11/02/2013 Daily Politics


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Welcome to the Daily Politics. Monday is often a pretty quiet day


here at Westminster with MPs making their way back to work from their


constituencies all over the UK. But today is not one of those days. We


are expecting a big announcement on how the Government plans to fund


the long-term care of the elderly, which was a huge row at the last


General Election. All the signs are that ministers will cap the amount


any one individual will have to pay. And the row about horse meat


getting into burgers and other types of food is still


reverberating around Westminster. It is not yet a food safety issue


but we are being told to brace ourselves for bad news to come. The


UK Government has put out a report saying that an independent Scotland


would have to reapply to Europe, NATO and have to renegotiate a


whole fist of international And the starting gun has well and


truly been fired in the Eastleigh by election, with the big parties


at each other's throats in the All that in the next hour. And our


special guest of the day is Axelle Lemaire who last year became the


first ever member of the French Parliament for the new constituency


of Northern Europe, which includes Let's start with horse meat, so to


speak. Although many of us would probably rather not. The


Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, is expected to tell MPs


in the House this afternoon that there is likely to be more


unwelcome news about the wrong kind of meat getting into British


supermarkets. Romania is investigating claims that one of


its abattoirs is responsible. And Mr Paterson says he thinks a


criminal conspiracy could be involved. Reports today we have had


from France looks as if it might have been pinned down to two


abattoirs in Romania. Obese speaking to the authorities later


today to establish that. -- I will be speaking. I hope this fleshes


out the criminals. It is unacceptable that British consumers


are being sold something marked as one thing but actually is something


else. With us now is Anne Macintosh, who chairs the Environment, Food


and Rural Affairs Select Committee. Do you trust the Food Standards


Authority and your own government advice to carry on eating beef


products? Personally, I would like to see the whole trade suspended


until we know where the food - where the meat and processed and


frozen foods are coming from - and it is accurately labelled. So, you


do not trust? That is a big word. The Irish FSA started testing in


November. Our own FSA were informed of that. We cannot understand why


the UK FSA did not start testing in November. It appears there was a


news report over the weekend where the Minister of Agriculture in


Romania believes the product testing has to be undertaken for


content and that the label matches the content, he believes that has


not happened. If the project checks have not taken place, -- product


checks have not taken place, those meat should not be imported into


the EU. Before we know the facts about the meat produced or made in


Romania, are you saying it safe to me eat those products? At the


moment where there is no query about British produced products. We


have 100% traceability. If you buy fresh meat with the red tractor


sign and go back to having a roast at the weekend and eating it during


the week, I believe we should be buying British for the moment.


Would you want see a suspension of beef products at this point until


tests have established exactly what is in them? To answer your question


very accurately, at this precise moment, and no. It would be too


dramatic. If I am correct, some horsemeat was found in some


industries in Northern Ireland back in September last year. I think all


the different EU member states are concerned. The French Agriculture


Minister spoke of international criminal organisations. What it


shows is how complex the network of suppliers has become. In this


particular case, it could be up to seven or a big players, based in


Cyprus, Holland, France, Luxembourg being involved. So, we have to


answer that the controls are effective. But, they are not. The


EU Commission already Brewis the band live horse exports from


Romania. It needs to be confirmed that the contaminated source is


from Romania. If that is the case, I think it is wrong to ask the food


industry in this country - France, Ireland everywhere else - to go to


the huge costs of these tests were me could be sourcing fresh meat


from France and other countries which are not contaminated. If it


proves the source of contamination is Romania and the Ministry of


Agriculture in Romania agrees they have not conducted the product


checks at Port of exit, they are breaking EU regulations on


labelling. Do you think the Government is on top of this?


Government has done as much as it could in the circumstances. They


have not done what you are advising - banning the sale of the items


until we have the results of the tests. The Secretary of State has


agreed to ban. I do not want Britain to act unilaterally, even


though we are still importing the meat. There are reports that six


French supermarket chains have withdrawn meals by Findus. If it is


not the horse meat itself but a trace of the drug that is given to


horses and should not be in the food chain, then there might be a


health safety risk. At this moment, we have no idea. The level varies a


lot depending on where the horse meat was found, in which country,


where it comes from. It is impossible to tell now. Should we


make a whole ban on all meat? is a labouring crime and if the


Romanians accept they have broken labelling regulations... At the


moment we were all saying it is a labelling issue. They are selling


meat, which is a horse, and passing it off as beef. That is a trade


description problem. EU regulations cover this, which would lead to a


temporary suspension, and to we get to the source of contamination.


