Credit unions have been invaluable for all our communities in Dublin central, East Wall, North Wall, Cabra, Phibsborough and Aughrim Street; They came under enormous pressure due to developments in the financial sector. The philosophy of one Minister for Finance was, “When I have it, I spend it,” which was absolutely contrary to the tradition of prudence and caution associated with the Credit Unions. How lessons could have been taken by Government. They are a viable alternative to moneylenders, both legal and illegal and on transparency and fairness.
The other aspect of credit unions is their social finance policy. They see that as crucial and as part of the ethos of their operation, which encompasses their not-for-profit status, their co-operative nature, their position within the communities and the potential they have going forward. The stakeholder forum is of particular merit, but I would like it to be remembered that credit union members paying up to 8.99% interest on loans are also stakeholders.