Mary puts government on the spot over lack of action on legal loan-sharking
Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield, joined calls for the Government to get a grip on problems caused by high-cost lending. After months of delay, on 4 July, Labour MPs put renewed pressure on ministers to address the problems caused by payday, doorstep and other high-cost lenders by voting for an amendment to the Finance Bill. Wakefield’s ethical savings group, the White Rose Credit Union is supporting Mary’s calls for action on legal loan sharking. The amendment was defeated by the government.
Mary said: “We know families across Britain are struggling financially as a result of this Government’s cutting too far and too fast. Many people are turning to high cost credit lenders to make ends meet. Payday lenders, home credit companies and hire purchase shops charge astronomical rates legally to families in Wakefield causing many to get into debt.
“I voted in favour of this amendment. We wanted to force the Government to look seriously at how to protect British consumers by intervening and protect the finances of families here in Wakefield.”
Jacqui Ward, President of White Rose Credit Union said: “Families across the Wakefield District are really feeling the pinch with rising VAT, inflation and a wage freeze hitting the money they have to make ends meet. In these difficult economic times it’s no surprise nearly half of all households in the UK find their paycheques don’t stretch to the end of the month and that increasing numbers are turning to home credit and payday loans as a result. Yet whilst these loans can seem like an attractive short term solution to financial hardship, with interest rates of 4,000% or more for many they become a long term debt problem.
Other countries have regulated these companies to stop their charges becoming astronomical and make sure people have access to more affordable credit- its time British consumers were given the same protection - that’s why I’m backing these amendments to make sure something is done.”