MSP calls for action to help thousands in debt

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SNP MSP Margaret Burgess is leading a member’s debate on payday loans to raise awareness of the impact on individuals and their families and to urge the UK Government to take immediate action.

The MSP for Cunninghame South received cross party support for the debate which will discuss the problems of payday loan companies who often charge rates of interest often eclipsing 4000% APR.

Ms Burgess, who was previously manager of East Ayrshire Citizens Advice Bureau, will say in today’s (Thursday) debate:

“In the current economic climate more and more people, struggling to make ends meet, are resorting, often in desperation, to taking on payday loans only to find themselves pushed further into debt with all the resulting financial and emotional misery that can follow.

“That’s why I believe the UK Government should take action now to regulate high interest lending before it spirals further out of control, forcing more people into bankruptcy, homelessness and despair.

“We all know these companies are targeting the vulnerable and low paid.  This should concern all of us and has got to stop – regulation is needed and it is needed now.

“We can’t continue to allow people to be lost in a system that offers them little protection and inadequate access to affordable credit.

“We need to have good access to financial advice and to credit that is affordable and we need to ensure credit unions become the money shops of first resort in our high streets.

“The UK Government must act now to properly protect the most vulnerable in our society.”