07/01/2013 Daily Politics


07/01/2013

Jo Coburn with the latest political news. A panel of senior politicians discusses the coalition's series of initiatives to mark the halfway point in their government.


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Transcript


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Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Politics. According to some

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researchers, romance begins to wane after two years, six months and 25

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days. Three cheers for the coalition, who have vowed last of

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that. This afternoon they will in effect renew their coalition bows

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with a special event to mark the halfway point of their government.

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The Prime Minister and his deputy will outline priorities for the

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rest of their term in office including childcare, care for the

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elderly and infrastructure investment.

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Labour has dismissed it as another relaunch, and not everyone involved

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in the marriage appears convinced. We will be grilling some coalition

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critics. We have a date of sorts for David

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Cameron's long awaited speech on Europe. Apparently he will give

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voters a real choice on our future relationship with the EU.

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And nasty nanny state or not? We will ask whether politicians should

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mess with our food. All that and more coming up and the

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next hour. With us for the duration, the Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar

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of Westminster. Spot the deliberate mistake! Welcome to the former

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Welsh Secretary and Conservative MP Cheryl Gillan, former Culture

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Secretary Tessa Jowell of Labour and former Liberal Democrat leader

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Ming Campbell. Most of us have reluctantly taken

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off our Christmas jumpers and trudged back to work. But the

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Government has something to celebrate today as it marks the

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halfway point between the start of the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition

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and the next election. Hard to believe but it is not much more

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than two years to go. In case anyone was wondering how the

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parties will keep going until 2015, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are

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launching their own January sale today to show they still have

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plenty of new ideas in stock. As they open Number Ten for Business,

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the PM and his deputy will say the coalition remains steadfast and

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United and it still has a sense of shared purpose. Among the big

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policies they hope will fly off the shelves include giving parents tax

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breaks worth up to �2,000 a year to pay for childcare. There could be

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more generous flat-rate state pensions, perhaps worth around �155

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a week after 2015. They will try to drum up interest in planning

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reforms to encourage home building and more state mortgage guarantees

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to help first-time Wilder's -- first-time buyers. There could be a

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Freedom Bill to restrict state snooping and also alarming private

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firms to build more toll roads. These policies could be best

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sellers but many will not come into effect until after 2015. The Lib

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Dem minister David Laws, one of the biggest advocates of the coalition,

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was speaking about it earlier. will set out new policy areas they

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want to develop over the next few weeks on the big public priority

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areas like doing more to help working families with childcare

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costs, helping the elderly people with serious medical conditions

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with the cost of social care, helping people who want to get into

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the housing market, maybe young people. We will be setting out

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policy directions and making announcements over the next few

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weeks. Tessa Jowell, as a minister you

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founded the Sure Start scheme, your campaign to make childcare

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affordable, do you welcome these new plans? I would welcome anything

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that makes it possible for women to work and for their children to be

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looked after her in an excellent childcare centre in which they feel

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they have confidence. But I had a quick look this morning at the

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foreword to the coalition plan, there is a proposal to make

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childcare more affordable by, as I understand it, encouraging carers

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to look after more children. That is not improving the quality of

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child care. Spreading the resources of a childminder or a nursery

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worker among a larger number of children. The fact is that you get

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this new hardline policy at daytime when sure Start centres are really

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under threat and are closing. In the context of these welfare

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changes impacting disproportionately on women. The

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whole thing is really just a model. The problem is it lacks coherence.

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We will come to the regulatory point about childminders later, but

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this idea of up to �2,000 per child per year, as I understand, in some

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form of tax relief, is that a good idea in principle for working

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families? Supporting working families with childcare costs is a

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good thing. But look at the contradictions. Today we are seeing

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more than a million families losing universal child benefit, which is a

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universal benefit to support families in meeting the extra costs

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of children. It seems bizarre, why would you with one hand take away

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child benefits from families or individuals earning over 60,000,

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then giving them what seems to be very generous tax relief on child

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care? I think referring to the child benefit changes today, you

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need to take that in two Stages. The changes coming into effect save

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the Treasury �2 billion and effect only the top 15% of earners in the

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country. If you are left with an economic situation that we

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inherited when the coalition came in, you have to save money and

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spend money better. But then why would you then we spend that

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money...? One of the big barriers, as Tessa which no, because we have

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both been ministers in Education and Employment, still in 2013, one

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of the biggest barriers for women going to work and achieving great

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things at work and breaking through the glass ceiling is having

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dependable and affordable childcare. This is the Government saying, OK,

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we have to make some tough choices, but maybe this is a better way of

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spending taxpayers' money and directing it at people who can then

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improve their lot and help grow the economy. Do you think that voters

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will be confused by the message from the Government with the child

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care policy? There was already a childcare voucher scheme in place,

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this seems more generous, but it does not sit with what the

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Government is doing on child benefit? I don't agree with that. I

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take the same view as Cheryl Gillan. If you take money away, that is

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effectively what is being done, so long as you use it for a better

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purpose then what is wrong with taking it away? The people for whom

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it has been taken away and twice the average wage in this country. I

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believe in universality, I wish we could leave it, but I also believe

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in a stable economy and in using all of the mechanisms at our

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disposal to persuade people to go into work. When it comes to the

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present level of financial support, it is by no means generous and if

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we can increase that and therefore increase the enthusiasm of women,

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particularly those who are married with children, to come back to work,

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then that is... I think everyone is agreed, but let's come back to the

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fairness issue. The child benefit removal is for individuals earning

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over �60,000. Starting at �50,000. Starting at 50 but going more to

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get at 60 plus. But this new tax break will be universal, so people

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earning �1 million will get it. It is that bad? From what I understand,

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we are taking money from a particular section, if you like,

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and giving it on a universal basis. It seems that is fair, especially

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if it has the entirely laudable objective of getting people back

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into work and not penalising them. I know people whose child care

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almost amounts to the same as their salary. That is not there, we

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should do something about it. Labour likes universal benefits,

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shouldn't everybody get it? It is a bit like corrective surgery. The

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Government reduced the value of the childcare tax credit, there was an

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Aviva study last year which showed the first figures, 30,000 women

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dropping out of the labour market because they could not afford

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childcare. I get letters all the time from constituents who can no

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longer afford to the cost of childcare at a sure start centre of.

