07/02/2013 Daily Politics


07/02/2013

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn present the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics. A Government U-turn

:00:45.:00:51.

on education, Michael Gove decide and not to abandon GCSEs after all.

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But he does plan to beat them up. He made a lengthy statement in the

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Commons this morning. We will bring you the latest.

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Do not come here it is damp, cold and miserable. Ministers have been

:01:05.:01:10.

trying to discourage Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants coming to

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Britain. Are they waiting an aggressive, negative campaign? I

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will be asking the formal Bulgarian prime minister.

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The British prime minister joins other EU ministers in Brussels this

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afternoon. He says he will fight for a real freeze in the US -- EU

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budget. And the political book of the Year

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award is going to be announced. We will bring the winner into the

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street year. It is a busy day today. With us for

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the duration is Leanne Wood, the leader of Plaid Cymru, the party of

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Wales. It is the first time we have had tea in the studio. It is, yes.

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Welcome. First, the perils of live radio phone-ins. Nick Clegg was

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doing his regular weekly phone-in on the London radio station LBC

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went a certain chap called Boris from Islington came on the line.

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Listen to this. A caller from Islington. Hello, Nick, it is Boris

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from Islington. When are you going to get all those Government

:02:27.:02:31.

ministers out of their posh limousines on to public transport

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like anybody else? How can you expect a Government to boat for

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increases in infrastructure spending when they sit in their

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chauffeur-driven limousines paid for by the taxpayer rather than

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getting on public transport? Nick, get them out of their limousines.

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Boris, over and out. Nick Clegg realised who it was instantly. He

:03:01.:03:11.
:03:11.:03:12.

is not on the line? That is a pity. Boris, if you are listening, I

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think we have cut the amount of tax pear money which is used to pay for

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the cars for ministers. It is about 70%, we have massively slashed it

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and changed it. You may wonder what the connection with Wales is. We

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have discovered the Welsh Secretary used his ministerial car to travel

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110 yards from the Welsh Office to Downing Street. What do you think

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of that? Most people will have difficulty understanding the

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rationale for it. Maybe it was raining. What is wrong with an

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umbrella? Maybe it was windy. so many people are struggling to

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make ends meet with the austerity measures that have been meted out,

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and there is an increasing number of people accessing food banks, it

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is difficult to understand why politicians would have perks like

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this. That is on top of the scandals that we have seen. You do

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not think senior ministers, the Foreign Secretary, the Chancellor,

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should not have ministerial cars? There may be an argument having a

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driver to go to certain meetings, but for 100 yards? 100 yards, to

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John Prescott got into trouble for that. He said his wife had just had

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her hair done! But if you have got sensitive papers, the point of a

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car for a minister it is not only is it quite secure, but you can

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carry on working at making phone calls. Everybody else who goes to

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work daily is working on the train or maybe has papers that are

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confidential. Everybody else can manage. There is no country in the

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world that does not give its ministers a chauffeur-driven car.

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think Sweden. Politicians are expected to use public transport in

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Sweden. The Prime Minister in the television series has a car. Does

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she not cycle? Do Welsh ministers get cars? Yes, there are a fleet of

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cars in the National Assembly for Wales. That is one of the things we

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should be considering whether or not a fleet of cars is in the best

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and public interest. But the money saved would be peanuts. They would

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all use minicabs. It would be even more expensive. You could say

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peanuts would be saved, but lots of peanuts makes up quite a big pot of

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money potentially. The Education Secretary is making a statement to

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the Commons on that you turn. He was going to scrap GCSEs and now he

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is not. We were watching that statement earlier and we will bring

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you a bit of it later in the programme. But we have our own

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political exam for you. It is the Daily Politics quiz. Yesterday a

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new hereditary peer, Viscount Ridley, was elected to the House of

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Lords. You might think it is a contradiction that hereditary

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members are elected, but they are and it does not seem to bother them.

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There were no fewer than 27 candidates for a one vacancy.

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Viscount Ridley also holds another hereditary title which he shares

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with the name of a cheese. But which cheese? Is he Barron

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:07:05.:07:05.

Wensleydale, Lord Yarg, Earl cheddar, or the Mikey of Lymeswold.

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At the end, Leanne Wood will give us the correct answer. Or she will

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have a guess. How is your Polish? Mine is fluent. Last week Polish

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was the main language spoken in England after English according to

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the 2011 census, but when the next census happens might we all be

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speaking Romanian all Bulgarian? Temporary measures imposed in 2005

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to protect the British labour market expire in December and they

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cannot be extended. This means people from those countries will be

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allowed to come to the UK to work and lives and will have the same

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rights as others from the European Union. The last time this happened

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was in 2004. The Labour Government did not make any transitional

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arrangements and it grossly underestimated the number of Polish

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people and Eastern Europeans coming to the UK went eight European

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countries joined the EU. This Government is said to be

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considering a negative poster campaign to stop people from coming

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and to correct the impression that Britain's streets are paved with

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gold. The communities and local Government secretary, Eric Pickles,

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told me of an influx of Romanians and Bulgarians which would add to

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existing housing problems, but he refused to give me an estimate of

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the numbers of people he might move to the UK. That is not something I

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think would be helpful in terms of offering numbers just yet. Why not?

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You would have to have a degree of confidence in terms of the numbers

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before publicly stating them. Harper is the Conservative

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Immigration Minister and he is chairing a committee on the issue

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and said restrictions could be imposed on access to the NHS and

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some benefit payments. But the Bulgarians have hit back with their

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own poster campaign. They have hit back with their own campaign and it

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ends up saying why do you not come and live here? Good question. We

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are joined in the studio by Conservative MP Mark Reckless who

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sits on the Home Affairs Select Committee. First, let's speak to

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Sergei Stanishev, the former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, now the

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leader of the European Socialists in the European Parliament. Welcome

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to the Daily Politics. What do you make of the British Government's

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attitude to your country and to Romania? Good day to you. First of

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all, I can tell you that the weather currently here is not much

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better than the United Kingdom. This argument about the weather is

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not very strong indeed. But take it for British humour. The important

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thing is to stick to the facts and figures. According to the British

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statistics, the official statistics, in 2010, there have been 35,000

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Bulgarians living in the UK altogether. This cannot create any

:10:29.:10:34.

real problem to the labour market or to the social security system

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because according to the same figures there have been 600

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unemployed Bulgarian citizens in the United Kingdom. It is really a

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drop in the ocean. Most of the Bulgarians have go and study

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because the overall number of students is more than 5000 students,

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Bulgarian and Romanian together, and they are bringing more than 30

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million euros in taxes and living expenses to the UK economy. I

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remember when Bulgaria was joining the European Union in 2007, there

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were the same fears and scary tales in the UK media. Then I issued the

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media that they would have no problems. This came to be true.

