Michael Matheson is backing calls to end the unfair parcel delivery charges facing many online shoppers in Scotland.

The Falkirk West MSP hit out ahead of a debate in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday (December 6) to highlight research from Citizens Advice Scotland that shows online shoppers in northern Scotland are expected to pay a “postcode penalty” of between 30% and 50% more for delivery than customers elsewhere in Britain.

Mr Matheson said: “While the problem is most acute in the Highlands and Islands and the North East, I’m aware of instances where online retailers apply these rip-off charges to customers in Falkirk district, presumably because the FK postcode also takes in post towns such as Crianlarich and Killin, which they consider to be ‘remote’.

“It’s extremely unfair that loyal shoppers are having to pay a postcode penalty when buying goods online or getting parcels delivered this Christmas.

“I am delighted that my SNP colleague Richard Lochhead MSP has brought this issue to Parliament so that we can highlight the problem and stop retailers getting away with charging wildly different delivery fees for neighbouring postcodes simply because they can.

“I encourage any constituents who have been hit by these charges to sign the petition at fairdelivercharges.scot or twitter.com/RipOffSurcharge, where they can also name and shame the retailers responsible.

“Hopefully the campaign will force retailers to stop this discrimination and adopt set standards for deliveries to all corners of the UK.”