The Irish Postmasters' Union (IPU) has today expressed its astonishment that the public has not been given the option to pay the household charge in post offices.
The union, which represents Postmasters in Ireland, called on the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan to instruct his department to immediately make arrangements for the charge to be processed through the network of more than 1,100 post offices throughout the country.
IPU general secretary, Brian McGann, said: “We are mystified that people are still not being allowed to pay this charge through their local Post Office.
“This is despite repeated calls and representations to the Minister for this facility to be put in place.
“At this late stage the Minister’s plans for collecting the charge are in disarray and yet he is not allowing the public to pay through the most accessible means available to hundreds of thousands of people.
“We have a ludicrous situation where people are arriving at post offices with cash in hand expecting to be able to pay the charge, only to find that we are prevented from facilitating them. It just doesn’t make sense.”
McGann said that thousands of householders did not have access to online payment methods and lived miles from local authority offices.
“We are aware that An Post made direct representations to the Minister on this issue but nothing has happened,” he said.
“We call on the Minister to reconsider his decision so that people who wish to pay can do so in the Post Office where many of them already pay utility and other bills.
“Minister Hogan and his officials seem to be going out of their way to make it difficult for people who want to pay to do so with ease.
“We call on him to break this logjam immediately and start using the facilities of the Post Offices where he has already been facilitated by the free distribution of registration forms.”