27/03/2014 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon, welcome to the Daily Politics. Britain's politicians are


all over the energy market. Ofgem is referring the big six providers of


our gas and electricity to the competition authorities. They might


not report for two years. We will speak to the energy minister.


Who did it for you? We will look at which one sword and which one sank


in the Daily Politics spin room. Plain cigarette packaging is back in


the spotlight, an imminent report into how effective the policy could


be. We will investigate claims from the tobacco industry it could lead


to more cigarettes being sold on the black market.


And, are we facing a skills gap between what schools are teaching


and what the economy needs? Lord Baker thinks so, he will tell us


why. With us for the duration, the former


editor of the Conservative home website, now of the times, Tim


Montgomery. There will be a free vote on fox


hunting before the next election, subject to having enough time in the


parliamentary schedule. It is not exactly a packed schedule! The Prime


Minister's hopes of taxing the rules to allow more dogs to flush out


foxes have been quashed because he could not get coalition agreement.


At PMQ 's, Angela Smith asked whether the government was


considering amending the hunting act.


As she knows, proposals were made on a cross-party basis to the


Environment Secretary about an amendment to the hunting act that


would help upland farmers in particular deal with the problem of


boxes on their land. That letter is being considered. I regret to say I


do not think there will be government agreement to go forward.


14 months to the election, which will be decided on the economy, also


reform, immigration, quality of schools, what has fox hunting got to


do with it? And issued you have covered is the decline of Tory


membership, the lack of activists. What the Conservative party has used


are people like country sports enthusiasts, they have been flooded


into an urban as through Ross said. To deliver leaflets that the Tory


party does not have activists for. Did they bring the foxes with them?


There are plenty where I am! Absolutely! It is a liberty issue


for the Conservative party as well, but they need the fox hunting troops


to park your make up for the lack of grassroots activists. That is the


practical reason. Does it make good politics? No, because even in rural


areas, the main concerns are housing and access to broadband. Fox hunting


is not the biggest issue. If you look at the numbers participating in


homes across the country, they are at record levels. It is still going


on. Absolutely. You have sorted that out! It is time for our quiz. The


BBC School report is running today, schoolchildren are being allowed to


grill politicians and throw in the odd unexpected question. Tristram


Hunt has been put in the hot seat, and he was asked what his favourite


thing was about the Education Secretary Michael Gove. What was his


answer? That he is sending his daughter to a state secondary


school... ? His good manners? His enthusiasm for history? Or his


wife? -- his wife's newspaper columns? We will have the correct


and sat at the end of the show. Nigel Farage gave a brilliant


performance according to UKIP, no surprise there!


Nick Clegg was powerful and authoritative, according to the


Liberal Democrats! We only deal in unbiased opinions and analysis! What


about the real world? A poll just after the debate found that Nigel


Farage one, 50 7% to 36%, though the chucking worm that they'd used did


not show nearly that much of a gap. Here is a flavour.


We have a total open door, unconditionally, to 485 million


people, and they are the roles of the European Union. What you have


heard is not true. This is a leaflet that his party distributed in the


recent Eastleigh by-election. It says that 29 million Romanians and


Bulgarians may come to this country, there are not even 29 million living


in Rome area and Bulgaria. It is simply not true. You did not answer


the basic question. I am not claiming 29 million people have the


right to come to Britain, I am claiming 485 million people have the


total unconditional right to come to this country if they want to. We


should not be sacrificing a single job, a single job, just to fulfil


this dogmatic view that we should turn our backs on the rest of the


world and on Europe. I remember you and your gang, the big culprits,


telling us 12 years ago that if we did not join the euros, all


investment into Britain would cease, the City of London will disappear.


Thank God we did not listen to you. Otherwise, we would be in one hell


of a mess. White are countries like Ukraine keen to have another closer


ties to the EU? The British government iron neared the


enlargement of the EU so we would have more and rule of law in our


European McCarthy would. We have given false hopes to the people in


the west of Ukraine, they were so geed up, they topple their own


elected leader, that provoked Vladimir Putin, and the EU does have


blood on its hands in the Ukraine. I want us to be Great Britain, not


little England. If you feel the same, now is the time to make your


voice heard. Labour and the Conservatives will do nothing to


stop us heading towards the exit. I am British, the best people to


govern Britain are the British people, and by divorcing ourselves


from this failed project, not only will be free Britain, we will


provide a good example for much of the rest of Europe.


I flavour of the debate. I am joined by two communications supremo 's.


