Treasury committee to open inquiry into the state of Britain's household finances


Some 15 per cent of adults are over-indebted, Treasury committee chair Nicky Morgan believes (Source: Getty)

An influential committee of MPs will today launch a new inquiry into the state of Britain's household finances.

The Treasury Select Committee is to kick off an analysis of a broad range of topics affecting Britons. These include indebtedness, inter-generational issues, lifetime financial planning, and the effectiveness of the market in financing solutions and products to low-income households.

“The UK’s household saving rate has fallen in the last year. 15 per cent of adults are over-indebted. And there is £200bn worth of consumer credit in the UK," said committee chair Nicky Morgan.

“It is therefore timely for the committee to launch an inquiry into household finances.

“Debt is a huge emotional burden for people. Unstable personal finances often emerge as problems raised by constituents, so we hope to take evidence for this inquiry from around the country.

She continued: “We will examine what policies could support households in achieving appropriate levels of saving, and the sustainability of the UK’s household debt and consumer credit.”

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The first evidence session of this inquiry will be held on 14 November with Rowntree Foundation chief economist Ashwin Kumar, Centre for Policy Studies research fellow Michael Thomas and Resolution Foundation director Torsten Bell.

The committee's long list of questions includes determining how much households need to save, whether retiring families are saving enough and the scale of and trend in problematic debt.

Morgan will also probe whether financial regulators such as the Financial Conduct Authority are doing enough to monitor issues of problematic debt.

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