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File photo of an SVP toy appeal. Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

SVP expects 100,000 requests for assistance before Christmas

St Vincent De Paul said it is worried yesterday’s budget will put added pressure on the charity during the festive season.

THE SOCIETY OF St Vincent De Paul (SVP) has said it expects around 100,000 requests for assistance before the end of December this year.

A spokesman for the charity told that they expect a significant number of requests in the build up to Christmas as people struggle with the expense of the holiday.

“There has been an escalating increase over the last couple of years,” he said. “The calls for the main regional office are up over 80 per cent since 2009 which is considerable.”

The society has noted a regular increase every year in the number of first time callers to the charity.

“We’re had reports pretty unanimously of people saying “I never thought I’d have to go to St Vincent de Paul”,” the spokesman said.

“The most common requests coming up to Christmas are for food obviously and also energy bills and toys.”

Yesterday’s budget announcements will have an effect on the numbers of requests SVP receive this December, the spokesperson said.

“We are worried that the cumulative effect of all the changes will be an added pressure both on people and on the society”.

With around 90 per cent of SVP’s funding coming from public, donations in the last couple of years have held up well, the society said, though corporate donations have dipped slightly.

This weekend is the national church day weekend and the society said it hopes “people will be generous in the run up to Christmas.”

Read: Noonan: Charitable donations to be subject to ‘simplified’ tax relief regime>

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