Social Fund reform plans ‘could benefit those on low incomes’

Credit unions may soon have access to Social Fund money to help provide financial aid to those struggling to access financial services, it has been revealed.

Minister for the Social Fund Kitty Ussher unveiled the plan as part of a discussion on reforming the fund, noting that such a move would allow consumers greater access to the financial services – such as debt advice and savings schemes – that are offered by companies operating in the third sector.

Should such a plan go ahead, so-called ‘financial untouchables’ – or FUNTS – who have difficulty obtaining finance could see their options improve.

“Organisations such as credit unions are experienced in helping people on low incomes and have proved successful in giving them a sound financial basis upon which to progress,” Ms Ussher explained, noting that granting these bodies access to the Social Fund would improve the services offered to customers.

A recent study by Scottish Widows has found many households are relying on two incomes in order to bring in enough money to cover living expenses.

By Tom Musk


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