Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Debt must be tackled as a social ill

Debt must be tackled as a social ill, like gambling and alcohol addiction

A local credit union in South Auckland is calling on the Government to extend the same level of help it does to quit smoking initiatives, gambling helplines and addiction support to people who are trapped by consumer debt.

Education and Development Manager at Westforce Credit Union, Tu Nuualiitia, said today that debt is just as destructive as other social ills like smoking and gambling, but remains largely neglected as a social issue.

“Spending money gives people a lift, a temporary high, but unfortunately when they crash it is not only painful and destructive, but punitive interest rates and fees charged by loan sharks make sure that it is also prolonged.

“The damage debt does is well documented. It is a cycle and a culture that is inherited by children and compromises their access to nutrition, education and decent living conditions, not to mention its contribution to relationship break-ups, domestic violence and alcoholism.

“New Zealand families will be trapped in this vicious cycle of debt so long as broader society and the Government of the day continues to view the credit industry from a purely consumer ‘business’ perspective, instead of as the social ill that it is.”

Mr Nuualiitia said that while work on the consumer finance act is a small step in the right direction – though its failure to cap interest rates is a serious shortcoming – the finance industry and government need to consider ways to address debt as a social problem and not an economic one.

“Many borrowers tell us that they are wary of mainstream financial providers because they fear they will be judged and rejected – in effect they are intimidated by mainstream services, so they always end up with bad debt.”

He said in the same way that Government is moving to address plain packaging on cigarette boxes, attention needed to be focussed on eliminating loan shark messages like ‘bad credit is no problem’, ‘no credit checks,’ ‘approval in two minutes,’ ‘unsecured loans,’ ‘$50 a day gets you $5,000’ and ‘low interest’ (which promotes 3 per cent per day interest rates that actually amount to 21 per cent a week).

Mr Nuualiitia called on the Government and authorities to legislate for a cap on interest rates, responsible advertising and to fund some form of debt rehabilitation service.

Ends/…

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

No Rail For New Harbour Crossing: National Giving Up On Rail In Auckland

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Auckland Looks Long Term To Pay-Per-Km Road Pricing

Aucklanders can expect to be paying variable rates per kilometre to travel on the city's most congested roads under an emerging transport strategy being formulated by the government and the Auckland Council. More>>

ALSO:

Despite Promises: Government Extends Iraq Deployment

Cabinet has agreed to extend New Zealand’s contribution to the joint New Zealand-Australia mission to train Iraqi Security Forces until November 2018. More>>

ALSO:

On The 'Terrorism' Card:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news