Longford Senator: 'Use of post offices for employment benefits will boost An Post network'
A move to require people in receipt of employment benefits to turn up in person at their local post office to receive the payments, shows a Government commitment to the An Post network, a Longford based Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator Micheál Carrigy, who is a Postmaster himself in Ballinalee, welcomed the move saying, “The future of the Post Office network has been under threat due to the rapid decline in social welfare payments, which are the core business of the network.
“A motion I tabled at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party to put Government services through the network was passed by Fine Gael this year, and I am very pleased that my colleague Minister for Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands, Heather Humphreys, has now made this decision to bring employment benefits back to Post Offices.
“I have also highlighted the significant fraud in the system that has resulted from payments paid by EFT through the banks. This decision will help to combat such fraud.
“It was predicted that Social Welfare business in the Post Offices would decline by 6% in 2021, which would have been detrimental enough, but unfortunately the reality of the decline was double that at 12%.
“An Post put a Pandemic fund in place in July to keep Postmaster pay scales at roughly 2020 levels. This is due to end in Dec 2022 however and the IPU is predicting up to 300 closures as a result.
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“A Government Interdepartmental Working Group is examining the options to put more business through An Post, examples of which are Motor Tax, Drivers Licence and the Register of Electors.
“As a start, I welcome this decision by Minister Humphreys in relation to employment benefits which shows the commitment of Fine Gael in government to maintaining the An Post network in communities throughout the country.”
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