Ministers for Finance are, by their nature, opposed to spending and that has nothing to do with the current Minister, Deputy McCreevy, the previous one, Deputy Quinn, or whoever is Minister for Finance. The minute they become Minister, they become disposed to minding the nation's money, and rightly so. That has always been the case with any Minister for Finance with whom I have dealt and the current Minister, Deputy McCreevy, is no different. He should be commended, not criticised, for that.
The details of Mr. Flynn's report were printed in great detail in a national newspaper and the Deputy's comments are based on that. I cannot go into detail until I bring the matter to Cabinet next Tuesday. I can say that it does not just involve the rural network. People have the idea that if all small rural post offices were closed in one fell swoop, the financial difficulties which beset the post office network would be cured at a stroke. However, that is not the case. As Mr. Flynn pointed out, many of the large urban post offices have the same difficulties. Definite proposals must be worked out for the future.
As I said earlier, the Government gave a commitment in the White Paper and I am committed to this area. I have no time for people who say that some of the smaller post offices are unnecessary. However, I wish more people used rural post offices. I have spoken to people who were worried about the possible closure of the local post office because nobody wanted to take it on, but when I asked them if they used the post office, it emerged that some of them had never been in it. There must be some flexibility from others. The matter will be on the Cabinet agenda next Tuesday and the report will be made public that day or the following day. I hope it will engender a lively debate.