25/06/2012 Daily Politics


25/06/2012

Political news and debate. Jo Coburn is joined by ex-member of the Bank of England monetary policy committee Dr DeAnne Julius and Alan Duncan explains why he does not do buzzwords.


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LineFromTo

Good morning. Welcome to the Daily Politics.

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So England are out of the football and the pain that is Wimbledon is

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about to begin. Oh, well. At least its stopped raining! On the

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programme this morning: David Cameron sets out huge changes to

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the welfare system. The under-25s may lose their housing benefit

:01:05.:01:09.

under a future Tory Government in a bid to end what he calls the

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"something for nothing culture of entitlement". Have you ever

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wondered what a Central Bank actually does? We go behind the

:01:14.:01:17.

scenes at the Bank of England. And do you grind your teeth when you

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hear about things being "accessed", "catalysed", "showcased" or

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"impacted"? We meet the minister who has declared war on pointless

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buzz-words. All that in the next half hour. And with us for the

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whole programme today is Dr Deanne Julius, the American economist and

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former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee,

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who is now the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs think-tank Chatham

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House. Welcome to the programme. Let's start with Scotland, where

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the "Better Together" campaign is being launched as we speak with the

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former Chancellor, Alistair Darling, saying that Scotland will be

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stronger if they retain the union. I hope that as somebody who feels

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passionately about the future of the country in which I have lived

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many years, is that I can encourage them to stay in the United Kingdom

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because of the strength it brings us at home and because of the

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influence it gives us abroad. Alistair Darling. How should he go

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about persuading his fellow countrymen in Scotland that the

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union is the best way forward? think he should focus on the

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economics case. The identity politics could be strong, but the

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economic case is clear-cut. That Scotland will be disadvantaged.

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Devolution means devolving assets and liabilities. In the case of

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Britain our debt is actually high these days, thanks to the financial

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crisis and the bailing out to the Royal Bank of Scotland among other

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things. So Scotland would take on its share of that debt. It would

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have to finances it on the world capital markets.

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Alex Salmond is not proposing that Scotland join the Euro, for example.

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It would be difficult, so in that sense separation on a financial

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economic basis, no doubt he will not want to frighten the horses in

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Scotland? Even if he keeps the pound, what that means is that

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Scottish banks will be supervised from London it means that when

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Scotland needed to borrow money to finances its own budget deficit, it

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sounds like they would be running a deficit, they would have to do that

:03:23.:03:29.

with Scottish issues, the Scottish- backed pound debt that puts them in

:03:29.:03:34.

the same situation that Italy is in or Spain. Are you saying that

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Scotland could not survive on its snon Not at all, but it would be

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more detective than the pro- devolution people paint it. They

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would not have control of their currency, they would need to really

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develop a track record and credibility in economic management.

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Alex Salmond has talked long and hard about the Reeve knews that

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Scotland should have gotten and would get from the North Sea oil,

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that Scotland's fortunes would rest largely on that? I think he is

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right that the fortunes would rest largely on oil, but it is a huge

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bet. 30 years ago it would have been a great bet. That is why the

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deal was done with the formula, giving more revenues to Scotland

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than it produced in taxes, but now production in the North Sea has

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been declining in the last decade. Most of the big fields have been

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discovered, so unless there is a massive new recovery, it is unlike

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that the revenues for the Scottish oil will be there. They will go

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down. Now, the coalition has introduced some of the biggest

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changes to the welfare system in 60 years, but today, the Prime

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Minister is to talk about new changes. David Cameron is to float

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the idea of removing Housing Benefit from many under 25s,

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forcing them to live with parents. He is to suggest limited

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unemployment benefit to two years, a system used in parts of America

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and hint at restricting handouts for those with large numbers of

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children. Here is Labour's Stephen T hirbgs mms talking about it today.

