The Pre-Budget Report should focus on individual debt management as people look set to feel the pinch of likely tax rises, urges the managing director of IFA Almary Green.
With increases in both direct and indirect taxes likely to form a main plank of government efforts to reduce the country's huge debt, getting to grips with individual debt will be essential, says Carl Lamb.
He says the combination of increased taxes, indebtedness and possible interest rate rises later next year will have a significant effect on individuals' disposable cash.
Income tax, VAT, National Insurance, capital gains tax and perhaps stamp duty could all come udner the microscope as Alistair Darling looks to plug the deficit.
Therefore, Lamb thinks the Chancellor should drive home the need for prudent debt management at an individual - not just national - level in his Pre-Budget Report and help people to manage their finances.
"We live in an age where people have been used to accessing credit and building up debt," says Lamb. "The country is still in recession and we do not know what will be around the corner but there is every indication that 2010 will be as difficult as 2009. Therefore, it is imperative that people start doing some internal housekeeping."
He adds problems with debt have serious knock-on effects, not just for the individual but for society and the economy as a whole.
"When people get into debt, it often delays their financial life cycle. For example, instead of starting a pension in their twenties, they put it off until they are in their mid-thirties," he says.
"What we need is for the Government to provide some honesty and say things are going to be tough and we all need to look to our finances and our long term financial well-being. Unfortunately, with an election little more than six months away we are unlikely to get that.
"Everyone needs to be encouraged to review their finances. It is about basic housekeeping but from a financial point of view it will put people in a stronger and more secure position in the years to come."
Three years at Wells Fargo
Effective from 9 December 2019
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