To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the lack of affordable credit supply reported by StepChange in its figures of 9 March, what work they are doing with banks and community lenders to introduce a scheme of low- or no-interest loans, similar to the Good Shepherd initiative in Australia.
23 March 2016
The Government is committed to facilitating sustainable financial services that give consumers greater choice in accessing credit. It has already introduced several initiatives to support the Credit Union sector. These include investing £38m in the sector through the Department of Work and Pensions’ Credit Union Expansion Project, providing £500,000 to help armed forces personnel access credit union services, ensuring that universal credit and pensions payments can be paid into any Credit Union account, and changing legislation to allow credit unions to admit corporate members.
Additionally, the Government has provided £650,000 to fund the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Task Group on Affordable Credit’s ‘LifeSavers’ project. This project forms partnerships between primary schools and local credit unions, raising awareness of the credit union movement and encouraging more junior savers to become members. This was announced in the Prime Ministers ‘Life Chances’ speech on 11 January.