08/01/2014 Daily Politics


08/01/2014

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Morning folk, happy New Year, this is the Daily Politics.

:00:38.:00:42.

The gloves are off, let battle commence, the general election is

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only 16 months away, but blink and you might miss it. The parties are

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flexing their political muscles over the economy. We will be asking who

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is in better shape? It a New Year, have the party leaders resolved to

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be nice to each other? I doubt it. Find out in the first PMQs of 2014.

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Auntie moved to Salford but should other big institutions like the

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Royal Opera House and the House of Lords move north in an effort to

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rebalance the country away from London?

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And do you know your one nation from your big society? We will be asking

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if political slogans should be consigned to the political scrap

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heap. All that and more in the next 90 my

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opinion, of public service broadcasting, at its finest, this

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2014 BAFTA's very announced this morning I think we were nominated

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againment at least for what though? It is a daytime show. I can't go

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there. With us for the theration two straight talking MPs guaranteed not

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to utter the words global race, hard-working families, or the cost

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of living crisis. At least that is what it says here.

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I will believe it when I hear it. Welcome to the financial secretary

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to the Treasury Sajid Javid and the Shadow Business Secretary Chuka

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Umunna. Who are clearly share the same dress designer, suit designer,

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tie, hair stylists did you co-ordinate before you came here? We

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checked. We are not going to recommend an honour for our

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hairdresser. We will keep that to the Prime Minister. I am told that

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have signed a contract in blood to be slogan-free for 90 minutes. We

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will have a swear box and we will, no, we are not, we are going to have

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a slogan box. We will announce the winner at the end of the programme.

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Something to look forward to. First this morning let us talk about how

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we vote, because a report by the heck tration commission has

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recommended that voters should be required to show prove of

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identification at poling stations to stop vote-rigging, the Commission

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wants political candidates to agree to a strengthened Code of Conduct,

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which would prevent them from handling any postal votes. Do you

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agree with that? Should we have ID when we vote? I am pleased the

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Electoral Commission have looked into this, I haven't had time to

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study the report, it has just come out. I, also some of the action we

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have taken as a government, such as individual voter registration I

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think will make a difference, trying to cut fraud, this particular idea

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of using ID cards, I would like to look at the evidence, one thing that

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does concern me is that voter participation getting more people

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out there to vote, in every election, it is key. Do you think

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that would put them off? I would like to look at the #e6d. So it is

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something we will respond to in due course, it is the right thing to do,

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to look at the evidence the Electoral Commission will put

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forward. But you are not convinced yet What about you, do you think in

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order to try and tackle the problem, which they say isn't massive and

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widespread, but there are areas they are concerned about, that that, like

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many other countries would help reduce fraud? We need sensible

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reform to clampdown on electoral fraud but I am not sure about this

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proposal on photo ID. I have to say. Why? It was used in Northern Ireland

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from 2003, which is of course, you know, a certain situation, and what

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you saw there was voter registration, massively decimated

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the vote Errol was decimated. We have to be careful we don't use a

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sledge hammer to crack a nut. The heck trag tral commission has said

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they think probably only in a handful of case, a very small number

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has there been fraud, there have only been two convictions for

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electoral fraud between 2008 and 2011. We have to maintain the

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integrity of the system, but I think we have to be careful. How else

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would you tackle it? They identify 16 areas that were of greater ris,

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including Birmingham, Blackburn, gladded for, Burnley, Calderdale and

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numerous others, and they have also drawn attention to the fact they are

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worried about fraud, or vote-rigging in areas where there are, or is a

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high proportion of south Asian population, do you think in those

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cases we need stricter rules? What is important they said they don't

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think it is a widespread programme. It is a few areas, it is quite

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isolated. I don't think it a problem of any particular community, it is

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important to look at ways to cut it, that is why I think the individual

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voter registration is an important change, that will make a difference,

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but they are rightly independent, they are charged to look at this, so

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we should look at that carefully, there is no party politics in this

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at all, it is about getting, having confidence in our electoral system

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and that is why we should look what the they have to say. This is very

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much them, they are saying's We have to be careful. The Electoral

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Commission said today it wasn't just an issue impacting those... They

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said they had drawn focus to those. They were careful to say it isn't an

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issue only for those communities. In individual voter registration, we

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are not opposed to that in principle, but the way in which it

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is done in a rushed man e I think is a concern. I look in my own

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constituency for example and we have big issues in terms of the number of

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people who are not registered to vote who could be on the roll. We

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would need, you have to ensure you address under registration, before

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you move towards individual registration. We have get more

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people on the register, there is about three million who aren't on

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the register, an area like mine, it is underregistered. Briefly on

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postal vote, they want to tighten up the rule about who handles them. Is

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that a good idea? Some of the rules have been tightened up, I think

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again, we should look at this carefully, we should take what they

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have got to say seriously but we shouldn't rush to a decision on the

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first day of the report. Now in case you haven't notice we

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appeared to is slipped into a new years with all the mince pie, bran

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di, tury stuffing, you may not have been suitably alert to realise we

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waved goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014. It is not passed David Cameron

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or George Osborne by, they were up and about at the begin of the week

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doing their morning stretches and trying to make all the running on

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the economy, with Mr Osborne announcing of the ?25 billion of

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cuts he thinks will have to be made in public spending, a big chunk,

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about 50% will need to come from the welfare budget. Jo has the details.

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Yes, David Cameron and George Osborne have been hitting the gym as

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part of their New Year's resolution to beat Labour in the debate oh the

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economy. There have been cent good indicators, including the British

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Chamber of Commerce, whose latest survey predicts the recovery will

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gather momentum. Car sales at their highest level since 2007 and the UK

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construction sector, growth remains strong.

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The Conservatives are determined to stay the course on the economy, and

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deficit reduction until 2015. And have outlined further cuts of ?25

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billion. They plan to make after the next election. Much of which will

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fall on the welfare budget, with housing benefits stripped for under

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25, and high earns, Labour have been puffing and panting as they try and

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catch up on the economy, with some critics accusing them of not having

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a proper plan, instead, Labour have decided to change the game, and have

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been trying to deliver a knock out blow over the cost of living.

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They have certainly been successful this making the Government back

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pedal over things like energy prices, Labour have some way to go

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to convince the public they are credible on the economy. In a poll

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last month 39% of people thought David Cameron and George Osborne

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best at handling the economy. Compared to just 23% who thought the

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two Eds were the best bet. Thanks for that. Chuka Umunna, you

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saw on the graph there only 23% of voters trust Labour to handle the

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economy. You have a lot of ground to make up by May 2015. These are

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surveys and polls and what will matter when people go to the ballot

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box. This poll was consistent. It has been a minority have trusted you

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since the election to run the economy. Look, we need to get the

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support of the British people across the whole swathe of a government's

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policy agenda and get their votes at the general election. What is clear,

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I am not sure I accept that, what is clear is that the biggest issue

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facing people are their living standards, I am trying to avoid

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using the slogan. I didn't say the whole piece there, but look, I mean

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people on average are earn earning ?1600 less than in 2010. So that

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needs to be addressed. I wouldn't deny we need to deal with the

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deficit and debt. I think we are at 75% now, it is forecast to go up to

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80%. And so, you know, undoubtedly, there are going to be tough

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decisions that we will need to be made, which, we have accepted, but

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ultimately if you want the deal with the public finances you have to put

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them on a long-term sustainable footing and that involves getting

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more people into work, but ensuring their earn more in work, that means

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we need to reconfigure the economy. We cannot go back to a growth model

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where you are seeing house prices, private consumption, and, you know,

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contrary -- contributing the to growth. You mean like under the last

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Labour Government We should have better regulated the banks and we

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have seen the economy grow where it hasn't been as balanced as what we

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would like. If you talk to people on my constituency here in Streatham,

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sure, things are ticking up, if you talk to people in other parts of

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London, other parts of the country, they are not feeling that, so we

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have to get a much more balanced form of growth, and a form of growth

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which sees more money going into people's wage packets.

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If Labour does win the next election, we hear you will be a more

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important figure in the Cabinet thannel balls. I don't know about

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that, I very much doubt that. In the economist it has got us all

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aTwitter. These days it says Labour's economic strategy will be

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to boost the business department at the expense of the Treasury. Ed

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balls is the Treasury you are the business department I have seen this

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piece which has caused some interest, in some senses, it misses

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the point because I think one of the big things we need to do is push

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power down and out. If we are going to address the need to rebalance the

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economy geographically, we need to see less obsession about what is

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going on at the centre, and we need to push power down. Like the

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business department would. You have offices all over the country. That

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is is a good example. If you look at the Biz, it has got eight regional

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office, two in Bristol and Cambridge there are no staff, so I think there

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is a London-centric... Do you know who wrote this blog bigging you up

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It is Jeremy Cliff. Who used to work for you. Is he the one who changed

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your Wikipedia entry to make you Britain's Obama. Oh, you did that

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yourself! He will not be the first journalist who. Researchers office

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of Chuka Umunna, campaign intern Streatham Labour Party. I think you

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know, it mentions it you had, you went round for a coffee to Margaret

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Thatcher's house. Then she banned me for six years. From Downing Street.

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That was a good expensive coffee. Lots of journalists have worked

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for... I did won't -- didn't work for her. It doesn't mean Tim

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Montgomorie edits Conservative Home. He bigged you up. You remember what

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Diane Abbott said, Ed ball, don't mess with him. Sajid Javid. Let me,

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these... You can try and rumble me. Can I begin, can we take it as given

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all the central office talking points, you have had them out. I

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have been watching every interview. You did it with Jeremy Paxman on

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Newsnight. Can we get, can you give us a clear indication, of what areas

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of welfare the 12 billion of cuts will come from? Well, first we have

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why are we talking about this is because Britain has to make a

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decision, if we are going to keep the growth going, this is important.

