Postal Services Bill

Part of Planning (Developer Bonds) – in the House of Commons at 2:05 pm on 27th October 2010.

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Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 2:05 pm, 27th October 2010

I understand that my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary is very familiar with this and has spent a lot of time talking to the pension trustees. There is a whole set of reasons behind this deficit, one of which is that employees are living longer; another is that the pension fund made some rather bad investment decisions. There are contributory factors. But we are where we are: there is a massive deficit and we have to deal with it; that is the centre of the problem.

Let me add that the Government's support for the Royal Mail pension plan is subject to state aid approval by the European Commission. The House can rest assured that we will be going to Brussels to make this case in the strongest possible terms.

Let there be no doubt: this is a good deal for the employees of Royal Mail. In almost all important respects, it is exactly the same deal as that in my predecessor's Bill-but coupled with the legal requirement for employee shares, it is a much better deal for employees.