Business as Unusual

Commentary | 28/08/19

Any belief that the summer holidays and time away would ease the political logjam that is Brexit has floundered before Parliament returns on 3rd September, and with it any reasonable hope that constructive discussions could begin with Government Departments, on the business issues of the day.

Suspending Parliament just days after MP’s return to the House, with only a few weeks before the Brexit deadline, serves only a group of Politicians. It also moves us closer to a General Election with a real bugger’s muddle likely, and the possibility of a hotchpotch of a rudderless Coalition Government with a narrow perspective. On the plus side the PM is genuinely raising the mood of the country, and with it the Conservatives in the opinion polls.

Over regulation of the consumer credit Industry is already creating a lack of access to responsible credit for many. As the cost of compliance rises, and further unnecessary regulatory tinkering takes place, harsher credit scoring restrictions on availability will come into play, especially for young people and those on low incomes.

We therefore applaud the article in the Times yesterday by Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State Housing, Communities & Local Government addressing affordable shared home ownership for young people, and those on lower incomes. It is refreshing to see aspiration being recognised as a positive feature of credit, rather than the well trodden route of credit being a millstone around consumers necks. The youth of today is our tomorrow and they should be encouraged to be the best they can be, and to aspire in a world that rewards the knowledgeable and the brave. We sincerely hope that the tide has turned against credit most often being seen as potentially bad for the consumer.

We hope that as part of the “ very exciting agenda “ that the PM will outline in the Queen’s on 14th October we will see more funding going into education, including the ‘ lifeskills ‘ arena such as financial education, especially budgeting and money management. There are many charitable organisations that do a sterling job in this area, my grandchildren for example have hugely benefitted from the Student Money Manual provided by The Money Charity in their first year away at University. However they would have benefitted more if the early ground work on understanding money, had been an integral part of the formal school curriculum.

One cannot doubt that the PM will be steadfast in his intent to see an end to Brexit, however the ship may well be blown off course, as the Parliamentary factions plan and scheme. If prorogation happens as expected, it will see Parliament closed for 23 working days. During the process of prorogation, no debates or votes are held. Most laws that haven’t completed their passage through Parliament die a death.

There will be many twists and turns over the next few months, with the possibility of a poor outcome for business, and Consumer Credit industry in particular. The CCTA is increasing it’s Public Affairs & Political messaging to ensure we can react to every possible combination, to ensure the least damage is done. To end on a positive note in order we aim to ensure that the combined Consumer Credit industry is seen by Government as part of the engine room for growth going forward, and vital for GDP.

Greg Stevens
Chief Executive
CCTA