Politicians clash amid claims taxpayers were 'ripped off' by Royal Mail deal

Worcester News: Councillor Joy Squires, Labour's Worcester parliamentary candidate Councillor Joy Squires, Labour's Worcester parliamentary candidate

WORCESTER'S Labour parliamentary candidate has clashed with Robin Walker over the Royal Mail sell-off - amid claims taxpayers have been ripped off.

Councillor Joy Squires says families in Worcester are angry about the "botched" flotation of the postal service, which has been criticised by a spending watchdog this week.

But the city's MP says the saga is "a big fuss about nothing" and blames workers threatening to strike as the reason for the poor deal.

Since last year's Royal Mail sell-off share prices have risen 70 per cent.

At the time of the offer interest in it soared, with people around the country from pensioners to postal workers rushing to grab a slice of it.

A new report from the National Audit Office now says the sale was rushed, it was on offer too cheaply and concluded ministers "could have achieved better value for the taxpayer".

Coun Squires said: "People in Worcester will rightly be asking what the Tories were thinking of when they sold off the Royal Mail for such a price.

"And this week stamp prices have gone up yet again, following a hike of 30 per cent in the price of a first class stamp last year.

"Hundreds of people in Worcester joined the campaign to save the Royal Mail last September, fearing the very thing we are seeing now - a handful of people making a killing out of a profitable public service."

Last year the flotation took place amid threats of strike action from disgruntled workers.

Mr Walker said: "Yes, the share prices have gone up but that's largely because the threat of strike action has gone away.

"The important thing here is that Royal Mail is no longer competing with schools and hospitals for scarce public funds.

"The Government still has a stake of its own which it can sell at a higher price.

"Anyone can say that when shares trade at a price significantly above what they were, you've got a bad deal, but imagine if the Government sold its stake and shares then went down.

"You'd have private investors and even postal workers losing money, that would be a much bigger scandal.

"The main difference is that the threat from the unions has gone."

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has labelled it "a first-class disaster" but Vince Cable, who led the sell-off, insists he was right to have been cautious.

Comments (5)

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2:28pm Fri 4 Apr 14

thesquirrel says...

To be fair, I was tempted to invest in Royal Mail at the floatation last year but decided against it due to the unions threatening to strike.

It seems somewhat ironic to me that the political wing of the unions (the Labour party) is now complaining that the floatation price was too low when the unions were the primary cause of the low price in the first place!
To be fair, I was tempted to invest in Royal Mail at the floatation last year but decided against it due to the unions threatening to strike. It seems somewhat ironic to me that the political wing of the unions (the Labour party) is now complaining that the floatation price was too low when the unions were the primary cause of the low price in the first place! thesquirrel
  • Score: 1

3:34pm Fri 4 Apr 14

brooksider says...

thesquirrel wrote:
To be fair, I was tempted to invest in Royal Mail at the floatation last year but decided against it due to the unions threatening to strike.

It seems somewhat ironic to me that the political wing of the unions (the Labour party) is now complaining that the floatation price was too low when the unions were the primary cause of the low price in the first place!
No they were not, Cable's excuse that the unions were to blame is as believable as one of Prodger's excuses and Walker's claim that Royal Mail was a burden to the taxpayer.

Royal Mail made an operating profit of £403 million last year, some burden!

What Walker is hiding is the fact his Government have left the taxpayer with the real burden of the Royal Mail Pension Fund with a deficit of around £10 Billion whilst only raising £2 billion.

