Adams accuses Labour and Fine Gael of promoting a money lenders charter
Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the government’s response to this evenings Sinn Féin Private Members Bill, which seeks to impose a cap on money lenders, as “disgraceful and outrageous” and a “money lenders charter for exploiting citizens.”
Teachta Adams described Minister Hayes’ defence of money lenders and his rejection of Sinn Féin’s 40% cap on rates, as the “worst example of the conservative Thatcherite philosophy that drives Fine Gael.”
“Minister Hayes’ claims that money lending is ‘an inherently expensive business’ and that ‘licenced money lenders serve a high risk borrower segment’ misses the point. Of the 46 moneylenders currently operating with licences in the state, 29 of them have APR’s of more than 100%. Fourteen of these charge over 150%. This is state sponsored robbery which sees financial institutions who lend money make enormous profits.
“Nor can the Minister defend his claim that a 40%APR rate is insufficient for money lenders and that it would close down the industry. On the figures available these institutions would still make a profit but would not impoverish citizens in the process.
“As for the Labour Party TDs, if they have any shred of compassion for those caught in the poverty and debt trap they have to reject the minister’s defence of money lenders and his right wing diatribe. Nor can they hide behind the Central Bank or existing legislation which is clearly inadequate and is allowing money lenders to charge exorbitant rates of interest – up to 210%.”