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That is the central office talking point. We had them all. The context

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is important. We have had that. Our viewers watch Newsnight. That is

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probably why they are so small! They have, I heard you on the radio in

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Sweden and France, I follow you everywhere, what is the answer to my

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question? Can you give its an indication of where the 12 billion

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cuts will come from? I can tell you there will be 25 billion in total

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after the election. That is what is necessary to sustain the recovery.

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Of that as you said 12 billion will come from the welfare budget. Give

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us a broad brush. It is not because we think the welfare budget, there

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is something hugely wrong with it and that is the only place to go. It

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is, we want a welfare system that work, that continues to be reformed.

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I understand that, for the sake of this discussion let us assume you

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love welfare, you cuddle it before you go to bed. Where will the cuts

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come The housing benefit for Under 25s is just under ?2 billion, right?

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This is a party proposal. I can't give you exact numbers. Some

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reputable think-tanks have said it is about ?2 billion. You will not

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taking housing benefits away from under 25-year-olds who have their

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own children? You probably won't take it away because you cuddle

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welfare every night. You won't take it away from disabled folk who are

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under 25? We will be only able to set that out when we get closer to

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the election. You are looking like a couple of hundred million, not ?2

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billion there? The important thing is, we are setting out the tough

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decisions that need to be made. We are prepared to make those

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decisions. You are not prepared to give... If they think it is not

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welfare, they can tell us they will cut the NHS, like they cut it in

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Wales, they can tell us it is going to be schools, or it will be more

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borrowing that will put the recovery at risk. We are prepared to make the

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decisions. Is Labour? You said if the Government stayed with its

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current spending and tax plans, that there wouldn't be a recovery. Did Ed

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Balls predict a triple recession? We didn't. I'm not too sure where - if

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you let me finish. I'm not sure he did. I don't think that is what has

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been said. We said that if he went for an overly austere fiscal

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consolidation programme, you risk there being months of no growth.

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Didn't he say there would be a double dip? That is what happened.

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Didn't he say there would be a double dip? I don't recall saying

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that. I do. I was at the Labour Party Conference. He said - at the

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Labour Party Conference, he did say - I will look in the quotes here. He

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is commenting on Osborne's strategy to the Labour faithful. He said,

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"There is nothing credible about this plan that leads to a double-dip

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recession." I think the point that that was was said - which conference

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is this taken from? I don't know. Can I pick up on one thing? Sure.

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Forever you hear - we heard some of the Central Office talking points,

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this allegation that Labour wants to borrow and spend more. No, we don't.

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Actually, we have said - we have set out a range - in the same way the

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Government hasn't said anything, the Conservative Party hasn't said at

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this moment everything that will be in the manifesto. You can say that

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again! We have said a range of things - public sector pay

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increases, we wouldn't give the Winter Fuel Allowance to the 5%

:18:20.:18:24.

richest pensioners. Again, that is a couple of million, too? We would

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like - and I see no reason why this shouldn't happen, the Office for

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Budget Responsibility to audit our plans and then they can determine

:18:34.:18:37.

that. If they won't do it, I'll do it! I'm not sure... I'll do you

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both! Can I ask you... I might give my forecasts. Can I ask this? Are we

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heading for a decent chunky increase in the minimum wage? What has been

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in the news - rightly so - the Department of Business has asked the

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Low Pay Commission to look into this. They will report back shortly.

:19:06.:19:09.

Would you be in favour of one? What would be the argument against it? If

:19:10.:19:12.

you increase the minimum wage, people would pay more tax and you

:19:13.:19:16.

would have to pay them a bit less welfare. What would be the argument

:19:17.:19:21.

against a chunky rise in the minimum wage, given that the current minimum

:19:22.:19:25.

wage is back at the value it was in 2004? It is 10% lower than where it

:19:26.:19:30.

was in 2008. That is a strong case to look at it. What would be the

:19:31.:19:34.

case against it? There are plenty of people who say there could be an

:19:35.:19:38.

impact on the job market. Who says that? Many economists. Who says

:19:39.:19:43.

that? I could find you a number of economists. One would do. You could

:19:44.:19:48.

look at Alastair Heath, one of your best friends. He would tell you that

:19:49.:19:52.

an increase in the minimum wage could have an impact on jobs. Right.

:19:53.:19:57.

It could. You have to look at these things. The important thing is that

:19:58.:20:03.

the right place to look at this decision is the Low Pay Commission.

:20:04.:20:07.

Would you like to see one? It should be looked at. Alright. We are proud

:20:08.:20:13.

to have introduced the National Minimum Wage. It is good to see the

:20:14.:20:16.

Conservative Party has come round to the need for a National Minimum

:20:17.:20:20.

Wage. We want to strengthen it. We have the former Deputy Chair... You

:20:21.:20:25.

would back that rise? Let me say two things. It is important we can

:20:26.:20:29.

continue with the social partnership approach where the Government,

:20:30.:20:33.

employee organisations and employer organisations sit down together and

:20:34.:20:36.

set the rate with reference to what the likely impact is going to be on

:20:37.:20:39.

jobs. Within that, we are looking at how we can strengthen it. It is not

:20:40.:20:44.

just an issue of the National Minimum Wage, we need to do

:20:45.:20:48.

everything we can to incentivise more employers to pay the living

:20:49.:20:51.

wage. From a fiscal point of view, you are doing less after people have

:20:52.:20:55.

been paid through tax credits than you would otherwise be doing. We

:20:56.:21:01.

need to leave it there. You can have too much fun(!)

:21:02.:21:08.

So, it's a new year. But 2014 already has something of a retro

:21:09.:21:11.

feel to it. Britain's manufacturing lots of cars again. Ministers are

:21:12.:21:14.

telling us to buy British. Politicians are making speeches

:21:15.:21:17.

about immigration. And the English cricket team are rubbish again. Why

:21:18.:21:25.

don't we let in as many Bulgarians and Romanians that want to come if

:21:26.:21:32.

they can play cricket? Yes, they've managed the dubious achievement of

:21:33.:21:34.

only the third Ashes whitewash in history. So there'll be no

:21:35.:21:38.

tickertape parade or trip to Downing Street when they come back from

:21:39.:21:41.

Australia, and they won't have a chance to compete for the famous urn

:21:42.:21:44.

again until 2015. But if you're watching, Alastair Cook - and why

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wouldn't you be tuning in from your hotel room in the middle of the

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night? Then don't worry, there's still one prize you can win. Yes,

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The Year on bbc.co.uk/dailypolitics. Now, it is coming up to midday.

:23:50.:23:53.

Let's look at Big Ben for the first time this year. Prime Minister's

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Questions on the way. If you would like to comment on proceedings, you

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can e-mail us at [email protected] or tweet

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your thoughts using #bbcdp. We will read some out after Prime Minister's

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Questions. Nick Robinson, fresh from his documentary last night, and his

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ratings battle against Nigella Lawson, is here. If you missed it,

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go to the back of the class and watch this. Ladies and gentlemen,

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can I gather you around? If I were to ask you how many immigrants are

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there in Britain as a proportion as a whole, is it a half, is it more

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than a half, say three-quarters? Sir, you think... The eighth. It is

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not as much as people think? That is about an eighth. You think about a

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quarter of the British population were born abroad? A quarter. Ladies

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and gentlemen, I can now announce the result. Who got closest to the

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immigrant population of Britain on our pie chart? Peter Snow, eat your

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heart out! The answer is - well done, Sir - an eighth! APPLAUSE

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There were no depths you were prepared not to go to to compete

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with Nigella in the ratings, even to using a pie chart, a REAL pie chart!

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I was doing a rehearsal before the pie filling started to fall out. The

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point of that - it was based on a piece of national opinion poll - is

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that on average - this is just an average - people think the immigrant

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population in Britain is a third and it is only an eighth. It is one

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example of where there are some misconceptions about immigration

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that - I was about to use a word to colour the debate. Those who live

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here but who are not born here, is that right, that is the definition?

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Correct. Part of the reason - in a sense, people no longer know what

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they mean by immigrants. Do you mean someone who might regard themselves

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as a British Pakistani, or a British Indian, although in fact they are

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the third generation. Are you talking about them? Or are you

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talking about people who have moved? In America, they used to say by the

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third generation you were the fully-fledged American? Yes. We

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still kind of think that if you come from immigrant parents or

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grandparents, there's still a sense in some parts of the country, "You

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are some kind of an immigrant." The fact - this is for people who didn't

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see the film - the fact that the debate about the right response to

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immigration now covers particularly for Labour, the issue about the

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economics, what can you do about implementing the minimum wage? What

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can you do about agency workers and so on? Conservatives have echoed

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some of those things. Immigration is treated more like a normal policy

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debate and it is becoming disassociated from race. Of course,

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there is always going to be a factor about race and religion and so on.

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And concerns about that. It seems to me, for the obvious reason that the

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big wave of immigration ten years ago now was white European and

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Christian, you could have strong views about immigration without

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people then necessarily saying, "I know where you are coming from." Did

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you see the programme last night? I didn't. I will watch it on iPlayer.

