17th September 2010
The Government must ensure any modernisation of Royal Mail retains the “universal service obligation” which small businesses are so reliant on, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said.
Earlier this month, the Government’s Hooper Report proposed that privatisation was the solution to the provision of a modern postal service. Business secretary, Vince Cable, said the report painted a very clear picture of Royal Mail’s predicament.
“Royal Mail is facing a combination of potentially lethal challenges – falling mail volumes, low investment and not enough efficiency. We are determined to safeguard Royal Mail for the future and help it tackle these challenges. We will come forward with new legislation in the autumm.”
BCC spokesman Sam Turvey, said small businesses are heavily reliant on Royal Mail because of the cost issues involved with alternatives.
“We need to maintain a universal postal service – with the same price for post anywhere and a collection and delivery of letters six days a week. Big companies can afford to get around strike action at Royal Mail when it happens, but many smaller firms are still reliant on the ‘final mile delivery’.”
He added that Royal Mail’s problems need to be quickly resolved so firms don’t continue to face postal strikes.
“Small firms just want an efficient, reliable, value for money Royal Mail that delivers. That’s what we push for and it’s down to the Government to deliver it – whether that’s through privatisation or not.”