04/12/2012 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. Whatever you're up


to: Doing the dishes, hanging out the washing, or even lying down


trying to recover from morning sickness, this is what we've got


today. The man with the trickiest maths problem in Britain. George


Osborne's got to balance the Budget, cut the deficit, and somehow


promote economic growth. So what are his chances? Newspaper editors


We were hear from someone who has come hotfoot from the Treasury.


And we will find out why sports stars like Usain Bolt are reluctant


to compete in Great Britain. Do we treat people who sell things


for her living as a national joke? Kate Walsh says things must change.


All that in the next hour. With us is the editor of the Conservative


Home website, regularly described as one of the most influential


Tories outside of the Cabinet. But first: Tomorrow's Autumn Statement.


Six months ago, George Osborne had a terrible time with the Budget.


The word omnishambles ended up attached with pretty much


everything to do with it. This time at a Royal bump has kicked a load


of headlines about big companies not paying taxes of of the front


page. So it is the Chancellor in One of the things, a week ago, he


announced the new governor of the Bank of England, which he managed


to keep secret. They were very disappointed with how everything


leaked in advance of the Budget. There was a dummy run last week


with the Bank of England announcement. We have had some


briefing, but not too much. I don't know whether we will have any


surprises. George Osborne likes delivering surprises. The maths is


so difficult, he has little money to play with. He will miss his own


self imposed target that debt will be falling as a proportion of the


economy by 2016. What was worse, setting the target, or missing it?


He would have preferred the royal baby news to be announced tomorrow.


This will not be a good news day for the coalition. It is pretty


clear if he doesn't find some way of bending the money coming from


the Bank of England, he will miss those targets. It won't be easy.


How damaging it isn't politically to miss that target, he made a big


thing about debt falling and they were going to fix the debt crisis.


One is the economic environment which is much worse than we thought.


He will be able to say it almost every country in Europe and the


world is struggling to meet its targets. Barack Obama has just been


re-elected having missed almost every target he set when he was


first elected four years ago. will blame everyone else? Barack


Obama could not hit employment targets because of the


deterioration in the international situation. Ed Balls will try not to


let the Chancellor get away with it. What are you thinking George


Osborne should do, bearing in mind the coalition will borrow more next


year than Labour would be borrowing under the Alistair Darling plan.


How do you explain a deficit reduction as tragic end up with the


coalition spending more than Labour, borrowing more than Labour? What I


think is the failure, from the beginning, there should have been


much more on growth, much more about getting rid of some of the


green policies which have increased energy costs for manufacturers,


allowing banks to build up capital more slowly to lend to small


businesses. I would not have had the tax rises, that George Osborne


has had. He has not had the growth agenda that would have meant he


would have tax revenues of. It's time for our daily quiz. Four weeks


ago today, President Barack Obama was re-elected President of the


United States. Hard to believe it, but in some states they are still


actually counting the votes! But today's question is this: If Barack


Obama came first, and Mitt Romney came second, which famous actress


is currently coming sixth with just over 60,000 votes?


A) Susan Sarandon? B) Madonna?


C) Roseanne Barr? Or d) Jane Fonda?


At the end of the show, Tim will give us the correct answer.


