30/01/2013 Daily Politics


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Morning, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.


Are we heading for mission creep in North Africa? The Prime Minister


flies to Algeria after PMQs today. Yesterday, the government announced


that hundreds of British troops are going to the region to support the


French-led forces who are trying to drive Islamists from northern Mali.


Alex Salmond wants to pop the question. But what should the


question be? We'll be talking referendum semantics.


Shock news. The streets of Britain are not paved with gold. We'll be


asking how you deter migrants from Bulgaria and Romania.


And defeating homophobia. The human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell


tells us how we should tackle the so-called Muslim patrols of East


London. Victimisation of Muslim people is wrong, so, too, is the


victimisation of gay people. It should be Islamist, I'm not sure


he pronounced it correctly? On Tuesday it both ways? -- can't you


say it both ways? All that and more coming up in the next 90 minutes of


Great British TV, and joining us for the duration are two Great


British MPs. Representing one of the ancient woodlands of England,


the Forest of Dean, it's the Immigration Minister Mark Harper.


And representing part of the ancient city of Nottingham, famed


for its links to Robin Hood and last year named transport city of


the year, Labour Treasury spokesman Chris Leslie. Welcome to you both.


What is transport city of the year? We have trams... Manchester has


trams. In it is very green unsustainable. I like Nottingham.


Some good promotion for the City of Nottingham!


Now, David Cameron is to visit Algeria later today in the wake of


the hostage crisis, and he's going to be talking about the importance


of that country in what he's called a generational struggle against al-


Qaeda in North Africa. Yesterday we learned that the UK is sending 330


military personnel to neighbouring Mali and other West African


countries to support French forces and to help train the Malian army.


Number 10 is emphasising that troops will not have a combat role,


and will be there temporarily. One MP who's warned we could be sucked


into another long-running conflict is Labour's Paul Flynn, he's with


us now. Before I come to you, Paul, Mark Harper, the Prime Minister


said there would be tens of troops, it is now hundreds? There up to 40


troops to be part of the EU training mission, a headquarters or


training role. The extra troops announced yesterday, we will look


at providing up to 200 troops to do training for the Anglophone West


African countries that are putting together a force. Again, that is a


training role. Who will protect those military personnel out there?


We have said we are looking at providing up to 200, one of the


things being worked through is the details now, there will be talks


with the deputy national security adviser and the other countries in


the region to thrash out details. It has not been confirmed that


French troops will be doing the protection? Our troops will not


have to protect our advisers? troops will be there in a training


role, my understanding is we will not be in a protection role. Should


we be there? I think so. Looking at that region, look at what happened


in Algeria. There were British and other European nationals working,


they were threatened and, sadly, some lost their lives because of


terrorists operating in part of the area where the state did not have


controlled. We were affected, whether we like it or not. Algeria


is a big economy, a big gas producer, it is important we have


proper security. Surely you don't object to the fact that Britain is


offering a support role in a region where British personnel, Brits


working in the region, could be threatened? It all sounds very


plausible and seductive, very much as in 2006. We were told our


soldiers would only be in Helmand province for a couple of years, do


some reconstruction, no shots would be fired. At that time we had lost


two thought it -- soldiers in combat, having been in Afghanistan


for five years, now it is 440. There is this continuous bloodshed


in Africa and we will be sucked into another war and the public are,


rightly, wary. We have been in two wars, 179 troops lost in Iraq to


replace one rotten government with another, and 440 troops have died


in Afghanistan and at the end we will possibly have a return to


Taliban rule. Are you saying no support staff to go there from


Britain? I think this is one war which is nothing whatsoever to do


with us. It was right to go to Sierra Leone and Kosovo as well, I


think. We can't let -- pretend we are the policemen for the world and


whisk billions of pounds and lives. Some of those conflicts have gone


on for 20 years, in the Congo and Sudan. We can't pretend we have a


responsibility and it is ludicrous to suggest that the people fighting


in Mali are Al-Qaeda. They are Nationalists with a particular


agenda. We will appear to have a victory but they will disappear


into the population and come back as terrorists. Chris Leslie, do you


agree with the worry about mission creep? You have to be clear about


what this deployment is and what its terms are. Paul has a point...


It was fairly clearly set out to... It is very easy to get into these


situations and very difficult to know what the exit would be. These


are so far non-combat training roles, that is a very good


contribution. That does not mean there is no risk involved. You have


to ask the questions about who will be safeguarding those troops, the


people involved in this. From an opposition point of view we need to


ask very searching questions of the Government. How far will your


support go? Are you saying that that's it, the numbers that have


gone out now in terms of support, Labour won't go any further?


Hearing revelations about the situation and almost a daily basis


now. I don't agree with Paul entirely, he takes a very


principled view on some of these things, historically, in relation


to other conflicts. From time to time, Major developed countries


have a responsibility to safeguard the rest of the international


community. That said, we have to be crystal clear about our role and


also have an eye on the exit. years ago I wrote to Tony Blair and


said if we going to the war in Iraq, without solving the


Israeli/Palestine problem, we will inflame Muslim opinion through the


world, and that is what we have done. But we are not doing this by


ourselves. We en masse acting as the world's policeman, this is part


of an international operation. -- we are not acting as the world's


policeman. It will be supported by the UN and the EU. It could go on


for a long time, couldn't it? is Britain playing a leadership


role with our partners. The Prime Minister's point was clear. The


idea that Britain and our personnel are safer by just abdicating


responsibility and saying it is nothing to do with us, that is a


false option. That is what it was said about Afghanistan, Gordon


Brown said that all the time, it makes the streets safe a year.


we had not gone into Afghanistan, Marjah mat. Doing nothing is a


choice you have to make. You can't just say we will pull up the


drawbridge and nothing in the rest of the world will affect us.


