East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson has welcomed a major Government deal on post offices which offers support to disabled people and the elderly while also helping to protect the future of local post offices.
The deal, unveiled by Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister Steve Webb, guarantees until 2022 the future of the Post Office Card Account system which ensures people without a bank account can receive benefits and tax credits.
As the Government Minister for Postal Affairs, Jo has helped deliver a £2bn modernisation of the Post Office network to ensure that the millions of customers using post offices every week continue to be able to access key services. New open plan ‘Local’ models, as seen in Torrance, Stonedyke and Lenzie post offices, have meant many branches now have longer opening hours, upgraded services and a more modern retail environment.
“I am a strong supporter of keeping local post offices at the heart of our communities.
“Last week I was delighted to attend the official opening of the new Lenzie Post Office, and this year I have cut the ribbon at the new Stonedyke Post Office, the renovated Torrance Post Office and joined in the birthday celebrations at Bishopbriggs Post Office.
“This £250m deal is fantastic news for the nearly 12,000 post offices up and down the country and recognises the important social and economic role that subpostmasters play in local communities across the UK.”
Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister Steve Webb said:
“I am very pleased we have secured this new contract, which provides good value to the taxpayer, ensures the continuation of a valuable service for pensioners and benefit claimants, and helps safeguard the future of the Post Office network.
“Although most people have a bank account, there are certain groups for whom this is not viable and, for them, the Post Office Card Account provides an important lifeline.”