26/10/2012 Daily Politics


26/10/2012

Andrew Neil has the top political stories of the day.


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. On the show today:

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Fancy being a teacher? The Government's about to make it that

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little bit harder by demanding aspiring teachers take a test in

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maths and English before they start training.

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After the good economic news yesterday, Tory MPs are warning of

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a backlash against cuts to child benefit due in January. We'll talk

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to one of them. Should the European Parliament stop

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its monthly trek from Brussels to Strasbourg? We'll report on the

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latest campaign by MEPs to keep the Parliament in one place.

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And it's the great Government sell- off, as Francis Maude announced the

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sale of Admiralty Arch in central London for �60 million. But what

:01:17.:01:27.
:01:27.:01:32.

will become of it? We'll reveal all All that in the next hour, and with

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me for the first half hour today, we've got some top talent from

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Fleet Street. They're the new Sonny and Cher of daytime TV - it's Anne

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McElvoy of the Economist and Philip Collins of the Times. Don't worry,

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you won't have to sing. Let's start with the news this

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morning that people who want to become teachers will face tougher

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tests in English, maths and reasoning before they start their

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training. The Government says it wants tests to be more rigorous to

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raise the quality and standing of teaching. Charlie Taylor is the

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:02:16.:02:17.

chief executive of the Teaching When you look at the most

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successful education systems across the world, Finland, South Korea,

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Singapore, they set the bar very high in terms of the people they

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allow into teaching and teaching is a high-status job. What these tests

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do is to say, we want to get the very best people into teaching.

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And we've been joined by Alice Robinson from the Association of

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Teachers and Lecturers. You must welcome this? I think all teachers

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will welcome anything that will help raise standards. I'm not sure

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tests of these nature will achieve that. Because they will be too

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simple? No. There are a huge range of issues over becoming a graduate,

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people have demonstrated that they have GCSEs, they've then completed

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their degree. I think the Government, one of the things they

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said they would do was reduce bureaucracy. They've now introduced

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another level of assessment. They have demonstrated they don't trust

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the GCSE results, they don't trust A-level results, and now they are

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saying they don't trust the universities. You have to make sure

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they can read and count. I'm fairly certain the universities would have

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insisted on that before they granted firsts, honours degrees and

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so on. You can get that in Latin but you don't have to be able to

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read English. These are exams where there's a 98% pass rate. If someone

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can't pass an exam with 90% of the rest of people, they don't deserve

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to be a teacher. You have to ask the question, why do you need this?

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Why don't we have a tougher exams on maths, the basics of maths and

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English and reasoning on top of the degree before you get into

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teaching? The reason why places like Taiwan and Finland have such

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strong education systems is because they pick the best and brightest.

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That is not completely the case. is in Finland. In Finland, they

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give teachers a huge amount of autonomy, significant pay...

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honours graduates. They don't have to do an additional test. I think

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people will be amazed, every reform Labour or Conservative governments

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try to make, the teaching unions always oppose it. This is simply an

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attempt to make sure... I can insure -- a sure you, we employ

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them. People come out of university and they don't know good spelling

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or gram and they don't write very well. Why should we not ensure that

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teachers have that ability? Right. If that is the case, why has

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Michael Gove said that teachers in academies and free schools don't

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have to have Q T S? One of our issues is around there's not any

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consistency. You're against it because everybody is doing it.

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Would you be in favour of it if he said everybody had to do it. Her I

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would have welcomed consultation. You would still be in favour?

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not true. The union I represent... If the Government have based this

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evidence on a report produced by head teachers. I represent head

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teachers. I am an assistant head. Actually, the people who do the

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monitoring, the people who do the mentoring of student teachers, our

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classroom teachers who do pick up on things. In a small number of

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cases where people are not as numerate or literate as they should

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be, they are picked up on and told it is not good enough. There are

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issues around that. There are a huge number of entry pathways into

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teaching now, teach first, P G C, a graduate training programme. There

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is a myriad of entry... slightly flabbergasted by this. I

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can't see what is wrong with saying to people who are going to educate

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our children, in primary school or for sophisticated skills, that you

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must have as half -- high-standard of rudimentary maths and English. I

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have seen reports where I've wanted to put a red pencil around the

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grammar of the teachers. This happens because we let it go. As a

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system we let it go. Not only the teaching unions are responsible,

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but they are to some extent. Successive governments didn't pick

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it up. We are now right on it and Charlie Taylor is right to be

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saying lots of other countries... I do a lot of comparative work about

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education systems. In most countries this would not be in

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issue. I agreed with that. We will get on better than Sonny and Cher!

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In the air years. Thirtysomething else. The best systems also have a

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very rigorous -- rigorous aptitude test for teaching, which is a skill

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in itself. The best systems make it very hard to get into teaching, but

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quite easy to get out. If you've got a teaching certificate in some

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countries, that is sort of -- thought of as a very distinguished

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thing to have. If it doesn't work out for you, people going to very

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good professions because that is a badge of honour. Anything that can

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help us move towards that has to be a good thing. I entirely agree with

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what you've just said about attitude and that is one of the

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issues around a lack of consultation on this very basic

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test. Being a good teacher is around having a passion, a real

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understanding and an ability to communicate verbally with your

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students on a level they can understand. It is around aptitude.

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We would welcome somebody sitting down and saying, let's look at how

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we can best screen students, graduates, going into teaching, to

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demonstrate a wide range of skills, not just picking on one thing.

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Probably ban the phrase around aptitude to start with. It is

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slightly baggy language which goes around process and structures. That

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language hides what is going on and a lot of the education debate is

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affected by it. We have to raise the level of what we do in

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education and anything that gets under way... They are supposed to

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have great degrees, but there's a big problem about what universities

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are doing in education. There are too many pathways, we don't know

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what is good, bad and indifferent, and the elite universities are too

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far away from training teachers. You have a status problem. You will

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be allowed to fail these exams three times and still be a teacher.

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Coney 98% of those who apply, not everybody. -- Only. So Statistics!

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If there's a 98% pass rate on GCSEs on the ones they are trying to do

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to the level that is required, and even if somebody wants to be a

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teacher who fails to reach his pass rate the first time, as part of the

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to do so that did not get it, they can sit it again and again. Most

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people would say actually, to become a teacher, the tests should

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be tougher. We want a proper consultation about the whole range

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of how students are selected to become teachers. You love

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consultation in these unions rather than a system that will give kids

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the best possible chances. Her that is what teachers want. Really?

