The 21-page booklet presents information on money, budgeting, banking, using an ATM and credit cards. In her address, Ms O’Dea praised Inclusion Ireland for ‘providing an understanding of financial products and services in plain English to people with intellectual disabilities.’ She particularly welcomed the budgeting section, adding that people might like to use the online budget planner on the www.itsyourmoney.ie website. She also recommended the drop-in Consumer Information Centre and the Financial Regulator’s factsheet on ‘how to make a complaint’.
Eddie Hobbs spoke of the importance of empowering people to take control of their personal finances. He said often people with very limited resources are better at budgeting/making ends meet than those who have a big pay packet. He urged government decision-makers, during our current financial difficulties, to show a strong moral conscience to maintain and increase the level of supports for people with disabilities.
Jean Wright, who lives in west Dublin, is moving into an apartment soon. Although she had preferred cashing her weekly Disability Allowance at the post office, it is now lodged into her bank account and she has got to know the staff there. She told how she budgets for her weekly expenses.
Discussion at the launch included a plea for bank frontline staff to be better trained in dealing with customers who want to open accounts—senior staff can usually accommodate a person who may not possess the specified identification documents. A member of the audience who works with the Money Advice and Budgeting Services (MABS) pointed out that the ‘older’ way of cashing a weekly allowance in the local post office often better suited the budgetary needs of individuals who, for example, might wish to pay instalments on utility bills on the same visit, without having to join a second queue in the ESB office or bank.
Making decisions about money is available free from Inclusion Ireland, Unit C2, The Steelworks, Foley Street, Dublin 1 (email: email@example.com; tel: 01-855 9891).