The big political event of the week, of course, is tomorrow's Autumn


Statement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. The


Chancellor has quite a job on his hands. He admitted at the weekend


that weaker growth and lower tax receipts means austerity will


continue until 2018 at least. So, what immediate problems is he


grappling with? For a start, the deficit for 2013-14 is expected to


total some �126 billion, �7 billion more than the Government expected


back in March. This is partly as a result of weaker than expected


economic growth. Just this week, the British Chambers of Commerce


said that, instead of growing by 2.2% in 2014, the British economy


might only grow by 1.8%. As a result, the Chancellor has little


money to spend. And we learned today that he will ask most


government departments to cut spending even further over the next


two years. Things don't look any rosier on the High Street either,


with month-on-month retail sales in October down 0.8%. Tax receipts


have been lower than expected too. As a result, George Osborne will


come under considerable pressure to close tax loopholes, with one


report today saying that a VAT loophole on companies costs us all


�10 billion a year, or more than the cost of the Olympic Games. The


Chancellor will also be expected to do something to help squeezed


family budgets. Today, in a survey of what we're spending our money on,


the Office of National Statistics said our personal finances are


being pressured like never before, with the average household spending


�483.60 a week in 2011, compared The survey found transport was the


greatest cost, with the average family spending �65.70 a week


getting from A to B. We're also spending �54.80 a week on food,


which costs 27% more today than at Earlier, I spoke to Giles


Horsefield from the Office of National Statistic, and asked him


to explain what his report has found about the pressures on


household spending. We have seen from our figures which


show the average household expenditure quickly in 2011 has


come through as being higher than 2010. Increases in transport, the


biggest category. Within that category, people are spending more


on diesel and petrol, a significant increase from �22 a week up to �25.


You mentioned food, expenditure has gone up a little bit, �52 in 2010,


up to �55 in 2011. Housing, an increase in �3. We have seen


decreases in other categories. In expenditure on clothing and


footwear which has gone down �1.70. And also in some types of household


goods and services, significantly for furniture, down �3. Down to �14.


Recreation and culture has been interesting, that has held steady,


for audio-visual equipment. Also, games, newspapers and books. An


interesting increase in expenditure on leisure classes, cinema and


theatre, an increase from �18 up to �20 a week. If the decrease is in


clothing and household goods which are not essential, does it indicate


people have less money to spend on things that aren't completely


necessary like food and fuel? it is difficult to say but


increases have been in those categories where expenditure can be


considered except -- essential. The decreases have been in items were


you might expenditure to be put off. Like furniture, clothing. There are


quirky results, people are willing to spend more on going out, to the


theatre and sporting events. A mixed picture. With us now are


three MPs who will be watching tomorrow's Autumn Statement very


closely indeed. Conservative, Harriet Baldwin. Labour's Teresa


Pearce. And the Liberal Democrat, Lorely Burt.


Welcome to all you. Generally, the Chancellor will not meet his


targets for 2016. Should he now has he is going to announce those


targets. Or should hear now has more spending cuts and tax rises to


meet it? What I will be looking for are


measures to help families with the cost of living. What should he do,


politically it is an important statement? Well, we have got to


focus on what is in a family pocket today. Things like making sure the


cost of fuel is kept under control. Things like council-tax been frozen


for another here. Lifting people are from low-income us out of


income tax. This will do an awful lot to help sustain the rate of


growth. I am sceptical you can forecast what will happen in 2014.


We have to focus on what is happening day-to-day in people's


pockets and jobs. Economic forecasts are worse, austerity is


set to last beyond 2015, why should we trust George Osborne? I just


think we do not know that. We know that there are going to be more


cuts and possibly tax rises. The economic forecast from all of the


think-tanks will be worse and growth weaker. We know what the


forecasters are saying. We have to trust the Chancellor to focus on


keeping interest rates down, so mortgage rates are low so people


can spend more. Keeping the cost of living down, a growth strategy the


Chancellor can adopt tomorrow. can we keep the cost of living


down? We are on a very difficult and rocky road, more difficult than


we imagined when the first to Cover from the biggest debt assist --


took over from the biggest deficit. We have to invest in capital


projects which will generate wealth. Why did the government cut all of


those projects, school building programmes, in 2010? The government


did a full review of the cost of some of these schools, they were


spending �6 million on a standard school, that amount has been


brought down considerably. We have committed to infrastructure


spending. In my constituency, on flood defences. I want more of that.


Two years after you cut many of those to jobs. We heard today you


will have �5 billion released to be spent on capital projects. Why did


you cut all of those jobs that were ready to go in 2010? I am not sure


I recognise the picture you are painting. We cut buildings calls,


but it was a cost in effective way. We put in �4 billion into new


schools. A new announcement today about more investment into schools


which will make a big difference. You are going to have to make


further cuts. How can those other depend at -- departments there more


cuts to ring-fence education and international development and


health? I think they should be doing that. I am delighted that, in


most departments, they have grasped the nettle, and they have made


their targets for making savings. If it was a choice between a


Whitehall department having less to spend, and releasing money for


capital projects to generate wealth, we need to do that as well. We will


come back to whether we should be ring-fencing departments. Labour


has accused the coalition of blaming the eurozone for the fact


there has been very little growth. Under Labour's plans, and the


suggestions you put forward for cutting VAT, how much growth would


Some growth is better than none. The medicine has not worked so we


even need to change the medicine or the doctored or both. Do you think


there would have been significant improvement in the growth figures?


