Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Michael Moynihan TD, has launched the party’s policy paper on enhancing our Post Office Network.
The document entitled ‘Enhancing our Post Offices: Fianna Fáil’s Vision for the Future of the Irish Post Office Network’ sets out in detail plans for consolidating the existing work of the Post Office network while increasing the commercial activity in every office.
Deputy Moynihan commented: “The very existence of Post Offices in the country is under serious threat, particularly if the network loses its contract to handle social welfare payments.
“Post Offices are the heartbeat of so many local communities across the country. It not only serves as a site for pension and welfare payments; the social benefit to these communities, particularly local ones, is immeasurable.
“Instead of diminishing the financial work that the Post Office network undertakes; Fianna Fáil proposes to enhance and expand An Post’s financial services. Post Offices should become a centre for all state payments and charges.
“The only way for the Post Office network to survive and prosper is to expand the services it carries out. While the contract with the Department of Social Protection for social welfare payments is secure for the next two years, beyond that the future is uncertain. An Post must present itself as a hub for a host of financial transactions in communities across the country if its long-term future is to be guaranteed.
“The move to electronic payments in the Department of Social Protection is of huge concern and one which the Department must consider very carefully in light of the extremely negative results that may arise. Our proposals to enhance the financial services on offer in Post Offices is one way to counter that threat. It will also promote financial service inclusion for communities who are not properly served by our banks.”
Fianna Fáil also proposes
– Expanding Post Office services so that it acts as a central office for state payments and charges e.g. motor tax, local authority charges and hospital charges.
– Shared community services and multi-purpose Post Offices
– An Office for broadband access and printing facilities where the local community can have affordable and easy access to broadband and printing services.
“Post Offices are part and parcel of almost every community in Ireland. We need to have a comprehensive and extensive conversation on the future of our Post Offices. The Fianna Fáil proposals address the challenges that An Post faces and I hope Minister Pat Rabbitte realises the extreme importance that the Post Office network has for so many communities here.”