31/10/2013 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks. And welcome to the Daily Politics. Turning up the


heat on the energy companies, at least trying to. Ed Davey has been


telling the Commons how he plans to increase competition in the energy


market. Will -- will Labour derail High Speed 2? The Commons votes on


the project and we will ask what the opposition are playing at. The


Electoral Commission wants this man to reword his EU referendum


question because they do not think the great British public knows


whether we are in or not. Is Britain a member of the European


Union? I think we are. And is there no end to his meddling? They now


want to standardise this. FLUSHING. It is very upmarket this morning!


With us for the duration, the -- pensions expert, Ros Altman. We


will talk about the newspapers. Last night, the queenside and the


Royal Charter to regulate the press. The Privy Council placed its seal


of approval on the plans after newspapers lost a last ditch


attempt to stop the process. It is under way. What do you make of it?


A lot of the mainstream press will not join. They will try to stand


against this. That will open them up to problems, but they are


willing to accept that. I am rather sad. I think that the freedom of


the press is one of the big pluses of the society and we have perhaps,


over the top. You do not think the Government should have gone down


this road? Per Smillie, not. The press, sometimes, is the most


effective opposition -- personally. If they are stymied in standing up


for the electorate, by politicians, effectively, maybe there is a


slippery slope. We will see. This demand for regulation, with the


Government role in it, came out of terrible things that were exposed


by other parts of the press. Things happening at News International


with hacking. The law is now taking its course on that, not regulation.


We have systems in place to control wrong doing. And to slap these


controls on the press, all risks slapping a potential political


control on the press I think is the wrong way to go. We shall see what


happens. Now it is time for the daily quiz. According to the papers,


the European Union is proposing to standardise lavatory flushes. It is


a sort of bog-standard! Did you see that? What will the recommended


flush be? At the end of the show, Ros Altman


will help to flush out the correct answer. Great script today. Who


writes this? They will be fired when I am off the air! It is a big


day for High Speed 2. MPs will vote on whether to let the Government to


start spending money on preparations for the project. David


Cameron and George Osborne hope they can drive it through. Labour


have appeared to put the brakes on the project went Ed Balls said the


costs have gone up to ?50 billion and there would be no blank cheque


for HS2. The Transport Secretary said the new line will only happen


with Labour support. David Cameron called Labour weak. What if


anything can win round the Conservative backbenchers, who want


to see it hit the buffers? When it was discussed in June this year, 21


Tories actually voted against. It is not just a Labour problem for


the Government. There were rumours 60 could rebel today. Is it all the


board for HS2? Are we hitting the end of the line? James is the


expert on Labour and HS2. I understand they will vote for this


Bill this afternoon. The Labour party will vote for the Bill


because it is not the whole thing. What it does today is simply say we


will give the Government the authority to spend money, planning,


compensation, preliminary work. And Labour are still retaining the


right, further down the line, to say no. That is because the second


phase of the legislation, the detail, the building, that will


happen next year. I understand there is a split between Ed


Miliband and Ed Balls. Ed Miliband is generally sympathetic and Ed


Balls is more sceptical. That is reasonable. If you talk to Ed


Miliband's people, they say he is a supporter and believes it is a good


thing. Early in the year he said he thought the economic and social and


business case had been made. If you talk to Ed Balls, he says yes, in


theory we are in favour, but we have to make sure the money is


spent well. He talks about stewardship of money. What I think


is going on is that Labour use this as a way of displaying fiscal


prudence. The topic when they can show the electorate that if they


were elected, they could look after the purse strings and make a


difference. Many people in the Labour Party think that is OK, but


it is not a sustainable position because nobody is going to invest


in the project if it has continuing doubt. For now, the Labour Party


maintained that no blank cheque approach. The Government could


continue doing what it needs to do until 2015 and then the Government,


the Tory party, will say if you vote for us we will continue, it is


too late to stop it by 2020, vote for us and we will finish the job.


