Royal Mail could be sold off (entirely or in part) by 2013 if the government’s latest scheme goes ahead.
In what the Financial Times calls the “most ambitious privatisation scheme since rail”, the coalition plans either to float Royal Mail on the stock market or seek an industry or private equity buyer.
In a move that could be seen as an early warning of privatisation, communications regulator Ofcom is expected to ease regulations on Royal Mail pricing, and potentially introduce increases of 50% on second-class stamps and limitless increases on first-class.
A more expensive service will be just one of the hugely negative effects of Royal Mail privatisation.
Unions and anti-cuts groups must fight to defend public ownership and to re-extend it to those parts of the postal service already subordinated to market logic.