16/07/2012 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


David Cameron and Nick Clegg put on a show of unity as the two leaders


announce a �9 billion investment in Britain's rail network, but work


won't start for at least two years and Labour say rail passengers face


higher fares to pay for it. Preparations for the Olympics reach


fever pitch as the first of thousands of athletes arrive in the


UK. Boris Johnson says London is ready.


Should foreign students studying in the UK be counted in our


immigration figures? With net immigration 250,000 per year, we'll


debate the issue of student visas. And why are we having such a


miserable summer? And can we blame politicians for


the endless rain? We have been in this long, long recession and then


you have the worst weather on history.


No descent summer Nothing to lift you out of the mire.


What a miserable pair! We will try and cheer you up.


All that in the next hour. And with us for the whole programme today is


the cross-bench peer, Jo Valentine, who runs the business organisation


London First. Welcome to the Daily Politics. So, with just under two


weeks to go, is Britain ready for the Olympics? Boris Johnson


certainly thinks so. This is about sport. It is about achievement and


effort and competition and supreme human endeavour and I think that's


why people are so excited and what's going on now, you speak


about the curtain up moment, actually we are at the last moment


before curtain up and there is a bit of pre-curtain up for things to


talk about. When the opening ceremony ceremony begins I think a


lot of these issues that we are discussing will melt away and I


think people's excitement at seeing London transform looking wonderful


at the moment and in the eye of the world, we will be great indeed.


Boris Johnson talking to BBC Breakfast today.


Do you agree? Is London ready? Will it be all right on the night?


can't predict, but we are doing as much as we can to prepare for it. I


think it will be great and I think the mayor and Transport for London


have been putting in rehearsal time and thinking through the issues,


but none of us us knows how it is going to be.


Do you think there has been a sense of shambles because of the recent


security and transport problems with the M4 and GS4 on security?


have to say, I do agree with Boris. I think we are at the pre-curtain


up, nervous phase and there is little blips and the little blips


will continue, but we need o keep going and and keep keep preparing.


We can't do anything about the weather! Boris Johnson says it is


his mission to ensure the �9 billion spent on the Games has a


lasting effect. That's crucial, isn't it? Not just in terms of


legacy, but how it will impact on Britain? And that's a long game


really. We have seen this huge regeneration of the East End of


London. We need to make sure that the soft things, the sport, we all


keep enthuse astic about sport, we get the jobs in the jobs in the


East End and the buildings and making sure the park bleeds out


into the wider East End area. Are you confident that will happen?


Talking about �9 billion, that's the same as the rail upgrade the


Government announced today? It is difficult to put a measure on these


thix. What -- things, what the Olympics will do for London, nobody


knows until we are past past it. It is tremendous that we have this


iconic event. Let's hope it puts London on the map and we have got


an opportunity to take advantage of All right. It is time for our quiz.


The question for today is, what piece of music has David Cameron


said he would like to see as England's National Anthem? Is it


Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory or Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now


by the Smiths? Yes Yes! Very appropriate!


We'll give you the correct answer at the end of the show. Now after


their troublesome tangle over Lords reform, the Prime Minister and his


Lib Dem deputy are putting on a show of unity today. Pushing their


plans for Britain's rail network and claiming it is evidence the


coalition can deliver. Nick Clegg and David Cameron say it is the


biggest investment snt railways since the age of steam. �9 billion


will be invested over a five year period. That includes �5 billion


for the completion of current schemes such as Crossrail and


Thameslink and �4.2 billion for new projects. This will include a


programme of major electification. Over 850 miles of electified track


will be added to the network including the line from we had ford


to to -- Bedford to Sheffield. There will be upgrade work, in


particular the East Coast main line from London to Leeds and Newcastle.


However, none of the building work will start until 2014. It is


thought the plans could mean big fare rises for passengers. Fares


are due to go up by 3% more than inflation in January and the same


the following year. Speaking this morning, David Cameron and Nick


Clegg said this plan was an essential part of the Government's


overall programme. This is just one as aspect of the


long-term mission of this coalition Government. The coalition has come


into question. Some asking whether it has real momentum for the rest


of the Parliament and others asking if it should end? I am I am more


committed to making this coalition Government today than I was in May


2010 when Nick Clegg and I formed this Government. Above all, that


means accepting that there are no simple, quick, easy short cuts


which secure instant political popularity. In fact, something that


we have accepted in Government at this time we need to put short-term


popularity to one side and get on with making the big, long-term


reforms and changes that this country so des so desperately needs.


Joining us from Leeds is Norman Baker. Here in the studio is the


Shadow Transport Secretary, Maria Eagle and Stephen Joseph.


