28/11/2011 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, welcome to The Daily Politics. As political weeks go,


hold on - this one's going to be a bumpy ride. Today, we've had a


warning. The OECD says the UK economy may double dip back into


recession, and policy makers around the world must prepare to "face the


worst". Tomorrow, the Chancellor George Osborne will set out how


he's going to try and prove the doom-mongers wrong. The word on the


Westminster street is that he's planning a "game-changer" budget.


And on Wednesday, unless there's a last-minute change of mind, the


unions walk out in a row over pensions. Schools will shut,


airports will be in chaos and the Marines are on standby to man the


borders. All we need now is for it All that, in the next half hour.


With us for the whole programme today is Sir Michael Wilshaw, the


man who's been called a "miracle maker". He made Mossbourne Academy


Now he's becoming Chief Inspector of Schools. If you have any


thoughts or comments on anything we're discussing, you can send them


to us at [email protected] First today, the mass walkout by


public sector workers on Wednesday looks certain to go ahead after


Dave Prentis - he's the general secretary of the trade union,


Unison - said there was "absolutely no chance" of reaching a deal with


the Government. And earlier this morning, the Education Secretary


Michael Gove raised the stakes in a strongly worded speech at the think


tank, Policy Exchange. On Wednesday, TUC leaders will call on their


members to bring Britain to a halt. Among those union leaders are


people who fight hard for their members and whom I respect. But


there are also hard liners, militants, itching for a fight.


They want families to be inconvenienced. They want mothers


to give up a day's work, or pay for expensive childcare, because


schools will be closed. They want teachers and other public sector


workers to lose a day's pay in the run-up to Christmas. Sir Michael


Wilshaw was listening to the Education Secretary. Are you


supporting the strikes? No, I don't. We have to face the fact that we


have got 1 million or so young people unemployed, looking for a


job, desperate for a job. They need to be given the skills and


qualifications to get those jobs. They need to spend every day in


school or college. They will be missing out. As far as I am


concerned, the teaching force needs to think about the moral imperative


of giving young people a chance to get on in life. What about your


staff and their pensions? They have got a job and they have pensions.


There are concerns about the level of those pensions but those young


people will be struggling to get a job and get a pension in the first


place. What about the day of action itself? Does it have a major impact


on children's learning -- learning or is it just a days lost?


disruption perfects schools, even a day out affects the routine of life.


It is sometimes difficult to get it back to where it was. You had said


that people should be grateful, teachers should be grateful they


have got a job. There is quite a strong level of support from the


public. The BBC poll has indicated there is 61% in favour, so people


do feel some sympathy. Yes. There obviously is sympathy for some of


the action that is being taken. But there must be other ways of


resolving this dispute, rather than walking out of school and other


education institutions. You think it is irresponsible for heads to


follow action. Because there are examples of heads striking for the


very first time. I wouldn't do it. I think the heads have got to weigh


up their responsibilities. And the financial settlement over the last


10 years has been good for headteachers. A lot of head


teachers are on a good salary and they should think about that before


turning to industrial action. we will have more on that later in


the programme. Tomorrow - as I've said - we've got


the Chancellor's big statement on the economy to the House of Commons.


Technically, it's not supposed to be a Budget - just the normal


updating of MPs about the state of our finances that takes place in


the Autumn each year. But it will be a hugely important moment, one


which will set out the Government's strategy for promoting growth in


the context of some pretty dismal economic predictions today The OECD


has predicted this morning that the UK will slip back into recession in


the coming months. It's warned the world to be "prepared to face the


worst". Tomorrow, George Osborne will tell the House how he plans to


avoid a downturn. And if you read the papers, much of it has been


heavily trailed. There's what's billed as �30 billion of spending


on new infrastructure. Ministers claim to have found �10 billion of


that, and are hoping private investors will put in the rest.