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I just interrupt you, but the scary tales are coming from the

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Government rather than the media. Our estimate we have been given is

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that there are 130,000 Romanians and Bulgarians immigrants already

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in the UK. Do you have any idea went all the border controls

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comedown how many Bulgarians and Romanians will come to Britain?

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is mostly a risk when the Government is taking such positions.

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I would like to remind you according to EU law, which has to

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be respected by every country including the United Kingdom,

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restrictions should be lifted. This was said by the spokesperson of the

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European Commission on this issue. This is fair because we all give

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something to the European Union, we all benefit from this and I can

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assure you, I am absolutely confident there will be no influx

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of Bulgarian emigrants to the UK. That is fine, but what is the

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answer to my question? I asked you how many do you believe it will

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come? I cannot say. It is up to the institutions, but I do remember the

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same scare existed for many years ago and it did not happen. I

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mention to you the number of Bulgarians who currently lead in

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the United Kingdom. I understand that. We learned to date in the

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newspapers that Britain is now the biggest magnet of all in Europe for

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immigrants from all over. We have overtaken Germany and Spain. More

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people now come to this country as immigrants that any other country

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in the European Union. If you cannot give me a number, is it not

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reasonable to assume that Bulgarians and Romanians will be no

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different? They will like the look of Britain and they will want to

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come? I am one of those Bulgarians who used to live in the UK as a

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student. I studied at the LSE. I am back in Bulgaria and many young

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Bulgarians have more prospects and chances not only in Bulgaria, but

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in many other European countries. I think it is not a matter of

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domestic scary policy. I would like to relate it to another European

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debate which is ongoing in the United Kingdom in a very strange

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way. Currently those politicians and leaders who insist in further

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reducing the European budget are actually calling for a more at

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immigrants to come to the UK or other countries because when you

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reduce the funds for development and confusion, for Social Security

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in the new member countries, in the less developed countries of the

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European Union, then you are asking them to come to your country.

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have to leave you there and thank you for joining us from Bulgaria.

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It is good to see you, come back and speak to us again. Let me bring

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in Mark Reckless in the studio. Should the British Government

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really be going to Bulgaria and Romania and saying, do not come

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here, we are a horrible place? not sure we should be having a

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negative advertising campaign. would you want to run down your own

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country? Indeed, but the background to this is the Labour Government

:15:00.:15:10.
:15:10.:15:17.

said 13,000 would come, but vast I remember it well, we covered it

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on the Daily Politics. They got the calculation of how many would come

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totally wrong. I accept all of that but your Government's response now

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is to give us no estimate of how many Romanians and Bulgarians,

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agreed? The Government's concerned if it does give an estimate, if

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it's too high it will be used of scare-mongering, if it's too low it

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will be be come phrasency. Do you think they have a secret estimate

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that they are working on, they're just not telling us? I wouldn't ask

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the Government to do the impossible. There is an interaction between our

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membership of the EU, not having border controls, anyone being able

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to come to this country and having a welfare system where people don't

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understand it, where people who haven't contributed to our system

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can come and immediately start gaining benefits. That's the

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problem. I want to come on to that, for the moment I want to deal -

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because it's an important issue, I want to stick with the overall

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issue at the moment. Migration Watch, which is a private thinktank,

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it says it expects about 50,000 people from Romania to come each

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year and Bulgaria until 2019. Does that sound reasonable to you?

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Migration Watch are a respected institution. I understand. I take

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their estimate very seriously. I don't know because other labour

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markets are opening at the same time. I am not sure - I just what's

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difficult to estimate, Denmark and Ireland have a similar system in

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terms of welfare benefits, but how much the ability to very quickly

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gain in work benefits when you are getting an income which is pretty

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high compared to Romania and Bulgaria, I don't know what impact

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that's going to have. Given the Poles and other east Europeans came

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in numbers not predicted, I know you thought the Government was

:17:20.:17:24.

wrong but not sure you knew there would be so so many, what damage

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did it do this country? I think it's made people feel we don't have

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control of our borders. But what damage, that may be true but that's

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part of being a member of the European Union. We have free

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movement of labour. And of capital. What damage did it do to have all

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these hard-working, motivated, in many cases well-educated people,

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come to this country? In particular areas where that movement of people

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has been concentrated, it's put a lot of pressure on public services

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and I also think that people at the lower end of our labour market who

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are often competing with new people coming in, they may well have seen

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wages depressed bay degree and -- by a degree and other people have

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been prepared to take those jobs. said Wye come back to the matter of

:18:15.:18:21.

welfare. Do you think that those who come here, that both welfare

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benefits and NHS treatment should not be available to them? In terms

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of welfare benefits, one change I really think we should make is we

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should stop paying child benefit to children who are not resident in

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this country. I think that's very, very important. Is that it, would

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you make more changes? The other issue in terms of benefits, we have

:18:41.:18:46.

tax credits where people in low or middling paid jobs, on a non-

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contributory basis get that tax credit. Romanians and Bulgarians

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are likely to get that too, probably against EU law not to do

:18:59.:19:07.

that. People will been given benefits particularly if they have

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children, that's a real problem about how our system interacts with

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membership of the EU. What do you make of this? Costs and benefits to

:19:15.:19:19.

the free movement of people, people from the UK move to other countries

:19:19.:19:24.

and get the benefits from those countries, too. I think the point

:19:24.:19:28.

about workers at the lower end of the pharget having their -- market

:19:28.:19:31.

having their wages depressed is a good point but that could be

:19:31.:19:35.

overcome by social protections for all workers across the board to

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protect those wages. What does that mean? By ensuring a decent standard

:19:38.:19:44.

of living in terms of wages so that terms and conditions can't be

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undercut, strong trade unions, as well. Doesn't sound like you are

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going to get many changes. That might make it even more expensive

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to give benefits, but we could have changes. If people want to take

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back control of our immigration system, then in 2015 if they vote

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for a Conservative Government they will get a referendum to choose

:20:05.:20:08.

whether they stay part of it. are you going to vote in that?