There is no question of fresh meat. That would have to be tested.


Romania appears to be in breach of EU regulations. It is a technical


point, where they should have checked the contents of the meat


before it left Romania, to go into free circulation across the


European Union. This is a massive scale. I agree. It may have


happened in Romania. It may have happened in another country


tomorrow. The controls in this country have increased by a third


in the last three years because this is linked to cuts in the jobs


being carried out by public authorities. To me, it is a direct


consequence of public policies. this country, we do tests. This can


be reviewed. In this country, we do tests on a risk basis. Until now,


there has never been a risk of this nature. Scotland would face massive


legal uncertainties in the event of a vote in for independence,


according to a report published today by the UK Government. The


report cites the evidence of a number of legal experts, including


Sir David Edward from the Edinburgh Law School and it suggests that


Scotland would have to renegotiate 14,000 international treaties,


including membership of NATO, the International Monetary Fund, and


the European Union itself. The report is pretty specific, saying:


There is no prospect that an independent Scottish state would


automatically become a new member of the EU upon independence because


there is no explicit provision for this process in the EU's own


membership rules. Neither would an independent Scotland automatically


inherit the UK's opt-outs. This was Lord Wallace, the Advocate General


for Scotland, a little earlier this morning. It would not be


automatically inherit the terms of membership currently enjoyed by the


UK. It would not inherit any of the opt-out in relation to the euro nor


would it to inherit big UK budget rebate of some �3 billion to the


British tax payer in 2011. As Sir David has said, all that is certain


is uncertainty. With us now is David Mundell, the Scotland Office


Minister, and the Deputy First Minister of Scotland, Nicola


Sturgeon. It is an unusual move to publish legal advice. Why have you


done it? It is basic to the big debate we are having in Scotland,


about what is best for our future. Our report today, as well as


setting out legal opinion, starts with the positive case that


Scotland gets the best of both worlds by being part of the United


Kingdom. We decide things here in Edinburgh which affect day-to-day


things like education and health. We have the UK economy and the


security from being part of a huge stake like United Kingdom. What we


then go on to argue is that, should Scotland decide to go its own way,


what implications flow from that? It is clear to us, with leading


experts backing up a position, that Scotland would be a new state. It


would be go sheared its place in the world. The rest of the UK would


continue and be part of institutions like the European


Union and the United Nations Security Council, the IMF and so


much more. We have stated that. key thing is that we have a


starting point for the many arguments we're going to have over


the next 18 months and this is a new way of putting this forward.


The SNP have accused you of a near colonial approach. Arguing the UK


is a continuing state and an independent Scotland would have no


right to trade. What do you say to that? I was very disappointed by


the tone of those remarks and the way they were put forward. That is


not what has characterised the debate so far. We are setting out a


simple legal reality. Here is our view of the situation were Scothern


to become independent. We, in Scotland, would negotiate to be


part of the European Union. We would not have the UK's opt outs


automatically, as that clip with Jim Wallace has just shown. We


would not have a place at the top table in the United Nations, the


IMF and so many other places. That is a legitimate part of the debate


and we must fully discuss it in Scotland. Is it an attempt to


frighten people into the status quo? There were no doubt be lawyers


who would argue the opposite. good legal argument will have lots


of different sides to it. The way we have set out the argument today


establishes very clearly that the leading experts in this field


agreed the basis on which Scotland would become the new state and the


rest of the UK would continue as the existing UK state. That has


profound implications. To duck away from that would be unfair to people


in Scotland and would be a disservice to the debate. We will


listen to others put their views forward. We have the legal


framework which is clear. From that, we understand the politics and


negotiations which would arise should scrub and decide it is to be


independent. $:/ENDFEED. -- That was a predictably arrogant


position pulled a UK government to take, the notion that if Scotland


takes a democratic decision to be independent, Scotland is left with


nothing. These are the legal voices. It is not political. This is legal


advice. This is a legal opinion. It is an opinion. Yes, it is produced


by eminent experts but I can quote you other eminent experts to take


the opposite view, who argued that Scotland would be equal.