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�2,000 a month for two children. I am sure families will welcome this,

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but the question is it is not underpinned by a confidence and a

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clear vision about what a comprehensive childcare policy is...

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ALL TALK AT ONCE. You are in a very difficult position, you have to try

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to oppose what is a very good policy for families and women.

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Before we got independent taxation, the tax breaks are most likely to

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go, possibly, to women workers. I don't know many women earning I am

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not, I assure you! I think the Government is showing the direction

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of travel and I think it will help give that security to the Sure

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Start centres. Let's move on to benefits in general, why should

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they not be capped at 1% when many wages have been frozen for at least

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two years? We are talking about people in receipt of income support

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and people in work. We are talking was about the working poor and

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people on income support, all of whom should be actively in pursuit

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of seeking work because those who Walmart are already on alternative

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benefits which remove that expectation -- those who are not

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are already on alternative benefits which remove that expectation. If

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you are in work and get a 2% pay increase and you are on the average

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income, it is a bit more than 54p a week, which is the 1% increase for

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a 16 to 24 year-old on income support. But people will think

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Labour is not getting to grips with the welfare bill. Reports today say

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people are not that interested in the detail and hard times, they

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just want to know the welfare bill is being tackled. If you are not

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prepared to follow the government proposal, it looks like you are

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shying away. We are not. The way in which you cut the welfare bill,

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which has risen since we were in power, is getting people back in

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work. Ed Balls and Liam Burns have been coming up with policies for

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the older long-term unemployed. Chancellor does not use the word

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shirkers himself, but people who are workshy, most people on

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benefits are in work, 60%, which helps make work pay. I don't use

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words like shirkers. Should the Chancellor be characterising...?

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don't use the metaphor of people asleep with their curtains drawn,

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all circumstances are different. There is a test for Labour tomorrow

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when the House of Commons, we will have a boat in relation to the 1%

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to just described. Labour says we should oppose it, but any time we

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oppose anything Labour says no. -- any time we propose anything Labour

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says no. I hope that people like Tessa Jowell will start to come

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forward saying what they would do as an alternative, rather than just

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opposing us. Lord Strathclyde is standing down

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from the cabinet with immediate effect. He is the Leader of the

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House of Lords for the Conservatives. Your reaction?

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think Tom Strathclyde has been a tremendous leader in the House of

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Lords, he was chief whip when I was PPS, this is going back into the

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90s. I think he will be sadly missed but I understand he will be

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looking to pursue a business role and I'm sure that Lord Hill, who is

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reputed to be taking his place, will also make an excellent leader

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in the House of Lords. But I'm sad to hear that Tom is going. He is a

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particular friend of mine and across all parties I think you

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would agree he is a good man to having your corn and to do business

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with. We have had the whole debacle with the House of Lords reform, now

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he is stepping down. There is never any easy time to leave the front

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bench. I think he has made his decision for whatever reason and I

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wish him the best of luck. He could have gone and the reshuffle and he

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could have told David Cameron beforehand? You don't know about

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people's personal circumstances, I think it is best to leave it to him

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to say why he is going. He has provided great leadership in a very

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difficult time. I think he became Chief Whip, he must have been the

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youngest Tory Chief Whip in the House of Lords for years and years

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and years. He became Chief Whip very early. He has had a pretty

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long innings. And he said he was going to go sometime before and

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never did. Whatever the future for the

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coalition, the last two-and-a-half years has not been plain sailing.

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For all the teasing, it seemed a bit like a wedding, a marriage of

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political convenience but with roses, a reception, walking to the

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altar of media attention and even speeches with jokes. REPORTER: DU

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now regrets when once asked what your favourite joke was, you

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replied, Nick Clegg? Deputy Prime Minister, what do you say? I am

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afraid I did once... LAUGHTER. back!

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They are poles apart on so many issues but they have team together

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to do what they can. It went better than expected for them, leaving the

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Deputy PM Nick Clegg to joke with the PM, David Cameron, after

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another joint outing... If we keep doing this, we won't find anything

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to disagree on in the TV debate. But government is a fast track to

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fall-outs, it furrows the brogue. For Clegg, a bee hit the buffers.

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There was awkwardness on Lords reform and constituency boundaries,

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Ministerial disagreements, and with the media relentlessly looking for

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cracks, at the very least the shine has worn off. Separation is in the

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mind of a large number of people. I think in the year ahead we will see

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increasing statements by both sides showing how they defer. I think all

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coalitions find it difficult at the midterms stage to renew their of

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iOS, if you like, to renew their policy agreement. -- to renew their

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vows, if you like. We have seen that with the British coalition.

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There has been talk of having a coalition to 0.0 agreement which

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has been scaled back to a more limited process. Europe is often a

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bugbear for the Conservatives, but in coalition with the Europhile Lib

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He is deeply concerned about UKIP, and so are the Cabinet. The only

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way they can diffuse that time bomb is get on the side of the public

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over Europe. It's not all gloom, the sun may have chilled a little

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but get the economy right and both parties benefit. Big differences

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can be left to 2015 manifestos. They are working on policy still

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like banking reforms, and delivery of earlier reforms, and all signals

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are that governmentally they are still working relatively well

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together. Good strategy say some. Voters cast judgments on

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governments, but we know that come up for their competence.

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Governments which fall apart in bitter recriminations and arguments

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are not ones that can claim a great record of governing competence.

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Government is one thing, politics is another. There are two other

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coalitions we are not thinking about. The other is the right wing

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and hardline view of Conservatives Against the Cameroons. They think

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he is too cosy with the Lib Dems. We are trying to hold a coalition

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together there. And then, with the Lib Dems think Nick Clegg is a

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spent force and cannot win in the next election. They are waiting for

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the moment to move against Nick Clegg. So for the next two years,

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expect them to still stand together but increasingly look in different

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directions. Giles reporting. Well, I'm now

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joined from College Green by two of the Coalition's most constructive

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critics, the Conservative MP, Peter Bone, and the Liberal Democrat

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blogger, Ben Ramm. Her have been New Year.

