On the 20th of January, I took part in a House of Commons debate on Payday Loans Companies. In my speech, I argued that the Government has a duty to protect the most vulnerable in society and ensure that they are not taken advantage of. This principle certainly applies to the regulation of 'payday' loans.
As I stated in the House, there has been a massive growth in payday lending in the past few years. Scandalous levels of interest have put individuals and households under great pressure. To combat this, I argued that the UK should look to introduce both caps on the interest which payday lenders can charge, as well as a total cap on the amount of money that can be borrowed. This sort of regulation would help stop the most vulnerable falling into an ever increasing spiral of debt and extortionate interest repayment.
I also linked the growth of payday lending to the increasingly high charges which banks have been levying on overdrafts. Anyone with an unauthorised overdraft often has to pay a fee of £50. This sort of charging is wrong and pushes more hard-pressed people into the hands of payday lenders. I proposed that banks should offer a grace period in regards to overdrafts so that people do not get hit with bank charges so easily and feel pressed to access other forms of credit.
My speech was based around one key theme: if we want Britain to be a land of opportunity for all, we also need to protect the most vulnerable in society.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
Many of my appearances in the House of Commons are now on Youtube. Please click the link to watch the footage.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring my office on 01304 379669 if you need to get in touch.