Norman Baker, it is not a stimulus for now, is it? That is a bit


churlish. We have five year plans for the railways and the present


plan ends in 2014. There has been a massive investment


programme going on in the railways. Everything that was on the stocks


has been taken forward and more besides. This is another batch of


investment programmes for the railways. We have got the biggest


investment programme going on now than we have had since the 19th


century. I suppose what passengers will say,


if it is not starting or they are not going to see the benefits for a


few years, but they are going to have to pay for it upfront, how


much will a passenger expect to pay in fare rises?


A lot of investment is going on now. There has been investment decisions


taken in the autumn statement and the in 2010 Spending Review. This


is the latest of the of the announcements... Sure, but how much


will fares go up? We had ten years of above inflation rises under the


last Labour Government. We inherited a position where Network


Rail was inefficient and what we are doing is driving the


inefficiencies out of Network Rail by 30% and that will release money


which can be reinvested in the railways and keep fares down.


Let's come to the breakdown. Can you tell us How much will come from


the taxpayer? We know it will come from that and how much from the


efficiency savings you have just set out? Well, that will be a


matter for for negotiation negotiation between the Department


of Transport and the Treasury. We need to concentrate on today's news.


�9.4 billion. Electification of a line to Wales. We inherited a


position where Wales is the only country apart from Albania that had


no electified railway. This is major stuff and people should be


pleased with the investment today. There will be a lot of people


people pleased in the industry because they have been enkujing


encouraging to do the improvements and many experts think they are


more important than HS 2. Will that still be necessary? Of course. We


need HS 2 and the investment in the investment in the existing


infrastructure.. HS 2 is necessary. We have been successful and the


last 15 years, the country has been successful in driving up passenger


numbers, 64% up since 1997 that we have to get more capacity. That's


good news. Norman Baker stay with us. What's


your response, Stephen Joseph. Record numbers of passengers, can't


get from Norman Baker the rises that passengers will expect. It is


clear that as Norman said there, is good news from the point of view of


investment. We wanted to see this electification and the other


investments happen, but you are right to say that it seems to be


coming on the back of large fare rises and if you look in the small


print they talk about more fare rises beyond even the ones planned


of RPI plus 3% for each of the next three years, that's a large fares


increase and it contrasts with the way in which other countries do


this which is they regard this as investment as a national asset and


we would want to see this investment coming from taxpayer


funding and from borrowing rather than having even more swinging


fares rises. The Government will say there isn't


the money. Just teen Greening said it is not -- Justine greening said


it is not a money tree. On the issue of State owned rail companies


bidding to win the the franchises is it right they should get the


franchises and use the money to to plough into their railways? More


investment for the network, without Government money being provided and


the better service for the passenger. The pay the franchise is


let is the key point rather than who gets a franchise for each


individual train company. Maria Eagle, you must be pleased.


These are major upgrades that are going on. Good news for Wales and


the north? I am pleased there is investment for the railways, but


let's be clear about this. Half of the money that is being announced


today is to complete programmes that have been started like


Thameslink and Crossrail. You are saying it is an old


announcement? There is a lot of reannouncements and a lot of spin.


The announcements that aren't completing old arrangements were


announced mainly by Andrew Adonis in 2009 2009, and cut by the


current Government and have been announced into the next Parliament.


You are pleased that it is going to happen? Yes, but let's not be


fooled by the charade we have seen today which is more about covering


up splits in the coalition than it has been about improving the


railways. No spending until after 2014, that does not help get jobs


and growth now. Labour started some of these,


announced some of the upgrades. Where would Labour get the money


from if they weren't putting up fares? Taxpayers, what the current


Government are doing, what the current Government is doing, �4


billion goes into the railway, what the current Government is doing, is


giving a postdated cheque, it is allowing Network Rail to borrow


against assets. A lot of the money will be coming from borrowing by


Network Rail. Would you support that? That's


something that has been used in the past. It is unsustainable in the


long-term and it is a question that you have to ask the Government, how


much more money are they going to allow Network Rail to borrow? How


much more are they going to be allowed to borrow? Fares going up


is a contentious issues, but if the upgrades produce increased


efficiency and higher speed trains, will it be worth it? The fare


argument is one if you are travelling on the trains, you want


to see the quality has gone up. There is an impossible balance


which we have been touching on between taxpayers, borrowing and


fares. Somebody has to pay for it and we are in an up happy position


with the debt we have got in the UK. On the borrowing, I am pro


borrowing. If you know you are likely to get economic benefit out


of the investment then I think it needs prioritisation and one could


go further and ring-fence borrowing into that investment.


