17/03/2016 Daily Politics


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Hello, and welcome to the Daily Politics.


Nearly 24 hours after the Chancellor delivered his budget,


and as always the devil's in the detail.


Mr Osborne's already under fire over cuts to disability benefits,


and the so-called tampon tax, and this morning he's had to reject


suggestions that there may have to be more tax rises or spending


cuts if he wants to eliminate the deficit by the end of this


The Chancellor also announced a sugar tax on fizzy drinks.


Our Adam's been out with his bon-bons, to see how well that's


What chance EU leaders can stem the flow of migrants from Turkey?


They're meeting in Brussels later today.


And is this the funniest budget joke ever, ever, ever?


Indeed, the former Pensions Minister the Liberal Democrat Steve Webb said


"I was trying to abolish the lump sum."


Instead, we are going to keep the lump sum and abolish the Liberal


All that in the next hour, and with us for the duration,


the BBC's former economics editor, now JP Morgan's chief market


strategist for Europe, Stephanie Flanders.


So at just over 9,000 words, and an hour long, George Osborne


delivered his eighth budget yesterday.


Against a backdrop of deepening Conservative division over Europe,


and a gloomy economic outlook, the Chancellor waged war


Sugar addicts may be relieved to hear, loop-holes are aplenty.


Jammie-dodgers and donuts escaped the Chancellor's ire.


As is traditional the morning after, Mr Osborne gave a round of Breakfast


interviews - he probably needed an Irn-Bru to get through it all.


In Britain we have a growing economy, we have got unemployment


coming down, we saw that again today.


And what I'm saying in this Budget is we have got to hold to the course


we have set out, we have got to take action now on the public


finances so we are stable and secure and don't pay later and we have got


to back small businesses, the self-employed, working people,


by cutting their taxes and helping our


We set out the plan to do that in the Budget.


When you stand back from all the details, does this budget change the


macroeconomic course of this economy? Well it changes the


forecast but that is the forecast that he was dealing with from the


Office for Budget Responsibility, the backdrop was that the office for


national statistic, the cash value of the economy was smaller than


think thought, about a month after the Autumn Statement, they decided


that, and the Office for Budget Responsibility has decided to be


gloomier about our long-term growth prospects and particularly


productivity, a growth in out put per head. So he was keel dealing


with lower revenue forecast over ?50 billion extra black hole in the


public finances. But, and he is partly responded to that, but also


used some smoke and mirrors to still beat that, have that surplus at the


end of the Parliament. I thought it was kind of impressive with the


straight face he can still talk about the long-term plan and holding


fast to his pinss. The buzz words Avoiding short-term fixes when this


was another big change in forecast for spending, masses of Tyne qlitle


gimmicks and -- gimmicks worthy of Gordon Brown. Some worse than things


that Gordon Brown would have announced. I thought it was a shame,


there was a lot of micro changes but not a clear strategy, not a clear,


you know, when you think about long-term tax reform, there wasn't a


clear line of thought, you know, he says he is against cop rap-of-rat


tax evasion, the old Chancellor Nigel Lawson used to say you get rid


of it by narrowing the gap between personal taxes and corporation tax,


it has widened again, so I thought it was a bit of as me, but we ended


up thinking he is politically shrewd and he is of course. Very well..


The question for today is - there's been a bit of a hoo-ha over


whether male presenters are always positioned on the left of the screen


Some have argued it's sexist that the women in a presenting duo


are always positioned to the right of the man.


or d) Her Majesty's Daily Politics.


At the end of the show Stephanie will give us the correct answer


So the Chancellor blamed the economic slowdown


on a "dangerous cocktail" of global risks.


And he warned that the UK would have to act now or pay later.


His promise to return public finances to the black by 2020 looks


Yesterday, he revealed he needed to borrow ?56 billion more


than expected over the next five years, in stark contrast


to an announcement in November, when he said he had an extra


The personal tax allowance will rise to ?11, 500 in 2017.


And the higher rate tax threshold will increase


Corporation tax is to be cut from 20% to 17% by 2020.


And the Government plans to raise ?12 billion by 2020 by cracking down


Good news for small businesses - they will see a new threshold


for their rate relief, rising from ?6,000 up


For savers, the ISA limit will be increased to ?20,000 a year


for all savers and lifetime ISAs with a 25% bonus will be introduced


A new sugar tax - the Chancellor's headline measure-


A new sugar tax - the Chancellor's headline measure -


will be introduced in two years' time.


The levy will be added to sugary drinks raising ?520 million,


to be then spent on primary school sport.


That's for the sixth year in a row now.


And there's a 2% tax increase on cigarettes,


but beer, cider and spirit duties will all be frozen.


Let's talk now to Sam Coates from the Times, and Isabel Hardman


from the Spectator who are on College Green.


