CWU calls on the government to hold on to its 30% stake in Royal Mail

Royal MailA government-commissioned report about last year’s privatisation of Royal Mail has been branded a “cover-up” by the CWU.

The report, commissioned by Business Secretary Vince Cable, concluded the government could have raised £180m more from the sale of Royal Mail but found “no evidence to challenge the general assertion that an IPO price greater than 350-360p could have been achieved and we accept that a decision to revise the range would have come with added uncertainty and risk”.

CWU general secretary Billy Hayes said: “Vince Cable appointed Lord Myners to mark his homework and unsurprisingly he’s endorsed the government’s actions. As we anticipated from a government-commissioned report on privatisation of Royal Mail, it’s a cover-up. Lord Myners’ blames the government’s pathetic excuse for an IPO on the threat of industrial action – a notion already dismissed as “overemphasised” by the BIS select committee’s report published in July.

“It is plain wrong for Lord Myners to say no evidence was found that the share price was valued too low. What about the fact that the value of shares rocketed on the first day of trading and was massively over-subscribed? And to say there were no conflicts of interest between the companies advising the government and those making millions of pounds from the sale from recommendations to clients is laughable.

“We wholeheartedly reject Vince Cable’s assertion that Royal Mail had to be sold to raise investment. The company was profitable before privatisation, making £440m last year. We call on the government ‎to recognise its responsibility to the postal service and guarantee it will keep its 30% stake indefinitely.”

 


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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