UK’s debt is affordable, MP claims

Despite worsening debt management problems faced by millions of UK consumers, one MP has claimed that the country’s personal borrowing levels are affordable.

John McFall, Labour chair of the House of Commons Treasury select committee, insists that the dramatic increase in personal debt seen in recent years is the result of rising aspirations among British consumers.

Indeed, citing recent assertions by the Bank of England’s governor Mervyn King, Mr McFall maintains that the debt management problems among consumers do not present a “systematic risk” to the country.

“There are a number of people, a small percentage, who have unsecured loans and are vulnerable and we have to do something about them; but can we afford the debt at the moment? The answer is yes,” he told BBC Radio Four’s Daily Politics programme.

“People are taking to debt because they want to achieve certain things in their life. They want to be able to have a better house, or a better car, or whatever else it is and the important question for everyone is can they afford that.”

Figures released recently by Citizens Advice showed that record numbers of people are now approaching its staff for debt advice.

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