Donegal Deputy Pearse Doherty has brought forward legislative proposal to cap the rate at which money lenders can charge interest on loans.
The legislation seeks to place a cap of 36% on the rate Irish moneylenders can charge.
Introducing the Bill in the Dáil last night, Doherty said: “Regulated moneylenders and are charging as much as 187% on loans or even higher if collection charges are counted in. The borrowers caught in this trap are our neighbours, family and friends.
“These rates are despicable, they have no place in the year 2018 and they had no place in 2012 when we first introduced this legislation.
“Moneylenders charging these rates simply take the money off poorer families and make them poorer.”
Mr Doherty said he hoped this will be the last Christmas when the poorest people in Ireland are hit by ‘rip-off rates’.
The Dáil rejected a government amendment seeking to delay the Bill for twelve months.
Mr Doherty welcomed the support shown for his proposal, saying: “This is a straight forward piece of legislation that would help 330,000 people who borrow from moneylenders, or 7% of the entire population of the State.
“The poorest families in the State waited long enough for us as legislators to act on this issue.”