22 Jun 2011

Government MP urges action over loan sharks

3:22 pm on 22 June 2011

A South Auckland MP is urging the Government to stand up to loan sharks, saying unscrupulous lending is rife in his electorate.

Consumer Affairs Minister Simon Power says he is prepared to legislate, but wants to explore other options first.

Sam Lotu-Iinga, National's MP for Maungakiekie, says he wants the law changed so lenders are licensed, interest rates and fees are capped, and prison terms are introduced for serious breaches.

Mr Lotu-Iinga says people in the poorest communties are constantly being ripped off and need protection.

Mr Power agrees, but wants to look at whether voluntary industry self-regulation would be preferable to try first.