International law in this area is not clear. These matters will be


settled by negotiation and agreement. I listened this morning


to BBC Radio to one of the authors of this opinion and he accepted


that very point, at the timetable the Scottish government had set out


for negotiations was realistic. He said that the issue of EU


membership, although it would require negotiation, it would not


be difficult. That the treaty issue would not cause any problems or the


dog I am not sure if that was what the UK government intended to come


across with today. Can I just go back row to the only stages when


this was being talked about? Alex Salmond spoke about his seamless


transfer in terms of Scotland's entry into the EU. He may be right,


you may be able to renegotiate exactly what you want, but it is


not a scene is transferred, it is it? It is uncertain. The real doubt


comes from David Cameron's in out referendum. If Scotland votes yes,


there will be a process of negotiation, firstly with the UK


government before we become independent in 2016. Of course we


would be required to negotiate the terms of... So it is not a


guarantee? We will be arguing about the euro and the rebate and a


continuation of the status quo of our relationship with Europe but we


have to come back to be sensible, political, commonsense argument.


Surely we are not arguing it is not in the interests of Scotland to


remain in the European Union but also it is not in the overwhelming


interests of Europe to keep Scotland as a member? It would make


no sense to put Scotland outside of the European Union simply for us to


negotiate our way back in. Nicola Sturgeon, let's put that to Axelle


Lemaire. Is it in the European Union's interest to have Scotland


as a new state? I think you are right to put the question like this.


In the end it will be a political decision. There is what public


international law says and opinions are not always consistent on that


issue. You can also look at what the Canadians have said about the


impact of Quebec independence on their renegotiations of the


treaty's. There is also the political reality. In the end, what


other member states would look at is, what would the real impact of


Scotland B? What would France be looking at? What would they do in


terms of looking at Scotland in the future if it became an independent


state? I suppose trade and commercial interaction between the


two countries and how long would it take to renegotiate, for example,


judicial matters, a corporation matters, would it affect the people


and the proceedings of criminals? All of this would probably have to


be dealt with in very practical terms. Would that take time?


suppose this depends on what the member states want to do. Michael


Moore, briefly. In terms of the assets of the UK, are you prepared


also to take on all of its liabilities such as the UK national


debt, if we are going to follow the line in terms of whether Scotland


becomes independent? What we have said, the key UK institutions,


which are governed by the UK parliament and its laws, would


remain part of the rest of the UK and of course Nicola and others may


argue they want to continue to have a relationship with the Bank of


England to continue to use the currency, although I point out we


already have the pound in Scotland, why we need to become independent


to get it again it is beyond me. The key issue, of sharing out


liabilities and so on, there would have to be an equitable


distribution of that. We acknowledge that today in the


report. One point about the attitude we are adopting, it is


highly curious that we would have a Scottish government SNP position


that suggests that as a result of the votes taken in Scotland, the


rest of the UK might be thrown out of the UN Security Council, the EU,


the IMF and other international organisations. People elsewhere in


the UK will have cause to reflect on that. The key thing to remember


is we have a straightforward legal starting point set out for us today


and much of this is negotiations... This just reinforces my basic view.


We are better off as part of the UK. We get the best of both are worlds.


Nicola Sturgeon, a law firm in Scotland has put out a report today


saying that more businesses are asking for their own legal advice


before what there is a decision on the referendum. Do you agree even


businesses in Scotland are uncertain and unsure about


planning? There is debate under way in Scotland. The Scottish


government has made a substantial contribution to that debate today


in the report about the macro- economic framework in Scotland. The


businesses I speak to one that kind of information and the Scottish


government a working hard to make sure they get it, so people in


Scotland can make a positive and informed choice, not just listen to


scaremongering from the UK government and those advocating the


no vote. Thank you both very much. The relationship between France and


Britain has always been complicated, to say the least. Sometimes closest


allies, sometimes sworn enemies and although not quite as bloodthirsty


as in certain periods of history, our recent political past has


certainly had its ups and downs. These days however, some experts


detect a thawing between Paris and London. A coming together of our


national interests. But can we keep the entente cordiale? Here's David


Welcome to France's 6th biggest cities. You might know it as London


but more than 300,000 French people live here and they call it home,


which is more than Bordeaux and Strasbourg can say, but it is not


just here. Newcastle United had a team almost entirely made up of


French players and in return, David Beckham has gone to Paris version


man. Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship? -- Paris


send your man. Relationships are good, there is a lot of co-


operation and collaboration on Mali, for example. The two countries co-


operated a great deal on many international issues, like Libya


and Iran, so there are very many things that the general public are


not necessarily aware of and maybe why should they be. But days and


Francois were not always so friendly. -- Dave. David Cameron


praised his former rival, Sarkozy. Yes, but things have decidedly gone


from frosty too much warmer. Francois hollow on speaks English,


they can communicate directly. -- Hollande. And whisper it quietly,


we might becoming a bit more like the French and they might becoming


a bit more like us. Both countries have got rid of their empires. They


have become more and middle-of-the- road, normal-sized European


countries, and they have both become more global. The a British


are more willing to embrace globalisation but the French have


also become more global. -- the British are more willing to embrace.


