20/10/2011 Daily Politics


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20/10/2011

Is next week's Commons vote on whether to have a referendum on our relationship with Europe simply an irrelevant sideshow?


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics, live from

:00:27.:00:31.

Westminster, where the whiff of rebellion is in the air. The Prime

:00:31.:00:35.

Minister is trying to stave off a rebellion in his own ranks on

:00:35.:00:37.

Monday's vote in the Commons on a referendum about our relationship

:00:37.:00:41.

with Europe. Around 60 Tory backbenchers seem ready to mutiny

:00:41.:00:48.

and vote for such a referendum. Meanwhile, the eurozone crisis

:00:48.:00:50.

heads to its climax, President Sarkozy rushed to Berlin last night,

:00:50.:00:53.

missing the birth of his child, as the chances of France stitching

:00:53.:00:56.

together a comprehensive response to the sovereign debt crisis began

:00:56.:01:06.
:01:06.:01:08.

to recede. Compared with that, the Commons vote is a sideshow. But, if

:01:09.:01:15.

Europe falters, will the eurosceptics be emboldened? We will

:01:15.:01:19.

be looking at whether or not to get rid of stamp duty. Now the house

:01:19.:01:23.

price boom is over. Has it become a tax that is putting a brake on the

:01:23.:01:26.

British economy? And, we'll find out just how close I managed to get

:01:26.:01:36.
:01:36.:01:38.

to George Clooney at last night's And joining us for the duration the

:01:38.:01:44.

Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies - Paul Johnson. So, the big

:01:44.:01:47.

story today is Europe - both the economic crisis abroad and the

:01:47.:01:51.

political rebellion brewing here at home. David Cameron seems

:01:51.:01:54.

determined to make a show of strength over Monday's vote on

:01:54.:01:59.

whether to have a referendum on Europe. There would be three

:01:59.:02:03.

options. Staying in, pulling out or staying in but with a substantial

:02:03.:02:05.

repatriation of powers from Brussels, which I seem to remember

:02:05.:02:15.
:02:15.:02:16.

was the Tory policy at the last Paul Johnson, how much of our taxes

:02:16.:02:26.
:02:26.:02:38.

We are spending something like 12 billion a year - gross

:02:38.:02:43.

contributions to the EU. That is going up over the next few years.

:02:43.:02:48.

We get a fair chunk of that back. A few years ago, our net contribution

:02:48.:02:58.
:02:58.:02:59.

was about 3 billion. That is rising fast over the next few years.

:03:00.:03:04.

our net contribution is beginning to rise. That is the money that is

:03:04.:03:08.

going out of the country in net terms. Is that down to the fact

:03:08.:03:15.

that, unlike France and Italy and Spain, we do not get much out of

:03:15.:03:19.

the Common Agricultural Policy? get a lot less out of it than other

:03:19.:03:24.

countries, given the scale of what we put 10. Early in the 1980s we

:03:24.:03:32.

negotiated that rebate. -- put in. That is because the rebate is going

:03:32.:03:36.

down. �10 million is a lot of money. The EU budget is only 1% of

:03:36.:03:43.

national income. We spend 40%. The EU budget is one 40th the size of

:03:43.:03:48.

an ordinary national budget. Euro-sceptic case is not on the

:03:48.:03:54.

cost of membership. There are other things they are not happy about.

:03:54.:03:57.

There are a whole range of other things that being in Europe is

:03:57.:04:02.

about. There is the cost of membership for the UK. We make

:04:02.:04:07.

contributions to other countries across the EU. It is the other

:04:07.:04:11.

stuff. 4 billion would be a rounding error in national accounts.

:04:11.:04:16.

