Layton vows to cap credit-card rates


NDP Leader Jack Layton said Tuesday he would cap credit card rates and fees as a way to control the household debt of Canadian families.

Layton announced the party’s first platform plank at a news conference in Brantford, Ont.

The NDP proposal would cap credit card rates at five per cent, plus the prime interest rate, and extend powers to federal regulators to control “excessive fees on credit cards.”

Layton also said he would make a voluntary code of conduct on transaction fees implemented by the Conservative government a law.

“It will allow banks to recoup a profit while keeping family debt loads manageable,” Layton said in his speech.

“And unlike Stephen Harper’s latest idea, my plan will help Canadians families now — not in 2015.”

Layton’s reference to the immediate measure was another shot at Harper’s proposed family tax credit that was announced on Monday.

The proposal would allow families with children under 18 to split as much as $50,000 of their income. The policy would not come into effect until after the federal budget is balanced, which isn’t expected until 2014-15.

Layton said the move is to combat the fact the average family household debt has jumped to more than $100,000 during the recession.

He said many Canadian families are turning to their credit cards to pay for basic needs.

Financial institutions doing ‘just fine’

The NDP leader contrasted the problems he said many Canadian families are having in paying their bills with the latest bank profits.

He said Canadian chartered banks made more than $21 billion in profits last year. When asked whether his plan would eat into those bank profits, Layton said Canada’s financial institutions will have to find a way to continue to make money without “gouging people.”

“The financial institutions will do just fine. I think some control over the rates that they are charging is absolutely essential,” Layton told reporters at his news conference.

“We have very large banks in Canada. There is not a lot of competition one to the other. The result is you need to have a government standing on the side of the people.”

Good for Jack and good for Canadians if this type of regulation can be put in place. Financial institutions profits over recent years have been obscene and have come about mainly from excessive user fees and through gouging the most vunerable and disadvantaged in our society. These practices need to stop and I am glad to see at least one party speaking up for those who can’t.

Here’s another example of criminal monolithic corporatocracy at work…

Banks, Visa and MasterCard fixing prices, class action suit claims

VANCOUVER— Two law firms say they have filed a class action lawsuit against Visa, MasterCard, and some of the country’s biggest banks, alleging they worked together to fix prices charged to merchants.

The suit, filed by Branch MacMaster LLP and Camp Fiorante Matthews, claims that the credit card companies and banks force retailers to accept all of their credit cards — even if the cards charge them higher processing fees.

Under the current model, credit card companies and banks take a percentage fee from the merchant that varies depending on the type of card the customer uses.

More basic credit cards have lower fees, while cards that collect points and other rewards often charge retailers higher fees.

The suit claims that merchants are prohibited from charging consumers more for transactions paid for on premium credit cards, and are forced to eat the costs themselves.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

Named in the suit are numerous Canadian banks, including Bank of Montreal (TSX: BMO), Scotiabank (TSX: BNS), CIBC (TSX: CM), Royal Bank (TSX: RY), TD Bank (TSX: TD) and National Bank (TSX: NA).


Criminal: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.

from John Prince
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37 Responses to Layton vows to cap credit-card rates

  1. Anonymous says:

    The bank stockholders want a good return. Banks are in business to make money. I don’t like it, but that’s the way it is. I’m pretty sure I’m a stockholder myself. I bet a couple of my mutual funds hold Cdn bank stocks.

  2. Anonymous says:

    For many years credit card companies have been taking advantage of their customers by participating in unfair business practices. There is no regulation for credit card companies, and they can charge any interest rate they feel, and change it whenever and to whomever they feel, whether or not you agreed to it.

