Petition to end legal loan sharking

Dame Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South, is backing a new e-petition calling on the Government to intervene in the high-cost credit market before legal loan sharks are able to take advantage of cash-strapped consumers over the Christmas season.

Speaking after the petition’s launch, Dame Anne said: “With Christmas approaching, residents in Aberdeen South are likely to come under increased financial pressure and many will be considering taking out high-cost, short-term loans. I am determined that they should be protected from exploitation by the high-cost credit sector – that’s why I’m signing a petition calling on the Government to introduce caps on the cost of credit before Christmas, and urging people in Aberdeen South to do the same.”

The petition has been launched in the wake of new research from the Debt Advice Foundation which shows that 41% of those struggling with debt claim their financial problems are the result of high-interest or payday lending. One in four people who take out a payday loan need the money to buy food or essentials for their household, with 44% using them to pay off other debts. In addition, Citizens Advice has recorded a fourfold increase in the numbers of people getting into debt problems as a result of borrowing from payday lenders in the space of just two years.

If the e-petition receives 100,000 signatures it will go before the Backbench Business Committee to be considered for a debate in the House of Commons. The petition can be found here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20219.

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