asked the Minister of Transport if he will seek to make arrangements to enable sub-post offices to handle vehicle taxation work; and if he will make a statement on the use which his Department would make of sub-post offices.
I announced on 30 November that we were proposing that the Post Office should take on more vehicle licensing work. This will be brought about in stages within the next two years and will involve virtually all relicensing applications.To deal with this work, arrangements are being made to increase by about 1,000 the number of post offices concerned. In future about 3,000 offices will be involved: about 1.400 of them will be sub-post offices.I am not yet in a position to say precisely which offices will be used. Discussions are still taking place with the Post Office. The objective is to produce a spread of offices where the public can re-licence their vehicles, in order to give the most convenient service possible consistent with administrative economy.When the new arrangements get under way, we will want to consider how far the coverage of the country which we have provided is satisfactory and whether, in some areas, additional outlets through sub-post offices would be beneficial.This change will be an important contribution to our plans for improving the administration of vehicle excise duty which we expect will save something like £7 million and over 1,000 Civil Service posts.