Grant Shapps voted against the capping of payday loan interest rates this week — despite having written a report slamming extortionate APRs just three years ago.
In his report entitled “Pay-Day for Loan Sharks”, written when he was shadow housing minister, he set out his opposition to the extortionate interest rates charged by legal loan sharks. The publicity-seeking report quotes him directly:
“… we think it is obscene that anyone should end up paying 10,000% APR, particularly when the evidence suggests that these loans are targeted at some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”
Yet when Stella Creasy’s amendment on the issue came to a vote on Tuesday, Shapps’ name was clearly listed amongst the noes, alongside several of his frontbench colleagues. The irony is almost palpable, given that Shapps’ report said:
“The government has dithered and delayed in dealing with the important factors at the heart of this issue …”
As ever, modesty and consistency are secondary considerations to Shapp’s insatiable desire to see his name in print. On the same day as his apparent interest rate U-turn, Shapps put out a press release claiming that he was going to tackle “riot tourism”.
A non-announcement surely worthy of DOSAC.