In terms of money spent, it is relatively small money. This debate

:04:16.:04:19.

on the referendum was going to be next Thursday but the powers-that-

:04:19.:04:21.

be moved it forward so David Cameron and William Hague could

:04:21.:04:31.
:04:31.:04:39.

attend. Leading Tories say there is a panic. If the Commons did vote to

:04:40.:04:42.

have a referendum, and it looks highly unlikely that it will do

:04:43.:04:46.

that, just because of the arithmetic, even if they did, it

:04:46.:04:50.

would not be binding on the Government. It would ramp up the

:04:50.:04:55.

pressure on ministers to become much more Euro-sceptic. Just give

:04:55.:05:01.

us the background. In 1975, but Bay City Rollers were topping the

:05:01.:05:05.

charts. Jim began fixing it, the Tories chose a woman to lead their

:05:05.:05:09.

party and Britain embraced Europe in a referendum. That asked whether

:05:09.:05:14.

we should remain part of the Common Market which we joined a few years

:05:14.:05:21.

earlier. Back then, 67% of Brit said yes. Jump forward to 2006 and

:05:21.:05:24.

the Conservative leadership promised a referendum on the Lisbon

:05:24.:05:28.

Treaty. It change the constitutional framework of the EU.

:05:28.:05:31.

By 2009, the treaty had been ratified across Europe and the

:05:31.:05:35.

Tories dropped the pledge. Thereafter, David Cameron promised

:05:35.:05:39.

a referendum lock - were crying a referendum on any future transfers

:05:39.:05:48.

of power. -- requiring a referendum. The Lib Dems promised an in are out

:05:49.:05:57.

referendum on EU membership. Monday's debate motion calls for a

:05:57.:06:01.

referendum by May, 2013, with three options but the public. Keep the

:06:01.:06:06.

status quo, leaving the EU on reforming the terms of the UK

:06:06.:06:11.

membership of the European Union. Joining us now is James Landale.

:06:11.:06:16.

Support is growing for the summer as Conservative MPs, isn't it?

:06:16.:06:20.

is. The issue of Europe has been pretty quiescent throughout much of

:06:20.:06:26.

the leadership of David Cameron. By and large, by trying to keepers of

:06:26.:06:30.

the front pages and trying to enjoy the fact that many Conservative

:06:30.:06:34.

Euro-sceptic MPs have had different issues. Some are concerned about

:06:34.:06:41.

repatriating powers, others are more concerned with issues such as

:06:41.:06:43.

the Human Rights Act and the European Court of Human Rights.

:06:43.:06:49.

What this court next Monday does is, it allows the coalescence of all

:06:49.:06:53.

the Euro-sceptic concern to come together on one issue and one vote,

:06:53.:06:57.

I think that is why the Government is so concerned about it and that

:06:57.:07:01.

is why they're trying to head it off as much as they can. Is it wise

:07:01.:07:06.

for David Cameron to make it a show of strength? That is what he has

:07:06.:07:13.

been advised not to do. We do not know how hard the Government will

:07:13.:07:15.

order its MPs to back the Government's position on Monday.

:07:15.:07:21.

That is quite fluid. They are saying they expect MPs to back the

:07:22.:07:25.

Government. There is a lot of mainstream Conservative MPs who

:07:25.:07:29.

think that one option for the Government would be to ease off the

:07:29.:07:33.

whipping. It is a backbench issue and it was raised through a

:07:34.:07:38.

backbench procedure. There was a petition asking for a debate. Leave

:07:38.:07:41.

it in that context and say to ministers and others within

:07:41.:07:45.

government, if you are concerned about it, just do not turn up on

:07:45.:07:51.

the day. There is a lot of many of them in -- manoeuvring going on.

:07:51.:07:56.

What a bad arrangements in the other parties? We know the Labour

:07:56.:08:05.

Party will oppose the motion. -- about other arrangements in other

:08:05.:08:10.

parties? There will not be a vote in favour of the whole house of

:08:10.:08:14.

Commons calling for a vote on membership of the European Union.

:08:14.:08:18.

