Guidelines on living standards for insolvent debtors out tomorrow

Expenses guidelines will also be revealed and the remit of Personal Insolvency Practitioners outlined

Alan Shatter: will launch the guidelines with the Insolvency Service of Ireland. Photograph: Mac Innes Photography/Department of the Taoiseach via Getty Images

Alan Shatter: will launch the guidelines with the Insolvency Service of Ireland. Photograph: Mac Innes Photography/Department of the Taoiseach via Getty Images

Wed, Apr 17, 2013, 15:55

Long-awaited guidelines on living standards for insolvent debtors will be published in Government Buildings tomorrow afternoon.

Last month Taoiseach Enda Kenny moved to assure “every person in the country, man and woman, particularly women, that no guideline laid down by the personal insolvency agency will be mandatory or have a condition that anybody has to give up a job”.

He was speaking after a series of leaks suggested insolvent debtors may have to give up their jobs if their income is less than the cost of childcare, while health insurance and cars may also have to be surrendered.

Under the leaked draft guidelines, families who entered an insolvency arrangement could be forbidden from taking holidays for as long as six years, while a single adult will be allowed just €31 a month to cover health costs.

The leaks also suggested the Insolvency Service of Ireland, which will launch the guidelines tomorrow with Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, considered allowing a single person just €29 a week for “social participation”, while people who live close to a public transport network may be forced to sell their cars and be given a monthly allowance of €136 to spend on public transport.

Just over €100 was to be allowed to cover all energy costs, while single people were to be given €20 a month to cover emergencies.

However, on Easter Monday the Department of Finance said it was “anticipated that some changes/additions will be made” to the draft guidelines prior to publication.

A spokeswoman for the department said final guidelines would be designed “to strike an appropriate balance between the interests of debtors and creditors” and it “would be a mistake to assume that the final guidelines published will be identical to those referenced in some reports”.

Tomorrow Mr Shatter and Insolvency Service of Ireland director Lorcan O’Connor will also outline details of expenses allowed for insolvent debtors and provide some information on the authorisation and regulation of Personal Insolvency Practitioners.