By David Hanson MP / Latest News / 0 Comments

DON’T FALL VICTIM TO LONE SHARKS THIS CHRISTMAS – HANSON

Delyn MP David Hanson is urging people not to turn to loan sharks over Christmas as reports on illegal lending show loan sharks are particularly active over the festive period.

Earlier this year the biggest ever crackdown on loan sharks and illegal lending was announced. New specialist teams received funding of almost £3 million to hunt down loan sharks across England, Wales and Scotland.

The action builds on the success of pilot anti-loan shark teams in Birmingham and Glasgow, staffed by specialist Trading Standards officers working closely with the police. Since September 2004 these teams have identified more than 200 illegal lenders and shut down loan books worth more than £3million.

The teams prosecute and investigate loan sharks and offer advice and support to their victims, working together with voluntary organisations and debt advice agencies.

David Hanson said:

“Many people at this time of year can feel the Christmas pinch but turning to a loan shark will mean a Christmas ruined with worry and stress and a New Year of spiraling debts and threats of violence.

“Loan sharks are criminals and the Government is determined to keep them off the streets and prevent them from preying on the weak and vulnerable in our communities.

“Those that are struggling should contact a local credit union or debt advice centre for help and support.”

By David Hanson MP / Latest News / 0 Comments

Delyn MP David Hanson has welcomed a pension settlement for 140,000 people who lost their savings when their employer-sponsored pension schemes collapsed.

The Financial Assistance Scheme offers financial help to people who lost out on their pensions because their occupational pension scheme was under funded when it started to wind-up and their employer was unable to make up the shortfall because it was insolvent or no longer exists.

Under the terms of the recent announcement, the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) will be extended so that:

·        All scheme members will be guaranteed 90 per cent of their accrued pension at the date their scheme began wind-up.

 

·        This will be subject to a cap of £26,000, protected against inflation.

 

·        Pension accruals after 1997 will be protected against inflation.

 

·        Assistance will be paid from each failed scheme’s normal retirement age, subject to a lower age limit of 60.

 

·        People who are unable to work due to ill health will also be able to apply for early access to payments from age 60.

 

·        Members will be able to draw a tax-free lump sum, up to their full lump sum entitlement, if their share of scheme funds allows.

 

·        Widows and surviving civil partners will continue to be eligible for half of their spouse or civil partner’s entitlement.

 

·        Help will be extended to members of schemes wound up by solvent employers.

 

The announcement follows the final report of the Young Review which looked at ways of generating additional value from the failed pension schemes.

 

David Hanson said:

“I am delighted that this Government has taken action to protect those whose occupational pensions are put at risk when their employer goes bust.

“This settlement has been widely welcomed and with the Pensions Protection Fund and the Financial Assistance Scheme in place people have far more security in retirement.

“This is part of a wider programme encouraging greater confidence in pensions, including changes in the 2007 Pensions Act, recent reforms to the State Pension system to tackle pensioner poverty, our deregulation package, and the creation of Personal Accounts. Taken together these will ensure a fair, sustainable and generous pension system for today’s and tomorrow’s pensioners.”

By David Hanson MP / Latest News / 0 Comments

Delyn MP David Hanson has welcomed the historical climate change agreement in Bali after two weeks of intense negotiations. The agreement means there is now a roadmap in place for achieving a global climate deal by the end of 2009 to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

Developed and developing countries alike signed up to the agreement, which for the first time ever will bring together all the world’s countries to negotiate on a climate treaty to take the world beyond 2012.

The Roadmap sets out a clear agenda for negotiations and a timetable ending in 2009, as well as linking back to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In particular, all countries will adopt a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal.

UK Environment Secretary Hilary Benn, who led the UK delegation, described the Bali Roadmap as the most significant agreement to protect the world and its inhabitants since the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997.

David Hanson said:

“This is a real breakthrough and a huge step in the right direction, as for the first time ever all the world’s nations have agreed to negotiate a deal to tackle climate change by 2009.

“The world’s leaders now know that we cannot dodge this issue and the scientific consensus is now behind making substantial emissions cuts over the coming years.

“The nations leave Bali with a roadmap which includes every country and covers emission reductions from developed countries and fair and equitable contributions from developing countries.

“There has also been a groundbreaking agreement on deforestation, and others on adaptation and technology.

“However, in many ways this is just the beginning and the campaigning and hard work must continue to ensure that the 2009 agreement is the kind of comprehensive global climate deal that the world needs to take us beyond 2012.”

By David Hanson MP / Latest News / 0 Comments

Delyn MP David Hanson today welcomed the installation of a free to use cash machine in Delyn.

 

The free to use cash machine is part of an initiative launched by the Government in 2006 to ensure that people living in lower income areas that previously had no free machines could get easier access to their money without being charged. It is a ground breaking scheme that has brought together help from the Government with cash machine operators LINK, banks and local authorities.

 

As part of the initiative clear signs will also have to be placed on every cash machine to show whether or not they charge a fee for withdrawals to ensure that all users are made aware if they may be charged.

 

The aim of the agreement is to help people on lower incomes to start up bank accounts and ensure that they can access those accounts as easily and cheaply as possible.

 

David Hanson said:

 

“I’m delighted that we have managed to secure a new free to use cash machine in Delyn. I know it will be a real benefit to local residents, who have previously had to either pay to withdraw their cash or travel further afield.