, it has widened again, so I thought it was a bit of as me, but we ended


up thinking he is politically shrewd and he is of course. Very well..


Welcome to both of you. Sam, the big surprise was the sugar tax, do you


think that was done mainly to deflect from the fact he was missing


his own fiscal targets? Think some of George Osborne's allies were


pretty much saying that yesterday, look, I think this is a fascinating


budget. It is a budget of two halve, the tough he wants to do now, many


will kick in in the first half of this Parliament. The stuff he thinks


the popular, lie the sugar tax, the fuel duty freeze, the Isa for the


under 40s, the income tax cuts, they are going to come in pretty soon.


What he did with his financial jiggery-pokery and moving the years


some of the bad news to the end. He pushed off the difficult stuff to


the end of the Parliament. Would be Chancellor if 2019 after they had to


find in one year ?30 billion of fiscal consolidation? The political


point being we know the answer to that. In 2019 George Osborne is


probably not going to be the Chancellor, because whatever else is


going to happen, there are a Tory leadership contest and George


Osborne at that point will either be up or out of that job. It is all


about the politics because we have the backdrop of the EU referendum,


his leadership ambitions, but how much trouble is he in in terms of


credibility and trust, by not meeting those rules for now? He


should be in a lot of trouble by right, what lets him off from having


missed his target and being on track to miss a third one, is Labour isn't


a credible opposition, Jeremy Corbyn did quite a good job yesterday at


the despatch box in the House of Commons but he has very little


support from MPs and he has terrible ratings as Labour leader, and this


means there is no heat at all on George Osborne when he makes


mistakes or misses targets he himself has chosen to set. He can


get away with it. He can probably set more he is going to miss for


another five years if he wants to. The heat coming from some people on


the Tory backbenches, particularly over this issue of cuts as many


people see it to disability payment, is that going to cause him trouble


that will lead to him U-turning? ? It is fascinating. The big picture


policy doesn't seem to be causing too many problems or a few people


who whinge about the sur plus, not many people think he should be


cutting harder. There are two or three areas where there the start a


Tory rebellion, there is an underground one on the PIP, the


disability cuts outlined yesterday, Tories trying to negotiate in


private with the Chancellor to whittle away at some the worst


excesses of what was announced. There is going to be before we get


there to really quite big high profile revolt, and this is where


the budget bumps up against the referendum. Me Tuesday when the


Finance Bill is before Parliament there looks like there will be


amendments on whether they should get rid of VAT on women's sanitary


products which Brussels says has to be. We are now, standing, four day


away from George Osborne potentially losing an amendment to the Finance


Bill. That is very serious, that hasn't happened since 1994 when Ken


Clarke lost one. And that will be have been embarrassing, the


Chancellor's people weren't expecting that to happen. I think


that is the first thing we will focus on in terms of political


problems on this budget. How will that leave George Osborne, if we


take that into account, and if we look at a rebellion or moves to get


it to change its mind on disability payment, how is his standing among


Tory backbenchers. He went in very cautious, the decision to freeze


fuel duty showed he didn't want to upset the backbenches, he will be


surprised he ended up but a potential rebellion on his hand. He


tried to justify the cuts explicitly when he didn't really spent much of


the budget speech talking about cuts at all. Briefly but we have to move


on. I don't think this with was a budget for the leadership. It was


for now and for him being Chancellor and co-Prime Minister. This isn't


for now and for him being Chancellor the budget you would give if you had


am bigs for the top job, and this is when the hoary hits.


Thank you both. Hello, and welcome


to the Daily Politics. Nearly 24 hours after the Chancellor


delivered his budget, The Chancellor is blaming global


head winds for lower economic growth, more borrow, less tax


revenue, more spending cuts, why didn't the Chancellor see these


gathering storm clouds in November? He is not clairvoyant. He can only


react to evens has the I happen. The growth forecast had only come down


by a small amount. It is down every year. It is down a bit. Last year.


For five year, Last year we had the highest growth of any G7 country.


Over the last five years we did better than any G7 country. I wasn't


asking about the past, I was asking about the future. The Chancellor is


not clairvoyant, but you don't need to be, because the IMF spelled out


what was happening to the global economy at its October meeting in


Peru. I reread what it said. I talked about a growing catalogue of


problem, Slough Chinese growth, a collapse in commodities hitting the


emerging market, deflation still a danger, a banking system still full


of bad debt, Italy particular and financial markets tanking, that was


in October. Where was the Chancellor? The Chancellor in his


November statement relied on the Office for Budget Responsibility,


that is the UK's independent forecasting body, and he used their


forecast in setting the statement. All those things are true. Why


didn't he take that into account in November. Because he was relying, he


was relying on the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast. All those


