04/12/2013 Daily Politics


04/12/2013

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Morning, folks. This is the Daily Politics. It's George Osborne's big

:00:39.:00:43.

day tomorrow. As we speak, he's probably limbering up in front of

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the mirror, rehearsing his Autumn Statement. We'll be looking ahead to

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what the Chancellor might have in store for us under his hard hat, or

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maybe up his orange donkey jacket. And we'll be analysing the

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government's latest plans for Britain's infrastructure.

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No PM at PMQs today. It's the B team instead. Stay tuned for Nick Clegg

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versus Harriet Harman. What are the odds of George Osborne

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appearing with his new pet, Lola, tomorrow? If you fancy a flutter,

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we'll have our very own bookie on hand.

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And how do you deal with problem families? One police commissioner

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has a radical approach. I think these families should have

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an intensive programme of intervention, teaching them basic

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skills and making them positive members of the community.

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All that and more coming up in the next ninety minutes. A veritable

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warm-up act, an hors d'oeuvre, if you wish, ahead of tomorrow's big

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autumn statement feast. And joining us for the festivities, two amuse

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bouches, former Employment Minister, Mark Hoban, and Shadow Leader of the

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House of Commons, Angela Eagle. Welcome to you, both. You nearly

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made me German! I know, you've been promoted. And you can now join

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coalition with the social Democrats. Now without further ado, let's take

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a look at the big economic picture ahead of George Osborne's big day.

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He's delivering the Autumn Statement tomorrow, you know. Be live here

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from 10:45am on BBC Two and the news channel. -- it will be live. Jo's

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been up all night crunching the numbers and wondering what Brucie

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Bonuses the Chancellor might have up his sleeve.

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Not many of those! his sleeve.

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Not many George Osborne is gearing up for his very own generation game

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tomorrow so what will be the items shooting along the treasury's

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conveyor belt? Well, the Chancellor should be in pretty buoyant mood as

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growth has finally returned, with GDP likely to be up 1.4% this year

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and 2.3% next year. It means the UK is the fastest growing economy in

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the G7 group of developed countries, but that doesn't mean an end to

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austerity. The deficit hasn't even been reduced by half, and may not be

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eliminated until the end of the next parliament. So what is he likely to

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announce? Well, first up there are the green levies. The government is

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expected to announce that the cost of the Warm Homes Discount will come

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off people's bills and go into general taxation instead, at a cost

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of ?300m a year. -- 300 million pounds a year. Next, there's Nick

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Clegg's universal free school meals for Primary School children to pay

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for. That will cost the Treasury ?600 million a year from September

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2014. Then there's the marriage tax allowance promised by the Tories.

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Allowing couples to transfer up to ?1,000 of their income tax personal

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allowance from April 2015 will cost ?700 million a year. The Chancellor

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is also likely to cap business rates at 2% in England and Wales next year

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instead of being linked to inflation. That cap could cost the

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Treasury more than ?300 million next year. With all these extras to pay

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for, it means one thing we can be fairly sure of, there won't be any

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major tax cuts announced by George Osborne before the next election.

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Andrew, back to you. I'm not release apprised. --

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surprised. Thanks, Jo. There's really no need to tune in tomorrow,

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but you better, because we know where you live. And as if by magic

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we've been joined by a Liberal Democrat MP. Ian Swales, welcome. If

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this is a decent recovery that is getting going, why is business

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investment at 6% less than last year? It takes a while for business

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investment to work its way through. And for people to make decisions.

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What we have seen is business as being more optimistic. We have seen

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the products of that because more people are in work in the private

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sector has created 1.4 million jobs since May 2010. While business

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investment has fallen, we need to look at the broader economy. That is

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making progress and the announcement tomorrow will help to strengthen

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business confidence. You say broader economy, if you exclude business

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investment, but experts fell by ?3 billion in the last quarter.

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If you look at the survey that came out over the last few days, there is

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strong progress in construction and optimism around manufacturing. The

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underlying data is positive. That is why we have the fastest growing

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economy in Europe and in the G-7. And net bank lending is down. You

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have to recognise that businesses are looking at their balance sheets.

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Small businesses as well. Not many. If you look at what is happening in

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the real economy, the fact we're seeing more people in work and what

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jobs created is a clear signal that the private sector is growing and

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recovering. The two real features are that median pay is at what it

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was in 2003 and productivity is down 5%, that is the real economy, not

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taken sugar boom that is being stalked up. -- stalked up. You have

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to take out the private sector and gas from that picture. Why? Because

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they have distorted productivity in the past. But we're seeing tangible

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signs of growth and improvement. And we should welcome that. It is part

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of a long-term move that the government has taken to tackle the

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deficit. You must be proud of this country is now the fastest growing

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economy of the G7? It is good that growth has returned but we have only

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had one third of the growth that George Osborne promised in his first

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budget. What we have had is the slowest recovery from a recession in

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100 years. And it is now speeding up. And that is to be welcomed. You

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cannot stay in recession for ever. What we have had is a government

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that choked off recovery by cutting too much at the beginning of its

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time in office. And we now have to ensure that we have basis in a

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recovery. And we do that by looking at the cost of living crisis and

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wondering what people are not feeling better off. That is because

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they are worse off. We never had a recovery in economic history where

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people have not benefited from it. This recovery is distant. Hold off,

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how is household spending rising then? -- this recovery is different.

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Because of debt. But there is no evidence that the extra debt is

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anywhere near the explanation of 2.5% increase in house spending.

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There is no correlation there. We have a recovery that is not making

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people better offer. People are ?1600 a year worse off, on average.

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What is the mystery that? -- the measure of that. Prices have risen

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for 40 out of the 41 months that the government has been in power. That

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is part of the problem on the other part of the problem is that the

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employment recovery is in very low paid employment, or part-time work.

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We have a crisis of underemployment where one in five people in

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part-time jobs want to take on more hours. But they cannot find them. We

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often find that is the case. But you definition of living standards is to

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compare the rise in wages with the rising prices. That is whether or

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not people are better off. Prices are rising more than wages and that

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has been true for a while. But the broader measure of living standards

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is household disposable income, which takes into account everything.

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When you do it that way, in the broader measure, what happens to

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living standards then? If you have some figures, give them to me and we

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will talk about it. You do not have the figures for household disposable

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income? I do not know the entirety of the ONS figures. But the broad

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measure of littering standards is not -- living standards is not...

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Let me finish. I want you to answer. Wages not rising as fast as prices

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hurt people. That is clear. But there are other factors that

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determine household income. When you include all the factors, people had

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been taken out of tax altogether, low interest rates, and so one, the

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repayment for mis-selling from the banks, $80 million alone -- ?80

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million alone. If you remove that, what happens? You tell me. You don't

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know. I'm not a compendium of knowledge on every statistic.

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Household income is the key statistic and you do not know that.

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When you look at that, household incomes have been rising and that

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has to explain... Are you trying to claim, Andrew... ? That has to

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explain why consumer spending is rising. You are trying to claim that

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there is not a cost of living crisis? I am not saying that at all.

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Millions of people out there are worried about putting food on the

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table at the end of the month. You have exploded away in a statistic.

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I'd talk to my sedition is she went, and people are failing to address --

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I talked to my constituents out and about and the government is not

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addressing their robins. I am merely trying to explain why consumer

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spending is rising even at a time when wages are not rising in league

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with prices. Energy prices are hurting them particularly. I would

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be happy to send you the prices if it will help with your education. Do

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you support the idea of giving help to marriage through tax? First of

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all, it is important to note that we have at ?600 into the pocket of

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every basic rate taxpayer through the tax cuts which the Lib Dems have

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fought so hard for, which explains Tom Mack we have done that. Yes, but

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we did not specifically mention that. Marriage, the Liberal

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Democrats do not support that and we do not believe the government should

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get involved in incentivising different forms of lifestyle. Being

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part of the coalition, we will be supporting it through the house. Are

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you unhappy that so many people are being dragged into a tax bracket,

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40% bracket, which was never designed for them. As a simple

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mathematical thing, by increasing the threshold at the bottom, if you

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do not change the 40% threshold, you give more benefits to the better

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off. By pulling down the threshold, we give the same benefits to

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everybody and we feel that is the right thing to do. So now you only

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have to earned ?42,000 a year and you immediately faced a marginal

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rate of tax of almost 42% when you include national insurance? Are you

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comfortable with that? Clearly, the country has been in an economic

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miss. Giving money away on tax is a difficult thing to do. -- economic

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mess. The government has chosen to give the same amount to higher rate

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taxpayers but we have not given extra to them. Why is a Conservative

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led government more anxious to increase the threshold even further

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under Lib Dem pressure, as we understand, and do nothing for that

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squeezed middle? When you came to power, 3 million people were in the

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40% bracket. We have heard that real wages are not rising and yet that

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figure, it is not like people are getting paid more and being dragged

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into the 40% bracket, it is that you have frozen the bracket and by the

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next election, 5 million people will be in the bracket. What concerns me,

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how do people want low earnings prosper at the moment? And we have

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talked about it, we have cut taxes to improve disposable income. And

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they think it is right that we focus on cutting taxes for those on low or

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average incomes. The average income in my constituency is ?24,000 and my

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constituents have benefited from this increase. I think it is the

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right choice to make you have limited room to manoeuvre. You're

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comfortable with the idea that under your government, the number of

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people paying the 40% marginal rate has increased from 3 million to 5

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million. In the south of England, people on ordinary incomes are on

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40%. The average in my constituency is 40% and they have benefited from

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the decision to increase the personal allowance. The other thing

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that this government have done with the tax system is give a huge tax

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cuts to people at the very top. Today, we heard a message from China

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that there would be no tax cut for middle-class families by the end of

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this Parliament. That was the point I was making. But what they have

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done is cut taxes for those in the very top tax brackets, those earning

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130R says in pounds. Whilst everyone else is facing this incredible

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squeeze. It is a funny priority. You have to look at it in the round.

