Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea TD has expressed his frustration over Minister Doherty’s failure to halt the damaging restructuring of the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS).
Minister Doherty has taken a hands-off approach to the issue despite strong opposition to the restructuring from many of the staff and volunteers and also TD’s from across the political spectrum.
Deputy O’Dea said, “I am deeply frustrated that the new Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has taken a hands-off approach to the restructuring of MABS and CIS. This is despite the passing of a Dáil motion which called for the restructuring process to be halted. A report issued by the Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection also requested the Minister to issue a policy directive to the Citizens Information Board (CIB) to abandon the restructuring proposal pending the examination of a workable alternative based on consultation with all stakeholders.
“Despite all of this, Minister Doherty has stated to me that ‘it would not be lawful or appropriate for me, as Minister, to seek to intervene in such a decision taken by the Board’. Moreover, the Minister also revealed in her reply that a cost-benefit analysis of the restructuring process has not yet taken place.
“It is apparent that Minister Doherty appears willing to let CIB steamroll ahead with the restructuring process and go against the wishes of many of the staff and volunteers and also the majority of TDs. This is neither democratic nor fair. Moreover, it is an insult to all of those who are seeking to have their legitimate concerns genuinely considered.”