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Postal plans

Trevor Yearwood

Postal plans

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Government will have to take a close look at local postal rates, in view of rising delivery costs and unsatisfactory revenue in the post office.
Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite made this point in the House of Assembly today, speaking on a money resolution to cover the cost of utilities for post offices.
Brathwaite told the House that the revenue of the post offices was out of line with the cost of delivering the service. This had forced Government to “heavily subsidise” the service “for quite some time”, he added.
“We in fact should have a look at this social service and decide whether or not the time hasn’t come for us to bring it closer to the realities of the economic costs of providing it,” he told parliamentarians.
With more people turning to the Internet and other means of communication, the traditional use of the post offices and its mail-delivery service had declined “drastically”, along with the revenue stream, Brathwaite reported.
“What has been happening is that in fact that the post office is now being used more by commercial entities in terms of bulk packages, in terms of newspapers and periodicals, etc.,” he commented.
“Yet we have not had an increase in postal rates in Barbados since probably 2005, so what has been happening… is that we have actually been subsidising the cost of the delivery of mail, and moreover of mail for commercial customers and we’re going to have to look at that.”
Brathwaite pointed out that while the post office traditionally derived most of its revenue from the sale of stamps, “the sale of stamps for the usual delivery of mail had been declining”.
At the same time, the cost of production of stamps is increasing, he noted.
He said he wanted to “impress upon the Cabinet (and others) that in fact that the time draweth nigh when we in fact have to make a decision whether or not we want to bring the cost of this social service closer to the actual economic cost”.