More than 100,000 postmen and women will be promised a personal windfall of up to £2,000 each as part of the controversial £3bn privatisation of Royal Mail.
Vince Cable, the business secretary, is expected to say on Wednesday that the government has decided to give Royal Mail staff 10% of the shares in the privatised company for free, almost free or on a buy-one-get-one-free basis.
In a statement to the House of Commons at 1.30pm to formally kickstart the sale, Cable will say Royal Mail’s 150,000 UK employees will eventually collect up to £300m worth of shares by the time the government sells all of the company.
The government has already committed to granting 10% of the shares to Royal Mail staff, but has yet to state whether they would be given away for free or at a steep discount. Sources close to the government said they expected the shares would be given away for free, but stressed that a final decision had yet to be made.