Families waiting five months for debt advice
Published 24/11/2010 | 05:00
CASH-STRAPPED families are being forced to wait up to almost five months to get an appointment to sort out their debt woes.
Social Protection Minister Eamon O Cuiv yesterday revealed people were waiting up to 18 weeks to meet with an official from the state-supported Money, Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS).
The revelation comes despite the fact that extra staff have been assigned to MABS to help cope with a surge in demand from people trying to repay their debts.
Some 69pc of people who seek help from MABS are either in a job, have recently lost their job, or are self-employed.
Last year, an additional 19 money advisers were recruited by MABS, bringing the number of MABS staff to 277.
But speaking in the Dail, Fine Gael's Michael Ring insisted more staff should be transferred from government departments to deal with waiting lists -- something that was rejected by Mr O Cuiv.