The Post Office (PO) has announced a ‘significant’ package of remuneration improvements for subpostmasters in a bid to help them offset the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

Chief executive, Nick Read outlined the plan to postmasters yesterday in London as its latest annual conference. Around 30 postmasters were physically in attendance, with others joining virtually.

Effective from the start of September, the PO has confirmed, in cash and banking, that it will double the transaction payment received by postmasters per banking deposit, as well as pay a fee for each £100 of any cash withdrawal of £500 or more, alongside paying for balance enquiries and failed transactions.

In Mails, the PO is set to introduce an acceptance payment for click and drop letters, passing on the full amount of the payment it receives from Royal Mail, directly to postmasters. Read also revealed the PO will double the payment postmasters receive for all payout transactions for the rest of this financial year. This will be backdated to 1 April 2022, so postmasters receive a full year’s worth of the 100% uplift.

The PO is currently consulting with the National Federation of SubPostmasters on all the announced improvements.

In recognition of the current economic crisis, Read said: “We want to get more money to you as soon as possible as we face into the difficult autumn ahead.”

In doing so, the PO will issue postmasters a one-off lump sum worth 7% of their mails and travel money remuneration based on the five months of trading already this financial year. This can be expected to be paid out in September’s remuneration.

Addressing postmasters, Read explained: “We live in difficult times. Soaring energy and fuel prices, runaway rates of inflation, rises in national insurance and the national minimum wage all combine to create something of a perfect storm from a trading perspective.

“So, I will not pretend that these improvements, significant as they are, offer a complete solution to your individual experiences of the worst cost-of-living crisis this country has seen for well over 40 years.

“I hope you will agree that they are an important step in the right direction. We will continue to search for opportunities to improve things further in the weeks and months ahead.”

Full coverage on everything discussed at the conference to be featured in next week’s issue of RN.

Read more cost-of-living crisis news and advice for retailers