Today, on the floor of the House of Commons, Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has called for banks to pay larger dividends to Post Offices for the banking services that they provide.
During an urgent question on Post Office Executive bonuses to Kevin Hollinrake, Minister for the Department for Business and Trade, Tim raised the issue that dozens of Post Offices have closed in recent times. Within Cumbria, the Shap, Natland and Hawkshead Post Offices have all recently been forced to close their doors.
On the floor Tim said: "I am outraged by these bonuses but of course, whilst the Post Office Executives get these huge bonuses, dozens of post office branches around Cumbria are struggling to survive.
"Many face closure and they can't break even. Given that the high street banks have largely abandoned our towns and villages isn't it time then for the Government to ensure that those banks pay a much larger sum to our Post Office network to insure our much-valued branches can survive and thrive and giving our sub Post Masters and sub Post Mistresses a pay rise, not the Executives."
In response, the Minister said: "He is absolutely right we need to make sure that there is a sustainable business model around a Post Office and whether that's in relation with banking I'm very happy to discuss that with him. There are also opportunities for banking hubs, for example, which might make those businesses more sustainable and I'm keen to explore that opportunity whatever way we can."
Speaking afterwards, Tim said: "I am encouraged by the Minister's response and will happily take a meeting with him to discuss these options. Post Offices are a lifeline for rural communities with the huge number of services that they provide, and we must ensure that they can survive."