05/11/2013 Daily Politics


05/11/2013

Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint and business minister Matthew Hancock.


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Afternoon, folks, welcome to The Daily Politics. Ed Miliband accuses

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Afternoon, folks, welcome to The access to cash in the country's

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poorest households. Could climate change make wind power run out of

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puff? We'll debate whether harsher winters will undermine the case for

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on-shore wind farms. And it's election day in the Big

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Apple. Could New Yorkers be about to vote in this left-wing Democrat as

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their new mayor? All that in the next hour. It is

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time for a progressive New York and what I call a new New York. All of

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that coming up in the next hour. And with us for the whole programme

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today is Marion King, she's the president of Mastercard in the UK.

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Welcome to The Daily Politics. Let's start with another story, though -

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the news that the chairman of the schools standards organisation

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Ofsted thinks that children as young as two should go to school. Baroness

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Sally Morgan says toddlers should be enrolled in schools to try to

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Sally Morgan says toddlers should be from the age of three. I think she

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is talking about children from poorer families, and deprived

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environments, and therefore, to start in a destructive environment,

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and meet other children, I think it is very positive. It is also very

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important for parents, and women who want to go back to work, to have the

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opportunity to do so. But is that in effect what it is, taking children

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out of families who often Ofsted feel are not going to provide what

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the children need, and it is just going to be childcare? I think it is

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a balance. If they are in a structured environment, where they

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are learning, a safe and secure environment, think it is a positive

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thing. In Scandinavia, though, they have long gone on about the benefits

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of going to school much later, that actually, trying to push children

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into any form of structured education early does not produce the

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believe. But I think for the families which are being highlighted

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here, if it is beneficial for children to start in a form of

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structured environment, safe and is a, as well as learning, playing and

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socialising, I think it is positive. What about those children missing

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out on time at home with either family members or childminders,

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people looking after them, what they want to one basis? -- safe and

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secure. It is a balance, isn't it? Very often these days, both parents

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need to work. And each family has to find its own structure. But if you

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have nowhere to put your child witches safe answer to, then that

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becomes a real problem. What did you do with your children at that age?

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My children started at the age of three at preschool. Now, it is time

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for our daily quiz. The question for three at preschool. Now, it is time

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trip for Nigel Farage? At the end of the show, Marion will give us the

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correct answer. It's the big political battle of the

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moment - who is going to do more to tackle the cost of living problem.

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All parties are vying to impress the public with their policies. But

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which display will win the oohs and aahs from voters? The cost of living

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has been Labour's focus since they pledged to temporarily freeze energy

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prices at their conference last month. Earlier today, Ed Miliband

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continued his attack on energy companies, saying more than half of

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the annual increase in fuel bills since 2011 has gone directly to

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support their profits and costs. And he called for water firms to offer

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special tariffs for the low-paid. On Sunday, Mr Miliband confirmed his

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commitment to the living wage - the amount an individual needs to earn

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to cover the basic costs of living - by saying that a future

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to cover the basic costs of living - tariffs for struggling households.

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Last month, they also told train companies they won't be able to

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increase any rail fare by more than inflation plus 3%... ..and promised

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to roll back "green charges" that add an average of ?112 to energy

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bills. So, which of the policy pledges will go with a bang? And

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which ones will die out with a whimper? Well, this is what Ed

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Miliband had to say a little earlier today...

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So, we will change the way the energy market works, such that it

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will provide confidence for investors and a better deal for

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consumers. And we will mend other markets that are not working in the

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public interest, opening up competition in banking, they the

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cost of credit in payday lending, proper regulation of the train

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companies, ending unjustified That is their version of getting

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tough. Actually, what they should be doing is saying that these companies

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should have mandatory social tariffs to help vulnerable customers, and

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they should be looking at the way that industry is working. That is

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what a government which is determined to fix broken markets

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would be doing. Ed Miliband, speaking just over an

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hour ago. And I've been joined by Labour's Shadow Energy Secretary,

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Caroline Flint, and the Government's Skills and Enterprise Minister, Matt

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Hancock. Welcome to you both. Matt Hancock, writing to the water

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companies to do something about their prices, what is the sanction

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if they don't? Well, it is very clear that we expect them to do

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that. But what if they don't? Well, we will look at it, obviously. It is

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very interesting that Ed Miliband talked about water today, having

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seen that the Government is taking action.

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of State, by reducing the costs of charges for more solar energy, which

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we reduced, and there was a big deal about that, I remember coming on

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this programme about it, and we said it was the right thing to do to

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reduced costs. But let's have a look at the action specifically on water

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companies. The row over energy and fuel bills as to some extent leaned

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some results, with policies on both sides. With the water companies, if

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they refuse to introduce either a lower tariff or they will not bring

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down their prices, you will look at it, but what tools have you got

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available to actually force them to do something? The tools available

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through the regulation of the industry. It is a regulated

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industry. So, we will look at that. In the first instance, what we are

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saying to the water companies very clearly is that they need to take

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action. What you would expect is for us to make

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action. What you would expect is for legislation to make sure that these

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companies did have social tariffs. In answer to your question, instead

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of sending it' you say, if you are not going to introduce social

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tariffs, we will introduce what we have on the statute books. --

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instead of sending a egging letter. And I think there are lessons to be

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learned from what has happened in energy. They are virtual monopolies,

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and therefore, just like energy, a level of regulation which meets the

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needs of the public... They are regulated, but there is an issue

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between the profits, and what degree they are helping people. I think it

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needs strong interrogation and strong regulation. You know what I

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have said about regulation on the energy side, it is not fit for

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purpose. So, are you going to intervene on

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purpose. So, are you going to this is really important? I just

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want to stick with water for the moment. Labour are proposing they

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would intervene, so would you? Why not bring into force the legislation

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which is already there on social tariffs? What we have said is that

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the water companies need to act and we expect them to do so, and

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Caroline has then said that, having heard that is going to happen,

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Labour are saying the same thing. So, we will take action on water.

