14/10/2013 Daily Politics


14/10/2013

Jo Coburn with political news, interviews and debate, including the latest on George Osborne's visit to China. With former US diplomat Colleen Graffy.


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Good afternoon. Welcome to the Daily Politics. A thawing of

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diplomatic relations. And not just between the Mayor of London and the

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Chancellor, as Boris and George meet in Beijing to love bomb the

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Chinese. 600,000 economically inactive EU migrants are in the UK

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according to a study published this morning. Are they taking more in

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benefits and from public services than they are contributing in

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taxes? President Obama versus Congress. Still no agreement as the

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impasse that has shut down the US government continues. Thursday's

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deadline threatens another economic crisis. It is the job everyone is

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talking about. At Westminster at least. We will put the candidates

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to replace Nigel Evans as Deputy Speaker through their paces. That

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is in the next hour. With us for the first part of the programme

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today is Colleen Graffy, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

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and associate professor of law at Pepperdine University based here in

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London. Welcome to the programme. You are thousands of miles away on

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the other side of the world and who should you bump into, but a fellow

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senior Conservative politician. Boris Johnson and George Osborne

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are in China. The timing of their visit apparently a complete

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coincidence. If you believe that, you believe anything. Boris is

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drumming up business for London and the Chancellor for the whole of the

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UK. The visit marks a thawing of relations with Beijing after David

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Cameron met Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who is a

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strong critic of the Chinese regime, last year. This morning, the

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Chancellor was asked whether Britain had promised his hosts that

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there will be no more meetings with the Dalai Lama. The Prime Minister

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said in the House of Commons he has not got any plans to meet the Dalai

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Lama. He has met the Dalai Lama. He does not have plans to meet him

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again. I do not think diplomatic and economic relations are entirely

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intertwined. The economic relationship between these two

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great nations is getting stronger and stronger. Everyone wants a

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slice of the cake when it comes to the Chinese investment. Is that a

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sign of demise in the US? And absolutely not. President Obama

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took this pivot to Asia and the absolutely not. President Obama

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reason was the United States is focused on the potential that is

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happening in Asia. The problems and there to hear is what you do about

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human rights. Not only that, but also the environmental record. The

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United States looks at this talk of the rise of time as a superpower

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has been premature. They have demographic, human rights and

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environmental issues. You still want the trade, but you need

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something to deal with the other issues. The Chancellor said that

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the two are separate in some ways. The Prime Minister met the Dalai

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Lama, but that should not stop investment and trade missions going

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ahead. If they are connected, why did China cut-off relations because

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he met the Dalai Lama? They are clearly connected for China. Even

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though we are trying to separate them. I understand why lucrative

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trade is a potential. If you go to China, and you see the growth is

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astonishing. The image of tiger needs to change. They are cutting

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edge. What they are doing is amazing and we have catching-up to

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do. Some of the concerns might be for example, do you want them to

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engage in building nuclear power plants question mark they should be

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a question -- plants? There should be a question about that. Security

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issues must be being raised. But Great Britain could capitalise on

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the expense and reluctance you are Great Britain could capitalise on

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expressing on behalf of the US. His it is a matter of time are finding

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ways. These institutes cropping up all over the United States

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ways. These institutes cropping up associated with universities. They

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sound fantastic. They have a lot of money. Self- censure should when

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universities want to invite the Dalai Lama -- self-censorship. They

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feel the pressure. That would be my concern. Walk would be the leverage

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if they are engaged in building nuclear power plants -- what would

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be? Britain's relationship with Europe is often rocky, shall we say.

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The latest report from the European Commission on the effects of

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migration on our social security system is unlikely to help it. In

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fact, the headline figures will have had people spluttering into

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their cornflakes. The report says that over 600,000 inactive EU

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migrants are living in the UK. That is the equivalent of a city the

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migrants are living in the UK. That size of Glasgow. However, the

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European Commission says that figure includes school pupils,

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retired people and those taking time out to raise children, not

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just job seekers. That figure has significantly risen - up from just

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over 430,000 just six years ago. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson,

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has responded by calling for a delay in migrants' access to

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benefits. And the Department for Work and Pensions has said they are

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strengthening the habitual residence test and limiting how

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long some migrants can claim benefits. However, some question

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long some migrants can claim whether this is the correct

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approach. One pro-Europe think tank, the Centre for European Reform,

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says the great majority of EU immigrants come to Britain to work.

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says the great majority of EU Who is right? Are they a help or

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hindrance to the economy? Jonathan Todd, welcome to the programme. The

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European Commission has been critical of reports about this

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600,000 figure, pointing out they are not all people out of work. But

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you say they are not earning money and therefore not contributing to

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the economy. You have to bear in mind that the percentage is much

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lower than the percentage of UK nationals that are inactive. 30% of

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European Union migrants, compared to 43% of UK nationals that are not

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active. The majority come to the UK to work and contribute more to the

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welfare system than they take out, because they tend to be younger

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than the average population and of working age. They pay more in

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taxation than receiving welfare benefits. You do accept there has

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taxation than receiving welfare been an increase in numbers of

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economically inactive European Union migrants? There has been a

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big leap, taking into account about how much you say they contribute in

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taxes. There is a big leap in the number of European Union migrants

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in the UK. When you consider these people are net contributors to the

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UK welfare system, the more you have, the better off the system is.

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Downing Street put out comments in response. They have rebuffed your

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claims that there is no evidence that benefit tourism are tracks

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European Union migrants. Hence the argument for doing nothing about it.

