Deputy Martin Browne raised plans by An Post to seek a private contractor to run the Post office in Tipperary town in the Dáil today.
Deputy Browne says he is opposed to the change as Tipperary is a town that needs revitalisation and not the removal of services. The TD asked that consideration be given to unique features of Tipperary town with high rates of deprivation, a large portion of population over 65 years of ages and low rates of car ownership in making such a decision. The Dáil heard that the local economy has suffered due to the lack of a By Pass, the loss of Court Services and the recent closure of two businesses. Keeping the Post office in the town centre is vital according to Deputy Browne who wants An Post to engage with the Tipperary Task Force and the Department to deliver a commitment that a Post Office service will be guaranteed into the future for Tipperary town centre.
Minister Niall Collins says such decisions are operational issues for An Post who he says have stated that there will be no reduction in services available with the new model of operation.
The Minister confirms that the Government is providing €10M each year until 2025 to support private contractors running post offices at a rate of approximately €11,000 in financial assistance per year in addition to the existing model of remuneration for private contractors running post offices. Minister Collins committed to bringing the concerns and requests made by Deputy Browne to Minster Eamon Ryan and Minster Jack Chambers who holds responsibility for Postal Policy.