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This comment is to the company I previously knew has Royal Mail. I rerceived a card through my letter box to collect an undelivered envelope from the local sorting office and pay 56p. On collection I found the envelope already with a 1 stamp on but with a further 06p to pay to the correct postage ammount of 1.06p plus 50p handling, totallying 56p payment. I think this is a rip off for innocent users to be treated in this manner. I have still to receive a reply to my letter of complaint.

Mr.T King

London Mayor National Health Service
General Section


Governments, don't you just love 'em? Well whoever's in power it always seems no matter what they do they just can't get it right. But then you never can please all of the people, all of the time can you?

So here we have created a Government sector, which differs a bit from the industries on the other pages, but we still feel the Government has to be accountable, not only at election time, but all the time. FairComment wants to hear your views on how the government and the ministers are doing at their job too.

On the Government page you will see we have outlined all the general activities that the government is responsible for. Here you can leave general comments about the government or about the roles of the ministers.

We have also highlighted two other Government areas above which are currently getting a lot of attention; The London Mayor and the National Health Service. If you wish to make comments on these please click on the icons above to take you to those pages. Of course no less important are Education and Police and many others, we will shortly add pages for these too, meanwhile please add any comments about these services under the general government page.

FairComment's Guide to The Government
Well, it's always easy to knock the Government, whoever it is in power. On these pages FairComment aims to give you an overview of 'everything you wanted to know about the Government but were to afraid to ask!' - a description of the roles and responsibilities of the Government. So if you believe they've failed in upholding these important positions or you want to praise them for a job well done, let us know.

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, aims to help improve the economic performance of these industries. It's role is to support farming and farmers but also involves production and processing, food safety, the environmental impact of farming, and the wider contexts of the UK economy and the European Union.

The Arts Council - The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for appointing members onto the Arts Council. The Arts Council is the national body for the arts in England, who distribute public money from government and the lottery to artists and arts organisations, both directly and through the 10 Regional Arts Boards.

Benefits - All forms of benefit are the responsibility of the Department of Social Security, except housing and council tax benefit, that are administered by local council's.

Budget - The twice-yearly budget is the responsibility of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Business - see Department of Trade and Industry

Communication OFTEL is the regulator - or "watchdog" - for the UK telecoms industry and is a government department but independent of ministerial control. The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry appoints the Director General of Telecommunications. OFTEL's aim is for customers to get the best possible deal in terms of quality, choice and value for money

Ministry of Defence aims to provide the defence capabilities needed to ensure the security and defence of the United Kingdom and the Overseas Territories (including fighting terrorism) and to support the Government's foreign policy objectives, particularly in promoting international peace and security. This is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Defence
Department of Education Employment is the government department with responsibilities to give everyone in the UK the oportunity for education, training and work with the aim of building an inclusive and fair society and competitive economy

Energy - the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) was formed early in 1999 by combining the functions of the former Office of Gas Supply (Ofgas) and the Office of Electricity Regulation (OFFER).

Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) was fomed from the merger of the former Departments of Environment and Transport in June 1997 after the May 1997 elections. This is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions. Amongst others the aims of the DETR are; to protect and improve the environment; offer everyone the opportunity of a decent home; promote efficient and integrated transport services across different modes and reduce road traffic growth.

Finance - The governments responsibilities for finance include; Her Majesty's treasury; Financial Services Authority (FSA); Competition Commission (formerly monopolies and mergers comission)

Food - See Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Foreign Affairs is the responsibility of the Department for International Development (DfiD)

Health is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Health - see also NHS pages

The Housing Corporation is a UK Government Agency. The Housing Corporations board is appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions

Immigration and nationality issues are the responsibility of the Home Office.
The Inland Revenue is responsible, under the overall direction of Treasury Ministers, for the efficient administration of income tax, tax credits, corporation tax, capital gains tax, petroleum revenue tax, inheritance tax, national insurance contributions and stamp duties. The Department's job is to provide an effective and fair tax service to the country and Government.

Law and Justice - Home Office, HM Prisons, National Police Force
The Northern Ireland Office is the office of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland who maintains responsibility for constitutional and security issues as they relate to Northern Ireland

The Scotland Office is the government department responsible for ensuring that Scottish interests are represented within the United Kingdom Government. As part of the devolution settlement, the Scottish Executive, its First Minister and the new Scottish Parliament now have responsibility for devolved issues in Scotland such as health, housing and education. But other issues such as employment, fiscal and economic policy, taxation, social security, benefits and pensions are retained by the Scotland Office.

Sport - Sport England (formerly known as English Sports Council) is responsible for promoting sport and is accountable to Parliament through the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Scotland, Wales and Ireland Sports Councils also exist.

Taxes - see Inland Revenue

The Department of Trade and Industry is the UK Government department with the overall aim "To increase competitiveness and scientific excellence in order to generate higher levels of sustainable growth and productivity in a modern economy." This is the responsibility of Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

Transport - see Department of Environment, Transport and Regions

Utilities - See Energy (OFGEM) and Water (OFWAT)

The Wales Office was formed on July 1 1999 when most of the powers of the Welsh Office were handed over to the National Assembly for Wales. The Secretary of State for Wales is responsible for liaising with the devolved administration in Wales and represents Wales' interests in the Cabinet and in Parliament.

Water - Office of Water Services (OFWAT) is the economic regulator for the water industry in England and Wales.


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