Unite calls for Lords to tackle UK debt crisis

Tim Lezard

More men than women are being pushed in to the clutches of legal loan sharks and men are borrowing on average nearly £100 a month more than women, according to survey tracking working people’s lives through the economic crisis for Unite.

As living standards are squeezed and government austerity bites, the survey highlights a growing debt crisis among the nation’s men, with 64 per cent saying they had to borrow from lenders and legal loan sharks compared to 36 per cent of female respondents.

On average men are borrowing a massive £381 per month just to make ends meet, compared to £282 per month for women.

The survey involving a total of 2,036 respondents comes as Unite urges members of the House of Lords to back Lord Mitchell’s amendment aimed at capping payday lender interest rates in today’s (Wednesday, 28 November) debate on the Financial Services Bill.

The findings also show how young people are being plunged in to a life of debt with males in their 20’s borrowing on average £397 and women £308 per month.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “We urge the House of Lords to back Lord Mitchell and cap the extortionate payday lender interest rates which are crippling hard-pressed families across the UK.

“Falling living standards and government austerity are forcing ordinary working people into the clutches of these legal loan sharks. Their eye watering interest rates, up to 4,000 per cent a year, are trapping people in a spiral of debt.

“Men are at the sharp end of this debt crisis as they turn to payday vultures to pay the bills, put food on the table and make ends meet.

“We need a cap to halt the vicious cycle of payday loan misery and stop a generation of young men and women falling in to a lifetime of high interest debt.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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