That would leave it open to people like us to say to Labour you need


to say whether you are going with it or not. We would ask the


question earlier, we would ask it next year, when the detailed Bill


comes up. At that stage Labour will have to make a decision. Some in


labour say maybe we could sidestep that and allow it to go through


without voting for it, but most in Labour say they have to make a


decision. Is it a lack of faith in big projects that make them put


almost 15 billion of contingency into the budget? There is a mystery


about it. They suddenly realised that some of it had not worked out


and they need flexibility. A buffer. You always need a buffer for the


railway. Flushing, enter the line, puns. James Lewis is a councillor


for Leeds. He sits on the West Yorkshire Transport Authority


committee. Welcome. You are a council -- your council leader


wrote to the Shadow Transport Secretary this week to express


concern over the Labour position. What is your view? What would you


want the Labour Party to stand for? Our view is clear that for the


future of the economy of the North of England we need investment in


projects like High Speed 2 and we want to see better Connectivity to


the rest of the country and extra capacity. At the moment the


Government might not be handling it as well as they made, but it has to


be delivered. If we had a high- speed link between London and Leeds


Town, what makes you think it would not takes -- take more acid Leeds,


rather than leading to greater prosperity for the City -- take


more out of. London is a great global economic a city, and faster


links must attract jobs to Leeds. We want better connections two


international airports when the Government sorts out the airport


policy and better connections to the Continent. That has to be good


for our city, which is a modern European city and we need to be


connected to the rest of the world. The coalition want to proceed. The


fly in the ointment is Labour. You must be irritated by this position,


of bringing doubt that a project -- to the project? We are clear that


Labour is committed. We want to make sure that the long term


commitment to deliver it is there and that it is a project that will


last beyond the current government. The project was started in the last


government and has continued under this government. The why is Ed


Balls playing politics with it? He is rightly asking questions about


the cost. We want to see... It is not just about the froth of the


daily debate. The economic imperative is there to make longer


term decisions about infrastructure. There is a big thumbs-up for HS2


from you? Yes. We can go to Central lobby. We are joined by a Labour MP


and Conservative MP. Welcome. What is Labour playing at? I have to


make my position clear at the outset. The Labour Party has won


position and I have voted consistently against it. -- one


position. A are they now coming in your direction? I have tried to


make the case to say we need a moratorium. What has been said is


important. We have problems with Connectivity and capacity. This has


gone the wrong way around. The project is being imposed on us


without looking at whether it is the best use of money. The


counsellor we just heard from, part of your party, and the head of


Birmingham City Council, they do not want a moratorium. They are


telling Westminster to get on with it. We are 30 years behind on high-


speed, get it done. I would say get on with improving the


infrastructure. But if we are spending ?50 billion, which is


likely to rise to 75 billion, we need to sit down and make sure it


is the best project and I am not convinced. As Ed Balls spoken about


this to you? He has not. Should he? Why would he not speak to you? I do


not think it is deliberate. I will make sure I find him today and have


a word with him. Stewart Andrew, where are you won this? I am in


favour. We are at the stage where we need to tackle long-term


problems. The capacity issue is an issue now and will get worse by


2020. Why do you need high-speed to deal with capacity? And having


looked at the capacity figures, they are not convincing. I travel


on the train a lot. What we used to call the InterCity routes. A lot of


the time, they are not packed, even in peak time. Commuter trains are


packed, not long distance. A you must use different trains. When I


go back to my constituency, after 2:30pm, you struggle to find a seat.


It is set to get worse. Passengers numbers have doubled and that is


set to increase. The existing mainline routes cannot cope. We


have spent billions of pounds upgrading the West Coast Main Line.


Now we are at capacity again. The only way to solve it is to have a


new line and if we do that, let's use the best technology. Let's be


proud of it. It is now 30 years out of date. What do you say to the


capacity argument? Billions of pounds already spent has been on


consultancy fees. That needs addressing. What we are talking


about is the economic competence. That is where Ed Balls and Labour


have been strong, saying they are not prepared to write a blank


cheque. Nobody is asking for that. I think they are asking for a blank


cheque. What I'd like to see his evidence of every single other


option that has been explored and why HS2 is the best option.


