SHADOW Chancellor George Osborne today promised a Conservative government would tackle Britain's "addiction to debt".
He was speaking as he unveiled a plan to give the Office of Fair Trading powers to clamp down on store cards which charge "excessive" rates of interest.
He is also suggesting a seven-day cooling off period before people can start using their cards.
People in the UK owe 2.2 billion on store cards, according to the Conservatives, with the number of accounts having almost doubled from seven million to 13.4 million in the last five years.
In an interview for GMTV, Mr Osborne said: "We've got a big problem in Britain, we're addicted to debt, and we are seeing the consequences of that as the credit crunch hits, and everyone is finding it more and more difficult with the rising cost of living.
"The role of the next Conservative government is to stop Britain's addiction to debt, and make sure when we next have a financial crisis or economic problem, that we are much better prepared."