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Social Fund loan cuts affect most vulnerable - McCartney

11 May, 2009

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said that recent cuts in the size of Social Fund loans available affects the most vulnerable in society. Mr McCartney was speaking after he was contacted by a constituent.   Raymond McCartney said:   "I have been contacted by a constituent who claimed that when he applied for a Social Fund loan he was informed that the maximum available had been unilaterally reduced a number of months ago. I had this checked out and it was confirmed that the maximum loans available had been reduced by between 25% and 30%.   "This means that the maximum loan to a couple with children has been cut from £1195 to £971. These loans which, have to be paid back out of benefits, were available for emergency situations to people who obviously would have no other access to credit. The only thing that this cut will achieve is that while some will just do without others will unfortunately be pushed into the hands of unscrupulous moneylenders.   "The fact that the cuts were made unilaterally and without public announcement or consultations is unconscionable and should be reversed.

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