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Yes, we have cut the high rate but there are other other loopholes that

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we have closed down. Why? The reason was because it was very clear that

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people were suffering. -- it was very clear that the Labour

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government kept the rate during the time they were in office, and if you

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increase the higher rate, it does not have the impact on tax take that

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the Labour government thought. It is better to have a competitive rate

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that will get people investing. But the higher rate I'm not giving money

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back, and money is being taken from people on lower incomes. It seems an

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odd priority. If you look at the burden of fiscal responsibility. We

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are focusing on the highest income members of the government. This

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government has done a great job in taking more money from the rich in

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increasing capital gains tax and increasing the amount libel against

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pensions. Labour thought it was OK to put ?750,000 a year into a

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pension and get full tax relief. As far as the highest rate of tax is

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concerned, I agree. Labour left it at 40% except in their last months.

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It is now 5% higher than it was for the entire period of labour's

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offers, apart from the very last month. I think we have a taste of

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what is to come. But we're not going to leave it there.

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Worried about what to get your loved one for Christmas? Well, if you're

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feeling flush, the Government's selling more of the nation's assets.

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It's a stake in the cross-Channel rail firm Eurostar on offer, but be

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quick because the French and Germans are apparently eyeing it up. It's to

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help pay for ?375 billion worth of spending on roads, railways and

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other building projects. Here's what the Chief Secretary to the Treasury

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had to say a little earlier. As icy at, this plan is a blueprint for

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Britain from which we will literally build the foundations of our future

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prosperity. -- as I see it. Whether they are investors, project managers

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or engineers, getting behind it and helping to deliver it, as it is a

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plan that delivers for our long-term investment, as we have seen from the

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insurance sector, and ultimately, it is a plan that will lead to

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sustainable, long-term growth and help us build a stronger economy in

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a fairer society where everyone can get on in life. Danny Alexander

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talking about the infrastructure plan. Mark Hoban, isn't this just a

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revised list of aspirations that we heard about before? There are no

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firm commitments but it is just what he hopes to achieve. The

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announcement today has been to support the ?100 million we set out

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with very clear priorities set out today. Improvements to the A50 and A

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40. This is to tackle the infrastructure deficit we inherited

:17:57.:18:00.

from other governments. What it is just that your track record so far

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hasn't been very good? -- but it. They have put out a press release

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saying that but you did say you would get ?20 billion of investment

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from the pensions industry. How much has been pledged so far? 1 billion.

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But if you are saying these are proper commitments to spending, we

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have heard ?20 billion was going to come from the pensions industry and

:18:27.:18:31.

Angela Eagle is right. ?1 billion has been pledged that is a massive

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gap in terms of the money needed. How do you convince our view is that

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the money from anywhere is actually going to be signed and sealed and

:18:40.:18:44.

put on the table? Well, if you look at the plan we publish today, it

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takes us to 2030 and beyond. There are steps you need in place to

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release that investment. So, for example, ?1 billion guarantee an

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ounce today for work at a Battersea on the Northern line. That is

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guaranteed and I think it will help unlock investment from others. That

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is 1 billion but we have heard all this from the Government. In 2011,

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40 priority projects were announced but only a handful have been

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completed. That is right, isn't it? But 90% of the announcements made

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are on track. You cannot build major motorways overnight. It does not

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help... But you need to start them, don't you? We have 1 billion from

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the pension industry and we have a handful of the 40 prior projects

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which were priority projects. Only a handful of them, a small handful,

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has started. You talk about the revolution but where is it? You have

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to have planning permission is, you have to draw up lands... So are you

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being honest with you was? Yes. The ONS compared quarter three figures

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2013 with quarter three figures in 2012. New infrastructure fell by 7%

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and is 8% down on last year and fell 13% in 2012. You are going in the

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wrong direction? You are going back with! You cannot just conjure this

:20:25.:20:28.

up from thin air! What we heard was a very poor pipeline of projects and

:20:29.:20:38.

we have strengthens that pipeline. He is right on that. Over the last

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40 years, UK infrastructure has fallen behind the rest of the

:20:44.:20:48.

world, as was concluded, and Labour refuse to get to grips with such

:20:49.:20:54.

projects. We have actually invested a lot. How much? We put it up from

:20:55.:21:04.

1% up to about 3%. But capital spending is now higher as a

:21:05.:21:10.

percentage than in your time in office. We have a load of free

:21:11.:21:16.

announcements and this Government make a vain, glorious comic huge

:21:17.:21:22.

announcements about ?375 billion of capital investment and they hope

:21:23.:21:25.

nobly will notice none of it is actually there. -- glorious, huge. I

:21:26.:21:33.

think 1% of it, the announcements made last year by Danny Alexander,

:21:34.:21:38.

have started. If you look at the detail of this announcement today,

:21:39.:21:41.

most of what is announced is going to start in the next Parliament or

:21:42.:21:45.

future Parliament, so it hasn't properly been concluded yet.

:21:46.:21:49.

Government needs to stop issuing press releases and actually start

:21:50.:21:55.

delivering on the projects it keeps announcing and re-announcing just

:21:56.:21:58.

before the Budget or the Autumn Statement. What do you say to that?

:21:59.:22:06.

What you have to do for businesses, and people are prepared to invest in

:22:07.:22:10.

infrastructure projects, is to set out a long-term horizon so they can

:22:11.:22:14.

plan for it. They can make those decisions. So that is why if you

:22:15.:22:18.

look at what insurance companies have pledged, they want to know

:22:19.:22:22.

those project going to be there so they can see a path towards that,

:22:23.:22:26.

and what we're doing is providing in that direction about what our

:22:27.:22:31.

priorities are, and investment, not by just ensuring us, but also

:22:32.:22:38.

investment here in the UK. But they announced a cut to infrastructure

:22:39.:22:48.

investment... They cut our plans on infrastructure investment in 2010 by

:22:49.:22:52.

nearly 13 billion, so they cut a whole load of them, and then they

:22:53.:22:55.

realised they had made a mistake and have been trying to play catch-up

:22:56.:22:58.

ever since. It is not just me that says that, it is the CBI and a lot

:22:59.:23:04.

of... But, Angela Eagle, it is true, you did cut capital spending,

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didn't you? We are spending more in this Parliament than the previous

:23:11.:23:16.

government. How much was Alistair Darling cutting? We were going to

:23:17.:23:20.

make significant cuts. Pretty much what the Government is doing! But

:23:21.:23:29.

what they did when they came in was actually cut far too deep in

:23:30.:23:33.

infrastructure investment, realised they had made a mistake couple of

:23:34.:23:36.

years later, and they have never recovered momentum. You cannot have

:23:37.:23:41.

it both ways. You cannot say that you are going to make cuts if you

:23:42.:23:45.

were re-elected and then complain we have made cuts. You have spent

:23:46.:23:50.

several years trying to catch up with the mistakes you made in 2010

:23:51.:23:53.

and the result is we are falling behind with Emperor structure

:23:54.:23:56.

investment. It is going the wrong way and we are spending less this

:23:57.:24:01.

year. -- infrastructure. We have a load of very sort of huge PR

:24:02.:24:07.

announcements and virtually no activity. That's just talk about

:24:08.:24:13.

this. You say what businesses want its planning and consistency, a

:24:14.:24:15.

chance to make long-term investments. What about the A14?

:24:16.:24:20.

