The Royal Mail is a part of all our lives and, to some extent, we take it for granted. Sure, there are slip ups, but by and large we trust the service and rely on it daily.
However, thanks to the Tory/LibDem coalition Government’s determination to privatise this publicly-owned service, all that is up in the air.
The profit-driven bid to turn it into a money-making enterprise is just another example of how out of touch this UK Government is with the public.
As many as 77 per cent of Scots are totally opposed to the privatisation – more than any other part of the UK. But, as usual, this will mean nothing to the Westminster Government and our wishes will be overlooked.
A privatised service will undoubtedly lead to the company “cherry-picking” the most profitable urban routes and lead to a reduced service in rural and less affluent areas. This will drastically affect small businesses and domestic users.
An SNP government has pledged to bring the Royal Mail back into public ownership in an independent Scotland. We have called for a moratorium to stop this rushed Westminster sell-off, but Scottish Labour has remained silent on the issue.
Will they – or the Liberal Democrats and Tories – ever back the wishes of the people of Scotland? I’m not holding my breath.
Yet again, Labour’s Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie – never one to let the facts get in the way of a good story – complains that we are not spending enough on education when her Government at Westminster also drastically cut the Scottish budget.
The Scottish Government is doing its absolute best with the reduced budget to maintain the high standards we have come to expect from Scottish education.
For Higher Education students we have already scrapped tuition fees, introduced a minimum income of £7250 – next year it will be £7,500 – and provided what the National Union of Students describe as “the best package of student support in the UK.” Capital spending on building colleges is at an all-time high and we recently introduced a scheme to encourage youngsters with a family income of less than £17,000 to go on to further education.
This was warmly welcomed by Clydebank College and everyone who supports the idea of equality in further education, regardless of background or ability to pay – something Labour doesn’t agree with.
The reality is that the Better Together anti-independence Government in London than allowing Scots to make their own decisions for a fairer society in an independent Scotland.
Visit me at my surgeries to discuss any issue or feel free to contact me for at gil.paterson.msp@scottish. parliament.uk, or on 0141 952 9677.