The local post office is once again under threat.
If social welfare payments are transferred to banks, it could result in the loss of 2,000 jobs and half of the country’s post offices could close.
A report to be published this week will indicate that 567 post offices will have to close if the social welfare transations are taken over by the banks.
If 75 per cent of the business is lost, 440 offices will close.
A contract had recently been signed between An Post and Social Protection to deliver €9bn of cash social welfare payments for another two years with an option to extend that by a further four years.
But the Postmasters Union, which represents 1,100 post offices in the country, has warned that the Department for Social Protection is bypassing the post offices, by getting more and more social welfare recipients to accept electronic payments through the banking system.
Social welfare payments are the lifeline of the post office network.
It is worth an estimated €18,000 per year to postmaster in a local post office or 35 per cent of their gross income.
Has the government comlpetely lost the plot?
Samuel Beckett once described writers who keep turning out the same old plots and books, as “chartered recountants”.
This government seems only interested in working out the accounts, balancing the books.
It has forgotten that it was elected by the people. It is supposed to create jobs and keep the social structures of our society alive.
Instead, ministers are pouring money into their own constituencies at the expense of the nations as a whole.
Minister Howlin has pumped millions into Wexford town and Wexford hospital even though the hospital will be scaled down in a few years.
Minister Hogan has done the same for his constituency.
Does anything change in Irish politics?