The question is, how many Conservative MPs feel they can

:08:18.:08:22.

oppose the Government on this because they feel so strongly about

:08:22.:08:26.

it and constituents feel so strongly about it and they feel it

:08:26.:08:32.

really needs to happen. We are now joined by Emma Reynolds, who speaks

:08:32.:08:37.

for the Labour Party on Europe and Andrew Rossendale he stood up

:08:37.:08:43.

yesterday at Prime Minister's Questions, telling that the British

:08:43.:08:49.

people are crying out for a referendum. About understanding the

:08:49.:08:54.

Labour position, when it comes to this vote, what will Labour do? Is

:08:55.:08:58.

there a three-line whip to vote against? There is a three-line whip

:08:58.:09:03.

to vote against having a referendum on our membership in the European

:09:03.:09:08.

Union. It was not in our manifesto, nor in the manifesto of the

:09:08.:09:14.

Conservative Party. It was a new once promised by the Lib Dems.

:09:14.:09:19.

other kind of Lib Dem promise is there? It is normally sitting on

:09:20.:09:24.

the fence! We think it is a distraction. The economy is that

:09:24.:09:34.
:09:34.:09:35.

lies in, -- flats lining. People should not be concentrating on

:09:35.:09:40.

theirs. Our front bench will not defy the three-line whip. Some well.

:09:40.:09:46.

You have some rebels. A small minority of Labour MPs, I think,

:09:46.:09:52.

will vote for the nation. Andrew Rosenfeld Kite you have lost pretty

:09:52.:10:02.
:10:02.:10:03.

heavily. -- the motion. This is a fundamental issue facing our

:10:03.:10:07.

country. It has gone on for years. The British people deserve the

:10:07.:10:11.

right to have their say in a referendum. I do not understand why

:10:11.:10:17.

it keeps whipping politics apart. We should be allowed to had a --

:10:17.:10:24.

allowed to have a say on this. agree with you but she used -- but

:10:24.:10:29.

you should not be able to determine that. Have the Lib Dems told to how

:10:29.:10:35.

they will vote? I have not spoken to the Lib Dems. What a do know is,

:10:35.:10:39.

however the House of Commons votes, deep people of Britain want to

:10:39.:10:45.

decide the future of this country. -- the people. I believe that David

:10:45.:10:52.

Cameron is doing the right thing for Britain. His heart is the same

:10:52.:10:58.

as the rest of us. He has a three- line whip against you put up his

:10:58.:11:05.

heart is no Rennie yours. If he pledges at some point the British

:11:05.:11:10.

people have the chance to vote, he will satisfy many British people.

:11:10.:11:15.

Is it Labour policy on Europe to repatriate any powers? We have said

:11:15.:11:24.

our membership of the European Union is a vital matter of national

:11:24.:11:29.

interest. We need to make sure we have the strong voice in the

:11:29.:11:34.

European Union to make sure that whatever comes out of this crisis,

:11:34.:11:39.

our businesses and jobs depend on the eurozone. Whatever comes out of

:11:39.:11:45.

it, we still have our vital national interest protected in

:11:45.:11:49.

Europe by further deepening beat single market. Her I understand

:11:49.:11:55.

that. Where do you go after this? - - I understand that. The interest

:11:56.:12:01.

will be the size of the rebellion you can muster. The eurozone is

:12:01.:12:07.

meeting this weekend. Signs do not look good to me for any deal being

:12:08.:12:10.

done. Otherwise Nicolas Sarkozy would stay and watch the birth of

:12:10.:12:15.

his child. Where do you go after this? At what point does the

:12:15.:12:19.

British Parliament allow the British people the right to decide

:12:19.:12:25.

their own destiny. It has gone on for decades and decades. The House

:12:25.:12:28.

of Commons needs to allow the British people to make a decision

:12:28.:12:32.

about our long-term future. It is not just about the crisis at the

:12:32.:12:37.

moment, it is about the long-term position of the United Kingdom with

:12:37.:12:41.

regard to the European Union. The option of trade and co-operation is

:12:41.:12:46.

what the vast majority of people want. I want trade and co-operation

:12:46.:12:54.

