11/07/2013 Daily Politics


11/07/2013

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Daily Politics. Don't expect it to go down a storm. MPs have been

:00:46.:00:50.

falling over each other do say they don't want it. The regulator in

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charge of their paces they should get a rise of about ten grand a

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year. Ian Kennedy, the regulator, says refusing the increase could

:01:01.:01:04.

create another expenses style scandal. We sent Giles out with his

:01:04.:01:09.

moodbox to get your views. They don't do nothing. They promised

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us everything. They say they are going to do this and that, and then

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they make it worse. The Communities Secretary will tell

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us why all immigrants should learn English.

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And we will be taking a look at the man all politicians fear. The

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loudest man in Westminster. No, it's not Andrew Neil!

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It is debatable. All of that in the next hour. With us is Labour MP and

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chair of the Public Accounts Committee, one of the most powerful

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in Parliament, Margaret Hodge. Welcome. Let's talk first about the

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warning that the NHS faces a �30 billion funding gap by the end of

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the decade if current spending levels are maintained. The

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solution? Mass hospital closures and the creation of huge GP centres. You

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would think he would have told us all of that before he left? Indeed.

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I accept the analysis. We have been looking at NHS finances over the

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past few years. I've always said the most fragile of our public services

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is the NHS. Whatever the government said about giving it the same amount

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of money, which is questionable, I think people think they have had

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less. Every year since the NHS was funded -- founded, there's been a 4%

:02:36.:02:46.
:02:46.:02:48.

increase in its expenditure. What is really the point is that if we carry

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on at this budget level and those changes in medicine, there's going

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to be a gap. Doesn't this mean that if it is decided that in Britain,

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the state has to make up the �30 billion gap down the political

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parties, in their own ways or together, need to sit down and work,

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what is the state not going to do now so that we can afford the 30

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billion we believe the state should up the NHS by? I don't think we have

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got to that point yet. Let me go through. I think the reorganisation

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has been a waste of money. We could have saved billions by not doing

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that. It doesn't address the pub of funding. Secondly, what does he talk

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about? He talks about putting much more money into prevention rather

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than acute services. I couldn't agree more. We looked the other day

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at diabetes. If everybody who had diabetes had the checks they need to

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make sure that the heart and cholesterol was all right, if they

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had that, you would save 20,000, I think the figure was, 20,000 lives

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per year, and you would stop people from getting the conditions they get

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from it not being treated. So, early intervention, I agree. No other

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meant as ever done it. -- no government. When you look at the

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NHS, the only way they have managed to get the efficiencies they have so

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far is by freezing pay. That's not sustainable over time. You need

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efficiencies. If they bought more cleverly, they would save billions.

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We found that in looking at something like 60 trusts, we found

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there were hundreds of different gloves that were being bought,

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hundreds of different kinds of paper. So, cleverer procurement

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could save millions. Then you go to... I have got to stop you. Thank

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you for that. It's time for our daily quiz. The

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question is what our Conservative MPs planning to do at next week 's

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PMQs to protest against John Bercow? The mind boggles. Not turn

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:05:24.:05:26.

up? Wear a badge? Defaces coat of arms? Or tweet about his wife? At

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the end of the show, Margaret will give us the correct answer.

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You've got an innocent face? ! Should MPs get more money? Don't all

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shot that once! -- don't all shout. Independent Parliamentary Standards

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Authority things they should. It's things a backbencher 's page

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and rise from just over �66,000 per year to �74,000. -- Independent

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Parliamentary Standards Authority thinks. An 11% increase. It would be

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controversial at any time, but especially when public page rises

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are capped. MPs used to be able to vote down any proposed pay rises

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that proved unpopular with the public. That will be all of them,

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then. Following the expenses scandal, Independent Parliamentary

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Standards Authority took over how to set pay. They say that pay has

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fallen behind other top jobs and they get less than civil servants,

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police and headteachers. They also paid less than representatives in

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France, Germany, the US and Japan. The package does include some

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significant savings. It includes an end to golden goodbyes for MPs

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losing their seats. The �15 even in meal allowance for late sittings

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will also go. -- evening meal. But it's likely to be the rate --

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writing the basic salary that will be the focus of public attention and

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leaves Westminster in a tight spot. We wanted to gauge public opinion in

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the most scientific way possible. As it wasn't possible, we dispatched

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Giles with the moodbox. Should MPs get a pay rise? Maybe

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they will have one imposed upon them. What do the public think about

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that? We can guess the answer, but you never can tell with these

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:07:35.:07:54.

No pay rise. Why not? I don't think it's necessary when there's loads of

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:08:04.:08:11.

people who are already struggling to for it.

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I thought we might get a bit of that. They should get a pay rise

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because you want people of high calibre and quality. Why do you

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think that's a reasonable? You've got to attract talent. Plus, you

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want to make sure they are not looking for alternative methods of

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income. I think there are more people voting

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yes than I thought. Maybe because people who work in Parliament are

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walking past. Why absolutely not? Most of us haven't had a pay rise

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for three years. They have made cuts to people with disabilities and

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everybody else is struggling. We are supposed to be in it together.

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more a gut instinct. There's something to be said for them being

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paid enough for them not to do anything corrupt. Ultimately, at the

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moment, they haven't done enough to deserve it. I know I won't make many

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friends, but if this is what Independent Parliamentary Standards

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Authority once, this is what everybody should get. Brave man.

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At the end of the day, they promise of everything, they say they are

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:09:33.:09:39.

going to do this and that, and when came out on top. No to a pay rise.