things made it clearer why we need to stick to the plan. I tell you


where he was, he was in Peru, he heard this himself first hand, and


yet a month later, when faced with the OBR saying you have 27 billion


more accumulated through to 2020 to spend, what did he do, he spent


nearly all of us that was a major mistake. Not really. It is provent


people like Gordon Brown fiddling with the figures, They didn't tell


him to spend more money. The Chancellor decided to use that to


alleviate the effect of cuts which was reasonable. Because he ends up


four months later with a ?56 billion shortfall, he had 27 billion to save


four months ago, you spent most of it and you end up with a ?56 billion


shortfall, that is not managing the economy. The point is when we get to


2019/20 we will have thes is plus and finally after 18 long years we


can start just repaying our nation's debt. What is the point of finding


27 billion down the back of the Treasury sofa, and spending it, and


then having to borrow almost 40 billion more over the next three


years. What is the point of that What is the point of having an


independent forecasting service if you ignore them? Therefore cost was


they had found 27 billion more, for a number of technical reasons, they


didn't tell you to spend it, that was the Chancellor's decision, and


it was wrong. I think he was trying to achieve the government's fiscal


targets while minimising the level of spending reductions because they


have implications. He tried to make those spending reduction impacts as


low as possible is to his credit. You've been in power for six years,


is it not a measure of your fiscal failure that you will have two Row


30 8 billion more pounds in the next three years then you thought even


last November? The fact is we have a hard Labour's deficit. You said you


would get rid of it. Now you will have to borrow more. It will take us


longer to fix Labour's mess that we had hoped, for reasons due to


international financial economic 's but the point is, we are fixing it


and we have done half the job already. You say that but given the


track record of consistently failed this -- fiscal forecasts, why would


we believe that a 21 billion deficit in 2018-19 will magically become a


10 billion surplus in 2019-20, in one year, a 30 billion turnaround in


the nation's fiscal position. Given your government's track record, why


is that in any way credible? Started off with a 150 billion deficit, we


have halved that and over the next five years we will do that again.


Tell me one year where you have changed the fiscal position by ?30


billion. Over the five-year period, the rate of change is the same. No,


I'm sorry. This is the following do you to be in surplus and suddenly, a


deficit becomes a 10 billion surplus. Given your track record,


that is truly incredible. You can ask the OBR, they do the forecasts.


