HALF OF DONEGAL’S POST OFFICES WILL CLOSE IF GOVERNMENT TAKES AWAY SOCIAL WELFARE PAYMENTS CONTRACT

first_imgUp to half of Donegal’s post offices will be forced to close if An Post loses the contract for making Social Welfare payments, the Irish Postmasters’ Union said yesterday.IPU General Secretary Brian McGann said the post-office network would be “decimated” and hundreds of job losses if the Department of Social Protection pushes ahead with plans to put the welfare payments contract out to tender.The future of the contract is currently being considered by the Department of Social Protection and a decision is expected shortly. Speaking at yesterday’s (SUN) IPU annual conference in Letterkenny’s Radisson Hotel, Mr McGann said any plans by Government to withdraw the social welfare payment contract will also have a disastrous affect on the social fabric of the country.“Any decision to move away from using the Post Office as the primary channel for making Social Welfare payments will be politically disastrous on the scale of Charlie McCreevy’s ill fated plan to decentralise Government Departments.“Many Social Welfare recipients want to use their local Post Offices because it’s friendly, convenient and accessible.“Local Post Offices also play a vital role in preventing fraud because of the face to face nature of its role. Postmasters are highly committed to detecting and stamping out fraud. We see the people, meet the people and we know them because they are part of our community. “This deters fraudsters who often rely on faceless, impersonal systems of payment to perpetrate their fraud,” Mr McGann said.The President of the IPU, Brian Cannon, whose post office has been in his family for 100 years in Leitermacaward, said he will lose 80% of his business is social welfare payments are taken from An Post.“That’s the reality of the situation. The local post office network is making strides to keep up with the demands of modern life.“But if the social welfare payment contract is taken away, it will be a massive blow to us – a blow which many post offices could not survive. Personally it would mean a reduction of 80% of my business,” he said.IPU General Secretary Mr McGann called on the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, to give a greater role to Post Offices in delivering welfare services. “We want to add value to what we do and there is no reason why Post Offices cannot also provide additional services for the Department such as signing on, means testing, identity checking etc.,” he said.“All our offices are automated, open 5½ days each week and we are an accessible part of every community throughout the Country. However, we won’t be open for business if the Department pulls the plug on the Welfare payments contract.“The last thing that communities across the country need is a decision that will force the closure of hundreds of Post Offices,” the IPU General Secretary said.The theme of the two day conference was ‘Open For Business’ with delegates also hearing calls to allow local post offices be a hub for many other services including the payment of motor tax. EndsHALF OF DONEGAL’S POST OFFICES WILL CLOSE IF GOVERNMENT TAKES AWAY SOCIAL WELFARE PAYMENTS CONTRACT was last modified: May 2nd, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Brian CannonIPU Presidentpost officeslast_img read more

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Asian block of nations behind Anil Khanna for ITF presidency

first_imgAll India Tennis Association president Anil Khanna has the support from the Asian block of nations as he contests the International Tennis Federation election for the post of president in Santiago, Chile, on Friday.There are three other candidates in fray: David Haggerty (USA), Juan Margets Lobato (Spain) and Rene Stammbach (Switzerland).Francesco Ricci Bitti is stepping down after a 16-year term and there is a buzz in tennis circles that an Asian candidate has a realistic chance. Khanna has been a board member of the ITF and also done a lot for integrating the Asian tennis fraternity. He has often talked of how the men’s professional tour (ATP) events are heavily concentrated in Europe and Asia has taken a backseat.For a country which does not have a single player in the top 100 in singles ranking (men or women), it may appear strange that an Indian candidate is in fray for the ITF top job. However, Khanna has brought to India two Challengers, 15 Futures events and 14 women’s events carrying a total prize money of $4,95,000.He has also ensured there are an adequate number of events for juniors under the ITF banner.When Khanna spoke to the media last week he said: “I wouldn’t be contesting the election if I did not have a chance of winning.”There is no doubting American candidate David Haggerty is popular, but with two candidates from Europe contesting, votes will be split. Then again, outgoing president Ricci Bitti is also from Europe – Italy.advertisementIn all, 145 nations have voting rights at the annual general meeting where a lot of lobbying takes place. The president and 13 other members to be elected alongside will be in office for a four-year period from 2015 to 2019. There are 37 Asian countries with voting rights.There will be a first-round elimination for the president’s post and the remaining two will be involved in a straight shootout. It is no secret that the ITF, with its headquarters in London, has been dominated by the European countries. For an Asian to be considered as a candidate with a chance as good as the other three should not be a matter of surprise.After all, when late Jagmohan Dalmiya stormed world cricket’s bastion (ICC) and became president, it was seen as the start of a revolution. N. Srinivasan followed suit and it has opened up a window of opportunities for Indian sports administrators.For the record, his brother N. Ramachandran heads the world squash body.last_img read more

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