14/11/2011 Daily Politics


14/11/2011

Jo Coburn has the top political stories of the day. Money saving expert Martin Lewis gives advice on student tuition fees.


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Transcript


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. New Prime Ministers

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in Italy and Greece bring relative stability to the Eurozone but what

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damage has all the uncertainty done to the UK economy and is there

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anything the Government can do about it? At the moment, they are

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predominantly white and male. So, should women and ethnic minority

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candidates be favoured in the selection of our senior judges?

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Unemployment is set to rise over the coming months we are told today

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but is a good workout what the long term jobless need to help them get

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back to work? Students were back on the street again last week

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protesting about higher tuition fees. The internet's money saving

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expert is here to tell us they All that in the next half hour. And

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with us for the whole programme today is Nikki King, who is

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managing director of Isuzu Truck UK. Later we will have Martin Lewis of

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Money Saving Expert on the programme to talk student tuition

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fees. If you have any questions about what the new system means for

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students please e-mail us at [email protected] and we

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will try to put them to Martin. Now, first it was monarchs, now it is

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top judges. The Master of the Rolls - the most senior judge in England

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and Wales - has said he sees no problem with women being favoured

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for top legal jobs. Lord Neuberger said that if there are two equal

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candidates in line for a job he has no difficulty with it going to a

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woman or ethnic minority candidate. Currently, only one of the 11

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Supreme Court judges is a woman. In the Appeal Court, only four out of

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37 judges are women. What do you think? We are not Green spotted

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frogs. We are 50% of the population. Positive discrimination is a

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mistake. We need to be much more flexible than the way we employ

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women so they do not have to give up their jobs during a very

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important part of their career. still do not represent all reflect

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the community at large in the top echelons of industry. What was your

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experience? It was pretty good. Once you are at a certain level,

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you actively encouraged. The tough part is when your children are

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small, your parents are ill. It is always the women who have to make

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the sacrifices in their career. If we are more flexible and more

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sympathetic and allow homeworking, flexible working, we can keep our

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women and encourage them to get to the top. You said your experience

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was pretty good but you are told she could not run a fleet cells

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caused because you were a woman and they were men. Was that true?

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Absolutely true. You did come across prejudice. I did. It was

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very easily and quickly dealt with by me. I think positive

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discrimination will lead to a certain amount of resentment within

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the workforce. It is not a good idea. Do see a defence with there

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being two equal candidates and they're saying, we will give it to

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the women, rather than the discriminatory policies where, if

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the woman is less qualified, she would get the job? If that is

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ridiculous. Any sort of discrimination is wrong. You need

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to encourage people in the workplace, at the same time as they

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are looking after families and other things. If women decide to go

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part-time, is their career path stored? Absolutely not. Why not?

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am a woman myself. Many of my staff had to -- had started working full-

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time - part-time from home and part-time in the office. Nobody has

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to work in the office all day these days. A lot of jobs can be done

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from home or half from home. We have to chuck out the chintz and

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think outside the box. We have children coming to the office if

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they are not that six. Why not? We have now got a whole team of 17-

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year-olds and 18-year-olds who can operate holiday cover for us.

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must ask if they were let us bring our children in there! Now it is

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time for our daily quiz. The question for today is... Which

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former European Prime Minister, did Conservative MP Patrick Mercer

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reportedly compare David Cameron unfavourably to? George Papandreou,

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Silvio Berlusconi, Herman van Rompuy or shacks Santa, who had the

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same honour in Luxembourg? At the end of the show, Nikki will give us

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the correct answer. If you flick through the financial pages this

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morning, there is a sense that the Eurozone is out of intensive care

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but there is no doubt that its condition remains critical. What is

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more we are beginning to learn how the crisis is affecting the real

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economy. First, let's have a look at the good news. Italy and Greece

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have new Prime Ministers. And the cost of Italy's debt has come down

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slightly, after hitting a record high last week. Meanwhile major

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stock markets in Asia finished up overnight, while European markets

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:05:51.:05:53.

have seen some gains this morning. -- drops. And what about here in

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the UK? Well, the interest rate we are paying on our debt has also

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dropped, hitting a record low last week. But now the bad news. New

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data out today shows the UK job market is facing a slow, painful

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contraction. Meanwhile, other new figures out today show banks are

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still failing to meet targets for lending to small businesses,

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although overall lending is ahead of target. But, since 2007, lending

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to small businesses has shrunk by about 10% a year. On Wednesday the

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Bank of England is expected to downgrade this year's growth

