Call for Postal Services Bill rethink

Govt suppliers face gender testThe Communication Workers Union has urged the Coalition to make key amendments to the Postal Services Bill to avoid worse services, higher prices and post office closures ahead of today’s third reading in Parliament.
MPs have been besieged by constituents asking them to back amendments to the Bill or vote against it entirely as concerns for UK postal services increase. Government backbenchers as well as opposition MPs have submitted amendments aiming to change the government Bill to protect post offices and mail services. Meanwhile the direct marketing industry and brand owners have also had their say.
CWU is against the privatisation of Royal Mail and opposition MPs will be voting against the Bill. According to one study, only 23 per cent of the public supports privatising Royal Mail, with 53 per cent opposed.
CWU general secretary Billy Hayes said: “There are genuine concerns from the public, small businesses and mail users about the government’s Bill. Whilst we and opposition MPs are opposing the sale, there is also an opportunity for government MPs to address the genuine concerns of mail users. Amendments to protect post offices and the universal service have been tabled.
“We want to see robust protection for post offices in the form of an Inter-Business Agreement which is currently missing from the legislation. Without protection, the Post Office stands to lose a third of its income, putting offices across the country at risk of closure.
“While we believe privatisation is unnecessary and an ideological move that will raise prices and diminish services, there are other flaws with the Bill. Tomorrow is the best opportunity to vote through amendments to protect mail services before the Bill moves to the House of Lords.
“Many MPs have tabled important and sensible amendments aimed at protecting postal services. We hope that the government takes these on board and doesn’t see it as a political game of saving face.”
The third reading of the Postal Services Bill follows Prime Minister’s Questions today (Wednesday 12).

Related stories:
Will Government grasp postal nettle?
MPs told to slash Universal Service
Clients get input on Royal Mail sale

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