Can you, if you want to change the structure of the network, can you


rule out nationalising the railways? We are looking at trying


to get better value for money for the money that goes into the


railways. There is no doubt the fragmented structure that we have


is leading to extra costs up to �1.2 billion a year extra costs. We


have not come to a final decision about how to get better value for


money, but saying you are not going to look at the structure of the


industry is ignoring a big elephant in the room. We need to make sure


we get to get better value out of the money that's been spent.


It would be unrealistic, wouldn't it, to imagine you could have the


improved railways without passengers and taxpayers coughing


up for it? Well, I think, you need to have taxpayers coughing up


upfront, but there is a concern which London First shares which is


London in the South East in particular and actually the country


generally, has the highest fares in Europe and that the fares rises


that have been talked about will actually add to that. So there


comes a point where there is a competitiveness between London and


other world cities about the fares that are coming. We argue actually


that some of this investment will end up saving money and that some


of the measures that have been talked about are reducing the


contribution that taxpayers already make to the network. This is about


investment and other countries as I say, regard that as something which


the State pays for because there are wider benefits from it even non


users benefit from having a good That press conference with David


Cameron and Nick Clegg seemed to be more about, a statement about the


coalition. It works very well, across departments, between parties,


very well. So you are not at your colleagues throats about Lords


reform? Of course not. We are two different parties of course but we


work very well together, rather better than the last coalition


between the Blairites and the Brown writes, I might say. Thank you.


What does the 2011 census tell us about England and Wales? In a


moment we will be finding out as the Office for National Statistics


has just published the data. But why do we need to bother with one


at all? Here's a reminder from 1951, with some graphics that we can only


dream of producing on the Daily Politics.


It is 20 years since we had a census and high time we had some


up-to-date facts about ourselves! For instance, how many men of


there? How many women? How old? What do we do for a living? So we


are having a Stocktake. Reform is left for each household, and the


head of the house is responsible for thrilling it in. Take your time


and be sure to give the right answer -- for a filling it in. If


in doubt, ask the person who does the form for his secrecy. Use the


technical name for your job. If you are not sure, ask your employee at.


See that someone is at home to handed over on Monday, April 9th.


It is strictly confidential and your answers will draw a picture of


the nation and its needs. How times have changed!


I am joined now by Pete Benton, who is programme director from the


Office for National Statistics. He was also deputy director of the


2011 census. How many people are living in England and Wales? 56.1


million people, the growth of about 7% since the last census. It is


actually the biggest growth we have seen since we started doing them in


1801. Is that surprising was that it is slightly more than we had


estimated previously but only slightly, it is broadly in line


with what we expected for stocks that that might have jumped high


enough... We have been estimating the impact


of migration so we are broadly in line. One in six of us are over 65


now. So nothing to look forward to. Can you tell us anything about the


immigration patterns in the last ten years? The detail will come up


later in the year. We are publishing Dijk breakdown of


nationally and by local authority - - publishing the breakdown. There


are half-a-million more people living in England and Wales than


suggested, this has been suggested. Do you expect that? It is very hard


to measure and that is why we do a censor's once every ten years.


Roughly half of the growth is probably due to migration and the


other half is natural change. It is a mixed picture. How useful is this


information? Absolutely critical. How much local authorities get to


provide public services, how much the health service gets, it is


obviously open to question but it is very helpful as a basic starting


point. It would be very helpful if we had net migration statistics,


and then we could have a factual argument about the net migration


target. They don't measure one half of the target so I don't understand


that. Are those figures possible to get? More detail later in the years.


The census will not tell us the ins and outs. It measures the


population now and we need to piece together what that means about the


change. Do you think we still need to have a census? Is it something


we need to continue to have? Absolutely. It is helpful across a


whole range of public services. is a massive exercise, isn't it.


sent out 23 million forms last year. We had 35,000 field staff. We have


captured and process the data and we had billions of data items


literally. Two billion keys were pressed back operators. To get the


information out in 50 runs is a huge achievement. A people have a


legal obligation to Phil Lane reforms. Yes, and 19 out of 20


people did. -- people have a legal obligation to fill out the forms.


Response rates were fantastic in 2011. How will we do it in the


future? Every time we do a sense as we take a look at the best way to


do it. I read a review in 2003. We are in the middle of the review for


the future. It is too soon to say but we are looking at whether we


can use information that is already collected.


