One of my blog readers Judy Jansons has sent a letter to her local MP (former Tory minister Peter Lilley) regarding the injustice of Credit Unions being made to help fund the banking bail-out that I posted about last week.
I think it is an excellent example of how to express your strong feelings on a subject to your MP and she has given me permission to post the letter here. Over to Judy:
Dear Mr Lilley,
I was horrified to hear that the FSCS levy being applied to deposit-takers regulated by the FSA to fund the recent bail-out of the banking system includes the Credit Unions among those FSA member firms who have to pay it. (A letter sent to these firms can be seen here)
What is the government thinking of? It seems ludicrous to me, and to many others, that Credit Unions, which are set up to provide credit access and other services to the neediest people in communities, are being charged for a banking failure that they did not contribute to, when they are built on a quite different structure. We need organisations like Credit Unions which help vulnerable people get reasonable access to credit on affordable terms. We need to encourage the continuation of these bodies to avoid the human disasters created when people in desperate circumstances accept credit on any terms, however unreasonable, offered by local "loan sharks" to solve their short-term problems while creating a far worse situation for themselves in the long term.
I deplore the loss of mutual status of so many of the country's building societies and insurance companies (I used to work for one), and try to support those that remain. It seems totally wrong that another group of our financial institutions which work on the basis of community spirit, sharing and supporting those in need, should be endangered and unfairly charged due to the mismanagement of a much wealthier group.
Please do whatever you can to help reverse this situation for the Credit Unions. They should not be involved in this levy, the first payment of which is due on 1 September 2009, and urgent action is needed.
Judy Jansons (Mrs)
I am interested to hear what Mr Lilley's response to this is.
In case you aren't aware, there is a Facebook group with over 100 members already supporting the campaign here to get this decision reversed by the government (we only have until 1st September before the first payment is due) and the Twitter hashtag for the campaign is #NoCreditUnionLevy.