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Report says moving motor tax services to Post Office will save €60m

An independent report has analysed the savings to the Exchequer is a number of services were transferred to the post office network.

Image: File photo/Photocall Ireland

A REPORT ON the future of the Post Office network in Ireland has recommended that moving motor taxation services to make them payable at Post Offices could generate savings of €60.6m.

Extension of the banking services available at Post Offices, and payment of household charges and hospital charges are also identified as desirable in the report, which was compiled by financial advisors Grant Thornton.

The review concluded that transferring these services to Post Offices would result in additional savings for the Exchequer of more than €24.3m.

In February the general secretary of the Irish Postmaster’s Union Brian McGann addressed the Joint Committee on Communications, National Resources and Agriculture and said the Post Offices can administrate motor tax renewal “faster and cheaper” and that it would make the the service more accessible to communities around the country.

He also recommended that other “payments and transaction-type services”  should be moved to the Post Office such as driving licence renewal. local authority payments, credit union lodgement and withdrawals and increased social welfare services.

McGann told TheJournal.ie that the Joint Oireachtas Committee was unanimous in its support of the ideas put forward, but that there had been some confusion on the part of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, which said that the legislation does not exist for Post Offices to issue tax discs.

However McGann said that the Post Office taking over the administration of the motor tax services would not have any legislative implications, as they would simply be acting as a link between those who don’t renew their motor tax online and the system in Shannon. McGann said the Post Offices would:

…act as the home computer for those who don’t have a computer.

McGann has also said that in March Post Offices were inundated with people who thought they could pay the Household Charge over the counter.

He maintains that the significant number of people who still haven’t paid that charge means that the requirement is still there, and said that members of the public should be able to pay the forthcoming household tax at the Post Office.

The report has been presented to Minister Phil Hogan who is said to be ‘delighted’ that the independent research has been undertaken and is set to take a more detailed look at it.

Postmasters ‘mystified’ that Household Charge cannot be paid at Post Office>

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Emer McLysaght

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