If we had not cut the amount of public spending than we did, yes.


Public Department spent in the private sector. Lots of private


companies lost their investment... This is a fantasy! One at a time.


Labour proposed every single spending cut we have put forward.


Labour have put us in a position, if they had followed their plans by


opposing every spending cut, of its debt crisis. His is a myth to say


that debt is falling. But the interest rate has been kept very


low because of the Bob le Brocq my constituents cannot get a mortgage


so that does not matter! You can now get a two your mortgage


for under 2%. These are as are the sorts of things you can do to keep


spending under control and stop family budgets from rising. This is


Labour all-over. They have not articulated any plan. Double


recession! They say, and not yet. They don't say how far and how fast.


If we had carried on with Labour's happy meandering we would be in the


same situation now as Spain and Greece. That is ridiculous. It is


not! George Osborne said in every Budget that if we did not do what


he said, we would be like Greece. We would be! That is ridiculous.


George Osborne right to continue on this path? You said there should


not have been tax rises. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said


there will be a �22 billion hole in the fiscal envelope. How should he


feel that? The most important thing, if we had not cut the deficit


reduction plan, we would not have low interest rates and they are the


most important thing that business and want. We need to start with


that. The idea is that there is an alternative to this central


strategy is nonsense. George Osborne needs to think of every


single way to get the economy going. Capital and infrastructure is


incredibly important. We should cancel a lot of these very


expensive green policies that are adding to the burden of


manufacturing industry. One of the reasons American growth has picked


up is because of the shale gas revolution. That is one of the


things I will be looking for from the Chancellor tomorrow's. Do you


think that would have made such a big difference? He every job


matters at the moment. Paying taxes matters at the moment. We need lots


of things like that but that is the kind of policy we need in a


statement. The public are not behind it. There is the money. We


have just launched the Green Investment Bank. There are


thousands and thousands of jobs waiting to go all the energy


strategy. But they will be subsidised and we cannot afford


that. We need to bring energy costs down. It is bringing jobs. The


announcement today will talk about the energy mix and acknowledge the


fact that we need different types of energy in order to keep the


lights on. The greenest government ever? If we were going to make a


difference to climate change, perhaps it would be worthwhile but


we are not. China and India continued to expand their climate


footprint. All we are doing is hurting jobs in this country by


pursuing the Liberal green policy. We need to have Dowsett --


diversification in terms of energy sources. But we also should not


abandon solar energy, wind power in particular, where it makes sense in


terms of diversification of the UK and making it more resilient in


terms of end it is security. hear the word of fairness endlessly


bandied about and lots of discussion about a benefits freeze.


Should pensioners continue to be excluded from any benefit cuts and


freeze? The key thing about pensioners is they no longer have


the option of going out and working, so they don't have that choice is


that we of working age population have in terms of changing our jobs


and working more hours that could potentially improved income. That


is why pensioners are treated in a special way. So you think they


should be left alone as David Cameron has pledged? The Prime


Minister has a made that clear. you agree with that? It was in our


manifestos. I personally have said in the past that if you are a


higher rate pensioner and you are getting the winter fuel allowance,


we ought to look at that, but the price Minister has made that clear.


Are you happy with the fact that benefits will be hit to try to help


pay for the fiscal Blackhall? What do you want to see on the other


side? -- fiscal black hole? Will this help to balance out pfennigs?


It is fair to raise the threshold. -- balance out fairness? Is it


enough? Probably not. There will be a raft of measures. There seems to


be one group of individuals who seem to be getting hit now from


cuts in different types of areas. I would not want to see them hit any


more. We should be more spread out in our spreading the pain between


different groups. We really want to see the highest earners paying


their fair share a little bit more, not the savings on the backs of the


poor. More tax increases there. Nick Clegg did something fairly


unusual in his response to Leveson and gave a different response.


