Now that the future of the post office network nationwide is in the hands of Minister Dennis Naughten and his department I am looking forward to seeing the restructing plan for the sector that will hopefully include no closures in rural areas in particular.
We learn today that responsibility for the future of the post office network has been handed back to the Department of Communications consequently I will be anxiously awaiting the restructuring plan for the sector from Minister Naughten and his officials and will be hoping that plan will not include the closure of any rural post offices. In the past Minister Naughten has been very vocal in his support of rural services and now is his chance to put those words into action.
I would like to see a comprehensive five year plan for the sector. There are several things that can be done to boost the number of servces available at post offices including public banking the payment of government bills like road tax, property tax and other Government services like form filling for Government schemes etc. The post office network should also embark on an advertising blitz asking people to use their local post offices or risk losing it in the future.
The social dividend that having a local post office in any local community is not quantifiable in terms of finance and every effort must be made to retain every single existing post office. The appropriate supports will have to be put in place and let’s review it all after a period of five years. I am looking forward to a comprehensive plan being published as soon as possible.