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forecast for the UK, from 1.5% to 1%. With us now is Labour's Chris

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Leslie, the Shadow Financial Secretary, and the Conservative MP

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Reports of the �50 billion infrastructure investment programme,

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does that represent a Plan B or Plan A Plas? It is really important

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for pension funds to find very long term investments. As I understand

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from the reports in the papers over the weekend, the Chancellor is

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tokamak making it easier for pension funds to invest in those

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kinds of projects. -- talking about making it easier. It is very

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sensible to be thinking about, for a pension funds, at a time when

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they are looking for really good, long-term investments, the value

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that infrastructure can play in that particular problem -

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investment problem. At the moment, long-term interest rates will

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government bonds are extremely low. A lot of pension funds are looking

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for investments that give them a stable yield. It is a PFI project

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essentially. That is what they are encouraging. It will not be on the

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balance sheet but that is what cities. There are lots of different

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approaches around the world. It is worth seeing whether we can use the

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big pools of capital that up in pension funds in the UK to see

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whether there is a way in which we can find investments to match

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liabilities. This is the sort of thing you would welcome, these

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sorts of projects filling the gap being left by public-sector cuts.

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Anything is better than nothing. I wish they would get on with it. We

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have had a m economy flat lining for more than a year. -- and

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economy. The idea of bringing forward capital projects, that is

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one of the five points we suggested. We do not know any details. We have

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the Autumn Statement. The Chancellor will probably as a --

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outline what he is planning. said the Chartered Institute for

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personal development are predicting a slow and painful contraction for

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jobs. This is an incredible -- incredibly important time. They

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really need to get on and pull out all the stops. Is Labour still

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really saying the Government is cutting too far and too fast?

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Absolutely. I can explain why. It is very simple. If you look at all

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the data, you cannot simply use the eurozone as an alibi for action. If

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they believe all our woes are down to the eurozone, that is incredibly

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worrying. You do not accept the reason we have so low rates on

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interest repayments it is because of the strict deficit reduction

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plan. I do not accept that. must be the only person who does

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not accept that. I was in the City last week speaking to bond traders

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in very big banks. We have our own independent currency and our own

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Central Bank. The reason why people are fleeing from the eurozone is

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that we have those independent arrangements that were established

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well before the Dublin came in. Very low bond yields are a sign

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that people are predicting interest rates will never change because the

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economy is so weak. It cuts both ways. If the Government is only

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targeting yields and Barnes, rather than jobs and growth Macro, that is

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a flawed strategy. The Government is not stepping up to the plate.

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Only 40,000 private-sector jobs have been created. The approach by

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Labour is completely... What you going to do about the big gap

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between private sector growth and job creation? We have to get the

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private sector growing. They cannot bear a sells out of a debt problem.

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-- bail ourselves out. You are having to fund unemployment and

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benefits. About cutting corporate taxes, it is extremely important.

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Creating enterprise zones across the country, at regional gross

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funds going into was to share and other parts of the country. The

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regional growth fund used to be twice as high. Can I just bring in

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Nikkei at this point? Would you like to see public money being

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spent to kick-start the economy? I would not. If you do not have the

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money, you cannot spend it. Business is supporting the idea

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that the fact the austerity plan means Britain is in a better

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position. The position they are in now is the better one. In your

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industry, you are looking at exports and imports. Various

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factors underpin growth. Exports have been pretty good for the

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eurozone recently. We struggle with investment from the Government.

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Consumer demand is low. What would you do to boost consumer demand?

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Increase confidence. All this is about lack of confidence.

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Government has invested over �100 billion. Businesses are investing.

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I do believe that confidence is important. The economic statement

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will be playing a very important part. It is a sign of confidence.

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It has not instil confidence in the public. Do you accept that the

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austerity plan, will there it has worked in the markets, it has

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choked off consumer demand? Put it on its head and ask what would be

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happening if we were now following a credible plan which the IMF

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believes in and everyone else believes him. Of course it is

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important to have a credible plan. If you are so stubborn as to

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neglect all those people who are unemployed. In my constituency

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youth unemployment has doubled. If you do nothing about the economy,

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we will continue to flat line and possibly reverse. That is what we

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are facing. Our company is doing quite well. We took the pain in

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2007, 2008. A lot of my friends who run companies are having a similar

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experience. We lack the confidence for next year saying we need to

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start using funds and start growing and taking on more people. What

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we're doing is keeping our overhead as fluid as possible because we

