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Donegal waits 26 weeks for MABS appointment 20.02.14

PEOPLE in Donegal are waiting up to 26 weeks for a first appointment with the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS), it's been revealed.
The figures were sourced from a parliamentary response received by Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty earlier this week.
His MEP candidate colleague Matt Carthy described the figures as "shocking".
"While the state-wide average wait for a first time appointment is 4.5 weeks, which in itself is a long time, there are huge variations, with some counties including Donegal, experiencing inordinate delays.
“North Donegal has the longest waiting time, at 26.2 weeks. These waiting times may force families under pressure from banks to agree to unsustainable and unfair debt repayment agreements. This is totally unacceptable.
“When people make up their mind to approach MABS they are usually in a desperate position needing immediate help to cope with the financial difficulties they are facing," he added.
Mr Carthy said he had held a number of information meetings on mortgage distress across the Midlands North West constituency and had seen the stress faced by people who are struggling with their finances.
“Fine Gael and Labour promised in the Programme for Government to strengthen MABS but clearly this has not materialised.
"The Government needs to address this situation immediately by providing the necessary resources and staff to ensure that people in Donegal and elsewhere do not have to wait such lengthy periods for what is now an essential service.”
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