Let's see how good they are! The chief spinner for UKIP, and the


former chief spinner for the Liberal Democrats. That was round one, round


two is on the BBC next week. What will you advise your man to do next


week, what improvements can he make? I am not going to give away


any state secrets. You have not got any! We will be looking through, we


will be doing a comprehensive debrief, going through the video


footage, looking at all of the issues. What was the high point and


low point? It was high in general, and the polling numbers should it,


which surprised the metropolitan media bubble. It could not all be a


high point, because that would not mean anything. What was the high


point? The best bits that people would have connected to the


questions on immigration and the effect of the compression of wages,


youth unemployment, pressure on public services. That was the


strongest argument? What would you advise your leader to do next week


to improve his performance? Overall, both of them did quite


well, speaking to their own markets. Both of them gave strong


performances. If you were minded to support either of them. What was the


high point for Nick Clegg was in the dissection of the poll, 50% of


Labour supporters say that they are minded to support him, and that is


precisely the thing that he wants, and 27% of conservatives. If I was


advising both of them, and a few less statistics. You have just given


statistics! I understand that you have an elite audience here! You are


not trying to reach beyond... A good recovery! You will see the transfer


to your bank account! I would reduce some of them, but they fundamental,


they are part of the argument. If I was an ordinary punter watching,


that is what I would change. Do you think Nigel Farage would regret


saying that the EU has blood on its hands? Absolutely not. We were the


first political party that broke out of the establishment consensus over


Syria, and opposed military intervention. We were told we were


being irresponsible. Then, the House of Commons voted the same way. Then,


the Americans and French fell into line. In this case, field or reason


outside the way to conduct foreign policy is to speak softly and carry


a big stick. What the EU has done is shouted its mouth off while carrying


a matchstick. It has given the western Ukrainian is false hopes of


a future based on EU funds. That is a respectable line to take, that the


EU overplayed its hand. But why does that give it blood on its hands?


People have died, radio men and women, thinking the future was up


for grabs. The EU for over a decade has been giving this false


perspective -- prospectus to people in western Ukraine. The EU is the


root of all evil? What Vladimir Putin has done is wrong, I do not


blame the people of Ukraine for referring the EU to Vladimir Putin,


any force, given that choice, would go for those -- for that option. But


I blame it for giving them false hope and destabilising the country,


part of the country is annexed and a long Russian shadow over the rest of


it. I want to bring you back to one statistic, Nigel Farage said about


75% of laws come from Europe, we cannot find anything to back that


up, but Nick Clegg said that 7% of UK law is made in Brussels. He


quoted the House of Commons Library. The finest researchers in this


country have been to the House of Commons Library. 7% is only one


figure with regard to statutes. The House of Commons research paper says


that the figure, depending on which laws you take and the nature of


them, could be anything between 15 and 50%. Read the small print. The


evidence that I saw what the House of Commons Library evident. This was


about laws that went through the House of Commons, as I understand


it. Acts of Parliament put in place by the UK Parliament with EU


influence, ten to 14%. What Nigel Farage did not do is sourced to 75%,


did they make it up in the pub one night? We had a commission coming


over to London and saying that over 70% of laws come from Brussels. That


is your own commissioner speaking. Not mine. I do not distinguish the


Liberal Democrats from the European project. I have my own commissioner


in my pocket, right now! Don't you think that the Prime Minister should


have been in this? I do not know, but what is clear is that both


parties did well in their own terms. We have seen this historic decline,


90% of the British people voting for the main two parties 40 or 50 years


ago, now it is 70%. This kind of debate will institutionalise the


fact that three, four or five parties are in party politics, which


is a huge problem for Ed Miliband or David Cameron. They would not have


addressed it by being in the debate, but the split in the electorate is a


big problem. For parties means it is catching up with Scotland, Wales and


Northern Ireland, we are a complete United Kingdom. It is a four party


system in each of the goods that you are in each of the goods that you


part. Kuwaiti rooting for? -- who were you rooting for? I was


supporting UKIP, it is where I agree with Tony Blair, -- Tony Benn, we


should be allowed to change the politicians who make our laws, we


should not have unaccountable bureaucrats deciding how we govern.


Preaching to the converted, do you think anybody switched as a result?


I do not think... It was not preaching to the converted, you know


where we are in the opinion polls, so if you are saying there is a 36%


who are minded, and some people in the Labour Party said Nick Clegg


stood up for staying in Europe, and we will lead him our vote in May,


that is precisely the kind of thing that brings some joy to some quite


tough polls. I agree on that, but we took a leadership of that much


bigger, broader community in Britain that are fundamentally Eurosceptic,


and Nigel was the champion. Are you enjoying going over to the dark


side? I'm loving it. Won't this mean having a real job, like a


journalist. Thank you both. Come back and serious after next week.


Both Labour and the Conservatives are claiming they are not that


interested in yesterday's debate that don't believe a word of it.


