27/06/2017 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


The government's one billion pound deal with the democratic unionist


party has been called a 'bung' by its opponents, but what impact


will it have on the restoration of power sharing in Northern


Theresa May has outlined her plans for EU citizens living


in the UK after Brexit, and the EU gives them


But are the two sides as far apart as they seem?


The government's controversial trade union law was designed to cut


the number of strikes - so has it worked and


This Iain Duncan Smith, sitting in this week... We want to hear your


views... Yes, the quiet man has been turning


up the volume on Radio 2 as the station gives former Tory


leader Iain Duncan Smith his own show for the week -


so was he any good? All that in the next hour


and with us for the whole of the programme today, it's


the general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Frances O'Grady -


it's the next best thing to being given your own radio show


Frances, although I'm afraid we don't have much


in the way of music. First today, let's talk


about the deal struck yesterday between the government


and the Democratic Unionist Party. The election result means that


Theresa May does not have enough Conservative MPs to be sure


of winning votes in Parliament and getting her business through -


so, she's agreed a deal that will see an extra ?1 billion spent


on the Northern Irish health service, education


and infrastructure. It guarantees Mrs May the support


of the DUP's 10 Mps in crucial Commons votes on Brexit,


the Budget and national security as well as any confidence votes


required to keep Mrs May in Downing The first secretary of state


Damian Green came to the Commons This agreement delivers


the certainty we need in the United Kingdom's national


interest at this crucial time. This agreement means the DUP


will support the Government on votes on the Queen's Speech,


the budget and on legislation relating to our exit


from the European Union, This is a shabby and a reckless


deal, which has taken the government true cost for the future of peace


in Northern Ireland could In Scotland, in Wales and other


English regions of the UK, the needs are just as great,


so when will the rest of the country The Government cannot be blind


to the fact that this agreement does place in jeopardy their role under


the Good Friday Agreement. We commit to transparency,


we are very open to that, and someday I'd like to think


we might publish all of the correspondence


and conversations we had in 2010 with the Labour front bench,


and in 2015 with the Labour front bench and, indeed,


with the SNP as well. As Westminster digests news


of the Conservative deal with the DUP, in Northern Ireland


the political parties face a day of intensive talks aimed at reaching


a deal of their own on a return They've been warned if they can't


reach an agreement, direct rule We can speak to our correspondence


at Stormont. There was some debate yesterday that the extra ?1 billion


might be dependent on the restoration of power-sharing but


that's not the case, is it? That was a question which puzzled politicians


here yesterday, whether or not no executive meant no cash from


Westminster but the understanding now is whatever happens here at


Stormont, the money will be coming to Northern Ireland, ?1 billion in


funding, that will go to health and education and also a big


infrastructure project. The hope is that politicians will be back in


their posts running the department here and they will decide how common


is spent but they know that if it is not the case, if they can't agree a


deal, that cash may well be spent by direct rule. Where are we in terms


of timing for power-sharing? Time is fast running out, there is the


deadline of Thursday at four o'clock, this process has been up


and running now for three weeks but the first late-night engagement


between Sinn Fein and the DUP happened last night. Some are saying


that the talks in London is created as a distraction and prevented any


momentum building up a behind the talks, that said, there was positive


engagement last night, Sinn Fein and the DUP are back talking in the


castle behind me, there are round table discussions pencilled in for


this afternoon but the issue still remains, they have to close the gap


on, all the money promised -- from Westminster won't change that. They


know that there is a big pot of money out there that needs to be


spent to ease some of the pressures on public services here. Give us a


sense of those issues that are red lines, also the party 's sake on


both sides? One of the big issues for Sinn Fein is the role of Arlene


Foster, they have said they will not accept her as First Minister, while


questioned secretary turn of the role in the botched renewable energy


scheme. The DUP save the cost will be minimised to some extent. Whether


or not Sinn Fein Quebec into an executive with Arlene Foster


remains, then we have the Irish language act, Sinn Fein say it's a


must for them, whereas Arlene Foster has already said that won't happen


under her watch so there needs to be significant movement from the DUP on


that, then we have the petition of concern which all the parties here


agree needs to be reformed. This is a blocking mechanism which allows


one party to stop legislation passing through, the parties say


against the change because it has been abused in the past. Then we


have a bill of rights to deal with. They are the essential issues which


the parties need to get to the bottom of if we are to move forward.


