The proposal by the UK Government to privatise Royal Mail, will threaten the future of rural post offices, Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone has said.
In a statement issued ahead of a debate in Stormont, the SDLP man said rural areas would be hit hardest.
“The post office network is a vital part of the service - not just for individuals, but also for many rural businesses,” he said.
“Those post offices are the hubs of communities in many parts of the country, and in rural areas often no-one else is in a position to provide that service. It is in rural communities that the impact of this politically motivated fire-sale of Royal Mail will be hardest felt.
“No rural representative can be convinced that the separation of the Post Office from Royal Mail will protect rural Post Offices from the pressures on the universal service obligation that privatisation will bring.”