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Austerity ‘Slash and burn’ cuts lie behind modest profit at Post Office, CWU warns

THE RETURN to profit for the Post Office network was driven by the government’s “slash and burn” cuts, unions warned yesterday.

The Post Office made £13 million in the last financial year, moving to profit for the first time in 16 years.

And ministers announced a three-year £370m funding package to run from next April, aimed at protecting village branches and modernising others.

But a posties’ union CWU spokesman said: “While the Post Office and government are dressing this up as good news, in reality the Post Office is facing a significant cut in government funding for the next three years.

“The CWU wants to see a profitable and successful Post Office, but its financial results have been delivered on the back of closures, thousands of job losses and huge reductions in income for sub-postmasters.

“The announcement marks a continuation of this strategy and is bad news for communities that rely on post offices across the country.

“Far from modernising the network this is managing its decline."

Fellow union Unite officer Brian Scott said there should be greater clarity on how the profit has been achieved.

He said: “Unite believes that the Post Office lacks a coherent strategy for the future and that much of its ‘success’ has been achieved through a slash-and-burn approach to jobs and the diminution in quality of customer experience.

“Post offices have been franchised and its relevance in the High Street is being undermined and this trend has to be challenged.”

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey added: “Despite the rhetoric, today’s announcement is actually a significant year-on-year cut in government funding for the Post Office.

“The Conservatives’ claims about modernisation are code for closures, job losses and pay cuts.”

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