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The SNP has welcomed news that from October 2019 Sub-postmasters will receive better financial remuneration from the Post Office Ltd for key services that they provide to the public.

The announcement comes just weeks after SNP MP Gavin Newlands secured a House of Commons debate on the sustainability of Community and Sub-Post Offices, in which he reiterated SNP calls to give Sub-postmasters a fairer settlement. In recent months, SNP spokesperson for Small Business Marion Fellows MP, has written to the UK government calling for these changes to strengthen the Post Office network.

At the National Union of Sub-postmasters Annual Conference, the Post Office Ltd announced that they will be raising the rates of payment that Sub-postmasters receive for taking personal and business banking deposits, representing a near three-fold increase on current rates. The changes have been welcomed by Sub-postmasters.

The SNP has highlighted the rising importance of Post Offices to small towns and rural communities, the overwhelming majority of which are run by Sub-postmasters. As bank branch numbers continue to fall, local Post Offices have become increasingly important to communities - particularly to the elderly and those with additional support needs because of the face-to-face banking services that they provide. This is on top of the role they play in services regarding post, advice, pensions, benefit administration and working as community spaces.

Commenting, Gavin Newlands MP said:

“It is great to see the Post Office Ltd take steps in the right direction which will help secure the long term financial sustainability of thousands of local Post Offices.

“However, more work is still needed to increase public and business awareness of the banking services available at post offices, and to protect Sub-postmasters from the risks associated with handling large volumes of cash

“The local Post Office plays a huge role in public life – it is both a symbol of the community and a lifeline on everything from pensions and benefits to vital day-to-day banking services.

“In many small and rural towns in Scotland, the local Post Office is the last place where a face-to-face service is available, making it essential for the elderly and those with additional support needs.

“Sub-postmasters have continually raised concerns that they are not receiving adequate financial remuneration for services they provide to major banks turning over huge profits, resulting in many post offices operating at a loss. It is great to see that they have finally been listened to.

“I hope that this announcement represents the beginning of the end of this culture of unfair deals and unfair work for Sub-postmasters.”

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