:20:08.:20:12.

would be very - I wish the Prime Minister well in trying to get

:20:12.:20:17.

powers back. I think it's likely I would be on the side campaigning to

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come out but I also... You will vote no probably? The Prime

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Minister's right to try and get... I get that. I wanted a yes or no.

:20:25.:20:31.

We should be an independent country. Thank you.

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Immigration isn't the only talking point in Europe this week. EU

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leaders arrive in Brussels this afternoon to try to carve out a

:20:39.:20:42.

deal on the EU Budget. They've been talking about that at the European

:20:42.:20:47.

Parliament in Strasbourg, too, where are very own Jo Co is.

:20:47.:20:52.

Here I am again in Strasbourg. The European Parliament as of now backs

:20:52.:20:59.

the Commission's proposal for a 5% increase in the long-term budget,

:20:59.:21:04.

something called the MFF from 2014 but within the European Parliament

:21:04.:21:08.

not all MEPs agree with that line. I have three MEPs here to discuss

:21:08.:21:18.
:21:18.:21:25.

that with me. Welcome to all of you. Let me come

:21:25.:21:30.

to you, first of all. Why should there be an increase in the budget

:21:30.:21:37.

for the EU when everyone across Europe is suffering economically?

:21:37.:21:42.

Because the EU budget is 95% investment budget and in these days

:21:42.:21:48.

of economic crisis we need growth and jobs and the only way to do it

:21:48.:21:58.

is to have investing possibilities and the European budget is 95%,

:21:58.:22:03.

there is no EU member states budget like this for investment, which is

:22:03.:22:07.

used for growth and jobs. People might say you would say that, your

:22:07.:22:14.

country is a big recipient of money. No. These MEPs from Britain, of

:22:14.:22:18.

course, are big contributors. What do you say to Derek and Marta who

:22:18.:22:26.

are calling for the overall budget to be brought down? We are

:22:26.:22:33.

recipient, but you have to think that - invest in one corner of

:22:33.:22:40.

Europe, of EU is bringing benefits also in other corner. So you cannot

:22:40.:22:46.

say that in Romania if you work on European money is only Romania is

:22:46.:22:51.

the beneficiary, it's also all - there are also other companies

:22:51.:22:54.

working in Romania. What do you say to that? Does David Cameron

:22:54.:22:58.

actually have any real chance of getting an agreement that reduces

:22:58.:23:05.

the overall budget? Well, I think we need to think that the past

:23:05.:23:13.

seven years were supposed to have turned the European Union in a very

:23:13.:23:17.

competitive market, state of the art in innovation and energy and

:23:17.:23:23.

what has happened, all this money that taxpayers in the European

:23:23.:23:27.

Union put into this budget have not actually produced the results that

:23:27.:23:32.

were expected. Is David Cameron going to achieve his aim? I think

:23:32.:23:37.

he should achieve the aim of reducing the budget because there

:23:37.:23:43.

is no justification to increase it. We have not achieved the aims, who

:23:43.:23:47.

can guarantee we are going to achieve the aims for the future,

:23:47.:23:51.

even if we get more money? Where is the support going to come from for

:23:51.:23:56.

David Cameron's position? Labour called for a real terms cut and yet

:23:56.:24:02.

you agree with Mr Marinescu that we need money for growth? There's

:24:02.:24:07.

going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors at this summit, they may

:24:07.:24:11.

well reduce the budget. But first of all, we don't know where it's

:24:11.:24:15.

going to be a real terms freeze or cut. Second thing I would say is

:24:15.:24:19.

this is a missed opportunity. We have a one in seven-year chance

:24:19.:24:22.

here to reform the EU budget. We should be looking at savings, but

:24:22.:24:26.

also we should be looking to invest more money in things which promote

:24:26.:24:30.

jobs and growth so the regional funds, infrastructure, youth

:24:30.:24:33.

guarantee scheme, research and development. Where would you cut

:24:33.:24:38.

then, in order to bring the budget down? The question to answer to Mr

:24:38.:24:48.
:24:48.:24:51.

Cameron, you want 200... The common agricultural policy. That That

:24:51.:24:56.

doesn't seem to be on the table. There's opportunities to make

:24:56.:25:02.

savings in the budget, for example, a billion euros a year going export

:25:02.:25:06.

subsidies, like for tobacco and alcohol, let's cut those. There's

:25:06.:25:10.

Strasbourg session here, every year it costs 180 million to come to

:25:10.:25:15.

Strasbourg. There are savings to be made. They should be making those.

:25:15.:25:22.

External action surveys that has provided no benefit in its years of

:25:22.:25:31.

existence. Baroness Ashton has not achieved anything and that costs.

:25:31.:25:35.

This is an opportunity to make savings in the member states

:25:35.:25:42.

because they reduce... It's not an opportunity... External services,

:25:42.:25:48.

because we can use the European ones if we want to have only one

:25:49.:25:55.

voice. This is not happening. Baroness Ashton responded to me

:25:55.:26:00.

individually that the external action service would not replace

:26:00.:26:03.

national embassies. Is this about member states fighting their

:26:03.:26:06.

corners and forgetting about the bigger picture? Absolutely. Some

:26:06.:26:16.

member states are going to fight for struck structural funds. They

:26:16.:26:19.

should have taken this opportunity. We should be putting more money

:26:19.:26:24.

into structural funds. Wales, is a net beneficiary of funds, we gain

:26:24.:26:27.

and in Wales most of the infrastructure projects, most of

:26:27.:26:30.

the training schemes, research and development is paid for by the EU

:26:30.:26:34.

and that's the type of thing you should be funding. About Angela

:26:34.:26:38.

Merkel back David Cameron in these negotiations? I think she should.

:26:38.:26:44.

