- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Joyce warns against drifting into debt over the Christmas holidays
Labour AM expresses concern, as household debt predicted to rise to £40bn in latest figures
“We all want a great Christmas, but it isn’t worth getting into debt for,” an AM warned.
As new figures show that British families are expected to run up £40bn of debt this year, Joyce Watson AM warned against drifting into debt by trying to have a perfect Christmas.
Mrs Watson warned against pay-day loans and advised people to use credit unions, which encourage safe financial management.
Citizens Advice Bureaux, Credit Unions and similar financial advice services see a spike in people seeking help and advice after Christmas.
Mrs Watson, Labour Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, said:
“The temptation to use payday loans, credit cards and overdrafts is strong in January. Budgets can be pushed severely, as bills such as heating and commuting can increase while wages stay the same.
“To keep on top of your finances, try to get all of the help available, check you’re paying the best price for services like gas and electricity, and pay essentials like energy and water bills first.
“Consider joining your local credit union. They’re responsible and accessible providers of affordable savings and low-cost loans –– a much better alternative to the high-interest debts, door-step lenders and illegal loan sharks that take advantage of borrowers.
“That’s why it’s important that the Labour Welsh Government has supported Wales’s credit unions, investing over £1.9 million over the last three years.”
The latest Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts found that households have moved from a surplus of £67bn in 2010, the year the coalition took power, to a £40bn deficit this year.
Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Seema Malhotra, claimed that unsustainable borrowing is on course to near the levels reached in the run-up to the 2008 financial crash. Malhotra said that George Osborne is relying on millions of British families going further into debt to hit his growth targets.