Would you like him to do something similar and say the bits he does


like and the bits he doesn't in the Autumn Statement? No. Why not? You


don't agree on quite basic things within the Autumn Statement, like


welfare. Two different parties came together in a time of real economic


difficulty and we are pulling together and pulling this country


out of the economic mire that we were left in by the previous


government. Obviously they are going to be points of conflict and


tension and you will see when the Budget comes out which bits when


Lib Dem bits. Some bits may not be in there. Thank you very much.


Walk down any high street and the pavements are packed with people


out Christmas shopping. And if you are in sales, it is the busiest


time of the year. But the millions of people who spend their lives


selling goods and services to us are a bit of a forgotten profession


according to Kate Walsh - who you may remember from BBC One's


programme The Apprentice a couple of years ago. She wants that to


I am releasing my inner rock As a former finalist on The


Apprentice, I know the value of sales skills and how they can help


to get you a head, but I bet when you think of the sales person you


think of a dodgy car salesman. We What size? 13 amps.


Yet sales is vital for the development of the economy. How


important our scales -- sales 1.2 5 million sales people in the


UK, that is �1.1 million worth of goods that they sell per person on


average. So it is about time to My belief is that the sales


function is the lifeblood of any business and up until now, it has


not been a very well respected profession. It has not even been


presented to young people as a job prospect. Despite gaining a first-


class honours business degree, the first mention of developing any


sales skills was when I was lucky enough to secure a place on a


graduate training scheme. I have had the opportunity to deliver a


number of enterprise days at schools like this one. There are


only three goals out of 30 business studies students at this school in


Hull -- three girls. We invited girls from other schools. The


government needs to start doing more. Sales has been the Cinderella


profession for wait too long. I completely disagree with Michael


Gove's decision to abolish work- related training. It was my first


work experience training at 15 that gave me that people skills and


confidence to succeed. With the apprenticeship scheme is available,


sales are drastically and represented. -- under-represented.


If we are to get the UK back onto growth, we need to get work


experience back on the curriculum, we need to create apprenticeship


schemes and help for the sales superstars of tomorrow's.


And Kate Walsh is here now. Alongside the Shadow Business


Minister, Toby Perkins. Welcome. Do you still feel that sales and


people who sell for a living have such a bad reputation? There is


still that perception out there. It was ten years ago that I graduated


but I know a lot of people that have studied business studies


lately and there must be a reason that it is just not mentioned as


part of so many business courses. Is that because you can't teach it


in an academic framework? This is the work that the Labour Party is


doing, and that is so important. It is not all about exams. It is about


vocational training, developing presentation skills and listening


skills. Anything from going to the interview in the first place to any


job function that you are going to do, you can become a better sales


person but it is more vocational they are academic. So is it


something that the companies should do rather than asking the


government? I think that is too late! It should not just be up to


accompany, especially small businesses. They have not got the


resources to send people on this negotiation and sales training


courses that can equip their employees to compete in what is a


very tough market place. So Poppins, I believe it needs to start in


education and not at university, in school -- so no. We agree. We are


grateful Kate Walsh is heading up this work. We recognise that sales


is that the heart of the economic recovery. We need to get more young


people to aspire to a career in sales. Sales is incredibly


meritocratic. You can start at 16 in a call centre and N-Dubz selling


aeroplanes to the Saudi government. -- and you can end up selling. It


is also one of those things people do who have not necessarily had


academics at excess. But do you need qualifications? Many people do


recognise the power of sales. Do you need qualifications for it?


That is an interesting point. In the business studies AS-level


syllabuses, there of 36 mentions of the word production, 37 of


marketing, and one mention of sales. We have no academic respect for it.


As a result, most people you speak to who have been successful in


sales fell into its. You said the government had withdrawn work-


related training. What is that? can only talk about my perceptions.


I go into schools to deliver enterprise days, and I go into a


mix of schools, and it seems that the schools are left to their own


devices about whether they offer their students' work experience


placements. Sometimes it is up to the parents who might not be


equipped to help them do that. not know about that scheme. One of


the things the government is doing that is incredibly important for


sales is our relationship with overseas, selling British goods to


overseas people, and one of the things the government is doing is


trying to restore modern languages at the heart of the curriculum.