What happened to your consistent approach to that piece of

:24:21.:24:24.

infrastructure? Well, we have announced the improvements and what

:24:25.:24:27.

we have done is accepted that the taxpayer should pay the cost and it

:24:28.:24:34.

will not be through road tax. But you scrap the plans to expand in

:24:35.:24:39.

2010, saying the ?1.3 billion tag was too high. Then you said you

:24:40.:24:43.

would get 20% of the costs through tolls, then you said it wouldn't

:24:44.:24:48.

happen, and now you are going to get ?1.5 billion, as you say, so, more

:24:49.:24:52.

expensive than it would have been in 2010. What sort of consistent

:24:53.:24:58.

approach does that show? We need to look at the overall spending and

:24:59.:25:05.

future projects. There is huge commitment in the East of England

:25:06.:25:08.

and we are doing the right thing to build that road. We have got the

:25:09.:25:13.

details now, Ian, of a dramatically reduced subsidy for onshore wind

:25:14.:25:23.

farms. We have been saying for a while that offshore wind is where

:25:24.:25:26.

most of the powerful come from and I am pleased to see that it is

:25:27.:25:31.

rebalancing and we will see bigger subsidies. So it was wrong to have

:25:32.:25:36.

all those subsidies for that? Not wrong. Now we have the numbers we

:25:37.:25:40.

can see the different incentives needed and the balancing that needs

:25:41.:25:45.

to be done. I'm very concerned, particularly for energy investment,

:25:46.:25:49.

the inconsistency there and I'm concerned with politicians meddling.

:25:50.:25:53.

And since Labour have announced a price freeze, the National Grid says

:25:54.:25:58.

half projects are now on hold. -- half of project. You are doing this

:25:59.:26:07.

as a sop to them, aren't you? I think the way we have dealt with

:26:08.:26:11.

renewables and subsidies is to make sure we get a market started when

:26:12.:26:14.

that market gets going, it is right to let the market function as it

:26:15.:26:19.

should do by removing that subsidy. That is exactly what is happening on

:26:20.:26:23.

renewables here. It is good economically and politically as

:26:24.:26:29.

well. Enqueue. Look behind you! -- thank you.

:26:30.:26:36.

There's a man in Number 11 Downing Street who thinks we've turned the

:26:37.:26:39.

corner economically. Happy days are here again. The future's as fluffy

:26:40.:26:44.

as George's new pet puppy, Lola, a cute little "bishon frise" dog to go

:26:45.:26:47.

with your cute little "fuel-bill freeze". Well, whether you believe

:26:48.:26:50.

that's true or not, there is one thing to have you yapping with

:26:51.:26:53.

happiness. This week, we're busting our own budget and giving you not

:26:54.:26:58.

one but two - count them - two Daily Politics mugs. Is that my lipstick

:26:59.:27:03.

or yours? Double the joy for you and your significant other. You won't

:27:04.:27:07.

get that from the Autumn Statement! We'll remind you how to enter in a

:27:08.:27:11.

minute, but let's see if you can remember when this happened.

:27:12.:27:26.

# I'll be glad all over new sick macro glad all over.

:27:27.:27:36.

Within five years according to all of the most significant engineers,

:27:37.:27:44.

we should be travelling through the tunnels.

:27:45.:27:50.

# In the daytime # Girl, I want to be with you...

:27:51.:28:00.

# It's over # It's over.

:28:01.:28:09.

And here, touching that famous bag, comes Mrs Wilson. Welcome to BBC Two

:28:10.:28:17.

from where it all began here in studio A in Alexandra Palace.

:28:18.:28:23.

A stroll down memory lane! Well, for some of our guests, anyway!

:28:24.:28:45.

To be in with a chance of winning a Daily Politics mug, send your answer

:28:46.:28:48.

to our special quiz email address - [email protected] And you can see

:28:49.:28:52.

the full terms and conditions for Guess The Year on our website, at

:28:53.:28:55.

bbc.co.uk/dailypolitics. Looks pretty easy to me! The queue

:28:56.:29:00.

was Douglas Hume, and then Harold Wilson. One coming out, one going

:29:01.:29:05.

in. Don't make it easier! It's coming up to midday here - just

:29:06.:29:10.

take a look at Big Ben - and that can mean only one thing. Yes, Prime

:29:11.:29:16.

Minister's Questions is on its way. Well, not exactly Prime Minister's

:29:17.:29:20.

Questions. Deputy Prime Minister 's questions. If you'd like to comment

:29:21.:29:24.

on proceedings, you can email us at [email protected], or tweet

:29:25.:29:26.

your thoughts using the hashtag #bbcdp. We might even read some out

:29:27.:29:33.

after PMQs! And that's not all. James Landale is here. What have you

:29:34.:29:42.

got for us? I was looking at this energy story and it is clear there

:29:43.:29:48.

are going to be substantial cuts in subsidies for solar and wind. But we

:29:49.:29:51.

were told they would be a corresponding increase in support

:29:52.:29:54.

for offshore wind. I have had a look at all the figures and there is no

:29:55.:29:58.

change to the planned prices for the first four years. There is only

:29:59.:30:07.

support from 2018, 2019. For four years. But it doesn't look as if it

:30:08.:30:13.

is quite so much as Bill. If onshore wind doesn't get subsidy, doesn't

:30:14.:30:22.

that make it known economic? No. There will continue to be onshore

:30:23.:30:26.

wind farms and solar farms. We are reaching that point where a a lot of

:30:27.:30:28.

energy firms will think, frankly, Onshore wind is guaranteed at more

:30:29.:30:51.

than the market price. Is it going to get twice the market price? It

:30:52.:31:02.

will still be subsidised. Were not talking about anything else.

:31:03.:31:15.

As I was saying, I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Prime

:31:16.:31:20.

Minister who has been visiting China. I am sure the whole house

:31:21.:31:26.

will wish to join me in offering condolences to the family and

:31:27.:31:30.

friends of those killed following the helicopter crash in Glasgow on

:31:31.:31:37.

Friday evening. I visited the site yesterday and was able to see the

:31:38.:31:42.

recovery operation first-hand. I pay tribute to the outstanding bravery

:31:43.:31:48.

of all the emergency services involved. This morning I had

:31:49.:31:53.

meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. I shall have further

:31:54.:32:02.

such meetings later today. I would like to associate myself with those

:32:03.:32:07.

comments made by the deputy Prime Minister after the tragic events in

:32:08.:32:14.

Glasgow. Sunderland is facing cuts of ?42 million following cuts in

:32:15.:32:17.

health funding. Does the Deputy Prime Minister think it is right to

:32:18.:32:26.

divert NHS funding from areas of high need? NHS England is now in a

:32:27.:32:35.

position to make some of those big judgements. But to have questions on

:32:36.:32:44.

what money goes where in the NHS from a party that still does not

:32:45.:32:47.

agree with our protection of the initiates budget -- the NHS budget,

:32:48.:32:55.

we are putting 12.7 billion pounds of extra money into the NHS. I would

:32:56.:33:04.

be interested to know if her party agrees. With the Deputy Prime

:33:05.:33:11.

Minister John me in congratulating the London borough of favouring

:33:12.:33:19.

which has re-homed many overcrowded families as a result of the

:33:20.:33:25.

government welfare policy. I would like to join with my honourable

:33:26.:33:28.

friend to congratulate the borough of favouring for the excellent work

:33:29.:33:32.

they have done. Overcrowding is a real problem. Many families are

:33:33.:33:40.

living in overcrowded properties. And the party opposite has now

:33:41.:33:44.

answer to some of these fundamental problems. That shows the bankruptcy

:33:45.:33:55.

of ideas. I would join the deputy minister in conveying our deepest

:33:56.:34:00.

sympathy to the families of the nine people who lost their lives in a

:34:01.:34:03.

tragic accident in Glasgow. I've paid tribute to the brave work of

:34:04.:34:09.

the emergency services and the remarkable response of the people of

:34:10.:34:13.

Glasgow. Can the Deputy Prime Minister tell us compared to last

:34:14.:34:18.

winter, will this winter's household energy bills be lower or higher's

:34:19.:34:31.

