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

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news