29/01/2014 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Britain is to take


in several hundred of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees, but with


more than two million having fled the country is it any more than a


token gesture? Some Conservative MPs don't think the Government's


Immigration Bill is tough enough. Can a deal be done to avoid a defeat


in the Commons tomorrow? Labour has got its 50p tax rate, the Lib Dems


favour a mansion tax. Is hitting the rich an election-winning formula? It


is all smiles as the Governor of the Bank of England meets Alex Salmond.


But will the First Minister still be smiling when he's heard the


Governor's speech this afternoon, addressing the independence issue?


All that in the next 90 minutes of the very finest public service


broadcasting. And with us for the duration today Shadow Public Health


Minister Luciana Berger and Conservative Party Chairman Grant


Shapps. Welcome to both of you. Any truth in the rumours that Lynton


Crosby is not very impressed with you and you'll be replaced by Esther


McVey before the general election? No truth whatsoever. We get on


really well. He said, just remind us, when did we ever have a cross


word? So, you will be party chairman. That is not up to me but


no plans. As usual, we are bringing new Prime Minister 's questions at


noon. Now, we're expecting a statement from the Home Secretary,


Theresa May, immediately after Prime Minister's Questions. She'll have


details of that decision to allow Syrian refugees in. And we'll bring


you that later in the programme. First this morning though the Prime


Minister was holding talks with his backbenchers last night to resolve


an impending revolt over the Government's Immigration Bill


tomorrow. As many as 100 many conservative MPs do not think the


bill is tough enough and are threatening to amend the bill. The


Conservative MP Dominic Raab has tabled his own amendment and joins


me now from Central Lobby. What do you want to see changed? It is a


very practical unfocused amendment. I want to deal with the hundreds of


cases each year, where claiming spurious rights to family life and


other social ties, we have serious criminals flouting and scuppering


deportation orders. If we do that, we could strengthen a decent bill


and show the public we are dealing with a problem we have been


grappling with for several years. The bill does make it easier for


foreign criminals to be deported. As you say, you'd think the bill is


reasonable. If you carry on along this line, it could scupper the


whole thing. It will take five minutes to have a debate on this,


preferably more. It is one amendment, voting for it or against


it. I would not vote against it because my amendment did not pass.


As for the existing clauses, they are a step in the right direction.


They are a balancing act for the judges. They will almost certainly


be dumbed down. Let's not just talk about the problem, let's deal with


it precisely. Mine is a modest, focused amendment and I hope it is


acceptable. Have you had discussions with ministers? Is their sympathy


for you strengthening of the amendment? I am not going to brief


on air my ongoing discussions because it is not a professional


thing to do. Over the last three years, I have had a range of


consultations. Ministers have been great, including the Home Secretary


and officials. My complaint is not lack of consultation. There are a


number of objections and I have tried to deal with them. I think we


have seen some of the objections fall away. It has been well covered


in the press today the concerns that Strasbourg may have issued an


amendment against this. I am trying to get this practical and value


adding measured through to strengthen what is a decent bill to


deal with this problem. The public wants us to tackle issues and not


just talk about them. It sounds in your professional way that a


compromise is on the cards. You sound confident and optimistic that


there will be some give here. There is many a slip between a cup and a


lip. There is cross-party support and it is the most popular


amendment. Senior Labour people back it as well. I am not going to sort


of bob and weave. That is the deal on the table. It is an amendment and


it is relatively short. I have catered for all the concerns and


thought through the legalities and concerns. Remind me of that Billy


the kid phrase? There is many a slip between the cup and the lip. Dominic


Raab writes in the Daily Mail today, I have tabled a clear and robust


amendment about the deportation of foreign criminals jailed for a year


or more, unless they face a risk of being tortured or murdered on


return. What is wrong with that? The bill achieved a lot of what, as


Dominic was saying, helps matters. What is wrong with the phrase? The


point about the bill as it stands committed to make it easier to


deport foreign criminals it will build on the work which is to cut


nearly a third of net immigration in the country. Doing a lot of the


right things. Will you accept the amendment or not? It is an


independent amendment. I would not have to ask if it was going to be


accepted or not. It is a government Bill. Let me try one more time will


stop will you will you not accept the amendment? The bill as it


stands... I'm answering your question. This is as we want it.


Will Labour vote for it? The likelihood of us reaching the


Dominic Raab amendment tomorrow is unlikely. The Government has


dedicated just four hours to the report stage. The Government has


tabled 52 amendments. Dominic Raab tabled his amendment very late. If


it were earlier, we might have a different conversation. You mean, I


have just wasted my time. Unfortunately... If we do reach this


amendment for a vote, how will Labour vote? I have concerns. The


issue with this amendment as it is written means we


Opportunities for us to vote on this tomorrow. I don't think you are


right to tear up the human rights act. Article eight spells out there


is a right to a family life and that is where a number of foreign


criminals have not been deported because the courts have lent over


backwards in many cases to rule in favour of a right to family life.


But Article eight says that can be overruled when necessary for


national security, public safety, preventing disorder, crime or to


protect others. Unlike you cannot send people back to be tortured on


which there are no exemptions. This amendment simply requires judges to


approve the deportation of foreign criminals who have been jailed for


more than a year unless they face the risk of being tortured or


murdered. Why does that fly in the face of Article eight? My


understanding of it is, I can only go on... Do you agree now your


understanding is wrong? We have looked at this issue and it is our


interpretation that it does fly in the face of the human rights act. I


would not want anything to compromise that. That is the issue


with this amendment tomorrow. The criminals pleading to a right to


family life in the UK is accounting for 98 ascent of successful appeals.


We had this crazy situation a couple of years back to dispute whether the


cat was the reason they should not be deported. Theresa May got into


hot water over that. But the fact we are having to have this discussion


shows the balance has gone wrong. What this bill already does, as you


suggested, it tightens up the whole different set of criteria in order


to make it easier to deport people. This government has had a lot of


success in getting rid of people who have been in this country for too


long who should not have been here. Sometimes with a terrorist


background and it should be easier to deport them. We have a good track


record on this. It turns out that far from flat-lining, the economy


grew by almost 2% last year. This year is expected to reach the dizzy


heights of 2.4%. We are starting to the financial crisis behind us but


is there an appetite to make the wealthy difference to Labour and the


Lib Dems think so. The Conservatives not so much.


