Minister refuses to protect Post Offices - Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin Social Protection Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has condemned the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton for her lack of commitment to post offices around the country.
Today in the Dáil, Deputy Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste to immediately withdraw Social Protection forms which recommend applicants to use commercial banks rather than post offices for the transfer of their social protection payments and to support further measures which will enhance the number of financial services available in Post Offices.
Teachta O Snodaigh said:
“The new Social Protection forms which ‘recommend direct payment of social protection to bank accounts’ as the ‘best payment option’, and only ‘if you do not have an account in a financial institution’ directly and actively discriminated against the Post Office Network. They should be withdrawn immediately.
“The belated decision by the Minister of State to replace the new forms with more neutral wording is a small step in the right direct but the department and government need to do more.
“The Department should acknowledge the post office as the primary delivery mechanism for Social Protection payments.
“The government needs to take firm measures to prevent the migrating of business away from the Post Office network to the commercial bank sector and this should include a decision that all Social Protection payments including Tús, Community Employment, etc. will be paid through the Post Office.
“The Tánaiste must be aware that there is extra cost imposed by commercial banks on transactions which means more money taken out of pockets of those who can least afford it, those who are dependent on Social Welfare payments.”