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    • MSE Katie
    • By MSE Katie 18th Apr 17, 4:52 PM
    • 17Posts
    • 10Thanks
    MSE Katie
    MSE Leaders' Debate 2017: The big consumer issues for the election
    • #1
    • 18th Apr 17, 4:52 PM
    MSE Leaders' Debate 2017: The big consumer issues for the election 18th Apr 17 at 4:52 PM
    The Prime Minister has called a snap election in just seven weeks!!!8217; time. As voting is one of the most important choices we make as consumers we!!!8217;ll be putting questions on the key consumer or financial issues that affect you to the leaders of the seven main political parties.

    Who!!!8217;s taking part?

    We!!!8217;ll be asking the following parties:

    - The Conservatives
    - Labour
    - Liberal Democrats
    - Plaid Cymru
    - The SNP
    - UKIP
    - The Green Party.

    As the election was announced today, we haven!!!8217;t approached them yet but we hope all seven will take part !!!8211; for the last election in 2015 they did. We'll let you know if any say no.

    UPDATE 4/5/2017: So far the leaders of the Liberal Democrats (Tim Farron), Scottish National Party (Nicola Sturgeon), Green Party (Jonathan Bartley) and Plaid Cymru (Leanne Wood) have agreed to take part in the MSE Leaders' Debate. Updates on the rest to come...

    UPDATE 5/5/2017: The leader of the Labour Party (Jeremy Corbyn) has also agreed to take part in the MSE Leaders' Debate. Updates on the rest to come...

    UPDATE 8/5/2017: The leader of UKIP (Paul Nuttall) has also agreed to take part in the MSE Leaders' Debate. Updates on the rest to come...

    UPDATE 9/5/2017: The Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed she will take part in the MSE Leaders' Debate. We have now shortlisted the topics in our poll, where you can vote for the questions we put to all leaders.

    What do you want to ask the leaders?

    Post your suggestions on important issues below. We're going to create a shortlist, which will be put to the (MSE) polls in the next few weeks. We can't promise to use all your ideas but we can promise to read them.

    Examples of things to include

    This is about consumer and finance issues that affect you.

    We carried out a Leaders' Debate in 2010 and 2015. The questions we asked last time included:
    !!!8226; Energy Bills: Is it time to renationalise or dictate prices to energy providers?
    !!!8226; Student Loans: How will you help students afford their living costs?
    !!!8226; Savings Accounts: How will you help savers with pitiful interest rates?

    See the full list of questions and responses in the 2015 Leaders!!!8217; Debate guide.

    Examples of things not to include

    This isn't a general political poll, it!!!8217;s more specific consumer finance that affects you so please don't include things such as:
    !!!8226; Immigration
    !!!8226; Public spending issues such as NHS or education
    !!!8226; MPs salaries


    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.
    Last edited by MSE Katie; 10-05-2017 at 11:23 AM.
Page 2
    • ScarletBea
    • By ScarletBea 19th Apr 17, 2:37 PM
    • 2,770 Posts
    • 4,031 Thanks
    Savings in banks or building socieities are protected by EU governments up to €100,000. The Government was quick to reduce the UK limit from £80,000 to £75,000, when the euro weakened, but has shown no signs of wanting to increase it, since the pound has fallen. What is your policy on Government protection for savings before and after Brexit?
    Originally posted by sprocket1
    The limit is now £85,000, so this question's not valid...
    Being brave is going after your dreams head on
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 19th Apr 17, 2:52 PM
    • 4,187 Posts
    • 9,415 Thanks
    Will you make the prices charged for internet access more representative of the actual speeds provided rather than those claimed in adverts? As this would make it economically sensible to actual get true high speed internet coverage countrywide, the accessibility helping to increase trade/internet business, access education and provide actual equality of provision, if preventing a company from charging the same high price for a slow and intermittent connect meant they made less money, it would also act as an incentive for them to improve.
    Originally posted by Jojo the Tightfisted
    You won't get a sensible answer to this as politicians don't understand the internet (you can look at any legislation they have passed about it for examples to verify the truth)

