Mr Steven Bailey
The National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) are calling on the Government to reverse their decision to remove DVLA services from the Post Office network in the UK.
In a shock move, earlier this year, the Government announced its decision to remove all DVLA services from 31 March 2024. Removing yet further face-to-face transactions will have an extremely negative impact on vulnerable and digitally excluded customers whilst also jeopardising the livelihood of 50,000 full-time equivalent employees who work in the post offices around the UK. Losing this over-the-counter service is also another nail in the coffin for cash.
Currently six million customers access DVLA services across Post Office counters. Half of those pay in cash.
Calum Greenhow, CEO of the NFSP said, “Whilst online is very much with us in a modern world, the Government’s digital by default policy is pushing us directly into a cashless society, which will have an impact on many vulnerable groups. Due to the growth of online services, we are living increasingly isolated and sedentary lives, which generates mental and physical health problems. Conversely, the Post Office is a place where people can meet and communicate with their community and by using it, can keep services available locally.”
In response to the Government’s decision the NFSP have set out a campaign to raise awareness and collect signatures called “Prevent Government from removing DVLA services from the post office from April 2024’. Members of the public can sign the petition here but the NFSP are encouraging their customers to go into their local post office and physically sign an offline petition. This will support their local post office and protect this vital community service.
Calum said, “We hope to present a significant amount of signatures to Government and MPs on 2nd November this year so the issue can be debated in Parliament and presented at Downing Street to persuade them to reverse their decision. If Government continues to remove services from Post Office counters, then the network will go the way of many of the banks and cease to exist on our High Streets and within our communities.”
Postmasters are self-employed businesspeople who have invested their own money into the Post Office network. Collectively they employ around 50,000 full-time equivalent employees, who rely on their businesses to help them pay bills and provide for their families.
Last year, the network earned over £3m from providing DVLA services so at a time when there is a cost-of-living crisis, the loss of the DVLA income will hit Postmasters hard along with their ability to continue to employ staff.