On the basis of government policy. As you know, they score the forecast


for it is delivered and the numbers you have quoted have been scored by


the OBR. How much will you add to the national debt in this


Parliament? I'm guessing about 400 billion. No, 150 billion, which will


take it to 1.7 4 trillion. 1.7 4 trillion under a government that was


meant to get control of the nation's finances. Which is why we need to


stick with the plan to cut the deficit down. No one is saying our


fiscal position is a good one but we have made a huge amount of progress,


we have fixed half the problem that Labour left behind and we have a


plan that will see us begin to pay the debt down in Twenty20 host of


the size of those figures illustrates why it is important we


run a slight surplus. The Labour Party and others say it is


irresponsible but even if we run a 1% per year surplus, it will still


take as 30 or 40 years to get the debt under control, so there is a


huge amount of work to do. Why are you cutting public investment? It


isn't being cut. I am sorry, it is being cut. In the last financial


year, it is 35 billion, up by 2019-20, it will be 32 billion, by


my arithmetic that is a ?3 billion cut, why are you cutting it? Because


the books need to be balanced. So you are cutting it. If those numbers


are correct. The point is, that is a very small reduction... It's not,


it's about 10%. It will be used to deliver things like Crossrail two,


high-speed three. Which our country needs. Labour says you will balance


current spending, so far all I've seen is they have suggested a number


of ways in which you would increase current spending, what would you cut


the balance current spending? If you would take one example of where we


were definitely look to reduce from waste, one example of where we have


seen a cost, that is housing benefit. Set to be 350 million more


than forecast last July, and why is that? Because we are not building


homes. We have seen home ownership come down. You would cut housing


benefit? We would invest to save, that's what you do. Would we have


not seen George Osborne do. I want to know where you will cut current


spending. This is related. Current spending is about 720 billion. So


where are you going to cut? What we have said is there are two ways you


can balance the books, one is how you increase revenue, you look at


fair taxation, tax avoidance and how you grow the economy. What Chris


missed out of his commentary was that the OBR actually have said in


their fiscal outlook that it is UK productivity that has been a main


contributor to the revised GDP figures. They may be factors but I'm


not asking you about UK productivity. Where would you cut


current spending to bring it into balance? We have been very clear and


you will know. About increasing tax receipts through growth and through


their taxation as well as looking at how you would make savings. So show


me where you would make the savings. George Osborne talks about asking


now... But I am asking about Labour policy, tell me where you would cut


current spending. We have been very clear. We would be investing in


order to see the economy grow. We would be making sure we have


increased productivity, investing in new technology. You are displaying


the time here. Let me just get you one more time, where would you cut


current spending the balance current spending budget? And I have said


this before and I will say it again. We would of course lay out editions


nearer the time. But we have a framework and what we are saying is


you need to have an approach that looks at both sites. Let me try on


capital spending. We would say there is a huge amount to do. I had


obviously failed on current spending. You would still borrow to


invest, borrow for public investment, how much extra would you


borrow to invest? That argument for borrowing to invest has been made by


many independent economists and it is the right time... I am asking you


how much. But we have said, and I will say this again, is we would


want to see our spending on investment and infrastructure to be


at the OECD average. Which is about 3%? Is that right? We have said


that. But we have challenged, as well, the drop in public sector


investment that you also talked about today, coming down... Let me


come to the 3%. Because at the moment it's just over 1.5%, is


heading to about 32 billion. So you would double that, taking it to 64


billion. Let's assume that you do balance current spending although


you haven't told me how. You would still borrow 64 billion a year. You


know as well as I do that these are in line with what the economy would


need to grow. You would borrow that indefinitely? We haven't said that,


we have said that you need to look at where the needs of the economy


are. How you would invest for a return as well. That could be


through RND, through looking for a return for working with industry as


well, if you look even in investing in renewables, which is incredibly


important... I'm not asking you what you would invest in, I'm trying to


get the scale. And you have helped us test Bush the scale. Now it


follows, since you are talking about 3% of GDP, that if you balance the


budget, but borrow 64 billion between 60 and 70 billion to invest


your policy is to run a deficit, the finance that borrowing,


indefinitely. We have not said that, you are putting words in my mouth,


but we have been clear about the principles of how we would approach


tax and spend decisions. We would balance the current budget over the


course of the parliament and would want to see... And borrow to invest


so you would always be adding to the national debt. We would expect a


return to growth and tax receipts but there are many black holes in


George Osborne's budget, another 560 million that has been identified...


Let me ask you this. You didn't ask Chris this. I don't need you to tell


me what questions to ask. Do you agree with raising the threshold of


the 40% tax rate? We have said we won't be opposing it, we wouldn't do


it at this time, because you are seeing a budget that was supposedly


to support the next Generation, at the same time as you see rents


increasing, you see reports coming out that say that the UK two thirds


of the UK is unaffordable for young people. This is a government that


has made life much harder for young people. So why are you agreeing with


a costly rise? There are a lot of middle income families who also


struggling to make ends meet in the climate that we are in. They are


below the ?45,000 threshold. But there are families who will be


struggling to make ends meet, we believe that we would not make that


decision at this time. But we're not going to oppose it. We have said we


will oppose inheritance tax cuts, we will oppose further corporation tax


cut and the capital gains tax cuts. Would you make the state of the


debate? It's finished in reflection, the budget itself was an interesting


reflection of the lack of opposition at this time -- an interesting


reflection. It was quite aggressive, the tax changes, the distribution of


all these tax giveaways, the personal allowances and others, very


much to the upper end of the distributional -- it was quite


regressive. At the same time as you have cut heavily onto the bottom


half of the income distribution and I've seen analysis that shows the


changes the election, the bottom half of the net losers and the top


half on it gauges. So it just the fact able to do that and focus on


the conservative side of the bench in worrying about the friend and


everything else. Despite about public investment, you emphasise the


slowdown in the global economy, the OBR made clear that most of the


change, they have revised down the growth forecast for the rest of the


world of most of it is on productivity and as other countries


grappled with this problem, they are seeing central banks trying to as


much as they can to support growth but turning increasingly thinking,


do we need to do more on public investment? Does there need to be


fiscal support for growth as well as central banks? So it adjusting that


he didn't give more of play to that debate and felt able to have lower


public investment going into the future -- so it's interesting. And


low it worth of the public sector at a time others have been talking


about increasing that. So slightly against the tide of those debates.


Thank you both. Well, the Chancellor faces


a rebellion over the so-called tampon tax, a 5% levy


on sanitary products, Up in arms, an alliance


of feminists and campaigners who would like Britain


to leave the EU. Let's talk now to the Conservative


MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan who's Isn't that really the nub of it,


it's about the campaign to leave the EU, not really about the VAT on


sanitary products? Quite the opposite though they are linked.


This is an issue we have been trying to get movement on from the Treasury


for months, trying to drive the board, it is the right thing to do.


