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Rap song released highlights the danger of pay-day industry "grooming young people"

A rap song aimed at warning young people about the possible dangers of pay day lenders is released today.

Inspired by the Archbishop of Canterbury's comments on responsible lending, songwriter and music producer Charles Bailey approached the Church of England with the idea for the rap.

The song, called "We Need a Union on the Streets" by Charles Bailey, feat. Question Musiq and Delilah also features Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert.com and tells the stories of young people who get into debt because of payday loans with high interest rates. It aims to highlight credit unions as a better way to borrow.

Charles said of his involvement: "When I listened to the Archbishop of Canterbury speaking out about pay day lenders I felt moved to do something to help his task group to reach to the urban youth who are often the victims and introduce them to a much safer and ethical way of borrowing through credit unions."

Martin Lewis said: "The payday loan industry is relatively new, and has used powerful marketing to build its business and groom young people to think it is normal. It isn't normal, it's an extremely expensive way to borrow that most should avoid.  We've all heard the cases of those who just wanted a couple of hundred quid but quickly owe many times that.  Yet that still doesn't do the job, the ease of access and ability to just press a button and get cash is so powerful, we need to shout, or in this case even sing, from the rooftops about the dangers of this type of borrowing, to try and counter the message".

Dr. Elizabeth Henry, the Church's Adviser for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns "I am thrilled that Charles was inspired to contact us and use his creative gifts to support the Church of England's response to the very real problems of payday lending. Efforts like this help the Church to extend its reach and engage with people on issues that affect their everyday lives. The song is appealing and I hope will get the message across to all communities that credit unions are a much safer way to borrow."

The song underscores the views of the Church of England that young people are particularly vulnerable to payday lending and are attracted by the promise of instant cash. Almost 1 in 6 of 18-24 year olds say they are likely to take out a payday loan in the next 6 months. (source Personal Debt Snapshot Wave 13 [March 2014] based on a national representative survey  of 2,013 GB adults.)

The song also promotes credit unions as a better alternative to payday loans, charging less interest, encouraging members to save as well as borrow.

ENDS



Notes to editors:

The song can be heard and downloaded for free from here:
https://soundcloud.com/the-church-of-england/we-need-a-union-on-the-streets

The song and an accompanying video will be launched at 6.30 pm on Wednesday 11th June at an event at All Saints Church Peckham, Blenheim Grove Peckham SE15 4QS.

Opportunities to interview two young people who have been impacted by debt problems as case studies, Charles Bailey, Dr. Elizabeth Henry and the Bishop of Woolwich will all be available at the event.


The lyrics of the song:

Martin Lewis intro:
Payday loans gone wrong are a horrendous thing.
We hear about people who've borrowed £100, £200 and owe a £1,000 less than year later
It explodes, it's all about compound interest
That you pay interest on the interest on the interest…

Chorus
What we need is a union, we need a union on the streets (x2)
Everybody hand in in hand, people can't you understand

Verse 1:
Yeah its unfair ---
But ,they don't care,
The rich get richer,
While poor get less,

Young Dave worked hard tryna to get a degree
Handing out CVs for a JOB,
Zero hour contract, need more hours,
Stressed out life, when you're fighting the powers,
Bills keep coming on a daily basis,
He's just one of a million cases
Now he's in debt, got a payday loan,
Interest rate's higher than the money he owes
Red letter after letter, manz callin his phone,
Now he's droppin out of uni, can't pay for his home, --
CPA took the money he had, automatically took it right out of the bank
Now his life's upside down, where does he turn,
It should be illegal the money they earn

Chorus
What we need is a union, we need a union on the streets (x2)
Everybody hand in in hand, people can't you understand

Verse 2:
It's so clear that they don't care,
The rich get richer,
While the poor get less

Young Sophie used be the life of the Party,
Lost her job and that's when it started,
Credit card blocked, no money for heat,
Banks won't help her get back on her feet,
Keep seeing adverts on TV,
But be careful the small print that you can't see,
Now she's in debt, got a payday loan,
Interest rates higher than the money she owes,
Red letter after letter, manz callin her phone,
Can't answer the door, so she's never at home,
CPA took the money she had,
Automatically took it right out of her bank
Now she life upside down, where does he turn,
It should be illegal the money they earn,

What we need is a union, we need a union on the streets (x2)
Everybody hand in in hand, people can't you understand

When you can't go on no more
And the bills coming through your door
Feels like nothing you can do
There's a union there for you
When you need someone to call
Pick you up just before you fall
Only thing we want peace and love and unity
That's what we need

What we need is a union, we need a union on the streets (x2)

•    Charles Bailey is a music producer and community activist. He has worked on social campaigns on gun violence and recruitment for the Metropolitan Police and has set the speeches of the late Labour MP, Tony Benn, to music.

•    The Archbishop of Canterbury's Task Group is developing a number of practical, strategic initiatives to promote responsible credit and savings, including, where appropriate, lobbying for more effective regulation of the payday loan industry and policies that will help to promote credit unions as a responsible alternative.

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