The difficulties facing Subpostmasters across the UK stem from of the UK Government’s privatisation regime of a community asset resulting in Subpostmasters being underpaid and undervalued. The Post Office and communities are on the brink of a crisis as more and more do not feel it is worth their while. The UK Government must intervene.
Reducing services and moving Subpostmasters from monthly guaranteed payments to piecework has slashed their take-home pay. They perform a highly skilled and valued role. They must be treated with respect and given proper remuneration for their work.
The Post Office has approached eight different Subpostmasters to ask that they step in to keep the Wishaw branch open temporarily. Conditions are so bad, all eight have turned it down.
The Post Office is attempting to franchise more Crown branches. They may even struggle to staff them.
If more branches close, postage services will be lost, but it will also impact pensioners and social security claimants, for example, who frequently use the Post Office to withdraw their entitlements in cash. They will have to travel further to access them and will incur costs in doing so. This could be especially problematic in rural areas.
The UK Government keeps cutting subsidies to the Post Office, squeezing services and Subpostmasters resulting in a managed decline. They cannot sit on their hands. They must intervene to ensure that Subpostmasters are properly paid so they can continue to service communities.