Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Aindrias Moynihan has said that local communities need to hear more than announcements on already available services in post offices by the Government before they stop being fearful for their local service.
Deputy Moynihan was commenting after the Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten issued a statement to TDs and Senators outlining a number of new financial and online services that may become available in post offices in the coming months and years.
“One of the Minister’s big ideas is foreign currency exchange services. Another is the AddressPal service to enable people purchase and receive products from international websites easier. These are valuable services but they are already in many post offices. The Minister announcing services that are already in place smacks of desperation.
“In terms of ‘new services’, the Minister makes reference to Digital Assist, a new government pilot programme that will supposedly allow people to pay their motor tax in addition to other services such as booking air tickets or making payments online.
“This to me sounds like a glorified internet café and not new services that are being made available in our post offices.
“If the very same Minister got his act together and rolled out the National Broadband Plan, the vast majority of citizens could perform these everyday tasks in their own homes on their own computers.
“The one proposal from the Minister that warrants a welcome is the announcement of go-to-market strategy for SME loans through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland and in conjunction with local enterprise boards.
“What is most concerning is the inability of the Minister to actually publish proposals. The can always seems to be kicked down the road by Minister Naughten. The end result is more and more post offices and their masters and mistresses being forced out of the business,” concluded Moynihan.