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

As the hon. Lady knows, no figure has been agreed and the contract remains to be negotiated. It is a commercial transaction and the figure will be reached in the normal course of negotiations. [Interruption.] They are businesses and the negotiations concern a commercial arrangement. I shall not take part in the negotiations. Does she not understand that? The Government intend to ensure that the benefit recipient has a choice. She needs to be aware of that. We are having useful discussions with the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters about our broad approach to ACT and the new services that can be offered. The Post Office will discuss with the federation the detail of the agreements that are entered into. Contractual negotiations will take place, and there are many months between now and 2003 during which they can be concluded.