I GENUINELY don’t get the Conservatives’ point when they bang on about individuals’ indebtedness.
It seems to be a central plank in their attack on the government that it should act to prevent people from borrowing outwith their means.
As it happens, I agree that large levels of personal debt is a bad thing. But is the party of the free market suggesting that the government should have created an artificial credit crunch ten years ago by restricting citizens’ borrowing power? Is the party of individual freedom saying that instead of individuals taking responsibility for their own actions, the government should be blamed for their levels of debt?
And does this mean that under a Conservative government, loans and credit cards will be much harder to get?
The party’s rhetoric at the moment seems to suggest as much, but the cynic in me strongly suspects that all this bluster about personal debt is no more than that: bluster. We all agree that personal debt should be less, but unless you support government making decisions about how much you can borrow – which neither of the parties do, incidentally – then this is one area that should be decided by individuals and their lenders.