Will she? I think she will because she needs the UK. That's the issue.

:26:44.:26:47.

The The European Union needs the United Kingdom, so she will, of

:26:47.:26:53.

course, back him. All right. The UK also needs EU, in my opinion.

:26:53.:26:56.

European Union needs the UK more than the UK needs the European

:26:56.:27:01.

Union. It would be the other way. We could have a longer discussion

:27:01.:27:06.

about this, thank you to all three. No doubt the discussions will go on

:27:06.:27:15.

and on. Thanks. And we'll stick with Europe and the

:27:15.:27:17.

in/out referendum promised by David Cameron after the next election.

:27:17.:27:20.

The Prime Minister's betting that the referendum will be popular with

:27:20.:27:23.

the British people but how will it go down in the devolved nations? We

:27:23.:27:26.

asked people in Cardiff whether they thought Wales should leave the

:27:26.:27:32.

If that happens, then we are becoming our own little - instead

:27:32.:27:37.

of being united as one it's going to be everybody going separate ways,

:27:37.:27:41.

wouldn't that make it worse off? Stay, I think. We received a number

:27:41.:27:44.

of funds to bring companies into Wales, our company being one of

:27:45.:27:51.

them. These more marginal areas away from the centre benefit from

:27:51.:27:54.

forms of regional aid which come from Europe, which the UK

:27:55.:27:58.

Government or the English Government doesn't care to hand out

:27:58.:28:01.

so often. If we were to have a referendum nationally and the UK

:28:01.:28:07.

were to vote to leave Europe what do you think Wales should do?

:28:07.:28:10.

on as Europe is responsible for most of the health and safety,

:28:10.:28:14.

without it we would be in a poor place. It's got to be what's right

:28:14.:28:19.

for Wales, not for England. cannot leave the European Union. We

:28:19.:28:23.

are united with England really. We are not a country in the European

:28:23.:28:28.

Union. That question doesn't arise really.

:28:28.:28:32.

Nice hat! And we're joined now by the Welsh

:28:32.:28:35.

Office Minister Stephen Crabbe and the leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne

:28:35.:28:38.

Wood, is still with us. Are the people of Wales less or

:28:38.:28:44.

more Eurosceptic than the English say? I think it's in Wales'

:28:44.:28:49.

national interest to remain within the EU. We as the people have said

:28:49.:28:52.

in the film, we benefit from structural funds. I know your

:28:52.:28:56.

position. I understand that. You would want to stay in. The people

:28:56.:29:00.

in general, are they more or less Eurosceptic? I would say less

:29:00.:29:06.

tprrbgs that film -- from that film you have shown as well. Our films

:29:06.:29:10.

are brilliant but they're not scientific. What do you think?

:29:10.:29:14.

Judging from my constituency, I can say there is increasing demands for

:29:14.:29:18.

reform of our relationship with Europe. The question your reporter

:29:18.:29:20.

wasn't asking was do people in Wales want to see our relationship

:29:20.:29:23.

change and reformed? I think if that question was asked would you

:29:23.:29:27.

find more people saying yes we want more value for money out of the

:29:27.:29:31.

European Union and less intrusion and less regulation. What do you

:29:31.:29:38.

say? But you want out, that's your party's position. The Prime

:29:38.:29:41.

Minister is clear, we think there are benefits of being in the

:29:41.:29:46.

European Union. But you have to recognise that there's a real

:29:46.:29:49.

appetite out there in parts of the UK for reforming our relationship

:29:49.:29:53.

with Europe, getting more value for money and that ties in with the

:29:53.:29:57.

budget debate this weekend but also in terms of intrusiveness of

:29:57.:30:07.
:30:07.:30:07.

regulation, businesses want change, too. If you get the - if you can

:30:07.:30:12.

repatriate some powers, the party's position, you would vote to stay in

:30:12.:30:15.

or if you don't get that, if the khoeuts is the status quo, or

:30:15.:30:25.
:30:25.:30:26.

leaving what would you do? That's a hypothetical question. Where are

:30:26.:30:31.

you on this? Is there enough time in Wales for certain powers - you

:30:31.:30:35.

are in favour of devolution, why not repatriate some powers to the

:30:35.:30:45.
:30:45.:30:54.

$:/STARTFEED. Of course we want to see reform. There are aspects of do

:30:54.:30:58.

you -- the European Union, and the weight of money involved. None of

:30:58.:31:02.

that is going to change. I was listening to the French ambassador

:31:02.:31:06.

this morning and one of the interviewers razed it and he just

:31:06.:31:11.

kicked it out of touch, saying that is impossible, Strasbourg is

:31:11.:31:15.

symbolic of the war generation of everything that Europe stands for.

:31:15.:31:20.

It is the peace city on the German border with France. It is never

:31:20.:31:24.

going to happen. This is the difficulty David Cameron has got.

:31:24.:31:29.

He is not going to get the changes he wants. This is why we should be

:31:29.:31:34.

backing the Prime Minister this weekend. He wants to get these

:31:34.:31:38.

European politicians to recognise the reality we are in. We cannot

:31:38.:31:44.

carry on spending more and more or. But you know how much Wales is

:31:45.:31:51.

benefiting. How many jobs would be lost in Wales where that budget to

:31:51.:31:57.

be cut? Thousands. Of Wales receives a lot of support from

:31:57.:32:00.

Europe and over the last 10 years has it helped really grow the

:32:00.:32:07.

economy of Wales? We have fallen further behind. We could be worse.

:32:07.:32:12.

But is there a real future for Wales if that future means it is

:32:12.:32:19.

continually dependent on subsidies from London or Brussels? No way. No,

:32:19.:32:24.

we cannot continue being subsidised, absolutely not, and that is why my

:32:24.:32:30.

party has said economy and jobs have to be the top priority. We

:32:30.:32:34.

want to be independent and depend upon ourselves. I know that is a

:32:34.:32:39.

long-term goal, but you are not like the SNP, you are not in favour

:32:40.:32:45.

of independence tomorrow or next year or the year after? There is

:32:45.:32:49.

the affordability question for us and in the interim we want the

:32:49.:32:53.