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might have to turn it off tomorrow. How helpful is it for the

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Government to continually blamed the eurozone crisis? It is making

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life very difficult here. The Labour have said the difficulties

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started before the eurozone crisis. This is creating a chilling effect

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on our economy. The real problem is the problems we had from be

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:13:58.:14:03.

previous government. We had one had and �20 million a day interest. --

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�120 million. Wire countries outside the eurozone growing much

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faster? -- wide our countries? were given a terrible economic

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legacy from the previous government. You are blaming the previous

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government and the eurozone crisis. You are being left in paralysis. Do

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you think the Government has Bell to come forward with a

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comprehensive plan? The economy needs to be put on a longer term,

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stronger footing. No one said coming out of the debt crisis would

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be an easy economic recovery. glad that Harriet is confident. I

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hope she is right. All the evidence suggests that things are going into

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really dangerous territory. The eurozone is worse but we are

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fragile. I wish the Government would take responsibility for the

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current state of affairs. I wish we had an opposition that was

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constructive. We should be putting and repeating a bank bonus levy so

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we can get affordable housing and jobs for young people. We should be

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putting national insurance contributions stand for small

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employers. We have a five-point plan. I am asking for a hearing

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from the Chancellor who is sticking, regardless of the evidence in the

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:15:38.:15:40.

economy. What would you like to hit The idea of a bank levy tax is

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ridiculous. I'm talking about the bonuses.

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One of the problems is we have is this concentrating for shareholder

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value. They are looking at.

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If I was Prime Minister I would make it a rule that all heads of

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all major companies in the UK would commit to stay for ten years and

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that stops two year plans where you get your bonus because you've cut

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costs, you don't care what's going to happen in two years. "I have May

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made more -- I've made more money for the company. I'll get my bonus.

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I'm off.". Talking about confidence is one thing, there are no

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specifics in terms of how to create it. All the things that we are

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doing and the bond markets show that investors have confidence in

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the UK's plan. Investors are seeing the UK as a safe haven in in

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troubled times across Europe and those low low interest rates are so

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important because it means mortgage rates are lower. People are not

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having to pay as much every month and that over time will give an

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economic recovery. The one thing Government could do,

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rather than giving small amounts of money under tremendous conditions

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to business, if they would guarantee loans to the banks it

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would make a hell of a lot of difference.

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I am looking forward to hearing about that in the autumn statement.

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There are predictions today that unemployment will rise in the

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coming months and on Wednesday, youth unemployment could reach one

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million. Private companies running the Government's work programme in

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Britain are looking at ways of getting some of those without jobs

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It sounds like an idea from the manifesto of the Nasty Party, you

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put the unemployed into the hands of a PE instructor who makes them

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do press-ups until they have got a job, but the reality for these

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unemployed people in Plymouth is different. Working links, which is

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a company rolling out the Government's work programme here in

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the south-west, has started a voluntary group, The Friday Club.

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Today, they are going for a walk in the rain in the city centre. A lot

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of it is routine, it is about getting them doing something. It is

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taking them them outside their comfort zone with help from myself

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to sort of nurture them through a little, just getting them them back

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into a normal routine. Once you are comfortable, it is easier to get

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back into work. Martin has been in the group a

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while. Leanne is 22 and never had a job. This is Teanna and has her

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first day. Walking in the rain might seem pointless, but this club

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is getting people into work. Leean and Martin have both got jobs.

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Having a personal personal trainer helped them to break the mould and

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have a little bit more confidence in themselves.

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I'm 22 stone, I'm overweight. I have been told if I don't change my

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way, I will have died by the time I'm 30. One of my con consultants

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from Working Links say they do a fit club every Friday. It turned my

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life around. Having a personal trainer for the

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unemployed is a waste of money. is getting results. I mean, the

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work programme which is what we are delivering here in the south-west

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is payment by results. The majority of the funding comes once we have

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successfully placed people in long- term work. So it is for us to

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speculate if you like or to invest money in schemes that might help

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people move into work. If it doesn't work, then it is at our

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cost. I came to to Plymouth expecting to

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fin people forced out of bed and forced into track suits. They are

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not, that will come as a disappointment to some of you. This

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shows a few walks in the rain can What do you think about that? Is it

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going to be the answer to helping young, unemployed people back into

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work? No, I don't think so. It will make them them feel better. We

:20:04.:20:08.

should be harnessing businesses and providing mentors. We should be

:20:08.:20:10.

providing, maybe the Government should be giving assistance to

:20:11.:20:14.

companies to bring in young people on work experience.

