05/11/2013 Daily Politics


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the news that the chairman of the schools standards organisation


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


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


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


is talking about children from poorer families, and deprived


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


into any form of structured education early does not produce the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Miliband had to say a little earlier today...


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


will provide confidence for investors and a better deal for


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


public interest, opening up competition in banking, they the


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


companies, ending unjustified That is their version of getting


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


should have mandatory social tariffs to help vulnerable customers, and


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


what a government which is determined to fix broken markets


would be doing. Ed Miliband, speaking just over an


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


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


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


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


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


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


very interesting that Ed Miliband talked about water today, having


seen that the Government is taking action.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


through the regulation of the industry. It is a regulated


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


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


action. What you would expect is for us to make


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


needs strong interrogation and strong regulation. You know what I


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


purpose. So, are you going to intervene on


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


for example? Is there something that you will


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


water leakage. These companies have dominated an area through their


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


exists in them got to make sure that competition


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


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


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


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


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


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


customer service base which reflected that. People would feel


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


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


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


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


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


talking about green levies, the truth is,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


We have nothing exchange. My understand the policy.


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


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


competitive market and so the intervention needs to be different.


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


is a balance of stronger regulation, and making sure that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


It sounds like you are marching in the same direction?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


questioning the bosses of payday lenders like Wonga, which charge


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


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


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


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


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


do not have a fully fledged current-account.


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


with a current account. Most High Street


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


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


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


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


first organisation of its kind to offer a fully fledged


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


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


suddenly be finding that people can actually access markets that


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


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


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


doorstep lender and he had paid over ?3000 in


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


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


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


happy and they have been misrepresented in the debate about


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


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


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


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


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


to something as basic as a bank account?


We asked the government for an interview with the consumer affairs


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


opposite number, Stella Creasy. Welcome to the show.


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


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


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


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


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


pay all chronically or buy the internet. The gentleman there


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the fact that they go to people with back accounts.


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


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


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


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


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


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


different issues. There is a cultural issue about people choosing


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


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


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


that we are increasingly seeing segregation in the credit market


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


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


an fit to lend. That is a failure of banks


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


critical. Having we have seen the consequences of responsible lending


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


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


need responsible lending where people have a bad credit rating,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


a freeze causes unintended consequences.


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


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


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


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


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


about the allegations of election rigging in the Falkirk consistency.


James Landale was watching. He was bombarded with questions about


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


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


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


Labour members. of the original evidence given by


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Grangemouth strike, and he very specifically immediately said, this


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


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


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


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


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


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


disruption that can be caused by extreme weather conditions. But


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


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


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


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


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


these things become more sensible, more economic to do,


these things become more sensible, Siberian winters will see a


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


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


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


now supports other communities where there is significant opposition to


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


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


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


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


suffer all of the impacts on landscape and residential amenity


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


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


issue. on your landscape? It is a mixed


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


but certainly these other alternatives have a place in


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


out, we is, in whatever new science comes


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


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


well as the Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett. Chris


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


100% back-up of gas turbines behind it,


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


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


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


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


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


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


actually supply the level of renewable energy which you are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


happens, of course, but we need to make sure


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


e-industrialisation. We could develop offshore wind using the


engineers and technicians who are coming out of the offshore oil


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


election. actually up, compared to the 2005


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


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


Manchester Central. I was disappointed that the voter turnout


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


political and involved. They were interested and knowledgeable about


what was happening in their communities as well


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


who report on politics. Do not think compulsory voting


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


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


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


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


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


lowest turnout were the student areas, the areas with younger


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


interested in political issues but not interested in party politics


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


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


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


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


the same. People think that politicians are basically


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that it would automatically encouraging gauge meant. But there


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


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


policies that have been undertaken by the government have concentrated


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


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


the government scrapping the educational maintenance allowance,


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


the property ladder. harder for young people to get on


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


revolution. to engage in the social media


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


encourage responsibility. should encourage voting and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


era. He has been campaigning about popular programmes, like


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


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


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


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


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


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


Democrat. And he politician, a traditional New York


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Ministers questions.


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