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Social care to cut budgeting loans provision

If you’re on benefits and you’re applying for a loan to replace lost cash, you’ll only be able to do so once in a lifetime.

The Department of Social Care says it’s tightening up its budgeting loans scheme, which lends the Island’s poorest people money for one-off expenses.

The loans – which are repaid to the department - can be used for paying flat deposits, buying furniture or to help claimants who’ve lost cash.

The department will slash the amount that can be lent from £1,000 to £750 for single claimants and £850 for couples with no children.

Under the new rules, which Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw will bring before Tynwald, each claimant will only be able to borrow money once every two years.

Mr Robertshaw says the system is clearly being abused and says some claimants are using his department as a cash machine to max-out their credit.

He points out that in the past five years, some people have received more than one loan.

But he says the department does provide other help in the form of a non-refundable grant scheme for those with exceptional needs, such as prisoners leaving jail.

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