But there is no sense to get as close in on any of those issues. So


we're preparing for a long day of talks which could stretch into the


night, James burqa shire is go to London tomorrow the debate on the


Queen's speech save of the out of the loop, he is likely to be in


London on Thursday as well, so time is running out. Welcome to the


programme. The Welsh First Minister said the deal kills the idea of


their funding while Nicola Sturgeon has covered crabby and shameless.


Are you concerned about the impact of this favouritism and would it


will have on UK domestic relations? I am not concerned. Scotland and


Wales over the last couple of years have themselves received a total of


?1.3 billion in city deal funding, very similar to the funding Northern


Ireland has just received, so these claims are not founded. Its ?1


billion over roundabout three years... It's actually two years.


Some are two years, some are for years, so let's say three on


average. That is 0.04% of government spending. Let's keep these numbers


in proportion. So study has gone out of the window. We have been told for


years by coalition and successive governments that actually, the


country can't afford excessive spending and yet in order to buy


votes, to use the words of Carwyn Jones, you have been able to find ?1


billion, as you say, for two years. Let's put it in context, we're


finding ?8 billion for the NHS, ?4 billion for education announced in


the manifesto so you have to keep it in proportion. I don't think you can


point of this expenditure, which is proportionately not enormous, and


claim it is the end of austerity, I don't think it is. So in other words


austerity was a political choice, it wasn't a necessity, because we can


afford these things? Measured against the scale of government


spending, this is a small... More claims for them to be necessary was


not an economic necessity. It was because the deficit was 11% of GDP,


it's now down to 2.6 if we hadn't made that progress we would be


paying 2% on a national debt interest, like Spain or Portugal or


Italy and instead of interest grittiness ?46 million a year, it


will be costing us 100, so it was an absolute city. Do you see this ?1


billion as a down payment, Nicholas MacPherson said that how will turn


out to be, the DUP will come back for more? That is Spec edition, this


deal lasts... He should know. This deal last the lifetime of the


Parliament, till 2022, the deal is extremely clear... It will be


reviewed after two years. And unlike the correspondence between the DUP


and Labour in 2010 and 2015, this is all public, in the open, exactly how


it should be. Why was it necessary to do this deal at all than we knew


the DUP were going to support a Conservative government on key votes


like the budget and the Queen 's speech because the result could have


been Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister? Clearly the action result


was disappointing from a conservative perspective but what


happens now is the national interest is what matters, we have uncertainty


with the Brexit negotiations and to navigate those successfully, as I


hope and expect we will, it needs to be against the backdrop of


parliamentary stability. Over a couple of seats short of an overall


majority, this extra ten votes on key issues gives the country that


stability needs at a time of uncertainty. They would have voted


for you anyway. Given that our national interest is at stake, that


is not a gamble anyone can responsibly make. Are you saying


they would have voted down a Conservative government and allowed


the prospect, rightly or wrongly, of another election and Jeremy Corbyn,


who they do not support in any way, becoming Prime Minister? Had the DUP


choose to vote in six months, a year, is up to them, not you or me,


and given it is so important to have stability at this time of


negotiation, the government for a right to take absolutely no risks,


it is the responsible thing to do. You sort of implied there that you


could see the DUP reconciling their differences, particularly over Irish


nationalism, with Jeremy Corbyn? It's all speculation can you can't


take any risks, you can't make assumptions, you go for certainty in


the national interest. Except you have had such widespread criticism.


