07/09/2011 Daily Politics


07/09/2011

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LineFromTo

Morning folks and welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:23.:00:26.

Coming up in the next hour and a half - Is the 50p tax rate holding

:00:27.:00:32.

back an already feeble recovery? A group of leading economist think so

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and are calling on the Chancellor to scrap it. We'll ask if they're

:00:36.:00:38.

right. The train arriving on Platform two

:00:38.:00:42.

is from Germany. MPs ask why the contract from Thameslink trains

:00:42.:00:47.

went abroad. Warnings our planes could be going

:00:47.:00:50.

abroad too if the Government doesn't do anything about airport

:00:50.:00:58.

expansion in the South East. there any question you would like

:00:58.:01:03.

me to ask her? I would give the lessons in how ring to be a

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reporter later. I will give you some lessons on how to be an ever

:01:08.:01:12.

do because I was your boss. And could small, local TV stations

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be just what British viewers have been waiting for - our guest the

:01:15.:01:25.
:01:25.:01:27.

Culture Scretary thinks so. I like that.

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All that coming up in the programme, and of course, the first Prime

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Minister's questions of the new political term. Now the new series

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of Strictly Come Dancing may have Jason Donovan and Edwina Curry, but

:01:37.:01:46.

we can top that. Oh yes! Doing the Lambada we have shadow culture

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secretary, Jeremy Hunt. And the shadow environment secretary, Mary

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Creagh's also here. I'm told yoga's more her thing.

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Anyway, there will be no dancing on the show today, we have much more

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serious matters to discuss. Yes, Parliament got right back into

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the swing of things yesterday evening, subjecting the Prime

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Minister to his twice-yearly grilling in front of the Liaison

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Committee. In the forefront of MPs' minds was the News of the World

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hacking scandal following yesterday's evidence from News

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International executives. But the Prime Minister warned the committee

:02:18.:02:21.

not to use the scandal as an opportunity to get back at

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journalists over the MP's expenses scandal.

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We must not be seen to be the fall and leaping on this opportunity to

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over regulate the media. It is a vital industry for Britain and an

:02:38.:02:43.

important part of our democracy. We want it to be free, vigorous and be

:02:43.:02:47.

able to uncover wrong doing. No there is a danger of the pendulum

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swinging too far the other way and I think MPs have a particular

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responsibility. In the end, what ever the Levison report comes up

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with we need to be able to legislate and put it in place.

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Jeremy Hunt, in what way cut as -- pendulum swing too far the other

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way? I think what he was saying is that things have gone wrong in the

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wake things have been regulated and there were not enough safeguards in

:03:20.:03:26.

place. But, we depend on a free society. In phone hacking it was

:03:26.:03:31.

uncovered by journalists in the Guardian by reporting which has

:03:31.:03:35.

been compared to Watergate in terms of how impressive it was. He is

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saying don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, in a free

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society we need a vigorous press that holds politicians to account

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and we don't want to lose that. you get rid of the Press Complaints

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Commission, which seems to be on the cards, what would replace it?

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We need something that stops short of politicians regulating the

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content of newspapers. Because what makes our newspaper industry able

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to do its job well, is the fact people like me as Culture Secretary,

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has no control over what goes into them. We need something that gives

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the public more confidence than the PCC was able to do. Her what would

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independent regulation look like? We don't want to Prix just --

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prejudge largest is never so. We hope he will come back within the

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year with his recommendations on this aspect. What the Prime

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Minister has said, let's look at the concept of independent

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regulation. Regulation at arm's length from politicians but also

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from editors and does have the power to credibly sanction

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newspapers that stepped out of line, but stopped short of politicians

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telling newspapers what they can write. Did you ever discuss the

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Murdoch attempt to take over all of BSkyB with David Cameron? No, this

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is something which is as soon as I got the job in deciding on this

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merger it was a quasar judicial process, which was meaning I was

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deciding like a judge. It is a role laid down in the enterprise at so

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it was a decision I made on my own. If you never discussed the matter

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with the Prime Minister, how were you able to tell the Commons the

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Prime Minister's conversations with Murdoch executives had been a

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relevant? They were irrelevant for this merger because what ever

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conversations he may have had about the merger, nothing was transmitted

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that to me. I was deciding this on my own. As I said in my statement,

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it is the only decision I have had as a minister I was deciding on my

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own without any reference to the Cabinet or the Prime Minister.

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you don't know what he said, it is hard to decide whether it was a

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relevant? It was a relevant for this merger because he did not

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communicate with me any instructions. He was letting me

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decide this on my own, which is the right thing under the law Labour

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passed into 1002. A Will you publish the minutes of the meetings

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you have had with Murdoch executives? I already have. Every

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conversation? The minutes of meetings we have had were part of

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the process. At the outset we published the Times of the meetings

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and who was present. Then as soon as the merger was abandoned, we

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then publish the minutes of the meeting so people could see what

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was discussed. When Labour was in power it substantially used under

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the ability of one media company to get a hold of another media company.

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It made it a more liberal regime, but now you want to tighten it

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again? That's right, we have written about the rules on media

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ownership. We did say to Jeremy, of the rules on which she could reject

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the BSkyB bid won narrowly drafted. We have written to Jeremy asking

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for was to work on a cross-party basis for some short-term, quick

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legislation to be passed through to tighten up the rules. We want to

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hear from you were the you are prepared to work on a cross-party

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basis to do that? We have gone a lot further than the proposals Ivan

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has made and we have talked about whether to remove politicians from

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the process altogether. One of the problems in this process was,

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although I was deciding in a quasar judicial role and I sought

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independent advice at every SAT -- stage, people won't trust what a

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politician does with media barons. You are talking about that but you

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have not done it? We need to talk up that before Levison reports. It

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goes through the the 2013 Queen's Speech and may not be in place in

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2015. Why is there a rush to do this? Will there be any other

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takeovers? Who knows but what this sorry episode has shown is the

:08:15.:08:19.

current system of regulation is not a fit for purpose. I appreciated

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talking about a number of things, but is it your intention to do

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anything this side of lovers and? We will listen to all suggestions

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but this is headline-grabbing by Labour. If there was another bit, I

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would have the opportunity to refer this to Ofcom for investigations on

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grounds of fit and proper person, on the grounds of media plurality.

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All the safe grounds people would be concerned about exist. Ofcom has

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the time at any time to withdraw a broadcasting licence from someone

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it deems not to be a fit and proper broadcaster. There are protections

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in place, but we want to go further. It is right to hear what the report

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says before we decide what to do. It does not look like you will get

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it. But you found out on the Daily Politics. We also heard of

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opposition trying to get headlines, who would ever have heard of that!

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Now, should trains running on British railways be built in

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Britain? The contract to build new trains for the Thameslink network

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was awarded in July to Siemens who will build the trains in Germany

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rather than the Derby-based manufacturer, Bombardier. The

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decision's prompted accusations that the Government's failing to

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protect British industry. The awarding of second contract for

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Crossrail trains has now been delayed until the New Year. This

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:09:46.:09:49.

morning the Transport Secretary explained the Government's decision.

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It is astonishing the French and Germans managed to build so many of

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their own trains. Have you discussed this with officials on

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how we can be slotted into that same astonishing category? It is my

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perception we need to look at how these things are done in other EU

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member states. We need to consider how socio-economic factors are

:10:13.:10:16.

taken into account in other EU member states, while being fully

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compliant with EU procurement law. We need to look at how other member

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states seek to take into account of their strategic, national interests

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without breaching EU procurement law. We need to see if there are

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lessons we can learn for the way we do public procurement in the UK.

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That was Philip Hammond, and joining us now is Steve from

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Siemens. He is not hear it, but we hope to get him later on. Listening

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to Philip Hammond it sounded like a regret. That decision was not the

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right decision for British industry, it was regrettable it had to go to

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Siemens and now afterwards, Philip Hammond is saying we will have a

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look at the rules and see if we can interpret them differently to

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favour home-grown companies without breaking EU regulations? There was

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an element of that in his tone and I don't want to be someone who is

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continually blaming the last Government. All Government makes

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mistakes. Do you think he has regrets? The procurement system was

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set up by the last Government and then you have to stick to the rules.

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What Philip feels is the rules were very narrowly set on cost grounds

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and made it difficult to take into account what he described as socio-

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economic factors, long-term, strategic implications of trains

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being built in the UK as opposed to be been built a board. -- abroad.

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The contract for the new South West Trains going to Hitachi, which will

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create 500 jobs, we have shown we are learning from perhaps some of

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the mistakes in the way that put your money happened. You say they

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were narrowly set but there was room for manoeuvre. Do you think

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the Government failed to manoeuvre correctly in the way France and

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Germany seems to be able to do so they can award their own companies.

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You can interpreted differently and the Government was a naive and did

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not do that? I don't think you can, once the procurement is set up, you

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get judicially reviewed if you don't follow that process to the

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letter. So the way you have to do it is to allow yourself at the

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outset to take into account socio- economic factors, which allows the

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bidders to construct their bids accordingly. We obviously do want

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to want it train building industry in the UK. What do you accept on

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the socio-economic argument, not only would jobs be lost at the

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Derby-based, Bombardier there will be an knock on effect to the skill

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set in that area and the supply chain of companies where there will

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also be redundancies? It will have a huge impact. It is regrettable.

:13:08.:13:12.

British-based companies have to put in competitive bids. It is right we

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have an open procurement system and it is right they have to compete

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with the best of what is on offer internationally. But I think there

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are a lot of things we can learn from the way that process happened.

