22/05/2012 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics. We need more energy


or the lights will go out. But how do ministers plan to generate it


and how much more will it cost? Today they publish their plans.


The police could be forced to investigate allegations of anti-


social behaviour if more than five people complain. But what do the


boys in blue make of the Home Secretary's scheme?


Tony Blair said he had scars on his back trying to reform public


services, is so wide to the Labour Party oppose reforms seeking to do


that? -- why do the Labour Party? And a leading philosopher tells us


why they should be some things that money cannot buy.


The breaking news this lunchtime is that the International Monetary


Fund's made an interesting assessment of the health of the UK


economy. Lord Adonis, the New Labour Action Man, welcome to the


programme. You have been asked to head up the industry strategy for


the party. Let's start with a House of Lords, a subject close to your


heart. Do you support the plans for an 80-20 elected-appointed to House


of Lords? An opinion poll found that 0% of the House -- of the


public felt that the House of Lords reform was important. So it may not


be important right now. I have always thought that the House of


Lords should be elected and Parliament should be elected.


Either be perfectly happy and indeed enthusiastic about standing


for election if the Lords were to be reformed. On the central


principle of should it be elected or not, the answer is yes. But on


the political thing, will you support the coalition's plans when


it comes out? The key thing is that there should be a referendum and of


course I support that. The same opinion poll showed that 0% thought


that there should be reform also thought that there should be a


referendum. People should have their say. What about the Labour


peers that might vote against, with the rebel peers? We fought the last


election on a commitment to have a democratically elected House of


Lords. We also said there should be a referendum, so I think the right


way forward, and I hope that party leaders can agree this, is to have


a predominantly or wholly elected second chamber with the people.


on the basis of what you have just said, it may not happen at all.


That would defeat the purpose. think watch this space. It is quite


possible that the coalition could decide that the way to bring


everyone on board is a referendum. What about moving to Manchester?


Why would that be a good idea? those people that come from North


of Birmingham are very keen. they? I have got a very positive


response. Even though people don't want reform of the House of Lords?


The existing House of Lords moving there, they think that is a good


idea. People from London, not so keen, very telling. People in the


House of Lords are essentially Londoners, so we did not get an a


disaster response from the South. I would not count your chickens on


that one. -- we did not get an enthusiastic response from the


South. Some good news for the economy. The


consumer prices measure has fallen to 3%, the lowest level in three


years. But if ministers felt good about that, it will not have lasted


long. The head of the IMF was in town. Christine Lagarde said that


she shivered to think of the state of the British economy had the


Government not put a deficit reduction plan into place two years


ago. So far so good for George Osborne. She went on to say that


ministers have to prepare to change direction if growth failed to


materialise. Unfortunately the economic recovery


in the UK has not yet taken hold and uncertainty is abound. The


stresses in the eurozone affect the UK through many channels. Growth is


too slow and unemployment, including youth unemployment, is


too high. Policies to bolster demand before low growth becomes


entrenched are needed. Well, our political correspondent was


listening to Christine Lagarde. What is she actually saying? That


the Government should now look at a plan B? She was not saying that


explicitly. I think on the whole the Treasury will be pleased with


the IMF's assessment of how they have done so far. It is approval of


their strategy. It was a fascinating moment in her press


conference when she said that she shivered to think what would have


happened if they had not been a deficit reduction plan in place in


the UK. So good so far. But with that backdrop of stagnant growth


and uncertainty across the global economy, she is saying that they


should be a plan B in the Treasury's pocket in case recovery


does not emerge. She says the Treasury should consider further


fiscal easing measures, including temporary tax cuts. And in the


press conference that followed her remarks, one of the IMF officials


talked about the VAT cut playing right into a very charged and


relevant political debate between Labour and the Government. And


perhaps boosting demand may also be needed if growth does not appear


soon. That will be something that Labour will jump on. They will.


They are saying that the structure of the Government's plan is wrong


and it is snuffing out growth by having a deficit reduction plan


that is too severe. Labour of course argue that it should be


slightly slower and the screw should be loosened. Christine


Lagarde is not endorsing that. She is saying that there may need to be


measures to stimulate the economy further down the line. That is


something that Labour have been calling for and we have not had a


response yet from Labour, not that I have seen. They will seize on her


remarks, I am sure, arguing for fiscal easing measures to boost


growth. She has stepped into a very controversial part of the political


debate and there is something for both sides, to be honest. All right.


