Council credit banks hit by crisis

Local authority credit banks, set up to help people in financial difficulties, are themselves in trouble because of the economic crisis, the Telegraaf reports on Monday.

The paper says the banks are now longer able to cope with requests for help, and waiting lists are mounting to as long as four months.
‘Waiting lists of up to three or four months are no exception any more,’ Aant de Jong of the credit bank association NVVK told the paper. ‘But the main thing is to help people in financial difficulty as quickly as possible.’
Spending power
For example, the Friesland credit bank is expecting a 20% rise in requests for help this year. And Emmen council in Drenthe is forecasting it will help 1,200 people this year, compared with 800 in 2008.
Meanwhile, new figures from the national statistics office CBS show people who lose their jobs faced a 15% drop in spending power last year. People who retired saw their disposable income go down by 10%.
But spending power as a whole rose 0.8% in 2008. The average household had €33,500 to spend last year, the CBS said.

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