Afghanistan has been going back to the 13th century. Prime Minister's


love to be war leaders - Thatcher loved it, Blair loved it, so does


Cameron. I think that is unfair. Prime ministers have to take


difficult decisions about putting soldiers in harm's way and about


people who might have to lose their life. I don't think any Prime


Minister relishes committing troops to military action. We do it where


we think it is essential for the national interest. That is what


David Cameron said. None of these featured in the Strategic Defence


Review. We are in a situation where the government are being driven by


their fiscal austerity plans, that is affecting our capability.


can't predict these things, though. No, but you need a certain amount


of flexibility in our defence forces to cope with unforeseen


eventualities. Should there be a vote on our involvement in Mali at


all? The Foreign Secretary told me a fortnight ago that there would be


a debate and a vote in Parliament, and they ignored that. The Prime


Minister has been very opened, he made a statement about what


happened in Nigeria. At the moment we are doing a training role, we


will have to see how things... There is a strong feeling


throughout the Commons that this is a war too far. On that note, we


will end it, thank you. The people living in Scotland will get a vote


in late 2014 to decide if they want to leave the United Kingdom and


become an independent state. Sounds a simple enough proposition, but


the exact wording of the question has become a matter of political


You'd think it would be a simple matter, but as any pollster will


tell you, it's not just what you ask, it's how you ask it. The


question Alex Salmond wants to ask the Scottish electorate is, do you


agree that Scotland should be an independent country? But today the


body that regulates voting and party funding, the Electoral


Commission, has said that this question is leading. Instead it


suggests that the question should be, should Scotland be an


independent country? However, the Electoral Commission has no legal


power to enforce its ruling and in the end it will be the Scottish


Parliament, with its nationalist majority, which will have the final


say. However, the SNP Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has said


that her government would have to find a very good reason to ignore


the Commission's advice. Joining us now from ICM Research,


we have an expert on how to ask a question. They ask even more than


me, every year, and probably get more answers! Welcome, Martin Boon.


Questions, I am right in thinking that how they are phrased can make


a difference to the outcome of a referendum? I think there is some


evidence suggesting that. There was a very influential piece of work


done by Lord Ashcroft at this time last year in which he tested three


versions of a potential Scottish referendum question, and there was


an eight point movements depending on which version was used. The way


that you phrase individual questions can have a material


impact on the outcome. Electoral Commission looked at the


proposed question, I think it was proposed by the Scottish


nationalists, which was, do you agree that Scotland should be


independent? They want that changed too, should Scotland be


independent? What is the significance of the difference?


think the commission should be commended on their decision. I


think there were many voices, including my own, which criticised


the original Scottish question simply because it excluded two


words, or disagree? To my mind, that made the question fail the


test of being fair and balanced. The commission have looked at


different versions of the question and have come up with a


recommendation. It seems to me to be very clear, it is a short, it


would be difficult to take a view from a technical perspective that


many people could be confused by what it is trying to get through. I


think it passes all the tests that a researcher would apply to a good


question wording. Other examples from around the world are of a


referendum in which the outcome was determined to by the manner of the


question? I'm not an expert in referendums from other countries,


you'd probably need to talk to an academic about that, but I think it


has been the case that many referendums have been criticised


for the questions used. I don't doubt, without having material


evidence, but I don't doubt that outcomes have been at least


partially influenced by a bad question framing.


Find you very much Martin. Let's go now to Edinburgh and to Annabelle


Ewing, a member of the Scottish parliament and a member of the


referendum committee of the Scottish Parliament. Welcome. Do


you accept these findings? Absolutely. We are absolutely


delighted with the findings, including on the question, should


Scotland be an independent country, yes or no? I think it could not be


more straightforward a question, we are delighted with the findings


today of the Electoral Commission. It is not the question you proposed,


but you are delighted? It is a refining of the question that we


had proposed, our initial question has been tested, the electoral


commission have refined that and we are delighted with the final


conclusion recommendation which is, should Scotland be an independent


country, yes or no? We are delighted. The commission said your


original question was leading and not neutral. I understand what they


said was that it was a fair question, it was easily understood,


and there was no evidence of any deliberate intention of partiality,


but nevertheless they felt that the question they have now recommended,


should Scotland be an independent country, yes or no, was a fair and


straightforward question. We are absolutely delighted to accept that.


Are you just putting a brave face on this? It is not the question you


wanted. I am delighted with the question, should Scotland be an


independent country, yes or no? I think it is very straightforward. I


will mention that the electoral commission recommended that there


be discussions as to what would happen in the event of a vote


either yes or no, and in the event of a "yes" vote there should be a


clear process agreed as to transition talks and so forth with


the UK government. That was a recommendation today. Another


recommendation that the SNP are very happy to accept. I think it


now begs the question, what is the We are happy to accept all the key


recommendations. We wanted a level playing field on the spending limit,


and that has been recommended by the Electoral Commission. We had


concerns about spending restraint, particularly in these difficult


economic times, but we are happy that the Electoral Commission has


recommended a level playing field in terms of spending limits. We are


happy to accept that recommendation and the other recommendations. The


question now is, will the UK government to do the same? Could


you explain to our viewers, how is it that since Alex Salmond has


launched the yester independence campaign in May, the support for


the union has gone through the roof? Well, it would depend what


pull you were looking at. Every poll. The Sunday Times poll... I


can't think of a single poll, could you name a single respectable poll


since May that has shown support for a referendum has arisen? G&T


independence movement did not -- the anti independence movement did


not achieve above 50% in that poll. We now need to put forward the


arguments for Scotland controlling her own affairs. It would be a


debate won on the arguments. We have the arguments on our side, and


I am confident that we will gain the support of the people of


Scotland in the referendum in response to the question, should


Scotland be an independent country? And on the issue of substance,


which is Scotland's position in the European Union, but any Yes vote in


a referendum, do you now accept, contrary to what your party had


been claimed until late last year, that it is by no means a foregone


conclusion that Scotland would automatically stayed in the EU?


light of the Prime Minister's announcement last week on that


issue, we have seen that the only way for Scotland to be assured of


remaining a member state of the European Union is to vote Yes in


the referendum. But that was not my question, as you well know. Your


party told us that there was no question that if Scotland went


independent, it would automatically stay in the European Union. No


debate, no problem. Do you now accept that that was not true and


that there is at the very least a major question mark over Scotland's


status, post-independence? It has always been clear that Scotland


would negotiate its terms as an independent member state of the EU


from the basis of being currently a member state. We have been part of


the European Union for 40 years. But you are not a member state.


Scotland is not a member state of the European Union.


Mr Barroso, the president, will not see you. Has he seen you yet in


Edinburgh to talk to you? Scotland is of course part of a member state.


But you want to change that! have been part of the European


Union for some 40 years. As for the president of the commission, they


have made it clear this week that they don't take a particular view


on Scotland at the moment, because no request for an opinion has been


made by the current member state government, the UK. We have made it


clear that we would be happy to make a joint approach to the


European Commission with the UK government to obtain a legal


opinion, but the UK government had refused to do that. It is a


question you should put to them. And I will, but it is also because


Mr Barroso will not see you. He and the foreign minister of Spain have


said, if you go independent and you want to be a member of the EU, get


to the back of the queue. Having worked in Brussels for many years,


I don't think that is how it would pan out. We are remember of the


European Union. But you are not a member of the European Union.


Scotland is not a member. territory of Scotland is part of


the European Union. That is because it is part of the United Kingdom,


and you want to change that. That is the reason for your referendum.


Well, it is clear in terms of what is happening south of the border


that the only certainty on this issue is for the people of Scotland


to vote yes, because otherwise, there is a danger that the


political machinations south of the border will take Scotland out of


the European Union. I think most Scots would prefer to be inside the


club rather than outside, and that is a position which will become


clearer in the months ahead. It is always good to be in the club.


