Postal services in Moray are under threat by an announcement that may signal the end of Royal Mail’s obligation to deliver to all parts of the UK at the same cost.
An announcement on Wednesday by Ofcom that it will take no action to protect the Universal Service Obligation (USO) is being roundly condemned by Moray’s MP, who said that he had warned of just this eventually when the mail service was privatised.
In their announcement Ofcom said it saw no reason to overhaul existing rules and press Royal Mail’s rivals to take on part of the USO. Ofcom have also stated that “competition is likely to provide Royal Mail with a further incentive to become more efficient”.
Angus Robertson MP said that this was despite the fact that Royal Mail must deliver to remote areas and islands – while their competitors with no such obligation can cherry pick the most lucrative urban mail services.
Local Moray MP Mr Robertson said: “The SNP has raised concerns about the undermining of Royal Mail and the likely impact on the Universal Service Order for years. The Universal Service is critical for Moray and it must be protected.
“Along with SNP colleagues I voted against the privatisation of Royal Mail where we again raised these concerns and the subsequent shambles of the sell-off saw taxpayers lose billions through the undervaluing of Royal Mail.
“It is putting delivery to Moray and wider rural Scotland under threat.
“Given that Royal Mail, the Communication Workers Union, Postmasters and many, many Moray folk have backed campaigns on Royal Mail and the Universal Service, it is incredible that Ofcom do not consider there is a growing threat to the USO and they are completely out of touch with public opinion on this issue.
“The fact is that there is no competition in rural areas like Moray – and it is highly unlikely there ever will be.
“Big profits at the expense of the publicly supported Universal Service seems to Ofcom’s mantra and I question who they are protecting with these actions. It is certainly not the population of Moray.”