If you are a non-EU student, paying thousands of pounds for the


privilege of studying at one of our universities, should you be classed


as an immigrant? At the moment you are, but the government is coming


under increasing pressure to exclude them from the net inward


migration totals. Neat way of earning billions of pounds from


foreign scholars, or fiddling the Graduation day at the London School


of Economics. They have come from all over the world for this moment


and for many it is a proud finale for their time in the UK, but if


you have spent years studying in this country, are you a visitor at


or immigrant? The official answer is immigrant but it might depend on


who you talk to. Rumour has it Downing Street is considering


taking a non-EU students out of the Immigration totals. Business and


education are for it, the Home Office, dead against. They say it


would be fiddling the figures. Funnily enough you would think the


Home Office would be keen. The government wants their inward


migration to fall below 100,000. It is currently 250,000. 290,000 non-


EU students in the UK. Students come here for one or two or three


years. We know from figures, from studies at a Home Office have done,


that 20% of them never actually leave. The United Nations thinks


that is immigration. Of course it is part of immigration and they


should be part of the immigration figures and it would be absurd for


that not to be. Maybe, but when universities and ministers in


business and education are looking at is what overseas students bring


to the party's. It is not just the funding they bring but the broader


economic benefit in the UK, which is estimated at about �8 billion


plan and him and set to increase. This is a major export industry.


Those in favour of change say they are just after a level playing


field with the British universities. If you come on a temporary basis to


study and least, most people would say you are not a migrant, but


sadly our compared today's don't see it that way. International


students are definitely in the temporary camp. Australia and


Canada and the US has been aggressive in marketing themselves


to international students and they are pulling ahead and we are


getting left behind. Even if that is true, is it a good enough reason


for not including non-EU students in the figures? Those who just --


suggests they shouldn't be a two categories. The vested interests,


the universities who think it will keep foreign students away. It is


not, frankly. If you look at those applying to come this year, it is


9% up. Nothing about the immigration debate is simple.


Perhaps one day, someone will offer a degree in it. Post grad of course.


David Thompson reporting. Jo Valentine is still with us, and we


have been joined by the Conservative backbench MP Mark


Reckless. Jo Valentine, why do you think there is a move to take


students out of the immigration statistics? It is rather confusing


because they come for a certain length of time. Nobody comes them


out so we don't really know what is going on. -- counts them out. The


government meets to know when the students actually leave and at the


moment they don't. We heard that 20% of the non-EU students they


never leave. I don't believe we have accurate data on that. What do


you say to that? 20 dissent is about right I think. How do you


know? -- 20 dissent. We have a net migration survey and that is when


the statistics are sourced. We do not know precisely the numbers


because they do not say why they are leaving. But what the


government is doing is taking action on the student rude and the


family wrote and business visas, and overall pressing down on


immigration. What would your response be if the government did


decide to take non-EU students out of those figures? I think that


would be a mistake. A do you think they will do that? I have spoken to


Damian Green and I think he is closest to it. It would technically


be difficult to do. The government has cut out a lot of the abuse of


the student visa, so where we should be seeing big reductions in


net migration is for the student shall all because of the work they


government has done. This is a big export of hours. What damage does


this do, restricting the number? Metropolis, it is about perception


as much as anything -- the trouble is. We need to be seen as a


welcoming country. We want good international students. We want


those international students to come here to study and trade with


us in the future and add to the cultural life. Anything which sends


the message that we are not as welcome as we were for students,


and indeed more than half of the current students are saying they


would not recommend the UK as a place to come, that was an NUS dead


-- survey, that is the last thing we want. You don't want to cut off


the supply of foreign money coming into the country. This section is


an issue. I would ask Jo Valentine not to talk down the UK in this


area because I think the government has brought him some sensible


reforms, but people are coming for a degree at a recognised university


and they can do that. They will still be allowed to stay on if they


get a graduate job paying 20,000 or more. No where else apart from


Australia do you do that, where you come some way to university and you


are allowed to join the labour market after you finish your degree.


But there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from foreign students


saying either they don't feel welcome all it is much difficult to


come here. Even Vince Cable has sympathies lying in that direction.


It should be more difficult to come here because under the previous


government, it was a gaping hole in the immigration system. Vast


numbers were coming, either not to study or to work rather than to


study, so tightening that up and focusing on universities, I think


that is the right policy. I think the Home Office data needs to be a


lot smarter than it currently is. We cannot differentiate between a


good student and a bogus student. We are getting 5% of the visitors


of Chinese students as the rest of Europe. That is because we have a


very clunky system which does not differentiate between somebody


trying to disappear into the undergrowth and a high-spending to


rest. A using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. We have our own border