Fain would be higher. -- they would be higher if we had not taken the

:34:32.:34:36.

action that we have. I would simply point out that her party's

:34:37.:34:47.

economically illiterate policy... In fact her energy spokesperson said

:34:48.:34:53.

just two days ago well, you cannot control energy prices. So there we

:34:54.:35:00.

have it. You do not need me to point out that your policy is a con your

:35:01.:35:05.

energy spokesman has done it for you. He has not answered the

:35:06.:35:20.

question. As always, we will get through however long it takes. He

:35:21.:35:29.

has dodged and not answered the question I asked. The truth is that

:35:30.:35:36.

household energy bills are not going down, they are going up. As for the

:35:37.:35:44.

measures, the ?50 they talked about, it is not enough to stop bills

:35:45.:35:52.

rising. But of the ?50 can he tell us the how much will come from the

:35:53.:36:01.

profits of the energy giants? I know her a piece of paper says I did not

:36:02.:36:05.

answered the question, but I actually did. Bills will on average

:36:06.:36:11.

be ?50 lower than they otherwise would be. That is pretty simple. We

:36:12.:36:18.

have done that by adjusting the policies whilst adhering to our

:36:19.:36:23.

green commit men's. Our government policy has an influence on energy

:36:24.:36:27.

bills. Her party's Wallasey is pure fantasy. -- policy. He said he

:36:28.:36:38.

answered the question but he has not. He has not stood up this

:36:39.:36:43.

dispatch box and admitted that as a result of his government's policies

:36:44.:36:47.

energy bills are going up. He has not admitted that. What he is trying

:36:48.:36:57.

to hide is that not 1p will come from the profits of the energy

:36:58.:37:03.

giants. They are tiptoeing round the energy giants allowing them to put

:37:04.:37:09.

up their bills. When it comes to standing up to the rich and

:37:10.:37:13.

powerful, this government is weak. But when it comes to hitting the

:37:14.:37:21.

most vulnerable in our society they have got no qualms at all. Last week

:37:22.:37:26.

at that dispatch box the Prime Minister said that disabled people

:37:27.:37:32.

are exempt from the bedroom tax. That is not true. Will the Deputy

:37:33.:37:38.

Prime Minister apologise and put the record straight. The honourable lady

:37:39.:37:44.

talks about standing up to vested interests. This in the week that we

:37:45.:37:49.

discovered that the great courage of the later leadership to stand up to

:37:50.:37:59.

their trade unions, guess what, all too difficult. -- Labour leadership.

:38:00.:38:08.

Order. This house should be the bastion of free speech. Neither the

:38:09.:38:15.

Deputy Prime Minister for the Right honourable and Leonard lady must be

:38:16.:38:19.

shouted down and we will keep going with this session as long as it

:38:20.:38:23.

takes for proper order to be observed. It should be the bastion

:38:24.:38:30.

of political parties free of vested interests. It is high time that the

:38:31.:38:36.

Labour leadership to what they say and stand up to their trade union

:38:37.:38:42.

paymasters. She should stand up to her bosses first. I suggest that he

:38:43.:38:49.

leaves it to us to worry about our party members. Especially as so many

:38:50.:39:00.

of them used to be his. Given that for over 90% of people hit by the

:39:01.:39:06.

bedroom tax, there just is not a smaller property for them to move

:39:07.:39:14.

to, what would he have them do this Mac -- what would he have them do?

:39:15.:39:21.

Under their government housing benefit to people in the private

:39:22.:39:25.

rented sector was provided only on the basis of the number of rooms

:39:26.:39:29.

needed. We apply exactly the same rule to those in the social rented

:39:30.:39:35.

sector. For the reasons we heard earlier at the same time we have

:39:36.:39:40.

many thousands of families in overcrowded properties and 1.8

:39:41.:39:43.

million households still on the housing waiting list. Like so many

:39:44.:39:48.

other things we are sorting out the mess that they left behind. He knows

:39:49.:39:57.

that there is no comparison between what we did and what he is doing.

:39:58.:40:03.

Our change was only for a new payments. Their bedroom tax hit

:40:04.:40:09.

people who have lived in their property for years, who cannot

:40:10.:40:12.

afford the charges and have nowhere to go. He stands there and always

:40:13.:40:19.

says that the Lib Dems are making a difference in government. They

:40:20.:40:25.

certainly are. Without the Lib Dems there would be no bedroom tax.

:40:26.:40:29.

Without the Lib Dems there would be no travelling of tuition fees.

:40:30.:40:34.

Without the Lib Dems there would be no top-down reorganisation of the

:40:35.:40:41.

NHS. He says he is a brake on the Tories but even I know the

:40:42.:40:45.

difference between the break and the accelerator. He is the very best

:40:46.:40:58.

deputy Conservative Prime Minister. Without the Liberal Democrats there

:40:59.:41:09.

would not be a recovery. Mr Speaker... We have our differences.

:41:10.:41:28.

Order. Order. The answer will be heard. We have our differences on

:41:29.:41:35.

this side of the House but the one thing that unites us is we would not

:41:36.:41:42.

have gone on a prawn cocktail charm offensive sucking up to the banks

:41:43.:41:46.

which created the problem in the first place. We would not simply say

:41:47.:41:51.

to our children and grandchildren, you can pay off the debts of this

:41:52.:41:55.

generation. No one on this side of the House would have broken the

:41:56.:42:00.

British economy in the first place. He talks about the recovery and

:42:01.:42:05.

there might be recovery for the rich but for everyone else there is a

:42:06.:42:11.

cost of living crisis. When it comes to being a loyal deputy to a Tory

:42:12.:42:17.

Prime Minister he will go to any lengths, make any promises and sell

:42:18.:42:22.

out any principles. The truth is if you want to freeze energy bills and

:42:23.:42:27.

scrap the bedroom tax it is not going to be the Tories, it is never

:42:28.:42:32.

going to be the Lib Dems, it has got to be the Labour Party. They're not

:42:33.:42:39.

a government in waiting and not even an opposition in waiting. It is a

:42:40.:42:43.

two month before the next general election. We still have no clue what

:42:44.:42:48.

the Labour Party would actually do. We know a few things, and energy

:42:49.:42:55.

coal which would see prices go up. No apology for crashing economy in

:42:56.:42:59.

the first place and a total failure to stand up to trade union bosses.

:43:00.:43:05.

If they cannot manage to come up with some sensible policies, if they

:43:06.:43:10.

cannot manage their own party, why should anyone think they can manage

:43:11.:43:21.

our country? This weekend is a small business Saturday and I will be

:43:22.:43:24.

supporting local firms in my constituency. I welcome the

:43:25.:43:31.

reduction introduced in terms of corporation tax and national

:43:32.:43:34.

insurance contributions but what more can be done to reduce business

:43:35.:43:43.

rates? My honourable friend should wait for the autumn state in. Small

:43:44.:43:48.

business Saturday is a worthwhile event. Of course the last government

:43:49.:43:54.

planned to end small business rates relief. We reversed that. Another

:43:55.:44:01.

example of this side of the House standing up for small businesses let

:44:02.:44:08.

down by that side of the House. Tenants, councils, housing

:44:09.:44:12.

associations, welfare charities and disabled groups are against it. Lib

:44:13.:44:18.

Dem party policy is against it. Even Danny's dad is against it so why is

:44:19.:44:24.

the Deputy Prime Minister the last man standing in defending the

:44:25.:44:31.

bedroom tax? A policy as unpopular as Margaret Thatcher's poll tax?

:44:32.:44:37.

Everyone except that when you make a change from one system to another

:44:38.:44:41.

there are hard cases that need to be dealt with compassionately. That is

:44:42.:44:44.

why we have travelled the discretionary housing payment. Could

:44:45.:44:52.

he have a word with his welfare spokesperson who recently declared

:44:53.:44:56.

that the Labour Party would be tougher on welfare than the

:44:57.:45:00.

Coalition. Yet they opposed ?80 billion worth of welfare savings. As

:45:01.:45:13.

you will know more than many, they have failed to provide and have

:45:14.:45:22.

created a lamentable failure. Today, they are holding a road show to tell

:45:23.:45:27.

my constituents about phase two of their proposal. Will my right

:45:28.:45:29.

honourable friend work with his colleagues in government to assure

:45:30.:45:35.

that HS2 provide decent information and compensation to everyone

:45:36.:45:45.

affected as quickly as possible? I know he has strong views on this.

:45:46.:45:49.

I'd agree with him that not only for compensation should be available,

:45:50.:45:53.

but also the right level of information provided, and the phase

:45:54.:45:57.

to root consultation that started in October is due to end in January,

:45:58.:46:07.

and there are some 36 places where people can make their views known.

:46:08.:46:13.

-- says two of the root consultation. It is a very important

:46:14.:46:19.

part of the wider revamping and modernisation of our infrastructure

:46:20.:46:24.

on which the Chief Secretary to the Treasury will be speaking shortly.

:46:25.:46:27.

There are more young people out of work in the Black Country, so will

:46:28.:46:34.

he extend the use scheme to that part of the country? And if he will

:46:35.:46:43.

call an urgent meeting to get the deal scheme sorted out, too? I agree

:46:44.:46:54.

and we are working flat out to do so. But the principle idea of making

:46:55.:46:59.

sure less power is in Whitehall and more power and resources and freedom

:47:00.:47:04.

to use resources are allocated to local communities and Local

:47:05.:47:06.

