31/03/2014 Daily Politics


31/03/2014

Jo Coburn with the latest political news and debate from Westminster. With a look at George Osborne's plans for tax cuts for businesses, and the history of Parliament.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 31/03/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Good afternoon. Welcome to the Daily Politics. George Osborne is blowing

:00:39.:00:46.

his own trumpet again. He's just made a speech with a commitment to

:00:47.:00:50.

fight for full employment and argues his changes to the tax and benefits

:00:51.:00:54.

system are the most important for a generation.

:00:55.:00:56.

How does a ?10 a month charge to use the NHS grab you? It's being

:00:57.:01:00.

proposed by the former Labour Health Minister Lord Warner to help plug

:01:01.:01:03.

the funding gap. We'll speak to him live.

:01:04.:01:05.

The impact of climate change is likely to be severe, pervasive and

:01:06.:01:08.

irreversible according to a major new report by the UN. We'll discuss

:01:09.:01:13.

what, if anything, can be done about it.

:01:14.:01:16.

And excessive drinking, expenses scandals and corruption. Just a

:01:17.:01:20.

normal day in the office of the Daily Politics and they also feature

:01:21.:01:23.

pretty highly in the history of Parliament. Surprise surprise. We

:01:24.:01:33.

will take a look back. All that in the next hour. And with

:01:34.:01:38.

us for the first half of the programme is the editor of Labour

:01:39.:01:42.

List Mark Ferguson. Welcome to the programme. Let's start with the

:01:43.:01:48.

proposals from former Labour Health Minister Lord Warner that everyone

:01:49.:01:51.

should start paying a ?10 a month so-called membership charge to use

:01:52.:01:54.

the NHS. The plan is from a report for the think-tank Reform and argues

:01:55.:01:58.

that the money is needed to plug an expected ?30 billion funding gap by

:01:59.:02:06.

2020. So, could this be a goer? Lord Warner is with me now. Before we ask

:02:07.:02:12.

you whether it will catch on, where did you get the funding gap from?

:02:13.:02:23.

Because the now retired or retiring chief executive actually said that

:02:24.:02:28.

is what the gap would be by the end of the decade. Nuffield trust, the

:02:29.:02:34.

independent health think tank said it could be over ?40 billion. We

:02:35.:02:39.

have used the most conservative estimate. I do not think too many

:02:40.:02:43.

people in the know who I have spoken to think there will not be a great

:02:44.:02:49.

financial black hole by the end of this decade for the NHS. Without new

:02:50.:02:55.

sources of funding? We are saying other things as well. The NHS is not

:02:56.:03:01.

as efficient as it could be. We are in good company. The regulator

:03:02.:03:04.

saying the same thing. ?18 billion worth of savings Monitor thinks the

:03:05.:03:12.

NHS could deliver. Anyway you look at it, the funding streams look

:03:13.:03:16.

inadequate to cope with providing a good quality health service with the

:03:17.:03:21.

disease profiles we have and tomography we have got. Health

:03:22.:03:25.

spending is devolved, you are talking about England. But it will

:03:26.:03:30.

go against the grain. It will go against the grain of the majority of

:03:31.:03:35.

people in England who say it has to be free at the point of use, that is

:03:36.:03:39.

what it was setup to. We respect that. We would like to go on putting

:03:40.:03:47.

more money into the NHS but I do not think you can go on shoving more

:03:48.:03:51.

money into the NHS from general taxation with the situation we have

:03:52.:03:56.

got. We have to look for otherwise. We have also got to look at finding

:03:57.:04:00.

creative ways to get people to in gauge with looking after their own

:04:01.:04:05.

health better than we have done so far. Your proposal for a ?10 charge

:04:06.:04:10.

for everybody to become a member of the NHS is what you are proposing is

:04:11.:04:19.

a starting point. We all also -- we are also proposing exemptions. There

:04:20.:04:22.

should be some exemptions for children and poorer people as well.

:04:23.:04:28.

What do you think the reaction will be? The Labour Party has said there

:04:29.:04:32.

is no prospect of this being introduced by them ever. Long term

:04:33.:04:42.

Labour would keep the NHS free at point of use. I commend Lord Warner

:04:43.:04:47.

for thinking seriously about the funding. But you talked about

:04:48.:04:53.

membership of the NHS. One of the wonderful things about the NHS is

:04:54.:04:59.

from the moment you are born, you are a member. You do not have to

:05:00.:05:03.

worry about whether you have paid your bills when you turn up at

:05:04.:05:08.

hospital. It is not affordable and sustainable according to Lord

:05:09.:05:12.

Warner, if we want to treat the wide range of diseases and ageing

:05:13.:05:17.

population. Do you accept that? I am not sure I do. There is still a case

:05:18.:05:21.

for it being funded through general taxation. The NHS... You think

:05:22.:05:32.

people would take an increase in general taxation? If we have a

:05:33.:05:37.

shortfall, it is the kind of conversation we have to be having.

:05:38.:05:42.

Should spending be ring fenced by some of -- ring fenced? I find it

:05:43.:05:49.

difficult how Labour could have given this report serious

:05:50.:05:55.

consideration. You think they are not thinking about it because

:05:56.:05:59.

politically it would not be palatable. They have got to revisit

:06:00.:06:05.

issues around the NHS. What are the other charges you would be looking

:06:06.:06:09.

at? What about charging to go and see your GP, charging for food and

:06:10.:06:17.

hospital? What we have tried to do with the membership idea is not

:06:18.:06:21.

actually have a charge for GPs. We have tried not to put a barrier up.

:06:22.:06:27.

This is an annual subscription. We have suggested one of the things to

:06:28.:06:31.

be considered, as in France and Germany, is a small charge for the

:06:32.:06:37.

hotel costs of being an impatient are particularly if you are in for

:06:38.:06:42.

an exceptionally long time. De Unite union has put out a press release

:06:43.:06:46.

saying you have a conflict of interest because you have links with

:06:47.:06:51.

private health care companies. It is rubbish. They are out of date. They

:06:52.:06:57.

will say there is a conflict of interest where there is this

:06:58.:07:00.

privatisation of the NHS. Is that how you would see it? I have always

:07:01.:07:05.

used the NHS and I will go on using it. But I will be a bit more

:07:06.:07:09.

selective about which hospital I place myself in the charge of. In

:07:10.:07:14.

terms of social insurance, one of the other things mentioned, do you

:07:15.:07:17.

think it would ever be politically palatable? They have it in France

:07:18.:07:22.

which is a far more left-wing country in many ways than our own.

:07:23.:07:26.

Within the UK it is so much within the day to day, session around

:07:27.:07:30.

health care that it is free at the point of use and I do not expect

:07:31.:07:38.

that to change -- within the day to day conversation around health care.

:07:39.:07:49.

