13/01/2016 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


The junior doctors' strike ended this morning,


but the dispute with the Government is far from over.


Both sides are talking tough this morning after action which saw more


than 4,000 operations cancelled, with another strike planned


for later this month unless a deal can be done.


As David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn get ready for PMQs live at noon,


we'll be looking at how their top teams will stick together


over tricky issues like the EU referendum and Trident.


When gentrification arrives in your town or city,


The singer VV Brown tells us why she doesn't want it on her street.


magazine that's got David Cameron as guest columnist,


and Diane Abbott talking about her hair.


I guess it is not the Economist! You guessed right, it is called the


Stylist. and with us for the whole


of the programme today a minister and shadow


minister who regularly grace the front pages


of the glossy magazines. In John Hayes' case, that magazine


is Civil Service Monthly, it's Leicestershire


And Rutland Life. But it's the kind of exposure


Jo and I would kill for, rather than being tucked


away on daytime TV. First today, let's talk


about the junior doctors' strike which officially came to an end


at eight o'clock this morning. Around 16,000 doctors


took part in the action. NHS England said 39% of


junior doctors reported for work, who were asked not to strike


by the BMA. were cancelled as a result


of the dispute. The next proposed strike


is a 48-hour one beginning on 26th January,


with plans for emergency care only. for a full withdrawal of labour


from 8am to 5pm, which could affect


emergency services. Let's have a listen


to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt What's next for your negotiations


with junior doctors? Well, I hope they succeed.


I mean, we want to settle this, but it was a very


unnecessary strike. to make sure


there isn't another strike? And off he cycled into the horizon!


John Hayes, the Government has been highlighting again that stroke and


newborn baby deaths are higher at the weekends, when it says fewer NHS


staff are on duty, but it has been pointed out that it is unlikely that


it is junior doctors who would be involved in these, it would be


consultants. Seven studies over the last five years suggest that


mortality is greater on weekends. And that is not just related to


care, I guess, treatment and care are a key part of that. I have used


the NHS all my life, and a core principle is provision free at the


point of need, and need happens on Saturdays and Sundays too. But does


the weekend cover has to be as full as during the week? I think it does,


on the basis that people have strokes, heart attacks, agencies at


the weekend, so we need to make sure that do not bear worse than if they


had those things on a Monday or Tuesday. That seems to be a core


principle. How can anyone disagree with wanting to ensure that people


are treated in the same way that they would be if they had a heart


attack on a Monday? We don't have the same level of cover during the


weekend, we have not had for ever, I assume. We don't at the moment, but


I think the Government needs to negotiate properly with the doctors


on this. Apparently, we have managed to get an agreement in Scotland and


Wales, so it is possible to get agreement, and I think that is the


key thing we want to see, both sides coming together, let's lower the


temperature, calm down and see both sides coming together to get an


agreement. Nobody wants to see more industrial action. White with able


to get agreement in Wales and Scotland and not in England? The


discussions are ongoing, we hope we will be able to get an agreement.


Strikes are not necessary. My question is, why has it come to a


strike in England, and not in Scotland and Wales? Some of it has


been about a misunderstanding and misinformation. Who is to blame for


that? Basic pay will go up by 11%, the maximum number of hours they


have to work will be reduced. The dispute seems to be about overtime


payments and so on and so forth. But what we are looking for is


something, as you said, a seven-day NHS with care spread across the


whole week. But why wouldn't an intelligence bunch of people like


doctors, who have all got degrees, training, all smart, why would so


many of them, given the scale of support for the strike, why would


they misunderstand the Government's offer? I said there was


misunderstanding and misinformation, and some of the information has not


been entirely helpful, but let's move on. I think some doctors have


not yet realised that the total deal will reduce the total number of


hours that they have to work, but their basic pay will go up, and what


we are trying to achieve here is a system which is bearer to doctors


and two patients. That is what we are doing. -- fairer to doctors and


to patience. Some doctors are working 90 hours, a lot of that is


at weekends, over which they get a multiple rates of pay, some can earn


four times the basic rate. The Government's changes will reduce, I


think it puts a cap on 75 and stops these massive raids being paid - is


that the right thing to do? The doctors feel that doctors working at


weekends, which will have an impact on the quality of care, if they are


saying that, we have to take those concerns seriously, but for me the


most important thing... At the moment, some doctors, not a huge


number but some are working over 90 hours a week, including a lot of


weekend work. The proposed changes will reduce that to a maximum well


below 90. Isn't that a sensible thing to do, even if some of these


doctors actually lose out on the pay front because they do not get these


multiples of their basic pay? I want to see a deal in the end, and if the


doctors and the Government can come to a deal, everybody would I accept


that, but what is important is that we have to avoid industrial action


in two weeks' time, so I am keen for the doctors and the Government to


get around the table, through ACAS and David dolled. Why doesn't


Government just, under the auspices of ACAS, why doesn't it just called


the doctors backing unconditionally? I think there will be further


discussions of the kind you describe. The proposals to reduce


the maximum to 72 hours, very substantial reduction. The doctors


are saying, will there be safeguards that it will stick? Andrew is right,


part of the problem is because of the complex overtime rates, it is


based on different rates of pay at weekends, some doctors feel they may


be worth off. The total bill for doctors does not fall, Andrew, and


we believe the majority of doctors will be better off. So a lot of the


doctors would dispute that, that it would be more than a small number


who is pay would fall, but they will lose automatic pay rises as well.