It is really foolish for a supposedly intelligent person to try use emotive issues such as the Health Service and education to hide the truth from British taxpayers.
[quote][p][bold]thesquirrel[/bold] wrote: To be fair, I was tempted to invest in Royal Mail at the floatation last year but decided against it due to the unions threatening to strike. It seems somewhat ironic to me that the political wing of the unions (the Labour party) is now complaining that the floatation price was too low when the unions were the primary cause of the low price in the first place![/p][/quote]No they were not, Cable's excuse that the unions were to blame is as believable as one of Prodger's excuses and Walker's claim that Royal Mail was a burden to the taxpayer. Royal Mail made an operating profit of £403 million last year, some burden! What Walker is hiding is the fact his Government have left the taxpayer with the real burden of the Royal Mail Pension Fund with a deficit of around £10 Billion whilst only raising £2 billion. It is really foolish for a supposedly intelligent person to try use emotive issues such as the Health Service and education to hide the truth from British taxpayers. brooksider
  • Score: 4

7:55am Sat 5 Apr 14

Pomygranit says...

The coalitions 'friends' in the city were asked what the share price should be. Their 'advice' was taken and a 'gentlemans' agreement was made that they would not sell their shares.
Surprise surprise the scum broke their word, sold the shares, and made a huge profit at our expense.

Walker thinks this was a good deal? He is no better than his friends in the city if that is his view. I thought he was fairly honorable that view has changed, just another Tory with no ethics.
The coalitions 'friends' in the city were asked what the share price should be. Their 'advice' was taken and a 'gentlemans' agreement was made that they would not sell their shares. Surprise surprise the scum broke their word, sold the shares, and made a huge profit at our expense. Walker thinks this was a good deal? He is no better than his friends in the city if that is his view. I thought he was fairly honorable that view has changed, just another Tory with no ethics. Pomygranit
  • Score: 0

5:43pm Sat 5 Apr 14

pudniw_gib says...

We get ripped off by the PO all the time.. will be using couriers like a lot of other online sellers a lot more in the future.
We get ripped off by the PO all the time.. will be using couriers like a lot of other online sellers a lot more in the future. pudniw_gib
  • Score: 0

6:06pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

yes we taxpayers were ripped off by the co-alition, but no real suprise there since it's a micky Mouse government doing deals with each other to get what they want. The LIB/LAB/DEM/TORIES have no place whatsoever in Government apart from the finger of fate elections. Cameron of course should have had the round things to go back to the country and try to get the Tories elected as Tories not the dolly mixture government we have now.
As to the Post Offices and Royal Mail, there was a deliberate plan conceived by Peter Mandelson to assett strip the Post Offices and he gradually took away so many services which were profitable for the post masters / mistresses, causing many to close. Then not content there he masterminded the plans to allow the big parcel carriers to cherry pick only the profitable business leaving the crumbs for Royal Mail.
In my little mind there can only be 3 reasons for such obvious political behavour. 1 they didn't know what they were doing (rubbish Mandelson is a very clever but devious man ). 2 They were on a mission to destroy the Post Offices & Royal Mail. (quite p[ossible) 3 there were personal gains to be made, (now we know our politicians are true, fair & honest) So take your pick from a bad bunch but it will lead back to politics.
yes we taxpayers were ripped off by the co-alition, but no real suprise there since it's a micky Mouse government doing deals with each other to get what they want. The LIB/LAB/DEM/TORIES have no place whatsoever in Government apart from the finger of fate elections. Cameron of course should have had the round things to go back to the country and try to get the Tories elected as Tories not the dolly mixture government we have now. As to the Post Offices and Royal Mail, there was a deliberate plan conceived by Peter Mandelson to assett strip the Post Offices and he gradually took away so many services which were profitable for the post masters / mistresses, causing many to close. Then not content there he masterminded the plans to allow the big parcel carriers to cherry pick only the profitable business leaving the crumbs for Royal Mail. In my little mind there can only be 3 reasons for such obvious political behavour. 1 they didn't know what they were doing (rubbish Mandelson is a very clever but devious man ). 2 They were on a mission to destroy the Post Offices & Royal Mail. (quite p[ossible) 3 there were personal gains to be made, (now we know our politicians are true, fair & honest) So take your pick from a bad bunch but it will lead back to politics. Jabbadad
  • Score: -1

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