McManus warns that postcodes won't deliver

8 December 2009

Liz McManus TD, Labour Spokesperson on Communications has called on Minister Ryan to revoke his plan to introduce costly postcodes in light of the announced lay offs by An Post.

"The recent An Post decision to introduce a cost cutting plan to lay off up to 1,300 workers on a voluntary basis is a clear indication that the recession is having a serious impact on our postal service. According to An Post there has been a fall of 10% in postal volumes this year. I would question the logic of a Minister introducing a costly postcode system at this time.

"In September the Minister announced his intention to introduce a postcode system by 2011 at an initial cost of €15 million. However, the previous Minister for Communications suggested that the cost of introducing a postcode system would be closer to €50 million with an annual maintenance of €3 million. The current Minister has never been able to clarify what the maintenance costs of the system might be. At a time of severe cutbacks in public spending this cost is hard to justify.

"There is also a concern that the introduction of postcodes will increase the use of junk mail, and will result in more sophisticated targeting of junk mail to particular income groups. I feel that people would prefer more protection from junk mail rather than a potential increase in its use.

"It is vital for Irish businesses and households that we have an efficient and swift postal delivery system, and while the targets for next day delivery set down by ComReg have not yet been met, there has been an improvement year on year from An Post. The Minister has not made a clear case for how postcodes could add to this improvement, despite over €500,000 being spent on reports in this area.

"I am calling on the Minister to revoke his plans for a postcode system as the cost can not be justified at this time."

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