Enterprise Partnerships and authorities is something we are

:47:07.:47:08.

determined to push through in his part of the country as elsewhere.

:47:09.:47:19.

Can I welcome any reduction in the incentive after within our total

:47:20.:47:32.

commitment for renewables? As he knows, and achieve secretary to the

:47:33.:47:39.

Treasury will confirm this, we have adjusted the prices as far as they

:47:40.:47:44.

apply to onshore wind and solar panel installation is because we

:47:45.:47:48.

believe it is viable now to do so. But it made it more attractive for

:47:49.:47:53.

further investment in the offshore industry in which we are already a

:47:54.:47:56.

world leader and must maintain our world lead, not least for benefits

:47:57.:48:01.

to parts of the country like the north-east, all of which, by the

:48:02.:48:08.

way, would be blighted by an illiterate energy policy. Is he

:48:09.:48:11.

aware that on average women working full-time have seen their earnings

:48:12.:48:15.

fall by nearly ?2500 since the election? And does he think the

:48:16.:48:21.

married man's tax allowance is the best way to help women who are

:48:22.:48:25.

paying the price of his government? The honourable lady knows the

:48:26.:48:30.

respective views in the coalition on the so-called marriage tax paid, at

:48:31.:48:34.

I would point out to her... I would point out that it is this Government

:48:35.:48:42.

which has ended the injustice of women being short-changed in the

:48:43.:48:46.

pension system, it is this Government raising the point that --

:48:47.:48:56.

at which people pay income tax and it is this Government that is

:48:57.:49:00.

finally providing more affordable childcare places which weren't

:49:01.:49:03.

provided over the last 13 years under Labour. The ruble equivalent

:49:04.:49:09.

of waiting for Godot is waiting for high-speed broadband! -- the rural

:49:10.:49:17.

equivalent. 82% of promises in my constituency will be connected by

:49:18.:49:21.

the end of 2016, so we have been assured. The sad fact is that over

:49:22.:49:25.

8000 properties will not be and will be in the so-called lost 10%. So

:49:26.:49:30.

will he now commit the funds which have been set aside to be deployed

:49:31.:49:35.

to finish the job? We don't want complex bidding systems, we don't

:49:36.:49:39.

want to match funding and we just want the job done. Mr Speaker, we

:49:40.:49:47.

are investing, as he knows, ?3 million already and extending the

:49:48.:49:51.

coverage of superfast board banned in Devon and Somerset as part of the

:49:52.:49:56.

current rural broadband programme. Over 10,000 promises are expected to

:49:57.:50:00.

be covered by the project by the end of the year and 74,000 by next July.

:50:01.:50:05.

On his point, the so-called final 10%, we announced a quarter of ?1

:50:06.:50:13.

billion to extend coverage further by 2017 and hear what he says and

:50:14.:50:17.

the plans will be set out in further detail shortly. Two companies who

:50:18.:50:25.

are major investors in the north-east of England have said that

:50:26.:50:30.

if we leave the EU, it will be of great damage to investment. Would he

:50:31.:50:36.

agree with me that leaving Europe is bad for business and for jobs? I am

:50:37.:50:41.

sure I speak for most people on all sides of the House that it would he

:50:42.:50:50.

is -- a spectacular act of suicide. By some estimates, over 3 million

:50:51.:50:55.

jobs are dependent one way or another in this country on our

:50:56.:51:02.

membership of the European Union. People have welcomed the

:51:03.:51:07.

Government's brave decision to raise the cap on benefits but when their

:51:08.:51:17.

earnings are 23,900 before tax, they understandably still feel you can be

:51:18.:51:21.

better off on benefits than in work. Will my right honourable friend look

:51:22.:51:24.

at lowering the overall benefits cap or regionalising it so that it

:51:25.:51:28.

always pays to work wherever you live? We have not taken an approach

:51:29.:51:36.

of regionalising the benefit cap. I now that is advocated by the party

:51:37.:51:39.

opposite, though very few details have been provided from them so

:51:40.:51:43.

far. So we have taken a national approach and we therefore set it at

:51:44.:51:49.

a national average, ?26,000, if you like, after tax, equivalent to

:51:50.:51:55.

35,004. The vast majority of people in the country think that is fair.

:51:56.:51:59.

That you should not be able to see benefits more than if you were to

:52:00.:52:03.

work. I would be very interested to know whether the party opposite

:52:04.:52:07.

supports or does not support this highly popular measure? The

:52:08.:52:12.

Government has been pushed into action on business rates by

:52:13.:52:18.

Labour... But just as energy bills will still rise this winter,

:52:19.:52:22.

business rates must still go up why an average of ?250 next year. Does

:52:23.:52:27.

the Deputy Prime Minister agree that nothing less than Labour's planned

:52:28.:52:31.

cuts and a freeze to business rates will do? The only thing this

:52:32.:52:38.

coalition government has been pushed into, which is what she said, by the

:52:39.:52:44.

party opposite, is rescuing the economy after the disastrous state

:52:45.:52:48.

it was in! We had to pull the economy back from the brink because

:52:49.:52:52.

that is where they left it. We have had to do emergency surgery to the

:52:53.:52:56.

banks because they sucked up to the banks, we have had to fill the

:52:57.:52:58.

black: The public finances because they created it. -- the black hole.

:52:59.:53:08.

IMO is anxious to be helpful! So in the spirit of friendly corporation,

:53:09.:53:15.

I have given advance notice of my question. -- I am always anxious.

:53:16.:53:20.

Given the Deputy Prime Minister is only at the dispatch box today

:53:21.:53:23.

because the Prime Minister is in China drum and up more orders for

:53:24.:53:28.

British business, can the Deputy Prime Minister please tell the House

:53:29.:53:33.

what was the common market share of world trade when the UK joined in

:53:34.:53:38.

1973? And what is the EU share of world trade today? The EU share of

:53:39.:53:47.

world trade today is around 20%. I would merely say to him in an

:53:48.:53:53.

equally friendly spirit, in which I know the question was intended, was

:53:54.:53:57.

that the Prime Minister has been advocating a new EU-China trade deal

:53:58.:54:02.

precisely because the European Union remains, notwithstanding all the

:54:03.:54:05.

other changes in the world, a very powerful trading block on the world

:54:06.:54:11.

scene. Last week, Goldman Sachs placed a value of Royal Mail shares

:54:12.:54:17.

at 600 and 10p each but just two months ago, they advised the

:54:18.:54:22.

government that investors would walk away if they sold that more than 300

:54:23.:54:28.

and 30p. Does he believe he has secured value for money for

:54:29.:54:34.

taxpayers? Is my right honourable friend has explained, this is

:54:35.:54:37.

another example of us doing something which they worked while

:54:38.:54:42.

they were in government. -- which they avoided. The price of sale was

:54:43.:54:47.

independently recommended to us and was actually at the highest point of

:54:48.:54:51.

the range, which was provided to us by independent advisers. Two weeks

:54:52.:54:58.

ago, Harrow Council officers closed down an unlicensed HMO with 11

:54:59.:55:04.

unrelated adults living in a three bedroomed property, each paying ?160

:55:05.:55:10.

a week in rent to a rogue landlord. It is now investigating a further

:55:11.:55:14.

100 cases. Would my right honourable friend not agree that it is time we

:55:15.:55:17.

criminalised rogue landlords to protect the vulnerable? I am

:55:18.:55:24.

appalled to hear about that example, yet again, of rogue

:55:25.:55:28.

landlords behaving unacceptably. Local authorities, as he knows,

:55:29.:55:32.

including in Harrow, have strong powers to tackle rogue landlords and

:55:33.:55:36.

we expect them to make full use of those. We have put forward a

:55:37.:55:43.

commitment to look at property conditions in the private rented to

:55:44.:55:48.

and we will shortly be announcing which local authorities will receive

:55:49.:55:52.

a share in ?3 million of funding to help them tackle rogue and criminal

:55:53.:55:58.

landlords. Thank you. When he signed the coalition agreement, with its

:55:59.:56:02.

commitment to giving more power to parents and pupils to choose a good

:56:03.:56:06.

school, did he ever envisage it would lead to a situation where

:56:07.:56:09.

Conservative controlled Hammersmith Conservative controlled Hammersmith

:56:10.:56:11.

