Government must do more to protect Postal Network - Adams
Louth TD Gerry Adams met two local Post Office owners last Friday in his Dundalk constituency office to discuss the impact of government policy toward the Post Office network.
Party colleague MEP Matt Carthy also last week met with General Secretary Ned O'Hara and Vice President Ciaran McEntee of the Irish Postmasters Union to discuss the future of the Post Office Network.
Speaking after his meeting with the two Post Masters from rural Louth Gerry Adams urged Post Office users, particularly in rural areas, to respond to the consultation period of the interim report on Post Offices which was published by Minister Alex White. The consultation runs from now until July 28th.
Teachta Adams said:
“Post Offices provide an essential service for rural communities. They are the largest retail network in the state with 1150 offices and employ 3700 people. Almost two million customers use the Post Office network every week.
“Government policy is threatening the future survival of many of our Post Offices. In my conversation with two Louth Post Office managers they both highlighted the new pension application form from the Department of Social Protection which specifically recommends that applicants use financial institutions, rather than Post Offices, to receive their payments.
“Post Offices rely on two major contracts; the Department of Social Protection and NTMA savings. The decision by the Department of Social Protection to push citizens toward banks rather than Post Offices is putting their future viability in doubt.
“In the last eight years over two hundred Post Offices have closed. Around two thirds of these were in rural areas.
“The interim report into by the Post Office Network Business Development Group which was published last week has identified a range of services that Post Offices could provide and which would heighten their sustainability.
“The onus is on the government to take urgent action to facilitate this. It can ensure that new services are integrated into the Post Office Network to ensure its survival and to enhance its service to the public.
“Sinn Féin supports the Irish Postmasters’ Union’s six point action plan for sustainable post offices. We are also for putting public services back into rural Ireland and for the retention of the post office network as an integral part of this.”