11/09/2012 Daily Politics


11/09/2012

Jo Coburn is joined by Baroness Deech to discuss all the political news, including the GCSE grading scandal with the chairman of the Education Select Committee Graham Stuart.


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Transcript


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Afternoon folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. Leaked letters from

:00:42.:00:45.

England's exam watchdog Ofqual show pressure was used to revise last

:00:45.:00:49.

summer's GCSE grades, but was the intervention justified? Shadow

:00:49.:00:52.

Chancellor Ed Balls has been heckled at the TUC Conference after

:00:52.:00:55.

he said a Labour Government would have to make difficult decisions on

:00:55.:01:02.

pay and pensions. We'll look at Labour's strained relationship with

:01:02.:01:04.

the unions. According to Boris Johnson the

:01:04.:01:07.

Olympics has brought home to this country that when we put our minds

:01:07.:01:12.

to it we can do anything. So can the Government learn any lessons?

:01:12.:01:15.

And conference season is upon us, but is there a point to them

:01:15.:01:21.

anymore? We'll find out about a radical new plan to drag the annual

:01:21.:01:27.

jollies kicking and screaming in to the 21st century.

:01:27.:01:30.

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

:01:30.:01:33.

the lawyer and academic Baroness Deech, who's held positions as wide

:01:33.:01:36.

ranging as Chairman of the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology

:01:36.:01:38.

Authority and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

:01:38.:01:43.

Welcome to the programme. First, a Government-backed business

:01:43.:01:46.

bank, state intervention in industry and an end to the

:01:46.:01:51.

Government's laissez-faire industrial policy. I'm not talking

:01:51.:01:54.

about a new Labour policy, but new coalition plan to be announced

:01:54.:02:01.

shortly by the Business Secretary, Vince Cable. So is this a step in

:02:01.:02:03.

the right direction? Well, some Conservative backbenchers aren't so

:02:03.:02:11.

sure. Mr Peter Bone. I hate to say this to the Secretary for Business

:02:11.:02:14.

but there isn't cross-party support from this particular position. That

:02:14.:02:17.

sounded to me like a statement that any Labour Minister could have made

:02:17.:02:22.

in the previous administration. It talked about state intervention,

:02:22.:02:27.

and it said nothing about cutting red tape and regulation. That was a

:02:27.:02:32.

Labour statement, not a coalition statement. Well, the honourable

:02:32.:02:36.

member has his own distinctive and unique style which we all admire.

:02:36.:02:44.

Vince Cable said, without conviction! Joining me now is the

:02:44.:02:47.

Conservative MP Margot James who sits on the Business Select

:02:47.:02:50.

Committee. Do you agree with Peter Bone, if you are talking about

:02:50.:02:53.

state intervention, that does sound like something Labour and the TUC

:02:53.:02:57.

would welcome. I wouldn't use the term industrial intervention. What

:02:57.:03:01.

we are looking at is an industrial strategy to be executed in

:03:01.:03:04.

partnership with industry, rather than intervening into industry.

:03:04.:03:08.

There is a big difference between the sort of policies which you are

:03:08.:03:12.

alluding to from the 60s and 70s and what's being proposed now.

:03:12.:03:16.

What's the difference if you have got a state sponsored bank that is

:03:16.:03:20.

going to be lending directly to certain sectors that have been

:03:20.:03:25.

identified, you are talking about backing winners. We are talking

:03:26.:03:30.

about, I have spoken to Tory MPs who say yes, that's the policy

:03:30.:03:35.

being outlined, that's state intervention. We are talking about

:03:35.:03:38.

establishing a business investment bank but I am sure that bank will

:03:38.:03:41.

be independently run and I think that's important. But what is

:03:41.:03:46.

crucial is we get finance into small businesses in particular,

:03:46.:03:52.

monitor report out this week found that 30% of SME loan applications

:03:52.:03:56.

had been turned down. This is something I think that's been

:03:56.:03:59.

rumbling on for a couple of years. The difficulties of small

:03:59.:04:02.

businesses getting access to finance. It's crucial that the

:04:03.:04:08.

Government do step in and support moves to improve that. That in

:04:08.:04:11.

itself is the contradiction, isn't it? Without having a state

:04:11.:04:14.

sponsored bank it's clear Government hasn't been able to

:04:15.:04:19.

persuade those banks which we have a great deal of money in, they

:04:19.:04:22.

haven't been able to persuade them to lend to businesses. Lending to

:04:22.:04:26.

businesses is down on latest figures. Surely that's the point of

:04:26.:04:30.

having a state sponsored bank so you can tell it what to do?

:04:30.:04:33.

give terms of reference and its task, which is to increase lending

:04:33.:04:37.

to small businesses, that's its job. But in terms of picking the

:04:37.:04:41.

applications that are going to succeed, that is not Government's

:04:41.:04:45.

job. That will be done independently of Whitehall. How do

:04:45.:04:49.

you guarantee that money gets to businesses, because terms of

:04:49.:04:53.

reference were set for RBS and Lloyds and as we have seen, not

:04:53.:04:57.

enough money has gone to businesses? This bank will have one

:04:57.:04:59.

task, which is to lend to businesses. Obviously the banks you

:04:59.:05:04.

have mentioned have a much more diverse port portfolio of

:05:04.:05:07.

responsibilities. Do you know how much money the Government is going

:05:07.:05:12.

to put in or how much you would like to see being put in? I don't

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know yet. I don't think details have been announced. We have

:05:16.:05:19.

already invested �60 billion into the finance for lending scheme,

:05:19.:05:24.

which is ongoing and I think that will have an effect, too. Is it an

:05:24.:05:29.

admission that setting deficit reduction plans in the way the

:05:29.:05:32.

coalition did and outlining cuts to the public sector and then leaving

:05:32.:05:36.

the rest of the market, that was certainly the rhetoric, that that's

:05:36.:05:40.

failed? Not at all. Without deficit reduction we wouldn't be in a

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position to make these investments pause our interest rates would have

:05:43.:05:47.

shot up. The borrowing is going up. The interest rates have not gone up

:05:47.:05:53.

and they would have done had we put our foot off the peddle in terms of

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reducing the deficit. What's your response to the idea of more state

:05:56.:05:59.

involvement than the coalition has certainly said at the outset that

:05:59.:06:03.

actually certain industries like the car industry, which are doing

:06:03.:06:06.

well, need to be pushed further. It's a welcome direction. It's a

:06:06.:06:11.

good thing. It's ironic, though, that another bank has to be set up

:06:11.:06:15.

to patch up the failures of the kpeutsing ones. -- existing ones. I

:06:15.:06:19.

think it's a little bit blinkered also, I think the picture must be

:06:19.:06:22.

looked at more broadly. For example, the life sciences have been

:06:22.:06:26.

mentioned, that's a great British success story. But we need to help

:06:26.:06:30.

the brightest students who are doing engineering and biology and

:06:30.:06:34.

give help to those startup businesses. We need to reduce the

:06:34.:06:38.

other burdens on small businesses that they claim are holding them

:06:38.:06:42.

back. For example, the unfair dismissal law which is an unfair

:06:42.:06:48.

law, never mind unfair dismissal, raising the threshold on VAT,

:06:48.:06:51.

easing the business rate and so on. Businesses are finding that as fast

:06:51.:06:55.

as the money comes in, it's going straight back to the Government. A

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broader approach is needed. Which was outlined yesterday in terms of

:06:59.:07:02.

some of the attempts to burn out regulation which brings us on to

:07:02.:07:08.

the next point, why has only �60 million of the regional growth fund,

:07:08.:07:12.

�1.4 billion, actually reached the firms it was meant to? The Public

:07:12.:07:16.

