Taxpayers' stake in Royal Mail to be sold off
The last time the Government sold off bits of the Royal Mail, it is fair to say that a lot of people thought that the whole thing wasn't very good. Well, prepare yourself for round two of gripes, as they are going to sell off its remaining 30% share!
George Osborne reckons this will be offloaded within months and, as ever, has promised that the money generated from it will be used to cut the UK's magical deficit. The Chancellor said: "It is the right thing to do for the Royal Mail, the businesses and families who depend on it - and crucially for the taxpayer." And with that, the share price for Royal Mail dropped.
Naturally, the unions aren't happy about this and the postal workers' union CWU said that this latest news just proves that the Conservatives are "only interested in privatisation dogma and making the rich richer".
General secretary Dave Ward said: "When the first part of this privatisation was completed by the Coalition we were told that this was because Royal Mail needed private capital to invest in its future, but if you ask the workforce they have seen hardly any new investment but have witnessed the worse type of short term investors making a killing without any regard to the long term future of the company or the services it provides to the public."
"As a minimum, if this Government wanted to say they were interested in the workers then they could at least increase the workers' stake in the company."
The thing that still sticks in the craw of many, is that the 70% sale in 2013 set the share price at 330p, which promptly rocketed in value on the stock market. This saw criticisms of the Government helping their mates to get shares on the cheap, which were always going to increase in worth. This latest sale may not be available to the public and there'll be no shares reserved for employees of Royal Mail.
Sounding like someone from an '80s B-movie, when Osborne spoke about this, he said: "When it comes to living within your means, the sooner you start, the smoother the ride," before presumably driving off in a DeLorean kitted out with a missile launcher.