SNP concern as taxman awards TNT mail contract
SNP Postal Affairs spokesperson, Mike Weir MP, has expressed bemusement at news HM Revenue & Customs have awarded a £4.5 million-a-year contract to deliver its internal mail to TNT – just a week after it was revealed the company had been forced to hand over tens of millions of pounds in unpaid tax to HMRC.
The Dutch company, which was also blamed for losing the personal details of 25million child-benefit claimants in 2007, is also a front-runner to take a stake in Royal Mail if controversial plans led by Lord Mandelson are approved.
Mr Weir said:
“I think people will struggle to understand why a firm, which just repaid millions in unpaid taxes, has been awarded a multi-million pound contract from the Inland Revenue.
“HMRC really need to explain what their thinking is on this one.
“To make matters worse this is the firm that appears to be front-runner to buy into Royal Mail if Lord Mandelson’s privatisation plans come to fruition.
“Privatisation would spell the beginning of the end for Royal Mail, and open the door to job losses, service cuts and a deterioration in the working conditions of postal workers.
“A private partner will only be concerned with profit, and Royal Mail must not loose the social focus which is essential for rural areas.”
Last week: Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier accuses TNT's chief executive, Peter Bakker, of trying to poach customers from the Royal Mail's profitable European parcels subsidiary, General Logistics Service (GLS). In an angry email sent to the government last week, Crozier claims that TNT had told some of GLS's biggest clients that TNT was about to buy GLS, even though the business is not part of the Royal Mail sell-off.
The news follows earlier reports that TNT, Peter Mandelson’s preferred partner in the part privatisation of Royal Mail, has been forced to pay back tens of millions of pounds in unpaid tax after its staff had acted illegally.