Let me ask you, why doesn't the British Government go to Brussels


on Mr Barroso's invitation and establish this once and for all?


What would the legal position of Scotland B, post-independence?


think it is clear. It is clear that Scotland would not be a member


state. It would have to apply. Annabel did not want to go there


because if it applies, it would have to join the euro and it would


have to join the Schengen regime. That would mean we would have DA


border controls and immigration controls between England and


Scotland, which would be in nobody's interest. The Scots could


not negotiate. They would have to negotiate that like all member


states? It is a complicated issue. Some legal authorities say Scotland


should and would remain part of the EU without a separate negotiation.


A letter from Mr Barroso is not enough. Is it not incumbent on the


British Government to go to Brussels, raised it with the legal


authorities and get a definitive opinion? No, I think it is the


Scottish government that wants to have an independent Scotland. It is


up to them to explain what would happen. But Brussels will not talk


to them because they are not a nation state member. You are.


need to set out what they think would happen if there was a yes


vote in the referendum and the people of Scotland decided to be


independent. It is for them to answer these questions. A but


Brussels will not speak to them. will set out what we think the


benefits of Scotland being part of the UK are. She can't answer those


questions. Are you happy with the question now? Are well, they have


to accept the Electoral Commission's view. You can't be a


referee and a player in the campaign. But it is a bit of a slap


in the face for the SNP. But she was delighted.


A knowledge of history is everything, according to Mark


Harper's team at the Home Office. They have just revised the UK


citizenship test to focus on what they call Britain's greats. Nelson,


Churchill, Pippa Middleton. So can you integrate yourself into British


society by answering our own political history test? Yes, it is


time for guess the year again. Our prize is more valuable than a mere


British passport, more worthy than a work permit. And Our Price is


more patriotic. What could be more traditional than a beverage utensil


from Britain's finest institution, the BBC, filled with Britain's


finest Wood, invention, T. No matter that the Chinese claim to


have got there first. It is the drink that built an empire, and you


can be part of our great island story and so are but a thousand


years of history, one sip at a time. But only if you passed the Daily


Politics citizenship test, otherwise known as guess the year.


We will remind you how to enter in a minute, but let's see if you can


It is an insult to the unemployed to suggest that a man who doesn't


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 51 seconds


have a job is likely to break the To be in with a chance of winning a


Daily Politics mug, send your answer to our special quiz e-mail


address. You concede the full terms and conditions for guess the year


on our website. It is coming up to midday. Let's


look at Big Ben. Our studio clock is usually wrong! Prime Minister's


Questions are on their way. The BBC's deputy political editor is


here, fresh from his starring role in the Marshall. David Cameron is


off to Africa after PMQs. First, let's take a gander at this little


number from the Taiwanese outfit, Next Media Animation.


Tory leaders are dissatisfied with David Cameron's leadership and the


drubbing the Conservative Party is taking in the polls. According to


media reports, millionaire MP Adam has sensed an opportunity and is


putting too at David Cameron. -- plotting to oust David Cameron.


A vote of no confidence would require support from 46 party


Is there an unannounced third candidate? Does anyone in Taiwan


know what that was about? They are quite obsessed. Why can we at the


BBC not afford graphics like that? Instead, it is like Blue Peter 30


years ago here. Nothing wrong with Blue Peter. I have got a Blue Peter


badge. Is there a stalking horse? will not answer that until you tell


me what you have a Blue Peter badge for? I gave an interview to Blue


Peter ones, and they gave me a badge instead of a fee. I and who


did the interview, the dog? there a stalking horse? There are


Conservative MPs who are unhappy with David Cameron. Many of them


have been unhappy with him for a long time and are thinking about


what may or may not happened after 2015. The new fact is that there is


a growing number of MPs who are beginning to think it is possible


the Conservative Party might not win the next general election. They


are coming together and thinking about what might happen after 2015,


so people are jockeying for position. If I understand that Mr


Cameron is not a good block with favours among the Tory backbenchers.


But with the referendum speech, he made them happier than they have


been for a long while. So why would anybody announce a threat to his


leadership just when he has done something they have been desperate


for him to do for ages? It seems an inopportune moment. Even the


closest supporters of the calendar would have meant that last weekend


was not the best moment for this to become public. That is what we call


British understatement. However, the argument is this. When David


Cameron ceases to be leader of the Conservative Party, they don't want


it to be an automatic Boris Sheerin. They want a potential candidate


from the back benches who is not tainted by coalition, who is not an


Old Etonian, who has a good rags- to-riches narrative. That is my


strongest pitch for what some MPs believe. But why it Adam, who has


never been in the Cabinet and is unknown in the country. Why has it


coalesced around him? We are talking a small group of people


here. A handful is the best description. I think the reason it


has come around him is because he ticks those boxes. He is not


coalition, he has a rags-to-riches narrative story. I hate to use this


phrase, but some people do - the colour of his skin, there are


references to Obama and all those I had meetings with ministerial


colleagues and others, and in addition to my duties in the house


I will have further such meetings today.


Is it right that a mother in my constituency may not, because of


his Government's bedroom tax confirmed by his minister, be able


to provide for her son serving in the armed forces a whole MORI


bedroom when he returns? reforms to housing benefit we are


putting in place, and I would gladly look at the case that the


honourable lady says, but the reforms we are putting in place


have a very clear principle at their heart. There are many people


and thought -- in private rented accommodation who do not have


Housing Benefit, who cannot afford extra bedrooms, we need to get


control of housing benefit. We are spending �23 billion on housing


benefit and we have to get that under control.


Does my right honourable friend welcome today's news that


university applications for UK universities are up 3.5% this year,


their highest ever level for disadvantaged students as well?


makes a very important point about the figures released this morning.


After all of the concerns expressed about the new way of paying for


university finance reducing the number of students applying to


university, the number of 18 year- olds has gone up and it is now


level with where it was in 2011, which is higher than any year under


the last Labour government. Miliband!


In October, the Prime Minister told me that when it came to the economy,


I quote, the good news will keep coming. After last week's growth


figures it obviously has not. What is his excuse this time? A as the


right honourable gentleman nose, GDP in the third quarter of last


year went up by 0.9%, and as forecast by the Office of budget


runs -- Office of Budget Responsibility 8 fell in the 4th


quarter by 0.3%. Only Honourable Members opposite could it cheer for


that news. I think that honourable gentleman should listen to the


Governor of the Bank of England who said, our economy is recovering


more slowly than we might wish, but we are moving in the right


direction. The fall in unemployment numbers clearly backs that up.


an extraordinarily complacent answer from the Prime Minister. Let


us understand the scale of his failure on growth. They told us in


autumn 2010 mad by now the economy would have grown by over 5%. Can


the Prime Minister tell us by how much the economy has actually grown


since then? There is nothing complacent about this Government,


that is why we are cutting corporation tax, investing in


enterprise zones, a million ends up -- internships have started. -- a


million apprenticeships have started. There will be 1 million


new private sector jobs. In the last year alone, half a million


private sector jobs, the fastest rate of job creation since 1989. Do


we need to do more to get the banks lending and businesses investing?