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Certainly. I was an assisted head and what I wanted in my school was

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to employ the best possible teachers. In it would surely

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increase the status of teachers if you had a really tough test that

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had a high barrier. That would be good for teaching. Not want that is

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just introduced on a very narrow set of issues. The Government

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proposes a lot of things that never see the light of day!

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Now it's time for our daily quiz. Nick Clegg met the President of the

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European Council, Herman van Rompuy, yesterday. But what language did

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:10:54.:10:57.

And we'll give you the answer a little later in the show.

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After yesterday's good news on the economy, there's going to be some

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less welcome news for thousands of families next week as the

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Government prepares the ground for another cut to benefits. If you are

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lucky enough to earn more than �50,000 a year and have children,

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you'll get a letter from the taxman you'll get a letter from the taxman

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next week along with 1.3 million others. But it might not make happy

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reading. It will tell you that you have a choice either to surrender

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your child benefit altogether or that you will have to repay part of

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the benefit, or all of it if you earn over �60,000, when you fill in

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your end of year tax return. The Treasury thinks that the change

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will save them around �2.5 billion a year. But it will also mean an

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extra 500,000 people filing self- assessment tax returns. And a

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number of Conservative MPs have expressed their concerns, warning

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that the system will be "fiendishly complicated". But the Government

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claims that taking benefits from the rich as well as the poor will

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show that "we're all in this together". Well, this policy was

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first announced at the Conservative conference way back in 2010. Let's

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remind ourselves how George Osborne remind ourselves how George Osborne

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:12:20.:12:21.

tried to sell the idea to his party. A system that taxes working people

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at high rates only to give it back in child benefit is very difficult

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to justify at a time like this. It is very difficult to justify taxing

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people on low incomes to pay for the child benefit of those earning

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so much more than them. These days we've really got to focus the

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resources on where they are most needed. We've got to be tough, but

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fair. That is why we will withdraw child benefit from households with

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a higher rate taxpayer. When the debts left by Labour threaten our

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economy, when our welfare costs are out of control, this measure makes

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sense. APPLAUSE that was the Chancellor in 2010.

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There was a bit of a backbench -- backlash even at the conference.

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With us now is the Conservative backbencher Mark Field. Welcome

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:13:25.:13:26.

back to the Daily Politics. MP for Westminster. I am indeed. You've

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got a mixed constituency. You've got a lot of people on average

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incomes, and a lot of well-off people. Is there ahead of her steam

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building? There is, partly because there's some have confusion because

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the policy has changed. I believe in getting the deficit down. As a

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moral case as well as any economic case and I have always supported

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any measures that we have that will reduce public spending. We need to

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be wise before the event. We know there are some big institutional

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problems with this policy. Looking at the practicalities, the Way We

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Live Now is very different. People have consultancy incomes. They

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don't know what they're going to earn during the year. This policy

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will mean that anyone in a household where you earn �50,000 a

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more will see a tapering away off that child benefit. If they earn

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�60,000, they will have nothing. You'll have perverse invoices --

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incentives to put invoices in later. You have divorcing couples.

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Wouldn't it be easier to say if you on the 40% tax band you don't get

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child benefit? One of the easy things might have been to say you

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will only get child benefit for a certain number of children. But you

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couldn't do that with those on existing child benefit. Iain Duncan

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Smith was saying we would like this to be the case for future parents

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of families, not for two. He is. That will not save much. I would

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not be too surprised if these policies were co-ordinated in some

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way. The worry with this policy, we've talked about raising �2.5

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billion, a huge amount of money will go into administering this

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system for up to you don't think the saving will be 2.5 billion? You

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will have to write off a lot for the reasons I've set out. It is

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almost a tax on aspiration. If you are on �40,000 a year, you aspire

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to earn �50,000, and you might lose something. If you have three

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children and you earn between �50,000.60 �1,000, for the tax

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could be 65%. The Government says we are all in this together. It has

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cat housing benefit for those on the low end of the income scale. It

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is making it harder for people on welfare benefits, forcing them to

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look for work. They are making it tougher. They are also looking for

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another 10 billion of cuts in welfare. Surely your traditional

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supporters, who are probably in these income groups, they will take

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:16:15.:16:18.

some of the pain. Some title lead I think there is a very strong case,

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and I totally agree with George Osborne, trying to get this deficit

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down at for moral reasons... understand that. You're not

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prepared to go along with it, the saving, because nobody is going to

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start as a result of this change, nobody is going to be homeless.

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don't think it will be two-and-a- half billion. We also see the other

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concern, problem, which is stay at home mothers are being distance and

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devised in the sense that if one person is being earning 60,000,...

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That was the original complaint. have more sympathy with a laugh

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complaint which is terrible. It sends a terrible signal to women

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from the party. I can't see a reason why this benefit exists for

:17:10.:17:15.

people earning quite well. Although it's very complicated, to get rid

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of an entitlement, but I thought we were trying to change the way we

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look at the welfare state. I can't really see the principle. I'm

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surprised to see that you don't see it actually not a good idea to have

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this idea of benefits as pocket money given to certain groups,

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unless they are in need. You need to bite the bullet on that. There

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is not well between two different ideals and the welfare state. The

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last word you'd used was need. The welfare state has become the

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welfare state of need. Contribution, as you contribute, you should get

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something out. It's absurd at a time when we haven't got any money

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as a country, we are transferring money to the state to people who do

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not need it. That's bizarre. If we save 2.5 billion, as its measured,

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there we go. It is future entitlement as well. You don't want

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to take the pain it now. I have got 16 and a half more years with my

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young daughter. The other issue is this. 40 years ago, when this

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benefit came in, it used to be a tax allowance, the state making a

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stall -- small statement saying its good for children to be invested in.

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The money was going to be in hands of mothers exclusively. I want to

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get the deficit down. There's been a lot of controversy about this and

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I think it will raise far less money than we think. Wouldn't a

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radical conservative government raised the threshold where the 40%

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clicks and, because, in real terms, it was meant for very well-off

:19:03.:19:08.

people, now average middle-class people, raise it and say, you are

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going to keep more of what you earn, if you are aspiring, but the child

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benefit has gone? You could do this. The argument about earning at a

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particular level were applied and part of the difficulty is that, in

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trying to raise money, it's all very well the rich having to pay,

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but there are very much more middle earners. Is it going to happen?

