Friday, July 13, 2012

Government austerity forces families into the arms of money lenders

People are being forced to borrow from money lenders to cover their personal debts incurred through government austerity according to a Ferns campaigner. Dominick Gaughan, a spokesperson for the County Wexford Campaign against the Household Tax and Water Charges, has claimed that recent figures released show that cash strapped Irish families are being forced to turn to money lenders in order to cover the effects of government cuts and new taxes.

“The policies of austerity introduced by the last government and continued by our current coalition are forcing ordinary Irish families into the clutches of money lenders who can legally charge up to 187 per cent APR,” Mr Gaughan said. “A recent survey by the Irish Credit Unions found that 40% of people now had to borrow to meet their bills, and most alarmingly, 10% had to borrow from money lenders.”

“Hard working, decent families have been put in a position where they must seek out these lenders because of the actions of our government. The Household tax; cuts to children’s benefit, rent allowance, the winter fuel allowance and many other vital benefits; and recent changes made to eligibility for mortgage interest relief have all contributed to putting families into this position of last resort.”

“The government plans to introduce water and septic tank charges. Many commentators have estimated that households will end up paying in excess of €1000 annually to cover these new taxes coupled with a new property charge. This is at a time when 1.8 million Irish people have no more than €25 left after providing their families with the basic necessities at the end of each week.”

“The government is living in a dream world if they think they can squeeze anymore out of these people and all they will succeed in doing is driving decent folk into the arms of money lenders which will dramatically increase the already catastrophic levels of personal debt in this country.”

“That is why people are refusing to register for the household tax and are preparing to resist the imposition of property and water taxes. It is why people are actively opposing the misguided policies of austerity and taking to the streets. It is why thousands of people will take to the streets on Wednesday of next week (18th July) and join the CAHWT-organised march against austerity. People have had enough and are determined to fight back.”

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