Why doesn't the Government just call them in or get a cast to do so


unconditionally? -- Acas. We think the strikes are unnecessary, and


absolutely right that it should be dealt with in dialogue, but there


has got to be movement both ways, and we are saying we are prepared to


talk, we are asking them to say they will not strike. A question to you,


are you happy now that John McDonnell has said that Labour will


now automatically support strikes wherever action is called in


whatever circumstances? Labour has always supported the right of people


to take industrial action. You know that is not what I am asking! This


is about supporting people who go on strike automatically, in whatever


circumstances. Are you happy that is the programme? He said that Labour


would now have absolute solidarity with all actions taken by the trade


union movement. Do you agree with that? He is expressing solidarity


with people on strikes. Absolute solidarity with all actions. What I


think is important for an industrial dispute, for politicians not to


raise the temperature on them, because the key thing is we want


people in disputes, whether in the NHS or the public or private sector,


to be able to get round the table and have proper meaningful


negotiations. That wasn't the question, do you want to answer, or


shall I move on? It is your show! Now in normal political times,


ministers and shadow ministers like John and Jon here


wouldn't even consider deviating from the official


party position on all the big subjects


of the day for fear of a stern ticking-off


from the whips, and the understanding


that if they strayed too far from the line,


they would be out of a job. But with the upcoming EU referendum


and a vote on Trident threatening to divide both the Cabinet


and the Shadow Cabinet, So what happens


when party leaders loosen the rules


of collective responsibility? Usually, those MPs who sit


on the frontbench, or who are shadow


ministers or spokespeople, are expected to vote with their


leader and follow the party whip. Those who don't are expected


to resign or are sacked. But the Prime Minister has said


he will suspend this Cabinet collective responsibility


ahead of the EU referendum. This means that ministers will be


able to campaign for either leave Ministers won't be able to make


the case for leaving the EU until the Prime Minister's


renegotiation is completed. They won't be free


to set out their thinking on either the front or backbenches


during a debate on the EU. And their special advisers


won't be able to help unless they do so


in their spare time, all of which has led critics


to say there won't be


a level playing field for those arguing


to leave and remain. Labour's Shadow Cabinet


has its own divisions, Before the summer recess,


Parliament will be asked whether to update


Britain's nuclear deterrent. and its recent election manifesto


was in favour. So can the Labour front bench


take a collective position and then whip its MPs


one way or another? Well, we can talk now


to the academic Professor Tim Bale. He is at broadcasting house, give us


the historical precedents for when collective responsibility has been


loosened. The most obvious and most relevant is during the referendum


campaign on the EEC back in 1975 when Harold Wilson realised that the


party was split and had to let ministers campaign on either side of


that. There are other situations in which collective responsibility has


been loosened at the margins, but never so obviously as that. And


would you see that, from a historical point of view and today,


as from a position of weakness because a leader cannot keep the


cabinet with him? Absolutely, that is the only reason the Government


would choose to do this, because Cabinet collective responsibility is


incredibly important in the constitution, the Government has to


be seen to be speaking with one voice, or there is no legal


responsibility or accountability. Prime Ministers only do this in the


most desperate of circumstances when they cannot guarantee that, unless


they do it, they will not have people resigning left, right and


centre. How unusual was it in the vote on air strikes to have the


opposition with the leader supporting one policy and the Shadow


Foreign Secretary actually standing at the dispatch box and espousing a


different one? Well, not completely than usual across the range of


issues, but for foreign policy and defence, it is extremely unusual. It


is perfectly possible for parties to treat things as free votes, but they


normally only do that on issues of morality, social policy, not


something as crucial as the defence of the realm. What about a situation


where someone might have to return to the backbenches if they were a


front bench spokesman, to state a view that was contradictory to the


leader of their party? Very uncommon indeed, no examples spring to mind,


very unusual to do that. Do you think it will change in the future?


Is this the beginning of a think it will change in the future?


the weight leaders of political parties actually hold votes and


the weight leaders of political whether they whip or persuade their


backbenchers or members of their Shadow Cabinet or


backbenchers or members of their them? I don't think so, because


backbenchers or members of their public and other governments expect


to see the government and to some extent the opposition


to see the government and to some one voice, that is what our


adversarial Parliamentary democracy is built on. Tim Bale, thank you.


John Hayes, you must be relieved that you can carry on as security


minister, you are pretty Eurosceptic? I am and I would not


pretend to be anything other than that. You have known me a long time.