They have both realised they are rather small and they need to work


with each other and the EU if they wish to shoot the global


environment. There is however an elephant in the room. It begins


with the letter E and ends with the letter you. If the British seem to


be on the brink of leaving at the EU, they cannot expect to have


close relations with Paris because the EU is fundamental to France's


existence. If Britain decides to stay within the EU, then we can


look forward to a fairly friendly and happy relationship between


London and Paris. It depends on Britain's relationship with the EU.


The Brits and the French has blown hot and cold for centuries. The


channel may separate us but these days, London and Paris could be


closer than you think. Here to test the state of British-


French relations, Axelle Lemaire, and Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin.


We need to be cautious. This is not the new settlement or the new


relationship. We are still waiting to see what the new relationship


will look like that he intends to negotiate in the next parliament.


And Britain could still end up paying more than it has done in the


past, even though the overall budget comes down? It will


certainly go up, yes, by billions. What is going to be interesting is


how this plays a politically. Are these relatively modest and


symbolic victories going to be enough to mollify sentiment in the


country or were people focus on the substance? We would like to see our


contribution going down. At the moment, our contribution will be


more than our overseas aid budget, which is already going up. One of


the things that was clear from budget negotiations was that


Germany was the key player. Angela Merkel decided to side with David


Cameron and France were sidelined. Yes, very political. They are two


Conservatives. Angela Merkel is entering an important political


period for her and she has to be with other Conservative leaders who


can support her in her campaign, so clearly from the outside, the


impression is that both Britain and Germany are exporting their


austerity. Again this is a political decision but the impact


on the people living in Europe will be huge because they do benefit


from the money being spent in Brussels. What does that do to


Anglo-French relations is clearly it is Angela Merkel and David


Cameron verses Hollande? This is wide their results of the German


election will be very important, and the British ones as well --


this is why the results. But I do not think it has a huge impact in


the short term. But Europe could be at the heart of the difficult


bilateral relationship. I can see it from Paris, in parliament. And


that is new. My colleagues are now very annoyed and get upset easily


whenever we mentioned the British, because it is, they keep asking for


more and more and more, they want to play by their rules, we are in


Europe, it should be decided together for. You are threatening


Anglo-French relations, particularly with the referendum?


We had very strong relations with the front before we joined the


Common Market and even if we were to leave, we would continue to have


strong relations -- strong relations with the French. France


and the UK are the two countries in Europe that understand that hard


power and soft power are two sides of the same coin. Other countries


have this idea that soft power can trump American Hot power but France


is one of the few countries that understand, unless you are backing


up your soft power, ultimately with military deterrence, you are not a


very strong countries. That puts France and Britain on the same page


in terms of foreign relations. Let's have a look at the list of


powers that could be repatriated. Some of the suggestions that could


be made, the working-time directive, more policing and criminal justice


measures, an emergency brake on new laws that affect financial services.


Judicial corporation includes the European arrest warrant. Thanks to


that, I think it is up to 13,000 criminals who are arrested every


year in one country and sent to another. When you had the bombings


in London, it took only a few days to get one of the authors of the


attacks sent back to London, whereas it would have taken ten


years before that warrant was put into place. That is what Europe is


advocating. I do not agree. We have extra-judicial treaties with lots


of countries. If France wants to be obstructive about it, that is


another matter. It is the reality of how it works. Extradition works


by Corporation and not a central judicial authorities. --


cooperation. The feeling is that these apparently very obvious good


things are put into the treaties but they are actually an end in


themselves, they are trying to create a union for which there is


no support. There is an element of self- deception, pretending you can


be a sovereign state and more and more included into Europe. But this


is about how strong the chances are for a UK government to repatriate


those powers? What about of the working-time directive? Would


France agree for Britain to opt out? I agree with Axelle Lemaire


that this is a forlorn hope to pick and choose treaties. We need to


develop a different kind of membership. There are those who


might be in the euro, in the political federation... It is


already the case. We have got the What about countries have in the EU


that are not going to be in the euro? Getting all religious about


the existing treaties and saying it is irrevocable, it is all about the


language. She is saying it could be disadvantageous to Britain. Most of


our trade is externally outside the European Union. That trade is


growing. We do not have the same figures will start 60% of the


British export... That is a bogus number. I challenge that. Well


under 50% of our manufactured goods were exported to the European Union.