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But on energy, we have already taken action, and we are looking to take

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more. Matthew Hancock has made it clear that they are going to do

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something, what I am interested to know is, what will you do? With you

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propose a similar action, as you have with rolling back green taxes,

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for example? Is there something that you will

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for example? Is there something that they will force every household to

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install an electricity style meat, measuring the amount of water used,

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you support that? I do believe that water metering is part of the

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answer. And what about you, Caroline Flint? What I would be worried about

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is just conceding to this demand, before you have a whole picture

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about what their profits are, and what their investment profile is,

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and whether they are tackling, for example, in London, Rob is about

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water leakage. These companies have dominated an area through their

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virtual monopoly status, and it is easy for them to make these demands

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without anybody looking into it. Do you agree, Matthew Hancock, Thames

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Water, for example, they are the only people I can use to supply my

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water, so that is not a competitive, functioning market,

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water, so that is not a competitive, instance, there were 14 energy

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companies, it has now gone down to six, and there are now eight new

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ones. It turns out Ed Miliband, after saying switching does not

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count, he has also switched. But what about water? Firstly, the water

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companies have to take responsible a team, and that is what we are asking

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them to do. Any ideas on how you would instil competition? I am not

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going to take a gas on Owen Paterson's next steps. But it seems

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we have got the Government and the opposition saying they are going to

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intervene in every market, so are all of these markets broken? Excuse

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me, Caroline, all of these markets... All of these markets are

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regulated, but crucially, we have got to make sure that competition

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exists in them got to make sure that competition

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sat here and not been able to answer the question. We will come onto

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energy. In terms of intervening in these markets, is that now going to

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be the policy of Labour to come in on water, energy, rail, you are

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going to go in there and say, we are going to break it up and fix it? And

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it comes to the private sector, if the market was working properly, and

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competition was working well, you would expect to see a corresponding

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customer service base which reflected that. People would feel

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like, they are hungry for our business, working for our business,

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they treat us well. Truth is that in energy, and it would seem in water,

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customers have not been well served. In the energy market, which is

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different from water, clearly the market has broken down, and we have

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six companies which dominate 98% of it. It is all very well Matthew

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talking about green levies, the truth is,

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talking about green levies, the costs and VAT, so half of that has

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gone straight back to the companies, for them to spend on their profits

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and operating costs. In that situation, it is fair to ask them,

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are you really efficient as a company and are you really paying

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attention to your customer base before your profits? I believe they

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aren't. But the difference, though, is that the Government is proposing

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cutting people's bills, not just freezing prices, they are going to

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cut the bill. We are very clear. We think they should freeze the bills.

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But the big issue is something the government has not dealt with. Do we

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revolt at the -- reform the market? There is no incentive to put

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downward pressure on bills. We are saying that all electricity should

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be sold in an open pool, in an open exchange. My understand the policy.

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We have nothing exchange. My understand the policy.

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you think will work? It is not an either/or. We are hearing that there

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is a need for intervention and regulation. This is not a

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competitive market and so the intervention needs to be different.

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Assault bills need to be lower and controlled. -- household bills. It

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is a balance of stronger regulation, and making sure that

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revelation is enforced. And that it is appropriate for the market. I

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would agree but everything we ask from bill payers, we should ensure

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we get value for money. The key thing to ensure is that we do what

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we can on competition to bring profits down and to bring costs

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down. Caroline said earlier that only ?112 is added. Only ?112 is

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added? ?112 a only ?112 is added. Only ?112 is

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think that is fair... Two of course, we need to look at profits in

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competition. There are eight new market entrants. Their tiny! One of

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those two has said that if we get a short-term price freeze, as proposed

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by Labour, they may have to leave the market and so we will end up

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with prices higher in the long-term. But more importantly,

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there are things that we can do directly, things that we have done

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to bring down the and things that we can do. Labour are against them.

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David Cameron accused Ed Miliband of living on a Marxist planet with

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these ideas of intervention. Is he injuring that way? You have said it

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is time for more intervention and regulation, bringing down profits.

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It sounds like you are marching in the same direction?

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It sounds like you are marching in and do I want. Would you nationalise

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the utilities? You are talking about it with the railways. You did hint

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at that. It is a different matter for the railways. It is a completely

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different discussion. The truth is that in terms of nationalising, it

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would cost billions of pounds. I think we need a more effective

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market and it needs to be reformed in a way that opens it up. And the

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truth is that three of the small players have said they will live

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with the freeze and support it. One of them has said that it may with

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them out of business. The small businesses cannot get a foothold

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because it is dominated by the big six to generate energy and sell it

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to themselves and onto us. That is why we are making it easier to

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switch. Switching will not cut it. elegant city. That is how you do it.

