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MP backs call for payday loan ad ban (From The Northern Echo)


MP backs call for payday loan ad ban

ZERO TOLERANCE: Darlington Labour MP Jenny Chapman

First published in News
Last updated

A CALL to ban payday loan adverts from television and radio before the 9pm watershed has received the backing of a North-East MP who said she would go even further.

The Children’s Society through its ‘Debt Trap’ campaign wants the Government to amend the Consumer Rights Bill so such ads are not broadcast to impressionable children.

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman, who previously proposed a Private Members’ Bill banning payday lenders from advertising on television and radio at any time of the day or night, said she wanted a “zero tolerance” approach.

She said: “I would go even further, but I am really pleased that The Children’s Society has come out with this position and it might help move the debate forward.

“Unfortunately these adverts make this type of borrowing seem normal and it should not ever be seen that way.

“These businesses make their money out of exploiting people.”

A survey by YouGov on behalf of The Children’s Society found that almost three quarters of parents (70 per cent) living in this region backed a ban before the 9pm watershed with 27 per cent believing companies put pressure on children to pester their parents to borrow more money.

The survey also quizzed a sample of children aged 13 to 17. Seventy two per cent had seen or heard an advert for a payday loan company in the past seven days. Ninety three per cent knew of at least one payday loan company and 55 per cent could name three.

One third (34 per cent) said payday loan adverts were “fun, tempting or exciting” and they would consider using one in the future.

In 2012 a committee of MPs said many households were being plunged into a “deadly debt spiral” as a result of a rapid growth in the availability of short term loans which in some circumstances can come with annual interest rates of up to six thousand per cent.

Meanwhile, the Children’s Society and StepChange Debt Charity published figures in August showing that there were 45,906 families in the North-East in problem debt owing £75.2m between them.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said: “It is crucial that children learn about borrowing and money from their school and family – not from irresponsible payday loan advertising.

“A significant majority of parents in the North-East of England back a ban and it’s now time for the Government to act.”

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Couple caught out after staging fake burglary


Darlington couple caught out after staging fake burglary

A CASH-STRAPPED couple faked a burglary so they could obtain a crisis loan, a court heard.

Jamie Walton, 25, and his partner, Billie-Jo Webster, also 25, called the police saying a burglary had happened at the house they share in Pensbury Street, Darlington, on August 9 this year.

Hari Jandoo, prosecuting, said: “They had reported a burglary had taken place at their property, but that certainly wasn’t the case.

“Once an offence has been reported the police have to set things in motion. It transpired that this burglary was a bogus burglary because it didn’t take place at all.”

He told Darlington Magistrates’ Court the pair had wasted about 12 hours of police time while they investigated the bogus burglary.

Following the alleged burglary, the court heard Walton applied for a crisis loan of £116, normally used to fund essentials following a disaster or emergency.

Chris Bunting, mitigating, said the couple, who have a young son together, were struggling at the time they committed the offences.

He told the court the pair had only recently started a joint benefit claim and were in need of some extra money.

He said: “It was an unsophisticated idea in order to get a crisis loan.”

The pair both pleaded guilty to two charges each of fraud by false representation and wasting police time.

Chairman of the bench, Patricia Wilson, sentenced Walton to a 12 month community order with 40 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £25 towards the cost of the case.

Webster’s case was stood down for a probation report and she was given unconditional bail.

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Newton Aycliffe filling station manager denies stealing £85,000

A FILLING station manager denied taking thousands of pounds in cash payments for petrol over a five-year period, a court heard. […]