I have joined MPs in opposing the Government’s proposed cuts to the national Illegal Money Lending Team which will result in redundancies and put more people at risk from loan sharks.
The Illegal Money Lending Team was launched in 2004 to combat illegal loan sharks who prey on the vulnerable and poverty-stricken, and who often use violence or threats to extort money from people in desperate situations.
Since its creation, the Illegal Money Team has brought more than 200 loan sharks to justice across the UK and helped nearly 24,000 victims of loan shark activity. This is a public service that has helped thousands of people and protected many thousands more.
The Government has suggested that it may implement a levy on pay-day lenders, such as Wonga, to cover the funding cuts the Government are potentially implementing.
I have signed Early Day Motion 922 urging the Government not to cut this vital law enforcement agency.
Now, more than ever, people need an organisation that is fighting loan sharks head on. We have seen a huge increase in people needing loans to cover daily bills because of the stagnation in people’s wages.
Flintshire is no exception to this, and the loss of this important service will undermine the years of successful work done.
I urge the Government to implement a levy on pay-day lenders to fund the Illegal Money Lending Team. We must give people the protection they need from loan sharks, not remove it.