15/01/2014 Daily Politics


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Morning, folks. This is the Daily Politics. His latest poll ratings


don't make happy reading, but the Labour leader will be hoping his


latest campaign will prove a hit with the public. Mr Miliband's


decided to wage war on the bankers again, and let's face it, that's


always popular with the public. He's demanding the Government step in and


veto bumper bonuses at RBS. George Osborne wants to fix the engine that


drives Europe. He's been wanting to give it a major service for a while.


This morning he warns of economic catastrophe if the EU fails to


reform. Could PMQs hold some surprises this week? Tune in for all


the action at midday. And he's been dubbed France's John


Major. The grey man of French politics. How wrong they were. We'll


be trying to delve into the secret life of President Hollande. It could


take some time. All that and more coming up in the


next 90 minutes of Golden Globe award- winning TV. Actually that's a


lie. The first line of the programme! We've never won a thing


in our life. But gracing us with their presence: Best dressed


actress, Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint and and best dressed


actor, Justice Minister Shailish Vara. Welcome to you both. Now,


first today let's talk about something we've never ever talked


about before. Europe. Because this morning the Chancellor, George


Osborne, has been warning that a failure to reform the European Union


and renegotiate the terms of membership would condemn Europeans


to "economic crisis and continuing decline". In a speech to a


conference in London, Mr Osborne stressed that the European Union


must be more competitive to keep up with other global economic powers


like China and India. We all knew there was a


competitiveness problem in Europe before the crisis, but the crisis


has dramatically accelerated shifts in the tectonic economic plates that


sea power moving eastwards and southwards on our planet. Over the


last six years, the European economy has stalled. In the same period, the


Indian economy has grown by more than a third, and the Chinese


economy by 70%. Over the next 15 years, Europe's share of global


output is forecast to halve. Make no mistake. Our continent is falling


behind. That is George Osborne. Shailesh Vara, can your party ever


stop talking about Europe? You always said you didn't want to bang


on about Europe, but you seem to be doing it. It is an important issue,


and the public have an issue in it. But there are other issues as well.


What George Osborne is saying today is right, that we have got to ensure


that the present European Union reforms, because if it doesn't, it


will decline. We are all in it to make sure that there is prosperity


for all of us. Do you think the threat of civil war in your party


over Europe helps David Cameron's negotiating position with his EU


partners? The different views in my party have always been there. And it


hasn't helped, has it in terms of the Conservative Party's prospect?


Disunity hasn't helped. Many other European leaders are beginning to


reflect what their own country's population are beginning to feel and


say to them, and they all feel the need for reform and change. So I


think the people that David Cameron will deal with, the other European


leaders, other people who matter, and they are beginning to get a


sense that we form is necessary. If the Conservatives win the next


election, in about 24 months, there will be a referendum, and people


will be able to decide, in or out. But that isn't proving to be enough


for 95 of your Conservative colleagues. That whole speech was


designed to placate those who would like to see some moving terms of our


relationship with Europe sooner rather than later. But does their


position helped the promised or not? The negotiations on with the


other European leaders. So he should ignore those people in the party who


call for things like a veto of EU law unilaterally when Britain, when


it is not in Britain's interests? We have a -- the Prime Minister is


clear that if we have a unilateral veto, then other countries could do


that and the whole thing starts to fall apart. We want to reform, put


together a package and stated in the country. Reform is important, isn't


it Caroline Flint? I think reform of the European Union is important, and


some things speak to what George Osborne is saying. We do need to


look at growth and competition, budget control. We had our view


before that there should be a gross commissioner, -- a growth


commissioner. I think we need to be clear about what the Chancellor is


suggesting, because we are not there to compete with China and India on a


low-wage economy. Unless we are going to go for a real race to the


bottom, we won't beat them on labour costs, so we have to think


differently. So you are happy to keep the regulations like the


working Time directive all rights for workers put upon us by the EU,


because that would prevent a low-wage economy? I think some of


the things like paid holiday is something that we want to keep as a


country and across the whole of Europe, because we don't want to be


undercut by some of the new entrants with a lower standard of


employment. But how do we deal with China and elsewhere, making sure


that we have a secure, qualified workforce that is exporting to


Europe but also to the rest of the world, including what they call the


BRIC countries. Europe Cancer 7% of the world's population and 50% of


welfare spending. Is that right? Part of what we should do is to


challenge... Do you reject those figures? We need to look at health


systems, housing, everything. The aim for Europe should be to


encourage better standards elsewhere in the world as well. We had that


disastrous factory closing the lack from another part of the world where


we source close through prior mark, people wondered how that could


happen. -- through Primark. We should always be trying to ensure


that these regulations keep everyone safe. Regulations are a burden for


business. Safety regulations like Caroline was talking about? We need


to make sure there are basic safety measures, but the unnecessary


bureaucracy that stems from Europe is stifling. Give me examples of


unnecessary bureaucracy. Paperwork. In the farming industry, a farmer is


there to look after his crops or his animals. Instead, he has to fill in


papers each of his livestock. And on another matter, it is important that


you don't knock Britain. We now have more people in employment than ever


before. We are actually attracting overseas investment. The largest


private-sector employer in this country happens to be the Tata


group. Keeping a watch on the amount of paperwork is worthwhile, but


let's talk about farmers and what they produce. Farmers in this


country and food manufacturers are protected by making sure that the


products that they have cannot be copied and sold as the original


elsewhere in the European Union, that is protected the market for


many of our goods. It is not about always looking at regulation. You


have to be clear about what you are talking about. You say you want to


attract more investment, but the Mayor of London says that the threat


of the exit from the U is a sordid Damocles held over businesses. What


do you say to that? A decision has not yet been taken. Businesses have


been talking about this one way or another, but at the moment,


investment is still coming into this country. Employment is at a high


level. You will recall that on this very programme, I talked about the


protected status of Stilton cheese. I have been banging on about


regulations, and those... You would like a veto on the regulations? Do


you agree with those people? No. What I want is for the Prime


Minister to negotiate with his counterparts across the European


Union to create a package to put to the public who can have final say.


