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Tough Times See Loan Sharks Continue To Thrive

Tough Times See Loan Sharks Continue To Thrive

The Government’s lack of progress in addressing child poverty and housing affordability will force more cash-strapped families to turn to loan sharks to cover basic living costs, Labour’s Consumer Rights spokesperson Carol Beaumont says.

“The latest Salvation Army State of the Nation report, Striking a Better Balance, describes child poverty and housing affordability as ‘time bomb’ issues.

“Alongside that budgeting services are reporting increasing numbers of families being pushed into the clutches of predatory lenders.

“A recent example, exposed by the Hamilton Budgeting Advisory Service, was of clients paying 100 per cent interest rates. Such excessive charges puts further financial pressure on families and for some leads to an ongoing cycle of debt and despair.

“In times of low wages, high accommodation costs and squeezed family budgets the need to properly regulate the actions of loan sharks is obvious.

“At the current rate of progress a Bill introduced last year might just be enacted prior to this year’s election – six years after National was elected and three years after the Government first began promising to get tough on loan sharks.

“A failure to prioritise regulating loan sharks is consistent with the Government’s failure to address child poverty and housing affordability.

“This is a Government that is out of touch and unconcerned about the real impacts of inequality in our country,” Carol Beaumont said.


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