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Credit Unions have the potential to ease economic pressure - Flanagan

22 May, 2012 - by Phil Flanagan

Sinn Féin Enterprise Spokesperson, Phil Flanagan has welcomed the statement by DETI Minister Arlene Foster on reform of the Credit Union regulations.

Mr Flanagan said:

"I welcome the Minister’s statement on reform of Credit Union regulations. The Credit Union movement has the potential to ease the pressure on the local economy.The Credit Union Movement was introduced to Ireland in the 1960’s by community activists concerned at the disadvantage experienced by working class people in accessing credit. The same motivation should now be applied to inject momentum into the local economy and offer a lifeline to SME’s and the social economy.

"In the present economic downturn government focus seems to be on protecting the interests of the large financial institutions. Until now there has been little attention given to assisting those most directly affected by the present financial conditions – the Small to Medium Sized Business (SME’S) and the workers whose labour made a major contribution to the economic prosperity squandered by developers, speculators andbanks over recent years.

“Sinn Féin introduced a motion to the Assembly in 2008 calling on the Minister to – ‘bring forward, as a matter of urgency, proposals to remove the legislative barriers which prevent Credit Unions from offering a wide range of financial services which could assist those in financial need in the current economic climate’.

“I therefore welcome the statement by the Minister today and will observe with interest the progress of the proposals contained in it."

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