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Social Finance Foundation

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 July 2015

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Questions (208)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

208. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection her plans regarding the proposals around a micro-lending scheme announced recently; the number of pilots schemes that are intended; and if they will be linked to an existing Money Advice and Budgeting Service and to the credit union network. [28644/15]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

A proposal for a new personal microcredit scheme in Ireland is currently being developed. The work is being carried out under the auspices of Citizens Information Board and the Social Finance Foundation and involves extensive engagement with a number of stakeholders including this Department, the Department of Finance, the Central Bank of Ireland, the Irish League of Credit Unions, the Credit Union Associations, an Post, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) and some non-governmental organisations.

A preliminary outline of the scheme envisages a microloan facility, operated by Credit Unions, providing small loan amounts (initial loans circa €500), over an average term of 12 months with a monthly interest rate of approx. 1%.

When the proposal is agreed with key stakeholders, an implementation plan will be developed with a view to piloting the initiative with a number of participating Credit Unions. Credit Unions can self-nominate to be included in the pilot. It is expected that up to thirty Credit Unions will participate in the pilot scheme, each offering twenty to fifty personal microcredit loans. The outcomes and learning from the pilot will inform the development of a final model, prior to full roll-out.

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