Friday, September 03, 2010

Industry Group Urges PRC to Deny Proposed USPS Rate Hike

From the PostalNews blog: "The Affordable Mail Alliance – a growing coalition of non-profits, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, major trade associations, consumer groups, and citizens representing the vast majority of the mail sent in the United States – filed comments urging the Postal Regulatory Commission to help rein in the USPS’s excessive costs by denying the proposed rate hike."

“'The Post Office needs to reevaluate their approach,' said Jerry Cerasale, Affordable Mail Alliance Spokesperson and Senior Vice President of the Direct Marketing Association. 'Instead of trying to keep things afloat with a giant tax on consumers, the USPS should focus on improving management and controlling costs to get out of this mess. To do otherwise is just bad business.'

"This is the Alliance’s final legal step before the PRC announces their decision on October 4. The comments also highlight the Postal Service’s flip-flop on the cause for their request. The USPS previously claimed that such a severe rate increase was needed to alleviate an immediate and unforeseen cash crisis. But at the public hearing held on August 10, a top official admitted that the 'crisis' would not prevent them from operating in their current fashion for at least the next year. The Postal Service now claims that the rate increase is needed to prevent a longer-term profit slowdown over the next decade.

“'Our comments make the same case that businesses and working families are making all over the country,' said Cerasale. 'The Postal Service’s proposed rate hike is unreasonable, unhelpful, and unlawful, and the more than one thousand members of the Alliance are not going to let the Postal Service take advantage of its customers.'"

"The comments reiterate what the Alliance has argued all along – that the Postal Service has failed to show that it would suffer from its projected losses if it followed 'best practices of honest, efficient and economical management,' and has failed to meet the “extraordinary or exceptional” circumstance test of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. The increase thus should be rejected, especially at this time of economic uncertainty for America."

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