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You ripping Commission has asked the UK Government for over three

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years to have figures to back up the claim -- the European

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Commission. They have still not been able to give us figures. You

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would have read it yourself in the Daily Telegraph. They do not have

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figures to back up that claim. Obviously, if there were evidence

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of systematic abuse of benefits by a EU migrants, we would be prepared

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to look at the system and see if rules had to be changed. There are

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safeguards already to prevent benefit tourism. You are taking

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legal action against the British Government against plans to

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strengthen curbs against that. We are taking legal action because the

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UK is not applying the European Union rules they agreed to. They

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are applying their own rules on top of that and therefore they are

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unfairly depriving people, many of whom have worked in the UK for many

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years, of benefits. Other countries have concerns. They tend to be

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different to the concerns of the UK. In the Netherlands, they are most

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concerned about the exploitation of European Union migrants and the

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social legislation not been properly applied. In Germany, the

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main concern is unemployed people from poorer member states, becoming

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a burden for some of the larger cities in Germany. It is not the

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same concern as in the UK. One of the plans is that migrants would

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have to be resident in Britain for between six and nine months before

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being entitled to some benefits. What problems do you have with

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that? The portray is that -- the point is they cannot stay for more

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than three months unless they can prove they have sufficient

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financial means to not be a burden on the UK. If they are not working

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and they do not have financial means, they cannot stay in the UK

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for longer than three months under the European Union law. You say the

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Government have not got the figures. Did they say they will provide

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them? We have been waiting for over three years to get the figures. We

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were promised them earlier this year. They still have not delivered.

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Thank you very much. John Springford is with us. He has

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written a report on benefit tourism. We are joined by Stewart Jackson, a

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Conservative MP. The Government has not provided figures, which means

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there probably are no figures to back up their claim that benefit

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tourism attracts these people to the UK. There is anecdotal evidence

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that is the case. I think they should have provided it. When I

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moved my bill, we were promised we would have a toughening up and the

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habitual residence test. You will would have a toughening up and the

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not hear me say it often, I am broadly sympathetic to some of the

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complaints of the European Union because the Government should be

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ahead of this. That is said, -- because the Government should be

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that said, it is not the business, defending, it is saying people --

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to people you should exercise your treaty rights and be studying,

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looking for work. If you're not, you should leave this country. They

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say many of the figures, it is a myth, a perception, it is not the

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reality. They have figures to back up what they say. You make it sound

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as if we are talking about millions of people but when you compare it

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to the British population it is live. They have not contributed. If

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you are a pensioner from Portugal, you have not contributed. If you

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are a schoolchild, nobody would expect you to contribute. But the

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children have to be housed and have health care and have school places.

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The strain in hot spots like Peterborough, my constituency, is

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acute. That is where we are right to say there is an element of

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benefit tourism, particularly from -- from the Czech Republic and

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Slovakia. Who is right? I do not -- from the Czech Republic and

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think there is much evidence of this. Part of my report I put out

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tried to look at the number of people classed as a benefit tourist,

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and that is where the 0.8% figure comes from. We looked at European

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Union mights in Britain. We could only find that 0.8% of those

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migrants after a year's residents are taking up Jobseeker's Allowance.

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If they were benefit tourists, you would expect them to get on the

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unemployment role as quickly as possible. The data is not robust.

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The Government has routinely said that they are not collecting

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figures on child tax credits sent abroad. It is higher when you look

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at child benefit. The figures are not as high as perhaps some people

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would expect. After year's residents, too 0.1% on child

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benefit, 1% on child tax credits. 20% in the UK for each. We simply

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do not know how many European Union migrants are in the country. I

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would contend the situation will get worse, not least the

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differential in earnings between a Romanian worker and a UK household

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differential in earnings between a income is so huge, people will come

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and when they do not find work, they will access benefits, which is

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what the Government needs to look at.

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These at two relatively small countries. But they are in many

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cases living in abject poverty. I countries. But they are in many

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wouldn't say that, but they are Porro. The things we know about

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Central and Eastern European migrants to Britain is they tend to

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be young, entrepreneurial people who want to come and find work. They

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tend to be relatively highly educated. It seems to me that

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Romanian and Bulgarian migrants aren't going to change that picture.

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The government haven't come up with the evidence all the figures. Even

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their own MPs are saying they should have come up with some strong

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anecdotal evidence. It does seem like there needs to be more

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anecdotal evidence. It does seem information. I wonder whether, are

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individuals asked when they receive a benefit what their nationality is?

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That's the point. One of the things the government said is they don't

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routinely check that. It's bonkers. The other is, if you are British and

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living in Spain, can you immediately claim benefits? You can claim

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living in Spain, can you immediately benefits but it differs for

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different EU countries. In France and Spain you can. And you can still

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claim benefits from here if you are a pensioner, although that's being

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tightened up. You certainly can. A lot of these benefits systems have

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the contributory principle. It means you pay some money in to a pot and

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then you can draw that down over time. Whereas British benefits

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aren't like that. The Spanish are tougher. You have to register when

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you are moving, getting married and changing jobs. They've used the free

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movement directive legislation in a quite Draconian way in Spain,

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because of their youth unemployment. Let's come back to the basic

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principles. If you take the information that is out there,

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critics can rightly claim that David Cameron, whose pledging to

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renegotiate EU rules governing and if it's for migrants, is campaigning

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on a problem that is either very small or doesn't really exist. It

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does exist. Almost 40% of children in primary schools in my

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constituency don't speak English as their first language, maternity

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service are under pressure, housing. In terms of a cost benefit analysis,

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for every one person we recruit, a decent person wants to make money

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for themselves and send money back to, say, Romania, there's a

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low-wage, low skilled British person who's not getting benefit, skills

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and training. That is the problem, it's the services that migrant

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families use. They may well be someone in a family earning a decent

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wage but the school places, the strain on health services, that's

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where local people are feeling the pain of this. There may well be

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areas... There are, aren't there? Daily e-mail well be. -- there may

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well be. If you are saying there is no resource implication for that for

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teaching children to speak English... I am not saying there are

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no resource invocations, the question is what you do about it. Do

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no resource invocations, the you try to prevent them from having

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no resource invocations, the access to the services or try to

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expand the services in order to be able to educate them? Who pays for

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that? Migrants themselves, they are net contributors to the UK

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Treasury. Use some of that money. But the services at the moment are

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under that strain. Is their claim to the argument that one should delay

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benefits that come to migrants. More time should elapse before EU

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migrants can claim those benefits? Are we talking about services? What

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are we going to do, are we going to prevent children from having their

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education? What is the logical conclusion to that argument? The

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government has to look at that small number of local authorities where

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the problem is most acute and set up funding for them. But you are right,

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we need to delay benefits. We need to make it clear that you are coming

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to the UK to work or study or be self-employed. But you are not going

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to be allowed to do so because it is in breach of the EU rules. How are

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they at breach here and not in breach of the EU rules. How are

:19:41.:19:43.