Fulham Council is currently threatening to close a successful

:56:12.:56:17.

and popular Sullivan primary school rated good white Ofsted against the

:56:18.:56:21.

overwhelming opposition of the parents, governors, pupils and local

:56:22.:56:25.

residents in order to have the site over for a free school? My right

:56:26.:56:30.

honourable friend, the Secretary of State for education, is here, and I

:56:31.:56:35.

am sure he will want to write to you on that specific case. But one of

:56:36.:56:40.

the things this Government has done is remove the bureaucracy and

:56:41.:56:44.

centralisation of our school system to make sure the parents and

:56:45.:56:53.

teachers of free to teach in the classroom and parents have a greater

:56:54.:56:58.

running in the role of our schools. With the reference back to the

:56:59.:57:01.

recent question from the honourable gentleman, perhaps not my honourable

:57:02.:57:07.

friend on this issue on Bury North, with the Deputy Prime Minister not

:57:08.:57:13.

agree that the coalition is concerned on Europe, actions

:57:14.:57:16.

actually speak louder than words? And would he agree that the

:57:17.:57:20.

Chancellor's decision sometime back to assist the Irish economy, the

:57:21.:57:24.

Foreign Secretary's very sensible conduct on the European internal

:57:25.:57:29.

government or of you, and the Prime Minister's own words this week in

:57:30.:57:35.

China, that he wants to recommend we stay in, that this is a great boost

:57:36.:57:38.

of confidence for people like him and me? Down the line, Liberal

:57:39.:57:47.

Democrat pro-Europeans? It is always a joy to hear the mischievous wit

:57:48.:57:53.

and wisdom of my right honourable friend, and, as he knows, we are as

:57:54.:58:01.

one of the European issue. We need to, of course, reform the European

:58:02.:58:04.

Union and strip away bureaucracy where that can be done and make it

:58:05.:58:07.

more transparent and more efficient, but we'll so need to

:58:08.:58:11.

continue to exercise British leadership in the European Union. --

:58:12.:58:16.

we also. Figures from the National Health Service show that an

:58:17.:58:24.

additional 600 thousand people used Accident Emergency departments

:58:25.:58:27.

last winter, an increase of 11% since 2010. And it looks set to get

:58:28.:58:37.

much worse this winter. Why? I don't think it is very helpful to the

:58:38.:58:40.

millions of people working in the NHS to talk down there and -- there

:58:41.:58:53.

are -- their admirable efforts. He might be interested to know that the

:58:54.:58:56.

last time the right honourable member sitting over there, when he

:58:57.:59:04.

was secretary of health, the average waiting time was 77 minutes and we

:59:05.:59:11.

have cut that in half to 33 minutes. Last week, the NCA arrested six

:59:12.:59:15.

individuals around the allegations of match fixing in the English or

:59:16.:59:20.

league. Can my right honourable friend assure me and the House of

:59:21.:59:24.

every possible measure been taken by the three bodies, the FA, the

:59:25.:59:34.

Gambling Commission and the NA, to look at the gambling situation? Yes.

:59:35.:59:43.

It is a rather good example of the work of the NCA and it is exactly

:59:44.:59:46.

why it was established. To look at these complex cases and work with

:59:47.:59:53.

different agencies across different jurisdictions and make sure any

:59:54.:59:57.

suspicion of corruption in that game was removed. The Deputy Prime

:59:58.:00:03.

Minister will be aware of the case I am raising with him now and it is a

:00:04.:00:10.

matter of liking to address. A woman fled violent and abusive

:00:11.:00:15.

relationship in Italy. She is now in Wales and since then, the High Court

:00:16.:00:19.

had ruled that she is to return to Italy on Monday. Given that, they

:00:20.:00:27.

ask the Prime Minister -, sorry, the Deputy Prime Minister to make sure

:00:28.:00:31.

that the authorities realise that arresting her would be proportionate

:00:32.:00:36.

and it would be little short of a bomb -- abominable to take that boy

:00:37.:00:41.

into care pending the outcome of proceedings?

:00:42.:00:51.

It is a desperately sad case. I would love to be able to pronounce

:00:52.:00:59.

on it on a human level but ministers cannot comment or intervene in cases

:01:00.:01:03.

that have been before the courts whether in this country or abroad.

:01:04.:01:08.

I'm sure that the foreign and Commonwealth office will be able to

:01:09.:01:16.

provide consular assistance to the woman including providing details of

:01:17.:01:24.

English speaking local lawyers. It may surprise the Deputy Prime

:01:25.:01:27.

Minister to learn that the Liberals have a reputation of advocating a

:01:28.:01:32.

European referendum but not following that through. Will he now

:01:33.:01:40.

put that right by encouraging his liberal colleagues in the House of

:01:41.:01:46.

Lords to support our EU referendum? He and I joined forces in a lobby

:01:47.:01:53.

back in July 2011 to legislate for the first time for a referendum

:01:54.:01:58.

which for the first time guarantees in law that if the rules of the

:01:59.:02:03.

European union change, if there is water transfer of sovereignty --

:02:04.:02:09.

more transfer of there will be a referendum. That is our guarantee in

:02:10.:02:15.

law to the British people that a referendum will take place when

:02:16.:02:20.

circumstances determine. I understand his party is having a

:02:21.:02:28.

debate to change that position. My honourable friend for Glasgow North

:02:29.:02:32.

wanted to know whether the British taxpayer got value for money on the

:02:33.:02:38.

sale of the Royal Mail. Yes or no? Our judgement is yes. Easy though it

:02:39.:02:45.

might be to make snaps. -- snapshot judgements about the value of the

:02:46.:02:54.

company on any one day, we are determined to take a long-term view

:02:55.:02:58.

and not score short-term political points. As the acting Prime Minister

:02:59.:03:07.

not been outstanding today? If you are listening on the radio you might

:03:08.:03:11.

have thought he was the right honourable member for Whitney. I

:03:12.:03:17.

think he is turning into a Tory. Can I test that theory? One of the

:03:18.:03:26.

immigration bills was signed by 60 MPs calling for the transitional

:03:27.:03:28.

arrangements for Romania and Bulgaria to be continued. Does he

:03:29.:03:36.

agree with that? I am glad he has not raised his morbid obsession with

:03:37.:03:39.

the early demise of the Prime Minister! I want to thank him for

:03:40.:03:46.

his next double-edged, amid just there. The Prime Minister and the

:03:47.:03:51.

whole government made a series of announcements last week where we are

:03:52.:03:56.

tightening up the access to benefits of those migrants coming from other

:03:57.:03:59.

parts of the European union to this country. I believe we should detect

:04:00.:04:05.

and defend the principle of the freedom of movement. But the freedom

:04:06.:04:09.

to move to seek work is not the same as the freedom to claim. That is the

:04:10.:04:18.

distinction where now making. And prime ministers questions comes

:04:19.:04:26.

to an end. The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Berg stood in front the Prime

:04:27.:04:34.

Minister. So Harriet Harman stood in for Mr Miliband. The exchanges began

:04:35.:04:40.

with a clash over energy prices. Not unusual! And then quickly descended

:04:41.:04:49.

into straight abuse about the respect of the merits of the Labour

:04:50.:04:58.

Party and the Lib Dem 's. Some professional, in a second. First we

:04:59.:05:04.

can hear from the voters. It was entertaining and lively! It was very

:05:05.:05:12.

lively. One said it was refreshing to say Nick Clegg and Harriet Harman

:05:13.:05:18.

for a change. Another said that Harriet gave the deputy minister

:05:19.:05:23.

some stick, she was great. Saying that Harriet Harman smacked blaming

:05:24.:05:31.

of Nick Clegg for allowing Conservative policies to go through

:05:32.:05:38.

will hit home. Another saying, loved it, more of them both at the end

:05:39.:05:45.

use. -- at prime ministers questions. One tweet saying as the

:05:46.:05:52.

Speaker been given an early Christmas present? He cannot top

:05:53.:06:00.

purchased that tying himself. -- he cannot have. Hewlett-Packard have

:06:01.:06:12.

announced that they are cutting 1100 jobs in Bracknell, Sheffield and

:06:13.:06:17.

Warrington. So even with the recovery some companies are still

:06:18.:06:21.

cutting back. On this energy proposition, Labour has been selling

:06:22.:06:31.

the terms of trade. A clear retail offer of just freezing prices should

:06:32.:06:41.

he get into power. Are they still missing something? There is this

:06:42.:06:47.

idea that bills will now not arrive as quickly as they would have done

:06:48.:06:51.

because we know these are being taken off. Green levies are being

:06:52.:07:04.

taken off. What happened was in the process of trying to agree a deal of

:07:05.:07:07.

precisely how much money they could take off energy bills, there was

:07:08.:07:11.

discussion with energy firms about what that would mean in the future

:07:12.:07:17.

for prices. Some energy firms took that to mean, are you asking us to

:07:18.:07:23.

make a pledge. But the government said we are looking for you to say

:07:24.:07:28.

we will not raise our prices as a result of these particular green

:07:29.:07:37.

levies. If you talk to ministers about this they do not expect the

:07:38.:07:46.

