26 July 2016
By Tom Collins
Dara Murphy, Minister for Europe and Fine Gael TD for Cork North Central has today welcomed government plans to introduce a new Credit Union managed micro-finance scheme, with the purpose of providing small affordable loans of between €100 and €2,000 for those on social welfare, to tackle the problem of penal interest rate loans offered to struggling families by moneylenders. The Central Bank estimates that about 360,000 people are using ‘licensed’ moneylending services in Ireland (source – 2013 Report on Licensed Moneylending Industry).
Welcoming the national roll-out of the successful pilot micro-finance scheme currently operating in over 30 credit unions, Minister Murphy, said;
“I welcome the proposed introduction of this new loan scheme, details of which were announced today by my government colleague, Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar. The new micro-finance scheme aims to provide affordable credit for families helping with essential costs, such as, ‘back to school’ education, as well as, Christmas expenses.
I am sure there will be a large ‘take-up’ in Cork for this affordable small loan scheme, which provides those eligible loan applicants with access to mainstream credit through their credit union, thereby combatting the need to engage with unlicensed moneylenders.