Post Office Network

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 28th June 2000.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Byers Stephen Byers Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry 3:30 pm, 28th June 2000

The core income that sub-postmasters receive has been in decline for several years because people have voluntarily chosen to move to ACT. The announcement today will enable us to ensure a greater diversity, so that new sources of income will reach the post office network. The hon. Gentleman knows that it is not for the Secretary of State to negotiate the transaction costs, because that is a commercial matter. I do not negotiate the pay of those working for the CWU or the pay of sub-postmasters and mistresses, because that would be inappropriate. What we can do is to ensure that the post office network is attractive and that people will wish to visit it for their transactions. The statement I have made today will achieve that.

On the specific point of government business, I am able to announce today that whenever government services are to be provided, the Post Office will be entitled to tender for that work. That has not been the case in the past, but from now on the Post Office will automatically be on the list, and that will make a big contribution.