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Communications Regulation (Postal Services) (Amendment) Bill 2016

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Communications Regulation (Postal Services) (Amendment) Bill 2016\Second Stage
Bills\Communications Regulation (Postal Services) (Amendment) Bill 2016\Second Stage

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Communications Regulation (Postal Services) (Amendment) Bill 2016

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Snippet Contents:

The Labour Party's support for this legislation is conditional on the Kerr report recommendations being taken seriously and the role of ComReg not being excised into the future to that of a regulatory body overseeing its obligations under section 12 of the 2002 Act. I take some comfort from the Minister of State's contribution in regard to the recommendations inherent in the Kerr report.
If one has regard to ComReg's postal strategy statement 2015-2017, there is a statutory remit to ensure the provision of an affordable universal postal service that meets the needs of all postal service users. There is legitimate doubt as to whether this legislation, as proposed, will compromise affordability for consumers. It is clear to anybody that the proposals in this legislation in terms of the increase in postage charges will compromise the affordability element inherent within ComReg's remit. ComReg has limited statutory powers to regulate An Post postal services that are not universal postal services. We know from ComReg that letter volumes have fallen by 32% since 2007 and that An Post is forecasting a further decline of approximately 4% per annum in this regard. As the universal postal service provider, An Post is the market leader in the delivery of letters and it must take the necessary steps to address this decline and ensure the continuation of the universal postal service.
I welcome the review commenced by the company. We are all agreed that strategic changes and restructuring must be real and that there must be definitive timelines on those actions. If An Post has full commercial freedom to ensure that its other postal services are viable financially then there is a question mark over whether it has achieved this historically.