Keep the Post Public – Ed responds to the Hooper Report on the future of the Royal Mail

Responding to the Hooper Report on the future of the Royal Mail today, Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls said:

“I believe we should keep the Royal Mail in the public sector and providing a universal service, as Labour promised in our manifesto and as the majority of the public support.

“There are big challenges ahead, but Royal Mail and the CWU have made massive strides to agree tough modernisation plans which should be allowed to continue.

“Rather than risk the universal Royal Mail service and the Post Office network and squander the public service ethic of the workforce, the right solution now is to make a modernised Royal Mail work as a 21st century public service.

“Relieved of the debilitating burden of the pension fund legacy and with a more even-handed regulatory regime, as Hooper continues to propose, I am sure Royal Mail has a bright future.

“But the case for privatising or selling off parts of the Royal Mail has not been made. With the economy so uncertain it’s unlikely to fetch a fair price and the taxpayer may still be expected to carry the burden of Royal Mail’s pension deficit – a massive public handout to whoever bought the company.

“Private investors might cherry-pick the most lucrative parts of the business and if rival postal firms bought Royal Mail, a conflict of interest would exist. And the result could one day see the end of the current universal service and the post office network itself – a disaster for all who rely on the post, especially pensioners and people in more remote areas.”

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Posted September 10th, 2010 by Ed's team


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