08/01/2014 Daily Politics


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


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


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


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


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


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


Auntie moved to Salford but should other big institutions like the


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


rebalance the country away from London?


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


if political slogans should be consigned to the political scrap


heap. All that and more in the next 90 my


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to the Treasury Sajid Javid and the Shadow Business Secretary Chuka


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


recommended that voters should be required to show prove of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


does concern me is that voter participation getting more people


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


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


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


to look at the evidence the Electoral Commission will put


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


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


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


many other countries would help reduce fraud? We need sensible


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


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


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


you saw there was voter registration, massively decimated


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


you move towards individual registration. We have get more


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Chamber of Commerce, whose latest survey predicts the recovery will


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


construction sector, growth remains strong.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


They have certainly been successful this making the Government back


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Labour Government We should have better regulated the banks and we


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Budget Responsibility to audit our plans and then they can determine


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


continue with the social partnership approach where the Government,


employee organisations and employer organisations sit down together and


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


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


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


everything we can to incentivise more employers to pay the living


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


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


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


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


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


telling us to buy British. Politicians are making speeches


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


it's the Daily Politics mug. And the good news is this is one hallowed


trophy the Aussies can't take off you - because you have to live in


the UK to enter. Got you! What a consolation prize! We'll remind you


how to enter in a minute, but let's see if you can remember when THIS


happened. # Just love to dance


# He wants to dance # He's got to dance. #


# Don't go breaking my heart # I couldn't if I try


# Oh, honey, if I get restless # Baby, you're not that kind. #


For our most beloved great teacher...


# If you leave me now # You take away the biggest part of


me # O-hoo... #


# And just when it hit me # Somebody turned around


# And somebody shouted # Play that funky music right. #


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


to [email protected] You can see the full terms and conditions for Guess


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


example of where there are some misconceptions about immigration


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


immigration now covers particularly for Labour, the issue about the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Christian, you could have strong views about immigration without


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


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


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


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


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


and Asian constituents. Was that because of perceived unfairness that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Captain Richard Holloway of the royal engineers was tragically


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


in delivering the essential devolution of policing and justice


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


and treated everyone in whatever circumstances with respect. He will


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that manufacturing exports and services were growing strongly. Does


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


rise, and our people rise with it too.


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


Captain Richard Holloway of the Royal Engineers who was killed in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


in this House. He was is one of the deepest


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


areas that could be affected by further flooding have all the


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


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


terms of flooding it is an extremely difficult situation for those


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


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


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


neighbours and individuals who have shown bravery and courage and spirit


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


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


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


means that more flooding is sadly expected and immediate action is


required. There are 186 flood alerts, meaning


that even further flooding is possible beyond what we expect more


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


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


concerns including Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Somerset and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


compensation and the preparedness and the speed of response from


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


constituencies affected by flooding what they see on the ground about


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


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


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


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


giving a full assessment of the future capability of our flood


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


paying tribute to Bournemouth Borough Council, the Dorset


emergency services as well as local residents in dealing with two


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


will be aware that private sector landlords are refusing to take


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


important point. We have taken difficult decision to get the


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


difficult decisions in terms of departmental spending and also


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


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


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


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


back to where they were three years ago.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that empirical evidence is needed before making changes because it


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


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


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


think if we work together we can sort it out.


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


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


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


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


Liverpool are saying that these machines are causing problems for


families and community, now local communities believe they already


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


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


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


betting terminals were introduced in 2001, after the Labour Government


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the Local Government Association have said local authorities do not


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


the gambling helpline are about these machines and they are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


plans does the Government have to close the loophole which allows


businesses to pay agency workers less than their fellow employees


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


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


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


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


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


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


cost jobs." Then we have the Recruitment and Employment


Federation. "These arrangements were agreed after consultation with the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


entrepreneurs that Portsmouth is open for business? I think my


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


future in Portsmouth in other marine industries and we should do


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


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


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


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


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


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


Minister being honest with older people about the real care costs


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


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


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


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


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


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


Health Services working even more closely together to deal with the


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


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


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


Mr Speaker, our excellent Local Enterprise Partnership estimates


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


registered businesses and European head offices of over 700 foreign


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


our long-term economic plan, particularly important for the


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


attract businesses and make sure companies want their headquarters


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and having more countries working together on tax reporting and huge


