Can’t Pay – Won’t Pay Day: Debt is Theft


Please note that the action for March 9th has been postponed

A group of women from the LRC met with activists from other groups in January to plan a debt-resistance action on 9 March 2013 to mark International Women’s Day. Through protest and occupation of the payday loan companies that have sprung up in our poorest communities, we will expose the ruthless, exploiting system of debt that has developed in this country.

In the last year the number of people considering taking on payday loans has doubled. 40% of these loans are used to buy basics such as food. These loans are a dangerous last resort for people already struggling to cope with the impacts of the Government’s austerity programme.

One in three people were unable to pay back these loans and were forced to take out a similar loan in order to keep paying. These loans, offered at interest rates of over 4000%, trap desperate people into a deadly cycle of borrowing and debt.

The belief that it is reasonable for repayment of debts to take priority over food, housing and other basics is something we have been taught to accept, not just in this country or with personal debt, but with national and international debts too. In the UK, ‘legal loan shark’ dealers push the idea that servicing their debts should take precedence over people’s basic needs. This situation is replicated across Europe as millions of people are crushed under debt-servicing austerity measures. We want our action to help build a wider movement for debt-resistance that will join with like-minded groups to resist the loan sharks, to support victims and raise public awareness on the issue of debt.

The protest will highlight the disproportionate impact of austerity and debt on women. This will be a women-led action, but we welcome and encourage support from men. If you would like to discuss this further, want more information or want to get involved, please get in touch.

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2 Responses to Can’t Pay – Won’t Pay Day: Debt is Theft

  1. Greg says:

    I guess it depends what you mean by basic needs. I am pretty certain that most people borrowing from PayDay lenders, most of the time are not borrowing for basic needs. Many are borrowing to get stuff they don’t need, like iPhones and nights out. Or borrowing for food because they weak-mindedly spent the money they had for food on trash.

    Walk around the poorest estates in Britain and you will see that people have gold chains, tattoos, expensive branded sportswear. Cigarette butts litter the ground. Each cigarette smoked costs about 40pence. If the working classes and underclass can afford to drink and smoke then they are certainly able to stop doing those things and spend their money on food and utilities.

    A disciplined person who was willing to cook for themselves, buy their wardrobe at a charity shop and have a modest amount of clothes, have no cable TV subscriptions, use Skype to make their calls would be able to live on welfare and have all of their needs met and a few luxurys too.

    Odd jobs for cash with all that spare time, (yes I know they should declare it but they would not) would allow them to earn additional money.

    If people are going to PayDay lenders it is mostly due to their own weak-minded behaviour and poor money philosophy. Whether they damage their own health through smoking, excessive eating, excessive drinking, junk food, or debt, it is really down to them.

    Why can’t adults be expected to take responsibility for their own lives?

  2. Greg says:

    As for “debt resistance”, that is easy. Don’t. Borrow. Money. Lenders are only meeting a demand.

    Want a new iPhone or iPad? Save your money. Birthday is coming up, save your money. Want to get the kiddies something nice for Christmas? Save your money starting in January.

    Simply discover, by paying attention, to the ways you are throwing your money away now and save that money. You drink five pint of beer, make it four. You drink two pints, make it one. You keep the house at 20C all winter turn it down to 17C and wear an extra layer. Humans lived like this for centuries, it won’t kill you. Do you really need an expensive coffee or cake from Greggs when you are in the High Street? Do you need to buy something new from a retail shop or could you find it on eBay much cheaper and put the saving into your rainy day fund?

    Every person in this country, with a little mental discipline, could save themselves 1000 pounds for a rainy day fund. Washing machine breaks, borrow from your own funds and then start saving again until you are above the 1000 pound mark. Same for any other “emergency”. Become your own lender at zero percent interest. That is the best solution and the best way of resisting debt. It is called personal responsibility and self-discipline.

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