My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend for his support. I emphasise that Hooper estimates that the cost to the Royal Mail in its profits from e-substitution is five times the cost to the Royal Mail of any liberalisation introduced during the past seven or eight years, so we must keep this in perspective. It is the changing world of technologies and the communications market around the Royal Mail that creates the pressure, challenge and threat to its future. It is in order to equip the Royal Mail to withstand those pressures and ensure that it has a very strong future that I commend the Hooper report and my Statement this afternoon to the House.
Far from being on a slippery slope to privatisation, I assure my noble friend and others that I consider that we are on an upward path to securing the Royal Mail in the public sector and making sure that its costs are contained and its efficiencies rise, so that its employees and customers benefit from its success in future.