AN MP has backed a bill to regulate rip-off payday money lenders who can charge interest rates of up to 1000 per cent.

MP John Healey's Wentworth and Dearne constituency saw the number of people seeking help with payday loan companies triple last year.

"These payday lenders are making millions from extortionate loans to some of the most vulnerable people in Barnsley," he said.

"It's understandable that, in hard economic times, people feel they have no choice but to turn to them.

"But unexpected costs quickly mount up, and people are pushed further into debt because of the massive interest rates, rip-off charges and misleading advertising.

"This bill aims to stop the worst practices which badly exploit those who can afford it least."

The number of people taking out payday loans and struggling with debt is increasing rapidly.

In 2011, debt charity Step Change had 11 clients in the Wentworth and Dearne constituency with payday loans. In 2012, the number had gone up to 39.

The charity saw 68 people from Wentworth and Dearne with debt problems in 2005 but this had nearly tripled to 198 by 2012.

The average unsecured debt in the constituency last year was nearly £13,000 and the amount owed to payday lenders £1,295.

The ‘High Cost Credit Bill’, put forward by Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield, has cross-party support and will include new measures to ensure excessive charges are capped.