Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Layton vows to cap credit-card rates

The Globe and Mail:

NDP targets ballooning household debt with pitch to middle-income earners in suburban Ontario

Jack Layton is making a pitch to middle-income earners in the large suburban sprawl around Toronto, a region that is rich in votes but that has largely eluded the New Democrats in previous elections.

The NDP Leader paid a visit Tuesday to the wartime-era home of Pamela and Reid Newell of Brantford, Ont., an industrial city west of Hamilton that has seen better days.

He talked about the profits of the corporate banks and the burden that household debt places on Canadian families.

With 35 per cent of Canadians unable to pay off their credit-cards every month, and the average unpaid balances standing at $3,700, the NDP wants to cap credit-card rates at five percentage points above prime.

If Mr. Layton was elected to form government, he says he would also give financial regulators new powers to identify and ban excessive fees on credit cards and make mandatory a code of conduct for credit-card companies that is now voluntary.

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