ThePlatform.ie - Ireland's Solutions Resource.
by Tom O’Callaghan
The current pandemic crisis has brought to the fore, our core values, the essence of our community, what services the state must provide when all life is stripped back to the very basics. The Post Office network has been proven to be essential to our very existence. During the lock-down, the post office network provided essential services. It was one of the few state owned assets that kept money circulating and local economics going.
We can no longer ignore or pay lip service to the realities of the financial gravity the network will soon find itself in. It is incumbent on the new government to implement a sustainability plan.
Implement the private members motion passed by Dáil Eireann in November 2016 which sets out an action plan enabling the sustainability of the network.
A tight time frame for implementation is a priority.
There must be a focus on (1) new products, (2) capital investment and (3) government services for the network.
It is crucial that there is an immediate 5 year holding plan; that there will be no downward revisions of post office incomes. Otherwise there will be no network to salvage.
Community Banking must be re-investigated and developed as a survival option in light of the global economic depression. New Zealand and Germany community banking models should be considered. This can be part of the overall recovery of small business and local communities post Covid-19.
The community and social value of the network, so visibly present during the pandemic, must be recognised as a separate asset to the state, must be protected by the state and must hold a separate currency for the network when tendering for business.
by Tom O’Callaghan
Independent Postmasters Group (IPG) Contact – indipostmaster @ gmail.com