It is not the case that An Post has sat on its hands, so to speak, in this area. An Post has extended new business lines in recent years in a range of areas, including Garda fines, gun licences, insurance services, foreign exchange services, Postfone, extended banking services, TaxPay, the DHL retail partnership, real-time waste top-up, Dublin same-day delivery, Saorview and the secure meter pilot scheme. Many new bill payment customers have been added and there has been a significant growth in the gift voucher business and so on. It is not true to say, therefore, that An Post has not come up with new business.
What concerns me a little is the proposition that it is the responsibility only of An Post, the Minister or the Government. At issue is a network of commercial enterprises that are privately owned. Of the 1,147 retail outlets, only 57 are owned by An Post. The remainder are privately owned and these too have a responsibility. I will be very positive about any new ideas they come up with provided that does not involve nailing a sign stating "Post office to close" on the door, which is what some of them are doing and which is not exactly the most business-oriented way forward.