Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has accused the
Liberal Democrats in Scotland of betraying rural communities
and businesses following the revelation that the UK Coalition
Government are considering scrapping Saturday postal deliveries.
The idea was floated in a leaked letter between Vince Cable and
Chancellor George Osbourne. Obtained by the Press and Journal,
the letter from the Business Secretary Vince Cable raises the
prospect of a reduction in minimum service requirements, and
that legislation he plans to introduce would “build in
flexibility to amend” these minimum requirements in future.
The letter appeared just days after Scottish LibDem leader
Tavish Scott claimed to have received a 'copper bottom
guarantee' on the future of the postal service.
Mr Gibson, who lodged a motion in Parliament earlier this month
highlighting the problems encountered by Scottish firms and
parcel deliveries, said that this was a worrying development
given the forthcoming privatisation of the Royal Mail….
"The Lib Dems and Conservatives have embraced whole heartedly
the sell off of the Royal Mail, that raises serious questions
over the service that we will get in remote and rural areas."
"Tavish Scott sought to allay those fears, however his words
are ringing hollow following the appearance of this letter. It
begs the question is Tavish Scott aware what is going on or is
he spreading misinformation."
"The Liberal Democrat claim that the postal service from
Kensington to Kyleakin would not be affected due to
privatisation always was a non starter this news is just
confirmation. The ideas set out in this letter would suggest
that postal service from Kyleakin to Keiss and beyond will
suffer far more than Kensington. It is a shameful betrayal by
the Liberal Democrats of those that live and work in remote and
rural areas. It is also an abandonment of principles of the Lib
Dems in favour of their Ministerial Mondeos."
"The fact is that businesses in rural Scotland rely upon the
services provided by Royal Mail. A reduction in the current
minimum requirements of the Universal Service Obligation will
seriously impact on rural areas and will undermine efforts to
regenerate the rural economy."
"First of all Labour cut the amount of Post offices in remote
rural areas now the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives seem
intent of cutting the postal services to these areas. It is a
triple whammy from the UK Government of all colours which will
do our remote and rural communities no good at all."
Mr Gibson also challenged a Lib Dem, Labour or Conservative MSP
to sign his motion on the parcel deliveries.