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There were some arguments. But this moodbox is very clear. No, you don't

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get a pay rise, MPs. Those are the views of the great

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British public. At least, some of them. Earlier, the head of the

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Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority had this to say.

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Body after body, organisation after organisation, over the past 15

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years, has recommended that there should be appropriate pay rises for

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MPs. Governments of the day have not followed those and looked -- not

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implement them. They chose always to say that there is a good political

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reason why they shouldn't, and at the same time, of course, we know

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what happened - allowances grew and grew, came more bloated. That ended

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in tears in 2009. Enter Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority,

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with a remit to put things right. are joined by a businessman who was

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a board member. Michael Brown used to be a Conservative MP. Margaret

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Hodge is still with us. Michael Brown is our most loyal viewer. In

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fact, he's our only loyal viewer. There's never a good time to

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introduce a pay rise for MPs, is that? No, but this is a bad time.

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It's such a difficult issue. At when you ask all public servants to take

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a 1% pay increase, it just seems inappropriate. -- but when you ask.

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But it's a difficult issue. It's difficult to have a grown-up debate

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on what we should get paid, how we should get selected, how political

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parties should be funded. That whole process and the way in which we run

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our politics, which is hugely important for society... You should

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have done it in the era of no more boom and bust. Remember that?

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always better in the past. I know, I know. But these are such hard times.

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I think it's difficult. This pay rise doesn't come in until after the

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next election, meaning the election will be partly people like me asking

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MPs or people standing for election, if elected, will you

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accept the pay rise? The people who say yes, the local paper we go for

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them. People will feel obliged to say no. It is a nonsense time.

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real issue is there is never a good time. Look at what's happening this

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time. The public is being consulted. The document today is a

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consultation, not a decision. If the vast majority of the public have an

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Aga and for not increasing MPs' pay. -- an argument for not increasing

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MPs' pay, I am sure the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

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will have something to say to that. If people were told what MPs did,

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they thought they should get paid more. If the public are educated in

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the issues, which is what this paper does, I think they will come to the

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right conclusion. That they should get a pay rise? They will come to

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the right conclusion. It is the wisdom of crowds. No, it's

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democracy. Democracy doesn't mean the right conclusion, it means a

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democratic conclusion. They answer the severally the same thing. -- the

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aren't necessarily the same thing. Margaret Hodge is saying we are into

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the third year of a 1% pay rise freeze. If you are in the private

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sector, average pay rises in the private sector are about 1% as well.

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So you must have a whole package, not just pay. One of the biggest

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problems was the so-called gold-plated MPs' pensions. It would

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be unfair to say we are going to take away your pension rights and

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not compensate you. The net result of these recommendations is that it

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is broadly neutral. I'm told it adds half a million overall. He is

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rounding. If you were standing for election and you asked them if

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elected, will you accept this 9% pay rise? What would your answer be?

:14:37.:14:47.
:14:47.:14:47.

Yes. I was put in that position in almost every general election. When

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I got elected to Parliament in 1979, the salary was �6,700. When I sought

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pre-election in 1983, it had doubled �14,000. During that time, 20% of my

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constituents were made redundant. I had to bite the bullet. The reason I

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did that was because if you get into an auction, a member of Parliament

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:15:21.:15:26.

being forced to say they will do it for less than another politician...

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Margaret is worth every penny. But seriously, the doctor in her

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constituency, the headmaster in her constituency, in one of the

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secondary schools, the borough commander of the police force, they

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are all paid 6-figure salaries. Margaret, are you standing in the

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next election? And will you accept the pay rise?

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This is where I agree with Michael. It is dangerous. Our leaders should

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not enter into a Dutch auction, because you end up with people

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putting themselves forward for 20,000. But you could afford to. I

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am in a lucky position. But then you end up with the rotten boroughs we

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had in the past. So would you take the pay rise? I would do what all

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MPs do. I don't want a Dutch auction between MPs. But your leader says he

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will not accept it. I don't agree with him or Cameron or Clegg.

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Cameron and Mr Clegg. The Right Honourable members. If David Cameron

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doesn't want this pay increase, he can do what Margaret Thatcher used

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to do and put legislation before the House of Commons and their members

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of Parliament to accept or reject it. Is there not a risk that

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political leaders like Mr Miliband and Mr Cameron will instruct their

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candidates not to accept the pay rise? I hope that doesn't arise. But

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is there a risk? Let's wait and see. At this point in time, we are never

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going to win. We did it ourselves, and everybody thought we did it

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badly. We set up an independent organisation over which we have no

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:17:35.:17:35.

control. But I really think the Dutch auction point is so important.

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We don't want to end up with politics where you can choose what

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your salary is. We will come back to rotten boroughs. It is strange that

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the people regulating MPs' pay, and MPs earn �66,000 at the moment, Ian

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Kennedy gets �72,000 a year for a two-day week. How does that work?

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The director of communications on a never seems to communicate with

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:18:15.:18:17.

anybody, we can't get him on the programme, is on 85,000. So a PR

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person gets way more than an MP. are not talking about the salaries

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of the regulators. That is a matter of public record. It fits with the

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market. Why do you need a director of communications? Because we have

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to deal with programmes like you. You don't. You are not with them any

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more. I happily came on this programme when I was with IPSA, and

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there is an enormous communication job to do with the public. I agree.

