Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Consumer watch

Consumer watch

Banking as Gaeilge

Sinn Féin has called Bank of Ireland’s decision to remove the Irish language option from certain ATMs as a “backwards step.” reports that the move is the result of replacing older ATMs with machines that feature lodgement facilities. “Where ATMs are replaced with lodge & dispense option, these new Lodgement ATMs don’t have an Irish language facility,” Bank of Ireland said on Twitter, also noting that “all BOI ATMs in shops continue to have an Irish option. Less than 1% of our customers conduct ATM transactions through Irish.”

Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín has called on Bank of Ireland to reverse its decision on what he described as a “small but valued option”.

“The removal of the Irish language from Bank of Ireland ATMs is a backward step and a denigration of Irish language rights,” he said. “The banking sector in Ireland has been extremely poor in facilitating Irish language speakers in the use of the Irish language. It is impossible to get statements, online banking or any customer service in Irish anywhere.”

Rental disputes

In other news, the Irish Independent reports that car hire disputes are the second biggest complaint made to Ireland’s European Consumer Centre (ECC), with 78 cases brought in 2016. The majority (59) came from travellers living in other European countries, with 19 pursued on behalf of Irish consumers.

The biggest issue is charges imposed after returning the vehicles, usually for alleged damage, following by booking issues and agencies hard-selling additional items such as insurance.

“The difficulty in proving there was no damage is compounded by the fact that rental companies often do not provide a check-out report confirming the vehicle was returned in good condition. The charges can be very high,” writes Charlie Weston.

Childcare costs

Worried about childcare costs and what you’re entitled to? Writing in The Irish Times this week, Fiona Reddan offers a handy guide to parents’ entitlements under the Government’s ‘affordable childcare strategy’, which goes into operation on September 1st.

“It is expected that parents of up to 70,000 children will benefit from the scheme in the coming months, and it is the first time that a universal, non-means tested childcare subsidy has been introduced in Ireland, something which should be welcomed,” she notes.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.