Post Office closure proposals condemned by Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson and Cllr Cathy McInnes are campaigning to save local post offices

Local Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesperson Jo Swinson has condemned the proposed closure of 4 local post offices in East Dunbartonshire: Courthill, Killermont, Westerton and Auchinairn.

She said, “We must fight to save our post offices. Older people in particular rely on them, not just for collecting their pension but for maintaining contact with their families and indeed often just for human contact. Once the post office network has gone, it cannot be replaced.”

“The so-called consultation on the closures is a farce. The consultation period of 6 weeks is

ludicrously short.”

She also criticised the Labour Government for its decision to scrap the pension book – a move that is accelerating the closure of post offices.

Figures produced by the independent House of Commons library show that the Government’s plan to scrap the pension book will result in a massive loss of revenue for the post office network. The Government has written to all pensioners and benefit claimants who pick up their money at the post office and told them to choose one of three ‘direct payment’ options. It is estimated from the House of Commons library that 47% of pension book users are opting, when asked, to have money paid into bank and building society accounts rather Post Office card accounts. This corresponds to 202,004 customers in Scotland alone.

Jo continued, “The Labour Government’s plans to scrap the pension book will rob the post office network of vital revenue and customers, and will accelerate the rate of closures. Many of the pensioners who want to stick with the post office could be met with a permanent ‘closed’ sign. The plans are driven by cost-cutting and not what is best for pensioners.”