Spain? You said there are more onerous conditions in other

:19:43.:19:45.

countries. Because they've had the political will to change and nuance

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the free movement directive in a way that we have not in this country.

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Can we do what they are doing, if they are not being prosecuted? I'm

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sure it is about the interaction between the social welfare system

:19:59.:20:03.

and EU law. So in Spain, because you have to pay into a pot, then it's

:20:03.:20:07.

harder to get benefits straightaway. Whereas in Britain,

:20:07.:20:10.

you just receive benefits based on your need. We need to look at the

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you just receive benefits based on contributory principle. We are the

:20:13.:20:16.

third most generous benefit payers out of all the 27 countries. People

:20:16.:20:21.

make a rational decision, if they are not in work than they are going

:20:21.:20:26.

to be in a relatively good and strong benefits regime from their

:20:26.:20:30.

point of view. But you will just beyond £70. Your potential earnings

:20:30.:20:37.

in work are much higher. The biggest incentive is clearly to come to

:20:37.:20:46.

work, not to languish on benefits. If you think British politicians can

:20:46.:20:49.

be bloody-minded, try America. There, a row between the Democrats

:20:49.:20:52.

and the Republicans, or at least some of them, has closed down large

:20:52.:20:56.

parts of the Federal Government. Worse still, the US could be forced

:20:56.:20:59.

to default on its debts unless a compromise is reached by Thursday,

:20:59.:21:03.

and so far, talks have failed to produce a solution. The fight

:21:03.:21:05.

started over Obamacare, the President's dream of health

:21:05.:21:08.

insurance for all. And it could have an impact on these shores as well. A

:21:08.:21:13.

taste of America right here in the heart of London. Unfortunately, life

:21:13.:21:18.

where this stuff comes from ain't quite so sweet. America is in a bit

:21:18.:21:23.

of trouble right now. Government gridlocked, workers sent home and

:21:23.:21:27.

the possibility of the world 's greatest superpower defaulting on

:21:27.:21:30.

its debt, which, I don't want to get too technical here, is a bad thing.

:21:30.:21:34.

But how did it get into this state and what does it mean for us? The

:21:34.:21:39.

Republicans, who control the upper house of the US Congress, have

:21:39.:21:40.

Republicans, who control the upper refused to pass a budget, which

:21:40.:21:45.

means large swathes of the federal government have been forced to

:21:45.:21:55.

close. It started with Obamacare. The president's plan for a universal

:21:55.:21:57.

health insurance scheme for all Americans. Obamacare for many people

:21:57.:22:00.

in the US is a symbol of a fundamental shift of the political

:22:00.:22:04.

philosophy towards socialism. Socialism is a nasty word in the US.

:22:04.:22:10.

Whether it is a good idea or bad, and I think many Americans,

:22:10.:22:13.

certainly those of us outside America, think it's a good idea,

:22:13.:22:18.

that is almost beside the point. They have been talks, but if

:22:18.:22:21.

Republicans and Democrats failed to reach a deal, the US could also hit

:22:21.:22:25.

its borrowing limit, and that's dangerous for all of us. NEETs

:22:25.:22:29.

hitting the debt ceiling is a bit like hitting your credit card limit.

:22:29.:22:33.

If it hits it then it will have two stop spending on a whole number of

:22:33.:22:39.

things. Nobody knows which things those be or how they will be

:22:39.:22:43.

prioritised in spending. The worst thing that could happen for the rest

:22:43.:22:48.

of the world would be if the US Government stopped paying the

:22:48.:22:52.

interest on its outstanding debt. I think that is very unlikely but it

:22:52.:22:57.

could be very nasty scenario. And none of it is good news for us. If

:22:57.:23:02.

you imagine US companies now potentially having to send staff

:23:02.:23:06.

home because of the US work is not working, that can trickle back to

:23:06.:23:10.

us. Perhaps orders from British companies aren't coming in because

:23:10.:23:14.

they are not needed in the US. That is the first instance, purely

:23:14.:23:19.

through our trade flow. And the other is through what potentially

:23:19.:23:22.

can happen to the US Government bonds. If the US do default, the

:23:22.:23:27.

value of these bonds will fall. That could mean that the pension funds of

:23:27.:23:33.

ordinary people well outside the US can be affected. So how might it pan

:23:33.:23:39.

out? Predicting it is hard. The best way that it could resolve itself

:23:39.:23:45.

would be a short-term agreement, a continuing resolution to enable the

:23:45.:23:52.

government to pay its bills for certain things. Like social

:23:52.:23:56.

security, interest on the debt. That would have the time limit attached

:23:56.:24:01.

to it. That would give more time for negotiations. It has undoubtedly put

:24:01.:24:05.

Republicans and Democrats in the spotlight. Unless the deal is done

:24:05.:24:09.

soon, it might not be the kind of Fame politicians normally crave.

:24:09.:24:15.

Colleen Graffy, we gaze away from a Fame politicians normally crave.

:24:15.:24:20.

very dangerous moment? Yes, this could actually happen. I know it

:24:20.:24:25.

sounds like the Republicans are being obstinate and under this, but

:24:25.:24:30.

we had to understand that the underlying issue is that we are

:24:30.:24:37.

spending money we don't have. We've got a $17 trillion debt. So the

:24:37.:24:41.

Republicans are saying, enough, we can't keep on raising the debt

:24:41.:24:47.

limit. Part of that is that Obamacare is another entitlement

:24:47.:24:51.

that the Republicans and many say we cannot afford. Is that... The

:24:51.:24:56.

initial cause of the stalemate was this opposition to Obamacare, which

:24:56.:25:02.

is really a sideline to what is at stake here. The Republicans... It's

:25:02.:25:07.

connected because it's an entitlement that you can't put into

:25:07.:25:12.

the box once you let it out again. But it's been agreed. Yes, but Obama

:25:12.:25:18.

did not do a very good job of negotiating it because he did not

:25:18.:25:25.

get one single Republican vote. It's connected. The Republicans probably

:25:25.:25:31.

overreached in pulling that as part of that. But now the Democrats are

:25:31.:25:35.

overreaching by saying that they want to now cut back on this thing

:25:35.:25:39.

called the sequester, which is that there is that there's

:25:39.:25:42.

across-the-board cuts if they don't negotiate a proper budget. Now the

:25:42.:25:48.

