THE severe impact of the recession and austerity in North Donegal was evidenced this week by the above average number of people waiting for an appointment with MABS and the length of time they are having to wait.
Deputy Pearse Doherty was given the startling figures in reply to a Dáil question.
It showed that waiting times for an appointment with the North Donegal Money Advice and Budgeting Service was five times the national average at 20.2 weeks and the number of people waiting for an appointment was the highest nationally at 160.
Donegal North East Deputy Padraig MacLochlainn has called for urgent additional resources to be provided tot he North Donegal office of MABS.
He described the figures for the area as “shocking” and called on Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton to ensure that additional resources are deployed to North Donegal MABs as a matter of urgency.
The waiting times for North Donegal MABS is the highest of all “This shocking confirmation from the Minister is in response to a parliamentary question from my colleague, Deputy Pearse Doherty and it needs to be urgently addressed.
“It is clear that North Donegal MABS have not got the necessary resources and staff numbers to meet the demand from families in debt across North Donegal,” Deputy MacLochlainn said.
He added that these waiting times may force families under pressure from banks to agree to unsustainable and unfair debt repayment agreements. “This is totally unacceptable. I will be making representations to the Minister to deploy additional resources and I will be monitoring these waiting times closely over the time ahead,” he added.