Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The OFT

These are times of austerity, we all need to tighten our belts, make sacrifies etc. - hence my pension and my wife's will cost us more, hence we're to get a massively below inflation payrise next year but will have to pay £9000 a year for my daughter to get a degree which is the only way she'll be qualified to get a job in a coffee shop soon no doubt.

Right Mr Cameron and others I have one answer for you - Scrap the OFT.   I've read two bonkers decisions of theirs recently that defy all normal logic.  (OFT - Office of Fair Trading)

Firstly the OFT have decided that there is no need to limit the interest rates charged by payday lenders.  As long as they abide by telling people the rate that is fine.  These parasites charge up to 4000% - no I didn't mistype that - 4000% for short term low value loans.   OK unfortunately, dear government, your numeracy education has failed repeatedly over the last few years I pretty much guarantee that most people don't really understand percentages - if they did no one would ever borrow from these people.   So more of the most vulnerable will be forced into spiralling debt due to the decision that "such (price) controls may further reduce supply" (OFT report).

Secondly our local paper closed this week after 156 years loyal service to our community.  This put 35 people out of work less than a month before Christmas.  The reason the paper closed?  The OFT.  Yes honestly it can be laid pretty much straight at their feet.  The owners were trying to sell that title and some others to a rival to combine with their own (in my view much inferiour) product.   The OFT decided to refer this to the Competition Commission because of the concern about the new owners having a monopoly in a particular area - hey look at water supply in my area or train services... where's the competition there?  The new purchasers withdrew the offer that day, citing the cost and length of time it would take for them to take part in such a review.  So a matter of weeks later the paper is closed completely all staff lose their jobs and the rival has the monopoly that supposedly was the concern.  By the way the OFT were told that this is exactly what would happen if they made the decision to refer this case!

Utterly bonkers!   Hello men in ivory tower... earth calling!  So we need to save public money I can offer you the OFT as I fail to see how this is actually helping the man in the street at the moment.

6 comments:

  1. Fair comment - I've updated the post :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. OFT sounds incredibly stupid, indeed. However, if people are dumb enough to get anything with a 4000% interest rate, that's really their own fault.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh well said, Furtheron! And no, sybil, ANYONE desperate enough to go to those moneysharks are the most vulnerable in society - yes, possibly metally impaired, too - is that reason enough to rip them off in this way?

    My hubby took a 20% voluntary wage cut in 2009, had to, along with everyone else in the firm, to prevent it going under. He's had no increase since. His pension has HALVED over this time, despite his contributions remaining the same. He was due to retire last year - but it's unlikely it'll be in this decade now. But hard as it is, it's still okay, 'cos we are at least surviving, and so many are not. I am utterly ashamed of what is happening to the poorest in our society, and turning your back to say, "they deserve all they get", is without conscience.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The OFT has never been anything of the sort...no change there then

    ReplyDelete