John Denham MP, Labour's Shadow Business Secretary, commenting on the coalition's announcement today on the future of the Post Office said:
"The decision not to allow the Post Office to offer banking services is disappointing and a huge missed opportunity for the coalition government. Not only would a 'People's Bank' along the lines proposed by Labour help sustain the Post Office network and make financial services more accessible, it would also boost competition in the banking sector - surely a key aim of the coalition.
“Any new investment is welcome, but post offices cannot survive without a guarantee of the business that they get from Royal Mail. The coalition is determined to sell Royal Mail without legislating for any long term commitment to post offices. Promises of extra work from government departments and local authorities are not worth having unless they are turned into bankable contracts. In practice the coalition can’t even guarantee post offices will keep the contract for the Department for Work and Pensions' payments.”