MP target for Cash Converters
SECOND-hand store chain Cash Converters has targeted voters in Blair in an advertising campaign against federal regulation of payday lending.
Blair, along with nine other Labor-held electorates, will feature in ads that call on residents to tell their local members the importance of short-term lending.
However, Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said the government's policies would protect the "weak, innocent and vulnerable".
"This is good social policy," he said. "For too long this industry has been able to operate in a way that has been lacking in regulatory oversight."
Mr Neumann is specifically targeted in the ads that call on voters to tell him they disagree with changes to the short-term lending laws.
Cash Converters managing director Peter Cumins said the policy would cause the end of short-term lending.
"We want to make Australians aware of the government's plans and encourage them to express their concerns with their local member of Parliament," he said.
"We agree with regulation and are keen to protect the disadvantaged and vulnerable from being caught in a debt spiral.
"But the government's proposal to cap fees and charges below the cost of providing a loan is effectively telling the 500,000 Australians that use this form of finance that they should look elsewhere when they need emergency funds for a short period of time."
Mr Neumann said the proposed laws would ensure short-term lenders such as Cash Converters would not be able to take advantage of people in desperate need.
"If you're in a position that you're having to hock stuff to pay the bills, you're in a pretty vulnerable position," he said.
"There is a terrible power imbalance between the lenders and the people who need the money
"We're trying to make sure these companies are not charging exorbitant rates for payday lending."