- a sensible relationship that suits Switzerland. As I understand

:12:54.:12:59.

it, the third option is not a Swiss position. Switzerland is not a

:12:59.:13:04.

member of the EU. The third option is, we stay in that have a more

:13:04.:13:08.

arm's-length relationship. Can you clarify that? Be third option has

:13:08.:13:16.

to be discussed as to what bad exactly means. So, the third option

:13:16.:13:23.

is not staying in? We have to change our relationship

:13:23.:13:28.

fundamentally. This is new. I want to get this right. As I had

:13:28.:13:31.

understood it and BBC has been reporting, the options and his

:13:31.:13:35.

referendum would be a vote to come out, vote to stay in on the

:13:35.:13:42.

existing arrangements, Status quo, will vote to stay in or having a

:13:42.:13:49.

substantial repatriation of powers? If we can achieve that, fantastic.

:13:49.:13:55.

There is only one other option. That is the problem. Why have a

:13:55.:14:00.

referendum when you know you cannot deliver? We promised a referendum

:14:00.:14:10.

on the constitutional treaty. We had negotiations, I was working in

:14:10.:14:14.

the Foreign Office at the time... If we have the political will to

:14:14.:14:20.

achieve this, then we can achieve it. We cannot give up before we

:14:20.:14:26.

start. If we leave, we will need to go through an arrangement of trade

:14:26.:14:30.

co-operation. That would be no different you a third option. I

:14:30.:14:37.

want to come back to run important point on Labour policy. -- an

:14:37.:14:42.

important point. It is now conservative coalition policy to

:14:42.:14:48.

urge the eurozone to go full fiscal integration - made to transfer of

:14:48.:14:55.

payments from north to south and fall economic policy to be

:14:55.:14:59.

controlled from the centre. What is the policy of Labour? George

:14:59.:15:04.

Osborne has said for the eurozone to be successful, they need some

:15:05.:15:09.

kind of fiscal integration. That will only be the eurozone 17

:15:09.:15:15.

members and not the wider European Union. I did not know that but I'm

:15:15.:15:20.

grateful to find out, as you and your government are urging, that

:15:20.:15:24.

changes the whole dynamics of Europe. Britain will be on the

:15:24.:15:30.

wrong side of the block of 17 that will always vote together. That is

:15:30.:15:35.

why, if our membership is being questioned, that weakens our boys

:15:35.:15:40.

in the European Union. I am in favour of us still retaining the

:15:40.:15:44.

relationship we have. You just said you are in favour of the position

:15:44.:15:52.

of Osborne of the deepening fiscal integration. Of the eurozone 17.

:15:52.:15:56.

is a 17 Boat block. There are differences on the single market

:15:56.:16:06.
:16:06.:16:11.

The crisis is the real news at the moment, there is a real problem

:16:11.:16:14.

going on and that is where the focus of UK and European attention

:16:14.:16:19.

should be. If that is not sorted out... The EU is by far and away

:16:19.:16:23.

our biggest trade June -- trading partner and if they meet real

:16:23.:16:27.

trouble, our economies won't be far behind.

:16:27.:16:30.

You don't think there is going to be a solution by Monday?

:16:30.:16:37.

I think the signs are not good. Mr Sarkozy would not even stay for the

:16:37.:16:42.

birth of his child, which shows you how bad things are.

:16:42.:16:45.

Last night saw the premiere of George Clooney's latest film, The

:16:45.:16:55.
:16:55.:16:58.

