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Post Office Network

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 12:24 pm on 14th December 2006.

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Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling Secretary of State for Trade and Industry 12:24 pm, 14th December 2006

The annual subsidy is actually £150 million. As I said earlier, that will continue. The £1.7 billion will go to the overall losses of the Post Office but also to restructuring. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman remembers that when he was Secretary of State for Social Security, as I was, the policy was to provide people with a choice, which they increasingly exercised. I think that I am right that when he was Secretary of State many people started to use bank accounts simply because their working life had changed and they found it more convenient to do so. That is a fact of life, and we must deal with that, as many other businesses have had to do.