Royal Mail deliveries to every address in the UK could be threatened by opening up the postal service to competition, MPs warned yesterday.
Peter Luff, the Conservative chairman of the Trade and Industry Select Committee, which is looking at the impact of competition on the postal service, said: "The committee is really anxious to protect a universal service similar to the one we have at present. If competition is more intense than people are expecting, the universal service could be threatened in all kinds of ways, particularly as private sector operators cream off the more profitable parts of the market."
The MPs saida "universal service" is not worthy of the name if it allows for "any geographic exemptions".
The Royal Mail recently announced price rises for stamps to try to help it overcome years of underinvestment and a pensions deficit of £4bn.