This is a completely wrong VAT tax, we have a VAT directive which means


we are not able to determine our VAT rates and have to go again to all 27


other states to ask them to allow us to do something. I think that is


wrong, and at a practical level we need is the Chancellor, and he


committed to doing that back in the autumn, to go and ask for that


derogation to get that changed in the short term. How big is this


rebellion looking? How many colleagues of yours are signing up


to rebel? I haven't spoken to anyone this morning I have been in Select


Committee but I know there is great support for it, there was earlier in


the parliamentary term and that will continue because it is an important


issue for women. While the Chancellor is committed to spending


somewhere between 12 and 15 million, the VAT take on sanitary products on


domestic violence and other issues for women, it is women who are


paying, through their tax, on these things, for women's shelters on


issues infected by men. Under EU rules the UK zroent the


power to cut that VAT further, so you have asked the Chancellor to go


and make a case, but beyond that what can he do? He needs to make the


case, if he is to show us there is any authority from the our one of 28


states to get through to the others in the EU framework, that this is a


very minor change that we are asking for in overall VAT and tax terms but


the key point it proves we are not controlling our own tax system. That


is democratically wrong, British voters should not have taxes set


upon them and controlled by those they don't have a direct voting


link, that is wrong at every level, as far as I am concerned if the VAT


directive isn't that they put forward as being scrapped when the


Chancellor comes back with what he saying will be a deal, voting the


leave is the only solution. Thank you.


Well, later today, David Cameron hot foots it to Brussels for a meeting


On the agenda, details of a proposed deal with Turkey to halt


There are signs, though, that the agreement is already


Let's talk now to our correspondent, Rob Watson, who's in Brussels.


What are the leaders trying to achieve? Put very crudely, Jo, they


want to do is deter migrants from coming to Europe. The way they want


to do that is say look, if you try to make it to Greece or any other


part offure, you will be taken back to Turkey and you will end up at the


back of the queue. In order do that they need to sweeten the pill for


Turkey, so there are a number of goodies for Ankara including things


like speeding up access to membership of the EU and giving


tushes a free visa visit to the European Union. That is the nature


of the deal. As it looks from your perspective is it going to happen,


are they going to sign it? Well, what I will say in many ways these


summits are doomed to success, what I mean by that is you don't find


leaders saying we did our best, we tried but it ain't going to work, so


yes they will come to some kind of agreement, but the question is, will


it work? There are all sorts of problems, how exactly is it going to


work, taking people by boat from Greece, to Turkey? Will the


Europeans deliver on their promise, to the Turks? And I guess the other


thing to look at is to say look, there have been EU summits since


2001 trying to deal with this problem, there have been previous


agreements with Turkey, they haven't worked. It is right to be sceptical.


There is a sense that this deal is absolutely far from perfect, but


it's the only one out there. Thank you very much.


Well, earlier I spoke to David McAllister MEP


I began by asking him whether Germany was now


going to heed David Cameron's advice not to shut Turkey out


Well, I am carefully optimistic we can find a deal at this sum my. Of


course there is still hard work in front of us, but we need Turkey to


find a solution, for the migration crisis, we have to bring the numbers


down of illegal migrant coming from Turkey to grease. How high a price


are you prepared to pay? In 2013 you said Turkey wasn't politically or


economically fit enough to join the EU. Have you changed your mind? We


obviously have to co-operate with Turkey, to solve this crisis, and


this is a very important question for Germany. So the one thing is to


co-operate with Turkey, on the other hand we have our European value, we


have Turkish interests but we have our European values on the other


hand, and of course, there won't be any discount for Turkey, we


understand their concern, they want more financial assistance, I believe


we should be ready to give it. They want to open new chapter, here I


would say they have to match the cry Syria, they have to fulfil all


conditions like all other countries who are in a membership process, but


we also see the situation of the freedom of media, the freedom of


expression, human rights and we will have toed a dress the concerns


whenever we are together with the Turks. Is the EU ready and are you


ready to allow Turkish citizens full access to the Shengen zone by July?


Well, the question of viva liberalisation has always been on


the agenda for Turkish Government. I remember when the President came and


talked to Angela Merkel about that few years ago, I am ready to go a


few steps forward. Once again Turkey has to fulfil the necessary criteria


so we can have viva liberisation for Turkish citizen, the European


council decided this should be achieved by July. This is very


ambitious and it is up to Turkey to deliver. We are seeing slum camps on


the borders of Macedonian and reG4S -- refugees attempt to settle in


Germany. Did you expect the open door policy would have such profound


consequences? Angela Merkel is committed to a humanitarian refugee


policy, and Germany has shown responsibility in the last 12 months


like no other country in the on your union. These pictures are sad


pictures, and they are certainly breaching our European values. We


need to find a sustainable European solution. This is the good thing


about this summit, since ten days for the first time we see the


possibility of a European approach to solve-of-crisis, but once again,


all 28 member states have to agree, we have got to stop the illegal


migration from other parts of the world to Europe, we have got to


break the system, we have to break the link between getting on a boat,


and then finding resettlement in Europe. That is why this European


Turkish deal might be the breakthrough. Angela Merkel, will


she survive politically? Sure, she is our Chancellor, our party leader


and she has a lot of support in Germany. That is why we will follow


her on a refugee policy once again it is Angela Merkel's policy to find


an international response to this international crisis, we have to


solve the root causes, why these people are coming to Europe. We need


more European solidarity, that is why it is so important the 28 member


states co-operate, it is better to do this together, than every single


nation state in the European Union going it own way. Thank you.


And with us now, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select


Committee, Crispin Blunt, and the Shadow Foreign Secretary,


Hilary Benn there is a lot coming out top of European capitals, not


happy with this deal that Angela Merkel has in effect done with


Turkey, she did it without involving the President or President Hollande.


Is it going to get through? It will be a difficult meeting today. I


think in the end this is the only potential deal. It is the only show


in town. There are a lot of questions about it, which member


states will have, what happens in people are detained in Greek


territorial waters as opposed to Turkish, views expressed about the


legality of this, what is the status of Turkey as a safe place for


refugees to be, but I suspect in the end something will go through,


because I think both sides need this. Do you think it will go


through? I don't know. I don't think it should, where it is making


concessions to Turkey about early accession to the European Union, I


think the only thing we should be talking to Turkey about is giving


them financial support for the problems they face on their border


and giving them the proper support as a neighbouring state to the


crisis. Is it giving concession to Turkey on early accession? Chapters


are being advanced, they are being offered vice have a free access to


the Shengen answeria, all of these are -- area. All of these are EU


deals with the Turks to make them more accommodating on the issue. It


is ignoring the fact Turkey is spiralling down into dictatorship.


It is running a disgrace. War against its own people in south-east


Turkey which it chose to do as the Government. And we appear to be


ignoring the fact Turkey is no longer a country that is led by


someone who is fit to be a partner in the European Union. Does this


deal involve speeding up Turkey's application process? I don't think


so in practise, for the reason, as Crispin has just said, there are a


lot of problems in Turkey at the moment and there are conditions you


have to meet. I don't think, I think Turkish accession is a long way off.


Would you be in favour of it In presence. Certain subject to certain


condition, firstly they meet the standards on human right, governance


of law, there is the question of Cyprus, the crucial point will be


where we end up on free movemenches we would say member states will have


to be able to decide for themselves what transitional arrangement and


how long they want them to be in place before taking a decision, as


you know, every member state has to agree so any one has a veto. It is a


long way off. I wouldn't confuse frankly although Turkey may be


seeking to bring the two things together, a decision today,


hopefully can be reached, I don't know. Twries to deal with the


refugee crisis and the question of Turkish membership. The book has


been opened on it for coming on for 11 years, So Turkey I can's


membership is in the long grass. What signals are we sending, it is


under rogue leadership, with internal policies, that are


disgraceful, by any standard, and which is placed its domestic


politics ahead of the common international interest both in


bringing the Syrian civil war to an end, as well as... All that would


disical them for membership under current conditions. It would. What


is going on here? What is being offered? Is this, why are terms


being offered to Turkey round viva free access to the Shengen area, it


is in the draft agreement that has been leaked, actually offering


accelerated terms under the chapters round the accession negotiations,


this is not the time to be making these concessions to Turkey, we


should be clear. It is clear, that under Erdogan Turkey wants to join


the EU? It is a real question, a reflection of how badly the European


Union have damaged their relationship with Turkey and indeed


with Ukraine and the other side of Russia. All this focus on the


eurozone has distracked from the long-term strategy of securing the


neighbouring parts and one of the reflections of that is where the


Erdogan Government has gone. I think he has been giving conflicting


signals on that I would say it is clear it's a long way off any


serious asession. Let me come whack to migrants. Part of the agreement


is those that in other circumstances, the Vietnamese for


example would be called boat people. They made it to Greece. Part of the


deal is they are to be sent back to Turkey, on the Syrian basis one for


other other Syrians will be properly processed out of the camps and enter


into Greece and I assume the European Union, how do you force


them to go back? That is one of the really practical problems with the


proposed arrangements in the circumstances. It will come down to


what happens when boats are intercepted, at sea and what message


it send if it is successful, in returning people to Turkey. I can


see an agreement where by if Nato ships or whatever, or European Union


frontier boats stop the boat people, the migrants trying to make it, that


there is an agreement they take them back from whence they came which


would be Turkey, I am talking about the tens of thousands of migrants


who have made it on to Greek territory. Hour do you force them to


go back? I think that would be very difficult. I would suppose that any


agreement that is reached is going to have to look separately at that


from anyone who might be coming in the future. As we are seen, in the


last few months, people will do desperate things to progress because


of the trauma they have suffered in Syria and it is important we try and


come to an a rankment which is workable to deal with that, and to


separate out economic migrants because that is another part of the


flow from those who are fleeing persecution genuinely. That applies


to anyone coming out of Syria. As the European Union grapples with the


flow of people from Turkey, to Greece, as the spring weather begins


to light on the southern Mediterranean, I am seeing reports


as the Lampedusa crossing becomes more possible welcome back the


weather weather they are up to 500,000 migrants gathered on the


coast of Libya. That is not covered by the Turkish agreement. This is a


new, a return to a previous way that people were coming in. Strong among


the people traffickers there, is Islamic State. And the briefings my


committee got, we went to Cairo and Tunis, were some of the routes from


central Africa and West Africa are controlled by Islamic State and they


are money from people, they are the people taking the money from the


people smugglers. I don't know whether 500,000 is the right number,


it didn't get any sense from the briefings we received it was of that


scale but plainly question is very much back in play. We need to, it is


a huge issue we will have to come back to this, we have own out of


time. I know you are for Remain, are you maind your mind up? My committee


is continuing to take evidence. Your committee? Are they going to tell


you how to vote? People are crying out for an unbiased assessment and


we need to look at the patience for Britain's future role in the world


and we have a committee that is split. I want a unanimous report


from Europe files and Eurosceptics, who will then announce a report


agreed by everyone. Yes, I will tell you. Because the nation is waiting


to hear! But I will wait to hear until the committee has reported...


I think he has said yes! I can't imagine anywhere better to announce


it in on this programme. Now, back to the budget,


the Chancellor was keen to point out that this budget was aimed


at the next generation. He mentioned them 18


times to be precise. One wonders about family life


in the Osborne house. The Chancellor announced


crowd-pleasers like longer school hours


and that tax on sugar. My mum always said you weren't


allowed fizzy drinks before lunchtime but that doesn't mean you


can't discuss them before lunchtime. We are asking is this sugar tax


a good idea or a bad Have you heard of a man


called George Osborne? This is what the government


is going to do to stop people drinking too many fizzy drinks,


what do you think about that? Should fizzy drinks cost


more to stop people Because fizzy drinks doesn't


really matter that much. The more they cost,


the less you buy. I'm sure it will do,


because like the Yesterday they announced


another thing that will affect you, making


school longer every day, You are a school nurse,


you are a medical professional, will this stop kids drinking


too many fizzy drinks? Yes, we think it will make a big


difference, it's an excellent move If a can was 10p more expensive,


would you not buy it? You could adopt the libertarian


argument of saying you choose your life and pay


accordingly but we don't live in that, we live


in a world where our National Health Service


is under increasing pressure and the population


is ageing and the next problem is obesity so we have to try


and do something about it. What are the odds of


bumping into a Tory MP who is a GP on the street


near the school! The bell has just gone


and they are all in their first I think we asked nearly the whole


school and I think a big majority And with us now, Kate Andrews from


the Institute of Economic Affairs. So it's a good idea? I don't think


so, it's incredibly regressive, it will hurt people at the bottom who


may not have the disposable income to be able to justify a few pence


increase on their drinks, but putting that aside, the most


frustrating part of this policy is that the Chancellor is interested in


curbing obi city, I would urge to increment a policy where anywhere in


the world there was one piece of evidence that you your tax would


affect anything. There is no evidence that it has any impact on


health outcomes. There is some from Mexico, but we will talk about that.


It is arguably regressive in terms of disproportionately hitting the


poorest but so is sugar and its impact, and the obesity crisis. Two


thirds of adults are obese, it disproportionately affects the


poorest, so surely it is a good thing to do to deal with that? You


have that into the philosophy of it, and if we think we want to live in a


society where somebody is of a lower income is more likely to be


overweight, that we can say from the top down, we are going to price you


out of this, not allow you to purchase things, I'm deeply


uncomfortable with that. It is an issue we should be tackling... It is


a crisis. But not by pricing people out of something, people at the top


can still have this but we have decided your lifestyle habits are


dangerous and we will try and take you out of the equation, that is


something all of us are uncomfortable with. On the demand


issue, it would reduces the demand for sugary drinks then surely it


reduces and decreases the risks of obesity. It would be if we saw a


decrease in demand but we can look at Denmark and Mexico... They put a


10% tax on the strings in Mexico and we also saw consumption decreased by


6%. And now if you look, it is right back up to where it was. There has


been no decrease in Mexico. Would it work, would it tackle obesity? It is


a good first step, it is ready hard to change people's behaviour, it's a


shame that some of the public have budget, some of those programmes,


were cut in the last year, but I think the head of the NHS made quite


clear that this was an issue that was important to him and I think


it's a good first step. It is focused on the volume of sugar, to


get into the technicalities, it does make sense, because we think a lot


of the worst offenders, it is always to put the price of one in the


supermarkets, it tackles that issue as well as starting on the road to


higher prices. But when the issue is focused on children, people don't


worry quite so much, maybe that's why he's focused on that argument


because we don't mind nannying children, it's adults that are a


problem. Thank you. You do enough nannying of May! -- of me. Depends


where you look. Now, George Osborne,


he's not exactly Michael McIntyre or Jimmy Carr, and it's not his job


to stand up and make everyone laugh, but the Chancellor does


like to pepper his budget script with a few quips.