Quite a few Conservatives are on the other side of the argument. How many


would you regard as rebels? The are not rebels, they are legitimate.


Forget the word, how many do not agree? We will see. I do not know. I


think we will have the vast majority of conservatives. 21 voted against


it last time. Possibly the same again full of the fact is that we


have to continue to make the case. The argument before was about speed


and that is not the issue. It was very good of the transport


Department to work out that people like us can actually work on trains,


that was a revelation. It shows they do not get out very often. I label


MPs -- Labour MPs moving in your direction? There were 27 people of


all sides of the house last time we voted against this, that is not a


great number. I am hoping it will be more today. Thank you. You will be


our default theme. Are you for or against? I am for. We need to renew


our infrastructure. When you look around the rest of Europe, we are so


far behind. HS2 is only one bit. We need more than that. Are we not


looking at a late 20th-century technology that we have missed the


boat on, trying to catch it up and the world has moved on? We will have


holograms on the table, and by 2030, the world will probably be full of


driverless cars. There will be other things we need to do as well. I


think we have a project ready to go, we have seen these things take so


long. If we wait there will be another lot of technology. Today


will be out of date. Thank you. Just before we came near, Ed Davey made


his annual energy statement. I know you have been waiting for it. --


came on here. He announced new plans to make it easier for consumers to


switch energy plans. He also suggested the issue of market


competition. In our debates on energy bills, many have been asking


questions about whether competition is working in the energy market full


of well this coalition has already done a lot to promote competition,


and we are ready to do more. We propose to introduce annual reviews


of the state of competition in the energy market. The first of these


assessments will be delivered by spring next year. The assessment


will be undertaken by Ofgem, working closely with the Office of Fair


Trading. The exact metrics for the review will be a matter for the


regulator but I will be asking them to in-depth across the sector at


profits and prices, barriers to entry and consumer engagement. This


government has equipped the regulator with strong powers. It


uses a phone, they must be addressed. We need to make sure


energy supplies are open and honest. -- if abuse is found. I have asked


Ofgem to deliver by spring next year to report. -- a full report. They


will build on the work completed by BDO. Ofgem will be publishing the


consultation this afternoon. The public need to know that our reforms


will have teeth, that companies that play outside the rules will be


penalised and punished. Ofgem have the powers to require compensation


payments to be made directly to consumers who have lost out. I want


to go further. I intend to consult on the introduction of criminal


sanctions for anyone found manipulating energy markets and


harming the consumer interest. I am joined by Angela Knight, chief


executive of Energy UK. Why does it take so long to switch energy


suppliers? Predominantly because there is a two-week cooling off


period, set out as a statutory requirement. Then there is a debt


piece, where individuals have the opportunity to sort it out if they


have any. Then the balancing mechanisms, which are not owned by


the industry. That is why it comes down to five weeks. We have done


quite a lot of work on this already and we reckon some of those changes


can undoubtedly take place at the same time. The big question is


whether that consumer protection piece is removed or left. We need to


have a discussion about that. That is up to the customers. We do not


know at the moment what the balancing mechanism is. You would


like to see it happen a lot more quickly? We think it is possible to


do that. We have done some of the work in the weeds of this. It is


more, betrayed underneath than one thinks. This is one of those areas.


Lots of parties are involved, not just the energy companies. Why don't


you just get together and do it? That is exactly what we are doing.