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


first time, countries like Luxembourg and Austria, that have


always held out against this information exchange, are now taking


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


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


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


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


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


extreme weather conditions affecting our communities, including the Kent


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


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


greenest Government ever, will he now agree to support carbon


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


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


abnormal weather events. Colleagues across the House can argue about


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


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


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


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


for carbon reduction targets, this Government is committed to carbon


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


right honourable friend to visit Bletchley Park and see for himself


Alan Turin's remarkable achievements? This is excellent news


that this Royal Prerogative Mercy has been granted in this very


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


have helped supply chain companies create manufacturing jobs. 200 in


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


this shows we are successfully rebalancing the economy and that we


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


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


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


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


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


a consistent economic policy, keeping interest rates down, getting


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


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


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


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


Minister whether a councillor who was suspended by the Labour Party


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


offer sincere condolences to his wife and family at this difficult


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


very clear pledge for this Parliament about the pensioner


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


urging the Environment Agency and the local authority to get this


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


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


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


environmental concerns, in particular that waste might run off


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


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


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


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


The Prime Minister's anti-independence campaign launched


an initiative this week encouraging people outside Scotland to take part


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


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


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


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


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


they are losing the argument about investment. They have completely


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


then Government. Will my right honourable friend give me an


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


interesting Prime Minister's Questions because it was very


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


subduing effect on the House of Commons. Ed Miliband looked


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Minister. And that is Mr Miliband finished. Other Labour backbenchers


stand up and ask more party political question, which allows the


preponderance then to come back, party politics, take this, Labour


are useless replies, and Mr Miliband has not had a shot at saying the


Tories are useless. I maybe this low-key approach could skew PMQs in


favour of the Prime Minister. I couldn't disagree more. It tend to


suggest most of the country are watching and they are not. Of course


they are it is the Daily Politics. No disrespect to this programme, we


have a major problem in our country, with the way that party politics is


regarded. I wrote a piece over the weekend. It is too tribal. It is


adversarial and we need to address that, and that is one of the reasons


why we are reforming the way our party work, this is a broader thing


than you say the relationship between Labour and the trade union,


this is how we recorrect people with politics, we have an issue in the


media. I remember when I was Ed's Parliamentary private secretary.


Which Ed? Ed Miliband. When we were coming back from about a bout of


PMQs and Ed had done six questions on a Foreign Affairs issue, and we


were stopped by a member of the lobby who said why did do you that?


And you know, couldn't you have done three on that and three a bit more


kind of knock about? And I lost it and said to the member of the lobby,


for God's sake we have got, I have got constituents who are fighting,


who have been sent over into theatre, in this situation, I am, I


can't remember if it was Libya or Syria, one of the other, it may have


been Afghanistan, and I said and this is what you think we should


reduce PMQs too? You are complaining there is not enough knock about. You


are complaining that it was too serious today? This is as much a an


issue for us as the media as well. Because very often people will not


for example put us on television programmes unless we are about to


have a massive knock about on a particular issue. How do we know?


You were not approached to appear on this programme on the basis you will


bash him. I am not suggesting that is the case. Andrew, I am not


suggesting that is always the case, you will have a discussion with the


producers about what the point of view is. Maybe, maybe it isn't as


good television as some of those texts and e-mails would suggest. I


question what is the function of PMQs? I think if you were a Martian


from outer space landing in the middle of it and saying, human, what


is this about and they say this is how they scrutinise the leader of


their country, they would be "What? " Think the sombreness had to do


with the sad news of Paul Goggins. Also turn to Nick's.About the topics


Ed raised. We know one of the most important ones is the economy, it


will dominate politics right up until the election, we heard from Jo


earlier, lots of good news continues to come in, I am not surprised Ed


didn't want to raise the issue of the economy. He could have gone on


12 billion welfare cuts. Because these are questions that the


Conservatives still... What about the point of maybe having a, you


know, it doesn't always have to be a massive knock about. Come on, the


economy, people talk about the economy lots. We are running out of


time. I have no doubt it is just about Paul Goggins. Ed Miliband had


lots of successes, it wasn't like he didn't know how to make this system


work, I I know he had got to a stage of thinking "I've had enough of


this. Even shouts at each other." We have to move on. Maybe they could do


more on Foreign Affairs. So many international issues round, not one


was raised today. Nick, thank you, you are off to make


another documentary? I am having a rest! I will be a pie salesman.