There are plans to underwrite �20 billion of loans to smaller


businesses. The Government says that could rise to as much as �40


billion and will cut borrowing costs. There's a �1 billion scheme


to get young people into work. We've heard a lot about this,


except how it's being funded. And we've already had details of a plan


to boost the housing market, with �400 million to build new homes and


a mortgage-indemnity scheme. Rails fares were due to go up by 8% next


year. It's widely tipped that he'll change that to 6%. And the planned


3p rise in fuel duty due in January could be frozen or delayed. If


you're wondering where all this money is coming from, the


Government's message is you'll find out tomorrow. It's thought some may


come from under-spending elsewhere, an increase in the banking levy or


changes to in-work tax credits. Lets get more on this from our


chief political correspondent, Norman Smith.


We seem to have had the whole of the statement on the economy over


the last few days. I can't recall an autumn statement, when so much


has been trailed in advance. I guessed the truth is, the


government want to sprinkle around some good news amidst the gloom


that is before us. We have this relentless diet of bleak economic


figures. You flagged up the OECD forecast this morning, suggesting


we could be in two double-dip plant. What is interesting, talking to


people in the Treasury -- we could be into double-dip land. Nobody is


saying it is miles off target. They have picked off a few encouraging


bits, such as the fact that other countries like France, Germany,


Italy, could go into recession as well. Such as, the OECD backs the


government's deficit reduction strategy. But they are not saying


that the OECD has made a great mistake with their forecast. You


sense there is a real fear that a sort of national gloom risks


gripping the country. Which is why we have had these pre-announce


since in the run-up to the How is George Osborne going to


instil any sense of confidence without being realistic? A lot of


it will be in the messaging, the idea that the government is not


simply going to sit on its hands and wait and watch and see what


happens. In other words, that they have a plan. The criticism will be,


it doesn't look like plan a any more. -- it does not look like plan


A any more. They will say it is more like plant growth. They are


trying to buttress us from the economic storm looming in the


eurozone, with the real fear that almost what ever George Osborne


does in terms of credit easing, or getting pension funds to invest in


infrastructure, almost what ever it does risks being totally


overwhelmed by what is going on in the eurozone. Which is why David


Cameron will be having a face-to- face bilateral with President


Sarkozy at the end of the week, to try to get some sort of agreement


before next week's crucial European Council meeting, to discuss what on


earth you do about the eurozone crisis. Thank you.


We have three rising stars with us in the studio now. Labour's Luciana


Berger, Duncan Hames from the Liberal Democrats and the


Conservative's Sam Gyimah. We have had this picture of gloom,


it looks as if it is going to continue tomorrow, on the day of


the Autumn Statement. You are not going to avoid recession, so what


is the point of tinkering around the edges? I think what we are


going to see tomorrow, and the word you used is confident. The


Chancellor is going to look to restore confidence in the economy,


firstly with the markets. We have burned low interest rates in a


triple-A credit rating because of what we did last year when the


coalition came into government -- we have earned low interest rates.


We need to keep conference of the markets and give businesses


confidence to invest. -- keep We also need confidence to get


people back into work, hence the infrastructure plans, which are a


very smart way of getting people into work. But we are talking about


such small amounts of money. �20 billion, in terms of loans to small


businesses. �30 billion of infrastructure spending, it is a


drop in the ocean. Are you certain it is going to have a short-term


effect in terms of boosting growth? The eurozone is probably a big


issue... It is, but let's focus on those figures. We have heard the


OECD saying we are going to be in recession in the next two quarters,


how will �50 billion changed the picture? The government is using


its balance sheet. Because the government can borrow at low rates,


by reducing the interest rate that businesses can borrow at, it gives


banks the confidence to lend. not just the �20 billion, banks can


now feel that they can guy had to learn to business. The big issue,


and you are absolutely right, the eurozone crisis. Commentators are


saying, this is partly Ed Balls' proposal for the economy, so you


must be delighted, Labour will be backing all of these plans. We wait


to see the detail of what George Osborne comes out with tomorrow.