Matthew Hancock, the Conservative MP, is with us now. He is a close


associate of the Chancellor, George Osborne. Welcome back. Christine


Lagarde did endorse the Government's plan of cutting the


deficit from 2010. But she also said that we have to prepare for


Plan B. Is the Treasury planning for that? Let's look at what she


said. She said tersely that the fiscal consolidation dealing with


our deficit is on track. -- firstly. People watching will be pleased to


hear that a quarter of the progress has been made. She also said that


growth is disappointing. We all know that. She explained the


reasons. She said there was no growth and high unemployment in


Britain, which was a worry, and that is why they are calling for


austerity to be relaxed. That is not what she said. Hold on. Let's


explain what she actually said. She said tersely that there should not


be a fiscal relaxing now. -- firstly. And if growth continues to


disappoint, then the first recourse should be looser monetary policy,


lower interest rates, more clubs to be easing. And it is for the Bank


of England to make that decision. - - more quantitative easing. I would


support that decision if they decided to make it. They also want


measures for small businesses, which the Government announced in


November and brought in the Budget. And thirdly, changing the mixture


of spending, away from spending on things like benefits and salaries


and more towards infrastructure spending. Only if Gross still


disappoints, and there has been substantial amounts of that, then


we should consider other options. - - if growth disappoints. The idea


that Ed Balls should listen to that programme, the proposals put


forward, and listen to the confirmation of the Government's


strategy, which has been fiscal responsibility and monetary


activism, and that as a proposition for what should happen, actually


this is very good news for the Government. All right. At what


point is she saying that these things need to be changed and there


may need to be a look at the policy mixture? When does that happen,


bearing in mind that we have had flat growth for two years? When do


we get to that point? How much longer is this Government going to


tolerate no growth? The Government is not tolerating no growth. That


is why it is already acting on credit easing and getting people


into work through the biggest work programme that this country has


ever seen. Over half a million people in six months have been


engaged in that scheme. The answer directly to your question of when,


she says it herself. The IMF say it themselves. Only after substantial


further action has been taken on monetary policy, on credit easing,


and from switching from current and into capital expenditure. But she


said that if the recovery fails to take off, then the Government


should focus on quantitative easing and one of the measures we should


look at would be a temporary VAT cut. Are they right? They are not.


Labour was calling for the VAT cut. You are totally misrepresenting the


IMF. That is the quote. In answer to the question whether this should


be done now, they say no. They say the current plan is the correct


plan and it is on track. Separately we have borrowing figures showing


deficits down by a quarter. The fiscal plan is on track, it is


appropriate, it is essential. They said that in the future if things


change, after several different other measures have been tried, we


should look at other things. Let's get the deficit down and get growth


growing through the infrastructure investment that we are doing,


getting people out of unemployment. Is that how you read Christine


Lagarde, that she was not criticising the Government so far


and they are on track? I heard to say that growth is too low and


there is not any at the moment and unemployment is too high. In that


clip, she said there was a danger of youth unemployment, which is 20%


higher than it has been since we started collecting records. There


was a real danger of that becoming entrenched. What I have heard from


Matthew is complacency, no change. They are going to carry on with the


policies that have slowed growth, lead to unemployment rising, no


change. What we have heard from the IMF... What we have heard...


did not hear no change. She said that significant further steps are


required to boost growth. That is the message. Military steps, which


is what Matthew Hancock is saying. You do not have a one gear policy,


you have policies across it. But a key thing must be support for new


jobs, that is crucial. Labour is saying there should be a tax on


bank are bonuses to create thousands more jobs for young


people to counter the record levels of unemployment. And we should be


accelerating infrastructure spending. That is what Labour is


saying. She said no big fiscal stimulus, which is what Labour have


been calling for, in effect. She said policies should be fiscally


neutral, which is what the Government is trying to do, it says.


The air will need to be more money going into the economy to create


and sustain new jobs. -- there will need to be. That is crucial. If


there is a vat cut, there needs a further injection. We need a plan B.


What she was calling for, in diplomatic, coded language, is


precisely what Ed Miliband has been calling for. She says she does not


want to trample on political sensitivities here. But reading


between the lines, she says the policies have worked so far and


have made the Government credible in terms of dealing with the market


and the price it is paying for its debt, but in terms of going on from


here, it is not creating growth and jobs. She says that because of the


difficult issues of higher commodity prices and the eurozone,


we need to look at more monetary activism, and when asked do we need


to borrow more now to get things down, she says no. Andrew, I think


you are one of those great Labour politicians who normally tell it


straight. It is slightly beneath you to mangle the words. Yes, she


says let's do everything we can to get growth going. And yes...


you doing everything you can to get growth going? Should we do more to


deal with youth unemployment? Absolutely. Hold on. That is why


the work programme... Why do they not have taxes on the bankers'


bonuses? Oh, come on. Your friend Alistair Darling said it would not


work. We did attacks and it did work and we could be doing it now.