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The Government is right to be worry being the Welfare Bill. The

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Government should be concentrating on ensuring that there are jobs

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available for young people, requiring them to take the jobs up,

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but there are over 1 million young people out of work. There are not

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the jobs, so threatening them with throwing them on the streets is not

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going to help. Well with us now is one of the

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Conservative members of the Work and Pensions Select Committee,

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Harriet Baldwin, good morning, welcome to the programme.

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Is this back to basics on the welfare state, the end of

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compassionate conservatism? Is it compassionate to have a situation

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where a young person's whose family have never been in the benefit

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system, stays at home in their childhoodhood bedroom until they

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are able to afford to move out on their own, and then looks across

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the road to see someone in the benefit system, presents to the

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Housing Association and is able to move into accommodation.

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So what do you say to the critics, Labour this morning, that young

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people will be out on the streets. 165,000 people who don't have

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enough commercial money to pay for rents, what will happen.to them?

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is vital that the welfare state acts as a support to those sorts of

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young people coming out of care, or perhaps are fleeing from domestic

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violence, they absolutely need that new start in life, but if they

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would be able to live at home with their parents until past the age of

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25, I don't think that is unreasonable for us to have a

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discussion and as a state say it does make sense to put you on a

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even playing field with some of the other young people. Do you agree

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with people choosing having to have children and for the financial

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reward then avoid working? I don't think so, but I do think for a

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young person at the age of 16, 17, who has had a child, and is able

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therefore to move into accommodation with that child, and

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then is actually automattically entitled to further increases in

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accommodation and further increases in income if they have more

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children, I think you cannot be surprised that today in families

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with four or more children I think it is, or five or more, more of

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them are workless than in work. You are on regard saying that

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unemployed families should get child tax credits for no more than

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four children? That is what I floated in a study, said that the

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automatic entitlement should end. We should have conversations about

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requiring skills, education, to try to help you bring the children up

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out of poverty. Are the policies sounding cruel or

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sensible? Something must be done. I'm not sure about with which

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policies should be addressed, but it is clear that the country has

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gotten itself into a situation where it cannot afford the Welfare

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Bill it has. It is almost a quarter of Government spending. It is

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transferring from taxpayers to various sorts of welfare recipients.

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Housing Benefit is a huge part of that �20 billion. So the solution

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is hard to come up with. Nothing is easy, but something must be done.

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It was in the States that Clinton brought in reforms in the 90s, that

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ended the automatic entitlement to additional welfare. If you were an

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out of person work who had never taken on training, but the

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automatic entitlement went. But cab you achieve it? Can you

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save another �10 billion, which is what the Chancellor would like to

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see after the next election by targeting working age benefits

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alone? Does it not need to be spread over the generations,

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looking fo for, at example, the pensioners? The package must be

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looked at. Housing Benefit strikes me as one of the areas to be looked

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at. I was shocked as a person who had not grown up in the country, to

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learn once you have accommodation in social housing that you have it

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for life life. That seems ridiculous. What about targeting

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elderly pensioners's benefits that they get? The Prime Minister is to

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make it clear that the 2010 fan festow says we will not touch it,

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but I have said that for a company director, they would get a winter

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fuel allowance and a large cash for fuel in the winter. Buts that what

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a manifesto pledge. You don't think that the Prime

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Minister should change that? Well, he is the Prime Minister. You have

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said that something must be done. You both said it that times are

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tough, that we should be looking at those winter fuel payments for

:10:08.:10:13.

example? I am on the record as saying we should look at that for

:10:13.:10:18.

the richer. Why 2015? Because of the manifesto

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arrangement. It is not a huge amount of money.

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But if we are talking about saving �1.2 billion, you have �10 billion

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to find you will not getting from targeting working age benefits

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along, or Housing Benefit, but look across the board? Indeed, but that

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is what they are doing with the idea of a welfare cap.

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That seems sensible. This is a Labour policy, to have a regional

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been fifth cap. I think it would make sense to look at different

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parts of the country where the housing a less expensive and set it

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lower than the 26,000 we have set it at nationally. Why should it not

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be for the coalition, looking at Housing Benefit now? I think we

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should be raising the debate now. It would be interesting to hear

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what the partners would say on this. They have been collaborative so far.