We kept the department involved. I believe the Secretary of State, when


he made his England, referenced the work we do it. Why not implemented


now? People are desperate to change suppliers. The bills are going up


and the winter is upon us. I tried to change my supplier and it is a


nightmare. I have a reasonable education, a degree in economic, and


a name that some people recognise and it was still a nightmare. What


chance would my grandmother have had? 3 million households are


changing every year, more doing it on tariffs with one company. They


are changing on average so it cannot be that much of a nightmare. Why


shouldn't it take more than two weeks? I'm not sure that it


necessarily does. You have the two-week cooling off period and then


you have the organisations that have to be notified. Right now, I don't


know how their systems are to do that. I do know that we can shorten


things but I'm not going to make promises for third parties with


which we do not understand their mechanisms. I can make a promise


that switching quickly can be done and there is a lot of work underway


and we can bring forward some of those changes pretty quickly. Why


won't you energy companies, that you represent, tell us the wholesale


cost of the electricity they generate? A lot of that is already.


There is a wholesale market report prices regularly. That is the


wholesale market. Why do we not know the energy generation costs of the


big six? I'm surprised you say that because they report them in a


segregated way, provided to Ofgem, the regulator, which has been


subject to not only to the scrutiny of the regulator but also by third


parties. Are you saying it is possible for us to see the


generating cost, let's take one of the big six, to see how much it cost


to generate the electricity and then the retail mark-up that same company


put on its own electricity? Can you do that? Have a look at the


accounts. You are the expert. Can you do that? The accounts are there,


they are public. A separate out generation, retail, you can work


your way through. -- they will separate. You can see what the sales


margins are. I think it is all there. You represent them. What is


the wholesale generating cost of Centrica? I'll have to go and look.


For us to be able to judge if the retail price is fear, we need to


know the mark-up. I will let you know when I at them and I will let


you know that. We're not talking about secret. We are providing


information transparently. The question is whether there is more


that is required. That is fine. There is no black hole here. There


is no opiate thing. -- opaque. You require more, that is fine, more can


be required. Do not forget that generation is done by many


companies, lots of independent generators. I was just asking for


one. Energy and gas is boss unsold. Now you are telling me things that I


know, what I was trying to do was get you to tell me something I don't


know, but you are not able to do that. I cannot. I have not gone and


Luke. Thank you. Thank you. You can go... We are joined by the editor of


Which Magazine. I am sad to say, Angela Knight will not debate with


you. Why is that? She is very good at debating the indefensible. Why


will she not debate with you? Have you upset her? We had a debate in


front of the energy industry about whether the suppliers could win back


the trust and the audience voted against Angela. It cannot be that!


You must have annoyed her. Let me ask you this, can we discern the


wholesale price of each individual electricity generator? We cannot.


Angela was wrong. We spent a year looking at this. Can you discover


the wholesale price of gas and electricity? The answer is you


cannot. Unless you are an industry insider, you cannot. I will tell you


why, the large companies sell themselves gas and electricity at


huge volumes, under the counter, they call it over the counter. You


cannot discover what price British Gas are buying their gas and


electricity from Centrica in two years time. Which is the same


company. The same company. When they discuss profit margins they only


talk about the retail business, they do not talk about the group. If you


look at the groups, the profit margins are two or three times


greater than the likes of Angela Knight will ever admit. There is


something murky going on and it is right to get that out in the open.


