Sub-post Offices

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 4:09 pm on 12th April 2000.

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Photo of Stephen Byers Stephen Byers Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry 4:09 pm, 12th April 2000

They will not get an answer from the hon. Gentleman, but they will get one from my speech.

The reality is that all benefit recipients who wish to do so will continue to be able to access their benefits in cash at a post office, both before and after the change to an ACT-based system. I repeat that we shall put in place a mechanism so that both before and after 2003 all benefit recipients and state pensioners who want to will be able to access the exact amount of their benefits in cash across the counter at the post office, without incurring a charge for doing so.

The Opposition may wish to compel people to have their benefits paid through post offices, but we do not accept that. People must have a genuine choice and that is what we intend to offer.