[Sinn Fein]

3rd January 2002

Families face uncertain future due to unscrupulous moneylenders

Sinn Fein representative for Dublin South Central Aengus O Snodaigh today expressed his concern that many families in the city are facing a uncertain New Year having been caught in a spiral of debt over the Christmas period due the activities of unscrupulous moneylenders

Mr.Ó Snodaigh said:

"Every year in the run up to Christmas unscrupulous moneylenders prey on vulnerable low income families who are desperate for cash and have no access to other means of credit.  The result is that  many families are now facing into the New Year terrified as they unable to re-pay loans with exorbitant interest rates of around 190%.  

"It is outrageous that moneylenders are allowed to exploit people in such a way and that they do so under licence from the state.

"It is essential that the government tackle these unscrupulous lenders by only giving licences to moneylenders who offer loans at set rates to be determined. And, those lenders who continue to operate outside the law must be targeted by the Gardaí and Revenue Commissioners."

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