New measures to support rural post offices with extra business options

AGREEMENTS reached as part of the Post Office Network Business Development Group report, including the introduction of eAccounts, will support rural post offices right across Kilkenny, according to Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan.

Deputy Phelan, who worked with his local council team and played a key role in saving the post office Inistioge, says the agreement is good news for the future of the critical network of post offices.

“While post offices remain central to Irish communities, there is a challenge to ensure that they remain competitive. The Business Development Group was asked to identify new business opportunities for the post office network and has reported back with a number of recommendations.

“Post offices need to offer more to customers, including online banking, direct debits and ATM cards. I therefore very much welcome the news that eAccounts are to be rolled out in 2016.

“As a result of this report an investigation will also take place into the feasibility of offering motor tax services in post offices.

“A renewal process is to take place over the next six months and this review will address branch modernisation; the streamlining of products; postmaster payments and training for post office staff.

“Financially supporting at-risk post offices for a number of years is another recommendation of the report and one that would make a significant difference.

“An Post is one of Ireland’s most trusted brands and it is vital that we put our valued post office network on a sustainable footing into the future.

“The post office is a defining facility in rural villages in Kilkenny across the country. Implementing the recommendations of this report, though challenging, is very important. It is essential that we continue to create jobs in all parts of the country to provide business for post offices and to invest in vital services.

“Fine Gael has a long term plan to keep the recovery going. Our plan will deliver more new jobs, spread right across the country, jobs that pay more than welfare, where hard work is rewarded. The plan will also deliver affordable, sustainable investments in services using the resources from growing employment.”