Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to call for new measures to encourage fair delivery charges for rural and island communities. Writing following discussions last week on the issue, Mr Carmichael highlighted the opportunity of taxation changes to incentivise better behaviour from retailers which do not follow Royal Mail’s Universal Service Obligation for equal delivery charges across the whole of the UK.
Mr Carmichael said:
“Since my call for change last week people across the Northern Isles have written to me voicing support for fair delivery charges for the isles. This could be a golden opportunity to re-establish equal delivery costs for islanders – if the Chancellor will take these calls seriously.
“Almost every family in the Highlands and Islands, myself included, has a story about being overcharged for deliveries. In some cases delivery costs can be even higher than the product itself. Unreasonable charges are a barrier to growth and ease of living. This has to change.”
“Delivery charge inequality affects communities represented by a wide range of parties, from Moray to Unst to Belfast. If the Chancellor believes in levelling up all parts of the country then he can support it by using any online sales tax change to push retailers for fairer delivery charges.”