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Household debt: whose fault is it if people find themselves in financial difficulty after taking out a mortgage?

Treasurer Scott Morrison made a suggestion for Australian mortgagees, or people who wish to be: “Just because you can borrow doesn’t mean you should.”

“Sometimes when people look at what banks say they’re going to lend to them, they seem to think that’s sort of a green light and that’s an assurance that they’ll be able to repay that,” he told the ABC.

“Individuals always have to make the ultimate choice about these things and I think the actions taken by the banking regulator more recently – and before that as well – have tightened those conditions.”

So who is to blame if people take on too much debt?

Is it the bank, or the government, or should people take responsibility for their own money problems?

Michael Jenkins places the blame on the banks.(ABC News: Ashleigh Raper)
Lady in glasses on the street.
Olive Briggenshaw said people only take loans they can afford.(ABC News: Ashleigh Raper)
A man with a blue shirt outside on the street.
Bill Scanlan thinks people should take responsibility for their personal debt.(ABC News: Ashleigh Raper)
Blonde lady on the street.
Linda Tisdell thinks debt is a shared responsibility.(ABC News: Ashleigh Raper)
A woman with glasses and a pram.
Helena Battar thinks the bank is responsible for the increase in household debt.(ABC News: Ashleigh Raper)

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Scott Morrison gestures with his left hand and two fingers during a press conference