Accounts Committee from which that data is taken reported today, but

:07:16.:07:21.

actually the hearings were finished in May. I gather that the situation

:07:21.:07:26.

has improved significantly since May. Two years after the coalition

:07:26.:07:30.

came in, you are setting up new measures and now we discover that

:07:30.:07:34.

money that's been allocated is not even reaching the target? That

:07:34.:07:37.

sounds like a long time but from inception, which was about two

:07:37.:07:41.

years ago that the regional growth fund was established, to actually

:07:41.:07:45.

getting the bids in, evaluating applications, doing the due

:07:45.:07:48.

diligence. We are talking about large amounts of taxpayers' money

:07:48.:07:52.

and I think the Government would be in for a lot of criticism if they

:07:52.:07:56.

backed too many high risk projects that turned out to fail. It's a

:07:56.:07:59.

balance. I agree with you that it looked as if little progress had

:07:59.:08:04.

been made at May. But I am assured that since May there's been

:08:04.:08:07.

considerably more progress made in getting that regional growth fund

:08:07.:08:13.

money into businesses. Thank you very much.

:08:13.:08:16.

A row over whether students who sat GCSEs this summer were unfairly

:08:16.:08:19.

marked down continues to rumble on. The exam regulator Ofqual says that

:08:19.:08:22.

the grades were correct, and that the normal procedures were followed.

:08:22.:08:25.

But letters leaked to the Times education supplement show that

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Ofqual wrote to one of the exam boards - who set and mark the GCSEs

:08:28.:08:31.

- to say that grade boundaries might have to be moved

:08:31.:08:38.

significantly to bring results in line with expectations. GCSE

:08:38.:08:41.

results were published on August 23rd. For the first time in their

:08:42.:08:44.

24-year history the proportion of entries achieving the top grades

:08:44.:08:47.

fell. Questions were raised about whether

:08:47.:08:50.

the exams had been unfairly marked, but an initial report by Ofqual

:08:50.:08:53.

found that the summer grade boundaries were properly set, and

:08:53.:09:00.

candidates' work properly graded. Although they said that the

:09:00.:09:05.

assessments marked in January were graded generously. However, it has

:09:05.:09:08.

now emerged that Ofqual wrote to the Edexcel exam board on 7th

:09:08.:09:11.

August to suggest that unexpectedly good results this summer could mean

:09:11.:09:13.

they had to move grade boundary marks further than might normally

:09:13.:09:20.

be required. The next day Edexcel replied,

:09:20.:09:22.

insisting that their proposed awards were fair and that they did

:09:22.:09:27.

not believe that a further revision of grades was justified. But Ofqual

:09:27.:09:30.

replied saying that Edexcel must act to make sure that their results

:09:30.:09:36.

were comparable with other exam boards.

:09:36.:09:38.

Speaking to the Education Select Commitee earlier the Chief

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Executive of Ofqual, Glenys Stacey, defended the regulator's actions.

:09:45.:09:49.

There would be six or 7% increase grade inflation that we did not

:09:49.:09:55.

think to be right or justifiable. We therefore wrote to Edexcel,

:09:55.:09:59.

pointing out that they needed to bring the qualification in

:09:59.:10:02.

appropriately. They reflected on that and it's quite right and

:10:02.:10:07.

proper that they should have done. The way the system is set up in the

:10:07.:10:11.

legislation we all operate to requires us to put that challenge

:10:11.:10:17.

back to them. It then requires them to look at whether they can justify

:10:17.:10:24.

their outcomes and that's what they did.

:10:24.:10:26.

Let's get more on this with the Conservative MP Graham Stuart,

:10:26.:10:29.

who's the Chairman of the Education Select Committee, and Brian

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Lightman, who represents headteachers as General Secretary

:10:31.:10:34.

of the Association of School and College Leaders. Welcome both of to

:10:34.:10:37.

you the programme. How do you expect potential GCSE students and

:10:37.:10:41.

their families to have any confidence in this system? Well,

:10:41.:10:46.

this kind of furore is bound to undermine people's confidence in

:10:46.:10:49.

the system. There are a series of complex elements that come together

:10:49.:10:52.

here which have no interest to the young people who have worked really

:10:52.:10:55.

hard, were led to expect that they would be able to get the grade to

:10:56.:11:00.

allow them to go on to other courses, enter apprenticeship, get

:11:00.:11:04.

an A grade to get to university, whatever it was, that's of little

:11:04.:11:08.

consolation to them. Our role on the committee is to delve into this,

:11:08.:11:12.

try to downstand the components that led to this sorry situation.

:11:12.:11:15.

What went wrong, what do you think? A combination of things. Three

:11:15.:11:23.

years ago the previous Government decided to bring in mod aou hrar

:11:23.:11:27.

construction. And graded as you go along. And 60% of the marks to be

:11:27.:11:30.

given out by teachers who themselves were teaching pupils.

:11:30.:11:36.

And change the entire syllabus of all three English subjects at the

:11:36.:11:39.

same time, they were asked, ministers were asked what is going

:11:40.:11:43.

to happen - isn't this going to lead to grade inflation? They said

:11:43.:11:47.

it will be up to Ofqual. Ofqual find themselves in an uncomfortable

:11:47.:11:51.

position of picking up the pieces. Are they picking up the pieces,

:11:51.:11:57.

though? Let's just sort of go back to how this thing unfolded. Ofqual

:11:57.:12:01.

said in a inquiry report that exam boards had set June's grade

:12:01.:12:05.

boundaries correctly, using their best professional judgment. Why is

:12:05.:12:09.

it that only a few months later they were writing to Edexcel, one

:12:09.:12:14.

of the boards, saying that actually they would have to mark more

:12:14.:12:18.

harshly than they had initially thought? Why did Ofqual change its

:12:18.:12:22.

mind? Edexcel is a relatively small player in the English market as it

:12:22.:12:26.

happens and it's what the regulators - it's what they do,

:12:26.:12:30.

they talk to, they make comparisons between data from different boards

:12:30.:12:34.

and and challenge them on it. In this case Edexcel accepted in the

:12:34.:12:38.

end that the boundary needed to be changed in order to ensure the

:12:38.:12:42.

comparability in standards over time which is now a requirement of

:12:42.:12:46.

law following the passing of the education Act 2011. Are you saying

:12:46.:12:51.

that those grades in January, do you accept they were marked too

:12:51.:12:57.

general lousely? -- generously? We do have unfairness in this year's

:12:57.:13:01.

results because those who banked their results in January, could get

:13:01.:13:06.

a C grade with lower marks than was required in June. That is a

:13:06.:13:09.

fundamental unfairness. The challenge is to understand how we

:13:10.:13:14.

got here and what do we do about it. Ofqual said they looked, the right

:13:14.:13:17.

thing to do, while ensuring comparability, would be to remark

:13:17.:13:21.

January, to tell people who had already been issued with a

:13:21.:13:26.

certificate their grade was to be downgraded. They made a decision to

:13:26.:13:30.

leave January results alone. And be unfair on students who took the

:13:30.:13:33.

exam in June? Brian will doubtless be able to speak about why he

:13:33.:13:36.

thinks that's unfair. Ofqual insist that the June results were fair.

:13:36.:13:41.

It's just that the January ruplts were actually -- results were

:13:41.:13:46.

overly generous. Surely Ofqual has fulfilled what it was set up to do.

:13:46.:13:50.

We have made it clear that where exam boards proposed results that

:13:50.:13:54.

differ significantly from expectations because results are

:13:54.:13:58.

based on predictions made, then their job is to intervene. What's

:13:58.:14:03.

Ofqual done wrong? Well, I think that the implementation of this

:14:03.:14:07.

examination has been fundamentally flawed. I understand all of the

:14:07.:14:10.

points Graham has made about the nature of that examination and

:14:10.:14:13.

amount of controlled assessment and structure of the examination, but

:14:13.:14:17.

the issue is that when you make a new examination, when you create a

:14:17.:14:21.

new examination as regulator and as awarding bodies it's their job to

:14:21.:14:25.

make sure that the assessment systems are fit for purpose. Now

:14:25.:14:29.

they clearly weren't fit for purpose. Conkwepbtly, when --

:14:29.:14:33.

consequently, when the controlled assessments took place earlier in

:14:34.:14:37.

the academic year, and were found to be generous, they were found to

:14:37.:14:40.

be generous too late. Nothing was done about it. Right, but what

:14:40.:14:44.

would you suggest that they did having then discovered it. They

:14:44.:14:48.

should have moderated that marking at the time. They should have had

:14:48.:14:52.

proare -- proper systems in place to make sure that marking was

:14:52.:14:56.

robust. That's the job of an awarding body and regulator. If

:14:56.:14:59.

they had moderated that at the time they could have said to schools you

:14:59.:15:03.

are being too generous, this isn't a C, it's a D or whatever, and the

:15:03.:15:06.

schools would have known that they would have needed to do something

:15:06.:15:11.

then. We questioned Ofqual extensively. They insist, because I

:15:11.:15:16.

asked them were there any techniques, any resources, that cow

:15:16.:15:20.

have used that would have given us that insight earlier so we didn't

:15:20.:15:24.

get in this position and the chief regulator insisted there weren't.

