AN POST will deliver more than €9bn to people on welfare next year after signing a new contract.
The contract is worth more than €50m to An Post every year and will support jobs and communities throughout the country.
It also brings certainty for the foreseeable future to welfare claimants who receive their payments in cash at local post offices.
Social Protection Minister Joan Burton signed the two-year deal following a tender process.
"Roughly half of all welfare payments -- amounting to more than €9bn a year -- go through the post office network, benefiting almost one million customers," she said.
"This money represents almost 20pc of Government day-to-day spending, showing the significance of this hugely important contract."