Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle calls for delay to TV licence tender until significant investment made into post office network

 

Thomas Pringle TD – 7 August 2019

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Independent TD for Donegal Thomas Pringle has this week come out against the retendering of the TV Licence as part of Fine Gael’s recently announced Broadcasting Bill until the Government implements key commitments to invest in the post office network.

Deputy Pringle says “the retendering of collection for TV Licence fees to a different utility could spell the end for a number of post offices in Donegal unless significant investment is made into the network beforehand as promised by Fine Gael.

“However, since a major plan was agreed with the Government last year Fine Gael has failed to make significant inroads into the sustainability of the post office network including offsetting decreased Government contracts in social welfare payments. Furthermore the Government has failed to expand the range of public services to be provided through the Network such as the provision of car tax, drivers’ licences, Leap cards and identity services, a key commitment to the plan.

“This is despite the fact that Postmasters have agreed to new contracts, new opening hours and have engaged in the need for increased consolidation.

“I repeat the concerns of the Irish Postmasters’ Union who note the collection of TV Licence fees is worth a significant €3m to their network annually. They have forecasted that hundreds of additional post offices could be at risk of closing as a result of a retendering of the current contract to another entity.

“This is on top of Fine Gael’s withdrawal of key Government contracts and their failure to prioritise the Post Office network to date. I believe nothing should be decided on until significant investment is already in place to increase the sustainability of the existing post office network. This could be another nail in the coffin for post offices everywhere if Fine Gael have their say. I will be speaking on this issue as the legislation progresses and will outline the key priorities for the post office network at each step of the way” concludes Pringle.

ENDS

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