Post Office pitfalls


The latest news regarding the Post Office is that it will be allowed to continue its 'card account' allowing it to distribute benefits to 4.3million people. The pitfalls of the Post Office seem to be in the news far too often with there being endless debates as to its effectiveness. Rarely do efficient, well-run services come under such intense scrutiny.

There are numerous arguments against our nationalized, monopoly Post office, showing it as an outdated, inefficient organisation. Firstly, its demise could be due to societal changes. The advent of the internet and email has meant that firms and individuals are no longer transferring information by post on such a grand scale. Technology allowing the mass transfer of information at the click of a button has made the post box redundant. Secondly, as with any nationalised industry, the post office is inefficient. People have become despondent with letters being lost or arriving late. The risk associated with using the post office is being offset by using private courier firms, especially for business deliveries.

Despite being given a massive market share and plenty of funding by the government, the Post Office has been unable to utilise any significant economies of scale. They are now facing increasing competition from foreign firms who have managed enough capital to develop significant infrastructures, developing a quicker and more reliable service.

The government should stop wasting tax revenue on a service which is clearly failing. The Post Office has failed due to poor management and a lack of profit incentives. The government should stop interfering within this market, allowing private firms greater control. This competition would drive prices down and allow for more innovative and efficient services to be developed in a service which is still key to our infrastructure.