Post Offices in South Lakeland could still be forced to close even after the conclusion of the Government's 'Network Change Programme' following the decision by the Post Office to cut sub-postmasters pay, according to local MP Tim Farron.
Mr Farron was responding to a warning from the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters that thousands of sub-postmasters could be out of work unless their pay improves. All subpostmasters receive a basic income of £10,000, plus commission on each transaction processed. Both are set to be cut according to the Federation.
Speaking at their annual conference in Torquay, federation general secretary George Thomson warned that up 3,000 sub-postmasters, including hundreds in rural communities such as South Lakeland could be forced to close.
Commenting Mr Farron said:
"It's obviously extremely concerning that the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters has highlighted the threat of possible post office closures due to the decision by the Post Office to cut subpostmasters pay.
"Post Offices such as the one in Oxenholme are the heart of the community. Oxenholme Post Office has only just re-opened after being closed over a year ago against the wishes of the community. It would be devastating for the local community if the future of Post Offices across South Lakeland is once again placed under a cloud.
"The Post Office has always been able to provide vital financial services such as pensions, bank accounts and savings to people in rural communities. I'm hopeful that the new coalition government will develop new products and services to ensure that the Post Office remains at the heart of rural communities."
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