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The interesting thing about what Nick says is I found at the 2010

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general election, the people, those of my constituents who raised the

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issue of immigration with me more than any other groups, were my black

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and Asian constituents. Was that because of perceived unfairness that

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East Europeans, they thought, had a "better or easier deal"? The Asian

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community, they often say, there are tougher rules on marriage, about

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bringing brides from abroad, that apply to us, but they don't apply to

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a poll. I would say two things. First of all, the sense of being

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undercut in terms of wages and also the jobs going to somebody else.

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Secondly, in terms of the pressure on resources. Essentially, it is - I

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find - and I will no doubt find this out when I watch it on iPlayer - the

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immigration debate is a proxy for an economic debate. A lot of it has to

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do with if you look at the shape of our labour market, we rank fifth in

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terms of the size of percentage of our workforce. Actually, I really

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think that is what ultimately what it goes to. We will have to go over

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to the House in a minute. Did you watch the programme? I didn't see

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the programme. I will be watching it. Why? Why do I bother? You go to

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all this effort. You make a pie, you make a programme and they can't

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bother to watch? You have two proud British-born sons of British

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immigrants here. We understand this debate quite a lot. We have lived

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here all our life. It is not about race. It should never be about race.

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There are legitimate, sensible reasons where it is economics and it

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should never be a no go area for politicians. Just before we go over,

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a sad event in Westminster today. Paul Goggins, much-liked MP on both

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sides of the House, has died. There is always a danger with that phrase.

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It is true. I do think - I have walked through the House of Commons

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to come here and somebody broke the news to an MP I was talking to.

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People were very sad. A lovely guy. I only met him three years ago when

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I came into Parliament. In that time, I immediately identified him

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as one of the nicest MPs around across the House. Manchester MP,

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Paul Goggins. He had been a social worker. He was involved in social

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care, ran a children's home. Then went on to become a Home Office

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Minister. He spoke with real passion for his area. He was a passionate

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Catholic as well. This was a guy, whether you agreed with him or not,

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that people thought he was rooted in his community and in a set of values

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he was passionate about. Not an old man? No. Barely 60. People may

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remember that he was taken ill, he had a stroke after being out running

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just before Christmas. There were worries then. He had been unwell

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since. It will form part of PMQs. Let's go over to the House.

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Captain Richard Holloway of the royal engineers was tragically

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killed after being engaged in enemy fire in Afghanistan on 23rd

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December. He was a highly respected soldier and our deepest sympathies

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should be with his parent, his brother and girlfriend who he left

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behind. Mr Speaker our thoughts should also go to the victims of the

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US helicopter crash in Norfolk about which details are still merges and

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Mr Speaker, today, I know that the sudden death this morning of Paul

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Goggins, MP for Wythenshawe and sell will have shocked even in the house.

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He was a kind and brilliant man who believed in public service, he cared

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about the welfare of children and the importance of social work and he

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brought his own clear experience to bear as an MP, and as a minister. He

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did vital work as a Northern Ireland minister playing an essential role

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in delivering the essential devolution of policing and justice

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powers in Northern Ireland. He was liked and admired across the House

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and treated everyone in whatever circumstances with respect. He will

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be greatly missed and we send our condolences to his wife, his

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children and to his family. Mr Speaker, this morning I had meetings

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with colleagues an other, I shall have further such meetings today. I

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a sure that the House will want to be associated with the comments my

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right honourable friend. Paul Goggins in particular was a good,

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and decent man, and I know he will be sorely missed on all sides of the

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House. Yesterday, Mr Speaker, the British Chamber of Commerce found

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that manufacturing exports and services were growing strongly. Does

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my right honourable friend agree with me that this shows despite more

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work that needs to be done, it is crucial that the Government sticks

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to its long-term economic plan? I thank my right honourable friend for

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what he said and what he said about Paul Goggins as well. It's a report

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from the British Chamber of Commerce, there is still a lot more

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work to do, we have to continue to get the deficit down, we have to

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continue economic growth, keep getting more people into work, there

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shouldn't be one ounce of complacency, but the report did find

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that manufacturing balances are at a high, ex fors are up and services

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are growing strongly, if we stick to the plan we can see this country

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rise, and our people rise with it too.

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Mr Speaker, I join the Prime Minister in paying tribute to

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Captain Richard Holloway of the Royal Engineers who was killed in

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action in Afghanistan. His death just two days before Christmas is a

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reminder of the risks being taken on our behalf every day by the members

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of the armed force, he showed courage and bravery and our

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sympathies are with his family and friends. I join the Prime Minister

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in sending condolences to the families of the victims of the US

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helicopter crash in Norfolk. I want to pay tribute to our friend and

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colleague Paul Goggins. He was one of the kindest, most decent people

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in this House. He was is one of the deepest

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principle. It shone throughout his career, social worker, councillor,

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MP, and minister. And it is a measure of the man and

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his ability, that he earned the respect, trust, and affection of all

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sides in Northern Ireland. The Labour Party has lost one of its

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own, and one of its best. Our deepest condolences to go to his

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wife, his children, and indeed to his whole family.

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Mr Speaker, the whole county will be concerned about the price paid by

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those affected by the floods and storm, I pay tribute to of work the

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emergency service, can the Prime Minister update the House on the

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number of people affected and what action is being taken to ensure

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areas that could be affected by further flooding have all the

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necessary support? First of all can I thank the Leader of the Opposition

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for his very moving words about Paul Goggins and for what he said. In

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terms of flooding it is an extremely difficult situation for those

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affected. Seven people have lost their lives since this began, I

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think he is right to pay tribute to the emergency services, to the

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Environment Agency worker, to the flood wardens and to the many

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neighbours and individuals who have shown bravery and courage and spirit

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over the Christmas period at helping neighbours and friends. As it is an

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ongoing situation let me bring the House up-to-date. There are

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currently 104 flood warnings in place in England and Wales, that

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means that more flooding is sadly expected and immediate action is

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required. There are 186 flood alerts, meaning

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that even further flooding is possible beyond what we expect more

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rapidly. Although the weather is improving the river levels remain so

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high the flooding could come at short notice, there are a number of

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concerns including Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Somerset and

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Oxford shire. Giving the threats which could last for receive days to

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come, I urge the members of the public to follow the advice of the

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emergency services in those areas at risk. At a national level we have

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been co-ordinating this under COBRA and it will continue to meet until

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the threat has passed. Mr Speaker, I thank the Prime

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Minister for that answer. I know he and the Environment Secretary will

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keep the House up-to-date. Can he tell the House whether it is clear

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why it took so long for some of the energy distribution companies to

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restore power to homes over the Christmas period, and what steps

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does he believe can be taken to ensure that doesn't happen again? I

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think he is right, in all these circumstances, no matter how good

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the preparation, there are lessons to learn, I think there are lessons

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to learn on this occasion on the positive side the Environment Agency

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warning service worked beer than in the past. The flood defences did

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protect, up to one million homes over the December and Christmas

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period. There are some negatives there and we need to learn lesson,

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some of the energy companies didn't have enough people over the holiday

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period for emergency response, and I saw that for myself in Kent. So we

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need to learn these lesson, my right honourable friend will be leading

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this exercise, the Energy Secretary is already looking at the levels of

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compensation and the preparedness and the speed of response from

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energy companies, but I would welcome from all members, all

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constituencies affected by flooding what they see on the ground about

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lessons that can be learned so we can make sure preparedness is better

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in future. Given the scale of risk exposed by these floods and the

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expected impacts of climate change, can the Prime Minister commit to

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DEFRA providing a report to this House by the end of this month,

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giving a full assessment of the future capability of our flood

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defences and flood response agency, and whether the investment plans in

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place are equal to the need for events of this kind? I am happy to

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make that commitment. As he knows, in this current four year period we

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are spending ?2.3 billion compared with 2.1 billion in the previous

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period. The money is going into flood defences, as we saw, with the

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early December flooding action about 800,000 homes protected by previous

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flood defence, and a further 200,000 houses affected over Christmas, it

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makes sense to look again at the proposals that are in the programme

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for flood defence work, and to see what more can be done. As well as

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the Government money, we are keen to lever in more private sector and

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Local Authority money, I am happy to commit for the Environment Secretary

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to come back and report to the House about the level of expenditure in

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the years going ahead. Thank you Mr Speaker, further to the

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Prime Minister's remarks on the recent flooding would he join me in

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paying tribute to Bournemouth Borough Council, the Dorset

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emergency services as well as local residents in dealing with two

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evacuations in my constituency, one of which is still on going due to

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the river bursting its bank, given the changing weather pattern, could

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I ask what more could be done to improved river and sea defences?

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Well, as my honourable friend knows, in Bournemouth and the Dorset area

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we have had 290 homes flooded so far, I agree with him that the work

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of the emergency services, the work of the Environment Agency has been

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excellent, I think many Local Authorities, including my own have

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had good plan, put them into place competently but not every Local

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Authority does as well. In terms of the Bournemouth and Poole area, the

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Bournemouth beach management scheme of round ?14 million is going to be

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invested over the next five years bs and that should protect round 2500

:40:09.:40:15.

properties by 201819. I would be interested to hear about what more

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he thinks could be done. The Prime Minister will be aware

:40:20.:40:24.

that the majority of new housing benefit claimants are in work. He

:40:25.:40:29.

will be aware that private sector landlords are refusing to take

:40:30.:40:33.

tenants on benefit, or evicting them. What does he say to

:40:34.:40:37.

hard-working families, faced with losing their homes because of his

:40:38.:40:45.

housing benefit cuts? We say we are cutting your tax, in April this year

:40:46.:40:49.

we will lift to 10,000 poub the amount of money that someone can

:40:50.:40:53.

earn before they start paying income tax, that makes a big difference,

:40:54.:40:59.

for someone on the minimum wage, they will see their tax bill come

:41:00.:41:02.

down by two thirds, we do have to take action on the housing benefit

:41:03.:41:07.

bill, housing benefit accounts for ?23 billion of Government spending,

:41:08.:41:11.

when we came into office, there were some families in London, who were

:41:12.:41:16.

getting housing benefit payment of 660, 70, ?80,000. They shout how

:41:17.:41:22.

many, one was too many, that is why we have capped housing benefit.