Tax rates became the latest political tussle after Shadow


Chancellor, Ed Balls, announced a new target for Labour on the weekend


- Britain's biggest earners. He whacked the rich with a promise to


raise income tax on earnings above ?150,000 to 50%. Boss class cried


out Labour's attitude was "if it creates wealth, let's kick it" -


complained former Trade Minister, Lord Jones. That may not deter the


Lib Dems though. They're willing to wring billions from the really rich


with a mansion tax on properties over ?2million and a 20% cut to the


lifetime tax-free limit on pension contributions to just ?1million. All


measures approved at their party conference last year. The


Conservatives however, don't think it pays to take too much from top


earners. David Cameron has ruled out a mansion tax saying it's not right


if you want to reward saving and people who work hard and do the


right thing. Whilst Boris wants them to brood on bringing down the top


tax rate to a beneficent 40% which George Osborne has not yet ruled


out. Basically, you could only go into coalition with Labour on that


basis. What is right is to say we should be asking people who do have


large amounts of wealth to be able to contribute more. That has to be


the right thing to do. I would like to see more people moved out of


income tax at the bottom end. The Lib Dem policy has been very


successful and saved a lot of money. We would like to go further


and match that to the national minimum wage. Nobody on the national


minimum wage has to pay income tax. It seems right it is the people with


the most money, with large amounts of wealth, who contribute to that.


That is up to you. You want a mansion tax on homes of more than 2


million and tax relief to be cut back on pensions. You want capital


gains tax to rise on income tax. You want to keep the 45p tax rate. I do


not think it would rule out going to 50. -- you would rule out. All of


these things you are more likely to get from Labour than the


Conservatives. What with the Tories agreed to? Let me ask him. We have


the chairman of the Conservative party here. The only question we


should be asking ourselves is, do we want to grow the economy and what


help the poorest people the most? The answer is getting jobs and


making sure people keep more of the money they earn. If by taking any of


these steps it means there are fewer jobs in the economy and it means


taxes are raised and employment levels are depressed as a result, it


is the wrong thing to do. I do not think mansion tax makes sense. I am


trying to find out where you are. You are against 50p as well. You can


jack up taxes and export all of the expertise and wealth creators to


another country. You would like a mansion tax? If I could come back to


a point, if I could. Thank you very much. We hear from the Lib Dems and


the Tories about how they would increase the income tax threshold.


We have asked the people on lowest and middle incomes to pay the most.


The average household is actually seeing a net reduction of ?891


because of tax changes. You want a mansion tax? What we need to be


looking at is an introduction of the 50p tax. You want a mansion tax?


Yellow marker that is what we are looking at. Just looking at? It is


your policy to have a mansion tax. As we heard from Ed Balls, I think


it is fair. So, you want it? This morning my job is not to argue about


the reasons for all against, it is to establish what you are for. You


want a mansion tax and so does he. You want a top rate of tax of 50p?


You would go along with that, wouldn't you? The key question is


whether it raises more money. It is a very marginal case.


If it did, would you go along with Labour on a 50p tax? You need to


have more money coming from the richest to help the poor. If it


reduces the income and damages the economy, there is no point. But it


is a matter of negotiation for the two of you. You are both in favour


of an mansion tax, you would want it if it brought more money in on the


50p. The chairman of the Conservative Party is against both.


We're talking Lib-Lab. I would be very dubious. Provocative. If the


Lib Dems are not against it, have you got any idea what this 50p rate


with ringing? We now essentially what has happened by reducing the


tax rate down to 45p has seen a giveaway of ?3 billion. Where did


you get that figure from? That is from the Treasury. No it is not,


where did you get it from. That is the figure we have in terms of...


No, you don't. HMRC figure that the court is down to 100 million. Not


300. The Treasury figure is not 3 billion. We know that we saw a ?10


billion extra raised by increasing the tax rate. We don't know that


either. Shall we just clarify this. What was done previously was based


on assumptions that ministers may, not made by their hatred seek, done


in very quick time by George Osborne in the run-up to the 2012 budget.


The 10 billion figure Ed Balls alluded to was a HMRC projection.


The whole thing is complicated, lower rates coming in, venue hire


rates were coming in. Between both of your parties, you have made quite


a Horlicks of the whole thing. What we do know is when the top rate was


cut to 45%, the amount the government talk in from that rose by


about 7 billion. What we don't know if it was more people paying tax or


if they had held back their income until the 45p came in. The reason I


ask is because your party has come up with this because it is an


essential part of cutting the deficit. But if it's main purpose


was to cut the deficit, you need a clear idea of how much it will bring


in? The previous estimates made by George Osborne, work done by the


hate Jamar is the was done in quick time and there was lots of


assumptions made by behaviour. As far as I am aware, we did see an


increase of ?10 billion that came into the Treasury as a result when


the tax rate went up to 50p. I have looked through the figures and that


is not true. There is a lot of talk about the squeezed middle, where are


all these ordinary middle-class families who don't, particularly in


London and the south-east, don't earn that much. 40,000 a year if you


live in London and the south-east is not a princely sum. What are you


doing about them? We want to get rid of the deficit, we have got rid of a


third of it so far. We said by 2017, 18 we can pay back money, or start


to pay back money. You will only have 1.5 trillion to pay back. You


will pay that back before any of those in the 40% bracket will get


any relief? The important key moment is the point when we stop adding to


the debt and start repaying it. The only argument about tax or anything


else is what helps us get to that point the fastest. There is no doubt


the number of jobs created in the economy and the speed at which the


economy has started to grow can be put at risk by Ed Balls figures. He


came out at the weekend using the wrong figures, without realising


that those were projections and not actual figures. Julian, then


Luciano. If we allowed you to have ?1 million tax-free annual pension,


which is still a lot of money, ?45,000 a year to live on, but we


will not subsidise people above that. People with a House worth ?2


million, they can provide more money to help people at the bottom. What


if they are asset rich and cash poor. What if they inherited the


House, an old lady who has no income, what will they do? It would


he set up as a charge against the House, so you would not pay it until


you sell the House. But then you would not get the money to pay for


what you want to spend now? Absolutely, it takes some time to


come in. So you can't use it to finance current spending? Most


people I expect, with pay as they go. You said people on mansion tax


to use it to take people out of tax altogether, if you are declaring the


mansion tax, you cannot use it? You would defer a small bit of it.


