Government must rethink abolition of the Post Office Card Account

November 30, 2006 3:50 PM
Post Office.

Government plans to scrap the Post Office Card Account, mean that more Post Offices in Derby could face closure

Liberal Democrats in Derby are calling on the government to save the Post Office Card Account. Recent figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats reveal that in the Derby North and South constituencies 17,240 people use the post office card account to receive their pensions or benefits.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Maggie Hird says "I know from talking to people in my area, that many people value the Post Office Card Account. It is astonishing that the Government seems intent on destroying a service which is of such great value to so many people across the local community and the country as a whole. The Post Office Card Account offers an accessible and affordable way for thousands of people in the area to receive their benefits, yet the Government is proposing to simply just stop it.

"I chose to have a Post Office Card Account because I can access it at my local Post Office and not have to make a separate trip to the village centre or into town. I can then withdraw as much as I like, then shop, collect or drop off my child at school, all in one walk able local trip.

"This proposal seems to dismiss the fact that we have an ever-growing population of older people, who have many different needs. It also assumes that people who want to collect their pensions and child benefit all have easy access to bank accounts and transport, which even in today's modern society is not always the case for many people.

"Without the vital revenue stream from the post office card account, the Government is further undermining the long term viability of the post office network meaning that even more than the 3,500 post offices already closed by Labour will be put out of business."

Commenting further on an Age Concern Report published recently Councillor Hird said:"The Government must pay far greater heed to the effects the closure of post offices have on a community - nearly 8 out of 10 people feel that the closure of their local post office would present a loss of essential local services.

"This is yet another example of an over centralised Government entirely out of touch with local communities."

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Notes: The Age Concern report findings on Post Offices can be found at http://www.ageconcern.org.uk/AgeConcern/BBA8F3E6C959416E9437E36F9B00EBD4.asp