    I believe that there should be a cap on interest rates for all businesses and companies that lend credit or capital to any person or business. This will increase consumer confidence, and reduce the risk for unfair business practices and usury.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Something must be done to regulate bank robbery.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There was a time in this country when loan sharking was against the law and had a prison sentence attached to it. The financial institutions in this country are doing just that but are allowed to run free with it making unbelievably huge profits that no one seems to question. When credit card interest and personal bank loans are 18 to 25% as well as huge service charge fees it can be called nothing else and should be treated accordingly. This is not about ones personal debt choices this is about gouging for huge profits and should be stopped. Way to go Jack you are the only one with enough guts to tell it like it really is!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m not voting for Harper and his immoral party, and Iggy just gives me the creeps. Jack seems to have his s__t together and his ideas are sound and are geared towards helping families by not trying to lie and cheat his way to the PM’s office. I’m voting NDP! Finally someone who is willing to stand up to the credit card loan sharks.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why does the government have to help people that over spend on their credit cards??

    if you carry a balance, that is your choice, pay the consequences.

    people used to save for items they wanted/needed, nowadays we just buy it and worry about paying later.

    having a credit card is not a right but a choice. Use it wisely and the government won’t have to “protect” the overspenders.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “More for the needy… less for the greedy”.

    Now, there is a concept?

  8. Chloe says:

    More for the needy? Last time I looked, Canadian citizens were not being held at gunpoint to sign up for a credit card. I don’t consider the needy to be those who can’t curb their impulse to buy beyond their means and then lamely expect the government to bail them out of their debt. When will people understand that government bailouts are on the taxpayers dollars? I am a taxpayer, not a union member, no guaranteed pension, just what I work for, pay taxes on and invest for my retirement. You want more government in your life? More of your hard earned dollars going directly into the black hole of government waste? Then blindly go into that voting booth and mark your ‘X’ for any one of the fraudsters asking for your vote. They have taken your money for one simple reason – to buy your vote. I can’t believe that so many of us fall for this obscene gesture. I will write in my choice of candidate for both the upcoming federal and provincial elections.
    Thanks John for letting me vent. Here in Ontario, we have been informed that our current provincial deficit of 16 Billion plus. If we want to trim that number then we will have to eliminate nursing jobs . . . God forbid we eliminate the government paper pushers who abide in the thousands in Ontario.

    Canadian, female, 57 years old, taxpayer and no longer a believer in the system which will bankrupt not only my children but grandchildren

  9. John Prince says:

    Why not? The banks got bailed, are the people anymore less deserving?

    Aaahh Chloe, you’re back. Good!

    I can hear where you are coming from. The middle-class like you is being squeezed while the poor are not only downtrodden but exploited as well. Many are tired of it. Jack is their voice promising relief from the drug dealers who deal in ‘debt’. Who amazingly have everyone focused on the ‘moral question’ (i.e. personal responsibility)… rather than on the ethical one? GREED & EXPLOITATION!

    btw/ there is no bailout. It’s simply putting a rein on the greed of our financial and credit card institutions who are raping and pillaging to their hearts content with the backing of our politicians (who don’t really work for the people), and the support of the elite who have no conception of the battle the poor and less fortunate are going through these days (suggested reading: The Price of Citizenship by Michael B. Katz/ The Working Poor by David K. Shipler). Ah? Encore! Marie Antoinette mentality in the blindness to one’s surroundings and a major disconnect with those not of your class. I’ll have you know; support systems have changed and are less compassionate, caring and ‘supportive’ from days gone by. Due in large measure to the policies of mean-spiritedness put in place by recent conservative/liberal governments. It’s a tough world out there for many these days and the ranks are growing as the middle-class shrinks. Everything has been pretty much stagnant for the past 30 years… interesting enough, since the reign of the republican/conservative right. The middle-class and working families have seen unemployment, debt and despair, and their live savings eroded. In addition, they are regularly beaten down by usury while more and more of what they had and enjoyed is being clawed back from those whose fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters gave their blood, sweat and tears for. And in some cases even their lives. Some think there is a global effort to enslave us all… if we let them.