You support what we have heard so far? We are very sceptical. On the


infrastructure element, we wait to see if they are new projects or


regurgitated projects. Ed Balls said to bring forward


infrastructure projects. We will be delighted if they are new projects.


If they are projects that are going ahead anyway, that will be


problematic. We know it is not new money, the government has made that


clear, but they are finding money from other areas. If that is the


case, I presume tomorrow the response will be very positive.


is about the whole package. Our is the OECD going to say we are going


to see jobs creation and growth in the economy? On current indications


we are going to see unemployment rise over the course of next year,


right up to over 9%. And we are going to see growth flat lining.


That is what we will judge tomorrow's Autumn Statement on and


the indications are it will not be very positive. In terms of the


amount of money we are talking about, Ed Balls was not suggesting


much more, your plan would not work either. We want to see a whole


package of things, not just infrastructure. We want to see a


plan for jobs in growth which sees people in work and the economy


growing. The infrastructure is just one element. If the government is


going to come forward with four other points, we will be happy.


Would you like to see bigger amounts of money boosting the


economy? The last Labour government through the kitchen sink at the


last financial crisis. In cleaning up that mess, we are rather more


constrained. The level of borrowing we already have represents a


significant financial stimulus into the economy. Were hearing about


plans to open it that the tap further. Real projects that people


will be able to see. We can talk about forecasts all we like but


when real projects employ people in construction, when we are able to


offer a contract that gets people into work, those are real measures


that people will experience and will hopefully restore the


confidence that we will be backing the economy. Why didn't they do it


earlier? Would you like to have seen the coalition government make


these plans earlier? I am glad we did not follow a path which leads


us into the situation that other European countries are in. As the


coalition keeps saying, Britain is not in the eurozone and apart from


that, couldn't they have loosened on the fiscal side and perhaps we


wouldn't have the unemployment levels just talked about, and


wouldn't be having this problem with growth. I think mortgage


payers will be glad we have not seen interest rates going in the


direction they have in Europe. The coalition government did the right


thing as to provide security in our economy, to weather this storm. It


is more important that we do the right things now, it than we argue


about what should have happened in the past. I am glad that is what,


as a Liberal Democrat, this government seems set to do this


week. The plan is not working. By the government's own estimates, we


are set to borrow �46 billion than the government -- more than the


government said we would. It might be as high as �100 billion more.


The point is that the government's plan is not working. I think the


key point is, Labour's plan is to spend more, which means borrow more,


which means more debt. We have seen the bond markets will crucify us.


In the last year we have laid the economic foundations to implement


the measures that we have seen today. I am not seeing a credible


alternative from Labour. The international consensus is that we


cannot continue to borrow our way out of this crisis. The Government


is already borrowing more, at least �46 billion more, it could be �100


billion more. With tax receipts down and I'm up when it up, the


borrowing is going to be higher. The -- unemployment up. George


Osborne has said the plan has gone out of the window. What ever we are


doing, a lot will be announced in the autumn statement and we are


getting more detail. It is revenue neutral, it keeps the combatants of


the markets and gets businesses With a coalition keeping the


market's calm, isn't it the time now to go for a proper plan B?


shouldn't be throwing it away now. It's important to spend money but


more important that it is spent well for the week to spend on


projects to late foundation for rebalancing of things. Let's look


at the youth contract, the Lib Dems have made that clear that that was


their idea. Are you happy it has been funded from squeezing working


tax credits? We will see how it's being funded. Would you be happy


about that? You would rather squeeze working tax credits than


spend any money? Unemployment is falling in my constituency but in


my surgery last week, I had a young woman a masters graduate,


struggling to find work, cannot persuade a supermarket to give her


a job. It's a priority to make sure that talented young people in our


country have the opportunity to work and if that means making


difficult choices elsewhere, so be it. So you supported. It's so


difficult now for young people to find work and that's why it's so


important schools and colleges prepare them for the world of work


and at any time off College, is not going to be a good thing.


