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Sinn Féin invite all to Cost of Living public meeting

8 December, 2008 - by Jennifer McCann

A public meeting aimed at providing advice and guidance to those who are facing financial difficulties or have worries about the current economic climate will take place in An Chulturlann on Tuesday 9 December at 7pm.

The event, organised by West Belfast Sinn Fein, will feature contributions from Eleanor Gill from the Consumer Council and Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, west Belfast Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann said:

''Everyone is affected by the increased cost of living, from rises in the price of oil, gas and electric to increased food costs to rising levels of unemployment and the slowdown in trade for businesses.

'"Sinn Fein's Cost of Living Group has engaged in a number of meetings with Phoenix Gas, NIE, the Utility Regulator, the Consumer Council and many others with the objective of pushing for lower prices and more help for people who are experiencing increased financial hardship at this time.

At thje meeting there will be the opportunity for people in attendance to ask questions about any cost of living issues.

"Eleanor Gill from the Consumer Council has extensive knowledge of all consumer issues and will be able to offer advice on any issue that may arise on the evening.

"Sinn Féin will be there to answer questions on what we are doing at an Assembly and Council level to help impact on these issues.

"At the event a number of organisations will be available to provide information on the services they provide to people experiencing financial difficulty.

"There will be advice on important issues including how people can find out if they are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to, how to handle debt and manage their money and who would be best to turn to for specific financial problems.

"This event is intended to provide people in West Belfast with practical advice, and actions to carry out, to help them at this financially difficult time.

"Among the groups in attendance will be the Consumer Council, Access to Benefits, EAGA: Warm Home Scheme, Citizens Advice, Advice NI and the Sinn Féin Advice Centre.

''We are inviting everyone to come along to the Culturlann at 7pm on Tuesday, December 9, to listen to the advice given by Eleanor Gill and to speak to representatives of the various groups who are qualified to give practical advice to help people who are affected by the increased cost of living.''

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