Poverty and Policy

A Policy Framework for Addressing Over-indebtedness - Stuart Stamp

Autor: Stuart Stamp

April 2009 - Combat Poverty Agency

Extract of the Introduction

The recent economic downturn has highlighted the problem of consumer over-indebtedness both in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe. Over the last two decades, Ireland has developed an innovative approach to dealing with this problem. This approach is based primarily on a network of government funded ‘Money Advice and Budgeting Services’ (MABS). The issue of over-indebtedness has also been the subject of attention at European Union (EU) policy level in recent years. It has also been the subject of a good deal of research at a wider European level.

This paper begins by discussing how the extent of over-indebtedness might most appropriately be measured in Ireland and across Europe. Our current data-gathering instruments in this regard are also reviewed. It goes on to examine how the characteristics, nature and causes of over indebtedness in Ireland compare with other European countries. Ways of gathering data on each of these things are also considered. The paper then compares the Irish policy response to over-indebtedness with that of other countries within the EU. It concludes by recommending a series of measures to both prevent and deal with over-indebtedness in Ireland.