Post Office

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th March 1992.

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Photo of Kate Hoey Kate Hoey , Vauxhall 12:00 am, 11th March 1992

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he next plans to meet the Post Office chairman to discuss Post Office efficiency.

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Trade and Industry)

My right hon. Friend regularly meets the chairman of the Post Office, Sir Bryan Nicholson. I have no doubt that after 9 April he will meet him equally regularly.

Photo of Kate Hoey Kate Hoey , Vauxhall

I am sure that the Minister is aware of the widespread concern about the threat to postal services that the Government are determined to impose by bringing in tin-pot competitors who will make the rural services a threatened species. Does he realise that throughout the country in the election people who care about the Post Office and Post Office services will vote Labour as the only way to preserve a good postal service?

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Trade and Industry)

I do not think that the hon. Lady really believes all that. We already have the best Post Office in the European Community. What harm is there in trying to achieve better value for money and more choice for the consumer by more competition—always giving an assurance, which I repeat today, that we will ensure that the uniform tariff structure remains in being even in rural areas? What possible harm can there be to the Post Office from more competition? More competition will lead to better service, and the whole House knows it.

Photo of Mr Peter Fry Mr Peter Fry , Wellingborough

When my hon. Friend sees the chairman of the Post Office, will he impress upon him the need for absolute efficiency in delivering election addresses from Labour candidates? Should not every household in the country know that the Labour party officially wants to deny the low paid the tax reductions given by our right hon. Friend the Chancellor yesterday?

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Trade and Industry)

It is extraordinary that the Labour party, which we all know want to tax the rich, now wants to tax the poor as well. [Interruption.] Are we about to hear an Opposition spokesman telling us their tax plans? The House wants to know. Do they intend to reverse those tax cuts? Will they tax their people more? We want to know.