Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Richard Lochhead MSP has commented on the “profoundly disappointing but unsurprising” response from UK Government Ministers in the House of Commons this week in relation to excessive parcel delivery charges for customers in rural Scotland.  

Mr Lochhead has led the cross-party campaign aimed at highlighting the regular discrimination people in Moray and across the North of Scotland face when shopping online and has long called for the UK Government to step in and legislate to ensure customers across the UK receive the same fair treatment for parcel deliveries.

Latest research from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) commissioned by Richard Lochhead estimates that the additional cost to Scottish adults in areas commonly impacted by parcel delivery surcharges relative to the rest of Scotland now stands at an eye-watering £45 million, with shoppers in Moray forking out an additional £4.4 million for deliveries. The report also highlights the continued growth in e-commerce, exacerbated by the global pandemic, with online shopping now accounting for almost 30% of all retail sales, compared to 7% in 2010.

In his response during the debate, the UK Government Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour, Paul Scully MP, expressed sympathy that consumers in some parts of Scotland are charged differently from consumers in other parts of the UK but again insisted his priority was “the continued enforcement of the law to ensure that customers are not surprised by delivery charges and are able to make choices based on clear information”.

Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“Once again the Conservative UK Government have failed to commit to finally stepping in and ending the unfair practices people in Moray are experiencing day in, day out. I am inundated with examples of people being ripped off by greedy companies and couriers who are adding whopping big delivery charges onto their order because they have an AB or IV postcode and are able to do so without real consequence because of the lack of regulation.

“It is extremely frustrating that the response from the Tory Minister continues to imply that competition in the market is the best way to ensure customers benefit but it is clear this is doing little to address the situation, with costs for deliveries to rural areas continuing to rise year on year, and that some businesses and courier companies are happy to force customers in these areas to either pay these excessive fees or go without.

“Over the years I’ve challenged businesses and courier companies who are guilty of these unfair practices and I know many folk are actively challenging any unjust and unreasonable delivery charges they face when shopping online but it is high time this practice was put to an end once and for all. We need a permanent solution put in place that ensures customers and businesses in rural Scotland are treated equally and do not face frankly ridiculous charges for parcel deliveries.