Ides Of March, a dark thriller It says we are going to help people

:16:58.:17:02.

get an education, create national unity, treat them a trade and get

:17:02.:17:06.

them out of debt for their college loans. Where does that fail? That

:17:06.:17:10.

is exactly right, but if you're going to do it, it do it. Make it

:17:10.:17:17.

mandatory, not voluntary. Mandatory. Everybody who turns 18 or graduates

:17:17.:17:21.

high school gives two years of service to his or her country, and

:17:21.:17:25.

for that your college education is paid for. The beauty of it is that

:17:25.:17:29.

everybody over the age of 18, or pass the age of eligibility will be

:17:29.:17:38.

for it. And all of the others? Can't vote. Too young. For proof

:17:38.:17:42.

policy, there. The man who wrote the film with George Clooney is

:17:42.:17:48.

Beau Willimon, he is in the studio. I saw the film, it was great. It

:17:48.:17:52.

was also really dark, politically, showing what happens behind the

:17:52.:17:57.

scenes. Is it really like that, or was this a more cynical take?

:17:57.:18:01.

really is like that. We are keeping our focus on the darker side of it,

:18:01.:18:05.

but I have worked on a number of campaigns over the years, going

:18:05.:18:11.

back to a Senate race in 1998, Bill Bradley in 2000, Hillary Clinton,

:18:12.:18:16.

Howard Dean. I based my writing of the play and the movie on all of

:18:16.:18:21.

those experiences and things I saw first hand, or variations of first

:18:21.:18:25.

hand. I suppose everybody presumes there is a little bit of dirty

:18:25.:18:30.

tricks that goes on on the campaign trail. That's understandable. This

:18:30.:18:36.

went a stage further. The moral that I took away is that you cannot

:18:36.:18:40.

be a nice guy in politics, only the bad boys won. A lot of people would

:18:40.:18:45.

see that as a cynical attitude but I see it as a realistic one. In

:18:45.:18:51.

America, we want diametrically opposed things from politicians. We

:18:51.:18:55.

want them to be bastions of moral integrity but also looked to be

:18:55.:19:05.
:19:05.:19:08.

effective -- effective leaders. To be effective leaders, you have do

:19:08.:19:11.

sometimes be abhorrent. When you have someone who is willing to

:19:11.:19:16.

break the rules, or the law, to get something accomplished, and we want

:19:16.:19:19.

to praise them for their ability to get things done, and on the other

:19:19.:19:23.

hand, we want to destroy them, because they have not projected

:19:23.:19:27.

that image of moral integrity on to the wild, we are being hypocrites

:19:27.:19:31.

as an electorate -- onto the world. As much as they are being

:19:31.:19:34.

hypocrites as people. You are saying that leaders have to be

:19:34.:19:38.

flawed, if they are prepared to go and stop at nothing to get the big

:19:38.:19:44.

prize? They are human beings like the rest of us. If you are married

:19:44.:19:48.

and in a long-term relationship, the statistics are that you have

:19:48.:19:57.

cheated, or you will. Those are the odds. When a politician does that,

:19:57.:20:00.

we suddenly find them unfit to lead. One could argue that we should hold

:20:00.:20:07.

them to a higher standard than we told ourselves, -- hold ourselves,

:20:07.:20:11.

but we need to see that we are also because, all contradictory. They

:20:11.:20:15.

have a great deal of power but they are human beings. Those campaigns

:20:15.:20:19.

you work on, were there different levels of taking that to the nth

:20:19.:20:23.

degree? Was some of the guys you worked with worse than others when

:20:23.:20:28.

it became too behaviour in terms of ethical behaviour? -- when it came

:20:28.:20:34.

to behaviour. It focuses on those behind the scenes, and because they

:20:34.:20:37.

are not in the public light, they have more latitude to do things

:20:37.:20:46.

that are wrong, or illegal, or ethically tenuous. Politicians find

:20:46.:20:52.

themselves in that position all the time. Good politics is about Pope

:20:52.:20:56.

compromise -- about compromise at the end of the day. Every time you

:20:56.:21:03.

do that on an ideological landscape, you are redrawing the line in the

:21:03.:21:08.

