Saturday 1 October 2016

Jobseekers told to use bank, not post office

Barry Lennon

Published 24/03/2016 | 02:30

Michael Moynihan. Photo: Tom Burke
Michael Moynihan. Photo: Tom Burke

The Department of Social Protection has advised jobseekers to claim their dole at the banks rather than their local post offices.

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The department sent letters last week advising claimants to use a bank or other financial institution, following a spate of post office closures during the financial crisis.

The loss of social welfare payments would hit post offices hard as they account for over 30pc of all business transactions.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Communications Michael Moynihan hit out at the outgoing Government over the letters, calling them "another attack" on local post offices.

Decline

"Moving these payments to the banks will only lead to further decline of post offices, which are vital for maintaining the fabric of community life in rural Ireland," he said.

"The outgoing Tánaiste, Joan Burton, must immediately clarify why her department is directing jobseekers to receive their payments from financial institutions."

Mr Moynihan said he wanted to see the "urgent delivery" of the Bobby Kerr report's findings, which advised An Post to expand its business.

The report recommended that offices set up "a current account-style bank account service" and other products and services among its recommendations.

Postmasters' Union members had planned to stand in the General Election, running on this issue.

However, they stood down after the publication of Mr Kerr's report last month.

Irish Independent

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