complaint about Labour is that you would risk Britain's position, risk


but hard-fought position which says we are paying a lower interest


rates than other eurozone countries. Are you prepared to do that? We're


not in the eurozone so to compare ourselves to them... Are you


prepared to risk it? It would be a risk. Labour is prepared to take


that risk? We can't continue on the current course. From the figures


tomorrow, unemployment will rise exponentially. It's going to go


over 9 million. 9%. That's a prediction. Yes, indeed. I don't


want to see any more of my constituents are unemployed. You


made a point about the new youth contract was up in my constituency


at the weekend, people were concerned about their children's


future and the fact that they are not going to have the opportunities.


In terms of opportunities on strikes, do think it's helpful to


use that sort of language, militant unions on strike? It's helpful for


him to address the issue head-on. To use that language? Sir Michael


Wilshaw was talking about young people who can't get jobs and then


taught me people who have got jobs and pensions, some of the best in


the world, are saying we're going the other day of inaction. We had


got to look at the broader context. Michael Gove was corrected to take


it head-on. Shouldn't he be thankful they have got pensions?


The Government is essentially slapping on a 3% tax on public


sector workers. It's not negotiated. There was no discussion. They've


had them for months now. Francis Maude has not met... I know that,


but there are meetings going on. They should have been resolved and


is over the weekend. Don't you think teachers are the right to


fight for their pensions which they are built up all these years, and


these are also tax paying hard- working families on the strikes?


They are free to engage in illegal strike, which this is. Given the


level of support for the strikes, how few of their members took part


in those ballots supporting, I don't think there is the same moral


pressure on other members of those unions to turn out on strikes they


don't support. I heard from a school this morning when next


teachers from, who decided not to close their school on Wednesday and


I applaud that decision and I hope others will follow. I'm old enough


to remember the industrial action much worse than this in the 1970s


and 1980s bull that when I first became a headmaster in 1985, there


was large-scale industrial action. It put back education for


generations of children. Large numbers of children were failed by


that action and we must not repeat those mistakes. Are you supporting


the strikes? No one wants to see them going ahead. The Government


needs to do everything it possibly can and have to bear the


responsibility, the fact they are put on a 3% tax on public sector


workers which goes straight back to the Treasury. What we have just


heard there in terms of the consequences that can do, should


they negotiate more, the Government? Give a little bit more


and maybe it will be over? We have a comprehensive offer on the table


for the clearly not enough as far as the unions are concerned. 15% of


the workforce make no further contributions. People earning less


than �21,000 year, their contributions go up by 1.5%. People


within 10 years of retirement, no change. Is there room for a better


offer? I think the Government has been very generous. The idea would


be that the unions were willing to negotiate, not engaged in a low


ballot turnout strike. I will find all three of you ahead of a


statement tomorrow. Thank you. -- I will thank all three of you. And


Andrew will be here tomorrow with a special programme bringing you full


coverage of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement on the economy. The show


starts at 1200. When George Osborne has done speaking, he'll bring you


all kinds of reaction from key players in business and politics.


So if you've got any thoughts in advance, then you can Twitter them


now. The hashtag is: So when our guest Sir Michael Wilshaw takes


over at Ofsted in the New Year, he will be in charge of applying some


new school rules when it comes to how inspections work. They are as a


result of Michael Gove's Education Bill which recently became law. To


find out what effect those changes might have, Adam's been to a school


in Sutton, which is in Surrey. An inspector won't call here for a


while. Under the new system, schools which good Ofsted's top-


rating, outstanding, like this one, won't get inspected any more unless


concerns are raised. Pauline become a head teacher in the year that


Ofsted was born. I'd been here 19 years and I've seen improvement


after improvement. So I think something has to be working quite


well but Ofsted is very, it's quite harsh process. The schools that do


go through that process will have to jump through fewer hopes for


that at the moment they are judged on 27 different headings. Now the


focus will slowly be on results, the quality of teaching, leadership


and behaviour, so that is down to just four areas. You could say it's


quite narrow and I hope Ofsted inspectors understand we are


dealing with children in schools and not just units of attainment.


