Alistair Darling will sketch out plans tomorrow for a health warning system for financial products as the government seeks to show that consumers will benefit from the Treasury's wide-ranging revamp of the banking industry.
Alistair, all I can ask is: WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING!!?
When faced with a gigantic problem of a nation with huge amounts of consumer debt, driven by excessive marketing of financial products you do not go for a solution that:
- Duplicates existing regulation - Most financial products already require quite the seller to make quite clear exactly what they are buying into.
- Will not be particularly effective - Is a government health warning really going to drive home the financial consequences of, say, taking out a mortgage.
- Reinforces the exisiting, patronising nanny state image of this government.
I'm not sure what to say except this is a really stupid idea.