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David Stanton, Fine Gael TD for Cork East is pressing for a East Cork Money Advice & Budgeting Service (MABS) office. Deputy Stanton believes that a MABS service for the area is essential as an increasing number of people are finding themselves unable to meet their daily living costs.

“More and more families and individuals are finding themselves under serious financial pressure. Since its establishment, the Money Advice & Budgeting Service has been very successful across the country. MABS provides valuable advice and information which can, in some cases, mean the difference between holding on to the family home or even putting food on the table”.

Deputy Stanton noted that MABS has four offices across in the north and west of Cork located in Charleville, Dunmanway, Mallow and Cork city. However, despite the huge population increase in all the towns of East Cork recently, there is no MABS office in the area.

“My office is inundated with requests for assistance with financial problems over the past couple of years. Many families, who previously could count on two incomes to meet household costs, are now totally reliant on social welfare. Many people are being forced to go to moneylenders to borrow money to meet normal household costs. These people are then hit with massive interest rates when repaying the loan.

“Recently the numbers contacting my office for help has increased dramatically. There are now 51 MABS offices across the country and last year they dealt with a staggering 25,274 enquiries. This was up over 2,000 from the last year with almost half of the people contacting the service in the 26-40 age group.

“Surely this level of usage is a clear indication of the level of demand for the MABS. From my personal experience, I believe there is great need for a MABS office in East Cork. I have written to the head of MABS and the Department of Social Protection requesting they examine the possibility of opening an office here. I will continue to press the matter.