Home Money Hands off the King’s head: we must resist this attack on the Royal Mail, says ALEX BRUMMER

Hands off the King’s head: we must resist this attack on the Royal Mail, says ALEX BRUMMER

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Rich profits: the collapse of the volumes of the

Arrivals at Washington’s Dulles Airport are greeted with a large sign above the escalators that reads: “US Steel and Nippon Steel are stronger together.”

But the proposed $15 billion deal between two of the largest producers of the strategic metal is on hold due to White House concerns.

If only Britain had the same recognition of the danger of indebted foreigners seizing infrastructure in which the public has a stake.

If so, there could be no crisis at Thames Water, nor inflated landing fees at Heathrow.

Royal Mail investors will no doubt be delighted that Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky’s siege of Britain’s five-century-old postal delivery service has materialized as a full-scale bid.

Rich profits: Collapsing ‘traditional mail’ volumes, along with stubborn unions, have undermined profits and confidence in Royal Mail

The Royal Mail board of directors, chaired by Keith Williams, is not taking the bait for the moment.

It’s bad enough that almost every UK company that once boasted “British” in its name, such as the British Airports Authority and Associated British Ports, has ended up in foreign hands.

As if the monarchy didn’t have enough problems right now, it seems that the “Royal” title and the seals with the King’s head are now also at stake.

Royal Mail is not a success story.

Collapsing “snail mail” volumes, along with the stubbornness of unions, have undermined profits and confidence.

Recently, a way forward has been established with new leadership by prioritizing urgent letters. He should be given a chance.

It is suspected that Kretinsky may be more interested in the profitable logistics company Continental GLS than in last mile delivery in the UK.

However, separating Royal Mail from the GLS delivery experience would be a mistake.

The board and the Government must resist an attack on the Royal Mail in the national interest.

extreme privilege

In times of war, all bets are off when it comes to debt and government borrowing. This is how much of the Western world was burdened by unsustainable debt and a growing national debt.

The combination of the pandemic, quickly followed by Russia’s war against Ukraine, substantially increased the borrowing and debt that persisted after the great financial crisis.

The last thing the UK and other G7 economies need is another conflict.

Budgets are already bloated and an election year in the United States and Britain makes talk of higher taxes or budget cuts “off-limits.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lives in something of a political vacuum, meaning it can speak ill of the risks of failing to address a fiscal disaster.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is among the victims of this, even though his two reductions in national insurance contributions pale in comparison to the estimated £35bn being raised by freezing tax relief.

The IMF is right. Fiscal reserves, or the safety net of national budgets, have been eroded. President Biden has been spending like there is no tomorrow.

Investments made through semiconductor subsidies and climate change policies may pay off in the long run by improving productivity and the U.S. trade balance, but they raise the possibility of a credit crunch.

The IMF projects that, in five years, US debt will represent 108 percent of national output. Bill Clinton-era Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin warned that this is dangerous.

By comparison, the UK’s projected debt-to-output ratio, using IMF data, of 98 percent towards the end of the decade does not seem so alarming.

The United States has the advantage of managing the world’s reserve currency. So an attack on the US budget also undermines the security of the world’s second and third largest economies, China and Japan, which hold large amounts of dollar bonds in reserves.

Britain does not have the same luxury. It should not be diverted from infrastructure investment or the growth generated by wealth-generating tax cuts.

waiting game

One of the favorite complaints of wealthy Brexiteers is immigration queues at European airports. If you want a real nightmare, visit Washington DC.

Non-US attendees at IMF and World Bank sessions have faced three-hour entry delays.

Brits traveling to the continent this summer should thank their lucky stars.

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