National Assembly for Wales to have powers over taxation and the powers

:32:53.:33:01.

to change the economy. It is more devolution. His Wales in decline?

:33:01.:33:06.

Over the last 10 years we have fallen behind. 20 years. But there

:33:07.:33:12.

is some light at the end of the tunnel. Why it is that light,

:33:12.:33:21.

spotting the incoming train? Unemployment is frozen. Youth

:33:21.:33:26.

employment continues to fall and we are putting in investment in rail

:33:26.:33:30.

services and transport infrastructure, broadband. There

:33:30.:33:34.

are 50,000 more people out of work now than before the recession

:33:34.:33:40.

started and there are 50,000 people who are under employed in Wales. We

:33:40.:33:46.

are far from problem-free. Final word. We need to be ambitious for

:33:46.:33:50.

growing our economy, not just to rely on a European subsidy. I would

:33:50.:33:56.

agree with that. I am not sure if the Scottish viewers have joined us

:33:56.:34:02.

yet. Not yet, they are late, they are getting later, but when they

:34:02.:34:07.

joined as they will be welcome. In fact, I have been told viewers in

:34:07.:34:11.

Scotland have joined us now. They were watching First Minister's

:34:11.:34:17.

Questions. Few have just missed our conversation about Wales, but we

:34:17.:34:21.

are moving on to a conversation about the Bank of England. Mervyn

:34:21.:34:26.

King is making way for his Canadian opposite number, Mark Carney, who

:34:26.:34:31.

is charging more than Mervyn King ever did, and he is getting a

:34:31.:34:38.

housing allowance of �250,000. That is not bad for a European bank.

:34:38.:34:46.

Last year he suggested a great target and has been taking

:34:46.:34:52.

questions from the Treasury committee. He was asked earlier

:34:52.:34:59.

about his comment of growth rather than inflation. The response to

:34:59.:35:04.

remarks that I made and what was read into that remarks that I main

:35:04.:35:11.

suggests an appetite, at least to me, for a proper debate about the

:35:11.:35:15.

monetary policy for England. I know the Chancellor said he welcomed

:35:15.:35:25.
:35:25.:35:27.

that debate there should be that debate, a relatively short debate,

:35:27.:35:31.

because I do not think that the uncertainty is think anybody's

:35:31.:35:38.

interest. That is the new governor of the Bank of England. He is

:35:38.:35:46.

Canadian. He might sound like an American to you. But you can tell

:35:46.:35:51.

the difference in their accents. Political commentator Max Kaiser is

:35:51.:35:59.

here. What do you make of the new governor? He is doing a job in

:35:59.:36:04.

starting to print money to pay a salary, which is going to be in the

:36:04.:36:09.

millions. But we have to pay for inflation in this country. The eels

:36:09.:36:13.

are moving up and this is the last thing they want to see and there is

:36:13.:36:19.

a problem with inflation in the UK. They say it is 2.7%, but when you

:36:19.:36:25.

add in the costs of food and energy, the scandal of horsemeat, that is

:36:25.:36:30.

an inflation story, substituting cheaper meat because there is an

:36:30.:36:36.

inflation problem and Mark Carney is going to exacerbate that problem.

:36:36.:36:42.

What is this story about milk? hear this anecdotally that there is

:36:42.:36:47.

a problem with watered-down milk and the horse meat story is a big

:36:47.:36:53.

story and that is an inflation story. You are substituting

:36:53.:36:59.

expensive meat with cheap meat. The real inflation in the UK is running

:36:59.:37:05.

at 7% or 8% for the person on the High Street. What do you make of

:37:05.:37:15.

his idea? I am not sure he is going to do it, but he has thought about

:37:15.:37:18.

replacing the 2% inflation target with an economic growth target.

:37:18.:37:23.

This is a lot of central bank trickery. They want to show that

:37:23.:37:27.

the overall GDP is bigger relative to debt and they will allow

:37:27.:37:32.

inflation to creep higher, said they can print higher GDP numbers,

:37:32.:37:40.

so there bond rating will hopefully remain at 888. Mark Carney is a

:37:40.:37:43.

servant of the banks and the banking establishment. The average

:37:43.:37:52.

person in the UK will have higher inflation. We know he is a big fan

:37:52.:37:57.

of the Daily Politics and when he what is this, give him one piece of

:37:57.:38:02.

advice. Tell him what he should do. The he should resign immediately

:38:02.:38:07.

and let markets set interest rates and get back to market capitalism.

:38:07.:38:14.

We do not want a central Politburo into straight Communist setting the

:38:14.:38:24.

interest rates. We will pass that a lot anyway. Let's move to the big

:38:24.:38:28.

story of the day as the Education Secretary Michael Gove is scrapping

:38:28.:38:35.

plans to replace some GCSE exams in England. It comes five months after

:38:35.:38:38.

he announced controversial proposals to introduce a tougher

:38:38.:38:41.

qualification, the English Baccalaureate certificate in

:38:41.:38:47.

English, maths and science in 2015. Labour is calling it a humiliating

:38:47.:38:52.

climbdown. In a statement this morning, this is what the Education

:38:52.:38:57.

Secretary had to save. Last September, which outlined plans for

:38:57.:39:02.

changes to GCSE is designed to address the dumbing-down and loss

:39:02.:39:07.

of rigour in those examinations. We have consulted and there is a

:39:07.:39:10.

consensus the system needs to change, but one of the proposals

:39:10.:39:15.

are put forward was a bridge too far. My idea that we end the

:39:15.:39:20.

competition between exam boards to offer GCSEs in court, academic

:39:20.:39:25.

qualifications and have just one, a new exam in each subject was one of

:39:25.:39:32.

reform to many at this time. The exam regulator, Ofqual, was clear.

:39:32.:39:36.

There were significant risks in trying to both strength and

:39:37.:39:40.

qualifications and to end competition in large parts of the

:39:40.:39:46.

exams market. I will not proceed with plans to have a single exam

:39:46.:39:52.

board offering a new examine each academic subject. Instead, we will

:39:52.:39:55.

concentrate on reforming existing GCSEs broadly along the lines we

:39:55.:40:00.

put forward in September. That was Michael Gove in the Commons not so

:40:00.:40:05.

long ago. We are joined by Kevin Gage, a former schools minister,

:40:05.:40:11.

and Kevin Brennan, who has just hot-footed it from the Commons. As

:40:11.:40:17.