Do you welcome this extra funding going to health and education in


Northern Ireland? Of course Northern Ireland needs more investment in


schools and hospitals and getting its industries up and running, but


so does Scotland, so does Wales, so does England. Their escape to be a


real sense of unfairness here, that you can't just find the convenient


money tree when it is politically expedient to do so. Those cuts are


urging everybody across the nation and I would say to the national


interest to stop those cuts and think again because you heard it on


the doorsteps, people have had it up to here and they want their schools


and hospitals and new industries, critically, for growth, to be


invested in. We do want the NHS funded properly, and schools, but


Northern Ireland is unique, it has had this awful 40-year history of


the troubles, employment in Northern Ireland is 5% lower than the rest of


the UK, so they are a special case. The commitments of the Labour Party


made... The commitments they made, bribing the electorate with their


own money, what about 100 times bigger than the money we are talking


about for Northern Ireland. Talking about Northern Ireland, as a region,


it is long received the most generous funding in the UK, partly


because of some of the structural difficulties. Are you happy it is


heavily reliant, higher than any other part of the UK?


Unions in Northern Ireland have long our Jude for an intelligent


industrial strategy, just as we do and the rest of the UK, but me and


we is to get good jobs to get the wealth on which public services


depend. But there is this other worry. I personally feel uneasy


about what the implications of this deal are in the long term for the


Good Friday Agreement. I'm optimistic, as your reporter was,


that the Assembly will get up and running again but it does erode


trust when deals of convenience are done. What do you say to that?


Because there has been, again, a lot of criticism about threatening the


Good Friday Agreement. I don't think it will. If you read the agreement


signed yesterday, the DUP have reaffirmed their agreement to the


peace process and the Conservative government have reaffirmed their


unshakeable commitment to the Good Friday Agreement, the Belfast


agreement on everything critically, the Northern Ireland Secretary of


State is broken and I did not and will not participate in any of these


discussions with the DUP that have been taking place over the last few


weeks and may take place in the future, to make sure that his


impartiality as can be protected. Thank you very much.


Yesterday saw a first in the Commons - an MP making their maiden speech


claimed they were the first MP ever to sit in parliament with this name.


At the end of the show, Frances will hopefully give


Let's turn to the other big announcement in


That was the Prime Minister's proposal for what will happen


to the three million EU citizens resident in Britain after Brexit.


Under Theresa May's plan, all EU nationals lawfully resident


in the UK for at least five years will be able to apply


Those granted settled status will be able to live, work,


study and claim benefits as they can now.


They will also be able to bring over family members


in the UK for less than five years will be able to continue living


they'll be able to apply for settled status.


The cut-off date for eligibility is undecided -


but will be between 29th March 2017, when Article 50 was triggered,


and 29 March 2019, the date at which Britain is scheduled


Those arriving after the cut-off point will be able to stay


temporarily but with "no expectation" they will be granted


Theresa May said her plans were designed to put EU nationals'


"anxiety at rest" but must be reciprocal - giving


certainty to the British expats living in the EU.


She also insisted the UK should police the new rules rather


As I said, the Prime Minister came to the Commons yesterday


to explain her plan - let's take a look.


I know there's been some anxiety about what would happen to EU


citizens at the point we leave the European Union.


Today I want to put that anxiety to rest, I want to completely


reassure people that under these plans no EU citizen currently


in the UK lawfully will be asked to leave at the point


The Prime Minister went to Brussels last week to make what she described


as a generous offer to EU nationals in this country.


The truth is, it's too little, too late.


That could have been done and should have been done a year ago,


when Labour put that very proposal to the House of Commons.


It was more than concerning to open the document designed to settle


the lives of many of our EU citizens here, to discover that it


leaves many more questions than it does answers.


Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister went to Brussels last week and presented


It fell short of expectations, with Dutch president Mark Rutte


stating, "There are thousands of questions


Is she going to take the opportunity to make sure that EU nationals


who sadly have come to this country and abused our hospitality


by committing crimes, she will use the full opportunity


of this to make sure they can be removed from our country?


Well, my right honourable friend, with one of his previous roles,


knows very well about the issue of those who have come to this


country and abused the rights that they have been given


by their criminality and I certainly will ensure that those


who are serious and persistent criminals, that we can take action


So that was the debate in the Commons.


