Why are Wonga speaking at a Labour policy meeting on household debt?

It appears that a representative from Wonga is speaking at a Labour Policy Review meeting on household debt. Whatever next? Advice from McDonald's on healthy eating?

Hat-tip to Richard Murphy for noticing this.

It appears that a representative from Wonga is speaking at a Labour Policy Review meeting on household debt.

Here is the email:

“Monday 13 May

How should we deal with household indebtedness? 4.30-6pm Committee room 6

Speakers. Chris Pond (Chairman, Equity Release Council), Mark Lyonette (Chief Executive Association of British Credit Unions), representative from Wonga Chair. Chris Leslie MP (Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury)

If you would like to attend please email [email protected] with subject header DEBT

Labour Policy Review organised with Labour Finance and Industry Group and Labour in the City”

Yes, that is the same Wonga that has a headline annual interest rate of more than 4,200 per cent.

Whatever next? Advice from McDonald’s on healthy eating?

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26 Responses to “Why are Wonga speaking at a Labour policy meeting on household debt?”

  1. LB

    Why should we take lessons from people like you?

    2005-2010, the state pensions debts which have been hidden off the books went by 736 bn a year.

  2. Raging Leftie

    Hilarious! Why on earth would anyone listen to what Wonga had to say about managing debt?

  3. Martin John Prestidge

    Why not invite representatives from the Credit Union Movement?

  4. Selohesra

    Perhaps the way to deal with it is not to simple focus on misleading headline figure – wonga etc are legitimate business and serve purpose if used responsibly. If I leant Newsbotty £20 and he repaid me a month later and added a beer (£3) to say thank you/interest that would equate to about 4000% – small/short loans have proprtionately higher admin charges than big/long ones. Perhaps some of Labours Millionaires (Ed M etc) could set up cheaper short term loan function whilst they try to fill in their blank sheet of paper

  5. Choddo

    They have.

  6. Chris

    Someone should remind you of that logic next time you comment on right wing politics, “Raging Leftie”. Same principal, no?

  7. Sonia Porter

    shows how much you’ve read of the article

  8. Christoper Snowdon

    There is a real danger of a genuine debate between people with opposing points of view breaking out at this event. It must be stopped.

  9. Newsbot9

    Oh really, you think he’s a loan shark?

  10. Newsbot9

    Ah right, you have shares in the companies involved, making cash off the poorest.

    And your fraud isn’t the state pension, stop claiming this!

  11. Newsbot9

    Of course you’d try and “loan” me the cash. I’m sure you see that as “responsible”. I’m not interested in your threats, again. Keep justifying that just like you’re protecting Wonga.

  12. PaulfromYorkshire

    Maybe Wonga are paying for the event?

  13. jennyo

    absolutely disgusting they should be banned completely sponging of the poor and vulnerable. and Labour what the hell are they doing encouraging this.

  14. Mick

    Labour letting people down again?

    What a surprise.

  15. Mick

    That’s how money makes money. Some firms are arseholes, as ity were, but generally the idea is sound.

    Banks and such aren’t bloody charities are they. And without interest, they couldn’t even run.

  16. jono

    I’ve used wonga a few times last year. As an intelligent person I can say that I will try to never use them again, because they charge too much. In addtion (now. This is the important bit) if you’ve borrowed and paid back in time, the next time you apply for money, they offer you more than you asked for, dangling it in front of you, and all you have to do is click one little button to get into even more debt for even more interest. ‘Why not?’, you find yourself thinking. Its only an extra few hundred? Well, let me tell you, it matters a lot when you’re on minimum wage. The point is that this sort of behaviour exacerbates poverty. There’s a word for companies like this:Evil.

  17. csosseh

    mcdonalds and pepsi already have been involved in government policy http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/nov/12/mcdonalds-pepsico-help-health-policy

  18. londonworker

    While I have no time for firms like Wonga they are a reality and one which many poor people use and if Labour is going to properly consider the issue of household indebtedness it needs to know why people go to Wonga instead of credit unions. As someone who works for a credit union which works hard to offer an alternative to Wonga, I know that many credit unions do not have the resources so that they have the capacity to make instant decisions on loan applications and this is what people who go to Wonga, Provident and the like, need to deal with their immediate problem of paying the rent or feeding their children

  19. SadButMadLad

    Do they charge too much compared to an unapproved bank overdraft? Thats whst you need to compare it to. And offering you more for being a good customer? Credit card companies do exactly the same thing. Banks, credit card companies, any one who loans money are evil then.

  20. Sue Marsh

    So we shut off debate? Stella Creasy has been tireless on thids, this might be another chance to make changes. Good I say

  21. Rosie2

    Maybe, just maybe its because come 2015 the poorest in our society could be trapped in ever growing debt by this little earner.

    ““DWP intends to enable claimants to access financial products that offer budgeting support by subsidising the cost of these products for an interim period of one year per claimant as they transition onto Universal Credit. At the end of the initial subsidised period DWP will withdraw the subsidy. The claimant will then choose whether they wish to continue using the account, with either themselves or a third party meeting the ongoing monthly cost:”
    One way to trap claimants into using the service is to trap them in debt. For the first time, credit histories of potential borrowers will be irrelevant. Companies involved in this scheme will have access to claimant’s money at the source, meaning there is no choice but to pay back any loans that may be offered”

    And as a whopping £145 million worth of contracts will be awarded – if this goes through – they might like to get to know who they may be dealing with, come 2015…..


  22. Harry Barnes

    Is this meeting fully booked or has it been dropped? To find out details about it, I registered with Labour’s One Nation Regisiter (or whatever they call it). I have received a list of future meetings up to 14 May, but this one (for the day before that) is not included. Hopefully, Labour has had second thoughts about Wonga and friends. And why are all the meetings connected with the Labour Policy Review being held in London? How do the rest of us participate face to face over Labour’s Policy Review. It seems that things can only continue to get worse.

  23. mr_fatty

    It’s a bit like putting Jimmy Savile in charge of a crêche.

  24. mr_fatty

    It’s a bit like putting Jimmy Savile in charge of a crêche.

  25. mr_fatty

    It’s a bit like putting Jimmy Savile in charge of a crêche.

  26. mr_fatty

    As long as there are bad or inadequate laws in place firms like Wonga will be legitimate (for which read: lawful.) “Legitimate” is not the same as “morally defensible”.

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