Debating debt

In: Uncategorized

27 Sep 2006

Today I debated consumer debt on the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2. The peg for the debate was a report from Datamonitor, a business research group, which estimated that the average British resident has £3,175 of unsecured borrowing. That is about twice the average in continental Europe.

I argued that debt was not a problem for most people as long as the economy was growing strongly and unemployment was low. In addition, much of the anti-debt campaign has a puritanical edge to it: a dislike for ordinary people buying luxury goods. However, this does not preclude a small minority having debt problems. Usually these are a result of changes in life circumstances such as divorce or unemployment.

My opponent was David Nellist, a former Labour MP. He presented debt as a huge problem for ordinary people; seduced by advertising and enticed by junk mail.

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