SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar Alasdair Allan has commented on new research revealing that the average costs incurred in areas of Scotland commonly impacted by parcel delivery surcharges is estimated to be a staggering £44.8m every year.
The Western Isles is the sixth most affected area, making up £2,406,000 of the total costs to consumers. This new research highlights the disproportionate impact of these surcharges on many parts of Scotland, but particularly the Highlands and Islands region.
With the Covid-19 pandemic leading to an even greater increase in the reliance of individuals and businesses on online ordering, the ending of costly parcel delivery surcharges is long overdue.
Commenting on the figures from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre, Alasdair Allan called for an end to the practice, saying:
“The fact that some national couriers and retailers still administer surcharges for deliveries to certain areas of Scotland, including the Western Isles, absolutely cannot be justified. Why should someone in the Western Isles have to pay so much more for the same product than someone in the Central Belt, or in the south of England?
“These additional charges have always been completely unfair to island residents, and the fact that this issue has yet to be resolved speaks volumes about the priorities of the Government in Westminster and their lack of regard for people who live in rural areas.
“I would like to call on the UK Government to finally pass legislation to outlaw this financial discrimination and put an end to this postcode lottery. Consumers in the Western Isles have more than had enough, and the UK Government must act now to end these unreasonable surcharges once and for all.
“The campaign to end delivery surcharges has received cross-party support in Holyrood, but successive Conservative UK Government Ministers have refused to give Holyrood the powers that would allow Scotland to bring an end to these extra costs.”