:20:14.:20:19.

Paid work experience? Paid work experience, but maybe paid for by

:20:19.:20:25.

the Government than rather by us. The education system has let down

:20:25.:20:29.

industry and young people. For you, is it the calibre and the

:20:29.:20:32.

quality of students come nothing the workforce? What are they

:20:32.:20:36.

lacking? They lack commitment. They think it is OK to come in and go

:20:36.:20:41.

out at lunch time and not come back. That might teach them commitment,

:20:41.:20:45.

just the sense of training and discipline and all the rest of it?

:20:45.:20:49.

My experience is we do a lot of work experience with young people.

:20:49.:20:53.

One of the things I find is that they are fed-up with school and yet

:20:53.:20:57.

when they come to work, they really enjoy it. I think the more they get

:20:57.:21:02.

the experience of work, and increase increase their parameters,

:21:02.:21:06.

I think that's really the most important thing we could do.

:21:06.:21:09.

Are you hiring? Yes, but not young people, sadly.

:21:10.:21:15.

You are hiring better qualified, older people? Yes.

:21:15.:21:21.

What would per said you you to hire a young person? Putting aside the

:21:21.:21:25.

fact that you think the calibre isn't that great? Because they are

:21:25.:21:28.

not experienced in work, because very little in their education

:21:28.:21:32.

teaches them to be experienced in work, I haven't got time to spend

:21:32.:21:35.

two years training a young person. You mention planning is a problem.

:21:35.:21:40.

Is it because you are unconcern about the economy? Yes, they link

:21:40.:21:44.

together. I would happily welcome young people in to give them work

:21:44.:21:47.

experience and encouragement because it is about confidence. If

:21:47.:21:50.

you have small parameters and no confidence, then work becomes a

:21:50.:21:54.

drag. When you come to work and find you enjoy it and you have a

:21:55.:22:00.

mentor who shows you that you can achieve mountains, that's what we

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should be doing. Now, if you are an English sixth

:22:05.:22:09.

form student you might be starting to feel nervous, not just about how

:22:09.:22:14.

well you are going to do in your A- levels, but what impact higher

:22:14.:22:18.

university tuition fees will have on you. In a moment we will speak

:22:18.:22:26.

to Martin Lewis, he is heading a taskforce. First David Thompson

:22:26.:22:33.

spoke to sixth-formers this morning. Hello welcome to LadyWell, South-

:22:33.:22:37.

East London. Now, first of all, can I ask you,

:22:37.:22:44.

how many of you are plan to go to to university next year? Good luck.

:22:44.:22:48.

Did the prospect of paying increased fees put any of you hauf

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or make -- off or make you think about going to a cheaper

:22:51.:22:56.

university? Now, I know I'm going to live at home. I wanted to go off

:22:56.:22:59.

campus, now I'm not going to have enough money to do that and the

:23:00.:23:03.

thought of having debt is scary. Do you think you were given enough

:23:03.:23:07.

information about how the system will work by the Government

:23:07.:23:10.

wasn't until I started going to university open days that I learned

:23:11.:23:13.

about how much feesI need to pay, about the student loan system,

:23:13.:23:17.

about when I need to start paying the money back and how much you pay

:23:17.:23:19.

back with interest. I think that everyone is aware that

:23:19.:23:25.

we're going to have �9,000 tuition fees, however, other things such as

:23:25.:23:29.

living costs and interest rates, people aren't that aware about.

:23:29.:23:34.

How many of you think you know when you have to start paying the money

:23:34.:23:38.

back? I think once we are earning around �21,000 a year or over then

:23:38.:23:42.

we have to start paying back. What do the Government have done to

:23:42.:23:46.

have explained the system system better? Probably something on TV.

:23:46.:23:50.

As teenagers, we watch a lot of TV, so if there was to be more

:23:51.:23:56.

advertisements, maybe posters then we would be more aware overall.

:23:56.:24:00.

Martin Lewis joins us now. Do you think people are concerned

:24:00.:24:03.

about the new fee that is will be introduced next year? People are

:24:04.:24:06.

right to be concerned about the change, but a lot of people have

:24:06.:24:11.

been scared off for the wrong reasons. The language that we use

:24:11.:24:16.

of fees, we talk about it as a debt in many ways and we are talking in

:24:16.:24:18.

England here. It is important to say that.

:24:18.:24:21.