Nearly 50% of MPs said it will no longer be free is used. -- free to

:07:50.:07:58.

be used. In 2010, George Osborne said he

:07:59.:08:02.

would eliminate the deficit by 2015. And after years of austerity, it

:08:03.:08:05.

seems that the Chancellor believes that the public finances are in such

:08:06.:08:09.

good shape that it is time for a massive give away. Or as Mr Osborne

:08:10.:08:12.

calls it, the biggest tax reduction in two decades. How will the magical

:08:13.:08:18.

transformation appear? Tomorrow the tax on company profits will be cut

:08:19.:08:25.

by 22% to 21%. This will also be reformed and to help companies grow

:08:26.:08:29.

the tax-free investment allowance will rise to half a million. On

:08:30.:08:34.

Sunday, the lowest paid workers will only start paying tax after the

:08:35.:08:39.

first 10,000. Bosses get another bonus with the national Insurance

:08:40.:08:44.

cut of up to ?2000 per employee. Labour said the Chancellor's smoke

:08:45.:08:50.

and mirrors routine is just an illusion with the typical household

:08:51.:08:55.

?900 worse off since the last election. George Osborne has been

:08:56.:08:58.

speaking just over an hour ago, hailing the new tax regime that

:08:59.:09:02.

begins this week. The focus of the changes to tax was to encourage more

:09:03.:09:07.

into work and the Chancellor's speech contained a rather retro

:09:08.:09:14.

phrase. Over 2 million are still looking for a job. It will take time

:09:15.:09:19.

to fix it but we will not rest while we have so much wasted potential in

:09:20.:09:24.

some plants to be macro parts of the country. I am making a new

:09:25.:09:28.

commitment to fight for full employment in Britain. Making jobs a

:09:29.:09:36.

central goal of our economic plan. The Chancellor. Unfortunately, no

:09:37.:09:39.

Treasury minister was available to discuss the speech. Very strange.

:09:40.:09:44.

They are all fully employed, it seems. We are lucky enough to be

:09:45.:09:48.

joined by the Jessie Norman a member the Treasury Select Committee. Thank

:09:49.:09:52.

you for taking time out of your full-time job. Full employment, what

:09:53.:09:57.

does the Chancellor mean by that? To us it means that everybody has a

:09:58.:10:02.

job. He means that everyone should be in work to the maximum extent

:10:03.:10:08.

possible, the full employable resources of the country should be

:10:09.:10:12.

use. He said he wants us to be at the top of the G7 rankings for the

:10:13.:10:18.

percentage of people in employment, above Canada, Germany, Japan. It is

:10:19.:10:23.

formidable. What is the percentage we are talking about? He used a

:10:24.:10:28.

figure 2 million unemployed, it is 7%. I cannot tell you what the

:10:29.:10:33.

percentage would be but it would take us from 71% to 73% of people

:10:34.:10:44.

employed. OK. In terms of rhetoric it is fairly loaded. George Osborne

:10:45.:10:50.

is parking his tanks on the Labour Party's lawn. The Labour Party has

:10:51.:10:55.

been talking about full employment. It depends on the Metro use. Labour

:10:56.:10:58.

would want to see the number of people unemployed for six months or

:10:59.:11:04.

more reduced to effectively zero. What I would say is that I have not

:11:05.:11:08.

seen anything from George Osborne today in terms of policy that gets

:11:09.:11:13.

us to that point other than it is an aspiration. Labour has the

:11:14.:11:16.

compulsory jobs guarantee that will go in the right direction but I

:11:17.:11:19.

still think they can go further. Osborne will need to go a lot

:11:20.:11:22.

further to park his tanks properly and celebrate. What are the policies

:11:23.:11:29.

that would get closer to that aspiration? The Chancellor

:11:30.:11:34.

specifically distanced himself from the old-style Labour approach which

:11:35.:11:38.

would be pumping up demand, classic Labour approach. He is saying we

:11:39.:11:44.

need to continue to do what we are doing, stimulating the productive

:11:45.:11:49.

potential of the economy through the kinds of tax reductions he has been

:11:50.:11:53.

talking about today. Also, working alongside that on the welfare side

:11:54.:11:57.

to encourage people out of dependency on the state and into

:11:58.:12:01.

some form of productive and happy work. Are you saying the public

:12:02.:12:06.

finances, is the Treasury saying the finances are in such a good state

:12:07.:12:09.

that the country can afford tax giveaways? No, I do not think it

:12:10.:12:15.

design that. If you look at the cost of the giveaways, some are very

:12:16.:12:20.

expensive and some less so -- I do not think it is saying that.

:12:21.:12:25.

Corporation tax reduction is relatively inexpensive. The key

:12:26.:12:29.

point is to send a message being open for business, and economy on

:12:30.:12:34.

the up. The numbers are indisputable. You say they are

:12:35.:12:47.

indisputable but we have a rather large deficit. The Chancellor has

:12:48.:12:51.

gone on about it being the priority. The priority has shifted. Growth has

:12:52.:12:56.

come but we still have the deficit. He has not met his own target. 60%

:12:57.:13:02.

of public spending cuts are still to come. I think that is unfair. On the

:13:03.:13:07.

Treasury committee we had various experts who have made it clear the

:13:08.:13:13.

recession that started in 2008 was the longest and deepest we have ever

:13:14.:13:17.

had. The Chancellor is saying something extraordinarily sensible

:13:18.:13:22.

which is that you cannot ignore the graveside and growth is fundamental

:13:23.:13:26.

to reducing the deficit. Difficult balancing act of stimulator growth

:13:27.:13:29.

and cutting tax and bearing down on debt and deficit. They go together.

:13:30.:13:35.

Difficult for Labour with growth continuing and the Chancellor seems

:13:36.:13:41.

to be able to say he can give things away. Whether or not it is fiscally

:13:42.:13:45.

neutral we can argue about. It makes it difficult for Labour to have a

:13:46.:13:50.

policy that growth was never going to come back. It has. Jobs have been

:13:51.:13:58.

created. Labour was never stupid enough to say that jobs and growth

:13:59.:14:02.

would not come back. Even a dead cat bounce is eventually. Labour will be

:14:03.:14:07.

saying, we were promised growth but it is relatively meagre and late.

:14:08.:14:12.

How many jobs? When will they come? The OBR is talking about 5%

:14:13.:14:16.

unemployment in years to come. It does not feel like full employment

:14:17.:14:22.

to me. Rather than a big tax giveaway. Would it not be prudent to

:14:23.:14:27.

fix the roof if the sun is shining? The roof will be fixed by a growing

:14:28.:14:31.

economy whose tax receipts moved upwards which repay debt. The tax

:14:32.:14:35.

receipts have not been coming in the stock according to the Financial

:14:36.:14:39.

Times today disappointing tax rates and the Chancellor should be

:14:40.:14:46.

worried. Will be more reason for simplification of the tax system so

:14:47.:14:48.

that people know what they should pay. Anyone would think there was an

:14:49.:14:56.

election going on next year. The last budget was not election

:14:57.:14:59.

orientated. Who goes into an election promising widespread

:15:00.:15:05.

tidings up of the pension system? The extraordinary thing actually is

:15:06.:15:10.

that the current fiscal straitjacket imposed by our debt and deficit

:15:11.:15:14.

position makes it very hard for any government to start giving away

:15:15.:15:17.

enormous amounts of money. This is not a giveaway. This is intelligent

:15:18.:15:20.

setting of a long-term course. If you look at the numbers involved,

:15:21.:15:28.

they very. The personal allowance, it is a real commitment. It is not a

:15:29.:15:32.

giveaway. People are allowed to keep more of their money.

