Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has written to the Minister for Business, Jamie Hepburn, to urge the government to do more to tackle unfair delivery charges faced by island communities.
Recent research by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) has revealed that people in Orkney pay £1,021,000 annually in additional delivery surcharges, relative to the rest of the UK.
In his letter to the Minister, Mr McArthur insists that more concerted action by the Scottish and UK Governments is needed to ensure greater fairness and transparency when it comes to delivery charges and to avoid islanders continuing to be ripped off.
Commenting as the Scottish Parliament debates the issue of unfair delivery charges this evening, Orkney’s MSP said:
“These figures are a stark reminder that islanders continue to be unfairly penalised by delivery surcharges.
“I regularly hear from constituents and local businesses who face taking a financial hit simply because of where they live and work. In some cases, the additional fees charged amount to more than the value of product they have bought.
“The Scottish Government has acknowledged the problem and committed to take action, which is welcome news for rural and island communities. However, we now need detail and a clear timescale for that action. I have therefore written to the Minister for Business seeking answers to those questions and reinforcing the need for collaborative action between the Scottish and UK government.
“I remain determined to ensure there is greater fairness and transparency when it comes to delivery charges Meantime, I would encourage anyone affected by unfair surcharges to contact my office”.