Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea TD says the ongoing reorganisation of the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) and the Citizens Information Service (CIS) underscores Minister Doherty’s complete disregard for the staff and volunteers who have voiced serious concerns about the restructuring process.

Deputy O’Dea said, “At this juncture the situation is farcical to say the least. Minister Doherty and her predecessor the now Taoiseach Leo Varadkar have allowed this restructuring process to continue unabated, thereby completely ignoring the very grave reservations that many staff and volunteers have voiced about the process.

“Volunteerism is at the heart of MABS and CIS and now, because of the ongoing restructuring process, those who have given years of service are in danger of being completed marginalised under the new model. Effectively, the changes are being imposed and the views of those who are opposed to the restructuring process have not been given a fair hearing.

“The whole process is undemocratic and even more so since a motion which I brought forward passed in the Dáil calling on the restructuring process to be halted. This was followed by a report from a cross-party committee on social protection calling for the same outcome.

“Continuing with the restructuring process demonstrates not only breath-taking arrogance, but also disdain for many of those who have volunteered and given freely of their time for years.

“Minister Doherty cannot continue to sit on her hands on this issue. It’s about time she showed leadership and put a stop to the damage that is being done to these two vital organisations which are intrinsic to communities the length and breadth of the country.”