§ Mr. Silvester
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what estimate the Post Office has made of the reduction in the number of sub-post offices that would result from a reduction in the remuneration of sub-postmasters by 20 per cent.
§ Mr. Michael Marshall
The Post Office has made no estimate of the reduction in the number of sub-post offices resulting from a lowering of sub-postmasters remuneration by 20 per cent.
I understand, however, that it has estimated that a loss in counter business volume of 20 per cent. could put up to 3,000 sub-post offices at risk, although the precise number of closures would depend to a considerable extent on the willingness of individuals to act as sub-postmasters.
The Government are fully aware of the importance which local communities attach to the availability of post offices and the services which they provide. Any changes will be made only after the most careful consideration and proper consultation.