Citizens Advice input to ERGP’s Work Programme 2021
Citizens Advice is the official watchdog for postal consumers in England and Wales. We have a statutory duty to protect the interests of all postal consumers, with particular regard for vulnerable people. Citizens Advice welcomes the opportunity to provide early input to the ERGP Work Programme 2021. We believe the ERGP and its members should work closely with consumer rights organisations like Citizens Advice to make sure all postal consumers are protected.
The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) 31 January 2020. However, we remain in the transition period which means that EU rules continue to apply to the UK postal market. Further, the nature of the future relationship between the UK and EU, and how this will impact postal regulation, is not yet clear. We believe it’s important to give our input on the ERGP’s programme as it might affect UK consumers in the future.
We believe that strategic Pillar III (“Empowering end-users and ensuring a user oriented universal service”) should be a key principle throughout all your work. Citizens Advice would like to see the ERGP focus on 2 areas:
● Truly universal access to post for all , and
● A parcels market that delivers for consumers
Our work on access to post and parcels (outlined in this document) calls into question the ERGP’s switch in focus from universal service provision to competition. Competition can be useful, but it must always be used as a tool to improve outcomes for consumers - not as an end in itself.