Alistair Darling has said it will not work again. Alistair Darling


has said that the bankers' bonus tax would not work again. Ed


Miliband and Ed Balls have promised to spend it 10 times. The big


picture question is do we give up on the benefits that the Government


has got, that Christine Lagarde spelled out? Hold on. She is not


asking for us to give up on the fiscal consolidation. That is


precisely... Matthew is on Treasury autopilot. He has been sent here to


defend us. Any member of the public understands that plan A is not


working and unemployment has gone up since the election. There is no


growth and there was substantial growth at the time of the last


election. The head of the IMF is now saying there is a real danger


of youth unemployment been entrenched, and this is the most


alarming thing. Let the real about what this means for the country. --


let's be real. There could be a whole generation of people not


knowing what working is and that could be so damaging for the


country. A banker's bonus tax would be so imperative. If you are saying


that more has to be done in a monetary form, it sounds as if the


Government is saying that we cannot do anything and it is up to the


Bank of England to do things like cutting interest rates, and


quantitative easing and there is No after youth unemployment rose


during the boom times, the work programme and the work experience


programme which we have brought in are the biggest programme to get


people into work. I was in sufficient folk on Thursday with


Chris greyling, meeting people who have been given work experience


placements and by the end of the time they're taken on. So that is


the action the government should be taken. As Christine Lagarde said,


is now the right time to try borrow your way out of debt? No, it is not.


Thank you. Now can't we all just get a I long that? That may seem a


stretch, but some policies being pursued by the Government were


dreamed up by New Labour. Adam has been investigating. Politics is a


bit of a pick and mix business and you sometimes get a new government


that seems strangely familiar. big divide in politics has been


about the economy and the pace of deficit reductions, but there is


continue is the on education, welfare reform, overseas aid, where


the Government has kept track with what Labour have done. But Labour


haven't been keen on the reforms in opposition. Take benefits, they


pioneer rad tougher approach, but have opposed much of the


coalition's crackdown. And there are accused Mees, Labour invented


the idea, copy right Lord Adonis and the coalition increased them


nine fold. But Labour were not happy. Why the change of heart?


There was a sense of trepidation in the Labour Party that this was


selling out the public sector. I don't think that was true, but


there was a certain errors in describing the policies which


allowed people to think that. The Labour Party was never comfort


kpwrabl with a lot of its -- comfortable with a lot of its


reforms. John Hutton has been in the position of being a Labour peer


who has worked for enemy, reviewing public sector pensions and earning


the label of collaborator from some. It is important to be, when your in


government and you go into opposition to have continuity. We


started this process and I don't think it serves our cause well if


we then say, well we didn't really do that, but actually we did.


this is going to be a feature as long as politics exists. When there


is a new face as Prime Minister, they get some things they like the


look of and opposition leaders are supposed to oppose. Well Lord


Adonis is still with me. Do you think Labour is opposing just for


the sake of opposing on key areas like welfare, health and education?


I think Labour's doing the right thing, that is judging policies on


their merits. You sympathise with Ed Miliband saying free schools are


a bad thing. What we have said is we will look at free schools case


by case. I invented aed -- academies. They were new schools in


areas where there were not schools. Are you frustrated by Ed Miliband


not embracing that? The policy was to bring good schools in areas


where standards were low. Where new schools are being set up with that


as the mission, I support them. Of course, the numbers given about the


expansion of academies, it is not replacement schools for


underperforming corps hen sifrs, most are existing schools. --


comprehensives. And they are changing the label. No change in


their governance, simply to pocket �25,000 that the Government gives


for changes -- changing. You said in an article the Labour Party will


get back into government by having a better plan for the future, not


by opposing changes that are working well. We don't changes that


are work. Why did you say that then? We don't oppose changes that


are working well, we support them where change has been made for


change's sake. That is something that not going to be supported in


the same way. On the question of free schools, free schools should


be concentrated in areas where educational standards are low and


where children are being failed. Not simply a quest for establishing


more schools. But this is, it sounds like an argument, you


support the thrust of the reform from the Government on thing like


education, but the Labour Party now and you know Shadow Cabinet don't


embrace it in the same way. Are you saying they should and they haven't


been forthcoming enough? One Labour MP said Lord Adonis's argument is


selective and in parts wrong. people, including some people in my


party, didn't like the public reforms, and if thought school


should continue to be run by local authorities. That debate is now


largely over in the Labour Party. Tony Blair's mantra, what matter is


what works, people accept that. Particularly in tackling


disadvantage. Reforms which are geared at narrowing inqualities and


tackling disadvantage, we support. But that is different from reforms


which are intended to break up public services. Like? Which


reforms are you against? One is the health reforms. The marketisation


of the health service, which the coalition was proposing. It was


muted by the House of Lords. support GP commissioning? We do. It


is what the role of competition and this is the thing for the Liberal


Democrats which has been difficult. Where you have an NHS that is


working well and delivering for patients, where we put in place


reforms to see that operations are delivered in a shorter time and


hospital waiting lists are dealt with and patients have choice.


