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Monday 16 September 2019

Taoiseach urges people to avoid moneylenders to fund Christmas shopping

Grafton Street (Stock)
Grafton Street (Stock)
John Downing

John Downing

Vulnerable people out of work, or earning low wages, are being forced to borrow from legal moneylenders charging interest rates of up to 49.9pc, Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald, has warned.

Ms McDonald said many people “up early and working very hard” could not make ends meet and felt they had little option but to turn to “moneylenders and loansharks.”

The Sinn Féin leader emphasised that many of these operators were operating legally and licensed by the Central bank. 

She dubbed these companies as “vultures” and she called for a cap on interest rates and said her party would propose legislation to control loan companies.

Read more: Central Bank licenses new moneylender

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he hoped people would avoid moneylenders and go to other sources – especially their local credit union. 

He said he did not like the idea of a legal ban as it restricted personal freedom but he conceded that it may sometimes necessary to save vulnerable people from themselves.

Mr Varadkar said he would consider whatever legislation proposed by Sinn Féin and he said interest rates of 49pc were very high.

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