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Jeremy Hunt is blaming Labour for the way the system is set up, but

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it was difficult for the Government to do anything about. Labour has

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said they should call in a review, but they can't can make? They could

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have pause the contract and that was set out in the Comprehensive

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Spending Review last year. What we have in Parliament today is the

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1,400 Bombardier workers who were laid off and a city of Derby led by

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the Tories, now considering whether to do its judicial review. You do

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admit this is a system set up by Labour? The it was, and we are only

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at the preferred bidder status so there is a question from Chris

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Williamson and Margaret Beckett, the contract has not been finally

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awarded. It does take the biscuit that somehow blame is being

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attached to a Tory council for this. This is a procurement process.

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is extraordinary a Tory Government is using taxpayers' money. We need

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to have modern infrastructure. What benefit would there be in pausing a

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process if the performance for process was set up to make it

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difficult or impossible to make any other decision than the one we made.

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We need to move forward and make sure we learn lessons going forward.

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There is also a point that Jeremy Hunt did make an this is a

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competitive tender. Companies bid from right across Europe. If you

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look at the figures, a large proportion of British companies win

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French and German contracts and only a small percentage of foreign

:15:01.:15:06.

companies win British contracts. That is just the way the cookie

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crumbles, you cannot complain about every bit that does not go

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Britain's way? They have been thousands of jobs done in Derby and

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a cross the supply chain. This is when the Government's thrust

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towards growth is about rebalancing the economy and we fail to see how

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this decision does that. Looking ahead to Cross Road, are you

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confident and hope for it there will be tenders that will be

:15:35.:15:45.
:15:45.:15:46.

That is why we want to change these processes. We can have a better

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discussion that we are having with Mary. She accepted there were

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mistakes in the process and they are unfortunate mistakes and we

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regret those. It is incredibly difficult and exactly the wrong

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time in terms of what we are trained to do with the economy. But

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there was little else if we -- we could have done and the way forward

:16:08.:16:13.

is to say, how can we do this better in the future?

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Do win wonders for the German economy, production rose by 4% in

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July. -- it is doing wonders. No doubt the people in Derby will be

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celebrating that! We can be masters of our destiny," or at least that's

:16:29.:16:32.

what the Chancellor George Osborne told an audience in the City of

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London last night. He gave a very gloomy prognosis for the British

:16:35.:16:37.

economy, but insisted that there was no alternative to his deficit

:16:38.:16:40.

reduction plan. So how can economic growth be promoted? Well, writing

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in the Financial Times this morning, 20 leading economists have called

:16:43.:16:46.

on the Chancellor to scrap the top 50p tax rate, which they say is

:16:47.:16:51.

hindering Britain's competitiveness. But it is a sticky political as

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well as economic issue. Here's Jo. The 50p tax rate, which is paid on

:16:58.:17:00.

earnings above �150,000, was introduced by Labour and came into

:17:00.:17:10.

force just before the election in. April 2010. -- in April 2010. The

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Conservatives did not pledge to scrap it, they thought to do so

:17:13.:17:16.

would allow Labour to claim they were favouring the rich. George

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Osborne has said he regards it as a temporary tax, but he also said in

:17:19.:17:22.

the 2010 Spending Review, "Those with the broadest shoulders bear

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the greatest burden." However, there is currently a review as to

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whether the tax raises money, or actually does economic damage.

:17:30.:17:33.

Today's letter to the Financial Times from 20 economists makes that

:17:33.:17:35.

point, arguing that it makes the UK less competitive internationally

:17:35.:17:38.

and less attractive as a destination for both foreign

:17:38.:17:42.

investment and talented workers. But in a Com Res poll published

:17:42.:17:49.

yesterday, 57% were against abolishing the 50p rate. Many

:17:49.:17:51.

Conservative MPs would support scrapping the 50p rate, but if it

:17:51.:17:54.

was to go, many Liberal Democrats would want another form of wealth

:17:54.:18:04.
:18:04.:18:04.

tax on the most expensive land or property. We had hoped to be joined

:18:05.:18:10.

by a signatory of that letter, but he has not made it, probably on the

:18:10.:18:16.

same train as the man from Siemens! Good job we have two guests or we

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would be talking to ourselves! The Chief Secretary to the Treasury,

:18:22.:18:28.

Danny Alexander, he says the scrapping the 50p rate is, cloud

:18:28.:18:34.

cuckoo land. Do you agree? cannot afford to do it. The

:18:34.:18:38.

economists talk about the long-term damage and we agree and have always

:18:38.:18:42.

said it is a temporary measure. But we have always said when dealing

:18:42.:18:47.

with this incredible economic mess we are in, we have to do it in a

:18:47.:18:51.

way that is fair and everybody has to play a part. So we have to be

:18:51.:18:55.

careful thinking about these measures to do so anyway that

:18:55.:19:00.

continues to maintain public support for a very tough set of

:19:00.:19:05.

economic policies. So it is a very fine judgements. I understand you

:19:05.:19:10.

will not do it now, back which you are implying you wish you do not

:19:10.:19:16.

have it -- but you are complying. Do your Liberal-Democrat Coalition

:19:16.:19:21.

partners agree? We all agree weenies competitive tax rates.

:19:21.:19:28.

does not mean anything. -- we need competitive. Is 50p at a long-term

:19:29.:19:34.

competitive rate? The Chancellor said it is temporary

:19:34.:19:39.

and we believe it needs to be. you Liberal-Democrat partners agree

:19:39.:19:45.

it is temporary? Danny Alexander and George Osborne are an the

:19:45.:19:50.

Treasury and the need to do things to make further UK economy more

:19:50.:19:54.

competitive and make sure up the tax burden is fairly sped, they

:19:54.:20:02.

have to make that judgment. I am not asking for a judgement. I have

:20:02.:20:05.

not seen his senior Liberal Democrat member of the Government

:20:05.:20:11.

say it should only be temporary -- a senior. Have you? What you have

:20:11.:20:17.

seen them say is there is a very strong case for moving the burden

:20:17.:20:25.

of taxation it from earned income to unearned income. -- of taxation

:20:25.:20:31.

from. Capital gains tax, those kinds of things. That is an old-

:20:31.:20:35.

fashioned description. Nobody has described it as that for ages! The

:20:35.:20:42.

Tories got rid of that description! So working hard and saving money

:20:43.:20:47.

and getting a derisory rate of interest, that is unearned income?

:20:47.:20:52.

You are asking me what the Liberal Democrats are saying. You have used

:20:52.:20:58.

the phrase. That is what some have said. There is an understanding in

:20:58.:21:02.

Liberal Democrats circles that we need competitive and fair rates of

:21:02.:21:08.

taxation but how we do it is a matter for the Chancellor. We have

:21:08.:21:13.

our economist in another studio now. Is it... Up I know you would keep

:21:14.:21:19.

the 50p tax rate, but as Labour envisage this rate stays

:21:19.:21:25.

indefinitely? -- I know. It we want a progressive taxation policy that

:21:25.:21:30.

leads to a balanced and prosperous economy and it is clear the 50p

:21:30.:21:35.

rate has to stay. That is the policy at the moment. Do you change

:21:35.:21:42.

it? Until the recovery is secured. The figures we saw last night, at

:21:42.:21:47.

the recovery is not secured. I what policy is about a tax cut for part

:21:47.:21:54.

-- for families. The VAT rise has taken �450 out of people's pockets

:21:54.:22:00.

and if you give that to middle income families, they will span

:22:00.:22:04.

that on the high street which is where we need to see jobs created.

:22:04.:22:07.

Well, joining us now is one of the signatories to that letter, Michael

:22:07.:22:13.

Ben-Gadd, of City University. Real wages are in decline, inflation it

:22:13.:22:18.

is rocketing, manufacturing is contracting, High Street is in

:22:18.:22:25.

meltdown, the eurozone is in crisis, why would you make scrapping the

:22:25.:22:31.

50p tax rate the priority? I do not know if it is the priority. But to

:22:31.:22:35.

follow what on what was said, at a do not understand the moral

:22:35.:22:40.

imperative on insisting those people already paying 24% of income

:22:40.:22:46.

tax that they should be punished further. Beyond that, this happens

:22:46.:22:52.

to be a tax that if anything, it is counter-productive. According to

:22:52.:22:57.

all the theoretical and Imperial models, it raises no extra revenue,

:22:57.:23:05.

it just punishes people. Let me make it very clear, and not one of

:23:05.:23:11.

those people who think lowering taxes is ever self financing. I am

:23:11.:23:16.

not making an argument in favour of reductions in taxation, it is a

:23:16.:23:21.

necessary evil and if government spending is as high as it is, it

:23:21.:23:26.

has to be financed. But this particular tax not only does not

:23:26.:23:30.

raise revenue, but it lowers the size of the economy. Or we do not

:23:30.:23:35.

know that yet because we will not know what the revenue implications

:23:35.:23:39.

art of the rate until all the self- assessment has happened -- we do

:23:39.:23:43.

not. People in higher brackets are in the self-assessment category A

:23:43.:23:48.

and we do not go -- not get those figures in until January so we do

:23:48.:23:52.

not know what the revenue implications have been on the 50p

:23:52.:23:57.

tax rate. We have a theoretical models of human behaviour. And when

:23:57.:24:03.

you raise taxes, you get lower economic activity. That is not

:24:03.:24:08.

controversial. But at what point our taxes so high? This is not just

:24:08.:24:13.

about 50p book that on top of National Insurance contributions

:24:13.:24:17.

that brings the effective marginal tax rate to something in the order

:24:17.:24:23.

of 64%, not counting all the rest. It is an enormous disincentive to

:24:23.:24:28.

walk -- to work and all the previous experience we have does

:24:28.:24:33.

suggest it brings no extra revenue. But Chancellors have to deal with

:24:33.:24:37.

priorities and if he had money to spare, would it be more sensible

:24:37.:24:43.

for him to take people out of the 40% tax bracket who are now in

:24:43.:24:49.

there, heads of English departments at comprehensive schools, they need

:24:49.:24:54.

more relief than those on those -- than those on the 50% rate? It is

:24:54.:24:58.

not about if they need relief and I will put aside the moral argument,

:24:58.:25:04.

but I suggest this is one of the rare instances. I do not believe

:25:04.:25:08.

you can expand government consumption because of some

:25:08.:25:13.

multiplier that you will get higher output to pay for it, I do not

:25:13.:25:17.

believe that cutting taxes pays for itself. It may make the economy

:25:17.:25:22.

bigger, but it will also make the deficit bigger. This is unusual

:25:22.:25:26.

because the rate has been set so high that it is not going to have

:25:26.:25:32.

any effect and it will improve the overall performance of the economy.

