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Loan sharks get a Christmas gift from National

Carol Beaumont
Labour MP

15 December 2010
Media Statement

Loan sharks get a Christmas gift from National

I am appalled that National MPs rejected an opportunity to send a message to loan sharks that their predatory lending practices are unacceptable, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont.

“In the lead up to Christmas families who are already struggling in hard economic time come under further financial pressure. Many vulnerable people will be targeted by predatory lenders at this time,” Carol Beaumont said.

“Community support for action is overwhelming and comes from around New Zealand and from people with widely differing political beliefs. It’s not surprising when people hear of the level of exploitation,” Carol Beaumont said.

“I think many people will be angry that another opportunity for Parliament to take action has been rejected. Earlier this year my Member’s Bill the ‘Credit Reforms (Responsible Lending)’ Bill that was narrowly defeated when National and ACT voted it down. All other parties supported the Bill proceeding to Select Committee.”

“There is clear evidence of harm and exploitation by the actions of loan sharks. Loan sharks target low income and vulnerable people who are increasingly struggling in hard economic times,” Carol Beaumont said.

“Today I sought the support of all MPs in Parliament to introduce my new Members Bill directly into Parliament (rather than through the ballot process) to send a message that we are united in our concern and that we will work to find ways to regulate the actions of predatory lenders.

“The Bill, the ‘Credit Contracts (Oppressive Lending Provisions) Amendment Bill’ and has two main provisions, one to clarify that excessive rates of interest can be treated by the Courts as oppressive and one a responsible lending requirement so the creditor must have a reasonably held belief that debtor can repay the loan.

“All MPs know there is a serious problem that needs our action. I will continue to campaign to stop loan sharks until action is taken,” Carol Beaumont said.

ENDS

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