controls. I do not want the EU to take over our border controls. We


hear from universities and business but I want to speak for my


constituents, who feel that for too long, net immigration at 200,000 a


year, they want to see it back to where it was when we had a


Conservative government and I think we should keep that promise. Do you


suppose the idea of a migration cap completely? The problem is we have


free migration within Europe. The vast majority come from there. I


respected government's desire to regulate migration but do we need


to get cleverer at it, we need to get people who add value, and we


will be getting a lot more income into the UK if we allow migration


to come in at the current 250,000 level for the future. We July


Britain to sign up to border-free control? I do not think that is


practical. If they are trying to go to continental Europe, the Chinese,


I hope they would just be applied once, and then behind the scenes we


can see what documents are processed. I would like to see them


able to apply in their own language other than English. Do you think


the government is going to hit its net migration target of tens of


thousands by the next election? I hope it will be. I think it may


be possible. We want to see a significant reduction in the net


migration figure in the next few quarters. We want to see the


reduction in student visas come through to the net migration


figures and we have to keep bearing down on all channels. I am


concerned that has study work is open to any graduate but the


government has done a lot of work But non-EU immigration is 250,000.


If you took the students out of it, you might get closer? I am not sure


if that's right because we are doing a lot to bring down the


student numbers. Do you agree with the Home Office that it would be


fiddling the figures if the Government did that? I don't think


we should do it because it would be fiddling the figures, but the


students are here for several years. Many of them stay on after they


have finished their education. My constituents want to see the


overall numbers reduced to tens of thousands a year and not hundreds


and hundreds of thousands as we saw in the previous Government.


Thank you very much. Even though Parliament breaks up


for the summer tomorrow there's still a lot going on in the world


of politics. Later today, the Treasury Select Committee is taking


further evidence on the LIBOR fixing scandal, they'll hear from


amongst others Lord Turner, who is head of the Financial Services


Authority. On Tuesday, Nick Buckles, the Chief Executive of G4S can


expect a rather uncomfortable time in front of the Home Affairs Select


Committee, MPs will be grilling him to find out just where it went


wrong recruiting security staff. There will be no rest for the


coalition leadership when Parliament breaks up. Nick Clegg


and David Cameron face a fraught summer trying to work out a


compromise on Lords reform. Well no easy task! Joining me now are the


Mirror's Kevin Maguire and Pippa Crerar from the Evening Standard.


Welcome to both of you. Kevin Maguire, yes, we have got Lord


Turner in front of the Treasury Select Committee. Is there going to


be a vote on the make-up of the committee holding the banking


inquiry and there will be noticeable absences? Yes. A former


banker or she worked in a financial services industry and admitted they


never got to grips with Bob Diamond and John Mann who led the charge


all the way. There is a lot of noses which have been put out of


join and public support within both the main political parties for


widening who is on the commission. So it is a fractious committee at


the moment. Will it do the job that's required?


Well, what is that job? Nobody is sure. But if there is a row over


the composition it will make its task for difficult and I am sure


Andrew Tyrie and the others did this election with the best of


intentions and involved other people, however, there is a big


question mark against who is on and particularly who isn't. And who is


off. Pipa, what about this discrepancy


with Theresa May and the Home Office and when they did know that


they weren't going to get the 3 3,500 people? Boris Johnson let the


cat out of the bag by suggesting that Theresa May may have known


sooner than she admitted to. So we will be wanting to get to the


bottom of that later today. It has been terrible for them. The one


thing with the Olympics that has to be right in the public's minds is


security and the problems with this are just really damaging top London,


London's reputation and the coalition's reputation around the


world and that's bad news. And it will have long reaching


ramifications particularly as G4 are the private security firm who


are up for contract, I think it is nine private prisons and several


police forces, they have dn dropped by by -- been dropped by Surrey


Police and West Midlands could follow suit.


What about it being described by Jeremy Hunt that it was a hitch and


mistakes were made. Do you think that's an underat the same time? --


under statement? The soldiers will be there to show you are you are


seats. If I was a member of the armed forces having to give up my


holiday with the prospect of my regiment being reduced in size, I


wouldn't be that happy even if I got to see a bit of the athletics.


Theresa May has been called to the House to be questioned. More about


GS4 this afternoon. That will keep us busy!


Moving on to the rail announcement, it turned into something of a


restating of coalition vow, I felt, but is there a feeling that


although MPs on both sides of the coalition maybe restless, the


leadership, everything is is hunky- dory at the top? It was back to the


Rose Garden. If I was Samantha or Miriam, I would be worried! They


could be off this summer! Are they taking their parties with them. I


have got my my doubts about that and we saw it with Gordon Brown and


Tony Blair. You say, "Come on, everybody, this way, we're all


together and they look over their shoulders and there is very few


people following them. The difficulties have not gone away


around House of Lords Reform. There will have to be a compromise, these


current plans are dead, it is dead as a dodo and it is finished and it


is gone. We got that! Can they take their parties with them? I don't


see the coalition falling apart, but it has become unstable and it


was sold at the beginning all about offering Britain a stable


Government. Well, it is unstable and they cannot agree on a lot of


important things other than austerity.