While it is the prevailing view that it is the Tories that suffer when


UKIP do well, there is a theory that Labour could do well -- be harmed


when you could go on the march. Nigel Farage addressed the issue of


whether support was coming from when he spoke to Andrew a couple of weeks


ago. You seem to be in an impossible position, because the better you do


in the election, the less chance there will be a referendum by 2020.


No, no, no, look at the numbers. Only a third of the voters we have


our Conservative. When we have polled voters who, to us, whether


they are Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and we ask who


wait -- they would vote for, less than one in five say they would vote


Conservative. Less than one in five UKIP voters would be tempted to vote


Conservative under any circumstances. That was Nigel Farage


talking to Andrew a few weeks ago. He was a bit rattled by that. I was


poking him with a cattle prod. I am joined by Matthew Goodwin who has


just written a book with fellow academic Robert Ford which looks at


the rise of UKIP in British politics and where their current level of


support comes from. Welcome to the programme. You have a party that


started off with just 1% of the vote 20 years ago and now are on track


for victory in this year's European elections. UKIP has come a long way


from its humble beginnings as an anti-EU pressure group. We analysed


almost 6000 UKIP voters but we also tracked the party support over the


last ten years, so were not just looking at the opinion polls this


year, and what the party will do in 2015, and it shows that this kind of


revolt has been a long time coming and has been building amongst the


1970s among particular groups, working class, old, unskilled, low


educated people people who feel left behind by Britain's economic


transformation and were the first to be hit by the crisis. Do you dispute


the claim that the majority of support comes from Tories in ex-oil?


Right now the support comes from conservatives -- in Excel. But the


support has been building for some time. In 2010 we found it actually


came from disillusioned Labour supporters. And where would these


voters be if UKIP were not in British politics right now? Would


they be going to the Conservatives? Unlikely. They should, under the


current reality go towards the Labour Party which is why there are


big questions for them. You say it's been a long time coming. What are


the conditions that have brought these people together and led to a


rise in support, fairly recently for UKIP? A lot of this is about social


and value divides in Britain. UKIP is a symptom of division within our


society. It's not so much interesting in terms of Nigel Farage


on the party, it is telling us something about Britain, and the


deep division between those who have been left behind and those who have


the skills and education to adapt and prosper. How worried are you buy


that analysis? And if you look at the polls today, it is the Tory


suffering in terms of bleeding support to UKIP. If David Cameron


could design a puzzling -- opposing leader and Chancellor, he would come


up with Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. I do disagree with Matthew on one


thing. Conservative Party that wins a majority does need to be winning


the kind of Labour voters are disgruntled with Ed Miliband. That


is the kind of person that Norman Tebbit, when he was party chairman


in the 80s, reached. The Conservative Party was brought.


Every successful Conservative leader keeps the centre-right coalition


together and David Cameron has failed to do that during his


leadership. Is it then a mistake for David Cameron and the Tory


leadership to present the sort of policies that some Tory backbenchers


would like to counter what they see as the rise of UKIP?


Anti-immigration, rhetoric around that, more Eurosceptic things,


because you could end -- alienate the centre ground which most people


think you need to win. Absolutely. This is the big challenge for


Cameron. One of the misunderstandings is will go away if


you give them a referendum. If you promise a net content migration,


they will go away. But their polling has been stubbornly resilient to


those promises and that is because the vote is not about instrumental


public policy offers. This is about the heart more than the head. It's


an emotional reaction in the sense that Britain isn't going in the


direction that these voters wanted to go. So it has almost been a waste


pursuing those policies by David Cameron in order to counter a threat


when that is not really what UKIP is about. If David Cameron had not


given the in or out referendum pledge he would be in a weaker


position. But it is a broad phenomenon. We see the tea party in


the United States, and the rise across Europe of people losing out


from the global economy. Michael Heseltine said on this programme


that he thought it was a racist party and a protest party. Is that


completely wrong? It's not simply a political process. It's a knee jerk


reaction to the voters there. The feel -- they feel strongly about a


specific set of issues. In Westminster we need to get away with


the obsession of what UKIP will do in 2015 and ask what the party tells


us about the divisions within society. Matthew, thank you very


much. If all that whetted your appetite, tune in next Wednesday for


the BBC debate with Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, which is on BBC Two at


7pm. We will, won't we? We certainly will. Every minute of it. It is an


issue that has troubled consumers through a number of years, domestic


energy prices rising above the rate of inflation and earnings. While


there were questions over whether the privatised electricity and gas


markets have been competitive enough to give come -- customers a fair


deal. Now there will be a full-blown competition enquiry and Joe has the


details. I do. In the last six years electricity bills have risen by 39%


and gas bills by almost two thirds over the same period. Critics argue


that with only six companies supplying 95% of need, the market


has failed. And that the size of those companies, their foreign


ownership, and the fact they both produce energy and supplies makes it


impossible to work out whether they are giving us a fair deal or


profiteering. It is an issue that Ed Miliband has seized on. Last October


the Labour leader said that he would freeze prices for 20 months and


replaced the regulator, and break up the gas and electricity companies to


make them more transparent. Yesterday SSE said they would freeze


prices and split the company into separate generating and retail arms,


with the suggestion they were pre-empting the Labour policy. But


David Cameron said the SSE decision was down to his cut in the eco-levy.


