Postmasters have accused the Coalition of reneging on a promise to make their shops “the front office of government”.
Last week the Coalition announced a £250 million contract to the Post Office to continue providing a basic bank account. Department of Work and Pensions minister Steve Webb boasted the figure represented a 10% saving on the previous contract.
But while that saves the taxpayer money it takes the Coalition further from their promise to channel £450m of contracts annually through post offices.
Instead, the Federation of Sub Postmasters claims the UK Government is doing less business through its members than when it came to power in 2010. And with the number of customers using the basic Post Office Card Account having fallen by around half in the last 10 years, the sub postmasters say the new contract is the minimum help they need.
George Thompson, general secretary of the National Federation of Sub Postmasters, said: “While the extension to POCA is good news, it is nonetheless simply retaining the service already offered. The UK Government promised to make post offices its ‘front office’ but has so far failed to deliver on that.
“Sub postmasters are finding it increasingly difficult to make a living.”