Briefly, Caroline, why don't you just give the British people the


chance to have a say? There are really important things we need to


discuss about the European Union, and the problem with the referendum,


is they are putting it out there and we don't know the basis on which it


will be held. Hang on a second. You don't know what the European Union


will look like after your negotiation and therefore what the


question is. Cameron is trying to have it both ways. He says he wants


to stay and reform, but he has to throw a bone to those people who


will never say and never be satisfied they are out. You just


won't want a referendum. You are happy with what we have got. No. Are


you finished? It's your turn! The latest odds on who President


Hollande will take to the White House. He is odds-on that he will go


alone. Valerie Trierweiler, two to one. Julie Gayet, 20 to one. Sig Lim


Royale, the mother of his four children, 66 to one. And Carla Bruni


is 100 to one. She of course is Mrs Nicolas Sarkozy.


Although Labour has made strong running of late, the latest polls


have shown that it hasn't had quite the impact on voters that they


hoped. Their poll lead has shrunk to just 3%, attributed to the


recovering economy. We don't know if that is a rogue result or not. So it


looks like Ed Miliband will have to keep trying to turn up the pressure


on the Tories. Over to you, Jo. I'm not going to the White House, I can


tell you that. You are 600 to one! Another day, another Labour


campaign. First it was cost of living, yesterday it was saving the


middle classes. And today it's back to banker-bashing. Labour is


demanding that the Chancellor stops RBS from paying out bumper bonuses.


The maximum bonus, set by the EU, is one year's pay. But this can be


doubled if shareholders agree. Labour has tabled a Commons motion


calling on the Government, the majority shareholder, to reject any


such request. The Treasury seems to have a very different view. They're


actually against the EU limit on bonuses itself and are challenging


it in the courts. It's a political dilemma - whilst no-one wants to be


seen as the banks' best mate, it's taxpayers who'll win if RBS keep


talented staff and make loads of money.


Thank you for that. And we're joined now by the Editor of City AM,


Alistair Heath. Now, David Cameron said last year that we're all


Thatcherites now. Also known as the French Ambassador's best friend here


in London. What is wrong with the Government exercising their


shareholders' writes? There is nothing wrong with it. But if they


think that the bonuses should be set at 200% limit, but is also right. So


I don't believe that it should be a political issue. It should be a


commercial issue in terms of making sure that RBS recovers as quickly as


possible and is worth more to the taxpayer when it is eventually


privatised. So if the Government is the major shareholder, it should set


or OK all have a veto over the bonus? There are two issues here.


There is the populist issue of saying no, or the realistic option


in recognising that each taxpayer in our country has contributed ?5,000


to bailing out RBS, and the ultimate aim has to be to make sure that when


we resell RBS, we get maximum value. We could say no to all of this, and


it is the taxpayer who suffers. You cut your nose to spite your face.


Two simple points we wanted to make. What is the simple answer to my


simple question? I am not a Treasury minister. But I'm very happy with


what I'm doing at the moment! But clearly it is a dilemma will stop


you have not had the talking point or the briefing notes on what the


government policy is. You know that the Chancellor is


challenging the existing position. That is on the principle, that it


would cover all banks, I'm talking about the European Union saying that


you can't pay anyone more than one year's salary as a bonus. This is


the issue in principle of whether the Government should veto or


approve the bonuses at RBS. I am not the minister in charge. But we don't


have a policy yet? As far as I am aware, I don't know. You have the


simplistic option which is popular, or the realistic option. Or no


option at all until you have that made up your mind. You have only


owned the bank for about eight years! The request has only just


come through. Have we had any requests for bonuses yet? What I


heard today is apparently there hasn't been a formal request. But


because there is quite a lot of speculation amongst people in the


finance community and the media, this request is likely to come


forward. It is fair for us to say before we end up with a done deal,


through parliament we express a point of view. Even though RBS has


not requested any bonuses? Nobody can change it when a deal is done.


What we can have an open debate where we can all have our say. As


you said, the rules said that banks come up to 100% of someone's salary


and 100% of it again for bonuses. But if they want to double it they


have to go to their shareholders. We are the biggest shareholders, the


taxpayers have nailed out this bank. There is still problems in terms of


their lending to business, and on all those counts and there is more


and we do not believe it is right they should get a 200% increase. But


you would allow them a bonus of up to 100% of their salary? Under the


European new rules -- rules which we have supported, which says they can


have a bonus of up to 100% but beyond that they have to go to the


shareholders. So you support that? Then we have to go to the EU


legislation. We are a shareholder in this organisation. We get the


principle. George Osborne is trying to get rid of that. Every other bank


would go for 200%. But does that say something about the sector. Do you


want to ban bonuses in banks on do you want to restrict them to 50%.


The problem at the moment is, if you are allocating resources and hiring


people, what the Labour policy will be on this? I understand there was


an increase on the numbers of people coming to work in the financial


sector and trading in the last year by a considerable sum. It does not


look like there is a stem on the flow of people wanting to work in


this sector. We have to make sure the crisis that came about through


poor financial management in this sector and a bonus culture that


encouraged wrongdoing, we don't find ourselves in the same position.


Excuse me, it is not a monologue. What would happen if RBS is limited


to 100% and H -- HSBC pays 300%. They will have to get on with their


jobs. You say that, but all the good people will move to HSBC. This is


always the arguments, whether it is the banking sector or energy, if you


make any changes to upset the status quo it will all go under and fail. I


don't think that is true. It has been used against politicians


against making changes when we should have made changes. It stands


to reason any market economy, until Ed Miliband gets into power, if a


bank is paying a bonus three times bigger than another bank, the people


will leave, will they not? This sector is not sure in terms of


people. He is the city journalist. Base pay is going up and bonuses are


falling. A greater proportion of pay is paid out in cash, rather than in


this bonuses. I would rather see transparency on the base pay. Short


term compensation, as a result of capping bonuses, you get shorter


term pay rather than longer term pay that can be clawed back. We don't go


to nurses or doctors and say, you will get 100% bonus. If RBS got


round this, and the way around it is, the European Union sets this


rule the bonus can only be 100% of your salary, capped at that and for


most people it would be a lot of money. What is to stop the banks


saying, you are on 1 million, have 2 million. If RBS came and started to


do that, would you intervene to stop salary is going up? What we need to


be mindful of its we have this cap, salaries will be there to get around


the bonuses. You will get allowances. They will be thrown in.


