New Democrats call for credit card fairness

Put Canadians first, not new tax giveaways to banks and credit card companies

Predatory credit card companies are a serious problem this holiday season said New Democrat Leader Jack Layton while in Edmonton today. Consumers and retailers are being gouged by unfair fees, while Canada’s banks collected over $20 billion in profit last year.

“We are seeing predatory financial institutions handing out credit cards to people with horrible credit, and even mental illness—people with little ability to ever pay them back,” said Layton. “At the same time, Canadian retailers are being unfairly charged excessive credit card fees for transactions.”

Layton was joined by New Democrat candidate for Edmonton Centre Lewis Cardinal, a business owner himself, who pointed out that small business cannot afford these unfair fees.

“Most small businesses operate with a paper thin layer of profitability,” said Cardinal. “There are many businesses that could be sunk because the Harper government continues to fail small businesses. Instead of helping small businesses, the Conservatives choose to give out massive untargeted tax breaks to profitable multi-national corporations.”

New Democrats pointed out that Stephen Harper does seem to get into the holiday spirit when it comes to his friends in the big banks–giving them an additional $840 million in tax-breaks for the New Year. However, when it comes to helping Canadians the Conservatives are a lot more like Scrooge.

“While the government’s economic plan has helped traders on Bay St., most Canadians are still feeling the pinch of the recession,” said Layton. “The Harper government promised tough regulations for credit card companies but their voluntary code of conduct is already irrelevant. Harper should be giving Canadians a break, not his friends at the big banks.”

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