The Government's proposals haven't been entirely well received in


Brussels, you may not be surprised to hear. The EU's chief Brexit


negotiator Michel Barnier has called for ambition, clarity and


guarantees. So how far apart are the two sides of this negotiation? We're


joined now by Leila Nathoo, our political correspondent. Is there a


big gulf between the EU's position and the UK proposal? The EU have


outlined their thinking, it is a bit broader than what Theresa May set


out in her document yesterday. There was a lot of agreement - there is a


shared desire, this is the central issue and one of the things they


want to get sorted out as soon as possible. They want to look after


all those EU citizens living in different countries and there is


agreement on the fact that those who have lived in the country for five


years continuously should then be able to have continued residency and


most of the rights of the citizens of that country. But there are a few


notable differences. Firstly, this issue of the cut-off date to drop


you mentioned that Theresa May was talking about the cut-off date for


the eligibility being no earlier than the 30th of March this year and


then no later than two years' time. The EU side aren't very clear that


they want all rights to be guaranteed right up until the Brexit


agreement is in place and comes into force. That is, of course, into my


career is time but who knows? The talks could drag on matters when


they won the eligibility to start from. The other big area of


difference is the ECJ. Theresa may very clear she wants to end the


jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, she wants the UK courts


to police this system. The EU completely at odds on that, saying


they see a continued role for the European Court of Justice. There are


finer details of what happened to families in the longer term. Nouri


EU wants the rights of families to be guaranteed in perpetuity, whereas


it is a bit vague on the UK side and there is some suggestion that


families will have to apply individually to be granted settled


status and that this settled status can be lost by anyone if they have


two years out of the country so I think if you finer points still to


be ironed out you mentioned Michel Barnier's tweet that he was looking


for more clarity, so I think there is still plenty more to be worked


out. Thank you very much. We're joined now by


Labour's Frank Field, who campaigned for Brexit


and is a former welfare minister. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Why


can't the UK just accept this document of the EU's position paper,


bearing in mind there is a lot of common ground and then negotiate on


things like who will be the arbiter to enforce those rights? Well, of


course it could. Should it? No. If we take the role but Frances O'Grady


has, it is like going into wage negotiation where you actually want


to map objectives, a pay increase and the employer in return wants


something from you, save more flexible working. The idea you would


go in and say, "Of course you can have a flexible working but we will


come along separately and deal with a pay increase"... You bargain with


a flexible working to get as big a pay increase as possible. My


criticism of the Government is that this statement, as you rightly,


gently, said, is vague, still, could have been made at the very going Mrs


May's stewardship to try and reassure people that we want people


to stay, that we should be weighed down in the negotiations now, not


with the negotiation of the direction of the nature of the


negotiations. The general statement she is now making, we are going into


these negotiations, we want people to stay, we want to enforce by law


people's freedoms and rights in this country. It could have been made


ages ago. The nature of the negotiations, that we want to get


the best deal for our people abroad as they want to get for their people


here, I think is right it And it is a negotiation. As Frank Field said,


if you play all your cards at the beginning and you just accept lock,


stock and barrel, apart from the issue of the ECJ, you have lost that


negotiation. I get lots of e-mails from members, particularly in the


NHS and social care, who are EU citizens working here, and also from


Britons abroad who also feel very uncertain about their status, and I


have to say it is quite distressing that these announcements are making


them feel more anxious about their futures. They don't know when the


cut-off date is, they don't know whether there will be an income


threshold, they can't plan. They pay taxes, they've done incredible jobs


here and they're being treated like bargaining chips and I would say as


a negotiator, actually, there are times when you show good faith by


putting something on the table that shows goodwill, that it is possible


to do something unilaterally because what you are trying to do is build


up trust and confidence for future negotiations. Ramuwai we're talking


about human beings, we're not talking about money or obscure parts


of treaties, we are talking about real people who are worried about


their future and it seemed to me this was the time the Government


really should have done the right thing and guaranteed. But I am


worried about Brits abroad also. And again, one of the real problems


Labour has is with part of its vote who feels that we put foreigners


first over our own kind and a deal, as Francis is describing, which if


we were in the garden of Eden, we would all sign up to, would


reinforce that point yet again. We have have not negotiated or


safeguarded the position of Brits abroad but guaranteed those people


who we want to stay state should stay, but it comes back to this


vagueness of the government. This could have been made me months ago


and it raises the bigger questions about how on top of the negotiations


the government is. But if the Government have made a unilateral


move, because these are people, and I also get correspondence from


people who are worried, but if they did throw down the gauntlet and say,


"We are doing this, we are going to hold the moral bar slightly higher,"