Would you intervene? I want to see a commercial... Just say it. I am an


serene yet. I am sorry you don't like the answer. I would like the


maximum benefit for the taxpayer. That is a fair enough point. Let me


ask you this, since I cannot get the reply I want here, Labour's policy


as I understand it, Ed Miliband is going to announce you will cap any


bank from holding more than 25% of the domestic banking market, is that


right? I will not get into what Ed Miliband is going to talk about in


his speech and announce on Friday. What I will say, Ed Miliband will be


talking on how do we earn a higher standard of living and make the


right reforms, it is not just about ranking and other sectors, to make


sure we can have a competitive economy, transparent and fair. You


will have to wait 72 hours. I am only asking because you are prepared


to tell RBS what it should do before they announce any bonuses at all,


but you will not tell us what the 25% is. We need more competition in


retail banking. We need to make it easier for new entrants into the


market and make it easier for people to switch bank accounts. Capping of


25% robs any bank of the incentive to grow. A bank will want to fight


for more customers. You can only get a new customer if a customer leaves


or dies. The banking service will collapse and get rid of


underperforming customers. If you don't earn much money, they will not


want you. It is the wrong way to do it. We are going to have to leave it


there and wait till Friday. I can hardly wait. I have sleepless nights


ahead of me. Enjoy your lunch at the French Embassy.


Now, David Cameron said last year that we're all Thatcherites now. And


it turns out he really wasn't kidding. Because the BBC has


discovered that the socialist firebrand, working-class hero and


one-time scourge of the establishment, I speak of none other


than Arthur Scargill, former leader of the National Union of


Mineworkers, was something of a Thatcherite himself. That cannot be,


you say to me. The BBC's Inside Out programme has found legal documents


showing he was happy to use one of Thatcher's flagship policies, the


right to buy scheme, to try to purchase his council flat in


London's Barbican. The application was turned down because the flat


wasn't his primary residence. He says he was planning to buy it and


hand it over the NUM. His former union, which paid his rent until


2011, isn't exactly convinced. Well Arthur, worry not, because we've got


one valuable asset that you can get your hands on without charges of


hypocrisy to the cause. Yes it's the Daily Politics mug. There's no right


to buy one, but you can win one in our Guess the Year competition. Well


done. We'll remind you how to enter in a minute, but let's see if you


can remember when this happened. I Franklin Roosevelt do solemnly


swear... The only thing we have two fear is fear itself.


There would have been no Shakespeare, no Newton. They must be


prepared to make their contribution in disarmament.


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


to our special quiz e-mail address. And you can see the full terms and


conditions for Guess The Year on our website.


It's coming up to midday here, just take a look at Big Ben. That can


mean only one thing - yes, Prime Minister's Questions is on its way.


And that's not all, Nick Robinson is here.


I don't think we have to wait until Friday to hear what Ed Miliband is


going to say about the banks. It is hard to find anybody who is not in


favour of more competition in the banking sector. Ed Miliband will


talk about a sex -- cap and that specific figure of a 25% cap on


market share is not right. But the idea of a cap, the idea that banks


cannot get too big and if they do they have do sell off their


branches, sell them off not to the other competitors, but these new


competitor banks, Challenger banks, I am sorry. That is at the heart of


this new proposal by Ed Miliband. The government is likely to say


there has a lot been done to promote competition already, and there is a


legal obligation to bring about banking competition. It has not


happened yet. So you either say, it will happen, or as Ed Miliband will


say on Friday, no, more needs to be changed to force that to happen. And


this idea of a capital share is borrowed from the United States. 25%


of what? It won't be 25%. What then? That is what we will have to wait


until Friday for. Are you talking about the number of ranchers, we


will have to wait for that detail. I am not going to pre-empt his speech


on Friday. What we are addressing is there needs to be more competition.


Everybody agrees with that. There you go, that is the lead up to


Friday. He has worked it out and you will have it on Friday. After three


or four years now, there is still a lot more that needs to be done in


this sector. As his shadow Energy Secretary, I know it is another


sector where you can see reform is necessary and we need to do more. It


is a debate which means the means rather than the ending in politics.


All of the party said there is too much dominance of the big five. It


is smaller in Scotland. If you live in Scotland, it is probably a big


three, or a 2.5. Everyone agrees, the question is the mechanism. The


European Commission forced the banks to off-load certain branches. That


is why we got the TSB. People find it hard to sell the branches. So the


theory is often shared by politicians and regulating, but


doing it. What is going to come up in PMQs? I think banking. I think


about bonuses. David Cameron and George Osborne grand standard on


bonuses when they were in opposition and now the Labour Party is


grandstanding on bonuses. It is a large, open goal. Would you like to


criticise bankers? Yes. But when we are ministers, we do things


differently than what we said we would do. All three of the big


parties do things differently. I am glad you have noticed that. On that


very point. Caroline has forgotten who got us into the banking mess in


the first place. The bankers worldwide got us into this.


Politicians did not do enough at the bankers were allowed to get on with


things and cause those problems. Give it a rest. We are all on track.


Will the Prime Minister face any attacks from his own side 's? There


is the question on Europe. Yesterday he had a meeting on European policy.


Just as they were going to ask him questions about Europe, potentially


he said, this is Craig Oliver who will make a presentation on why we


should stay united until the next election and funnily enough, the


question of Europe never came up will stop but 100 Tory MPs signed a


motion saying we should renegotiate with Europe.


Let's go over to the House of Commons.


Launched last week, action on a sugar aimed to reduce the sugar


content of food and drinks by up to 20%, because of the epidemic in


obesity and type two diabetes. Voluntary arrangements with


manufacturers have not work. Will the Prime Minister agreed to meet


with a delegation of health experts to discuss this, and can we enlist


his support in the war on sugar by asking him to give up sugar and


sugary drinks for one day this weekques-mac I'm sure that last


proposal will have the strong support of Mrs Cameron, so I will


take that up if I possibly can. I commend the honourable gentleman for


raising this issue and for speaking out on the issues of diabetes and


obesity with such consistency, because they are important issues.