Although a lot of universities are getting rid of those sort of


courses because there is not the demand. But in the court he


Baccalaureate, but we are trying to restore the status of modern


languages. The general principle is that we should not focus just on


academic qualifications. We should be taking other up softer skills


seriously and I am sympathetic to what has been said. The this


government has gone on about championing small businesses


endlessly. Why doesn't the government commit more money


specifically for this sort of training? A huge amount of extra


money is going to apprenticeships. How much should sales be a big a


part of those? For Vocational qualifications, the government is


incredibly serious, despite the austerity we have been talking


about. It is pretty much more money Do you think The Apprentice helps


the image of a selling? Unfortunately, we do live in a


celebrity culture, kids watch TV. I use The Apprentice as a vehicle


when I go into schools, it is something they can relate to, the


kids. It encourages healthy competition. Then again, we love


watching The Apprentice when things go terribly wrong. You can take it


in its entirety, let us watch an episode, this is a good example of


selling, this is a bad example. is great to watch it on TV, great


entertainment, but does it take away from making it a serious


profession? Ultimately, there was a job on offer, so it wasn't


something where it had no outcome. The prize was a job with Lord Sugar.


I think it is unfortunate so many of our students want to be


celebrities. But I think The Apprentice was positive. There have


been high profile cases of miss selling. Some people will have the


experience of, for example, being this old life insurance. For that


reason, we want to focus on the professional aspect of selling. It


is in the best interest of sales, to show examples where it did not


go right, but it isn't typical. The vast majority of people will be


entering an honourable profession. Newspaper editors have been meeting


the Prime Minister in Downing Street this morning, trying to


persuade him he doesn't need to introduce new laws to make them put


their House in order. We'll hear from one of them in just a moment.


But first, let's get a flavour of the mood of the House of Commons


when MPs debated all this yesterday. We all agree the suffering of the


victims and their families cannot be allowed to happen again. And we


all agree that this do to us quote is not an option. -- status quo. It


is our responsibility whatever is put in place is effective. This is


common ground. Let us put to one side politics and let us turn our


focus on the principles. We live in one of the least corrupt societies


on earth, we are doing everything possible to avoid statutory


regulation of the press. Freedom is defined by this things we don't


approve of. Having a statute to guarantee this is not some


incidental added on to the Leveson Report, and optional extra. It is a


complete contradiction in turns for people to say, I wanted to


implement Leveson but without statute. Never since says statute


is essential. If the Prime Minster deserves credit for setting up


Leveson, it is undermined by his extraordinary decision within 24


hours of the seat of the report to rubbish the key recommendations


that there would have to be some statutory underpinning of an


enhanced system of independent self regulation. Having picked up a 2000


page document, the Leader of the Opposition wholeheartedly accepts


all of that in one go within a couple of hours. That is not a


considered approach to a document. The ConservativeHome website is


vociferously opposed to any kind of the decision, it wrote before the


report, what is needed is a settlement to help ordinary victims,


a body with a power to fine, which is independent of the state. I


agree with that absolutely. But, can we achieve that without


legislation? I do not think we can. So, not much sign of agreement


between the politicians in the House of Commons.


What was said in a meeting? understand the meeting went on for


half an hour and the outcome is the newspapers have agreed to go away.


They will meet again tomorrow to begin the process of coming up with


an alternative to the Leveson package. Maria Miller is expected


to report back by Thursday with a time frame, a timetable by which


they think they can agree. The expectation within government is


that newspapers will have to come forward with a coherent package by


Christmas. The pressure is on them to put aside their differences


among them over how Independent this new regulatory body should be,


who will be appointed, also, these efficiency of a contract based


system. To put aside those differences, and come up with the


basis of a blueprint to be on the table by Christmas. So the Prime


Minster can say, look, the press is put in together a coherent package,


we don't need to go down the road of legislation. When the editors


came up, how did they look? Remarkably, monosyllabic and


reticent! We'd got very few words. I expect they will mull over what


they heard, they have got to move quickly. The status quo is not


acceptable. They have to come up with something which convinces the


public they are serious about changing their ways. It was not a


convivial fireside chat. It was a blunt warning to them to get their


act together. The editor of the Independent is


Chris Blackhurst, hot-foot from this morning's Downing Street


meeting. Did you get a dressing-down from


David Cameron as a group? wouldn't say that. He impressed


upon us we have to come up with a solution, both David Cameron and


Maria Mellor, that we have to stop arguing and move quickly, to come


up with a strong, coherent package for independent self regulation.


