Independent councillor Ken O’Flynn said he has been approached by constituents about moneylenders waiting outside post offices to collect social welfare payments.
He said people are agreeing to hand over cash directly to the moneylender, after it has been withdrawn. The borrower is left access their card only at certain times, leaving the moneylender in full control.
“They don’t operate within the guidelines of a normal bank,” Mr O’Flynn warned. “There is constant pushing, harassment and generally making people’s lives a misery. They are taking social welfare payments from people who are continuously in debt.
“I know of one man who is taking 50% of social welfare payments collected by borrowers each week. He is in possession of a lot of social welfare cards. These are considered security.