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‘Has this inquiry bitten off more than it can chew?’

08 November 2017

GoCompare comments on the Treasury Select Committee launching a formal inquiry into household finances

The Treasury Select Committee has today launched a formal inquiry into household finances. Georgie Frost, head of consumer affairs at GoCompare, comments:

“The Treasury Committee’s inquiry into household finances is a welcome move, but due to the massive remit has it bitten off more than it can chew here? We know inquiries of this nature can take a really long time and can be very expensive. Meanwhile, those who are already struggling to cope will see their situation worsen in an environment of rising bills, rising consumer debt, rising interest rates and uncertainty over Brexit.

“It is good that the government is prioritising the issue, which needs to be addressed, and that it wants to listen to different stakeholders, but there is no single silver bullet here that can fix household finances for the millions who are 'just about managing' or worse. A number of more focused inquiries might be more productive and may actually be the outcome of this ‘super inquiry’.

“For starters we need access to independent financial information for all, increased digital access, more willingness from banks and financial organisations to help those who need it most and a thorough study of the benefits of financial education, whether delivered at school or at the point of need. However, problems such as stagnating incomes, housing our young people and taking care of the elderly all impact household finances and it's unlikely that such a broad brush inquiry will find meaningful solutions to these very big issues.”

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