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Post Office Closures Are A Betrayal - Davey

December 19, 2006 4:16 PM

Responding to the Government's announcement today on the future of the post office network, Liberal Democrat Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary Edward Davey MP has attacked the Government for failing to address the future of Royal Mail.

Commenting, Mr Davey said:

"This is the death knell for thousands of local shops and rural businesses that depend on their local post office. Rural and deprived urban communities will feel betrayed by these mass post office closures.

"Unless Ministers free post offices from Royal Mail's restrictive contracts, even more closures can be expected.

"The Government's failure to announce plans on Royal Mail is an astonishing dereliction of duty and smacks of political cowardice.

"Tough decisions are needed to secure Royal Mail's future. An employee share scheme and a minority stake sell-off to free Royal Mail from the dead hand of the Treasury is urgently required.

"Yet it looks like Gordon Brown has vetoed such reforms in case he loses the union and Labour backbench votes he needs to become Prime Minister.

"If tough decisions on Royal Mail had been taken, the freedoms and funds for saving post offices could have been found. Without them, both Royal Mail and the post office network will die a slow death.

"Our postal services have a proud 300 year history which this Government has decimated in less than a decade.