Coalition Carries on Regardless


The Government’s announcement that Royal Mail will be floated on the Stock Exchange in the next few weeks will come as a disappointment to the many local people who have written to me recently opposing this sell-off.

Ministers are pressing ahead with a politically-motivated sale of a cherished 372-year old institution to fill holes in the Treasury’s coffers which have been aggravated by the economic policies which the Government has been following.

Despite opposition from a huge and growing coalition – including Royal Mail employees, the Conservative Party’s own Bow Group, the Countryside Alliance, the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters, the Save the Royal Mail campaign, and the cross-party Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee– this Government remains stubbornly determined to sell off Royal Mail.

So far, the Government has failed to address huge concerns about the impact of a Royal Mail sell off on consumers, businesses and communities.  Nor has the case been set out to explain what benefit this will bring to consumers and taxpayers.

The Government is wrong to press on with this wholesale privatization.  Maintaining this national institution in public ownership gives the taxpayer an ongoing interest in the maintenance of universal postal services.

Millions of ordinary people rely on the services that Royal Mail provides, and that is why I will continue to oppose this privatisation.  I fail to see what the Government are seeking to achieve, other than to dig themselves out of a financial black-hole created by their own economic policies by selling an institution that’s in healthy profit.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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