Yes, and under this Government we will. Just for once, why doesn't he


give a straight answer to a straight question? Growth was not


5%, as he forecast, but the part- time Chancellor is about to give


him some advice, I have to say to the part-time Chancellor you should


spend more time worrying about our economy and less time worrying


about diverting high-speed rail routes away from his constituency.


We have had Flat lining... He shakes his head, but what does his


council leader say? Your MP... Ennis, you are a distinguished,


practising barrister. You wouldn't have behaved like that in the


courts, don't behave like that in this chamber. Calm yourself and be


quiet, ma'am. Mr Ed Miliband. Growth was not 5% but 0.4%, and a


Flat lining economy means that living standards are falling. His


excuse is that other countries have done worse than us, can he confirm


that since the spending review more than two years ago, out of 20 major


G20 economies, Britain has been 18th out of 20 for growth? On high-


speed rail, which goes right through the middle of the


Chancellor's constituency, we are proud of the fact that this


Government has taken the decision to invest, just as this Government


is building CrossRail, the biggest construction plan anywhere in


Europe. He asks about other European economies, the fact is if


you listen to the European Union, the OECD or the IMF, they all point


out that Britain will have the fastest growth of any major economy


in Europe this year. I have to last, what is his plan? It is a three-


point plan - more spending, more borrowing, more debt, exactly the


things that got us into this mess in the first place. We have got


used to that kind of answer from the Prime Minister. He promises a


better tomorrow and tomorrow never comes. That is the reality. He


could not deny the fact that we are 18th out of 20 countries, worse


than the USA, Canada, Germany, France. That is because of his


decisions. Last week the chief economist of the IMF said this, if


things look bad at the beginning of 2013, which they do, and he was


talking about the UK, then there should be a reassessment of fiscal


policy. After two years of no growth, can the Prime Minister tell


us whether he thinks he should do anything differently in the next


two years? First of all, I would say he should listen to the


managing director of the IMF, who said this: When I think back myself


to make 2010 when the UK deficit was a 20% - when you were in


Arthur's! - and I tried to imagine what the situation would be like


today it knows such fiscal consolidation programme had been


decided, I shiver. That is what the IMF says about the plans of the


last Labour government. He raises the issue of growth. Order. It is


not acceptable to shouts down either the Prime Minister or the


leader of the opposition, and the public have a very low opinion of


that kind of behaviour. Let's hear the questions and the answers.


Prime Minister. He raises the issue of America and American Growth, the


fact is that I our recession was longer and deeper than the


recession in America. The biggest banking bust was not an American


bank, it was a British bank. He may want to talk about tomorrow because


he does not want to talk about yesterday when the two people


responsible for the regulation of the banks and the performance of


the economy are sitting right there on the opposition benches.


Once again, a completely incomprehensible answer, Mr Speaker.


Basically, the answer you did not want to give is that it is more of


the same, more of the same. That is not working. He mentions borrowing,


he is borrowing �212 billion more than he promised. Last week he told


the country in a party political broadcast that he was, I quote,


paying down Britain's debts. But the debt is rising and he has


borrowed �7.2 billion more so far this year compared to last year.


One to just admit it is hurting but it just is not working? -- one to


just admit? If he thinks there is a problem with borrowing, why does he


want to borrow more? The Institute for Fiscal Studies says that


Labour's plans would basically adds �200 billion to Britain's borrowing.


He has made absolutely no apology for the mess they made of the


economy, his whole message to the British people is give the car keys


back to the people who crashed the car in the first place. They didn't


regulate the banks, they built up the debts, we are clearing up the


mess that he made! He is borrowing for failure, that is the reality.


And he is borrowing more for failure, that is the reality of his


record will stop here is the truth, they said they would balance the


books, they hadn't. They said there would be growth, there isn't. They


said Britain is out of the danger zone, it is not. Hasn't you run out


of excuses for the fact that, on his watch, because of his decisions,


this is the slowest recovery for 100 years? He talks about failure,


we are dealing with year after year of failure from the party opposite.


They did not regulate the banks, they built up the debts, they had a


totally unbalanced economy. What is happening under this Government is


a million private sector jobs, unemployment down, the fastest rate


of business creation in recent history, we are clearing up the


mess they made. They are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past


because they have not learned the lessons, which is why the British


public will never trust them with the economy again. Mr Andrew


Griffiths! Like the Prime Minister, I want to


see a fresh settlement in Europe. German beer drinkers pay 13 times


more duty than British drinkers, Spanish drinkers... British


drinkers pay nine times more duty than Spanish drinkers and 10 times


more than Italian drinkers. Will he take the Chancellor for a pint and


do something for British pubs and British publicans? My honourable


friend quite rightly speaks up for Burton, and I remember visiting


that great brewery with him during the last election. I am sure the


Chancellor will have listened very carefully to what he said. It is


very important we also tried to support the pub trade in our


country, and the government has plans for that as well.


Thousands of my Blackpool constituents in poorly insulated


homes fear sky-high cold-weather bills. The Government Green deal


has 7% interest charges with only five households signed up for it.


