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Credit Unions

Volume 563: debated on Monday 20 May 2013

I congratulate my hon. Friend, as I always make a point of doing, on his persistence in supporting credit unions. I know that he is a member of his local one, which has about 300 members. I hope that he will welcome the award of a contract for £38 million to the Association of British Credit Unions Limited, which will help 1 million people, and will act as an alternative to loan sharks and payday loans.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that helpful answer. I know that he would like to praise the volunteers at Colchester credit union for all they do. Will he discuss with his ministerial colleagues in the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Education the importance of encouraging all of us, particularly children, to undertake regular saving?

My hon. Friend is right and his campaigns have helped us shape some of our thinking on that. It is worth noting that for the first time financial education will be on the national curriculum, which is extremely important. Through universal credit we are making available a series of financial planning devices and special bank accounts, so we hope this will drive people in the right direction. The crackdown on payday lenders who abuse their position has already started and is yielding real results.