Royal Mail Fire Sale

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08 Apr 2014

Last week the National Audit Office (NAO) released a damning report into the Prime Minister’s botched fire sale of Royal Mail. The report revealed that the taxpayer was short-changed by hundreds of millions of pounds after the share price rose by 38 per cent on the first day of trading, and 70 per cent over the following six months.

The Business Secretary was dragged to the House of Commons to face questions following the publication of the report into the privatisation, which concluded that ministers “could have achieved better value for the taxpayer”.

While the Government said the sale would prioritise long-term investors, the NAO report revealed that half of shares allocated to large ‘priority’ City investors were sold within weeks for a profit.

Ahead of the privatisation in October, concerns were raised that Royal Mail’s extensive property portfolio was not being fully considered as part of the sale. The NAO report supported this, revealing that British taxpayers may have been short-changed by £1.4 billion.

In a week when stamp prices were hiked up in above inflation price rises, while families are being hit by a cost of living crisis, the report delivered a damning verdict on the disgraceful way taxpayers have lost out in the Royal Mail sell-off and have been left to pick up the bill for the Government’s failure.

I strongly opposed the sale and people in the Rother Valley will be greatly concerned that they have lost out.