We have been campaigning on the subject of Payday Loans for some time. Since April the industry has been regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Last week Wonga wrote off £220million of customer debts where loans had been made to customers who could not afford to repay them. They will also be required to pay £226million in compensation to customers who were chased by reference to lawyers’ letters. We can’t claim all the responsibility, but that feels a bit like a result.
There is a general election coming and now seems like a pretty good time to talk to our local candidates. I tell them what we do (advice and campaigning), and tell them what our concerns are. So if you see headlines about Employment Support Allowance issues, ethics in business (especially relating to migrant workers), or homelessness (particularly where it is linked to prison release), we can have a nice warm feeling.
Following a recent development, we are investigating some issues with migrant workers and agencies and big employers in Sedgemoor.
If you think about it, migrant workers are particularly vulnerable. We think that they should be made aware of the risks as they sign up, and that they should be treated as the law requires – and the same as everyone else.