31/03/2014 Daily Politics


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


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


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


system are the most important for a generation.


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


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


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


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


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


what, if anything, can be done about it.


And excessive drinking, expenses scandals and corruption. Just a


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


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


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


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


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


proposals from former Labour Health Minister Lord Warner that everyone


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


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


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


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


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


Because the now retired or retiring chief executive actually said that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


disease profiles we have and tomography we have got. Health


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


for thinking seriously about the funding. But you talked about


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


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


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


hospital. It is not affordable and sustainable according to Lord


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


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


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


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


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


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


difficult how Labour could have given this report serious


consideration. You think they are not thinking about it because


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


be used. In 2010, George Osborne said he


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and mirrors routine is just an illusion with the typical household


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


possible, the full employable resources of the country should be


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that would get closer to that aspiration? The Chancellor


specifically distanced himself from the old-style Labour approach which


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


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


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


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


to encourage people out of dependency on the state and into


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


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


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


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


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


Corporation tax reduction is relatively inexpensive. The key


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


had. The Chancellor is saying something extraordinarily sensible


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


to reducing the deficit. Difficult balancing act of stimulator growth


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


Difficult for Labour with growth continuing and the Chancellor seems


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Times today disappointing tax rates and the Chancellor should be


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


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


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


orientated. Who goes into an election promising widespread


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


that the current fiscal straitjacket imposed by our debt and deficit


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the increase in the threshold for intermittent stacks will happen,


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


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


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


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


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


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


"off-shoring" it could leave communities devastated and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


their customers more quickly. Transit costs less. For the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


once offshore are coming back from East to West.


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


market opportunities in growing economies. But for the sake of


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


to mark their products, made in Britain.


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


manufacturers' organisation, representing UK manufacturing


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


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


manufacturers are doing. If companies are bringing production


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


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


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


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


the kind of business environment which helps with those strategies.


More recently we have seen a particular programme which tries to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Government about rebalancing the economy, but is that actually


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


be much higher skilled, requiring much higher levels of technical


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


produced from schools and universities and what the industry


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


any more. Parliamentarians haven't had the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


invited to the 1283 Parliament in Shrewsbury, which was basically


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


political history. You often see American tourists being shown around


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Churchill and Clement Attlee, completely different in personal


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


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


person who has occupied the political territory first, which


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


response to the referendum on Scottish independence.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Now you are starting to hear beginnings of this rambling from


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


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


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


misunderstanding. The Better Together campaign and Alistair


Darling cannot win the referendum alone. There is a complex


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


diagnosis is that they have spent almost four years now stroking


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


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


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


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


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


may well have five different opinions on if you believe some


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


was the Prime Minister throughout the American War of Independence?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


about these questions. There are curiouser things like people think


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


published by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate


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


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


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


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


the Overseas Development Institut, an independent think-tank of


international development and humanitarian issues. Welcome. What


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


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


over seven years involving nearly 600 authors and covering about


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


supermarket. Climate change may exacerbate conflict causing


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


The additions traditionally like getting their hands dirty, sorting


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


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


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


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


making decisions because of austerity, and because we heard from


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


affecting the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society at


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that referendum, which the Conservatives have promised, in


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


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


The truth is that the green agenda presents us with incredible


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


areas where actually we have a positive balance of trade with


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


about making our businesses competitive, it is not about


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


investment in renewables, and lots of exciting green projects across


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


focus on. Parents who deny their children


affection could face prosecution under new proposals the Government


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


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


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


emotional abuse can cause significant harm and more needs to


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


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


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


care system, with specialist child psychiatrists and others sporting


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


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


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


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


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


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


have been working with political parties across the spectrum to look


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


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


reporting their neighbours or friends to social services and


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


about prosecuting struggling parents, or a debate about good or


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


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


made by organisations such as Action for Children to improve parenting


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


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


for the prospect that there are people who seek to intentionally


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


fantastic campaign. Anyone who has been getting the Tube into


Westminster will have seen their campaign about the law not having


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


sure our children are protected properly. It is obviously difficult


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and police officers at the coal face. We


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


starting over on BBC One now.


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