Royal Mail is part of the fabric of the nation – we don’t want to see it ripped apart

It is highly likely that the government will begin the privatisation of Royal Mail later this year. Along with a sell off comes the real threat of stamp prices hitting £1. Price regulation on most stamps was scrapped to boost its attractiveness to investors. It is also quite possible that Royal Mail’s VAT exemption will become unlawful. Add VAT to just one price increase similar to the last one and the first class stamp would hit 94p.

Mario Dunn is campaign director of Save Our Royal Mail

It is highly likely that the government will begin the privatisation of Royal Mail later this year.

Along with a sell off comes the real threat of stamp prices hitting £1. Price regulation on most stamps was scrapped to boost its attractiveness to investors.

It is also quite possible that Royal Mail’s VAT exemption will become unlawful. Add VAT to just one price increase similar to the last one and the first class stamp would hit 94p.

Those most sensitive to price increases are inevitably those that need the Royal Mail most of all. Job seekers sending CV’s, the elderly or small businesses are the least able to withstand rocketing prices.

The inevitable cost cutting that will follow a sale will also place a big question mark over services to rural areas and the various freepost services for the blind and our forces overseas.

The postal services regulator has been busily working out the true cost of rural services and was considering how acceptable it is for rural services to be cut back. While they would not be so foolish to recommend reductions at this point, there is no doubt that loss making activities will go under the microscope soon after a sale.

Both Royal Mail and the government will claim this is “speculative” or exaggeration. Don’t be fooled by that. Privatisation was going to be the cure all but it hasn’t worked out that way. Our energy bills are at shocking levels and few will claim that the privatisation of the railways has worked out to the advantage of commuters.

Save Our Royal Mail would like ministers to take a step back from a hasty sale. We believe the public want to know how prices can be controlled and rural and freepost services protected if ownership changes. At the moment there are some protections in law, but these are insufficient to stop a privately owned Royal Mail cutting back where it is most needed.

Not everything in life should be defined by its monetary value. Royal Mail is part of the fabric of the nation – we don’t want to see it ripped apart.

If the Royal Mail is sold off affordable prices, rural services and free postal services for our service men and women as well as vulnerable groups will disappear.

The aim of our campaign is to persuade politicians that they must act now and guarantee that these vital services do not disappear. We have the support of groups and individuals representing the countryside, the blind and partially sighted, the elderly and small businesses.

You can help us by getting involved. Use the social networking tools on our site to promote the campaign and most importantly write to your MP setting out your concerns. As our campaign grows so will this site.

Please visit our website, get involved, write to your MP and sign our petition.

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