:15:24.:15:28.

So that's going to be - as this story goes on and there's a lot of

:15:28.:15:37.

questions to answer, that's one of There is a major set of questions

:15:37.:15:41.

to be asked there about - many of the things I heard the chief

:15:41.:15:45.

regulator saying this morning whereabout engshrish a difficult

:15:45.:15:49.

examination to assess. These are excuses which are not acceptable. -

:15:49.:15:53.

- English is a difficult examination. He let's go to Leeds

:15:53.:15:59.

and talk to John Townsley the executive principal of academies,

:15:59.:16:03.

he was an Ofqual board member until March. Welcome to the programme.

:16:03.:16:07.

What do you think went wrong? Is it Ofqual's fault? I believe it is

:16:08.:16:11.

fundamentally Ofqual's fault. I believe what has taken place is

:16:11.:16:15.

that Ofqual has failed to regulate in the early part of this GCSE

:16:15.:16:21.

process, so in particular June 2011 and in January 2012, which is

:16:21.:16:25.

interesting that June 2011 is barely mentioned but in fact we

:16:25.:16:31.

know that for foundation tire AQA alone, that's 85,000 students.

:16:31.:16:34.

Ofqual failed to regulate what was taking place at that time. This

:16:34.:16:39.

isn't just billion coming in at the end of a process, it is working in

:16:39.:16:43.

partnership as an effective regulator during that process. But

:16:43.:16:48.

as a consequence of that the grades awarded at those points appear to

:16:48.:16:52.

be inconsistent, varied and a significant number of C grades

:16:52.:16:55.

awarded, well beyond what would be expected. Quite simply what then

:16:55.:16:59.

has taken place is Ofqual have moved in at the end of the process,

:16:59.:17:03.

at the end of a two-year process and demanded that the forecasted

:17:03.:17:07.

percentage, that must be met at the end of that two years is met.

:17:07.:17:11.

That's resulted in young people citying the exam at the end of the

:17:11.:17:15.

two years being compromised in terms of their equality of

:17:15.:17:19.

opportunity. Right and what do you think should happen now? I believe

:17:19.:17:24.

Ofqual and the chief regulator are not fit to conduct any further part

:17:24.:17:27.

in this process. They have compromised their position by their

:17:27.:17:31.

failure to do two things, someone to regulate, their key

:17:32.:17:35.

responsibility. The second thing is to ensure fairness for candidates,

:17:35.:17:40.

which they have failed to do. I believe they need to be brushed to

:17:40.:17:43.

one side, we need an independent inquiry and we need to put the

:17:43.:17:47.

results right immediately and in the medium-term we need to look at

:17:47.:17:53.

the way in which the awarding body works. You are calling for

:17:53.:17:58.

regrading. You think these students in June should have their GCSE

:17:58.:18:02.

regraded from D to C? There needs to be a raped process to put that

:18:02.:18:06.

right quickly. If I can give you an example. The C rates on the

:18:06.:18:12.

foundation papers were with AQ A on the foundation stage... Hang on a

:18:12.:18:16.

serbgsd the foundation papers is the ones taken in - hang on a

:18:16.:18:21.

second Two two tires, the foundation paper and foundation.

:18:21.:18:25.

The foundation has a maximum grade of a C. That's the paper which in

:18:25.:18:30.

our view has been targeted by Ofqual to reduce the number of Cs

:18:30.:18:36.

overall to be allocated. My issue is if there has been generosity

:18:36.:18:40.

with 85,000 students with June 11 and January 12 was it a coincidence

:18:40.:18:44.

that we ended up with the right overall percentage at the end of

:18:44.:18:48.

the overall two-year course it. Wasn't, it was manipulated. You say

:18:48.:18:52.

it is manipulated. In the end, what is most important, is it not that

:18:52.:18:57.

the students get the grades they deserve on a consistently-marked

:18:57.:19:01.

basis Well, that's right. But the discussion is all a bit artificial.

:19:01.:19:05.

I mean very briefly the background is many employers and universities

:19:05.:19:08.

don't find students to be of the quality, or as well-prepared as

:19:08.:19:12.

they were many years ago. And over 25 years, the number of A grades

:19:12.:19:18.

has tripled and the number of fails has gone from 10% to about 3% but I

:19:18.:19:22.

have three remedies for this particular situation. One is that

:19:22.:19:25.

the discussion is rather artificial because we are talking about who

:19:25.:19:30.

should get a C. If we had the raw marks, the actual percentage, 58,

:19:30.:19:34.

60, 62, then you could decide, you shouldn't have to decide whether it

:19:34.:19:39.

is a C or D. Let's have the actual marks and then sixth forms and

:19:39.:19:46.

others can decide where the cut-off point is. Secondly, what is

:19:46.:19:49.

completelyeds un-- completely unjustifiable is to have five

:19:49.:19:53.

different examination boards with a race to the bottom. There really

:19:53.:19:56.

has to be one examination board for one subject. And bring on the time

:19:56.:20:01.

when, as Michael gef has said, let there be O'level and get rid of

:20:01.:20:07.

this GCSE, which has fallen into disrepute. -- Michael Gove.

:20:07.:20:12.

Let's see what you think. Do you agree let's see that the standard

:20:12.:20:15.

needs to be higher With all due respect. It is an irrelevant

:20:16.:20:19.

discussion in relation to this particular issue, which is about

:20:19.:20:23.

the administration of one particular exam. I do agree that we

:20:23.:20:26.

need to look at the examination system and we need to have a proper

:20:26.:20:30.

discussion about what would be a fit-for-purpose system for the

:20:30.:20:32.

future but this is not the conversation we are having at the

:20:32.:20:35.

moment. At the moment we are talking about many thousands of

:20:35.:20:40.

young people who have simply been done an injustice by the way this

:20:40.:20:44.

particular examination has been administered this year. What do you

:20:44.:20:48.

think should happen? What about calls for this independent inquiry?

:20:48.:20:53.

Surely that has to ha. We know now the Welsh Education Minister has

:20:53.:21:00.

call for that. -- surely that has to happen. Ofqual, has said in

:21:00.:21:04.

Wales, because standards are not improving, they seem to be keen on

:21:04.:21:08.

raising the standards. What should happen here and what should happen?

:21:08.:21:11.

You can't regraifpltd it is not possible. You can't engineer it.

:21:11.:21:15.

The teachers will have to give the children the right reference to

:21:15.:21:18.

enable them to go forward saying... We need answers to the questions.

:21:18.:21:23.

The Select Committee is there for that. Whether the Select Committee

:21:23.:21:25.

will interview the Secretary of State tomorrow morning and we'll

:21:25.:21:29.

then decide on a recommendation, either an inquiry to be conducted

:21:29.:21:33.

by the Select Committee or recommendations on whether we think

:21:33.:21:36.

a separate inquiry should be undertaken and undertaken quickly

:21:36.:21:41.

for exactly those reasons. Every day at the moment, if a change is

:21:41.:21:44.

required, as what happened in 2002 when a Secretary of State lost her

:21:44.:21:47.

job at the end of the process, a very similar situation, we do need

:21:47.:21:52.

answers, we need them quickly because every day has an impact on

:21:52.:21:58.

the life chances of the children concerned. Are you backing an

:21:58.:22:03.

inquiry and having a regrading chair a cross-party committee who's

:22:03.:22:07.

job it is to do that. I have said let's hold the line and we'll

:22:07.:22:10.

decide together, and that's what we will aim to do tomorrow. Your

:22:10.:22:13.

response to what Graham Stuart has said? I'm confident that Graham

:22:14.:22:16.

