The Scottish National Party’s Mr Pete Wishart, Member of Parliament for Perth & North Perthshire, has condemned the UK Tory Government’s plans to privatise the remaining 30% public stake in the Royal Mail.
Mr Wishart, who has long opposed the Royal Mail sell-off, has described the move as a further serious threat to the terms of the Universal Service Obligation – which safeguards postal services and deliveries in rural areas.
Questioning the legitimacy of the Tories’ move which was not mentioned in the run up to the election, Mr Wishart said:
“Over the years many people have contacted me on a wide range of Royal Mail issues. They have done that because they value the service and, in particular, they value the Universal Service that is vital to health of our communities in rural Perthshire.
“My SNP colleagues and I resolutely opposed the privatisation of Royal Mail and we will continue to oppose the disposal of the remaining 30 percent stake in the company. The total sale of Royal Mail to the private sector is akin to giving away the family jewels.
“Last year the National Audit Office concluded the sale of Royal Mail was rushed at the expense of value for money, and now it seems the Tories are determined to just carry on regardless.
“The implications of a privatised Royal Mail seeking to dilute or end the Universal Service Obligation would increase the cost of doing business in rural area, it could lead to centralised collection of mail and make life very difficult for those who rely on mail services in rural and remote areas.
“Aside from the hypocrisy of endangering the USO after questions over its continuation being one of the baseless fears raised against Scottish Independence during the referendum campaign, this is a sleekit manoeuvre by George Osborne which he and David Cameron kept very quiet about during the general election campaign.
“The SNP will continue to argue against this privatisation every step of the way.”