Trade with the rest of the world is growing much faster. Why are we


letting the tail wag the dog? Less than 10% of our GDP is exported


directly to the European Union. Should Britain renegotiate to a


position that is better for Britain and still play a leading role in


the European Union? No controls over horsemeat. Why would the other


EU states have to pay for something the British do not want to pay for?


What am trying to say is, it would have huge consequences, not only on


trade relations but every single thing that has been built up over


50 years between your country and mine. A few years ago, the


President said, we might have to give Britain a special status. Just


a month ago, it was talked about allowing Britain to have a


different relationship put up no, he said, leave it Europe.


different relationship. We might have a much more bilateral


relationship with our European partners and have at present. We


need to look at this with an open mind. The idea that we're going to


Sunday join the euro and the in federal Europe is not going to


happen. -- Sunday. The question is, how do we skin this particular cat


so we can be amicable and friendly? What do you think about Anglo-


French relations? At bilateral level Cup we're just like an odd


couple. Arguing. At European level, the consequences could be very


serious. I would not be fighting for a yacht owned sake. Back in


Paris -- for your own sake. Back in Paris, I am one of the last ones to


say, Britain has to stay in Europe. Keep working with them. They say,


it is over. We will look at other countries. It all depends by what


you mean about in Europe. I do not imagine for his second that we were


not have a strong relationship with our European partners, whatever we


do with the treaties. Thank you for being out guest of the day. Now it


might be the last week before MPs head off for another well-earned


short recess, but there is no sign of a wind-down here in Westminster.


This afternoon, there is going to be not one, or two but three


statements in the Commons. David Cameron reports back on the


weekend's European summit, Jeremy Hunt makes a statement on changes


to social care and Owen Paterson will update MPs on the horsemeat


scandal. Tomorrow, the chair of the inquiry into the abuse at Stafford


Hospital, Robert Francis QC, gives evidence to the Health Select


Committee. Also on Tuesday, MPs and peers will brave the cold to take


part in a Westminster tradition - the annual pancake tossing race


before party political warfare breaks out again. On Wednesday,


nominations close for the Eastleigh by-election caused, of course, by


Chris Huhne's resignation. And then on Thursday evening, MPs can escape


the slog and toil of Westminster for a week as they begin February


David Cameron will stand up. He will head up a victory. Will it be


seen that way? It well. When he first announced he wanted cuts in


the EU budget, it seemed an uphill task for the Prime Minister. He has


come home and managed to get it. On the back of announcing an in/out


referendum, plenty peopling his party will be very happy. -- people


in his party. By their that means his problems with Europe will go


away, probably not. Euro-sceptics tend to start asking for more.


this the end of David Cameron swears on Europe? You will get the


big old slap on the back today from Tory Euro-sceptics. Not long ago


did we think it would be impossible. The budget for the EU for they next


seven years is a nine with 11 zeros after it. If you are a Euro-sceptic


Tory, that is still too high. You will get a slap on the back but it


is not enough. That is unless we move to the middle of the Atlantic.