:41:23.:41:27.

If the Government decided to mitigate the scale of the cuts it

:41:28.:41:31.

plan, can my right honourable friend tell me how I explain to students

:41:32.:41:39.

doing PSHE wild they should avoid taking on debt but it is all right

:41:40.:41:43.

for the Government to ignore the same debt. Think he makes an

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important point. We have taken difficult decision to get the

:41:48.:41:50.

deficit down, to get the country back on track, and that has meant

:41:51.:41:54.

difficult decisions in terms of departmental spending and also

:41:55.:41:59.

welfare, now the party opposite is now Ngola Baka to where it started.

:42:00.:42:02.

They are saying they want to mitigate the level of cuts and

:42:03.:42:05.

therefore they want to spend more, they want to borrow more, they want

:42:06.:42:09.

to tax more, we may be at the start of a New Year but they have gone

:42:10.:42:14.

back to where they were three years ago.

:42:15.:42:19.

Mr Speak, does the Prime Minister recognise the concerns of families

:42:20.:42:23.

and communities about the impact of fixed odds betting terminal, gaming

:42:24.:42:27.

machines where people can gamble up to ?300 a minute on the high

:42:28.:42:34.

streets? No, I share concerns about this issue and I think it is welcome

:42:35.:42:38.

we have having this debate in the House of Commons today. I think

:42:39.:42:41.

there are problems in the betting and gaming industry, and we need the

:42:42.:42:44.

look at them. I think it is worth listening to the advice of his own

:42:45.:42:48.

shadow minister, who said that we should look, I accept the argument

:42:49.:42:53.

that empirical evidence is needed before making changes because it

:42:54.:42:56.

might create another problem somewhere else. This is a problem.

:42:57.:43:00.

It needs looking at. We have a review under way, we are clearing up

:43:01.:43:03.

a situation that was put in place under the last Government, but I

:43:04.:43:07.

think if we work together we can sort it out.

:43:08.:43:12.

Mr Speaker, let me say the 2005 gamble act limited the number of

:43:13.:43:16.

machines to four per betting shop, but it didn't go nearly far enough,

:43:17.:43:22.

in the action that should have been taken. And let me just say, Mr

:43:23.:43:27.

Speaker, he asked about evidence. Local communities from Fareham to

:43:28.:43:31.

Liverpool are saying that these machines are causing problems for

:43:32.:43:35.

families and community, now local communities believe they already

:43:36.:43:38.

have the evidence, shouldn't they be given the power to decide whether

:43:39.:43:43.

they want these machines, or whether they don't want them? I think he is

:43:44.:43:48.

making it a reasonable point. Let me deal with the fact, fixed odds

:43:49.:43:52.

betting terminals were introduced in 2001, after the Labour Government

:43:53.:43:57.

relaxed gambling regulations, the second fact is there are now fewer

:43:58.:44:01.

of these machines now, than there were when Labour were in office, and

:44:02.:44:05.

of course, to his point he has just made, councils already have powers

:44:06.:44:09.

to tackle the issue and I believe that councils should make full use

:44:10.:44:12.

of that power. I am not arguing that is job done, there may well be more

:44:13.:44:17.

to do, but we have a review under way, this is an issue for the

:44:18.:44:21.

Department of Culture, Media and Sport, if he has ideas I would ask

:44:22.:44:24.

him to put them into this review, but as I say, he might want to

:44:25.:44:29.

listen to his own shadow minister, who has recently as November said

:44:30.:44:33.

there is no evidence to support a change to stakes and prizes for

:44:34.:44:40.

fixed odds betting terminal, there seem seems to be something of a

:44:41.:44:43.

change but I think ewe can sort it out. Our ideas are in our motion

:44:44.:44:48.

today, and if he wants to vote for it we would be happy for him to do

:44:49.:44:53.

so. Mr Speaker, he says there are already powers, he says there are

:44:54.:44:58.

powers in place, but the Mayor of London, and the Conservative head of

:44:59.:45:02.

the Local Government Association have said local authorities do not

:45:03.:45:06.

have the power to limit the number of machine, in one in three calls to

:45:07.:45:09.

the gambling helpline are about these machines and they are

:45:10.:45:14.

clustered in deprived areas, for example, there are 348 in one of the

:45:15.:45:19.

most deprived boroughs, Newham. Can he at least give us a timetable for

:45:20.:45:22.

when the Government will decide whether to act. We will be reporting

:45:23.:45:27.

in the spring as a result of the review that is under way. It is

:45:28.:45:30.

important we get to grips with this. There is something of a pattern. We

:45:31.:45:35.

had the problem of 24-hour drinking and that needed to be changed and

:45:36.:45:39.

mitigated - we have done that. We had the problems created by the

:45:40.:45:44.

deregulation of betting and gaming. We need to sort that out. We have

:45:45.:45:48.

also had problems in the banking industry and elsewhere, that we have

:45:49.:45:55.

sorted out. If he wants to... As I said, if he wants to input ideas

:45:56.:46:01.

into that review, that is the right way forward. May I pay tribute to

:46:02.:46:06.

Paul Goggins and say how much he will be missed in this House? My

:46:07.:46:11.

right honourable friend is on the record as saying that he would like

:46:12.:46:16.

to say the A64 on the future roads list. Can he ensure that the present

:46:17.:46:21.

economy, which is very buoyant in North Yorkshire, is not held back by

:46:22.:46:25.

the congestion on that road and the poor safety? Will he join with me

:46:26.:46:35.

and that he can travel with much greater safety on the A64? The

:46:36.:46:40.

honourable lady is right to raise this issue. The quality and the

:46:41.:46:44.

capacity of the road system in Yorkshire has been and is a major

:46:45.:46:47.

issue. The Government has taken some important steps to help. There is

:46:48.:46:51.

more work to be done. I know the Chancellor was listening carefully

:46:52.:46:55.

and I am sure we can look at this for the future roads programme. What

:46:56.:47:00.

plans does the Government have to close the loophole which allows

:47:01.:47:04.

businesses to pay agency workers less than their fellow employees

:47:05.:47:11.

doing the same job? I looked into this loophole carefully over the

:47:12.:47:15.

Christmas period when the party opposite raised it. I discovered two

:47:16.:47:19.

things about this loophole. The first is, it was introduced and

:47:20.:47:24.

agreed by the last Labour Government and the TUC. That is loophole fact

:47:25.:47:29.

number one. Loophole fact number two - he shouts CBI - this is what they

:47:30.:47:34.

said about it. They said, "Further gold plating of EU rules can only

:47:35.:47:40.

cost jobs." Then we have the Recruitment and Employment

:47:41.:47:44.

Federation. "These arrangements were agreed after consultation with the

:47:45.:47:48.

last Government and business unions. Is the Labour Party saying they want

:47:49.:47:53.

to deny British temps the option of permanent employment?" The IOD say

:47:54.:48:01.

this, "It's a bad idea all round. The initial response to this for

:48:02.:48:05.

employers will be to employ fewer people on higher wages. What a great

:48:06.:48:11.

start to the New Year!" Only Labour could come up with an idea like

:48:12.:48:17.

that! Thank you, Mr Speaker. There is considerable interest from

:48:18.:48:26.

businesses in the Marr time and -- maritime and marine sector to

:48:27.:48:30.

relocate. What can the Government do to send a clear message to

:48:31.:48:34.

entrepreneurs that Portsmouth is open for business? I think my

:48:35.:48:38.

honourable friend is right to raise this issue. There are two things

:48:39.:48:41.

specifically that we can do to help Portsmouth at this time. The first

:48:42.:48:46.

is the Portsmouth and Southampton City Deal, that will bring jobs and

:48:47.:48:50.

investment. Secondly, as to emphasise the fact that this massive

:48:51.:48:55.

programme of modernising the Royal Navy with the aircraft carriers, the

:48:56.:48:59.

Type-45s, these are by and large going to be based in Portsmouth,

:49:00.:49:03.

creating jobs, making sure that it remains one of the most important

:49:04.:49:07.

homes for the Royal Navy, but she is right. Added to that, there is a

:49:08.:49:13.

future in Portsmouth in other marine industries and we should do

:49:14.:49:16.

everything we can to encourage business to locate there. I would

:49:17.:49:23.

also like to pay my sympathies to Paul Goggins' family, he was a

:49:24.:49:27.

lovely, lovely man. Mr Speaker, the Government has cut ?1.8 billion from

:49:28.:49:32.

the social care budget, which means nearly 500,000 fewer people are

:49:33.:49:45.

eligible for social care. With home care charges up, and the

:49:46.:49:49.

Government's care cap nothing more than a care con, why isn't the Prime

:49:50.:49:52.

Minister being honest with older people about the real care costs

:49:53.:49:54.

they will face under this Government? Well, what I would say

:49:55.:50:00.

to the honourable lady is this. Difficult decisions have had to be

:50:01.:50:03.

taken across Government spending. If you look at health and social care,

:50:04.:50:07.

we protected the health budget so it is going up in real terms and we

:50:08.:50:11.

have put some of that health budget up to ?3 billion into social care to

:50:12.:50:16.

help local authorities. We now want to get local authorities and local

:50:17.:50:20.

