Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Questions (47, 70)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

47. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance his plans to tackle the high cost of moneylenders through legislative means; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25525/19]

View answer

Alan Kelly

Question:

70. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Finance his plans for a cap on moneylender interest rates; the reports he has commissioned on the matter; his further plans to make such reports public; when they will be made public; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25322/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 47 and 70 together.

My Department recently launched a public consultation process seeking views on capping the cost of licensed moneylenders and other regulatory matters in relation to moneylending. The consultation paper is available at

https://www.gov.ie/en/consultation/81d5a4-public-consultation-capping-the-cost-of-licensed-moneylenders-and-ot/ .

Deputies will be aware of the report by the Centre for Co-operative Studies, University College Cork entitled "Interest Rate Restrictions on Credit for Low-income Borrowers" which was launched late last year.

Subsequently, the Personal Micro Credit Task Force, which was established at the behest of SFF, engaged an independent social researcher, Dr Stuart Stamp, to investigate unlicensed moneylending. My Department is financially supporting this research in conjunction with the SFF and the Citizens Information Board. The report is expected later this year.

The closing date for the public consultation being undertaken by my Department is 31 July 2019. I will review the responses received after that date and consider the best way to proceed.  I would like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who has an interest in this topic to look at the consultation paper and consider responding to some or all of the questions asked.