MABS calls for review of medical card Qualifying limits

Kerry MABS is calling for a review of the medical card qualifying limits. The money advice and budgeting service says many people on relatively low incomes are not eligible for a medical card and are unable to get the GP services they require. The organisation is also calling for financial planning to be introduced as part of the second level school curriculum. In its annual report, MABS says increasing numbers of young people are getting into financial difficulty.In 2003 Kerry MABS dealt with 465 new referrals, an increase of 20 per cent on the previous year. The level of advice varied from basic budgeting in a few cases to complex and detailed work in a large number of instances. One worrying trend identified in the report is an increase in multiple debt cases. MABS is urging people to seek help at the earliest stage rather than waiting until they are threatened with court action.Although the service was set up to assist those on social welfare with their budget planning MABS says 37 per cent of customers are waged and an increasing number are middle class. A new money advisor is to be recruited shortly and its hoped this person will help deal with the increasing level of cases coming forward each year.

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