surely it would be up to the EU 27 members to meet our offer if we had


done it and if we still do take a position paper, it is only a


position paper. That will mean it will be up to the EU then to deny


our citizens the same rights and they wouldn't be seen in a very


positive light. I paid for my union membership and I would not like


Michael Stone member to negotiate for me on that strategy. -- I would


not like my union member. I am deeply critical that the Prime


Minister didn't at the very beginning use a prime ministerial


broadcast to say, "We need you, we actually value you and we're going


to go in to get the best possible deal, please feel as least alarmed


as possible". Had the work started then, I think we would have been


very near a conclusion of this part of the negotiations. But even if you


take it on your own terms as a negotiator, if you see this as a


negotiating issue, you've got to be able to follow through on any


threats you make, otherwise they're empty threats. Are we really saying


that we would deport nurses, care workers...


Who are saying that nurses care workers are going to be deported? I


haven't heard from any government minister and they have done


everything to say that that would not happen. That suggests to me that


it is not a conventional negotiation because that's not what... The


weakness is that they know we are pretty hopeless at controlling our


borders. The idea that... We can't get around to deporting criminals,


so the question you have from Mark Harper, that would be wonderful if


we can guarantee taxpayers that. The idea that we've got the resources,


the ability, to track and no, let alone the willpower, let alone the


authority, to deport people who are doing jobs in the NHS is moonshine.


So we go into these negotiations week because at the moment we cannot


even defend our own borders. Lets not talk about the European Court of


Justice because that is one of the big sticking points about who would


have jurisdiction. Keir Starmer today, obviously Labour's


negotiating person to do with Brexit, has said, actually, why


can't be ECG -- the ECJ BB and force of the rights of citizens of the EU?


Because one of the things about coming out is that they wouldn't be


able to. To enforce the rights of EU citizens of the UK? The EU court


would office the enforce the decisions that are made for Brits


living abroad in Europe in the EU. Our Supreme Court, if it has any


meaning at all of being the Supreme Court, would actually decide those


issues are people who we actually want to stay, who we need to stay,


because we've not got a policy of making sure we are going to fill


vacancies with a skills programme and welfare reform programme, so


over time we would become less dependent. But I think we will come


to a position where the European court will decide the dispute in


Europe and our Supreme Court will decide those decisions needing to be


made in this country. This is the paper that has been put forward by


the government. Do you not see that it is a generous offer in terms of


safeguarding the position of EU citizens currently living in the UK


and that family members at some stage will be able to join them or


build up those years, out, and then apply for settled status, and


otherwise, broadly speaking, the rights they have now will be the


same? What is not generous about it? I think everybody is agreed that the


offer from the British Government isn't as good as that but on the


table by the EU. Who says that? Who is saying it is not as generous? In


terms of income thresholds, we don't know whether family rights will


apply to everybody or whether there will be an income threshold and if


so, what would it be. And actually, again, all of the members writing to


me from elsewhere in the EU, Britain is working abroad, are saying,


actually, they want Britain to make a unilateral offer because they


think that will be better for them. They don't see it as a trade. It is


about taking the high ground and doing the right thing. Do you think


the income threshold should be extended, if somebody was to bring


in a non-EU spouse, they have to have a certain income, should that


apply once Britain has left the EU citizens who come from the 27 member


states? I think that's the correct position to start our negotiations.