We are rolling out the NHS programme to identify although is at risk of


diabetes. Childhood obesity rates are falling, but there is more to be


done. I am happy to facilitate discussions between him and I am


right honourable friend the Health Secretary. We take this seriously,


and there is more to be done. Last week, I had the honour of


opening the new network rail regional operating centre at three


bridges in my constituency. Can my right honourable friend say


what investment this gov-mac is putting into the existing rail


network to help commuters as travellers as part of the long-term


economic planques-mac investing in infrastructure is a key part of our


long-term plan. We need to see major investment in the south-east, with


Thames Link, crossrail and east-west rail all delivering services, and


between 2015 and 2020, we are planning to invest over 66 alien in


roads, rail and local transport, and it is important to make the point


that that is three times as much as they proposed investment in HS2, so


that will not take the majority of the money as suggested. RBS are


expected to ask the Government to approve bonuses of multi-million


pound salaries. We will continue with our plans for RBS that have


seen bonuses come down by 85%, that have seen the bonus pool at one


third of the level that it was under Labour, and I can confirm today that


just as we have had limits on cash bonuses of ?2000 at RBS this year


and last year, we will do the same next year as well. I think we can


all agree with the general sentiment he expresses about bonuses, but


today I am asking a specific question. RBS are talking to parts


of the Government about the proposal to pay over 100% bonuses. He is the


Prime Minister. The taxpayer will foot the bill. Will he put a stop to


it right now by telling RBS to drop this idea? I will tell you exactly


what we are saying, and it is this. If there are any proposals to


increase the overall pay that is pay and bonus bill at RBS at the


investment bank, any proposals for that, we will veto it. What a pity


the past government never took such an approach.


However long it takes, the questions will be heard, and the answers will


be heard. Mr Ed Miliband. I am not asking about increases in pay and


bonuses. I am asking a simple question. A simple question about


the proposal expected to come forward from RBS which is to pay


more than 100% bonuses on pay. When RBS is making a loss, when they


themselves say they have been failing small businesses and these


kind of bonuses leads to risky one-way bets, this shouldn't be


allowed to happen. When ordinary families are facing a cost of living


crisis, surely he can say that for people earning ?1 million, a bonus


of ?1 million should be quite enough! If he is not asking me about


the overall pay and bonuses, why on earth isn't he? What I have said


very clearly is that the remuneration, the total pay bill at


that investment bank, must come down. But I have to say, to get a


lecture from the right honourable gentleman when we had from them the


biggest bust anywhere in the world with RBS, we had 125% mortgages at


Northern rock. We had all the embarrassment about Fred Goodwin. He


comes here every week to complain about a problem created by the


Labour Party. Last week it was betting, this week it is banking. He


rises up with all the moral authority of reverend flowers,


whereas the apology? For the mess they made of RBS in the first


place! In the last two years, my counsel


has created millions of pounds worth of inward investment, halved youth


unemployment and seen record numbers of new businesses starting up.


Sutton is also the home of the world Master Hospital. Given that life


sciences are an engine for innovation and growth, what support


will the government gave to realise Sutton's plan of a life science


cluster based around these world-renowned centres of


excellence? I think my friend makes a good point


about the strength of that Sutton house. Obviously we have the painted


box to attract life science businesses to Britain. We also have


the investment in apprenticeships, and that is important. And the


office of the life sciences which brings business and health together


to help bring life sciences jobs here, working with local enterprise


partnerships. I think there is a great opportunity for more


investment. The Mark Duggan inquest concluded last week with a verdict


of unlawful killing. -- lawful killing. Does the Prime Minister


accept it is now urgent that we we form the Independent Police


Complaints Commission? I commend what he said about the importance of


people respecting the outcome of the inquest. We had proper legal


processes, and we should respect their outcomes. He also knows there


is still an ongoing independent police investigation into that case,


and we should let it do its work. I am always repaired to look at


reforms of organisations like this. There was a big reform some time ago


to make the IPCC more independent. I am happy to look at arguments. In


the issue of PC Wallace, this was deeply shocking to see an e-mail


that purported to be someone who had witnessed an event, and you are told


it is a member of the public, and then it turns out it is a serving


police officer, that is deeply troubling. The vast majority of the


British police service do a magnificent job and put their lives


on the line for us they after day. I am happy to look at proposals for


how we can strengthen these arrangements. Will the Prime


Minister join me in congratulating the street crime commission in my


constituency, and can he see how with D2N2 money, they are creating a


expansion programme which will increase jobs by 20%, and their


expert s across the world show how it can be done. We have seen the


regional growth fund produce some real economic success stories, and


that is being combined with our long-term economic plan to encourage


businesses to take on employees, but in place the infrastructure, and as


he says quite importantly, to back exports in terms of Britain's


performance and get out there and sell to the world. Given that we


have recently heard reports that half a dozen terrorist suspects


could soon be released onto our streets, can the Prime Minister give


an assurance of public safety that it will not be compromised or put at


risk once the Government's latest experiment in terrorism controls


expires? I can assure her and the house that


we will always take every step necessary to keep the British public


safe. I think that the measures are working well. It is a myth to


pretend that control orders would be kept in place for ever. Many people


were taken off control orders during the existence of that set of


measures. All of the time, I listened very carefully to the head


of the Metropolitan police service and the heads of the Security


service who are involved in drawing up these measures, and who advises


on how to keep our country safe. In the first six months of last


year, Shrewsbury benefited from the highest number of is nurse start-ups


in our town's history. Now the unemployed claimant count is down to


2.5% in Shrewsbury. Will the Prime Minister join me in praising our


entrepreneurial spirit, and redouble Government efforts in the West


Midlands to help more shrews brief Ernst export? My honourable friend


is absolutely right. We are seeing an enterprise revolution in our


country again. 400,000 more businesses in existence today


compared with 2010. Add the point he makes about small businesses and


exports is important. If we can turn it the number of businesses


exporting from one in five to one in four, we would wipe out our trade


efforts it. I encourage him to do everything he can, with other


colleagues, to back Britain's entrepreneurs.


Mr Speaker... There are areas all over the country with planning


permission for houses where nothing is happening. Some of them being


hoarded by developers. I am in favour of giving powers to say to


developers that to hold land without developing it, use it or lose it.


The Prime Minister said that was not. Does he still believe it? We


have just had a demonstration of the grasp of maths that was involved in


the Treasury. No wonder we had banks collapsing and all the rest of it. I


would say that house-building is picking up. We are seeing a big


increase in housing starts, a big increase in housing completion. Why


I think is that his policy, as he kindly put it, is nuts, is that to


confiscate land from developers, they won't go ahead with the


building in the first place. This will put a freeze on building,


rather than getting on with it. The Prime Minister is incredibly


complacent. House completions are at their lowest level since 1924, and


I'm interested in what he says about the policy, because his own housing


minister says that the policy might make a contribution, and the Mayor


of London says, we should be able to have a use it or lose it clause.