They were not be happy. Some people were never be satisfied. How rough


would be between the coalition partners with the Eastleigh by-


election? Pretty rough. Whoever wins this is going to be pretty


instructor for the Liberal Democrats. The entire strategy for


the 20 -- the 2015 gen election will be to try to run countries


like this - many by-elections. -- general election. Chris Huhne will


add the different factor to this time but it will tell people what


they might face in the next few years. What about you, Michael


Savage? All the polls are in the margin of error between the Tories


and the Liberal Democrats. The big factor is Labour. If they can get a


credible candidate. That could really hit the Lib Dem vote. That


could be crucial in a race that is within 3% - the usual margin of


error. On the issue of social care, it is the first time we have had a


cap announced. Like it or not, it is a step forward that a Labour is


saying it is a small step forward the start do you think in the end


the parties will rally behind it? It is a step forward. At least


they're doing something - something that has dogged political parties


for years. Nobody has really been able to get to grips with it. There


will have to be a lot of looking at the detail to see whether where


there Labour will get behind it or pushing for something else. What do


you think, Michael Savage Eye in terms of support? There is a


problem on the Tory side. George Osborne made his name as Shadow


Chancellor promising them that inheritance tax threshold would go


up to �1 million was up the reality is, it'll be over a decade after he


made that promise with no change to the inheritance tax threshold,


which is being used to pay for this deal. A very difficult for a lot of


toys to swallow. Do you think the Government has got a grip on the


crisis over horse meat? It is incredibly difficult to get a grip


on. Now waiting for test results which will come back on Friday. The


chances of this being an isolated incident appear unlikely. The


problem is cities across Europe. The Government will struggle. It


will be very hard to get ahead of this issue. So, today, the


Government will set out how they think people in England should pay


for social care in their old age. At the moment, around 30,000 to


40,000 homeowners are forced to sell their houses each year to pay


for social care. And those with more than �23,250 in assets,


including the value of their house, do not get any state help. This


whole area is highly controversial. You may remember all those posters


about a Labour death tax at the last election when they suggested


that some of the money might come out your estate after you died. So


last year the economist Andrew Dilnot presented the findings of


his independent Commission on Funding of Care and Support. He


said that individuals should not really have to contribute more than


�35,000 to their care in the course of their lifetime. But the


Government is expected to announce today a figure closer to �75,000.


This will, however, be the first time there is any kind of cap on


the amount you'd have to pay. At the moment - theoretically - it is


limitless. All this might cost the Treasury around �800 million a year


and the steer is that this might be met by freezing the thresholds at


which inheritance tax begins to bite. Labour has described the move


as a small step forward, but the National Pensioners Convention is


not as easily impressed - describing the announcement as


about as credible as a Findus lasagne. Speaking to the BBC this


morning Jeremy Hunt explained why he was announcing the policy.


is costing around �1 billion a year. It is a very big step. As a


government, we want to back people who have worked hard all their


lives, saved and done the right thing. The worst thing that can


happen to those people is to find by a cruel twist of fate, they have


to do the one thing they want to do least of all - will lose their own


home. This is not the whole solution. There are lots of other


things we need to do to make Britain a great country to grow old


in. This is one thing that worries people for most. 30,000 to 40,000


people every year having to sell homes to pay for social care costs.


We want to find a way to end that. I have been joined by Labour's


former health minister Hazel Blears, the Liberal Democrats' Stephen


Lloyd and the Conservative MP, Stuart Andrew, for the rest of the


show. There was talk of people having to sell their homes in the


past. Are we now saying beyond 2017 no one will have to sell their


homes into old age? This worries thousands of people across the


country. We have seen significant numbers of families getting very


anxious about what will happen to elderly relatives. This is actually


the first step on a journey to solving that. It will not stop were


put an end to people having to sell homes to pay for care.


significantly reduces the number of people having to sell homes. That


is very important. As Andrew Dilnot said himself this morning, it is a


huge step in the right direction. It should be welcomed. G welcome


it? To say it is a huge step forward is an exaggeration. It is a


small step. The level of capping concerns me. When Andrew Dilnot did


his report, he said 35,000, absolute maximum 50,000. He said


the on that it would not help people who had a lot of money. If


you say 75,000, that is the equivalent of 10 years in


residential care. Most people go into residential care for three,


four years and then they die. Most people on small incomes will have


to pay just as much as they do now. They were not be helped by this.


that too high, as a cab? -- at a cap. We'll know it is a really


serious issue and I take my hat off to the coalition. I would have


preferred this to be lower, to be honest. The top end talked about by


Andrew Dilnot was 50 to 60. The coalition have battled really hard


on this. The have Kuyt inheritance tax for three years. -- we have cut


inheritance tax. That is a brave decision. If it is too high, the


Government were not the pain - the state will not be paying - or


helping people fund their care. -- be paying. It will be covered quite


easily across England in terms of people. The insurance companies


will come up with something for starboard is not the case that


everyone will have to pay �75,000 by a long shot. -- come up with


something. That will sound like a lot of money that they will have to


put up. We are facing one of the greater social tonnages in a


generation cut at the time we have the greatest economic challenge. --


the greatest social changes. The figures he suggested of the 25,000


to a 50,000 were based on 2010 figures. When it comes into effect,


it will be around 61,000. That is above what he wanted but it is a


step in the right direction. This might be a step in the right


direction. Andrew Dilnot looked at the economics around residential


care. He did not look at any issues around community-care, which is a


huge matter of concern to people. Take Alzheimer's, there at 800,000


people with it. It will go up to 1 million in the next three years.


Most of those people have to pay for community care and it is means


tested. This does nothing to address that. I take your point.