Stuart and his committee will recognise, because of their track

:22:16.:22:20.

record, just how appalling this situation is, and that time is not

:22:20.:22:22.

on our side for thousands of students who have been robbed of

:22:23.:22:27.

their rightful grade. This is an isolated, small area that needs to

:22:27.:22:31.

be put right now. The bigger picture about the awards market and

:22:31.:22:36.

how it works in the future, is a few fewer debate. Thank you all

:22:36.:22:38.

very much. The row over universial credits

:22:38.:22:42.

continues, with Labour holding an Opposition Day debate on the scheme

:22:42.:22:45.

this afternoon. Under the Government's plans the benefits

:22:45.:22:48.

system will be simplified and ministers hope this will lead to

:22:49.:22:51.

work becoming a more attractive option for claimants. It's been

:22:51.:22:55.

described by ministers as the most radical redesign of the system in

:22:55.:22:59.

the history of the welfare state but there are fear abouts how the

:22:59.:23:04.

scheme could work and whether it could harm the most vulnerable.

:23:04.:23:11.

Yesterday Iain Duncan Smith faced questions from MPs on his plans.

:23:11.:23:15.

meet regularly with a local single mother's support group and some of

:23:15.:23:19.

the mums there have expressed concern about monthly budgeting and

:23:19.:23:23.

are worried it'll be assumed they can manage. Can my right honourable

:23:23.:23:25.

friend will confirm under universial credit my constituents

:23:25.:23:29.

can be reassured that that support is in place. Of course people will

:23:29.:23:32.

be concerned about it. But there are positives to take from this.

:23:32.:23:36.

The most important thing is by trying to move people on to a

:23:36.:23:39.

monthly payment that brings them much more into line with the world

:23:39.:23:42.

of work. One of the problems we have had is when people going to

:23:42.:23:45.

work, we have been unemployed, they find it difficult to cope with

:23:45.:23:51.

having it take on and manage their arrangements.

:23:51.:23:57.

One of the parts of this strategy is the expansion of food banks,

:23:57.:24:02.

would you condemn that? The reality is when we came into office I was

:24:02.:24:04.

told by the department that the last Government, despite the

:24:04.:24:09.

constant requests from a variety of people who provide food banks, they

:24:09.:24:12.

asked if they could put their leaflets and advertise what they

:24:12.:24:16.

were doing in the job centres, they were told no, by the last

:24:16.:24:19.

Government who didn't want the embarrassment of them being

:24:19.:24:22.

involved in it. We immediately allowed them to do that, which is

:24:22.:24:26.

in part one of the reasons why there has been an increase in the

:24:26.:24:29.

numbers seeking food banks. When universial credit is fully rolled

:24:29.:24:35.

out in 2017, the OBR says the extra costs will be �3.1 bill yob. The

:24:35.:24:40.

Treasury, in its Budget, says the price must be no more than 2.5

:24:40.:24:44.

billion. -- 3.1 billion. Who's estimate does

:24:44.:24:49.

the Secretary of State agree with? Well the OBR agrees with me, which

:24:49.:24:53.

strangely enough agrees with the Treasury which is our view that we

:24:53.:24:59.

will roll this out at �2.5 billion per yeefrplt It is clear the

:24:59.:25:02.

Treasury thinks there is a state of Kay othe Cabinet Office thinks

:25:02.:25:06.

there is Kay oNumber Ten thinks there is chaos, surely it is time

:25:06.:25:12.

he told the House what exactly is going on? We are committed to the

:25:12.:25:17.

�2.5 we will deliver it on time and on budget We were told that

:25:17.:25:21.

universial credit will mean every additional hour people works pays.

:25:21.:25:24.

Is the Secretary of State concerned that many thousands of families

:25:24.:25:29.

face a cliff edge at the point of which el be giblt for free school

:25:29.:25:33.

meals kicks in. -- eligibility. are looking at the best way to

:25:33.:25:37.

bring this in so we rerad Kate those problems so it is a seamless

:25:37.:25:41.

process which allows people to engage their lives and improves the

:25:41.:25:44.

quality of lives, rather than negotiating around the edges of

:25:44.:25:50.

those difficulties. The Work and Pensions Secretary,

:25:50.:25:54.

Iain Duncan Smith, defending his universial credit. Adam south on

:25:54.:26:00.

the green with more. Afternoon with a windy College Green. This is the

:26:00.:26:05.

Government's big idea, a capital B And I when it comes to welfare but

:26:05.:26:10.

is the universial credit heading for big trouble? Well we have two

:26:10.:26:14.

MPs on the committee that scrutinised the original

:26:14.:26:20.

legislation. Kate Green and Charlie. Making work pay, two good thing,

:26:20.:26:23.

aren't they stpoo They would be good things if it was going to do

:26:23.:26:27.

that, but first of all this isn't a simple benefit. If your

:26:27.:26:30.

circumstances start it change within the month, some of your

:26:30.:26:34.

benefit will be recalculated, some won't. If you reach a certain

:26:34.:26:36.

cliff-edge you will still see things like school meals being lost.

:26:36.:26:39.

If you are self-employed, it'll assume a certain income, whether

:26:39.:26:43.

you get it or not. It is going to be very bad for people who might

:26:43.:26:46.

gain something from the Government's raising of the tax

:26:46.:26:49.

threshold but who will lose universial credit as a result and

:26:49.:26:52.

it'll not invent size work for certain people. For example, there

:26:52.:26:56.

will be some people who would be better reducing their hours or

:26:56.:27:01.

stopping work, which can't be what the Government wants. Kate sounds

:27:01.:27:04.

concern, do you share those concerns? We think it is about

:27:04.:27:07.

making work way, enurging cans people back into the workforce,

:27:07.:27:12.

saying you are needed, you have a role to plai, don't sit on benefits,

:27:12.:27:18.

join the workforce and help get Britain growing: the way it is

:27:18.:27:21.

structureside to incentivise making work a good thing and encourage

:27:21.:27:27.

people to be better off in work B2.5 family families will benefit.

:27:27.:27:31.

The fact is it sounds like Number Ten and the Treasury were concerned

:27:31.:27:34.

about it. So much so that they wanted to move Iain Duncan Smith.

:27:34.:27:37.

What is that about? I think Government is committed to

:27:37.:27:41.

universial credit. Rightly so. There are some concerns, I have

:27:41.:27:46.

read about, will the computer stems work, considering Government and

:27:46.:27:49.

computer systems don't go together too well but with the way they are

:27:49.:27:53.

doing it with a phased introduction to iron out teething problems and

:27:53.:27:59.

get it work wling when it is fully implemented. You mentioned IT. What

:27:59.:28:02.

are your corners when it comes to your constituents accessing this

:28:02.:28:06.

benefit. They will have to log on to manage it. The Government has an

:28:06.:28:10.

ambitious target to get people to apply online. We know a high

:28:10.:28:13.

percentage of benefits claimants don't alie online and would

:28:13.:28:17.

struggle to put together all the information online to put nan

:28:17.:28:22.

accurate claifrpblgts the Government say 78% of benefit

:28:22.:28:29.

claimants are on the internet. Yes but nothing like that amount are

:28:29.:28:32.

using it for benefits claims. We have to realise there is complex

:28:33.:28:37.

information and no advice to help them because of the cuts to funding

:28:37.:28:41.

for Citizens Advice buersyos and advice agencies they'll struggle to

:28:41.:28:46.

get the help. -- Citizens Advice Bureaus. Are benefits claimants in

:28:46.:28:50.