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Why are so many people saying that your policy is economically bonkers,

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that it will not work and the lights could go out? Why, if it is such a

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fabulous idea, is it knocked by so many people? There were a few voices

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after Ed Miliband's speech you said that the lights would go out. I've

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spoken to the chief executives of the big six and many of them have

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sent that that is not the case. National Grid said it would not be

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the case and security is important. We need something to address the

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overcharging that has been going on as wholesale prices have come down.

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We need to address the structural reform of the market. Switching is

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fine but it will not do it. You have made a point. But the boss of

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Centrica has said he will not take his bonus. Because of anger and a

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lack of trust. his bonus. Because of anger and a

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decision he has made and I think we can see the direction of travel. I

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think they should all look at that. Would you ban bonuses? I think they

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have to be fit for purpose and they do not think they have been

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recently. Thank you both very much. This morning, MPs have been

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questioning the bosses of payday lenders like Wonga, which charge

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high interest rate for short-term loans. Politicians have criticised

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the companies for charging too much and exploiting Britain's tourist

:21:16.:21:22.

households. -- progressed. It shone a spotlight on the issue Bob Hope

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were people manage their money. What do you do to reach more than 1

:21:27.:21:29.

million people who do not have a bank account? And the many more who

:21:30.:21:33.

do not have a fully fledged current-account.

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Money makes the world go round but what if your bank does not trust you

:21:39.:21:42.

with a current account. Most High Street

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with a current account. Most High things like utility bill discounts,

:21:43.:22:05.

by paying through direct debit. This Company wants to solve the problem.

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It is a credit union which means that it is owned by members, who

:22:10.:22:14.

effectively lend to each other. And this month, they will become the

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first organisation of its kind to offer a fully fledged

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current-account. In many ways, it is expensive to be pure. Part of the

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benefit of working with MasterCard on this service is that we will

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suddenly be finding that people can actually access markets that

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currently are barred to them. They also want to steer people away from

:22:37.:22:39.

illegal but expensive sources of cash, like the payday lenders that

:22:40.:22:46.

line the High Street. One particular man had had a series of loans from a

:22:47.:22:51.

doorstep lender and he had paid over ?3000 in

:22:52.:23:10.

doorstep lender and he had paid over the figures IK Kim and burst into

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tears. -- the figures I gave him. Some of those companies have been in

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front of a Select Committee today. They say most of the customers are

:23:22.:23:25.

happy and they have been misrepresented in the debate about

:23:26.:23:28.

how pure people manage their money. -- for people. But that is a debate

:23:29.:23:37.

that will continue. When universal credit is introduced, many claimants

:23:38.:23:40.

will get the money in lump sums rather than fortnightly, the idea

:23:41.:23:43.

being that it is more like being paid a wage. That has some asking,

:23:44.:23:48.

how will people cope with something like a salary if they are not used

:23:49.:23:51.

to something as basic as a bank account?

:23:52.:23:56.

We asked the government for an interview with the consumer affairs

:23:57.:23:58.

minister, Jo Swinson, but she was not available. We are joined by her

:23:59.:24:02.

opposite number, Stella Creasy. Welcome to the show.

:24:03.:24:20.

opposite number, Stella Creasy. is ?5.3 million -- 5.3 people -- 5.3

:24:21.:24:24.

million people underserved. Many choose not to have a bank account

:24:25.:24:27.

but there are some on a boy people who find it difficult to get a bank

:24:28.:24:32.

account. Why does it matter so much that people have a bank account? It

:24:33.:24:39.

is about social inclusion. If you do not have a bank account, you cannot

:24:40.:24:42.

pay all chronically or buy the internet. The gentleman there

:24:43.:24:46.

highlighted that you cannot use a direct debit or electronic teens are

:24:47.:24:50.

paying your bills. Some people cannot get back accounts the cos

:24:51.:24:53.

they have a bad financial record. -- bank accounts. Who are the people

:24:54.:24:59.

who would elect not to have one? Because they preferred to use cash.

:25:00.:25:04.

It might be trust or a question of managing their money. We're seeing

:25:05.:25:09.

people increasingly drawing money from an ATM to spend before they go

:25:10.:25:12.

in a supermarket. It is a way from an ATM to spend before they go

:25:13.:25:35.

brings with it a debit card. Providing a card that people can

:25:36.:25:41.

join the economy with. I was also talking about prepaid cards, which

:25:42.:25:44.

are not attached to a current account, that allow you to spend

:25:45.:25:50.

securely, but you cannot overspend. Do you think that people need a bank

:25:51.:25:54.

account? Should there be an aim of political parties, to make sure

:25:55.:25:58.

people are financially included? It was the last Labour government that

:25:59.:26:01.

set up the financial inclusion task force. A number of these issues are

:26:02.:26:07.

absolutely right. The other point is that I see people in my community

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who are paying higher energy rates because they're using prepayment

:26:13.:26:15.

meters. We are still seeing a poverty premium on these issues.

:26:16.:26:21.