Labour, cut capital gains tax to 18%, so it was less than the basic


rate of income tax. That helps people who get paid in ways you can


adjust to that. We wanted to be equal to have the balance between


the different options. The times we will have to face 2015, 16, George


Osborne told us he would be balancing the books. That is not


going to happen. Now we will have a deficit of 79 billion. The policy is


you are going to follow, the ones that have stopped other economy is


growing and increased unemployment elsewhere. The Chancellor has the


whole service -- Civil Service, it is only fair when we have seen the


?3 billion giveaway to those on the highest incomes, those on the lowest


have that to suffer over the course of your government. You guys don't


even know your own numbers. As Ed Balls proved that the weekend. You


take the Labour version of the mansion tax becomes a home tax,


taxing houses of 440,000. That as it starts, no doubt it would come down


after that. People would be hit because they live in an area with


higher House prices like London and they would be hit by your so-called


mansion tax. In principle, why do you think it is right those with the


broadest shoulders don't contribute as much? They do, they pay most of


the tax of the tax in this country. My concern is if you get rid of the


wealth creators in this country, unemployment goes up and that is


what has happened in other countries who have pursued the same line as Ed


Balls. You have mentioned France. I have a little test for you. You have


mentioned have bad things are under President Hollande. Family people


are unemployed in France? 11.1%. What is the size of the French


deficit? Pass. 4.1%. What is the size of the French national debt?


Around 100%. 93.4%. Why is the 50p tax such a disincentive? Here is


what I know, you can create an economy where people want to work in


the economy, create jobs and they employ people. I was in Halifax last


week and met an individual who has just done into business, she started


six months ago and is ready to employ her first employee. The


things we are doing to make it easy to employ people... We had to stop


there. Julian we will keep you go but we will keep these two hostage


because we were having so much fun. Now, the pub landlord, Al Murray, is


a patriotic, right wing, Queen-loving character - just like


the Prime Minister, some might say. They both enjoy a pint and a white


wine for the lady, Blue Nunn presumably. And it turns out they're


also related. Yes genealogists have discovered that Al Murray is the


Prime Minister's first cousin five times removed.


Who worked that out? Their great-great-great-great-great


grandfather is one William Thackeray, grandfather of the famous


novelist. And they don't just have shared interests, as you can see


that have a remarkable visual resemblance too. Maybe the next time


they meet in the Dog and Duck they can have a toast with one of these.


But if either of them wants to get their mitts on one, they'll have to


enter our competition. We'll remind you how to enter in a


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


contains flashing images. A belief dictates that justice be


served and mercy be shown. I think it is an easy one this one.


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 on its way. And


that's not all - Nick Robinson is here. Syria, the economy, got to be


two things? I think so. It is a repeat of last week. Ed Miliband


will want to gain some of the credit for the decision on Syria. Labour


put the motion down debated on Syria. The conservative Immigration


Minister said it would be a token to have Syrian refugees. Ed Miliband


will want to claim this is because of Labour pressure in Parliament.


And we are only days since Ed Balls unveiled the policy on 50p tax. The


day after the GDP numbers. He did not raise the economy, he would be


jeered about as much as Ed Balls was jeered for the amount of time he


took to get to his feet yesterday. It will be interesting to see how


Labour are just position as evidence of the recovery gathers steam? It


has been doing that already. But the cost of living crisis will not be


sold by growth on this scale. In a sense both parties agree with that.


The problem again, before the recession. Let's go over to the


Prime Mr Speaker, figures showed the UK


economy is growing at its fastest rate since 2007. That is proof that


our plan is working. There is a choice, stick with it or abandoned


the plan that is delivering a better economic future and jobs for my


constituents in Norwich North. With the Prime Minister Brindley


long-term decisions are helping -- with the Prime Minister agree these


long-term decisions are helping? That should be the test of the


decisions we are taking. It will secure a better future, more


stability, more peace of mind for our children and grandchildren. Last


week we saw the biggest number of new jobs in a quarter since records


began. This week we see the fastest growth in our economy was she is.


There should be no complacency, the job was nowhere near complete. If we


stick to our long-term economic plan, we can see our country rise


and people rise as well. We were welcomed the change of heart


regarding Syrian refugees. We look forward to the statement by the Home


Secretary. Will he reassure the house he will act with the utmost


urgency, because we are talking about the most honourable people in


refugee camps, who need help now? We will act with the greatest urgency.


When it comes to Syria, we have acted with the greatest urgency


throughout. We have made available ?600 million, which makes the second


largest humanitarian donor. We have provided food for 188,000 people and


clean water for almost 1 million. Medical consultations for almost a


quarter of a million. We will be coming forward with a scheme to help


the most needy people in the refugee camps and offer them a home in our


country. We want to make sure we help those who have been victims of


sexual violence. The Foreign Secretary has rightly, on behalf of


the whole country, championed this across the world. I welcome the


decision by the Government to accept Syrian refugees. It is a very


important cause. Another subject, can I ask the Prime Minister, who


said this before the election, showing we are all in this together


means the rich will pay their share? That is why the 50p tax rate


will have to stay. Be fact is... The question has been asked and the


answer must be heard. Under this government, the richest will pay


more in income tax in every year than any year when he was in


office. I want the richest to pay more in tax and under this


government they are. We are creating jobs, we are creating growth. We are


encouraging investment. What we heard from Labour over the last 48


hours is they want to attack that grows, they want to tax jobs and


businesses. We now have in Britain and anti-business, and he grows,


anti-jobs party. What we have is a policy with the overwhelming support


of the most important people of all, the people of Britain. He is


busy rather coy in telling us. It was he who said it in 2009, just


before the election. It was him that said, the 50p tax rate was a symbol


of us all being in it together and now it has gone. Now, can he tell us


whether he rules out cutting the top rate further to 40p? The Chancellor


set out yesterday exactly what our priorities are. Cutting taxes for


the lowest paid and for middle-income people. I am not


surprised he did not hear the Chancellor because, like the rest of


the Labour Party coming here was not here yesterday. -- the Labour Party,


he was not here yesterday. They left the Shadow Chancellor all on his


own. While we are in the business of who has said interesting things in


recent days... Let me ask him this... Mr Robertson! Mr Robertson,


calm yourself, man! The lion must get back in his den. There is plenty


more. There is plenty more. While we are on the subject of interesting


quotes, who, in the last 48 hours, said this? Do I think the level of


public spending going into the crisis was a problem for Britain?


No, I don't, nor our deficit, nor the national debt. He even said in


some areas, we can spend more. That is the Shadow Chancellor. We were


talking earlier about our children. Can our children in future turned to


the dictionary and look up the definition of denial and find it


will say Balls, aired. A long time ago, I asked a question. The Prime


Minister failed to answer it. Let's give him another go. Does he rule


out giving another tax cut to the richest in society by cutting the


top rate to 40p? Calm down, calm down. Yes, yes or no? There is so


much good news I cannot wait to get up and tell him. Our priority is to


cut taxes for the lowest paid in our country. That is why we have taken 2


million people act of tax. Let us look to the reaction to his 50p


announcement. Businesses have said it would cost jobs. Labour ministers


that he's served alongside have queued up to say it is economic leap


illiterate. The ISS has said it will raise hardly any money. It is a


disastrous policy launch from a disastrous Labour economic team.


With every answer he shows who he stands up for, a few at the top and


not the ordinary families of Britain. That is the truth. It is a


very simple question. I know the Prime Minister does not love


answering questions at Prime Minister 's questions but that is


the point of these occasions. We are asking him a very simple question.


We have a very clear position which we would reverse the millionaires


tax cut and put a top rate of tax back to 50p. I am asking him for a


very simple question: Does he rule out reducing the top rate to 40p?


Yes, or no? Our priority are tax cuts for low earners and middle


earners. What have we seen from him so far this year? A banking policy


the Governor of the Bank of England will say increases risk. A tax


policy that business leaders said would be a risk to our recovery.


There is a crisis in our country, it is a crisis of economic credibility


for the Labour Party. The whole country will have heard he had three


opportunities to answer and he could not give us a straight answer to the


question. After four years of this government, people are worse off.


This is a Prime Minister who has already given those at the top,


millionaires, a ?100,000 tax cut and he wants to give them another one.


He can only govern for the few, he can never governed for the many. I


will tell you who we are governing for, the 1.3 million people who got


jobs under this government, the 400,000 new businesses under this


government, the 2 million people we have taken out of tax under this


government, people on the minimum wage you have seen tax bills come


down by two thirds under this government, that is who we are


governing for. We have more factories producing more goods and


more people taking home a pay packet, more security for


hard-working families. Now we can see their risks - Labour, a wrist to


jobs, a risk to the recovery and the future of Britain 's security. Mr


Speaker, the severe flooding on the Somerset levels is causing acute


distress to the people who live in that area. Will the Prime Minister


gave a commitment today to both take immediate action to try and clear


the flood water from the Somerset levels as soon as possible, and also


to put in place a long-term plan to try and make sure that this does not


happen again in the future? I can give my honourable friend both those


assurances. COBRA will be meeting again. The system is not -- the


situation is not acceptable. Dredging will start as soon as it is


practical and as soon as the waters have started to come down. The


Environment Agency is pumping as much water as possible, given the


capacity of the rivers around the levels. I have ordered high pressure


pumps to be made available to increase this operation as soon as


there is capacity in the rivers to support that. We are looking at


further help and I will try to get this problem sorted. Can I invite


the Prime Minister to visit my constituency in Corby? Spend a day


on a zero hours contract with someone on the minimum wage and he


can get an insight into the world of work for many people on his watch? I


will be visiting his constituency in the next 16 months. It is


unacceptable that people are paid below minimum wage. We want to see


more enforcement, more action to make sure that does not happen. It


is not accessed double. We have a minimum wage for a good reason and I


want to see it properly enforced. Is it not the case we have learned over


successive years over the last two or three decades that irresponsible


economic policy to maximise tax rates, if they are set too high,


they are the politics of envy and raise less taxes? Might honourable


friend makes a very sensible point. The point of this is to raise


revenue and not to make a political point. What the party opposite wants


to do is make a political point because they believe in the politics


of envy and not raising money for public services. In the end, the


truth is this... The top 1% of taxpayers in our country are paying


30% of the total income tax take. The richest taxpayers are actually


going to be paying more in every year of this government. Mr Speaker,


over 300,000 people are reported to be paid less than the minimum wage.


I was heartened by what the prime minister just said. If that is the


case and he is really committed to the minimum wage, why have only two


employees been prosecuted and half the level of investigations? We have


seen around 700 penalties issued for not paying minimum wage. We are


taking enforcement action and we need to take more enforcement


action. The Chancellor has made very clear that we also want to see the


opportunity for the minimum wage to rise as the economy recovers. It


should be possible to see the value of the minimum wage restored. We are


keen to see that happen. Thank you, Mr Speaker. I know the Prime


Minister deals in facts. We have more jobs in this country than ever


recorded before. We also have a gross prediction that is higher than


anyone would have thought a year ago. Will we now consider looking at


the minimum wage and considering whether the level of the minimum


wage could be racer that we ensure that everyone benefits from this


recovery? -- could be raised. It is extremely good news we have over 30


million people in work - record numbers in work. What has happened


under this government is that the minimum wage has gone up by 10%. We


have cut taxes are low earners and that means another 10% increase in


the minimum wage. I hope it will be possible to see the real value of


the minimum wage restored. I think we should listen and allow the low


pay commission to do their work. I do not want to see this issue is


becoming something of a political football. Everyone agrees, as an


economy recovers, it should be possible to restore that value.


A man who lived in the UK for 40 years and who has family in my


constituency has been convicted of blastomeres and sentenced to death


in Pakistan. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2010 and


was treated in Edinburgh. But the judges refused to take that into


account. I wrote to the Foreign Secretary yesterday, but can the


Prime Minister is your meat the government is doing what they can to


return this man to the UK to get the treatment he needs? I can get the


honourable lady the assurance she asked for. I am concerned about this


death sentence, and it is our long-standing policy to oppose the


death and naughty in all circumstances. But the Pakistani


authorities can be in no doubt of the seriousness with which we view


this. We spoke to the Punjab in Monday, and the high commission in


Islamabad continues to raise this. Foreign officials are meeting


Pakistani officials in London today. We take this seriously and we are


making that clear at every level. Portsmouth is an entrepreneurial


city delivering eight drop of 25% in GSA claimants over the last year.


With this in mind, is the Prime Minister aware of a commercial plan


put forward to build a number of specialist vessels designed to


revolutionise and facilitate the industrialisation of the tidal


energy sector. Would the Prime Minister agree that Portsmouth would


be an excellent place to build those ships? Can I congratulate the


honourable lady for everything she has done to highlight Portsmouth and


all matters and maritime. I am aware of this project. I understand there


will be a meeting with the business department. It is testament to the


excellent reputation Portsmouth has that there is so much interest in


this sector that we want to see expanded. The appointment of a


minister the Portsmouth will make a big difference. It is good news the


youth claimant is down so far in Portsmouth, but we must stick to the


economic plan. Increasingly in London, young people are finding it


impossible to be able to afford or rent or buy a home. Why is it under


this government we are seeing the fewest number of housing starts


since the 1920s and a housing bubble that is being driven by wealthy,


overseas buyers? First of all, on that last point, it is this


government that is introducing capital gains tax for overseas


buyers, some think the Labour Party for 13 years never did. When it


comes to housing, you have nearly 400,000 new homes delivered since


2010. Huge amounts of money going into social housing. It is this


government reforming the planning system, often opposed by the party


opposite, to make these things happen. Does my right honourable


friend share my concern that the Public Administration select


committee enquiry into police recorded crime statistics has found


flaws in reliability. While crime is undoubtedly falling over all, would


he agree with me the Home Office should work urgently with police


chiefs across the country to restore the authority of these statistics


and police chiefs should concentrate on leadership based on values and


service to the public, not on discredited targets? On his last


point, we scrapped all targets apart from the target of reducing crime,


which is the most important thing. It is important statistics are as


robust as possible, that is why we transferred responsibility to the


independent office of National statistics. We have passed HMRC to


carry out an audit on crime recording in every Louise Fors. The


Home Secretary has written to all police constables to make sure


statistics must be recorded credibly. It is whether you look at


crimes recorded by the police or the British crime survey, they show


crime is falling and has fallen by more than 10%. I would like to thank


the Prime Minister for his comments about the man in Pakistan who has


given the death sentence. Dozens of your own back ventures have said


they will support the amendment to the Immigration Bill which will be


incompatible to any treaties. One Tory MPs have demanded British


Parliament be able to veto every single European law, which he knows


is unworkable. The Prime Minister has given concession after


concession to the anti-Europeans. When will he learn they will never


be satisfied with anything except a British withdrawal from the European


Union? I don't agree. We need to correct in the Immigration Bill, the


fact it has been so difficult to deport people who don't have a right


to be here, who should be facing trial overseas, or should be


deported overseas, but they make spurious arguments about the right


to a family life. It is right we are changing that. It is a sensible step


and nothing anti-European about that and we should pass the Immigration


Bill with speed. Mr Speaker, last year the government successfully


deported Abu Qatada. The new Immigration Bill will crack down on


illegal immigrants make it easier to deport foreign criminals. Can he


confirm immigration law applies to political parties and their gurus? I


can, but I am sure I should not comment on this case that is now


being investigated. Don't tempt me! It is an important piece of law we


will be discussing on Thursday, because we don't just need to have


control at our borders, we need to make sure Britain cannot come to


Britain and abuse our health service or get rights to counsel or other


housing, bank accounts and driving licences if they have no right to be


here. The Immigration Bill makes those important changes. And many


more, including making it possible for us to deport people who don't


matter have a risk in their own country before they have an appeal.


They can appeal from overseas. I hope we will not delay too much


before passing this bill. People in my constituency and up and down the


country are working harder just to make ends meet, as their pay is


outstripped by prices. Does the Prime Minister agree with the


Business Secretary who said a property fuelled recovery is the


wrong recovery? And the answer is on page 37 in his folder! What I think


he will find is the Business Secretary said, it is welcome that


in terms of our GDP growth, we have seen strong growth in manufacturing


and industrial production and not just in services. In terms of making


sure we genuinely help people, as our economy grows, we need to cut


taxes. We have cut taxes, because we have made difficult decisions about


public spending. Every one of those decisions has been opposed by the


party opposite will stop if we had listened to them people would have a


more difficult situation with the cost of living. Can I thank the


Prime Minister for his announcement on the dredging of the rivers in


Somerset, an area where we have an area bigger than the size of Bristol


underwater and it has been under water for more than a month. Can I


take it from him, that what he is doing is committing the whole of


government, including DC LG, transport and the Treasury to


working with Defra to deal with this situation, not now, but for future


years as well? I can give him that assurance. I don't want to see


dredging work being held up by arguments in other departments. We


have got to crack this problem. I would like to praise all the


emergency services, Environment Agency, local flood wardens who have


done such a valuable work, including in the Somerset Levels. We now need


to move more rapidly to things like dredging. Mount Pleasant in my


constituency is a development site that used to belong to Royal Mail.


It was sold for an absolute song. Is it morally right for at least half


of that site to be used for local people. Independent valuers have


said developers could build 50% genuinely affordable housing and


still make a huge profit. In those circumstances, given the level of


local opposition, would it not be outrageous for the Mayor of London


to approve the development of this site? How can 12% affordable housing


help with the cost of living crisis for Londoners? I am happy to look at


the site she mentions. But I think it is important we allowed the Mayor


of London to carry out his planning responsibilities. When there are


redevelopment opportunities, it is important they are not endlessly


blocked because we need the developments, we need the growth and


we need the housing. With the Prime Minister... The honourable gentleman


is talking about Holocaust Memorial Day, let's have some respect.


Holocaust Memorial day to race on Monday, will he join me in


commemorating the Holocaust Memorial trust? I am grateful to the


honourable gentleman for his question. Holocaust day is an


important day. It gave me an enormous pleasure to welcome to


Downing Street, no less than 50 Holocaust survivors who came and


talked about their stories. Incredible and brave. We should rank


them for the work they have done going into school after-school


reminding people of the dangers of what happened in the past and how we


should drive out hate and prejudice from our national life. The


Holocaust commission has been set up and it is a cross-party commission


with representatives from all parties, in order to ask the


question, as tragedy -- tragically these Holocaust survivors come to


the end of their lives, what should we do as a country to make sure the


memory of this never fades? Whether it is recording their memories,


museum, all these things will be looked at. I am sure the report will


have support across this House. Despite the rhetoric, for most


ordinary people, the reality is child poverty up, foodbank usage up,


payday lending up, energy costs up, and wages down. The Prime Minister


said he wanted the top job because he thought he would be good at it.


So, when will he start to govern for all of the people in all of the


country? Just to correct the first thing that came out of his mouth,


under this government child poverty is down. I am not satisfied with the


measure, I think we need a better measure. But employment is up,


growth is up, the number of businesses is up. Yes we have a long


way to go to restore our economic fortunes but we have a long-term


economic plan, delivering for Britain's families. We have got to


stick at it. Mr Speaker, I am pleased to report large companies


are finding Watford and attractive place to do business from. I want to


mention Wickes who are setting their headquarters up. But I went to the


enterprise Hub in Watford last week and saw quite a few small businesses


such as AC Solutions who said to me they were frustrated why the amount


of bureaucracy and red tape that is hindering their business. I would


like to ask the Prime Minister what he intends to do about it? I am


grateful for what he says about the business environment in Watford. We


are helping with taxes and red tape and helping with exports on red


tape. This is going to be the first government in modern history that at


the end of the parliament we will have less regulation than at the


beginning of the parliament. I would commend the Minister for government


policy and the business Department for his heroic effort to get those


legislation onto websites so people can tell us what we can remove. We


are on target for scrapping 3000 regulations under this government.


This month, Cabinet papers revealed the Thatcher government sought to


escalate the miners strike, close pits and the scars of that dispute


are deep in communities like Wigan. Some families have never recovered


and some have died waiting for justice. 30 years on they deserve


the truth and an apology. Why are they still waiting? As my right


honourable friend said, we have a system for releasing paperwork from


ten, 20, 30 years ago and we should stick to that. If anyone needs to


make an apology for their role in the miners strike it should be


Arthur Scargill for the way he made that union. If other people want to


ask about their roles, there was the role of the leader of the Labour


Party, who at that time never condemned the fact they would never


hold a ballot. There are lessons for Labour to land, and judging from


their performance today, they have not learned any of them. Thank you


Mr Speaker. There are plans to how is the new Bishop of Bath outside


the city. Can the Prime Minister do everything in his power to postpone


the residents of the bishops of Bath and Wells which has served perfectly


well for 800 years? I think that might be a question for the member


for Banbury, who guides me in these important issues. But I will go away


and look at the issue of the Bishop of Bath and Wells. I will try and


put the image of Blackadder out of my mind and try and come up with the


right answer. If we are to have a parliament that reflects the people


it serves, the Prime Minister must he disappointed that one in ten of


his women MPs who came in in 2010 have indicated they will not


re-stand. And that one of his most senior chairs of committee is facing


deselection. What is the Tory party's problem with women? I am


proud of the fact in the last parliament we had 19 women


Conservative MPs and now it is closer to 50 in this Parliament. Do


I want is to go further and faster? Yes I do. We will start by targeting


his seat at the next election! I am sure the whole House will wish to


congratulate my right honourable friend, the chancellor of the


Exchequer, in sticking to their economic ones which is producing


prosperity for the country. Would he agree with me it would be a foolish


mistake if the British people were to place their trust in the shadow


chancellor who has never owned up to their responsibility of last Labour


government the catastrophic budget and sticks to the Socialist party of


tax and spend which will ruin Britain? He put it with Carrick


touristic strength and clarity. The party opposite have learned no


lessons from the past, they said they will do it all over again and


have a tax policy that tack -- cost jobs and now they have as Ms saying


they have not got a clue. They remind me those two, have you seen


the film Gravity? It is about to people who stepped out into a void


and had no clue what to do next. Caroline Lucas. In light of the


Prime Minister's welcome recognition at last week's PMQs, Brighton is a


superb and sunny place. Will he visit Brighton energy co-op in my


constituency that is showing the real potential of renewable energy,


particularly solar power? And if we can see the energy strategy


particularly provision for energy providers to sell to consumers, its


potential would have far more. We pursue this strategy instead of


fracking? I am sure I will be in Brighton before long and look


forward to hearing about the renewable energy story. We need both


of these things, we have set out the strike prices and the energy act, so


we can be a real magnet or investment in renewable energy. We


also need to take advantage of shale gas, clean gas, helping to keep


energy bills down. I would say to those in the green movement who


oppose it simply because shale gas includes carbon, it is a misguided


approach. We want affordable energy as well as green energy. That should


be our goal. The Home Secretary is about to make


a statement to the House following PMQ 's. He only asked one question


and then moved on, perhaps because we are getting this statement. It


was then argy-bargy about the economy. It was interesting because


the Prime Minister came off the back of the announcement by Ed Balls of


Labour going for a top rate of 50p, it was not the best received


announcement. Then we had the growth figures. The Prime Minister seemed


to be less than sure-footed, despite the backdrop to today's PMQs. Last


week, Christopher says, Ed Miliband asked David Cameron to allow Syrian


refugees into the UK. This week he well. Maybe all this lark works.


Another tweet saying we have descended into farce. Quite a few


e-mails and tweet along that line, because of the noise and bickering.


Philip Jones, Ed Miliband smells the Prime Minister -- nails the Prime


Minister. The runner can Nelson from Liverpool, Ed Miliband attempts to


raise the politics of envy. Ray from Nottingham, how does Ed Miliband get


away with the tax cut for millionaires jibe? A bit messy,


Nick? In a way because Ed Miliband did a simple tactic in asking a


question, don't get the answer, ask it again, don't get the answer and


ask it for a third time. That is what the Labour leader decided to


do. The Prime Minister does not want to rule this out because one day


they may want to do it. He had not got easily a kind of easy answer to


it. He said all the things he should have been able to do, about the


growth rate and inflation and unemployment, and pulling out all


those quotes from business leaders and former Labour ministers having a


go. He struggled to do. What is most interesting about it, Ed Miliband


was criticised internally for not sticking with strategy. He announced


something in a speech and talked about something different. What it


showed what he had learned that lesson. If you're going to make a


big announcement and think it is popular, stick with it. Keep it in


peoples minds and keep banging away with it until people have caught and


on that is what you are about. Why would a Conservative Prime Minister


not say that one day, when finances allow it and economic conditions


are, we would like to return to 40p? We want all taxes to come down,


including all rates of tax. He did not say that. What he did say in


response to this political manoeuvring from Ed Miliband, trying


to kind of stick around this 40, 45, 50p tax thing, the Prime Minister


said his main concern is getting tax down for lower and middle income


people. You are going to expect it Prime Minister to stand at a


dispatch box -- you are not going to expect a Prime Minister to stand at


a dispatch box before the election and bright a budget. What we're


looking for is principles of taxation. Why did he not say, of


course he is taking those at the lower end out of tax? He has not


done anything Labour has got you on the run on this, they have made you


nervous about top rates of tax. Where as most conservatives would


like to see a red return to the top rate of 40%, because of Labour's


position, the Prime Minister is frightened of the political fallout?


For Labour it is all to do with positioning. For us it is what


creates a better economy. We have come out over the weekend and said


it would be mad to sign up to putting tax up to 50p, if that means


it loses jobs. We would only return to taxes under a Labour government?


The Prime Minister was asked three times, a direct question. He did not


and set it. While we have seen this ?3 billion giveaway to these people


earning the top rate of tax, when the average working person is now


?1600 worse off. If you don't include the fact they have had their


taxes reduced. The equivalent of those tax credits and child benefit,


it is ?881 per household. The Prime Minister was asked a direct question


about the top 1%, who had not had to experience any pain. It is a much


larger amount than 1%. You will probably have the figures? Who pay a


higher tax rate. Higher, not top. Three .5 million paid 40%. It would


be close to 5 billion by the end of your government. Why is 40p and then


now if it wasn't unfair for 13 years of Labour government? We are coming


back to what is happening now. The average working person, ?1600 worse


off. What do the cuts to the top rate of someone earning tax meant?


Reduce their income down from 116,000 to 114,000. I'm talking


about the current context of deficit reduction. Millions of households up


and down the country are expected to pay while those with the top incomes


have not reduced the bonanza. I don't think it is fair. Do you agree


with the 2.7 million who have been taken out of paying any tax? All of


those people have been taken out of tax entirely. Rather than talking


about those 2.7 million... You cannot talk about that in isolation.


You have to look at the combination, the other fact is child benefit, you


have to look at the impact of working tax credit. In my


constituency I have working couples who cannot make up the hours because


of the local supermarket in my constituency, don't have the hours


for them to do. You must accept employment has gone up, more people


are in work, including in your past, certainly in the north-west and the


last election. The rate of wager my constituency has gone down by 1%.


And they have been increased to ?10,000, the amount they can earn


tax-free. What Labour have concluded is they do not want to get stuck in


an economic debate. The Chancellor made an announcement on economic


deficit reduction and then made a statement about the 40p tax. Whose


side are you on is one of the most powerful questions in politics.


Briefly, Andrew, Barack Obama used it again and again. That is why he


beat Mitt Romney. He could say that Romney was on the side of the rich.


He did his best to prove that. The when asked, did he like football, he


said, yes, two of my friends own teams. We need you to stay. While we


have been talking, Theresa May has been giving MPs details of plans to


allow some Syrian refugees into Britain. Here is what she said. Our


country has a proud tradition of providing protection to those in


need. Whether are particularly difficult cases of honourable


refugees who are at risk, we are willing to look at those cases.


Following a meeting in London in recent days, I can tell the house


that the Government will be launching a new programme to provide


emergency sanctuary in the UK for displaced Syrians who are


particularly vulnerable. There we go. A small number of Syrian


refugees will be allowed in. You said, taking in a small number of


Syrian refugees was tokenistic. I did not want to see happen we are


putting over half ?1 billion in aid. That is as much as the other


European countries altogether, that be discounted and then a relatively


small move of taking in the small number being replaced. You said it


was tokenistic. I was being asked in an interview, isn't it good that all


these other countries, Germany, France and elsewhere, are taking


people in? I was trying to point out we are giving more help than all of


those countries put together. Why don't we take in more? There are 2


million people and we cannot take in all of them. 5000, 10,000 is more


than tokenistic and is a humanitarian gesture. The cases we


are talking about now is children, where both parents have been killed


and they do not have that support. Perhaps women who have been sexually


abused. We are looking at the most honourable cases. The very worst


cases. People in Britain can stand proud. We have given a huge amount


of aid and we have this approach as well. We are stepping up to the


plate and doing our bit. Is it not a sign of how toxic this issue has


become that even Labour is only arguing for 500 Syrian refugees?


I would like to understand the detail of how it will work. I'm not


sure how it will work. We have to look in the context of the other


countries that are signed up for it. Ireland is taking 90 people. France


is taking relatively the same number as us. But we are British, aren't we


meant to be better at this? We have a proud history. Why don't we argue


for more? We want to be part of the process, set an example. It will be


hundreds, rather than thousands, that is the indication? The scale of


this thing shows with 2 million people displaced in Syria and moving


out of Syria, there is not a physical number we could reach that


could solve the problem. It is right to take the most vulnerable cases.


At that to the extraordinary amount of British aid, ?600 million. It is


a foreign aid budget of 14 billion, we should give more instead of how


we do spend it. Giving money to India that has its own space


programme. That is coming to an end. But it is not ended yet. 27


countries in the EU, we are giving more than all of them put together.


The Home Office have resisted taking refugees. They want to get net


migration down to meet a Tory promise of getting net migration


down. Like it or not, people think refugees are different -- different


from immigrants, in terms of the merit of them coming here.