    Now that I scared the shit out of you, Chloe. :-) Open your eyes the world has done a complete 180 from 30 years ago. The unseen hardship is there, just more hidden than in the past, thanks in large measure to modern technology i.e. TV, radio, internet, etc. Now that we are more connected we’ve lost touch with one another, it seems?

    Anyhow Chloe the rest of what you say I can’t help but agree with you and especially with your last statement being very powerful and most likely our fate… barring a miracle.

    Take care, thanks for coming back and thanks for sharing.

    Btw again. Just had a thought. Think of the miners at Elkview who are on strike (and have been for over two months now) who find themselves forced to live on their credit cards (don’t forget it is a statistical fact most people live from paycheque to paycheque and are only one or two away from being forced to live on their credit cards. 20+% interest rates can add up to be a huge burden for those caught up in this nightmare. But at least for the miners at Elkview eventually their nightmare will end when they go back to work, but what about those who can’t find a job for months on end? What kind of position do you think they and their families are in, dealing with the vultures who deal in debt?

    Regulation of the financial and credit card industry is needed in this country and long overdue, and I hope the other parties get on the band wagon and join the party that has always been progressive in getting things for people, the NDP. Especially, the working people.

    Go Jack!… Good for you!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Poverty is slavery.

  11. Anonymous says:

    We live in a society that has to have everything now.My parents would have never borrowed money for anything other than a house.They understood debt and interest rates and how harmful they were to the short and long term financial picture.Capping interest rates is not the answer, eduction is.You often talk of the greed of corporations, but it is also the greed of the working class that must have everything now.Tvs, cars,furniture you name it all on credit.Housing is also a problem, why can people not buy what they can more easily afford is nothing more than greed.If you can not pay off your mortgage in 15 years you are in the wrong house.
    You can blame the government and corperations for everything but I am not a debt slave and neither do other citizens need to be, just less greedy.

  12. John Prince says:

    It is the government and corporations that allow greed to take place, in fact they promote and participate in it. Consumerism is rampant, education is lacking. Whose to blame, surely not the tiny, insignificant individual consumer that is only following the lead of what advertisers, media, corporations and governments tell him/her to do?

    No, regulation is what is needed, followed by education for the few who don’t know any better. The majority of those who are unable to pay off their credit card debt at the end of the month because of financial crises brought about by banks/corporations and their lackeys in government are the victims here, not the villians, as so many today mistakenly believe. They need our help to protect them from the jackals in our society, not more undeserved condemnation and ridicule.

  13. Anonymous says:

    You are wrong.Why do you want the government to take care of you.Take of yourself and we have less government.You are a typical liberal who wants to be coddled from birth to death by the government.

  14. John Prince says:

    You’re the one that is wrong. Who said anything about being coddled by government? Can’t you people from Blairmore put more than two sentences together without coming across as both naive and stupid?

  15. John Prince says:

    I must apologize for my earlier outburst but it is a natural reaction of mine to shoot from the hip, letting only my understanding of my truths be my guiding light. Unfortunately, I do not have much patience or tolerance for those I feel are beyond redemption, too far gone down the road of mammon. Brainwashed so to speak, the walking dead who have been successfully indoctrinated into beliefs they find they can no longer support, but can’t let go of either.

    Thank god there’s always the Liberal Party for those wayward souls. :-)

  16. peter rosner says:

    sounds like you are getting pricked again John. Somethings require explanation. The commentor has a point the more we do for ourselves the less government we need. At one time they had their hands in everything from liquor stores to road maintenance. It is true there are able bodied people who expect the government will take care of them the rest of their lives.

  17. John Prince says:

    Granted. But you too Peter are living in the past if you really think support systems are in place today that properly and adequately address the needy, never mind those few and insignificant others who expect ‘government will take care of them the rest of their lives’, as you put it. Greed, as someone earlier said, permeates everything these days. Today it is all about more for the greedy, be they corporations, politicians, public servants or unions, and less for working families and the needy.