:15:33.:15:42.

I think that when we come to the end of this Parliament, and people are

:15:43.:15:49.

asking which tax measure is going to be most memorable, I think that so

:15:50.:15:54.

far, the polls would suggest it will be not the personal allowance, but

:15:55.:15:58.

the cutting off the top rate of tax. And that is even though, the measure

:15:59.:16:03.

was only in place for a few months. However, the impact of saying we are

:16:04.:16:09.

all in it together, and then cutting tax for the top rate taxpayers, it

:16:10.:16:15.

does still resonate. There has been a lot of talk by your own

:16:16.:16:20.

backbenchers about people being dragged into the 50p tax rate. VAT

:16:21.:16:25.

has gone up. There are things which were taken away that you are just

:16:26.:16:29.

restoring, you are not really giving any extra? You cannot call it

:16:30.:16:35.

endless giveaways, and then say we are only restoring things! I can!

:16:36.:16:43.

The key point about the top rate of tax is that it was designed to raise

:16:44.:16:48.

more tax, and in fact, it looks like it is doing that. Unfortunately, no

:16:49.:16:52.

matter what anyone thinks about it, it was a gimmick, and it has been

:16:53.:16:58.

reversed. As the Chancellor has said, the rich are now paying more

:16:59.:17:03.

tax than ever before. What about inheritance tax? When do you think

:17:04.:17:07.

the increase in the threshold for intermittent stacks will happen,

:17:08.:17:11.

raising it to 1 million, as was promised? -- inheritance tax. I have

:17:12.:17:18.

no idea. It was an off-the-cuff remark by the Prime Minister. Is

:17:19.:17:24.

that what it was? I have not assessed that in detail, but I do

:17:25.:17:29.

not think it is a piece of policy at the moment. Thank you very much.

:17:30.:17:39.

It used to be a familiar problem - companies relocating to Britain for

:17:40.:17:44.

cheap labour and materials at the expense of British jobs. Called

:17:45.:17:47.

"off-shoring" it could leave communities devastated and

:17:48.:17:48.

governments feeling helpless. Now however, there's a new word in the

:17:49.:17:52.

economic lexicon - "re-shoring" - the phenomena of companies coming

:17:53.:17:55.

back to the UK and bringing jobs with them, and it's on the increase.

:17:56.:17:57.

Here's Alex Forsyth with more. Too many working in manufacturing,

:17:58.:18:13.

re-shoring might sound like a word made up by economists, which it is.

:18:14.:18:18.

But it describes a growing trend. A number of firms are bringing their

:18:19.:18:20.

production operations back to Britain, often from the Far East.

:18:21.:18:29.

Six months ago, these items were manufactured in China. Now, they are

:18:30.:18:33.

made at this factory in Tewkesbury, giving the company more flexibility.

:18:34.:18:36.

They can order smaller quantities, more frequently, and get them to

:18:37.:18:40.

their customers more quickly. Transit costs less. For the

:18:41.:18:47.

retailer, it is a big change, to use this British factory. The firm

:18:48.:18:50.

started out with most suppliers based overseas. This year it hopes

:18:51.:18:54.

about a 10th of its turnover will come from products made in the UK.

:18:55.:18:59.

Manufacturers have become more open to be more flexible with retailers,

:19:00.:19:05.

giving us better payment terms and smaller production batches, so we

:19:06.:19:08.

can try and test new products very quickly, bring them to market very

:19:09.:19:12.

quickly and turn them around very quickly. All of this helps cash

:19:13.:19:16.

flow, and when it comes to costs, rising wages in the Far East mean

:19:17.:19:21.

that making products there is not as cheap as it once was. It is all good

:19:22.:19:27.

news for British manufacturers. This factory now employs 150 people,

:19:28.:19:34.

compared to 60, weight years ago. The new business we have received

:19:35.:19:38.

has enable us to scale up production. We are producing around

:19:39.:19:43.

7000 to raise a week now. We do it in a variety of shapes and sizes,

:19:44.:19:47.

making us very versatile. David Cameron praised this kind of clicks

:19:48.:19:52.

ability during his speech in Davos, which he used to praise the

:19:53.:19:59.

re-shoring revolution. If we make the right decisions, we may see more

:20:00.:20:02.

of what is a small but discernible trend, where some jobs which were

:20:03.:20:07.

once offshore are coming back from East to West.

:20:08.:20:14.

Of course, some firms are still heading overseas to make the most of

:20:15.:20:18.

market opportunities in growing economies. But for the sake of

:20:19.:20:21.

growth in the UK, the hope is that more businesses will once again want

:20:22.:20:26.

to mark their products, made in Britain.

:20:27.:20:33.

And with me in the studio is the chief economist with the

:20:34.:20:42.

manufacturers' organisation, representing UK manufacturing

:20:43.:20:46.

companies. What has the Government done, if anything, to encourage this

:20:47.:20:51.

trend of companies re-shoring? Firstly, this is about what

:20:52.:20:55.

manufacturers are doing. If companies are bringing production

:20:56.:20:59.

back, making different decisions from the ones they were making ten

:21:00.:21:03.

years ago, it is because companies are doing things differently. They

:21:04.:21:06.

are more innovative, more flexible, more responsive to customers.

:21:07.:21:11.

Government has helped to a degree I laying some of the foundations for

:21:12.:21:13.

the kind of business environment which helps with those strategies.

:21:14.:21:18.

More recently we have seen a particular programme which tries to

:21:19.:21:22.

help overcome some of the challenges associated with re-shoring, in terms

:21:23.:21:25.

of finding the right supplier, or making the decision about where best

:21:26.:21:31.

to make your next investment. But this is mostly about what companies

:21:32.:21:34.

have done, and how their strategies have changed. But has the motivation

:21:35.:21:39.

for them to do it, which is always about cost, been a major factor? I

:21:40.:21:48.

would argue it is not just about cost. In some recent research that

:21:49.:21:53.

we did, around one in six companies have bought some production back

:21:54.:21:56.

from a low labour cost economy to the UK. Nobody said it was just for

:21:57.:22:00.

cost purposes. Companies are more innovative. In order to collaborate

:22:01.:22:05.

and be more responsive to customers, there are clear advantages to

:22:06.:22:09.

reducing more in the UK and having more of your supply chain in the UK.

:22:10.:22:14.

This is encouraging for the manufacturing industry, isn't it?

:22:15.:22:20.

Absolutely. For too long, under all sorts of governments, we have

:22:21.:22:25.

knocked down manufacturing, built a business park, set up a call centre

:22:26.:22:29.

and called it a success. But we are not at the levels which we had

:22:30.:22:36.

before the crash yet, are we? We have heard endlessly from the

:22:37.:22:38.