Where I am critical of the Papal is it's not as strong as David


Cameron's resolution, part of that deal that he put the referendum was


on child benefit. Now that has been thrown away. It would penalise you


-- UK citizens... That's the main criticism, the extent as the


government really got this is the overwhelming job of the government,


driven by Prime Minister and colleagues, and if they had, these


sorts of general statements would have been made at the very beginning


of her stewardship and we would have now worked through to a position


that when she went to the European summit, she would have very detailed


proposals. I think the direction can this be the government is going, is


not good. In March this year the government's


overhaul of trade union law, designed to tighten the rules around


balloting for industrial So have the changes,


which proved controversial when they passed through Parliament,


had any effect? But discord with the Government


over plans to change 40% of strike days in 2016


were down to the new junior Strikes may seem fairly common


nowadays but figures show they're at an historic low,


and new rules could mean The Trade Union Act


came in this March. It means that industrial action can


only go ahead when there's been And for important public


services like health, education and transport,


there's an additional threshold, meaning at least 40% of eligible


members have to support the action. The RMT union are holding


their annual general meeting here in Exeter this week


and preliminary research by a Bradford University academic


suggests that at least three of their strikes have been averted


because their ballots failed The union represents


transport workers. Recently, a Tube strike couldn't


happen because not enough members The Trade Union Act is an attack


on working people and it's an attack on organised labour


in the United Kingdom. It's a deliberate attempt to try


and disarm the trade unions so that we can't take effective


industrial action to defend our members and move


forward our agenda on pay, How much of a challenge is it


for your union to reach those We've got a record of getting


very high turnouts. We've just got to up our game a bit


to make sure that we're fit to face these challenges that


the thresholds put down We will continue to be


a fighting trade union, no matter what the impediments


that the Government Unions may feel these rules


are suppressing their members' rights but some people think ballot


thresholds are the right way The right to go on strike is a very


important one but we also have to make sure that the public


is protected from a small number of people potentially making radical


threats that essentially hold the public to ransom,


especially when its tax money that's been used often to prop


up these services. The Trade Union Act has come


in at a time when union It fell by more than a quarter


of a million in 2016. That's the biggest


annual drop in 20 years. And this coincides


with self-employment Those types of people are just much


more difficult to organise. They don't have a fixed workplace,


they don't have a fixed manager and they don't necessarily relate


to the same group of people like employees do, so they're much


more difficult to organise collectively, which is the way


that trade unions work. If the current trend continues,


then around one in six employees will be in a union


in a decade's time. This compares with one


in three in the 1990s. For now, though, strikes aren't


a thing of the past. At least eight ballots


have reached the voting thresholds in recent months,


with commuters facing rail We're joined now by the Conservative


MP Robert Halfon - he was a minister until he lost his job


in the reshuffle earlier this month and he's called for his party


to embrace the trade unions. And, of course, Frances O'Grady


of the TUC is still here. Three RMT strikes have been averted


due to the trade union Bill, falling below the threshold, would you have


rather the strikes had gone ahead? I would rather the problem never arose


in the first place... Strikes are always a last resort. But what I


think is unfair is union being saddled with this old-fashioned


postal balloting, when we know, and all good Democrats should want this,


that would give massively improve participation in ballots if we had


the right to secret, supervised workplace ballots or indeed eBay


letting, or we are the only organisation in Britain banned from


balloting online to conduct votes, under strict conditions, it seems


wrong and unfair, and as democratic we should all want to see it. Don't


you want to see that you want to see more conservatives join trade


unions, if you went down the road she is outlining, with more


accessibility, then they would exceed the threshold on ballots? Let


me make a first point, it's not about stopping people going on


strike, it's about turnout and threshold and about workers' rights


and welfare, that means all workers, if you have a cheap strike, it


affects millions of workers and people going to hospital and so on


and so forth, that's why the threshold and turnout was


introduced. But I am fully in favour of online voting for trade unions, I


have spoken to her when I was in government about this and I know


there was an enquiry at the moment that the government are carrying out


and if we are saying the trade unions that we want a fair threshold


and turnout, especially in important services like the underground and


emergency services, then it's right that there should be online voting.