Let me unravel this, are you saying I could not go to Ofgem or the


company itself? Let us take Centrica. I could not work out how


much it has cost them to generate the electricity from their gas and


then work out how much of a mark-up they have put on to reach the retail


price? You could not at the moment. What you can discover


retrospectively is some of that data when they publish it through the


price collection departments. That is retrospective. You cannot


discover know what the competitive wholesale price of gas relativity


is. -- gas or electricity. There is probably more cost being passed on


to the consumer because a lack of price comparison exists. That is why


we want to see a separation of these big six companies. You want to break


them up? We want them to have a separate license treated separately


so there is a proper transparent market for wholesale, for gas and


elegant as a tea. Let me ask you another question. -- gas and elegant


city. When we see rates of return for


energy companies, are you saying that is just their low margin retail


business and not the high margin generation business? I am saying


exactly that. If you would the margins, their profit margins for


the group with generation and wholesale is upwards of 18%. If we


want to have an honest debate about whether these very large companies


are making excessive profits, we need to look at the whole group, not


just the bit of it that Angela and her friends want to speak about. How


quickly should we be able to switch? What was your reaction is to mark it


is amazing. It takes people eight weeks or more. It takes long time is


to navigate. It should be possible in a day. Ed Davey provided the


amazing spectacle of a Secretary of State announcing that there will be


quicker switching at some point in the future, let's see if that


happens, and here's asking the regulators to do their job, look at


the market and see if it is working competitively. I thought that was


their job. It is! It is so little and so late. Have you ever tried? It


is a nightmare. You are absolutely right. Older people are particularly


vulnerable. They cannot always navigate the system. It takes a long


time. We have a system that is not working well for the consumer. The


energy prices have gone up a lot more than other countries. Not


places like Germany or Denmark. But they have even more stringent green


taxes. We have to get control of this.


I am going to make it my mission to bring you and Angela Knight


together. Please do. Now, to the Old Bailey. Our correspondent has


been following the morning in the trial of Rebekah Brooks and Andy


Coulson, the Prime Minister's former head of communications. We


have been busy with other things, so tell us what has happened in


court. The court heard for three hours from the prosecutor. The


second day for him in terms of the opening statement. It is the work


of the convicted phone hacker Glenn Mulcaire has dominated what has


been heard. He worked at the paper for a six-year period, the News Of


The World. Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson were in charge at that time.


They heard how he worked, getting pin numbers and mobile phone


numbers. And then bid documents handed to the police in 2011 that


kicked off the investigation -- and then the documents. One day, Glenn


Mulcaire wrote to a senior member of staff at the News Of The World


and he referred to Tessa jowl and her husband. He gave her phone


number and -- -- Jowell. He said it looked like she was selling up.


There was then an e-mail talking about you have to decide whether I


have been hacking have. In another e-mail, Glenn Mulcaire said there


are 45 messages. The prosecution said he would have only got the


details if he had hacked her telephone. And then he looked at


the jury and said after that this information came to light, what is


the editor's question, how do I know it is true, before he decides


to publish the story? He said that Andy Coulson, the former adviser to


David Cameron, who was editor at the time. We have a lot of


reporting restrictions. If you cannot answer, do not think badly


of it. Yesterday, we learned there were senior news editors from the


News Of The World to have pleaded guilty. That became public


knowledge yesterday. Will these news editors, who have gone for the


guilty plea, will they give evidence for the prosecution in


this trial? We do not know is the short answer. We learned yesterday


that four people have pleaded guilty. Glenn Mulcaire, he pleaded


-- he pleaded guilty to further charges. Neville Thurlbeck, James


Weatherup and Greg Miskiw. Ian Edmondson, the 4th news editor


working at the News Of The World at the time, he is at trial here and


he denies the charges. As to who will give evidence, and we could be


here for a long time, we do not know.


You are watching Daily Politics. We have been joined by viewers in


Scotland. They have been watching first minister's questions live.


Welcome. It'S as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, it


increases the risk of illnesses like dementia and heart problems


and it mainly targets older people. It's not a medical disease, it is


loneliness. In England alone, almost a million are classed as


chronically lonely. There will be more in Scotland, Wales and


Northern Ireland. Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, recently said


loneliness and our response to it shamed the nation. But is what the


government doing about it actually enough? Or is it an issue where we,


the public, should look to ourselves rather than blame the


politicians? David Thomson has been reporting. # And it could be me...


Henderson court in north London where Age UK run a day centre and


people who use it talk honestly about getting older and being on


your own. I do feel lonely sometimes. They do not help, the


young folks. If you have no family, it is hard to talk to people about


your life. Cold beds, lonely beds. Loneliness. And we respect older


people and think they deserve the best. Politicians are no different.


