unfair practice and give consumers a fair deal no matter where they live.

“This surely must be the last Christmas people pay vastly inflated delivery charges.”

The issue was raised at Westminster by Moray MP Douglas Ross on Wednesday with seemingly positive results.

Consumer minister James said that a “number of Consumer Protection Partnership members, including Citizens Advice Scotland, the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, the ASA and other enforcement bodies, along with Ofcom, are working together to undertake a review of parcel surcharging.”

Ross replied: “I particularly welcome – I want to put this on the record – the commitment from the UK Government given by the minister to publish a green paper next year.

“I think I heard acceptance across the parties that this is an important move forward. I know that consumers will want to use it to ensure we get the best possible deal on delivery charges in Scotland.”