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sense is it might be delayed. The sensible thing would to started in

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at the next tax year. He needs the money. Come back if it is delayed

:19:49.:19:55.

and talk to us. Thank you. He has got his daughter outside now,

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putting a child benefit in a top pocket. How old is she? Six months

:20:03.:20:09.

old. She's already spending the money! Get your bookings in early.

:20:09.:20:12.

The iconic Admiralty Arch, it's at the end of the Mall leading to

:20:12.:20:15.

Trafalgar Square, is being turned into a hotel after the government

:20:15.:20:19.

flogged it off for �60 million. There it is. It was billed only 100

:20:19.:20:23.

years ago. No, it's not part of a government policy to make sure

:20:23.:20:26.

super-rich tourists have enough places to lay their heads. But part

:20:26.:20:29.

of a reorganisation of property that's paid for by the tax payer.

:20:29.:20:33.

Here's our Adam, who's hoping for a job as a chambermaid.

:20:33.:20:37.

Who would live in a house like this? Admiralty Arch was built 100

:20:37.:20:42.

years ago in honour of Queen Victoria and has been a crucial

:20:42.:20:45.

prop in that state occasions ever since. It's also been a home for

:20:45.:20:50.

Sea Lords, and a prime ministerial strategy unit, but no longer, as a

:20:50.:20:55.

news conference, the buildings 99 year lease has been sold for �60

:20:55.:21:00.

million to a property company who will turn it into a hotel. It's

:21:00.:21:09.

about the restoration, bring it back to life, the genius design the

:21:10.:21:15.

original architect built exactly 100 years ago. The idea is to bring

:21:15.:21:19.

up to life. We were given a rare access. Obviously it offers amazing

:21:19.:21:24.

views, when you can see them with Buckingham Palace on one side and a

:21:24.:21:30.

Trafalgar Square on the other. But inside, it's a Hamas to civil

:21:30.:21:34.

service drabness. With a dash of glamour and the odd mist. Political

:21:34.:21:37.

obsesses me want to think twice before they book a room here

:21:37.:21:40.

because you can't stay in the flat where John Prescott used to live

:21:40.:21:45.

where he used to serve shepherd's pie to Tony and Gordon to make them

:21:45.:21:48.

see eye-to-eye, because that's a completely different building and a

:21:48.:21:52.

corner. The sale is part of a big reorganisation of government

:21:52.:21:56.

property. We are getting out of quite a lot of properties. We have

:21:56.:22:02.

raised about �640 million in total so far by selling buildings, but

:22:02.:22:07.

our main business is just to get out of under-used property. In

:22:07.:22:12.

Bristol, for example, central government occupies one and and 15

:22:12.:22:21.

different buildings which is insane. It's expensive. -- 115.

:22:21.:22:26.

aircraft carrier Ark Royal was sold for scrap for �3 million. A bid to

:22:26.:22:33.

turn it into a casino was turned down. This betting organisation was

:22:33.:22:35.

sold for �265 million though the Government had to share that with a

:22:35.:22:39.

horse racing industry. And what about this for a big price tag? A

:22:39.:22:44.

Channel Tunnel rail link was sold for more than �2 billion. But the

:22:44.:22:47.

buyers of his British icon still have to get planning permission so

:22:47.:22:52.

they can't give a date for when the first guests will be checking in.

:22:52.:22:57.

Adam Fleming reporting. Looks pretty imposing. And we've been

:22:57.:23:01.

joined by the Cabinet Office Minister Chloe Smith. It says

:23:01.:23:06.

welcome back to the Daily Politics. Have you been with us before?

:23:06.:23:13.

recently, no. Not in the past 100 years, in other words. It's going

:23:14.:23:19.

to become a hotel, right? You have sold it on a lease. We have sold

:23:19.:23:23.

and 99 year lease hold for �60 million, which means it's a

:23:24.:23:29.

particularly good deal for the taxpayer because not only do we get

:23:29.:23:34.

that peace in the meantime, but in due course it reverts to the public.

:23:34.:23:39.

This is part of a process also I'm told you want to raise �6 billion

:23:39.:23:43.

doing this. What is next? The decisions are being taken across

:23:43.:23:47.

the Government property portfolio, that's for sure. This is one

:23:47.:23:50.

particularly good example and represents a really cracking deal

:23:51.:23:55.

for the taxpayer, in fact, but we are taking those decisions across

:23:55.:23:58.

property with a view to getting good value for money and a view to

:23:58.:24:02.

using space sensibly. Do we know what could be the next iconic

:24:02.:24:05.

building that could be on the block? I don't think there is a

:24:05.:24:10.

shopping list. You have got a lot to go because the barely raised 600

:24:10.:24:18.

million so far. The 640 million saved, according to the Government.

:24:18.:24:25.

10 times that to go. Will a lot to be sold? It's not only a question

:24:25.:24:29.

of selling, it's important to note, there's a number of things you can

:24:30.:24:34.

do with property. You can make sure space is used sensibly. This

:24:34.:24:39.

building was used for office space for a short while and it's not

:24:39.:24:45.

really meant for that. It has been empty recently. What do you say to

:24:45.:24:50.

people who say this is an iconic building at the heart of the couple,

:24:50.:24:53.

the gateway between Buckingham Palace at the end of The Mall into

:24:53.:24:59.

Trafalgar Square, and there should be a national monument? A National

:24:59.:25:06.

Building, a museum, an art gallery? Why wouldn't you do that? Do the

:25:06.:25:09.

key point is, the public can get into it for the first time ever.

:25:09.:25:17.

Think about we are going from a set of shabby office space in disrepair

:25:17.:25:24.

which costs �900,000 a year running costs, while stenting, to something

:25:24.:25:28.

the public can access. I think that's part of it being a good deal.

:25:28.:25:31.

As long as you can afford 20 quid for a cup of tea because it will be

:25:32.:25:37.

a posh hotel, won't it? There will be bars and cafes in it and

:25:37.:25:42.

interestingly, it will be won a best viewpoints in London. It's a

:25:42.:25:47.

great asset open to the public. What else can you see? Buckingham

:25:47.:25:52.