Democrats are overreaching, and they thought they had an agreement over

:25:48.:25:51.

the weekend. Susan Collins, a respected moderate Republican

:25:51.:25:57.

senator, had come up with a very good compromise and it was

:25:57.:26:01.

dismissed. They are looking over the brink. Will they pull back? Will

:26:01.:26:07.

this face-off diminish as Thursday looms and they will agree? The

:26:07.:26:13.

Republicans will rollover? No one knows. However, the bond market

:26:13.:26:17.

tomorrow will be responding. That will put a lot of pressure on

:26:17.:26:21.

members of Congress. I think that Obama to a certain extent is

:26:21.:26:24.

enjoying this because it is giving a black eye to the Republicans. He

:26:24.:26:29.

will hope that this means in the mid-term elections in November, that

:26:29.:26:33.

he will be able to get a majority in the house will stop it now it is

:26:33.:26:36.

going to look really bad for him because he is not showing leadership

:26:36.:26:40.

in getting this negotiating them. But minds will be focused when

:26:41.:26:45.

people look at the effect globally. How dangerous is it for the global

:26:45.:26:51.

economy? It is, because people you invest in the United States because

:26:51.:26:53.

they have confidence in their investments. If we default, that

:26:53.:26:58.

changes the whole calculation is an investment in the United States.

:26:58.:27:01.

That has repercussions globally. We just heard the steam Lagarde over

:27:01.:27:07.

the weekend saying that this is very serious indeed. -- Christine

:27:07.:27:13.

Lagarde. Hopefully America will pull back and commit. What else can

:27:13.:27:18.

happen between now and then, who is going to move? They look at the

:27:18.:27:23.

effect on growth in America and worldwide, will both sides realise

:27:23.:27:28.

it's just not worth it? They will probably want something, each side

:27:28.:27:32.

will want something. There are some areas where they will not

:27:32.:27:35.

compromise. There's this thing called a medical tax device, which

:27:35.:27:39.

is something both sides agreed on, which would have been an easy thing

:27:39.:27:44.

to agree on. But Obama had said no to that. So now they are playing

:27:44.:27:48.

hardball, thinking that they've got the votes in order to not

:27:48.:27:53.

prevent... To prevent the Republicans from getting anything

:27:53.:27:57.

they want. It's a game of chicken. It will go right up to the end. So

:27:58.:28:04.

far, the moderates who put forward a proposal, it was not accepted over

:28:04.:28:10.

the weekend. It will be interesting to see what happens. It's scary to

:28:10.:28:16.

see. Time now to look at what's on the political agenda this week

:28:16.:28:18.

Tomorrow, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, appears in front of the

:28:18.:28:21.

Home Affairs Select Committee over why one of the world's most wanted

:28:21.:28:24.

Al-Qaeda terror suspects, Anas al-Libi, who was captured in Libya

:28:24.:28:27.

by US Special Forces last weekend, was given asylum in Britain. Tuesday

:28:27.:28:32.

also sees the latest appeal in the row over Government plans to go

:28:32.:28:36.

ahead with the HS2 high-speed rail project. The Supreme Court will hear

:28:36.:28:43.

appeals by objectors to the scheme. On Wednesday, the result of the

:28:43.:28:47.

election for the new Deputy Speaker will be announced. Wednesday also

:28:47.:28:51.

sees the results of a ballot on strike action by post office workers

:28:51.:28:55.

in the communications Workers Union. On Thursday, the report by the

:28:55.:28:58.

Government's Social Mobility Tsar, Alan Milburn, will be published. The

:28:58.:29:02.

former Labour Health Secretary was appointed by Nick Clegg as an

:29:02.:29:05.

independent reviewer of social mobility. Joining us now are Craig

:29:05.:29:09.

Woodhouse, political correspondent on The Sun, and Kate Devlin from The

:29:09.:29:11.

Herald. Joining us from our Westminster

:29:11.:29:24.

studio is Craig Woodhouse, political correspondent on The Sun,

:29:24.:29:27.

and Kate Devlin from the Herald. We have Boris Johnson and George

:29:27.:29:32.

Osborne in Beijing. Of racing in from the same hymn sheet? That

:29:32.:29:37.

remains to be seen. It is an important and serious trip. Lots of

:29:37.:29:41.

announcements and hopefully a lot of investment for the UK, which is

:29:41.:29:47.

what the commission wants. Interesting they are there together

:29:47.:29:50.

and there are suggestions that many in the coalition did not want to

:29:50.:29:54.

see Boris Johnson alone getting the credit. Are they cross, Craig

:29:54.:30:02.

Woodhouse, that Boris Johnson is out there, George Osborne, both

:30:02.:30:07.

rivals to succeed David Cameron. Is it about who must come out best?

:30:07.:30:12.

Possibly. There is the suggestion that Boris Johnson did not know the

:30:12.:30:17.

Chancellor was going over. A little strange as they are run a joint

:30:17.:30:21.

ticket this afternoon. You would wonder if Downing Street would be

:30:21.:30:24.

nervous if they got together over dinner. It is about investment for

:30:24.:30:31.

Britain, and whether that is a London, or Manchester, it has to be

:30:31.:30:37.

a good thing. You would like to be a fly on the wall in the

:30:37.:30:40.

restaurant! What about Labour repositioning? It is probably not

:30:40.:30:49.

quite going as they wanted. It is possibly a fair year. -- fairly if.

:30:49.:31:01.

Last week we had frontbenchers and it created an expectation, people

:31:01.:31:06.

taking over the important jobs you may be had something different to

:31:06.:31:09.

say, it does not look like it on what they said about free schools.

:31:09.:31:15.

Tristram Hunt had to make an apology for his comments that they

:31:15.:31:25.

were just four a vanity project. It has created a difficult first week

:31:26.:31:30.

for those who took over serious jobs. A purge of the Blairites is

:31:30.:31:39.

how it was labels. But some said it was a move to the centre. This is

:31:39.:31:44.

par to the problem with the reshuffle -- part of the problem.

:31:44.:31:51.

Ed Miliband, announcing price controls, bringing back socialism.

:31:51.:31:56.

