Alliance East Belfast respresentatives, Naomi Long MP and Chris Lyttle MLA, who was the founding Chair of the Assembly Group on Postal Issues, have welcomed the announcement that the Department for Work and Pensions has renewed the Government contract for the Post Office card accounts. The current contract had been due to expire next year. Benefit payments are made to about 150,000 people in Northern Ireland through Post Office card accounts.
Naomi Long MP, who is a member of the Westminster Group on Post Offices, said: “I am pleased that the Government has renewed this contract for a further seven years. The network of Post Offices throughout Northern Ireland provide valuable services for many people, especially older people and those in rural areas. However, the sustainability of our Post Offices requires the support of the Government through such contracts as the Post Office card accounts.”
Chris Lyttle MLA, who was the founding Chair of the Assembly Group on Postal Issues, said: “In November I secured cross party support for an Assembly motion which called on the Government to provide more public services through Post Offices, so I am pleased that they are recognising the role they have in supporting our Post Offices.
“I hope that the Executive will also look to further support our Post Offices through a development fund which other UK regions have benefitted from. This could help improve the viability of Post Offices and allow them to increase the range of services that they can provide to the local community.”