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Peter Bone, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, or renewing their vows, do

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you wish them well? Not exactly. I'm just about to break my new

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year's resolution, not to criticise the coalition. That lasted a long

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time! It seems to me we have to have a planned divorce. It is not

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in the interests of the nation or either political party to just

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continue for ever. Are we suggesting we go into the next

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election as coalition candidates? That is one interpretation of what

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is happening, and I am worried about that. We do need to have a

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way of ending this in an orderly manner in the next year or so.

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have barely come out of the doors of the houses of Parliament to

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renew their vows, Peter Bone is saying it is time for divorce. Do

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you agree with that? Spike don't think it will happen until 20 I

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think 2013 will be a year of consolidation. I think both parties

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will be hoping the economy picks up. Many of the measures announced

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today depend on the economy improving and both parties being

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able to say next year, we have achieved a certain things, we

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inherited a bad situation and we have left the country in a better

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conditions. If the economy does improve in terms of growth, Peter

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Bone, would you not be happy to bump along with the coalition for a

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bit longer? No, I agreed with them Ram. Get the economy right, that is

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the only reason this coalition came together. It is a huge economic

:20:16.:20:20.

mess a Labour left the country in. We are on the way to putting those

:20:20.:20:25.

policies in place. If we can finish the job and put them to bed, these

:20:25.:20:29.

economic measures, by the end of the year, I think it will be a

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sensible time for the coalition to go it separate ways, and for the

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Government, under David Cameron, rule as a minority Government for

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the rest of the term. Do you think the Liberal Democrats are coming

:20:42.:20:46.

off worse in his coalition? I think they are, not only have they let

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down many of their supporters, and on key issues from which they did

:20:51.:20:55.

not need to support the Tory programme, particularly on the NHS

:20:55.:20:59.

Bill, and we are seeing an attempt to do with the social care aspect

:20:59.:21:03.

which was not addressed last year and upset so million Liberal

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Democrat, I think the party has been damaged economic elite. In

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terms of cuts, on VAT, we know about tuition fees and the NHS. One

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of the reasons the economy is so crucial for the Liberal Democrat

:21:17.:21:22.

now, they're looking for things with which to demonstrate they have

:21:22.:21:27.

incredible in Government, and the commitments and sacrifices they

:21:27.:21:32.

made in 2010 or were worth it. Peter Bone, Lib Dems have been

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worse off, so you have had it all your way? That is the most absurd

:21:36.:21:41.

thing I have heard this year. The Liberal Democrats are loving being

:21:41.:21:46.

in Government, they are wagging the tale of the dogs. It is ridiculous.

:21:46.:21:50.

You talk to any of Dem MP, they are happy with the coalition because

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they are getting more than they should be getting. What this

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renewal of vows should be saying is, we much -- we should have a much

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more conservative agenda. That would be good news, if that is what

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the Prime Minister is to announce. Happy New Year to both a view on

:22:10.:22:15.

that. Cheryl Gillan, the Lib Dems are

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wagging the tale of the dog and they have had it all their own way?

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I am sad about Peter Bone, I thought he would have made the New

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year's resolution... He did, he broke it. Let's talk about real

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politics instead of this Duke from the two people you had just

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interviewed. The two parties came together to solve the major problem

:22:42.:22:47.

of the economy. They had come up with an agreement and they are

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battling ahead and moving the country in the right directions. It

:22:50.:22:56.

is difficult to work in a coalition. Having set in the cabinet alongside

:22:56.:23:01.

Lib Dems, their objectives and aims for the economy is just the same as

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the Conservatives. Isn't that the point, everyone agrees on deficit-

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reduction and fixing the economy, but is there anything else be on

:23:09.:23:15.

that? There has had to be give and take on both sides. I would argue,

:23:15.:23:19.

it sometimes does appear the Conservatives have had to given a

:23:19.:23:23.

little more, and the Lib Dems have taken a little more. But it works

:23:23.:23:27.

the other way as well. It has to be give and take and a successful

:23:27.:23:34.

coalition because the future of the UK depends on this. That is then

:23:34.:23:39.

ran being constructive. I think it might have been a little tongue-in-

:23:39.:23:46.

cheek. But it is a viewpoint in your party? Let me give you another

:23:46.:23:51.

demonstration, 57 Liberal-Democrat MPs went into the lobbies to

:23:51.:23:55.

support the Prime Minister on the question of the European budget. As

:23:55.:23:59.

substantial number of Conservative MPs went into the opposite lobby

:23:59.:24:05.

along with the Labour Party. As a result, the Government was defeated.

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That was caused by disaffection and an unwillingness to accept the

:24:09.:24:12.

conditions of the coalition by very substantial part of the

:24:12.:24:18.

Conservative Party. Let's look ahead. The idea, I understood from

:24:18.:24:25.

Nick Clegg and others, the differentiation was going to be so.

:24:25.:24:28.

We have seen Nick Clegg characterised things differently.

:24:28.:24:33.

But if what we are working for towards now is showing whether

:24:33.:24:36.

Liberal Democrat have made a difference and Clearing the clear

:24:37.:24:40.

water between themselves and the Conservatives? Contrary to what has

:24:40.:24:45.

been said by these two you have interviewed, his coalition will

:24:45.:24:53.

last until 2015. Because it has to? Yes, there is absolutely no

:24:53.:24:57.

appetite or enthusiasm for going to the country. I don't believe the

:24:57.:25:01.

country would welcome it, because the purpose of the coalition was in

:25:01.:25:07.

the national interest. To go now with PCS -- would be to suggest one

:25:07.:25:12.

was abandoning the national interest. You have tackled the

:25:12.:25:16.

Government over game marriage and high-speed rail. And David Cameron

:25:16.:25:21.

has taught people complaining on the backbenches to shut up. Any

:25:21.:25:26.

chance of that happening? On high- speed rail, as the other guests

:25:26.:25:31.

know, it is a problem for me and my constituency. I hope that

:25:31.:25:35.

Government will think again on it. I don't think this is the right

:25:35.:25:40.

project, and it does happen to go through... It I will keep

:25:40.:25:44.

complaining and other backbenchers will keep complaining about Europe?

:25:44.:25:50.

One of the real things that I think we have got to concentrate on as a

:25:50.:25:53.

