Weir presses government to put “its money where its mouth is”

The future of a £60 million a year DVLA contract is a key test of the UK Government’s promise to secure the future of the Post Office by making the network the ‘front-office’ of government.

At Scottish Questions last week, SNP Postal Affairs spokesperson, Angus MP Mike Weir, highlighted a new report from the National Federation of SubPostmasters which underlines the dramatic decline in government services delivered through the network under the previous Labour government.

The report reveals that, in 2004/2005 government services accounted for nearly half (£576 million) of all revenue received by the Post Office but, by 2009/10 this had fallen to around a fifth (£167 million) of all Post Office revenue.

Mr Weir said: “UK Ministers have promised to make the post office network the ‘front office of government’ but the reality is that, over the past 10 years, there has been a sharp decline in government services available through the local network. The decision on the future of the £60 million a year DVLA contract is now a key test of that commitment. The UK Government must put its money where its mouth is.

“If the DVLA contract is lost it will have a very serious impact on the future of local post offices. This could have a devastating effect in communities across Angus.

The prospect is causing real worry as has been any demonstrated by the huge number of postcards I have received in support of the postmasters campaign, one of the largest I have ever seen.

If the UK government cannot deliver on this it makes an utter mockery of their claims to want to make the Post Office the “front office of government.”