Government 'not doing enough' on payday loans

GLASGOW City Treasurer Paul Rooney accused the Scottish Government of failing to protect vulnerable people from payday lenders.

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The senior councillor attended a meeting called by Holyrood following fears about the impact of the high interest loans.

It followed action by the city council aimed at trying to curb the growing number of firms which offer quick credit at exorbitant rates.

Mr Rooney told the meeting: "Payday lending is a sophisticated business and the ways in which non-standard credit affects individuals, families and communities are diverse and complex.

"We are also beginning to understand some of its disturbing connections with organised crime. None of us, alone can unpick those stitches - payday lenders are not going to go away. This will not be fixed overnight. But we are also certain every tier of government has power and influence and must commit to use them to protect communities here in Glasgow and across Scotland.

"I am sorry to say that to date, we have seen very little evidence to suggest they will."

At the end of 2012, a cross party city council group took evidence from the trade, campaigners, money advice and credit unions.

He urged the Scottish Government to allow councils to put payday lenders and betting shops into a class which would allow communities to say enough is enough.

Mr Rooney added: "I am frustrated by the reaction we have had from government in London and Scotland.

"For one, the answer seems to be there is no problem and for the other that there is a problem - but it's not theirs. That is not good enough. Glasgow will continue to take action - we hope you will join us."

vivienne.nicoll@eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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