Interestingly, some of these payday lenders will make a virtue out of

:26:22.:26:24.

the fact that they go to people with back accounts.

:26:25.:26:41.

the fact that they go to people with the past, in many occasions. How can

:26:42.:26:44.

you persuade institutions to take on these people when they have not

:26:45.:26:50.

shown any financial responsibility? That is not what the research shows.

:26:51.:26:56.

The University of Birmingham queries these figures, saying it is under a

:26:57.:26:59.

million who do not have a bank account, or maybe 2 million

:27:00.:27:05.

individual accounts. That is too many. There are a number of

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different issues. There is a cultural issue about people choosing

:27:09.:27:11.

not to have them and there are people with bad credit histories.

:27:12.:27:15.

But there is a question about the motivation of the banks and how they

:27:16.:27:18.

are assessing what bad credit history is. One of my concerns is

:27:19.:27:21.

that we are increasingly seeing segregation in the credit market

:27:22.:27:24.

where for some people the only option is payday lending or high

:27:25.:27:28.

cost credit will stop as they take that out, banks will judge them as

:27:29.:27:34.

an fit to lend. That is a failure of banks

:27:35.:27:52.

an fit to lend. That is a failure of low incomes? Financial inclusion is

:27:53.:28:00.

critical. Having we have seen the consequences of responsible lending

:28:01.:28:03.

not happening. -- I think we have seen. Irresponsible lending has led

:28:04.:28:06.

to the banking crisis domestic league and in the bigger market. We

:28:07.:28:09.

need responsible lending where people have a bad credit rating,

:28:10.:28:15.

there are incidents that can be offered to those consumers, such as

:28:16.:28:19.

the prepaid capability which does not require a current-account. If

:28:20.:28:24.

you use that had responsibly, ie you are not for ever busting the limit,

:28:25.:28:28.

that gives you a credit rating to enable you to get a basic

:28:29.:28:31.

current-account. -- if you use that card responsibly. We're seeing an

:28:32.:28:37.

increasing of people going into an overdrafts to pay off a poll --

:28:38.:28:41.

payday loan full stop that is a win-win for the banks and the payday

:28:42.:29:02.

payday loan full stop that is a Credit unions charge 2% a month.

:29:03.:29:07.

This is low-cost lending. Do you accept that the reason people turn

:29:08.:29:14.

to payday lenders in order to get a short term loan is a failure of the

:29:15.:29:20.

banks? The walls bear market for short-term lending. Whether that is

:29:21.:29:24.

overdraft or a payday lender, there is a market and a requirement. We

:29:25.:29:28.

need to make sure that the revelation is proportionate. --

:29:29.:29:32.

there will always be a market. We need to make sure that the borrowers

:29:33.:29:36.

know what they are getting into. We need to make sure that these

:29:37.:29:42.

inappropriate actions do not take place. There is a need because

:29:43.:29:47.

otherwise the companies would not be doing this well. On average, they

:29:48.:29:52.

say it is people taking around ?175 out for around 16 days. You

:29:53.:30:13.

say it is people taking around ?175 rising higher than wages. It is

:30:14.:30:17.

different to an emergency. In this industry, the incentives about --

:30:18.:30:22.

are about putting people into debt. They want to create a situation

:30:23.:30:27.

where people are shorter and shorter and that is not a fear market for

:30:28.:30:31.

consumers. It is right that we step in and look at what we can learn

:30:32.:30:34.

from other countries to change the incentives and the practice in this

:30:35.:30:40.

industry. What we have seen today is irresponsible lending. Without those

:30:41.:30:44.

caps, you will not get the changes. Things like caps and freezers do not

:30:45.:30:50.

work. They are blunt instruments. It is about the type of loan and the

:30:51.:30:53.

length of loan. It is about the interest rate. It is about the

:30:54.:30:56.

practices in selling and recovery, all of those things. Just putting on

:30:57.:31:03.

a freeze causes unintended consequences.

:31:04.:31:24.

a freeze causes unintended Final word? We are not a lender. We

:31:25.:31:28.

allow the transaction to happen. If you cap and suppressed too much, you

:31:29.:31:36.

push the industry into the corners. There is evidence from other

:31:37.:31:40.

companies -- countries that the opposite is true. Ed Miliband made a

:31:41.:31:44.

speech about the cost of living today. At the end, he was asked

:31:45.:31:49.

about the allegations of election rigging in the Falkirk consistency.

:31:50.:31:59.

James Landale was watching. He was bombarded with questions about

:32:00.:32:01.

precisely what has happened in Falkirk. Over the last few days,

:32:02.:32:05.

some new evidence has been published by the Sunday Times newspaper, new

:32:06.:32:10.

e-mails, and doubts cast over some of the original evidence given by

:32:11.:32:11.

Labour members. of the original evidence given by

:32:12.:32:32.

Labour's plan pain to keep Scotland as part of the United Kingdom. --

:32:33.:32:37.

Labour's campaign. They are all calling for a new inquiry, so why

:32:38.:32:42.

wouldn't Mr Miliband give one case he was asked about this and he said

:32:43.:32:45.

he did not believe there was enough new evidence. He thinks they are not

:32:46.:32:54.

changing their evidence at the moment. He also said that the Labour

:32:55.:32:58.