This was an issue for all governments. I am pleased the


Government is starting. To say it is a huge step forward is a massive


exaggeration. 30 years or so ago when social care was split off from


health care... That is the problem for Alzheimer's sufferers. I am on


the all-party group for dementia. It will all change. A partner is a


community matron. She knows the issue of dementia is really


profound. It will make a difference with joining up of health care over


the next three years without a shadow of the doubt. We support the


bill? When you talk about dementia, we all have experience in our


families. We are finding that people are having to cope. The


community care issue is central. It is being cut by the same amount.


Local authorities are facing cuts of �1 billion for community care.


Where did you put the cap? I would like to see was what was the regime


recommended by Andrew Dilnot. You cannot do it by cherry picking. --


originally recommended. How would you have paid for it? We have had


clear policy set out today. How would it be funded by the Labour


Party? To come from inheritance tax is a good thing. We oppose it being


at �1 million. We thought that was a vote grabber. That has gone.


We have a fine balancing act ended is difficult. It is disappointing


we have to freeze the in terror -- inheritance tax threshold again. I


hope in the future, we can revisit that. Actually, the freeze will


affect about 4,000 people forced of this announcement will help 400,000


people. But you have not been able to keep your promise on something


that was a major boost for Tory voters? It is extremely


disappointing. Was it be wrong decision? That is the problem we


are facing. How do we fund long- term care for a growing and ageing


population and help people keep their homes at the same time? That


is far more pressing than the inheritance tax.


Well, the Liberal Democrats have fired the starting gun on the


Eastleigh by-election. They are not hanging around in the race to find


someone to represent the seat which, of course, has been left vacant


after Chris Huhne's spectacular fall from grace. It is all


happening in just three weeks and we should get to know what the full


list of candidates is in the next 24 hours or so. It is not the first


time this seat has been at the centre of the national attention,


of course. We have had by-elections there before, as the Sunday


Politics' man in the South remembers.


In the days of steam, Eastleigh was known as a railway town. Now the


airport is the biggest local employer and the by-election


bandwagon will drive past new suburban estates. The constituency


stretches down to the sea. Including the home of Hampshire


cricket. If David Cameron cannot take back as seed that once boasted


that 10,000 Tory majority, big questions will be asked -- a seat.


But what might stop him is the depth of local Liberal Democrat


organisation. They know the territory well. In the election for


Police Commissioner, a Lib Dem topped the polls in this area. It


has not always been like this. In 1994, Eastleigh's industrial roots


were strong enough to give Labour hope. Then it was a three-way


marginal, with Gordon Brown joining Jack Straw on the Eastleigh


doorsteps. This was the dying days of the Major government. Nigel


Farage barely registered. Now UKIP could make a big dent. If the


Conservatives were to lose it would put tremendous pressure on


Cameron's leadership and lead to questions about what is the point


of the coalition. Similarly you will get the same range of


questions for the Lib Dems if they were to lose this. Lots of Lib Dem


MPs will be fearful they will face a similar challenge in their


constituencies, so why are we in coalition with a party that is our


main challenger? This is massive in terms of national politics.


Labour admit they are a long shot but Ed Miliband it needs to prove


his appeal in the south and canned draught in support from the nearby


cities of Southampton and Portsmouth. -- and can Drafting


support. The timing is set for a result to remember.


You can find out more information on the by-election, including


details of the candidates who have been selected so far, on the BBC


website. Joining us now, one of the candidates from that 1994 by-


election, now the leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage. We won't talk about


how young you were then. Not a single grey hair! Absolutely. Why


do you think the Lib Dems have gone for such an early date? They


probably want the battle over and done with as quickly as possible.


We are relishing the fight. Our candidate has been there for a good


number of years and we look forward to welcoming her to the House of


Commons after 28th February. Will it be a clean fight? Yes and it


will also be very close. We have a dedicated local team in Eastleigh.


We hold all the seats in the council. They are very well known.


They focus on the issues constituents care about. I think it


will be very close. It is obvious to all of us it is between the Lib


Dems and the Tories. The opinion polls showed Labour up nine points,


UKIP up 12 points. And interestingly, the Lib Dem vote


falling and the Tory vote falling. In Eastleigh. No. Is it in


Eastleigh? Or not? Or this is becoming an even more interesting


by-election. Who'd do you want to win, Hazel Blears? And they will be


scrapping it out between them. I feel like I am intruding on private


grief. The only winner is the Labour Party. If Cameron doesn't


win, it is another round of speculation about his leadership.


