Public Services (Privatisation)

Scottish Executive Question Time — General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:40 am on 1st July 2010.

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Photo of Jamie Hepburn Jamie Hepburn Scottish National Party 11:40 am, 1st July 2010

To ask the Scottish Government how it expects the privatisation of various public services proposed by the United Kingdom Government to impact on Scotland. (S3O-11136)

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

The United Kingdom Government's budget statement on 22 June 2010 set out plans for a programme of selling public assets over the next 12 months. While that is a matter for the United Kingdom Government, the Scottish Government expects to be consulted about that process if there is a potential impact on Scotland.

Photo of Jamie Hepburn Jamie Hepburn Scottish National Party

Does the cabinet secretary share my concern about the decision by the Tory UK Government to revive the previous Labour Government's plans to part-privatise the Royal Mail? Will he restate the Scottish Government's support for a publicly owned and operated postal service? In light of the plans, is it not the case that the Scottish Government's post office diversification fund is more important than ever?

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

I am certainly happy to restate the Government's position of supporting a publicly owned postal network in Scotland. I am also very happy to say that the post office diversification fund is taking its course. The contents of the fund are out for consultation just now and the Government will take swift decisions on its application in due course.