New research from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) estimates that the average annual surcharges incurred by residents of Cunninghame North – predominantly on the isles of Arran and Cumbrae – are £525,000.
Across Scotland, parcel delivery surcharges amount to a staggering £44.8 million each year.
The report commissioned by SNP MSP Richard Lochhead, highlights the significant impact of these charges on Scottish consumers during the pandemic.
For many years these charges have created a postcode lottery, with people living in rural Scotland left out of pocket due to unfair surcharges.
Unfortunately, this is a matter reserved to the UK Tory Government, which has consistently refused to review the legislation to end these surcharges.
Mr Lochhead said:
“This scandal is growing with each year that passes and online trading is just going to get bigger and bigger. Consumers and businesses in Scotland need UK Ministers to stop sitting on their hands.
"Tory Ministers pay lip service on this issue, but we know that if this was a problem in their own backyards there’s no doubt tough action would have been introduced well before now."
Kenneth Gibson MSP, who first raised this matter over a decade ago added:
“People on Arran, Cumbrae and in rural mainland communities should not have to live with these absurd surcharges; however, due to UK Government inaction this postcode penalty is being paid by thousands of households and business in Scotland.
“In addition, we have seen the rise of online trading over the pandemic, which means even more people are now being affected than before. It is bewildering that the Tories allow this to continue year in year out, inflicting unnecessary costs on island and rural residents and businesses.
“The SNP Government has been doing all it can to try alleviate this, including the launch of the Fairer Deliveries For All: An Action Plan in November 2018; the launch of fairdeliveries.scot to help people find the lowest delivery quote for their parcel and the subsequent publication of a progress statement on the eight actions in the Action Plan.
“Nevertheless, given the matter is reserved to Westminster, the UK Government must act to end these unfair surcharges once and for all."