Suddenly you have the purge of the Blairites is a mixed message. It

:31:56.:32:00.

was a sacking of those who were disloyal and replacing them with

:32:00.:32:06.

loyal ones. It has left them in a tricky position. Rachel Reeves

:32:06.:32:10.

saying they will be tougher than the Tories on welfare. We would

:32:10.:32:14.

have to wait and see what they would come up with that is tougher.

:32:14.:32:21.

They must have been told that welfare is where they are weak. The

:32:21.:32:26.

Tories have been telling them that for a year. Lots of articles in

:32:26.:32:31.

newspapers have been telling them that. This was not the biggest

:32:31.:32:37.

surprise. It is something that they seem to have maybe potentially made

:32:37.:32:42.

a hostage to fortune for themselves by suggesting they will be tougher

:32:42.:32:48.

than the Tories. It seems to me that that is something that would

:32:48.:32:53.

be difficult to keep. On the cost of living, Labour seemed to be

:32:53.:32:58.

setting the agenda. It seemed to be uncomfortable for David Cameron,

:32:58.:33:03.

having to respond to the energy price freeze. The this is the great

:33:03.:33:11.

challenge. It is perfect politics. The big challenge for the Tories is

:33:11.:33:17.

to find a way of suggesting they are on the same side as people. We

:33:17.:33:22.

will cut your energy bills. A simple six words. Explain why that

:33:22.:33:26.

is wrong and you cannot do it in six words, and that is the

:33:26.:33:30.

challenge for the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats, who are

:33:30.:33:34.

trying to show themselves as the party of fairness. They are not in

:33:34.:33:40.

the debate. The Liberal Democrats said that you cannot do anything

:33:40.:33:45.

about bringing energy bills down. It is a message that the public do

:33:45.:33:49.

not want to hear, even if it is true. The coalition wants to be

:33:49.:33:55.

able to rise on a growing optimism in the economy. We will see

:33:55.:34:00.

unemployment figures, which they are hoping will be good. They need

:34:00.:34:05.

to see wages rising and that is where we will feed it in our

:34:05.:34:09.

pockets, rather than reacting in horror when we open and energy bill.

:34:10.:34:18.

Labour's new Cabinet line-up were out and about over the weekend. One

:34:18.:34:21.

of the fresh faces on show was former TV historian, Tristram Hunt,

:34:21.:34:24.

who is now Shadow Education Secretary. In a newspaper interview

:34:24.:34:26.

he apologised for making derogatory comments about free schools. Later,

:34:26.:34:30.

he spoke to Andrew Marr to clarify the party's position. First here he

:34:30.:34:37.

was back in 2010. £250 million allocated for building

:34:38.:34:42.

schools for the future is under threat by the Department of

:34:42.:34:48.

Education to fund vanity projects for a under-employed professionals

:34:48.:34:52.

to set up Swedish schools. If you are a group of parents,

:34:52.:34:56.

entrepreneurs, teachers, interested in setting up a school, the Labour

:34:56.:35:02.

government will be on your side if it is an area where they need

:35:02.:35:09.

school places. I've been joined now by Labour's Meg Hillier, the former

:35:09.:35:12.

Children's Minister and rgw Liberal Democrat MP Duncan Hames for the

:35:12.:35:15.

rest of the show. He is eating his words? The reality is that free

:35:15.:35:24.

schools are opening. But what is clear about what Tristram Hunt said,

:35:24.:35:30.

which is good news, is that we want qualified teachers and standards to

:35:30.:35:34.

be maintained and proper financial scrutiny. Try to get the details of

:35:34.:35:39.

a budget of a free school in your area and it is impossible. Labour

:35:39.:35:45.

supports them. Tristram Hunt has made it clear. He apologised for

:35:45.:35:49.

what he said and they now support the policy. If you listened to

:35:49.:35:54.

Stephen Twigg, it is not so different from what we were saying

:35:54.:35:59.

before. The position has not changed as much as that. Maybe the

:35:59.:36:03.

position of Tristram Hunt has changed. In my area we have one

:36:03.:36:12.

free school, and we are saying... I am supporting any school that

:36:12.:36:18.

provides a good education. Even in an area where there are places.

:36:18.:36:31.

They can open anywhere they want, not where the places are needed,

:36:31.:36:37.

and that is the problem with them. A are you saying Tristram Hunt has

:36:37.:36:43.

taken the policy to fork -- too far and you would only support them in

:36:43.:36:51.

certain circumstances? What qualifies as an area of need? In

:36:51.:36:59.

south London, there has been a problem about secondary school

:36:59.:37:03.

provision in one area. I met somebody setting up a free school,

:37:03.:37:07.

they just wanted a good school in the area. In my area, we have had a

:37:07.:37:15.

new academy and a free school Open. We will take what is on offer if it

:37:15.:37:25.

provides the right education. It is not easy, but let's say Labour is

:37:25.:37:31.

supporting free schools where there is need and you can debate about

:37:31.:37:36.

whether there is a need. It they are they, they will stay. Tristram

:37:36.:37:42.

Hunt has been on a crash course at the labour retraining free school!

:37:42.:37:51.

They are proving a success. 174 Ready and more soon. The majority

:37:51.:38:00.

in areas represented by Labour MPs. -- already. Labour should have

:38:00.:38:05.

welcomed this all along. Tristram Hunt has seen the light, has the

:38:06.:38:08.

welcomed this all along. Tristram rest of the party? If they are a

:38:08.:38:13.

good school and where it is needed, I would welcome it, whoever is

:38:13.:38:16.

good school and where it is needed, providing it. If you have them

:38:16.:38:20.

where there is no need for places, that is a waste of public money.

:38:20.:38:26.

There are point is that it is up to parents and organisations are --

:38:26.:38:36.

the point is. It is not down to the Government to tell them where to

:38:36.:38:40.

set them up. We are looking at budgets. The issue is cost, if you

:38:40.:38:45.

over providing areas and have under provision in others. There are

:38:45.:38:50.

areas where you have too many schools in one area and not in

:38:50.:38:54.

another in the same county. If there are plenty of places but

:38:54.:39:00.

terrible schools, what you do? You have to make sure you are improving

:39:00.:39:10.

them. Sometimes the Government forces them to become another type

:39:10.:39:14.

of school. We get obsessed with structures. We need good quality

:39:14.:39:19.

teaching, making sure the results are good. The Chief Inspector of

:39:19.:39:23.