Government about rebalancing the economy, but is that actually

:22:39.:22:42.

realistic, can we really talk about that? I think it is realistic. We

:22:43.:22:47.

just have to be a bit more patient. This was never going to be a single

:22:48.:22:53.

Parliament job. Creating sustainable growth requires us to be much more

:22:54.:22:56.

focused on investment and export driven growth. When you're

:22:57.:23:00.

fracturing has to be a key part of that. It delivers half hour exports.

:23:01.:23:10.

-- manufacturing. Should Labour be focusing -- focusing more of its

:23:11.:23:14.

attention on rebalancing the economy? I think if you look at

:23:15.:23:25.

those economies which got through the financial crash test, they were

:23:26.:23:29.

the ones with the most balanced economies. They did not just rely on

:23:30.:23:33.

a couple of sectors. The British economy is far too biased,

:23:34.:23:38.

geographically, regionally, and also between sectors in the economy. If

:23:39.:23:41.

we can get rid of some of that bias, then we will have much more secure

:23:42.:23:46.

growth to come. What about skills? It was mentioned in the film,

:23:47.:23:50.

actually, do we have the right skills to expand in the way that you

:23:51.:23:55.

would like to see? This has been a key challenge for manufacturing for

:23:56.:24:00.

decades. If we are looking at re-shoring, the jobs which went

:24:01.:24:03.

offshore to begin with are not the ones which will come back. They will

:24:04.:24:07.

be much higher skilled, requiring much higher levels of technical

:24:08.:24:11.

knowledge. And we do have a bit of a mismatch in terms of what is being

:24:12.:24:15.

produced from schools and universities and what the industry

:24:16.:24:20.

needs right now. There is going to be a, isn't there, a skills

:24:21.:24:27.

shortage? Absolutely. There is a skills shortage at the moment.

:24:28.:24:31.

Clearly, there is a lot of effort in terms of providing better careers

:24:32.:24:35.

advice and getting more young people correctly educated. We need to make

:24:36.:24:42.

sure we have got a really responsive training system to make sure that

:24:43.:24:45.

people have access to programmes which can retrain people. That is

:24:46.:24:49.

going to cost money? Absolutely but we really do in the north-east, my

:24:50.:24:57.

dad, my grandparents, they worked in manufacturing, but if I have

:24:58.:25:01.

children, will they be able to work in manufacturing? Probably not.

:25:02.:25:06.

People I went to school with, will they be able to become engineers and

:25:07.:25:10.

draughtsman and welders? Probably not, those skills just do not exist

:25:11.:25:11.

any more. Parliamentarians haven't had the

:25:12.:25:18.

best press over the last few years, and the expenses scandal has been a

:25:19.:25:22.

big part of that. However, far from being a new phenomena, it seems

:25:23.:25:25.

expenses were being used and abused over 700 years ago. Take a look at

:25:26.:25:30.

this. It's a Parliamentary expense claim by one Fulk Peyferer from

:25:31.:25:37.

1309. At the time, knights were invited to Parliament to discuss

:25:38.:25:40.

matters with the King and they were paid four shillings a day, including

:25:41.:25:44.

travel time, and that's twice the amount knights were paid to go to

:25:45.:25:49.

war. The details were unearthed by the Labour MP Chris Bryant whilst

:25:50.:25:56.

researching his book Parliament: A Biography - and he joins me now.

:25:57.:26:07.

What was the motivation? Firstly, the pronunciation is Fulk Peyferer.

:26:08.:26:16.

He will not sue me, will he?! Related to what Disney, many, many

:26:17.:26:24.

generations back, I believe. Quite a lot of them are French names,

:26:25.:26:28.

interestingly. A sickly, I wanted to abolish some of the myths about

:26:29.:26:32.

Parliament. -- basically. The biggest one, which is trotted out so

:26:33.:26:36.

often, is that Westminster is the mother of Parliaments. Isn't it? No,

:26:37.:26:44.

the phrase comes from a Liberal MP in the 19th century, who was

:26:45.:26:47.

basically arguing that even uncle and, who was the mother of

:26:48.:26:54.

Parliaments, not Westminster, -- even England -- did not give rights

:26:55.:27:01.

to everybody. So, it was criticising, not praising, Britain.

:27:02.:27:05.

I wanted to get rid of that idea. The idea that we modern MPs were the

:27:06.:27:11.

worst behaved. You mean there were worst behaved? Tell us about some of

:27:12.:27:16.

the dodgy tales. One of them would be somebody called Ralph, who was

:27:17.:27:20.

invited to the 1283 Parliament in Shrewsbury, which was basically

:27:21.:27:25.

convened to witness the hanging, drawing and quartering of the Welsh

:27:26.:27:29.

Prince, who had rebelled against his English overlords, quite right, too.

:27:30.:27:35.

But Ralph crapping was a Burgess for London. When he went back to London,

:27:36.:27:41.

he fell out with a guy over a woman called Alice. When they tried to

:27:42.:27:45.

beat him up, he sent his friends around to murder the man, and

:27:46.:27:48.

dressed it up as suicide. When this all came out, he died in the tower,

:27:49.:27:53.

Alice was burnt at the stake, and 14 of his friends were hanged. There is

:27:54.:28:00.

a lot of grisly Nass in this book. We showed in the introduction and

:28:01.:28:05.

image of one of the earliest expenses claims, how did you track

:28:06.:28:09.

that down? It is in the National Archives. In fact, where I started

:28:10.:28:15.

from was, who were the very first commoners that we know that came to

:28:16.:28:18.

Parliament? There was a teenager from Yorkshire, he came down, he was

:28:19.:28:24.

paid for shillings a day for travelling and so on. The only

:28:25.:28:28.

reason we know they came is because they have their expenses paid. The

:28:29.:28:32.

point about four shillings, rather than two, was that the king was

:28:33.:28:36.

really keen to have good people. Will you be going out to buy the

:28:37.:28:41.

book? It sounds fascinating. We are lucky in this country to have a rich

:28:42.:28:44.

political history. You often see American tourists being shown around

:28:45.:28:49.

Parliament, and they cannot believe that so much has happened within

:28:50.:28:52.

such a relatively small space. I think the book could be worth a

:28:53.:29:00.

read. But we can be too overly proud sometimes. We forget that chance has

:29:01.:29:05.

often played a role. We all think of her is corpus as being a fundamental

:29:06.:29:09.

British freedom. It has been suspended plenty of times over the

:29:10.:29:12.

years, not only in Northern Ireland. But it is still a British export

:29:13.:29:19.

this can well, it is in Latin, of course, but more importantly, when

:29:20.:29:23.

it came in, it was done in the last few and it's of the Parliament, and

:29:24.:29:29.

it only got through in the House of Lords because one very fat pier was

:29:30.:29:33.

counted for ten votes. It should have lost. And in 1713, we nearly

:29:34.:29:41.

had the same system as in America, where you take the executive out of

:29:42.:29:44.

the legislature. We only didn't because it fell at the very last

:29:45.:29:49.

minute, and there was a tied vote. And tied votes in the House of Lords

:29:50.:29:54.

do not go forward. It is only up to 1800. The second volume is out in

:29:55.:30:01.