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I think it is healthy to have the discussion. I hope that there is

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area with common ground with the Liberal Democrats, but given how

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slow the process of welfare reform is, it took two years to get the

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welfare act through in Parliament, but we have to think about it now.

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How happy with the backbenchers? Imagine they would be happy.

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They would support this? Is it standing David Cameron in good

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stead, trying to appeal to what people say, the red meat for the

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Conservative Party? It is down the people we meet every week in our

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constituencies. They work hard. They take home at the end of the

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day less than someone would on benefits with a large number of

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children. I don't think it is fair to the children not to have that

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conversation with the parent or parents and I don't think it is

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fair to other taxpayers to be necessarily supporting that as a

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long-term lifestyle choice. Harriet Baldwin. Thank you very much.

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Have you ever wondered what the bank of England does? Or the

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European Central Bank? Teetering away. Well, we have wondered. So we

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sent Susannah to the Bank of England Museum to see what she

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could find out. # Went to the bank just to get a

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little money # Well, he told me that they re

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choir was # I started feeling funny. # The

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Bank of England is aiming to keep the prices of the power to set the

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interest rates. The bank, every month has a meeting

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of the International Monetary Fund, they decide whether to move the

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interest rates up or down. The point of doing that is to try to

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meet the inflation target of 2%. So using the bank rate or the interest

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rates, is really to try to keep inflation under control.

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But the European Central Bank fulfils that role if your currency

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is the Euro. There are 17 different countries in the eurozone, which

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means that the ECB has to come up with a one size fits all interest

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rate. If we had a German Central Bank

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maybe the interests rates would be higher for Germany than Greece or

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Spain. So there are discussions with the counsel of the ECB, but

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the governments have to deal with the fact that their country is not

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in sink with the rest of the eurozone.

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Mervyn King is thought to be in favour of using more of what is

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known as quantitative easing. It is described as printing money,

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but it is creating money electronically at the bank. What

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the bank does with it, is it goes to financial institutions and says,

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basically, give us your gilts, which are a supersave risk-free

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government debt. So a transaction takes place and the financial

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institutions use the cash to buy riskier assets. That gets the money

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into the economy, it creates a demand bolsters confidence as the

:14:26.:14:32.

money moves around. The European Central Bank has the

:14:32.:14:35.

power to do quantitative easing too, although it has chosen not to.

:14:35.:14:39.

Increasing the amount of money in the economy, which is what

:14:39.:14:42.

quantitative easing does, can raise inflation.

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If the money is spent, quite rapidly, when the economy has not

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stepped up its production, then there is more demand than is being

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produced in the economy. That creates some bottlenecks and

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inflationary pressures. The bank can -- the Bank of England

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can bail out as the learned of last resort, but the European Central

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Bank does not have the power. Although they are under pressure to

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do more. It is more difficult for the ECB to

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bail out a bank directly. They have lent a lot of money to banks, but

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the responsibility is still very much with national Government.

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In if the eurozone ends up with banking union, the ECB could look

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The central banks, like the Bank of England and the European Central

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Bank, have key roles in stabilising the European economy. With a Cisse

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member of the German parliament, representing the Christian Social

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Union, the sister party to Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.

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Welcome to the programme. What you say to other European leaders who

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say that the Germans are the problem here, that they are Paul

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King the use of the European Central Bank to bailing out

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southern European countries? only the Germans, all the Eurozone

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member countries have already spent a lot of money on bail out. We paid

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for Greece alone more than 100 times as much as the United States

:16:15.:16:18.

did after the Second World War with the Marshall programme. It is not a

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question of money, it is a question of political consequence. These

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countries have to show the political will to undertake the

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necessary reforms and fiscal consolidation necessary. Do you not

:16:34.:16:37.

think that countries like Greece and Italy with EU governments are

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showing that they are willing to take the steps that are necessary

:16:41.:16:46.

