Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced that the government is to go ahead with the privatisation of Royal Mail. He said: “Royal Mail is facing a combination of potentially lethal challenges – falling mail volumes, low investment, not enough efficiency and a dire pension position.”
The exact form of the sell-off has not yet been finalised: RM could be sold directly to a private company or group of companies, or there could be an 80s-style public share offering. Royal Mail workers could also be offered a share of the privatised company.
Mr Cable said: “These are matters we need to resolve further down the line. But we need to get on with the legislation, which is urgently needed, because the financial position is deteriorating.”
The Communication Workers’ Union, meanwhile, has called the plans “politically motivated”. In a statement, CWU General Secretary Billy Hayes said:
Privatisation would be devastating for Royal Mail and the whole country’s postal services. … This could damage the service for all customers including millions of small business and potentially harm the UK economy. Privatisation will also mean separation of Royal Mail and the post office network, putting the very existence of many more post offices that play such a key role in Britain’s communities at risk.