Conservative Party is better communications with those

:25:53.:25:57.

backbenchers. Each party have had issues and problems with

:25:57.:26:00.

backbenchers from time to time. We need to improve the level of

:26:00.:26:05.

communication between the ministers and backbenchers. Ministers seem to

:26:05.:26:10.

be all signed up, but the grassroots, and MPs are different?

:26:10.:26:15.

You are right to say the ministers get on well. The noises coming from

:26:15.:26:22.

the ministry is all very positive. There will always be individual MPs,

:26:22.:26:27.

I have an argument with the Government for closing and Royal

:26:27.:26:33.

Air Force station in my constituency. There will always be

:26:33.:26:37.

individual, constituency issues. Political parties are like

:26:37.:26:43.

coalitions, and heaven knows the coalition, that it was the Labour

:26:43.:26:49.

Party in Government could teach us a few things about disagreement.

:26:49.:26:59.
:26:59.:27:13.

Now it's time for our daily quiz. Wop does Mr Osborne listened to

:27:14.:27:23.

when he is jogging? Now, we've been waiting for it for yonks and yonks,

:27:24.:27:26.

but don't panic because we're told it will finally happen later this

:27:27.:27:28.

month. What am I talking about? David

:27:28.:27:31.

Cameron's long awaited speech on Europe of course. The trouble is,

:27:31.:27:34.

where should he give it? The Rose Garden, perhaps? Or is that just a

:27:35.:27:37.

tad passe? Here's David. You know what it is like, a big

:27:37.:27:42.

speech to make, but were to go to set the tone. We are not just here

:27:42.:27:45.

for the nasty things in life like a shock resignation or disappointing

:27:46.:27:51.

growth figures, we like to help. So we have been looking for the

:27:51.:27:56.

perfect venue to set out a plan is still real vision for Europe. If he

:27:56.:28:00.

wants to throw some red meat to the Euro-sceptics, he could come here.

:28:00.:28:05.

The food is as British as Yorkshire pudding, and they have been feeding

:28:05.:28:10.

Tory MPs for centuries. But he has been cosying up to Angela Merkel,

:28:10.:28:17.

so perhaps coming here might not be a bad idea. Only one tube stop away

:28:17.:28:22.

from Westminster. If you wanted to build a few bridges with fans, were

:28:22.:28:26.

better than to come to the French house. They do serve the beer in

:28:26.:28:29.

French measures, but it does have an upstairs dining room and it is

:28:29.:28:33.

available for functions. It David wants to turn Europe to

:28:33.:28:37.

wake up and smell the coffee, than were better than Bar Italia. But

:28:37.:28:40.

there is one place the Prime Minister should avoid. No matter

:28:40.:28:50.
:28:50.:28:50.

how good its menu... A poll for the Mail on Sunday but

:28:50.:28:54.

the UK Independence Party on 16%, the best ever result following a

:28:54.:28:59.

by-election in November. Should the Prime Minister be taking the UKIP

:28:59.:29:05.

threat seriously? Do you regret using fruit cake and closet racists

:29:05.:29:09.

as terms for UKIP? When you are Prime Minister you have to get used

:29:09.:29:13.

to the fact that in the middle of a Parliament you have people going

:29:13.:29:18.

off in different directions. You have to focus on the job in hand.

:29:18.:29:26.

They are not fruitcakes, are they? I don't know if he was including

:29:26.:29:30.

Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, but he joins us

:29:30.:29:38.

now. Are you fruitcake Leone's and closet racists or a bit odd?

:29:38.:29:42.

Compared to David Cameron, Ed Miliband, I am very odd. I spent 20

:29:42.:29:47.

years having a job. I am in politics out of conviction, I

:29:47.:29:52.

believe in things. So by those terms, I am probably pretty odd.

:29:52.:29:58.

How would you describe members of UKIP? I have to say, I would

:29:58.:30:03.

probably rely on my ladylike approach and say, I think they are

:30:03.:30:08.

a bit of a one issue wonder. We are against the high-speed rail, which

:30:08.:30:12.

your party is not, and that is why we are getting so many votes in

:30:12.:30:19.

your consistency -- constituency. am with you on that. We have a new

:30:19.:30:24.

coalition breaking out. UKIP has grown and has tremendous success

:30:24.:30:29.

over the past 12 months. But they have based their party on an anti-

:30:29.:30:34.

European stance. It is out of Europe, not in Europe, it is

:30:34.:30:38.

completely out of Europe. To that extent it is a one issue party.

:30:38.:30:44.

They are now broadening their base, and you have to take UKIP seriously.

:30:44.:30:49.

Should David Cameron take them more seriously? All parties should take

:30:49.:30:53.

16% growth in the polls seriously. There is how you should treat

:30:53.:30:58.

others political parties. Miliband, the day we had the row in

:30:58.:31:03.

Rotherham over the fostering case. Ed Miliband said he did not believe

:31:03.:31:09.

in UKIP, but said we shouldn't be removed. The only person I can see

:31:09.:31:15.

in mainstream politics abusing UKIP on a regular basis is your leader.

:31:15.:31:22.

That has been taken out of context and played over and over again. I

:31:22.:31:26.

did a proper job for 20 years, and I have been 20 years in politics

:31:26.:31:31.

and I did not get where I am today without being insulted on a regular

:31:31.:31:41.
:31:41.:31:43.

basis. You have been plain to the Are you realistically aiming for

:31:43.:31:48.

Parliament? We don't just talk about Europe, we talk about the

:31:48.:31:51.

consequences of European Union membership on our lives and economy.

:31:51.:31:55.

This year we will campaign hard on the fact that on January 1st next

:31:55.:32:02.

year be open the doors not just for work but for Social Security to 29

:32:02.:32:05.

billion people -- 29 million people from the poor countries of Romania

:32:05.:32:10.

and Bulgaria. That is wrong at a time of high youth unemployment.

:32:10.:32:15.

is irresponsible? And they open their borders to the many people of

:32:15.:32:18.

