§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will place a paper in the Library outlining the fee payment system to(a) sub-post offices and (b) the Post Office for benefit transactions, setting out all volume-related variable fees.
§ Mr. Hague
The system of fees to be paid by the Department of Social Security to Post Office Counters Limited for encashment of order books and other services in 1993–94 is still being negotiated.
In earlier years the fee has included a fixed charge; a variable charge to cover costs which vary with changes in volume; a financial charge to cover the costs of activities necessary to ensure the supply of adequate quantities of notes and coin to pay pensions and allowances and other outpayments; and a publicity charge relating to the cost of providing display of posters and leaflets.
The system for remunerating individual sub-post offices is a commercial agreement between Post Office Counters Ltd. and the National Federation of Sub-postmasters.