NFSP Communications Team
Your local post office delivers vital services to the most vulnerable in your community: Providing parcel and letter collection and despatch; access to cash, essential utilities plus banking and Government services; without the post office network, millions of people would be cut adrift from these vital services.
Every week sees yet another high street bank closes its doors for good. And while many can access their online banking services, there are many people across the nations, that cannot. In August 2021, the UK Office for National Statistics estimated 4% of households in the UK (equivalent to around 1.1 million households) do not have internet access. Others have physical disabilities that restrict use of computers, tablets, and smart phones, while some lack the basic digital literacy to use these devices. Some have language barriers. It all adds up to 15% of people in the UK depend on the post office for cash and banking services. *
In many parts of the UK, particularly in rural areas, local businesses rely on their local post office to deposit their takings. Without it, they would have to travel miles to the nearest bank and over time they may have no option but to go cashless, thereby denying the vulnerable people dependant on cash, access to essential goods and services.
The Post Office is made up of a nationwide network of 11,706 subpostmasters and subpostmistresses employing nearly 50,000 staff*. They make their money per transaction rather than a flat payment, so the less people using their local post office, the fewer transactions.
From April 2021 to March 2023 the post office network saw a decline in revenues from parcels and letter of £36 million. Recent research from the National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP)* found that 70% of postmasters are currently earning the National Minimum Wage of £9.50 per hour or less, from income generated by their post offices.
Despite the overall positive impact, the post office network has on our communities, the rate of remuneration for subpostmasters is not keeping pace with the cost of living. With postage now available to buy online, people are being given more reasons to not visit the post office.
When you buy your postage online, you are paying Royal Mail which is a large corporation, not connected to the post office in your area. While it may be more convenient to buy online, you would be doing your community a service by stepping outside for a breath of fresh air and visiting your local post office to buy your stamps.
The chances are that you live within at most, three miles from your local post office*. So, the next time you need to send a parcel or a card to a loved one, instead of buying your postage online, take that step. Visit your local post office for a sustainable community.
Please note: If you are an NFSP member you can access a toolkit of resources*** to get involved with the Take That Step campaign - encouraging the public to avoid buying online postage and to visit their local post office.
*Post office figures based on London Economics: Part and Parcel: The economic and social value of Post Office, February 2023.
**NFSP Remuneration Survey
*** You will need to be logged into the members area of the NFSP website to access the toolkit. If you have any issues logging in, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.