§ 15. Mr. Robathan
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the impact on the post office network of switching benefit payments to automated credit transfer from 2003. 
§ Mr. Alan Johnson
We are fully committed to modernisation of the post office network and have made the largest ever investment into the Post Office, of half a billion pounds on post office automation, to make a start734W and with more to follow. When the move to ACT starts in 2003, post offices will be equipped to play a re-invigorated role at the heart of community life.
By accepting all 24 recommendations of the PIU report on the future of the post office network, we have demonstrated our continuing commitment to maintenance of a nationwide network of post offices.
Both before and after the change to ACT, those benefit and pension recipients who wish to continue to collect their benefits money in cash, in full, across a post office counter, will still be able to do so.