March 11, 2008 12:00 AM

Today, the Insolvency Service released new regional insolvency and bankruptcy figures for 2007 showing that the number of bankruptcies in Wales has risen for the seventh consecutive year to a new record high.

The figures reveal:

• There were 2,968 bankruptcies in Wales in 2007 - a 168% increase on 2000.

• There were 2,218 IVAs in Wales in 2007 - a 446% increase on 2000.

Commenting, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"Labour's economic boom is turning into financial bust for an increasing number of people right across Wales.

"Personal debt levels in Wales have swelled beyond recognition over the last 10 years and helped carry a relatively stable economy that Gordon Brown has taken the credit for.

"But now that the economy starting to slow, high interest rates are hitting an increasing number of Welsh families who have borrowed heavily to meet the rising cost of living and spiralling house prices. This is the seventh consecutive year that the number of bankruptcies and IVAs in Wales has grown.

"We must tackle low financial literacy levels and meet the growing demand for independent financial advice. This is why the Lib Dems would set up a network of financial advice centres, with face-to-face services that are free at the point of use.

"The Government needs to act now before thousands more in Wales end up falling into the red."

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