While Government policy is to offer Government services online particularly now as a result of Covid 19, there will always be a segment of the population that are not comfortable or proficient accessing online tools or services. Due to its nationwide network and existing strong relationship with offline citizens, the Government took a decision in 2017 to develop the post office network as the ‘offline gateway’ for citizens.
However, to date this has not happened, because there is a determined effort in Merrion Street to make sure it does not become a reality.
But the genuine reality is that if this does not happen, and happen soon, then smaller post offices will be forced to close within the next 12 months.
We need to see an implementation group established immediately, jointly chaired by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and the Minister for Communications to move all Government services online with the post office becoming the offline option for such services.