How has the Prime Minister achieve this fiasco? I hope he will welcome


the Green deal, it gives house holds the opportunity to cut bills


and costs without absolutely no upfront costs. He should be


encouraging his constituents to do that. It has only just begun. The


energy company obligation also provides the opportunity to help


insulate some 230,000 homes to be compared with 80,000 under Warm


Front. Instead of talking down these schemes, he should encourage


his constituents to take them up. Mr Adrian Sanders. Two men have


drowned in stormy seas off Torquay in separate incidents this week,


despite best efforts of brave lifeboat crews and the co-


ordination of the coastguard. How can the Prime Minister reassure


local fishermen, who pay significant amounts of duty on


taxes on their patch, that if the coastguard station is closed, the


risks they take will not increase? He makes an important point, and it


is a good moment to pay tribute to the closed garden to the incredible


work, the very difficult and dangerous work, that they do. It


has not been about reducing the number of boats are active stations,


it is about the co-ordination centres and where they are best


located. That is an important point to make. Dave Watts. Why is it the


case that the Prime Minister is frightened to go and visit a food


bag? Could it be that if he visited one he would see the heartless


Britain that he is creating? Only after there was discussing with the


person who runs the foodbank in my constituencies, which I will be


visiting very shortly. He pointed out to me it was established five


years ago and it is worth remembering that food bank used


went up 10 times under the last Labour government. I think instead


of criticising people who run third banks we should be thanking them


for the work they do. I am sure the Prime Minister will


join me in praising all those who work in the search and rescue


Service. Can I ask the Prime Minister to intervene personally in


our battle to save the Portland search-and-rescue helicopter and


ask his ministers to come down to Dorset to listen to those who work


in his life savings service before it is cut? Repeated requests have


so far been ignored and I would have four-day visit would be the


This is a good opportunity to pay tribute to the search and rescue


services across the country. Hour reforms aimed to improve response


times by 20%. I am sure the ministers will listen to what he


said. Prime minister, since you came into office, unemployment in


Dumfries and Galloway has risen by over 15% and youth unemployment has


risen by 9%. My right honourable friend has made reference to your


words in respect of "good news will keep coming". Would the Prime


Minister be good enough to explain to a house and my constituents


exactly what is his definition of good news, especially in view of


the economy that shrank at the end of last year, and that that will


lead to further economic failure? If you look at Scotland, in


Scotland unemployment has fallen by 14,000 this quarter. It has fallen


by 10,000 since the general election. The number of people


employed in Scotland has gone up. We have raised the tax thresholds,


so 180,000 people in Scotland have been taken out of income tax


altogether. There is more to do, but that represents progress.


Syria, it is now clear that the Syrian people would be better off


if China and Russia had not blocked effective action authorised by the


United Nations. Can my right honourable friend say what we are


doing to try to help the people of Syria? My right honourable friend


the International Development Secretary has visited the Syrian


border and senior refugee camps for herself. I believe Britain is the


second-largest donor for aid and help into those refugee camps. He


is right to say that one of the biggest things that could happen is


for the Chinese and Russians to reconsider their positions and


recognise that transition at the top of Syria would be good for the


whole of that part of the world, and good for Russia as well. We


should work with the opposition groups in Syria to put pressure on


the regime, not least through sanctions, and also provide aid and


help for those who are fleeing it. There is a school of technology


that serves a growing population in some of the most deprived wards in


the country. It is dilapidated and in need of replacement. Will the


Prime Minister acknowledge that the real reason for the latest delay in


the proposed PFI funded scheme in my constituency and others is


because the banks, who have continued to pay themselves huge


bonuses, refused to lend the money on the 25 year term demanded by his


Education Secretary? Will he speak in plain language, may be in Latin,


to the Education Secretary? We need a new school. I will leave the


Latin to the mayor of London, but I will certainly have a word with the


Education Secretary. If you look at school capital budgets as a whole,


they are equivalent to what the previous Labour government did in


its early terms. In terms of the banks, the funding for lending


scheme from the Bank of England, the evidence shows that that is


having an effect on lowering interest rates. We are reforming


PFI, but we are also offering infrastructure guarantees, which


the Treasury has never done before, to help projects go ahead.


nothing is more important in early years education than the people


delivering it. Does the Prime Minister agree that raising the bar


and elevating their status will add prestige to the profession and give


children the best possible start in life? Are my honourable friend is


right. I pay tribute to what the Department of Education at produce


yesterday in terms of a series of proposals to expand the


availability and affordability of child care, while also making sure


there is a quality offer that. If we look across Europe and see


countries that have very good and affordable childcare, there are


lessons we can learn. To those who say that changing the ratios are


wrong, look at the ratios in countries like Denmark or France.


We are coming into line with those, and we can provide more affordable


childcare so that people who want to work are able to because they


can find the child care they need. The British government has today


accepted the proposals of the Electoral Commission in relation to


the independence referendum. Amongst those recommendations is


that the UK government and the Scottish government should jointly


agreed to clarify what process will follow the referendum for either


outcome. Given that the UK Government and Labour Party have


called for the full acceptance of the Electoral Commission


recommendations, will the Prime Minister today give a commitment to


work with the Scottish government in advance of the referendum to


come up with this joint position? welcome the fact that the SNP have


accepted what the Electoral Commission found. They were worried


that it was a biased question. So it is good that they have accepted


that. Of course we will work with the Scottish government in


providing information, but we will not pre- negotiate Scotland's exit


from the UK. It is his party that wants to break up the UK, and it is


for his party to make the case. Would my right honourable friend


confirm that the 2 million plus surge in net immigration under the


last Labour government has resulted in severe housing shortages,


critical overstretch in our infrastructure and one household in


20 who don't speak English? Would he agree with me that it is in the


interests of all British citizens that we get a grip on our borders?


My honourable friend is right. If you take up the last decade, net


migration to the UK was running at over 200,000 a year, 2 million a


cross a decade. That is the equivalent of two cities the size


of Birmingham. It was too far and too high and the last government


bears a huge responsibility for not taking responsible decisions. We


are dealing with bogus colleges and bogus students, and the level of


net migration has come down by a quarter. We need to do more in


terms of making sure that while we welcome people who want to come


here and work from within the European Union, we take a tougher


approach to make sure people are not abusing our benefit system. The


immigration minister is working on this issue. Last week, the Prime


Minister described blacklisting as an unacceptable practice. Why is he


still blacklisting food banks by refusing to have the decency to


visit food banks to listen... To actually speed? The other side may


find it funny, but thousands of families don't. Will the Prime


Minister visits a food bank to actually speak to the people who


use them? Maybe we need to modernise the system so that if you


get a whip's question, you can get it on a tablet or an iPad so that


you can change it as Question Time proceeds. I look forward to having


those discussions with the people who operate food banks and those


who use them. Use of them grew ten times under the Labour government,


and instead of attacking them, we should praise the people who give


their time to work in these organisations. After a huge


community campaign, a hospital in Kendal was identified as the site


for a new radiotherapy unit. In order to deliver this vital service,


we need flexibility over the tariff for radiotherapy factions. Would


the Prime Minister meet me to see how we can achieve this?


honourable gentleman makes an important point about the tariff


and changes to the terror. I will arrange for him to meet with the


Health Secretary to discuss this. I know from visits to Cumbria how


important the hospital he mentions is to local people. This week's


announcement on the second phase of HS2 was welcomed in Manchester and


the whole of the north of England. But if this project is really going


to make an impact on the North- South divide, wouldn't it make


sense to have won a hybrid bill, and built north to south as well as


south to north? I am glad there is an all party welcomes for high-


speed rail. It is important that we get this done. The best way of


delivering the legislation, the leader of the house will come


forward with our plans at the appropriate time. I worry that if


you change the plans for building the bridge, you delay the overall


project. My concern is that it is going too slowly. Last week, Graham


goblin was convicted in cost of dangerous driving and causing the


death of my much-respected constituent, Paul stock, while


disqualified, and insured and speeding. Mr goblin has previous


convictions for driving without insurance and while disqualified.


