I Was Wondering
I was pondering about some of the items on the news, particularly the one about the Financial Services Authority giving pay day loan companies 3 months to sort their acts out, an industry that has flourished in a climate when so many have failed. I find myself concerned that the recession has become the norm, that the recession is considered permanent as it has lasted so long. Such views are reinforced by news that Thomas Cook is letting go 2,500 jobs at least, saying they have no choice if they are to survive, and figures’ showing the country is still showing no economic growth at all. Yet payday loan companies flourish, a two billion pound industry and rapidly heading for three billion. This is clearly money made off the desperate, as the FSA reviewed half their profits were made from defaulters. The majority of these companies do no real checks and as soon as someone defaults the interest rate and the amount owed skyrockets. In one case they showed that the original loan of £100 ended up becoming £3000!
These debts are usually sold on, at a vast profit on what was originally loaned, to debt collection agencies, which are also thriving, surprise, surprise! The FSA also noted how aggressive the companies were to defaulters and that many would face losing their licence if they continued to lend recklessly to people who really could not afford to take loans out in the first place. The very fact people can’t go to their bank and get a loan at reasonable interest rates, and therefore have to turn to a Payday Company, should show they cannot afford interest rates of 4000% and more in some cases. Personally I think they are parasites on the poor, the very people that are suffering in this dreadful economic environment, people on minimum wage, have had Working Tax Credits reduced, are being taxed for having an empty bedroom and fleeced by Payday Loan companies.
So the FSA is right to put them on warning, as long as this isn’t an empty rhetoric by the Coalition talking tough but not meaning a word of it. I say this because I saw the same tough talking about banks but yet nothing has been done when it comes to our money being used to pay bonuses. These bonuses are paid by a certain State owned bank, which has made a huge loss. Go figure, make a loss and we will give you bonuses – this is the economics written by the same people who wrote Pingu and Bag-Puss. If this isn’t condemnation enough, bonuses for making a loss with tax payers’ money, the Government refuses to go along with the European Union, who voted to bring in a cap on bonuses. So I don’t have much faith in the Government’s Financial Services Authority actioning anything in the three month deadline for the payday loan companies to sort their act out, as I don’t remember the FSA doing a damn thing to stop this financial crisis with the banks. The FSA always seem somewhat toothless, lots of sabre rattling and no action when push comes to shove.
- Food Standards Agency not knowing we were eating horsemeat
- CQC not seeing abuse in Castlebeck
- NHS Executive not seeing what was going on at Mid Staffordshire
- Press not being reined in by Ofcom leading to Leveson Report (the recommendations of which still have not been actioned!!!!!!!)
- Ofgem not controlling the prices and the near profiteering of some energy companies
- Rail-Reg (yes a Government agency) not seeing a Government U-turn was going to happen re the new train contracts being very messed up
This has been reinforced by the recent Dispatches programme, which looked at the Government’s end of life care strategy (although there seemed little care in it). In hospitals it is called the Liverpool Care Pathway – LCP (again there was little care). This pathway is supposed to ensure that at the end of life people are made comfortable, treating the symptoms such as pain, to allow a peaceful end. The pathway is also supposed to involve the patient wherever possible and the loved ones of the patient. There were 90,000 NHS deaths on the LCP, and it made me think that as my condition deteriorates I could one day be one of them. That is why I was so startled when I heard; once again, it was suspected that many of the deaths were effectively euthanasia, using the Liverpool Care Pathway to stop fluids and nutrition so people die quicker from kidney failure. This is a horror story that I may be faced with – where is the Regulator, CQC or the NHS Executive!
As humans are we not entitled to a dignified death, to a peaceful end? There should be the promotion of life before death, not a push into the Grim Reapers scythe, dying of dehydration. I want what everyone wants, a peaceful rest with my family before I am called, before the night and the darkness embraces me. Where’s the regulator in all this to make sure that there is genuine, compassionate, empathetic care at the end of life. How has this been allowed to happen, to encourage death rather than promote life? I find myself really scared of what may happen if the end involved admission to hospital – am I to join the 90,000 and be speeded to my end before it is necessary.
Where is the regulator to protect our rights to a positive death, if that makes any sense? I want a dignified death when it comes, having lived with this disability, the daily pain and humiliation of personal care, I am owed it! It’s not too much to ask for, is it?
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Innovative Business Consultancy Ltd (www.ibcv.org.uk)
Systems of Equality Ltd
Passport to Care Ltd (Social Enterprise – Not For Profit)
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