The retention of the Post Office Card Account, as announced today (16 December) by the Department of Work and Pensions, is an important lifeline for the rural elderly and those on benefits, says the Countryside Alliance.
Countryside Alliance head of policy Sarah Lee welcomed the move, which safeguards the service for seven years with a £250 million contract, adding that allowing access to more Government, local authority and banking services through Post Offices could provide a big boost to this vital network.
“The Post Office’s 11,500 branches are essential for many people who do not have access to traditional banking or live in rural areas. The retention of the Post Office Card is very welcome but if we want Post Offices to be truly sustainable we need more services offered through this unparalleled network,” said Miss Lee.
“We would like to see the Post Office become a genuine front office for government at both the national and local level, including the expansion of financial services. Increasing footfall into Post Offices is a win-win for rural communities, increasing local services and keeping Post Offices open.”