Schools said that. What about unqualified teachers? It happens in

:39:23.:39:29.

the private school system. Should they have qualified teachers? Free

:39:29.:39:34.

schools will have qualified teachers and unqualified teachers,

:39:34.:39:36.

if that is what they want. It has teachers and unqualified teachers,

:39:36.:39:42.

happened in the independent sector of the years. Real experts in Sport

:39:42.:39:46.

and science and other areas teach in schools without qualifications

:39:46.:39:53.

and a huge leap successful. Is that a dangerous precedent? I agree with

:39:53.:39:59.

making it easier for people to come into the profession. But a

:39:59.:40:02.

qualification and standard of teaching is important. We adopted a

:40:02.:40:10.

policy which Labour announced support for that teachers in free

:40:10.:40:14.

schools should have qualified teaching status and that is

:40:14.:40:17.

something we would like to see. What about the issue of choice? The

:40:17.:40:23.

argument is about places primarily. If there are places, should you

:40:24.:40:29.

have a free school? Should it be only where there is a shortage of

:40:29.:40:35.

places? The take up of places at these new schools will demonstrate

:40:35.:40:39.

if that has occurred in places where they are needed. I went past

:40:39.:40:44.

one this morning, the Oasis South Bank academy. I looked in the

:40:44.:40:50.

window and I saw a young black boy getting one-to-one tuition from his

:40:50.:40:57.

teacher. It was 8:15am. He was not there under obligation, he was

:40:57.:41:01.

hungry to learn. That school should be proud they give him this

:41:01.:41:07.

opportunity to learn. I am proud we have given at school the

:41:07.:41:12.

opportunity. That just -- that does not just happen in free schools.

:41:12.:41:18.

They all provide tuition at the beginning of the day. Labour are

:41:18.:41:24.

jubilees started the academies, which the Conservatives have taken

:41:24.:41:28.

on and to support free schools? Do you agree, it is an obsession with

:41:28.:41:32.

structures and creating a divide where there is not one? It has not

:41:32.:41:39.

been about structures, it is more powers to head teachers to see how

:41:39.:41:44.

they think it is best fit to organise their schools. And taking

:41:44.:41:48.

away those things that have given rise to ridiculous grade inflation

:41:48.:41:53.

in some cases which are not a reflection of the ability of

:41:53.:41:58.

children. At least now they have powers to do what is in the best

:41:58.:42:07.

interest of their students. More changes are announced this week.

:42:07.:42:11.

The cost of living and the energy bill discussion. When it comes to

:42:11.:42:16.

fuel prices, your Energy Secretary made it clear they would do nothing

:42:16.:42:20.

about the rocketing prices and cannot. I noticed the Liberal

:42:20.:42:26.

Democrats were criticised for telling the truth in that piece

:42:26.:42:31.

earlier. Fossil fuel prices keep going up. We use so much of it in

:42:31.:42:36.

the energy system, it forces up prices. The only long-term way to

:42:36.:42:41.

get the bills down is to use energy more efficiently through greater

:42:41.:42:48.

insulation. Or you could abandon the green taxes. They are a tiny

:42:48.:42:53.

part of the bill. The increase announced this week by one company,

:42:53.:42:59.

£15 of that increase, per year, for a family, could be put down to

:42:59.:43:05.

these green taxes. A lot of those are not about supporting green

:43:05.:43:09.

sources of energy, but funding support for those paying their

:43:09.:43:15.

bills, up to £135 a year on the warm homes discount and for the

:43:15.:43:17.

bills, up to £135 a year on the poorest families to have help with

:43:17.:43:22.

bills. We have to have a debate about this. A large part of the

:43:22.:43:28.

increase is about world commodities. An increasing portion of the bills

:43:28.:43:34.

is down to the green taxes. He said they are not. They are. In a few

:43:34.:43:41.

years, they will be one-third of the average bill. We need to be

:43:41.:43:44.

honest about that. We would all the average bill. We need to be

:43:44.:43:49.

agree we need to help to subsidise those in fuel poverty, poor people,

:43:49.:43:55.

elderly people, to make them more fuel-efficient. If you do not do

:43:55.:44:00.

anything about green taxes, what can you do to bring the bills down?

:44:00.:44:05.

The green subsidies come and we need a mix in the energy economy,

:44:05.:44:11.

must not go on any longer than absolutely required. What we are

:44:11.:44:15.

doing is increasing transparency so people will be moved on to the

:44:15.:44:17.

doing is increasing transparency so cheapest tariff, which is not

:44:17.:44:22.

happening at the moment. We also need to know how much money the

:44:22.:44:24.

happening at the moment. We also energy companies make at of the

:44:24.:44:29.

green tariffs. We need a proper debate about this. The Labour Party

:44:29.:44:33.

gave for the popular freezing of bills. It is working, but it will

:44:33.:44:40.

not work when the lights go out and the unintended consequences go

:44:40.:44:45.

through the floor. We need a cross- party policy. The issue about bills,

:44:45.:44:53.

we need to take steps. When we see commodity prices drop, bills do not

:44:53.:44:59.

drop. The price goes up when the gas wholesale price goes up but not

:44:59.:45:03.

down when it drops. You have to look at the investment of energy

:45:03.:45:11.

companies. What is wrong with freezing energy prices for 20

:45:11.:45:17.

months? I heard the announcement from the company last week who said

:45:17.:45:21.

that having frozen energy prices they were now increasing them and

:45:21.:45:25.

they would be frozen for another 12 months before they are increased

:45:25.:45:32.

again. People know the Government, forcing a freeze, it will be

:45:32.:45:37.

preceded by a big increase and after. Back is the problem. This is

:45:37.:45:44.

why you need a 20 year approach. The problem with the Government

:45:44.:45:48.

discussion about forcing people to be on the lowest tariffs, we saw

:45:48.:45:52.

that thrown out of the window the moment that was announced. The

:45:52.:45:57.

market is not working. We need to open it up to new entrants, so we

:45:57.:46:03.

get different suppliers to run a challenge to the big companies.

:46:03.:46:09.

It's recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty, the

:46:09.:46:13.

South Downs National Park boasts some of the UK's most beautiful

:46:13.:46:16.

landscape. But it's hosting a growing controversy too, because

:46:16.:46:19.