But how come that for so many, old age can be in isolation and


loneliness. Each and every lonely person to have someone who could


visit them. The forgotten 1 million living among us, ignored to our


national shame. Politician has are taking it on board. This was Jeremy


Hunt last week. Even his ministerial colleagues wonder if


the approach is right. I thought his analysis was spot on. His move


to the blame game, saying families let their grandparents and their


parents down by not providing support, it missed the fact there


are 6 million carers and I know from messages I have read since


that speech, they are in despair and outraged by a speech that


implies in some way they do not do enough. But there is also a cost to


being a compassionate society that the politicians and public aspire


to be. They is a lot we can do as individuals, but there is a lot


politicians can do. They need to join up between talking about


loneliness and making hard choices about where they put their money.


They need to invest in low-level, local facilities, such as day


centres. They make a huge difference. Perhaps a part of the


problem is not how we treat older people, but how we think of them.


We need to challenge negative stereotypes about older people and


ageing, that portrayed older people as a burden, ticking time bombs


exploding under the NHS. Older people contribute to the economy


more than they cost the economy. They are valuable, their wisdom and


talents should be better used. That is one way we can tackle social


isolation. That is why I think we need a commissioner to trace -- to


chase government and make sure it does what is necessary to look


after the interests of older people. Dignity, security and companionship.


To make them happen takes deeds and not words from everyone.


You follow these things carefully. This is a serious problem. It is.


But it is also important to stress that the real problems occur much


older than the typical old person would be perceived to be. In this


country we have a stereotype that when you hit 60, even 70, you are


somehow decrepit, you cannot contribute. People in the film are


advanced in years, Eighties and Nineties, but it is important to


stress that loneliness does affect older people, the older they are,


but at the later stages. Families are more dispersed. Fur the to


travel to see them. Sometimes you cannot go to see them -- further.


What should the response be? There is a default position there is a


problem and what will the Government do? The Health Secretary,


we tried to get him on today, but he would not, but he has been


criticised for identifying the problem and not doing anything


about it. The solution might be in our hands. We have heard the fine


words. One problem we have that need sorting out is the social care


system is dysfunctional. If we spend a little bit of money on


helping lonely older people, as you said at the beginning, their health


would be better and it would save money for the NHS. When it comes to


health, the NHS is a nationwide system, with social care it is


parcelled up to local councils. The idea of a commissioner for older


people is good. Wales has one. England does not. Are the older


people in Wales are any less slowly than the people in England? Of


course not. Appointing the commissioner is sometimes a


political way of being seen to do something. But they have no


representation. What about charities and individuals getting


together and having 15 minute visits, identifying a number of


older people and saying one will visit this person every couple of


days? There is not one magic silver bullet. The charities already do


marvellous work. It needs to be centralised, I think, and organised.


If you had a centralised and organised system which said we have


an issue with millions of people who are well advanced in years on


their own, the older you are there fewer friends you have because they


might have died. Let's recognise that. Harness the ability is an


strengths of people in their sixties and seventies and when you


get much older, we need to look after people in a different way


from how we do now. I am glad we have brought some attention to it.


Earlier this month, the Prince of Wales addressed the National


Association of Pension Funds. He gets about. He urged the industry


to ensure that portfolios are resilient in the long term, or risk


condemning future generations to, quote, an exceptionally miserable


future. I would argue that as the largest class of institutional


investor, and as a sector defined by your long-term liabilities, you


have a need, and arguably a duty, to ensure these emerging


environmental and social and economic risks are identified and


managed. With an ageing population, and pension fund liabilities that


are there for stretching out for decades, surely the current focus


on quarterly capitalism is increasingly unfit for purpose?


There is also mounting evidence from the likes of Harford and


London Business Schools, that those companies that improve the way they


tackle environmental and social challenges proved to be the ones


better able to deliver the long term returns. You can have your


cake and eat it. Prince Charles. I wonder who he has his pension with.


That would be a -- that would be us! The a joined by their minister.


