The National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) has slammed Post Office Limited (POL) for cutting payments to subpostmasters while operating profits increase.
POL reported a £33m increase in operating profit for the 2012-13 financial year with overall revenue - excluding the government’s Network Subsidy Payment - increasing by 4.5%. The growth in revenue largely came from its telecoms arm, which saw a 7.5% increase, and financial services which grew by 6.4%.
The Post Office recently reduced the Core Tier Payment, or fixed pay, for subpostmasters and removed the mail segregation payment for sorting post in branches.
NFSP chief executive George Thomson said: “These figures once again expose the continued decline in pay to subpostmasters, which has now reached a point where the future of thousands of post offices is at risk,” he said.
“There appears to be a culture within POL of deliberately and actively choosing to grow profits and justify management bonus payments through reducing pay to the very people who run our post offices. Subpostmasters are being starved out of their investments and out of the post office network.”
Sales of government services run through the network remained flat over the period, prompting Thomson to call for more to be done to help the network survive.
“The abject failure of the government to deliver on its pledge to use post offices as the ‘front office for government’, offering face-to-face access to a wide range of central and local government services, is demonstrated in the report by the complete lack of income growth in this area,” he added. “Unless ministers urgently intervene to properly address this growing crisis, the post office network as we know it has no chance of survival.”