Launch of Wales Affordable Credit Group
Work to end the targeting of high cost credit at those who can least afford it has taken a real step forward in Wales with the launch of the Wales Affordable Credit Group at Tai Tarian headquarters in Baglan.
The group has been set up to build on the work of the End High Cost Credit Alliance which was created by local actor and activist Michael Sheen.
Neath Port Talbot social housing provider Tai Tarian is one of the founding members of the Alliance and is now a key partner in the Wales Affordable Credit Group.
Other members include Public Health Wales, Neath Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Service, Welsh Government, Toynbee Hall, Credit Unions Wales, Principality Building Society and Michael Sheen.
Tai Tarian Chief Executive Linda Whittaker, who is the chair of the group, said, “We welcome the first meeting of the Wales Affordable Credit Group which builds on the great work of the End High Cost Credit Alliance since its launch.
“It was a great opportunity to learn from the success of the Scotland Affordable Credit Action Group and use this best practice to direct Alliance work in Wales.
“We have already started to look at the issues and possible solutions, and I’m looking forward to taking this forward with our local partners in the new group. It would be fantastic to make change happen as soon as possible.”
The first meeting focused on sharing work which has already taken place since the Alliance was launched in March this year and learning from the Affordable Credit Group in Scotland.
The Very Reverend John Chalmers, Chair of the Scotland Affordable Credit Action Group, who shared his experiences at the meeting, said, “I am delighted to see the launch of the Wales Affordable Credit Group.
“For too long the poorest people in our society have had to pay an unacceptable premium for credit.
“We need joined up, coordinated action to change this. I am looking forward to working with colleagues in Wales and sharing our experiences from our activities in Scotland”.
The new group will look at exploring alternatives to high cost credit and testing changes locally in Port Talbot.
It will be integral to the work of the Alliance which is made up of organisations across the UK who collaborate to raise the issues, gather intelligence and take action with a view to taking a systems change approach to the problems of high cost credit.
A full manifesto detailing the aims, members and resources of the Alliance can be found at www.the-alliance.org.uk
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