The new consumer laws will not stop outrageous interest rates being charged by debt trucks that cruise low income suburbs, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.
“The government’s new Responsible Lending Code which came into force yesterday, does nothing to regulate debt trucks – and bizarrely, the code is non-binding.
“This government has twice voted down legislation that would curb interest rates. It simply does not care about the poorest in society being exploited.
“Debt trucks are a multimillion-dollar industry, taking advantage of our poorest, trawling the streets in low-income areas, selling clothes, bedding, furniture, electronics and food, at prices often many times higher than their recommended retail price.
“Some companies continue to take money after the debt has been repaid.
“Unlike most Western countries, New Zealand does not put a limit on interest rate charges.
“The truck companies claim to be offering a good service, but why aren’t they in Grey Lynn, Remuera or Mt Eden?
“ The Government must act to clean up consumer protections on direct selling. The only control at the moment is a council ‘sales licence’”, says David Shearer.