The Countryside Alliance welcomes today's announcement that the Post Office will continue to run the Post Office Card Account which is used by 4.3 million people to collect benefits and pensions.
The Countryside Alliance last week called for a definitive plan from Government on the account's future, and is gratified that Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell has told MPs he would do "nothing to put the network at risk".
Countryside Alliance Chief Executive Simon Hart said: "Thousands of Post Office branches have been closed and the network remains on extremely shaky ground, so it is encouraging that the Government is making this supportive move and enabling the Post Office to keep one of its key contracts.
"The Countryside Alliance backs our Post Offices as the hearts of the communities they serve. Today's lifeline will be met with relief in the countryside. Many isolated and elderly people depend on their branch not just for their postal services but for support and social interaction. Although the network's future remains a real concern, we are encouraged by the Government having made the right decision today."
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