Simple Simon met a pie man. Any way what do Oasis and Nora Batty have in


common, they are great northern icon, it is it time for icons to


call Pickfords and up sticks to a northern city? Patrick Diamond who


is a Labour councillor thinks so, and here is his soapbox.


What happens when you move national treasures north? Well, this.


The BBC's decision to shift iconic programmes to Salford has helped


transform the Manchester docks into a 200 acre MediaCity. It is


providing facilities and space to over 100 small and medium size


businesses as well as ITV and the BBC. Help stimulating a burgeon


north-west economy. -- burgeoning.


Evidence suggests that UK MediaCity is having a positive effect on the


creative economy of the north-west of England. It is exactly the this


approach, public investment stimulating private sector


entrepreneurship that we need more of in Britain. We should be looking


for ways of repeating this project in different parts of the country.


If Britain is going to move beyond the economic crisis to sustainable


economic recovery we need to take bold and brave decisions.


Since the 2008 economic crisis, growth has been even more heavily


skewed towards London and the south-east of England. But if the


BBC can look north, why shouldn't other cultural institutions do the


same? Like the Royal Opera House. Or what about the British Museum, which


could develop a presence outside the capital city? What about the House


of Lords? Which makes the laws for the whole of the UK, why shouldn't


it develop a much stronger regional presence?


If we are going to ensure a brighter future for the north of England and


a sustain sbl economic recovery it is time to rebalance Britain. There


is lots of people and businesses in the north are doing for themselves,


but we need more investments and we need more leadership. It is time to


get away from the London-centric approach, it is time to look north.


Well Patrick Diamond has come South Today. What is the primary


motivation here? Is it for cultural reasons? Is it sending a signal to


region lice big institution? There is two issue, one is about economic,


we know since the economic crisis and the recovery which is under way,


actually our economy is becoming more regionally inbalanced and we


need to address that urgently, but there is a genuine issue about the


balance of cultural funding, we spend ?69 per resident compared to


4.60 on residents in the rest of the country, that is a deeply inbalanced


skewing away from the rest of the country. Tourists Weiss, when you


think about a global capital like London, don't that just make sense


in way? Of course, in relation to cultural institution like the Opera


House there will be some orientation to London, I accept that, but the


question is about balance. I think that in the UK our economy and


issues like the funding of cultural institutions have become too


inbalanced and the question I want to explore is how can we address


that to make it fair tore the rest of the UK. In you were running the


Royal Opera House and you had to walk in and say guys, we have


decided we are going to move up to Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, where


ever it is, you would be prepared do that and feel it would happen


easily, because these thins are not taken lightly. There are issues


about the transition. I wouldn't want the Royal Opera House the leave


London all together but there was a proposal to establish an Opera House


in Manchester, it didn't come to fruition but it was a very good idea


and it is something we should be looking to do in the future. If you


look at the example of MediaCity in Salford, look at what it is doing,


there are more than 100 small and medium size businesses, there is a


burgeoning sector in the north-west. This is something we should be


looking to encourage. Briefly, most people moved or a lot of people


moved up there, how many jobs were created for people who lived in the


local yaefr? There are issues about how the move was done. But it


doesn't take away from the basic issue how can we use public


investment to stimulate private sector end en-- entrepreneurship. Is


London the be-all-and-end-all? Isn't even everything policically geared


to making London that is the cash cow that is supposed to feed the


rest of the country. It is significant and it will remain that


way. Doesn't policy make it that way. But the pies racing an


important issue. I was born in Rochdale, and I care very deeply


about the whole north, and the issues, and they exist, so


questions, how do we deal with it? One point important is Patrick said


the situation got worse after the recession, the truth of it is this


is something that Labour didn't address during their time in office.


