An Post is a commercial State body with a mandate to act commercially. It has statutory responsibility for the State’s postal service and the post office network. Decisions relating to the network, including those in relation to the size, distribution and future of the network are operational matters for the Board and management of the company. An Post will continue to actively seek and win new business and to explore opportunities to develop new or enhanced product lines for the network. The Government is committed to a sustainable An Post and post office network as a key component of the economic and social infrastructure throughout Ireland. In line with this commitment in the Programme for Government, I secured Government approval this week for a funding intervention which will see €10m/annum distributed by An Post to the Post Office Network for the next three years, subject to state aid approval.
This is the first time Government has agreed to introduce such a package. The funding will aim to ensure access for all our communities to important services of social value across the Post Office network. These include banking services, social welfare and State savings as well as SME services and support. It will also seek to support a network of sufficient scale across the country; with currently around 900 Post Offices providing these essential services nationwide.
This intervention by Government will provide certainty for Postmasters, their families and their communities in terms of any business decisions Postmasters need to make about their future. The funding will afford An Post more time to develop new commercial strategies and services that can support the viability of the network. The Transformation Agreement reached between An Post and the IPU in 2018 will continue be implemented and this proposal is without prejudice to the terms of that agreement.