He said he was not subject to the laws of our land. The current


maximum sentence for this crime is two years. My constituent's widow


believes it is time for Parliament to recognise the danger caused by a


serial disqualified drivers, and to increase the maximum sentence for


dangerous driving. Would my right honourable friend asked the Justice


Secretary to look urgently at both these issues? For a right


honourable friend can tell from the response around the house that this


concern is shared widely. And at around the country. The previous


government and this Government both worked to try and increase the


penalties associated with drivers who have ended up killing people


through their recklessness and carelessness. I will arrange for


him to meet with the Justice Secretary. It is important that we


give our courts a sense that when there are appalling crimes, they


can take exemplary action. That is important in a justice system.


the subject of food safety, can the Prime Minister confirm that traces


of stalking horse have been found in the Conservative party food


Somewhere in my briefing, I had some very complicated information


about the danger of particular drugs for horses entering the food


chain. He threw me completely with that ingenious pivot! The


Conservative Party has always stood for people who want to work hard


and get on. I am glad or that all of those behind me take that


seriously. As my right honourable friend sets forth on his specific


mission to Algeria, will he, with his great historical knowledge,


bear in mind that when Philippe sent his eldest son to a Algeria in


the 1840s Mac, on a similar venture, it took a century, massive


casualties, the overthrow of the Third Republic and the genius of


General de Gaulle to get the French army back out of the North African


desert? Order! I think we want to hear the


Prime Minister's answer to this question. I can reassure my right


honourable friend, I am only planning to visit Algiers rather


than anything else, but I am sure the events to which he referred, if


he had put that in an urgent question, he would have got a


Last week, the Prime Minister said he was paying down Britain's debt,


but on his watch, it will go up by �600 billion. Will he take the


opportunity to correct the record? We have got the deficit down by a


quarter. To get on top of your debts, you have to get on top of


the deficit. That is stage one. But it is worth reminding ourselves why


we are having to do this in the first place. Who was it who racked


up the debts? Who racked up the deficit? Who gave us the biggest


deficit of any country virtually anywhere in the world? It was the


Government he supported. If the Prime Minister agrees that a


shortage of engineering skills is one of the greatest avoidable


threats to our prosperity and security and that the participation


rate of women in engineering is scandalously low, will he


encouraged his colleagues to look favourably on my bill to inspire


young people to take on the challenging and well-paid careers


in engineering, whether it is graduates or apprentices? I will


certainly look carefully at the bill that my honourable friend puts


forward. In the recent UCAS data released today, an encouraging sign


is that the number of people studying engineering and computer


science has gone up radically as an early sign that the steps that have


been taken over recent years by governments of all parties to try


and raise the status of engineering are beginning to have an effect.


His government has just introduced two new taxes which will cost


people wanting to build their own home between 25 and �35,000 per


family. Why is he choosing to put a block on the aspirations of young


people who want to build their own home? Were we are encouraging


people to build their own home and buy their own home, not least by


the reform of the planning system that has seen the planning guidance


go from 1000 pages to 50 pages. That is why we also encourage the


right to buy. If honourable member has opposite one to help, they


might want to talk to the Labour authorities that continually


blocked people from buying their council housing association homes.


Would my right honourable friend wish to congratulate and


engineering company in my constituency, who have taken


advantage of the capital allowances announced in the autumn statement


and purchased a �1.3 million machine that will create six new


jobs and a number of components for Jaguar cars that was destined for


the forest? I certainly don't my friend bhangra in welcoming that


investment. The campaign he has launched in Burnley did have an


effect in bringing forward these proposals on capital allowances. It


is clear that a lot of businesses do have money locked up in their


balance sheets that we want to see invested, and these allowances are


good way of encouraging businesses to bring forward that sort of


investment. David Bresnan is severely disabled and has a medical


need for an extra room in his home. Why is the Government he leads


taking �776 a year away from him in order to pay for a tax cut for the


richest? We put in place a �13 million discretionary fund to help


in particular cases like the one he raises. But we have an overall


situation where the housing benefit budget is �23 billion. That is only


�10 billion less than their entire defence budget. It is not good


enough for members opposite to oppose welfare cut after welfare


cut to propose welfare spend after welfare spend while they realise


that we are dealing with the mess they left. Does the Prime Minister


agree that when the leader of the opposition talks about the economy,


he sounds just like a Victorian undertaker looking forward to a


hard winter? And does he not accept that you cannot get out of a debt


crisis by borrowing more money? honourable friend makes a good


point. The economy we inherited was completely unbalanced. It was based


on housing, finance, government spending and immigration. Those


were four incredibly unstable pillars for sustained economic


growth. We have had to do a major recovery operation. It is still


under way, but you can see, in the new jobs created, in the private


sector businesses expanding, that we are making progress. George


Galloway. Following yesterday's announcement, will the Prime


Minister Adam bright for the house the key differences between the


hand chopping, throat-cutting jihadists fighting the dictatorship


in Mali that we are now to help to kill, and the equally bloodthirsty


jihadists that we are giving money, material, political and diplomatic


support to in Syria? Has the Prime Minister read Franken stein, and


did he read it to the end? Well, some things come and go, but one


thing is certain - wherever there is a brutal Arab dictator in the


world, he will have the support of the honourable gentleman! Order!


Last but not least, Craig Whittaker. We can definitely do without them.


Will the Prime Minister tell the House whether he will be taking


seriously the Liberal Democrat ministers who are queueing up today


to resign their posts after voting against the Government in last


night's vote? Clearly there is a profound disagreement about this


issue. I would say to everyone in the House of Commons who voted for


a nova sized house of Commons and unequal constituency boundaries


that are both costly and unfair, they will have to justify that to


That has dominated by the usual meat and drink of the economy,


growth, the deficit and so on, between Mr Miliband and Mr Cameron.


We did not predict they would do that, we were too busy talking


about his stalking horse to the Tory leadership. The Prime Minister


was teased about that particular stalking horse. Not the most


interesting of PMQs. Harriet Harman, sitting beside the leader of the


opposition, started tweeting about a campaign she is on to try to save


a hospital. If they didn't find it boring, how did you?