Party had acted to take control over the selection, and stated that the

:32:59.:33:01.

party was reforming its relationship with the unions. But the questioning

:33:02.:33:07.

got quite personal. He was asked how much he fears on a scale of one to

:33:08.:33:11.

ten people like Len McCluskey, the general secretary of the Unite

:33:12.:33:14.

union, and also the Labour MP John Watson, who is very much involved in

:33:15.:33:19.

Scottish politics. So, I think we are in an interesting position for

:33:20.:33:21.

Ed Miliband. What began as a story are in an interesting position for

:33:22.:33:41.

getting into quite risky territory, if he still refuses to conduct a new

:33:42.:33:49.

inquiry. So, he is clearly under pressure, because what will happen

:33:50.:33:51.

in terms of this, is that people will just look at the relationship

:33:52.:33:59.

between Labour and the Unite union, and also between Ed Miliband and Len

:34:00.:34:05.

McCluskey, and that, as you say, over time, could be very bad news

:34:06.:34:10.

for him. Yes, and particularly, because the Conservatives will not

:34:11.:34:14.

in the House of Commons just now, George Osborne, in Treasury

:34:15.:34:18.

questions, raised the question about the role of the Unite union in the

:34:19.:34:22.

Grangemouth strike, and he very specifically immediately said, this

:34:23.:34:25.

is all about Labour's relationship with the Unite union, and their

:34:26.:34:31.

failure to control the union. He was slapped down by the Speaker, saying,

:34:32.:34:33.

this is supposed to be slapped down by the Speaker, saying,

:34:34.:34:53.

farms? If some scientists are to be believed, investors should be read

:34:54.:34:56.

thinking attitudes on energy Wallasey. Tim Iredale reports. --

:34:57.:35:06.

energy policy. Last week's stormy seas were a stark reminder of the

:35:07.:35:09.

disruption that can be caused by extreme weather conditions. But

:35:10.:35:14.

according to one scientist, we should be preparing for a different

:35:15.:35:16.

kind of climate challenge in the years to come. It is claimed that

:35:17.:35:21.

harsh winters, like the big freeze of 1963, could become more common

:35:22.:35:30.

due to a decline in solar activity. We may be needing more snowploughs,

:35:31.:35:35.

we might need more power stations to meet the energy demands. All of

:35:36.:35:41.

these things become more sensible, more economic to do,

:35:42.:36:02.

these things become more sensible, Siberian winters will see a

:36:03.:36:04.

reduction in milder air coming in off the Atlantic. In other words,

:36:05.:36:12.

less wind. Melvin Grosvenor led a campaign to successfully block a

:36:13.:36:17.

development of eight turbines on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds. He

:36:18.:36:22.

now supports other communities where there is significant opposition to

:36:23.:36:26.

new wind farms. If the wind is not going, we know full well, as from

:36:27.:36:31.

2010-11, where we had blocking highs, there was little wind and

:36:32.:36:35.

virtually no energy produced. If we are going down this road, we are

:36:36.:36:39.

going to have no energy, blackouts, lights out, and people will still

:36:40.:36:44.

suffer all of the impacts on landscape and residential amenity

:36:45.:36:47.

and higher energy bills. Is this about science, or is it about you

:36:48.:36:51.

saying you do not want these things on your landscape? It is a mixed

:36:52.:36:54.

issue. on your landscape? It is a mixed

:36:55.:37:12.

do basically the wrong thing, then obviously, there is a huge problem.

:37:13.:37:19.

So, with differing opinion on how to manage our future energy needs, I

:37:20.:37:25.

sought advice from a familiar face. John, if you were a government

:37:26.:37:28.

minister, how would you plan for our future energy needs? I would

:37:29.:37:33.

probably set back and think, what is it all about? We have been getting

:37:34.:37:37.

conflicting evidence for 20 years. There will always be wind in this

:37:38.:37:40.

country, we are an island, we are surrounded by water. I think it is a

:37:41.:37:46.

wonderful thing, I am an advocate of renewable energy, because the other

:37:47.:37:52.

stuff is going to run out. It may not be nuclear, it may be nuclear,

:37:53.:37:58.

but certainly these other alternatives have a place in

:37:59.:38:00.

society. Whatever conjunction there is, in whatever new science comes

:38:01.:38:03.

out, we is, in whatever new science comes

:38:04.:38:23.

is our household Energy Bill. We have been joined now by Chris

:38:24.:38:26.

Heaton-Harris, a Conservative MP and strong opponent of wind farms, as

:38:27.:38:30.

well as the Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett. Chris

:38:31.:38:34.

Heaton-Harris, what is the evidence that the UK is getting less wind? I

:38:35.:38:38.

do not think there is any. I guessed what that is saying is that when we

:38:39.:38:43.

most need power, in the winters when we have got huge anticyclones above

:38:44.:38:48.

us and there is no wind being produced, wind does not do anything

:38:49.:38:53.

for our energy supply or security. But we knew that already, wind is

:38:54.:38:56.

unpredictable, it is not a consistent thing. Absolutely, which

:38:57.:39:04.

is why it is a complete problem for those on the National Grid, because

:39:05.:39:09.

you do not know when it is coming, so you have always got to have a

:39:10.:39:14.