The situation got worse, including during the boom years. If you look


at job, according to the ONS during Labour's period in office, for every


ten jobs generated in the south there was only one job generated in


the north. That may be -- made the inbalance much worse. Since then


employment in the north is up by more than 200 thousand, it is up in


every region, unemployment is down and we are using public money


sensibly where we can to help generate jobs. Let me say two


things, we should be careful. It is not just imbalances, it is within


regions as well. Look at the disparity between areas in London.


Secondly wro, can do the knock about, it is ridiculous to say we


didn't do anything to push power down and out. Just a moment, we set


up the Rio de Janeiro, on the whole well regarded, Lord Heseltine said


it was a mistake for the Government to establish it. I think the move of


the BBC is good. I am surprised you didn't mention what Vince Cable has


done the investment bank in Edinburgh, those are good things but


the local enterprise partnerships which are the main vehicle that the


Government has put in place have been totesly insufficient, because


they haven't been given appropriate budget or the power to help us deal


with its. What would you move up to a northern city from London? It is


not a question of moving jobs from one part of the sector to another.


We need to be more ambitious and creative and the private sector is a


key part. The issue is about how we use public investment.


We are going to talk about political slogans. Before we do, have a look


at this. # Everybody's talking at me. #


Out in the "big society" is an enormous opportunity. What I have


tried to set out with "one nation" a clear sense of where Britain will


go. The Chancellor is going too far and too fast. Jobs are up.


Construction is up. Manufacturing is up. Cutting too far and too fast. We


are in a global race today. No-one owes us a living. Cost of living


crisis. It is Labour that wrecks our economy. It is we Conservatives who


clear it up! We are Britain. We are better than this.


We are joined by Simon Danczuk, Labour MP. He said he's had enough


of these phrases. What brought you to this? I was talking about all


political parties. There is too many soundbites in politics. I am trying


to do good public service. I am trying to save the public from


having to listen to all this stuff. It is what people tell me on the


street. Sajid is from Rochdale, if he knocked on doors saying, "We are


all in this together," he would get short shrift. It reached a low point


on the One Nation one. One Nation is a great concept. It is a concept -


they should use it as a concept rather than a slogan. What do you


say to him? There are times, particularly around 2001, when the


height of so-called control freakery, where people became


automotons. I don't think there's anything... Are you going to let me


get a word in? You are speaking far too fast! Very good. I don't think


there is anything wrong with slogans per se. If you crowbar it into


everything and don't back it up with policy, that is a problem. We have


backed it up with policy. It is not that kind of... See how much of


these phrases - fill in the missing word. Labour isn't? Working. New


Labour New? New Britain. No, New Labour, New Danger. Britain


deserves? Better. Are you what we are thinking? Thinking what we are


thinking? I agree with? Nick! Maggie, Maggie, Maggie... ? Out,


out, out. Never had it... ? So good. Who was that? McMillan. What year?


'64? No, '57. Alarm clock Britain from Nick Clegg. That did not...


Only because it was so bad. I have a fear, I don't think you will win.


Right. They love these phrases. You think so? Yes. A few of them were


used in PMQs today. Sajid, someone has written in to say you used


"tough decisions" at least twice. I do like that. In the north South


piece, Chuka Umunna could have said "One Nation" and he didn't. You guys


are keeping a tally. Here is the tally. LAUGHTER You will thank me


for interrupting you now. Sajid had three slogans repeated in the course


of the show. You, Chuka Umunna, had none! You get the Daily Politics


mug. Another one! Two more and you have the full set! Good luck in your


campaign. You can have a mug, too! Because you raised a good point.


Time to put you out of your misery and give you the answer to Guess The


Year. 1976 was the answer. Callaghan took over as Prime Minister from


Wilson. The winner is? John Whitby in Cornwall. Hope you haven't been


flooded out down there. That is it. We thank all our guests. The One


O'Clock News is starting on BBC One. We will be back tomorrow at noon


with the Daily Politics. From all of us here, bye-bye.


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