Introduction of eAccounts welcome

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Galway East TD Paul Connaughton has welcomed the introduction of eAccounts in post offices, which he said will support rural post offices in coming years.

Deputy Connaughton was speaking following the publication of the report of the Post Office Network Business Development Group. ‘This group was asked to identify new business opportunities for post offices and has come forward with a number of worthwhile recommendations. We all know that post offices are central to communities in Galway East, but we have to allow these offices to do more business and attract more custom.

‘I have long advocated that post offices should be able to offer more in the way of banking services, including online banking, especially as many of the larger banks appear to have no interest in maintaining a presence in rural Ireland and expect people to drive for miles to complete simple banking transactions.

‘Post offices need to be able to offer a full banking service, including online banking, direct debits and ATM cards. I am delighted that eAccounts are to be rolled out in 2016. I also note that it is hoped to have a pilot scheme to offer motor tax services in post offices and I believe that Galway East would be the ideal location for such a pilot service because at the moment many motorists who don’t have internet, and in particular elderly people, are greatly inconvenienced in terms of going to local council offices to obtain motor tax.

‘The post office network has to be supported, renewed and maintained and I believe that this week’s report is an important step in terms of identifying opportunities available in the short and medium term. These changes will help make the current post office network more sustainable in the future.’