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In the week Minister for Finance Michael Noonan delivered the sixth austerity budget since 2008, St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has urged Inishowen families to avoid money-lenders this Christmas.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’, the charity’s Donegal president Mary Sheridan revealed calls to SVP have increased by 30 percent this year.

She said: “Christmas is an extremely stressful time of year for parents who cannot afford to provide even the minimum of gifts for their children. However, I would urge anyone in financial difficulty this Christmas to approach SVP rather than turn to money-lenders, who will charge extortionate interest rates on loans and will invariably make problems experienced by people even larger.

“Between now and the end of the year SVP volunteers will visit homes throughout Donegal. We will ensure all children will have a toy from Santa and families have sufficient food, heat and light to get over the ‘festive’ season. SVP is holding its church gate collections this weekend, We appreciate all of the financial help we receive from the public at this time.”

SVP can be contacted in total confidence on 074-9173933 or

Meanwhile, this week’s controversial Budget from Michael Noonan has been described as “anti-child, anti-family and anti-jobs” by Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD. Killea’s John Henderson of The Can’t Pay Won’t Pay (CPWP) campaign has called for a ‘massive’ anti-property tax protest at Station Road Roundabout in Letterkenny at 2pm tomorrow.