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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-17951: Richard Lochhead (Moray)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 1 August 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, further to its ministerial roundtable event on 27 June 2018, what steps it will take to tackle the impact of parcel delivery surcharges.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 27 August 2018

The Scottish Government recognises the longstanding concerns about parcel deliveries to rural and remote areas of Scotland. These concerns include surcharges for delivery to the Highlands and Islands and north-east postcodes along with refusal to deliver to certain locations. That is why we held the ministerial parcel delivery roundtable on 27 June 2018. The meeting was constructive and there was a willingness from those attending to work with the Scottish Government. An action plan is being developed to take forward suggestions from the meeting. The immediate focus is on delivering a Fair Delivery Day on Cyber Monday, 26 November 2018. On that day I will meet with consumers to hear of their experience of parcel deliveries. We will also commission and publish a full independent economic analysis of what constitutes “fair” delivery prices. This analysis will provide transparency to the public, retailers and delivery companies.

The Scottish Government will continue to work with partners to discuss and agree a range of sustainable solutions. I believe a constructive approach with all will achieve the best results.

As regulation of parcel deliveries is still reserved to Westminster and many retailers are based outside Scotland, it is vitally important that UK Ministers continue to work to improve the situation. I welcome the promise made on 28 November 2017 by the UK Digital Economy Minister Matt Hancock to look into the matter and hope that this leads to action. We will continue to engage the UK Government on this matter as necessary.