100% back-up of gas turbines behind it,

:39:15.:39:32.

100% back-up of gas turbines behind farms in Texas. In the US, 43% of

:39:33.:39:34.

the new electricity generation which was installed last year is green. We

:39:35.:39:37.

have got China powering ahead with it. We have got Germany, which on

:39:38.:39:43.

one day in October they were getting 59% of their energy from solar and

:39:44.:39:47.

wind. We are being left behind while the rest of the world is powering

:39:48.:39:51.

ahead. But we are talking about this country, will it have enough wind to

:39:52.:39:55.

actually supply the level of renewable energy which you are

:39:56.:39:58.

talking about, in comparison to places like Germany, who are

:39:59.:40:02.

actually going back to a lot of fossil fuels? As was highlighted, we

:40:03.:40:07.

are a maritime island, the wind is not going to suddenly stop blowing.

:40:08.:40:11.

This is only one study, it is very speculative. If we go around

:40:12.:40:15.

clutching at straws like this we will not get the investment we need

:40:16.:40:20.

in renewable energy. Is it just clutching at straws, is it just

:40:21.:40:21.

using this example, that we clutching at straws, is it just

:40:22.:40:48.

they are all wrong? You are producing very expensive energy,

:40:49.:40:51.

putting people into fuel poverty, which does not do anything for

:40:52.:40:55.

security of supply. Is it expensive, because once it is up and running,

:40:56.:41:00.

it is cheaper, isn't it? Unio exactly what the fuel will cost,

:41:01.:41:05.

which is nothing. Unfortunately, you need gas burning in the background

:41:06.:41:09.

100% of the time. Are you a fan of wind turbines? One is just about to

:41:10.:41:14.

go up in the village where I live, and I did not impose it -- oppose

:41:15.:41:20.

it, because I am in favour of planning for the future. I do not

:41:21.:41:25.

know which debate is right and wrong, but I think we have to invest

:41:26.:41:29.

to try and improve things, we have to be careful of NIMBY, which

:41:30.:41:34.

happens, of course, but we need to make sure

:41:35.:41:52.

happens, of course, but we need to saying that actually, you do not

:41:53.:41:55.

think it is a viable energy source and that is medically, it is ruining

:41:56.:41:58.

the countryside, or is it both? It is both. I do not see how you can be

:41:59.:42:03.

green and let the physical landscape be ruined. We have to acknowledge

:42:04.:42:15.

that all forms of energy generation have this government is not spending

:42:16.:42:20.

a single penny on insulating our low standard homes, which of course

:42:21.:42:23.

would tackle fuel poverty, create jobs and cut carbon emissions. That

:42:24.:42:31.

is part of the green taxes which the Government is trying to roll back.

:42:32.:42:35.

According to Caroline Flint it is only ?112. Actually about a third of

:42:36.:42:41.

that is a social levy for those who cannot afford their bills, and about

:42:42.:42:43.

another third... I am cannot afford their bills, and about

:42:44.:43:08.

e-industrialisation. We could develop offshore wind using the

:43:09.:43:13.

engineers and technicians who are coming out of the offshore oil

:43:14.:43:19.

industry. At the moment, when people's cost of living is high,

:43:20.:43:23.

they are more worried, and so are the political parties, about doing

:43:24.:43:27.

something about the economy than they are at the moment about climate

:43:28.:43:32.

change, and is that not legitimate? We do not have to have a new law

:43:33.:43:37.

here. If we go for the gas option, which you are so keen on,

:43:38.:43:42.

international studies suggests the price of gas will rise by 14% by

:43:43.:43:48.

2020. It has collapsed in the United States. The States is an isolated

:43:49.:43:53.

market, they have import States. The States is an isolated

:43:54.:44:13.

you just not believe the claims which are made that actually, in the

:44:14.:44:17.

future, if you invest in green, clean energy, the bills will come

:44:18.:44:21.

down at a later stage? No, I do not believe that. I think we can have a

:44:22.:44:26.

political debate about how much we want to pay for energy. At the

:44:27.:44:28.

moment people are saying energy costs too much, and if the

:44:29.:44:32.

Government is adding extra costs, which is what the green taxes do,

:44:33.:44:36.

then we have got to be honest with people. Are you in favour of rolling

:44:37.:44:40.

back the green levies on nuclear energy bills and putting it onto

:44:41.:44:45.

general taxation? No, I think we have to get the balance right. Blunt

:44:46.:44:49.

instruments do not work, they create problems elsewhere. Thank you both

:44:50.:44:55.

very much. Now, we may be 18 months away from the next general election,

:44:56.:44:58.

but it already feels as if the parties are in campaign mode. The

:44:59.:45:02.

number of people voting in 2010 was actually up, compared to the 2005

:45:03.:45:04.

election. actually up, compared to the 2005

:45:05.:45:26.

Lucy Powell is Julia elected for the Manchester Central constituency. --

:45:27.:45:32.

Julia elected. One year ago, I was elected as the Labour MP for

:45:33.:45:36.

Manchester Central. I was disappointed that the voter turnout

:45:37.:45:40.

was just 18%, the lowest in a by-election since the Second World

:45:41.:45:43.