I understand it, the Government line and is that we have backed

:40:17.:40:23.

down on wood into a Baccalaureate. But actually the substance of the

:40:23.:40:33.
:40:33.:40:34.

change, it is broadly the same. Is that what you are claiming? Sort of.

:40:34.:40:39.

There will no longer be one exam board for each subject. That has

:40:39.:40:43.

been dropped. That is when he said he listened and he said he was

:40:43.:40:47.

wrong to propose that. He listened to Ofqual and the select committee

:40:47.:40:52.

and teachers and unions. But the rigour and the demand to make sure

:40:52.:40:56.

our GCSE qualifications are on a par with the rest in the world,

:40:56.:41:01.

that they are examined at the end of the cause in most subjects, that

:41:01.:41:06.

modules are abandoned, that we get rid of this resit culture, far too

:41:06.:41:11.

many exams, that will go, and the curriculum will be more rigorous.

:41:11.:41:17.

It will be knowledge-based to insure school leavers have a rich,

:41:17.:41:19.

cultural and scientific literacy when they go on to further study

:41:19.:41:27.

and work. What do you make of that? If this is eight-week, I would like

:41:27.:41:32.

to see a U-turn! This is a massive change. Michael Gove has dropped

:41:32.:41:37.

this proposal which we said all along was a disastrous proposal for

:41:37.:41:42.

this Baccalaureate certificate and he is keeping GCSEs. In fact, some

:41:42.:41:46.

of the other changes will get rid of the English Baccalaureate idea

:41:46.:41:50.

altogether because no longer will that be the accountability measure

:41:50.:41:59.

for schools. That opens up the creative side. It will be

:41:59.:42:01.

incorporated into the accountability measure and it will

:42:01.:42:05.

be the best of eight and of that eight two have to be English and

:42:05.:42:10.

maths. It is a very important measure in this Baccalaureate

:42:10.:42:14.

combination of maths, English, science, history. The combination

:42:14.:42:20.

is going to be called the English Baccalaureate? Yes, indeed. He is

:42:20.:42:24.

shaking his head. I went to the Department this morning and was

:42:24.:42:29.

presented with documents and his stake and given five minutes'

:42:29.:42:33.

notice. The change originally was to move to a Baccalaureate style

:42:33.:42:41.

exam, but we already have something called the English Baccalaureate,

:42:41.:42:45.

and correct me if I am wrong, this is not an exam in English, this is

:42:45.:42:51.

a combination of Baccalaureate tight exams for England. That is

:42:51.:42:57.

correct. It is a performance measure in the tables.

:42:57.:43:03.

Understanding the exams these days is more difficult than doing them!

:43:03.:43:10.

In 1996, half of the students took this combination. Or they took

:43:10.:43:17.

hires. By the time we came into office in 2010, it had fallen to a

:43:17.:43:22.

5th. We have got to get back to youngsters taking this academic

:43:22.:43:26.

range of subjects, the subject at the Russell group of universities

:43:26.:43:33.

said... The top universities in the country. That is right. Michael

:43:33.:43:38.

Gove have dreamt this up on the back of a cigarette packet. I was

:43:38.:43:43.

told it was an envelope. I am not sure how big the envelope was, but

:43:43.:43:48.

I think you are wrong. There was the leak to the Daily Mail last

:43:48.:43:56.

year that we were going to have O- levels and GCSEs. What the

:43:56.:44:00.

Government is trying to address is the competition between the exam

:44:00.:44:06.

boards. Over the years it has resulted in grade inflation. Ofqual

:44:06.:44:11.

says that has happened. There have to be other measures and Ofqual

:44:11.:44:15.

will have to make sure an exam boards will have to look to

:44:15.:44:19.

themselves to ensure they are not competing for market share among

:44:19.:44:24.

schools on the basis of, you will get a good grade if you come to our

:44:24.:44:34.
:44:34.:44:34.

exam board. The exam boards will not compete for the market share.

:44:35.:44:39.

Grades will go down. Let me ask you this question. Clearly you are

:44:39.:44:44.

going to have great fun at Michael Gove's expense. I want to come back

:44:45.:44:49.

to the serious issue which is do you support the beefing up of

:44:50.:44:54.

GCSEs? It is a serious issue and Michael Gove was tried to laugh it

:44:55.:45:00.

off and he is causing mayhem, so it is a serious issue. We want to work

:45:00.:45:04.

with the Government if they remained the Government and to get

:45:04.:45:10.

a consensus about the right kind of conform -- reform for exams at 16.

:45:10.:45:17.

We have got a participation aged up to the age of 18. Does Labour

:45:17.:45:21.

Stanford tougher GCSEs? We stand for rigour and high standards, yes,

:45:21.:45:26.

absolutely, but in the longer term we need to look at the evidence of

:45:26.:45:31.

what is the best kind of reform. In Wales they have taken similar

:45:31.:45:41.
:45:41.:45:48.

England's now coming back into line with Wales, is that right? Wales

:45:48.:45:52.

has had the Welsh Baccalaureate for a decade now running alongside

:45:52.:45:57.

GCSEs. That's an A-level qualification. Ah, right. We have

:45:57.:46:01.

had a Baccalaureate for a decade. If you lot don't know how are the

:46:01.:46:06.

rest of us supposed to know! I know. You know. It's been in place for a

:46:06.:46:09.

decade. This is not news for us in Wales. Is it true really that you

:46:09.:46:12.

had to drop the idea of doing a Baccalaureate because it's highly

:46:12.:46:17.

unlikely most people could have spelled it? Well, spelling is now

:46:17.:46:20.

restored as an important element of most of the GCSEs. They wouldn't

:46:20.:46:26.

have been able to spell it. Would you like to have a go?! Only joking.

:46:26.:46:31.

Let's not do that. We are going to let you go, but thank you for

:46:31.:46:40.

coming in today. We are going to stick with education.

:46:40.:46:43.