Health Services working even more closely together to deal with the

:50:21.:50:23.

problems of blocked beds and making sure there are care packages when

:50:24.:50:27.

they leave hospital. In areas of the country where this is working, you

:50:28.:50:30.

can see the benefits. We want to make that happen across the country.

:50:31.:50:38.

Mr Speaker, our excellent Local Enterprise Partnership estimates

:50:39.:50:41.

that Buckinghamshire has a ?12 billion economy with 30,000

:50:42.:50:45.

registered businesses and European head offices of over 700 foreign

:50:46.:50:52.

companies. They need the security of long-term economic policies. Will

:50:53.:50:56.

the Prime Minister assure me that as our economic growth is so clearly

:50:57.:51:00.

returning, unlike the party opposite, he will not gamble with

:51:01.:51:05.

their future and he will stick steadfastly to his long tried and

:51:06.:51:11.

tested economic policies? I'm very grateful to my right honourable

:51:12.:51:15.

friend. There is a vibrant economy right across the Thames Valley,

:51:16.:51:18.

including in Buckinghamshire. That is going to be based on sticking to

:51:19.:51:22.

our long-term economic plan, particularly important for the

:51:23.:51:26.

companies she mentions is keeping our rates of corporate tax low so we

:51:27.:51:30.

attract businesses and make sure companies want their headquarters

:51:31.:51:34.

here. That is the right answer. Not the answer of the party opposite,

:51:35.:51:37.

which is to put a close sign over the British economy. Thank you, Mr

:51:38.:51:43.

Speaker. A year ago, the Prime Minister said he would make damned

:51:44.:51:46.

sure that foreign companies pay higher taxes. But in The Financial

:51:47.:51:50.

Times at the weekend, it was shown that technology companies, like

:51:51.:51:54.

Apple and eBay, are paying even less. Why isn't the Prime Minister's

:51:55.:52:00.

tough talk adding up to very much? I think we are - he is being a little

:52:01.:52:04.

unfair. We are making progress on this very difficult issue. We raised

:52:05.:52:09.

at the G8 the importance of having international rules on tax reporting

:52:10.:52:12.

and having more countries working together on tax reporting and huge

:52:13.:52:17.

progress has been made, not least in the European Union where, for the

:52:18.:52:20.

first time, countries like Luxembourg and Austria, that have

:52:21.:52:24.

always held out against this information exchange, are now taking

:52:25.:52:29.

part. The OECD work is going ahead apace. That is partly because

:52:30.:52:32.

Britain has put its full efforts behind this vital work. Mr Speaker,

:52:33.:52:38.

Paul Goggins was a very decent and humble man, and one of the most

:52:39.:52:41.

effective and fair Ministers this House has seen. He will be sadly

:52:42.:52:45.

missed. The Prime Minister will know that the science is clear that the

:52:46.:52:49.

extreme weather conditions affecting our communities, including the Kent

:52:50.:52:54.

estuary, are a destructive and inevitable consequence, in part, of

:52:55.:52:58.

climate change. Given that he has said that this should be the

:52:59.:53:01.

greenest Government ever, will he now agree to support carbon

:53:02.:53:07.

reduction targets so we can take real action to protect people and

:53:08.:53:11.

property? I agree with my honourable friend that we are seeings more

:53:12.:53:16.

abnormal weather events. Colleagues across the House can argue about

:53:17.:53:19.

whether that is linked to climate change or not. I suspect that it is,

:53:20.:53:22.

but the point is whatever one's view, it makes sense to invest in

:53:23.:53:26.

flood defences, it makes sense to invest in mitigation, it makes sense

:53:27.:53:30.

to get information out better. We should do all of those things. As

:53:31.:53:34.

for carbon reduction targets, this Government is committed to carbon

:53:35.:53:38.

reduction targets. We worked with the last Government to put the

:53:39.:53:42.

Carbon Act into place. It wouldn't have happened without our support.

:53:43.:53:47.

We also have the Green Investment Bank up and running in Edinburgh.

:53:48.:53:55.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Government cuts having closed the police cells

:53:56.:54:02.

in Bassetlaw, I now discover the police are having to patrol villages

:54:03.:54:08.

using public transport. That begs the question I would like to ask the

:54:09.:54:13.

Prime Minister. If the police are waiting at a bus stop having

:54:14.:54:20.

arrested someone, should they go upstairs, should they go downstairs,

:54:21.:54:25.

or should they not arrest at all? The first thing to say to the

:54:26.:54:28.

honourable gentleman is he didn't mention that recorded crime in the

:54:29.:54:32.

Bassetlaw community safety partnership is down by 27%. What is

:54:33.:54:48.

so noticeable... 27%. 27%. What is very noticeable is every honourable

:54:49.:54:53.

member opposite is getting up and complaining about the need to make

:54:54.:54:57.

reductions in departmental spending. Frankly, this is like back to the

:54:58.:55:02.

future. We are back now to where we were three years ago, when we said

:55:03.:55:05.

you've got to make difficult decisions, you've got to make some

:55:06.:55:09.

cuts and get the deficit down. They lived in total denial. They are back

:55:10.:55:13.

to where they were three years ago. It may be the New Year. It is the

:55:14.:55:31.

same old Labour Party. May I thank the Prime Minister and everyone over

:55:32.:55:35.

the years who has paved the way to bring this about. May I invite my

:55:36.:55:41.

right honourable friend to visit Bletchley Park and see for himself

:55:42.:55:50.

Alan Turin's remarkable achievements? This is excellent news

:55:51.:55:55.

that this Royal Prerogative Mercy has been granted in this very

:55:56.:55:59.

special case. I would be delighted to go to Bletchley Park, one of my

:56:00.:56:05.

wife's family worked there during the war and speaks incredibly highly

:56:06.:56:12.

about what he was like to work with. The work that was done in his

:56:13.:56:16.

constituency was vital in winning the war. #6 Thank you, Mr Speaker.

:56:17.:56:22.

Before Christmas, I was contacted by a seriously ill constituent of mine

:56:23.:56:27.

who is waiting for a kidney transplant. He needs five-hour

:56:28.:56:30.

dialysis sessions three times a week. But in the Prime Minister's

:56:31.:56:34.

Britain, he's been told by the Jobcentre that he is fit for work.

:56:35.:56:39.

On Monday, the Chancellor promised to take ?12 billion more from the

:56:40.:56:44.

Welfare Budget. Will the Prime Minister guarantee there will be no

:56:45.:56:47.

further cuts to benefits for the sick and disabled? Well, first of

:56:48.:56:51.

all, what I would say on the specific issue of his constituent,

:56:52.:56:55.

if he wants to write to me with the individual case, I'm happy to look

:56:56.:57:00.

at that individual case. In terms of making sure dialysis machines are

:57:01.:57:04.

available and the expertise is available, we are putting more money

:57:05.:57:09.

into the NHS, even though the advice from the Labour Party was to cut.

:57:10.:57:13.

The reason we have been able to put more money into the Health Service

:57:14.:57:17.

is we have taken tough and difficult decisions about welfare. Because we

:57:18.:57:21.

have put a cap on the amount of money a family can get, we have been

:57:22.:57:25.

able to invest in our Health Service. Because we have put a cap

:57:26.:57:31.

on housing benefit, not giving ?70,000 to some families, we have

:57:32.:57:34.

invested in our Health Service. We want to see more dignity, security

:57:35.:57:38.

and stability in the lives of Britain's families and we are making

:57:39.:57:46.

choices consistent with that. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Soaring car sales

:57:47.:57:54.

have helped supply chain companies create manufacturing jobs. 200 in

:57:55.:57:59.

the last year. Another 400 planned. Does the Prime Minister agree that

:58:00.:58:02.

this shows we are successfully rebalancing the economy and that we

:58:03.:58:04.

need to stay the course with policies that are clearly working?

:58:05.:58:09.

Very grateful for my honourable friend and what he says. I went with

:58:10.:58:16.

him to the opening of the new warehouse in his constituency, which

:58:17.:58:19.

has generated hundreds of jobs and it is going to be vital for the

:58:20.:58:22.

supply chain in his constituency. What these businesses want to see is

:58:23.:58:26.

a consistent economic policy, keeping interest rates down, getting

:58:27.:58:30.

the deficit down, cutting taxes for hard-working people, helping

:58:31.:58:33.

businesses to take more people on, investing in education, in skills

:58:34.:58:37.

and in controlling welfare. Those are the elements of our long-term

:58:38.:58:41.

plan. That is what we will stick to. Two months ago, I asked the Prime

:58:42.:58:48.

Minister whether a councillor who was suspended by the Labour Party

:58:49.:58:51.

should return to Pakistan given the arrest warrant for him. He attended

:58:52.:58:56.

the Prime Minister's party in October as an invited guest. Why is

:58:57.:59:02.

the Prime Minister still hiding on whether he should return to face

:59:03.:59:09.

justice? The first is this. I think it will be interesting hear. --

:59:10.:59:14.

interesting to hear. The allegations he mentions are disputed and are

:59:15.:59:18.

currently subject to legal action. I'm limited in what I can say. What

:59:19.:59:22.

he failed to mention to the House last time he raised this is that the

:59:23.:59:27.

allegations date from the time when he was a Labour councillor. And I'm

:59:28.:59:36.

informed, Mr Speaker, that during his time as a Labour councillor, the

:59:37.:59:40.

