Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (165)

Pat Breen


168 Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his views on the sustainability of the post office network in the country; the options and proposals for the sustainability of the sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34201/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources)

Operational matters and the sustainability of the post office network are a matter for the management and Board of An Post and one in which I have no statutory function.

As shareholder however, I do have a strong concern in relation to the ongoing commercial position of the Company and I regularly liaise with the Company in this regard. An Post has been adversely affected by a significant and ongoing downward trend in its core mail business. In response, it has sought to control costs and diversify operations whilst continuing to provide a high quality national service. I fully support the Company's strategy in this regard, such as its engagement in banking services and its recent involvement with Aviva.

The Government is committed to a strong and viable An Post and supports its maintenance of the maximum number of economically viable post offices. In the context of public sector transformation, I have stressed to my Government colleagues that the increased use of the post office network should be considered by public sector bodies where this is appropriate.