Dáil Éireann - Volume 458 - 14 November, 1995

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Money Advice and Budgeting Service.

18. Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Social Welfare the number of persons currently availing of the money advice and budgeting service; the plans, if any, he has for the further expansion of the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16791/95]

Proinsias De Rossa: At present my Department is funding 31 money advice [180] and budgeting service projects throughout the country. A total of 2,042 persons are currently availing of the service. In providing the service, an important element of the approach is targeting families who have been identified as having problems with debt and moneylending.

An additional £500,000 has been made available in the 1995 budget towards the expansion of the money advice and budgeting service bringing the total allocation for 1995 to £1.25 million.

As I have previously announced, I am committed to making the money advice and budgeting service available nationwide by the end of 1996. A number of proposals for new projects are currently under consideration by my Department and it is anticipated that these will be funded before the end of the year.

New projects are established on the basis of being given funding for a period of one year initially. After one year's successful operation, projects can be offered a three year funding commitment, which involves signing a formal contract with the Department of Social Welfare. The contract includes a three year work plan prepared by the management committee of the project in which it sets out the work it will undertake and what it hopes to achieve in the three year period.

I have already sent the Deputy a list of the centres currently offering money advice as well as statistical details from the projects set up in 1992, 1993 and 1994.