Pick a question for Brown, Clegg & Cameron...

edited 20 April 2010 at 10:16AM in Money Saving Polls
43 replies 5.8K views
Former_MSE_WendyFormer_MSE_Wendy Former MSE
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edited 20 April 2010 at 10:16AM in Money Saving Polls
Poll between 13-20 April 2010

Pick a question for Brown, Clegg & Cameron...

We’re going to put the key consumer finance questions to the leaders of the five big parties (Lab, Lib Dem, Plaid, SNP, Tory). To help us decide on the questions please vote for the most important issues for you.

Note – we’re focusing on consumer finance issues (not general economic or social policy issues) those that won’t be prime targets for the mainstream media, feel free to suggest other subjects too.


A. Bank Overdraft/Default Charges: What will you do over future and past charges? - 8% (769 votes)
B. Council Tax: 400,000 homes are in wrong band - will you reband (not done since 1991 in Eng & Scot)? - 4% (341 votes)
C. Credit Cards: How will you prevent excessive interest rates? - 4% (344 votes)
D. Debt Collection: How will you protect consumers from poor debt collection practices? - 3% (248 votes)
E. Energy Bills: Will you help cut costs and/or profits? - 12% (1158 votes)
F. Existing Mortgages Holders: How will you help them get new deals & protect if rates rise? - 6% (557 votes)
G. Financial Education in Schools: Will you legislate to make it compulsory? - 3% (317 votes)
H. First Time Buyers: Will you help them get on the ladder? Is that currently wise? - 6% (530 votes)
I. Petrol Prices: It’s £1.20 a liter but much is tax – do you hope to restrict rises? - 33% (3144 votes)
J. Private Parking Tickets: Will you ban these or at least institute an official appeals process? - 1% (135 votes)
K. Savings Accounts: How will you help savers with pitiful rates? - 12% (1143 votes)
L. Stamp Duty: Will you make the tax gradual, so the higher rate only applies above each threshold? - 3% (276 votes)
M. Tax Return Complexity: Do you do your own return? Is the process simple enough? - 2% (162 votes)
N. The Unbanked: How will you help the 1.75m without accounts? -1% (102 votes)
O. Water Bills: Will you allow people to challenge their ‘rates’ if they think they’re overpaying? - 2% (179 votes)
Total Votes: 9405

Voting has now closed, but you can still click 'post reply' to discuss below. Thanks :)
WANT TO SUGGEST A QUESTION OR SEE THE RULES FOR INCLUSION SEE
SUGGEST QUESTIONS FOR PARTY LEADERS THREAD

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Replies

  • edited 13 April 2010 at 11:42AM
    teddycoteddyco Forumite
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    edited 13 April 2010 at 11:42AM
    I didnt' see one question about Britain's involvement in the EU. It costs Britain approximately £200 Billion to accommodate membership in the EU and 60 percent of rules currently come from Brussels.

    It is penny wise and pound foolish for us to be worrying about petrol prices and energy bills when the biggest waste is with mindless EU regulation.

    The rich and shameless of this world want everyone and his brother to be part of the New World Order, but I say NO WAY! Britain, get out of the EU Now!
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    teddyco wrote: »
    I didnt' see one question about Britain's involvement in the EU. It costs Britain approximately £200 Billion to accommodate membership in the EU and 60 percent of rules currently come from Brussels.

    It is penny wise and pound foolish for us to be worrying about petrol prices and energy bills when the biggest waste is with mindless EU regulation.

    The rich and shameless of this world want everyone and his brother to be part of the New World Order, but I say NO WAY! Britain, get out of the EU Now!

    As it says in the first post...

    Note – we’re focusing on consumer finance issues (not general economic or social policy issues) those that won’t be prime targets for the mainstream media, feel free to suggest other subjects too.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • I voted for energy charges, mainly because I don't drive, but water bills could be lumped in with that as 'utilities' in general.

    Second on my list would be savings, then financial education *grumbles about prudish Tories*, and then jobs (although I'm not sure if that counts as general economic or social policy issues) as I suspect the Tories saying 'public sector vacancies may not be filled as they arise' is code for 'obviously we'll get new chief execs in, but we're not going to replace the admin assistants' or words to that effect, therefore hitting the sort of people who would be likely to have those jobs, such as young people, mums with young children etc.
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister
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  • edited 13 April 2010 at 1:17PM
    teddycoteddyco Forumite
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    edited 13 April 2010 at 1:17PM
    Martin,
    I understand your post.