Developers should be under no illusions that they can just sit on


their land and wait for prices to go up. So is the policy nuts, or is it


the right thing to do? What we need to keep going with is the policies


of this Government that are seeing house-building increase. Nearly


400,000 new homes delivered since 2010, housing starts in the last


quarter at their highest level for five years, 89% higher than the


trough in 2009 when he was sitting in the cabinet, a 16% increase in


housing starts in the last 12 months. But here is the question he


needs to answer. His shadow ministers go around opposing our


planning reforms even though they are important to get Britain


building, and time and again they are criticising proposals like help


to buy that are helping our fellow countrymen and women realise the


dream of home ownership. And here is one for him. If he cares about


house-building at home ownership, why not make those Labour council


get on with selling council houses to hard-working people? In Labour


councils they are building more houses ban in Tory councils.


I am still no clear at the end of this exchange about what he thinks


about the use it or lose it policy. He does not know what he thinks.


Here is the reality, he is not doing enough to close the gap between


supply and demand. The truth is, the number of social housing starts is


down, rents are rising. Does he accept Britain is building 100,000


fewer homes than we need to meet the man is? Of course we need to build


new homes and that is why we have reformed the planning system. That


is why we have Help to Buy, which they oppose. What we are seeing, he


is now having to jump around all over the place. It started off with


the deficit reduction is not going to work. He cannot make that


argument. Then it was, we needed to land be, but he cannot make that


argument. Then it was the cost of living but yesterday we saw


inflation fall by 2%. What we see is a government with a long, economic


plan and an opposition that does not have a clue. Order, order. Can I


welcome the government commitment to make sure Mike constituency benefits


from shale gas. But can the government do more and the


scientific community to do more to reassure the worries people have


about the technology and environmental impact? He is right to


raise this and make the remarks he does. Shale gas has potential for


the country. If we recovered 7% of the shares it would provide us with


gas in this country for 30 years. But we need to do a better job in


explaining and working with communities about the benefits and


talking frankly about the process. There are a huge amount of myths put


around to frighten people. We can see in the United States it can be


extract could safely and cleanly, affecting affect live and low-cost


green energy for homes and businesses and make our country more


competitive. As we sit here, there are six British nationals, including


a former paratrooper languishing in prison in a prison because they were


taken prisoner off a ship. Can the Prime Minister discussed this issue


to see if we can get these former paratroopers and released from


prison? I know how important this issue is and I raised it personally


with the Indian government ministers when I was in India. I have


discussed it with the Foreign Secretary and I will go on to make


sure we can do and we can. We will arrange a meeting. Investing in


research and innovation is essential for our economic future. Does the


Prime Minister agreed that the Open University's research project to


improve is one example on how Milton Keynes is leading the way in


securing long-term economic plan? I visited the opening -- Open


University at Milton Keynes. It is leading a very important export


drive in terms of our universities. I congratulate Milton Keynes for the


representation. There are many opportunities for Milton Keynes, not


least provided by HS2 as well and I look forward to discussing it with


him in the future. Constituencies tell me they cannot afford food,


cannot keep warm or put petrol in the car to go to work. Will the


Prime Minister finally accept the cost of living is stretching


families to breaking point? Will he accept we are still recovering from


the great recession that took ?3000 out of a typical income. But we are


seeing more people in work, including in Wales, real wages


starting to rise. Yes it is difficult, yes it is hard work, but


the economy is growing and we want the recovery for everyone in the


country. The number of people in Herefordshire in receipt of


job-seeker's allowance fell 31% between November 2012 and November


2013. Youth unemployment fell by 40%. Does the Prime Minister share


my view the government's long-term plan is already giving employers the


confidence to get hiring again? I am grateful for what he says. The key


part of the long-term economic plan is to see a growing number of people


in work in the country. We see 1.2 million more people in work in the


West Midlands. Employment has risen by 60,000 since the election. There


is still further to go, particularly in the West Midlands where we need


to get young people back to work but the figures in his constituency are


very encouraging. Instead of ordering a civil servant to


investigate, why doesn't he just ask the Lords Geoffrey Howe and Leon


Britton on whether they agreed with Margaret Thatcher and if it had


something to do with the Westlands helicopter deal? I think he is


looking at a conspiracy Theatre. It is important we get to the bottom of


what happened. He will establish this urgently and establish the


facts. I want this process to be fast and find out the truth and the


findings will be made public. I will never forget my own visit to the


Golden Temple, it is one of the most beautiful places on this planet and


what happened 30 years ago led to a tragic loss of life. It is a source


of deep pain to Sikhs everywhere. I completely understand the concerns


of these papers raise. Let's wait for the outcome of the review. I


don't want to prejudge the outcome, but so far it has not given any


evidence to contradict the insistence by senior Indian army


commanders responsible at the time, that the responsibility for this was


planned and carried out by the Indian army. It is important to do


that, but we do need an enquiry. On the 30th of January I will be


holding a skills flair for 70 businesses and training


organisations targeting young people with job opportunities. If Carlisle


is to prosper it needs a skilled workforce. Will the Prime Minister


give his support to this event and confirm he will remain committed to


training and upscaling the young so they benefit personally and local


and national businesses succeed? I commend my honourable friend for


what he is carrying out in Carlisle. These jobs fairs and skills fairs


and encouraging young people to think about apprenticeships and


encourage people to train is some of the most important things we can do.


