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Credit unions are key to building on our housing strategy

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Credit unions are key to building on our housing strategy.

Up to €1bn of credit union funding could be redirected to the Government’s Social Housing Strategy, which aims to meet the needs of some 75,000 households. Credit unions want to make investments that are more sustainable and socially aware, writes Martin Sisk….

…It is estimated that 29,000 construction jobs will be created as a result of this initiative which is a welcome development for every sector of our economy. The strategy envisages meeting the housing needs of some 75,000 households through local authority provision via the private rental sector — using the Housing Assistance Payment and the Rental Accommodation Scheme as well as reforming social housing delivery and management in Ireland.

The Irish League of Credit Unions welcomes this initiative and we feel that we have a very positive role to play in its delivery. Credit unions currently have large amounts of excess funds held in deposits and investments. We estimate that somewhere between €500m to €1bn of those funds could be redirected to the Government Social Housing Strategy, which would equate to 2,500 to 5,000 housing units.

…In this way, credit unions will continue to survive and thrive and fulfil the economic and social objectives of the movement and their communities. It is in keeping with the credit union ethos and philosophy that they would do so and it would continue their unending contribution to Irish society as a whole, as they have done over the last 50 years….

 

 

Rich and poor gap ‘is getting wider’ via @independent_ie

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Rich and poor gap ‘is getting wider’ via @independent_ie.

THE gap between the rich and poor in Ireland is widening, a thinktank has warned.   Social Justice Ireland said the disposable income — the money a person has after tax — fell by 18.6pc over a year for the least well-off households…

“Africa – a Place Where You Will Make Money, Not Lose Money” – IPS ipsnews.net

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“Africa – a Place Where You Will Make Money, Not Lose Money” – IPS ipsnews.net.

If African countries continued to rely on external funding, they would be turned into “choice-less democracies”, he warned, because dependency on foreign aid means that political and economic agendas are partially set overseas.

Credit unions that thrive vital for all via @independent_ie

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Credit unions that thrive vital for all via @independent_ie.

Credit unions enjoy exceptional popularity in Ireland. People love their friendliness and informality. Even in these cash-strapped times, their total deposits still amount to €12bn.

But like so many other Irish institutions, our 400-plus credit unions are in severe difficulties. Many of them have insufficient capital. Some are in serious danger. The figure for loans in arrears has been estimated at €1bn.

Restructuring credit unions via @independent_ie

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Restructuring credit unions via @independent_ie.

The final report of the Commission on Credit Unions, which was published yesterday, is likely to usher in major changes to the credit union movement. The future is likely to be one of fewer, larger credit unions offering a wider range of services to their members.

In common with other financial institutions, the economic downturn and the resulting bad debts has hit the credit union movement hard. With 51 of the country’s 403 credit unions failing to meet the requirement that their reserves exceed 10pc of their assets, of which 25 are seriously under-capitalised, the need for reform is clear.

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