Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Dublin North West, Cllr. Paul McAuliffe has said that lessons need to be learned as a result of post offices, including one in Ballymun, running out of cash that has left many local people without cash for the weekend.
Cllr. McAuliffe was commenting after it emerged that Ballymun Post Office ran out of cash today leaving many unable to collect their State Pension, unemployment or disability payment.
“I have had distraught pensioners and those in receipt of a disability payment on to me already. They are very concerned about getting in all that they need to cover them over the next few days. It’s really bad form,” said the local City Councillor.
“As a result of the decision to close post offices on Friday, and close early today, there were increased demands on the post office on Wednesday and early Thursday morning.
“With no cash deliveries, the post office staff simply ran out of money resulting in people not being able to collect their payment.
“Many have already forked out extra cash to pay for additional fuel supplies and now they will have no cash for the weekend.
“People should not be left hanging like this by the Government. A decision should have been made earlier in the week, with the possibility of post office closures, to secure additional cash reserves for post offices to ensure everyone received their payment.
“An Post, the Department of Social Protection and the Cash Transit operators should have informed post masters about potential closure of offices as well as potential cash delivery cancellations to allow post masters manage cash flow appropriately.
“We’ve had dithering from the Government all week with regard to social protection issues – first with the fuel allowance and now making the call on closing post offices.
“I want to pay tribute to the Ballymun post master who went above and beyond the call of duty to make payments to people, but when insufficient notice is given and deliveries don’t arrive, there is very little that can be done at short notice.
“Minister Doherty needs to work with An Post to ensure that cash is made available at the earliest possible opportunity so that those who were unable to collect their payment today can get what they are due,” concluded McAuliffe.