This morning off Jim said there was possible tacit coordination over


price hikes and referred the companies to the markets authority


which has the power to break them up -- this morning off Jim said --


OFGEM said. Don't hold your breath. The enquiry alone is expected to


take 18 months. In the last hour, Ed Davey explained why they would be an


investigation despite the risk. A market investigation reference is a


course of action that should not be lightly undertaken, especially when


the energy market is going through radical changes to introduce new,


low carbon generation while ensuring security of supply. But tackling


these issues through the authorities provides confidence for investors


and customers that the process will be evidence -based, fair and just


and free from political interference. We can now speak to


Richard Lloyd from the consumer organisation Which. You must welcome


this. This is the right thing to do. There's been such a cloud of


suspicion hanging over the industry, and what we now have is an


independent investigation back and get to the bottom of what is going


on. But this is a huge moment for the suppliers, in particular the


biggest suppliers. We want to see them get on with putting customers


at the heart of their business and getting their costs under control,


and trading more transparently, whatever happens in the


investigation. They should do that rather than threaten to turn the


lights out if it doesn't go their way. It is a pivotal moment. It is


make or break the big energy suppliers. And it will be, I hope,


good for consumers in the longer run. But as you rightly said, don't


hold your breath it won't happen overnight. Nothing is going to


change for at least two years, so one of the questions is, when you


look at other markets, like the supermarket, for instance, there


doesn't seem to be a problem with them being more competitive on


pricing. Why hasn't it worked for the big six energy companies? Have


you failed as a consumer organisation to some extent? One of


the interesting things about the OFGEM report today is that they say


there is a clear evidence of a lack of competition and it has not worked


in the market. We and they have known that for years. They've tried


to tackle it through changing the rule book, making the market a bit


more simple, getting more liquidity into the wholesale market, but


everyone agrees that that hasn't gone far enough and there is still a


huge number of consumers sitting on the same expensive tariffs, paying


way over the odds, potentially a couple of hundred pounds a year or


more, so the suppliers know people don't switch around and it's too


confusing and complicated. There is the suspicion of the vertically


integrated companies that sell themselves power and sell it on to


consumers. And it's right to have a look at those things. But at the


same time, OFGEM needs to show it is for tackling those problems in the


market at the same time. In effect, we have a parallel process going


on. It has to have the consumer welfare as part -- at its heart.


Listening to that, the energy minister and the shadow energy


minister. Michael Farren, why did it take you so long to work there was


something wrong with market? We have been reforming the market ever since


we came into office. They used to be 400 different tariffs and we have


simplified them, and they will be easier for independent suppliers to


compete against the big six. We have reformed the market as we have gone


enough -- along. Well, busily not enough. This is great news that the


competition authorities have overlooked at the energy market and


it will be welcome to the consumers and companies themselves because


they will have more certainty. One of the great reforms you talked


about was designed to make people -- easier for people to switch. The


number of electricity transfers fell by 20% between 2011 and 2013. There


was a drop in the switch after the mis-selling allegations, but that is


one of the key issues they will investigate. What is the right level


of switching? Should switching be higher than it is? Why is it easy to


switch your mobile phone provider? Why do people find it easier than


switching an energy supplier. That's a key part of the any of the


investigation. Is it not convenient for you because it kicks the issue


into the long grass into the run-up to the election? It's not the long


grass. They are under the floodlights. They will have to


answer questions and will be forensically investigated. Allowing


people like you to say you cannot comment until the investigation is


over. We have time-limited. It can't be longer than 18 months and we will


get the answer long before two years. It's important this is taken


out of party politics. People make claims, and the Labour Party have


been all over the place on whether its right to have vertical


integration or whether the profits are too large. Let's have it


investigated out of party politics and we get the answer we need. Does


the Labour Party welcome this? Yes, but the point Richard Lloyd made,


that doesn't mean nothing should happen while this goes on. We have


set out a package of reforms that we are consulting on, and we are listed


in 2015 we will take those forward. Let me go through with that. If you


win next May, the competition commission investigation will be


ongoing, but you will proceed with your price freeze in the middle of


the investigation? We will proceed with the price freeze and the


reforms we set out. That's interesting. I can see why you might


want to proceed with the price freeze, but why would you proceed


with substantial market reforms until you have read the


investigation conclusions and the work of the competition commission?