    I believe this philosophy and way of doing things are planting the seeds that will soon germinate into class warfare and revolution. Is that what you want? It’s not what I want. Therefore I’m supporting people like Jack who are trying to do something about it.

  18. Harold R. says:

    Man, you contradict your own beliefs so many times it isn’t funny. The most recent example is your statement about not wanting revolution and class warfare. A few months ago, your ranting posts were screaming for ‘revolution’. You were hungering and thirsting for it!
    Do you even know what you are talking about half of the time?
    all the best from Bellevue.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Leave the good people of blairmore alone! Instead of insulting the people from around here when a year ago you would just as soon smile and sell them a house, why don’t you move back to Toronto or Montreal where you can sip your latte while reading the Socialist-biased Toronto Star. There, you can surround yourself with other Liberal voting lunatics and rant and rave your nonsense to people like yourself.

  20. peter rosner says:

    John excuse me bit i thought union members were part of working families too. Its our struggle for wages and benefits that bring up the pay scale for the rest. If not the corporations would have us all working for minimun wage while they profit billions. But i am also a realist and know we support people who are capable of doing better for themselves. I know our taxes pay for a lot of things and i dont have issue with helping those that truly need it but there are people who know the system and how to abuse it

  21. John Prince says:

    Ooohhh, did I hit a nerve? My apologies for lumping the good people of Blairmore in with the likes of you, and your kind. Now I see we have at least one of you living in Bellevue as well?

    What I do know is when the revolution does come I know which ones in this community should be lined up against the wall, and they are not all from Blairmore either. :-) btw/ thanks for being such a ‘fan’ of my blog.

    All those who are fans shall be spared but will have to endure the ‘tortures’ of purification. :-) – Comrade Prince

    With respect to my being a realtor. With any luck, I plan on getting back into real estate again but will not be asking for your listing, as I believe someone of your ilk should be confined to this narrow corridor between the mountains, and thereby shelter the world from your mind-numbing dumbness. :-]

    Geez, how many more of these nethanderal conservatives do I have to deal with today? :-)

  22. Anonymous says:

    Jack Layton can make all the lame brain promises he wants, he’ll never be prime minister, thankfully.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Is that all you can offer as a rebuttal? When the personal insults start flying the insulter (you) is losing the debate to the insultee (moi). Of course, now that I’ve pointed that out you won’t post this.
    Trust me, my friend, I would not use you as my realtor. I would not use you to buy or sell a house if I was ordered to at gunpoint. I would use Idi Amin long before I’d ever consider using you. There are many fine realtors in the CNP (most of whom I know personally) that I would give my business to if I were looking to buy or sell a house. Would it be you? In your words…’I think not’.
    As far as being a fan goes….well, as much as I disagree with 100% of the garbage posted here by you, it does bring me my daily dose of chuckles. I must thank you for that.

  24. peter rosner says:

    But isn’t it great that we live in a democratic society where we can have this discussion. Even with your insults its better than the alternative where you would have no choice or options. John you sound like a socialist to me am i wrong. And yes i can take the insults we have the choice whether we want to participate on your blog.

  25. John Prince says:

    I’m sorry Peter but unions in my book have over the years become self-absorbed and self-serving and as such are in many cases, like mine workers (but definitely not all union workers. For example, the hospitality industry is heavily unionized yet wages in most cases are just above minimum wage), teachers, hospital workers, post office, public sector, etc. in a class above most working families and the poor. As such, very little has come from the labour movement to help these people in recent years. As such, these people will in all likelihood not be there to support the unions when they come under attack from our own governments, much as Wisconsin, Illinois and other US states have and are presently going through.

    There is a concentrated attack by the rich on the poor and if the middle class can’t, or won’t, stand up for the less fortunate in our society (such as capping credit card rates) then when their time comes, and it will be coming soon, don’t expect help from them. In fact, the more of you that get taken down the larger our ranks will grow, which will only feed the revolution that is coming. Unless we again start becoming a more compassionate and caring society as we were well-known throughout the world as being until the HarperCONS.

