MACDONALD WELCOMES PAYDAY LOANS SUMMIT
Friday, 17 January 2014 12:40
Angus with staff at Falkirk District Credit Union
Falkirk East SNP MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed the announcement that the Scottish Government will convene a summit to look at halting the growth of payday lenders on the high street.
Minister for Local Government and Planning, Derek Mackay, announced the summit during today’s parliamentary debate on the Town Centre Action Plan, which will look at every possible method to tackle the problem and to rebalance Scotland’s high streets.
Payday lending has grown as a problem in recent years, with Citizens Advice Scotland reporting that they see over 100 cases per week of people facing hardship as a result of taking out a payday loan
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald said:
“Over the past couple of years I have become increasingly worried that payday loan companies are becoming an accepted part of our high streets, so I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has agreed to convene a summit to tackle the problem.
“Throughout my Falkirk East constituency I have seen at first hand the human suffering caused by these unscrupulous practices which is tragic and profoundly affects some of our most deprived communities.”
Just before Christmas, Angus met with volunteers at Falkirk District Credit Union, based in Grangemouth, who highlighted to him the damage and upset caused by high interest lenders, including pay day loan companies.
“I would encourage any of my constituents considering using payday loan companies or high interest lenders to think twice before committing themselves to paying sky-high interest rates. Companies involved in this business are nothing short of legalised loan sharks and the sooner we can put a significant cap on their interest rates the better.
“I have seen the misery locally that these vultures without a conscience can cause. There is no doubt that credit unions are the way forward and I would encourage everyone to support the credit union movement and open an account as soon as possible.
“There should be nothing acceptable in charging 4000% interest to vulnerable families desperate for cash.”
“While the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackle the problem is commendable, it is unfortunately true that the main powers to end the unethical practices of payday loan companies currently sit with Westminster.
“Only with the full powers of independence will we be able to fully stamp out the scourge of payday lending from our society.”