The MSE Leaders’ Debate 2019 – Pick key issues for PM candidates

The MSE Leaders’ Debate 2019 – Pick key issues for PM candidates

Each general election, we run the MSE Leaders' Debate – where we put key consumer finance questions to party leaders.

This time we hope to get Jonathan Bartley/Siân Berry (Green), Jeremy Corbyn (Labour), Nigel Farage (Brexit), Boris Johnson (Conservative), Adam Price (Plaid Cymru), Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) and Jo Swinson (Lib Dems). The questions below are a mix of ours and those suggested by you, the MSE users.

Help us narrow them down – at least the top five will be included.

Please choose up to five issues you'd pick.


Affordable housing and first-time buyers: How will you address the lack of affordable homes for renters and buyers? What will your Government do that's not being done now? 5,769 votes (25 %)
Child benefit & childcare: Will you continue to support child benefit? Will you end the bizarre rule where benefits are reduced when one parent earns £50,000+, hitting single-earner families unfairly? How will you make childcare more affordable? 2,809 votes (12 %)
Council tax for 'Severely Mentally Impaired' people: This year, Wales brought in measures to help vulnerable consumers by standardising the 'SMI' council tax discount process and backdating. Would your party commit to extending this clarity to the rest of Great Britain? 970 votes (4 %)
Financial abuse: Will you resurrect the Domestic Abuse Bill to ensure that financial abuse is recognised by law across the whole of the UK, and to see that survivors are adequately protected? 1,556 votes (7 %)
Green living: What support will you provide to help and persuade consumers to live more sustainably? What are your plans for cleaner car subsidies, solar panels, plastic bottle return schemes etc? 5,283 votes (22 %)
Inheritance tax: What are your plans for inheritance tax? Will you make any changes, eg, increase or decrease the allowances, or index it to house prices? 3,602 votes (15 %)
Leasehold reform: Do you believe houses should ever be sold as leasehold? What will your party do to stop people being ripped off by uncontrolled, fast-rising ground rents, and to help those who have already been trapped by the leasehold scandal? 5,099 votes (22 %)
Minimum wage: What are your plans for the national minimum wage and the national living wage? How will you ensure that people who are self-employed in the gig economy get access to fair pay? 4,536 votes (19 %)
Mortgage prisoners: The Government bailed out the banks during the financial crisis, but not the 100,000s of innocent victims of pre-crisis lending, who are now locked into hideous rates. What will you do to free them? 1,450 votes (6 %)
Rail fares: What will you do to make sure rail travel is reliable and affordable? 3,480 votes (15 %)
Savings: What will you do for savers to help them get a decent return? Will you change the personal savings allowance? Will you bring back Help to Buy ISAs, as for many first-time buyers they're far better than Lifetime ISAs? 4,639 votes (20 %)
Smart meters: The roll out of smart meters has added to all our energy bills, and so far the returns have been limited. What will you do differently to make the smart meter scheme work for consumers? 1,220 votes (5 %)
Social care provision: There is a social care crisis in the UK and many things have been suggested to fix it. Will your party have the guts to actually do something about this, to make care affordable for those who need it – and if so, what? 8,252 votes (35 %)
State pension inequality: What will you do to help women born in the '50s, who are struggling as they weren't told in time that their state pensions would be delayed? 15,185 votes (65 %)
State pensions: What will you do to maintain a suitable income for pensioners? Will you retain the triple lock? Will you push forward the long-awaited 'pensions dashboard' project to help savers plan for their retirement? 9,763 votes (42 %)
Student finance: What will you change? If you're keeping the current system, will you make the hidden 'expected parental contribution' towards living costs crystal clear? Will you rename 'student loans' a 'graduate contribution system'? 1,842 votes (8 %)
VAT: Will you keep VAT at 20%? 2,659 votes (11 %)

23,511 people have selected 78,114 options (percentages are the number who voted for that topic of the total people who have voted, so won't add up to 100%).

We try to use technology to limit voting to one per person. Occasionally, this may erroneously block a few people's votes (eg, from shared offices). Apologies for that.