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Postal Services

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions he has had with the Post Office and the other major carriers over the future of the universal service obligation. (188298)

The Government consider the maintenance of a universal postal service to be of the highest importance. Under the terms of the Postal Services Act 2000, the universal service is a matter for the postal regulator (Postcomm), which has the primary statutory duty to ensure the provision of a universal postal service at an affordable uniform tariff.

BERR Ministers and officials regularly hold discussions with Royal Mail on strategic postal issues and also meet with other licensed operators to discuss their operations within the market.

The Government have commissioned an independent review of the postal services sector. One of the review terms of reference will consider how to maintain the universal service obligation. The review will provide all postal carriers with a formal opportunity to contribute their thinking on this and on the future of postal services in the UK.