There are two issues. One is about transparency in the market, and one


is about the competitive behaviour. Obviously the commission will do


their work and if we are in position in government we will reflect on


what they come out with at the end, but the other issues we've


identified in the Green paper which we are consulting on, are about


bringing transparency to the market which is woefully lacking. SSE's


decision in relation to their generation and supply business


indicate that the issues around trust are not just about being


competitive it's also about transparency. You won't know for


sure that the market is anti-competitive or if there is


tacit price-fixing going on, and you won't know for sure if there is


something going wrong between the wholesale and retail markets until


you've read the full investigation. Because at the moment, you don't


know. But we know there is an element of self supply between the


companies, that there have been issues around liquidity, and we are


in a situation where small companies... Transparency is key for


the small companies. The investigation should be done by


independent, academic experts, you cannot say profits and prices are


too high and then say there is a lack of transparency and you do not


know what they are. Do not misrepresent me, the issues around


transparency or around the weight in which the trading functions, in the


price that people are paying. Transparency is needed to get trust


back, people do not trust their suppliers or the industry. We have


major capacity shortages looming, and the government said it is


looking for ?100 billion of fresh investment between 2015 and the end


of the decade to create new capacity. The big six were already


not investing much before you announced this, are you assuming


they will not invest anything until this investigation is over? They


have known about this, they are continuing to invest. SSA have just


pulled out. Centrica pulled out of Hinckley, then EDF replace them. We


have had billions invested in renewables, plenty of interest in


our market reform, to replace the capacity that is ageing and needs to


be replaced. This is not going to delay investment. So why every year


have you added less new capacity than capacity to have closed and


mothballed? It takes time to build a nuclear power station, we have done


that now, the first nuclear power station for 25 years, we have had


the two biggest wind farms in the world opened last year, there are


formal under construction, a wave of other investment in renewables, and


plenty of interest in our contracts which will be advertised in the


autumn and in the capacity market, which is our reserve supply. Do you


accept you are not replacing capacity as quickly as you are


closing old capacity? We need to go faster, old capacity is being taken


of the system because the previous government failed to invest, and


signed up to commitments. We are running to catch up with a legacy of


underinvestment. We are talking about electricity and gas prices, I


welcome our viewers from Scotland. How much spare capacity will be have


next winter? Sufficient capacity. It gets tighter, I cannot give the


exact figure, in the winter of 2015/16 and 2016/17. But that is


only if nothing is done. We are considering bringing some mothballed


plants back into service. There is only going to be a crisis if nothing


is done. That has been rejected, the gas company will not do it. There


are many of bald gas plants. The major one that you wanted, S S E


said it would not be available. Some are available and some are


withdrawn, it is Ofgem's job to make sure there is sufficient capacity


will stop we will only have a shortage if nothing is done. What


can you do between now and 2016? You can bring unit back on. There are a


series of mothballed stations and units that they are looking at. Is


it true you have got diesel generator parks over the country,


ready to click in? No, we do not need diesel. There are mothballed


units of existing stations that can be brought on. Are you telling our


viewers that diesel generation is not part of any back-up plan? I do


not know the number of diesel units that there are. Over 300. It would


be hard to think of anything generating more carbon dioxide. I


will look at those for you. But there is sufficient capacity that


can be put back onto the system other and Ofgem and the National


Grid have been charged with that, making sure that the margin of


capacity does not tighten in those winters. If there is a need for big


investment, and there will still be, if Labour continues with the


price freeze and reform the market even before you have seen the


competition report, there is no chance of a single pound of fresh


investment from the big six under Labour until that happens. Look at


what S S E said yesterday, they are instituted part of the reform


package, and they are still investing significant amounts. It


works out at 1.5 million pounds a day. It is a significant amount. The


investments they have pulled out from, they are not happening, but


the people are coming in, and there is a difference between the big


six's investment. The investment will not all come from the big six,


but it will still come, but only if we have a long-term policy framework


for the future. So much more to ask, but we need to move on.


Yesterday, there were reports that there may have been a sizeable


rebellion of Labour MPs voting against the government's proposed


welfare cap. The idea put forward by George Osborne in the budget would


in future sea limits set at the beginning of each Parliament. Labour


had said they would support the measure, but a number of MPs were


unhappy. Only 13 Labour MPs defied their party whip and voted against


the measure. This is the key point that I would


make to those people opposite, this welfare cap brings responsibility,


accountability and fairness. Those who want to unto our welfare reforms


will now have to tell us about the other cuts they will make all come


clean and admit to the public that what they really want are higher


welfare bills. We support capping Social Security spending, a policy


the leader of the opposition advocated last year, and with


welfare spending now ?13 billion higher than the government planned


in its Spending Review, we will make different and fairer choices to get


the Social Security Bill under control and tackle the root causes


of rising spending. On that basis, we will support this motion this


afternoon. I am one of the few people in here who have been a


recipient of benefits, there will not be any on that side of the


house. I was proud to get a job and that the company got be back to


work, and I was not a benefit cheat, as some of these people what have


you believe. I will welfare system should be based on the facts, it


should be based on need, whatever short-term political advantage


people think is gained by voting for the cap, it is outweighed by what is


problematic. I will not be voting for this cap in the lobbies tonight.