What was the tone? Was it, you do this, or else? It wasn't like that.


There is not a million miles between us really. The Prime


Minister made a few good points. I don't think anyone in the room


disagreed with him. On what? On our need to move quickly, up on our


need to come up with a form of independent self regulation which


can be sold to Parliament. He is probably in the minority, the


Liberal Democrats and some of his own backbenchers, it has to be sold


to them and the country at large. The timetable is clear, a tight


timetable. Is it possible? Will there be agreement amongst


yourselves? There are disagreements and differences. There are some


differences. They are not as great as all that. We are dealing with


fairly major things. The can you do it? I would hope so. We can agree


principles, the detail might have to be sorted later. But we know the


principles, you have got to have something which will be credible,


something independent. Is there agreement this independent


regulator which you will pay for, will have people on it who are not


current editors or politicians? Are you happy for a judge to make the


appointments? That is a sticking point. That is a major sticking


point. It is whether there is a majority, and I think it is moving


the other way. For this to be sold to the public, I don't think the


public will buy a majority of serving editors on the panel, that


is recognised. I think we can deal with that. I agree, I don't think


the public would agree with that. Do you think it has to go further,


no serving editors on this new regulator, and no politicians,


serving politicians, it should be completely independent? Whether


there are some people who understand the newspaper industry,


that might be helpful. We are moving into a new age, with the


internet. I think the public are interested in if we will have a


system where, when they make a mistake, the apologies are not


buried in page 9. This is a contractual obligation to deliver


apologies. I think the public cares more about that, not whether it is


statutory. As it stands, you have been given a last chance to be non


statutory. Have you got agreement on that? The regulator would wield


�1 million of fines, that victims would not need redress in courts.


It would happen quickly, and you would abide by it? I must stress,


we have not sat down and signed things in blood yet. What I can say


it is a have not detected any disagreement on the following


points, fines of up to �1 million, also, the use of fast Track


Arbitration for ordinary people. We are very conscious, not so much of


the celebrities, although they have good cases, but people like Chris


Jefferies, the parents of milly downer, it is those people who have


real complaints against newspapers, who are not wealthy. We are very


aware how our industry has been portrayed for the past three years.


We are conscious we have to do something about it. Are there


enough carrots to reassure people that everyone will side up to it


and stay signed up to it? We talk about these contracts for five


years. Is there enough to ensure that certain people who are absent


from the Press Complaints Commission will be part of this?


think, if you are outside the system, and you're not able to call


upon a much cheaper, more efficient arbitration service, you are very


handicapped. That is quite different from the system we have


now. Very briefly, the internet, the big hole in the Leveson Report.


It was one of the real holes, he did not address the internet. I


think, if certain internet groups are willing to sign up to a


standard, we, unlike Lord Leveson, I think this could be a system


which we wouldn't consider joining if it was statutory, it could


spread good standards right across the media. So you might be there on


Thursday? There are growing demands for the


taxman to go easy on international sports stars. Tax rules were waved


for the Olympics this summer, but not for other sporting events, and


organisers want the rules changed. Our political reporter in the West


Midlands, Elizabeth Glinka, asked whether those tax laws were for the


high jump. This is Birmingham's Alexander


Stadium, home to UK Athletics, weeks after the Olympic Games, the


venue to play host to Mo Farah and Greg rutherford but not the world's


most famous athlete, Usain Bolt. COMMENTATOR: Usain Bolt is going to


do it again! After training hear it in the run-up to the Olympics, he


made no secret of his affection for Birmingham. It was not enough to


get him racing here, because of tax. When are we likely to see you in


Britain, maybe only when the tax laws change? Exactly. I love coming


This isn't about one man or even one sport. Here at the Belfry, the


Unlike many other countries, in the UK the Treasury taxes international


sports stars on their global earnings, even if they perform he


just once. Tax experts say they are not surprised that some top


performers choose to stay away. you are a boxer or sprinter, you


might participate in 10 events a year, in which case the Inland


Revenue would want revenue on one tenth of your endorsement Revenue.