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There are question marks on why on earth we have such an expensive

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hobby. A lot of people feel unhappy about the cost of the regulator. It

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is less than it was before, and our accounts were not qualified by the

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National Audit Office. We have reduced pay a 7 million a year, so

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the costs are down. I will give you the final word. Remember, many

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members of Parliament don't do the job until the day of their

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retirement. They are retired by their voters. I hope Margaret is

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therefore ever. He is a big fan! But they are getting rid of the big

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redundancy payment. Do you agree with that? I got six months' pay

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when I got kicked out. Not as high as some of the BBC. If you want to

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encourage people into politics and you don't remunerate them, you will

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just get research assistants becoming MPs. Speaking of the BBC,

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that is what we are going to move on to. Seamless!

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Now, our guest of the day, Margaret Hodge, was busy laying into BBC

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bosses yesterday, metaphorically, when they gave evidence to the

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committee over severance pay. He was a flavour of that debate.

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Could you explain why, in your professional judgement, it was value

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for money to pay Roly Keating beyond his contractual term? Because if we

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didn't pay him money to go, you would stay. We would then be making

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him redundant when that will closed 12 months later, and therefore the

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cost would be, in addition to what we paid him, �500,000. But with all

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your experience, you have not come from an easy organisation, why did

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you not just put your foot down? are head of HR. The overwhelming

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focus was to get numbers out of the door as quickly as possible. But it

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:21:28.:21:30.

is licence fee payers' money. It is our money. I understand that, and

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the BBC has accented many of the criticisms within the National Audit

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Office report that we were too generous. Culturally, as Lucy Adams

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and others have said, I think we lost the way. We got bedevilled by

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zeros on various salaries. One of the issues was that there was not

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enough grit at the centre of the organisation. There has not been a

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senior remuneration committee. Things were devolved. I will be

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bringing that back to a proper level at the heart of the organisation.

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We did ask someone from BBC management to come onto the show,

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but they declined. So we are delighted to have the media

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commentator Steve Hewlett with us. Before we come to you, Margaret

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Hodge, we saw you grappling with the senior executives. Overall, what was

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your impression as to why some senior BBC executives were given

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such high severance payments? I think there was just a cosy culture

:22:44.:22:48.

at the top. They had known each other all their working lives, and

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they rubbed each other's backs and thought somehow, they were

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entitled, although as I said on that clip, it is not their money, it is

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the licence fee payer's money. thought they were entitled to the

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biggest deal they could get, and it was outrageous. The most outrageous

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thing was probably G3 who got hundreds of thousands and then went

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straight out of the door into other well-paid jobs, and think they are

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entitled to it? Please! We will come back to the issue of the culture and

:23:21.:23:27.

how this sort of thing arose. want to come back to the issue of

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how severance payments were made beyond people's contracts. Not only

:23:31.:23:37.

were they high, but they went well beyond what was due. Mark Thompson,

:23:37.:23:41.

the former director-general, was the head of the BBC at the time. I

:23:41.:23:47.

understand you have his statement? do. There is no doubt that people's

:23:47.:23:50.

payments went beyond their entitlements. That has been

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established beyond doubt. In the most high-profile case, the deputy

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director general, Mark Byford, who was the one who departed with close

:24:00.:24:06.

to �1 million, they decided to make him redundant in October 2010. He

:24:06.:24:13.

then left in August 2011 and was then paid, in addition to his

:24:13.:24:17.

redundancy entitlement, he was paid for 12 months in lieu of notice. So

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the National Audit Office said Hang on, you decided to make him

:24:21.:24:26.

redundant in October. He then works for eight months and you pay him 12

:24:26.:24:29.

months' notice. Shouldn't you have started the notice period and the

:24:29.:24:35.

clock ticking? In other words, he gets 20 months' pay when he was only

:24:35.:24:43.

entitled to 12. How did that happen? The issue yesterday was, were the

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trust aware of what was going on? They claimed they did not know and

:24:51.:24:57.

that Mark Thompson had not informed them fully. They invited Margaret

:24:57.:25:00.

Hodge to ask Mark Thompson to come to the committee and spill all. When

:25:00.:25:06.

Margaret said, has Mark Thompson live? They said, we are not saying

:25:06.:25:10.

he has lied, but there is an inconsistency. Mark Thompson is now

:25:10.:25:14.

president of a big New York company, and he said today in a statement, I

:25:14.:25:19.

look forward to laying the facts in front of the committee. I would like

:25:19.:25:22.

to clear up firstly that the BBC trust was fully informed in advance,

:25:22.:25:27.

in writing as well as orally, about the proposed severance packages for

:25:27.:25:33.

Mark Byford. They were told it was proposed that formal notice would

:25:33.:25:36.

not be served immediately, but in the following year. An e-mail from

:25:36.:25:41.

my office to the head of the trust unit makes this clear. I made sure

:25:41.:25:47.

the trust were aware of all potentially contentious issues,

:25:47.:25:51.

including the fact that formal notice would not be served at once.

:25:51.:25:55.

I have a copy of the e-mail here. This is significant because if the

:25:55.:26:05.
:26:05.:26:08.

trust were aware that the Byford lied. They lied? They said they were

:26:08.:26:13.

not aware. Precisely was aware of what, goodness only knows, and the

:26:13.:26:18.

best of luck to you when you get down to finding out. But Mark

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Thompson says they were informed, and they are saying, he misled us.