Am I operating on the assumption that you will be campaigning to come


out? I will not make a statement today because I think it would be


wrong to make a today because I think it would be


negotiations are going on today. Firstly, I think it


negotiations are going on today. Prime Minister has given this


freedom and Prime Minister has given this


the referendum. Who said that it was right to give people the collective


responsibility? It was Margaret Thatcher. Why was it wrong for


Labour in the eyes of Mrs Thatcher and the Tories then, and right for


you to do it now? You have to gauge the decisions in the circumstances


they are made. At the moment, there are circumstances where the Prime


Minister has accepted the status quo is not an option. That assumption


that the status quo with the European Union, our relationship, a


principle of a closer union is something the Prime


principle of a closer union is not accept, identify except it


either. People not accept, identify except it


but I will be free to speak just as he is. What could the Prime Minister


bring back from these negotiations? I mentioned closer union. He has


said he will do that. For a very long time there was an assumption


that this project was moving to a destination which was essentially a


federal Europe. But the something which underpinned most of the


arguments we had from the pro-Europeans. If you bring this


back to no way of a closer union, will that change of mind? I will


have a look when it happens. What do you


make of these reports that whereas ministers can still say nice


friendly Europhile things, that they have been instructed not to have


anything Eurosceptic in their speeches? The Prime Minister has


said we will have a free hand once the negotiations are completed. I


know the Prime Minister very well. You can say Eurosceptic things at


the moment? It would be absolutely wrong for anyone to declare that


hands before the referendum. As I understand it it would not stop


ministers from saying overall European Union is good for our


country. Would you be vetted? Bag I am not vetted. I am the one who does


the vetting. Would you say bad large the European Union is bad for our


country? I would come to that conclusion when we have seen the


results of the renegotiations which I am pleased the Prime Minister is


engaged in. I support businesses and that is what he is doing.


Let's carry on with this theme of collective responsibility. It is


your turn now! Parliament will decide whether or not to renew


Britain's nuclear deterrent in the next few months. Will the Shadow


Cabinet support that or oppose it? Sam-macro we have not had a


discussion about it at the Shadow Cabinet. We do not know for certain


there will be a vote in Parliament. I have read different briefings.


There has not been an announcement. We will have to have that discussion


in the Shadow Cabinet. As your package pointed out, the position of


the Labour Party at the moment, the manifesto we fought the last


election on and what we call in the Labour Party rule book, the party


programme which is our policy, is to support a continuous nuclear


deterrent. That will stay the party's policy and commitment,


until, or it may not be, changed at some point in the future. If that


vote is in the next few months, what will the party say? We will have to


have a discussion. We know that Jeremy feels phrase strongly about


that issue and people have to respect that and people have to


respect his mandate, but from a Labour Party policy rule book point


of view, the policy is to support a continuing nuclear deterrent and


that can only be changed by two thirds vote at the party conference.


In your mind, what should happen? You say you have not had a


discussion that if your official party policy is to renew Trident,


isn't that the position you will take in that vote? We will have to


have those discussions in the Shadow Cabinet. I suspect everyone in the


Labour Party will be mindful there are people on different sides of


this argument and we will probably find somewhere of accommodating


everyone's point of view. Will it be a single click to decision one way


or another when that vote comes? We tried to get a collective decision


on Syria and we were not able to say that maybe the territory we are in,


to be perfectly frank, these are issues for the Chief Whip, the


leader and the Shadow Cabinet as a whole to discuss. After the vote on


Syria where we saw Hilary Benn standing at the dispatch box


supporting strikes and Jeremy Corbyn and others in the Shadow Cabinet


against, the line from the leaders of this was that would not happen


again but you are saying it could over Trident? The leaders' office. I


do not know who that is, but I'm saying the position of the party is,


and the Shadow Cabinet will have the debate, because Jeremy has very


strong views and it is important we respect him. Could you imagine some


Shadow ministers supporting Jeremy Corbyn's line and arguing against


your manifesto policy and some Shadow ministers arguing in the


chamber for policy you were elected on? It could well happen. These are


the considerations... Is it desirable? It is not desirable but I


suspect it is inevitable. These are the decisions we will have to take


in mind when the Shadow Cabinet discusses this matter. There is a


policy review and it is important that the policy review listens to a


range of evidence and people have an opportunity to put in those views to


that policy review. Do you support the existing methods of changing or


making Labour Party policy? Yes. So would use a port the NEC having more


power? I am a member of the National executive. Should it have more


power? I think the National executive should have more


authority, it should have more authority over decision-making and


the future direction of the party. I think we as NEC members need to be


more accountable and that is something I feel strongly about. But


ultimately, the Labour Party policy is decided through the National


policy Forum, people are elected from different constituents, we


should look at ways to improve it and it goes to the party conference


where the collective voice of the affiliate members are heard. That is


important because there are a lot of trade union members who work at


Rolls-Royce in the East Midlands and elsewhere, who will be affected by a


government deciding whether or not to go ahead with renewing new


Trident. Those voices have to be heard in our debate. They have


already been stating their support for renewing Trident and protecting


those jobs. Do you think Steve Rotherham is the right person to


represent backbench Labour MPs? Steve is a good guy. I am a


representative of the front benches on the national executed. There are


moves to remove him. That is a decision for the backbenches in the


PLP. I am nominated by the Shadow Cabinet to represent the


frontbenchers. How the backbenchers want to elect their representatives


should be a matter for them. Should Jeremy Corbyn was a private


secretary Bibi representative? There are people concerned who are wearing


two hats. I do not represent them. But you have an opinion? I am not a


backbencher so it does not concern me. Directors at the frontbenchers


on the NEC. Lucky you! Directors enter the frontbenchers on the NEC.


