Irish Post Office network under threat – with no government support forthcoming
Postmasters are facing severe financial difficulty, following a government decision to rule out a public service obligation subsidy to help sustain the network.Communications Minister Eamon Ryan has said there are “no proposals” to introduce a government-funded subsidy.
With many post offices located in convenience stores and local commmunities across Ireland this presents cause for concern.rish Postmasters’ Union general secretary Ned O’Hara said a government financial intervention must be in place by June to keep post offices open and to retain local banking in communities.
A Grant Thornton report published last year, warned that ‘unrestrained post office closures’ could occur after June 2021. Grant Thorton’s analysis recommended an annual public service obligation of €17m, which it described as ‘value for money’ for the State.
Minister Ryan said it is “longstanding government policy” that postal services are not directly subsidised by government, despite its commitment for a sustainable post office network as ‘a key component of the economic and social infrastructure in both rural and urban areas.’