A new �12 million international tennis centre is currently under


construction in Edgbaston, home to one of the warm-up tournaments for


Wimbledon, but what chance of attracting the biggest names? Only


this year, Rafael Nadal said it actually cost him money to play in


the UK. In the past, this man has organised numerous high-profile


sporting events, including international indoor athletics at


the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham. We want the best


because the best brings tickets and tickets means income. If those


people don't participate, then by definition it is not a top-quality


sporting event. It is a secondary event. In a statement to this


programme, the taxman told us that the UK taxes international sports


stars in a similar way to the US and New Zealand, and that it tends


to collect more tax because of stronger avoidance legislation.


Sports governing bodies are continuing to lobby the government


so that summers like the one we have just had are not once in a


lifetime. 9.64! The champion! The champion becomes a legend!


Happy memories, as we were saying. That was the Sunday Politics


reporter there. Joining us now from Salford is Pete Hackleton who is a


lawyer who campaigns to get rid of what he sees as a tax anomoly.


Welcome to the programme. What is the tax problem exactly?


problem is, as was described in the V T, Usain Bolt is probably the


best examples. The athletes are tax wherever they compete around the


World's and that is fine, that is the same everywhere. But the UK and


the US also tax a proportion of the global endorsement income. Usain


Bolt was going to be paid �100,000 to run in Birmingham. His global


endorsement deal is worth �6 million. Therefore he is taxed in


the UK on the basis of a number of appearances. He was going to run


once in the UK and 10 times globally, so a 10th of that 6


million, it says �600,000. So he would end up playing 320,000 in UK


tax. He would own 100,000 and pay 320,000 in tax. -- he would earn at


100,000. It does not make any sense. Oh dear. People will not shed tears


over million dollar endorsement deals, having to pay a bit more tax.


Absolutely and many people understand that but the sports


people can choose where they go and compete. Given the choice of coming


to the UK and the US, where a proportion of their income is taxed,


or to compete somewhere else, they are choosing to compete elsewhere.


On the back of the health agenda, and the Olympics, it is a shame


that the tax rules are pushing these people outside of the UK.


Montgomerie, should the tax rules changed? This is another argument


for simplifying the tax system. We have a tax system that nobody can


understand, that causes anomalies. We are all in this together,


remember. We may find that some of the Monday these business people in


the City and the sports stars obscene, but we have to make a


choice -- some of the money. Do we want their obscene earnings are


brought? Is it about obscene earnings or is it we think they


should perhaps just pay a proportion of that to the treasure


rate. I am not saying they are obscene, many people think they are.


But I am not sure that is the reason, many people are happy for


them to earn this money, but why should be escaper Ian tax? Not any


tax, but low and simple tax. -- why should they escape paying tax?


might end up with more revenue because people like Usain Bolt will


want to run here. A do you think that is true? That if you change


the rules, they will come and compete and we would get the


Revenue's anyway? Absolutely. I know that is the case. The


important distinction is that this is not wealthy sports people saying,


give us a tax break. This is what the sports people saying, we are


more than happy to pay the top rate of tax but we will end up paying


well in excess of 50% and in some cases more than they actually


earned in the UK. Three years ago we had a goth client who played in


the Scottish Open, but did not finish top 20 -- it golfing client.