:25:32.:25:37.

Professor, I am glad you made it. If the figures come out in January

:25:37.:25:41.

and show the 50p rate has not raise more revenue, what would your

:25:41.:25:47.

attitude be? I do not think we should rely on the figures, I would

:25:47.:25:52.

like to see the Independent office for but it responsibility looking

:25:52.:25:57.

at this. But the Professor said it is an enormous disincentive to

:25:57.:26:02.

work... But they are doing that taxing come up why can these

:26:02.:26:07.

figures not be reliable? It is a macro-economic framework we are

:26:07.:26:17.
:26:17.:26:17.

looking that. And am not talking about that. The idea if you are on

:26:17.:26:21.

a 140,000 and if you get 150,000 you are not going to work, that is

:26:21.:26:27.

nonsense. What would the. Be of a 50 p rate if it did not raise

:26:27.:26:32.

revenue? -- what would the purpose be. Mack that is a good question

:26:32.:26:36.

and is important, but we need to make sure that taxis and system is

:26:36.:26:41.

fair in tough times. -- the taxation system.

:26:41.:26:44.

Now, we're delighted that Mary and Jeremy decided to grace our sofa

:26:44.:26:47.

rather than the Strictly Come Dancing dance-floor. There are many

:26:47.:26:50.

perks to coming on the show. But I'm afraid the only winners here

:26:50.:26:56.

will be you, the viewers. Sorry, guests. It doesn't matter how well

:26:56.:26:58.

you do, you won't be winning one of these.

:26:58.:27:02.

We'll remind you how to enter in a minute, but let's see if you can

:27:02.:27:12.
:27:12.:27:12.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 42 seconds

:27:12.:27:55.

Of I now are open colder Hall, of Britain's first atomic power

:27:55.:28:05.
:28:05.:28:24.

To be in with a chance of winning a Daily Politics mug, send your

:28:24.:28:28.

answer to our special quiz email address - that's [email protected]

:28:28.:28:32.

And you can see the full terms and conditions for Guess The Year on

:28:32.:28:42.
:28:42.:28:42.

our website. Put we got the year, didn't we? --

:28:42.:28:46.

we got. We did, unusually.

:28:46.:28:49.

That was Eisenhower. It's coming up to midday here, just

:28:49.:28:53.

take a look at Big Ben, and that can mean only one thing. Yes, Prime

:28:53.:28:57.

Minister's Questions is on its way. We have not had one since the

:28:57.:29:03.

second week in July. And that's not all, James Landale is here. Good to

:29:03.:29:07.

have you here, I do not know where to begin. If you were briefing Ed

:29:07.:29:12.

Miliband this morning, where would you start? So much has happened!

:29:12.:29:16.

would say you have to talk about the economy, it is the only issue

:29:16.:29:20.

that has matters, a lot has changed since Parliament last discussed

:29:20.:29:25.

this. Regardless of the ammunition David Cameron has got, he has to

:29:25.:29:29.

say what Labour says about it and test the position of the government.

:29:29.:29:35.

Which you agree with that, Mary? can see George Osborne brief think

:29:35.:29:41.

the Prime Minister as we sit and look at the chamber. -- briefing.

:29:41.:29:45.

But the other interesting question is what have the backbenchers been

:29:45.:29:50.

talking about. What are we going to say about riots? What about

:29:50.:29:55.

planning comic Europe? Those other issues. It will be interesting to

:29:55.:30:00.

see what we get about that today. And the Liberal Democrats, they

:30:00.:30:04.

seem to be on the strategy of being in government but a bit semi-

:30:04.:30:08.

detached now. It is differentiation, loyal

:30:08.:30:16.

differentiation. That is my own phrase for it!

:30:16.:30:21.

Liberal Democrats! LD! We are a few weeks away from the Liberal-

:30:21.:30:24.

Democrat common -- conference and they have to recover from that

:30:24.:30:28.

awful elections in May and have had to repair ground, and they are

:30:28.:30:32.

doing that by appealing to other voters, particularly those who felt

:30:32.:30:37.

abandoned by the Liberal Democrats and one of the ways they have done

:30:37.:30:41.

that is by saying that three schools, it is not a nasty Tory

:30:41.:30:45.

policy but will help the disadvantaged in society, and bail-

:30:45.:30:49.

out differentiation t take place by doing that. Getting scratchy in the

:30:49.:30:54.

Coalition? I think that is a good phrase, we

:30:54.:30:59.

can be loyally different and also head for the same goal. If we had a

:30:59.:31:02.

Cabinet meeting yesterday and there was a good sense of camaraderie and

:31:03.:31:07.

a sense that some of the things are not totally representative. Let's

:31:07.:31:17.
:31:17.:31:29.

In Afghanistan. Lance Corporal Paul Watkins. Corporal mark Palin. James

:31:29.:31:39.
:31:39.:31:40.

Wright. Lieutenant Daniel claque. Sergeant Barry Western Front kilo

:31:40.:31:45.

company. We should also remember a senior

:31:45.:31:53.

aircraft meant James Smart who died in a road traffic accident in Italy

:31:53.:31:56.

on 20th July whilst supporting operations in Libya. I pay tribute

:31:56.:32:01.

to their outstanding courage and selfishness. -- selflessness. They

:32:01.:32:06.

have given their lives serving our country and made our world safer

:32:06.:32:09.

and secured. Our thoughts and deeper sympathy will be with their

:32:09.:32:16.

families, friends and colleagues. This week sees the 10th anniversary

:32:16.:32:20.

of 200 macro so we should remember all of those who lost their lives

:32:20.:32:23.

that they and those who died in pursuit of a safer future

:32:23.:32:27.

throughout the last decade. I had meetings with ministerial

:32:27.:32:30.

colleagues and others and in addition to my duties in this house

:32:30.:32:36.

I will have further meetings today. The whole House will agree with the

:32:36.:32:39.

tributes the Prime Minister just made to members of the armed forces

:32:39.:32:43.

who made the ultimate sacrifice defending the country. Earlier this

:32:43.:32:46.

week the Government pushed through legislation which says terror

:32:46.:32:50.

suspects must be given access to mobile phone as an the internet and

:32:50.:32:53.

which ends relocation orders so they cannot be kept out of London

:32:53.:32:57.

in the run-up to the Olympics, or the Queen's Jubilee without

:32:57.:33:03.

emergency legislation. Well decent law-abiding people out there will

:33:03.:33:06.

be shocked to discover he is weakening protection for him whilst

:33:06.:33:10.

pushing through what people think is a charter of rights for would-be

:33:10.:33:15.

terrorists? I don't agree with that. We consulted very carefully with

:33:15.:33:20.

the police and security services in order to try to get to a better

:33:20.:33:23.

position. Control orders didn't have the confidence of the public,

:33:24.:33:27.

they didn't work in too many cases and the arrangements we have put in

:33:27.:33:32.

place will keep this country safe and have greater public consultants

:33:32.:33:39.

-- confidence. Can I thank the house and all of my

:33:39.:33:43.

Hexham constituency for the messages of support whilst I was in

:33:43.:33:46.

hospital. I am now recovered, thanks to the outstanding care of

:33:46.:33:51.

the NHS and its hard-working doctors and nurses. Would the Prime

:33:51.:33:56.

Minister agree with me, as many doctors and nurses did it must be

:33:56.:34:00.

our mission to improve and reform the NHS so the service we so

:34:00.:34:04.

cherish will improve with the challenges we face ahead?

:34:04.:34:09.

Can I say how good it is to see him back in his place and fully

:34:09.:34:13.

recovered. He is right, the point of our health reforms is to put

:34:13.:34:18.

doctors in charge, dish patients greater choice, heal the divide

:34:18.:34:22.

between health and social care and I believe will lead to a stronger

:34:22.:34:26.

NHS and better outcomes for patients.

:34:26.:34:36.
:34:36.:34:40.

Ed Miliband. Can I stop by joining the Prime Minister by giving our

:34:40.:34:50.
:34:50.:35:08.

condolences to the servicemen who All of them demonstrated tremendous

:35:08.:35:12.

bravery and courage in the line of duty and we send our deepest

:35:12.:35:16.

condolences to their family and friends. Let me also joined the

:35:16.:35:21.

Prime Minister in remembering all of those who died in the terrorist

:35:21.:35:27.

attacks of September 11th, 2001. We all said at the time we would never

:35:27.:35:30.

forget, and it is right we pay particular attention on this, the

:35:30.:35:36.

10th anniversary of September 11th so for the victims and their

:35:36.:35:39.

families, we show we are true to the words we spoke in the aftermath

:35:39.:35:46.

of those terrible attacks. Let me also, as the House returns, thank

:35:46.:35:50.

the police service he did such a tremendous job in the riots over

:35:50.:35:55.

the summer. It is on the subject of policing I want to start my

:35:55.:35:58.

questions to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister wants to hold

:35:58.:36:02.

his elections for police commissioners, not alongside local

:36:02.:36:05.

elections as a resolute -- originally intended, but in

:36:06.:36:10.