I listened to what the honourable baby -- honourable lady said, at no


point she think about the other side of the coin, the people referred to


by my honourable friend, the people who have to pay the bills. They have


needs and requirements, and many low-paid people have to pay the


bills, she never mentioned them. To acquiesce to this nonsense that


piles more pain on our poorest pensioners, and low income families,


would be a failure of leadership, and a betrayal of the people of


Scotland who elected us, and who have the right to deserve better.


Joining me now is one of the Labour rebels, Diane Abbott. Why did you


vote against it? If we vote for a benefit cap, we are locked in to


Tory benefit cuts, and whilst I believe we need to bring down


spending on welfare, and we can do it by introducing a national living


wage, Patrick cuts would be counter-productive. Ed Balls has


said you would have different priorities, you would be able to


stick to the spending cap on welfare by cutting different things, the


bedroom tax, as Labour would call it. I was in the chamber, George


Osborne challenged him on the detail of the benefits cut package. To


everything George Osborne said, Ed Balls nodded. You have to believe we


are locked into the Tory cuts. If you are not going to agree to any


cuts, how are you going to bring the bill down? By putting up the living


wage, so we are not spending on tax credits, by building housing so we


are not pouring millions into housing benefit. There after short


things you can do to bring down welfare over a Parliament. But with


an annual cap, you are locked into the cuts. Tim will say it is popular


with the public, George Osborne was swaggering around, he is putting the


layabouts to the sword. But over a lifetime, he will all be the


recipient of some sort of Social Security, whether it is child


benefit or the pension. It is whether people will believe you will


do anything about it. Tim, what do you say to what Diane has said? The


Labour Party does not have credibility, they have opposed the


welfare cuts and almost every card that the government has made. The


great thing they needed to do was to establish fiscal credibility, that


they could be trusted again. Ed Balls has signed up to it. They made


an 11th hour effort to show some could ability, but what -- but if


they were really bold, they could take on the coalition on protecting


older pensioners' benefit. What's you could say is unfair is that


working age people are bearing a disproportionate share of the


burden. But like the other parties, they are afraid to tackle the issue,


because older voters are numerous and vote twice as often as young


people. The cap is going to increase, there will be more


spending on welfare. George Osborne has said they plan to take a further


?12 billion out, so where else would you take it? Things are going to be


cut. A lot of effort to get more people into work. We have data


showing there are 500,000 fewer households where nobody works will


stop in terms of this coalition's achievements, I would put that near


the top, work is the root to prosperity. What kind of jobs?


Agency work? Low-paid work? It is to be subsidised by tax credit. You are


out of date. I live in Hackney! The number of people getting full-time


work is growing. A lot of them are not ideal jobs... Less than ideal.


The problem is changing. It is better to have people in part-time


work than the problems of previous recessions. The jobs miracle is


that. I would not call it a miracle. Encouraging people to scapegoat


benefit claimants is the nasty party back with a vengeance.


You were at Tony Benn's tunable. It was really my thing -- it was really


moving, they had Jerusalem, William Blake, his children all gave a


testimony, and his brother spoke about him. It was a gathering of the


left. A moving occasion. Michael Heseltine was there. Westminster


Abbey? Just around the corner. Consider yourself our official


correspondence. The issue of plain cigarette


packaging caused headaches for the government last year. First it was


going to be introduced, then it was not, then an enquiry. The report has


come out of the long grass, the coalition will be forced to look at


the issue again. Tobacco companies are claiming plain packaging could


lead to an increase in black-market cigarettes.


