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FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2013

EDITION NO. 34,884

Serving Cork for 120 years

RRP: e1.50

Families living on chips, sandwiches

Cork MABS office is helping 4,353 people in financial difficulty By MARIA ROLSTON SOME families are living on as little as €60 per week for groceries and eating nothing other than sandwiches and chips. They are among thousands of families being assisted by MABS, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service, because they can’t afford to pay their bills and are part of the “hidden poverty” which is now widespread across Cork. The Cork MABS office on Penrose Wharf, which offers services to clients from as far as Innishannon to Youghal, including Cork City, is helping 1,500 new clients annually and is currently assisting a staggering 4,353 people in financial difficulty. Many of these people have become physically and mentally ill or are expressing suicidal thoughts due to financial stress, according to MABS advisors. The Cork MABS branch — which yesterday marked its 21st anniversary at a reception in City Hall with Lord Mayor, Cllr John Buttimer — has seen a 20% increase in the number of people accessing its services every year for the last three years. Cork MABS Money Advice coordinator, Margaret O’Neill, says clients are now presenting for advice in WEATHER F TONIGHT

L: 3°C Patchy cloud

Winds: S at 5-10 mph

12.04.13 Recommended retail price €1.50

Hopes of Cork flights to US increasing

Financial difficulties sees some families surviving on just sandwiches and chips. an “increasingly distressed state” due to concerns about their families’ financial security. “Many people, for the first time in their lives, are now unemployed or on a reduced income and are struggling to meet their daily living costs. “People are now coming to us who

are physically and mentally ill, who are under doctors’ care, on medication or who have made it known to us that they are suicidal, all because of financial problems,” she said. The MABS coordinator also said: “We’re seeing families of five living off as little as €60 per week for gro-

Picture: Pic posed by models

ceries and eating nothing other than sandwiches and chips.” A new report launched today by MABS, which examined almost 6,000 mortgage arrears cases, found the majority of people struggling are aged between 41 and 65. ● See page nine for more.

THE possibility of a regular transatlantic flight out of Cork is increasing and is set to be a major topic of discussion when the Minister for Transport visits Cork today, ZULWHV $ODQ +HDO\ It was recently reported that Aer Lingus was in talks to lease three Boeing 757 jets to operate on its transatlantic routes and it is understood that a regular flight out of Cork to the east coast of the US, possibly Boston or Newark, could be introduced within a year. Previously the shorter length of the runway at Cork Airport was main barrier in securing long haul flights. However the 757 jet would be able to land at Cork meaning a flight ● Continued on page three.

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