Labour Party did absolutely nothing about these allegations. So, perhaps

:59:41.:59:46.

next time, when he stands up and asks a questions in the House of

:59:47.:59:49.

Commons, he will give us the full facts. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can I

:59:50.:59:56.

associate myself with the tributes to Paul Goggins? His work on the

:59:57.:00:06.

reform of the law will go on. My constituent Christopher Scott died

:00:07.:00:10.

as a result of taking a legal high called AMT. Will my right honourable

:00:11.:00:15.

friend support my cause, calls from the Coroner and calls from

:00:16.:00:18.

Christopher's family to make sure that this dangerous drug and others

:00:19.:00:23.

like it are outlawed? My honourable friend is right. To raise this

:00:24.:00:29.

issue. Can I offer my condolences to the family of my honourable friend's

:00:30.:00:33.

constituent? As he knows with the rules that we have, hundreds of

:00:34.:00:36.

"legal highs" have already been banned and our temporary drug orders

:00:37.:00:40.

allow us to outlaw substances within days of them coming on to the

:00:41.:00:44.

market. We are not complacent. We have asked the advisory Council for

:00:45.:00:59.

the misuse of drugs to assist. May I join the Prime Minister and the

:01:00.:01:02.

Leader of the Opposition in paying warm tribute to Paul Goggins? He was

:01:03.:01:09.

a fine, decent and honourable man who was a great friend to Northern

:01:10.:01:13.

Ireland and a great friend to all of its people and he will be sadly

:01:14.:01:18.

missed, not only in this House, but throughout Northern Ireland. We

:01:19.:01:21.

offer sincere condolences to his wife and family at this difficult

:01:22.:01:26.

time. May I also commend the Prime Minister, and welcome the fact that

:01:27.:01:30.

he has committed to the triple lock guarantee for pensioners, if he's

:01:31.:01:33.

returned as Prime Minister in the next Parliament? Can I ask him to

:01:34.:01:38.

clarify whether if he is elected as Prime Minister again in 2015, and in

:01:39.:01:42.

the next Parliament, he will commit to retaining the Winter Fuel

:01:43.:01:51.

Allowance? Well, first of all, can I thank him for what he said about

:01:52.:01:59.

Paul Goggins? On the issue of pensions, it is important to

:02:00.:02:03.

recognise, we are only able to make this commitment to the triple lock,

:02:04.:02:06.

which has been important in this Parliament because we have made a

:02:07.:02:10.

commitment to raise the pension age to 66 and then progressively 67 and

:02:11.:02:15.

so on. That means that this pension increase is affordable. We made a

:02:16.:02:18.

very clear pledge for this Parliament about the pensioner

:02:19.:02:22.

benefits. I'm proud of the fact we are fulfilling it. We will set out

:02:23.:02:26.

our plans in the next manifesto. What I would caution people about is

:02:27.:02:32.

the belief that somehow if you don't pay for instance Winter Fuel

:02:33.:02:35.

Allowance, or the other benefits, if you don't pay them to those paying

:02:36.:02:40.

tax at 40p, you save a small amount of money. We will set out our plans

:02:41.:02:44.

in the manifesto. But absolutely vital is saying to Britain's

:02:45.:02:48.

pensioners, you have worked hard, we want to give you dignity and

:02:49.:02:51.

security in old age and the triple lock makes that possible. Is my

:02:52.:03:00.

right honourable friend that in my constituency there has been a large

:03:01.:03:05.

fire of waste carpets burning since September 3rd last year and the

:03:06.:03:08.

residents have been suffering from the fumes and smoke and that the

:03:09.:03:14.

Fire Brigade can't put out the fire for fear of polluting the water

:03:15.:03:19.

supply? Can I have my right honourable friend's support in

:03:20.:03:21.

urging the Environment Agency and the local authority to get this

:03:22.:03:24.

material off the site and give residents their lives back? I will

:03:25.:03:30.

certainly look in more detail into the issue that he raises. I

:03:31.:03:35.

understand the concern it's causing. My understanding is that

:03:36.:03:39.

environmental concerns, in particular that waste might run off

:03:40.:03:42.

and pollute local water supplies, these have hampered the efforts to

:03:43.:03:46.

extinguish the fire. I understand the local recovery group is meeting

:03:47.:03:49.

this week to see what more can be done to remove this waste. I'm happy

:03:50.:03:53.

to intervene with him on his behalf to make sure this makes progress.

:03:54.:04:00.

The Prime Minister's anti-independence campaign launched

:04:01.:04:02.

an initiative this week encouraging people outside Scotland to take part

:04:03.:04:06.

in the debate. Given that initiative, why will the Prime

:04:07.:04:10.

Minister not meet the First Minister on television? The calls for this

:04:11.:04:17.

debate show a mounting frustration amongst those calling for Scotland's

:04:18.:04:21.

separation from the rest of the United Kingdom, because they know

:04:22.:04:25.

they are losing the argument. They are losing the argument about jobs,

:04:26.:04:29.

they are losing the argument about investment. They have completely

:04:30.:04:32.

lost the argument about the future of the pound sterling. They are

:04:33.:04:35.

losing the argument about Europe. And yes, there should be a debate,

:04:36.:04:39.

but it is a debate between people in Scotland. The leader of the

:04:40.:04:44.

in-campaign should debate with the leader of the out-campaign. He, as

:04:45.:04:50.

the lackey of Alex Salmond, wants to change the terms of the debate. I'm

:04:51.:04:59.

not falling for that one. In the 13 years before 2010, there was net

:05:00.:05:03.

migration of nearly four million people into the UK. Mostly into

:05:04.:05:07.

England and in many cases, as a result of work permits issued by the

:05:08.:05:12.

then Government. Will my right honourable friend give me an

:05:13.:05:14.

assurance that this Government will keep in place its cap on the number

:05:15.:05:20.

of workers from outside the European Union? I can give my honourable

:05:21.:05:26.

friend the assurance he seeks. We should keep the cap on economic

:05:27.:05:29.

migrants from outside the European Union. We should continue with all

:05:30.:05:32.

the action we are taking to make sure that people who come here are

:05:33.:05:35.

coming to work and not to claim. I think what we need to do next is to

:05:36.:05:40.

recognise that the best immigration policy is not only to have strong,

:05:41.:05:45.

border controls, but also to have an education approach which is

:05:46.:05:48.

educating our young people for jobs in our country and a welfare system

:05:49.:05:52.

that encourages them to take those jobs. It is three sides to this

:05:53.:05:56.

argument - immigration, education and welfare. This Government has a

:05:57.:06:02.

plan for all three. Could I agree with the Prime Minister? No! The

:06:03.:06:15.

leader of the "no" campaign in Scotland cannot get a debate with

:06:16.:06:18.

the leader of the "yes" campaign in Scotland - that is absurd. The

:06:19.:06:22.

leader of the "yes" campaign in Scotland demands a debate with

:06:23.:06:28.

somebody that doesn't have a vote. In these circumstances, does the

:06:29.:06:32.

Prime Minister agree with me that in politics, as in shipbuilding, empty

:06:33.:06:35.

vessels make the most noise? I'm not finished. There is more.

:06:36.:06:57.

Without seeking to give offence to the Prime Minister, could I tell him

:06:58.:07:08.

that the last person Scotts want to have their -- Scots want to have as

:07:09.:07:15.

that representative is a Tory toff from the Home Counties, even one

:07:16.:07:26.

with a fine haircut? I accept every part of the honourable gentleman's

:07:27.:07:28.

question. I well remember when he came to Question Time, not with an

:07:29.:07:33.

empty vessel, but with a model of the vessel that he wanted built so

:07:34.:07:37.

near to his constituency, and I'm proud that this Government is

:07:38.:07:39.

building that vessel and indeed another one like it. I also accept

:07:40.:07:46.

that while I'm sure there are many people in Scotland who would like to

:07:47.:07:50.

hear me talk about this issue, my appeal doesn't stretch to every

:07:51.:07:56.

single part. The key point he is making is right. The reason the

:07:57.:07:59.

"yes" campaign head and the "no" campaign head can't get a debate is

:08:00.:08:03.

because those who want to break up the United Kingdom, they know they

:08:04.:08:06.

are losing the argument so they want to change the question. It's the

:08:07.:08:10.

oldest trick in the book and we can all see it coming.

:08:11.:08:19.

The Speaker deciding to let it overrun by, almost ten minutes.

:08:20.:08:26.

That watch I sent him for Christmas has not managed to wind up yet. An

:08:27.:08:33.

interesting Prime Minister's Questions because it was very

:08:34.:08:37.

low-key, it started with the Leader of the Opposition asking about the

:08:38.:08:41.

recent floods that have hit so much of the country, and then he did

:08:42.:08:45.

these three question, then he sat down, normally he does all six at

:08:46.:08:51.

once but he moved on to another three about the fix odds betting

:08:52.:08:55.

terminal, an important, interesting issue but not a kind of one of huge

:08:56.:09:00.

national significance, that was low-key as well. Normally we get

:09:01.:09:04.

what you thought of that, but before we do, I want to can Nick, is this a

:09:05.:09:10.

slow start to the New Year or are we seeing an attempt by the Leader of

:09:11.:09:16.

the Opposition, to change the tone of PMQ is There is one other thing

:09:17.:09:21.

that many MPs heard about the death of Paul Goggins who you heard

:09:22.:09:25.

tributes from all sides, and obviously very sincere tributes too,

:09:26.:09:29.

only just before, so that would have had a stilling effect any way, a

:09:30.:09:33.

subduing effect on the House of Commons. Ed Miliband looked

:09:34.:09:36.

emotional about it. He is a colleague, a friend, so I think that

:09:37.:09:41.

would have had an effect. But I think there is something more going

:09:42.:09:44.

on. I know that Ed Miliband was beginning to believe that Prime

:09:45.:09:48.