Britain will want to stop businesses in these countries, the

:32:18.:32:22.

many people who choose to live in Spain rather than the UK. Is it a

:32:22.:32:31.

two-way street in the same way? course. If you are concerned about

:32:31.:32:35.

workers from what we used to call the Iron Curtain... If you are

:32:35.:32:39.

concerned about workers from behind the Iron Curtain as we used to call

:32:39.:32:44.

it, you should look at the hotel and food processing industries. If

:32:44.:32:47.

we did not have those people working here, the industries would

:32:47.:32:54.

not be able to operate. They have operated for hundreds of years

:32:54.:32:58.

without an open door policy. The point is she to be able to come on

:32:58.:33:02.

day one from Eastern Europe and claim benefits? -- should you be

:33:02.:33:08.

able to? You can't. You can, if you claim you are self-employed seeking

:33:08.:33:13.

work, you qualify for jobseeker's allowance on day one. I am not sure

:33:13.:33:17.

that is the case, if it is, it should it be allowed? I would have

:33:17.:33:23.

to check the facts on that. But I think a transition period for these

:33:23.:33:28.

new countries is important. Croatia is joining us this year, and the

:33:28.:33:32.

presidency is going to love the way near for the second half of the

:33:32.:33:36.

year. I believe we are stronger together in a form of gripping, but

:33:36.:33:41.

I also believe that a transition period so you do not have the

:33:41.:33:44.

temptation of people coming in large numbers. The Labour

:33:44.:33:49.

government got those numbers very badly wrong. When the first wave of

:33:49.:33:52.

immigration came from Eastern Europe, when the open-door policy

:33:52.:33:57.

started, it was a problem to deal with as far as the population here

:33:57.:34:05.

was concerned? Yes, and regionally it was very difficult. There are

:34:05.:34:11.

parts of Kent, for instance, who felt the impact of migration...

:34:11.:34:16.

Labour got that wrong in terms of transitional agreements. But I

:34:16.:34:20.

agree with Ming Campbell, this is a two-way street and the benefits to

:34:20.:34:27.

our economy and our service industries... I remember the days

:34:27.:34:30.

before the free movement when these service industries found it

:34:30.:34:35.

impossible to recruits. These are the areas in which we have seen

:34:35.:34:40.

growth over the last 10 or 15 years, because these are mostly young

:34:40.:34:45.

people, aspirational young people prepared to come and work here.

:34:45.:34:48.

we need foreign workers or skilled workers, that is fine and we should

:34:49.:34:53.

welcome them from all over the world, but on a work permit system,

:34:53.:34:59.

not with the automatic right to settle. I ran the work-permit

:34:59.:35:02.

scheme in the last Conservative government. When we saw there was a

:35:02.:35:06.

lot of applications coming from the former Soviet Union we increased

:35:06.:35:09.

our resources and the amount of people allowed in because they were

:35:09.:35:14.

the sort of people coming that we wanted in our economy. Let's move

:35:14.:35:24.

on briefly, Nigel Farage, realistic ambitions the 2015, how many seats?

:35:24.:35:29.

The first-past-the-post system is pretty brutal to a country like

:35:29.:35:33.

UKIP. To succeed at Westminster elections we have to do what the

:35:33.:35:37.

Lib Dems did in the 80s and 90s, where they build up clusters of

:35:37.:35:41.

district and county councillors and through that won parliamentary

:35:41.:35:46.

seats. So the May elections are very important stepping stone. I

:35:46.:35:50.

can't put a number run yet. Coalition, we know you don't want

:35:50.:35:56.

to work with David Cameron, a coalition with a different leader?

:35:56.:36:01.

Peter Bone, perhaps! I have always said that I would do a deal with

:36:01.:36:05.

edit -- with the devil if we could get a free and fair referendum in

:36:05.:36:12.

this country. What about David Cameron's speech? Mark Field, a

:36:12.:36:17.

Tory MP, said it was fantasy to think that you could repatriate a

:36:17.:36:23.

load of powers back from Brussels? I disagree, I think the time has

:36:23.:36:27.

come to look at our relationship with the European Union. I don't

:36:27.:36:31.

want to see in an in/out choice because I do not believe in an

:36:31.:36:35.

empty chair policy in Europe, but I think in terms of social

:36:35.:36:40.

legislation, Home Office legislation and things like the

:36:40.:36:43.

working-time directive in employment, I think we should be

:36:43.:36:48.

making those decisions ourselves, and I think the time is right. The

:36:48.:36:51.

EU is examining itself closely because it feels its stability is

:36:52.:36:56.

threatened by what is happening with the Euro and other areas.

:36:56.:37:00.

one country of the other 26 that is willing to enter into these

:37:00.:37:08.

negotiations. Quite. Sorry, I was slightly taken aback.

:37:08.:37:12.

Our membership of Europe is actually coup crucial to our

:37:12.:37:16.

economy. Don't think we will see economic growth if we start

:37:17.:37:20.

destabilising confidence in our role in Europe. David Cameron is

:37:20.:37:24.

driven by one thing alone, the requirements of party management

:37:24.:37:28.

and not the national interest. will be interesting to hear him.

:37:28.:37:34.

Thank you, Nigel Farage. As we have heard, this afternoon

:37:34.:37:36.

David Cameron Nick Clegg will publish a document assessing the

:37:36.:37:40.

achievement of the coalition government so far and setting out

:37:40.:37:42.

ambitions for the second half of this Parliament.

:37:42.:37:46.

Also, the Commons debate corporate tax avoidance.

:37:47.:37:55.

Tomorrow they debate the capping of benefit rises to 1%.

:37:55.:38:02.

On Wednesday, the first PMQs of 2013. In the Lords, they will

:38:02.:38:04.

debate the public service pensions bill.

:38:04.:38:07.

Thursday is Margaret Thatcher Day and the Falkland Islands,

:38:07.:38:12.

commemorating her visit in 1983 after victory over Argentina.

:38:13.:38:15.

And the Planning Minister Nick Boles makes a speech on housing

:38:15.:38:18.

policy. On Friday, the Lords debate the

:38:18.:38:24.

Leveson report into press standards. A busy week. Outside Parliament is

:38:24.:38:30.

Rafael Behr of the New Statesman, and Isabel Hardman of the Spectator.

:38:30.:38:35.

Rafael Behr, the coalition renewing its bows, what does it mean?

