Ed Simpson

In late September and early
October, politicians, lobbyists and the party faithful gathered at
the party conferences for their first chance to take stock of the
political landscape following May’s General Election.

Beaches were out and docks and
canals were in, as the conferences moved to the big city centres of
Liverpool (Lib Dems), Manchester (Labour) and Birmingham
(Conservatives).

The FLA used this opportunity to
host a series of fringe meetings on personal debt with the Consumer
Credit Counselling Service.

We were joined on the panel by
Lorely Burt MP (Lib Dems), former Consumer Affairs Minister Kevin
Brennan MP (Labour), and Mark Reckless MP (Conservative).

The debate was enhanced by the
presence of behavioural economists who offered some unusual ways in
which the government could encourage a more responsible credit
environment – a perspective from outside the consumer credit
industry.

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The FLA also attended corporate
days at the Conservative and Lib Dem conferences, where we made the
case with ministers for robust evidence-based policy.

We discussed the upcoming
government review of consumer credit law, and hope to use this as
an opportunity to get support for several long term FLA consumer
credit issues, including abolishing voluntary termination
provisions in UK law.

Now Parliament is back in session,
we’re following up on contacts made.

Ed Simpson is head of 
government affairs at the FLA