Relations between MPs of either party have plummeted to the lowest


depths and that isn't good for the future of the Government.


Well, we have got three MPs, two from the coalition. We will see if


their manage to keep their hands by their sides. It could be a busy


summer. Do you think there is a chance of persuading enough Tory


rebels to come on and vote through a timetable motion? That's what


they are hoping for. If a timetable motion got defeated, there is


closure motions that you could use to get past the filler bustering.


You have senior Tory MPs such as Graham Brady suggesting that any


element of an elected House would undermine the authorities of the


House of Commons and the sentiment is so strong that David Cameron,


even fe spends all summer, wing and wining and and dining and getting


to to know the Lords rebels will find it difficult to win them over.


Labour's position has to be looked at because you know, there isn't an


easy choice, is there? Ed Miliband has to think hard, doesn't he,


before he continues down that road of scuppering or seeming to help


scupper Lords Reform, an issue close to Lib Dem hearts if he wants


to go in coalition with them? think he is happy for it to fail


this time, but he does not want to be seen to wield the dagger and he


has a hidden problem, there are only 25 Labour MPs who rebelled,


but there are dozen more who say when it comes to the crunch, they


will not vote for Lords Reform, they think that voting for Lords


Reform will help Nick Clegg and their hatred of Nick Clegg and it


is a hatred, they feel he betrayed Labour and they were sick when he


used to pose to a leader of the a party to the left of Labour and he


goes into coalition, that means they will not back it when push


comes to shove. And for the rest of the programme


I've been joined by the Labour MP, Seema Malhotra, Conservative


backbencher Rory Stewart and Duncan Hames for the Liberal Democrats.


Welcome to the Daily Politics. It doesn't seem to be any hatred


between you just yet. Rory, over the weekend we heard comments from


within the Tory Party, Graham Brady warning the coalition will fracture


before 2015. Do you agree? No, I don't. I think what you may see in


the last year is the parties beginning to define themselves


ready for the next election. It is difficult. We have been through a


tricky time, but it is about relationships and it is about


communication, it is about managing how two different parties relate to


each other. Do you recognise the


characterisation from our hacks saying they have never seen such


hatred between Liberal Democrats and Tories, not just over Lords


Reform, but over the state of the coalition? I need to bring in


Duncan. Well, Rory and I get on very well.


We were discussing our summer holiday plans.


I am delighted for both of you! Is there that level of dislike now?


Well, there is a lot of frustration. It is evident after two two years,


the areas we don't agree, but we did have an agreement about what we


would achieve in Government. What we would set out to achieve. We can


only govern if we are prepared to work together and there is a


determination to do that. Liberal Democrats in the coalition


Government are able to deliver policies like cutting taxes for the


lowest paid people in this country. The Conservatives won't help you


deliver on Lords Reform. Liam Fox, a former Cabinet Minister says the


Lib Dems only make up one sixth of the coalition, so you can't expect


to get everything you want. accept we can't get everything we


want. The coalition isn't what we would have wanted by any means.


What do you say to that? Tory MPs, we have had a string of senior


Liberal Democrats saying, "Can you expect Lib Dem MPs to walk with the


Government in the division lobbies and vote for their seats to be


scrapped in the boundary review when Tory MPs haven't delivered on


Lords Reform?". I am a Lords rebel. This is about communication. These


issues are deep in our parties. The Conservative Party feels deeply


about the constitution in a particular way. Duncan feels deeply


about the constitution in a different way. We disagree,


strongly. You can't have a relationship whether it is a


marriage or a coalition where you say, "I'm going to force you to do


something you hate in return for you doing something I hate.".


In terms of what Labour is doing, is this what is going on behindted


behind the scenes, Ed Miliband trying to woo the Liberal


Democrats? Is this the opportunity to get them on side ahead of the


next election I don't think so. This is something that is clear


about Labour's position we are saying that the House of Lords


Reform needs to go beyond petty politics. This is important for the


way we run our country and we want to see a referendum and no back


room deals and an open and clear debate that people can participate


in. I think this is a real turning point for the coalition because up


until now, increasing the marriage analogy, the honeymoon period is


over and there is a choice. I felt that looking at David Cameron


yesterday in the Sunday Times piece it was an over ture to the Liberal


Democrats more than it was to Tory rebels. And there is the fault line


is emerging between the Conservatives and the Liberal


Democrats. Does David Cameron need to do to


win over rebels like yourself? as rebels need to do more to


communicate. The Government needs to do more to communicate. I don't


think it is faithal. There are things we disagree and we are


different parties, different histories and different parties, it


would be ludicrous if we didn't disagree. We are communicating and


doing the important things on the economy above all.


