Action to curb loan firms is needed

HIGH-interest so-called pay day lenders add to the misery of people already experiencing financial difficulty.

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What may at first seem like a short-term respite can quickly turn into a nightmare with the debt racking up day by day.

We only need to look to the Citizens Advice Scotland report on the number of people seeking help as a result of such spiralling debts.

While there needs to be action on the underlying reasons why people are getting into unmanageable debt and turning to these lenders in the first place, the government is right to look at how to tackle the increased presence of these firms on our high streets.

The city council has already begun action to try and limit the activities of certain firms and is actively promoting credit unions as an alternative form of saving and borrowing.

However, the call from Bob Doris for a summit to tackle the issue is welcome, as is the agreement of the local Government Minister, Derek Mackay, who also wants to look at gambling outlets.

A connection has been made before here, and the co-operation of all agencies with powers to act is necessary if this phenomenon, which is sucking already scarce cash out of some of the most deprived communities, is to be effectively addressed.

Local government

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