    I'll give you an answer though. The line speed has absolutely no bearing on what the actual costs to the ISP of providing the service are. Consequently, it should not affect the price.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • epm-84
    • By epm-84 19th Apr 17, 2:55 PM
    • 1,373 Posts
    • 4,331 Thanks
    Do you think it's fair that people who lose their jobs while saving for their first home could find themselves ineligible for income based benefits due to them having money in savings, which they had intended to use on a house deposit?
    • christo88
    • By christo88 19th Apr 17, 2:56 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    straight answers please
    to the conservatives; is your leader a dissembler or a liar or just an opportunistic politician, or one, or two, or all three of the above?
    to the liberal democrats; is it possible you could form a coalition (after this election) with the conservatives? YES OR NO
    Last edited by christo88; 19-04-2017 at 3:02 PM. Reason: grammar and meaning
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 19th Apr 17, 3:39 PM
    • 24,246 Posts
    • 95,789 Thanks
    Jojo the Tightfisted
    You won't get a sensible answer to this as politicians don't understand the internet (you can look at any legislation they have passed about it for examples to verify the truth)

    I'll give you an answer though. The line speed has absolutely no bearing on what the actual costs to the ISP of providing the service are. Consequently, it should not affect the price.
    Originally posted by onomatopoeia99
    Thanks - however, why should one person have to pay for something that isn't much better than 2001's dial up speeds (and is worse when you consider how data heavy most sites are nowdays), when somebody else pays exactly the same for something that's actually useable? Surely they should get a similar standard for the same price? And if it were linked, perhaps that would act as an incentive for the actual network company to improve, as the service providers wouldn't want to pay for a rubbish connection if their consumers weren't paying as much by law.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • Munnypenny
    • By Munnypenny 19th Apr 17, 4:43 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    WASPI transitional arrangements for 1950's born women some losing over £40,000 due to change in state pension age.
    • Mal25
    • By Mal25 19th Apr 17, 6:06 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Care home fees
    How can it be considered fair that local authorities pay below the actual cost of a resident in a care home and then that shortfall be loaded on to 'full payers'? The cost should be the same for everyone surely. This unfair practice has to stop. In a home where the majority of residents are local authority sponsored this leads to overcharging on a massive scale to those who, despite not being particularly well off in many cases, have to finance themselves
    • chicunique
    • By chicunique 19th Apr 17, 7:03 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Will they be able to stop/restrict foreign investors or buy to let landlords, so that first time buyers have a fairer chance at getting on the housing ladder? I know of a housing development that was advertised to Chinese investors before it even went to local people, let alone first time buyers.
    • dcweather
    • By dcweather 20th Apr 17, 4:09 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Tax rate changes always benefit the more well off in real terms because they are based on percentages. Also so does the positioning of the higher rate band. They also get the increase in personal allowance so the gap between the rich and poor inevitably grows despite everybody having to pay the same price for a loaf of bread.
    • JLes
    • By JLes 20th Apr 17, 7:05 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Leaders Debate
    I have many questions especially for the Tory Party whose rosy economic outlook is rather unbelievable to say the least, in particular for those at the poorer end of society who are actually living on less right now?

    So, I will just ask on student loans - how do they expect youngsters to have mortgages etc., when they are loaded with debt?? And why if things are so economically rosy for us all have they raised the interest on these debts? Also, if I could I would ask in particular on behalf of student nurses who will now have to have loans to train, even though most of their training is done on the job, is this not a daft move when we need nurses urgently? - Its a bit like paying your employer to work!
    • Stewart Norton
    • By Stewart Norton 20th Apr 17, 8:26 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Stewart Norton
    What are the leaders going to do about disgraceful way the DWP and the current tory government have treated the WASPI women.
    • smt37
    • By smt37 21st Apr 17, 12:38 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Diesel vehicles - will the elected party implement a scrappage scheme for old diesel cars/vans? Would they consider offering a greater incentive to those changing from an old "dirty" diesel vehicle to a modern approved eco-friendly vehicle?

