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Keep postal service public - voters

The Government has been urged to drop Royal Mail privatisation plans after a new survey showed that most people wanted the postal service to remain publicly-owned.

Just one in seven of 2,000 people polled by Labour leadership contender Ed Balls and the Communication Workers Union said they supported privatisation.

Just over half of Conservative voters and two-thirds of Liberal Democrats supported a fully publicly-owned Royal Mail.

The union has already mounted a fresh campaign after the Government signalled its intention to introduce legislation paving the way for Royal Mail privatisation.

Mr Balls, speaking in Burnley, said the case for privatising or selling off parts of the Royal Mail had not been made, adding: "Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union have made massive strides to agree tough modernisation plans which mean it has a long-term future in the public sector.

"With the economy so uncertain, it's unlikely to fetch a fair price and the taxpayer may still be expected to carry the burden of Royal Mail's pension deficit - a massive public handout to whoever bought the company.

"The right solution is to make a modernised Royal Mail work as a public service. So, over the coming weeks, I will be campaigning with CWU members to keep the post public and reject any proposals to sell it off."

Billy Hayes, general secretary of the CWU, said: "This poll reaffirms what we already knew - the British public do not want their postal services sold off.

"The union and the company have worked hard to agree a fully funded modernisation plan and that work needs support from the Government.

"We hope that the coalition Government will recognise that the British public don't want the sale and will follow Ed's lead in defending a hugely popular public institution and drop plans for a Bill to privatise it."

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