Palace, that would get a ton of money, wouldn't it? The Queen

:25:52.:25:56.

doesn't own it. I'm sure the Queen that would have something to say

:25:56.:26:03.

about that. The but she doesn't own that. Lease it back to them for 99.

:26:03.:26:09.

Andrew, perhaps you would like to put that forward. I just have.

:26:09.:26:15.

you talk to the Queen about it? official response. You did a famous

:26:15.:26:20.

interview on Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman. How do you feel about that

:26:20.:26:27.

now? Well, all I can say is, Andrew, you're far more pleasant person to

:26:27.:26:31.

sit opposite, and I'm sure the BBC prides itself on the quality of its

:26:31.:26:37.

presenters. Do you think you've had the last laugh on Newsnight?

:26:37.:26:45.

continue in my life having a good laugh,. You must have a quiet

:26:45.:26:49.

chuckle at what's happened to the programme since then? It a good

:26:49.:26:53.

moment for the BBC to reflect. The Jimmy Savile allegations are

:26:53.:26:56.

shocking, and I don't think too many people are laughing about

:26:57.:27:01.

those on the whole. Will you come back and see us? I would be

:27:01.:27:08.

delighted. Perhaps we can have a cup of tea. Maybe in the new hotel?

:27:08.:27:13.

Are you all right with this? Yes, I am all right with it. There are so

:27:13.:27:17.

many dead buildings. Somerset House, the revenues Santon there for so

:27:17.:27:22.

long. There is more access to the public. Michael Portillo said he

:27:22.:27:26.

couldn't even remember he owned it when he was a minister. William

:27:26.:27:29.

Morris wrote a book where he suggest the House of Commons be

:27:29.:27:32.

sold off and turned into a storehouse for manure. That might

:27:32.:27:39.

be the next one. No change there. Thank you for joining us. Thank

:27:39.:27:42.

goodness it's Friday. Always the end of a long political week.

:27:42.:27:45.

Perhaps the perfect day for a ministerial resignation. And why

:27:45.:27:48.

would you want to fall on your sword at the beginning of a crisis

:27:48.:27:52.

when you can stick it out to see whether your fate improves? I'm not

:27:52.:27:55.

suggesting Andrew Mitchell clung on his handle bars until the bitter

:27:55.:27:58.

end just a week ago. But ministers sometimes do. Indeed, as followers

:27:58.:28:02.

of The Thick Of It will know, it is hard for our our top dogs to know

:28:02.:28:04.

whether or not resignation is the honourable thing to do.

:28:04.:28:09.

This is going to be about the inquiry. I'm thinking I should

:28:09.:28:18.

resign now. No one shaves your lion's mane of. I am not a lion. A

:28:18.:28:22.

man died because of a policy I signed upon. I should take the

:28:22.:28:27.

dignified way out. No, you have missed the dignified exit,

:28:27.:28:34.

straightaway, basically. Sometimes it's a documentary. It's

:28:34.:28:38.

not comedy or fiction. And we've been joined by the Independent

:28:38.:28:40.

newspaper's parliamentary sketchwriter, and former

:28:40.:28:48.

Conservative MP, Michael Brown. Former. Are you so ashamed of it?

:28:48.:28:53.

Welcome back. I've not seen you for ages. Two ministers resigned too

:28:53.:28:56.

much or too little these days? think there's too much of it,

:28:56.:29:01.

frankly. When you look back at the Thatcher resignation, I looked at a

:29:01.:29:06.

list today, Lord Carrington, Michael Heseltine, Nigel Lawson,

:29:06.:29:10.

Geoffrey Howe, all on matters of principle, Nicholas Ridley had to

:29:10.:29:15.

resign, because of the Germans. I just read his article today. How

:29:15.:29:21.

right he was. They were resignations on the real issues. He

:29:22.:29:25.

was right about the Germans also I think he had to resign. Edwina

:29:25.:29:30.

Currie resigned and was unfairly treated. Everything she said turned

:29:30.:29:35.

out to be true. These days, we are resigning over bits of trivia. I

:29:35.:29:39.

mean, David Laws, it's arguable whether he needed to resign a

:29:39.:29:45.

couple of years ago. On my Twitter account, they all hate him. The in

:29:45.:29:49.

the end, it doesn't come down to the issue but whether the public

:29:49.:29:52.

perception, and short backbench colleagues, most of them are

:29:52.:29:59.

usually driven out. I have another list here. Tim Smith. Oh no! Neil

:29:59.:30:05.

Hamilton, Jonathan Aitken. didn't have much support on the

:30:05.:30:08.

back bench, did they? Up exactly, what tells at the end of the day is

:30:08.:30:12.

when you have support on the backbenches. I resigned as a

:30:12.:30:18.

government whip over a sex scandal in 1994. But the thing is, they you

:30:18.:30:22.

are, most of them are easily forgettable. Ian Gow resigned as a

:30:22.:30:29.

minister. Keith Speed? I don't even know who he is? Secretary of State

:30:29.:30:33.

for Scotland? How dare you! He was the parliamentary private secretary

:30:33.:30:43.
:30:43.:30:47.

to Margaret Thatcher who was $:/STARTFEED. Andrew Mitchell's

:30:47.:30:52.

resignation has already been forgotten. Ary Nieve was the other

:30:52.:30:57.

Conservative close to Mrs Thatcher who was also assassinated. Just

:30:57.:31:03.

after the election, I remember that one. Two terrible days. Do you have

:31:03.:31:07.

a list of those who should have resigned and didn't? Right at the

:31:07.:31:11.

top of my list is Jeremy Hunt. I think Jeremy Hunt should have

:31:11.:31:16.

resigned a few weeks ago. It is arguable whether Grant Shapps

:31:16.:31:21.

should really be in post. Really? After what the Guardian has

:31:21.:31:25.

suggested. You can't pretend to be somebody else all the time. That

:31:25.:31:30.

wouldn't be like being a politician at all! I would say immediately

:31:30.:31:35.

there are far more questions about those two staying. But they are so

:31:35.:31:39.

close to the Prime Minister that there resignation affects him.

:31:39.:31:47.

we too keen on the media to form a lynch mob? Are you going to resign,

:31:47.:31:52.

minister? When are you going to resign? A notice that this week,

:31:52.:32:00.

the BBC reporter was chasing after the Eid Director General of the BBC.

