The Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU) has called for long-term commitment that Social Welfare payments will continue to be transacted through Post Offices – and for a timeline for new services.
Speaking at the IPU’s 2018 Annual General Conference in Cavan last weekend, General Secretary, Ned O’Hara, called for certainty that Social Welfare payments would continue to be transacted through the Post Office Network into the long-term.
Social Welfare payments account for 40% of all Post Office activity, and together with spin off transactions bring 60% of all business into Post Offices.
The IPU also called on An Post to make public a detailed plan and timeline for the roll out of promised Government and financial services to Post Offices.
The call came after Postmasters and An Post have agreed a new plan for the future of the Post Office Network. IPU Members were recently balloted on the plan which received an 80% approval.
Under the deal there are no compulsory closures of Post Offices. The majority have been offered a new contract and smaller Offices can continue on the existing contract.
Under the €50m plan, investment is to be made in the Network and all Offices have been promised a range of new government, financial and parcel services including:
- Foreign exchange
- Motor tax, vehicle registration and driving licences
- Identity verification
- A foreign exchange card
- Additional Bill Pay services
- Parcel lockers in Post Offices for collections.
“Now that Postmasters have backed the new Post Office plan, we need a clear signal from An Post and government that they will maximise what Post Offices can offer to drive footfall and provide the best possible service to communities.
“We also need continued public support for Post Offices through people using their local service – use it or lose it. It is with all of these elements combined that we can keep as many Offices as possible viable into the future”, Mr O’Hara said.