Where those systems in place, we support them. Competition for


competition's sake and t let's be clear what they want to do, they


want to dismantle public service. One problem was the party could


never embrace public sector reform. We have embraced reform. That


doesn't mean to say we embrace the dismantling of the public services.


That is the dividing line between Labour and the Conservatives. Many


Conservatives would rather not have the NHS and would rather have


private medicine. We see it as the best insurance policy in the world


in respect of health. Now, today, the energy Secretary has published


a draft bill to reform the electricity market. It is designed


to solve a problem of how to generate enough power to keep the


lights on and enable the Government to hit its climate change targets.


It will introduce an emissions performance standard. The plans are


intended to secure investment in clean energy to avert a gap in


supplies. As some power stations come to the end of their lives. But


will it lead to higher energy bills? Roger haar ban joins us.


Will it lead to higher bills? inevitable. It will lead to higher


bills. But the Government says any way, because of fructations in


fossil fuel prices -- fluctuations -- consumer would have to pay


higher bills and the Government says within a time of 20 years that


consumers will be better off from the changes being made today. I


have to say that is contested and some people think we would be


cheaper off going down a fossil fuel route. But this is the


Government's position. It believes it will be proved right. How is the


Government to encourage investment in compleen energy? It has a


problem? -- clean energy. It wants new nuclear power stations, but it


is struggling to to co-that -- to do that. It has to get companies to


put in billions up front before they make any cash back. So what it


is trying to do is offer long-term contracts for different causes


where ibin vestors get their money back as soon as they start planning.


That funding will come from our own bills. That is in the form of a lvy.


And they hope to attract investment. But eSen with those inducements is


not certain they will get new nuclear power stations. They could


end up with only one or two. joined by the energy minister


Charles Hendry and Jenny Jones. Can you guarantee that we will get a


new generation of nuclear plants? No, but we can create the right


environment for companies to invest. We're trying to deliver energy


security. How can you guarantee if, there are no state subsidies,


although you're guaranteeing contracts for ndge supplies, so


that is a subsidy, do you accept that? No there is a higher cost for


low carbon technologies, the cheapest one gas. We want a


balanced portfolio and if we want these to come through, we have to


have a structure that encourages people to invest and make up for a


catastrophic shortage of investment in energy. To get that investment,


you have laid down inducements to energy suppliers and we will pay


for that? The consumer will have to pay for berilding the


infrastructure. How much will that add to an average bill What we have


looked at it is what will happen with business if we went down the


route of fossil fuel. It would be cheaper. Well it wouldn't, gas is


at a high price and coal will become more expensive. We believe


the way that we're doing it will be a cheaper way of doing it. Are you


convinced? No, it is difficult to know what this bill is going for.


Because it will not reduce prices for the consumer and it also won't


I think produce the energy that we want. It won't reduce price for the


consumer, but will it be cheaper, can you say it would be cheaper


than if we stayed with the status quo. Of course not. If they only


started insulating people's houses that would reduce each household's


bill by �180. Then if you started investing in renewables, Germany


has 21% market share in renewable energy and their prices have gone


down. That is the way to bring prices down. You reduce the need


for electricity by insulation and reduce prices by going for


renewables, which have fewer long- term problems. So why aren't you


doing that? That is what we did last year. The take up... It hasn't


come in yet. But in terms, some incuesment -- inducements have come


and people haven't taken them up. That is why we have gone for a new


approach, so we can systemically improve the efficiency of houses.


But the approach will deliver energy security at low cost and


fundamentally move us in the low carbon dre,. Yes, it will be


nuclear and be more renewables. have said yourself that you don't


know whether we're going to get a new generation of nuclear plants


and you're going to set up an system, who have shown an interest.