We have 1.5 million apprenticeships started since the election --


election. We must keep up this good work. The Prime Minister will be


aware of the grave concern among British Sikhs about the reports in


recent days of UK involvement to storm the Golden Temple. Those


events resulted in the death of thousands of innocent Sikhs and this


has left lasting grief and pain in the Seca community here in the UK


and around the world. It is an open wound which will not heal until the


truth is told. Can I ask him on the process he has set up, he will


ensure there is full disclosure of all government papers and


information from that time. And there is also a proper statement in


this house where ministers can be questioned about this? Can I agree


with him about the deep scars this event left and the strong feelings


that exist to this day. Anyone who visits the Golden Temple and sees


what an extraordinary place of peace and tranquillity it is, knows how


powerful this point is. We are going to make sure this enquiry is held


properly. Its findings will be made public. In the end, I don't think


anyone should take away the responsibility for these events,


with the people who are properly responsible for them. I am sure the


enquiry will find that. In terms of holding a statement and revealing


this information to the House, I think the statement might be the


right approach. Come Prime Minister speak to his colleagues about the


financial incentives for fracking be passed to parishes so those


communities can choose how the money is spent rather than having to


compete with district and county councils with other priorities? What


we have set out is the overall level of financial support, so 100 hours


and pounds when a well is Doug. And up to ?1 million because of the


amount of revenue. And the business rates which could have a significant


effect on local government finance. The point she makes is how do you


divide batter between parishes, districts and counties and


individual payments to households who might be inconvenienced. We


should look at local options and make sure parishes and individual


people will benefit. It is something colleagues will want to discuss so


we can get this right and help this industry to take off. I am not sure


if members are aware that anyone joining the police force will have


to pay ?1000 for a certificate before they even fill in the


application form. A ?1000 tax or make it harder for the police to


look like the community it serves and I represent. It will put off


young people from poorer backgrounds and ethnic minorities from joining


the police. We know the Prime Minister at Myers characters like


Harry Flashman. But Army commissions were abolished in 1871, why is it


being introduced to the police in the 21st century? What we are trying


to do through the College of policing is to even further


professionalise this vital profession but I will make sure the


Home Secretary contacts her about this issue. What is the point of


anyone clinging onto a plan B when plan a is so obviously working? It


is not just plan B we're not hearing about, they have stopped talking


about the cost of living. They have stopped about how the deficit would


not dumbed down. They told us growth would never come, and we would lose


a million jobs rather than gain a million jobs. The biggest thing of


all is the silence of the Shadow Chancellor. They have got this big


debate today on banking, but he wasn't allowed on the radio, he


won't be speaking in the House of Commons. They have a novel idea, you


hide your Shadow Chancellor by leaving him on the front bench! The


Prime Minister has previously shown considerable leadership in


apologising to victims of state violence in Northern Ireland.


Unfortunately those victims of paramilitary violence have not had


access to such apologies. Does the Prime Minister agree the proposals


of dealing with the past offer the best opportunity for victims and


survivors to receive truth and justice? Will he commit, as Prime


Minister, to backing those proposals, help why cooperating and


funding those proposals? I think there is a lot of merit in the Dr


Haass proposals. Peter Robinson, the first Minister of Northern Ireland,


described them as providing the architecture for future agreement


and discussion. I hope we can take his work, including the difficult


work done on the past and take that forward with all sides trying to


agree. I am not sure if the Prime Minister is a follower of benefit


Street on Channel four. But there is a street like this in every


constituency. Does he agree with me that as part of our long-term


economic plans and make sure the benefits system is therefore people


who need it. It is not a lifestyle choice and people don't get trapped


in it? I have only managed to catch a small amount of this programme but


it rings home the point that we need a welfare system that is tailored to


make sure work always pays. But there is a second point that many


people in our country have multiple disadvantages and problems where


they need help to get out of poverty and benefit dependency. It is not


just about tailoring a benefit system to make it pay, but also


change the things that keep them out of work and earning a decent living.


May I say to the Prime Minister as someone who strongly supports shale


gas extraction by fracking, that however well-intentioned his current


package will not assuage local communities who are on a cross-party


basis in Lancashire treated his latest offers us derisory. Why can't


he sit down with the cross-party Local Government Association and


negotiate with them on the proposal, as in other countries, for 10% of


revenues to be shared with local communities? I thought the proposals


from some members would be 10% of profits. But I say 1% of revenues,


which start running the moment the show comes out of the ground, maybe


a better offer. I am happy to sit down with anybody to discuss this


because shale is important to our country. Having been to see on


Monday, the oil platforms that are already there on the


Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire border, it is worth making the point