September. Let's look at the state of the Labour Party. Rumblings from

:30:02.:30:05.

within. MPs saying that they cannot imagine Ed Miliband as a future

:30:06.:30:09.

Prime Minister, what do you make of it? I really can imagine him as

:30:10.:30:13.

Prime Minister. In a sense, the history work that I have been doing

:30:14.:30:16.

has helped. I think there are lots of ways of being a leader. Winston

:30:17.:30:21.

Churchill and Clement Attlee, completely different in personal

:30:22.:30:25.

style, I would say come and Attlee was the better Prime Minister. But

:30:26.:30:30.

you have got to inspire your troops? I and so often he has been the

:30:31.:30:34.

person who has occupied the political territory first, which

:30:35.:30:38.

everybody else has though of -- everybody else has then clambered

:30:39.:30:44.

onto. What about letters saying that he needs to be more radical? For You

:30:45.:30:52.

always get letters. If people like you are calling for Labour at a

:30:53.:30:59.

critical time to be more credible and radical, what are you trying to

:31:00.:31:04.

say about the Labour leadership? People like me will always be

:31:05.:31:09.

saying, where is the big idea? There is one bit nobody ever comments on

:31:10.:31:15.

and that is that we have a fixed term parliament. By now normally all

:31:16.:31:20.

of these programmes would be about, are we going to have a general

:31:21.:31:24.

election in three weeks time? It is much more difficult for the

:31:25.:31:27.

opposition. If you lay out your policy platform to early, there is a

:31:28.:31:32.

danger all of the good things get nicked by the government and the bad

:31:33.:31:36.

things get torn apart. There is more to come. People were critical last

:31:37.:31:42.

summer about where Labour was going and whether we had enough on the

:31:43.:31:47.

plate. The Labour Party conference showed Ed Miliband's team can pull

:31:48.:31:51.

it out when it is necessary. Very successful conference with you

:31:52.:31:57.

saying on telly, I think we have to many announcements from the Labour

:31:58.:32:01.

Party. Surely not! I will be checking that. In a moment, we'll

:32:02.:32:12.

speak to Tom Newton Dunn from the Sun and Kate Devlin from the Herald.

:32:13.:32:16.

There they are on College Green outside the Houses of Parliament.

:32:17.:32:19.

First, let's have a look at what's happening in Westminster this week.

:32:20.:32:22.

Later today MPs will be debating the Wales Bill that gives new powers to

:32:23.:32:26.

Cardiff. There are likely to be calls for more to be transferred in

:32:27.:32:29.

response to the referendum on Scottish independence.

:32:30.:32:32.

On Tuesday, the main event in the Commons is the Finance Bill that

:32:33.:32:35.

introduces all the big changes from the Budget, including the latest

:32:36.:32:38.

increase in the tax- free personal allowance. On Wednesday night, we'll

:32:39.:32:44.

all be watching the second and final debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel

:32:45.:32:48.

Farage over the EU. The polls called the first one for Farage so we'll

:32:49.:32:52.

see if Clegg can swing it for the pro-Europeans at 7pm on BBC Two. And

:32:53.:33:01.

on Thursday, George Osborne is in front of the Treasury Select

:33:02.:33:05.

Committee where he's likely to be questioned on everything from his

:33:06.:33:08.

Budget to the sell off of the Royal Mail. Let's start by talking about

:33:09.:33:12.

the state of the campaign against Scottish independence. Who is the

:33:13.:33:20.

mole who has let the cat out of the bag, Kate Devlin? They are searching

:33:21.:33:28.

for him but nobody knows yet. Number 10 suggested this morning their

:33:29.:33:34.

energies would going to making the case for the union. Insiders have

:33:35.:33:38.

told me David Cameron is more keen to make the argument and keep the

:33:39.:33:43.

eyes on the prize, it is more important to win the referendum than

:33:44.:33:48.

necessarily find the mole. That does not mean there could not be informal

:33:49.:33:54.

discussions with ministers. Is it not just a truism that of course

:33:55.:33:56.

there is talking behind-the-scenes but they do not want to say so in

:33:57.:34:03.

public? Of course not. I will go further and put my head on the

:34:04.:34:08.

block. I think it is between Oliver Letwin and Vince Cable. We thought

:34:09.:34:13.

it was Philip Hammond yesterday. Yesterday he said, was it you? I

:34:14.:34:18.

don't think so. The construction in the words, what do we do about

:34:19.:34:25.

Trident nuclear missiles? It is a silly phrase that he would not use.

:34:26.:34:32.

Oliver Letwin and Vince Cable, they always say silly things. The point

:34:33.:34:38.

of this is that it is a good talker. That is a plus for the Yes campaign.

:34:39.:34:44.

It gives them undermining to do. At the end of the day, it will not

:34:45.:34:49.

undermine the main argument about currency union. Scots still will not

:34:50.:34:53.

know is the point. They will not know whether we take the pound away

:34:54.:34:59.

from them until it comes along and that is probably enough for them not

:35:00.:35:04.

to take the risk. Do you think the better -- the better together

:35:05.:35:13.

campaigners laddering? -- the Better Together campaign is floundering?

:35:14.:35:18.

Now you are starting to hear beginnings of this rambling from

:35:19.:35:23.

Labour and thes as well. There is an awful lot of pressure on the

:35:24.:35:27.

campaign and the argument they have maimed too negative a case for the

:35:28.:35:33.

union. As the weekend has shown, there is a fundamental

:35:34.:35:35.

misunderstanding. The Better Together campaign and Alistair

:35:36.:35:40.

Darling cannot win the referendum alone. There is a complex

:35:41.:35:44.

relationship with all of the key players. The idea that Number 10 and

:35:45.:35:49.

the Scottish Government would take a back-seat in the past couple of

:35:50.:35:53.

weeks running up to the referendum is nonsense. What they do and the

:35:54.:35:58.

noises that come out of London and Edinburgh could swing it. Let us

:35:59.:36:01.

talk about Labour. Are they in trouble. The polls have narrowed.

:36:02.:36:09.

