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Post Office pays out
Post Office , Issue 1479
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LUCRATIVE POST: Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells trousered £718,000 in the year 2017/18
MORE bumper financial results for the still government-owned Post Office, as it records a second year of profit on the back of its ongoing “transformation” programme. Indeed, its profits have risen yet further, from £13m to £35m for 2017/18.

As a result, chief executive and CofE preacher Paula Vennells has received yet another pay rise many times those to be found anywhere else in the economy. This year, thanks to bonus payments linked to the profit rises, her wedge goes up 7 percent to £718,000 (last year it rose 8.4 percent). Finance director Alisdair Cameron trousered an impressive 9 percent rise to £596,000.

Sinking subs
But who’s paying for the £22m increase in profit that so enriches the pair? Eye readers won’t be surprised to hear that it’s the country’s under-remunerated postmasters and sub-postmasters. Payments to them for the services they provide were cut by £17m, and that followed a £27m cut the previous year. In the past two years all the Post Office’s profits have come from reductions in payments to the postmasters.

The Post Office admits the cuts are due to “changing revenue mix and network transformation”, which amounts to a move away from traditional services such as paying benefits and greater reliance on selling financial products on behalf of banks. Sub-postmasters in particular are feeling the pinch, forced to either shut down or switch to a new, more commercial model of office on lower income.

“Every year,” wrote Vennells in her annual report, “I am reminded of the dedication and sheer hard work of our postmasters and colleagues, serving our customers day in, day out.” Every month, she can look at her pay cheque and thank them again.

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Private Eye Issue 1478