sand. That sort of behaviour can pleat into your personal life and

:21:08.:21:12.

sense of moral integrity -- bleed into. So that the redrawing of the

:21:12.:21:16.

line becomes a habit. People I have worked for have been great

:21:16.:21:20.

candidates like Howard Dean, Bill Bradley, Hillary Clinton. They are

:21:20.:21:26.

great leaders. Do I have first-hand experience of any of them doing

:21:26.:21:34.

incapacity things, no. I have to interrupt, sorry to do this. We are

:21:34.:21:38.

getting reports from Libya that Colonel Gaddafi has been wounded

:21:38.:21:47.

and captured by the rebel forces in Libya itself. This is coming out of

:21:47.:21:50.

the National Transitional Council. They say they have Colonel Gaddafi

:21:50.:21:56.

in Libya. These reports are unconfirmed. They are being

:21:56.:22:01.

reported by a Reuters. We are getting other reports, we have not

:22:01.:22:08.

yet got it confirmed. We will bring you this as soon as we get it.

:22:08.:22:14.

He is captured and winded in both legs, taken away by ambulance --

:22:14.:22:18.

and wounded. But it is not confirmed. But it looks like

:22:18.:22:25.

something is happening. Sorry to interrupt with that news. If you

:22:25.:22:30.

were watching, Jo was boasting about how she was going to speak to

:22:30.:22:34.

George Clooney. I was cut off before I finish that

:22:34.:22:38.

sentence! This is how close she got. Look at

:22:38.:22:42.

this. Can't you see me?

:22:42.:22:51.

The closest she got was, George! I am over here! Thank you very much.

:22:51.:22:56.

Thank you so much. Our guest of the day is Paul Johnson from the

:22:56.:22:59.

Institute of Fiscal Studies, which published a report on the number of

:22:59.:23:04.

areas of taxation it thought right for reform. One of them was stamp

:23:04.:23:09.

duty, a relic of the 17th century. A bit like us. It was only meant to

:23:09.:23:15.

be temporary, just like income tax. Damn you, William Pitt. Was it the

:23:15.:23:21.

younger all the elder? Who brought in income tax. A cash-strapped

:23:21.:23:25.

Treasury isn't keen on giving up its big earners.

:23:25.:23:29.

If you are lucky enough to be able to afford one, it is just something

:23:29.:23:33.

you have to pay when you are buying a house. But have you ever thought,

:23:33.:23:37.

what the hell is stamp duty? It is a weird one. Like many taxes, it

:23:37.:23:43.

was brought in to fund the war, in 6094, William and Mary's reign, a

:23:43.:23:49.

war against the French -- 16 at 94. It was only meant to come in for

:23:49.:23:54.

four years. All these years later, it is still there, because like

:23:54.:23:57.

most Chancellors, they think, this is quite nice, we will hang on to

:23:57.:24:02.

this. Best estimates suggest stamp duty land tax let's the Treasury

:24:02.:24:12.
:24:12.:24:16.

hang on to �6 billion a year. But Raised a lot of politicians out

:24:16.:24:20.

there accept the fact that stamp duty and the way it is levied is

:24:20.:24:25.

well past its sell-by date. Maybe not get rid of it but they need to

:24:25.:24:32.

be substantial reforms. The charge is three form. -- threefold. If you

:24:32.:24:39.

buy a house that is �1 over 250,000, you will pay 3%, not 1%. At �1

:24:39.:24:44.

could cost you �5,000. That can't be right. What we are saying, there

:24:44.:24:49.

should not be that slapper approach. It is a disincentive. You should be

:24:49.:24:59.
:24:59.:25:02.

looking at it in the same way. -- Regional differences mean half the

:25:02.:25:06.

stamp duty revenue comes from a quarter of transactions that in --

:25:06.:25:09.

are in the south-east. And it is an extra financial burden on first-

:25:09.:25:14.

time buyers, which taken altogether, suggests leading stamp duty as it

:25:14.:25:17.

is is bad for the housing market. Trouble is, with a cash-strapped

:25:17.:25:21.

government, it seems now is not the time to cut such a big source of

:25:21.:25:25.

revenue. The Treasury is raising the tax is and we need those to pay

:25:25.:25:28.

for public services. If we were looking at anything, it would be

:25:28.:25:31.

help for small businesses, those parts of the economy that will

:25:32.:25:36.

create growth. The Treasury's position is that any and every tax

:25:36.:25:40.

cannot always be under review. And all of them could be up for reform.