EDF and Centrica. They haven't confirmed that. Well pev e they


have spent billion of pounds so far. And everyone who looks at the


country recognises in five years we have gone from a count which are ry


where nuclear was not on the agenda so, one of the most exciting places


to invest in nuclear. But also in renewables, we want to see a broad


portfolio. What are you doing about getting that diversification?


is what this bill does. It is providing an incentive for people


to invest in low carbon technologies and bring down the


cost of some of the renewables. you dismissing this bill before you


have seen it? No, my impression it is unstable baby steps to what


we're aiming for, which is a low carbon future that does haven't the


burden of nuclear problems later. Cleaning up the nuclear problem


will be a problem for the future. We can't afford that money. And my


understanding is... It is cheaper. It isn't when you have to pay for


it through taxpayers' and consumers' bills. The long-term


bill of nuclear is way beyond this. Labour would have had to backed


some investment to build a new generation of nuclear plants?


need new investment and we need furbt si. And we will see


developments of nuclear power stations. The problem for the


government is it doesn't seem to that is affordable. Two companies


have pulled out and what we want to look at, because we're not signing


blank cheques, when statements are made, that this isn't a subsidy,


but we're signing long-term contracts ta at -- at guaranteed


prices. And illegal. The higher cost of low carbon electricity. If


we want to sea that, we have to get twice as much investment, each year


of the decade, as Lord Adonis achieved in his decade in power,


that we saw a catastrophic falling of investment in infrastructure and


we have much of the coal plants closing and we're playing catch up


for that appalling failure and we're determined to do it in a low


Renewable energy cannot fill that gap in the way that the Green Party


envisages. In Germany they are doing very well, closing down the


power stations and using renewables more. It can be done. If you reduce


the need, then you also resist this desperate drive to use other forms


of fuel. It can be done. This Government is just not taking up


the giant strides that they need to take in imagination. The Germans


have just cut their solar fund. That was 50% of their energy,


providing 3% of electricity. The German decision on nuclear is


burning more coal and gas. We are looking at a balanced approach


which is actually a very sensible for our energy security, and


looking to see how we can secure that investment at the lowest cost.


It does require a major change to the market, this is the most


significant change. And there has also been controversy about the


subsidies given to people having onshore wind technology and wind


farms. Very expensive, with very low capacity, people say. We have


to invest for the future and when you are investing in nuclear, who


are committing to more problems and expense in the future. With


renewables, it is an upfront cost but it becomes cheaper and cheaper


later. Quite honestly, why would we not want to reduce people's need


and at the same time make their bills lower? To me it is dinosaur


economics that we are using to justify nuclear. I think it makes


the case for why we need a balanced situation. Only if it is achievable.


Are you going to reach the low carbon targets? Are you going to


have a new generation of nuclear power stations? There is a big risk


of the likes really going off. purpose of this is encouraging


people to invest in the energy sector in the UK, which they have


not been doing at these levels. When will you get this investment,


contracts signed and sealed? We are working with people now to give


people a price for that investment for next year. There is a process


of negotiation. Companies like EDF Energy need that decision this year.


My understanding is that they have withdrawn from the plant at


Hinckley, for example, at a time when credit ratings agencies are


backing away from nuclear. So why are you going forward and offering


billions? I have to stop you there. Thank you.


Theresa May have been talking about a radical overhaul of schemes to


tackle anti-social behaviour. She wants to replace ASBOs with


alternative ways of doing with troublemakers. These include


forcing the police to take action in five households complain.


Earlier today I launched a white paper. This new approach them


powers local communities, placing victims' needs at its heart and


putting more trust in professionals than ever before. It's perfectly


complements our approach to wider local policing. A lot of what is


called anti-social behaviour is actually crime and it should be


taken seriously and it should be dealt with. 3 million incidents of


anti-social behaviour are still being reported to the police each


and every year, with many more doubtless going unreported. Theresa


May. Let's join Cezanne on College Green to find a more.


There was a time when Tony Blair was talking about hugging a hoodie.


Theresa May wants to change the ASBO system, and is talking about a


community trigger. If five people in a community complain about one


individual, or if one person complains three times about the


same individual, and police are obliged to investigate. I am joined


by an MP from the Home Affairs select committee. People might


think that the police are overstretched. Should we be giving


them more work to do at the time when budgets are cut? This is a


question about how to deploy your police. A lot of members of the


public feel that when they complain to the authority, when they raised


an issue, they hit a brick wall and nothing is done about it. We had


the tragic case of Fiona Ann Pilkington. This is designed so


that when somebody repeatedly complains, and somebody in a


community is repeatedly complaining about the same thing, then police


actually investigate and deal with the issue. But how to regulate it?