It is a fundamental question. -- we are joined. Can you argue pensions


are a good investment? Absolutely. We are about to put 10 million


people into a workplace pension and for every ?1 they put in, their


farm and the taxpayer puts in another ?1. What other investments


can you turn ?1 into ?2 overnight? Many would take two paths and turn


it back into one band. We have talked about a limit on charges. --


?1. 99p of the ?1 in the pension turns into a pension, which would


be an advance. ?30 billion of pension savings, languishing in


poorly performing funds. That is hard earned cash. That is why we


are taking action. For too long, money has been left in old funds,


when higher charges were the norm. One thing we do with automatic


enrolment, if we set standards, the firms will not be able to use the


old schemes. We will not allow that. Should you have sorted out pension


fees before automatic enrolment? So that people... Employers being


forced to put in matching contributions are not going to be


ripped off? Were have been doing this for a year and it has been the


big employers such as the big supermarkets, who have the buying


power to negotiate good deals with the pensions industry. We are


acting now because when you get to smaller firms, they might not have


the buying power and interest. So far, people have got good deals. We


have to make sure it goes on. If you saved up and you bought a small


second home, a flat, in a reasonably prosperous part of the


country, when you retire, you would get a better return than these


pensions? It might be fantastic and it might be terrible. I do not want


my retirement to be that uncertain. There are so many problems with


pension. They have had a very bad press. Deservedly. There has been


lots of scandals. It is correct to control the charges. One of the big


issues we are not looking at yet is once you have built up a pension


fund you have to take an income out of it. At that point, when you buy


an annuity. When you buy that, there are no controls on the charges. You


could lose a lot if you die quickly. That has to change. We need to make


sure that we get good value when building up the fund, but also when


you take it down. Annuity rates have been terrible for some time. That is


partly a real thing, partly because we are living longer, and I entirely


agree that as well as addressing getting people into savings, dealing


with cost, we need to deal with how to turn that into a pension. The


Financial Conduct Authority, newly created this year, is doing a lot of


work, I am working with the Treasury to make sure that is the big thing


we work on. What should he do to ensure we get a better pension


system? We need more flexibility in the system. At the moment, when you


put your money into a pension, if you need that back you cannot get


it. When you put it into an annuity, if you have done the wrong thing you


can never change it. We have the most inflexible system, and I know


that Steve understands this. He is doing some great work in trying to


improve the pension system. I applaud him for that. It is a


difficult job. A lot of younger people look at what has happened to


the pensions of their parents. They think, really? Maybe I will do


something else. Older people always say they wish they started sooner.


But the young are more likely to stay in than the old. Vacancy


rewards down the road? We are going in gradually. They barely notice.


That gives us a real chance to turn this around. We need to encourage


people to do more than the minimum. You can have an Isa, then you lose


the contribution. That might be OK for some younger ones. If you have


these schemes, any time you get a pay rise, encourage people to put a


bit of money away for the future. Not necessarily locked up but at


least long-term saving. It is easier for them. That would help with


longer savings. But you will do something about these fees?


Absolutely. We will legislate by Easter. We better leave it there. Do


you know where you live? Are you sure? The electoral commission does


not have a lot of confidence in our abilities. They have just given


their advice on the European Union referendum. There are concerns


linked to research that show that some of us do not already know that


we are in the European Union. Obviously everyone who watches the


Daily Politics knows that. In a moment we will discuss this with the


electoral commission. We have been putting the great British public to


the test. Do you know if Britain is a member of the EU? I do not. You


don't know? Of course. So you do now? Yes. Is Britain a member of the


European Union or not? I don't think so. We are. Where are you from?


France. Of course it is. Some research shows some people do not


know if we are. That is a bit sad. Is Britain a member of the European


Union? Yes. You think it seems like quite an obvious question? Yes. I


think we are. Some people don't know. They are all thick if they


don't know. I think that Liverpudlian accent got straight to


the point. We are joined by James Wharton. And Jenny, who thinks the


EU Referendum Bill is badly worded. What do you make of these vox pop?