The come pen tators are saying David Cameron is in trouble. David


Cameron is struggling to recapture his authority and confidence. Calls


for George Osborne to be moved out of the of the teshry. Do you agree


with think of these? We believe in an independent Parliament. The fact


that out of 340 divisions there is one in which 92 people rebel


shouldn't be the crisis, that ends the world. People who believe in


independent parliaments should believe and there is a possibility


of days greement, that shouldn't mean the collapse of the coalition,


the Prime Minister and the Chancellor and I think it means web


get on while disagreeing. We have got the summer to regroup.


Do you remember the Government's cap on benefits? That's the plan to


stop households from claiming more than �26,000 in benefits per year.


Well, the cap hasn't yet come into force, but already the Work and


Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith is claiming the policy is a


success. He has released figures this morning which show that 1,700


people who would have been affected by the cap, which comes into force


next year, have now started working. How have they worked those figures


out? They have written to everybody affected by the benefits cap. In


Penrith, we have written to 82 people people we think who are


affected and those people, they get three telephone calls and a letter


and they get in touch in order to get support to help them get into


work if they are worried about the benefits cap m


They have managed to compile figures from people who were claim


beyond the �26,000 and who are not, even though it is ahead of the cap


coming in in.? They will continue to get the money until 2013, but


they are warning them that they might not longer continue to see


the money and offering them help to move on.


1300 people have stopped claiming? They come down below the benefits


cap. If the cap was lowered, you would save more money and force


What we have tried to do is choose a number that reflects the average


income of the country. We disagreed with Labour because we believe that


people earning more than the average income of working people in


this country should not got any benefits. We have chosen the


average as the cat. Even though some Tory MPs have figured a number


of 20,000? It is working. There will be people seeking work all the


time and going back to work. What is fundamental and Labour have been


supportive of the benefit cap but saying it needs to be done in a


different way, taking awareness of child poverty. We see it there is a


crisis, long-term youth unemployment, a six-year


unemployment high... But do you support the cat being �26,000 a


year? There me to be variations. Labour has asked about a regional


housing benefit cap, and do you determine that independently,


having a commission that recognises that housing costs may be cheaper


in different parts of the country. Absolutely everybody is in support


of people going back to work. it is not the same as supporting a


cap, which is very popular in the country and is obviously working.


Labour supports the cap but would like to see regional variation, CU


would be happy for families in Liverpool and Glasgow to be able to


claim less than in your London constituency? We need to look at


what the government is not telling you. The government is not saying


that of the 56,000 families affected, over 29,000 have over


four children. We have to see what the impact will be on child poverty


and other social issues. Are the Liberal Democrats completely at


ease with the cap and the effect it will have one large families


squares match I voted for their benefits cat. But not all your


colleagues did. No. But the proposals in that Bill were amended


so people in the support group, people who are so ill that they


cannot reasonably hope to go back to work, they are excluded from the


benefit cap, and I think that is a way that we were able to take a


policy that was Conservative invention to make it Seren, so we


could have confidence in it. there is speculation, the measure


will affect large families and that would impact 200,000 children. Are


you happy with that? I understand that is a consequence because those


families got in receipt of the largest amount of benefits. Our


concern was the real way for them to raise their living standards was


to get into work, and that this policy does not help those people


who were not able to physically go to work, which is why we secured


the exemption for the Support Group, which I was proud to do. How many


households are affected? In your constituency, none I suppose.


have 82... Sorry, we have eight. was going to say! I have not seen


my figure in Wiltshire. We have won a council covering several


constituencies. In your area and, quite a few. Yes, and we have


12,000 on the waiting-list for housing in Hounslow so this issue


will have wider ramifications in terms of its impacts.


It's coming to the end of the show and we've got a few minutes left so


what shall we talk about? I know, the weather! Yes, it's been a


pretty miserable summer so far. So, what is all this rain doing to the


national mood? Giles has been finding out.


# Rainy days and Monday's always get me down #.


How does the weather make you feel? LAUGHTER. Depressed. I am from


Israel, it is much hotter there. We get used to it. The British summer!


We have been in this long recession and then you have the worst weather


in history. No decency. Nothing to lift you out of the mire! For this


country at this time, and the Olympics, everybody should be happy.


