Government splashing cash on unpopular Royal Mail privatisation

67% of public opposed to privatisation in YouGov poll
Taxpayers’ cash being used to flog profitable national asset
Government failing to explore alternative options
Responding to the invitation by government today (Wednesday) for UK stockbrokers and share dealing services to apply to act as Intermediaries in the privatisation of Royal Mail, CWU accuses the government of ‘privatisation at any cost’.

A YouGov poll* carried out last month showed that 67% of the public are opposed to privatisation of Royal Mail, with only 20% in support. In addition, 79% feared that prices would rise and 47% believed the service would get worse under privatisation. Only 4% thought prices would decrease and 13% thought services would improve.

The government has also this week appointed advertising agency Engine to run its publicity campaign. The cost of this to the taxpayer is not yet known.

Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: “The government is splashing taxpayers’ money on a deeply unpopular privatisation programme. Royal Mail made £403 million profit last year and is a national asset valued by the public. More than two thirds of the public are against privatisation – that’s a clear majority in any system.

“There is no argument for privatising Royal Mail. Plenty of alternative models exist to address the concerns which government has raised – for example raising capital which could be done along the lines of Network Rail which doesn’t affect national debt. This government is obsessed with privatisation at any cost.

“The government should drop this expensive and unpopular policy.”

*YouGov surveyed 1,779 UK adults between 8th and 9th July 2013. View the full YouGov survey results in full.

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