Because if England's record is bad, could Wales's be even worse? Last

:46:43.:46:45.

week, the Welsh education watchdog, Estyn, revealed that fewer schools

:46:45.:46:48.

had achieved good or excellent inspections compared with the year

:46:48.:46:51.

before. And on health - another devolved power - the First Minister,

:46:51.:46:54.

Carwyn Jones, said this week that the health service in Wales will

:46:54.:47:04.
:47:04.:47:07.

collapse unless hospitals are reorganised. So has devolution been

:47:07.:47:17.
:47:17.:47:23.

good or bad for Wales? We sent Susana there to take a look.

:47:23.:47:28.

It's one of the oldest towns in Wales, and it celebrates its

:47:28.:47:33.

history. It gives pride of place to a local doctor, William Price who

:47:33.:47:37.

defied English rules and this is a nation that has been free to go its

:47:37.:47:41.

own way from England on issues like health and education ever since

:47:41.:47:45.

devolution 14 years ago. But if you live here in Wales your

:47:45.:47:49.

health is likely to be worse than if you lived over the border in

:47:49.:47:53.

England. As are your exam results. This is where many of the local

:47:53.:48:00.

children go. One of Welsh education's success stories.

:48:00.:48:03.

These maths GCSE pupils are in a school that's been classed as

:48:03.:48:08.

excellent but nationally, Welsh results have been on the decline.

:48:08.:48:12.

In 2002, over 57% of children in England got A-C grades at GCSE,

:48:12.:48:17.

compared with a higher level of around 59% in Wales. But then the

:48:17.:48:23.

tables turned. By 2011, England had almost 70% A-C grades, while Wales

:48:23.:48:28.

was on 66.0%. During that period, the Welsh Government cut school

:48:28.:48:34.

funding. In 2010-11 that gap was around �600 per pupil, per year.

:48:34.:48:39.

That's for me, as a head teacher of a school this size equates to half

:48:39.:48:42.

a million per year I could be spending on pupils. The Welsh

:48:42.:48:46.

Government has long been opposed to testing children. But now it's

:48:46.:48:52.

planning to bring in numeracy and literacy tests for 7-14-year-olds.

:48:52.:48:55.

The politician in charge of education says that's not an

:48:55.:48:58.

acceptance devolution has been bad for Welsh education. There was a

:48:58.:49:02.

period when we didn't focus strongly enough on overall school

:49:02.:49:06.

improvement and what I have been trying to do since I became

:49:06.:49:09.

Minister during the coalition Government is introduce that real

:49:09.:49:13.

focus on school improvement so we are looking, for example, we banded

:49:13.:49:17.

secondary schools so we know which are the strong performers. There

:49:17.:49:21.

then's health. Life expectancy is lower in Wales than in England but

:49:21.:49:25.

can that be pinned on devolution? We are on top of most of the league

:49:25.:49:28.

tables, you don't want to be on top of in terms of public health

:49:28.:49:34.

problems and that pre-dates devolution. There's no doubt. To

:49:34.:49:39.

blame devolution for that simply seems rather bizarre and churlish.

:49:39.:49:42.

But I meet someone who's campaigned against more devolution here, she

:49:42.:49:47.

says it's led to gimmicks instead of better health provision. Free

:49:47.:49:52.

prescriptions and free car parking, which obviously people love, but it

:49:52.:50:00.

means that there's less money spent on care, or other fundamental

:50:00.:50:06.

aspects of the health service that are falling behind care in England.

:50:06.:50:10.

But is that down to devolution itself? Or could it just be about

:50:10.:50:17.

what those in charge choose to focus on?

:50:17.:50:23.

Leanne Wood is still with us and Nick Gibb. Why is Wales doing badly

:50:23.:50:27.

in schools and health? Well, if we take education first. It depends

:50:27.:50:32.

which part of the education system that you look at. So, pupils up to

:50:32.:50:38.

the age of 11 seem to be faring OK. We have introduced the foundation

:50:38.:50:43.

phase in Wales for pupils up to age seven, that's an idea taken from

:50:43.:50:48.

Finland which has been shown to be a success. But it's beyond 11 that

:50:48.:50:54.

the gap opens up between pupils in Wales and England. Is that because

:50:54.:50:57.

you took none of the reforms of England? I don't think that's the

:50:57.:51:01.

reason. You are against all the English reforms, aren't you? All of

:51:01.:51:06.

them? Which ones are you in favour of? We have taken a different route

:51:06.:51:12.

in Wales. Your route has been no reform. It there has been reform,

:51:13.:51:16.

we have introduced the foundation phase. You don't have academies.

:51:16.:51:20.

That's correct. You don't have free schools, you don't have testing.

:51:20.:51:24.

You don't have league tables. That's right. So what bit of the

:51:24.:51:30.

the English reforms do you have do you have? None of those! There are

:51:30.:51:34.

some very good things about the Welsh education system. But I think

:51:34.:51:39.

because the effort has gone into the foundation phase, maybe the eye

:51:39.:51:44.

has been taken off the ball tprr the 11-Plus. Grades in Wales are

:51:44.:51:51.

falling. Yes, we need to do better. I guess my point is that a lot of

:51:51.:51:55.

people, and I will come to Nick in a minute, they say they're falling

:51:55.:51:59.

- Blairites may say this privately as well as Conservatives, they're

:51:59.:52:04.

falling because under old Labour, old Welsh Labour you refused to go

:52:04.:52:08.

down any of the reform routes that seems to have improved schools in

:52:08.:52:15.

England. But Plaid Cymru, you're old, old Labour. I wouldn't accept

:52:15.:52:19.

that. Well, you are against all these things. That doesn't

:52:19.:52:21.

necessarily - what's good for England doesn't necessarily mean it

:52:21.:52:26.

will work in Wales. It is because the gap is widening. There does

:52:27.:52:30.

need to be attention on post-11 education, no doubt about that. The

:52:30.:52:34.

results that we have had have shown we are lagging behind, no doubt

:52:34.:52:38.

that we are not doing as well as we could and more more effort needs to

:52:38.:52:46.

go into pupils 11-16. What do you say. The mistake was in 2004 when

:52:46.:52:50.

Wales abolished Sats at the end of primary school. That's tests to get

:52:50.:52:54.

an across the board of a particular age group to assess where they are.