Dover aware that this is happening from next year and are you aware of

:28:50.:28:53.

them getting help to imagine the transition. This idea that people

:28:53.:28:58.

can't use the internet or budget on a monthly basis is stupid and

:28:58.:29:01.

patronising. The message that the Labour Party is sending to these

:29:02.:29:05.

people is you are really thick. I don't agree. I think people are

:29:05.:29:12.

able to tkhees things and we should be optimistic. -- able to do these

:29:12.:29:15.

things Do them if you don't have enough money. People are concerned

:29:15.:29:20.

when all the money is in one big pot and pressure boils up and there

:29:20.:29:23.

will not be enough money to make the commitments, particularly when

:29:23.:29:28.

the payments that are intended for children or childcare and the

:29:28.:29:31.

payments intended for your rent are all going to one person, who may

:29:31.:29:35.

not be the person responsible for those bills. Iain Duncan Smith

:29:35.:29:39.

yesterday addressed a lot of those points bfortnightly payments rather

:29:39.:29:42.

than monthly. He did very much so. The Labour Party want to spend

:29:42.:29:45.

money on giving people advice. I want to spend money on making work

:29:45.:29:50.

way and helping people who have more money in their pocket to

:29:50.:29:54.

incentivise them and to work harder How about paying for this system.

:29:54.:29:59.

There are suggestions from the OBR it'll cost �600 million a year more

:29:59.:30:02.

than was planned. We had that discussion in work and pensions

:30:02.:30:07.

questions yefpltd I don't think an awful yesterday. I don't think an

:30:07.:30:11.

awful lot turns on that. I think we need to get this system in place,

:30:11.:30:15.

get it working and encourage more people into the work place and

:30:15.:30:19.

driving the economy for growth for the long term. Thank you very much.

:30:19.:30:22.

I'm sure we'll hear many more of these discussions this afternoon.

:30:22.:30:26.

As we heard the first pilots are going to be in Manchester of the

:30:26.:30:29.

universial credit in April 2013 then next year people will

:30:29.:30:33.

gradually be moved on to it. It hasn't happening overnight. All

:30:33.:30:36.

benefits claimants won't be on universial credit until 2017. A

:30:36.:30:43.

It's an interesting and important subject because it's a radical

:30:43.:30:46.

reform, isn't it, having a universal credit? If it sounds good

:30:46.:30:51.

in theory, do you think it will work in practice? It's a good idea

:30:51.:30:55.

in theory. I greatly admire Iain Duncan Smith and for many reasons I

:30:55.:31:00.

wish he had moved to the Ministry of Justice, but anyway that didn't

:31:00.:31:04.

happen. He didn't want to go! bothers me is the assumption that's

:31:04.:31:10.

made that people can handle things online. 8% - no, eight million of

:31:10.:31:15.

the population have never approached a computer. Apparently,

:31:15.:31:20.

another 20 million or so really don't have the necessary skills.

:31:20.:31:23.

That's unrealistic. I am worried there will be a sort of meltdown

:31:23.:31:29.

with people unable to use it or computers crashing as happened with

:31:29.:31:35.

the income tax and has happened with NHS data. That's a problem. To

:31:35.:31:39.

access broadband apparently is something like �30 a month which is

:31:39.:31:43.

an additional expense. This issue is tied up with the Government's

:31:43.:31:47.

approach to broadband. I happen to sit on the House of Lords select

:31:47.:31:51.

committee on communications and we have pointed out that with

:31:51.:31:54.

broadband it really ought not to be our priority to get it faster,

:31:54.:31:59.

tpwou make sure that everybody in the country can use it. So you have

:31:59.:32:02.

an underlining problem with using the internet. The other one is I

:32:02.:32:06.

would be very worried if the universal credit went to the men in

:32:06.:32:11.

the household, because it's the women who will be spending it on -

:32:11.:32:15.

I would be worried - it's very sexist this, might spend it on

:32:15.:32:18.

something else. An interesting point.

:32:18.:32:24.

Now it's the the Budget that just won't go away. Nearly half a year

:32:24.:32:27.

since the Chancellor read out his statement the controversies are

:32:27.:32:32.

still rumbling on. We have had rows over pasties, caravans and Church

:32:32.:32:35.

improvements. One issue they're holding firm on is forcing

:32:35.:32:39.

universities to pay VAT on any alterations to their listed

:32:39.:32:44.

buildings. Here is Giles Dilnot with more. Under the dreaming

:32:44.:32:48.

spires of academia whilst Professors profess, building

:32:48.:32:53.

managers and pursers are having a financial financial headache. It's

:32:53.:32:58.

after the Treasury stuck an oar in after the Budget. You see, up until

:32:58.:33:03.

now if you repair a listed building, well that's the full fat 20% VAT.

:33:03.:33:10.

But if you want to alter it in a major way, well VAT was at 0%. The

:33:10.:33:15.

Treasury tell me this is a confusion that cost man hours and

:33:15.:33:20.

queries over what is altering and so it's been simplified. Now

:33:20.:33:23.

everything is 20%. Some universities suspect this was

:33:23.:33:26.

thought acceptable because the kind of people in institutions affected

:33:27.:33:31.

could frankly easily afford it. a country we have to find money

:33:31.:33:35.

from somewhere. There's no money, good luck to you, as Liam Burn said.

:33:35.:33:40.

We are borrowing �4 million plus a day. This change over this this

:33:40.:33:45.

lifetime of this parliament will bring in about �300 million to the

:33:45.:33:48.

Treasury. We have to effectively try and make sure that all these

:33:49.:33:53.

small changes take out anomalies but raise money so we can deal with

:33:53.:33:56.

the deficit. Here in Reading we are not necessarily talking about

:33:56.:34:00.

dreaming spires, chocolate box iconic listed buildings. These two

:34:00.:34:06.

gate houses are listed, from the Victorian estate upon which the

:34:06.:34:08.

university stands and before, if the university wanted to alter them,

:34:08.:34:13.

well, that was 0% VAT. Now, from the 1st October it will be 20%,

:34:13.:34:18.

just like everybody else. That's a financial constraint the university

:34:18.:34:21.

doesn't really want. The question now is how often do people want to

:34:21.:34:26.

change these buildings? Cutting out research and teaching requires fit

:34:26.:34:30.

for purpose building. When a proportion of your estate is in

:34:31.:34:34.

listed buildings, you are always going to be making those

:34:34.:34:41.

alterations. We are altering here all the time. The Treasury insist

:34:41.:34:48.

this sim play play -- simplification is overdue. But if

:34:48.:34:53.

politicians want to visit academic institutions again and get a hearty

:34:53.:34:57.

welcome, they may have to answer one countercharge. I am sure that

:34:57.:35:03.

it's been underestimated how many people this hits. I think as a

:35:03.:35:08.

whole many institutions, it will be just one small added burden on top

:35:08.:35:12.

of the other. But if you look at the institutions who have got

:35:12.:35:16.

greatest proportion of their estate in listed buildings, we all

:35:16.:35:19.

immediately think of Oxford and Cambridge. Actually, they're a way

:35:19.:35:24.

down the list. It's the small niche institutions that are going to be

:35:24.:35:28.

greatest hit. Baroness Deech is still with us. We

:35:28.:35:31.

heard there supporting the Government's line that this is

:35:31.:35:37.

about a a fundraising measure and simplification of the tack system -

:35:37.:35:40.

- tax system. It's a bad situation indeed and the story is broader

:35:40.:35:43.

than appears at first. What the Government is doing is giving

:35:43.:35:47.

universities money on the one hand, and then taking it away. The

:35:47.:35:53.

calculation has been carried out that this change in VAT will cost

:35:53.:35:58.

the whole sector �150 million over the next few years, which ekwauts

:35:58.:36:05.

to something like like -- �780 million needed in additional

:36:05.:36:07.

endowment which isn't there. The universities, to meet this bill,

:36:07.:36:11.

will have to make money out of the resources they were putting into

:36:11.:36:16.

bursaries for poor students. will affect the - they will take it

:36:16.:36:20.

directly from there? universities have a limited budget

:36:20.:36:26.

and they can't really go to their alumni and say give us money to pay.

:36:26.:36:31.

I bet they do. They will give money for causes close to their hearts

:36:31.:36:35.

like student bursaries and my guess is this will come from bursaries.

:36:35.:36:40.

suppose cow say is now they've changed that tax system, are

:36:40.:36:44.

alterations needed that often? Unnecessary alterations I am sure

:36:44.:36:47.

were undertaken because they didn't have to pay VAT in the past?