November next year. How much extra money does he expect this to cost?

:36:10.:36:16.

It will cost an extra �25 million. This money won't be taken from the

:36:16.:36:24.

police budget. Mr Speaker, he is making about policy worse by

:36:24.:36:29.

wasting money. He could easily have decided, if he wanted to postpone

:36:29.:36:35.

these elections, to have them in 20th May 13. And indeed, subsequent

:36:35.:36:41.

elections will be held in 20th May 16. Can the Prime Minister tell us

:36:41.:36:45.

why he has decided to waste this money in this way? It is important

:36:45.:36:51.

to get this policy right and make sure it works. First of all, why is

:36:51.:36:56.

the party opposite so frightened of an election? What have they got to

:36:56.:37:03.

fear? And on the subject he called it, the Right Honourable Gentleman,

:37:03.:37:08.

called it that policy. Let me tell him what his own shadow policing

:37:08.:37:14.

minister said. He said this, only direct election, based on

:37:14.:37:17.

geographic constituencies will deliver a strong connection to the

:37:17.:37:22.

public which is crucial. Why is he so frying have having an election

:37:22.:37:28.

and proper police accountability? We know what the public know, this

:37:28.:37:33.

is the wrong priority for the country. What did we see during the

:37:33.:37:38.

riots? We saw visible, effective policing. The Prime Minister tells

:37:38.:37:42.

us the country cannot afford the current police budgets. We have got

:37:42.:37:48.

to cut the number of police officers by 16,000. But he tells

:37:48.:37:53.

the country it can afford �100 million and more as a result of his

:37:53.:38:00.

decision to waste money on 42 elected politicians earning over

:38:00.:38:06.

�120,000 a year. Mr Speaker, that could pay for 2000 extra police

:38:06.:38:11.

officers. Isn't the truth this is the wrong priority at the wrong

:38:11.:38:16.

time for the country? As ever he has got his figures are wrong.

:38:16.:38:23.

Because, the police authorities that only 6% of the country have

:38:23.:38:28.

heard of will be abolished and that all save money. Let me put it to

:38:28.:38:32.

him again, why is he frightened of direct elections so the police

:38:32.:38:37.

become accountable? He was responsible for the last Labour

:38:37.:38:43.

manifesto and this is what the last Labour Prime Minister said "the

:38:43.:38:47.

Home Secretary will bring forward proposals for directly elected

:38:47.:38:53.

representatives to give local people more control over policing".

:38:53.:39:00.

Why the U-turn? Mr Speaker, we know he has got the wrong priorities on

:39:00.:39:04.

the police and he is refusing to back down. He hasn't just got the

:39:04.:39:09.

wrong priorities on the police, but on the health service as well. Can

:39:09.:39:13.

the Prime Minister tell us, Mr Speaker, why the number of people

:39:13.:39:17.

who have had to wait more than six months for an operation has gone up

:39:17.:39:25.

by more than 60% since he came to office? I am not surprised he want

:39:25.:39:30.

to change the subject, because on policing he was having his collar

:39:30.:39:35.

felt because he has done a U-turn on the policy he used to be

:39:35.:39:40.

committed to. In our health service, as I said some moments ago, what we

:39:40.:39:44.

are seeing is more cancer patients getting treatment, more doctors in

:39:44.:39:51.

the NHS, fewer bureaucrats, a reduction... I know they don't like

:39:51.:39:57.

hearing. Order. There is too much noise and what is beginning to

:39:57.:40:03.

sound like orchestrated heckling. It should stop. The Prime Minister.

:40:03.:40:07.

The trouble is, they don't like hearing good news about what is

:40:07.:40:12.

happening in the National Health Service. And the fact is, if you

:40:12.:40:16.

look at the waiting times for outpatients, they have fallen since

:40:16.:40:22.

the last elections. Ed Miliband. is a complete non- answer, he

:40:23.:40:27.

cannot even answer the question. Mr Speaker, we are talking about

:40:28.:40:32.

people up and down this country who have been waiting longer for their

:40:32.:40:36.

operations. And the Government chief whip, he should care about

:40:36.:40:41.

these people who have been waiting longer for their operations. Let me

:40:41.:40:44.

tell the Government chief whip and the whole front bench what we are

:40:45.:40:53.

talking about. The number of people, 20th June 11, 20th June 10 the

:40:53.:40:58.

number of people waiting for operation for over six months, up

:40:58.:41:05.

by 20%. Those waiting for a heart operation, up by 62%. Those waiting

:41:05.:41:10.

for orthopaedic operations, of Price 72%. Those waiting For I

:41:10.:41:16.

surgery, the country and I asking for a simple explanation from the

:41:16.:41:21.

Prime Minister, why as he happen? The amount of time people are

:41:21.:41:26.

waiting for an out-patient operation has gone down. That has

:41:26.:41:30.

what happened. We have targets for 90% of people to get their

:41:30.:41:34.

treatment at within 18 weeks and those targets are being met. He may

:41:34.:41:40.

not like the truth, but that is the truth. I have to say to him, that

:41:40.:41:44.

is why you now see the Royal College of GPs, the Royal College

:41:44.:41:48.

of Physicians, the Royal College of Nurses all supporting our health

:41:48.:41:55.

reforms. He even C Lord Desai, the former health minister supporting

:41:55.:42:05.
:42:05.:42:07.

our health reforms. Labour have got themselves in a position of

:42:07.:42:13.

reposing all reforms on the NHS. Speaker, a figure Prime Minister is

:42:13.:42:17.

on another planet. He had his holidays interrupted, fair play to

:42:17.:42:22.

him, but it took time off his holiday to tell the morning News,

:42:22.:42:27.

the whole health profession is now on board for what is being done. Mr

:42:27.:42:32.

Speaker, does he read the newspapers? Only on Tuesday of this

:42:32.:42:37.

week, the BMA, the Royal College of GPs and the Royal College of

:42:37.:42:42.

midwives all rejected his bill, and that was this week. The truth is,

:42:42.:42:46.

under this Government we are seeing reckless and needless

:42:46.:42:50.

reorganisation of our public services. Police numbers down and

:42:50.:42:55.

waiting lists up. Under Labour quasar police officers up and

:42:55.:43:00.

waiting lists down. Why doesn't he do the right thing for the future

:43:00.:43:04.

of our public services and scrap both of these dangerous plans?

:43:04.:43:08.

Isn't it interesting he does not dare, in six questions mention the

:43:08.:43:18.
:43:18.:43:22.

economy. And when it comes sue the health reforms, when it comes to

:43:22.:43:28.

our health reforms, let me quote him at what the man his governments

:43:28.:43:31.

at plucked from the NHS to run the Department of Health, Lord Darzi

:43:31.:43:40.

says about these reforms "proposals for the NHS reform have ACAS this

:43:40.:43:45.

in the right direction and are to be welcomed". So now you have

:43:45.:43:48.

people working in the health service supporting the changes we

:43:48.:43:53.

are making and Labour wanting to cover the money and also cut the

:43:53.:44:01.

reform. Isn't it's no surprise the health minister said this "it is a

:44:01.:44:05.

tough fact of life, that what Labour says matters less almost

:44:05.:44:11.

more than what anybody else says". I could not have put that better

:44:11.:44:19.

myself. Does the Prime Minister agree with me that building

:44:19.:44:24.

stronger families and stronger communities is absolutely essential

:44:24.:44:30.

and key in dealing with anti-social and delinquent behaviour? She is

:44:30.:44:34.

absolutely right. I think this is important and I'm sure there will

:44:34.:44:39.

be all-party agreement on this, as well as a tough response from the

:44:39.:44:43.

criminal justice system to the riots, some exemplary sentences and

:44:43.:44:46.

the doubt by the court system and by praise or those who have been

:44:46.:44:51.

involved in speeding up the justice system. At the same time we need to

:44:51.:44:54.

do more to strengthen communities, strengthen families, increased

:44:54.:44:58.

discipline in schools and make sure the welfare system supports

:44:58.:45:02.

responsible behaviour. We will be bringing forward proposals along

:45:02.:45:05.

those lines and I hope they will have support from everyone in this

:45:05.:45:09.

house. Before the summer the Prime

:45:09.:45:15.

Minister took part in a TV documentary which highlighted crime

:45:15.:45:19.

and anti-social behaviour in my constituency. In his assessment,

:45:19.:45:23.

would he expect crime and anti- social behaviour on that estate and

:45:23.:45:26.

across Leicester to increase or decrease when he cuts 200 police

:45:26.:45:35.

officers from the Leicestershire I want to see crime and anti-social

:45:35.:45:40.

behaviour go down. And today, on the one in 10 of police officers

:45:40.:45:46.

are on the beat at one time. There are 25,000 police officers in back

:45:46.:45:50.

office jobs and not on the frontline, so we all have a

:45:50.:45:54.

responsibility to get the budget deficit under control. His party

:45:54.:45:59.

has committed to a �1 billion cut in the police, but we have to

:45:59.:46:02.

recognise it is about getting officers on the front line, and

:46:02.:46:07.

that is the debate we should be engaged in. In the way of the riots,

:46:08.:46:13.

can I commend the government and the mayor of London's support for

:46:13.:46:18.

communities like Enfield that were badly hit. Is this not a good time

:46:18.:46:21.

to support a global day of prayer that will take place in Wembley in

:46:21.:46:26.

London? I pay tribute to what the Mayor has done and to what the

:46:26.:46:29.

