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.”
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 440 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News