Qld Minister misrepresents Queenslanders financial burden

Aug 03 2017

MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday 3rd August 2017

 Qld Minister misrepresents Queenslanders financial burden

NCPA Chairman Rob Bryant has encouraged the Queensland Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, to do more for women who are escaping domestic violence and people doing it tough rather than taking a cheap shot at the small loans sector.

Mr Bryant said, suggesting people were doing it tough because of small amount loans is misleading and misinformed.

People are doing it tough because of low wages, the high cost of electricity in Queensland, the high cost of living, the high cost of housing, an under-performing economy, a lack luster jobs market and a very tough and restrictive welfare and jobs start system.

Many thousands of Australians find themselves in need of emergency financial help which is unavailable to them through mainstream lenders, the social welfare system or government assistance.

Mr Bryant said the NCPA is a strong supporter of the no interest loans scheme (NILS) as it fulfills an important role in assisting people in financial need, particularly women escaping domestic violence.

I welcome the news that the welfare sector funded store on the Gold Coast has had more than 500 inquiries, however the Minister’s comments suggest that only dozens of people have been helped and begs the question of what has happened to the hundreds that could not be helped.

The Minister should also acknowledge the reality that most people do not qualify for a no interest (NILS) loan under the restrictive rules, or choose other options.

Attacking the small loans sector is another distraction that offers no help for the 3 million Australians that Good Shepherd say are financially excluded.

The facts are that Small loans providers are fully regulated by ASIC and operate within the caps and limits of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act in every state and territory.

A non-welfare commercial small loan on average is $770 over 4.4 months and is limited through the caps set by the NCCP act with a maximum interest rate of 4% per month and voluntarily chosen by more than 500,000 people every year.

The small loans sector is the most regulated lending sector in Australia and it was the Federal government that stepped in and introduced uniform caps and limits where state and territory governments have failed.

The NCPA also welcomes and supports the proposed amendments by the federal government to further regulate the NCCP Act, in particular for consumer leases, and believes the current protected earnings amount (PEA) has been working effectively and should remain in place.

It may be convenient to attack the small loans sector for the state of financial stress in Queensland but does nothing to help ordinary Queenslanders excluded by the banks, the government or the financial system.

For further information, please contact NCPA Chairman Rob Bryant on 0407 292 295.