Minister's Questions had got out of control, it was a shouting match, on

:09:49.:09:52.

the rare occasion I am not here and in the gallery of the Mc, you can

:09:53.:09:57.

scarcely hear a single word. Occasionally you will see MPs lean

:09:58.:10:01.

backwards, it is not because they are falling asleep. There is a

:10:02.:10:05.

speaker, for us it in the front of us, we have to lean forward, simply

:10:06.:10:10.

to hear what is being said through the microphones, and I think Ed

:10:11.:10:13.

Miliband took the view something needed to change, he could, think of

:10:14.:10:17.

all the things he could have done, he could have make jokes about the

:10:18.:10:24.

MP's hairdresser getting an MBE, he could have talked about cuts, he

:10:25.:10:28.

chose the serious issues and asked about them in a low-key way. One

:10:29.:10:33.

fascinating possibility, it is only a possibility, is has he talked to

:10:34.:10:36.

the Prime Minister about changing it. I am told that in the past, Neil

:10:37.:10:42.

Kinnock once talked to John Major about changing the tone of Question

:10:43.:10:45.

Time, that both sides would change it. They sort of agreed to disarm

:10:46.:10:50.

for a period. I am told it lasted for a matter of weeks rather than a

:10:51.:10:54.

great long stretch of months but they both fell felt it had got out

:10:55.:10:58.

of control. I have no evidence it has happened in this case but I know

:10:59.:11:03.

it was being discussed by some people in the office. The viewers

:11:04.:11:09.

noticed the more low-key subdued, and most of the reaccuse swhuns in

:11:10.:11:14.

favour of it, so David said a quiet House today. Wouldn't it be nice if

:11:15.:11:17.

they behaved in such a manner all the time. And that was backed up by

:11:18.:11:22.

Ken Norman in Hertfordshire, how refreshing to hear a sober debate

:11:23.:11:26.

without the shouting, and mud-slinging, more please. But, as

:11:27.:11:30.

always, there is somebody on the other side. Peter said how tedious

:11:31.:11:35.

it is when there is no punch up in the chamber between the leader, do

:11:36.:11:41.

try harder. Then this on Twitter. "I see Ed Miliband hasn't eaten his

:11:42.:11:45.

Christmas turkey as it is sitting next to him." Jean said David

:11:46.:11:50.

Cameron can't seem to accept he has been in power for nearly four years

:11:51.:11:54.

and takes no soant for anything, and even though Ed Miliband didn't raids

:11:55.:11:58.

it, one of our viewers on the subject of David Cameron's

:11:59.:12:02.

hairdresser who received that offer, his haircut wasn't worth ?90.

:12:03.:12:09.

Boom-boom! There maybe a danger for Labour in this, let me put this to

:12:10.:12:14.

you and get your reaction, Mr Ed Miliband asked questions on the

:12:15.:12:18.

floods, and on these betting terminals, in a very serious

:12:19.:12:23.

responsible way, and he got replies in a suitable vain from the Prime

:12:24.:12:28.

Minister. And that is Mr Miliband finished. Other Labour backbenchers

:12:29.:12:32.

stand up and ask more party political question, which allows the

:12:33.:12:37.

preponderance then to come back, party politics, take this, Labour

:12:38.:12:43.

are useless replies, and Mr Miliband has not had a shot at saying the

:12:44.:12:49.

Tories are useless. I maybe this low-key approach could skew PMQs in

:12:50.:12:53.

favour of the Prime Minister. I couldn't disagree more. It tend to

:12:54.:12:56.

suggest most of the country are watching and they are not. Of course

:12:57.:13:00.

they are it is the Daily Politics. No disrespect to this programme, we

:13:01.:13:03.

have a major problem in our country, with the way that party politics is

:13:04.:13:08.

regarded. I wrote a piece over the weekend. It is too tribal. It is

:13:09.:13:14.

adversarial and we need to address that, and that is one of the reasons

:13:15.:13:18.

why we are reforming the way our party work, this is a broader thing

:13:19.:13:22.

than you say the relationship between Labour and the trade union,

:13:23.:13:27.

this is how we recorrect people with politics, we have an issue in the

:13:28.:13:31.

media. I remember when I was Ed's Parliamentary private secretary.

:13:32.:13:37.

Which Ed? Ed Miliband. When we were coming back from about a bout of

:13:38.:13:42.

PMQs and Ed had done six questions on a Foreign Affairs issue, and we

:13:43.:13:46.

were stopped by a member of the lobby who said why did do you that?

:13:47.:13:51.

And you know, couldn't you have done three on that and three a bit more

:13:52.:13:56.

kind of knock about? And I lost it and said to the member of the lobby,

:13:57.:14:01.

for God's sake we have got, I have got constituents who are fighting,

:14:02.:14:04.

who have been sent over into theatre, in this situation, I am, I

:14:05.:14:07.

can't remember if it was Libya or Syria, one of the other, it may have

:14:08.:14:13.

been Afghanistan, and I said and this is what you think we should

:14:14.:14:17.

reduce PMQs too? You are complaining there is not enough knock about. You

:14:18.:14:22.

are complaining that it was too serious today? This is as much a an

:14:23.:14:27.

issue for us as the media as well. Because very often people will not

:14:28.:14:31.

for example put us on television programmes unless we are about to

:14:32.:14:34.

have a massive knock about on a particular issue. How do we know?

:14:35.:14:39.

You were not approached to appear on this programme on the basis you will

:14:40.:14:44.

bash him. I am not suggesting that is the case. Andrew, I am not

:14:45.:14:48.

suggesting that is always the case, you will have a discussion with the

:14:49.:14:53.

producers about what the point of view is. Maybe, maybe it isn't as

:14:54.:14:58.

good television as some of those texts and e-mails would suggest. I

:14:59.:15:02.

question what is the function of PMQs? I think if you were a Martian

:15:03.:15:07.

from outer space landing in the middle of it and saying, human, what

:15:08.:15:11.

is this about and they say this is how they scrutinise the leader of

:15:12.:15:17.

their country, they would be "What? " Think the sombreness had to do

:15:18.:15:24.

with the sad news of Paul Goggins. Also turn to Nick's.About the topics

:15:25.:15:29.

Ed raised. We know one of the most important ones is the economy, it

:15:30.:15:33.

will dominate politics right up until the election, we heard from Jo

:15:34.:15:37.

earlier, lots of good news continues to come in, I am not surprised Ed

:15:38.:15:40.

didn't want to raise the issue of the economy. He could have gone on

:15:41.:15:47.

12 billion welfare cuts. Because these are questions that the

:15:48.:15:50.

Conservatives still... What about the point of maybe having a, you

:15:51.:15:54.

know, it doesn't always have to be a massive knock about. Come on, the

:15:55.:15:58.

economy, people talk about the economy lots. We are running out of

:15:59.:16:05.

time. I have no doubt it is just about Paul Goggins. Ed Miliband had

:16:06.:16:10.

lots of successes, it wasn't like he didn't know how to make this system

:16:11.:16:14.

work, I I know he had got to a stage of thinking "I've had enough of

:16:15.:16:22.

this. Even shouts at each other." We have to move on. Maybe they could do

:16:23.:16:31.

more on Foreign Affairs. So many international issues round, not one

:16:32.:16:34.

was raised today. Nick, thank you, you are off to make

:16:35.:16:40.

another documentary? I am having a rest! I will be a pie salesman.

:16:41.:16:52.

Simple Simon met a pie man. Any way what do Oasis and Nora Batty have in

:16:53.:16:56.

common, they are great northern icon, it is it time for icons to

:16:57.:17:04.

call Pickfords and up sticks to a northern city? Patrick Diamond who

:17:05.:17:07.

is a Labour councillor thinks so, and here is his soapbox.

:17:08.:17:18.

What happens when you move national treasures north? Well, this.

:17:19.:17:37.

The BBC's decision to shift iconic programmes to Salford has helped

:17:38.:17:44.

transform the Manchester docks into a 200 acre MediaCity. It is

:17:45.:17:49.

providing facilities and space to over 100 small and medium size

:17:50.:17:54.

businesses as well as ITV and the BBC. Help stimulating a burgeon

:17:55.:18:00.

north-west economy. -- burgeoning.

:18:01.:18:04.

Evidence suggests that UK MediaCity is having a positive effect on the

:18:05.:18:08.

creative economy of the north-west of England. It is exactly the this

:18:09.:18:13.

approach, public investment stimulating private sector

:18:14.:18:15.

entrepreneurship that we need more of in Britain. We should be looking

:18:16.:18:19.

for ways of repeating this project in different parts of the country.

:18:20.:18:23.

If Britain is going to move beyond the economic crisis to sustainable

:18:24.:18:27.

economic recovery we need to take bold and brave decisions.

:18:28.:18:33.

Since the 2008 economic crisis, growth has been even more heavily

:18:34.:18:37.

skewed towards London and the south-east of England. But if the

:18:38.:18:42.

BBC can look north, why shouldn't other cultural institutions do the

:18:43.:18:45.

same? Like the Royal Opera House. Or what about the British Museum, which

:18:46.:18:50.

could develop a presence outside the capital city? What about the House

:18:51.:18:53.

of Lords? Which makes the laws for the whole of the UK, why shouldn't

:18:54.:18:59.

it develop a much stronger regional presence?

