Belfast Telegraph

Citizens Advice Bureau faces increased demand as public feels pinch

By Brendan McDaid

The causes of debt in Londonderry are changing, with business failure, mortgage arrears and shortfalls arising from repossession continually increasing, according to the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

The CAB has also assisted hundreds of workers seeking help with issues around redundancy payments, late payment of wages, discrimination and dismissal.

The annual report states: “It is a stark reality that many workers are still being denied their most basic employment rights. Indeed, many workers are fearful of attempting to enforce these rights.”

Chairman of the local CAB, Paddy Gray, said the offices were becoming an increasingly vital lifeline for people.

He said: “The many challenges faced by the people of Derry are relentless and painful to individuals, families and communities.

“The personal dilemmas and burdens faced by many in today’s society are excruciating.

“Coping is difficult and many of our clients just can’t find the power and resilience to meet these daily challenges.”

Mr Gray added: “Whilst the current economic climate has seen the demise of the manufacturing and construction industries in Derry and associated ancillary services such as those provided by estate agents and solicitors, demand for our specialist provision is indeed a growth industry.

“The ongoing economic landslide and prevailing recession impacted critically on our users and public demand is spiralling to unprecedented levels.”

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