Rumblings within the party. Economic policy to counter growth under the

:36:10.:36:13.

government. Are they in trouble? Yes, I think they are. Not terminal,

:36:14.:36:19.

they can turn around and do enough to get Ed Miliband his cherished

:36:20.:36:25.

overall majority in 13 months time. They have got to get on with it. My

:36:26.:36:30.

diagnosis is that they have spent almost four years now stroking

:36:31.:36:35.

themselves, doing the easy bit, opposing, shouting about the

:36:36.:36:39.

government's terrible unfairness on this and that. They have not come up

:36:40.:36:44.

with alternatives. The reason is not because it is easier to not come up

:36:45.:36:50.

with real, credible alternatives to grab readers of the Sun perhaps, but

:36:51.:36:56.

also because it is very hard to unite around a single thing that you

:36:57.:37:00.

may well have five different opinions on if you believe some

:37:01.:37:08.

commentators. It is easy to night around nothing. -- unite around

:37:09.:37:13.

nothing. It is only when you start putting out policy ideas, big

:37:14.:37:17.

radical things like taking on the banks, energy price freeze, then you

:37:18.:37:21.

have people disagreeing. What do you think? I agree. They have started to

:37:22.:37:29.

do that this weekend. A chance to remind voters of this idea of

:37:30.:37:32.

reducing tuition fees to ?6,000 which was first floated in 2011 at

:37:33.:37:39.

the conference. They are trying to get these kind of ideas out there.

:37:40.:37:43.

The question is whether they have left it too late. Some Labour MPs

:37:44.:37:49.

worried at around this time ahead of the 2010 general election, the

:37:50.:37:55.

charge was that voters did not know enough about what David Cameron

:37:56.:37:59.

stood for. David Cameron did not win that election of course. Very

:38:00.:38:04.

interesting. Thank you very much. We are joined for the rest of the

:38:05.:38:11.

programme by Jake Berry from the Conservatives, Labour's Shabana

:38:12.:38:14.

Mahmood and Annette Brook from the Liberal Democrats. You may think

:38:15.:38:17.

they're looking a little nervous and you'd be right. Chris Bryant is

:38:18.:38:20.

still here and he's got a short quiz for our MPs to see just how much

:38:21.:38:25.

they know about their place of work. Chris, over to you. Thank you. Who

:38:26.:38:34.

was the Prime Minister throughout the American War of Independence?

:38:35.:38:42.

Silence. I think this is a good way of selling us a couple of your book!

:38:43.:38:52.

A compelling case to read the book. Lord North. What year was the act of

:38:53.:39:06.

union with Scotland? 1603. No. 1707. Where is the last place outside of

:39:07.:39:11.

London that Parliament has sat? Have a guess. York. No. Birmingham. Very

:39:12.:39:26.

loyal. Oxford in 1681. Who was the longest serving Prime Minister of

:39:27.:39:33.

the UK? William Fittall. A little trick on this question. -- William

:39:34.:39:43.

Pitt. It is the Earl of Liverpool, one of the forgotten prime

:39:44.:39:48.

ministers. Put these in order of seniority from the most junior to

:39:49.:39:52.

the most senior. Marquis, Earl, juke, barren and Viscount. Baron,

:39:53.:40:06.

Viscount, Perl, Marquis, juke. Well done! How did you know that one? You

:40:07.:40:15.

would expect the Conservatives to get that right. You failed on that

:40:16.:40:22.

one. You have bucked the party political trend. Were you

:40:23.:40:29.

surprised? They were the easy ones. I sent 12 and there were more

:40:30.:40:35.

difficult ones. The difficulty is that for the most part we boast

:40:36.:40:39.

about British history and many of us do not know much. It is vast in

:40:40.:40:48.

terms of how much you have to know. URA historian. It is a strong

:40:49.:40:54.

argument for having a broader National Curriculum. I did not take

:40:55.:41:01.

history up to a level which is shameful and makes me very nervous

:41:02.:41:05.

about these questions. There are curiouser things like people think

:41:06.:41:08.

that women were always banned from voting until the 20th century. Women

:41:09.:41:15.

voted previously. It was only in 1832 that it explicitly said only

:41:16.:41:19.

men could vote. Women were able to vote for a Luxton is -- vote for

:41:20.:41:26.

elections for Sexton 's and things like that. You have shamed us.

:41:27.:41:34.

Volume two is out in September. Enough publicity! We have gone from

:41:35.:41:45.

being the daily Potter looks just like with the Daily Politics to the

:41:46.:41:50.

Chris Bryant book show. The impact of climate change, we are told it is

:41:51.:41:54.

going to be severe, evasive and irreversible. It comes from a report

:41:55.:42:01.

published by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

:42:02.:42:04.

Change which argues that nobody on the planet is going to be untouched

:42:05.:42:08.

by the problem. However, it's not all doom and gloom and the study

:42:09.:42:11.

does emphasise that things can be done to mitigate the worst of the

:42:12.:42:15.

effects. I'm joined now by Tom Mitchell, head of climate change at

:42:16.:42:18.

the Overseas Development Institut, an independent think-tank of

:42:19.:42:19.

international development and humanitarian issues. Welcome. What

:42:20.:42:25.

did you think of the report? I think it is the single most complete study

:42:26.:42:29.

ever conducted on the impacts of climate change. It was completed

:42:30.:42:33.

over seven years involving nearly 600 authors and covering about

:42:34.:42:38.

12,000 scientific articles. It is a truly impressive piece of work. It

:42:39.:42:43.

does provide us with some very clear messages about the future Thomas on

:42:44.:42:50.

calling it doom laden. -- about the future, some calling it doom laden.

:42:51.:42:58.

Is it a llama 's? Human systems are at stake if action is not taken --

:42:59.:43:06.

is it alarmist? It sounds apocalyptic. It is but for very good

:43:07.:43:11.

reason. We have seen evidence from across the studies to show as those

:43:12.:43:15.

things are correct. Let us review some of the key messages. For the

:43:16.:43:20.

UK, more heat waves are more droughts, water shortages and we

:43:21.:43:25.

will see more flood events caused by extreme reciprocation. Overseas, we

:43:26.:43:28.

may see food shortages, it may impact on our pockets in the

:43:29.:43:35.

supermarket. Climate change may exacerbate conflict causing

:43:36.:43:38.

insecurity and more migration. The messages are serious. They are there

:43:39.:43:43.

for us to take account of. As I said, if we act now, we can avoid

:43:44.:43:49.

the worst. What should politicians do? Politicians in the UK

:43:50.:43:53.

historically have had a good track record of working on climate change.

:43:54.:43:58.

The climate change Bill gives us very clear indications of what we

:43:59.:44:02.

need to do in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have

:44:03.:44:09.

invested in flood defences, maybe not enough. The track record is

:44:10.:44:14.

good. The last period, some would argue, has not seen such good

:44:15.:44:18.

progress. We have got to stay on track and provide resources. In the

:44:19.:44:23.

UK, because it might be deemed as tomorrow's problem, we may not

:44:24.:44:30.

always invest in the way we need to. Is it inarguable now that I'm a

:44:31.:44:38.

change is man-made? -- that climate change is man-made? 14,000 academic

:44:39.:44:42.

studies on climate change, less than 1%, 0.7% have ever questioned

:44:43.:44:51.

climate change as a Norman. -- as a Norman. The evidence is as strong as

:44:52.:44:57.

the links between smoking and lung cancer. It is just a different

:44:58.:45:02.

timescale, politicians can kick it down the track. This report says it

:45:03.:45:06.

has got to stop and action needs to be taken now.

:45:07.:45:16.