:36:47.:36:50.

universities don't have money to do unnecessary alterations but they

:36:50.:36:55.

have to do alterations all the time. Laboratories, which are an housed

:36:55.:36:59.

in old buildings need changing all the time. Student accommodation,

:36:59.:37:03.

you need to fit in more teaching rooms. I can assure you that right

:37:03.:37:07.

through the year universities are planning needed alterations and

:37:07.:37:10.

scratching around to find money. So this is really very bad indeed.

:37:10.:37:15.

It's bad news all round. The Government could get itself off the

:37:15.:37:22.

hook by... Another you-turn? Yes, they won't do another U-turn. They

:37:22.:37:26.

did one in this ill-thought out Budget over pasties, which is a

:37:26.:37:30.

shame because pasties are not good for you and caravans, what they

:37:30.:37:35.

could do here is exempt charityably owned buildings from this new tax

:37:35.:37:39.

and that would help universities. But they really must do something.

:37:39.:37:45.

The universities cannot spend �150 million on this. Many people will

:37:45.:37:49.

say look in these times that doesn't sound like a huge amount of

:37:49.:37:53.

money in the scheme of things over a period of years. It's very large.

:37:53.:37:58.

The universities scrape pennies and every extra they possibly have goes

:37:58.:38:01.

into supporting students. Let's look at another issue, and that's

:38:01.:38:06.

access to universities. Cambridge admissions tutor said over the

:38:06.:38:10.

weekend lowering entry requirements in an attempt to widen access would

:38:10.:38:14.

be cruel, which is an interesting word to use. Do you agree with him?

:38:14.:38:18.

Absolutely. I am very glad to say that Cambridge and I think Oxford,

:38:18.:38:24.

I am sure, are standing firm in the face of pressure. As we were saying

:38:24.:38:28.

earlier with GCSEs, you can't engineer the grades to meet a

:38:28.:38:31.

particular Government objective. Cambridge and Oxford and most

:38:31.:38:35.

universities have quite enough candidates with good grades to

:38:35.:38:39.

choose from. What about access? What about access from the state

:38:39.:38:43.

schools system when you look at the figures and and it still shows a

:38:43.:38:46.

high percentage of students from the private sector getting into

:38:46.:38:50.

Oxford and Cambridge and the only actually have 7% of the population.

:38:50.:38:54.

Coy go on about this for a long time. First of all, what's damaging

:38:54.:39:02.

to access are the messages given out occasionally by Professor Edon

:39:02.:39:04.

indicating, suggesting that universities discriminate which

:39:04.:39:12.

they certainly don't. They want to have a broad base of students.

:39:12.:39:15.

course they do. There is no discrimination. The problem is the

:39:15.:39:19.

schools and sometimes the families with a great deal of poverty of

:39:19.:39:23.

aspiration, they say to the students no, you can't do this or

:39:23.:39:27.

we don't want to you leave home or universities is not for you. It's

:39:27.:39:31.

not a question of poverty, because if you can manage to get to

:39:31.:39:33.

university you are supported and subsidised all the way through.

:39:33.:39:38.

It's a question of getting families to adjust their thinking and say to

:39:38.:39:42.

every child, you too can go, we will not stand in your way.

:39:42.:39:49.

right, thank you. The Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls,

:39:49.:39:53.

has had a difficult time at the TUC Conference. He was heckled after

:39:53.:39:56.

suggesting that a Labour Government would have to make difficult

:39:56.:39:59.

decisions on pay and pensions. Mr Balls then went on to argue that

:39:59.:40:02.

Labour has to be honest with the British people in order to gain

:40:02.:40:05.

credibility and he said the last thing the public want at the moment

:40:06.:40:09.

is any more strikes. Here's a flavour of what he had to say.

:40:09.:40:13.

say strikes must always be a last resort. I am sure the last thing

:40:13.:40:17.

the vast majority of trade union members want at a time of such

:40:17.:40:20.

uncertainty in our economy is strikes over the coming months.

:40:20.:40:24.

It's not what we want, it's not what the public want but when

:40:25.:40:29.

coalition Ministers warn they will have to act and legislate if they

:40:29.:40:35.

see a return to the unrest of the 1980s, what we are really seeing is

:40:35.:40:40.

Tories itching to provoke a row about strikes so they can blame the

:40:40.:40:43.

stalling recovery on trade union members and working people.

:40:43.:40:50.

APPLAUSE. Let's be honest, it should be David Cameron and George

:40:50.:40:53.

Osborne and Nick Clegg, they're the ones who should be admitting now

:40:53.:40:56.

their plan has failed and change course. It's them who should be

:40:56.:41:01.

changing course in the coming months. Let us say loud and clear,

:41:01.:41:06.

nobody here wants a return to the 1980s. We don't want a return to

:41:06.:41:10.

the hatred and division and confrontation of the is the 80s. We

:41:10.:41:17.

don't want a return to the strikes and lost working days.

:41:17.:41:19.

And we're joined now by Labour's Shadow Financial Secretary to the

:41:19.:41:22.

Treasury, Chris Leslie. Welcome back to the programme. We heard Ed

:41:22.:41:25.

Balls say no one wants a return to the 1980s with lost days of work

:41:25.:41:29.

but that he understands that the unions want action now and that it

:41:29.:41:35.

is the Tory-led Government that is trying to provoke a row. What is

:41:35.:41:39.

Labour's policy, does Labour condemn any strike action? Well, we

:41:39.:41:43.

are sort of seeing Ministers licking their lips at the prospect

:41:43.:41:46.

of strike action. We haven't actually seen ballots taking place.

:41:46.:41:49.

We have the promise of ballots taking place and we have had

:41:49.:41:53.

teachers unions saying they will take days of action. Does Labour

:41:53.:41:57.

support that? Or condemn it? have to recognise is there is a lot

:41:57.:42:03.

of anger. A lot of impatience for a strong critique, challenge to the

:42:03.:42:06.

Government's policy. Of course people are going to be impatient,

:42:06.:42:09.

particularly if they're public sector workers. You have to

:42:09.:42:13.

recognise also for the public a lot of strike action is very

:42:13.:42:16.

inconvenient. It causes a lot of disruption and so we want to see

:42:16.:42:21.

strike action avoided. We don't think that strike action is always

:42:21.:42:24.

the best way of voicing a grievance but that's not the same thing as

:42:25.:42:28.

saying we don't stand on the same side of many of those working in

:42:28.:42:30.

the public sector who are fed up with the way that they've been

:42:30.:42:35.

treated by the Government. Just to be clear, Ed Miliband said the

:42:35.:42:39.

public doesn't want to see strikes nor do members, nor do you, nor

:42:39.:42:42.

does the Labour Party? We don't want to see strike action, of

:42:42.:42:48.

course we don't. You will condemn it in ballots take place, you have

:42:48.:42:52.

set out it's not the right time, if strike action is voted for, you

:42:52.:42:55.

will condemn it? The trade union members themselves have to make

:42:55.:43:00.

their own decision about how they express their discontent and of

:43:00.:43:03.

course there are long-standing rights for working people to

:43:03.:43:07.

organise and to express their view. Our point of view is that strike

:43:07.:43:14.

action can be harmful and in many ways plays into some of the sort of

:43:14.:43:17.

hand-rubbing of Conservative Ministers who want to have another

:43:17.:43:22.

way of pointing to a blame for the failing economy so they point to

:43:22.:43:25.

the snow or the Royal wedding or bank holiday. They would love to

:43:25.:43:30.

point to strike action and those nasty nasty 1970s trade unions as

:43:30.:43:32.

they characterise them as responsible for all the economy's

:43:32.:43:36.

woes and that's what Ed Balls was saying today, be careful not to

:43:36.:43:38.

fall into the trap that the Government is setting here. What

:43:38.:43:42.

about the trap that's being perhaps set for Labour? Why don't you make

:43:42.:43:46.

it clear in the way that Ed Balls clearly set out in that speech,

:43:46.:43:48.

that there will be difficult difficult decisions on pay and

:43:48.:43:52.

pensions. He was heckled. That might help you, of course, seeing

:43:52.:43:56.

Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor, heckled in terms of the public

:43:56.:44:00.

perception of the Labour Party, but if you can make difficult decisions

:44:00.:44:04.

on pay and pensions and back the public sector pay freeze why can't

:44:04.:44:10.

you just say we condemn strike action? Because all the trade

:44:10.:44:13.

unionists have their right, as working people to look at their

:44:14.:44:18.

collective bargaining in their own workplace. Our point of view is in

:44:18.:44:21.

a hypothetical scenario where we haven't got strikes such as people

:44:21.:44:26.

have been pointing to in the offing, we want to say let's avoid them.

:44:26.:44:30.

Let's be more mature about these things, let's have an approach

:44:30.:44:33.

where people sort these things out, rather than play politics with it.

:44:33.:44:36.

Sometimes the politics is on both sides of the ekwaugs but the --

:44:36.:44:39.

equation but the Government are licking their lips at the prospect

:44:39.:44:44.

of mass strike action. That's the worry we have. In terms of Ed Balls

:44:44.:44:49.

being heckled and someone shouting oud "rubbish", do you think trade

:44:49.:44:55.

union members are out of touch? Look, they want the best deal for

:44:55.:44:59.

their colleagues, the workforce in the public sector have been working

:44:59.:45:04.

under quite difficult circumstances recently. The pay freeze has been

:45:04.:45:08.

really difficult. In an ideal world of course we would all want to see

:45:08.:45:11.

people get pay which could keep pace with the cost of living. The

:45:11.:45:18.

difficulty we have is because of the poor management of the economy

:45:18.:45:24.

and the state of the public sector finances, we can't say yes we would

:45:24.:45:28.

give wonderfully large pay awards. Because they're unaffordable.

:45:28.:45:33.

have to protect jobs and making sure tkpwu for job creation ahead

:45:33.:45:37.

of high pay awards for public sector. That's a difficult message

:45:37.:45:41.

to give but it's important that the Labour Party is clear, we won't be

:45:41.:45:45.

frightened of making those tough decisions. Should we end up having

:45:45.:45:54.

to mop up a big deficit that George Ed Miliband also criticised the

:45:54.:45:59.

coalition, for cutting the top-rate of tax. The Labour Party has

:45:59.:46:03.

criticised it. Would you reverse that? We don't know what

:46:03.:46:06.

circumstances we will inherit. say you will stick to the pay

:46:06.:46:10.

freeze. Would you reverse the 45p. We are not in the position to write

:46:10.:46:13.

manifestos. We are saying during the course of this Parliament, it

:46:13.:46:17.

is perverse to be cutting the top rate of tax from the wealthiest 1p

:46:17.:46:21.

at a time when you are raising it for pensioners and raising VAT for

:46:21.:46:25.

everyone else. We don't know what the state the public finances will

:46:25.:46:30.

be in 2015 but I have to say they are not looking pretty good. Andy

:46:30.:46:35.

Murray did his bit last night. It was a fantastic win in the US Open

:46:35.:46:38.

but with the Olympics Parade finishing yesterday, it definitely

:46:38.:46:42.

feels that the summer of sport is coming to an end. The Olympics and

:46:42.:46:45.

Paralympics have captured the imagination of millions up and down

:46:45.:46:48.

the country, not just because of the incredible achievements of the

:46:48.:46:51.

athletes but also because of the games volunteers. The servicemen

:46:51.:46:56.

and women and the organisers who made it all possible. Here's what

:46:56.:47:00.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London had to say at the parade yesterday.

:47:00.:47:06.

This was euro achievement. You, you brought this country together in a

:47:06.:47:10.

way we never expected. You wroughted the doubters and you

:47:11.:47:17.

scattered the gloomsterss. And for the first time in living memory you

:47:17.:47:21.

caused tube train passengers to break into spontaneous conversation

:47:21.:47:26.

with their neighbours, about subjects other than their trod-on

:47:26.:47:31.

toes. You showed every child in this country that success is not

:47:31.:47:36.

just about talent and luck, but about grit and guts and hard work

:47:36.:47:40.

and coming back from defeat. And by the way, you showed fantastic grace

:47:40.:47:45.

in victory, and amazing courage in defeat. Boris Johnson, stealing the

:47:45.:47:49.

show as he so often does. What lessons can our politicians take

:47:49.:47:53.

from the Games and can any of it apply to other parts of the

:47:53.:47:58.

Government? That's one of the themes Matthew Taylor the Chief

:47:58.:48:05.

Executive of the RSA and former executive of Downing Street who

:48:05.:48:09.

joins us now with Jesse Norman, takes up. It is all very well

:48:09.:48:14.

saying it has been wonderful, and it has and the coming together and

:48:14.:48:17.

will it ever apply to any other part of Government? I think there

:48:17.:48:21.

is an important lesson to be learned. I think the reason it was

:48:21.:48:25.

so amazing was it combined three things, the three forces that make

:48:25.:48:28.

changes happen in society. One is authority, the state. The

:48:28.:48:33.

organisation was great, the planning was great it, all worked.

:48:33.:48:39.

Surprisingly from a lot of people's perspective. Secondly what

:48:39.:48:43.

sociologists might call solidarity. So the nation was behind it, the

:48:44.:48:47.

volunteer force, people giving their own time and thirdly,

:48:47.:48:49.

individual aspiration because in the end it is about athletes

:48:50.:48:54.

winning gold medals. That combination, individualism, social

:48:54.:48:56.

solidarity, hierarchy, that's a combination that you need to solve

:48:56.:48:59.

problems. The problem is that generally speaking, outside of the

:48:59.:49:02.

Olympics, we don't have that combination. We don't trust the

:49:02.:49:08.

Government. Big organisations have all sorts of problems and in many

:49:08.:49:12.

ways social solidarity has got weaker, which is why David Cameron

:49:12.:49:18.

had the Big Society. As a society we are individualistic and we have

:49:18.:49:22.

to restore our faith in our capacity to do big things.

:49:22.:49:26.

Government the agent to do that. You have just said trust in

:49:26.:49:30.

politicians is at an all-time low. Really you are admitting they are

:49:30.:49:34.

not going to be able it harness the goodwill created. You can see the

:49:34.:49:38.

pictures of the public support. Incredible. Even 1 million out

:49:39.:49:43.

yesterday that. It will not be possible to translate that into

:49:43.:49:45.

something as important as social poll sifrpblgts I have suggested

:49:45.:49:49.

beforehand, that one of the reasons the Olympics worked was once the

:49:49.:49:53.

bid had won we had to deliver by that certain date. However much

:49:53.:49:56.

people might have moaned about Olympic laenges or planning

:49:56.:50:01.

permission or the money, we had to get on and do it. -- Olympic lanes.

:50:01.:50:04.

Look at runways around London, Government hasn't the capacity to

:50:04.:50:08.

say - we have made the decision, we will stick to it. Do you think

:50:08.:50:12.

that's enough to bring in a local organiser to do this. Is he really

:50:12.:50:16.

going to be able to achieve what has been outline bid Matthew

:50:16.:50:19.

Taylor? He has phenomenal credentials, for me the great

:50:19.:50:23.

lesson of the Olympics is that actually it allowed us to Quarry

:50:23.:50:27.

something in our own character as a country which is why the opening

:50:27.:50:33.

ceremony was amazing. It reminded vast numbers of people up and down

:50:33.:50:36.

the British Isles that we have an extraordinary history. If we go

:50:36.:50:41.

back to that we can see the combination of individual endever

:50:41.:50:48.

and collective industry. And the big "Big society". It hasn't been

:50:48.:50:52.

talked about but it encapsulated the "big society", or at least I

:50:52.:50:56.

think what was intended by David Cameron. I think it Zwhat was

:50:56.:51:00.

interesting was it was a vision of society which involved a degree of

:51:00.:51:04.

state spending and prieming but it really relied on the games makers

:51:05.:51:10.

and volunteers -- and priming. And anyone who went to that was

:51:10.:51:15.

staggered by the lifting of the spirts from the volunteers.

:51:15.:51:20.

Matthew said, the things about volunteering it was for a time-

:51:20.:51:24.

limited period. People gave their time free, they weren't earning

:51:24.:51:29.

kawe ply that model to business? feel sad about it. I think I'm an

:51:29.:51:33.

