Editorial - Shopping and debt

Now that the Christmas lights have been switched on in the city centre the festive period has well and truly begun.

Over the next few weeks the city centre will be packed with shoppers as people buy presents for their loved ones.

While this will undoubtedly be welcomed by local traders and everyone in the retail sector, who are in the grip of one of the worst recessions of recent times, it is not without its own problems.

The boost such a spending spree could provide to the local coffers is needed but there is a real danger that it could be a false economic boost.

Every year warnings about getting into debt over Christmas spending are issued and every year they are ignored by many.

Time and again so many people get caught up in the consumerism of Christmas only to find themselves in severe financial difficulties in the New Year.

In the midst of the British government’s Welfare Reform plans, which will have a devastating impact on the lest well off in Derry, more and more people are finding themselves in unavoidable debt.

It would be crazy to pile avoidable debt on top of that with foolish Christmas spending.

By all means people should enjoy the run up to Christmas, including shopping for presents, as well as continuing to support the local economy, but they should not do so at the expense of their own domestic economy.

Having a happy Christmas does not have to mean having a bleak New Year.