Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said yesterday (July 2) that there was “no prospect” of a sale during the current economic slump, but added that plans had been put on hold rather than scrapped altogether.
The embarrassing u-turn from the Government is the firmest indication from Lord Mandelson who last Monday said (June 29) said that the bill around the sale was originally due to go to Parliament before the summer break, but that it since expected it to occur “later”.
The Government will now have to explain how it intends to deal with Royal Mail’s pension fund, with the part sale earmarked to pay off the fund’s £8bn deficit.
Meanwhile, thousands of postal workers in London are set to stage fresh strikes in protest over jobs and services.
The Communication Workers Union says that while Royal Mail is cutting jobs and services, it is failing to modernise the business.