§ Dr. Blackburn
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement about the profit targets of the Post Office.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The profit target for 1988–89 set following consultation with the Post Office for its postal business, covering the letters, parcels and counters businesses, is 3.25 per cent. return on turnover, before net interest and tax, on the current cost accounting basis. Profit targets for the three businesses in 1988–89 separately calculated on the same basis are 2.8 per cent. for letters, 6.8 per cent. for parcels and 1.2 per cent. for counters. The profit target for Girobank plc in 1988–89 is to make a return, before tax and interest on long-term loans from the Secretary of State, of 20 per cent. of mean net assets on a historic cost accounting basis.