THERE has been a 35% increase in people seeking financial help and advice from the Money Advice and Budgeting Service in Cork during the last month.
The increased demand has coincided with rising concerns about the cost of living and back-to-school costs, with people seeking financial and budgeting assistance.
Cork office money advice co-ordinator Jessie Anthony said there has been a significant rise in demand for their professional services.
“In this month there has been a significant increase in demand in general,” she said. “Here in the Cork service, we have seen an approximate 35% increase in demand, and from speaking to the regional manager of South Munster MABS there is increased demand for our services across the region.”
Ms Anthony said there is a wide demographic of people seeking their assistance.
“We are seeing more people in general,” he said. “It is across the board. I think that families are finding it more difficult to stretch the household income and budget due to the increased cost of living. That is the main driver.
“We would have clients coming to us who may not be in financial difficulty, but are foreseeing that they are going to have more difficulty managing their household budget and they are looking for budgeting advice.
“A big driver as well is utility arrears. The cost of utilities is going up and people are reaching out to us in bigger numbers. We would deal with people in mortgage or rent arrears, personal debt, and utility arrears. They are the reasons people would contact us, as such, and it in increasing numbers across the board.
“We would urge people not to ignore financial difficulties. It is always a big step to take to contact any organisation.
“The service is available to everybody regardless of their financial circumstances. It is a free and confidential service.”