:32:00.:32:04.

Some day it must happen, a victim must be found. We go down the list

:32:04.:32:08.

as soon as somebody gets into trouble. I do think we should

:32:08.:32:14.

sometimes stand back. You have to allow operators is to find out --

:32:14.:32:19.

play out. You rarely find out what was going on. Liam Fox was a

:32:19.:32:23.

classic, embarrassment about his relationship with his aide and it

:32:23.:32:28.

got out of the way. I would rather find out what happened and come to

:32:28.:32:34.

review. We don't have any criteria for resignation. Key if you look at

:32:34.:32:39.

the textbooks, there are long disquisitions about the principles

:32:39.:32:43.

for resignation and they have gone. The lynch mob howls and howls and

:32:43.:32:46.

keeps on howling until you get to the point where the backbenchers

:32:46.:32:51.

say we have lost confidence in you. That becomes the pretext for the

:32:51.:32:57.

resignation. We've forgotten what the pretext was. We have data from

:32:57.:33:01.

the LSE that shows that of the 12 resignations that have taken place

:33:01.:33:09.

as a result of sex scandals from 1906-2006, 11 were Conservatives.

:33:09.:33:14.

Any theory of that? It always used to be said that if it was money, it

:33:14.:33:19.

was Labour MPs, if it was sex, it was Tory MPs. Cut it is the thing

:33:20.:33:24.

they can't get otherwise. It's Cecil Parkinson came back from a

:33:24.:33:28.

sex scandal. Tim Yeo came back from a sex scandal. A long list, thank

:33:28.:33:38.

you. Earlier we set the guests a little quiz. What language did Nick

:33:38.:33:45.

Clegg and Herman Van Rompuy his speech yesterday when they met?

:33:45.:33:53.

What is the correct answer? Dutch. German. The correct answer is Dutch.

:33:53.:34:02.

A huge glass of champagne waiting? He speaks about five languages.

:34:02.:34:06.

It's just gone 12.30, and it's time to say goodbye to my two guests of

:34:06.:34:09.

the day, Phil Collins and Anne McElvoy. And don't forget, if you

:34:09.:34:11.

can't survive the weekend without your regular politics hit, do join

:34:11.:34:15.

me for the Sunday Politics on BBC One at noon, when I'll be

:34:15.:34:22.

interviewing the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander. --

:34:23.:34:29.

it's at 11 o'clock! You get an extra hour's sleep before you have

:34:29.:34:32.

to watch us! This week, Members of the European

:34:32.:34:34.

Parliament have been meeting in Strasbourg for their regular

:34:34.:34:37.

plenary session. So what have they been getting up to? Here's Susana

:34:38.:34:47.
:34:48.:34:49.

with our guide to latest from The scene is set for a showdown

:34:49.:34:56.

after MEPs rejected a position of all 27 National MEPs voted for a

:34:56.:35:02.

rise of 6.8%, the governments want to limit any increase to 2.8%, but

:35:02.:35:06.

the commissioner for budgets said they were ignoring reality.

:35:06.:35:10.

can't endorse the councillors decision to cut by more than 5

:35:11.:35:15.

billion our proposal. Her three appointments have a Luxembourg

:35:15.:35:19.

central banker to the all-male board has angered those who want to

:35:19.:35:22.

see more female candidates for the job. Ever struggled to get

:35:23.:35:27.

compensation for a delayed flight or lost luggage? MEPs agree with

:35:27.:35:30.

you and they have adopted a resolution, calling a passenger

:35:30.:35:37.

rights to be endorsed across the UK. The BC has backed a commission on

:35:37.:35:41.

the Robin Hood tax. The you couldn't get all 27 members to

:35:41.:35:46.

agree, but the 10, including France and Germany, want to carry on

:35:46.:35:55.

And with us for the next 30 minutes, I've been joined by Fiona Hall MEP.

:35:55.:35:58.

She's the Lib Dem leader in the European Parliament. And Paul

:35:58.:36:02.

Nuttal MEP - he's the deputy leader of UKIP. Let's take a look at one

:36:02.:36:05.

of those stories in more detail. The European Parliament vote

:36:05.:36:14.

against the appointment of a man to the ECB executive board. This is a

:36:14.:36:17.

complaint which Europe has been talking a lot about, there are so

:36:17.:36:23.

few women on top boards. Where do you stand on this? I think we did

:36:23.:36:29.

the right thing on the vote on the ECB. It has been established that

:36:29.:36:33.

companies are much better, that they perform much better, if they

:36:33.:36:39.

don't just have men on the board. Duvet? What is the evidence? There

:36:39.:36:46.

was a survey done recently. In the UK, over the last year we have

:36:46.:36:51.

voluntary measures on getting women on to boards since the Davies

:36:51.:36:56.

report and there's been spectacular progress. The ECB is overwhelmingly

:36:56.:37:00.

male. It is largely made up of the existing central bankers and they

:37:00.:37:04.

are probably all male. Is there a female central banker in the

:37:04.:37:09.

eurozone? Originally there was one and she left. Germany is on record

:37:09.:37:15.

as saying it was always understood that they should be won. But our

:37:15.:37:18.

objection in Parliament was not that the new appointee Wasserman,

:37:18.:37:23.

but simply that there wasn't even a woman on the shortlist. We thought

:37:23.:37:29.

that was taking it too far. We are you on this? I believe in a

:37:29.:37:32.

meritocracy. If you are good enough, it doesn't matter if you are a man

:37:32.:37:37.

or woman. What is interesting is that Angela Merkel has swung behind

:37:37.:37:42.

this man to get a job. The last time I looked, she was a woman.

:37:43.:37:47.

Sarkozy didn't always think that. If you are saying it is a

:37:47.:37:51.

meritocracy, it therefore follows, given that the boards on the ECB

:37:51.:37:56.

are dominated by men, it follows from your argument, logically, in a

:37:56.:38:00.

meritocracy, that it is all men because the women are too thick. I

:38:00.:38:04.

don't think many people would accept that. Is that right? Across

:38:04.:38:10.

the world, women are in leading positions. The head of the IMF is a

:38:10.:38:14.

woman. The Chancellor of Germany is a woman, Hillary Clinton, Margaret

:38:14.:38:18.

