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Snippet Contents:

Romeo and Juliet may not be the typical stamp buyers. An Post's customer base may comprise more small business people and older people than lovelorn teenagers, but is the Minister of State not concerned that the basic effect of a large stamp price increase might be the same for them? The Government will not hike stamp prices by large amounts without losing customers. The volume of mail is down 38% since 2007. Does the Minister of State not believe that a price increase would drive that down even further?
There are alternative strategies for increasing An Post's revenue stream. In New Zealand and Germany, state-run post office banks seem to be highly successful. It is high time that we had such a bank. A Bill proposing this initiative passed Second Stage before Christmas. The Minister of State might update the House on the Minister's attitude to this initiative and the timescale for same.
The Irish people spend €6.6 million everyday on clothing and household goods ordered online and delivered by parcel post, yet an Irish Government shut down An Post's SDS delivery service when it should have been beefed up. What plans does the Minister have to revive such an initiative?
Thankfully, the Government has backed off from its plans to divert business away from An Post and towards the banks by paying 625,000 social welfare recipients via electronic transfer into their bank accounts. Why was such a proposal ever made in the first place and will the Minister of State assure the House that no such proposals will be repeated?
There is the potential to make post offices into hubs where a range of State services can be accessed, but talk is cheap. This idea needs to be translated into reality. What concrete plans does the Minister have to do so?
The Anti-Austerity Alliance has no faith in the Government to act seriously on any of these proposals. After all, since 1984, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael-led Governments have presided over the shutdown of 1,000 post office branches. Why should those who have butchered the service be trusted to develop it in future? A genuine left government would implement all of these progressive measures. While we campaign for such an outcome, we will continue opposing all measures that undermine rather than save the post office network, including this one.