    Property market - First-time buyers are struggling to get onto the property ladder. Will the elected party pledge to co-operate with local authorities to offer a greater proportion of houses on the shared-ownership scheme?
    • kazt2006
    • By kazt2006 21st Apr 17, 7:42 AM
    • 34 Posts
    • 36 Thanks
    Will a minimum wage of £10 per hour result in people paying more tax or will personal allowances continue to rise in line with such increases to keep the same amount of people below the tax threshold?

    What are your plans for tax thresholds should you be elected?

    How do you propose to tackle public sector pay discontent while ensuring there is enough funding to enable organisations to deliver outstanding services?

    Where do you stand on regulating the energy market and potentially preventing 15% rises in rates that we have seen in recent months?

    How do you propose to tackle the "stress testing" on mortgages by major financial institutions to prevent people being turned down for cheaper repayments each month?
    • relentlass
    • By relentlass 21st Apr 17, 10:37 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    My views are informed by 1. the following analysis by Ben Southwood, December 2015 , for The Adam Smith Institute, and 2. by Craig Murray's blog article:
    1. “Now the government has U-turned on plans to abolish tax credits, it should look at housing benefit for welfare savings—most housing benefit is a transfer to landlords and the remainder is an inefficient and distortionary intervention. It should abolish the £26bn system and use the money to fund tax cuts for low earners and a shallower Universal Credit withdrawal curve. Paradoxically, housing benefit is one of the causes of our housing crisis, rather than a solution.
    Of the UK’s welfare schemes, housing benefit is the fourth most costly, after the state pension, disability benefits and tax credits. Reforms in 2012 and 2013 under the last government capped the total amount claimants could receive, and reduced the amount claimants were eligible for if they had a room judged ‘spare’ by the government’s definition. They also restricted recipients to claiming only for properties with rents at the 30th percentile for their area (i.e. lower than 70% or more of other rented properties). For example, claimants may now claim up to £260.64 a week if they live in a one-bedroom property, depending on their location, as well as their financial and personal circumstances.
    The UK’s system is huge compared to most other rich countries, in both scope and generosity. In 2009, 18% of the Great British population was receiving cash allowances for rental support — more than anywhere else in the OECD. In only three other countries did more than 10% claim; in six countries fewer than 2% got these benefits. In 2005 the average claimant got around 18% of their rent covered — the second highest in the OECD, and again, most others were not marginally, but much lower.
    The system has been improved, but only marginally; the two key problems inherent therein remain. These are firstly that, in our system of constricted housing supply, housing benefit merely adds to the competition over limited supply, driving up rents across the board. The bulk of the payments are effectively transfers to all landlords and homeowners. Secondly, the remaining portion, perhaps a quarter, which does lift the incomes of tenants, is distortionary in two key ways: it leads them to spend a higher proportion of their income on housing than would be optimal; and it slashes the incentives for those on low incomes to work, earn and save more.
    The first of these is easy to understand in logical terms; and easy to see in the empirical data. The UK has a very restrictive planning system: this means that raising the price of housing (rents and house prices) does not lead to much more housebuilding. Builders are not holding back because there aren’t any more viable projects, but because getting planning permission on these is so difficult. This also means that giving (a subsection of) housing consumers a wad of housing vouchers does not lead to much extra housing being supplied. It’s just more money chasing the same amount of goods, which drives prices — i.e. rents — up. No one extra gets a home, we just shuffle everyone around; those claiming housing benefit rent houses that would otherwise be rented to non-claimants, all of it at a higher rent.
    The published academic research finds the same result: higher housing benefit is mostly cancelled out by higher rents, and does not make housing more affordable. In Finland market rents faced by affected households rose €0.60-€0.70 for every €1 hike to the benefit in a 2002 reform. In France, a housing allowance system similar to the UK’s delivered €0.78 of every additional €1 spent in benefits to the landlord in the form of higher rents — only €0.22 went to the tenant. The UK reforms in the 1990s delivered similar results, as did other experiments around the world, according to a Melbourne Institute/OECD review.”