Thatcher. Why no woman in the seedy? The women were not as

:38:18.:38:23.

qualified as the men. It shouldn't matter what sex you are, at the

:38:23.:38:27.

best person should get the job. clearly does matter because they

:38:27.:38:31.

are all men. Half the population is women, there are more women

:38:31.:38:35.

graduates than men and there's something that is a barrier at the

:38:35.:38:41.

moment. The ECB takes decisions that have effects on household

:38:41.:38:45.

budgets and living conditions which often women bear the brunt of.

:38:45.:38:51.

Exactly. You can get a very narrow view of the world. That is why

:38:51.:38:55.

there take women on board find that they prosper more, they share price

:38:55.:39:00.

goes up, they perform better. Surely it is demeaning to women.

:39:00.:39:04.

You wouldn't want to be the token woman on the board thinking you

:39:04.:39:09.

were only there because you are a placement. UKIP is the party that

:39:09.:39:16.

believes women should be cleaning... Nonsense. They may have moved out.

:39:16.:39:20.

-- moved on. So the stage is set for more

:39:20.:39:23.

fireworks over the EU's budget and there's lots at stake. First - this

:39:23.:39:26.

week, the EU Commission asked member states to stump up another

:39:26.:39:29.

�6 billion to help fill a �9 billion gap in the EU's finances up

:39:29.:39:32.

billion gap in the EU's finances up to the end of the year. Next, the

:39:32.:39:34.

European Parliament voted for a 6.8% increase in the budget for

:39:34.:39:37.

2013, rejecting a lower budget increase put forward by member

:39:37.:39:43.

states. MEPs and the Council of Ministers now have three weeks to

:39:43.:39:47.

try to reach a compromise. And finally, there's the arguments over

:39:47.:39:57.
:39:57.:40:05.

the total budget for 2014-2020, the so-called "multi-annual framework".

:40:05.:40:09.

It is how much they will spend between now and 2020. MEPs and the

:40:09.:40:12.

European Commission are gunning for a big budget increase to the MFF,

:40:12.:40:16.

which would mean total spending up to 2020 would add up to over 1,000

:40:16.:40:24.

billion euros. But member states have a veto over this, and David

:40:24.:40:27.

Cameron has said he will use his to block any real-terms rise in the

:40:27.:40:33.

overall budget. European leaders are due to meet in late November to

:40:33.:40:36.

agree a plan, but the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has said

:40:36.:40:39.

the summit should be scrapped if Mr Cameron doesn't withdraw this

:40:39.:40:48.

Let's talk now to the Spanish MEP Salvador Garriga Polledo, who sits

:40:48.:40:56.

on the European Parliament budgets committee.

:40:56.:41:01.

It looks like you have a lot to resolve for this year, next year

:41:01.:41:06.

and the next six years. Will you get a settlement on all of this, do

:41:06.:41:15.

you think? It is going to be difficult. We started today with 20

:41:15.:41:20.

12th's remaining budget and we have two weeks to come to an agreement

:41:20.:41:26.

on 2013. At the same time, we are still awaiting developments for the

:41:26.:41:32.

coming negotiations. It is going to be a very busy three months.

:41:32.:41:38.

think a lot of people watching will wonder why the European Union

:41:38.:41:43.

should be getting any increase when their governments are they live

:41:43.:41:46.

under are having to slash their spending like mad. It is happening

:41:46.:41:51.

in Britain, it has happened in France, even with President

:41:51.:41:56.

Hollande and his austere budget, it is happening in your own country.

:41:56.:42:01.

National governments are having to cut so why should the European

:42:01.:42:09.

government, if I can call it that, get an increase? It depends on the

:42:09.:42:19.
:42:19.:42:22.

idea about Europe, that different politicians have. The idea that

:42:22.:42:25.

even though they are slashing budgets, we concede that the

:42:25.:42:35.

European budget should incorporate the European added value. Money is

:42:35.:42:44.

spent in 27 member-states. think the money spent more

:42:44.:42:49.

effectively at a European level than a national level? The EU's

:42:49.:42:54.

accounts have not been approved for about 13 years now. How can it be

:42:54.:42:57.

more effective in spending than the Madrid, Paris or London

:42:57.:43:07.

governments? We truly believe that, and expenditure will be more

:43:07.:43:14.

effective, especially because we are dealing with coalition policy,

:43:14.:43:24.
:43:24.:43:26.

innovation, development, European Social Fund. Many things are spread

:43:26.:43:32.

between 27 member states. It will produce a better effect. I'm asked

:43:32.:43:38.

say that the European budget is neutral. -- I must say. We don't

:43:38.:43:42.

want the member states to spend more money. We want to transfer

:43:42.:43:52.
:43:52.:43:53.

some kind of spending to the European budget. Thank you. What

:43:53.:43:59.

should the British Government's strategy... What should they be in

:43:59.:44:05.

this European budget formation? think it is a mistake to say at the

:44:05.:44:10.

beginning that we might walk out. There are a lot of negotiations

:44:11.:44:15.

ahead and that is not the way you normally go into negotiations. I

:44:15.:44:20.

agree that in this time of austerity, we shouldn't be looking

:44:20.:44:25.

at a budget rise. But we also need to be looking at other aspects of

:44:25.:44:29.

the Budget. We need to make sure there's a review, because we know

:44:29.:44:33.

we are beginning to come out of recession and in a couple of years,

:44:33.:44:37.

that will be the moment to invest. We also have to make sure that the

:44:37.:44:41.

money we've got is spent more efficiently. At the moment you are

:44:41.:44:49.

not allowed to swap money between different... That is stupid.

:44:49.:44:56.

agree that the Budget should be frozen in real terms, if not for

:44:56.:45:02.

all of the 2014-2020 period, or maybe for 14, 15 and all 16?

:45:02.:45:07.

part of a package where we look at these other aspects and make sure

:45:07.:45:12.

we get a proper efficient use art of the money we have. If I could

:45:12.:45:19.

just say... Briefly. The accounts being signed off. The countries of

:45:19.:45:24.

Europe, countries like the UK who are responsible for that, it is the

:45:24.:45:26.

Department of Work and Pensions who have never had their accounts

:45:26.:45:36.
:45:36.:45:39.

