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Credit card debt keeps getting higher.



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Media Release by…

ALAN GRIFFIN MP Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs

17 June 2004

CREDIT CARD DEBT KEEPS GETTING HIGHER

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) figures released today show Australian credit and charge card debt has risen another $188 million to set a new record of $26.91 billion for April 2004.

In just the past 12 months credit and charge card debt has risen by almost $3 billion.

For the around 69% of Australian households that have a credit or charge account their average credit card debt has skyrocketed under the Howard Government - going from $1,601 in June 1996 to $5,113 in April 2004.

Labor has been warning about the growing debt crisis for more than four years but the Howard Government has refused to help Australian families who are struggling under a mountain of debt.

If the Government wanted to assist consumers they would adopt Labor’s proposals, which include: − preventing unsolicited credit cards, or increasing credit limits without first assessing the consumer's ability to repay;

− credit card "Health Warnings" - such as informing the consumer how long it would take them to pay off their credit card if they only pay the minimum amount; and − ACCC monitoring of fees and charges.

For further information please contact:

Alan Griffin: 0419 353 476