    2. From Craig Murray’s blog:
    “So-called “Housing benefit” is of zero benefit to tenants. It is a massive flow of taxpayer cash to landlords – an incredible £25 billion per year. It plays a pivotal role in the growth of landlordism and the bubbling of house prices to well beyond the pockets of most young people.
    It is argued on the right of politics that rent controls would be an unwarranted interference that would distort the housing market and prevent it operating efficiently. Yet housing benefit is itself a massive distortion, allowing landlords to charge rents far beyond what the market would ordinarily bear. If the state is to pay or top-up rents in this way, the state must also have a right to interfere in the level of rents.
    For the sake of clarity of argument, I do not regard “Housing Associations” as anything but part of the landlord class, especially given the high salaries they pay their executives.
    Both Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith have recently argued for a rent control solution – and in Jeremy Corbyn’s case he believes it. That would certainly be a vast improvement on the present situation. But my own view is that it is illogical to boost rents by a massive transfer of taxpayer cash to landlords by housing benefit, and then seek a second mechanism to control them.
    Housing benefit should simply be abolished. The results would be the collapse of the buy to let market and the bankruptcy of some of the least lovely people in the country, a crash in rents, and the pricking of the UK’s property bubble, where homes are priced in much of the UK at 8 to 12 times average salary.
    The abolition would need to be accompanied by a one year moratorium on all evictions until the market settles down and rents can be renegotiated. I do not rule out rent controls as part of the new arrangements to govern the market.
    It is worth pointing out that as housing benefit is taken from general taxation, and as London accounts for an obscenely disproportionate percentage of housing benefit paid, it represents yet another hidden area where London sucks the wealth from the rest of the country.
    Housing benefit is not actually a “benefit” to the needy at all. Have you ever wondered why the Tories make zero concerted efforts to cut this “benefit”, when they are so keen on driving disabled people to suicide and sanctioning the unemployed?
    It is because housing “benefit” is the UK’s biggest con, a direct subsidy from the taxpayers to the very wealthy.”
    • Dizzel
    • By Dizzel 22nd Apr 17, 12:20 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Will you (Politician) urgently repeal the 2011 State Pension Equalisation Act or commit to transitional financial compensation to relieve Woman still without Pensions 4 years on and still several years to wait?
    • svtoen
    • By svtoen 23rd Apr 17, 4:10 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Labour has stated there understanding of what amounts to 'rich'. What do the other candidates believe is the level of income that qualifies one as rich?
    • ianblack
    • By ianblack 23rd Apr 17, 10:06 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    I'd like to see a sensible discussion about the protection of taxation. I think it is politically not acceptable for politicians to have a serious challenge on benefit fraud, or on tax avoidance. Many people have moved from being permanent employees to being self employed, paying vastly less tax and doing broadly the same work. It's great that we have lots of self employed people, but not if it's simply a weaze to get the same work done whilst paying vastly less tax. That's tax avoidance !
    • JohnRW
    • By JohnRW 24th Apr 17, 3:41 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Everybody should register a lasting power of attorney {LPA} , but why does it cost so much for a few minutes work for a civil servant to register it - about £5-£10 would be fair?
    • FlyingDonkeys
    • By FlyingDonkeys 26th Apr 17, 12:20 AM
    • 226 Posts
    • 230 Thanks

    Will you commit to abolishing leasehold and stop leaseholders being defrauded of their assets by freeholders supported by managing agents, lawyers and Tribunals?
    [B][I]Flying Donkeys- Do no harm to others and you will benefit in more ways than one.
    • kazt2006
    • By kazt2006 26th Apr 17, 6:32 AM
    • 34 Posts
    • 36 Thanks
    Here's another question for Mr Corbyn.

    You proposed 4 extra bank holidays if elected. Sounds great in principle but will other legislation be amended so that all employees recieve a minimum of 32 days holiday including bank holidays or will the minimum remain at 28?

    Will legislation requiring schools to be open 190 days be amended or will these additional days have to be taken from elsewhere in the year? Given the 3 of these new BH would be in the spring term, what impact does Mr Corbyn feel this will have on the education of students particularly in Year 11 and Year 6?
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