People do have doubts that money is being spent wisely at European

:45:39.:45:45.

level, let alone British level. This is completely indefensible

:45:45.:45:48.

when we have cuts in our own country and are living in times of

:45:48.:45:52.

austerity. The European Parliament has voted to increase our

:45:52.:45:56.

contributions by �2 billion a year, something we can't afford, and

:45:56.:46:00.

something the people of this country would not like. What should

:46:00.:46:05.

they do? Rejected completely. I would like to see the Budget

:46:05.:46:09.

reduced significantly. I think Cameron will go into negotiations.

:46:09.:46:14.

He got on the train a few years ago at St Pancras and said, "I'm going

:46:14.:46:18.

to Brussels and I will be the hard man." By the time he got there, he

:46:19.:46:25.

would he accept the 2.5%. If there is no deal because they want to

:46:25.:46:31.

avoid a British veto, as Angela Merkel is suggesting, this year's

:46:31.:46:36.

budget is automatically rolled over with a 2% increase, is an there is

:46:36.:46:41.

no veto on that. Would that be a sensible strategy? Cameron has got

:46:41.:46:47.

to play hardball, and if he has to walk out, I believe he should. The

:46:47.:46:51.

budget will go forward anyway. At the European Parliament wanted to

:46:51.:46:57.

be 6.8% increase which would take a contributions to over 16 billion.

:46:57.:47:03.

didn't get an answer. You have got to play hardball otherwise it won't

:47:03.:47:08.

play in this country at all, but if you play to add, you get rises you

:47:08.:47:12.

didn't want in the first place. are hugely benefiting from this

:47:12.:47:15.

particularly when you look at research programmes. Newcastle

:47:15.:47:23.

University has got 116 at research programmes at the moment. We are

:47:23.:47:31.

net contributors. No, we are not, on research. I understand point. I

:47:31.:47:35.

don't quite understand the point of the argument because, if we didn't

:47:35.:47:40.

make a contribution at all, and decided as a democracy not to, we

:47:40.:47:45.

could give that money to Newcastle University anyway. We wouldn't be

:47:45.:47:52.

in the single market if we did that. The average tax payer pays 8p a day.

:47:52.:47:59.

Poor Norwegian tax payer, he pays almost as much for the privilege.

:47:59.:48:04.

In the end, although it sounds like big money, when you driller down,

:48:04.:48:09.

per capita, it's peanuts. Actually, the contribution is quite

:48:09.:48:14.

significant but, beyond that, the money it takes to comply with EU

:48:14.:48:22.

directives. We give �16.3 billion a year to the European Union and get

:48:22.:48:25.

under half of Babak and then they will tell us how to spend our own

:48:25.:48:29.

money and that is not acceptable and it is wrong. A we have to move

:48:29.:48:35.

on. Plenty of time between now and Christmas to discuss it. Endless

:48:35.:48:40.

summer it's coming up now. David Cameron's air miles will be quite

:48:40.:48:43.

amazing if he carries on like this. Now, how many homes do you think

:48:43.:48:47.

the European Parliament has? I'm sure you know. Well, you might be

:48:47.:48:50.

surprised to find out that it actually has two. One in Brussels

:48:50.:48:53.

and another in Strasbourg. The moving between the two has been

:48:53.:48:55.

dubbed the travelling circus. And in these austere times, many are

:48:55.:48:58.

questioning if it's sensible or affordable? Jo Coburn packed her

:48:58.:49:07.

bag and set off to investigate. Brussels may be more famous for its

:49:07.:49:10.

chocolate and a beer, but it's also home to the European Parliament.

:49:10.:49:19.

Most of the time, anyway. Once a month, 754 MEPs and 3,000 staff

:49:19.:49:23.

trek to London 20 miles to their other home in Strasbourg. The

:49:23.:49:30.

official seat of the European Parliament. This tale of two cities

:49:30.:49:34.

is often referred to as the gravy train, and it could be about to hit

:49:34.:49:38.

the buffers. At the time of crisis, the campaign for a single seed for

:49:38.:49:42.

the European Parliament has been gathering speed. Its supporters

:49:42.:49:48.

claim the monthly shuttle costs 180 million euros a year. A round trip

:49:48.:49:53.

by car and train can take up to eight hours, and it produces 19,000

:49:53.:50:01.

tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. The public see this

:50:01.:50:08.

travelling circus as an example of the EU waste and incompetence. The

:50:08.:50:13.

members themselves want change. We recognise what the public feel. We

:50:13.:50:17.

are responding to that by saying, come on, governments, stop forcing

:50:17.:50:24.

us to meet in Strasbourg. He British MEP Edward McMillan-Scott

:50:24.:50:28.

is leading the fight for a single seed based in Russells and support

:50:28.:50:38.
:50:38.:50:38.

is growing. 74% of MEPs backed the call for change it -- Brussels. But

:50:38.:50:45.

the decision as a huge historical significance. The city is on the

:50:45.:50:48.

border with Germany. And, for many, it represents the close links

:50:48.:50:57.

between the two countries after two world wars. For us, Strasbourg is a

:50:57.:51:05.

symbol of peace and reconciliation with Germany and France, so it's

:51:05.:51:15.
:51:15.:51:15.

very strong for us and for Germany or so. -- also. The view of the

:51:15.:51:19.

French is backed up by European law, which states that the parliament

:51:19.:51:23.

meets in Strasbourg 12 times a year. Changing where European

:51:23.:51:28.

institutions are based requires treaty change, agreed by all 27

:51:28.:51:31.

member states. History has proved how difficult that can be to

:51:31.:51:38.

achieve. Then the question is, how do you deal with, as it were,

:51:38.:51:42.

buying off the French? You have to give them something to compensate.

:51:42.:51:47.

You have to work out ways of using the historic value of Strasbourg in

:51:47.:51:52.

different ways. Making Brussels the only destination for Europe's MPs

:51:52.:51:57.

could be many years away. For now, I'd better book my ticket to come

:51:57.:52:02.

back to Strasbourg next month. Jo Coburn reporting. She actually

:52:02.:52:06.

got the train to the south of France! Are you against the

:52:07.:52:12.

situation? It indeed. It's crazy. It's the thing most people regard

:52:12.:52:17.

as the example of what is not efficient. We need to change it. It

:52:17.:52:24.

doesn't make sense from a money point of view. Your carbon

:52:24.:52:28.

footprint is enormous. Terrible. It made sense after the Second World

:52:28.:52:32.

