28/11/2011 Daily Politics


28/11/2011

Jo Coburn is joined by Sir Michael Wilshaw. The OECD says the UK economy may double dip back into recession and policy makers around the world must prepare to 'face the worst'.


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

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

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

:00:35.:00:38.

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

:00:38.:00:40.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:01:12.:01:12.

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

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

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

:01:18.:01:28.
:01:28.:01:29.

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

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

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

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public sector workers on Wednesday looks certain to go ahead after

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

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

:01:43.:01:45.

the Government. And earlier this morning, the Education Secretary

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

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

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

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

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

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They want families to be inconvenienced. They want mothers

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

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

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

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Wilshaw was listening to the Education Secretary. Are you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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that people should be grateful, teachers should be grateful they

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

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

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

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

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

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education institutions. You think it is irresponsible for heads to

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

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

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up their responsibilities. And the financial settlement over the last

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the context of some pretty dismal economic predictions today The OECD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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chief political correspondent, Norman Smith.

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

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

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

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government want to sprinkle around some good news amidst the gloom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:07:41.:07:42.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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trying to buttress us from the economic storm looming in the

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

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

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infrastructure, almost what ever it does risks being totally

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

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

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

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

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earth you do about the eurozone crisis. Thank you.

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

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Berger, Duncan Hames from the Liberal Democrats and the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We need to keep conference of the markets and give businesses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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regurgitated projects. Ed Balls said to bring forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:11:37.:11:40.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:12:08.:12:13.

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

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Would you like to see bigger amounts of money boosting the

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

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

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constrained. The level of borrowing we already have represents a

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significant financial stimulus into the economy. Were hearing about

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

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

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

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

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that people will experience and will hopefully restore the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:13:29.:13:33.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:13:57.:14:03.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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alternative from Labour. The international consensus is that we

:14:26.:14:31.

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

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

:14:35.:14:40.

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

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

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

:14:51.:14:54.

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

:14:55.:14:58.

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

:14:58.:15:08.
:15:08.:15:08.

the markets and gets businesses With a coalition keeping the

:15:09.:15:14.

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

:15:14.:15:18.

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

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

:15:22.:15:26.

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

:15:26.:15:29.

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

:15:29.:15:35.

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

:15:35.:15:41.

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

:15:41.:15:45.

about that? You would rather squeeze working tax credits than

:15:45.:15:49.

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

:15:49.:15:53.

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

:15:53.:15:57.

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

:15:57.:16:02.

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

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country have the opportunity to work and if that means making

:16:05.:16:11.

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

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

:16:16.:16:19.

important schools and colleges prepare them for the world of work

:16:19.:16:25.

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

:16:25.:16:31.

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

:16:31.:16:34.

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

:16:34.:16:41.

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

:16:41.:16:47.

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

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

:16:51.:16:56.

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

:16:56.:17:03.

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

:17:03.:17:12.

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

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

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

:17:19.:17:23.

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

:17:23.:17:27.

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

:17:27.:17:30.

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

:17:30.:17:37.

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

:17:37.:17:42.

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

:17:42.:17:45.

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

:17:45.:17:49.

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

:17:49.:17:55.

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

:17:55.:17:59.

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

:18:00.:18:05.

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

:18:05.:18:08.

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

:18:08.:18:13.

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

:18:13.:18:19.

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

:18:19.:18:23.

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

:18:23.:18:26.

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

:18:26.:18:30.

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

:18:30.:18:35.

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

:18:35.:18:38.

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

:18:39.:18:42.

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

:18:42.:18:47.

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

:18:47.:18:50.

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

:18:50.:18:56.

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

:18:56.:19:00.

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

:19:00.:19:07.

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

:19:07.:19:11.

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

:19:11.:19:17.

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

:19:17.:19:23.

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

:19:23.:19:27.

generations of children. Large numbers of children were failed by

:19:27.:19:32.

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

:19:32.:19:38.

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

:19:38.:19:41.

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

:19:41.:19:45.

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

:19:45.:19:51.

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

:19:51.:19:54.

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

:19:54.:19:58.

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

:19:58.:20:04.

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

:20:04.:20:09.

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

:20:09.:20:13.

the workforce make no further contributions. People earning less

:20:13.:20:19.

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

:20:19.:20:24.

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

:20:24.:20:32.

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

:20:32.:20:39.

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

:20:39.:20:45.

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

:20:45.:20:52.

