Sheffield Green Party has called on the Labour Party to stick by its 2005 Election Manifesto and abandon plans to part-privatise the Royal Mail. The Greens claim recent deregulation of the postal service has only benefited big business and not the public or small businesses.
The Government is considering selling 25% – 33% of Royal Mail to a foreign buyer.The proposal, which has already proved highly controversial, contradicts Labour’s manifesto commitment to a “publicly owned Royal Mail.”
Green Party Councillor Bernard Little said today: “We strongly oppose any privatisation of Royal Mail. The Green Party has long
campaigned against transferring essential public services to private hands. The Royal Mail is a cherished and trusted national institution. Even Margaret Thatcher thought it should remain publicly owned.
A report by Postwatch, the consumer watchdog, has failed to find any significant benefits to individual users from the ‘liberalisation’ of the postal service. “To call for the part-privatisation of a major British institution at a time when the dangers of ‘the market’ have been so clearly exposed in recent months is clearly madness. The likely substantial local job losses are the last thing our struggling economy needs at the moment.”
Business secretary Lord Mandelson has supported the conclusions of a report by an independent review panel led by businessman Richard Hooper which advised selling 25% – 33% of Royal Mail to a foreign buyer. The current pension fund debt, which may deter potential investors, would first be taken on by the government.
The proposals have already proved highly controversial. It is
estimated that up to a hundred MPs would take part in a backbench
rebellion if the current plans went to a vote without modification.
Jim McGovern MP has resigned his post as private secretary to the
postal affairs minister,and the Communications Workers Union has
stated that it will disaffiliate from the Labour Party in the event
of any form of privatisation.