Thursday, July 22, 2010

National loves loan sharks

Last night, in another despicable display, the National government voted down Carol Beaumont's Credit Reforms (Responsible Lending) Bill. The bill would have put restrictions on loan sharks, setting a maximum interest rate, requiring them to reasonably believe loans could be repaid, and preventing them from recovering anything more than the principal in the event of a default. These are all good ideas which deserved the scrutiny of a select committee. Instead, National voted it down. They'd rather see the current situation, in which predatory loan sharks exploit poor communities, continue unchanged.

But then, is anyone really surprised? As Campbell Live pointed out, these loan sharks are National people, living in big houses in Remuera while inflicting debt and misery on the poor in South Auckland. National is just sticking up for its own in opposing this bill. And that is another reason to oppose them.