Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Anne Rabbitte, has called for greater clarity from credit unions around the availability of supports being offered during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Deputy Rabbitte was responding to the government designation of credit unions as an essential service during the Covid-19 crisis.

Deputy Rabbitte commented: “While I welcome today’s statement from the Irish League of Credit Unions, it needs to be clearer. We know where the banks stand and their offer of a potential payment break of up to 3 months for customers. We need this type of clarity from the credit unions as well.

“Credit unions are a vital service in many communities across the country and a lot of people have loans with credit unions. People who have now found themselves in financial difficulties though need to know if such repayment suspensions will be offered.

“Constituents are worried because they’re not sure where they stand with their loans and they’re afraid they may default. People need to know that there are enough supports in place and there’s a safety net in place, and a level of understanding, if they lose their income during this Covid-19 crisis.

“While I appreciate credit unions say they’ll deal with customers on a case-by-case basis, I’m asking the Irish League of Credit Unions to at least outline the baseline that’s in place. This will help reassure concerned customers and minimise their sense of vulnerability. People are already fearful of the potential impact of Covid-19 on their health, we don’t need additional strain due to financial uncertainty,” concluded Deputy Rabbitte.