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Dooley, Timmy

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Communications Regulation (Postal Services) (Amendment) Bill 2016: Second Stage (Continued)

Fianna Fáil will support this vital Bill which offers a valuable lifeline to our post office network. There will be another opportunity to address the difficulties faced by the post office network...More Button

With 1,130 post offices around the country, An Post is Ireland's largest retail network and one with considerable reach into some of Ireland's most underserved communities. It is one of our most...More Button

Unfortunately, most of us are familiar with the difficulties experienced by the An Post network, particularly in recent years, as we have seen the population shift from rural to urban areas. The...More Button

In its programme for partnership Government, the Government pledged to act swiftly on the recommendations of the post office business development group and to take a number of immediate actions t...More Button

Over eight months after the Government entered office, we are still awaiting action on the post office network. In this regard, I welcome the Bill being brought before the House as it is the first...More Button

We cannot allow the Government to rest on its laurels should the Bill be successful as the support the Bill can offer to An Post is insufficient. As it stands, mail delivery services represent a...More Button

An increase in stamp price can be expected to accelerate this process. Clearly, the law of diminishing returns will apply. I am not entirely convinced of the numbers I have seen. The diminishi...More Button

We have reached a point where the unsustainability of the An Post business model has been widely acknowledged, not least by the Bobby Kerr report commissioned by the Government. The report, whic...More Button

We debated the report in the House about a year ago, so I will not delve too far into its details. However, I will restate that it was a strong and positive report. It offered real and specific...More Button

Almost a year after the publication of the report, we are awaiting the implementation of its proposals. Anyone with a rudimentary business knowledge knows that when faced with diminishing profit...More Button

It is of deep concern to Fianna Fáil that the Government has yet to recognise this point. We have offered it numerous ideas on how the post office network might be best supported and preserved, ...More Button

We welcome the move to remove the price cap that is currently enforced on stamps. Ireland’s stamp prices are currently about 21 cent below the European average of 93 cent, so it is no surprise t...More Button

This being said, a 10 cent or 20 cent rise in stamp prices is not a silver bullet for the An Post network. Over the past decade, mail delivery has been an increasingly small share of An Post’s o...More Button

In this sense, I welcome the provision in the Bill for a review to be conducted in advance of any price change to allow us to assess the potential impact of any change. It is important, however,...More Button

Unfortunately, the Government’s disregard for the post office network goes beyond inaction. It has also threatened actions that would have a seriously detrimental effect on An Post. For example...More Button

As such, while the Government was preaching its support for the Irish post office network, it was simultaneously making rapid and serious moves to undermine a key source of revenue for the networ...More Button

We know that An Post exceeds the requirements of its contract with the Department of Social Protection in terms of its geographic reach, and that the post office network is capable of delivering ...More Button

As I have emphasised, in order to ensure the long-term viability of the An Post network we will need more than a continuation of existing services. To survive in the dynamic and ever-changing ma...More Button

There is no reason that the An Post network could not deliver more State services to the people of Ireland. Given that it has a strong presence in Irish villages, towns and cities, An Post’s net...More Button

We share this view with the Grant Thornton report, which underscored the benefits associated with this measure. Across the five potential integration options that the report analysed, such as al...More Button

Excluding large swathes of our population from banking services is simply not acceptable, and allowing An Post to expand its current financial services and to engage with all banks active in Irel...More Button

Time and time again, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Deputy Denis Naughten, the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Deputy Heather...More Button

Similarly, a Minister has highlighted the establishment of a post office hub working group to examine the possibility of post offices becoming community hubs. We have yet to hear back from this ...More Button

The news from the reports and various interest groups that we have spoken to is clear. There are solid options for the post office network to diversify its business model and to move to a more sus...More Button

To sum it up, while I heartily welcome this first sign of progress on the issue, I ask all Members of the House to avoid complacency. Further action is needed to preserve our post office network...More Button

The Minister will be aware that yesterday evening the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment had what I can only describe as a very open and frank discussion...More Button

Given McKinsey and Company's experience of working with other postal companies around the world, I hope that there will be a recognition of the opportunities as well as the constraints in the mar...More Button

I have very real concerns but, given the financial position presented by the Minister, we feel we have no choice but to support the price increase to ensure the financial viability of the company...More Button

In taking this action and supporting the legislation, we recognise the positive impact it can have on An Post, the post office network and those who are employed in the provision of the service, ...More Button

Joe Higgins lives on.More Button