Yesterday, Tuesday 22nd May 2012, I voted in support of a cross-party amendment to the Financial Services Bill which would have allowed the regulator to cap the cost of credit if a financial product was judged to cause ‘consumer detriment’. Despite the support of several Conservatives, the Government whipped its MPs to reject the amendment.
Local residents are suffering in our current economic climate as the cost of living rises, wage freezes and unemployment hit their household incomes. Desperate people turn to these agencies who lend money at extortionate rates of interest that can cause a cycle of debt. One in three payday loans is being taken out to pay off other payday loans.
This amendment to the Financial Services Bill would have sent a message to the industry that their worst excesses would no longer be tolerated. Despite saying they support action, too many Government MPs didn’t have the guts to stand up for the people they represent.