If the Liberal Democrats don't win, all of the Lib Dems will be having


anxiety attacks. What is the tactic from Labour? We you lie low and try


to keep out of it? Or try to get as many votes as possible from the Lib


Dems? The Labour Party does not Lilo it in by-elections. We will be


out there. -- will not lie low. People will know the Labour Party


has got a proper, credible programme. But with these two, it


will be like a dog fight! A gentlemanly contest? My opposition


in Eastbourne is a Conservative. We battle it out locally but I am a


holy signed-up member of the coalition. Today's example of


social care, we are taking the decisions that Labour avoided for


30 years... What about stuff that UKIP leaflets to Tory doors? That


would be a good tactic? I think you could do have an opportunity but I


know that Nigel did not stand and a suspected didn't because he knew


that he would not win. We have chosen by the end James, a Serbian


district councillor in Surrey -- Dian Jones, a serving councillor.


What was interesting was, of those considering voting for UKIP in the


constituency, there more more Labour and Lib Dem voters than Tory


voters considering voting for UKIP. We have seen UKIP get significant


percentages in the last three by- elections. Don't write us off.


UKIP could take plenty of Tory votes, handing victory to the Lib


Dems. Nigel is right. UKIP could take some votes from all parties.


We are encouraging people to remember the facts. If they want an


MP to represent them, which is what they are doing, and they want an MP


to stand up for renegotiating terms in Europe, they need to vote for a


Conservative camp because that is the only way they will get what


they really want. If they vote for UKIP, they a -- are ending up with


no voice whatsoever in Europe. For if we have an example of the


coalition. The anti-Europe line and the pro-Europe line. And you are in


government together. You are scrapping it out yet you are in


government at the same time. On the doorstep, grown-up people like


politicians working together for the greater good. But you will not


be doing that for this campaign. A but the government is dealing with


the most catastrophic... People want to know what you stand for.


Pupil premium, economy, jobs, apprenticeships... And the


electorate to realise we are two a separate political parties who have


come together to run a government in the national interest, and they


do get that. Be fully expect that when an election comes, of course


we will be fighting it out. The Lib Dem voters voted Lib Dem because


they wanted DEC to wish him fee scrapped and a very different


programme and many of them of very disappointed -- they wanted to see


tuition fees scrapped. Every single councillor in the constituency on


Liberal Democrat, you can mobilise your troops quickly. Isn't that why


you went for an early date? And then you can blame Chris Huhne and


move on? We are focusing on the reasons for all the councillors in


Eastleigh, which is that we have be dedicated local team who put the


constituencies of Eastleigh first above everything. I think that is


what people want. I think it will be a close fight but I am confident


we will win. Nick Clegg is already campaigning today. He has got time


to go and campaign in Eastleigh but David Cameron will not have that


luxury. He is busy running the country. Masses of us are happy to


go to Eastleigh. He disagrees with Maria Hutchings on virtually


everything! Don't say David Cameron for goodness sake! Shouldn't it be


a three-way marginal with Labour coming second? We shall see. maybe


we will get a great result. I am an optimist! The people of Eastleigh


will not be interested in third and fourth. They want to know who will


represent them well in parliament and there is no doubt that Maria


Hutchings is the right person. the Conservatives don't win


Eastleigh, do you except the prospects for David Cameron look


grim? Not at all. This will be a battle between the two parties that


are in the coalition at the moment and that has no bearing whatsoever


on the next general election at this stage because we are mid-term


whatever happens. Some Tories feel that phrase comes from a


Conservative, who feels that if the Conservatives cannot win Eastleigh,


what chance do they have of a majority? I would not accept that.


One of my suits, and Northern, open one, which we won, and I am


convinced we can work hard to win this way that we need to win in the


north -- one of my seats, an urban, northern one. If the Conservatives


win, what are the prospects for Nick Clegg? We are going to win. It


is a good and dedicated team. They put the people of Eastleigh first


and I think the people will respect that. What do you have to do to


maintain the momentum of UKIP? next morning after the last three,


the media have said, gosh, what a surprise how will UKIP did. I say


what the space. We will campaign on some big national issues, such as


the opening of the doors from a Bulgaria and Romania, for which


these three parties do not have an answer. What is a good showing?


came second end of the room. We came second in Middlesbrough. We


got 15% of the votes in Corby -- we came second in Rotherham. We have


the high is starting point UKIP have ever had. We could surprise


everybody. Thank you to all four of you. The one o'clock news is


starting over on BBC One now with the latest of all the political


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