They didn't say so if they did. It was all on the economy. Clare says


I don't think one single Miliband question was answered. David


Cameron might not realise but as soon as he gets on to the banging


on about Labour's thoughts, people stop listening. The Tories have


trashed the recovery, the debt and the deficit, and I know they are


rising, unlike David Cameron. One viewer said it was the


strongest performance from Ed Miliband on the economy for a while,


but another said that Miliband chose the wrong theme, his


questions were labelled and his attempt to embarrass the Chancellor


was ill-timed and badly executed. Es has lots of easy targets, the


Lib Dem ministers, the economy in triple dip recession, yet he seems


unable are finding a short, sharp punchline. If he can't do well now


he will never be any use in the job. And this one to finish off with,


love to go up -- love to James Landale, Wenders's Nick Robinson


retire?! That was from Mrs Landale! Let's come back to this stalking


horse. All this stuff has been in the paper about Adam a free day, is


he behind that or rather people behind him behind that?


understanding is that the chain of events was that it emerged somehow,


we don't know precisely how, and wants a bit of it emerged then his


camp, if I can call them that, a handful of MPs made a tactical


decision that if it was going public it might as well be fully


cocked, not half-cocked. They got some details about the approach


they might take. That is how it got out. Whether it is the right


strategy I will leave to others to judge. To be honest, I didn't take


it seriously even though it was in three Sunday papers, and yet I have


read an excellent newsletter, I am sure we all read it, he has


appointed a PR person, a press officer...? I know that one


journalist has been approached in the past to see if they can help


write some speeches and things? What we are talking about his after


2015, we are not talking about any pre-emptive strike, it is about


what will happen afterwards. He is the MP for Windsor, Wright, a self-


made businessman, he has been very successful, he entered Parliament


in 2005, he has been there for a while, but some people say he has


disappeared without trace, he has not made much impact? There are


many, many Conservative MPs who agree entirely with that, they


think the idea is ludicrous. Your microphone has gone off, I am told.


It has fallen off. Many people said he has disappeared without trace,


he has not made an impact in Parliament that he was expected to?


Most care that it -- Conservative MPs would agree, they found the


idea of him potentially being leader ludicrous, but they did not


to find a ludicrous that next time around it should be an


establishment shoo-in, there should be a candidate from the backbenches.


My guess is that there will be a very large field, next time around,


of many people, some of them more plausible than others. What do you


make of this? It is very strange. I think the Taiwanese animation we


saw is the level of seriousness that it deserves. The Prime


Minister out polls the Conservative Party, he is very popular, he is


demonstrating clear leadership on issues like defence and foreign


party, he will lead the party into the election which every


Conservative MP should be focused on winning, getting a majority


Conservative government. I am confident he will be Prime Minister


of a majority Conservative government in 2015. The famine was


making his big pitch with the European intervention last week and


you must be absolutely furious. He was putting a brave face on it


today, but his whole weekend was ringed with this potential


leadership coming out into the open. People will think this is a turning


point. It is people talking about the Prime Minister's weakness and


vulnerability. People will now think there is no smoke without


fire when it comes to division and weakness and... Are you in any


doubt, really, that Mr Cameron will lead the Conservatives into the


next election? I suspect you will, but it does him no favours to have


these much more Alban... It used to be the case that stalking horses


were few and far between, to have this so soon and out in the Open is


unprecedented. The counter conspiracy theory is that when you


are in a position of strength, you have given a big speech on Europe,


you have more command, that is the moment that you start naming people


who might be presumptuous enough to think they might replace you.


We will leave it there in case those stalking horses end up in


Tesco burgers! Allegedly. Is it just allegedly?! My legal adviser


will deal with all inquiries. In recent weeks, videos have appeared


on the internet showing people in the London borough of Tower Hamlets


being subjected to abuse and told they should get out of a Muslim


area. The actions of these so- called patrols has been widely


condemned by the local Muslim community. For our soapbox this


week, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has been out on the


streets of Whitechapel. His report begins with language that may


offend some viewers. You are walking through a Muslim


area dress like a fag, mate. You need to get out of here. The words


of a tiny band of self proclaimed Muslim vigilantes in East London.


They allegedly seek to enforce Sharia law by harassing men who


seem to be gay... This is a Muslim area. Women deemed to be dressed


immodestly and people seen drinking alcohol. No alcohol is allowed.


main victims of these bullies were local Muslims.


These so-called patrols took place in these streets, where diverse


communities, for the most part, co- exist without trouble. The


condemnation from the Muslim community has been swift and


commendable. In one sermon delivered in East London Mosque,


the vigilantes were denounced as complete bigots who had contravened


rather than enforced Islamic law. There has also been criticism from


the Muslim Council of Britain. Now the challenge to Muslim


organisations is to show their commitment to equality by closing


their draws to homophobic hate preachers and by supporting an end


to the ban on same-sex marriage. Most Muslim people do not seek to


impose their personal beliefs on others. While they may not approve


of homosexuality or gay marriage, equally, they do not approve of


homophobia, nor do they believe the law should discriminate against gay


people. For them, discrimination is not a Muslim value.


Although homophobia and Islamaphobia are different, the gay


and Muslim communities share a parallel experience of prejudice,


discrimination and hate crime. Victimisation of Muslim people is


wrong, so, too, is the victimisation of gay people. We


have a common interest in working together to create a more tolerant


and just society. Equality for all, hatred of Phnom. -- hatred of none.


Peter Tatchell joins us in the studio, along with the Faith and


Communities Minister Baroness Warsi. Is it right to say that women --


that Muslims are more commonly the victims rather than perpetrators of


harassment? Yes, and these vigilantes are predominantly


tackling fellow Muslims, we should stand against these bullies.


there any truth in the suggestion that there is a wider issue of


homophobia and, perhaps, even sexism among British Muslims?


think I must congratulate the organisations who came out and


condemned this. It is pleasing and heartening for me to see so many


organisations come out and condemn this so clearly. But what was said


at the end of Peter's video, this is an issue which both communities


have to face together. I have said on many occasions is the strength


is when a white person says racism is wrong, a straight person says


homophobia is wrong, and when a non-Muslim person says Islamaphobia


is wrong. But what about homophobia? Do you think it is a


bigger problem, perhaps, for British Muslims than in the wider


community? There is a challenge with a lots of these communities


about how we'd discuss the issue of homosexuality. -- with a lot of


these communities. Personal religious belief has to be


separated from discrimination, homophobia and the law of the land.


