FALKIRK EAST MSP SAYS ‘REGRESSIVE’ POST PLAN WILL HIT SMALL BUSINESSES
Monday, 12 March 2012 10:55
USO COULD BE REDUCED TO SECOND CLASS SERVICE WHILE FIRST CLASS CHARGES INCREASE
SNP MSP for Falkirk East Angus MacDonald has warned that
small businesses could be hard hit by proposed post pricing changes
after Ofcom, the regulator, confirmed in a letter to the MSP that its
proposals could mean that the universal service obligation will be
limited to second class services only.
Mr MacDonald said:
“These are regressive proposals which will hit small businesses and
rural areas hardest and undermine the same cost everywhere system that
has been the bedrock of the Royal Mail service since the introduction
of the penny post in 1840.
“Under their current proposals Ofcom are to define the universal
service as the current second class service, and even there the price
is to rise substantially.
“They confirm that they ‘will be consulting on which services are
included within the universal postal service, but it will include a
service for packets and parcels which will be available to small
businesses’. It is clear, however, that small businesses will no
longer be certain to have access to a first class service which is
essential, especially for those in rural areas.
“Worse still it is clear that Royal Mail will be able to charge what
it likes for the first class service, which could make it completely
uneconomic for small businesses, especially since Royal Mail will be
under no obligation to charge the same first class price throughout
the country leaving it open for them to charge higher prices to
deliver to more rural or remote locations.
“Such a situation will also make it much more difficult for small
businesses to set up and operate in more rural location setting back
attempts to grow such businesses to get us out of the current economic