Oldhamers’ debts rise to £6m, says charity

Date published: 05 September 2014

THE Citizens’ Advice Bureau is dealing with £6 million of debt among Oldham residents - and almost 1,000 people have struggled to repay payday loans in the past 12 months.

The figure is an increase of nine per cent on the previous year - and doesn’t include residents being helped by specialised debt charity StepChange.

Councillor Abdul Jabbar, cabinet member for finance, said. “The fact is pay hasn’t increased in line with inflation.

“Changes to the bedroom tax, and council tax increases, are contributing to a number of substantial factors that mean the people of Oldham can’t pay their bills.”

StepChange is lobbying the Financial Conduct Authority to impose a stricter cap on the amount a payday loan company can charge as interest. The FCA is proposing no one should pay back more than twice the amount borrowed. StepChange believes that is still too high.