    However, I believe as many other people in this country, that membership in the EU is the root of a problem tree and all the issues of petrol, energy, taxation, and bank charges are merely the branches. For example: If Brussels, motivated by the global warming agenda, seeks to keep petrol taxes high to reduce carbon emissions, what is the purpose of asking our own PM what they will do to lower petrol taxes?

    If we don't address the amount of money and regulation that the EU is taking away from this country today, we won't be able to argue and discuss the smaller issues tomorrow.
  • caroltcarolt Forumite
    8.5K Posts
    I don't know if this counts as consumer finance, but I think one area that urgently needs to be confronted by all the main parties is exactly how to incentivise those on benefits to work, ie how to make work pay. (A rather heated discussion is underway on this subject currently on the House Prices & Economy Board.)

    Is it realistic to limit questions asked to 'consumer' finance - surely what we spend as consumers depends what we have coming in, both personally and as a country?

    What policies do they have that will impact on pay and tax levels for the lowest earners, and on top ups/tax credits/benefits for those not currently working?

    Ultimately, that probably matters more to most 'consumers' than policies on minor issues such as parking tickets or tax return design.
  • Paul_HerringPaul_Herring Forumite
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    Note – we’re focusing on consumer finance issues (not general economic or social policy issues) those that won’t be prime targets for the mainstream media

    Well to be honest general economic and social policy issues aren't prime targets for mainstream media either. Witness all the coverage of the NI increase/decrease - something that whether implemented or not matters not a jot when it comes to sorting out the deficit due to the NI amount being a tiny proportion of the deficit, with little to no coverage of anything substantial any any of the parties will do (rather than promise) that will actually get the deficit down by meaningful amounts.
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  • My burning question would be ... "When will benefits for the elderly and disabled be brought back into line with average wages"

    Why disabled people (and pensioners) so badly ignored financially by politicians .. we don't ask to be disabled (or elderly, that will happen to us all one day!) .. disability can happen to anyone (I have been disabled since birth) .. my basic benefits rose by a miserly £1.60 per week for 2010 .. yet my rent rocketed by £17.53 a week .. and council tax went up by over £10 a week .. I don't get any extra help re 'means tested' benefits .. (my father died recently and left me a small inheritance, just enough to put me over the limit for housing benefit, council benefit etc .. ) .. so I now need to take over £100 a month EXTRA each month from my meagre savings .. I'm having to give my car up (subsidised by Motability, but now more than I can afford and it's a HUGE blow to my independence) ..

    Since I had to stop working through worsening disabilities it seems to me I stopped living too .. I don't want to just 'exist in poverty' until I die .. don't I deserve a few days holiday now and then .. or just to feel free from the nagging worry of getting deep into debt which I could never pay off ... sigh .. surely I have enough problems 'fighting' my disabilities each and every day .. right now I would happily move into a nice comfortable open prison .. I would be soooo much better off both physically and mentally ... politicians .. I hate them all !!
  • geoffWgeoffW Forumite
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    It looks like vehicle fuel is the most popular question.
    I'd vote for anyone who will lower diesel by 50p.
  • ADIE2805ADIE2805 Forumite
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    I find it quite depressing that only a small percentage want the question Bank Overdraft/Default Charges.
    After all the years of fighting against these charges and all the effort to end up still owing the bank thousands(as in my case) it's very disappointing.
    I am presuming all those who've got their money back aren't interested in this topic any more and us 8% left, well, hard luck!! :mad:
  • ADIE2805 wrote: »
    I find it quite depressing that only a small percentage want the question Bank Overdraft/Default Charges.
    After all the years of fighting against these charges and all the effort to end up still owing the bank thousands(as in my case) it's very disappointing.
    I am presuming all those who've got their money back aren't interested in this topic any more and us 8% left, well, hard luck!! :mad:

    Yes I agree.

    It seems there's a 'what's best for me' attitude in responses, rather than looking at the wider social benefit or the future. Short term thinking, for short term gain.

    It's only a matter of time before energy & petrol prices rise even more because they are unsustainable sources anyway (that said I'm all in favour of controlling excessive profit - but we should channel in into renewable energy projects to protect ourselves for the future IMO).

    A more fair and just approach to lending, and also educating young people about the debt trap, come much higher up on my list or priorities for sure.
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