-- I represent. Now, as you sit round the breakfast


table, eating your macrobiotic fruit smoothie - or, in Jo's


case, a full English - According to one Labour member


of the House of Lords, he's called Dave Watts,


there is a "London-centric hard left political class who sit around


in their ?1 million mansions eating their croissants at breakfast


and seeking to lay the foundations I wondered why the two Johns bought


in croissants this morning. Anyway, if you belong to this


croissant-munching political class from London or elsewhere,


alongside your French pastry you probably need a fortifying


beverage as you plan the revolution. And a fortifying beverage


needs a fortifying mug. But we don't give these away to any


old revolutionary socialist. Oh no, they have to enter


the Guess the Year competition Other resolutions are available of


course. We'll tell you how to enter


the competition in a moment but first can you guess


when this happened? to making a reality


of the European institution. # And lead you through the streets


of London... # Police think the bomb contained


about 10lb of explosives, more than in others


in London recently. # Bye-bye, baby,


baby, goodbye # Bye-bye, baby,


don't make me cry To be in with a chance of winning


a Daily Politics mug, send your answer to our


special quiz email address - Entries must arrive by 12.30 today,


and you can see the full terms and conditions for Guess


The Year on our website - It's coming up to midday here -


just take a look at Big Ben - Yes, Prime Minister's Questions


is on its way. And that's not all -


Laura Kuenssberg is here. Welcome back. In the absence of any


on-air resignations today, so Welcome back. In the absence of any


Still time! Still another Welcome back. In the absence of any


until we come off air, what do we think will be the subjects which


will dominate the front bench exchanges today? It will be


surprisingly the Labour leader does not bring up the junior doctors


strike. This is a huge moment, the first time in decades that doctors


have walked first time in decades that doctors


dispute. That said, Jeremy Corbyn has surprised us before. He does not


always choose what people see as the obvious subject. It


always choose what people see as the high-risk position for government


but fascinating that they are very bullish on this. Are they? One thing


has happened is in the last 48 hours, when you hear ministers


talking about it, you hear that this was in the manifesto, people voted


for it, say we have every right to be shone through. There has been


some modulation in their language. It is high risk for them. High risk


for both sides and even higher risk if you are patient, especially at


the weekend. There is a window here, not just before the next strike in


two weeks, but the third strike that is planned in February, which would


be a strike when junior doctors do not even supply emergency cover. My


senses the government does not want to get to that because that is a


huge risk. I think both sides are very aware that public opinion. It


is like quicksilver. It moves so fast. The government can impose


this. They do not need consent from the BMA. Do they need to? It is


clear that they believe that they may have to do that in the end. One


of the BMA's issues, one of the problems with it is they think the


government have been hostile in this. They have always been dangling


that over their head. Clearly, there is a lot of bad faith on both sides.


The junior doctors which call them junior doctors, they are actually


doctors, it is just too differentiate them from the


consultants, if it was imposed on them, it would be a new era of bad


feelings on the NHS. Indeed, and some people who are close to this


would look back and say some of the mistakes were made under previous


governments where the BMA almost got their way. They joked about it being


the most powerful union in the land, but Jeremy Hunt actually, he managed


to fall out with GPs, he managed to fall out with consultants and now he


has managed to fall out spectacularly with junior doctors. I


don't think anyone wants to get to that stage of imposition but someone


was suggesting to me yesterday, this will end one of two ways. Either the


BMA moderates, as they see it, managed to close down the BMA


radicals, as they see it. Or the government will have to end up


imposing the contracts. Do we know what the viewers on the Tory


backbenches as to how Mr Hunt is handling this dispute? I think


people are pretty solid in the view that doctors will have to back down.


I do think many people would hold up how this is all played up over a


long period of time. Don't forget, this dispute has been rumbling on


for ages. Very few people I think would say that this has been an


excellent example of how to handle these things. There are such strong


feelings on both sides of this. If you think about the NHS with David


Cameron, it was part of his massive attempt to rebrand the Conservative


Party. This is the thing I care about beyond anything else, and age


yes, all of those slogans. Lets see what happens.