:52:55.:52:58.

Yes, every child in this country is tested at 11 on English and maths.

:52:58.:53:03.

You mean England? And And in Wales they abolished that in 2004. I

:53:03.:53:06.

don't accept there aren't problems in primary school, as well. The

:53:06.:53:09.

Welsh inspectorate said that half of all primary schools and

:53:09.:53:13.

secondary schools had to do better when it came to literacy. And if

:53:13.:53:21.

you look at the GCSE results, in 2001 they abolished league tables

:53:21.:53:24.

and academics attributes the widening gap in GCSE performance to

:53:25.:53:29.

the fact that they don't publish the GCSE results in Welsh schools.

:53:29.:53:33.

It is an important factor in driving up standards. Do you

:53:33.:53:40.

support support hrfps. They don't publish results? You can't compare

:53:40.:53:43.

one school with another to see how they're doing. That's an important

:53:43.:53:47.

part of accountability. This is being looked at now in Wales. There

:53:48.:53:51.

are kind of - league tables being published. They're not exactly the

:53:51.:53:55.

same. That's banding systems. Too broad, you need lots of information

:53:55.:53:57.

for parents to look at. That's how you raise standards. That's why

:53:57.:54:03.

this gap is widening and why Wales is falling down. Does Wales have a

:54:03.:54:09.

Russell Group university? Yes, Cardiff. That's the only one?

:54:09.:54:13.

Well, I am not sure if that's a fact or not. There's other factors.

:54:13.:54:16.

That's not great, is it. Despite all the constraints on public

:54:16.:54:20.

spending we have ring-fenced school spending, we have increasing

:54:20.:54:25.

spending on health in - and that's a decision that Labour opposes here.

:54:25.:54:29.

They're delivering that in Wales and we have seen the results.

:54:29.:54:35.

have one more item, people are waiting, I apologise. I let it go

:54:35.:54:39.

on too long. Scotland has four Russell Group universities, I

:54:39.:54:46.

thought I would add that in. So, it was the hottest ticket in

:54:46.:54:48.

Westminster last night but guess what? Once again, my invitation

:54:48.:54:51.

seems to have got lost in the dreaded BBC post system. I'm

:54:51.:54:54.

talking, of course, about the hotly contested Political Book of the

:54:54.:55:00.

Year Awards - which had so pretty high profile nominees.

:55:00.:55:02.

Alastair Campbell has published another volume political diaries -

:55:02.:55:05.

this time starting with 9/11 and focusing on the build-up to the

:55:05.:55:11.

Iraq war. Andrew Adonis, the man behind Tony

:55:11.:55:13.

Blair's education reforms, has written on, you guessed it,

:55:13.:55:19.

education, education, education! Our very own Andrew Marr has

:55:19.:55:23.

written a book to accompany his TV series charting the history of the

:55:23.:55:32.

world. Now how did Nick Robinson sneak in

:55:32.:55:41.

there? Must have been an administrative error! Anyway, his

:55:42.:55:44.

book looks at life reporting on the frontline of British Politics -

:55:45.:55:48.

something I would obviously know little about.

:55:48.:55:50.

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson were nominated for their book on

:55:50.:55:57.

Why Nations Fail. And, finally the Politics of

:55:57.:56:00.

Coalition by Robert Hazell and Ben Yong looks at the unlikely love in

:56:00.:56:09.

between the Tories and the Lib Dems. But we at the Daily Politics only

:56:09.:56:13.

deal with winners on this programme. And here she is - Caroline Shenton

:56:13.:56:16.

who "blew up" the competition with her book The Day Parliament Burned

:56:16.:56:21.

Down. I'm also joined by MP Keith Simpson

:56:21.:56:25.

who is also chairman of the judges who awarded the prize. Welcome to

:56:25.:56:29.

you both. Congratulations. You are doing a bit of advertising, not

:56:29.:56:33.

sure we allow that at the BBC, but too late to stop it! Well done to

:56:33.:56:38.

you. Why did she win? Because she was best, I mean, it was...

:56:38.:56:43.

worked that bit out! There was other good books there, but what we

:56:43.:56:47.

all collectively concluded and there was to disagreement, was that

:56:47.:56:55.

it was a fascinating subject. It was more than just the fire. It had

:56:55.:56:59.

contemp contempanous elements and it was readable. And it was at the

:56:59.:57:02.

time an incredible national disaster. I am told you could from

:57:02.:57:07.

the South Downs you could see this flame. The King and Queen saw it in

:57:07.:57:11.

Windsor and I assume the old buildings were stunning. They were

:57:11.:57:15.

amazing but very degraded by 1834. They had been a fantastic site of

:57:16.:57:22.

Europe in the middle ages and early modern period but they had become

:57:22.:57:26.

completely a mess, a tinderbox waiting to go up. Would they have

:57:26.:57:32.

had to go at some time? I think the way the architecture was going they

:57:32.:57:38.

could have been done over. great Westminster Hall survived.

:57:38.:57:41.

That survived. I love walking through that, with the wonderful

:57:41.:57:45.

roof. It survived after a terrific effort by volunteers and firemen

:57:45.:57:49.

and the arrival of the great floating engine coming up the river

:57:49.:57:55.

when the tide rose and shot water over the eastern flank of the

:57:55.:57:59.

Palace. You have written academic works before but this is more

:58:00.:58:04.

popular, did you enjoy writing for a wide eb epber audience - wider

:58:04.:58:08.

audience. I loved it. What was the number two? I can't tell you, that

:58:08.:58:11.

would be unfair but it would be safe to say that he did serve in

:58:11.:58:17.

the last Labour Government. Good, well done, Andrew, you were

:58:17.:58:27.
:58:27.:58:31.

second. Time to find out the answer to our quiz. Which cheese was it? I

:58:31.:58:38.

have no idea. I am hoping somebody will tell me. It was Wensleydale.

:58:38.:58:46.

Thank you. You didn't know that, did you. That's all for today.

:58:46.:58:49.

Thanks to our guests. The 1.00pm news is starting over on BBC 1 now.

:58:49.:58:52.

I am back tonight when Michael Portillo will talk about the

:58:52.:58:55.

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