Government Accused Of Disjointed Policy On Credit Unions

Disjointed government policies see the Tanaiste asking Credit Unions to help consumers to avoid moneylenders coming up to Christmas, while the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan was planning to restrict the same credit unions in their savings and lending activities.

This was stated by Independent MEP Marian Harkin when she welcomed the Tanaiste Joan Burton’s call on credit unions to provide funding to small borrowers to keep them out of the clutches of licensed moneylenders who can charge up to 180% in interest and unlicensed, unscrupulous, moneylenders whose charges were unlimited.

“it is disquieting that the Minster for Social Protection, who sits at the cabinet table with the Minister for Finance, can see the value of the community service provided by credit unions but yet fail to influence Minister Noonan in his increasingly negative attitude to credit unions”, she said.

The fact that AIB was aiming to re-enter the money market in mid 2016 was a possible explanation of why the Minster for Finance seemed determined to place value on bank shares and reduce the ability of credit unions to compete with them, Independent MEP Marian Harkin said.

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