Parties told to put consumers at top of agendaWhich? launches consumer manifesto

15 September 2008

As the party conference season approaches, Which? has today launched its own manifesto: ‘Consumers Vote - Priorities for the next Government’ highlighting the issues it believes the political parties should tackle.

New research reveals that consumers are feeling neglected. A third of the population think that businesses most influence the issues politicians focus on, with just 17% thinking that British consumers have the most sway.

Consumer support

However, in an ideal world, nearly three in five adults (57%) believe that consumers should be politicians’ main influence. 70% of potential Liberal Democrat voters, 63% of Labour voters and 72% of Conservative voters agree that consumers should be top of the political agenda.

With the next general election taking place before June 2010, the political parties still have time to court the popular vote, as 55% of Britons planning to vote are still undecided on who to support.

Key commitments

Which? is calling on all political parties to make the four key commitments in their manifestos:

  • Conduct a root and branch review of house buying, selling and letting that delivers radical improvements in current policy and practice.
  • Make the diet and health crisis their number one health priority, including tackling the way food companies manufacture and market their products.
  • Adopt intelligent regulation that puts consumers first.
  • Reform the Financial Services Authority to ensure the consumer interest is at the heart of their policy making and supervision.

Peter Vicary-Smith, Chief Executive, Which?, says: 'We’re all consumers and the things that affect us should be top of the political agenda. People have a right to be treated fairly in every aspect of their lives. For too long politicians have placed too much emphasis on the needs of businesses. They need to put people first because ultimately, every consumer has a vote.'

Which?campaigns on a range of related consumer issues including unfair bank charges, the marketing of food to children, cosmetic treatment regulation and the mis-selling of payment protection insurance.