The reality for schools, sometimes, is a bit different to how Ofsted


portrays it. Inspectors will have more time to do what I'm doing,


sitting in the classroom, watching teachers teach. Although that's not


popular with the unions, will not convince the value of a good


teacher can be measured just by observation. At the school gate, I


tried out another innovation. Ofsted's new Web site where parents


can raid to their child's school by answering 12 questions. Thisfor a


nasty comments. We all go on holiday, and you can read a good


review and a bad experience yourself, so it's there as an extra


tool, isn't it? Can you see any downside to this? People who have


something to say will come to said, whereas people who are happy but


have nothing specific to say, may not make the effort to say it. You


may get a very skewered opinion. you look at schools as a business,


we other clients, customers, and, yeah, it should be as inspecting


schools, I believe. In the new year, Michael Gove will also be giving


parents league tables in a new format which will contain more


detail about how pupils are progressing, which is designed to


reveal schools that are apparently coasting, hiding behind the Celts


which a decent but not great. -- hiding behind results. And Sir


Michael is still with us. Is observing a teacher sufficient?


It's one of his important than a head teacher does, inspectors do,


going to a classroom and see the engagement between teachers and


children. You do it more regularly, I suppose bought up I'm a forever


popping into classes. -- you do it Their hair teacher said inspections


are harsh. -- the head teacher. What do you mean by that? I don't


think so. I've been through half-a- dozen inspections, they are always


stressful, but you have got nothing to worry about it you are doing


things well. Only it or not doing things particularly well. But


inspectors have got to have a human face, the personable people, engage


the senior staff, the head teacher, and governors, and are not which


find his general. They have got some of the school is like. I mean,


this idea that you stop inspecting schools because they are judged as


outstanding, is that the right way to go? When they just rest on their


laurels? Some might, but what's happening at the moment, those


schools which are judged outstanding but attainment levels


are dropping all there is a concern from parents, for example,


inspectors will look and see whether they still deserve the


outstanding rating. Would you want to see those schools visited


continually? The head teacher at their said she would welcome


inspectors because standards would be kept high. There is a concern we


don't really see outstanding schools and therefore they should


have a benchmark to judge others, so we need to watch that. I'm


anxious the survey system is used so they look at a survey from


Oxford without looking at the full picture -- Ofsted. Are they come in


now, Ofsted inspectors, without giving all that lead up time. They


used to write to the school and say we are coming in a few weeks.


it's much better and there is a case for no notice inspections but


there was a real concern coming from parents or others about the


performance of the school. We build you as a miracle made at the top of


the programme. What is your recipe for success? The strong leadership,


good teaching, good assessment systems, studies support and so


forth. But the most important game is in no excuses culture. If we're


going to do something about standards in Our Country,


particularly in our most disadvantaged and deprived


communities, it has got to be in no excuses culture, no matter what


background, ethnicity, you have, so one, we will deliver for you.


was your thing? We expected pupils to achieve. Or you would stay


behind after school for extra classes boss of you would pay


It's part of their contract and they would come in on Saturday


mornings. They stay often until 7pm to work with children falling


behind. Did you find the unions difficult in terms of these


negotiations? No, I've got a good relationship with them and my view


is the great majority of teachers what to do the best by their


children. And are prepared to go the extra mile. There will be a lot


of new information coming, and there were new types of schools are


so well that make it more difficult? No, I think it will be


easier. What parents need to the Gatt is whether the school is


adding value to their children's education. Will that come out of


the Ofsted experience? Yes, it will be easier to have parents


identifying what is a coasting school for the.. Thank you very


much for joining That's all for today. Thanks to all our guests,


especially to Michael Wilshaw. Good luck with your job from January.


Another reminder that Andrew's back tomorrow at noon with that Daily


Politics special. Live coverage of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement


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