Thursday, November 13, 2008

Labour MP David Anderson accused of hypocrisy over Post Offices

Labour MP Blaydon, David Anderson, has been accused of hypocrisy after he put his name to a Parliamentary motion supporting Post Offices only to vote against it in the House of Commons shortly afterwards.

Post Offices face a bleak future if the Government gives another company the contract to pay out pensions and benefits. They currently deliver this through the Post Office Card Account (POCA), which is used by around 4 million elderly people and benefit claimants.

It is believed that up to 6,000 Post Offices could close if the POCA is taken away from them. Ministers are expected to announce their decision on POCA shortly.

The Parliamentary motion expresses worries about the damaging results on Post Offices if they lose more business. Ministers and government agencies are currently putting huge pressure on people to get pensions and benefits paid directly into bank accounts instead of through the Post Office.

The motion called on government departments and agencies to use Post Offices to make services available through Post Offices to help both the Post Office network and the people who rely on it. MPs could sign the motion over the summer and autumn. Liberal Democrat MPs then brought it to the House of Commons to debate it on Monday 10th November.

“Residents of Blaydon constituency will have every right to feel let down by David Anderson’s hypocrisy on Post Offices,” said Councillor Peter Maughan, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman for Blaydon.

“It seems that he says one thing about Post Offices and then votes the exact opposite way.

“Mr Anderson chose to vote to throw out the concerns about the future of Post Offices and replace them with praise for what the Government has done to the Post Office network.

“Our area needs an MP who will fight for local people, one who will do what it says on the cover. What we have is one who postures in support of local people and then runs away from taking action when it’s needed.”

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