It is something to make us smile. It will never happen again in our


lifetime so blow the weather, we are the British and we will get


through it! If I compare it to the war in Afghanistan, it is not a


major issues. It would be nice to have a bit of sunshine. It makes


you laugh that they spend all this money trying to get fake rain in


Wembley for the Olympics and we will get the real stuff! It is


Giles Dilnot and the view of some Londoners. So are we ever going to


get our summer? We can talk now to Laura Tobin in the BBC Weather


Centre. Will we ever get a summer? It is the million dollar question.


The long-range forecast suggests that there is no prolonged dry, hot,


sunny spell in the forecast. But there may be a brief glimmer at the


end of the tunnel. We are quietly optimistic that within the next


couple of weeks, things will become a little more settled, a little


less wet. Why has it been so bad? It is to do with the jet stream. We


have been talking about it for quite a while. This is a fast


moving band of their high up in the atmosphere and it drags the weather


fronts from the United States the right to ask. In a normal summer,


the jet stream should be to our North Sea. Keeping the wet and


windy weather across small north- western areas. This year, the jet


stream has been to the south, keeping six sessions of weather


What about our neighbours? Why aren't they getting it, especially


in northern Europe? For they are lucky because they are on the other


side of the jet stream. They are on the warm side of things. They have


had high pressure in eastern Europe, and across eastern parts of America.


Where we have high pressure around the globe, we have had some


excessive heat conditions. One many people that have been devastating.


Of course. Who can we blame for pushing the jet stream that far


south? At the moment, the main thing is the fact we have got the


blocked area of high pressure in the States, pushing their jet


stream north. There is also minute discussion as scientists will have


around El Nino, climate change and the Arctic ice as well. Many


Duncan Hames, experts have begun to blame melting ice. Is there any


evidence of this? I don't know if we can definitively say the


position of the jet stream this year it is to do with climate


change but it is a timely reminder that we normally enjoy better


weather in the summer than our latitude would entitle us to


because of this jet stream, and that means the climate in Britain


is very fragile and if things like ice melting from the Greenland


causes temperature changes which leads to the jet stream moving


slightly, that could have a very big effect on us. Soon you are


saying we will have more of this? Has the bad weather affected the


mood in House of Commons? I think we have had more to affect the mood


than the weather! We don't get to go outside very much! It affects me


deeply because I have undertaken to walk 100 miles every week through


my constituency in the next few weeks, so why will be doing it with


a big umbrella. But the weather in your constituency is probably not


as fine as down south or is it noticeably worse? It is! It is


definitely colder. I could not believe I was in July yesterday and


the thought I have 600 miles to go... We cannot blame the


government for this! Always blame the government for everything, if


in any doubt. She is staying quiet! What about the Olympics? If it


continues to reign over the Olympics, will its damage it?


suggest people watched the swimming and diving. And maybe the velodrome.


I don't think it will dampen spirits. One thing that is positive


about the Olympics is that everybody seems to be excited about


it. You don't think the weather will put people off coming here?


When we had a torch coming through, we have the rain lashing and we had


nearly double the population of the town watching good torch procession.


There is a serious point about preparations if we are going to


have more flash flooding and the sort of weather that has blighted


your constituency. Should the government be doing more? We have


done a big thing, we have changed the insurance situation. It is


difficult to get flood insurance and we are on the cusp of a big


deal with insurers that everybody should be able to get decent flood


insurance. We have had other great schemes, communities working with


government to get flood defences. Labour has been calling for an


injection of cash to help the fly- tipped areas, particularly in the


north-west and the Midlands. -- a flood hit areas. And for any


development that you have, you should plan for where rainwater


might growth. That has been lacking, in terms of natural defences, water


being able to drain away so we do not see the floods we have seen.


Should the government be planning now for future years? We must plan


for the future but part of that planning must be about response


because when you have flooding and the results of very heavy rain full


initial periodof time, that causes problems. Traditional programmes of


projects like the Thames barrier, those projects would do nothing to


help those communities say we need to make sure we have a good


response in place ready for when these events inevitably happen.


what sort of response should that be? About how local service


providers and people in the community can look after people


that may find themselves excluded, and so that people know not to take


dangerous chances. An example from been my constituency, we have flood


wardens, everybody gets a text message, people now know how to


evacuate and we have learnt this painfully. We are getting better.


Mountain rescue has been amazing in their support.


There is just time before we go to find out the answer to our quiz.


The question today was: What piece of music has David Cameron said he


would like to see as England's Or Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now


I will not make all of using a rendition but can you tell me what


the right answer is? Jerusalem. Jerusalem. The carpenters, rainy


days on Mondays. That is not on the list! You are absolutely right.


Jerusalem. That's all for today. Thanks to


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