MSP warns against payday loans to fund Christmas

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CASH-STRAPPED families and individuals have been urged not to turn to payday lenders to fund their Christmas celebrations.

Lothian Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale said the average Scottish payday loan debt now amounted to almost £1400 in the worst affected communities.

Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale joined "Santa" and helpers from Citizens Advice Scotland to speak out against payday loans. Pic:  Russell Sneddon / StockPix.eu

Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale joined "Santa" and helpers from Citizens Advice Scotland to speak out against payday loans. Pic: Russell Sneddon / StockPix.eu

She said: “I’m trying to warn people against taking out payday loans to pay for extra Christmas presents and food because you will feel the pain of that in January.”

In a debate in the Scottish Parliament, Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing attacked payday loans as “venal usury”.

Citizens Advice Scotland brought Santa Claus to the parliament ahead of the debate. He handed out leaflets to passers-by, warning of the dangers of payday loans.