Households who turned to the Money and Budgeting Advice Service (MABs) for help in February owed €53m to creditors – an average of €14,990 a household, The Sunday Times reports.

Around 83% of debt is owed to banks and credit unions and 47% of MABs clients have no breadwinner in the house. Some 25% were married with children and 18% were lone parents.

A briefing paper prepared for government shows that almost 16,000 homeowners are projected to receive €64m in mortgage supplement this year, an exponential rise from the €12m paid out in 2007.

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