1. ITV Report

Government outline Royal Mail privatisation plans

The Government today outlined its controversial plans to privatise the Royal Mail - - a decision which was widely criticised by the unions.

ITV News Political Correspondent Chris Ship reports:

The company's 150,000 staff will be offered 10 per cent of shares for free, with the rest being offered to investors and the public at a minimum price of £750.

Unions heavily criticised the plans arguing it would lead to higher prices for consumers before announcing their intention to strike.

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports on the effect the privatisation plans will have on the public:

The Government moved to defend the plans with Business Secretary Vince Cable arguing the move would help "secure a healthy future" for the company, while Prime Minister David Cameron said the privatisation would "set Royal Mail free".

Labour's shadow Business Secretary labelled the plans as a "politically motivated fire sale" accusing the Government of failing to address the huge concerns of consumers, business and communities.

ITV News Correspondent Rageh Omaar reports on the past lessons of privatisation:

The Communication Workers Union dismissed the suggestion that Royal Mail could not survive without private investment as "simply not true", insisting the company could be successful under public ownership.

The union said they would be balloting their members for strike action.

Unions heavily criticised the plans and announced their intention to strike. Credit: PA Wire

The Chief Executive of Royal Mail, Moya Greene, warned workers that the threat of industrial action "made no sense", suggesting businesses would look elsewhere if they believed they could not rely on the company.

Ms Greene was reportedly booed by postal workers when she met union representatives in Birmingham earlier today.