those went ahead without the community benefits we are


promising. ?100,000 when the well is done, before any gas has reached the


surface. 1% of revenues which could be seven or ?10 million for a


fracking well. And business rates which for a set of wells could be ?2


million for a local authority. Members should think about how much


council tax is a small district authority raises and consider how


much 1.7 up to ?2 million into that counsel, what a difference that


could make. By all means, let's talk about the facts and figures, but we


need to persuade people this can go ahead without the environmental


damage and problems people are worried about. The leader of the


opposition has said what Francois Hollande is doing in France, I want


to do in Britain. Given recent events across the


Channel, does my right honourable friend agree this is at odds with


our long, economic plan? I didn't catch all of residence Hollands's


press conference because I was in front of the liaison committee. But


the French proposals now are to cut spending in order to put taxes, in


order to make the economy more competitive. Now, perhaps the Shadow


Chancellor in his new, silent form will want to consider some of these


ideas and recognise this revolution of making business more competitive


and trying to win in the global race, that is a proper plan for the


economy. Order, order. So, the new look, subdued Prime


Minister's Questions lasted all of one week, last week. He chose first


of all to go on bankers bonuses, Ed Miliband. It is something we


discussed in the run-up to PMQs. It will be a theme for Labour strongly


this week. And then he moved on to the need to build more houses. And


about the need to change the planning rules and be tougher on


those builders who have land but are not building on it. Two issues very


close to his heart and labour's current narrative. Whether he scored


is something we will discuss in a moment. First of all, what did you


think? Viewers verdict was that it was a win for David Cameron,


although some of you felt that Ed Miliband did pick the right


subjects. On Twitter, Alex Dismore said that the trouble with Ed


Miliband's new approach is he is vulnerable to Cameron's school bully


approach. Jim Broughton says that last week's Khan didn't last very


long. Shameful the parliament was back to loud heckling. But Ian


Jordan in Tamworth says a resounding victory for Ed Miliband today. His


plans for banking and banking bonuses are pragmatic, populist


policies that resonate with voters who are seeing no improvement in


their day-to-day spending and economic position. And this tweet


from Chris Bryant MP, who we all know. The staged shouting, accusing


the Tories, is just puerile. And from Edward Buxton, Ed Miliband


seemed thrown by the reaction of Tory backbenchers today, low was


last week's trews carried on by Labour but not the Tories? Yes! I


like that word, puerile. And he didn't get any attack from


his own side, although he has been under pressure. On pay and bonuses,


particularly in RBS where the state owns 80%. Ed Miliband wants to say,


no bonus of more than 100% of salary, which is the new EU rule,


although it doesn't come in until next year and therefore legally


doesn't affect this year. But the Prime Minister is saying that the


overall pay and bonuses pot at RBS cannot be increased. If it is, we


will veto any increase, and no cash bonus for anybody could be bigger


than ?2000. That is what he said, and at first it looked like an


announcement, and it wrong-footed people. But I don't think he made


any concession. There is no doubt he had a good Prime Minister's


Questions, and although Ed Miliband was asking the right questions, he


looked a bit glum and the Tories looked quite cheerful. But I don't


think the Brymon is to announce anything new at all. The status quo


is the Government says the bonus and papal can't get bigger, -- the pay


pool can't get bigger, and the reason for that is that the bank is


shrinking. So it is quite possible, and this is quite often true of


Prime Minister's Questions, people ask who one, -- people ask who won,


and the answer is both of them. As you say, the bonuses won't be the


ones the bankers are about to get now, they are talking about bonuses


in a year's time that would require shareholder approval at the next


AGM. He is able to say and carry on saying that it is not applying, but


again the Prime Minister is able to say there is less money being spent


on total remuneration and a restriction on cash bonuses, because


bonuses are being paid in shares. What is wrong with limiting bonuses


to 2000 in cash, and anything else has to be shares? At the end of the


day, it is still a fantastic package for anyone to receive, for the


people lucky enough to be in a position to receive it. The 80%


shareholder of the British people. Is it right or fair that a bank that


still has to prove itself in terms of its performance should be going


for the absolute they could possibly get under the new EU rules that are


coming in, and we don't think that is right. When we sat here as we


first heard what David Cameron said, I thought, what has he actually


said? Is EV towing any bonuses, but were we got to the next answer, he


was making it clearer that it was the total overall budget that would


need to keep within them below. I think on that particular issue,


there is still a lot that the Brymon is to has to answer. -- that the


Prime Minister is to answer. But what is wrong getting bonuses that


are shares in the bank, because you are aligning the interests of the


taxpayer with the interest of the shareholders. What is wrong with


both having the same interest? The problem is here that bonuses are


meant to be, in banking or anywhere else, based on performance, but they


also should be done in a way that doesn't lead to some of the extremes


we have seen in the past. But even if it is a share option, the


decision to give the bonus in the first place is about performance,


and we do not believe that for RBS to seek the absolute they could give


is the right way forward, for the reasons outlined. We want the share


price to rise. Correct? They should be doing that anyway. That is their


job. The mortgage rises, the more we will get our money back. We might


even make a profit. So why not incentivise the bankers to get that


share price rising? To be honest, Andrew, because these people are


being paid good salaries to start with. We are not against bonuses,


and we are not saying it shouldn't be this package. What we are saying


is we don't think it is right that given that we are the major


shareholders, and there is still a lot that RBS has to prove, and this


is about paying for performance, don't forget, that we should concede


to a request to go to the highest it can actually go to. They should be


doing a decent job to make sure that the share price is good in the first


place. Most people understand the his nurses have incentives people to


work hard. Can I ask you on the housing issue.


Can I just briefly come back on that? We had an extraordinary


statement here by shadow minister saying that the taxpayer's interest


takes second place to having a cheap eligible hit and saying no to


bonuses. No, I didn't! You questioned Caroline diligently and


made it clear that the taxpayers' interest was at stake here, but she


said, no, we've got to have a cap. She is not interested in the resale


value of RBS. That is a complete misrepresentation. We cannot get


into a situation, in banking or energy or other areas, where people


are paid good salaries for what they do, and I recognise that in terms of


getting quality. Can I please answer? Can I please answer? She


does have a point to answer. People are paid really good salaries in


this profession... PHONE SINGS. Is that? I do apologise.


People have good access to salaries, and part of their opportunity to


earn their salary should be getting the best we can for taxpayers, and


that is what is important. We will leave it there, and it means I don't


have time to ask you a tough question about hiding. The Prime


Minister boasting 400,000 new homes since he came to power, an average


of 120,000 per year. The end of PMQs was cuddly? I said last week I


thought it was possible that Ed Miller band and David Cameron had


talked about it. -- Ed Miliband. It seemed as though they had agreed to


calm it down, but today, the Prime Minister was taunting them for


keeping it quiet. Ed Miliband is trying a lower key performance. It


depends where you sit. If you are in the gallery, I think people would


agree that the Tories will be thinking, our boy gave him a bit of


a pasting. But then people will think, reasonable questions, asked


reasonably, that is what we want from our leaders. We have to move


on, because we have something interesting to talk about! What was


that noise that it made? It was in fact fat bottomed girls by Queen. I


wish you hadn't asked. Now, do you find British politics


boring? Don't all shout at once! Well, despair not, because we need


look no further than across the Channel for a spot of sport. It may


have escaped your notice, but the President of France, Monsieur


Hollande, is creating a bit of a stir. Not content with carrying out


more economic U-turns than I've had foie gras, Monsieur Hollande, it


appears, has been busy between the sheets. It's been reported widely,


and not denied, that the President is having an affair with a


41-year-old actress. It is probably in the French Constitution that the


President have do that. His official companion, Valerie Trierweiler, is


in hospital and said to be suffering from a "severe case of the blues".


For those of you not up to speed on the whole affair, we turn to our


friends from Taiwanese TV for an update.


I think they made that better! Needless to say yesterday afternoon


the eyes of the World's media focused intently on the Elysee


Palace in Paris, where Monsieur Hollande was holding a long-awaited


press conference. It turned out to be more of a speech. Would 600


French journalists get to the truth? Let's see.


TRANSLATION: Is Valerie Trierweiler still the first lady of France?


Everybody in their private life goes through difficult periods. But


private matters should be dealt with privately. That is the same for


everyone concerned. So this is not the place all the time to discuss


it. Well, we're joined now from Paris by


the French political commentator Agnes Poirier. Welcome back to the


show. This presidential press corps that was all there. Do they work for


the government, or other independent journalists? I know. I have been


hearing this since yesterday, and my British journalist friends feel


quite superior. And why not! Andrew, or even Jeremy Paxman, I don't see


you asking the Queen 12 times the same question. The head of state is


the Prime Minister, and intruding on people's privacy is an alien concept


for us. You have your culture, we have ours. So tell me, by what


yardstick... And on the Queen issue, that is a total non sequitur. If she


was having an affair with an actor, we would be chasing her, be in no


doubt about that! You can see how Prince Charles and Princess Diana


were chased. The Queen is the head of state. You wouldn't chase her.