Department of community and local government has done to make sure

:46:29.:46:34.

money is available to rebuild communities. And the good thing

:46:34.:46:38.

about the high street support scheme of �20 million is 29 local

:46:38.:46:41.

authorities have already registered for VAT and I hope the money will

:46:42.:46:47.

be spent quickly to rebuild the high streets. -- for that. Does the

:46:47.:46:55.

Prime Minister support the closure of local police stations? It is up

:46:55.:46:59.

to Chief Constable has to work out how best to police their areas. But

:46:59.:47:02.

what I am finding from talking with police constables across the

:47:02.:47:06.

country is they want to put resources into visible policing on

:47:06.:47:10.

the streets. And they have the support of a government could sink

:47:10.:47:14.

the paperwork, outperforming pay and pensions, taking be difficult

:47:14.:47:18.

decisions to make sure we have more police on the streets than we what

:47:18.:47:25.

under Labour. Will the Prime Minister join me in sending a very

:47:25.:47:30.

clear message to the travellers at the a legal Dale Farm site that we

:47:30.:47:35.

all hope they move off peacefully it to avoid an unforced affection,

:47:35.:47:39.

but be in no doubt that the Government fully support Basildon

:47:39.:47:43.

council and Essex police in reclaiming this green belt land on

:47:43.:47:48.

behalf of the law-abiding majority? -- illegal. I give my support to

:47:48.:47:52.

the Essex police and to all the county and district councils that

:47:52.:47:56.

have been involved, and I pay tribute to the honourable member

:47:56.:48:01.

for the hard work he has put in on this. This is a basic issue of

:48:01.:48:06.

fairness. Everyone in this country has to obey the Lord, -- obey the

:48:06.:48:10.

law, including that law about planning permission and building on

:48:10.:48:14.

green belt land. When this has been done without permission, it is an

:48:14.:48:17.

illegal development and those people should be moved away, and I

:48:17.:48:24.

agree with the way he put that question. The Prime Minister oppose

:48:24.:48:28.

Labour's and T gangs laws and the riots happened and he is backing

:48:28.:48:33.

them. Now he wants to scrap we location powers, what happens

:48:33.:48:38.

before he admits them mess he is replacing them with his putting

:48:38.:48:43.

national security at risk? -- the mess. I do not accept that. When we

:48:44.:48:49.

looked at control orders in the review, we listened carefully 2am I

:48:49.:48:52.

five, the security services, the Metropolitan Police and all those

:48:52.:48:58.

involved -- we listened carefully to MI5. We make sure we had a

:48:58.:49:02.

system that was illegal, because the courts on picked so many of the

:49:02.:49:07.

last changes, that the public can have confidence end and there are

:49:07.:49:13.

safe. On the day when 200 people from Bombardier in Derby are here

:49:13.:49:18.

to see if we can change the arrangements for the Thameslink

:49:18.:49:22.

contract, can the Prime Minister give hope about future contracts

:49:22.:49:26.

and changing the tender arrangements? Ms we were left in

:49:26.:49:36.

from the last government! -- of the mass. -- the mess. I want to help

:49:36.:49:39.

Bombardier, that is an excellent company that employs people in

:49:39.:49:43.

Derbyshire and has done a brilliant job in this country for so many

:49:43.:49:48.

years. But before people shout from the party opposite, let me remind

:49:48.:49:53.

them, this procurement process was designed and initiated by the

:49:53.:49:58.

previous government and it is no good them shuffling off their

:49:58.:50:03.

responsibility, it is their responsibilities. Why does the

:50:03.:50:06.

government cannot agree with the police that children as young a

:50:06.:50:11.

seven it should be banned from having shotgun licences,? -- as

:50:11.:50:17.

young a seven. We should and forced proper laws and if they need

:50:17.:50:25.

toughening, I will look at that. Speaker, the Liberal Democrats make

:50:25.:50:30.

up 8% of this Parliament but seem to be influencing the free school

:50:30.:50:39.

policy, many issues like health and abortion. Order, order! The

:50:39.:50:44.

question from the honourable lady will be heard! Does the Prime

:50:44.:50:48.

Minister think it is about time we told the Deputy Prime Minister who

:50:48.:50:58.
:50:58.:51:05.

is the boss? -- he told. I wanted to hear the question, but I want to

:51:05.:51:10.

hear the Prime Minister's answer! know the honourable lady is

:51:10.:51:20.
:51:20.:51:21.

extremely frustrated about... Maybe I should start again! I am going to

:51:21.:51:31.
:51:31.:51:42.

Thank you, Mr Speaker, having scrapped the future jobs fund and

:51:43.:51:47.

BMAs, at young people not in education and employment and

:51:47.:51:53.

training is at a record high of 18.4%. When, Mr Speaker, when of

:51:53.:51:59.

things going to get better for our young people? -- when of things.

:51:59.:52:03.

This is a difficult situation in terms of young -- of youth

:52:03.:52:06.

unemployment, a situation getting worse during the economic good

:52:06.:52:12.

times, and there was a 40% increase in youth unemployment during the

:52:12.:52:17.

last government. There is now are a disturbing increase in those not in

:52:17.:52:20.

education and employment and training over 18, under 18 it is

:52:20.:52:26.

coming down. The steps we are taking on to improve schooling, to

:52:26.:52:30.

raise the participation age to 18 and increase the level of

:52:30.:52:36.

percentage -- of apprenticeships for to 380 this year. And we are

:52:36.:52:39.

introducing a biggest back-to-work programme that has taken place in

:52:39.:52:42.

this country since the 1930s and will be made available to young

:52:42.:52:46.

people in danger of being left out of employment, education and

:52:46.:52:52.

training. I have been working with local businesses, my councils and

:52:52.:52:59.

other organisations to help promote the economy. Given the economic

:52:59.:53:03.

background, it is imperative that we grow both the local and national

:53:04.:53:06.

economy. Can the Prime Minister tell us what new measures the

:53:06.:53:12.

government will introduced to help promote such growth? -- will

:53:12.:53:17.

introduce. I enjoyed seeing first- hand what is happening in Cumbria

:53:17.:53:23.

to get the local economy moving. The action we are taking improve --

:53:23.:53:27.

includes cuts in corporation tax, Enterprise Zones, but specifically

:53:27.:53:32.

for Cumbria, the money we are investing for super-fast broadband

:53:32.:53:36.

will help that county, at the degree the more it -- particularly

:53:36.:53:44.

the most rural areas, to make sure everybody can benefit. CCTV played

:53:44.:53:49.

a vital role in the arrest of many people in the riots cannot why is

:53:49.:53:53.

he undermining best and the protection of freedoms Bill? We are

:53:53.:54:01.

not! When the Prime Minister comes to consider next week's vicars

:54:01.:54:06.

report on the banks which have been rescued with fantastic amounts of

:54:06.:54:10.

taxpayers' money, would he have no truck with the argument that the

:54:10.:54:14.

banks cannot be reformed to prevent another crisis because they are

:54:14.:54:19.

struggling to cope with the crisis they have already created? Never

:54:19.:54:24.

again should British taxpayers have to bail out banks too big to fail!

:54:24.:54:28.

He is right that this Government must take action to reform the

:54:28.:54:33.

banks and that is what we are doing. We have set out how we are getting

:54:33.:54:36.

rid of the tripartite structure that failed under the last

:54:36.:54:40.

government, we are putting the Bank of England back in charge, and we

:54:40.:54:43.

are making sure we cannot have these catastrophic bank failures

:54:43.:54:49.

that cost the taxpayer in the future. We look forward to

:54:49.:54:54.

receiving the report. There are two things to a Secure, the safe and

:54:54.:54:58.

secured banking system, and also proper bank lending to small

:54:58.:55:04.

businesses particularly, and that is what government policy will aim

:55:04.:55:11.

for. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Prime Minister will be aware that

:55:11.:55:15.

his government are consulting on their changes to housing benefit

:55:15.:55:21.

claims under the criteria of under occupancy, this will adversely

:55:21.:55:26.

affect 450,000 disabled people, 33,000 in the north-east alone his

:55:26.:55:33.

stand to lose an average of �607 per year, a substantial number in

:55:33.:55:37.

my constituency. How does this meet the government's fairness test?

:55:37.:55:42.

This is a specific exclusion to deal with people who have careers

:55:42.:55:46.

living in the home, -- but we have to reform housing benefit. Housing

:55:46.:55:50.

benefit was one of those budget items that was out of control. In

:55:50.:55:56.

London, we had some families claiming �80,000 of housing

:55:56.:56:02.

benefits just for one family. So this doesn't need to be reformed. -

:56:02.:56:09.

- does need a. He says, how many? Frankly, too many! It is no good

:56:09.:56:13.

for the party opposite to complain about every reduction to public

:56:13.:56:17.

spending when they left us with the budget -- with the biggest budget

:56:17.:56:22.

deficit in Europe! The Prime Minister has listened to Liberal-

:56:22.:56:28.

Democrat colleagues by delaying the police elections until next year.

:56:28.:56:31.

Will he now listen to Conservative colleagues and take that

:56:31.:56:38.

opportunity to hold a referendum on Europe? That is an ingenious way of

:56:38.:56:42.

putting the question! As a explained yesterday, I want us to

:56:42.:56:46.

be influential in Europe about the things that matter to our national

:56:46.:56:50.

interest, promoting the single market, pushing forward for growth,

:56:50.:56:55.

getting low energy prices. But I do not see the case for a referendum

:56:55.:57:01.

on Europe. We are in Europe and we have to make it work for us! Does

:57:01.:57:05.

the Prime Minister agree with his Housing Minister that because of

:57:05.:57:08.

the economic policies of the government, we now have a great

:57:08.:57:13.

crisis? And when he does a U-turn, it will he cut VAT, which has

:57:13.:57:20.

