Minister must deliver new services now to rural post offices to keep them viable – Brendan Smith TD

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180911 PQ Reply Brendan Smith TD Post Offices

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith has said that he believes the Government has no real long term plan for the post office network.

Deputy Brendan Smith was commenting after questioning the Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten on his plans to secure the post office network.

Despite the lengthy response from the Minister, I don’t really see any long term plans for the post office network other than a vague commitment to increase the number of financial services and other government services in post offices.

“However, we have heard these vague commitments before. Yet, no detail has ever been given as to which financial services or other government services would be rolled out in our post offices.

“Rural post offices need decisive action from the Government if they are to have a future. Simply closing them down through targeted redundancy packages will leave rural communities more isolated and less viable.

“Postmasters and postmistresses who opted to take the redundancy package were fully and absolutely within their rights, but this should not have been used by An Post and the Government as a cover to close these post offices.

“The contracts to run these post officers should have been advertised to other businesses in the area to ensure that the post office services remained.

“Minister Naughten needs to come forward as soon as possible with a list of the government services he is hoping to make available in our post office network. Everything else is just waffle,” concluded Smith.