Anna Turley (Labour & Co-operative candidate for Redcar) has today (24th July 2013) urged Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to follow in the footsteps of Plymouth City Council and commence a crackdown on the publicity of payday loan companies.
Plymouth City Council is thought to be the first local authority to ban payday loans advertising on billboards and bus shelters and ensuring that their computer network does not give access to the 50 most popular payday loan websites. The Council are aiming to protect residents from the huge interest rates which often lead to spiralling debt.
“The practices associated with high-cost lending are causing misery for thousands of people across the country as they ﬁnd themselves unable to borrow from banks and struggling to make ends meet.
“A toxic mix of the rising cost of living, unemployment and wage freezes mean many households are struggling – and a lack of regulation of this market by the Government means these legal loan sharks are exploiting this to push many families further into debt.
“It is happening on our doorstep too. According to the debt charity, StepChange, last year people in the constituency of Redcar owed an average of £1,316 on payday loans when they turned to StepChange Debt Charity for help, an increase of 36% on 2011. This is an extremely worrying trend and action must be taken to deal with this growing problem.
“I have written to Redcar and Cleveland Council, urging them to follow in the footsteps of Plymouth, and take similar action to crackdown on the prevalence of payday loan companies and send a clear message that we have to be serious about supporting our residents who are facing ﬁnancial hardship.”