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These two cannot both be right. It could not be worse that the BBC. It

:26:32.:26:36.

is the most unedifying spectacle. It is almost down to name-calling. That

:26:36.:26:40.

statement is electrifying in the light of what you were told in front

:26:40.:26:43.

of the committee, because the BBC trust member Anthony Fry was

:26:43.:26:46.

questioned about a letter from Mark Thompson, the former

:26:46.:26:51.

director-general, to the trust, which said the payoff to Mr Byford

:26:51.:26:56.

was within contractual arrangements, when it was not. They can't both be

:26:56.:27:01.

right? We are in a really difficult position. Either Mark Thompson did

:27:01.:27:06.

or did not tell the trust, and if, as he alleges, he did tell the

:27:06.:27:10.

trust, the trust, in their evidence yesterday, asserted that they were

:27:10.:27:17.

not told. We have another issue with the BBC, which is the digital media

:27:17.:27:24.

initiative, this attempt to use archive material, where 100 million

:27:24.:27:28.

has been spent and nothing gained. That was also on Mark Thompson's

:27:28.:27:33.

watch, so we want to bring him back about that. He has agreed to come

:27:33.:27:38.

back. I was not going to return to this until we have the relevant

:27:38.:27:42.

reports for the digital media initiative but given what Steve

:27:42.:27:45.

Hewlett has uncovered this morning, we will have to return to this more

:27:45.:27:50.

quickly. I want all the players in front of us so that we try to

:27:50.:27:55.

uncover the truth. You want Mark Thompson sitting next to members of

:27:55.:28:05.
:28:05.:28:05.

the trust. And also the nonexecutive members of the executive committee.

:28:05.:28:08.

Marcus aegis, the ex-chairman of Barclays bank, is said to have

:28:08.:28:15.

signed off all these deals. He would think these deals were peanuts. I

:28:15.:28:20.

would like to hear his side of the story. It would also be important to

:28:20.:28:30.
:28:30.:28:32.

hear from Michael Rylands, the director-general at the time.

:28:32.:28:38.

does this do to public trust in the BBC? Margaret has hit the nail on

:28:38.:28:43.

the head. If you put together the digital media initiative, �100

:28:44.:28:51.

million written off, as time goes on, we may see that slightly more

:28:51.:28:54.

benefit has accrued, but nevertheless, it is the

:28:54.:29:00.

mismanagement of �100 million. The trust have to say they are sorry.

:29:00.:29:03.

Then just six weeks later, they are there again because it appears,

:29:03.:29:09.

following another NAL enquiry, that the BBC have paid executives more

:29:09.:29:14.

than they were titled to. It looks like a structural, systemic

:29:14.:29:20.

failings. And that is the problem. I was talking to somebody who is big

:29:21.:29:25.

in the world of politics, a journalist, who says the damage that

:29:25.:29:29.

has been done to the BBC by the combination of factors is not

:29:29.:29:35.

insignificant. When staff pay has been all but frozen for the last few

:29:35.:29:40.

years. When arguing about who knew what, the big picture is that too

:29:40.:29:43.

much was paid to senior executives in their severance packages, more

:29:43.:29:50.

than they needed. To give the context, it was �25 million over a

:29:50.:29:55.

three-year period to 150 senior executives. That is the same as half

:29:55.:30:01.

the total expenditure on Radio 4 programming. We believe that figure

:30:01.:30:05.

hanging in the air. Now we know we are doing this programme for three

:30:05.:30:15.
:30:15.:30:17.

and sixpence and a Lucky Bag! Leonardo DiCaprio uses them a lot.

:30:17.:30:24.

MPs use them. So the 1.3 million people in the UK. They are supposed

:30:24.:30:31.

to be an aid to quitting smoking. Now the EU is trying to pacify

:30:31.:30:37.

electric cigarettes as medicines. -- classifier. Let's remind ourselves

:30:37.:30:43.

of Laurie Penny 's appearance on the Daily Politics last year, electronic

:30:43.:30:53.
:30:53.:30:56.

cigarette in hand. This is not a real cigarette. If any

:30:56.:31:04.

of you are calling the police it a fake cigarette. It's the future. I'm

:31:04.:31:08.

on a 1-person mission to make them popular. What's your vision on

:31:08.:31:16.

this? I'm in the same position. I hate to do agree with George on

:31:16.:31:24.

anything... That might not be a real cigarette but it ain't doing you any

:31:24.:31:32.

good! Oh, it's in the! Joining me now is

:31:32.:31:38.

Stephen Williams and the director of a small business selling Ellington

:31:38.:31:46.

cigarette. Why do people smoke the cigarettes? -- selling eggs Tronic

:31:46.:31:55.

cigarettes. There's a lot of stigma with traditional cigarettes. A lot

:31:55.:32:04.

of people try the traditional chewing tobacco or chewing gum,

:32:04.:32:06.

medicinal spray and things like that. They find it doesn't do the

:32:06.:32:13.

trick. Electronic cigarettes brings another sensation to smoking.

:32:13.:32:16.

just clarify, do people smoke these cigarettes to get off smoking the

:32:16.:32:24.

traditional cigarettes, or as an alternative? There's two sides to

:32:24.:32:30.

the coin. We sell ours as an alternative to smoking. We don't say

:32:30.:32:33.

it will help you to quit smoking, because we don't think it will. It's

:32:33.:32:43.
:32:43.:32:43.

an alternative. Are they health consequences? None have been proven.

:32:43.:32:46.

They are potentially a good thing if they help people to wean themselves

:32:46.:32:52.

off the real thing. We know that tobacco, if consumed as the

:32:52.:32:57.

manufacturer intends, if the only product that will shorten your life

:32:57.:33:07.

span. -- is the only product. The tobacco companies are busily buying

:33:07.:33:11.

up all of the manufacturers of these products. They are only doing that

:33:11.:33:14.

because they believe it is in their interests. They want to normalise

:33:14.:33:21.

the experience of smoking again. Last week, when I got home from

:33:21.:33:27.