That is very entertaining, but our research is rather more rigorous


than that. What we did find was the people who did not know we were in


the EU. How many? It is not that kind of research. It is a


one-to-one, with the ballot paper. We then do in-depth interviews. We


did find there were people who did not know we were in the the EU. What


percentage? We also found there were people who thought we were and when


they looked at the bill, they were confused. I understand that full is


not -- I understand that. Can you not tell us which percentage of your


sample. Were not in the EU? It is not that type of sample. It has been


well tested. What is wrong with his question? The question is, do you


think the United Kingdom should be a member of the European Union? The


original question, two things are problematic. Did you think it was


like an opinion poll and nothing would happen? And people did not


have enough knowledge. It needs to give them information that we are in


the the EU now. You need to introduce the word leave or the


words remain. Let's have a look on the screen. That is your question. I


suppose that could be interpreted as whether we should stay in or should


we join? You might not think we are in already. The electoral commission


questioned changes the verb. That is less equivocal, isn't it? The danger


with that, we had remain in the original question and we took it out


because we consulted amongst MPs. If you put remain end, it leads people


to vote for the status quo and its the result. -- it will affect the


result. What is the answer? If you are going to use I guess Renaud


question you need to use leave or the remain. This was overwhelmingly


the best. It leaves a low level of perception of bias and for that


reason we have also asked parliament to consider, we have given them an


alternative approach, moving away from this question and asking


whether the EU should remain in or leave. What about that? They have


not fully tested that question, and so in next week's debate we could


adopt that, put it in, and then find out that does not work either.


Avenue fully tested it? We have. We have not seen if we could simplify


it further and we have not heard from campaigners. I would not


imagine that running a campaign to leave remain would be difficult but


we have not given that option. Are you minded to stay with this


question, even though we have had the commission, seen the vox pops,


some people don't even know we are members? I am but it is up to


Parliament. I recognise the work the electoral commission have done but


the key finding is it is thus -- is it does not lead people down one


route or the other. Any aspect of this, that would come at the end of


a referendum campaign process when people would be better informed by


the public debate. We have run out of time but I think the dialogue


will continue full is not -- will continue. The quiz was, European


commissioners are standardising across the continent. What will the


recommendation be? Six litres? Five litres? One beater or have a bucket


of sawdust? Is it five litres? How did you know? I had a guess.


Amazing. Is this Big Brother intrusion? Joining us is Peter Bone


and Natalie Bennett. I assume that you are a big supporter of this


standardisation so that wherever we are, we know how much water we are


using. I know the BBC have cut but why have you put me in the toilet?


It is absurd that the EU should be wasting time and money. They have


been investigating since 2011. They have been testing out different


systems. It is the most absurd waste of money. Is this absurd or


sensible? We are having typical tabloid reporting. We have a


voluntary label manufacturers can choose to use so people know we are


getting the best possible quality. This is another example of curly


cucumbers and then the bananas. This is a voluntary standard. Just like


we have fair trade, Carbon trust. I promise everybody the EU is not


going to come marching in. They would like to. It is in -- it is a


guideline and it is voluntary. If you go into McDonald's Uriah Knowles


there is no water being used at all. -- urinals. That is why the cost is


going up. It is a waste of money and another reason why we should come


out of stock -- out of the European Union. This is a serious issue. We


need to cut down the amount of good value drinking water we are putting


in when we renovate pilots, and this is simply saying it is a good


guideline. 30% of the water that the British use goes down the toilet. In


Finland, it is 14%. Peter Bone, the research only cost ?76,000. That is


just like an MP's expenses. That is too low. It is just another example


of the complete waste of money in the European Union. People are


saying this is unnecessary. The alternative would be every member


state do the research and come up with its own standard. We are going


to have to leave you there. Enjoy yourself there. Thank you. The one


o'clock News is starting on BBC One. I will be back tonight with Michael


Portillo, Diane Abbott, Stanley Johnson, Miranda Green, Emily


Maitlis and Malcolm Gladwell. Goodbye.


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