Senator Padraig Mac Lochlainn has called on the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar to issue a policy directive to the Citizens Information Board, who oversee the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS).
The Sinn Fein politician called on the Minister to halt their re-structuring proposal that would change the current MABS structure from 53 local MABS overseeing 60 offices across the State, including four offices in Donegal (Derrybeg, Donegal Town, Letterkenny and Buncrana) to be regionalised into eight structures with managers in charge of each.
Senator Mac Lochlainn said “The MABS do tremendous work, assisting persons and families in debt. This is a first class and unique service that must be protected.The current structure of MABS is not broken so why fix it? Currently there are 53 local MABS across the State overseeing 60 offices. Here in Donegal, we have Derrybeg, South Donegal and North Donegal MABS with offices in Derrybeg, Donegal Town, Letterkenny and Buncrana.
“All of these local MABS are managed by local voluntary boards that include key local stakeholders such as Citizen Information Centres, local authorities and the Society of Vincent de Paul for example. This community ethos must not be lost”
He added that the Citizens Information Board has proposed that MABS be regionalised into eight structures with managers in charge of each.
“The underhand manner in which the decision of re-structuring has been made by both the Department of Social Protection and the Citizens Information Board without proper consultation with stakeholders is unacceptable.
“It is ridiculous that neither MABS nor the Citizens Information Service have been given any explanation as to the rationale for the planned re-structuring.”
He said Sinn Féin are calling on Minister Varadkar to issue a policy directive to the Citizens Information Board to halt this re-structuring proposal.
“It was stopped back in 2007 when common sense prevailed and it must be stopped again.”Tags: