Tuesday 28 February 2017

David McWilliams: Squeezed middle class families need banks to shoulder bad debt blame

Picture posed. Thinkstock
Picture posed. Thinkstock

A MORTGAGE debt deal is the single biggest issue facing the country at the moment. Hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens -- brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, husbands and wives, friends and people across the room at work -- are caught in a twilight world of too much mortgage debt and too little income.

There are 128,000 mortgages in arrears. This is 16pc of all mortgages. There are 710,000 mortgages in the country. In terms of those needing help, most of these mortgages belong to couples with children, so there are close to 200,000 people affected.

Not all need help right now but many certainly do. History suggests that when an economy is caught in a debt brace, things hold together for a while as people scrimp and save and then they unravel very quickly when something happens, such as the birth of another child, and the bills just don't add up.

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