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One fifth of funds earmarked for frontline Credit Union support goes on consultancy

The Welsh Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for Social Justice, Peter Black, has questioned the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty as to why one fifth of the monies set aside by the Welsh Government to assist Credit Unions in their work with financially excluded individuals is being spent on administration and consultancy work.

Speaking in the chamber, Mr. Black highlighted the fact that of the £4.7 million allocated to phase two of a four year Credit Union project, of which £1.8 million came from the European Union, £998,543.20 has been paid to The Social Investment Business (SIB), which is a trading subsidiary of the charity, the Adventure Capital Fund. SIB are based in, and run from England.

"In responding to my question, the Minister asserted that some of the money being paid to SIB was to offer business support to credit unions," said Mr. Black, "however, he was unable to outline in any detail as to what performance indicators are used in measuring the impact of that support or how it is monitored.

"It is hard to justify the fact that one fifth of the money put aside to make credit unions sustainable and to help financially excluded people has been spent on administering this scheme. That is a lot of money that might have been better spent on front line services. It is the duty of the Welsh Government to use its resources effectively to help the most disadvantaged in our society. In my view they have failed to do so in this instance."

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