I shall have further such meetings later today. The Royal College of


Midwives has called the government's plans to cut nurses' student grants


appalling. The Royal College of Nursing says they are deeply


concerned. Meanwhile, the honourable member for Lewis who is a nurse so


she would have struggled to undertake are training giving the


proposed changes to the bursaries scheme. Why does the Prime Minister


still think he is right to scrap grants for students nurses? For the


very simple reason that we want to sit more nurses in training and more


nurses in our NHS. We believe there will be an additional 10,000 nurses


because of this change, because the facts are today that two out of


three people who want to become nurses cannot because it is


constrained by the bursaries scheme. Moving to the new system, those


people will be able to become nurses. Andrew Griffiths! Mr


Speaker, the number one responsibility of any government is


the protection of its people. Does the Prime Minister agree with me


that the nuclear deterrent and our membership of Nato are key to our


defences, and that any move that would put it at risk would


jeopardise our national security? My honourable friend is absolutely


right. It has been common ground on both sides of this House of Commons


that the cornerstone of our defence policy is our membership of Nato and


our commitment to an independent nuclear deterrent, which must be


replaced and updated. They are necessary to keep us safe, and at a


time when we see North Korea testing nuclear weapons, with the


instability in the world today, we recommit ourselves to both Nato and


our independent nuclear deterrent, and I think the party opposite has


got some very serious questions to answer. Jeremy Corbyn! Thank you


very much, Mr Speaker. This week, the Prime Minister rather belatedly


acknowledged that there is a housing prices in Britain. He announced ?140


million fund to transform 100 housing estates around the country,


which actually amounts to ?1.4 million per housing estate, to


bulldoze and then rebuild. My maths is perfect! This money, Mr Speaker,


is a drop in the ocean. It isn't even going to pay for the


bulldozers, is it? What we have done is doubled the housing budget, we


are going to be investing over ?8 billion in housing, and that comes


after having built 700,000 homes since becoming Prime Minister. We


have got over 250,000 more affordable homes, and here is a


statistic he will like - in the last Parliament, we build more council


houses than in 13 years of Labour government. Jeremy Corbyn! Well, Mr


Speaker, he has not thought this thing through very carefully.


Because every estate that he announces he wishes to bulldoze will


include tenants and people that have bought their homes under right to


buy. Will those people, the leaseholders, will they be


guaranteed homes on those rebuild states that he is proposing to


build? Luck, of course, I accept this isn't as carefully thought


through as his reshuffle! Which I gather is still going on, it hasn't


actually finished yet! Of course, what we want to do is go to


communities where there are sink estates and housing estates that


have held the ball back and agree with those local councils, agree


with those local people and make sure that local tenants get good


homes, make sure homeowners are housed in new houses. That is


exactly what we want. Look at what we have done on housing, we reform


the planning rules, they opposed them. We introduced help to buy,


they opposed it. We introduced help to save, they opposed it. They have


nothing to say about people trapped in housing estates who want a better


start in their life. Mr Speaker, I noticed the Prime Minister did not


give any guaranteed to leaseholders on estates, and so there is another


probably larger group on most estates that I have a question to


ask him on behalf of, a tenant by the name of Darryl, who says, will


be Prime Minister guarantee that all existing tenants of the council


estates earmarked for redevelopment will be rehoused in new council


housing in their current communities with the same tenancy conditions as


they currently have? We are not going to be able to deal with these


sink estates unless we get the agreement of tenants, unless we show


how we are going to support homeowners, how we are going to


support communities. But isn't it interesting, Mr Speaker, who here is


the small C Conservative who is saying, stay in your sink estate,


have nothing better than what Labour gave you after the war? We are


saying, if you are a tenant, you have the right to buy, here is help


to save, we will help you out, and that is the fact of politics today,


a party on this side of the house that wants to give people like


chances and they Labour opposition that says, stay stuck in poverty.


Jeremy Corbyn! Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister does not seem to understand


the very serious concerns Minister does not seem to understand


council tenants have when they feel they are going to be forced away


from the community where they live, where their children go to school,


and their community is so strong. But there is another area where the


Prime Minister might be able to help us today. His party manifesto said


everyone who works hard should be able to own a home of their own. So


will families earning his so-called national living wage be able to


afford one of his discount starter homes? I very much hope they will,


because also, as well as starter homes... As well as starter homes,


we're having shared ownership homes, and so if you take... When I became


Prime Minister, a young person trying to buy a home needed ?30,000


Prime Minister, a young person for that deposit. Order, I apologise


for interrupting, I say to for that deposit. Order, I apologise


honourable lady, the member for Bishop Auckland, who aspires to be a


stateswoman, that is not the appropriate behaviour, shrill


shrieking from a sedentary position, I want to hear the Prime Minister's


answer! You needed ?30,000 for a deposit on a home, and that is now


down to ?10,000 because of schemes we have introduced. I want people to


own our own homes, so let's consider this issue - we are saying to the


1.3 million tenants of housing as a station is, we are on your side, you


can buy your own home, why does he still oppose that? -- housing


associations. Well, Mr Speaker, I hope this word hope goes a long way,


because research by Shelter found that families on his


because research by Shelter found living wage will not be able


because research by Shelter found afford the average starter home in


98% of local authority areas in England. So there is only the 2%


that may benefit from this. So instead of building more affordable


homes, isn't the Prime Minister branding more homes as affordable?


Which is not a solution to the housing crisis. Will he confirm that


home ownership has actually fallen since he became Prime Minister?


There is a challenge of helping people to buy


There is a challenge of helping is what helped to bike was about,


There is a challenge of helping which they opposed, help to save,


which they opposed. Isn't it which they opposed, help to save,


question about the 1.3 million housing association tenants. No... I


want what is best for everybody, let's put it like this, he owns his


home, I own mind, why won't we let those 1.3 million own their homes?


What are you frightened of? Prime Minister...