:38:35.:38:39.

first thing is that most of the time the coalition is discussed and

:38:39.:38:43.

has been discussed in the last year, it has been because there are

:38:43.:38:47.

tensions between the parties. The Lib Dems have been afraid of losing

:38:47.:38:52.

their identity and being submerged, nobody noticing them more caring or

:38:52.:38:56.

believing they have any in -- influence. David Cameron has come

:38:56.:39:00.

under pressure to assert a more vigorous and red-blooded Tory

:39:00.:39:05.

agenda. People I used to discussing whether and when it will fail but

:39:05.:39:09.

there is two years to go before the election and Cammell and quite

:39:09.:39:12.

badly need people to think it is a functional working government that

:39:12.:39:17.

can achieve anything -- and Cameron and Clegg badly need people to

:39:17.:39:22.

think. It is also about showing that we have real policies and are

:39:22.:39:26.

working together, so they have to do that mid-term renewal so that

:39:26.:39:29.

people will talk about something other than how they dislike each

:39:29.:39:35.

other. Isabel Hardman, we have talked about how the leadership and

:39:35.:39:40.

ministers genuinely seem to get on in most cases, but be backbenchers

:39:40.:39:45.

and grassroots MPs, are they as convinced? I think MPs on both

:39:45.:39:50.

sides would rather there was more of a differentiation policy. Today

:39:50.:39:54.

is about unity, as well be the next few weeks, because they are

:39:54.:39:58.

spinning out the different announcements, but we are seeing

:39:58.:40:03.

differentiation are lots of issues. The Lib Dems have been very vocal

:40:03.:40:07.

on their desire to see that. Nick Clegg said that he wanted to see

:40:07.:40:11.

all the bits going into government and a discussion about policy

:40:11.:40:16.

before they are decided. Cameron has flown kites on welfare and

:40:16.:40:20.

immigration over the past year and a bit. We will see more and more of

:40:20.:40:27.

that, both parties are thinking about 2015 already. Rafael Behr,

:40:27.:40:31.

five weeks since the Leveson report was published, where are we with

:40:31.:40:36.

the future of press regulation? technical answer is in cross-party

:40:36.:40:40.

talks. The nature of that is that these parties will culturally not

:40:40.:40:44.

agree with each other and their positions can be quite polarised.

:40:44.:40:48.

Labour has invested all their stock in the idea of a Bill before

:40:48.:40:53.

Parliament which will in some way regulates the press. David Cameron

:40:53.:40:57.

has insisted he does not want to see that. I think Nick Clegg's role

:40:57.:41:02.

will be important, he has suggested he prefers the Labour view of its

:41:02.:41:06.

but he is in collision with the Conservatives and will not want to

:41:06.:41:09.

disrupt that O'Brien issue that many people will not feel

:41:09.:41:14.

comfortable -- will not feel passionate about. At one point

:41:14.:41:17.

either Labour will publish their own bill or David Cameron was say

:41:17.:41:21.

they will have a royal commission, they don't need a Bill, let's just

:41:21.:41:28.

do this without bothering Parliament. An interesting

:41:28.:41:32.

development mentioning Labour, a return to frontline politics for

:41:32.:41:36.

David Miliband, Isabel Hardman? was quite surprised, but thinking

:41:36.:41:40.

about it, the feud between the brothers has died down. In the

:41:41.:41:44.

autumn conference this year it was not all about what David Miliband

:41:44.:41:48.

thought about Ed's speech or what faces he pulled, he went home

:41:48.:41:52.

before the speech and it looked a bit precious because nobody really

:41:52.:41:56.

cared. It is not a bad time for him to come back because people have

:41:56.:42:00.

forgotten about the warring brothers, Ed has established

:42:00.:42:05.

himself as leader, particularly with his conference speech. What do

:42:05.:42:12.

you do with the Balls problem? people and the Labour Party for an

:42:12.:42:15.

air -- thought that David Miliband would be leader, he is the star

:42:15.:42:20.

strike and you have to get him on the pitch. But what a job does an

:42:20.:42:24.

aspiring Prime Minister do in a Shadow Cabinet? The big job would

:42:24.:42:27.

be Shadow Chancellor, there is not a vacancy and Ed Balls does not

:42:27.:42:31.

want there to be one. I sense that when the discussion comes up, in

:42:31.:42:35.

the background a lot of it is people on the Labour side saying,

:42:35.:42:39.

do we need to have Ed Balls as the lead economic message go there?

:42:39.:42:45.

Could somebody else do that? It is sometimes a proxy for a discussion

:42:45.:42:49.

about whether or not Ed Balls should continue. Thank you. Perhaps

:42:49.:42:53.

David Miliband not for Shadow Transport Secretary, but is he

:42:53.:42:58.

coming back? I don't know and I don't think he does yet. I think

:42:59.:43:02.

that he never stops thinking about how Labour can win next time, he

:43:02.:43:09.

never stops working for the Labour Party. I think there is a bit of

:43:09.:43:12.

kite-flying in the papers today, but I would not read too much into

:43:12.:43:18.

it. Would you like him to come back? Well, of course. As Shadow

:43:18.:43:22.

Chancellor? I would like him to play a key role in helping us to

:43:22.:43:26.

win the next election, which I think he could do. But I think we

:43:26.:43:31.

are a long way before getting to that. It would cause a headache,

:43:31.:43:35.

where would you put him? I think we've had enough IFS and made these

:43:35.:43:41.

and all the rest of it. We can't get enough of those! -- I think we

:43:41.:43:47.

have had enough ifs and maybes. But he has his movement for change, his

:43:47.:43:51.

international work, he is working hard for Labour outside the Shadow

:43:51.:43:55.

Cabinet. I am sure we will all know in due course when that changes.

:43:55.:43:58.

You will tell us! A getting the economy the link

:43:58.:44:03.

seems to be the main focus of the coalition. It is expected back

:44:03.:44:06.

Clegg and Cameron will announce new infrastructure projects today that

:44:07.:44:10.

they hope will create jobs. But there is a worry that the UK could

:44:10.:44:17.

lose its triple-A credit stages and we could be up for a triple death -

:44:17.:44:21.