to deal with their structural debt problems, but they need more help

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because of the spiralling problem of debt and the fact that the

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markets have got their grip on these countries? We need a mix of

:16:55.:17:00.

policies, but to suggest that the amount of money Eurozone member

:17:00.:17:06.

countries should pay will lead to overstretched bail-out funds. There

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is a limit of effectiveness of financial aid, and also a limit of

:17:10.:17:14.

political acceptance in the recipient countries as well as in

:17:14.:17:17.

the donor countries for. Do you think Angela Merkel is the most

:17:17.:17:21.

unpopular leader on the Continent at the moment? It is not a question

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of how popular a leader is, the question is whether the

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contributions of a country are adequate to solve the crisis.

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you see the Germans, that they could do more, that Angela Merkel

:17:33.:17:37.

is the key to unlocking the crisis? And at the moment, she is refusing

:17:37.:17:40.

to take the steps that other leaders are asking her to do.

:17:40.:17:46.

think she is walking a tightrope. The German perspective is

:17:46.:17:49.

irrelevant. That is her constituency. If I were in her

:17:50.:17:54.

place, I would be reluctant to take on an open-ended commitment to

:17:54.:17:59.

support countries over which there is no effective fiscal control. She

:17:59.:18:01.

has a difficulty there although I'm sure she is committed to saving the

:18:01.:18:08.

Euro. She is under pressure to do more. Is that not the point? Angela

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Merkel does not want the Euro to collapse. Germany has done well out

:18:12.:18:17.

of it. Are Germans not worried that that is the consequence? In order

:18:17.:18:22.

to avoid the collapse of the Euro, the donor countries will have to

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keep their own credibility. This is not a question of Germany alone. It

:18:27.:18:32.

is a question for France and Italy. They will have to keep their

:18:32.:18:35.

credibility. Will we will have to keep the credibility of the bail-

:18:35.:18:40.

out fund. This is the crucial question. In the end, do you think

:18:40.:18:44.

that there will have to be full fiscal and political union for the

:18:44.:18:51.

Euro to survive? We need closer economic co-ordination at the -- at

:18:51.:18:59.

least. Full banking union? You would be a supporter that? -- in

:19:00.:19:05.

support of that. All the discussions of fiscal union or

:19:05.:19:10.

banking union always lead to a discussion on fresh money. This

:19:10.:19:15.

will not be sufficient. We will have to undertake structural

:19:15.:19:19.

reforms in the framework of the European Monetary Union, but the

:19:19.:19:23.

crisis cannot be solved by fresh money alone. Do you think it is

:19:24.:19:26.

inevitable, even though there is a new government in Greece, that

:19:26.:19:29.

Greece will leave the Euro eventually, that they will not be

:19:29.:19:34.

able to survive? It is not the German Government's position, but

:19:34.:19:41.

my personal view is that Greece will have to do that to regain

:19:41.:19:46.

competitive ness -- competitiveness. Her do you do that? If you do that

:19:47.:19:53.

within that the Euro, we would have to cut social benefits, and keep

:19:53.:19:58.

the high living costs. This will cause social tensions. I would

:19:58.:20:02.

prefer, and I believe it would be better for Greece to do this

:20:02.:20:05.

outside the Eurozone. Of course, this would cause problems. But they

:20:05.:20:10.

could recover quicker outside the Eurozone. In that what Angela

:20:10.:20:18.

Merkel wants? It is my personal view. Do you think that is right?

:20:18.:20:22.

Do you agree that in the end, that is what Greece will have to do?

:20:22.:20:27.

Eventually, they will have to relieve -- leave the Euro. It seems

:20:27.:20:30.

they are in an unsustainable position, not just economically but

:20:30.:20:36.

politically. They have had difficulties, with a messy

:20:36.:20:40.

coalition which is promising things which are not on offer. It seems

:20:40.:20:43.

that they will have to leave, possibly not in the next three or

:20:43.:20:49.

four ones, because agreement a been patched together, but by the end of

:20:49.:20:53.

the year, certainly, they will be out. I doubt they will leave

:20:53.:20:59.

voluntarily. They will have to be forced out. The trigger will

:20:59.:21:04.

probably be the troika, the IMF, the ECB and the Europeans saying

:21:04.:21:08.

