Alex Cunningham MP attacks government plans to sell off Royal Mail

Alex Cunningham MP has attacked the Coalition Government’s plans to privatise the Royal Mail, because they put in jeopardy the future of local post offices in Stockton North.
Alex said:
“The Government’s plans to privatise Royal Mail pose a very real threat to local post offices because their Postal Services Bill will end the historic link between the Royal Mail and Post Office Limited.

Currently, the Royal Mail has an agreement to use the post office network for its counter services. With this Bill, a privatised Royal Mail could choose to use other outlets for its counter services, such as supermarkets or a high street chain, and could easily cut down the number of outlets to town centres only. This would deprive the post office network of up to a third of its income, and would put thousands of post offices at risk.”

Commenting on the recent government announcement of funding for post offices, Alex continued:
“Any new investment is welcome, but the Coalition has missed a huge opportunity by dropping Labour’s plans for a Postbank. Promises of extra work from Government departments and local authorities are not worth having unless they are turned into bankable contracts.

In practice the Coalition can’t even guarantee post offices will keep the contract for the Department for Work and Pension payments. Post offices cannot survive without a guarantee of the business that they get from Royal Mail. The Coalition is determined to sell Royal Mail without legislating for any long term commitment to post offices. ”