Campaigning in Cardiff to Keep the Post Public

As part of my tour of Wales I’ve been in Cardiff today campaigning again with CWU members and local MP Kevin Brennan to Keep the Post Public.

There’s a lot of concern among CWU members, pensioners and other shoppers we met today about what the Tory-Lib Dem coalition is planning to do with the Royal Mail – and many people signed up to our campaign.

I believe we must keep the Post Office universal and in the public sector – as Labour promised in our manifesto. It’s also a trusted source of financial products and services so we should transform the Post Office into a ‘People’s Bank’. There are big challenges ahead, but Royal Mail and the CWU have made massive strides to agree tough modernisation plans.

Rather than gamble with public trust, risk the universal Royal Mail service 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.

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, in particular the growing parcels business. 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 3rd, 2010 by Ed

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