Responding to the abrupt announcement that the budgeting and bill paying service Home Payments had ceased trading threatening catastrophic financial losses for working and poor people Joe Higgins TD said:
The Home Payments service which had been around for some fifty years was utilised by many working class households as a means of managing their bills.
The revelations that those managing the funds not satisfying themselves with the commission which kept the company profitable and functioning for the best part of those fifty gambled and lost the money trusted to them in the property markets is galling to hear.
My office has received calls from customers of Home Payment explaining how they were accepting deposits of hundreds of euro right up until last week knowing full well that the people paying those funds in would not be guaranteed of having their bills paid.
Unless Home Payment is bought or taken over by the state a liquidator will be appointed and the customers will be regarded as unsecured investors and therefore will be the last to be considered in the settlement of Home Payments’ debts.
I call on the government to investigate what took place at Home Payments and to take it into public ownership, protect the jobs of the ordinary employees in the firm and treat the customers as you would the depositors in a bank and guarantee the money they paid in. Anything short of this would be a cruel injustice.