When the noise disappears... Order! The Leader of the Opposition. I


thank the Conservative backbenchers for their deep concern for the


housing crisis in this country, it is noted. The Prime Minister gave no


assurances to tenants, no assurances to leaseholders, no assurances to


low-paid people who want to get somewhere decent to live. Can I ask


him one final question on this? And it is a practical question that is


faced by many people all around this country who are deeply worried about


their own housing situation and how they are going to live in the


future? It comes from Linda, who is a council tenant, who is a council


tenant for the last 25 years. And she says, I will eventually look to


downsize to a property suitable for our ageing circumstances. Due to the


Housing Bill being put through Parliament at present, if we


downsize, we will have to sign a new tenancy agreement. If we stay, we


face having to pay the bedroom tax and debt. If we downsize, we lose


our secure home. It is a real problem that Linda and many like her


are facing. If she was in the Prime Minister's advice Pirro, what advice


would he give her? The first thing I would say to Linda, we are cutting


social trends in this Parliament, so she will be paying less in rent. The


second thing, if she is concerned about the spare room subsidy, it is


not paid by pensioners, a point that he fails to make. The other point I


would make to Linda, the other point I would make to Linda and all those


who are in council houses or in housing association homes, is that


we believe in giving you the chance to buy your own home and are helping


you to do that. Isn't it interesting what this exchange has shown? We


have a Labour Party who have got a housing policy that doesn't support


home ownership, just as they have got a defence policy that does not


believe in defence, just as we have got a Labour Party that does not


believe in work and they Labour leader who does not believe in


Britain! Mr Speaker, as someone who grew up


in social housing, may I welcome the Prime Minister's commitment to tear


down poor quality, soulless high-rise estates and replaced them


with affordable homes? Will he seize this opportunity to make sure these


new homes are attractive, well designed places where people will


actually want to live for generations to come? I think my


honourable friend is absolutely right. If Labour wanted to have a


constructive opinion, they would come along and say, how can we help


knock down these sink estates, rebuilds new houses, help people to


own their own homes? That is what you are going to see, Mr Speaker, in


this Parliament, one side committed to opportunity, life chances,


helping people get on, and another side wanting to keep people trapped


in property. Angus Robertson. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. The


economic and intellectual contribution of college and


university graduates to the UK is immense. The Smith Commission said


the UK and Scottish Government should work together to explore the


possibility of introducing formal schemes to allow international


higher education students graduating from Scottish further and higher


education institutions to remain in Scotland and contribute to economic


activity for a defined period of time. Why did the UK Government this


week unilaterally rule out a return of a post study work visa without


stakeholder discussions and before key Parliamentary reports? What I


say to the honourable gentleman is we have an excellent scheme that


covers, of course, Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland,


to say to world students that there is no limit on the number of people


that can come and study in British universities, as long as they have


two things, an English-language qualification and a place at the


university. That is an incredibly generous and open offer. And there


is no limit on the number of people who can stay after they have


graduated, as long as they have a graduate level job. I think that is


a clear message, that all of us, whether involved in the Scottish


Government, the Northern Ireland or Welsh or UK administrations, should


get out and sell around the world, it is a world beating of, we want


the brightest graduates to study here and then work here, what a


great deal! Thank you. The return of post study


visas is supported amongst others, all of Scotland's 25 publicly funded


colleges, the University of Scotland, the representatives of


higher education organisations, many other organisations and businesses,


all parties including the Scottish Conservative Party, so why does the


Prime Minister think they are all wrong and he is right? For the


reason I have given. I think the clarity of our offer is world


beating. The disadvantage of inventing a new post-work study


route, where you are effectively saying to people coming to our


universities, it is a key to stay with a less than graduate job,


frankly, there are lots of people in our own country


desperate for those jobs and we should be training them up and


spilling them up. We don't need the world's brightest and best to come


here and study and then to do menial jobs which actually, that is not


what our immigration system is for. What we want is a system where


people can come here, study and work and that is the system we should


keep. Would the Prime Minister join me in


praising the fact that Aldi are building a distribution centre in my


constituency. It is situated off one of the busiest trunk roads in the


south-east of England. Could I ask my right honourable friend if he


would encourage the Department of Transport to take a review of that


road to ensure it can cope with the increase of traffic being generated


by the expanding business activity in my constituency. I certainly join


him. The claimant count down in his own constituency has fallen by 39%


since 2010 and this is welcome news. I will take up the point he says


because obviously, we will only continue to attract investment ever


make sure our road and rail network is.


The Prime Minister will be aware that last week this House discussed


the equalisation of the state retirement age between men and


women. Can I ask him, does he feel the outrage of a generation of women


born in the 1950s, who feel robbed and cheated out of their state


pension, and will he give an undertaken, giving the unanimous


decision of this House, to ask him to look at further improvements to


transitional arrangements that he will do so? I know this is an issue


that many colleagues have been written to and there are some


important cases to look at. What I would say is we looked very


carefully at this at the time and decided no one should suffer more


than an 18 month increase in the time before they were expecting to


retire. I would also say that if you look at what we are putting in place


with the single tier pension starting at ?150 a week, combined


with the triple lock that we have, I think we have a very good settlement


for pensioners. It is affordable for the taxpayer


and generous for the future. By the 8th of January, within a period of


just eight days, parts of London had exceeded the annual limit for


nitrous dioxide pollution. Giving this medically serious news, will


the Prime Minister and ensure that the Department for transport's


current consideration of airport expansion prioritises air pollution


concerns? And will he pledge never to expand Heathrow Airport while


nitrous dioxide levels are risking the health of millions of people?


I think my right honourable friend is absolutely right to raise this.