Yes, it is. This is in many ways more like a

:24:21.:24:25.

tax than a debt. You pay it through the payroll. It is proportionate to

:24:25.:24:28.

the amount you earn. You only repay it if you are earning �21,000.

:24:29.:24:34.

There are no debt collectors. It lasts 30 years. And you pay pay 9%

:24:34.:24:38.

of everything you earn earn above �21,000 until you have repaid what

:24:38.:24:45.

you owe plus interest or 30 years and then it stops. If you said to

:24:45.:24:55.
:24:55.:24:55.

parents your kids if they are successful would you pay it off for

:24:55.:24:58.

them. We have to think about the finances of this rather than the

:24:58.:25:02.

politics of this. You say in that sense, it is mot going to be paid

:25:02.:25:06.

back until you start earning a certain amount of money, but is

:25:06.:25:11.

there a sort of pinch-point, let's say if you are a teacher and let's

:25:11.:25:16.

say you are earning between �22,000 and �30,000, you are paying a large

:25:16.:25:19.

large percentage of your income and you are paying it for years and

:25:19.:25:27.

years? People pay 9% of everything above �15,000. Starters in 2012

:25:27.:25:33.

repay �540 a year less than current graduates. The the impact on your

:25:33.:25:36.

pocket is improvement in the new system, but because you are

:25:36.:25:39.

borrowing more, because you are repaying less and because the

:25:39.:25:42.

interest is higher, you are likely to be repaying longerment many

:25:42.:25:46.

people will not repay in full over the full 30 years which means they

:25:46.:25:51.

are going to think it is, I go back to my starting point, it is like a

:25:51.:25:59.

tax you repay on top of the other taxes for most of your working life.

:25:59.:26:02.

"If Most of the loans will never repaid and the liability on the

:26:02.:26:05.

public purse will be billions and billions.". It is not most will

:26:05.:26:14.

never be repaid, it is many will never be repaid.

:26:14.:26:18.

The Government gives universities �6,000 and it gives the student

:26:18.:26:22.

�3,000 to pay the university which it gets money back. In the new

:26:22.:26:26.

system, it loans the student the whole amount. If they get a smaller

:26:26.:26:30.

proportion of the loans back, because it is all a loan, it still

:26:30.:26:33.

gets more back than it does. I'm not saying I'm in favour of the

:26:33.:26:39.

system, but it is misexplained and the political Spittle in the House

:26:39.:26:44.

of Commons over this demonised a system that is going to do more

:26:44.:26:49.

damage than the new fees. When you talk to kids from non-traditional

:26:49.:26:55.

university backgrounds. The middle- class kids will go, but the bright

:26:55.:27:00.

kids are the ones much debt averse because of the language we use.

:27:00.:27:03.

Do you think the Government explained it well either?

:27:03.:27:08.

that's why I got involved in this independent taskforce. We have only

:27:08.:27:14.

only been going a few months and we get paid peanuts, but we get to

:27:14.:27:21.

come on television talk about it. The mistake was made in 1998 when

:27:21.:27:25.

we introduced loans which you pay through the tax system. In

:27:25.:27:30.

Australia they call this a graduate contribution. Here, we call it a

:27:30.:27:35.

debt and the language and the fact that everyone is too scared because

:27:35.:27:39.

it would be called spin if we changed it, but it is not a loan.

:27:39.:27:44.

It doesn't go on your credit file. You as a business person will

:27:44.:27:49.

understand what Martin says? Martin is right. Maybe it is too late to

:27:49.:27:53.

go back, but some more explanation and if anybody can do it, Martin

:27:53.:27:55.

can. We have to make everybody

:27:55.:27:59.

understand it and once they understand it maybe it is time to

:27:59.:28:01.

change the language. Thank you very much. There is just

:28:01.:28:07.

time to fin out the answer to our quiz.

:28:07.:28:17.
:28:17.:28:20.

The question was which which former European Prime Minister did

:28:20.:28:25.

Conservative MP Patrick Mercer reportedly compared David Cameron

:28:25.:28:33.

Unemployment is set to rise over the coming months we're told today - but is a good workout what the long term jobless need to help them get back to work?

Students were back on the streets again last week protesting about higher tuition fees - the internet's money saving expert Martin Lewis will join us to say they shouldn't panic.

If you have any questions about what the system means for students, email us at [email protected] and we'll try to put them to Martin.

And with Jo for the whole programme today is Nikki King, managing director of Isuzu Trucks UK.

We are back tomorrow at noon, but it's a short week as Parliament then goes into recess, and we will be back on air next Monday.


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