?50 less than you might have expected to trump the Labour policy.

:07:47.:07:51.

They hope it will neutralise it is a political issue so that they can

:07:52.:07:55.

move on and shift the debate that to the economy. So they can say all

:07:56.:08:01.

well and good to talk about prices and that is an issue but there is a

:08:02.:08:07.

broader issue about the economy. And this is what the government have

:08:08.:08:14.

said, what are Labour are going to say? So it is an attempt to shift

:08:15.:08:22.

the debate. But if you vote Labour you would get an energy price freeze

:08:23.:08:26.

and vote Conservative, prices would still go up? Well I think the Labour

:08:27.:08:37.

price freeze is a bit of a con. Ed Miliband and his energy spokesman

:08:38.:08:43.

have both said that energy prices could still go up. We have said that

:08:44.:08:50.

we will cut the part of the energy Bill that government can control.

:08:51.:08:57.

Everyone has announced an investigation into it and everyone

:08:58.:09:02.

agrees the energy market is not working properly. There is something

:09:03.:09:06.

wrong with the way in which the big six are able to put up prices. What

:09:07.:09:13.

is wrong with saying, it will take us about 20 months to sort out this

:09:14.:09:20.

market. Everyone agrees that it is a mess. And during that 20 months we

:09:21.:09:25.

will just freeze the prices. What is wrong with that? You have got to

:09:26.:09:30.

invest in energy infrastructure and capacity. But what we do need to do

:09:31.:09:36.

is make sure the energy market is competitive. Under Ed Miliband's

:09:37.:09:45.

watch you saw him move from a competitive energy market dominated

:09:46.:09:50.

by the big six, we need to get more challengers coming into the market.

:09:51.:10:00.

We need a more competitive market. Labour's price freeze is a con.

:10:01.:10:08.

Why? Ed Miliband speaks about the price freeze but he has said if

:10:09.:10:12.

international wholesale prices go up, you can expect prices to go up.

:10:13.:10:20.

He said if there was a major shock to energy prices, and of course that

:10:21.:10:30.

is a prudent thing to say. All bets would be off in that case. But

:10:31.:10:35.

within a normal fluctuation of the market, they would be frozen. What

:10:36.:10:40.

is wrong with that? And if the energy companies rushed to put up

:10:41.:10:45.

their prices before the freeze, that just shows that they have got too

:10:46.:10:52.

much power? I think that is why we need this competitive energy market

:10:53.:10:58.

rather than one dominated by these six players. Well you have been in

:10:59.:11:06.

power for four years, you're taking your time it. It is part of a

:11:07.:11:14.

problem, the way that privatisation was done by the previous

:11:15.:11:20.

Conservative government. It is now clear that having what is known as

:11:21.:11:27.

horizontal and vertical integration, that you have companies that

:11:28.:11:31.

generate and sell to themselves as retailers, that is what needs to be

:11:32.:11:37.

dealt with. It is why Caroline Flint has said that in that 20 months we

:11:38.:11:42.

will look at how we can make the industry more competitive by forcing

:11:43.:11:46.

energy companies to sell into a central pool. So there will be much

:11:47.:11:53.

more competition in prices. We have got to look at how all of that is

:11:54.:11:56.

done and 20 months price freeze gives us the chance to reset the

:11:57.:12:00.

energy market so we can improve competition. Well your energy

:12:01.:12:09.

spokesman has said he will not wake them up. Why not? We think at the

:12:10.:12:16.

moment that having the energy pool is a good way of creating more

:12:17.:12:20.

competition in the market more quickly. If things change we made

:12:21.:12:26.

need to look at other policies. Our intention at the moment is to have

:12:27.:12:29.

this price freeze, to recognise for example, they have put up prices by

:12:30.:12:37.

10% this year on average. It is not 10% on average. EDF brings it down.

:12:38.:12:44.

But it is a lot. A lot more than wages. It is a lot and the point is

:12:45.:12:54.

there is no good taking of green levies. He had done that. And what

:12:55.:13:16.

Nick Clegg would not admit today was at Chile that even after all the

:13:17.:13:21.

announcements they have made, prices are going to be ?70 higher next year

:13:22.:13:26.

on average for consumers than they would have been. During the time

:13:27.:13:31.

when the, was going to buy the Lloyds bank branches, how many times

:13:32.:13:37.

did you meet with the people at the Co-op? Well I have no recollection

:13:38.:13:43.

of meeting the Reverend Flowers, for the record. I met, twice in that

:13:44.:13:53.

period. How many phone calls did you have with him? Based on the

:13:54.:13:59.

records, about ten phone calls. People think you basically where a

:14:00.:14:04.

cheerleader for the Co-op getting these branches. We had an interest

:14:05.:14:13.

in that transaction but the decision was made by both Lloyds and, and

:14:14.:14:18.

where the responsibility of the boards of years. You said you had an

:14:19.:14:23.

interest, was that your interest that if the banks agreed to do it,

:14:24.:14:29.

you wanted that to go ahead? Well it was a decision that the two banks

:14:30.:14:34.

had to take. Where you are in favour of the Co-op getting these

:14:35.:14:38.

branches? Mode and the Co-op made their choice that they wanted to

:14:39.:14:46.

sell both branches to the Co-op. So you were? Ultimately what happened,

:14:47.:14:54.

before when the Co-op brought Britannia, in this case the deal did

:14:55.:15:03.

not go ahead. The thing that struck me most about today was little talk

:15:04.:15:09.

about the economy, very little about the autumn statement. It was all

:15:10.:15:32.

slightly retro. Very fashionable! Well, how should the Government

:15:33.:15:37.

tackle the most difficult families in Britain? This Police and Crime

:15:38.:15:38.

Commissioner has an idea. This isn't just about economic

:15:39.:15:52.

poverty, it is about a poverty of ambition. Grandmothers in their 30s,

:15:53.:15:59.

sons and daughters who know nothing different, children ingrained

:16:00.:16:05.

increment amity. These families are in and out of

:16:06.:16:09.

prison. They bounce around the court system generation after generation.

:16:10.:16:13.

The kids graduate into drugs, crime and then fail at school. These

:16:14.:16:17.

families cost us dear financially and emotionally.

:16:18.:16:23.

I think these families should have an intensive programme of engagement

:16:24.:16:30.

and intervention. Teaching them basic life skills, have to be a

:16:31.:16:34.

positive member of their community. This would be done over a

:16:35.:16:37.

deliberately long-time friend, sending people to residential

:16:38.:16:41.

centres. This will be better and cheaper than sending people to

:16:42.:16:45.

prison over and over again. -- long time frame. We have got to do more

:16:46.:16:53.

than sending social workers into people's homes to get them out of

:16:54.:16:57.

bed. Prison hasn't worked, so what are we going to do? There is an idea

:16:58.:17:04.

that takes people out of their local environment into residential centres

:17:05.:17:10.

for more intensive engagement. These families are going to go through a

:17:11.:17:13.

daily, highly structured new routine. This routine will help them

:17:14.:17:17.

break the habit of offending and hopefully the habit of a lifetime.

:17:18.:17:27.

There is something about discipline. Doing it in a different

:17:28.:17:33.

place, having a fresh start. Trying again. I these families to have a

:17:34.:17:40.

better life. They need to break some habits, drugs, anti-social

:17:41.:17:44.

behaviour, definitely crime. This is an opportunity for them to start

:17:45.:17:47.

again and I'm really mean it. They need to move on. -- I really mean

:17:48.:17:52.

it. And Adam Simmonds joins us now.

:17:53.:18:02.

Welcome. You say prison hasn't worked in the cases you are talking

:18:03.:18:06.

about what you are proposing sounds similar to prison. What makes you

:18:07.:18:11.

think your idea will work? I think what we have to in this country is

:18:12.:18:15.

that police arrest people, they go to prison and they come out, and if

:18:16.:18:19.

you are on an order, you reoffend. Reoffending is too high. We have

:18:20.:18:24.

looked in Northamptonshire at families who go into prison but then

:18:25.:18:35.

go back when they come out. But you are putting them into an army boot

:18:36.:18:39.

camp where they will be told not to smoke, not to drink. Isn't that just

:18:40.:18:43.

like prison, which you have admitted has failed? It is not like was on.

:18:44.:18:49.

It is deliberate and controlled. You take them out of their community who

:18:50.:18:53.

finds them difficult to cope with and into this centre. Not every

:18:54.:19:00.

family is a criminal but they have a son or daughter who needs help to

:19:01.:19:08.

break that cycle. Michael Howard set up boot comes in 1977 and Colchester

:19:09.:19:18.

closed after a year. It was claimed a failure. We're not proposing to do

:19:19.:19:25.

that. Deals with the Government's current agenda have a few strands,

:19:26.:19:30.

and one of those was to take individuals and families out of an

:19:31.:19:34.

environment and put them into a much more controlled environment where

:19:35.:19:38.

they have a regular routine and they have wraparound services, social and

:19:39.:19:44.

education services. But how can you do it? How can you lock up an entire

:19:45.:19:49.

family, which is essentially what you're doing? Is it legally allowed?

