Angus MP Mike Weir who is also the SNP Postal Services Spokesperson has slammed the decision by Ofcom to take no action to protect the Universal Service Obligation.
Commenting on the latest report from Ofcom on the threat to the Universal Service Obligation (USO) Mr Weir said it was bad news for rural business and a “slap in the face” for postal workers, especially at this particularly busy time of the year.
“It is utterly incredible that Ofcom do not consider that there is a growing threat to the Universal Service Obligation thought the way in which competitors are cherry picking profitable urban routes without taking any part in delivering to more rural areas.”
“Ofcom are obsessed with the idea of “competition” but there is no such competition, nor is there ever likely to be, in rural areas such as Angus. They maintain that Royal Mail still deliver the majority of the letter mail, but totally fail to take into account the substantial plans for expansion which could see rapid expansion in numbers but only to a small part of the country, in effect the major urban areas where the majority of the population live.
“By the time they think of taking action it may well be too late.
“They seem utterly unable to comprehend that the USO is of particular importance to businesses in rural areas, such as Angus. Any threat to it would prove disastrous to the rural economy of our area.
Mr Weir added that he was presently visiting sorting offices in Angus with his colleagues Graeme Dey MSP and Nigel Don MSP to meet postal workers gearing up for their busiest time of the year.
“Anyone who visits sorting offices will see the huge amount of packages that come through the post at this time of the year, especially with people shopping on line. This is, however, a two way street and increasingly businesses in rural areas are seeking new markets further afield through the internet. Any threat to the present terms of the USO could hit them very hard indeed’
“Ofcom’ s obsession with competition runs to calling for more ” efficiencies” from Royal Mail, that is too often code for attacks on employees terms and conditions and reductions in services. This is completely unacceptable and a slap in the face for postal workers who struggle through all weathers to ensure deliveries, especially at this time of the year.”
“We have recently seen several changes in Post Office services in Angus and we cannot afford now to have our delivery services put at threat in the name of “competition” that is unlikely ever to exist in this area.”