Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Doherty hits out at vultures preying on vulnerable people

Published: 30 October, 2017

In the confusion and desperation caused by recent changes to the Benefit system, Sinn Féin Erne West Councillor Barry Doherty has hit out at those that intend to profit from people's confusion and desperation.

Councillor Doherty said,

"Recent changes to the benefits system have undoubtedly produced much confusion and desperation particularly amongst those who have seen their benefits amended or removed.

"Into this situation have come unscrupulous persons who wish to profit. "I've been made aware of people being referred to individuals who, for an upfront payment of £200, offer to fill in the numerous forms needed to contest either changes to or the withdrawal of a benefit.

"These people also seek 10% of any back payment made upon a successful challenge - this is a morally repulsive service to offer. These people are akin to vultures and are preying on vulnerable people at a time of heightened stress.

"I would encourage anyone referred to such people not to part with any cash and to avail of the free and professional service provided by organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau.

"If anyone is in any doubt as to what they need to do if referred to one of these people, or if they have received documentation to say a benefit will be affected they should contact either Citizens Advice Bureau or their local Sinn Féin office immediately where they can have a free and impartial discussion about the best way forward." - Ends/Críoch