    Remember, Trudeaumania? “The government (less government) has no business in the bedrooms of the nation”. And our “Just Society” that has been turned into a corrupt one, where it is dog eat dog and survival of the fittest (and well connected) and to hell with everybody else… which makes up the majority of our population. I want my Canada back!

    Hell no! I say ‘more for the needy and less for the greedy’.

  26. Harold says:

    You only say ‘more for the needy and less for the greedy’ because you are needy. You also want something for nothing. If you were rich and successful you would piss all over the poor.


  27. peter rosner says:

    well JOhn i dont know what “union Members” you talk to and i know there are selfish people in all segments of society. I believe the heavy taxes our union members pay go a long way in helping the governments deliver hospitilization and social programs for the needy. At work we have a humanitarian fund where the employees have a regular deduction from their pay cheque to help others. Even on strike now we are doing our best to make sure people dont fall through the cracks. Personally i have assisted many people be it they were hitchhiking on the highway or needed a bite to eat. We are not all selfish and i know many good people in the union movement who think and act like this.

  28. John Prince says:

    Anon @3:34
    I agree with you. In all likelihood Jack will not become pm… but if we had proportional representation, he would be… and should be.

    Anon @3:52
    Is there anymore of you retrogrades left on Dean’s blog? Or are some of you just venturing out for the first time into the real world of intellectual (I’m sorry, I know that is a big word for some of you :-)) discussion and debate. Does mommy know you’ve left home and are now playing with adults?

    So you wouldn’t use me as a realtor. Don’t worry about it there were plenty before that didn’t either. It takes a brave person having moral courage and integrity to stand independent of the crowd, to do that. I know from talking with you that you are not one of them. :-(

    You find my comments insulting. I apologize for that but it has to do with my upbringing among blacks where I was considered a blue-eyed soul brother who could and did banter with the best of them.
    I am a Liberal, not a socialist but I do agree with a lot of their philosophy and often times borrow and use some of their slogans. Got that comrade! :-)

    In the past, I have been very rich and successful but that all went down the drain when I made the horrible decision to move to ‘nutbar’ land and tried to help an ungrateful and selfish community hell bent on disaster, both financially and socially as a result of their self-serving failed ideology and mean-spiritedness. But as this election grows closer I am hopeful this country will be saved from the likes of you and your kind. If there is a god, this will be so.

  29. John Prince says:

    You got me wrong. I’m not saying unions don’t do good works. I’m saying that many unions today are in a class of their own who do precious little to help those less fortunate than themselves in both pay and benefits.

    Such as, where have the unions been while governments and industry has been allowing immigrants to come into this country to do work that only suppresses the wages and benefits of the vast majority of working families and the poor here, instead of seeing them raised up to your level?

  30. Harold says:

    There won’t be a change with this election. There will be one of 2 things that will happen: 1. The Conservatives will win another minority. Some seats will be gained and some will be lost, but the general number of MP’s in their caucus will remain the same. Nothing will change for the better or worse. The infighting in the House of Commons will continue.
    2. The FIBerals will win a minority. Nothing will happen, nothing will change. Let’s face it, Ignatieff is not interested in being this country’s PM for any reasons other than he wants to add Prime Minister to his resume and list of distinguished accomplishments. The numbers of MP’s will remain the same for all parties and nothing will get changed or done for the better. Only 300 million dollars spent on an election the polls overwhelmingly show Canadians don’t want.
    If a coalition is formed, it will last 3 months before egos get in the way and the 3 leaders concerned will be fighting like 3 year olds over everything and the coalition will dissolve. Sort of like rooming with your best high school friend. Things are great at first, but over time you get in each other’s way and piss each other off.
    I’m done wasting my time with you.
    Wake up, man!