:25:40.:25:44.

In the current economic climate, having spoken to officials and a

:25:44.:25:48.

Treasury Minister, it is fair to say, stamp duty reform is not, at

:25:48.:25:55.

the moment, top of their agenda. We are joined by the Tory MP

:25:55.:26:03.

Is it realistic to get rid of stamp duty in any way, given it has

:26:03.:26:08.

become a huge money-spinner for the Treasury? No but two reforms are

:26:09.:26:13.

possible. I have been pushing to see stamp duty paid by people

:26:13.:26:20.

selling the very expensive houses. If a company is not carrying on

:26:20.:26:23.

business, if it consists of a single property, when it is sold,

:26:23.:26:29.

it should be taxed as... That is a London problem. Yes, but it would

:26:29.:26:34.

bring in a lot of money, and we need to extend capital gains tax to

:26:34.:26:37.

non-residents. That would make people at the top pay a fair share.

:26:37.:26:43.

The other issue is the one that you said in your clip, above 250,000.

:26:43.:26:48.

In my constituency of Rochester and Strood, many family detached homes

:26:48.:26:53.

are worth 250, 300,000, and it is very difficult to sell those. Many

:26:53.:27:00.

people have to take a prize at 249995, because of this economic

:27:00.:27:04.

cliff -- a price at. Do you get the indication that the Treasury is

:27:04.:27:07.

interested in any of that? Potential it. I think the Treasury

:27:07.:27:12.

would want to do that in a revenue neutral way, charging a bit about

:27:12.:27:19.

1% on those immediately below 250,000. I also think the Treasury

:27:19.:27:22.

appreciates these taxes tend to reduce transactions. When Labour

:27:22.:27:25.

put in the big increases, the property market was booming. Given

:27:25.:27:29.

the difficulty of transactions in the property market, if you cut

:27:29.:27:34.

rates temporarily, it could lead to more transactions and revenue, and

:27:34.:27:40.

house sales feed into the wider economy. It is a very damaging tax,

:27:40.:27:45.

it reduces the number of transactions, it increases rather

:27:45.:27:49.

than reduces volatility in prices. The approach is absurd because it

:27:49.:27:53.

makes it very difficult to sell. There was a report earlier this

:27:53.:27:57.

week worrying that too many people occupied houses too big for them.

:27:57.:28:02.

One reason, it was so expensive to sell the house. The whole housing

:28:02.:28:07.

tax system needs reforming. It is unfair and regressive and the way

:28:07.:28:12.

it impacts on people. I don't see tax reform being high up the

:28:12.:28:16.

Government's agenda, but I live to be surprised. We have depict the

:28:16.:28:22.

guess the year when a bomb yesterday. -- we have to pick. From

:28:22.:28:32.
:28:32.:28:33.

Roger Langley from Ipswich, the mud is yours. That is it, thanks to all

:28:33.:28:39.

of our guests -- the mark is yours. Thanks to Paul Johnson. I will be

:28:39.:28:46.

Is next week's Commons vote on whether to have a referendum on our relationship with Europe simply an irrelevant sideshow? We talk to Labour's Emma Reynolds and Conservative Andrew Rossindell. Plus, is it time to get rid of Stamp Duty? Now the house price boom is over - has it become a tax that is putting a brake on the British economy? Joining Andrew and Jo throughout the programme is the Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, Paul Johnson.