We all know smoking is bad for your health, successive governments have


tried to stop people sparking up, whether through hefty taxes or the


smoking ban. The idea of standardised packs bearing little


but a health warning was reignited recently. They are already in place


in Australia. The idea is they make cigarettes less appealing,


especially to young smokers. These are Australian packs. No matter the


brand, they look the same. The industry claimed the lack of


markings make it easy to fake them, which could lead to a rise in


illegal and counterfeit cigarettes. We start of the top, then works out


towards Pimlico. This ex-policeman now works for tobacco giant Philip


Morris, and his team travelled the country to assess the illicit travel


-- tobacco market, unlike his employer, he says plain packs could


make things worse. In counterfeit currency we had to keep ahead of


them by putting in normal security measures in. Then overnight, most of


the measures would be removed and instead of counterfeiting hundreds


of types of brands, they only have to copy one, and the whole market is


so not. His team want to remain anonymous because they go into shops


to buy illicit tobacco from research and then refer illegal activity to


trading standards. They claim it's easy to find. Sometimes they will


come out from behind the counter, or they will be in behind packets of


cornflakes and things, so these are ?3 50 a packet, and Marlboro


cigarette you can get for ?8 a packet, the legitimate price, and we


are getting them for around ?5 per packet. There is no dispute the


illegal tobacco trade exists, whether counterfeit cigarettes all


real brands smuggled in to avoid tax. But HM RC says the market has


halved since the year 2000. Many claim there is no evidence that


standardised packs were affected, saying it is a myth peddled by the


tobacco industry which wants to keep advertising brands. The industry


data, until 2011 when plain packaging was discussed, was similar


to government data and other independent data. Suddenly the


possibility of plain packaging was discussed and industry data shows an


increase in illicit tobacco which seems false. The tobacco industry


cannot be trusted. The arguments are false and should be seen for what


they are, a PR ploy aiming to derail the legislation. We don't yet have


standardised packaging so there's no impact invested -- impact data. In


Australia, where the plane packets were introduced in 2012, there are


different interpretations of data, but Customs said it does not appear


to have had a significant impact on illicit tobacco import. In the UK,


an independent report is due imminently and will no doubt spark


further debate about whether it should be introduced here. Still


with me is Diane Abbott, the former shadow public health minister, and


joining Mrs Simon Clark, the director of the dash and joining us


is Simon Clark. We heard that the tobacco industry can't be trusted


with the data and will do anything to advertise, but surely anything


lowering the number of deaths from smoking is a good thing. The


government talks about evidence -based policy that there's no


evidence that the plain packaging would reduce youth smoking rates.


I'm 54 and I don't know a single smoker who started smoking as a


teenager or later because they were attracted to the packaging. It's


nonsense. I have only ever heard to ex-smokers who were attracted by the


packaging, and they were politicians who were both Junior health


spokesman, which says everything. We can't introduce it if there is no


evidence for it and your report shows that illicit trade is a


problem and we don't want to do anything that might exacerbate that.


Let's ask the politician and former health minister whether you will


back up the claims made by Simon that you just put out this policy


with no evidence? That's nonsense. There have been major studies done


by scientists and doctors about this, and all of the medical


organisations support plain packaging. Can you explain what the


studies actually are? The doctors want plain packaging because they


believe it will help to bear down on levels of smoking. Let's not forget,


smoking is not a harmless pastime, it's one of the biggest sources of


cancer. To be honest with you, I'd rather believe a doctor than the


tobacco industry lobbyist. The point I want to make is that one of the


reason why the Tories have been reluctant is Lynton Crosby politics,


a penny off the point, and you can have your fags as well. It's


appealing to the UKIP voter. Is there evidence, and it's been


introduced in Australia, and it's only been a year, and it's not a


long enough time to give proper data, but interestingly, there has


been a 0.3% increase from 2012 in the amount of tobacco smoke. It's a


very small increase in new can't say it is conclusive. So what is the


evidence that plain packaging would reduce the number of people who


smoke? Doctors are convinced it is an important measure. When we


introduced the ban on smoking in pubs and bars and they said that


would do -- no one said that would do anything, but levels of childhood


asthma drop. We're talking about health charities and doctors and


cancer charities and they all say it will reduce the number of young


people who start smoking who are attracted to the idea of colourful


cigarette packaging. It's just nonsense. Are you saying they are


all wrong? I'm saying it's based on conjecture. They ask basic groups,


focus groups of 15-year-olds and they showed the plain packaging


which is covered in grotesque images and then they showed them the


current cigarette packaging and say which do you prefer. It's like


showing a child a picture of a Lamborghini and a beaten up for


their school, and ask which one you prefer? It's not a real-world


situation -- a beaten up Ford Escort. I'm more interested in the


electronic cigarette revolution which gets people of smoking. It


doesn't have the tar which causes the health problems but still has


the nicotine. The European regulation of that industry is the


real threat to public health. I think we have to finish it there.


I'm sure we will have you back on the programme about the subject. Are


we teaching our pupils the right skills for the economy? The former


Conservative Education Secretary Lord Baker thinks not. He wants more


emphasis on vocational skills and more schools that specialise in


so-called stem subjects like science, technology, engineering and


maths. Lord Baker chose a group of technical colleges which aims to do


that, and we will get his thoughts, but first we can speak to Moira


Green, a principle of one such college in Elstree. Welcome to the


programme. Tell us what your college specialises in. We specialise in the


technical aspects of the entertainment and film industry,


things like postproduction, lighting and sound. We make sure that


students have a really grounded technical and academic curriculum.