The Centre for crime and justice has talked about it from the point


of view of bullies and snoops. How do we know that somebody is a


genuine victim of crime? We leave that to the good sense of the


neighbourhood officer on the spot. Also to the police and crime


commissioners, who we will be acting in November. I leave it to


them rather than the Home Office. One person in overall charge,


overseeing the police, will be elected by the public. And secondly


there will be a mechanism whereby if people are not having their


concerns dealt with, that police will listen and investigate those


concerns. The Police Federation have told me that they think it is


a metaphor for handcuffs for police officers. They will be forced to


investigate situations that may be could be dealt with without police


involvement. Arguments over the garden fence, for example. Let me


give you an example. In my area in Kent, there was a problem of street


prostitution for centuries, really. The police did not do much about it.


They made the odd arrest but they accepted it was there, putting it


in there too difficult box. Then a council ran for office saying that


he was going to deal with this problem and he got the police and


the Council working together and he has eradicated this problem in


Chatham. That is what we want, proper oversight and responsiveness


from our police service. Thank you. The ASBOs are going to be replaced


by something called the Community criminal behaviour order. It will


be a slightly known for something slightly different. Whether it


makes any difference remains to be seen. Are you sad to see as buyers


going? -- ASBOs going? It is clearly a complete dog's breakfast.


They have committed to replacing ASBOs and they are fishing around


for something as close to an ASBO as they can get with a different


name. I think the public will be very depressed about this. When


there is anti-social behaviour, they expected to be dealt with.


din never really was dealt with. The councils did not follow up on


it. That is precisely why the ASBO is popular. ASBOs give a real


redress for tenants whose lives are made a misery. Renaming them with


the huge bureaucratic waste that will go on, and Dennis arbitrary


cut-off, -- then it is arbitrary cut off. Will it be five, four,


three? We want to see properly responsive police locally but there


are fewer police and the Government reforms as well. You will be very


pleased to know that our quiz is about ASBOs, son to like them so


much. Which of the following cases did not result in an ASBO? A


grandmother listing to Frank Sinatra too loudly. A shepherd not


controlling his sheep in Gloucestershire. The soup than


company serving food to 100 homeless people in Manchester. --


pursued fund company. And familiar flying his helicopter to close to


his neighbours. We will get the correct answer at the end of the


programme. The long awaited report into


employment law was published yesterday. The Government had not


wanted to publish it yet, but it was forced to after the Telegraph


leaked an early draft. It in the craft had been asked to do the


report and it is full of controversial ideas. -- Adrian


Beecroft. One of the most controversial proposals is no fault


dismissal and also the delay of compulsory pensions. Vince Cable is


away from Parliament, but that has not stopped his opposite number


from demanding questions to be answered in the Commons.


What a complete and utter shambles! Can the Minister confirm that his


department was complacent and fully co-operated in a production of this


report despite the Secretary of State's misgivings? We believe that


improvements can be made to the way that employment tribunals operate


for the sake of employers and employees, but we do not think that


watering down the fundamental rights of workers can be


substituted for a proper growth strategy. A lot of cliches but not


much substance, I'm afraid. He asks whether I am complicit. If he had


listened to my opening statement, he would have heard that this


department commissioned the report, and so we were complicit. What


would be the increase in output if all these measures recommended by B


Croft were adopted? -- Adrian Beecroft. I cannot say that, which


is why we are calling for evidence. My honourable friend is right to


question this issue and was not present during any of the comments


from the gentleman opposite. agree on the need for balance.


Would he agree with me that we would be creating an environment of


fear if we bring in a fire at will, which would not bring in growth and


would just be bonkers? We have to get the balance right so that


businesses are competitive and we do not tie them up with the red


tape we suffered in the last Government, and we make sure that


we do not strip away those basic rights, as she rightly says. As a


former shop steward and proud trade unionist, I welcome many of these


proposals. Would the Minister agree with me that we need to change so


much of our rules and regulations so that instead of having a card to


culture, we have a can-do culture? I only wish that were the case on


the benches opposite. Adrian Beecroft is an asset-stripping


venture capitalist. Surely putting him in charge of a report that


decides whether or not it is easier to sack workers, isn't that like


putting Hannibal Lecter in charge of deciding the nutritional


benefits of cannibalism? That is a good joke. I think he needs to be


very careful about talking about asset-stripping vultures and all of


that. If we want people to develop and create jobs and invest in this


country, we need to watch our language very carefully.


