BusinessLatest

Election issues you’ve raised that barely get a manifesto mention

By Kevin PeacheyBBC News

Getty Shoplifting signGetty

Shoplifting is one of the issues on which BBC audiences said they wanted more detail from parties

Key issues such as the NHS, the economy and immigration have dominated this election campaign.

They are well covered in all the parties’ manifestos, but some other topics only get a few words, or none at all.

The BBC’s Your Voice, Your Vote project was an invitation to tell us what matters to you. Big subjects such as climate change and housing dominated your responses.

The parties too have covered those big issues at length, and have responded to the questions asked by voters.

But there are other points you raised, albeit in smaller numbers, that barely get a mention in the manifestos. Here is a selection of them.

Getty Images Fly-tipping in the countrysideGetty Images

Local councils are primarily responsible for regulating fly-tipping

Litter and fly-tipping

Your Voice, Your Vote is not a scientific project, but it does allow you to have your say.

These topics are far from the most common in your responses, but carry great strength of feeling.

Diane from Worcestershire says litter and fly-tipping are at “epidemic levels” while Christine, 33, from Surrey is shocked by “the sheer amount of rubbish everywhere”.

Martin, 42, from Perthshire asks: “What are the parties going to do to enforce the law and what new initiatives will be taken to improve this worrying situation? It appears no parties are interested.”

The Conservatives do have a sentence in their manifesto with a proposal to make fly-tipping an offence which would carry a sanction of penalty points on a driving licence.

When it spelled out this policy earlier in the campaign, opposition parties responded with claims that cases had been high but resulted in a low proportion of fines. Labour says fly-tippers will be forced to clean up their mess.

There may be good reason why litter and fly-tipping are rarely mentioned. Local councils are primarily responsible for this area of policy, so they were more dominant during local elections earlier in the year.

Shoplifting

Although surveys give slightly differing figures on shoplifting, cases are at, or near, the highest level seen for 20 years.

The BBC has reported on vulnerable women and children being trafficked to the UK to shoplift for Eastern European crime groups.

Retail worker Allan wrote to say he faced shoplifting and threatening behaviour on a daily basis.

Getty Images CCTV camera in the foreground with a blurred shopping centre seen in the backgroundGetty Images

Surveys suggest cases of shoplifting are about the worst they have been for 20 years

Amanda in Bristol says shoplifting has become “normalised”, but there are contrasting views on the best way to tackle such a crime.

The parties do devote whole chapters of their manifestos to how they would deal with crime.

However, there is little mention of shoplifting in particular, although Labour plans to introduce a specific offence of assaults on shopworkers.

Assisted dying

Scotland, Jersey and the Isle of Man are all considering changing the law to let terminally ill people end their lives.

Campaigner Dame Esther Rantzen wants Westminster MPs to vote on assisted dying too, while Liz Carr, a comedian, actress and disability rights campaigner, has been a vocal opponent.

Views on both sides of the debate are clear from your comments.

Lynne from Kent and Anne from Lancashire both ask whether the parties would put legalisation of assisted dying to a referendum, while Oliver, aged 29, from Bedfordshire says it is “an important social issue” which has not had an airing in this campaign.

However, John from Devon says it would be “nonsense” to allow assisted dying in any form.

Only the Greens suggest in their manifesto that a change in the law is needed. The Conservatives describe it as a “matter of conscience” – both they, and the Liberal Democrats, say it should go to a free vote in Parliament.

Income tax thresholds

“The main issue I’d like to see the parties wake up to is personal tax thresholds,” says Elizabeth, aged 44, from Cambridgeshire.

“Keeping these frozen until 2028 is crippling hard working families and it’s just not fair or right.”

Not everyone agrees with Elizabeth, with some people pointing out that tax rises would be necessary to improve essential public services.

Tax thresholds mark the level of income at which different rates of income tax are paid.

They have been frozen, when they would normally be expected to rise in line with prices.

This issue has been raised regularly during debates, interviews and in commentary, such as this piece by the BBC’s economics editor, Faisal Islam, but less so in manifestos.

Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives will all keep the freeze for the next three years. Reform and the Workers Party of Britain say they would raise the starting income tax threshold to £20,000 and £21,200 respectively, although questions have been raised over how this would be funded.

Tax bands differ in Scotland, and the SNP says it wants full devolution of tax powers.

Getty Images HoundsGetty Images

Fox-hunting was banned in England and Wales in 2004 but some people feel more needs to be done

Hunting

Toni from Devon is among those saying: “The ban on hunting needs to be strengthened.”

Fox-hunting has been a major issue in previous election campaigns, before and after it was banned in England and Wales by the Labour government in 2004.

There is different legislation in Scotland, and it is still permitted in Northern Ireland.

Labour and the Greens say they would ban trail hunting, which sees hounds and riders follow a pre-laid scent along an agreed route.

The Conservatives and Labour want to ban the import of hunting trophies.

How Your Voice, Your Vote shaped our coverage

The biggest issues raised by you through our Your Voice, Your Vote project have been at the heart of this election campaign.

You have commented in your thousands about the biggest national, and local, issues. Of course, those who have got in touch are only some of the people who will eventually cast their vote, and the issues only part of the bigger picture.

But climate change, the NHS, housing, immigration, and the economy have been common themes.

And they have helped shape our coverage, such as when Nick Robinson raised your concerns when he interviewed Rishi Sunak and the prime minister admitted that owning a home had got harder. Our specialists have also answered your questions.

More of our coverage is available on our dedicated election page here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button