What is your offer to the students? I understand it opened last


September. What is your offer in terms of guarantees of a job or a


university place at the end of it? The aspiration is that all of the


students will seek a route through to employment, and that might


involve university, it might evolve up an apprenticeship -- involve an


apprenticeship, and it will definitely involve work experience


with partners. You have links setup that you can offer, proper work


experience for the pupils. Of course. We are working with our


employer partners. We have recently worked with the Big Brother


producers. Our students spent three days being the crew for the next set


of contestants and will work with the design team on the design of the


next house. We are also working with the MOBOs and our students are


lighting, doing the sound, and then web packaging the contents for the


website in conjunction with their design and editorial team. This is


for 14 to 18-year-olds? Yes, and it's already happening. We've been


open seven months and we have real links with partners providing


incredible opportunities the young people. Moira Green, thank you very


much. The man behind the movement joins us now, Kenneth Baker. Welcome


back. Interesting listening to the headmistress there. How many UTC


colleges are there? We have 17 open and 12 more will open this year and


we will have another 12 more approved. It's not just a few cases.


Are you getting to a critical mass? Yes, I think it's now unstoppable.


That is wonderful. She will guarantee that her youngsters will


get a job, an apprenticeship or go on to college and do A-levels or go


to university. Very few schools can say that. And they are doing it


because those companies can come and teach at the UTC. They talk to the


students every day. Those students will have experience of doing things


with there. These colleges are very typical. Where does the funding come


from? From Michael Gove. It comes from you. The state. They are


taxpayer funded. We are allowed to spend up to ?10 million on the


building and equipment and no more, and then they'll run like academies.


I tell you why I want them, because there is a massive shortage of


technicians. You were talking about Jackson electricity earlier and that


industry is 23% short at the moment of technicians -- gas and


electricity. Manufacturing is 30% short. We are not producing. We need


the technicians in our universities and schools. You want a new breed of


career colleges? How would that differ from a UTC? Career colleges


are like catering or hospitality or tourism, creative arts. One will


open up an old in Lancashire, linking graphic art with computing.


-- open in Oldham. Another one might open in Liverpool. It's the same


sort of thing. They are from 8:30am until 5pm every day. Shorter


holidays. They wanted and they are very popular. Her school is heavily


subscribed. The government has boast about the increase in


apprenticeships, but when you look at the figures, quite a lot of


apprenticeships are in business studies or health management. They


might be needed, but they are not what you would traditionally think


of as an apprenticeships. You would think about science, technology,


engineering, mathematics and we don't seem to have another


apprentices. You are very well briefed. There are 49,000


apprentices in managerial studies. That was never an apprentice in the


Park -- in the past. That is rebranding somebody doing studies. I


met two people sweeping the corridor, and they said they were


apprentices. We want more of these colleges. We are going to get more


of them, and the thing I'm most proud about, Andrew, is that the


target for all of them is when you have a lever at 16 or 18 and nobody


gets a jobseeker's allowance. We have targets and we have met them. I


think this is a fantastic achievement. Do you think the


government should get behind it more? Absolutely. If we're going to


compete with emerging economies, I think it's fantastic. Some viewers


think politicians are just in it for power and glory, and I don't know


how old you are. Don't answer! I am about to become 80. Michael


Heseltine is still touring the country with the cities programme.


There are generations of politics -- politicians dedicated to serving the


country. You once described Michael Gove is very dedicated. Was that


good or bad? He's a bit too interested in the academic side. He


could do with more interesting in your side? Well, I am spending his


money, but wisely. We want a bigger network, and which saw David Cameron


saying he wants one of these in every age can the country. We will


keep an eye on it. A very interesting development. Sticking


with Michael Gove and education, because there's just time to find


out the answer to our daily quiz. Can you remember, what is the Shadow


Education Secretary say was his favourite thing about Michael Gove?


Was it that he's sending his daughter to a state secondary, his


good manners, his enthusiasm for history, or his wife's newspaper


columns? He does have good manners but I would say it's sending his


daughter to a state school. Is that right


no. Michael and I share an enthusiasm history. Is based on a


deep and sustained reading rather than Michael's more superficial


understanding of the past. How very touching. What a backhanded


condiment. I think we are done for the day -- backhanded compliment.


The one o'clock News is starting on BBC One right now. I will be back on


BBC One with David Starkey, Warwick Davis and Laura Greensburg, Alan


Johnson and Michael Portillo, and I will be here tomorrow to continue my


TV apprenticeship. It's going very well! Goodbye.


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