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Wirral Euro MP warns of Royal Mail 'destruction'
11:59am Monday 16th September 2013 in News
A WIRRAL Euro MP has expressed deep concern at Government plans to privatise Royal Mail.
Paul Nuttall, North West Member of the European Parliament and deputy leader of the UK Independence Party, believes the business will struggle to compete once it is removed from state control.
He spoke out as the usually moderate National Federation of SubPostmasters also criticised the Post Office for asking its members to promote the sale to its high street customers.
The Coalition Government confirmed last week that it is pressing on with plans to float the nation’s historic mail delivery service. Mr Nuttall, whose party has opposed the sale, said: “We have already warned this privatisation will lead to huge job losses and a looming pensions disaster.
“I believe it will really struggle to compete in the market place and the employees' shares will be worthless.
“It is rarely mentioned in the media but three European Union postal services directives lie behind the destruction of the Royal Mail.
“Also, under EU state aid rules, the UK government is strictly forbidden from helping the Royal Mail with taxpayers’ money and helping plug the £9 billion pension pot deficit.
“This privatisation means we will be left with a completely destroyed Royal Mail, once a proud British institution that did so much more than just deliver letters. We can thank the EU for that.”
He added: “Also, I fear that Royal Mail could well end up in foreign ownership. Is that really what Britain wants? What a sad outcome for this historic business.”
The National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) said the Post Office was set to contact several thousand post offices in the coming days requesting they stock materials for the public on how to buy Royal Mail shares.
It urged its members to reject the call, saying a privatised Royal Mail could be “catastrophic” for the post office network.
NFSP general secretary George Thomson said: “I am surprised and angered by [the Post Office’s] request for subpostmasters to act against their own interests by encouraging the public to back the sale by buying shares.
“Subpostmasters are acutely aware that ministers are taking a reckless gamble with the future of our post offices by selling off Royal Mail.”
The Communication Workers Union is threatening to hold a strike ballot among its members at the Royal Mail unless a deal is reached soon on pay, pensions and other issues linked to privatisation.
A Business Department spokesman said: "As part of a Royal Mail share sale, members of the public will be able to apply for shares in a number of ways, including through stockbrokers and direct from the Government.
“We are in preliminary discussions with Post Office Ltd about making printed material for the share sale available to the public through some post offices.
"The Government is fully committed to modernising the Post Office network and to safeguarding its future."
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