Should you have voted to bring in a trade union law on raising the


threshold for turnout until those things came into place? Online


voting is quite complex, I think it's right that they look at the


best options for it but I have always supported it and I think the


principal had to be there, because local cheap strikes were affecting


leans of people unfairly, I think they were right to get that


principle... And if people felt really strongly about voting in a


ballot for strike action, they would do by any means. Hasn't this law, in


the way he said, just stop militants holding unions and taking action for


granted? I think what clear as I said before is all we know, we have


evidence, that we can improve participation with online balloting.


Do you accept that militants have held unions hostage? I don't accept


that. Part of the problem here is that we are addressing strokes


rather than the cause of strikes, if you look at some of the recent


ballots, we incidents human rights being victimised for supporting a


pregnant colleague, people facing pay cuts for six years in a row and


the rise of insecure working, zero hours people do have grievances. It


can't sweep them under the carpet through a bureaucratic device on


ballots, you have to address the grievances. Precisely not, we are


saying that what we want is a fair turnout and fair threshold is


because if there is a local dispute and then a small number of people,


millions of Londoners or wherever it may be, workers' rights must apply


to everyone. They must also apply to the worker/ to get about their daily


business who have nothing to do with the dispute. The problem with this


trade union act, which was amended hugely partly because people across


the parties, churches, employers, didn't want it either, but even so


it remains a pretty Draconian act in one of the countries where we have


the toughest legislation on unions in the developed world. I think the


mood has shifted, I think people recognise that the problem is not


about over mighty tree genes, it's about minority of bad employers who


are exploiting workers -- it's not about over mighty trade unions. It's


about stopping the injustices, you name it. I think with Tube and


Sports Direct, Parliament has played a huge role... It was union


organisers, we wouldn't know about it. I have no problem with that,


it's a good thing. To highlight abuse and to look at the problems of


those people in private companies who are possibly being abused in


terms of employment practice, those are good things but separate from


saying we want a fair turnout... On the turnout... The government was


looking for a fight and picking a fight unnecessarily. But there are


some who feel unions are doing the same thing. If we look at, since the


law has come into place, there have been a number of votes on industrial


action involving the NUT, the RMT, they have surpassed the threshold. A


recent RMT ballot failed big rush old. If it had gone ahead, only 20%


of eligible Unionists would have supported it so the law hasn't


stopped industrial action because the ones I talked about Mr threshold


and went ahead. The RMT one didn't and will endeavour much support.


Unions always judge the outcomes of those ballots anyway, if we don't


get a high turnout, we're not going to get good support for a strike.


But the web at -- you would have had a strike... You have had strikes by


the RMT held on low thresholds, not all of them, which have been held


even with a low threshold and they have gone ahead with however much or


little support. The less support you have, the more you show you a week


so unions are very smart at looking at the turnouts of those ballots.


They need to make sure they have got the probable they take action. You


said you wanted the Conservative Party to be the party of workers,


what makes you so confident that will happen? I would like to be


modern trade union and how we offer membership services in the way trade


unions do and although trade union membership has declined, it's still


many millions and political parties would dream to have that kind of


membership but we did introduced the national minimum wage, that cut


taxes for learners, millions of apprenticeships... That was really


an extension of what Labour introduced, the national minimum


wage... It is much higher than what was being proposed then...


Introducing millions of apprenticeships for young people to


get on that letter. Are you pleased to see the back of manifesto


commitments made in the last election to drop the pensions triple


lock in favour of a double lock? I am, I was concerned about that, I


made my feelings clear that brought the manifesto was published that


many pensioners are not on pension credit, not necessarily well off,


and I was very worried that because we didn't put the figure on, that


people would... So you agreed with your colleague, it was the world


first manifesto? There were a lot of good things in it, particularly on


apprenticeships and skills, but I was glad that in terms of the


pension, fuel allowance and the triple lock, yes. You agree people


of that up with austerity? I think people have struggled for many


years, it's not austerity, it's about living within our means, we


can only spend the money we have. But it's been particularly hard on


people, particularly public sector workers.