:19:50.:19:55.

This is not about locking people up... You are still removing them

:19:56.:19:59.

from their home forcibly and putting them somewhere else. How can you do

:20:00.:20:04.

that? Part of it might be a magistrate 's licence, so this is

:20:05.:20:11.

part of your condition, for example. My issue with trouble families is

:20:12.:20:18.

that sometimes it is very easy to get 50% of them back into work and

:20:19.:20:21.

they were not really trouble families in the first place. The

:20:22.:20:25.

people we have the most problem with are those who have a lifestyle

:20:26.:20:28.

ingrained increment our tea, and that is what we need to break. -- in

:20:29.:20:35.

criminality. You have said it will be cheaper than prison but the

:20:36.:20:39.

glasshouse, the one in Michael Howard's scheme, was dubbed the Home

:20:40.:20:43.

Office Hilton, posit cost people ?850 each week, more than a luxury

:20:44.:20:51.

hotel. -- because it cost people. It is a very expensive way of doing it.

:20:52.:20:58.

It is a different decade and we are going to do things differently. We

:20:59.:21:09.

are having a cost per family and right now we are sending young

:21:10.:21:13.

people to young offenders institutes and they get the stigma and don't

:21:14.:21:17.

necessarily come out any different than when they went in. The whole

:21:18.:21:21.

point of this is to save lives and change people's direction of

:21:22.:21:25.

travel, and, in the long-term, that makes the community safer. But in

:21:26.:21:32.

the long-term, is removing them from their communities and dumping them

:21:33.:21:35.

on to an army base really the way to turn them into contributing member

:21:36.:21:44.

's of society? Because if you look at it what was being done by one

:21:45.:21:50.

woman, she is dealing with them in their homes? It is about taking

:21:51.:21:57.

individuals out of their local environment and putting them into an

:21:58.:21:59.

environment where they have a much more controlled regime, as we do

:22:00.:22:04.

with drug addicts right now, and it is about working with them. But the

:22:05.:22:08.

difference with this is it is done for maybe two years. So you wrap

:22:09.:22:12.

services around for a long time and see the change.

:22:13.:22:20.

I am not against having this support to break generational habits and

:22:21.:22:23.

families but it is very expensive upfront, although it saves money if

:22:24.:22:29.

it is successful over the long-term. It may work for some and it might

:22:30.:22:35.

not work for others. You have to try it and see what works. Is that there

:22:36.:22:41.

has been so many cuts to local services by this Government, where

:22:42.:22:47.

we have 15 thousand fewer police officers. A lot of this prevention

:22:48.:22:54.

work and into community work is being taken away because of costs

:22:55.:22:58.

and by local police force say they are worried they are becoming just

:22:59.:23:02.

an emergency service. There had to cut the number of people they can

:23:03.:23:06.

get out on the beat, neighbourhood policing is beginning to be

:23:07.:23:10.

destroyed. All of that kind of effect of these huge cuts we have

:23:11.:23:14.

had makes that kind of work even harder. Isn't prevention better than

:23:15.:23:20.

cure? What is is talking about is using a fairly blunt instrument to

:23:21.:23:24.

deal with a problem that could be prevented. Isn't that the way to go?

:23:25.:23:31.

Let's not forget that crime is falling. One thing that strikes me.

:23:32.:23:37.

I have been to project where you take people out of their

:23:38.:23:41.

communities, and I've visited a project in Winchester where they

:23:42.:23:45.

took somebody who was a persistent offender out of their community and

:23:46.:23:49.

did a lot of work to rehabilitate them and change that person's life

:23:50.:23:52.

and turned it around. So what I think Adam is talking about strikes

:23:53.:23:57.

accord with many projects out there where you work with an individual

:23:58.:24:02.

but the challenge is, how do you do it with a family?

:24:03.:24:04.

What would happen if George Osborne wore a polka-dot pink bow tie for

:24:05.:24:08.

tomorrow's Autumn Statement? Or if his new puppy, Lola, joined him at

:24:09.:24:12.

the dispatch box? Well, for one thing, somebody would make a lot of

:24:13.:24:16.

money. Because it seems you can bet on anything these days. Some of

:24:17.:24:20.

these bets are frivolous but some can give you a bit of an insight

:24:21.:24:24.

into a speech with more than a little riding on it. Alex Donohue,

:24:25.:24:27.

from the bookmaker Ladbrokes, will be following events. He's on College

:24:28.:24:36.

Green now. Tell me, what are you looking for tomorrow? We have a big

:24:37.:24:42.

list of phrases from, as you say, the serious to the not so serious,

:24:43.:24:47.

and people will be looking at the odds and ticking them off. I think

:24:48.:24:52.

if he says Belinda that any time, a lot of people will be making a lot

:24:53.:25:02.

of money! -- Bullington club. It is not going to happen! But we do know

:25:03.:25:06.

he will definitely use the word deficit, won't he? Yes. You have to

:25:07.:25:14.

stake for pounds just to win a Pound back so very short odds. China is

:25:15.:25:19.

another one. Hard-working families. The interesting thing here is that

:25:20.:25:22.

in recent years, the odds are that term used to be a lot shorter but

:25:23.:25:26.

perhaps as times are changing, the odds are changing as well, and we

:25:27.:25:31.

don't think years is likely to say hard-working families as in recent

:25:32.:25:34.

times. -- we don't think he is as likely. What about Ed Balls? How

:25:35.:25:45.

many times as he going to say" cost of living"? Ah! Where do we start

:25:46.:25:52.

to?! You have to stake ?10 to win one. I think that looks like the

:25:53.:25:58.

bank of the day that Ed Balls will say that. If he says living

:25:59.:26:06.

standards, does that count? I think enquirer Ewood be the word there.

:26:07.:26:11.

What odds are you going to give me on George Osborne being replaced

:26:12.:26:17.

before the next election? This puts him in fairly safe standing, 5-1. We

:26:18.:26:29.

think you will probably be OK. And what odds will you give him on

:26:30.:26:33.

wearing a blue tie? The favourite, 6-4. The odds on no tie is 100 to

:26:34.:26:46.

one. I think he will stick to his trusty blue or purple. He likes

:26:47.:26:55.

purple as well. But his 3-1. He is obviously not going to appear with a

:26:56.:26:58.

little dog at the dispatch box but what sort of odds would you give me

:26:59.:27:02.

on him finding a way to appear with it at some stage during the day?

:27:03.:27:06.

That is the picture everybody wants to get but we think you probably

:27:07.:27:11.

won't bring the dog into play. It is very cute and would make a lovely

:27:12.:27:15.

picture but 50-1. A bit of an outsider that the dog shows its

:27:16.:27:23.

curly head tomorrow! Well, know, he wants good pictures, doesn't he?

:27:24.:27:26.

Years guaranteed to get on the front page with a lot of puppy dog like

:27:27.:27:31.

that! There might be a terrible mistake happening! Flashlights! Are

:27:32.:27:38.

a lots of people going to bet on this tomorrow? Probably ?5,000

:27:39.:27:45.

worth. Average stakes is ?5 to ?10, so nothing major and nothing that

:27:46.:27:49.

will make or break us. It is just a bit of fun! It is less than Jo's

:27:50.:27:56.

hourly rate! Thank you so much! Are you going to have a flutter

:27:57.:28:02.

tomorrow? I might get odds on how many U-turns there will be by the

:28:03.:28:07.

end of the year. But that is a subjective thing, whether the dog is

:28:08.:28:15.

there or not! I think it is a good bank on hard-working families.

:28:16.:28:23.

Now, it's time to put you out of your misery and give you the answer

:28:24.:28:27.

to Guess The Year. 1964 was the correct answer. Mark, press that big

:28:28.:28:32.

Red Button there. OK, that's all for today. Thanks to

:28:33.:28:38.

our guests. The One o'clock News is starting over on BBC One now. We'll

:28:39.:28:42.

be back tomorrow at 10:45 - yes, 10:45 - for live and uninterupted

:28:43.:28:45.

coverage of George Osbnorne's Autumn Statement. We'll have the build-up,

:28:46.:28:48.

the big announcement and all the reaction. So get your pork pies,

:28:49.:28:52.

your sarnies and your pack of Irn Bru in for our three-hour-plus epic!

:28:53.:28:56.

Goodbye.

:28:57.:29:02.

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