|Community Postal Services
Mr. Connarty: I am interested in my hon. Friend's comprehensive reply. The problem that seems to plague BT is the constant pressure of the regulator to allow cherry-picking of the best services. We have a universal postal service. Is my hon. Friend confident that the regulator's remit and the dialogue with the regulator will protect that for the Post Office as liberalisation sweeps across Europe?
Mr. Johnson: I am; for two reasons. I will not get into the comparison with the telecommunications service, other than to say that it never had a uniform tariff, apart from long-distance call rates. It had a universal service but not a uniform tariff. The postal service is unique because it has both. The regulatorunlike Oftel, whose primary task is to encourage competitionhas been given the primary task of protecting universal service at a uniform tariff. I am pleased about that, coming as I do from a city that has its own telecommunications company, Kingston Communications. That is an important differentiation.
We have had a thorough debate of the issues and I welcome the views of hon. Members. We hope that we will reach a resolution this year.
Question put and agreed to.
Amess, Mr. David (Chairman)
Henderson, Mr. Ivan
Smith, Miss Geraldine
Wright, Mr. Anthony D.
The following also attended, pursuant to Standing Order No. 119(5):
Connarty, Mr. Michael (Falkirk, East)
Cotter, Mr. Brian (Weston-super-Mare)
Drew, Mr. David (Stroud)
Flint, Caroline (Don Valley)
Heath, Mr. David (Somerton and Frome)
Johnson, Mr. Alan (The Minister for Competitiveness)
Lewis, Mr. Ivan (Bury, South)
McNulty, Mr. Tony (Harrow, East)
Page, Mr. Richard (South-West Hertfordshire)
|©Parliamentary copyright 2001||Prepared 4 April 2001|