:19:00.:19:05.

If we are going to ensure a brighter future for the north of England and

:19:06.:19:12.

a sustain sbl economic recovery it is time to rebalance Britain. There

:19:13.:19:16.

is lots of people and businesses in the north are doing for themselves,

:19:17.:19:19.

but we need more investments and we need more leadership. It is time to

:19:20.:19:22.

get away from the London-centric approach, it is time to look north.

:19:23.:19:29.

Well Patrick Diamond has come South Today. What is the primary

:19:30.:19:33.

motivation here? Is it for cultural reasons? Is it sending a signal to

:19:34.:19:40.

region lice big institution? There is two issue, one is about economic,

:19:41.:19:44.

we know since the economic crisis and the recovery which is under way,

:19:45.:19:51.

actually our economy is becoming more regionally inbalanced and we

:19:52.:19:54.

need to address that urgently, but there is a genuine issue about the

:19:55.:20:01.

balance of cultural funding, we spend ?69 per resident compared to

:20:02.:20:06.

4.60 on residents in the rest of the country, that is a deeply inbalanced

:20:07.:20:10.

skewing away from the rest of the country. Tourists Weiss, when you

:20:11.:20:15.

think about a global capital like London, don't that just make sense

:20:16.:20:20.

in way? Of course, in relation to cultural institution like the Opera

:20:21.:20:23.

House there will be some orientation to London, I accept that, but the

:20:24.:20:26.

question is about balance. I think that in the UK our economy and

:20:27.:20:31.

issues like the funding of cultural institutions have become too

:20:32.:20:35.

inbalanced and the question I want to explore is how can we address

:20:36.:20:39.

that to make it fair tore the rest of the UK. In you were running the

:20:40.:20:42.

Royal Opera House and you had to walk in and say guys, we have

:20:43.:20:46.

decided we are going to move up to Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, where

:20:47.:20:50.

ever it is, you would be prepared do that and feel it would happen

:20:51.:20:55.

easily, because these thins are not taken lightly. There are issues

:20:56.:20:59.

about the transition. I wouldn't want the Royal Opera House the leave

:21:00.:21:02.

London all together but there was a proposal to establish an Opera House

:21:03.:21:06.

in Manchester, it didn't come to fruition but it was a very good idea

:21:07.:21:09.

and it is something we should be looking to do in the future. If you

:21:10.:21:13.

look at the example of MediaCity in Salford, look at what it is doing,

:21:14.:21:19.

there are more than 100 small and medium size businesses, there is a

:21:20.:21:23.

burgeoning sector in the north-west. This is something we should be

:21:24.:21:26.

looking to encourage. Briefly, most people moved or a lot of people

:21:27.:21:29.

moved up there, how many jobs were created for people who lived in the

:21:30.:21:36.

local yaefr? There are issues about how the move was done. But it

:21:37.:21:39.

doesn't take away from the basic issue how can we use public

:21:40.:21:44.

investment to stimulate private sector end en-- entrepreneurship. Is

:21:45.:21:51.

London the be-all-and-end-all? Isn't even everything policically geared

:21:52.:21:54.

to making London that is the cash cow that is supposed to feed the

:21:55.:21:59.

rest of the country. It is significant and it will remain that

:22:00.:22:02.

way. Doesn't policy make it that way. But the pies racing an

:22:03.:22:08.

important issue. I was born in Rochdale, and I care very deeply

:22:09.:22:13.

about the whole north, and the issues, and they exist, so

:22:14.:22:17.

questions, how do we deal with it? One point important is Patrick said

:22:18.:22:20.

the situation got worse after the recession, the truth of it is this

:22:21.:22:25.

is something that Labour didn't address during their time in office.

:22:26.:22:31.

The situation got worse, including during the boom years. If you look

:22:32.:22:36.

at job, according to the ONS during Labour's period in office, for every

:22:37.:22:40.

ten jobs generated in the south there was only one job generated in

:22:41.:22:45.

the north. That may be -- made the inbalance much worse. Since then

:22:46.:22:49.

employment in the north is up by more than 200 thousand, it is up in

:22:50.:22:53.

every region, unemployment is down and we are using public money

:22:54.:22:59.

sensibly where we can to help generate jobs. Let me say two

:23:00.:23:04.

things, we should be careful. It is not just imbalances, it is within

:23:05.:23:09.

regions as well. Look at the disparity between areas in London.

:23:10.:23:13.

Secondly wro, can do the knock about, it is ridiculous to say we

:23:14.:23:18.

didn't do anything to push power down and out. Just a moment, we set

:23:19.:23:24.

up the Rio de Janeiro, on the whole well regarded, Lord Heseltine said

:23:25.:23:27.

it was a mistake for the Government to establish it. I think the move of

:23:28.:23:31.

the BBC is good. I am surprised you didn't mention what Vince Cable has

:23:32.:23:36.

done the investment bank in Edinburgh, those are good things but

:23:37.:23:41.

the local enterprise partnerships which are the main vehicle that the

:23:42.:23:44.

Government has put in place have been totesly insufficient, because

:23:45.:23:47.

they haven't been given appropriate budget or the power to help us deal

:23:48.:23:58.

with its. What would you move up to a northern city from London? It is

:23:59.:24:01.

not a question of moving jobs from one part of the sector to another.

:24:02.:24:05.

We need to be more ambitious and creative and the private sector is a

:24:06.:24:09.

key part. The issue is about how we use public investment.

:24:10.:24:14.

We are going to talk about political slogans. Before we do, have a look

:24:15.:24:17.

at this. # Everybody's talking at me. #

:24:18.:24:28.

Out in the "big society" is an enormous opportunity. What I have

:24:29.:24:31.

tried to set out with "one nation" a clear sense of where Britain will

:24:32.:24:36.

go. The Chancellor is going too far and too fast. Jobs are up.

:24:37.:24:40.

Construction is up. Manufacturing is up. Cutting too far and too fast. We

:24:41.:24:46.

are in a global race today. No-one owes us a living. Cost of living

:24:47.:24:53.

crisis. It is Labour that wrecks our economy. It is we Conservatives who

:24:54.:24:57.

clear it up! We are Britain. We are better than this.

:24:58.:25:05.

We are joined by Simon Danczuk, Labour MP. He said he's had enough

:25:06.:25:14.

of these phrases. What brought you to this? I was talking about all

:25:15.:25:22.

political parties. There is too many soundbites in politics. I am trying

:25:23.:25:26.

to do good public service. I am trying to save the public from

:25:27.:25:28.

having to listen to all this stuff. It is what people tell me on the

:25:29.:25:34.

street. Sajid is from Rochdale, if he knocked on doors saying, "We are

:25:35.:25:43.

all in this together," he would get short shrift. It reached a low point

:25:44.:25:57.

on the One Nation one. One Nation is a great concept. It is a concept -

:25:58.:26:01.

they should use it as a concept rather than a slogan. What do you

:26:02.:26:09.

say to him? There are times, particularly around 2001, when the

:26:10.:26:12.

height of so-called control freakery, where people became

:26:13.:26:22.

automotons. I don't think there's anything... Are you going to let me

:26:23.:26:30.

get a word in? You are speaking far too fast! Very good. I don't think

:26:31.:26:34.

there is anything wrong with slogans per se. If you crowbar it into

:26:35.:26:37.

everything and don't back it up with policy, that is a problem. We have

:26:38.:26:41.

backed it up with policy. It is not that kind of... See how much of

:26:42.:26:45.

these phrases - fill in the missing word. Labour isn't? Working. New

:26:46.:26:52.

Labour New? New Britain. No, New Labour, New Danger. Britain

:26:53.:26:58.

deserves? Better. Are you what we are thinking? Thinking what we are

:26:59.:27:07.

thinking? I agree with? Nick! Maggie, Maggie, Maggie... ? Out,

:27:08.:27:16.

out, out. Never had it... ? So good. Who was that? McMillan. What year?

:27:17.:27:25.

'64? No, '57. Alarm clock Britain from Nick Clegg. That did not...

:27:26.:27:33.

Only because it was so bad. I have a fear, I don't think you will win.

:27:34.:27:37.

Right. They love these phrases. You think so? Yes. A few of them were

:27:38.:27:43.

used in PMQs today. Sajid, someone has written in to say you used

:27:44.:27:48.

"tough decisions" at least twice. I do like that. In the north South

:27:49.:27:56.

piece, Chuka Umunna could have said "One Nation" and he didn't. You guys

:27:57.:28:01.

are keeping a tally. Here is the tally. LAUGHTER You will thank me

:28:02.:28:07.

for interrupting you now. Sajid had three slogans repeated in the course

:28:08.:28:11.

of the show. You, Chuka Umunna, had none! You get the Daily Politics

:28:12.:28:21.

mug. Another one! Two more and you have the full set! Good luck in your

:28:22.:28:25.

campaign. You can have a mug, too! Because you raised a good point.

:28:26.:28:28.

Time to put you out of your misery and give you the answer to Guess The

:28:29.:28:37.

Year. 1976 was the answer. Callaghan took over as Prime Minister from

:28:38.:28:43.

Wilson. The winner is? John Whitby in Cornwall. Hope you haven't been

:28:44.:28:46.

flooded out down there. That is it. We thank all our guests. The One

:28:47.:28:50.

O'Clock News is starting on BBC One. We will be back tomorrow at noon

:28:51.:28:54.

with the Daily Politics. From all of us here, bye-bye.

:28:55.:28:56.

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