We are joined now by the Conservative MP John Redwood, who


you saw in that debate, and Lord Razzall, the Lib Dem peer. Do you


back most of Adrian Beecroft's proposals, including making it


easier for business to sack people? I back most of what he is saying


but I do not welcome the idea of fire at will, and no sensible


person would want that. We want these and protection for people in


the work force. What we are talking about is very small businesses. The


entrepreneur thinking about taking on his first employee, as someone


with two of three employees. If they choose wrongly and they take


someone that is not co-operating and is letting the side down and


they have warned them, they want to feel that there is some way of


getting rid of a badly performing employee without a huge bill and


lots of law is involved. I hope we can find a compromise to deal with


that point. That sounds like you agree with no fault dismissal.


is not no fault dismissal, there has to be some kind of fault. The


fear that the entrepreneur has is that they are going to take someone


on in good faith, they don't turn up, they mess around, and they do


not perform to a normal stand-up. - - normal standard. It is very


difficult to manage those people out. Do you agree? We have to look


at the changes that have just taken place with the unfair dismissal


rules. Up until last week, if somebody was there for more than a


year, they could claim for unfair dismissal. That has now changed to


two years. I fail to understand why it is a disincentive to take


somebody on, if you think you cannot get rid of them when they


are no good, considering you have two years to make that decision


before they have a claim against you. That was one of the reasons


why my party supported the extension to two years. If the


employer has not made up his mind about them after two years, he


should not have no fault dismissal. The idea put forward by Adrian


Beecroft is bonkers, then? Yes. agree with the Business Secretary?


I would not use the word bonkers. It was the son! I think what we


need is a proper consultation. it was the Sun newspaper! There is


a problem at that needs to be tackled, but none of us want fire


at will, that is not reasonable. And that would create a climate of


fear, yes. Let's look at making it easier for businesses to hire


people. What did you like in the Anything that makes it a fairer ae


easier process for both sides, it has gt too expensive and gives


lawyers too many fees. The proposals to reduce the cost and


make it easier for both sides are welcome. What about the Liberal


Democrats, Vince Cable did call it bonkers, will it end up in the


scrap heap? No fault dismissal will. But the others are being


implemented. The laibds -- Liberal Democrats are happy about that.


the other one there is a consultation and I'm sure Vince


Cable and the minister will take into account both sides. What about


family friendly policies, it has been reported that No 10 doctored


the bits that said there should be a delay to family friendly policies,


was that the rigt thing for No 10 to do? I think that is disputed.


The man changed his report from first draft to final draft. That is


normal. He decided that the -- that some of the thing were going too


far. Do you not agree that the original that said it would be too


expensive to deal with those changes at this time? All these


things are a balance, as the minister said. We want a fair


balance, we felt that the previous settlement was sending too many


negatives to employers. We want to do something about that. We don't


want to live in a Victorian world where the mill owner grinds the


faces of the emply ployees. argument was it was a cost to the


employer. I don't agree with the postponement. The family friendly


policies are not that expensive. you have any costs if they had to


introduce flexible work and removing regulations around the


employment of young people? Well no. There noise direct costing, but it


is not that expensive. This I why I asked for numbers yesterday. I


can't answer the questions until I see the numbers. If you make it too


expensive you will have fewer people in jobs. If you don't allow


enough for the employees, you have a miserable position at work.


is the problem. We have a report in advance of the evidence. John asked


yesterday what was the evidence. To my astonishment, the response of


the minister was we are going to call for evidence, after the report.


I may be a bit old fashioned, when I was in government we assembled


the evidence first. That is because it was leaked. Yes but it we have


been waiting for the proposals. intention was to have the


consultation before the report. These were firm conclusions that


Adrian Beecroft made, but there haven't -- hadn't been evidence.


They were conclusions of Adrian Beecroft, not Government's. What I


was saying is they need evidence before they make decisions.


Wouldn't it have been a good idea if their own advisor had assembled


the evidence. The fact that there is no evidence tells you a lot.


this is a way of spuring on growth, how do you do that, if we don't


have any evidence? I think we agree on that. We need the costs, because


some of the coasts imposed by European legislation have been


expensive and may not give the best benefits. There are limits to what


we can do about that. We can look at our domestic one and draw up a


budget to make sense. That should have happened before the report


came forward. The fact it has not shows... It look like a shambles,


if you have to ask questions, it hasn't been presented well.


we're half way through and we can judge it when the ministers have


the evidence and come to their conclusions. They want will Ed, I


urge them to have evidence, then we can have the debate on an informed


basis that we can't have tide today. Thank you to both of you. Has too


much of life been taken over by the ideas of the market in his new book,


professor Michael Sandel says that we have gone from having a market


economy to being a market society. And he does not think that has been


a positive trend. From the 1980s and the election of Margaret


Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, Britain and the United States saw a period


of market triumphalism. More and more area of life are subject to


markets. In health and education, as well as airport and theme parks,


paying extra can help you jump the queue. Sport has become


commercialised and there is even a market in old Oscar statue. This


comes at a cost, according to processor Sandel, markets can crowd


out morals and undermine more noble reasons for action he thinks we


would be better off if there were more things that money can't buy.