Labour's policy, will he give tax cuts to the rich? -- will he cut.

:57:20.:57:25.

He obviously had time to read this, which says that increasing VAT was

:57:25.:57:31.

the policy of Labour in the last election. He should focus on the

:57:31.:57:35.

fact the person responsible for Labour's economic policy at the

:57:35.:57:42.

lack -- at a last election said it had no credible policy. And nothing

:57:42.:57:49.

has changed for Labour! Will the Prime Minister join me in

:57:49.:57:53.

congratulating members from both sides of this House in both houses

:57:53.:57:56.

of this Parliament for their generosity in responding to the

:57:56.:58:00.

letter from Mr Speaker and the Lords be kept in supporting a gift

:58:00.:58:05.

for her Majesty the Queen for her forthcoming died end -- Diamond

:58:05.:58:10.

Jubilee from this Parliament? delighted to join the honourable

:58:10.:58:14.

gentleman in praising everyone who contributed to this very

:58:14.:58:18.

imaginative and I think sensible gift for her Majesty's Diamond

:58:18.:58:23.

Jubilee. And perhaps I can pay it a particular tribute to him, if

:58:23.:58:29.

because he has worked so hard to make this work. -- because. To have

:58:29.:58:32.

a Diamond Jubilee is an extraordinary think we will be able

:58:32.:58:37.

to celebrate this lifetime. With electricity and gas bills going up

:58:37.:58:44.

by 20%, and 6 million families in this country now facing a fuel

:58:44.:58:50.

poverty, does the Prime Minister still think it was right to cut the

:58:50.:58:56.

winter fuel payments to pensioners by �100? We are going ahead with

:58:56.:59:00.

the winter fuel payments set out by the last Labour government in that

:59:00.:59:04.

budget. At the same time, we are increasing the cold weather

:59:04.:59:08.

payments on a permanent basis. So this Government is being more

:59:08.:59:18.

generous than the last government! In looking to address the economic

:59:18.:59:26.

recovery, is it better to help those who have as little as �100 a

:59:26.:59:31.

week of tax, but those who take home more than 10 times that amount

:59:31.:59:38.

after tax? Let me point out two things we have done. One is to lift

:59:38.:59:45.

�1 million -- �1 million out of income tax, a Coalition agreement.

:59:45.:59:51.

-- 1 million people. We have increased in over two years by �290

:59:51.:59:55.

the tax credits that code to the poorest families in the country,

:59:55.:00:00.

and that is why we have taken difficult decisions -- that go to.

:00:00.:00:05.

But we have not had an increase in child poverty. In better economic

:00:05.:00:13.

times under the last government, child poverty went up. Bringing

:00:13.:00:18.

Siemens manufacturing wind turbines to the Humber is vital for jobs and

:00:18.:00:22.

a breakthrough on renewable energy and hopefully increasing the UK

:00:22.:00:26.

industry in this area. Local councils and businesses are doing

:00:26.:00:31.

what they can to attract Siemens to the area, but we face strong

:00:31.:00:35.

foreign competition. Will this Government do what the last

:00:35.:00:40.

government did and back this? Will the Prime Minister do everything he

:00:40.:00:45.

can to secure this? I agree with this, it is vital for the future of

:00:46.:00:50.

the economy and for the future of the area she represents. I met with

:00:50.:00:53.

Mum -- with members of parliament from Humberside to discuss this and

:00:53.:00:57.

have spoken to the head of Siemens about the importance of this

:00:57.:01:01.

investment, we are carrying on with this extra money to go into the

:01:01.:01:05.

development of this industry and we packet all the way. At the meeting

:01:05.:01:10.

this morning with organisations working dent the Horn of Africa,

:01:10.:01:15.

representatives expressed their gratitude that the British

:01:15.:01:20.

Government has been so generous -- in the Horn of Africa. That famine

:01:20.:01:23.

is getting worse, will this Government continue to provide

:01:24.:01:28.

international leadership to help the people in East Africa? I can

:01:28.:01:32.

certainly give the honourable lady that assurance. The response of the

:01:32.:01:36.

British public has been remarkable. These are difficult times, but they

:01:36.:01:40.

have shown an incredible generosity and led the world in the

:01:40.:01:43.

contributions they have made. And because this Government has made

:01:43.:01:48.

the decision to fulfil a pledge of reaching 0.7% of national income

:01:48.:01:52.

going into aid, we are leading the world in the amount of money we are

:01:52.:01:56.

putting into the Horn of Africa back to vaccinate children, to save

:01:56.:02:00.

lives and to recognise this is an ongoing humanitarian crisis. Does

:02:00.:02:05.

the Prime Minister agree with me that his Housing Minister is an

:02:05.:02:09.

absolute star? In the face of declining planning permissions for

:02:09.:02:14.

new build homes, in the face of the lowest number of new homes being

:02:14.:02:22.

built at this year in 12 months, lower than any year of Labour's

:02:22.:02:27.

administration for house building, his Minister's great idea is to ask

:02:27.:02:35.

councils to build more moorings for houseboats! Fantastic!,. I thought

:02:35.:02:42.

he was doing so well until he got all political! -- I thought. House

:02:42.:02:46.

building is too low in this country and it is a shocking statistic that

:02:46.:02:51.

the typical first-time buyer is now in their mid-thirties. So we do

:02:51.:02:55.

need to change and more houses to be built, and I think my Housing

:02:55.:03:01.

Minister is doing a first class job! While much attention is being

:03:01.:03:06.

paid to the military activities in Libya over the summer, will the

:03:06.:03:11.

Prime Minister join me in congratulating captain Steve Norris

:03:11.:03:16.

and the crew in the work they are doing to combat drugs in the

:03:16.:03:20.

Caribbean? They intercepted �50 million of cocaine over the summer

:03:20.:03:26.

and have been helping humanitarian affects after hurricane Irene.

:03:26.:03:32.

is an important point. We should focus on and praise the incredible

:03:32.:03:36.

work our services have done in Libya and Afghanistan, there are

:03:36.:03:41.

the ongoing tasks like trucks in the West Indies, protecting the

:03:41.:03:45.

Falkland Islands, the work took prevent piracy off the Horn of

:03:45.:03:50.

Africa, all these tasks people are giving a lot of time and effort to

:03:50.:04:00.
:04:00.:04:06.

and we should praise and thank them Neighbour leader, Ed Miliband went

:04:06.:04:13.

on elected police leaders. And then on to waiting lists where there are

:04:13.:04:18.

some figures we will look at in a minute. The dog that did not bark

:04:18.:04:25.

was the economy, even though it is on everybody's minds at the moment.

:04:25.:04:29.

Wondering whether there will be any growth this quarter in the British

:04:29.:04:37.

economy. We speculated, and many of you have speculated on Twitter that

:04:37.:04:41.

Labour could not go on the economy because this is the day Alastair

:04:41.:04:45.

Darling's book comes out. It did not happen and we will hear from

:04:45.:04:51.

our experts in a minute. But we want to hear from you first.

:04:51.:04:58.

Matt in Highgate said David Cameron wrong-footed Ed Miliband on

:04:58.:05:01.

policing and the NHS. I would have thought questions on the economy

:05:01.:05:04.

would have been a more productive area for the leader of the

:05:04.:05:10.

opposition. For example the cuts seem to have snuffed out growth.

:05:10.:05:14.

And of a handsome and Al says it was a win for Ed Miliband. The

:05:14.:05:20.

Prime Minister could not answer the questions put to him and at the

:05:20.:05:24.

same time sacking 16,000 police officers. The silence on the Tory

:05:24.:05:30.

benches on that one was clear. This comes from Steve in Wiltshire,

:05:30.:05:36.

saying belabour are two-faced when it comes to wasting money when it

:05:36.:05:38.

was there party that got this country into this mess in the first

:05:38.:05:43.

place. This on a says that they are making

:05:43.:05:48.

police redundant, so much for not affecting frontline services.

:05:48.:05:54.

Police stations are being closed and others downgraded.

:05:54.:05:59.

There was also this from David in Hexham about the elections for

:05:59.:06:03.

police commissioners. The Prime Minister asked why Ed Miliband is

:06:03.:06:08.

so frightened of an election it sounds as though the Prime Minister

:06:08.:06:13.

is intending these to be political. On waiting lists we had a few.

:06:13.:06:17.

Chris Kelly said what a joke, one side says waiting lists have gone

:06:17.:06:23.

up, one side says they have gone down. My mother had to wait six

:06:23.:06:27.

months for eye treatment and it seems like a long time for me.

:06:27.:06:33.

Andy from East Sussex says I will have waited 36 weeks for my knee

:06:33.:06:36.

operation if it goes ahead in September.

:06:36.:06:40.

This came from a Freedom of Information request in earlier in

:06:40.:06:44.

the year. We will try to get more recent ones, but hospital waiting

:06:44.:06:49.

times have increased by 60% over the last year, with patients having

:06:49.:06:53.

to wait several months for vital tests. And hundreds of patients

:06:54.:06:56.

have waited more than 13 weeks to find out if they have cancer or

:06:56.:07:04.

heart disease. Let me ask you both this. Why, six

:07:04.:07:09.

years after it has been founded and 100 bn the year being spent on it,

:07:09.:07:13.

why do we have a health system where everybody has to wait six

:07:13.:07:18.

months? I think we need to reform the NHS and bring down those

:07:18.:07:24.

waiting times. If I may say it was a very selective use of statistics

:07:24.:07:28.

by Ed Miliband. He picked on one particular elements were waiting

:07:28.:07:32.

times may have gone up, but there are other elements where they may

:07:32.:07:37.

have gone down. But with the NHS, we are meeting the target to treat

:07:37.:07:42.