His effective rate of tax was a 523 %. That cannot be right. Which


sports are affected them most? Primarily individual sports, where


the guys travel around the world, they are self-employed, so golf,


tennis, athletics, boxing, motorsport. It is not the wealthy


sports people not wanting to pay tax, it is wanting to pay tax in


line with every other country in the world. The endorsement fees are


being taxed separately. Are you saying they should not be taxed at


all? It depends, it varies from Attlee to afflict, but many of the


athletes will have their own company in their country where they


are from -- it varies from athlete to athlete. That Africa will be


taxed compared to the rules on that country. -- that athlete. That


country will own their image. For something like an Usain Bolt from


Jamaica, his company is based in Jamaica and the income should be


taxed there. Thank you very much. When the worldwide Scouting


movement was founded more than 100 years ago, Lord Baden Powell was


having no truck with atheists. His famous Scout promise pledged a


"duty to God" and that has never changed. In fact, the good Lord,


Lord Powell that is, even wrote that atheism ranked alongside


gambling, excessive drinking, smoking and even syphilis as a


danger to young boys. Versions of the promise have existed for other


faith groups for 40 years but both the Scouts and the Guides are


exempt from equality laws which means they are allowed to insist


their members declare a belief in God. But today we hear that for the


first time, this might change and that modern recruits will be


allowed to admit that they are non- believers. I am joined by the Chief


Commissioner of the Scouts Association. What has brought this


on? It is interesting listening to some of Lord Baden Powell's


writings but he also said scouting is a movement and not an


organisation and it is by remaining relevant that we ensure that we are


growing. For the UK in the last seven years, as part of growing


perhaps now is that time to take a look and see if we should welcome


atheists into the movement. What do you think was mad I think it is the


time to change to be honest. -- what do you think? I think it is


time to change to be honest but to do so in a way that ensures we


remain true to our values. It's we can help youngsters understand


their beliefs whilst at the same time ensuring we are inclusive, I


think that is a good the Dudu. at evidence to show you could


increase the numbers of the Scout organisation if you did not have


people have and to swear to God? that is the simple answer. If this


was about increasing numbers, I would say, actually we are grubbing


already. It is not about being politically correct either -- we


are growing already. It is about wanting to be inclusive and making


sure more young adults can benefit from what scouting has to offer.


Many people are scouts who are atheists already. They swear that


allegiance to God and to the Queen who are not in support of the


monarchy and just enjoy the scouting movement. I am aware! A


number of our members have told me they are atheists and they would


like to be part of a more inclusive movement and that is why we are


opposing the questions for the first time in our 105 years history.


Tim Montgomerie, are you surprised there is still that requirement to


swear allegiance to God every week? Slightly surprised. I would be very


happy to make that commitment but an atheist should not be included


that the wonderful thing that the Scouts movement is. I wonder if


they are looking at it for Republicans as well? We you abandon


the commitment to her Majesty? definitely not. We are very proud


of the Queen's patron edge of scouting and the involvement of The


Duchess of Cambridge as a volunteer for us. We have been listening to


our members. They are not asking us to change the duty to the Queen.


But if you are going for full implicity, surely that is the


logical next step? I don't agree. It is about being relevant and


listening but being true to our values. That is one for me this is


a key part of the question we are asking members. In listening to


them, they are not telling us they have a problem in a swearing our


allegiance and duty to the Queen. Atheist Monarch guests are welcome?


But atheist Republicans still may have to wait for another review?


Isn't it a case that the Scouts Association needs to modernise in


more than just swearing allegiance? Jo, we are very good at having


modernised. Against the trend for Voluntary organisations, adult


volunteering, a uniformed organisations, we are growing. We


have twice as many teenagers as we did ten years ago. We are a good


example of how you can modernise but also remain true to your values


and that, for me, is just as important as growing. Has anybody


ever said anything about the uniform? Would there be any


discussion a about scrapping that? We already have flexibility. I am


wearing a neckerchief. For me it is a very simple identification of


being a member of scouting. Our uniform today is very much more


flexible and modern and young people enjoy some of the options


that we have, such as I am where were now. But what we are also told


by young people is that they enjoy the sense of identity and we are


very happy to find that balance for them. Thank you. Did you say you


had been a member of the Scouts? had been a member of the Scouts?


had been a member of the Scouts? was a cub scout, not a full one.


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


The question was which actress stood in the US Presidential


election and is currently coming in I don't think it is Madonna. It is


not. I would have guessed Jane Fonda but it is not, I think it is


Roseanne Barr. It is Roseanne Barr. Very good powers of deduction. The


she is signing for the Peace and Freedom Party. She didn't quite


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