Britain did a “deal with the debt devil”

Britain did a “deal with the debt devil” that has been partly to blame for the extent of the country’s current economic problems, it has been claimed.

Stephen King, managing director of economics at HSBC, has maintained that the ease with which UK consumers have been able to access credit over the past decade has left them vulnerable to the effects of an economic slowdown.

As debt management problems worsen for millions of families, prime minister Gordon Brown can not credibly blame issues in other parts of the world without accepting some of the responsibility for the current crisis, according to Mr King.

Writing in the Independent, he said: “The shock facing the UK economy is remarkably similar to the shock facing the US economy because both countries chose, a few years ago, to do a deal with the debt devil.”

In January of this year, accountancy firm Grant Thornton predicted that around 10,000 UK consumers would enter insolvency in each month of 2008.

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