Snippet data - viewing only, no editing possible


Label

Field name

Field value


Sitting_Date

01/18/2017 12:00:00 AM


Sitting_Forum


Snippet Ref No

SnippetRefNo

JJJ00300

Selected Quill

SnippetType

1

Saved Quill

SnippetType_C4D


Selected Quill

SnippetType_1

1

Speaker Name

IndxSpeakerName

Healy-Rae, Michael

Business Category

IndxMainHeadCat

Bills

Sub Category

IndxSubTopic

Communications Regulation (Postal Services) (Amendment) Bill 2016

Topic

IndxQHeadTopic

Second Stage

See Also

SeeAlso


Part1

TitlePart1


Part2

TitlePart2


Part3

TitlePart3


Volume

VolumeNo

935

Book No

BookNo

1

Pdf Ref

PdfPageRef

250

Default Business Index

IndexViewCategoryDefault


3 Part Title Business Index

IndexViewCategoryTitle


Default Topic Index

IndexViewCategoryDefaultSpeaker

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

3 Part Topic Index

IndexViewCategoryTitleSpeaker


Motion Code

MotionCode


Motion Title

MotionTitle


Stage

MotionStage


Amendment No

MotionAmendmentNo


Bill Code

BillCode

B2

Bill Title

BillTitle

Communications Regulation (Postal Services) (Amendment) Bill 2016

Stage

BillStage

Second Stage

Section

BillSection


Statement Code

StatementCode


Statement Title

StatementTitle


Stage

StatementStage


Hour Indicator

HourIndicator

Not applicable

Procedural Instruction

Procedural_Instruction

No

Debate Adjourned

DebateAdjourned

No

Question Askee

QAskee


Question Asker

QAsker


Question Department

QDept


Question ID

QID


Question Reference

QRef


Question Speaker PID

QSpeakerPID


Question Speaker PID To

QSpeakerPIDTo


Questions Asked

QUESTIONSASKED


Speaker Type

SpeakerType

1

Speaker Name

Senator


Deputy


Minister


Witness


Chairman


ViceChairman


ActingChairmanD


ActingChairmanS


Speaker4Display

Speaker4Display

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae

Speaker

Speaker

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae

SpeakerPID

SpeakerPID

MichaelHealyRae

SpeakerText

SpeakerText

Michael Healy-Rae

OriginalUnidSnippet

OriginalUnidSnippet

8C0DDFBD6CB337EE802580AC007C3728

LastModifiedSnippet

LastModifiedSnippet

02/05/2020 05:35:43 PM

TopicIndex1stCategoryValues

TopicIndex1stCategoryValues

Snippet Contents:

I send my warmest best wishes to the Minister, Deputy Naughten, who is not here tonight and who would want to be here if he could. We are all grateful that he is recovering and hopefully making a good recovery after a serious accident.
The Government gave a commitment to post offices and community banking on page 48 of the programme for Government. The Minister explained to me that he was faced with a serious predicament, which was either to go along the lines of what he is doing now or else possibly be faced with having to go to the European Union to seek a derogation and bring us from a five-day postal delivery service to a three or four-day service. Having said that, I appreciate where he is coming from in what he is proposing to do.
I have to declare, as I have done several times previously, that I am a postmaster of a small post office in village where we are just hanging on to keep our door open. I have asked myself how increasing the price of a postage stamp will affect post offices like mine. I believe it will be prohibitive and will stop people from using the postal service at a time when we are inundated with other methods of communications such as the mobile phone and e-mails. We are really up against it in a battle for survival.
I have a number of questions. What is the post office development group's financial strategy for the next five years and is it operating a sustainable model? Has the post office development group within its report implemented any changes taking into account the promises made within the programme for Government? Does the post office development group foresee any post office closures, as predicted by the Grant Thornton report of 2014? How many contract post offices have had their income reduced since 2014 and in particular this year? Can this be broken down by the years 2014, 2015 and 2016? I know at first hand that in every post office that has come up for review, the postmasters have seen their incomes being dramatically reduced to the extent that it is making it unviable for them to continue. After rents, rates and insurance costs are taken into account, are some rural and urban post offices now operating at or below the national minimum wage? These post offices will not be closed by An Post but will just cease to operate because of lack of funding.
When the new social welfare contract is up for renewal, has the post office development group ensured within its current report there is both a social and economic element to the contract, which might help to regenerate and sustain all communities, both urban and rural? Does the post office development group have a plan to introduce community banking, as promised in the programme for Government following the New Zealand model in its final report? From a population of 4 million, Kiwibank now has income of over €100 million and 860,000 customers, as I have pointed out in this House previously. That is almost one in four of the population.
Are we to continue supporting the commercial banking sector that has vanished from rural and disadvantaged urban Ireland and has helped with the destruction of small communities everywhere? Bank of Ireland and AIB previously had branches in places such as Waterville and Sneem and throughout north, south, east and west Kerry. Those services of the commercial banks are now gone because they abandoned these rural areas. The one thing that is left standing in those places is the post office. Therefore, I see community banking being the lifeline for post offices. The Government and An Post keep referring to the new "e-payment account". However, that is not a full banking service and will only have a minor impact on the incomes of individual post offices.
I believe the Irish Postmasters Union took its eye off the ball over An Post's mail consolidation that is causing significant financial strain for postmasters nationwide. Action is needed now to prevent widespread closures and to prevent the collapse of the post office network. I suggest the introduction of a Bill based on the Private Members' motion passed on 17 November 2016 as a matter of urgency.
From my daily contact with postmasters, not just in County Kerry but throughout the length and breadth of the country, I know that the post office network is in serious danger of collapse. A number of years ago I predicted that of the 1,140 post offices, at least 500, 600 or 700 would face imminent closure unless drastic action was taken. That is why the Private Members' motion was passed unanimously in November. That is why a Bill enacting the provisions of that motion is now needed to secure the future and to introduce community banking.
Postmasters are not looking for a bailout from anybody. All they are looking for is the ability to increase the footfall going through their doors. The additional services that are centralised in county council offices could be delegated to post offices to accommodate elderly people.