We need action on PCP protection

Seán Sherlock TD
04 November 2020
  • PCP customers caught in limbo

In the Dáil today, Labour TD for Cork East, Seán Sherlock questioned the Taoiseach when the Government will bring forward legislation to regulate and protect customers on PCP contracts who are caught in payments limbo when they lost their jobs due to COVID19.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“Today I asked the Taoiseach to take a personal interest to ensure this emerging crisis is addressed quickly, and action taken to protect those who now find themselves out of work and down income, but locked into PCP arrangements for cars and other vehicles. Judging by the number of people who have contacted me about this it much become a government priority.

“The proposed amendment to the Consumer Protection (Regulation of Credit Servicing Firms) Act 2018 plans to introduce provisions to regulate the affordability clauses in hire purchase and personal contract plan, PCP, financing arrangements, particularly as they relate to the motor industry.

“More than 76,000 people are on PCP contracts and the value of loans outstanding is some €1.5 billion.  The Tutty report in 2018 advised that legislation be introduced in this area. The Cabinet gave sign off in November 2019. The Bill is languishing on pre-legislative scrutiny with no definitive date.

“Many people who have such contracts have lost their jobs as a result of the Covid crisis and are having to seek help from the Money Advice & Budgeting Service, MABS, because they are unable to get any forbearance from some of these companies.  I asked the Taoiseach to give this issue his personal attention.

“I’ve had people contact me saying they have been pinned to their collar by some finance companies who are showing no forbearance or engagement on payment schedules that people who have lost their job simply cannot meet.  These aren’t people on fancy cars either, they are those who need a reliable vehicle to do their jobs, which has been lost, through no fault of their own. We have to step up and protect these people.

“The Taoiseach agreed with me that the issue is very important to many people in our society and gave an undertaking to engage with the Minister but I will continue to press this issue until we see progress.”

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