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

:20:52.:20:55.

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

:20:55.:20:58.

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

:20:58.:21:01.

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

:21:01.:21:04.

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

:21:04.:21:07.

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

:21:07.:21:12.

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

:21:12.:21:16.

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

:21:16.:21:20.

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

:21:20.:21:22.

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

:21:22.:21:26.

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

:21:26.:21:29.

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

:21:29.:21:33.

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

:21:33.:21:38.

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

:21:38.:21:41.

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

:21:41.:21:46.

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

:21:46.:21:50.

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

:21:50.:21:57.

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

:21:57.:22:02.

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

:22:02.:22:06.

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

:22:06.:22:10.

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

:22:10.:22:15.

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

:22:15.:22:19.

quite narrow and I hope Ofsted inspectors understand we are

:22:19.:22:25.

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

:22:25.:22:29.

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

:22:29.:22:34.

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

:22:34.:22:38.

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

:22:38.:22:42.

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

:22:42.:22:45.

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

:22:46.:22:51.

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

:22:51.:22:59.

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

:22:59.:23:04.

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

:23:04.:23:08.

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

:23:08.:23:13.

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

:23:13.:23:17.

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

:23:17.:23:22.

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

:23:22.:23:27.

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

:23:27.:23:32.

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

:23:32.:23:37.

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

:23:37.:23:39.

parents league tables in a new format which will contain more

:23:39.:23:43.

detail about how pupils are progressing, which is designed to

:23:44.:23:49.

reveal schools that are apparently coasting, hiding behind the Celts

:23:49.:23:53.

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

:23:53.:24:01.

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

:24:01.:24:05.

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

:24:05.:24:08.

going to a classroom and see the engagement between teachers and

:24:08.:24:14.

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

:24:14.:24:24.
:24:24.:24:28.

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

:24:28.:24:35.

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

:24:35.:24:40.

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

:24:40.:24:45.

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

:24:45.:24:49.

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

:24:49.:24:54.

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

:24:54.:24:59.

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

:24:59.:25:06.

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

:25:06.:25:10.

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

:25:10.:25:15.

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

:25:15.:25:19.

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

:25:19.:25:24.

schools which are judged outstanding but attainment levels

:25:24.:25:29.

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

:25:29.:25:32.

inspectors will look and see whether they still deserve the

:25:32.:25:37.

outstanding rating. Would you want to see those schools visited

:25:37.:25:40.

continually? The head teacher at their said she would welcome

:25:41.:25:44.

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

:25:44.:25:50.

don't really see outstanding schools and therefore they should

:25:51.:25:56.

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

:25:56.:26:01.

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

:26:01.:26:11.
:26:11.:26:14.

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

:26:14.:26:19.

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

:26:19.:26:22.

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

:26:22.:26:26.

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

:26:26.:26:30.

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

:26:30.:26:35.

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

:26:35.:26:40.

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

:26:40.:26:45.

good teaching, good assessment systems, studies support and so

:26:45.:26:52.

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

:26:52.:26:57.

going to do something about standards in Our Country,

:26:57.:26:59.

particularly in our most disadvantaged and deprived

:26:59.:27:04.

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

:27:05.:27:10.

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

:27:10.:27:20.
:27:20.:27:20.

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

:27:20.:27:24.

behind after school for extra classes boss of you would pay

:27:24.:27:32.

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

:27:32.:27:36.

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

:27:36.:27:41.

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

:27:41.:27:45.

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

:27:46.:27:49.

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

:27:49.:27:53.

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

:27:53.:27:58.

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

:27:58.:28:02.

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

:28:02.:28:06.

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

:28:06.:28:11.

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

:28:11.:28:18.

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

:28:18.:28:24.

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

:28:25.:28:28.

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

:28:28.:28:33.

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

:28:33.:28:35.

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

:28:35.:28:38.

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

:28:38.:28:43.

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 is going to prove the doom-mongers wrong. The word in Westminster is that he is planning a 'game changer' budget.

On Wednesday, unless there is a last-minute change of plan, the unions will walk out in a row over pensions. Schools will shut, airports will be chaos and the army is on standby to man the borders.

Joining Jo Coburn is Sir Michael Wilshaw who is to be become the chief inspector of schools.

The is also a discussion about the economy with Liberal Democrat MP Duncan Hames, Labour's Luciana Bergher and Conservative Sam Gyimah.


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