By Jonathan Davies

The government will sell its remaining 30% stake in Royal Mail, the Chancellor George Osborne has said.

Mr Osborne said it would the stake would be sold to held pay down the deficit.

He said the stake, which is currently worth £1.5 billion, won't be sold until the government is satisfied that it would get good value out of it.

The government was criticised when it first sold-off Royal Mail shares - many said the price was set too low after the value of shares grew by around 60% in the months after. Royal Mail shares dropped 2.5% after Mr Osborne's announcement.

The sell-off is part of the government's plans to eliminate the deficit by 2018/19.

Mr Osborne told MPs: "I am today announcing that the Government will begin selling the remaining 30% shareholding we have in the Royal Mail.

"It is the right thing to do for the Royal Mail, the businesses and families who depend on it - and crucially for the taxpayer.

"Further savings in departments this year - and selling our stake in the Royal Mail.

"Getting on with what we promised. Reducing the deficit - that is how you deliver lasting economic security for working people.

"For as everyone knows, when it comes to living within your means, the sooner you start the smoother the ride."