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Postal services

We believe that it is vital to maintain a universal postal service that meets the needs of all consumers. This universal service must be financially sustainable, fit for purpose and, crucially, affordable - recognising both changes in market conditions and in consumer behaviour (both residential and microbusiness customers). We will continue to encourage clarification of the definition of the term “regulated postal operator” - and we are pleased to see that Ofcom intends to review this as part of its wider review of Royal Mail’s regulation. We believe that clearer, more meaningful, terminology will make it easier for consumers to understand their rights and how to assert them.

Given the absence of any meaningful competition, the Panel believes that consumers need to have a strong and active voice in the market. Continued progress on Royal Mail’s efficiency is vital – so that cost management and reduction can link directly to sustaining the universal service at an affordable price. The universal service must be affordable for all who choose – or need - to use it, including people on lower incomes and those who live or work in harder to reach addresses, such as remote rural locations or high-rise tower blocks.

Specific Objective

We will help to ensure that the needs of consumers, citizens and micro businesses are central to policy making, so that delivery of a high quality service experience is consistently achieved. To do this, we will engage with Royal Mail, Ofcom and other consumer stakeholders to ensure that consumer and citizen interests are taken into account.