SNP’s Bill Walker Warns About Costly Ofcom Proposals
Dunfermline SNP MSP Bill Walker has warned about the costly effects new Ofcom proposals for Royal Mail may have on rural Fife.
Currently, the Universal Service Obligation ensures that mail costs the same to send and receive, wherever you live. Ofcom has proposed that Royal Mail should set its own charges.
Mr Walker, who is also Councillor for West Fife and the Coastal Villages, said:
“Yes, it costs more to deliver items to rural communities, but the one-price policy for Royal Mail protects a service that is still vital. It prevents such a situation as has happened in the parcel-delivery market, where companies sometimes simply won’t deliver to certain areas.
“This could also be the last straw for small businesses already struggling due to the UK Government’s austerity drive. Small businesses rely on Royal Mail for sending their mail, while larger businesses, which send out more, can often get a better deal from Royal Mail and other service providers.
“We really must protect our postal service.”
The proposals, made during Ofcom’s consultation on ‘Securing the Universal Service Obligation’, would mean Royal Mail being able to negotiate contracts directly with other postal providers.
Ofcom suggest there should be no cap on prices for the vast majority of Royal Mail’s services, including business post, bulk mail, and large letters and parcels sent second class.
Critics are concerned that different prices could be quoted for different areas. The SNP has raised the matter at a meeting with Ofcom.