Credit Unions call for action on Government Commitments

Media Release: 20 October 2016

Speaking at a breakfast briefing for Oireachtas members to mark International Credit Union Day (Thursday 20th October) in Dublin, Brian McCrory, President of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) said that credit unions had one clear message for politicians, which was that they now need to deliver on commitments to the movement, including on credit union’s providing funding for much needed social housing.

We’ve had the commitment” said Mr McCrory “and now we want the action”.

He continued:

“All parties went into the election with strong commitments to credit unions. The Confidence and Supply Arrangement between the Government and Fianna Fáil is predicated on “a strategy for the growth and development of the credit union sector”. The Programme for Government contains seven separate commitments relating to credit unions. It is well over a year since at the government’s request we submitted a proposal, and we are still on a roundabout in relation to delivering much needed credit union funds for social housing”.

Credit unions affiliated to the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) have in excess of €8.5bn held in surplus funds. It is a long held aspiration of the credit union movement to be able to use these funds in a way that is both more sustainable and socially aware. By enabling the allocation of some surplus funds to social housing, the credit union movement could go a long way towards meeting the Government’s funding requirement in this area. The ILCU has called for a time lined plan for delivery on a mechanism to use credit union funds for investment in social housing, and for immediate, real engagement on the broader issues to develop the movement.  

McCrory noted:

“Government bears the primary responsibility, but in this 32nd Dáil all parties as well as independents bear a responsibility consequent to their political commitments before the election”.

He added:

“People want an alternative to banks. The economy badly needs a democratically controlled and transparent alternative delivering financial services in communities. Again and again we have come to the table with plans.  Now we need partnership and commitment from Government to deliver”.

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