Michael Sandel joins us now. You could say looking at the examples


you have put forward, that actually this is the natural progression of


things and people are motivated by money and money will enter into


more streams of life. But it's happened with an intensity that


didn't exist before. What about the case just recently, should people


sell their Olympic torchs for private gain? What about some of


other examples that you have used. You talk about queue jumping for


public services. That may have been accelerated, but it has happened


before. Who has created that market? I think all of us have by


not having a public debate about where markets serve the public good


and where they don't belong, we have allowed a kind of market faith.


So I'm not arguing for, I'm not giving the answers to any


particular case, but I do think that we as democratic societies,


unless we want markets to govern everything, we need to have a


debate about where markets belong and where they don't. Where do they


belong? Stkphrie I am a great believer in freedom and I think


people have a right to buy and sell things. We 45 had this debate in my


youth where we have the communist system to the east and a more free


system to the west and in the United States. And people decided


in their millions that they would rather live in the free enterprise


system. The communist system got rid of planning and they had to


shoot people, because so many were trying to leave. How far would you


take it? Should there be a free market in kidneys let's say for


transplantation. I don't work on that. Is it communist to say there


may not be a free market in kidneys. It is a state imposition of


something o' above the market and I accept as a democratic politician,


it is my duty from my colleagues to say there are certain things the


market shouldn't do. I don't want a free market in nuclear bombs.


do you, if you agree with freedom and people to make their own


decisions, you can't stop the market invading into areas which


you don't believe in either? It is difficult to do. As we're


discovering with nuclear technology and drugs. But I'm not one who


thinks you should stop somebody selling their Olympic torch. It


would be intrusive to have Government inspectors coming around


to check up you have still got certain items. That would not be a


free society. When you try to solve the problem of babies being born to


drug addicted women, by offering money to a woman to be sterilised,


should such a charity operate? is the kind of thing you have a


democratic Parliament to debate. You're opening implied you wanted


to stop all sorts of markets functioning that are harmless.


is interesting is that the reference to higher values, and


that is the point of my book, there are some values, as you say, that


are higher than markets, and lead us, we disagree about where to draw


the line. But we need a public debate about which higher values


should restprictst extension of markets -- restrict the extension


of markets in some areas. If you accept that people in their


millions rejected egalitarianism at the level of communism, this is the


natural order and won't there be a backlash, against the market


invading in areas which are too sensitive? We may be seeing a


backlash now. I think that rather than have it be a blind backlash,


better it be a deliberate one that, we that debate openly what are the


higher values that should constrain the reach of market into certain


areas, so that markets can do their work and perform the public good in


areas where they belong. Do you think there should be some


restrictions in what markets do? What was interesting about the book


is the grey areas, we agree there shouldn't be a market in nuclear


bombs. The book says a nursery which your parents have been


expected to pick up their children on time, they don't soshes


introduces fines, the number of late parents increase, because they


want to pay the fine to get another hour at the nursery. What the


conclusion from that? It is that market mechanisms alone are not


enough. You need to have moral expectations, so people do honour


their contracts and do what they say. But clearly they don't. It is


difficult to stop a market. We see that in a country like Greece,


where informal cash markets are breaking out to deal with the


collapse of the state. But the point I took is that markets are


not enough. You need a strong moral underpinning and unless you have


those, you don't have a well functioning society. Are you saying


the market invading stops people having a moral view. That is the


point, if you have markets dominate, people's morals go out of window.


No markets are amoral, not immoral. We live in a pluer is tick society


without a single morality that everyone accepts. There are


conflict of view over what is the moral position. What is your moral


position in so-called death bond, life assurance that pay out when


others die. That's right, Wall Street has created death bonds


where you can invest in a stranger, or a bundle of a group of strangers


dying sooner rather than later. I would say that coarsens our


attitude to life. Be what about that. Any objection? I would need


to see what was involved. Named contracts on people would be


unpleasant. If it is a way of managing mortality risks, I would


want to understand it. We haven't got much time I have been told. But


on the nursery thing, if people are being late in the first place, that


is why they were being fined, and then it doesn't work, do you just


drop the whole market force in that sense? That is the market, you are


in the market, to provide the place and take your child and there is


cash changing hands. They have got to get their pricing right. Or only


the very rich can afford to let their children stay late.


Whrafrpblgts has been pointed out is central to the idea of book,


sometimes markets crowd out none market value worth caring about.


Thank I yo. Just time for the answer to the quiz. Which of the


following cases did not result in a as bow. I think it was the


helicopter. Ce you're right. reckon he was a non-Dom and nobody


cowl track him down. Lord Adonis you have had too long to think


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