Local MP Katy Clark is to lead a backbench debate in the House of Commons in support of keeping the Royal Mail in public ownership.
Ms Clark’s debate – on September 2 – will make the case for retaining current postal services and will oppose the plans of the Tory-Lib Dem UK Government, which would see Royal Mail privatised.
News of the Westminster debate came in the same week that Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP, spoke of his support for the ‘universal service’ – the current system where letters are delivered six-days-a-week and it costs the same to post a letter to anywhere in the UK.
Mr Salmond said, “The Scottish Government recognises the vital importance of postal services to sustaining communities across Scotland, and that is why we are making a clear commitment that an independent Scotland will match – as a minimum standard – the universal service obligation, ensuring people across Scotland continue to receive the postal service they expect.”
The SNP leader pointed out that the majority of Scottish MPs at Westminster had voted against privatisation of Royal Mail, but were impotent to stop the Tory-Lib Dem Government from pressing ahead with their plans. Mr Salmond said, “We will be keeping a close eye on Westminster’s privatisation agenda, which will determine the postal service Scotland inherits on independence.”
Mario Dunn, Director of the Save Our Royal Mail campaign, added, “The UK Government has failed to address the realities this privatisation will bring. People in rural communities, like those across Scotland, will see the service they rely upon reduced significantly while prices will rise disproportionately. The public are strongly opposed to the UK Government’s plan to push ahead with this deeply unpopular privatisation.”
Katy Cark, MP for North Ayrshire & Arran, said, “With Royal Mail making a £400million profit last year, there is no need for privatisation and it is being pursued for ideological reasons.”
The Labour MP spoke of constituents’ fears over the impact privatisation would have on the universal mail service, adding, “If Royal Mail is sold, experience tells us that prices will rise, post offices will close and there could be the end of the daily universal service, with rural communities, including those in my constituency, likely to suffer most.”