Do you agree with the report? Absolutely. Anyone who read this

:45:17.:45:23.

report this morning, or listen on the radio, like I did, will know

:45:24.:45:27.

that it is absolutely stark. This is an issue we have to deal with today,

:45:28.:45:32.

because the consequences in several decades was no time will be huge.

:45:33.:45:36.

The additions traditionally like getting their hands dirty, sorting

:45:37.:45:42.

the economy out. -- politicians. This kind of longer term problems

:45:43.:45:51.

for 50-100 years ahead takes a lot more political will, and cross-party

:45:52.:45:56.

support, to make sure that we get a good, long-term plan for dealing

:45:57.:46:00.

with the problems of climate change. As the Government shied away from

:46:01.:46:04.

making decisions because of austerity, and because we heard from

:46:05.:46:08.

George Osborne saying he did not want to take any unilateral action

:46:09.:46:11.

because it was not affordable, do you think that is going to store up

:46:12.:46:15.

problems in the future? I think we have made good progress in this

:46:16.:46:18.

party. We said we would be the greenest government ever. And we

:46:19.:46:21.

have cut the amount of energy the Government uses by 10%, just in four

:46:22.:46:27.

years. We have launched the green investment bank, we are building new

:46:28.:46:30.

nuclear power stations to move away from fossil fuels. But you are

:46:31.:46:35.

scrapping the green levy. The Prime Minister has boasted about the fact

:46:36.:46:38.

that the eco-levy is going to go, so that people's energy bills will come

:46:39.:46:43.

down - was that the right thing to do? We have to make things

:46:44.:46:46.

affordable for the taxpayer. People have a real issue with energy

:46:47.:46:50.

bills, and I think it has been the right thing to do to help people

:46:51.:46:54.

have a reduction of about 15-?20 a month. Do you agree with that? If it

:46:55.:47:00.

was going to be the greenest government ever, and critics would

:47:01.:47:04.

dispute that, why is it that you as Liberal Democrats have signed up to

:47:05.:47:14.

scrapping the green levy? Coalition is a matter of negotiation. If we

:47:15.:47:19.

were governing alone, I think decisions might have been different.

:47:20.:47:23.

I would describe us as being a green government, but I would have liked a

:47:24.:47:28.

stronger measures to remain. We do have a real conflict between

:47:29.:47:32.

affecting the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society at

:47:33.:47:35.

the moment and tackling climate change. What I think is the big

:47:36.:47:40.

thing we have to grapple with is coming in with the necessary

:47:41.:47:42.

measures, but putting proper protection in. I just think while we

:47:43.:47:49.

have got so many hits on welfare payments at the moment, it is really

:47:50.:47:52.

difficult to get the balance. It is something I am quite uncomfortable

:47:53.:47:56.

with, but I would say, we have a proud record, the doubling of energy

:47:57.:48:02.

by renewable sources, for example, but also, what is important to me is

:48:03.:48:06.

the fact of being in Europe, being at the table, taking a leading role

:48:07.:48:13.

in negotiating EU targets on carbon emissions. Very, very important to

:48:14.:48:16.

tackle climate change across Europe. Do you agree with that? We

:48:17.:48:24.

do not want to get into a debate about the European Union. But I

:48:25.:48:26.

think it is right, on the issue of Europe, but we need to get out and

:48:27.:48:30.

make a positive argument about why we should stay in Europe, which is

:48:31.:48:36.

what I believe. But politicians should not be scared of the

:48:37.:48:39.

electorate, it should be for the British people to decide. Let's have

:48:40.:48:41.

that referendum, which the Conservatives have promised, in

:48:42.:48:46.

2017, and put the issue to bed for the next 50 years. The trouble is,

:48:47.:48:51.

in austerity, who should pay for these measures, for green measures?

:48:52.:49:01.

The truth is that the green agenda presents us with incredible

:49:02.:49:04.

opportunities for growth. So, the green economy is one of the few

:49:05.:49:08.

areas where actually we have a positive balance of trade with

:49:09.:49:12.

China, for example. So, if there was more will from this government, we

:49:13.:49:15.

could use this as a real opportunity to boost skills and wages, get those

:49:16.:49:21.

high skilled, high wage jobs which our economy will need. It is a false

:49:22.:49:25.

choice to say it is one or the other. I am astonished at the

:49:26.:49:28.

attempt by Jake to rewrite the history of his own government's time

:49:29.:49:33.

in office. This is a government and Prime Minister which does not know

:49:34.:49:37.

from one week to the next whether they believe in man-made climate

:49:38.:49:40.

change or not. One week we will hear about Breen things, the next we will

:49:41.:49:47.

hear, it is all green rubbish. This government does not know what it is

:49:48.:49:52.

doing. Actually, the green agenda requires consistently do ship, and I

:49:53.:49:55.

do not think we have had that from David Cameron. If we look at the

:49:56.:50:00.

leader of the opposition, who was Energy Secretary in the last

:50:01.:50:03.

government, his record is not as good as the record this government

:50:04.:50:06.

has had in power. What about the rhetoric about weeing crap, that

:50:07.:50:10.

does not give a clear message, does it? -- green crap. Well, factually,

:50:11.:50:18.

we are the greenest government ever. We have reduced the amount of energy

:50:19.:50:23.

we use as a government. Was that the right rhetoric to use? It is all

:50:24.:50:29.

about making our businesses competitive, it is not about

:50:30.:50:33.

increasing people's energy bills, it is about a long-term solution, make

:50:34.:50:37.

sure that Britain remains... Can I just come in? We have set up the

:50:38.:50:45.

green investment bank. How much has actually been loaned out from that

:50:46.:50:49.

bank? We are now talking about billions. The loans are beginning to

:50:50.:50:53.

go out as we speak. They are going to local authorities for renewing

:50:54.:50:57.

their street lighting. We know that 35,000 green jobs have been

:50:58.:51:02.

created, and I would hope to see very many more. I think out of all

:51:03.:51:07.

deep recessions, there is a type of industry which comes through, and in

:51:08.:51:14.

this one, I personally want to see the green sector grow and grow. We

:51:15.:51:18.

have got our investment in offshore wind, for example, massive

:51:19.:51:22.

investment in renewables, and lots of exciting green projects across

:51:23.:51:27.

the country, including one, a major recycling plant, in my constituency.

:51:28.:51:30.

The Green Party criticises the Government all the time, saying the

:51:31.:51:38.

rhetoric is not directed at policies which would make a big difference,

:51:39.:51:43.

do you accept that? I just feel as a nation, we are not grasping the

:51:44.:51:47.

immediacy of this. I am really concerned for my grandchild. It does

:51:48.:51:52.

mean actually getting the message out there, not shying away from it.

:51:53.:51:56.

