>> 14 September 2010

Gordon MSP, Alex Salmond has slammed plans by the Tory/ Lib Dem coalition to privatise Royal Mail.

He is concerned the proposals will undermine postal provision in rural communities in Gordon who rely on the service. He is also worried the plan would lead to the loss of the Universal Service Obligation, which is so important to communities and the general public.

Commenting Mr Salmond said:

“The Royal Mail is a public service for a reason - delivering to rural areas costs more and we must ensure that everyone remains able use this service at a reasonable price. To risk this principle is simply wrong.

“This is entirely the wrong decision being made at entirely the wrong time. Part-privatisation would be damaging enough but this must signal the beginning of the end for Royal Mail with job losses, service cuts and a deterioration in the working conditions of postal workers inevitable.

“The Liberal Democrats in government are rushing to implement policies that will have a hugely damaging effect on rural Scotland. Only months ago they won votes by stressing the importance of protecting postal services but now their ‘Save our Post Offices’ policy page has been removed from their website. This would after all be a difficult policy to keep given the likelihood many post offices may have to close under their proposals.

“Rural communities and local businesses in Gordon would suffer under these proposals. Royal Mail cannot be viewed as just another company. It provides an essential public service, especially to smaller communities and small businesses who do not have access to alternative carriers.”

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