The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) must tackle the very low level of access by Travellers to its services, a delegation from National Traveller MABS told  Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mr Seamus Brennan, TD, when presenting him with a report on the matter in Government buildings in 2008.

From National Traveller MABS experience Travellers are not accessing money advice services at the same rate as the settled community. Local MABS are failing to reach one of the most excluded ethnic groups in Ireland , said Nancy Power, National Traveller MABS Co-ordinator.

Recent statistics reveal that one in six Travellers (16%) had debts to illegal moneylenders. One in 10 had a problem with legal debt while the same number needed financial assistance with an immediate crisis.

Given that many Travellers are effectively excluded from mainstream financial services, local MABS should play an active role in providing financial advice to Travellers, Nancy Power says.

Christmas is often a time of immense financial strain for many families. Traveller families are even more at risk of having to turn to illegal moneylenders to provide for their families over Christmas and at other times of huge financial demands such as weddings and funerals. MABS must play a full and proactive role in tackling this problem,

You can read the updated Mapping Exercise Report 2008 here

“A resource publication designed for MABS offices nationally on Traveller Population and Accommodation in Ireland .” The report maps out official Traveller accommodation on a county-by-county basis and has been produced to assist local MABS offices to target Travellers in their specific catchments areas."

Published: 30 March 2011