MP frustrated as Government refuses Post Office review

Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows expressed frustration as the UK Government failed to commit to protecting Post Offices.

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Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows
Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows

Mrs Fellows, who is the SNP’s Small Business spokesperson secured a House of Commons debate on the sustainability of the Post Office network.

She called for a review of remuneration for postmasters and the process of franchising offices to preserve the Post Office network.

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This sentiment was echoed by many of her Parliamentary colleagues, however UK Minister for Postal Affairs Kelly Tolhurst refused to carry out a review.

She stated: “As a business, Post Office Ltd is increasingly profitable and takes action to consolidate and defend its position in the market

“We have moved on from a time when there were more than 7000 post office closures and the Post Office was over £1 billion in debt.

“I understand concerns about the viability of postmasters and their pay and expressed my determination to get to the bottom of some of these challenges.”

Mrs Fellows fought a successful campaign that will see sub-postmasters receive better financial remuneration from the Post Office Ltd for key banking services that they provide to the public.

However, a survey by the National Federation for Sub-Postmasters found one in five Post Offices risk closing in the next year as many postmasters are paid less than minimum wage for running their shops.

Mrs Fellows said: “It’s incredible a UK Minister would spend so much time praising increasing profits when it’s clear that this comes at the expense of hard-working postmasters.

“Whilst the Tories oversee the managed decline of a valued public service and institution by facilitating a Postmaster crisis, urgent action is needed to secure the Post Office’s sustainability and success in communities across Scotland - and the whole of the UK.

“The UK government refuses to listen to communities and businesses which rely on Post Offices and the sub-postmasters who runs them. As the special shareholder, the Tories need to commit to a full and independent review of Sub-Postmaster pay.”