- a triple dip recession. If we stand back and look at the

:44:21.:44:25.

big picture of the British economy, we need a rebalancing, a bigger

:44:25.:44:29.

private sector, growth more spread more evenly around the country, not

:44:29.:44:36.

so reliant on finance but manufacturing, export, production

:44:36.:44:42.

and high-tech kins -- industries. More new companies were set up last

:44:42.:44:46.

year than in any time in recent history. There are some good signs

:44:46.:44:50.

but it is hard work, it is hard going. Look around Europe and we

:44:50.:44:57.

are not alone in facing these And we're joined now by the city

:44:57.:45:05.

analyst, Louise Cooper. Predictions of a triple dip recession, what do

:45:05.:45:11.

you think? In tears a strong possibility. About the triple A

:45:11.:45:16.

rating, one downgrade is almost guaranteed. There is an outside

:45:16.:45:24.

chance we could be downgraded twice. It is a possibility. How bad would

:45:24.:45:29.

that be? We do know George Osborne held it as a big prize, holding on

:45:29.:45:36.

to that report Bay rating. If it goes now, would it be a big blow?

:45:36.:45:41.

am surprised we have not lost it already. Have we lost it

:45:41.:45:47.

technically? At in the markets think we have lost it. It is

:45:47.:45:52.

considered easing that is keeping our borrowing costs down. Last week

:45:52.:45:57.

we heard from the Federal Reserve in the States, and quantity the

:45:57.:46:03.

easing in the States may be coming to end next year. As soon as

:46:04.:46:07.

markets think that's considered easing may be coming to an end in

:46:07.:46:12.

the UK, that is the point to worry about borrowing costs for the UK.

:46:12.:46:17.

It is not about whether the Bank of England is buying gilts, it is

:46:17.:46:20.

whether International inventors will continue to buy them. So, you

:46:20.:46:24.

do not think that borrowing costs, interest debt payments would go up

:46:24.:46:30.

from losing our triple A credit rating? Provided considered easing

:46:30.:46:37.

is still happening. If we get to the end of quantity of ease in ink,

:46:37.:46:42.

because the capacity has ended, because the bank cannot buy any

:46:43.:46:49.

more, if we get to the end of considered easing because the

:46:49.:46:54.

capacity has finished, then that could be very messy. That is pretty

:46:55.:46:59.

bleak. If we haven't already, it looks like we will lose the credit

:46:59.:47:04.

rating. George Osborne said it was crucial, is it a big blow if we

:47:04.:47:09.

lose this? A everybody agrees we are not out of the woods yet. It is

:47:09.:47:14.

not necessarily all in our own hands as well. What has become

:47:14.:47:18.

obvious is the effect that both the euro and the European economy, and

:47:18.:47:23.

the wider world economy, even the state's economy, with what has just

:47:23.:47:27.

happened with the fiscal cliff, how that affects our economy here. I

:47:27.:47:31.

think the Chancellor is entering very tricky waters. He has attached

:47:31.:47:36.

quite a lot to the triple A credit rating. Has he attach too much to

:47:36.:47:42.

it? I find it hard to judge. I would have agreed with the analysis

:47:42.:47:47.

that the markets think we have lost it. But we have been a beacon of

:47:47.:47:55.

light in terms of stability and sticking to the planned. That is

:47:55.:47:58.

admired universally by third parties around the world. We are

:47:58.:48:03.

not going to balance the books, we know that and now. Austerity is

:48:03.:48:09.

going to go on until 2018, a good few years be on what George Osborne

:48:09.:48:14.

predicted. Predictions of losing the triple A credit rating, we do

:48:14.:48:18.

not know what will happen to quantity of easing. What has George

:48:18.:48:25.

Osborne achieved? Sticking to the plan has not report the results has

:48:25.:48:32.

it? I think he is reaping the results. The triple dip recession?

:48:32.:48:38.

If you keep the stability of the interest rates. We have got an

:48:38.:48:42.

economy and that is performing relatively well, compared to other

:48:42.:48:47.

economies. Even the Chinese economy is showing signs of slowing down. I

:48:48.:48:54.

think George has positioned as well. However, it is choppy waters, it is

:48:54.:48:58.

deep-water out there. We need to keep a steady hand on the tiller. I

:48:58.:49:04.

think that is what George has been providing. Louise has set out

:49:04.:49:09.

clearly, the interaction of big economies. I think too much of the

:49:09.:49:13.

Government's rhetoric and policy presumes that somehow we can

:49:13.:49:17.

develop our economy in a way that is isolated from changes in the

:49:17.:49:23.

rest of the world, and changes in Europe. The second... Labour said

:49:23.:49:26.

that, you could have chartered a different course and we would have

:49:26.:49:32.

been able to override the problems in the eurozone and global economy?

:49:32.:49:36.

No, what we have argued is the importance of getting growth into

:49:36.:49:42.

the economy by getting people off unemployment and back into work. It

:49:42.:49:47.

links back to the discussion we had a little while ago. Jobs are the

:49:47.:49:53.

key, absolutely. But politicians, I am sorry, are rubbish at creating

:49:53.:50:00.

jobs, or determining where an economy should grow. We listen to

:50:00.:50:05.

David Cameron, he talks about rebalancing. Good luck to him,

:50:05.:50:11.

because that is not how capitalism works. Yes, growth is key, but how

:50:11.:50:17.

do you create growth? We talk about growth creation, but people don't

:50:17.:50:22.

have cash, a Government doesn't have cash. The only area that has

:50:22.:50:25.

cash his businesses. They are not spending because they are terrified

:50:25.:50:30.

of the world. They're not spending, Ming Campbell, because consumers

:50:30.:50:35.

are not spending. People on spending because their wages are

:50:35.:50:39.

frozen and standards of living is being squeezed, so we won't move

:50:39.:50:44.

out of the situation we are? It is not just about companies holding on

:50:44.:50:49.

to their cash reserves, it is about banks being reluctant to support

:50:49.:50:53.

what are perfectly viable alternatives. It is right to state

:50:53.:50:57.

governments don't create jobs, but we have created more than one

:50:57.:51:02.

million new jobs in this economy in the last two and a half years. We

:51:02.:51:07.

have moved from being outside the top 10 of the most competitive

:51:07.:51:13.

countries in the world, into 8th place. I hate to use the words,

:51:13.:51:20.

green shoots, but there are events taking place which are consistent

:51:20.:51:27.

with turning the corner. Louise Cooper, interest rates held at 0.5%,

:51:27.:51:34.

can you see that continuing? ever. Pretty much. A new governor

:51:34.:51:38.

of the Bank of England won't be changing that, not that he can on

:51:38.:51:41.

his own? Know. Now, spare a thought for the Shadow

:51:41.:51:44.

Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, who's spent the New Year fending

:51:44.:51:47.

off accusations that he's a cereal killer. No he's not been stalking

:51:47.:51:49.

the streets of Westminster, knocking off the government, he

:51:49.:51:53.

just doesn't like certain types of breakfast food. In fact he'd like

:51:53.:51:56.

some of them to be banned. Mr Burnham isn't the only politician

:51:56.:51:59.

concerned about our eating habits. This morning the government

:51:59.:52:09.
:52:09.:52:12.

Honestly, you lot! What are you putting into your bodies. Let me

:52:12.:52:18.

show you. Come on, this is the amount of fat in the whole pizza.

:52:19.:52:25.

17 tubes of sugar in that fizzy drink. Too many hidden nasties can

:52:25.:52:30.

create dangerous levels of fat in your body which can lead to stroke,

:52:30.:52:34.

Type 2 diabetes and cancer. Well, the Health Minister, Anna

:52:34.:52:38.

Sourby is out in the healthy outdoors.

:52:38.:52:42.

What are your aims with this campaign? It is to provide

:52:42.:52:46.

information to people, make them aware of some of the stuff that is

:52:46.:52:50.

in your food which does not do you an awful lot of good if you eat too

:52:50.:52:55.

much of it. People can make healthier choices, so we can live

:52:55.:53:00.

longer lives. Or ignore it? Absolutely, it is their choice. It

:53:00.:53:05.

is not up to politicians to tell people what they should eat. That

:53:05.:53:11.

is why Andy Burnham got himself into a mess at the weekend. The

:53:11.:53:15.

responsibility for your diet lies as you as an individual, and you as

:53:15.:53:22.

a parent. That is the primary responsibility. Businesses, traders,

:53:22.:53:29.

retailers, also bear responsibility, but the port of call first of all

:53:29.:53:33.

is ordinary people. We are pointing out to them about the stuff you

:53:33.:53:37.

have heard in the advert, so they can make better choices when they

:53:37.:53:42.

shop. It we have to tackle obesity, and you want to make people eat

:53:42.:53:47.

more healthily, why not do what Andy Burnham suggests, ban the high

:53:47.:53:53.

sugar content, and high salt content Sea reels? It is a daft

:53:53.:53:57.

idea. If it was a great idea he would have done it when his party

:53:57.:54:04.

was in Government. We inherited serious high levels of obesity.

:54:04.:54:10.

There has not been much changed since 2010. I don't think he did it

:54:10.:54:14.

because in his heart he knows it is not the sort of ball at he thought

:54:14.:54:18.

it was. When you introduce legislation aimed at children's

:54:18.:54:23.

breakfast cereals, the first thing that starts off is defined

:54:23.:54:30.

Children's breakfast cereals, is he going to have "adult only's cereal

:54:30.:54:37.

boxes? You take all cereals and say they shouldn't be more than 30%

:54:37.:54:43.

content of sugar and salt. As soon as you do that, used a 29% is OK.

:54:43.:54:50.

It is a start. No, people in the real world thing, 20%, 29%, have

:54:50.:54:56.

three bowlfuls and it won't do you any harm Bostock we want to let --

:54:56.:55:01.

get people to look at what they eat over the course of a week, a month,

:55:01.:55:05.

look at the bad stuff, take it out and just eat good, wholesome food,

:55:05.:55:10.

which you can do on a budget in difficult times. We have recipe

:55:10.:55:16.

ideas. It is easy for people sometimes to sneer at that. It you

:55:16.:55:24.

look and what we had done so far with Change4Life, which was done at

:55:24.:55:28.

2007 with a cost of �80 million, it has begun to influence and make

:55:28.:55:34.

change. We need to get it across all sections of society. That's why

:55:35.:55:39.

this campaign on ITV in the Coronation Street break is good,

:55:39.:55:43.

and it shouldn't be slagged off by Labour.

:55:43.:55:46.

I've got some Daily Politics own brand favourites here, let's get

:55:46.:55:51.

our political panel's verdict on their nutritional value. Just

:55:51.:55:59.

before we do that, do you like the idea of Government recipes? We go

:55:59.:56:04.

back to the Second World War and have Walton pike. Which consisted

:56:04.:56:13.

of all of the vegetables nobody light, with pastry on the top.

:56:13.:56:22.

do have our own brand stuff here. This is dairy Neil. How is he?

:56:22.:56:32.
:56:32.:56:32.

is on his way back. How many grams of fat, in 100 grams

:56:33.:56:40.

do you think is in this? It will be this much, I would think. About

:56:40.:56:50.
:56:50.:57:06.

250? 530. Very good. 530 calories. JoCo Pops - per 100g: 387 calories.

:57:06.:57:11.

The Deep Pan Pizza? Just one piece of that a 100 grams, how many

:57:11.:57:21.
:57:21.:57:23.

calories do you think? 250. Very good. I had just lost over two

:57:23.:57:28.

stone on a lighter like diet. It has worked for me and I believe in

:57:28.:57:33.

educating people that you are what you eat. Should we ban certain

:57:33.:57:39.

food? Of course not. We should certainly be looking at what action

:57:39.:57:44.

has to be taken to tackle obesity. Everyone agrees with that, but

:57:44.:57:50.

should you go further and start banning? He worked with the food

:57:50.:57:55.

industry and if it failed, like we did, it took 10 years to get a

:57:55.:57:59.

proper strategy on banning advertising of cigarettes. These

:57:59.:58:08.

things take time. It is brave to raise this issue is. And in tandem

:58:08.:58:17.

with what you eat, the school sport exercise, persuading women that

:58:17.:58:22.

Jessica Ennis is a role model. about the answer to the quiz. What

:58:22.:58:32.
:58:32.:58:33.

does he listened to when he is jogging? Tony Blair. It was in the

:58:33.:58:39.

papers yesterday Bulls star it is Tony Blair's autobiography.

:58:39.:58:44.

That is all to date. Thanks to our guests. The news is starting on BBC

:58:44.:58:48.

Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate. A panel of senior politicians discusses the coalition's series of initiatives to mark the halfway point in their government.


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