Payday loan companies ‘toxic’ for community, says West Ham MP Lyn Brown

West Ham MP Lyn Brown.

West Ham MP Lyn Brown. - Credit: Archant

West Ham MP Lyn Brown spoke out in Parliament against payday loans companies she claims are casting “an ugly and toxic web” of despair over her constituents.

Ms Brown made a speech in the House of Commons on Friday (July 12) after Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, presented a Private Members Bill suggesting better regulation of payday loans advertising, requiring them to display clear information on costs, and obliging them to refer borrowers in financial difficulty to free advice services.

She supported the Bill by presenting case studies of people who had sought debt advice from Canning Town-based charity Community Links which has seen a 20 per cent increase in payday loan problems in the past year.

She added: “[Payday loan borrowing] is an ugly and toxic web that brings anxiety and stress to households.

“It makes it much more difficult to have a stable and resilient family life, and it undermines the entire community.”

Ms Brown also said the emergence of zero-hours contracts are driving people to use payday loan companies, which “in my view, takes us back to Victorian days and the days of my grandfather standing up as lump labour on the dockside, hoping he might earn enough money to feed his family.”