Westminster, I saw a big advert of somebody who, superficially, it

:33:27.:33:34.

looks like they were smoking. It was an electronic cigarette.

:33:34.:33:41.

You can smoke them indoors? Correct. There is no damage to passive

:33:41.:33:49.

smokers? There's no evidence so far. We would support them being

:33:49.:33:54.

classified as a medicinal product. Our products are an alternative is

:33:54.:34:02.

to smoking. We don't make any claims that the product will help you to

:34:02.:34:06.

quit smoking. The majority of our customers don't feel that way.

:34:06.:34:11.

you think there are any health dangers? That's what we need to look

:34:11.:34:20.

at. There has been a review of all iniquity in products, -- nicotine

:34:20.:34:30.
:34:30.:34:33.

products. You would only get them by prescription? I'm not sure I would

:34:33.:34:41.

go that far. This is something none of us had heard of two years ago. I

:34:41.:34:48.

certainly think the advertising needs to be looked at. I wouldn't

:34:48.:34:53.

want them to get a back door way of normalising the appearance of

:34:53.:35:00.

smoking, or, for instant, targeting them at children. At the moment,

:35:00.:35:07.

these can be advertised in children 's magazines.

:35:07.:35:14.

I was a cigarette smoker. I gave up, oh, God, 30 years ago, and I still

:35:14.:35:19.

think of myself as an addict. I worry would be just that cash that

:35:19.:35:28.

you go back to the feel -- that you go back to the feel of having a

:35:28.:35:32.

cigarette. I have seen people in restaurants complaining because they

:35:32.:35:42.
:35:42.:35:43.

think somebody is smoking, but in fact they are vaping. For us, we

:35:43.:35:49.

think that overregulation would make it difficult for us to obtain a

:35:49.:35:53.

license. It would price us out of the market. The price of electricity

:35:53.:36:01.

cigarettes, getting the licence, the price would move on to the

:36:01.:36:09.

consumers. -- electronic cigarettes. And you smoke them? And you feel all

:36:09.:36:18.

right? Yes, and I feel fine. haven't. I've seen other MPs doing

:36:18.:36:26.

it. I'm not trying it. Are you? I don't think we will have them in the

:36:26.:36:31.

studio. Should English MPs have a veto legislation applying only to

:36:31.:36:36.

England? According to reports, that is what the government is

:36:36.:36:39.

considering. They say it's unfair that other MPs can determine laws

:36:39.:36:44.

affecting England. But English MPs have no say on devolved matters and

:36:44.:36:49.

are looking for ways to redress the balance. Tom Harris and Conservative

:36:50.:36:54.

MP Harriett Baldwin are on College Green to debate the proposals.

:36:54.:36:58.

Welcome to both of you. Harriett Baldwin, these proposals would

:36:58.:37:03.

create two tiers of MPs in Parliament. You would reduce MPs

:37:03.:37:07.

from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to one day per week MPs.

:37:07.:37:16.

haven't see the -- seen the proposals. But we think they did not

:37:17.:37:23.

propose creating categories of MPs. A proposed changes to the order in

:37:23.:37:30.

the House of Commons. Let's call this the English question. Let's

:37:30.:37:34.

make sure that any legislation in Westminster that applies only to

:37:34.:37:39.

England is carried by a majority from English MPs. That sounds

:37:39.:37:45.

sensible, Tom Harris? It's more complicated than that. Take the Same

:37:45.:37:48.

Sex Marriage Bill, which applied only to England and Wales. There

:37:48.:37:56.

were another -- number of technical aspects regarding Scotland. It is

:37:56.:38:00.

difficult to get a bill that only applies to England. I can think of

:38:00.:38:06.

lots! There are plenty of these bills for England on health and

:38:06.:38:13.

education, for example. And the last health Bill, which only apply to

:38:13.:38:17.

Ian, had technical provisions applying to Scotland. It included

:38:17.:38:21.

the training of certain professionals. Let's go back to

:38:21.:38:29.

Isaac principles. The Scottish Parliament was introduced to

:38:29.:38:36.

address... England does not suffer, never has suffered, will never

:38:36.:38:44.

suffer, a democratic deficit. The only time that English teeth -- MPs

:38:44.:38:48.

could be before the -- defeated would be if every single non-English

:38:48.:38:56.

MP plus 209 image MPs got together and voted against it. It is unfair.

:38:56.:39:06.
:39:06.:39:09.

Labour MPs, wouldn't it? This is about fairness for England. It has

:39:09.:39:16.

rarely been an issue in the past. I would expect it to be rarely an

:39:16.:39:21.

issue in the future. But when it is, it should be highlighted. It is a

:39:21.:39:25.

cost that usual crisis that is waiting to happen. It is something

:39:25.:39:31.

that needs to be dealt with in this Parliament. It's also more and more

:39:31.:39:38.

the case that with more devolution but just as Scotland but, as the

:39:38.:39:46.

silk commission recommends, Wales, there will be more legislation that

:39:46.:39:52.

refers to England only. All sorts of things apply to England only. It's

:39:52.:39:59.

important that we tackle this thorny question now. Well done for shouting

:39:59.:40:04.

over that motorbike. Tom Harris, isn't this, on the other hand,

:40:04.:40:10.

disastrous for Labour? They rely on their MPs in Scotland and Wales. You

:40:10.:40:15.

would find it difficult to get a majority in England of English MPs.

:40:15.:40:20.

I'm sure that's the case. Let's go back to another first principle. The

:40:20.:40:25.

Prime Minister is known as a first among equals. They have the same

:40:25.:40:30.

voting rights as other members. If you lose that, you lose the

:40:30.:40:34.

functionality of the House of Commons. We have been here before.

