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McArthur slams ‘lack of progress’ on unfair delivery charges

Liam McArthur MSP

Orkney MSP, Liam McArthur has criticised a “lack of progress” in tackling unfair delivery charges affecting rural and island communities.

Mr McArthur’s comments follow the publication of the Scottish Government’s Fairer Deliveries for All Action Plan: Progress Statement, which highlights that a number of actions outlined in the initial action plan in November 2018 to tackle unfair delivery charges were late or still not yet been completed.

While Mr McArthur welcomed the launch of a new online parcel delivery pricing map, he noted that the launch of the site was a year after the deadline in the action plan.

The Orkney MSP said: “Unfair delivery pricing charges remain a constant source of frustration for islanders.  Nobody should be forced to pay over the odds for parcel deliveries based on their postcode.

“The government’s action plan in 2018 seemed to be a positive step forward. However, the recent review confirms that too little attention has been paid to delivering the actions that underpin the strategy.

“Of course, the new online parcel delivery pricing map should help provide transparency for islanders about charging policies.  Yet this interactive map was meant to go live in summer 2019.

“Last year alone, people in Orkney paid over £1 million in additional delivery charges.  If the website had been in place on time, more people might have avoided these unfair costs.

“Sadly, the report is full of examples missed deadlines and admissions of ‘more work to do’.  This review must therefore act as a wakeup call to Ministers that more urgency is needed in tackling this long-running issues for islanders.”