The Postal Services Bill
The Postal Services Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 13 October 2010, completing its passage through the Commons on 12 January 2011. It was subsequently introduced into the House of Lords on 13 January 2011 and completed its passage through the Lords on 24 May 2011. Commons Consideration of Lords Amendments was completed on 9 June and the Bill received Royal Assent on 13 June. Transcripts of all the debates, copies of submitted evidence and the latest version of the Bill are available via the Bill's Parliamentary website.
The Government is committed to securing the long term future of the Royal Mail and the Post Office – and to preserving the universal postal service for everyone in the UK. These twin objectives are at the heart of the Postal Services Bill.
Introducing the Bill in the Commons, Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said “Royal Mail and the Post Office are cornerstones of our society. My policy is to put them on a stable footing for the future."
“Royal Mail is in a dangerous position - there is no hiding from the facts: mail volumes falling; a multi billion pension deficit; less efficiency than its competitors and an urgent need for more capital at a time when there are huge constraints on the public purse."
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Royal Mail is the company which collects and delivers our letters. It provides the “universal postal service”, which is the collection and delivery of letters, six days-a-week, from any post box to any address in the UK, and all at uniform, affordable prices. The Government believes that this is an essential service, and has introduced measures in the Bill in order to secure that service for the future.
The Post Office is different to Royal Mail. The Post Office is the network of around 11,500 shops across the UK, providing access to a range of Royal Mail, financial, and government services. For some people the two are synonymous, but they are actually separate companies, with separate issues - and if both are to survive they need to be treated separately.
This Bill deals mainly with Royal Mail, and the provision of the universal postal service.
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