Issue 3 - May 2010

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Personal indebtedness

The level of personal indebtedness was raised by Joe Behan (independent, Wicklow) who described the level of personal debt as staggering up, 270% over 1995 to 2008, more than Britain, France, Spain and Canada.  There was anecdotal evidence of the rise of use of moneylenders who were preying on marginalized communities – though ironically research by the National Adult Literacy Agency had shown that people found their repayment schedules easier to understand than those of the financial institutions.  He commended the work of the Society of St Vincent de Paul and the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS). He called on the government to promote innovative ways to deal with personal insolvency (Dail Eireann, Debates, 6th May 2010, 334-6).

Responding for the government, the Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Martin Mansergh, told him that the government was fully aware of the level of personal indebtedness in Ireland.  The government had appointed the interdepartmental mortgage arrears group which was meeting on a regular basis, was now dealing with mortgage support schemes (a final report would be ready by mid-summer) and would then go on to deal with personal debt.  MABS was funded by €18m in 2010.  The Law Reform Commission had published a consultation paper, would issue a final report by the end of August and the mortgage arrears group would take account of its recommendations.

Other debates

  • Dail Eireann, Debates, 20th April 2010, 498-9; 21st April 2010, 154-5; 156-9; 29th April 2010, 984-5
  • Money Advice and Budgeting Services: Dail Eireann, Debates, 20th April 2010, 490-1, 492-3

See also

  • National drugs strategy: Seanad Eireann, Debates, 21st April 2010, 142-6
  • Women in politics: Seanad Eireann, Debates, 27th April 2010, 214-244
  • Missing children and hotline: Seanad Eireann, Debates, 29th April 2010, 420-2
  • Head shops: Dail Eireann, Debates, 20th April 2010, 471-3, 733-4