Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy has welcomed the proposed cap on payday loans but said that it was important to address the causes of the increase in their use:
The Government's plan to cap the cost of loans only goes to show how out of control the industry is ...
Government must also tackle the underlying need for payday loans and ask what is driving people to short-term credit in the first place.
– Gillian Guy, chief executive, citizens advice
New figures released by Citizens Advice found that three out of four borrowers find it difficult to repay payday loans, while 62 percent of loans still come without proper checks to assess whether borrowers can afford to repay.
EDF Energy's price increase has put the spotlight on the other big energy firms who have introduced much larger price hikes, according to the Citizens Advice Bureau.
The French-owned company are the latest member of the "big six" to raise their prices, however their increase of 3.9 per cent is significantly less than its rivals including British Gas and SSE.
“The price increase announcement from EDF today puts the spotlight on the other big energy firms who are introducing much larger price hikes. Many consumers will believe suppliers are putting profits before customers’ need to stay warm this winter," Chief Executive Gillian Guy said.
“People do not have the money to keep absorbing price rises. For many households the pot is quite literally empty. Families are facing tough choices, like cutting back on food in order to put the heating on for just a short while."
Figures released by the Citizens Advice Bureau last month showed that one quarter of parents are forced to borrow money to cover the cost of a new school uniform, as the Government urges schools to avoid branded uniforms in a bid to ease financial strain.
The charity's study also found:
72 percent of parents will be forced to buy uniforms from a specific shop;
Nine in 10 parents will buy a new uniform this year;
Nearly two-thirds of parents will pay more than £70 for a new uniform per child this term;
23 percent of parents don’t know how they will be able to pay for uniforms.
The consumer group Which? said the Government must give regulators more powers to crack down on "unscrupulous claims firms" that contact consumers about mis-sold PPI claims "without permission."
Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which? said, "Consumers can register their frustration with nuisance calls by using our new complaints tool which will send a clear message that more needs to be done to stop this menace."
Mr Lloyd's comments came as the Citizens Advice Bureau said more than 30 million people have received unwanted messages about claiming for mis-sold PPI.
The Citizens Advice Bureau wants cold calls about the mis-selling of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) to be banned and said it is "completely unacceptable" for calls to disrupt family time and work meetings.
Over a third of the complaints Citizens Advice handles about financial services stem from a cold call.
There is a particular problem with claims management companies. People are finding that sometimes the promises made over an unexpected phone call aren't delivered.
This means people who have been mis-sold PPI lose out twice: first at the hands of the bank and secondly from the claims firms because they don't get the full compensation they deserve. I want financial services firms to be banned from cold calling.