  31. John Prince says:

    Harold, you could be right. Personally, I see the Liberals winning a majority and failing that, if it is a minority situation, a coalition between the Liberals and NDP would be the next best thing in my books. History has shown us lot’s gets done for the people when we’ve had that type of relationship in the past.

    $300 million is a small price to pay for all Canadians to get Harper out. The way he has gotten us into massive debt through mind-boggling deficits and spending sprees to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars into US coffers for planes, corporate tax cuts and prison contractors is not my idea of working for working families here. Far from it! His priorities are not my priorities. He wants to fuel the US economy at our expense while ignoring the urgent needs of his own people is not the kind of leadership I want for this country.

    I’m sorry, I wasted your time and please give my best regards to Dean and his trolls for stopping by and sharing with my readers concrete reasons why they should vote and support the Liberals this time around. Harper has had his chance(s) and he blew it miserably. Time to give the other side a chance at kicking at the can, for I am confident nobody can do a worse job at uniting and taking this country forward than what the conservatives have done under the HarperCONS.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Wow, Can I have what ever you are smoking,A liberal majority, that is funny.A coaltion is even funnier.
    The country that was the least hurt in the global recession was led by Harper, so I suppose it could not have been that “miserable”.
    And bringing up the debt issue is a big mistake as we both know which PM started that big mess.PET

  33. peter rosner says:

    John the unions are trying to organize a lot of these workplaces to raise their standard of living. A lot of these immigrants come from places where they would kill to get a job like we have over here. Also in a lot of cases they will do the work that people (who have enjoyed the handouts this country offers) will no longer do. At one time our parents or grandparents were immigrants themselves fighting the same battles that we are fighing today.That is what started the unions. They couldnt speak the same language but had one thing in common and that was they were all getting screwed.Believe me i have worked with many immigrants and if you treat them right and educate them they get it and are good supporters of the labour movement.

  34. John Prince says:

    I’m not blaming the immigrants (we were all immigrants at some point) they are just trying to do the best they can for themselves and their loved ones. I’m blaming governments who are suppose to be working for us but instead are selling us out to the multi-nationals in every which way they can. That’s what I am saying. We’ve had 30 years of stagnation and decline, its time to take it back from those who have used and abused it for their own advantage, rather than to the people they are suppose to be working for. Traitors and profiteers is what I have been seeing leading this country and selling us out to the highest bidder.

    I thing the labour movement has their part to play, which they have not been doing, or should be doing better. Organizing by getting new members into the fold is fine and well but political action is where it is at. Laws, rules and regulations have to be put in place to curb the excesses and outright greed of foreign interests, primarily our cousin next door who always seems to be in one kind of mess after another bordering on lunacy. This is another type of organization that is required. Take down the corporations and they’ll start gouging up. When you take them down, believe me the politicians will hear about it and when they do they will have a decision to make. Am I with the people, or against?

    We take no prisoners, we ask for no quarter.

    Gosh, this revolution stuff is pretty catchy, isn’t it? :-) Che ain’t got nothing on me!! lol

    Anyhow Peter that is my thinking, take it or leave it. What needed to be said, has been said.

  35. John Prince says:

    Anon @6:55
    We’ll see who’s laughing at the end of the election my ‘silly’ friend.

    “… The country that was the least hurt in the global recession was led by Harper…”

    Thanks to former PM Paul Martin… a Liberal.

    “And bringing up the debt issue is a big mistake as we both know which PM started that big mess.PET”

    Doesn’t matter who started what. What matters is to put an end to insane policies that work against the middle class, working families and the poor.

  36. peter rosner says:

    I think you made some good points here it has been an interesting discussion. You know John what i have found out in many years of educating new workers in the workplace is they are much like i was. They dont want to be told how to think but if you offer advice at the right time they are very approachable and soon they get it.You just have to give them time and that process can be used when educating people politically as well. thats all for today

  37. John Prince says:

    Sound advice. Good talking with you. Time to call it a night myself. Until the next time.

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