Royal Mail — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:40 pm on 16th December 2008.

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Photo of Lord O'Neill of Clackmannan Lord O'Neill of Clackmannan Labour 3:40 pm, 16th December 2008

My Lords, does my noble friend agree that the past 10 years have not been wasted and that that is a caricature of the truth; that we have seen single delivery introduced remarkably peacefully; that we have seen significant but insufficient investment; and that part of the problem is that management by personality is not likely to change the culture of an organisation significantly? I therefore take his point that we need not only an injection of extra money but also an injection of additional forms of management expertise because for too long, regardless of what we have called the Post Office, it has behaved more like a government department than a modern logistics enterprise. It has fallen asleep on the job in relation to IT developments and the implications of the dramatic increase in e-mail which my noble friend described.

I have one last point I would like my noble friend to take comfort from. Too many people in the Royal Mail are lowly paid. They are the most dependent on pension protection of any section of the public sector in the United Kingdom and we need to give them support. If it were for only that, I would be prepared to support the rest of the package my noble friend has hinted at today. We will have to return to this, but he has made a good start and I wish him well in his endeavours.