by Tim Lezard The government’s response to the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) select committee report on the Royal Mail privatisation has been branded “delusional” by CWU leader Billy Hayes. Yesterday’s government response maintained the “primar …

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Royal Mailby Tim Lezard

The government’s response to the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) select committee report on the Royal Mail privatisation has been branded “delusional” by CWU leader Billy Hayes.

Yesterday’s government response maintained the “primary objective was to secure a sale in order to safeguard the universal postal service and de-risk the taxpayer”. However, Royal Mail was profitable before privatisation, making £440m last year and the company now say the universal service obligation is at risk because of cherry-picking from competitors.

The government admitted that ‘taxpayer interest’ was not a priority but one of a number of objectives, with the onus being on achieving a sale, but not necessarily obtaining a good price.

CWU general secretary Billy Hayes said: “This response from the government is delusional – to say that selling off shares at a higher price would have made the sell-off of Royal Mail collapse is just wrong. What about the fact that shares were 23 times oversubscribed? The government has skipped over this inconvenient detail.

“Vince Cable is living in a parallel universe, where nothing is his fault. No wonder he is called Cablefroth. Vince Cable can whitewash the sale of Royal Mail all he wants but he let down the public with this doomed privatisation. It was a deeply unpopular move and it might of been palatable to the public had billions of pounds not been wasted by selling off the company to short-lived city investors on the cheap.”


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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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