Cuts to trading standards services are putting the public at the mercy of unscrupulous loan companies, UNISON warned today
The warning comes as a survey of trading standards officers reveal widespread concern that consumers will fall victim to illegal – and legal – loan companies as they struggle to make ends meet in a difficult economic climate.
A massive 15% of the trading standards workforce has already been slashed under the coalition government, with huge reductions to activities across the board.
The union said these cuts were reducing the ability of the remaining workforce not only to identify and crack down on loan sharks, but also to educate the public on the risks of loan companies before they end up in debt.
The new survey, carried out as part of The Damage, the union’s far-reaching investigation into the impact of public service budget cuts, revealed that almost 85% of respondents said the public are more likely to turn to unscrupulous money lenders in hard times.
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