Brighton and Hove Council last week lodged a planning application to the

:46:19.:46:22.

park authorities to build a permanent site for travellers

:46:22.:46:24.

alongside an existing temporary site. And in this usually quiet

:46:24.:46:27.

corner of Sussex, the debate is raging. This is a quiet beauty spot

:46:27.:46:38.

in Sussex, but it is also the centre of a fight about who can live here.

:46:38.:46:45.

If we have a permanent site, we all have a home. I know a lot of the

:46:45.:46:49.

community say, well, they are travellers, why don't they want to

:46:49.:46:54.

travel? We can't travel, you are not allowed, you pull into a camp and

:46:54.:46:58.

you get evicted. We want our children raised the way that we have

:46:58.:47:02.

been raised, in our community and society. It shouldn't be illegal to

:47:02.:47:06.

want to react our kids the way that we were brought up. This extended

:47:06.:47:19.

family of Irish travellers has been living in the Brighton area for

:47:20.:47:22.

decades. Now they seek some stability, so their children can

:47:22.:47:24.

attend school and have better access to health care. So they are eagerly

:47:24.:47:26.

waiting for the decision about building a permanent travellers site

:47:26.:47:29.

at Holstein, after Brighton and Hove City Council submitted plans to the

:47:29.:47:31.

South Downs National Park authority. Families can stay for up to three

:47:31.:47:35.

months at the existing transit site here. But the city council was to

:47:35.:47:38.

create 12 permanent pitches on that here. But the city council was to

:47:38.:47:43.

field. Future residents will have to sign a lease, pay rent and council

:47:43.:47:47.

tax, like all social housing tenants. No one is saying this is

:47:48.:47:52.

going to be a single solution that solves all problems, but it's going

:47:52.:47:57.

to help. We have local permanently based families on the transit sites.

:47:57.:48:00.

Moving them onto a permanent site will release spaces and increase our

:48:00.:48:05.

capacity. This will reduce the pressure on open spaces. But there

:48:05.:48:10.

is strong local opposition. There are concerns about water pollution

:48:10.:48:13.

and the impact on local infrastructure. Our objection to

:48:13.:48:19.

this site is not anti-traveller. Many people have been accusing us of

:48:19.:48:23.

being somehow racist to say this. It is not, it is about the

:48:23.:48:26.

practicalities of this particular site. It is the wrong proposal in

:48:26.:48:31.

the wrong place. It is a national park. People fought long and hard to

:48:31.:48:35.

get that designated. Regional targets for traveller pitches were

:48:35.:48:39.

scrapped last year, and now each council is responsible for

:48:39.:48:41.

identifying the need for sites in its own area and meeting those

:48:41.:48:46.

needs. A public consultation on the proposals is likely to start in the

:48:46.:48:50.

next few weeks. Meanwhile, three generations of this family hope that

:48:50.:48:56.

their dream of living together at a permanent site will become a reality

:48:56.:49:03.

soon. Have Brighton and Hove been braving their decision? They've been

:49:03.:49:09.

a pain in the backside. They have effectively put a site at the

:49:09.:49:12.

entrance to Brighton and Hove saying all sorts of an cup and some welcome

:49:12.:49:16.

here. My constituency, which neighbours it, have had the knock-on

:49:16.:49:20.

effects of that. We've had people from all around the country

:49:20.:49:22.

alighting on Brighton and Hove and other parts of Sussex, seeing us as

:49:23.:49:27.

a soft touch. I've no problem with legitimate traveller sites, we have

:49:27.:49:31.

one in my constituency which has been absolutely fine and people

:49:31.:49:35.

recognise it and respected. What I can't go along with his the enormous

:49:35.:49:41.

amount of illegal encampments, where we get people coming from other

:49:41.:49:44.

parts of the country, alighting on sports fields, cricket grounds and

:49:44.:49:51.

parks, causing mayhem and leaving a mess for those council tax payers

:49:51.:49:54.

who have to pick up the bill afterwards. But there is a legal

:49:54.:49:58.

obligation for councils to find sites that are appropriate. We need

:49:58.:50:04.

to take our fair share. Are you? One thing we have just done last week is

:50:04.:50:08.

agreed with the other districts in West Sussex that we are going to set

:50:08.:50:11.

up a transit site. All the districts are going to pay for that. That

:50:11.:50:16.

gives the police more powers when groups of travellers come along and

:50:16.:50:21.

illegally set up a camp in the most inappropriate place. They can move

:50:21.:50:25.

them onto somewhere legitimate. They have to go somewhere. You campaigned

:50:25.:50:30.

against a site in your constituency in 2008, before you became an MP.

:50:30.:50:36.

Why? I don't think that was a sight. There is a site in my constituency

:50:36.:50:39.

which does not have planning permission. The council was

:50:39.:50:43.

consulting about suitable locations. There have been some suitable

:50:43.:50:46.

locations in Wiltshire, but there were also some suggest which were

:50:46.:50:51.

unsuitable. That one was in a flood plain. We do need legitimate transit

:50:51.:50:54.

sites, if we are able to ensure there is somewhere at acceptable for

:50:54.:51:01.

these people to go to, when otherwise we would find them on

:51:01.:51:04.

cricket pitches and other unsuitable locations. As I understand it, this

:51:04.:51:10.

one in the footage we've seen, the proposal is for 12 permanent caravan

:51:10.:51:13.

pitches and 21 in a proposal is for 12 permanent caravan

:51:13.:51:19.

Descriptions of it as a super camp... We do need to recognise that

:51:19.:51:23.

we do need to have some legitimate provision of transit sites if we

:51:23.:51:24.

don't want them cropping up in provision of transit sites if we

:51:24.:51:28.

places which would not be appropriate. We've had a number of

:51:28.:51:31.

sites and happy that have been very well managed. They have been clever

:51:31.:51:34.

sites and happy that have been very ways of working to try and make sure

:51:34.:51:37.

we help the people on illegal ways of working to try and make sure

:51:37.:51:40.

encampments to move to proper sites. One of the big problems is,

:51:40.:51:44.

especially in London, a lot of the sites were sold off years ago. It's

:51:44.:51:47.

very difficult to find them in more dense areas, which is presumably why

:51:47.:51:51.

people are moving to every is like Sussex. It's all down to local

:51:51.:51:55.

areas. There's got to be a proper approach, otherwise travellers are

:51:55.:51:59.

pushed from pillar to post, families are broken up and causes

:51:59.:52:02.

difficulties for the local community. It needs coordination

:52:03.:52:06.

from the government and local authorities working together. We

:52:06.:52:11.

have a duty to house people, but it's got to be done in a way that

:52:11.:52:14.

works for everybody. There's an election in the House of Commons on

:52:14.:52:18.

