Holyrood pressure continues against ‘Scrooge Retailers’

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UNFAIR DELIVERY CHARGES were once again brought to the floor of the Holyrood Parliament yesterday with a question to the First Minister on the issue.

Richard Lochhead MSP, who has organised a co-ordinated campaign against the practice which has registered hundreds of individual complaints from people in Moray and throughout Scotland, asked the First Minister to join him in “urging the Scrooge-like UK retailers who continue to discriminate against many parts of Scotland to ensure that this is the last Christmas when customers are ripped off”.

The exchange came just a day after Douglas Ross MP had secured the pledge from the UK Government that they would press forward with a Green Paper on the issue early in the new year.

Mr Lochhead highlighted the reported £36million in shipping surcharges imposed on Scottish customers – with Nicola Sturgeon paying her personal tribute to his campaign, saying: “I pay tribute to Richard Lochhead for the fantastic work that he has been doing to raise awareness about it.

“It is deeply unfair that customers across the north of Scotland in particular still face disproportionate delivery costs when buying online. We have seen this week that the amount is to the tune of an extra £36million in delivery surcharges.”

However, the First Minister made clear that any direct action had to come from Westminster and the efforts of Scottish MP’s there, which are currently being led by Mr Ross. She said: “Of course, regulation of prices for parcels is reserved to the UK Government, which should take action.

“I welcome the recent increased attention to the issue, which is undoubtedly a direct result of Richard Lochhead’s campaign. Let us hope that we see concrete action from the UK Government soon, and that this is the last Christmas when consumers in the north of Scotland are so blatantly ripped off in that unacceptable manner.”