Action needed on Pay Day lenders and the cost of living crisis

Richard McCready

29 November 2013 

Along with my colleague Lesley Brennan I have called for more action on pay day lenders and the cost of living crisis. 

 In part we were responding to a report published this week entitled Scotland in the Red.
The findings in the report for Dundee City East show the average pay day loan debt was £817; and in Dundee City West the average pay day loan debt was £1,218.

I think that this report is a stark reminder of the cost of living crisis which faces many people in Dundee in the run-up to Christmas. 

I welcome the fact that the Scottish Government has listened to my colleague Kezia Dugdale MSP and that the UK Government is listening to my colleague Stella Creasy MP and taking some action against Pay Day lenders. 

I believe that pay day lenders should have to produce a wealth warning which states the cost of the loan. 

The wealth warning would be similar to the health warnings on alcohol and cigarettes and is designed to make sure that people understand what they are doing when they sign up to a pay day loan. 

I want effective action against Pay Day lenders who trade on the misery of others and I will be keeping a close eye on the changes being made by the Scottish and UK Governments.

The council can and should do more to combat debt in the city. 

We need to do all that we can to promote Discovery Credit Union for example. 

The council should also look at doing more to promote the Living Wage in the city and also bring more jobs to the city. 

We need to see jobs delivered rather than talks about jobs.'

The UK Government, the Scottish Government and the City Council need to work together to tackle the problems of debt and deal with the cost of living crisis. We need coordinated action to tackle these problems.

My colleague Councillor Lesley Brennan said,

“These figures tragically reveal the despair that traps families who need to take out high-cost loans to pay for essentials such as food and heating."

“These people who are caught in the cost of living crisis need support to manage their debts. 

“The case for taking action to cap the cost of borrowing has proven to be indisputable, with action now promised."

“We need to go further and support credit unions who can provide loans that cost much less than those from legal loan sharks."