But unlike the Queen, he is an elected politician, and he runs the


country, which the Queen doesn't. By what yardstick does a president who


is running around Paris on a motorcycle having an affair in a


flat owned by the Corsican Mafia and having the first lady at taxpayers


expense who is no longer the first lady, by what yardstick is that not


a matter of public interest? First of all, on the Corsican Mafia, it is


not the case, so I think we should stick to the facts. I think it is a


fair point, and I think we should accept that one, which is what is


the status of the first partner, the French first lady? It is very much


an American concept, and she doesn't have any status in France. That is


obviously a real problem. I think the problem is that we got to know


her. President Hollande introduced her to us, and it is now a tricky


situation. Perhaps she should have remained, like Mr Merkel, doing her


job in the shadows. That is where the mistake was made. It is one that


I'm sure she bitterly regrets. It is not just we know who she is, we


always know who she is, she has official offices paid for by the tax


payer, she has five officials paid for by the taxpayer. She is allowed


to use government and private jets and is allowed to use government,


official residences. She is the first lady, so who is she?


Precisely, you are right, but she could also be in the shadow. She


could be alone in the Elysee Palace, and that would easier for


her. It definitely must have been lonely. Who is he going to take to


Washington? Well, he is going to tell us in the next few days. He has


three weeks to think about it. If I were him I would go alone. I think


that is very good advice. But how will the first lady feel if he


leaves her behind? Well, you know, that is life. It is only a matter


for them to resolve. It is of no concern of yours or your French


colleagues that the man who has the nuclear trigger in his fingers, is


running around on a motorbike at night, that does not worry you? It


does not worry me at all. Really? We are definitely separated by more


than 20 miles. Is his U turn going to work on economic policy? That is


the only thing I am happy you asking about. Yesterday he talked to people


for over two years and only three minutes were dedicated to his


personal affairs. I am willing to be harsh on President Hollands on his


economic holidays but not on his private life. Do we have much time


to talk about his policies? You say you are willing to be harsh, but I


watched the press conference, there wasn't a tough question on his U


turn noneconomic policies from your colleagues, not one? It depends how


you look at it. Did you read the press today, a lot of people were


asking questions. What is he really proposing? Is it a U turn, as you


say. He has always been a social democrat and not much of a


socialist. David Cameron is so eager to see it from his French partners.


Very well, thank you very much for joining us from Paris. Some people


think the French are right and we are wrong. Some people think we are


too intrusive as a media and we ought two robust as a media. And the


French, as we have just seen their position, it is different on both


and that would be a more mature way of behaving? We have been around


long enough to know that if this had happened 15 or 20 years ago the


newspaper and the media would have been talking about resignation. But


that does not come into it. Clearly they want to know about the private


lives of public people, not just politicians. I did not Askew that.


Who handles things better, the British press or the French press?


The French have always handled things differently. We know it is


different, I was asking who handles it better? It is hard if you are the


President or the Prime Minister. If you are having an affair and you are


presenting yourself married to somebody else, to get away with


that, to be honest. I can think of other intrusions into privacy I


would battle more for in terms of the rights of the individual. Let's


not forget, his present wife was his mistress from his first. It is a


very French thing that goes on. They are not married, but she is a fact


Diddley his wife. It is said, if you marry your mistress, you have


created a vacancy. Should we allow former drug addicts


and drunks to become magistrates? The bold suggestion that we should


has come from The Policy Exchange think tank. It argues that it is


time to re-look at the way magistrates work and their


background so that we can breathe new life into the system. In this


week's Soapbox, their head of Crime week's Soapbox, their head of Crime


Justice explains why. Nine out of ten criminal cases are


dealt with by volunteer magistrates. You might think they should be


representative of the population. Sadly, they are not. It is


overwhelmingly white, middle-class and old. In fact, over half of all


magistrates are over the age of 60 and it is time for that to change.


People that sit here should not be completely divorced from those who


find themselves in the dock. That means changing the rules and the


culture, so reformed offenders, including Addicks, who have


successfully recovered are encouraged to apply. At the moment,


anybody who is convicted of a criminal offence, including some


minor motoring offences is effectively barred from doing so. We


believe some ex-offenders would be well suited to dealing with the


complex issues of dealing with those who suffer from addictions or mental


problems. Not necessarily in a setup like this but in specialised,


problem-solving courts back and take a more specialising approach. In the


US, special courts and sobriety courts have cut costs of justice. It


is time to limit the term and magistrate can serve to ten years


rather than automatically retiring at 70. This will allow younger


people to come in and shake things up. Magistrates were created 650


years ago and they have always been the pillars of our communities. But


in the modern world, whether you are allowed to become one has got to be


more fun if you move in the same social circle as other magistrates.


We have got to breathe more life into the system so we can cut


reoffending and stop people coming back to places like this.


Max Chambers is here. Do you have a problem with older magistrates


because some people say they have the experience of life to do the


job? We have to recognise there is an issue. In the West Midlands there


are 4500 magistrate but only 118 of them are below the age of 40. When


you think of the people they are dealing with they are invariably


younger men and there is a disconnect. So having a more diverse


magistrate, a more balanced profile and a wider set of experiences will


help. How would you get more young people to become magistrate?


Magistrates at the moment are appointed by committees of


magistrates. So they are just recruiting like-minded people, how


do you break that? We are calling for a proactive policy saying, who


do we want to be presiding over these cases and for what affect? In


other parts of the world they are using previous offenders and Addicks


and we think it should be a proactive policy that magistrates


should be pursuing. The interesting idea is to allow former criminals,


not just people who have committed minor offences, because they would


have some empathy. You think it would ring down reoffending, what


would be the point? Lots of former drug addicts have a passion for


helping fellow addicts recover and get clean. They understand


Temptations, the mindset and the excuses people can make. We think


they would be well placed to support people and help themselves out.


Would you go for that? The reformed criminals? At the moment if you have


a spent conviction you can be considered to be a magistrate. It


should be considered, the seriousness of the offence, how long


ago it was. Max raises a good point on diversity, they of volunteers and


unpaid. A lot of young people are still trying to earn their money and


that is why you get a lot of people who are older. We will put you out


of your misery on Guess the year. 1933. Caroline, hit the red button.


Jenny Johnson. That is it, the 1pm news is starting on BBC One. I will


be back at noon. Danny Finkelstein will be here, but


I won't I am afraid. I am off!


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