:40:34.:40:38.

For 50 years, a devolved Northern Ireland Parliament had its own

:40:38.:40:42.

primers do but still sent MPs to Westminster and nobody ever raised a

:40:42.:40:46.

question about old stuff. Why was that? Was it because the Ulster

:40:46.:40:53.

Unionist MPs to the Conservative whip? -- took the Conservative

:40:53.:41:00.

whip? It's been raised for 100 years.

:41:00.:41:07.

There's never been a Labour majority without a majority of Labour MPs in

:41:07.:41:17.

England. Thank you both very much. Lunch is on the way. Not clear the

:41:17.:41:23.

Australians will make it to lunch, however. They have one wicket to

:41:23.:41:31.

fall. The Coalition have a target to get net migration down by the tens

:41:31.:41:36.

of thousands by 2015. They are making progress. But what about

:41:36.:41:40.

those who decide to move here? Should they be forced to learn

:41:40.:41:44.

English? Should they be helped to integrate into the community? Eric

:41:44.:41:54.
:41:54.:41:55.

Pickles thinks so. This is his soapbox.

:41:55.:41:59.

Speaking English is essential to living and working in Britain. It is

:41:59.:42:04.

a passport to prosperity, and without it, people are very limited

:42:04.:42:09.

in what they can do. In some communities, learning English

:42:09.:42:15.

doesn't happen. This is not right. I believe that if you want to live

:42:15.:42:25.
:42:25.:42:33.

here, you must learn to speak the east of London, which is there to

:42:33.:42:37.

help people to learning which. It runs a number of courses, including

:42:37.:42:43.

mental ring services, and some specifically to help mothers who

:42:43.:42:50.

have migrated to this country and have virtually knowingly should.

:42:50.:42:57.

-- no English. Learning the language is important. When you come to a

:42:57.:43:01.

country, one of the things to get to grips with first and foremost is the

:43:01.:43:06.

language. There are a lot of other areas. What we provided a range of

:43:06.:43:12.

life skills to help the women to integrate.

:43:12.:43:16.

Looking at the bigger picture, the census of two years ago showed that

:43:17.:43:22.

a crossing in and Wales, 2% of the population can't speak English or

:43:22.:43:27.

speak it poorly. When you look across London, the figure jumps to

:43:27.:43:37.
:43:37.:43:38.

9%. That is 150,000 people who can't speak English, can't communicate

:43:38.:43:46.

with their fellow citizens. That is going to create difficulties for

:43:46.:43:49.

people even going to the shops. They are going to have difficulty talking

:43:49.:43:55.

to their neighbours. It's important for me. I come from a

:43:55.:44:00.

different country, different background, different language. This

:44:00.:44:06.

country is new for me. I want to know about this country, about the

:44:06.:44:10.

transport, about the shopping, and other things. I want to make

:44:11.:44:15.

friends. It's also good for the wider

:44:15.:44:19.

community. I want people to live together and work together, to

:44:20.:44:29.

integrate and form friendships and get along with each other. How can

:44:29.:44:32.

you interact with people from other cultures and countries if you can't

:44:32.:44:36.

talk to them? There are also financial benefits. Translation

:44:36.:44:42.

services are very expensive. Independent research shows that

:44:42.:44:48.

local authorities alone spends nearly �20 million per year

:44:48.:44:58.
:44:58.:45:03.

translating a variety of documents from English to 75 languages. This

:45:03.:45:05.

money will be better directed to help all residents and all

:45:05.:45:07.

communities. But it isn't just about the money. It's about making Britain

:45:08.:45:17.

a better place to live. That is what centres like this are doing.

:45:17.:45:21.

Eric Pickles joins us now. Is it that migrants are refusing to learn

:45:21.:45:27.

English, or is there not enough provision? We need encouragement. It

:45:27.:45:31.

is perfectly possible to survive in this country, to be able to shop in

:45:31.:45:34.

this country, to receive entertainment without speaking

:45:34.:45:38.

English. But it does mean that their life chances are so much more

:45:38.:45:43.

narrow. And it means their children's life chances are

:45:43.:45:53.
:45:53.:45:53.

narrowed. George Osborne wants to encourage them with the stick rather

:45:53.:45:56.

than the current. He says if you are not prepared to learn English, your

:45:56.:45:59.

benefits will be cut. That is not encouragement, that is from marching

:45:59.:46:02.

you to the English classes, isn't it? That is tough love. It is about

:46:02.:46:11.

getting people to understand the reality. Encouragement will be

:46:11.:46:14.

there, but they should not see this in the way of getting a benefit. It

:46:14.:46:19.

is a way to become a full citizen. I don't want people to forget where

:46:19.:46:25.

they come from all their own language. I want them to be a

:46:25.:46:30.

vibrant part of British society and have an equal chance. How would you

:46:30.:46:35.

judge if someone's English was not adequate enough that they did not

:46:35.:46:42.

deserve their benefits? Well, I am not a linguist, but I think being

:46:42.:46:47.

able to have sufficient English to be able to do the job you are

:46:47.:46:50.

employed for. For example, for your job, I would expect them to be very

:46:50.:47:00.
:47:00.:47:01.

fluent. He is still taking classes! And showing enormous progress.