90% of people within 18 weeks. The reason for that is we made a very

:07:42.:07:46.

big call to protect spending on the NHS at a time of massive cuts

:07:46.:07:51.

elsewhere. At a time when the Labour Party went into the last

:07:51.:07:56.

election saying there were cuts pending on the NHS. Ed Miliband's

:07:56.:08:00.

Polar Sea he stood on at the last election means the situation would

:08:00.:08:05.

have been a whole lot worse. both parties have been in power for

:08:05.:08:11.

long periods of time. You have both always said the health service is a

:08:11.:08:16.

priority. And you had both spent a lot of money on it as well. And we

:08:16.:08:19.

have a health system, and I don't think it is true in France and

:08:19.:08:23.

Germany, and if you have insurance it is not true in the United States,

:08:23.:08:29.

people are waiting six months to have scams, tests. It is very

:08:29.:08:35.

worrying. You need these things right away. Under the Labour Party,

:08:35.:08:40.

the average waiting time was below under 18 weeks. It was 18 months

:08:40.:08:46.

when we came into power. It was 10 weeks on average when we left power

:08:46.:08:51.

in 20th May 10. What we have seen this year is a huge disruption of

:08:51.:08:56.

the NHS, a reorganisation of the NHS and people worrying about their

:08:56.:09:00.

jobs and being made redundant. Standards are slipping, but it is

:09:00.:09:06.

waiting times in A&E or on waiting lists for operations. Prior

:09:06.:09:11.

understand that, he said it is running it better than you, you

:09:11.:09:16.

said you run it better than they are. What is it about our health

:09:16.:09:21.

service that still has people, people who are distraught, worried

:09:22.:09:25.

and have nowhere else to go because they cannot afford to go deprive it,

:09:25.:09:31.

having to wait six months for quite crucial medical procedures? If I

:09:31.:09:38.

could just make the point that I think we will both agree on. When

:09:38.:09:40.

you do international comparisons with other systems in other

:09:40.:09:46.

countries, the NHS does very well. He does very well across a range of

:09:46.:09:51.

indicators. One of the most important things about the NHS is

:09:51.:09:55.

it is one of the only Systems in the world where people on lower

:09:55.:10:03.

incomes are less likely to get the treatment they need quickly.

:10:03.:10:08.

sadly disrupted. The answer to your question, Andrew is it is an

:10:08.:10:13.

ideological playground. The Conservatives have come in what the

:10:13.:10:17.

marketing of services and have created disorder and uncertainty.

:10:17.:10:24.

That is impacting on frontline patient services. So, the Alastair

:10:24.:10:28.

Darling book is so toxic, that for a while Labour won't be added to

:10:28.:10:34.

talk about the economy? I think Ed Balls will have a thing or two to

:10:34.:10:41.

say about the economy this afternoon. They have an economic

:10:41.:10:47.

policy, they have something to say about the 50 pence debate which is

:10:47.:10:50.

mainly if there is going to be a review of it is should be carried

:10:50.:10:56.

out by the Op Art and not be HMRC. But clearly the Alastair Darling

:10:56.:11:00.

Baulk means any questions to anybody to the Labour Party must

:11:00.:11:05.

begin with the question, do you agree with Alastair Darling your

:11:05.:11:09.

economic policy at the moment is not credible. Do you agree with

:11:09.:11:16.

that? I don't agree with that. The have a very clear policy. We went

:11:16.:11:20.

into the last election saying we would halve the deficit. You never

:11:20.:11:26.

told us how? We didn't, and we went in Government. What one major thing

:11:26.:11:34.

would you cut? The Government has cut too far, too fast and that

:11:34.:11:38.

means... We have been clear about some of the things we would do.

:11:38.:11:44.

What one major thing would you cut? We are not in Government at the

:11:44.:11:49.

moment. I'm not asking for 20, just one would be night. The talked-

:11:49.:11:54.

about 12% Police cuts and we think the 20% Police cuts the Government

:11:54.:12:01.

is doing is too much. But we agreed 12% is feasible. We were looking at

:12:01.:12:04.

the Welfare Reform and we would have been able to make savings in

:12:04.:12:11.

the NHS. Because we wouldn't have been undertaking a �2 billion

:12:11.:12:15.

restructuring of the NHS, we would have had a stable NHS where we

:12:15.:12:19.

could have squeezed greater efficiency. Within the Labour Party

:12:19.:12:23.

there is a debate about how they earned the right to talk about the

:12:23.:12:28.

economy, do they talk too much about the past? There's an argument

:12:28.:12:36.

the next election won't be about cutting and the rates as it is, but

:12:36.:12:40.

what is fascinating is what process they go through to reach that point.

:12:40.:12:44.

It is very much a live debate within the party at the moment.

:12:44.:12:49.

other thing we saw happening is because of Nick Clegg's policy as

:12:49.:12:53.

you have called it, Royal difference elation, something like

:12:53.:13:02.

that. The Tory backbenchers are saying if he can do that, we want

:13:02.:13:07.

some of that. We saw a reflection of that on the floor just now. It

:13:07.:13:13.

is an issue now for party discipline. If you talk to MPs,

:13:13.:13:18.

Conservative backbenchers, they will say, if the Chief Whip said

:13:18.:13:23.

you do not raise it, then you do not raise it. But so many Liberal

:13:23.:13:28.

Democrats are wanting difference policies talked about, there's no

:13:28.:13:35.

restraint on the backbenches. It allows all the latent issues will

:13:35.:13:40.

be more vocal about it. I've been Europe is one of them. Rumbling on

:13:40.:13:47.

the backbenches? The to normal for any Government. If we had won the

:13:47.:13:54.

last General Election, it is how Westminster happens. The Cabinet is

:13:54.:13:58.

united and we recognise we need an enterprise economy and that means

:13:58.:14:05.

having competitive tax rates. But it has to be done fairly, we have

:14:05.:14:10.

to carry the country with us. We agree completely on that. We will

:14:10.:14:15.

have to leave it there. Are you going to the party conferences?

:14:15.:14:20.

will be. The Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester, but not in that

:14:20.:14:25.

order. I can tell you can't wait!

:14:25.:14:29.

I am looking forward to it, that is how sad I am.

:14:29.:14:31.

It is the highlight of the political year.

:14:31.:14:38.

The highlight of my life. It you live in the flightpath of a

:14:38.:14:43.

major airport you're probably not a fan of airport expansion. There was

:14:43.:14:47.

a plan to build a third runway at Heathrow but it was scrapped as the

:14:47.:14:51.

result of an election pledge from the Conservatives. Now, no new

:14:51.:15:01.
:15:01.:15:19.

runways are planned in the south- International air travel is the

:15:19.:15:24.

lifeblood of multinational companies. And despite advances in

:15:24.:15:27.

video-conferencing, that face-to- face meeting is vital and demand

:15:27.:15:33.

for that is growing. Heathrow is operating at 98% capacity at the

:15:33.:15:37.

moment. The government has ruled out runway three as an option or

:15:37.:15:41.

any increase incapacity in the south-east, so the prospects for

:15:41.:15:45.

business travel of frankly week. The government is doing a good job

:15:45.:15:49.

of looking at how to make airports better rather than bigger in the

:15:49.:15:56.

south-east. But the truth is that 68% are stacking above our heads

:15:56.:16:01.

and the problem comes back to capacity again. Another proposed

:16:01.:16:05.

solution is high-speed rail, a great idea for joining up the north

:16:05.:16:09.

and south of the country, but it only releases 4% of capacity at

:16:09.:16:19.
:16:19.:16:22.

Heathrow, so worth having, but not a gain changes. -- a game change of.

:16:22.:16:24.

Long-term, there are various proposals for new airports, the

:16:25.:16:30.

Thames estuary, Birmingham, but for business, those solutions will not

:16:30.:16:34.

come soon enough. One argument against increasing capacity or is

:16:34.:16:38.

climate change concerns and the Government is right to put pressure

:16:38.:16:43.

on airlines and airports to do as much as possible to combat carbon

:16:43.:16:48.

emissions. But we have to recognise if you cannot fly out of London,

:16:48.:16:53.

people may fly out of Frankfurt. The government could look at

:16:53.:16:57.

unpopular solutions like making plane tickets on affordable to

:16:57.:17:00.

family and friends and allowing businesses to take those tickets,

:17:00.:17:04.

but I think the government should look again at expanding airport

:17:04.:17:10.

capacity in the south-east. Otherwise, we risk business being

:17:10.:17:18.

done in Frankfurt or Paris instead of London.

:17:18.:17:23.

And Baroness Valentine is here. On your last point about risking

:17:23.:17:27.

losing business to Frankfurt for example, is their hard evidence --

:17:27.:17:32.

hard evidence London has lost business to other European capitals

:17:32.:17:37.

as a result of not having deferred runaway? People expect companies

:17:37.:17:42.

will move from say Paris -- from London to say Paris or Geneva,

:17:42.:17:48.

teams are being put together our offshore. 50% tax is not helpful,

:17:48.:17:53.

immigration tax as well, so the issue of being open to business,

:17:53.:17:58.

for the UK to be seen to be open, is driving people offshore. But it

:17:58.:18:04.

is difficult when people here, if they are losing business if that

:18:04.:18:07.

has not happened specifically because of a third runway, and also

:18:07.:18:12.

that does not seem to be much support for this Heathrow expansion.

:18:12.:18:16.

