Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/859/20858
Royal Mail sell-off: Public service, not private profit
Rob McArdle, postal worker
Tory Chancellor George Osborne's sale of the remaining 30% government stake in privatised Royal Mail, is a desperate act to meet his commitment of clearing the budget deficit by 2018-19.
Working people are still being forced to pay for the banking crisis with unprecedented cuts to services, while the only cut the rich are experiencing are tax cuts to inflate their already bursting bank balances.
The government is hoping that this sell-off isn't botched like the 2013 privatisation which undervalued Royal Mail by a staggering £750 million - effectively lining the pockets of the Tories' rich City friends.
Ironically, during his recent sell-off announcement Osborne said: "It is not our money or the government's money, it's the money that people work for and pay in taxes and entrust to us to spend wisely."
Although he had no mandate to privatise Royal Mail, Osborne ignored the public and with Lib Dem help - bulldozed his plans through the last parliament.
Even Tory voters would sooner see a publicly run postal service, with just 8% "strongly supporting" the original sale in a YouGov poll. Osborne knows his decision is unpopular with voters as well as Royal Mail workers.
Royal Mail workers, with newly elected Dave Ward at the helm of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), need to send a strong message of opposition to the government's latest sell-off plans. Moreover, the CWU should continue to fight for its demand to take the industry back into public ownership.
Selling off the final 30% public share of Royal Mail is estimated to raise £1.5 billion, although shares fell by 2.5% immediately upon the announcement, a £50 million drop in the company's value.
In The Socialist 10 June 2015:
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