:47:01.:47:05.

have been arguing for a long time that it is really important for

:47:05.:47:15.
:47:15.:47:19.

migrants who settle here, and I am one myself, that you learn the

:47:19.:47:22.

language. But let me say two things to Eric that I have argued for a

:47:22.:47:25.

long time. For women, it is a sensitive issue, because they don't

:47:25.:47:28.

get a job. They are often at home. If they are good mums, it is

:47:28.:47:30.

important for them to talk to teachers. How would you get them to

:47:30.:47:34.

learn? Let me tell you how we have tried to do it and the problems we

:47:34.:47:38.

have faced. We had a lot of English provision in our children's centres,

:47:38.:47:41.

where the mums were encouraged to come when the babies were born, and

:47:41.:47:48.

start learning English. That provision has been cut because local

:47:48.:47:52.

authorities have faced bigger cuts than anybody else. And it is not

:47:52.:47:54.

because I have an inefficient council that is spending money

:47:55.:48:02.

elsewhere. We are looking at different ways of trying to get

:48:02.:48:05.

English across. I launched a competition at the beginning of the

:48:05.:48:15.
:48:15.:48:17.

year to find unique ways to get English going. The young lady that

:48:17.:48:20.

was interviewed, she was, up to 18 months ago, a newsreader on

:48:20.:48:23.

Pakistani television. She came to this country with not much English,

:48:23.:48:26.

and it demonstrates what is possible. You are avoiding the

:48:26.:48:33.

issue. Margaret, you see everything in this narrow political way. That

:48:33.:48:43.
:48:43.:48:45.

was a local choice. We are making a difference. If it is all going to be

:48:45.:48:48.

about the wicked cuts, we will not make progress. I have been doing

:48:48.:48:51.

this work for a long time, so frankly, we should be encouraging

:48:51.:48:54.

this and not blaming everything on economic circumstances. I doing

:48:54.:49:02.

courage this. -- I do encourage this. I think it is essential for

:49:02.:49:06.

community go huge on, but the reality on the ground, Eric, in the

:49:07.:49:12.

children's centre I visited recently, is that when you really

:49:12.:49:15.

cut local authority expenditure so badly, they are forced back to their

:49:15.:49:22.

statutory duties and they cut out all this provision which is

:49:22.:49:32.
:49:32.:49:33.

non-statutory. That is a very old-fashioned view. Let me ask you,

:49:33.:49:40.

is there not at least a chance, at a time when cuts are all over the

:49:40.:49:44.

place, and when local government has had its grant frozen, that some

:49:44.:49:49.

councils may decide, one way to save a few bob is by not doing English

:49:49.:49:55.

classes? Then they are very foolish councils, because it is important

:49:55.:49:58.

that we don't find ourselves with a subclass where people of enormous

:49:58.:50:08.
:50:08.:50:13.

talent can't get jobs. They are not foolish. It is wrong to say

:50:13.:50:16.

everything has to be done by local authorities. We are looking at

:50:16.:50:18.

different ways of doing it, and it is a very old-fashioned view that

:50:18.:50:22.

Margaret is expressing. Don't talk over me. You and I used to talk

:50:22.:50:26.

about this issue is a lot. I am not saying local authorities should

:50:26.:50:36.
:50:36.:50:37.

deliver it. It is important for voluntary organisations to be

:50:37.:50:40.

involved. I am just saying that the reality on the ground in my

:50:40.:50:42.

community is that they are being forced back to only funding

:50:42.:50:51.

statutory services. You have both had to say. Very interesting.

:50:51.:50:55.

Now, onto a pressing constitutional matter. How do we hold our

:50:56.:51:00.

politicians to account? As we saw earlier, our guest today, Margaret

:51:00.:51:10.
:51:10.:51:24.

Hodge, head up the Public Accounts Committee, who rigorous Lee

:51:24.:51:26.

interrogate officials and ministers. But there is another essential part

:51:26.:51:28.

of the British political system that keeps MPs in check. He is usually

:51:28.:51:30.

found loitering outside government departments, or waiting at sunrise

:51:30.:51:32.

on cabinet ministers' doorsteps. And he is armed with nothing more than

:51:33.:51:35.

the simple ray mac of truth and a trusty foghorn voice fair play. Very

:51:35.:51:37.

poetic! Rarely seen, but always heard, he is the BBC's Chief

:51:38.:51:47.

Parliamentary Stalker, Gobby. You have heard him. Now meet him,

:51:47.:51:51.

BBC producer Paul Lambert, known in the Westminster village as Gobby. I

:51:51.:52:00.

wonder why? Has George looked after you? Are the children happy? Are the

:52:00.:52:10.
:52:10.:52:13.

soldiers happy? His shout outs are as much a part of TV news here as

:52:13.:52:17.

pictures of Big Ben. The point is to fill in the pieces in a TV bulletin

:52:17.:52:20.

piece that you have not got pictures to fill in. You know someone will

:52:20.:52:26.

not say anything, but you just need something. That will be the office.

:52:26.:52:30.

It does involve a lot of standing around, though, which means there is

:52:30.:52:39.

plenty of time to hear some of Gobby's famous war stories. During

:52:39.:52:41.

Blair's last conference, he walked across after the speech and I

:52:41.:52:49.

shouted across, oi, Bill, are you going to miss Tony? But sometimes it

:52:49.:52:51.

is very physical, like this hilarious attempts to get pictures

:52:51.:53:01.
:53:01.:53:04.

of David Cameron jogging. Jogging, boys! Or dangerous. Watch the wall.

:53:04.:53:12.

Let's see that again. Although sometimes it is painful in other

:53:12.:53:17.

ways. We are going live to Downing Street in a few minutes' time,

:53:17.:53:22.

because the prime minister will be holding a news conference. He is

:53:22.:53:26.

setting up, with a BBC producer standing whether Spanish prime

:53:26.:53:31.

minister will be standing. Now here's where the British prime

:53:31.:53:36.

minister will be standing. He has ideas above his station.