The Coalition parties opposed a third runway, Boris Johnson is on

:18:17.:18:21.

board, you have a local authorities and environmental bodies, is this

:18:21.:18:28.

argument dying a death? We are all worried about the economy. The UK

:18:28.:18:32.

is a global trading nation and our links are the lifeblood of that

:18:32.:18:39.

global trade. Heathrow is running at 98% capacity. And that is

:18:39.:18:45.

thoroughly unhealthy now, but when demand doubles by 2050, it is set

:18:46.:18:50.

to double, it is constraining fat demand and it is not helpful to the

:18:50.:18:55.

economy. But you do not have support, politically,

:18:55.:18:59.

environmentally, nobody is backing your case. That is not entirely

:19:00.:19:05.

true. Many people understand the economic argument that you need the

:19:05.:19:10.

National -- international air links to make future international

:19:10.:19:17.

relationships, and build relations with emerging economies and all the

:19:17.:19:20.

economies. So there is support from business saying we need this. You

:19:20.:19:25.

would have to ask other people. We are concerned the government does

:19:25.:19:29.

not avoid this. It seems the Government and the opposition are

:19:29.:19:34.

avoiding this. Looking at the environmental aspect, one of the

:19:34.:19:39.

big push us by the campaigners when they opposed the third runway, --

:19:39.:19:45.

one of the big issues. There could be unsafe for nitrogen dioxide

:19:45.:19:51.

levels, it is claimed, what do you say to that? One is carbon-dioxide

:19:51.:19:58.

and won his local noise. There are different arguments around each.

:19:58.:20:01.

There is a trade-off between what you do with cars running around

:20:01.:20:05.

Heathrow and what you do with the air, and you can offset depending

:20:05.:20:11.

on what you do. Can I put the economic argument to you? The

:20:11.:20:15.

government's message and priority at the moment is promoting growth,

:20:15.:20:20.

you of boosting jobs and trying to get economic productivity and no to

:20:20.:20:24.

a third runway that would do exactly that. Baroness Valentine

:20:24.:20:27.

makes a good point about the importance of thinking about growth,

:20:27.:20:32.

but it has to be sustainable growth. I do not think it is sustainable to

:20:32.:20:39.

keep on expanding Heathrow. Where is the capacity going to go? We --

:20:39.:20:43.

we want the economy to grow over the next decade and the question is,

:20:43.:20:48.

is it sustainable to keep adding lanes to the M25 or keep growing

:20:48.:20:53.

Heathrow, do we look at something else? You sped -- she said high-

:20:53.:20:59.

speed rail would reduce the need for flights by 4%, but look at what

:20:59.:21:03.

happens to Japan. Way you have a fully developed high-speed rail

:21:03.:21:08.

network, it has a massive impact on the number of domestic flights --

:21:08.:21:13.

way you have. Look at the air travel between Tokyo and Osaka, it

:21:13.:21:19.

has been massively affected. Will high-speed rail be enough to absorb

:21:19.:21:22.

that extra capacity without expanding an airport in the south-

:21:22.:21:27.

east? I do not say it would be a panacea that deals with the entire

:21:27.:21:32.

problem, there is a trade-off. We have other airports in London and

:21:32.:21:36.

we have to find a sustainable way of dealing with the pressures at

:21:36.:21:41.

Heathrow and I do not think a third runway would be sustainable. If you

:21:41.:21:45.

ruling out a third runway in the south-east? We want to try more

:21:45.:21:49.

imaginative ways to tackle the problem. The maximum it would

:21:49.:21:54.

replace from Heathrow is 4%, domestic flights. It has nothing to

:21:54.:21:58.

do with our connections to the rest of the world and even if you took

:21:58.:22:05.

out 4%, you will be talking about about 94%. Other airports run to

:22:05.:22:10.

75%, so that is not the solution. Labour supported a third runway and

:22:10.:22:15.

you are now reviewing the policy, are you going against it? It is

:22:15.:22:19.

under review and we want to make sure if there is airport expansion

:22:19.:22:24.

in the south-east, it is compatible with our obligations two emissions.

:22:24.:22:28.

We need to make sure that it is hoped sustainable and carbon

:22:28.:22:33.

emissions, we have a big issue with air quality in London, particularly

:22:33.:22:37.

with the Olympics coming up where we could face large fines from the

:22:37.:22:42.

EU. We have not ruled out and put expansion in the south-east, not

:22:42.:22:46.

unlike the Conservatives. With high-speed rail, a lot of

:22:46.:22:50.

Conservative MPs are fighting against it. It is not a short-term

:22:50.:22:54.

solution and will not be ready by 2024 stop only to Manchester, I

:22:54.:23:04.

mean Birmingham. -- by 2020. Only to Manchester, I mean Birmingham.

:23:04.:23:09.

The Japanese started then network in 1964, so it takes a very long

:23:09.:23:15.

time. -- the network. Is the Government doing have a long term

:23:15.:23:21.

think? A long-term thing is to have a shift from air travel to rail

:23:21.:23:24.

travel and that is what we are doing. No time for another

:23:24.:23:27.

question! Now the moment the Culture

:23:27.:23:31.

Secretary has been waiting for. It's his big idea and he won't be

:23:31.:23:33.

knocked off course by trifling matters like the phone hacking

:23:34.:23:36.

scandal or decisions about the ownership of one of our major

:23:36.:23:38.

broadcasters. Because Jeremy Hunt has identified what the British

:23:39.:23:42.

public have been crying out for - local city-based TV stations of the

:23:42.:23:49.

kind common in the United States. Here is David Thompson with a sneak

:23:49.:23:56.

preview of what we've got to look forward to.

:23:56.:24:03.

We cut to ABC news channel, a weekday mornings. -- welcome to.

:24:03.:24:08.

Sadly, which almost certainly will not have meteorologists called

:24:08.:24:12.

Casanova, but if Jeremy Hunt gets his way, we will get local

:24:12.:24:18.

television stations like they do it in the USA. The Culture Secretary

:24:18.:24:23.

wants to see as many as 20 news stations, with the first starting

:24:23.:24:27.

by 2013. The project would be funded by a �40 million chunk of

:24:27.:24:32.

the TV licence fee but would be self financing after that. Are in

:24:32.:24:37.

the morning, breaking news is crucial... Fans say it will hold

:24:37.:24:41.

local politicians to account and give community is a bespoke news

:24:41.:24:47.

service, so local news for local people. -- communities. Opponents

:24:47.:24:51.

claim it many places will not get a station because of signal problems

:24:51.:24:55.

and that it might not be financially viable. Local TV has

:24:55.:24:59.

been tried in this country but has yet to succeed as it has in the USA

:24:59.:25:05.

and Europe. Whatever the rights and wrongs, however, Jeremy Hunt

:25:05.:25:09.

probably does not want to see this. Obviously, the people who live here

:25:09.:25:13.

are not satisfied with this explanation. White, so what do you

:25:13.:25:19.

want now? -- the right. If I have to teach you have to be a reporter,

:25:19.:25:24.

I will do that later. Do that later, but the lady expressed herself and

:25:24.:25:29.

I am here, is there a question you would like to ask me? I would give

:25:29.:25:34.

you lessons in how to be a reporters. I will give you lessons

:25:34.:25:39.

in how to be an editor, because I was once you're past. For you were

:25:39.:25:49.
:25:49.:25:53.

ones, but what happened? -- I was once you're past. -- your boss. You

:25:53.:25:58.

were ones, what happens. Local newspapers are closing in droves,

:25:58.:26:03.

why it local television stations? The need to adapt their model and

:26:03.:26:08.

people are passionate about what is going on in their area -- they need

:26:08.:26:13.

to. Local papers and radios are popular, why are we won of the only

:26:13.:26:17.

countries that does not have good local television? What are local

:26:17.:26:21.

television stations closing all the time if they are so popular?

:26:21.:26:25.

have never had a model before that brings down the cost sufficiently

:26:25.:26:29.

and the model does not cover the whole country, but unfortunately,

:26:29.:26:33.

because we are working with existing transmitters. It covers

:26:33.:26:40.

60%, most of the local -- of the major towns, and it is, but we can

:26:40.:26:44.

bring down the Costa around the cost of running a local newspaper.

:26:44.:26:51.

-- bringing the cost. I would expect them in larger places to do

:26:51.:26:57.

a lot of broadcasting. People are never going to know when

:26:57.:27:02.

the and-a-half of broadcasting is. That is a condescending view of the

:27:03.:27:08.

world. The what is wrong with that?! -- what is. It depends on

:27:09.:27:13.

the assumption that only broadcast by Andrew Neil at the BBC are worth

:27:13.:27:22.

watching! What is wrong with that?! Under these plans, on that hour and

:27:22.:27:26.

a half a day, that is 30,000 additional broadcast hours of local

:27:26.:27:31.

news that we do not currently have. Local news is under threat already,

:27:31.:27:37.

a regional news on the BBC networks and on the ITV network, why

:27:37.:27:41.

shouldn't -- shouldn't we be use that instead? The issue is cost and

:27:41.:27:49.

quality. -- should and we increase that instead? Is this going to be

:27:49.:27:53.

sustainable and is the amount of advertisers out there to support a

:27:53.:27:58.

local television station Alba and where will they be? It is unlikely

:27:58.:28:08.
:28:08.:28:08.

to be out in wild Scotland or wild Wales. I am very surprised Labour

:28:08.:28:15.

is against this. We are not against it! We are asking questions. Let me

:28:15.:28:18.

finish, look at the general election last year, that was

:28:18.:28:23.

transformed by those leaders' debates, couldn't we have that in

:28:23.:28:31.

our country for local democracy? Speaking of local participation, if

:28:31.:28:41.
:28:41.:28:41.

you can get the winner. It is John Stevens, the winner.

:28:41.:28:47.

Do not give the address. He is only the media Secretary! The year was

:28:47.:28:54.

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