War. It is an embarrassing record to hold and one that I'd decided to do

:45:44.:45:48.

something about. As part of Labour's peoples politics enquiry, a

:45:49.:45:51.

review into how we can engage people in politics, I have been around the

:45:52.:45:57.

constituency talking to young voters or nonvoters, in most cases. I've

:45:58.:46:05.

tried to work out why they do not vote. At first, they were sceptical

:46:06.:46:08.

about hearing from me but it quickly unfolded that they were highly

:46:09.:46:13.

political and involved. They were interested and knowledgeable about

:46:14.:46:15.

what was happening in their communities as well

:46:16.:46:33.

what was happening in their ever voted? No. Never. Why? To be

:46:34.:46:38.

honest, I do not trust the politicians. They are all out for

:46:39.:46:43.

themselves. Do you think I look like a politician? What would it

:46:44.:46:49.

politician look like? Old and miserable. As soon as someone hears

:46:50.:46:55.

about politics or anything like that, they automatically think it is

:46:56.:47:00.

boring and they do not want to know. It is depressing to hear. In order

:47:01.:47:07.

to connect with these people, we need to diversify our stock of

:47:08.:47:11.

politicians. We need to help create a political culture that allows for

:47:12.:47:14.

a difference, for greater freedom to be outspoken and live normal lives.

:47:15.:47:20.

This is not just to challenge for the political parties but for those

:47:21.:47:25.

who report on politics. Do not think compulsory voting

:47:26.:47:44.

who report on politics. Do not think could be coveted and create a very

:47:45.:47:45.

different collection. Lucy Powell joins us. A cynic would say that the

:47:46.:47:50.

reason the turnout was so low is because it is a safely proceed.

:47:51.:47:54.

Labour voters know they are going to get a Labour MP so it is not worth

:47:55.:47:59.

going out to vote. If you drill down the figures, the places with the

:48:00.:48:02.

lowest turnout were the student areas, the areas with younger

:48:03.:48:09.

population. That is why I have focused my conversation with the

:48:10.:48:13.

youth vote. Do you accept that is the problem for safe seats two I

:48:14.:48:17.

know there are fewer these days than 20 years ago, but people do not

:48:18.:48:22.

bother, because they just think it is a fake Compleat. You're going to

:48:23.:48:26.

get a Conservative or Labour person. And that is the reality.

:48:27.:48:54.

get a Conservative or Labour person. high Labour vote, relatively, in my

:48:55.:49:00.

collection. But there is a larger malaise about why people do not want

:49:01.:49:04.

to getting gauged in politics. And I think that needs bigger anthers. And

:49:05.:49:12.

what are those answers? I get an anecdotal sense that people are

:49:13.:49:14.

interested in political issues but not interested in party politics

:49:15.:49:18.

cause they do not think they speak for them. I think getting people

:49:19.:49:24.

engaged at a younger age is one of those solutions. I would like to see

:49:25.:49:28.

the voting age brought down to 16. Secondly, I think we need to look at

:49:29.:49:33.

the stock of politicians because there is a feeling that we are all

:49:34.:49:37.

the same. People think that politicians are basically

:49:38.:49:39.

middle-aged, middle-class men and we need to do something about that.

:49:40.:49:44.

Thirdly, I think we need a boulder politics because what I've

:49:45.:50:04.

people are hungry for. What do you think about lowering the age for

:50:05.:50:10.

voting? I do not support it because I have teenage sons. They are 18 and

:50:11.:50:14.

21. At 16, in my opinion, they do not understand this. There is a lack

:50:15.:50:20.

of education and a malaise. More debating in schools, more focus on

:50:21.:50:23.

politics and what it means and how it works, more encouraging of having

:50:24.:50:28.

an opinion and validating that with data. The risk of 16-year-olds is

:50:29.:50:32.

that they will follow their parents. It has to be an independent view. In

:50:33.:50:38.

saying that, I have two of voting age and the book that university.

:50:39.:50:42.

How do they vote? Surely in an age where you can get a mortgage online

:50:43.:50:46.

and a tax return online, why can we not vote online? Why do we have to

:50:47.:50:50.

get out early or get home early to be able to vote. If it was easier to

:50:51.:50:56.

vote for those who have access to the internet, and in

:50:57.:51:13.

vote for those who have access to to that? I would definitely like

:51:14.:51:15.

online voting. I think we should make it easier. Back to the points

:51:16.:51:19.

of voting at 16. Critically, if you can pay taxes, and you can at the

:51:20.:51:23.

age of 16, then you should have a voice in how the taxes are spent.

:51:24.:51:30.