:53:36.:53:40.

Frequently, it is very newsworthy, like the time Gobby cornered sharia

:53:40.:53:46.

Blair at the height of speculation that her husband was standing down.

:53:46.:53:50.

Darling, that is a long way in the future. That quote made the front

:53:50.:53:56.

page of most national papers the next day, but can anyone do this?

:53:56.:54:06.

Why did it take you so long to settle? How was that? Very good.

:54:06.:54:11.

Well, that is Cabinet over for today. What is next, a press

:54:11.:54:15.

conference, a stakeout at a government department or home of an

:54:15.:54:19.

MP? Actually, it is a bacon sandwich.

:54:19.:54:23.

Well, you need sustenance for these jobs. Adam Fleming, you need to

:54:23.:54:28.

practice more with the shouting. We are joined now by the BBC's IPD

:54:28.:54:32.

political editor, James Landale. Gobby, as he is affectionately

:54:32.:54:38.

known, is something of a legend in the West Mr bubble, but he is also

:54:38.:54:41.

respected by the politicians? Yes, he is a legend because they have all

:54:41.:54:51.
:54:51.:54:55.

had him on their doorstep at some point, and they know that all he

:54:55.:54:58.

will do is ask a question. He gets on with everybody. He has more brass

:54:58.:55:00.

than anybody in Westminster. He has a better new sense than many people

:55:00.:55:03.

in Westminster. If there is any flaw in this perfect human being, he is

:55:03.:55:05.

possibly got a pathological obsession with his mobile phone and

:55:05.:55:09.

injurious reluctance to work on some Fridays. But apart from that, he is

:55:09.:55:15.

amazing. Moving on to the issue of MPs' pay, which we talked about at

:55:15.:55:20.

the start of the programme, is there a sense that there is now a growing

:55:20.:55:23.

division between what party leaders are saying, and they are saying it

:55:23.:55:27.

is not the right time for a pay rise, and backbenchers, who are paid

:55:27.:55:34.

considerably less, and think it is long overdue? It is not a clear-cut

:55:34.:55:39.

division. Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have said they will turn down this

:55:39.:55:43.

pay rise. David Cameron's spokesman has said he opposes it and thinks it

:55:43.:55:47.

is the wrong time for a pay rise, but will not specify whether Mr

:55:47.:55:51.

Cameron will hand this back. Education Secretary Michael Gove has

:55:52.:55:56.

been far more rude. In the last few minutes, he has said MPs should

:55:56.:56:00.

absolutely not receive these pay rises. MPs are well paid anyway.

:56:00.:56:06.

IPSA is a bit of a silly organisation, and that pay rise,

:56:06.:56:10.

they can stick it. Charming! It is not clear whether Mr Gove speaks on

:56:10.:56:13.

behalf of the government, but he certainly speaks for himself.

:56:13.:56:18.

are loads of MPs who think this is the wrong time and IPSA are putting

:56:18.:56:22.

them in an invidious position. will reduce public trust in them,

:56:22.:56:27.

and they have no control over it. But he quickly, privately a lot of

:56:27.:56:31.

them say there is clearly an issue about pay that has to be resolved.

:56:31.:56:38.

But publicly, we are scarring Westminster to find someone who will

:56:38.:56:40.

defend this, and we are not succeeding, for obvious reasons. The

:56:40.:56:44.

risk is that if you do get into a bit of a Dutch auction, as Margaret

:56:44.:56:49.

says, where does it stop? What about the package, that there are other

:56:49.:56:52.

things which will be reduced as part of this proposal to increase MPs'

:56:53.:57:02.

pay? There was some encouragement from government to see if IPSA could

:57:02.:57:04.

come up with a package that overall reduces the cost to the public

:57:04.:57:07.

purse. They have not managed that. They are over that by �3.5 million,

:57:07.:57:10.

which in the grand scheme of things might be a modest proportion of the

:57:10.:57:14.

whole, but it is still above the line, which makes it harder for the

:57:14.:57:20.

government to support this. There will be no immediate decision on

:57:20.:57:23.

this. So it will be interesting to see if the party leaders can find a

:57:23.:57:29.

way of finessing this further down the road. This is not a policy, it

:57:29.:57:35.

is a proposal. We have just had some other news from the Justice

:57:35.:57:40.

Secretary, Chris Grayling, who has asked the serious fraud office to

:57:40.:57:42.

consider investigating gene for us after the government was left with

:57:42.:57:46.

bills worth millions of pounds for electronic tags that were not used.

:57:46.:57:55.

Sounds like a scandal. Yes. It is something we look that not long

:57:55.:58:01.

ago. There is a general point here about how more private providers are

:58:01.:58:05.

providing public services, and the government has to be better with its

:58:05.:58:11.

openness. I want the National Audit Office to go and see how they spend

:58:11.:58:16.

taxpayers' money when they provide a public service. I am glad he has

:58:16.:58:21.

called in the serious fraud office. Very quickly with the quiz, the

:58:21.:58:26.

question was, what are Conservative MPs planning to do at next week's

:58:27.:58:31.

PMQs to protest against John Bercow 's do you know? IR may John Bercow

:58:31.:58:38.

fan. James, the answer is? They are going to start wearing badges with

:58:38.:58:48.
:58:48.:58:49.

the letters BBB. The first letter refers to a ticking off that begins

:58:49.:58:51.

with B. Ticked off by John Bercow, but in slightly more fruity

:58:51.:58:56.

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