Scottish minister for business visits Moray over delivery charges
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THE Scottish Government's minister for business, fair work and skills has visited the IV-AB postcode boundary at Orton to discuss unfair delivery charges.
Jamie Hepburn was in the area, on Thursday, August 15, at the request of Moray MSP Richard Lochhead to talk about his campaign to end unfair parcel delivery surcharges.
At the Orton boundary, IV postcodes are separated from AB postcodes by just a field – however residents with IV postcodes are regularly penalised with delivery surcharges, whilst neighbours with AB postcodes are not.
Research from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) revealed that parcel delivery surcharges cost Scottish consumers £38m last year.
Mr Lochhead, who has led the campaign for Fair Delivery Charges, wanted Jamie Hepburn MSP to see first-hand how unfair these surcharges are.
Moray's MSP has also invited the UK Government Minister for small business, consumers and corporate responsibility, Kelly Tolhurst MP, to visit the boundary but has yet to receive a response. Mr Lochhead stressed frustration to the Conservative government minister in November but, as of now, nothing has changed.
He said: "I was pleased to have the Scottish Government’s Business Minister join me at Orton to see the IV-AB postcode boundary first-hand so he can see just how ludicrous the postcode lottery and these additional surcharges are.
"In this case, the houses are separated by a small field and delivery vans regularly drive past houses with an IV postcode – who would face an additional charge – to get a customer with an AB postcode who can get free delivery. There’s absolutely no rhyme or reason behind these surcharges and this example really demonstrates why we need action to end these unfair fees.
"I started my campaign to end rip-off delivery surcharges almost three years ago now we’ve secured cross party support, and what started out as a local campaign has now become a national issue.
"When I travelled to Westminster to meet with the UK Government Minister she assured me that this was an issue she was taking seriously, however, we are nine months on and there’s been little sign of any action.
"Now the Scottish Government’s Minister has been to visit, I hope that the UK Government Minister will follow suit and accept my invitation because the case for her intervention to end these rip off surcharges is as strong as ever."
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