New Archbishop backs payday loan amendment

The Bishop of Durham

After last week's mauling on the Justice and Security Bill, is the Government cruisin' for another Lords bruisin' on payday loans?

Peers are spending a couple of days next week on the Report Stage of the Financial Services Bill, and a Labour amendment which would cap the interest payable on payday loans has just attracted the signature of the Bishop of Durham and Archbishop of Canterbury-to-be - Justin Welby. Labour clearly regard his support on this as quite a coup.

The Rt Rev Prelate (to lapse into Lords-speak) is both the head-in-waiting of the Church of England, and a member of the powerful Parliamentary Banking Commission, where his put-down to the chancellor, at a hearing this week, about his army of straw men, was relished by observers.

Even before his promotion was announced, he was clearly gathering admirers and influence. Now, Amendment 114d, from the Labour Peer, Parry Mitchell, has been signed both by Bishop Welby (in his current guise as Bishop of Durham) and by the Crossbencher, Lady Howe, an active campaigner on an impressive range of issues - and, between them they may well attract vital crossbench support.

The government has already been defeated on the Financial Services Bill , mostly as a result of Tory no-shows, on a procedural vote. And after the kicking they received last week, some observers are beginning to wonder if the Coalition is beginning to splinter, or at least suffer a midlife-itis, on the red benches of Their Lordships' House.

The ever-helpful Constitution Unit have broken down the voting on last week's three Government Justice and Security defeats in the Lords, and the voting pattern was consistent across all three defeats - 50 plus Crossbenchers and 50 plus Liberal Democrats and 2 or 3 Conservatives, voting against the Government - many more than voted with it. And, incidentally no Bishops voted with the Government in any of the three votes.

The result was substantial majorities against the Government line - 105, 99 and 87.

I don't know if the Financial Services amendments will attract the same level of support - but if Conservative and Lib Dem peers add their signatures to them, then the Government whips will have cause to worry.

Again. Regular defeats in the Lords, on substantial issues, are becoming a constant irritant in the coalition, particularly since a key ingredient in those defeats is almost always the defection of Lib Dem peers.

None of the issues so far have been at the heart of the Government's programme, but the votes do seem to home in on certain faultlines around civil liberties and market regulation.

This makes the inconvenience of defeat all the more annoying for ministers, especially where they have had to persuade MPs to grit their teeth and vote for uncomfortable causes in the Commons, only to see Peers upset the apple cart.

Mark D'Arcy, Parliamentary correspondent Article written by Mark D'Arcy Mark D'Arcy Parliamentary correspondent

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  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    It is somewhat depressing that in 2012, men can see other men in peril and rub themselves raw at the prospect of fleecing him wholesale.

    Maybe, in their TV adverts or mailshot literature, they should be forced to say "we want to rob you because you are poor; your debt loop is our bread and butter. We wish you to starve your children so that ours may eat".

    That is the crux, after all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    24 JC I refer you to the response I gave earlier @16 ... think where the vulnerble would go if regulated services were denied to them!

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    Toon 1414
    A brilliant response.Hope you can provide an equally brilliant answer to this question.
    Should our nanny state protect our moneylenders?
    Or the people who have no choice?

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    Ok, obviously a number of naive punters want to stop so called payday loans. Precisely where do you want to draw the line? Where does personal responsibility stop and the nanny state start?

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    This is why we should not have an elected HoL...just gives Party Leaders more Power and takes away HOL indepdence as a 2nd chamber to more closely represent public opinion away from the Daily Headlines or internal Party Dynamics of pleasing different groups...

    The Only reform I support is a cap on no more than 50 peers a year,stop cameron flooding the chamber with eton alumini

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the speculative market in property for growing corn collapsed. Many were in hock to the money lenders for 25 -30% on short term money and faced ruin. The Tory administration rushed a bill through the Lords banning usury, to benefit their supporters.The modern poor however, are beneath Tory concern - they will do nothing to regulate this disreputable industry!

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    Since time began,people have borrowed money.But ,back then,people knew the Moneylenders.
    Next time you see an advert,try to identify the person behind that advert,or the name of the major shareholder in the company placing the advert.
    And ask any Politician,is it fair people have to pay over the odds for borrowing money,from people who are never identified?

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Given the Tories complete intransigence when it comes to Upper House reform, are we really meant to have any sympathy when their Lordships occasionally wake from their slumber and challenge poor pieces of legislation?

    His worshipfulness better watch out though as soon the CofE might join BBC as part of the left wing conspiracy that right wingers imagine is round every corner.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    It shows real contempt of the democratic process to write of the "inconvenience of defeat" when describing the government being told 'NO'... and shows just why we citizens desperately need the Lords, given that the government refuses to listen to us when we tell them we don't want some harebrained measure or another that they've come up with.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    I’ve no doubt that a large percentage of payday loan customers don’t have too much complaint – people aren’t stupid, and the costs of payday lending are common knowledge…. Take the money, pay it back, moan about how much it cost, repeat.
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    While I too have some sympathy with those who need these loans I must balance that with sympathy for those organisations who take a significantly higher risk in loaning in this environment. We've recently condemmed those who've loaned and lost and now we condem those who provide a high risk service. Properly regulated there should be little problem ... and publicity of the risks abounds

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    I have never required a payday loan and anyone who does has my sympathy. Be they labelled genuine or feckless, they are very vulnerable. This legalised highway robbery demonstrates why the free market economy needs decent regulation.

    So why after the crash have we still not got proper regulation of the finance industry? Who benefits from this?

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Quite right, the new Arch Bishop if oss to a flying start, practicing what his church preaches - after the bible didn't say dodgy money lenders, or usurers, would get into heavan......bu rather explicitly said they wouldn't.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    All industry is subject to supply and demand and the slaves to it and what is not commonly in demand will be selected out of the market. dies. The results of the vote are entirely dependent upon the prevailing attitude of the people involved - the majority - and you factor in the time it takes for the decisions they take to have any effect, that is the fuse that the industy has. Before exploding.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    It would have been helpful if the article had explained what payday loans were.
    Assuming they are short-term loans which are to be repaid on payday then they should be subject to regulation and a maximum rate of interest.
    People should not be allowed to exploit the misery of others for financial gain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    everyone has the ability to borrow but not the ability to return what they borrowed - hence you can just as easily say nobody has the right to lend but if they do so it is at their own risk since it is possible to live life without borrowing or lending some people ask some people give and friends can share anything they want to agree to and through killing demand you can get around unsavory people

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    There has to be a reality check re short term loans.
    Nobody has a right to borrow.
    A lender takes the risk of losing his money, so should expect a higher return.
    Short term loans make a nonsense of headline numbers on interest rates.
    However, there is too much opportunity for exploitation and criminality.
    We need some credible mainstream lenders, and ruthless suppression of the rest..

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    The only legislation required is to ensure lending at base rate plus 3% and the incorpation of these cash cow businesses into the DWP. Problems solved. Socially useful finance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    You could have decades of a good credit profile earned by paying your bills on time. Then along comes a disaster - job loss, family break up, serious illness, disability. You never know what's around the corner. Any savings disappear rapidly. Plus, we all know that insurance companies wriggle out with small print.

    Plus, if you are not in the benefits 'system' already, you wait months for help.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    I watched in disgust as Jo Swinson tried to justify these loan sharks on Newsnight, she is my MP and I thought she could not sell out any more than she had already e.g. on tuition fees, but I was wrong.


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