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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, will introduce the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Small Amount Credit Contract and Consumer Lease Reforms) Bill 2020. The bill will provide better protections for consumers from dodgy payday lenders and rent-to-buy schemes.

“Many people end up in financial strife through these schemes,” Mr Wilkie said. “Those who peddle them prey on the most vulnerable members of society, many who have ended up with less money and increased debt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Take the example of the single mother of three who began gambling online with funds she obtained from eight different online payday lenders. When she was eventually cut off from one provider, she was contacted out of the blue by another. This vicious cycle is hard to break and has pushed this poor woman into dire financial straits and homelessness.

“This bill is a replica of the Government’s Exposure Draft of 2017, which would have cleaned up the industry and provided better protections to vulnerable consumers. It’s unfortunate that the Government kowtowed to the pressure from the payday lending industry in 2017 and didn’t progress their bill.

“The time to act is now. As JobSeeker and JobKeeper are wound back, the number of people seeking these loans will only increase. The Government must put people over profits and support this bill to protect consumers.”