Alliance oppose Royal Mail privatisation

Alliance East Belfast MLA Chris Lyttle, who is chair of the Assembly Group on Postal Issues, has stated the Alliance Party’s concerns over the Westminster Government’s plans to privatise the Royal Mail. His comments were made during an Assembly debate on this issue.

Motion: Privatisation of Royal Mail

That this Assembly considers Royal Mail to be a vital public service; notes with concern the added costs to Northern Ireland businesses and consumers if the universal service obligation and uniform pricing are withdrawn as a result of privatisation, which could result in reductions in the wages of the lowest paid workers and other multiple negative impacts on prices, services and standards, including the future provision of rural postal services critical for isolated communities, the elderly and other rural dwellers; and calls on the Coalition Government to abandon its proposals.

Chris Lyttle MLA said: “Alliance remains unconvinced that privatisation of Royal Mail is best for the cost and availability of the postal service. We also have concerns about the consequences privatisation could have on the Post Office network which, whilst now a separate business, still relies heavily on mail services.

“My colleague, Naomi Long MP, has opposed this legislation at every stage in Westminster. She has also continued to raise this matter with Government Ministers, stressing concerns about the possible impact on postal services that privatisation may bring and the knock-on effect to both older people and small businesses who rely on postal services within the region.

“There appears to be a consensus among Northern Ireland parties that privatisation should not be delivered whilst these concerns exist.

“The Assembly Group on Postal Issues will be hosting two separate briefings from various stakeholders within the postal industry next week. This will allow us the opportunity to, amongst other things, hear first-hand from those who will be affected by the proposed changes.”


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