Cameron accused of payday 'u-turn'

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The government's "u-turn" on regulating the payday lending market reflects an "intellectual collapse of their position", Ed Miliband has claimed.

The Labour leader said the prime minister had gone from saying that intervening in broken markets is "living in a Marxist universe" to believing it is a "solemn duty of government".

He claimed the about turn was because the government "now they realise they are on the wrong side of public opinion", during PMQs on 27 November 2013.

But David Cameron defended his position to introduce a price cap telling the Commons there are some "dreadful practices and disturbing cases" in the market.

The government is to introduce a new law to cap the cost of payday loans.

The level of the cap, which has not yet been announced, will be decided by the new industry regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

"It is right to intervene when markets aren't working and people are getting hurt. That is what we are doing," the PM asserted.

He noted Mr Miliband had not asked him one question on pay day lenders during his time as opposition leader, and accused Labour of "doing nothing" about it in power.

Mr Miliband countered that the government had voted against capping payday lenders three times, and added: "We were for it, they were against it."

He pressed the PM on why the government was happy to intervene in the payday lending market but not to take action against the energy market to combat rising bills.

"The point is we don't have control of the international price of gas so what we need to do is have more competition to get profits down, and roll back the costs of regulation to get prices down. That is a proper energy policy," Mr Cameron replied.

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