Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Keep Royal Mail Public

We all rely on the Royal Mail – from receiving that parcel we’ve ordered online to knowing that birthday card we’ve sent is going to arrive in time.

When I was 18 I even worked as a Postie for three weeks delivering mail in Rochester West ward; waking up at 3am was not something i'd go back to in a hurry.

I worked in the Rochester sorting office so I know they are the beating heart of so many neighbourhoods across Kent.

In many areas the local post office acts as a focal point for communities and there are thousands of pensioners in Chatham and Aylesford who are reassured by seeing their regular postie every morning. There are also the small businesses that use the Royal Mail for ensuring customers get their goods and services on time, efficiently, reliably and at a reasonable price.

Which is why the Tory-led Government’s plans for privatising Royal Mail are so dangerous. David Cameron’s plans reveal once again how he stands up for the wrong people. His Government wants to sell off Royal Mail on the cheap in order to plug a financial hole in the British economy caused by George Osborne’s failed policies as Chancellor.

We all rely on a daily delivery service but places where it is expensive or complicated to deliver the post every day – in rural areas such as Eccles, Wouldham, Burham or Snodland – could be vulnerable. Many of us might also find ourselves having to travel miles to pick up our large parcels as a privatised Royal Mail could choose to sell off its assets such as nearby delivery offices and local post offices that rely on the Royal Mail for much of their business could be under threat as they look to cut costs. 

David Cameron doesn’t need to do this. The Royal Mail made a £400m profit last year. But while we could all pay more for the cost of postage, there’s a real risk this extra money will just line the pockets of private investors and not be invested back into the service.  The taxpayer has already taken on the Royal Mail pension losses and the Government want the taxpayer to also give away the profit.

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