Labour MP for Erith & Thamesmead

Teresa Pearce MP

Public service or private profit?

Posted on April 13, 2009 by Teresa Pearce

postieI give you two scenarios:-


1. A company run for private profit which benefits from little regulation and pays massive salaries and bonuses and indulges in aggressive tax planning which deprives the rest of us of the tax revenue that should be paid towards schools and hospitals.


2. A loss making public service that has had its most profitable parts cherry picked and tendered out to private companies. An organisation that provides a universal service no matter where you live in the country that is often a lifeline in rural areas and one which the vast majority of the public wants and needs.


Now which one would you think is worth public investment?


Astonishingly the government opted to save the first one, RBS, which made losses TEN times larger than the second example, The Post Office.


The current idea of selling off a stake in the Post Office is said to be to “modernise” and to inject “confidence, experience and capital”. Excuse me for thinking the world has turned upside down but would these be the same private investors that now hold their hands up at the current financial crisis saying “who knew? No one saw this coming”. The same private investors who milked the system when the money flowed and threatened to leave the country if regulation or fair tax was mentioned? The same private investors who the public distrusts so much they would rather go on TVs Dragons Den asking for investment than approach a bank? It’s a truly uncharted territory we enter when there are plans to part privatise the Post Office but RBS is taken into public ownership.


Lets not look to sell off part of the Post Office lets look instead to see ways it can build its business model. For instance currently the Post Office account is only used to receive benefits and pensions. Why? Open it up to be a “real” bank account a “peoples bank account” when you can get other monies such as occupational pensions and salaries paid in and from where you can pay your direct debits. A banking account system used by the public and owned by the public. Rather than RBS a banking account system that will profit the few and funded by the many.


Given the current financial crisis that our banking and business sector are in I think they are the last people we the public should be looking to for advice and or expertise.


These are the sorts of issues I have campaigned for in the past and in the present, not just something I am promising for the future in return for your backing. It is my delivery on the things that matter that led both CWU branches affiliated to Erith and Thamesmead to nominate me in the current selection process.


5 to “Public service or private profit?”

  1. Rose Macdonald says:

    Depressingly true. Hurry up and get elected so we have some hope of change for the better!

  2. Steve says:

    These are the kinds of issues i would like to see you working on. Im sick of hearing trivia and media noise generated from the great and the good centrally.

  3. John says:

    Well said, Teresa. A telling comparison. It’s good to hear people talking sense for once.

  4. David says:

    That’s what you get living in a capitalist society. Many of us grew up in the Thatcher years – where greed, ambition and self interest was the norm. ‘New’ Labour – has continued with this trend (surprisingly) and now has to pay the price. They have had over 10 years to make their mark – as they chose not to they had no choice other than to bailout the banks.

    I suspect (old)Labour would have invested in the Post office – however we will never know as they are no more.

  5. Chris Hayes says:

    At this point I beleive we wish for the resurection of John Smith. Sadly though we have none to blame but ourselves for how the party has maintained the status quo. Certainly it resulted in more electoral victories, but its resulted in a country that I’m not sad about being in so infrequently now I work mainly overseas.

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