Postal Services Bill

Part of Planning (Developer Bonds) – in the House of Commons at 4:46 pm on 27th October 2010.

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Photo of Chris White Chris White Conservative, Warwick and Leamington 4:46 pm, 27th October 2010

Even after listening to the previous speaker, I think that we all share the same view, which is that we have to create a sustainable future for our post service, so that it can both serve our economy and continue to serve as a public good. We should all accept that Royal Mail has been lagging behind its competitors, and, with a potential reduction in the volume of letters of between 25 to 40% over the next five years, despite the use of e-mail and modern technology, we need to find ways to make Royal Mail change with the times. The injection of private capital will help to fund the necessary modernisation, which has already begun, but which needs to continue apace.

However, a more innovative way of achieving rising productivity-one put forward by the Bill-is by providing employees with shares in Royal Mail. Evidence has consistently shown that employees who feel a sense of ownership of a company have higher morale, and are likely to be more successful as a consequence, than those who do not feel that sense of ownership. The employee share scheme will give staff at Royal Mail a real stake in the future of their company and give employees a financial incentive to see improvements in the company and an even larger turnover. Given the clear benefit of that approach, my only regret is that the Government have not made the employee share scheme greater than 10%. However, given the financial constraints and the need to attract fresh investment into Royal Mail, I appreciate that doing so may not be practical. That said, I have some other concerns.