There are problems of our quality and air pollution, not just in


London but elsewhere in our country, and that is one of the reasons why


we decided to delay the decision about airport capacity expansion,


because we need to answer the question about air-quality before we


provide the answer to that question. That is what the Environmental Audit


Committee, recommended to this government. They said on air


quality, the Government will need to re-examine the commission's findings


in light of the air quality strategy. The point she makes is


being taken on by the Government. Can I say to the Prime Minister, he


has answered the honourable member for Edinburgh East for the


transitional arrangements for women born in the 1950s, it is not


acceptable. As he is talking to other EU leaders, can he ask why


some countries are not in lamenting the changes to 1944, and an -- can


he look at what Italy, the Netherlands and Germany did about


their transitional arrangements to protect the people who have been


affected? What other European countries do is a matter for them.


We have the ability to make sovereign decisions about this


issue, that is entirely right. What we have decided to do is put in


place a pension system that is long-term affordable for our


country, but also sustains a very strong basic state pension right


into the future. That is what strong basic state pension right


single tier pension will make such a difference to people in


single tier pension will make such a and the triple lock never put in


place by Labour, we all that my silly increase to the


pension we had under Gordon Brown, that can never happen again under


our arrangements. Since 2010, my constituency has seen


the generation of 200 new businesses, with a 240 minute pound


investment in Bracknell town regeneration, falling employment is


of genuine possibility. Does the Government agree with me that it is


the Government's sound stewardship of the economy that has led to this


economic success in the Bracknell constituency? I'm delighted to hear


the news from Bracknell. We have low interest rates, inflation right on


the floor, real wages growing so people are feeling better. People


are investing in this country in huge numbers in terms of inward


investment. Business investment has been going up


investment. Business investment has confident about the future of our


economy, and all of that is based on a long-term economic plan of dealing


with our debts, getting our deficit down and making this country where


people can start a business, run a business, expanded business and


therefore create jobs and prosperity for all of our people.


Over the last four years, excess winter death figures


from the ONS had shown a staggering 117,000 people have died


unnecessarily as a result of the cold. 43,000 people tragically died


last winter. I wonder of the Prime Minister agrees with me that not


only is that appalling, it is also avoidable. Can I ask the Prime


Minister why he thinks so many people are dying needlessly in our


country and what he will do to stop that happening? I think the


honourable gentleman is right to raise this. The winter death figures


are published every year. They are standing rebuke to all governments


about what more needs to be done. First of all, we have maintained the


cold weather payments. They may kick in as the cold weather continues.


There are also the winter fuel payments. The increase in pension


going up by prices, earnings or two but 5%. We also have falling energy


prices because of the falling oil price. I agree they're not falling


as fast as I would like and that is why I think it is right that we have


this competition commission enquiry into the energy industry, to make


sure it is a fully competitive industry. It has come a long way.


When I became Prime Minister, the independent energy companies were


just 1% of the market. There are now 15% of the market. The big six are


being broken down through competition. All of those changes,


plus home improvements, all of those things can make a difference.


Implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, in which a dish to play in the


sea was crucial is imminent. Can my right honourable friend inform the


House what steps are being taken to ensure that Iran abides by its side


of the deal? I think my honourable friend is absolutely right about


this. Now pay tribute to the Secretary of State John Kerry for


the incredible work he did, but also the Foreign Secretary who was by his


side all the way through, negotiating what is a very tough and


difficult deal. Where we have got to lose the adoption Day for this deal


was in October, and since then, Iraq has started shipping 12.5 tonnes of


enriched uranium to Russia. Now we're getting close to what is


called the implementation date for this deal for this deal. The key


point is Iran has granted the International atomic agency


unprecedented access to make sure it is doing all the things it said it


would do in this deal. As I said, it is a good deal, it takes Iran away


from a nuclear weapons, but we should enter into it, with a very


heavy heart and a very clear eyed, and a very hard head, in making sure


this country does everything it it would.


When the Government pushed through their changes to undergraduate


funding for years ago, they said that providing maintenance grants


for the poorest students was key to the participation in higher


education. No mention was made in the Conservative manifesto of ending


those grants. Is it completely unacceptable to make that


fundamental change tomorrow, by the back door with -- without a vote in


this House. The issue has been fully debated in this House. Despite all


the warnings from the party opposite, more people are taking


part in higher education and more people from lower income backgrounds


are taking part in higher education and I am confident that will


continue to be the case. Thanks to this government's


long-term economic plan, unemployment in North West


Leicestershire now stands at an all-time low of 522. This Saturday,


East Midlands airport will hold jobs fair with 350 positions available.


Will the Prime Minister join with me in wishing all the businesses in


North West Leicestershire Mossop first in recruitment and retention


that the Leader of the Opposition? -- more success in recruitment and


retention. I'm delighted to hear there are only 522 people are


unemployed in his constituency. May I praise him and all the people who


have run jobs fairs in their constituencies which have made a


huge difference in people finding opportunities. Since 2010, 60 4% of


the rising public sector -- private sector employment has taken place


outside London and the south-east. This is in growing terms a balanced


recovery and we need to keep working to make sure it is.