Wednesday. All MPs can vote but only MPs from the Government's side can

:52:18.:52:23.

stand. The election is for the role of Deputy Speaker. At least seven

:52:23.:52:26.

Conservative MPs have thrown their hats in the ring. But no Lib Dem has

:52:26.:52:30.

joined the race, although there is still just time. Joining us now from

:52:30.:52:35.

our Westminster studio are two of those candidates, Eleanor Laing and

:52:35.:52:45.

Simon Burns. Welcome. Good luck. We've got some questions for you. We

:52:46.:52:52.

need to ask you your knowledge, first, we want to hear your pitch.

:52:52.:53:00.

You've got 30 seconds. I am passionate about democracy, the

:53:00.:53:06.

dignity of the House of Commons and about its vital, essential role as

:53:06.:53:12.

the forum for a national debate. I would like to be part of the

:53:12.:53:16.

speaker's team, not just to keep order in the chamber, but to stand

:53:16.:53:21.

up for the rights of the backbenches, to hear the voice of

:53:21.:53:24.

the backbenchers against overbearing governments. Thank you very much.

:53:24.:53:35.

Simon, can you be as disciplined? Given my 26 years in the House of

:53:35.:53:39.

Commons, I have a House of Commons in my veins, both as a backbencher,

:53:39.:53:44.

six years on a select committee, as a whip in particular. I've been able

:53:44.:53:48.

to work with colleagues, to understand what makes them tick,

:53:48.:53:53.

what makes Parliament tick. I believe I've got a lot to offer in

:53:53.:53:59.

ensuring that one has a fair House of Commons, where backbenchers are

:53:59.:54:04.

able to get their point of view and hold the government to account, and

:54:04.:54:08.

also be firm in a land hundredweight. -- light handed way.

:54:08.:54:18.

Eleanor Laing, we will stop with you. -- start with you. What are the

:54:18.:54:27.

titles the deputy speakers are officially known by? The senior one

:54:27.:54:34.

is the Chairman of ways and Means. The next one is the first deputy

:54:34.:54:42.

chairman of ways and Means. The third one is the second deputy

:54:42.:54:46.

chairman of ways and Means. Very good, all correct. Simon Burns, the

:54:46.:54:52.

Chiltern hundreds is one of the ways to stop being an MP. Can you name

:54:52.:54:59.

them? The Chiltern hundreds? They are a mythical place that is an area

:54:59.:55:07.

of profit for the Crown, which to files you from being an MP. I admire

:55:07.:55:14.

you for that explanation. You didn't give us the names. It is Stoke,

:55:14.:55:19.

desperate and burn. Well done far having an answer.

:55:19.:55:31.

Eleanor Laing, what would the Speaker do in the event of a tied

:55:31.:55:42.

vote? He would cast his casting vote on the side of the status quo, or

:55:42.:55:45.

the government of the day. Very good. Simon, the 1911 Parliament act

:55:45.:55:58.

limits the power of the Lord's to two sessions. What is the date of

:55:58.:56:01.

the second Parliament act which two sessions. What is the date of

:56:01.:56:04.

limits the power of the Lords to one session? 1949. Gosh! Well done! You

:56:04.:56:14.

are both very good. We will go to the personality questions. This is

:56:14.:56:18.

for Eleanor Laing. Who is the MP for Ashton under Lyme? Dennis Skinner.

:56:18.:56:35.

It's David Hayes, Labour MP. What is Andrew Lansley's official title, by

:56:35.:56:42.

which he is paid an official salary? Lord President of the council.

:56:42.:56:46.

That's somebody else, Nick Clegg. It is Lord Privy Seal. That means your

:56:46.:56:52.

next question, who is the current Lord President of the Council? It's

:56:52.:56:57.

the leader of the House of Lords. No, it's Nick Clegg. This is why we

:56:57.:57:07.

are practising. This is my favourite question. Simon Burns, which Member

:57:07.:57:16.

of Parliament called the current speaker a sanctimonious dwarf.

:57:16.:57:22.

That's cruel, you know it was me! What are your relations like with

:57:22.:57:29.

the Speaker? I get an all right with John, we've been friends for a long

:57:29.:57:33.

time, long before we were in the House of Commons. Simon Burns, I'm

:57:33.:57:38.

sure relations have much improved. We have very little do with each

:57:38.:57:42.

other, except in the chamber. We will work together professionally if

:57:42.:57:47.

the cards are dealt that way. Thank you for being such good sports. Good

:57:47.:57:52.

luck. Who do you fancy as deputy speaker? They are pretty impressive

:57:52.:58:00.

at answering those questions. We will be hearing from all of them

:58:00.:58:03.

before the election. Apparently they are going to be speaking to the

:58:03.:58:08.

Parliamentary Labour Party. There's a hustings denied, there are seven

:58:08.:58:12.

in the race. I think we've only got one woman deputy in a team of four

:58:12.:58:17.

at the moment, that is something to perhaps they're in mind as well.

:58:17.:58:22.

What about you? The two favourites are the two you've just had. I'm a

:58:22.:58:27.

great friend of Eleanor's. The one who's got the edge is Henry

:58:27.:58:29.

Bellingham, he is the only one who who's got the edge is Henry

:58:29.:58:32.

can say that MySQL back ancestor who's got the edge is Henry

:58:32.:58:35.

assassinated Prime Minister, so the executive had better not mess with

:58:35.:58:36.

the chair in future! That's all for today. Thanks to our

:58:36.:58:49.

guests. The one o'clock news is starting over on BBC One now. I'll

:58:49.:58:53.

be here at noon tomorrow with all the big political stories of the

:58:53.:58:55.

day. Join me then. Bye-bye.

:58:55.:59:01.

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