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Carl Packman on payday lending and supermarket staff

Written by Carl Packman Tuesday, 24 July 2012 12:30
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''It is with much distress that we find in the news today the revelation that Sainsbury's staff are having to take out payday loans in order to get to the end of the month.

 

This comes at a time when workers at Sainsbury's are demanding a living wage.


Indeed relatively low wages, while the cost of living rises, is where a lot of debt problems begin.

 

A recent survey by consumer rights group Which? found that nearly two-thirds of the people taking out expensive payday loans used the money to pay household bills or buy essentials such as food and nappies.

 

Unite the Union – who revealed the debt-problems of Sainsbury's workers – have done a lot of work to highlight the problems caused by payday loans. Len McCluskey, the union’s general secretary, has said that falling wages and rising costs are driving working men and women “into the arms of vulture lenders”.

 

The government must see sense on this.

 

As a start, they need to commit to rolling out the living wage for all workers, driving down the cost of utilities for working men and women, tackling vulture lenders and understanding causes of debt problems in the UK, rather than simply resorting to telling us to “deal with our debts”.


To join the campaign against loan sharking in the UK, contact Ashwin Rattan: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Carl is the author of the forthcoming Searching FInance book Loan Sharks (to be published September 2012)

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