Magazine article Public Finance

MPs Denounce Royal Mail Privatisation Plan

Magazine article Public Finance

MPs Denounce Royal Mail Privatisation Plan

Article excerpt

A committee of MPs has condemned the government's Postal Services Bill, which would allow part-privatisation of Royal Mail.

The Commons business and enterprise select committee said it was entirely unacceptable' to ask Parliament to approve the controversial sell-off without crucial information and while ministers appeared 'to have no business plan'.

The government had not indicated how much money Royal Mail needed for investment or explained how private capital would be used, the MPs said.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson announced plans to sell a 30% equity stake in Royal Mail in December, following a review of the company's future by Richard Hooper, former deputy director of Ofcom.

Hooper's recommendations included the government taking on responsibility for the Royal Mail's multibillion-pound pension deficit and changes to the regulatory structure, as well as the involvement of a strategic partner' from the private sector.

The government followed Hooper in insisting that his recommendations must be adopted as a package, putting this into legislative form in the Bill introduced in the House of Lords. …

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