§ Mr. Leigh
The President of the Board of Trade, in agreement with the Treasury and in consultation with the Post Office, has set Royal Mail and Post Office Counters Ltd. targets to achieve respectively an annual average return of 16 per cent. and 9.3 per cent. on capital employed over the three years 1992–93 to 1994–95. The profit used when calculating the return will be struck after interest—excluding interest on past surpluses—but before tax. The capital employed on which returns will be calculated will be the greater of either opening fixed assets or the previous year's closing capital employed.
The President of the Board of Trade, in agreement with the Treasury and in consultation with the Post Office, has set the following real unit cost targets for Royal Mail and Post Office Counters Ltd.:
- Cumulative reduction by 1994–95 over 1991–92
- Royal Mail—4 per cent.
- Post Office Counters Ltd.—3 per cent.
As Parcelforce operates in a competitive market, the President of the Board of Trade has agreed with the Post Office that an efficiency target need not be set. The President of the Board of Trade announced on 15 July 1992 that Parcelforce is to be sold. Parcelforce has been set the financial target of achieving at least break even in each of the years 1992–93 and 1993–94, but has not been set a financial target in respect of 1994–95.
§ Ms Estelle Morris
To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he will make it his policy, in the event of privatisation of Parcelforce, to impose an obligation on those who assume responsibility for the employment of Parcelforce staff to ensure that the pension rights and expectations of these staff are equal to those they enjoy as members of the Post Office superannuation scheme the Post Office pension scheme;207W
(2) what will be the basis in which he proposes to aportion the surpluses in the Post Office superannuation scheme and the Post Office pension scheme in the event of the privatisation of Parcelforce;
(3) what external advice his Department has sought on the legal implications of unilaterally changing the pension rights and entitlements on Parcelforce staff in the event of privatisation;
(4)what action he proposes to take to ensure that the long-term pension expectations of Post Office staff in Parcelforce are in no way diminished as a result of any privatisation.
§ Mr. Kirkwood
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment his Department has made of the impact that adoption of any of the three new forms for new pensioners that the Department of Social Security currently has under trial, would have on the viability of the current network of post offices and sub-post offices.