€30 million over three years to support a sustainable, nationwide Post Office network
New Government funding will support the Post Office network throughout Waterford and nationally, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins said, “My colleague, the Minister of State with responsibility for Postal Matters, Hildegarde Naughton TD, has updated me on a new Government funding package of €30 million over a three-year fixed period, to support a sustainable, nationwide Post Office network.
Last week, while on a visit to Waterford, I arranged for Minister Naughton to meet with the Irish Postmasters Union president Sean Martin and local postmasters. It was a great opportunity to engage on this critically important support package.
“Fine Gael is working to build stronger, safer communities and our local post offices play a vital role in community life. We recognise the importance of a high-value and high-quality Post Office network to citizens right across the country, as well as the central and trusted role of postmasters in our communities.
“This funding announcement marks the first time in the history of Government where we are providing direct financial support to post masters. It will give them certainty and stability, allowing them to plan and develop their services. Government is encouraging the Post Office network to deliver an increased range of community banking and e-commerce services to the public and businesses. A report from the Inter-Departmental Group, which was established to examine the feasibility of additional Government services being provided through An Post and the Post Office network, will be published shortly.
“The funding will also help safeguard the future of more vulnerable post offices in our communities.
“It is so important that people have access to the quality services offered by the Post Office network, whether they are living in urban or rural Ireland. This funding will help to ensure that access for everyone, wherever they live in Waterford
Minister Hildegarde Naughton, who has Special Responsibility for Postal Matters, added, “Post offices are a vital part of our community; a fact clearly evident in the monthly footfall of over one million visitors to post offices. Post offices play a central role to both society as a whole and to Government through the provision of high-quality public services in towns, villages and cities right across the country. I am confident that this €30 million multi annual scheme, amounting to €10m every year for three years, will protect our Post Office network and will ensure that families and businesses nationwide can continue to access services from within their own community.
“It would be remiss of me not to take this opportunity to commend the work of post masters and post office workers throughout what were incredibly challenging times during the height of Covid-19; indeed, they have brought a whole new meaning to the term public service.”