Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (165)

Pat Breen

Question:

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]

View answer

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.