War. This is the 21st century and we have got to make the EU work for

:52:32.:52:38.

the 21st century. Even if the whole parliament was United 100%, putting

:52:38.:52:44.

aside the Strasbourg MEP, who wouldn't be, it won't happen.

:52:44.:52:48.

quite simply, it shows you how powerless MPs are in this issue

:52:48.:52:52.

because we will basically be told it is written into the treaties and

:52:52.:52:58.

can't happen. There is a parliament was mothballed in Luxembourg which

:52:58.:53:01.

has two debating chambers which have never been used and the

:53:01.:53:05.

offices were done up at �800 million and there are 300 staff

:53:05.:53:12.

there. I was interested to learn of the French don't have another

:53:12.:53:18.

major... On French soil, they don't have another major European

:53:18.:53:23.

institution. If it was to stay in Brussels, wardens of Brussels have

:53:23.:53:28.

to sense something big down to Strasbourg to fill the gap? They

:53:28.:53:32.

had been at many good ideas which it used to be put to a building, a

:53:32.:53:42.

technology institute. A hotel like a naughty arch? Even though its

:53:42.:53:47.

right that MEPs can't do anything about it, it's in the coalition

:53:47.:53:50.

agreement with the support of both government parties. -- Admiralty

:53:50.:53:58.

We need to put it on a table. both have been in favour of

:53:58.:54:01.

reforming the Common Agricultural Policy together, too. Watch this

:54:01.:54:07.

space. I will, but I won't hold my breath! Now it might look like

:54:07.:54:09.

David Cameron and his ministers are endlessly shuttling between London

:54:09.:54:12.

and Brussels for make-or-break meetings with their EU counterparts.

:54:12.:54:18.

I know it certainly does to them! It's tough for us just to watch it

:54:18.:54:22.

and cover. But lots of the groundwork is done in advance by

:54:22.:54:24.

civil servants who are based in what's effectively Britain's

:54:24.:54:31.

embassy to the EU. Adam's been to see them in action for the latest

:54:31.:54:41.
:54:41.:54:49.

in our series, the A-Z of Europe. In amongst the grandeur of the

:54:49.:54:55.

capital of Europe, where can you find our man in Brussels? Well,

:54:55.:55:00.

here in between a bar and a pharmacy. This is home up to the UK

:55:00.:55:06.

Permanent representation to the EU, known as UKREP. And the man in the

:55:06.:55:10.

middle with the blue folder full of secrets is power UKREP, our

:55:10.:55:15.

ambassador to the EU, John Cunliffe, the 10th person to have the job. We

:55:15.:55:20.

caught up with him prowling the corridors and lifts of power with

:55:20.:55:26.

his French opposite number. He grunted as a rare interview. We are

:55:26.:55:28.

responsible for all that associations which take place

:55:29.:55:32.

within the EU. When you think of it, we deal with a whole range of

:55:32.:55:39.

issues. I start the morning meeting the French ambassador and we

:55:39.:55:43.

discuss the agenda, where we are on particular positions, and then I

:55:43.:55:46.

think I'm meeting another couple of ambassadors this evening. My job is

:55:47.:55:53.

to make sure the UK's voice is heard and interests are promoted

:55:53.:55:58.

and are protected. And then he was off to the meeting of ambassadors

:55:58.:56:03.

from the other 26 member states. Here they do much of the EU's day-

:56:03.:56:08.

to-day work. On the agenda, next year's budget, Syria, Iran and

:56:08.:56:14.

immigration. UKREP is a team of people, 150 civil servants from

:56:14.:56:18.

across Whitehall, who spend between two and four years here at the time

:56:18.:56:22.

and do the really did tell me decisions. They also help out

:56:22.:56:27.

British guests when they pop over to Brussels. Here, guiding the

:56:27.:56:32.

minister through the complex world of the European Parliament. Critics

:56:32.:56:36.

of this place say it is full bureaucrats who are enthralled to

:56:36.:56:40.

Brussels. The kind of people who will do any deal rather than the

:56:40.:56:44.

real deal Number Ten would like to see. While they say they simply

:56:44.:56:49.

negotiate within limits, set by London. And there is some glamour

:56:49.:56:54.

to UKREP after all. It turns out our man in Basil gets a residence

:56:54.:56:59.

here on ambassador's role. I suppose he needs somewhere grand

:57:00.:57:08.

for his dinner parties. How does he know that? Adam Fleming

:57:08.:57:12.

reporting. Fiona Hall and Paul Nuttall are still with me. Does

:57:12.:57:16.

UKREP to a good job representing Britain in Brussels? I don't agree

:57:16.:57:22.

with what they do. Britain represents 12% of the population of

:57:22.:57:27.

the EU but only 4% of the staff within the EU are British. They are

:57:27.:57:31.

meant to go sit on our behalf. I'm not going to criticise the civil

:57:31.:57:34.

servants but they are taking their lead from the Foreign Office and

:57:34.:57:37.

quite frankly the Foreign Office has sold us down the river over the

:57:37.:57:43.

year. They report to the foreign office. What is the important thing

:57:43.:57:47.

they do for the UK? They don't just report to the Foreign Office but

:57:47.:57:54.

across the board to departments. Detailed piece of legislation. I

:57:54.:57:58.

think they do a good job and I work closely with them. High quality

:57:58.:58:03.

people? Yes, we had a gap when we stopped fast-tracking people but we

:58:03.:58:07.

are doing so again and that's very important. Are they work on the

:58:07.:58:10.

detail and have their hands tied behind their back because they

:58:10.:58:17.

don't get the full support of UK MEPs because some of them pocket

:58:17.:58:23.

their salary and don't actually do their detailed work. Names? Paul

:58:23.:58:26.

Nuttall has only once been in the environment committee in the last

:58:26.:58:34.

two years. I don't want to go down that road. We, even if you got your

:58:34.:58:41.

way, we still need a UKREP for the EU? If it still existed after we

:58:41.:58:47.

left, of course. I just up answer this question by not turning up. I

:58:47.:58:50.

would rather have a MEP like myself who votes in favour of Britain and

:58:50.:58:55.

against any sort of legislation but transfers power from the UK to

:58:55.:58:59.

Brussels. That's what I do and why I am good value for money. You have

:58:59.:59:02.

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