The more we can make that argument that of course, people of faith can


have a fake position on how they view homosexuality or


heterosexuality, they must openly condemn homophobia. What is your


anecdotal experience you have heard in terms of attitudes within the


British Muslim community towards things like when they are talking


about homophobia and sexism? Muslim community is not uniquely


homophobic or sexist, there are some in that community like all


others. Some polls indicate there may be high levels of homophobia


and sexism in some sections of the Muslim community, but not all, by a


long shot. I find disappointing that the Muslim Council of Britain


in 2008, after many years of dialogue I had with them, agreed


that from that moment onwards they would not support discriminates to


off. They could not approve of homosexuality but they would not


support laws discriminating against gay people, yet the day they are


working with Christian fundamentalists to oppose equal


civil marriage. I am really sorry that they have taken that stands. I


accept their right to disagree with gay marriage, but as Baroness Warsi


said I don't think it is right to Peter is right that many faith


communities have concerns about the position the Government is taking,


and it is right for us to have a dialogue. I have said openly that


providing we have the right safeguards in place so that no


faith institution will be forced to conduct same-sex married within


their religious institutions, they the positions or faith communities


can then move forward and say, we have a theological position, but we


have a position in terms of the law of the land. The two have to be


separated. Moving on to the gangs that were shown in those films,


what needs to be done? Firstly, the community itself has to condemn


this. I was delighted from the outset that local mosques and


community groups condemned it. They are appalling. If you watch the


YouTube clips of them, late at night, in the dark, approaching a


woman, criticising her dress, criticising alcohol, we have a


police force and a set of laws in this country. They are the same for


everybody. We do not need vigilantes on our streets behaving


in that way. It is right that the police have made arrests. They need


to be made an example of. One of the concerns from the Quilliam


Foundation think-tank, they have said they fear that these incidents


could increase. Do you agree? don't think these incidents are


isolated. I have had reports over many years that in parts of east


London, local Muslims have been harassed by fundamentalist Muslims


within their own community, trying to enforce strict dress codes, bans


on alcohol and severe harassment of men and women either known to be


gay or perceived to be gay. That has been going on for a long time


and I don't think sufficient action has been taken. But I am delighted


that a representative of the Muslim Council of Britain has condemned


this particular patrol. Do you think this is a sign of things to


come? I don't agree. I think the picture painted is quite


sensationalist. I agree with what Peter has said, that there are


pockets of people - I faced it in Luton - I turned up and they told


me I should have been dressed with my face covered. There are usually


about half a dozen egotistical, attention-seeking no jobs, the only


way to describe them, who will come together. But they represent nobody.


But it is threatening. That is why it has to be challenged. The police


have to be educated to make sure they deal with this. One of the


biggest criticisms until now has been that the community does not


come out and say, not in my name. With this incident - I think the


police can do more, when I was egg in Luton and threatened by these


individuals, officers came up to me and said, you do realise they have


a right to protest? And I said, that is fine, but I have just been


harassed and bullied by a set of idiots and I would like more


response done that! From my experience, I have been attacked in


east London on three occasions by people will have professed to be


Islamic fundamentalists who have used quotes from the Koran to


physically assault me and abuse me because I am gay. I am not


suggesting that is a widespread view, but I have had personal


experience of it and I know many other day people, particularly gay


Muslims in east London, who are terrified of being discovered by


these extremists. And when I went to East London last year to support


the Muslim community against the EDL, I was physically threatened by


a small group of fanatics. Thankfully, some Muslims Kate to my


defence. So it is not a universally bleak picture. Have a will you vote


on gay marriage? Providing I can get the legal safeguards which I


have been speaking to Maria Miller about and providing the faith


communities on the right page, I will be voting for gay marriage.


Now to immigration. If you are watching this programme in Bulgaria


and Romania, and we know many of you do, the immigration minister


here, Mark Harper, is keen to point out that the streets of Britain are


not paved with gold, contrary to popular opinion. According to


reports earlier this week, the Government is so worried about a


possible influx of migrants from the two countries that it is


considering a negative advertising campaign in an effort to keep


people away. Surely not? Welcome to Great Britain. Home to


great weather. Great shopping. And you are guaranteed a great


welcome. Britain - sure you wouldn't rather go to France?


Well, if that doesn't put you off coming, nothing will. Is it true


that you are going to make adverts to deter the Bulgarians and


Romanians from coming to Britain? would not believe everything you


read in the papers. What we are actually up to is what the Prime


Minister talked about at Prime Minister's Questions. I am chairing


a committee of ministers across government to look at what people


who come to this country, both those who come legally and


illegally, how easy it is to access public services and make sure we


are not seen as a soft touch. That does not just apply to Romania and


Bulgaria, it applies to everyone. Are you considering devising ways


of deterring Romanians and Bulgarians from coming here?


not in the way that was characterised in that video. If


people from Bulgaria and Romania come here and work and contribute,


we don't want people coming to this country who just use it to claim


benefits and live off the state. But before I come on to that, are


you considering devising ways of deterring them from coming in the


first place? We want to make sure people have an accurate view of


what the deal is here. It is not a soft touch for benefits. So you


are? We will not do stuff like that. Will you take out ads in Bulgaria


and Romania? Were have not even thought about it. But you might?


are doing the serious work of looking what our rules are for


access to public services, benefits. We have started at work. I have no


specific announcements to give you today on your programme. I will


announce it in Parliament first. But we are doing serious work.


have not quite answered what I was asking, but let me move on. If a


Romanian or Bulgarian comes to this country to work, whether they get


worker or not is another matter, but they come to live here - do


they have automatic access to the NHS? At the moment, if somebody


comes here to work, they can access the health service on the same


basis as someone who lives here. We are considering whether that is


right. Under the European rules, if you come here, you are not supposed


to be a burden on our health service. The NHS is a national


service, not a national one. So we are looking to see if we have


sufficient protections in place. Her but as things stand, if they


come, they can access the NHS on the same basis as you all right?


For if you come here to work and you pay National Insurance


contributions, you have access to the NHS. If they get a job when


they come here, but it is quite a low-paid job, as they tend to be,


as they take jobs we don't like doing or minimum-wage jobs, are


they entitled to in-work benefits from the get go? He depends. If


they are in work and paying National Insurance contributions,


they will become eligible for contributory benefits. A will they


become eligible for working tax credit? Will they get child


benefit? That depends whether you have a National Insurance


contribution record. If you do, yes, you are entitled to it. We are


looking at not just what our rules are, which are quite tough, it is


looking at what our rules are compared to why European neighbours


to make sure that if someone is making a choice about where they


come and what they get from the state, we want to make sure we are


not the easiest country. Sam is like there are a lot of reasons for


coming. You asked an interesting question interviewing Eric Pickles


a few weeks ago about what the numbers will be. I suspect that the


Government have actually got a projection. They always estimate


when these transitional controls come out. And yet we need freedom


of information questions to find out what they are. So can I


respectfully ask, what is the figure? I have been very


straightforward. The government is not in the business of making


speculative forecasts. You were. You can do a Freedom of Information


request. Eric Pickles said he had a figure, but he did not believe it.


But you should project what the impact will be. Our independent


advisory committee looked at this and said trying to come up with a


forecast is not sensible. There are so many variables. But they got it


right. Labour got it wrong. We have run out of time. In guess the year,


what was the year? 1985. Richard Waddington from Romania... No,


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