Hungry families find council blocks on bank accounts


AN estimated 500 people on benefits were shocked last week to find the council had frozen their bank accounts over unpaid fines.

Unfortunately for the families who rely on the dole or other benefits to get by, the council sent out a batch of 14,200 embargo orders for unpaid fines totalling €15.7 million at the beginning of the month, when benefits were due to be paid in.

When an order comes in, if there are sufficient funds to pay the fine the money is automatically taken from the bank account, and if not regular income is frozen even though by law benefits amounting to less than the minimum wage, set this year at €648, cannot be blocked.

As hundreds went through the tedious process of proving their benefits were their only income to have the blocks removed, security guards and staff at the collection offices tried to keep up and explained that all should be resolved within a few days.


  1. so typical can’t pay a fine so then you can’t pay your rent or get food untill you run all over the place getting paperwork to prove your low income and in some places have to pay for the paperwork


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