4 December, 2017:
Postmasters have called for the Post Office Network to maintain a role in the collection of TV Licence fees – which is worth €3m to the Network annually.
Postmasters said running the service through the Revenue Commissioners, as proposed by the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Communications last week, would further reduce transactions in the Post Offices which are struggling to stay open with falling revenues.
The Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU) said Government last month announced a €30m investment in the Post Office Network, including sanctioning additional services – and the Committee’s proposal flies contrary to this.
IPU Executive member and Cork spokesperson Paddy O’Shea said: “Customers should continue to have the option to renew their TV Licence at the Post Office. For many customers this service is working perfectly well as it is and Postmasters are more than happy to continue providing it.”
“Postmasters understand the revenue challenges faced by RTE and difficulties for An Post in collecting the fee. Our suggestion is that payment of the Licence Fee continue at the Post Office, however defaulters be identified and written to directly by the Revenue Commissions. This would maintain the service in the Post Office and also help to increase the monies collected.”
Mr. O’Shea was speaking after the IPU attended the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Communications, Climate Action and Environment last week to discuss the €30m investment in the Network announced by Minister Denis Naughten.
The IPU called for the sanction of promised additional Government Services, such as Motor Tax and Digital Assist, to now proceed as quickly as possible.
“Post Offices across the country are struggling and urgently need to offer an increased range of services to the public. The investment must also deliver agreement on modernised Postmaster contracts and an agreed plan for the size of the Post Office Network into the medium term. This investment must not get diverted into addressing other issues at An Post,” Mr O’Shea concluded.
Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.