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Delivery charges hearing

Scottish affairs committee wants to establish what options are available for “reducing or eliminating delivery charges in Scotland”. Photo:

A WESTMINSTER committee will hear evidence on delivery charges in remote and rural Scotland on Tuesday.

The Scottish affairs committee has opened an inquiry into the extent of higher delivery charges and surcharges in Scotland in areas like Shetland.

Nine people are set to give oral evidence at a session on Tuesday morning, including director of haulage company JBT Robert Gordon and Nina Ballantyne of Citizens Advice Scotland.

There will also be representatives from Ofcom, Highland Council, Amazon, Argos, eBay, Menzies Distribution and DPD.

The inquiry also seeks to establish whether Scottish consumers receive clear information about delivery charges and the reasons behind higher charges.

It also wants to establish what options are available for “reducing or eliminating delivery charges in Scotland”.

Chair of the Scottish affairs committee Pete Wishart said: “High charges and lengthy delivery times are yet another thing that makes it just that little bit harder for people and businesses outside the major population centres in Scotland.

“If you are paying £15 more to get something delivered and having to wait three more days to receive it then it makes a real difference to whether your business is competitive or not.

“When we announced this session last month we invited the people of Scotland to tell us about their experiences of high delivery charges and the impact it has had on them. I am very pleased with the response we received and this will help inform our questioning.”

New research published by the Scottish Parliament’s information centre in December 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 that figure “confirms in scandalous terms the outrageously inflated prices” islanders pay to have items delivered to them.