And he's not the only one. Here's our Adam with something


completely different. The guide to budget jokes, in fifth


press, Norman Lamont takes a dig at the newspapers. Some of these zero


rated goods, food and water, are clearly amongst the most basic


necessities of life. Others, for example... Sewage and newspapers,


perhaps fall into a different category. Me neither. In fourth, Ken


Clarke begins his 1996 budget speech. Contrary to public belief, I


do always look at the mirror in the morning... On this occasion I am


reasonably well prepared for this occasion, about to deliver the real


budget statement. At least he's enjoying himself! In third, George


Osborne about Ed Miliband and his Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls. He will


support our brilliant video games and animation industry too, because


it is the determined policy of this government that we keep Wallace and


Gromit exactly where they are. Cracking jokes, George! In second,


not known for his sense of humour, Gordon Brown. In anticipation of


World Cup success this summer, I'm freezing duty on champagne... And on


British sparkling wine. Which he followed up with this, and get David


Cameron. I hold to our pledge not to extend VAT to a number of items, no


VAT on food, books and use papers, public transport fares, and


children's clothes, and children's shoes, including flip-flops. Good


try, Gordon. In the top spot, George Osborne took the time in this budget


to pay tribute to his former coalition partners. The former


pensions minister, the Liberal Democrat Steve Webb said, I was


trying to abolish the lump sum. Instead we will keep the lump sum


and abolish the Liberal Democrats. Tim Farron is laughing on the


outside. And with us now, former Conservative


MP, Matthew Parris from the Times. I hesitate to say this but Mr


Osborne had the best jokes. Yes, he's possibly the best joker...


Boom, boom! But generally he carries them off although he had another


joke in that budget about the Crossrail to, heading south... For


people heading south. I thought that was quite funny, too. That is a very


city slicker kind of joke. I don't think a lot of people have got it.


Disraeli ruined his first budget as Chancellor with too much scorn, too


much derision, too many jokes at the expense of the opposition, enabling


Gladstone to get up and be pompous for about five hours, did him a lot


of harm. I think you tread carefully if you make jokes as Chancellor. He


got away with it, they often don't. Who gives them the jokes? They will


have advisers, speech writers, think Danny Finkelstein helps, but some of


them they may think of on their own. George Osborne is quite a funny man.


I see the danger of overdoing it when you are talking about people's


pay, unemployment, standard of living, but a couple of jokes in an


hour-long budget speech is not a bad idea. I agree, if you can live in it


in some way, it works better if it is a response to somebody else


rather than something that has been laboratory worked up. I think it was


Jeremy Corbyn the other day who said, I have been talking to a lot


of Socialist leaders and they all say somebody shouted, who are you,


that worked well because it was spontaneous. Is Mr Osborne funny


than previous chancellors? I think he does get away with the delivery,


the convoluted jokes are hard to get away with but he has got away with a


few, the King John joke around his support for the Magna Carta, at the


expense of Ed Miliband, was a terribly clever one but because he


is known to be an historian and because he was doing a thing about


the Magna Carta, it did actually come off. I don't think Gordon Brown


ever pulled them off. The bust until any jokes in that five hours? No,


no, Gladstone didn't tell jokes. George Osborne has the be careful


not to be accused of devising budget measures so as to come up with


jokes. He made a joke about the church roof, the Labour opposition


said, that the cost ?100 million. We never do that with our script!


There's just time before we go to find out the answer to our quiz.


The question was - there's been a bit of a hoo haa over


whether male presenters are always positioned


on the left of the screen on TV chat shows.


You buck the trend in so many ways! You haven't managed to sit on


Andrew! Not literally but metaphorically!


That's all for today. Thanks to our guests.


The One o'Clock news is starting over on BBC One now.


And I will be on BBC One tonight talking about Russia


and the sex industry with Michael Portillo,


Alan Johnson, Stacey Dooley, Anne McElvoy and Tim Marshall


I'm 52 years old... HE CLEARS THROAT






..it's harder for me to find a job...means I want it even more.


When you keep getting knocked down and knocked down and knocked down


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