Now, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England is in Edinburgh


today to discuss the currency implications of a "yes" vote in the


Scottish independence referendum. Mr Carney, who met First Minister Alex


Salmond for discussions this morning, has agreed to provide


technical, objective, dry analysis ahead of the vote in September. The


Scottish Government say they plan to keep the pound under independence,


but the UK Government has said any such currency union would be


unlikely. The Bank of England is an independent institution. It does not


take a role in party politics. We had a splendid discussion and have


agreed to continue the technical discussions. Not negotiations, but


the technical discussions the Bank of England has been having with the


Scottish Government so our proposals are soundly based on technical


terms. Clear as mud! A lot of the use of the word, " technical". What


is quite interesting is, people have said is it right for the governor of


the Bank of England, it covers the whole of the UK. And founded by a


Scotsman. He is a Canadian. Mark Carney, because he is a Canadian,


because he was governor of the bank of Canada, because they have had to


independence referendums in Q where the issue of the currency was an


issue, he is well placed to judge the complexities of this argument.


Quebec. We are told he is giving a speech, which will be playing a very


big in the politics of Scotland in the next few months. One of the


messages will be, a successful currency coming out of the economic


European monetary union, is it does involve ceding some national


sovereignty which is a difficult issue for the Scottish Nationalists


who want Scotland to regain total national sovereignty. Then say as


part of a national union we will give back some of our national


sovereignty. Exactly, the question whether Britain should join the


national sovereignty, then we would give some power over our interest


rates, and fiscal spending to Brussels. Of course, if you are


going to say, a bank in England, a bank in London will set your


interest rates, the Scottish might think it is not really governing


yourselves at home. We shall see. Let's return to the issue of Syria.


So the government has announced that Britain will take in some of the


most vulnerable refugees fleeing from the Syrian conflict. But as the


death toll tops 100,000 should we be intervening more directly? In our


Soapbox this week, Sunny Hundal, founder of the left wing Liberal


Conspiracy blog argues that it is time to contemplate taking military


action. His report contains images that some viewers may find


upsetting. More disturbing pictures from Syria.


Most are too upsetting to show. These are amongst 55,000 images


smuggled out of the country showing systematic murder by the government.


It is compared to what happened in that see Germany. I think the time


has come to discuss military intervention. Not only has the


bloodshed. Worse and has the potential to get worse, the conflict


is spreading elsewhere. The two main arguments against intervention is we


could aggravate the situation or, it is their mess and we should not get


involved. Both arguments are redundant. Syrian rebels forced to


recruit Al-Qaeda groups, who are not interested in freedom but want to


establish a permanent base away from Afghanistan. They want to share a


state in both Syria and Iraq before other Middle Eastern countries are


absorbed. If they get the upper hand they will use that new base to


launch audacious attacks in Islamic countries and the West. The


humanitarian crisis gets worse every day. Over 100,000 people have died


since this conflict began and nearly 10 million people have been driven


away from their homes. More worryingly, the civil war in Syria


is spreading to nearby countries like Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and


Pakistan. As they get drawn in further, thousands more will die and


millions more will become refugees. We cannot sit by and watch another


Rwanda take Les. Despite peace talks there is no viable, diplomatic


solution. And Bashar al-Assad will not lead because Russia and Iran are


backing him. Al-Qaeda groups will not simply disappear. I am not


saying the UK and the USA act alone. They can work with NATO, and other


groups in the region. But Syria will become a danger. Intervention is not


a matter of if, but when. If we wait the cost of human lives is likely to


be much, much higher. Very moving.


And Sunny Hundal joins us now. You are arguing in favour of


intervention, have you always been in favour of intervention in this


conflict? Yes, in Syria. I was against the war in Iraq, but I have


said we have got to do something about Syria because it will become a


much broader civil war, draw in other countries and become an


intractable conflict that will draw us in sooner or later. What was your


reaction when the British Parliament had its say and voted against some


sort of incident -- intervention? I don't think that was right. The US


government had not explained what their plan was. Their focus was just


on chemical weapons. I wanted a broader intervention. We hadn't even


explain to the public until what the vote was for and why we would go in.


At that time I said it was right to have a pause, but not just take it


off the table entirely. The problem is, the Conservative government


said, we will not do anything about this now. We have taken the option


of the table and Labour have followed them. It is the wrong thing


to do because it sends out a signal saying the UK Government will not


get involved, so resident is sad can do what he wants. What sort of input


-- intervention do you envisage? The Arab League is calling on us to do


more of an intervention. There have been two cease-fires, 2011 and 2012,


which fell apart and the massacres followed after that. The Arab League


has been saying for a while, gets a military firepower. What we need is


a no-fly zone. We need to be much stronger on President Assad in


saying he has to leave. There is no way he will leave, he has been


backed to the hilt. Who or what would replace President Assad? I


think this Syrian people should make that choice. Don't you have to make


that a thought. The argument people by many in Iraq was the lack of


planning and what would happen afterwards. Do you not have to think


through a strategy after President Assad? Yes, but we need to get the


local people involved, get the surrounding countries involved. So


it is not just the UK and the US intervening. You get the local


countries involved, the Arab League have a peacekeeping force, get some


stabilisation and then we can have peaceful elections. The UN has


accused the opposition, and the opposition is broad in that sense,


of war crimes. Last week, so quite recent. Are they any better? There


is a danger of lumping the opposition in one block. There is


lots of groups. Al-Qaeda affiliated groups are starting to get the upper


hand. These groups have come in and said, we are not interested in just


getting rid of President Assad, we want to establish ourselves in Syria


and Iraq and have a conflict in Lebanon and other places. They are


part of the problem. I don't think we should work with them. If we


don't help the Syrian rebels, the moderate rebels, they will lose


out. The only option we have is between President Assad and


Al-Qaeda, which is the worst solution. We are running out of


time. But we have to pick the winner of


our competition. Very nice part of the world. That is


it for today, thank you to our guests. The one o'clock News is


starting on BBC One. We will be back tomorrow with the big elliptical


stories of the day. Make sure you join me here. From all


of us, goodbye.


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