Last year, the Energy Secretary scrapped support for under the


renewables obligation for new onshore wind projects, which will


impact the three minute pound investment by Nissan at their wind


farm in my constituency. -- ?3 million. Does the Prime Minister


realise that his attacks on clean energy our debt to mental --


detrimental to businesses like Nissan? We had some extensive


exchanges about this at the liaison committee yesterday. If you look at


onshore wind, we will see another 50% increase in onshore wind


investment during this Parliament. If we look at offshore wind, Britain


has the biggest offshore wind market anywhere in the world. If we look at


solar, Britain has the fourth largest solar installation of any


country anywhere in the world. And my new favourite statistic, 98% of


those solar panels have been installed since I was Prime


Minister. This is all good news and means we have a genuine claim to be


leading a renewables revolution. Every single subsidy you give to


these technologies is extra money that we put onto people's bills


making energy more expensive. It is right that we seek a balance between


decarbonising our economy but making sure we do it at a low cost to our


consumers and the people who pay the bills. That is what our policies are


about. With the numbers of workless


households in the UK at an all-time low, and with 1.4 million children


being taught in schools ranked good or outstanding since 2010, does my


right honourable friend agree with me that the marker for one nation


government is not the amount of money we spend on benefits, but is


what we do to tackle the root causes of poverty?


My honourable friend is absolutely right. As far as I can see, Labour's


only answer to every single problem is to spend more money. It ends up


with more borrowing, more spending, more debt, all the things which got


us into this problem in the first place. Our approach is to look at


all the causes of poverty, all the things holding people back. Let's


fix the sink estates, let's reform the failing schools, yet give people


more childcare, let's deal with the addiction and mental health problems


people have, and that way we will demonstrate that this is the


Government and party helping people with their life chances where Labour


just want to stick people where they are!


The draft Wales Bill contains provisions which reverses the 2011


settlement which was overwhelmingly endorsed in the last Welsh


referendum. Unless amended, the will be an upper -- opposition sparking a


crisis. Why is this government treating Wales like a second-class


nation? What this government has done is first of all hold a


referendum, so the Welsh Assembly has those lawmaking powers.


Secondly, the first government in history to make sure there is a


floor under the Welsh level of spending, never done by a Labour


government. And now in the Wales Bill, we want to make sure we give


Wales those extra powers. We are still listening to the suggestions


made by him and the Welsh Assembly Government, but this government has


a proud record, not only of devolution for Wales but in delivery


for Wales. $30 oil is great for petrol prices,


but it is potentially catastrophic in other respects. If it goes on


like this, we risk seeing regimes under pressure, dramatic corporate


failures and financial default, enormous financial transfers out of


our markets to pay for other country's deficits, a possible


collapse in share prices and dividends for pensions, and a


liquidity problem in our banking sector. May I invite the Prime


Minister to initiate an urgent review across Whitehall, to assess


the effects of continuing low oil prices on our economy and beyond,


and in particular, work out how we can avoid the destruction of our own


oil industry in the North Sea? My right honourable friend makes an


important point, which is this very big move in the oil price. It has a


highly beneficial effect for all our constituents are able to fill up


their cars for less than a pound a litre, and that is a very big


increase in people's disposable income and Holywell come. A low oil


price is good for the British economy which is a substantial


manufacturing and production economy -- wholly welcome. We need to look


carefully at how we can help our own oil and gas industry. He did mention


one other calamity which is it has led to a complete and utter collapse


of the SNP's policy. Recent press reports suggest...


Recent press reports suggest that although some on the Government's


backbenchers would agree with me, despite the fact that my background


would be what the Prime Minister would consider to be menial,


would be what the Prime Minister important to have a reduction on


would be what the Prime Minister This government refuses to bring


this industry under scrutiny. Can the Prime Minister ensure that his


government will take a review of this dangerous, addictive and


ever-growing problem? We have looked at this problem and this industry


and we did make a series of changes including planning changes, but we


keep this important situation under review.


Whilst the floods over Christmas word bad for many areas in the North


of England and Scotland, cold Valley residents were hit the hardest.


?2100 and 3000 businesses flooded, Bridges lost, schools flooded and a


tip of asbestos which has led keeping 20 families out of their


homes -- the colder Valley. Will the Prime Minister meet with me to


discuss how we can help to discuss the damage, the shortfall in future


flood schemes and the rebuilding of Todmorden high school as well? My


honourable friend and I have discussed Todmorden high school but


I think we should meet again and discuss it again. First of all may I


say mice of these and the sympathies of the whole house go out to those


people and businesses which are flooded. Many people in his


constituency and that that picking a time of year. We will do everything


we can to help people get back on their feet. There is a large flood


investment programme and the maintenance investment programme


which has been protected in real terms but there are number of other


infrastructure pieces of work that needs to be done. I would commend


the highways agency which have been quick to examine roads and in some


cases have taken over repairs to local authority roads because they


have the capacity to act and act quickly. As I said last week, the


army was in faster, the money was distributed faster, the EA worked


faster and round-the-clock but there are always more lessons to learn to


demonstrate we want to get these communities back on their feet as


soon as possible. PMQs comes to an end, surprise that


Jeremy Corbyn did not go on the junior doctors' strike which


happened yesterday, with another one coming up, but instead chose to go


on housing,


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