"We cannot release additional bail- out funds because you have not

:21:08.:21:13.

capture Cross's". The would like that to happen? -- kept your

:21:13.:21:20.

promises. In Portugal, Spain and Italy we see political consensus on

:21:20.:21:25.

the necessity of structural reforms and fiscal consolidation. This is a

:21:25.:21:31.

great difference with Greece. There is more time and chance to recover

:21:31.:21:40.

for Spain and Italy especially. For example, looking only at public

:21:40.:21:49.

debt, including implicit debt, Italy is even stronger than Germany.

:21:49.:21:58.

The debt, including a plus a debt, will be at 192% in Italy, with 146%.

:21:58.:22:05.

Italy is a strong economy. They will have to keep his credibility.

:22:05.:22:09.

One thing I can guarantee is that we will be talking about this at

:22:09.:22:15.

months to come. Thank you very much. Time for a paradigm shift.

:22:15.:22:18.

International developed minister -- international development minister

:22:19.:22:23.

Alain de Gaulle -- Alan Duncan has issued a memo a urging staff to

:22:23.:22:28.

stop using buzzwords in internal memos. He says that staff risked

:22:28.:22:31.

damaging Britain's reputation by using language that the rest of the

:22:31.:22:35.

world does not understand. Let us look at what has gotten so hot

:22:35.:22:39.

under the collar. What are some of the words that targeting the

:22:39.:22:43.

Minister so hot under the collar? He does not want to hear anyone

:22:43.:22:47.

leverage or mainstream anything. And he certainly does not like what

:22:47.:22:52.

he describes as a meaningless term of "Going forward". In the memo he

:22:52.:22:58.

says "We do not ever access, showcase, catalyse or impact

:22:58.:23:04.

anything." He finds a baffling when a sentence begins "Grateful for

:23:04.:23:09.

you're" Instead of "I would be grateful for Europe." And whatever

:23:09.:23:14.

you do, do not refer to his apartment's work in "The

:23:14.:23:20.

humanitarian space." The team here had a holistic approach to this,

:23:20.:23:23.

cascaded down and decided to facilitate the booking of the key

:23:23.:23:28.

contributor to help achieve maximum impact. I have practised at all

:23:28.:23:32.

morning! Alan Duncan is here for some quality face time. We are

:23:32.:23:38.

primed for upwards the back. Were you cringing? I was cringing.

:23:38.:23:42.

Otherwise, you are perfect of course. I am on my best behaviour

:23:42.:23:46.

here, hoping that I do not misuse or abuse the English language. Is

:23:46.:23:52.

this just about grammar? Are you just fed up with the phrases that

:23:52.:23:56.

are used, the jargon that is used, in the media world and the

:23:56.:24:04.

political world? Both. I describe myself as a grammar fascist. I send

:24:04.:24:12.

staff looking for a lost'sometimes. This is also about meaning.

:24:13.:24:18.

Sometimes people choose words to suggest purpose, with insufficient

:24:18.:24:22.

thought behind them. If you cannot express yourself clearly, it

:24:22.:24:24.

suggests you're not thinking clearly and if you're not thinking

:24:24.:24:29.

clearly, we end up with rotten policy. Is it the case that this is

:24:29.:24:34.

our culture revolves, that people use those phrases, "At the end of

:24:34.:24:40.

the day," "Damning report," Is that just how people speak? Of course

:24:40.:24:46.

some of these words emerge and you do not want to destroy the

:24:46.:24:49.

evolution of language. The danger and Whitehall is that you end up

:24:49.:24:52.

with Whitehall war for which people in individual departments

:24:52.:24:59.

understand but nobody else does. -- waffle. Do they understand it?

:24:59.:25:02.

there is a danger they do not understand it. Who is the worst

:25:02.:25:06.

offender? I would never name anybody. My office a brilliant and

:25:06.:25:10.

they have got the message. By and large, the great thing about

:25:10.:25:13.

officials and the British Civil Service is that if you make your

:25:13.:25:17.

views clear, they will respond. They are professionals. What they

:25:17.:25:20.

do not like above all is uncertainty. I hope I have given

:25:20.:25:25.

some clarity. I have to say, the quality of the written word now

:25:25.:25:32.

coming across my desk as inevitably improved. We are no longer the

:25:33.:25:36.

hippy wing of government. Economists like you're the worst

:25:36.:25:41.

offenders. When we speak to each other, yes. -- You are the worst

:25:41.:25:45.

offenders. When I was at the Bank of England, I had to learn to speak

:25:46.:25:49.

economic speak. But I applaud Alan for what he's doing because I think

:25:49.:25:53.

one of the great remaining advantages the British have on the

:25:53.:25:55.

international stage is that they can speak English properly.

:25:55.:25:59.

have they been mimicking Americans in some way, by using that more

:25:59.:26:06.

colloquial language? I think business is often the worst

:26:06.:26:09.

offender. Some of the language that creeps into the boardroom is

:26:09.:26:15.

laughable. But perhaps the worst American habit is when the verb --

:26:15.:26:21.

they've her a noun, they take a noun, like showcase, "You're

:26:21.:26:25.

showing something," And the next thing that happens is you are

:26:25.:26:29.

showcasing it. I would like to stamp on that. Do you think about

:26:29.:26:36.

that? Perhaps I can respond. What annoys me about the English use of

:26:36.:26:42.

words, "To be perfectly honest," I despise that phrase. We are all

:26:42.:26:47.

perfectly honest. And if we are not, we should not say that we are.

:26:47.:26:52.

is like being half pregnant. either honest or you're not!

:26:52.:26:56.

dislike people calling something of fierce. If it is surely obvious,

:26:56.:27:00.

one needn't say it. If it is not truly obvious, that is such a

:27:00.:27:06.

future. We have to avoid saying, "Of course you know." People might

:27:06.:27:10.

not know. There is a question of the BBC being institutionalised and

:27:10.:27:16.

there is a language that grows up in institutions like the BBC and in

:27:16.:27:19.

Parliament. David Cameron, we looked briefly through his speeches

:27:19.:27:25.

and he uses "Wake-up call." What is that? Literally waking you up?

:27:25.:27:33.

suppose it is. Let me give you a BBC example. "We now battle

:27:33.:27:39.

things." Battle against them. Gradually this Americanisation, or

:27:39.:27:45.

American turn of phrase has crept into a number of BBC news bulletins.

:27:45.:27:52.

The rough things like "Only time will tell," And so energising. What

:27:52.:27:59.

is that Kim acolyte synergy, when you're working together. -- What is

:27:59.:28:04.

that? We like Synergy, when you are working together. Are these phrases

:28:04.:28:10.

meaningless or are they nice ways of finishing off reports? I think

:28:10.:28:14.

that one is all right, because sometimes poetic turns of phrase

:28:14.:28:18.

become widely used and then become widely understood. So long as they

:28:18.:28:23.

are grammatical and not horrible, horrible twist of language, then I

:28:23.:28:28.

think we can live with them. Who is the worst offender, politician-

:28:28.:28:34.

wise? I do not think I can think of anyone. The Department of Education,

:28:34.:28:37.

I would nominate as a department that is particularly bad when it

:28:37.:28:43.

comes to jargon. Why? I was on the Learning and Skills Council for two

:28:43.:28:46.

years and it took me 18 months to figure out what in the world all

:28:46.:28:51.

these terms meant. And we will leave that thought in every one's

:28:51.:28:55.

Jo is joined by former member of the Bank of England monetary policy committee Dr DeAnne Julius, and International Development Minister Alan Duncan explains why he does not do buzzwords.


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