Massive interest rates on money lent by moneylenders could become a thing of the past if legislation proposed by Sinn Féin is passed.

The draft law seeks to introduce an annual percentage rate or APR cap of 36% on the rates at which moneylenders can lend funds.

"The rates are being charged by these companies are despicable, they have no place in the year 2018, and they had no place in 2012 when we first introduced this legislation," said the party's Finance Spokesman, Pearse Doherty, as he introduced the Bill in the Dáil last night.

Moneylending is the practice of giving cash loans or supplying goods or services repaid at a high level of interest over a short period of time.

It is not illegal, but moneylenders must hold a licence to trade from the Central Bank of Ireland.

A moneylender's loan will generally have a higher APR than a credit union or bank loan, at least above 23%.

But according to Sinn Féin, some money lenders are charging as much as 187% on loans and that can be even higher when collection charges are included.

"Moneylenders at these rates simply take the money of poorer families and makes them poorer," Mr Doherty said.

He said the draft law would help 330,000 people who use moneylenders in this country.

However, the Government has proposed a delay of 12 months to allow time for consideration of a review by the Central Bank and officials of the Department of Finance.

This is the second time that Sinn Féin's draft legislation has come before the Dáil.

The last time the bill was debated, it was defeated by the Government.