Lowering the voting age, will it make more people vote? I'm not sure

:51:31.:51:33.

that it would automatically encouraging gauge meant. But there

:51:34.:51:38.

are loads of people 40 and 50 who do not vote. But you say it is a

:51:39.:51:42.

particular problem among younger people. It has been argued that the

:51:43.:51:46.

policies that have been undertaken by the government have concentrated

:51:47.:51:53.

or focused on pensioners much of the time. There are arguments against

:51:54.:51:57.

it. Has that had an impact? Definitely. We would not have seen

:51:58.:52:00.

the government scrapping the educational maintenance allowance,

:52:01.:52:03.

troubling tuition fees and making it harder for young people to get on

:52:04.:52:05.

the property ladder. harder for young people to get on

:52:06.:52:25.

brunt. I think nobody is doing terribly well out of austerity. My

:52:26.:52:30.

mother, I see her friends struggling. Relatively, I mean. I

:52:31.:52:40.

think young people need to take this possibility but my sense is that 16

:52:41.:52:44.

is too young. We are encouraging children to stay at school until 18

:52:45.:52:47.

and take responsible at it for the decisions they are making. The vote

:52:48.:52:51.

is a big decision. I am not supportive of lowering it because

:52:52.:52:54.

they do not think that will break this malaise. What would engage your

:52:55.:53:04.

children, do you think you might make it cool, interesting, online.

:53:05.:53:09.

Get it on social media. But politicians are doing that. It is

:53:10.:53:12.

relatively new but they are starting to engage in the social media

:53:13.:53:14.

revolution. to engage in the social media

:53:15.:53:33.

see all additions in their community, they want to see me

:53:34.:53:36.

present in the school and in the community. They do not want to be

:53:37.:53:42.

typecast. The 16-year-old is that really want to vote, and not all of

:53:43.:53:48.

them do, they should be allowed to. -- 16-year-olds. What about

:53:49.:53:54.

compulsory voting? I am in two minds about that. I'm not sure about it.

:53:55.:54:00.

Why not? If it is such a problem and you want to lower the voting age,

:54:01.:54:03.

why not lower it and force them to vote? Maybe. I would like to see the

:54:04.:54:08.

evidence. It works in some places but I'm not sure that it would work

:54:09.:54:13.

in this country. It is something I would be happy to look at. You? I

:54:14.:54:20.

think I would not support it. We should encourage voting and

:54:21.:54:23.

encourage responsibility. should encourage voting and

:54:24.:54:45.

as the difficult consequences. You said if you made it cool and engaged

:54:46.:54:49.

with young people, but generally with voters, do boulder policies

:54:50.:55:01.

work? Which policy is right is left to individual choices, and would you

:55:02.:55:04.

like to see clearer policies from the parties? I would. In the areas

:55:05.:55:10.

that affect the household. In areas that affect childcare and health

:55:11.:55:17.

care. We have spoken about utility bills and all the things that affect

:55:18.:55:20.

households. Those are the things that matter. All these incisions,

:55:21.:55:27.

well thought through, and debates do not help the trust of the consumer

:55:28.:55:33.

much. -- older decisions. Who do you believe with this information?

:55:34.:55:54.

much. -- older decisions. Who do you years, the city has been run by a

:55:55.:55:59.

Republican or independent mayor. But if opinion polls are to be believed,

:56:00.:56:03.

this time tomorrow, Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, would be in charge. Here

:56:04.:56:09.

is in one of his campaign videos. Want to tell about Bill de Blasio.

:56:10.:56:14.

He is the only Democrat with the enthusiasm to break from tradition.

:56:15.:56:20.

He will fund early childhood and after-school programmes. He has the

:56:21.:56:23.

boldest plan to build affordable housing and he is the only one who

:56:24.:56:26.

will end a stop-and-frisk Europe that unfairly targets people of

:56:27.:56:31.

colour. He will be a mere four every New Yorker, wherever they live or

:56:32.:56:34.

what they look like. I would say that even if he wasn't my dad. --

:56:35.:56:45.

mayor. Is it going to be an easy victory for Bill de Blasio?

:56:46.:57:04.

mayor. Is it going to be an easy by Mike Bloomberg and New York City

:57:05.:57:07.

has always had progressive leanings. I think we are seeing the city

:57:08.:57:13.

coming back to its political routes. What has he done that has gripped

:57:14.:57:19.

the city? Is fighting against a lot of the excesses of a conservative

:57:20.:57:24.

era. He has been campaigning about popular programmes, like

:57:25.:57:28.

stop-and-frisk, stop and search, Civil Liberties issues. But Rudy

:57:29.:57:35.

Giuliani did well with his zero tolerance on crime and many say that

:57:36.:57:38.

that is what transformed New York. Is this a push against what was

:57:39.:57:42.

deemed to be so successful under a Republican mayor? This is a step

:57:43.:57:47.

forward for what can and will be achieved under a Democratic may. --

:57:48.:57:54.

mayor. He is a left-wing politician, a traditional New York

:57:55.:57:56.

Democrat. And he politician, a traditional New York

:57:57.:58:15.

chartered schools should compete on a level playing field. He's trying

:58:16.:58:21.

to end Brent subsidies for their positions. Thank you for coming in.

:58:22.:58:24.

So might be celebrating tomorrow? We might be. Just time to resolve our

:58:25.:58:32.

quiz. The question was, what have the Conservatives spent ?500 million

:58:33.:58:36.

on as they gear up to the election. What was the answer, Marion? I am

:58:37.:58:45.

reading at! You're supposed to know the answer, not read it! How very

:58:46.:58:52.

honest! Hiring Lynton Crosby was the answer. We will be back tomorrow at

:58:53.:58:56.

1130 am with Prime Minister's Questions questions. -- Prime

:58:57.:59:00.

Ministers questions.

:59:01.:59:03.

Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint and business minister Matthew Hancock.


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