Olympic spirit dissident. The day the Olympics ended, the trade

:51:33.:51:37.

unions announced strikes. The teaching unions don't want to do,

:51:37.:51:42.

are refusing to do supervision of after-hours school sport and so on.

:51:42.:51:46.

So where is the spirit? Should they be made to do that free of charge?

:51:46.:51:51.

You can't make them but where is the great big social solidarity?

:51:51.:51:54.

And individual aspiration? It is a wonderful thing but when it comes,

:51:54.:51:59.

you know, in the Olympics you start with taking people who have natural

:51:59.:52:02.

talent. You choose them, you take them out of school, you train them

:52:02.:52:07.

especial li, you applaud them, they work 45 and win gold. Why doesn't

:52:07.:52:10.

that apply negligentcation and business? I agreement it is a

:52:10.:52:13.

special place. That's what I'm saying in my lecture. We have to

:52:13.:52:17.

understand how it is we rebuild social solidarity, which has been

:52:17.:52:21.

weakened by the fact we are a more diverse population and we have less

:52:21.:52:24.

money. All the things that undermine solidarity of people

:52:24.:52:28.

living in communities just like them. We have to see how we restore

:52:28.:52:32.

political authority. Barack Obama was trying to say some of these

:52:32.:52:36.

things last week in his speech. He was saying in the end changes isn't

:52:36.:52:41.

about me, if you elect me to do it I'm not going to do it, it is about

:52:41.:52:44.

citizens themselves doing it. We have to explor how we rekindle the

:52:44.:52:47.

sources of power. -- explore. This weekend hundreds of thousands of

:52:47.:52:50.

parents all around the country will be making little football matches

:52:50.:52:56.

work with their kids. Absolutely. That's the level at which it stays,

:52:56.:53:00.

which is what I'm trying to say. take issue with Ruth, if I may, the

:53:00.:53:04.

whole point is if you put people in a hierarchy, you take away their

:53:04.:53:08.

individual incentives to get out and make changes in their own

:53:08.:53:13.

families and neighbourhoods. If you money advertise their incentives,

:53:13.:53:21.

you take a lot away -- monetaryise. We have to do something, starting

:53:21.:53:27.

small and growing bigger bigger. has to be something that people

:53:27.:53:31.

believe in. The counterpart is you are viewing someone as a creature

:53:31.:53:34.

of habit and once you start it, you can build on, that rather than

:53:34.:53:38.

saying everything is about money. One of the problems of the "big

:53:38.:53:40.

society" there was no kft why individuals would want to do more

:53:40.:53:45.

about this. -- no account of. If the Olympics, you get a uniform, it

:53:45.:53:50.

was exciting, for a time-limited period.

:53:50.:53:55.

Chapter 6 of my book. Thank you for that little reference. Thank you.

:53:55.:53:59.

Bars are stock up, the speeches are being written and restaurants being

:53:59.:54:02.

booked. Ye, it is the conference season. The TUC gathering is

:54:02.:54:05.

already under way and in just under two weeks, the Liberal Democrats

:54:05.:54:10.

kick off for the three main parties is. There any point in them any

:54:10.:54:15.

more? A report from the Policy Review Intelligence think-tank

:54:15.:54:20.

suggests it isn't working suggests having all three konchess in one

:54:20.:54:27.

city over a tele-week period. -- all three conferences. Here is a

:54:27.:54:37.
:54:37.:54:44.

# Can't get away it marry you today # My wife won't let me... #

:54:44.:54:54.
:54:54.:54:54.

You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning.

:54:54.:55:04.

Go back to your constituencies and prepare for Government.

:55:04.:55:12.

And you end in the grotesque chaos of a Labour Council, a Labour

:55:12.:55:15.

Council hiring taxis to scuttle around a city handing out

:55:15.:55:18.

redundancy notices to its own workers.

:55:19.:55:28.

I've got a little list, of benefit offenders, who I'll soon be rooting

:55:28.:55:33.

out, and who never would be missed. They never would be missed.

:55:33.:55:41.

So there you have it, the final proof, Labour's brand new, shining,

:55:41.:55:47.

modernist, economic dream tpwu, wasn't Browns, it was balls -- but

:55:47.:55:51.

it wasn't Brown's. Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble. The Tory Party's

:55:51.:55:58.

reDawesed to rubble. The quiet man is here to stay and

:55:58.:56:08.
:56:08.:56:11.

At least I don't have to worry about her running off with the

:56:11.:56:17.

bloke next door! Some of the best conference joke

:56:17.:56:21.

there is. It takes you back a bit. Gavin and Stewart with with me now.

:56:21.:56:24.

Gavin we can see from that little collection of films and clips that

:56:24.:56:29.

this is the highlight of the political year? Absolutely. But I

:56:29.:56:32.

think the problem we have got at the moment is that the party

:56:32.:56:37.

conferences have somewhat got a bit sort of out-moded and, of course,

:56:37.:56:40.

no-one's particularly seriously arguing that we should abolish them,

:56:40.:56:45.

but the point being that they need modernising, transforming. There

:56:45.:56:49.

are issues of accessibility. If you are attending the conference, you

:56:49.:56:54.

can easily spend �1,000 on accreditation and accommodation, so

:56:54.:56:58.

you have access problems. If you are an organisation, you can

:56:58.:57:02.

literally spend tens of thousands of pounds, you know organising

:57:03.:57:07.

fringe events, exhibiting, all the rest of it. We have actually, in

:57:07.:57:11.

this country, got some really interesting events that take place,

:57:11.:57:18.

like the Haye, festival and Edinburgh Festival. Maybe our

:57:18.:57:21.

political conferences should be models a bit more like that. If we

:57:21.:57:25.

cut the costs and perhaps shorten them - they have been a bit - and

:57:25.:57:29.

make better access, they would be fantastic. Well looking at the

:57:29.:57:34.

greatest hits in conferences takes me back to really what they were,

:57:34.:57:39.

which was policy-making for ordinary party members which could

:57:39.:57:44.

engage with serious people making decision abouts the country. They

:57:44.:57:50.

are far too corporate. I remember the conference in the waifbg our

:57:50.:57:53.

exit from the Exchange Rate Mechanism when Norman Tebbit got up

:57:53.:57:58.

and gave John Major one between the eyes. Whru agreed or didn't, it was

:57:58.:58:02.

electric, hence -- whether you agreed or didn't, it was electric.

:58:02.:58:08.

And also the Neil Kinnock speech's. It is more corporate and dull.!

:58:08.:58:13.

MPs want to go? No, I don't think they do. I think the whole naturer

:58:13.:58:18.

of political campaign changed. The idea when I was in the my teens, I

:58:18.:58:25.

would go to a conference, and sit and listen to a cabinet minister,

:58:25.:58:30.

drone on for 20 minutes and have a few clap lines, it is all gone now.

:58:30.:58:34.

You could do the things you are suggesting to modernise it, but in

:58:34.:58:39.

the end they are no longer the great debating centres they used to

:58:39.:58:44.

be, policy and ideology is already decided. That's the point why I

:58:44.:58:50.

make about the fringe because the vibe Rabcy and the exciting element

:58:50.:58:54.

is not the main event in the centre which is all contrived for the

:58:54.:58:59.

media, it is what goes on, on the outskirts. We have ten seconds. Are

:58:59.:59:03.

you going? Stpoo I try to, but I can't see how you get there. I

:59:03.:59:08.

logged on to see if I could. They are too expensive and stage-managed

:59:08.:59:11.

but give members of the public an unrivaled opportunity it see these

:59:11.:59:16.

people in action. For those of us who don't want Parliament live,

:59:16.:59:19.

this is the chance to see it. I wouldn't have done without those

:59:19.:59:23.

Jo Coburn is joined by Baroness Deech, the cross-bench peer who is an academic, lawyer and bioethicist, to discuss all the political news, including the latest on the GCSE grading scandal with the chairman of the Education Select Committee Graham Stuart.

There is also a look at the Labour Party's relationship with the unions as the TUC conference draws to a close.


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