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North Ayrshire and Arran MP Patricia Gibson has again challenged the UK Government to act on unfair delivery charges for people who live in rural and island communities, like Arran and Cumbrae, who continue to be routinely penalised for where they live.
According to Citizens Advice Scotland, around £33 million a year is spent in Scotland on unfair delivery surcharges, with a million consumers in rural and island Scotland having to pay, on average, 30 per cent more than elsewhere in the UK. Small and medium businesses also have to pay extra for deliveries, impacting on their competitiveness.
Mrs Gibson, who raised the matter at Westminster last week said: ‘Too many of my constituents living on Arran and Cumbrae continue to be penalised with unfair delivery charges. Current legislation is simply not working.
‘Online shopping is growing and is particularly important to island communities. While online retailers have the right to choose where they supply their goods or services, islanders are not asking for special treatment; they ask only to be treated fairly. The UK Government is long overdue in addressing this issue and must adopt a set of standards for deliveries to every corner of the UK, just as we have with the Universal Service Obligation for letters and cards.
‘As an MP who represents islanders expected to pay a postcode premium of 50 per cent more on some occasions than those on the mainland, I will keep pushing the UK Government on this issue. It is high time rip off delivery charges was properly addressed. My constituents, and people living in rural and island communities across the UK deserve better.’