A Sinn Fein proposal to cap interest rates charged by moneylenders at 40 per cent has been rejected by the Government.
Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty introduced the Consumer Credit Bill stating It was incredible there is no cap on the rates moneylenders licensed in this State can charge.
The Donegal South West TD said 13 EU states operated such a cap and the Bill sought to bring moneylenders into line with them. In Belgium it ranged from 10-19 per cent and in Spain it was 10 per cent.
Despite Fianna Fail support the Bill was rejected - the government argued that a cap could lead to a surge in illegal money lenders.
Credit unions have recently spoken out at moneylenders charging high interest rates - Among them, the Director of the Letterkenny Credit Union Denis O’Donnel: