Gareth Thomas MP calls on Government to continue to promote Joining Forces initiative
03 Nov 17
Joining Forces, the alliance of the credit unions that serve the military is made up of London Mutual, Police Credit Union trading as Serve & Protect, and Plane Saver. It was borne of a recognition that military life can make it harder for service families to access financial services many have been forced to turn to payday lenders. Worries about financial affairs can have catastrophic consequences when it affects the ability to do their duty effectively on the front line.
Gareth Thomas and the Co-operative Party were active supporters of bringing credit union services to armed forces personnel alongside ABCUL and the cross-party supporters in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions.
Marking the 2 year anniversary in an Opposition Day debate on Armed Forces pay, Gareth commended the Government’s initiative to support Joining Forces, but encouraged the Ministry of Defence to do everything it could to promote the scheme, saying: “Two years ago, the Government set up an armed forces credit union to help armed forces personnel on low pay who might be vulnerable to payday loan companies charging very high rates of interest. Two years on, the three armed forces credit unions are well-established, but could do with the MOD taking steps to advertise their services more widely.”
The Joining Forces credit unions and ABCUL met with the Minister for Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Mark Lancaster MP, in February to provide an update on progress with the initiative and to discuss how to promote its availability more widely. The group continues to work closely with the Ministry of Defence to grow the armed forces initiative.