Support for the indebted
Caritas Family Crisis Support Centre, which has provided debt-restructuring consultation since January 2002, received 8,992 calls for help between August 2002 and the end of February this year.
People aged between 36 and 45 accounted for 40 per cent of callers, while 8 per cent were over 60.
Forty-eight per cent of callers owed money on credit card loans, and 40 per cent attributed their indebtedness to overdrafts.
Thirty per cent said they had failed to manage their finances properly. Ten per cent of callers were in debt with gambling loans, while most respondents blamed their situation on factors such as mortgage repayments and the property slump.