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Taxpayers 'short-changed' in Royal Mail privatisation

There has been criticism that Royal Mail is being sold off too cheaply, with City investors sharing in a big windfall and small investors not getting enough of an opportunity.

There are indications shares in the company will be oversubscribed - so investors will not get all the shares they apply for.

Shares are likely to go up in price sharply after Royal Mail goes on sale - which will mean instant profits for those who do get shares.

Chuka Umunna, Labour's business spokesman, told the Today programme: "The taxpayer is being massively short-changed.

"We know why they're rushing to do this, because they have a massive hole in George Osborne's economic finances, and they're trying to plug it."

The government said it was following "normal commercial practice".

First broadcast on the Today programme on Monday 7 October.

  • 07 Oct 2013