Many of you will be familiar with the Household Budget scheme that is available for people living in Ireland. The household budget scheme is available to anyone on social welfare to pay council rents, Bord Gais, Electric Ireland and Airtricity.
However, for the past 20 years, MABS have used the scheme to allow clients – Traveller and settled – to save, pay off loans in the credit union and pay off fines. This service has been the lifeline for many. It has allowed many of our clients to access trailer loans with their local credit union when the local council refused to provide any loans or grants.
Unfortunately, MABS has been notified by the Department of Social Protection that they can no longer offer this service to their clients. (The Household budget scheme is still available for the above mentioned services). As you can imagine, this came as quite a shock to NTMABS and other local MABS offices who use this.
At present, MABS is fighting this decision. NTMABS has developed a position paper and they wish to share it with all Traveller organisations as they need as much support as they can in opposing this decision. They would appreciate it if you could take time to read the attached paper and, if you agree with their position, they will put your organisations name/individual name down as a supporter of the position. Just email Liz Daly at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call if you have any questions at 0761 07 2230 (Direct line 2235).