GMB WELCOME REVERSAL OF CUTS TO BIRMINGHAM BASED ILLEGAL MONEY LENDING INVESTIGATION TEAM THAT GOT £63 MILLION ILLEGAL DEBTS WRITTEN OFF
The team saved brought more than 200 loan sharks to justice across the UK helping nearly 24,000 loan shark victims says GMB.
GMB, the union for public sector workers, welcome the decision to reverse the cuts to The National Illegal Money Lending Team England, hosted by Birmingham City Council, which operates across England to clamp down on illegal money lenders. This will save members jobs.
The NSTB faced a cut of a third to their budget. This would have resulted in up to 17 redundancies for GMB members. Only last week a formal consultation process was about to begin but will now stop.
The National Illegal Money Lending Team England (NIMLT) is a Government funded investigation team hosted by Birmingham City Council. The team has the responsibility to investigate unlicensed money lenders on a National basis and support the victims of such and have to operate under Regulatory Services of a Local Authority in order to legally conduct enforcement activities. The funding is allocated by BIS to the team for the investigation of unlicensed money lenders and would have been diverted to regional Trading Standards Services.
Joe Morgan, GMB Regional Secretary Birmingham and the West Midlands, said “There was a sustained campaign to save jobs in The Illegal Money Lending Investigation Team, The team carry out valuable work combating illegal loan sharks who prey on the vulnerable using violence and threats to extort money from those in desperate situations.
Sadly under this Government instances like this have been on the up. It is estimated the team costs £3.6m to run but has got £63million off illegal debts written off since 2004.
MPs questioned the Government about the plans and put a motion put down in Parliament. The issue was raised at Prime Minister Questions.
GMB is very pleased the Government have seen sense and done a U-turn on their proposed funding cuts.”
Gill Whittaker, Regional Organiser said: “The team have brought more than 200 loan sharks to justice across the UK, helping nearly 24,000 loan shark victims.
GMB will keep supporting our member and we hope the Government continue to maintain the funding long-term so that the team can carry on working hard to crack down on these illegal practices.”
Contact GMB Senior Organiser Stuart Richards on 07957265774 or Regional Political Officer Stephanie Peacock on 07841 763521 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823
Notes to Editors
1. Labour MP Richard Burden asked a question on the subject at PMQ’s on 9TH December: http://richardburden.com/2015/12/3672/
2. Roger Godsiff MP submitted Parliamentary Questions on the subject and placed down an Early Day Motion: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2015-16/922