This is something which has got to be tackled now. But as we have

:51:57.:52:00.

suggested, we have got to get the right balance between taxation and

:52:01.:52:02.

protect young people on lower incomes. This does sound alarmist,

:52:03.:52:09.

whether it is right or wrong, and for a lot of people, they will just

:52:10.:52:13.

think, there is nothing I can do about it, there is nothing I can do

:52:14.:52:18.

to affect what is inevitable to some extent. It is up to governments, it

:52:19.:52:22.

is to other countries. Well, actually, I think there is an

:52:23.:52:26.

appetite in the country for people to think about the changes they

:52:27.:52:29.

could make in their own daily lives, which would contribute towards lower

:52:30.:52:34.

emissions, and as becoming more green, as an economy, as a nation.

:52:35.:52:37.

There is a responsibility on government to make the case to the

:52:38.:52:41.

public about the kinds of changes we need to make. But that requires

:52:42.:52:46.

leadership. We are not going to hit the climate change target for 2020,

:52:47.:52:51.

are we, that has gone already? And obviously, there is concern that the

:52:52.:52:56.

Liberal Democrats had to accept a watering down of the 2030 target,

:52:57.:53:00.

but we do have the proviso in the energy bill so that it can be

:53:01.:53:04.

implemented in 2016. There is a great deal of effort going in to

:53:05.:53:09.

meet the European targets, and that is really important. We have got a

:53:10.:53:13.

good enough record that we can hold our heads up high, and we have got

:53:14.:53:20.

China bringing in targets now, that has to be good progress. But on your

:53:21.:53:28.

point about investment, it was fantastic last week to see all of

:53:29.:53:31.

those new jobs created in the north-east, with the wind turbine

:53:32.:53:35.

plant, building them here in Britain. That is what we have got to

:53:36.:53:37.

focus on. Parents who deny their children

:53:38.:53:43.

affection could face prosecution under new proposals the Government

:53:44.:53:46.

is considering this morning. It follows a campaign for a so-called

:53:47.:53:49.

"Cinderella law" from the charity Action for Children. They argue that

:53:50.:53:52.

whilst there's legislation already in place for physical abuse,

:53:53.:53:54.

emotional abuse can cause significant harm and more needs to

:53:55.:54:01.

be done to clamp down on it. Joining me now is a representative of Action

:54:02.:54:07.

for Children. How exactly will this be enforced or proved? So, emotional

:54:08.:54:12.

abuse can be noticed now, and it is noticed, particularly through the

:54:13.:54:17.

care system, with specialist child psychiatrists and others sporting

:54:18.:54:22.

the signs of emotional harm and harm which is done. We are asking for

:54:23.:54:27.

that expertise to be applied to the other side of the law, which is the

:54:28.:54:31.

criminal law. The UK is one of the only countries in the Western world

:54:32.:54:35.

which does not include all forms of child abuse in its child protection

:54:36.:54:38.

legislation. What we have been asking for over the last three years

:54:39.:54:43.

is for this to be updated. The law as it stands dates back to 1933. We

:54:44.:54:47.

have been working with political parties across the spectrum to look

:54:48.:54:52.

at an alternative. We have spoken to police, social workers and others

:54:53.:54:55.

about what we can do to close this loophole. But will it lead to people

:54:56.:55:00.

reporting their neighbours or friends to social services and

:55:01.:55:03.

police for spurious reasons? We need to be very clear that this is not

:55:04.:55:06.

about prosecuting struggling parents, or a debate about good or

:55:07.:55:11.

bad parenting. When we mean child abuse, we are talking about cruelty,

:55:12.:55:16.

people who resist attempts to help them, people who resist attempts

:55:17.:55:22.

made by organisations such as Action for Children to improve parenting

:55:23.:55:29.

capacity and skill. In most cases, parents are able to improve their

:55:30.:55:33.

parenting skills. But in some small number of cases, we have to be ready

:55:34.:55:35.

for the prospect that there are people who seek to intentionally

:55:36.:55:43.

abuse do you support the measure? I think it is a good thing if the law

:55:44.:55:48.

is updated to include the full range of abuse which children might suffer

:55:49.:55:52.

from, including emotional neglect and emotional abuse, which can have

:55:53.:55:56.

just as devastating an impact on a child is physical or sexual abuse,

:55:57.:56:00.

which we talk about a lot more. I think it is good that the law should

:56:01.:56:03.

reflect behaviour which we find to be unacceptable, and which can

:56:04.:56:06.

attract punishment in the criminal law. Why has it not been introduced

:56:07.:56:11.

before, it sounds like we are way behind in terms of legislation in

:56:12.:56:16.

this area? Can I start by saying that Action for Children have run a

:56:17.:56:20.

fantastic campaign. Anyone who has been getting the Tube into

:56:21.:56:23.

Westminster will have seen their campaign about the law not having

:56:24.:56:31.

been updated for 80 years. We believe it is imperative that we do

:56:32.:56:34.

everything we can to protect our children. I think it is a welcome

:56:35.:56:38.

development in the law. I think it will empower local authority social

:56:39.:56:42.

workers, with the fantastic work they do, to have full criminal,

:56:43.:56:46.

legal protection behind them to go out and protect children. Do you

:56:47.:56:51.

back it as well? I do, I was a sponsor of the private members'

:56:52.:56:54.

bill. Obviously, the Government listened carefully and took it away

:56:55.:56:59.

to look at how practical it was to introduce it. How big a problem is

:57:00.:57:04.

it averaged what I think this is, it is one more tool in actually making

:57:05.:57:07.

sure our children are protected properly. It is obviously difficult

:57:08.:57:13.

to gather evidence when we are talking about emotional abuse. But

:57:14.:57:18.

when you think of child neglect, the baby lying there with no interaction

:57:19.:57:22.

whatsoever, of course, the first step is to put lots of support in

:57:23.:57:27.

parenting skills in, but there comes a point where it goes beyond that. I

:57:28.:57:32.

think this will help all agencies to work together. Time after time, we

:57:33.:57:38.

get these serious case reviews, and it is the same story. I think this

:57:39.:57:47.

is going to put it on the radar. Tragically, we still have these

:57:48.:57:50.

cases which are every now and then brought to light. With the openness

:57:51.:57:54.

and transparency, compared to decades ago, why are these things

:57:55.:57:58.

still happening, will this really impact on the state of children who

:57:59.:58:04.

are genuinely neglected? We have do continually look at the systems

:58:05.:58:07.

which are in place. In lots of the cases which have come into the

:58:08.:58:11.

media, we have had multi-agency meetings, with all of the key

:58:12.:58:14.

players getting into a room to speak together. Sometimes when you read

:58:15.:58:19.

those reports, it is as if nothing has happened. These meetings should

:58:20.:58:31.

not just be a talking shop. In terms of adding in this idea of emotional

:58:32.:58:34.

neglect, we have to make sure that we have guidelines for

:58:35.:58:37.

practitioners, and we have to trust in the instincts of social workers

:58:38.:58:41.

and police officers at the coal face. We

:58:42.:58:45.

That's all for today. Thanks to our guests. The One O'Clock News is

:58:46.:58:50.

starting over on BBC One now.

:58:51.:58:54.

Jo Coburn with the latest political news and debate from Westminster. With a look at George Osborne's plans for tax cuts for businesses, and the history of Parliament.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS