Post offices

PUBLISHED: 11:59 26 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

SIR,— In the article headlined Five post offices facing closure (Herts Advertiser, June 19), both the Labour and Liberal-Democrat prospective Parliamentary candidates for St Albans say they oppose the closures. What they both fail to say is that post of

SIR,- In the article headlined "Five post offices facing closure" (Herts Advertiser, June 19), both the Labour and Liberal-Democrat prospective Parliamentary candidates for St Albans say they oppose the closures.

What they both fail to say is that post office closures are being forced on this country by European Union directives and that the political parties they support are the most ardent supporters of the EU.

EU Directive 97/67 meant that the UK Government had to open up the Post Office business-mail sector to other companies. These are principally the Dutch firm TNT and the German Deutsche Post, trading as DHL.

This has taken away from the Post Office its profitable business and leaves it with the less-profitable domestic mail sector. As a result domestic mail prices have significantly increased and could well do so again.

EU Directive 2002/39 meant that the UK Government had to reduce the share of the business which was a national monopoly. It also meant that the UK Government could not give a subsidy without the approval of the EU.

In 2003 our Government was given permission by the EU to give the Post Office a subsidy of only £150 million a year which is not sufficient to allow the Post Office to give the service the people of this country are used to.

In 2009 the Post Office monopoly will cease altogether as Article 14 goes on to disclose that "a review and proposal confirming, if appropriate, the date of 2009 for the full accomplishment of the internal market for postal services".

In March 2007 the EU Competition Commissioner gave the UK permission to provide the Post Office with £345-million of subsidy for a "transformation programme" which will involve the Post Office in reducing the size of its post office network by 2,500 branches.

It is disingenuous of the Labour and Lib-Dem prospective Parliamentary candidates to strike poses of defending post offices while they are under the banner of political parties that totally support the EU and its objectives.

Of course these are the same parties that both reneged on their 2005 manifesto pledges to give the public a referendum on the EU Constitution. Through their blind support of the Lisbon Treaty they now want to give even more power to the EU.

KEN SHUTTLEWORTH,

Chairman, St Albans Branch, Democracy Movement.

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