Now, we heard a lot after the election about how


young people had finally made their voice heard.


And it seems they want to shout about rather a lot.


So what are some of the main issues facing younger people in society -


and how do their fortunes compare with their elders?


Despite low mortgage costs, young people in the UK


are struggling to get on the housing ladder.


In 1991, 36% of people aged 16-24 owned a home -


that had fallen to 9% by the end of financial year 2014.


Over that same period, the number of homeowners


among 25-34 year olds fell from 67% to 36%.


University tuition fees are also often cited as a millstone around


The average amount of debt in England for each


graduate is now ?32,220 - but of course they won't have


to start paying this back until they rise


After an initial fall in the number of applicants


when the tuition fee cap was raised, the sector rebounded quickly


and each successive year has seen record numbers accepted -


including those from disadvantaged backgrounds.


And young people in Britain are more likely to be in work


the unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds is 12.5%,


That's compared to the EU average of 18%, or more than 40%


So is this a bleak time to be a young person,


or have they, in the words of Harold Macmillan,


We're joined now to discuss this by Sean O'Grady


from The Independent, and Frances O'Grady


Neither is quite alone Neil but they both have plenty to say on this


subject! Eight was a big dividing factor in the election, wasn't it?


Yes, it was and what we found for pretty much the first time was young


people registering to vote and then getting out to vote and tending to


road Labour and many of them were voting Labour I think because Jeremy


Corbyn put an enormous pile of money on the table and asked them to help


themselves in terms of reduction of so-called student debts, in terms of


reintroducing allowances for sixth formers and that sort of thing. So I


think they were basically bribed but I don't mind about that but I think


that in a world where we're becoming a world where each generation has to


fight their own corner, if that's what it's going to be, my generation


does have to do that to. Does that indicate that they felt extremely


aggrieved? Paying tuition fees, being saddled with student debt, as


many of them see it, even though they don't pay it back until they


reach a certain threshold, the prospect of buying a home if that is


what you want to do is now extremely remote. That wasn't the case when I


was younger. Well it was the case when I was younger and maybe both of


us were younger if we think back hard enough. There is an idea abroad


that the 1960s to 1990s were a sort of wonder period in which nothing


happened that was bad mother went wrong. I lived through, as you may


have done, the Thatcher era, which was very hard. We have mass


unemployment. I've been through a couple of housing booms but also


couple of housing crash is. I don't want to sound like the


Yorkshireman... I'm about to get the violins out! When you tell young


people today about some are called negative equity, where your mortgage


was higher than the value of the House and the bill each month was


bigger... We went through that. Is a matter fairer exposition of the


situation for young people if you look at it across the decades? I've


got grown-up children and I'm not keen on this story of generation


wars, often because it is the parents who are supporting young


adults and so on. But also because inequality within generations is


bigger than any inequality between them. But this is looking at younger


people, comparing it to today. Without doubt this is the first


generation that looks like it is going to end up worse off than its


parents. We have seen big hikes in housing that to push them out of the


housing market and young people are three times more likely to be on an


insecure contract, and that very often means low paid, too. So I


think there are reasons why young people did get energised during the


election and I don't think it was so much the tuition fees, by the way.


On our polling, that was way down the list. Was about decent jobs and


the chance of a good home. Hasn't it always been the case that


generations say, we are better off than our parents? No. For most of


human existence, most of what you might call the modern era, even,


children didn't expect to do far better than their parents and when


they talk about housing, I agree that housing costs in real terms are


much higher than wages, no doubt about that, but there is a sense of


entitlement attached to it and I think that nobody has a right to own


their own home and a second rewrite to make a vast amount of untaxed


profit on the back of it. That's what they are really talking about.


They see what has happened to previous generations and forget


about hardships and sacrifices and large deposits and what the building


society used to demand of you in the days before 100 as mortgages and


they want a piece of the action. If you are on zero hours contract or


self-employed, as you know, it is really hard to even get through the


door to get a mortgage. Let's talk about employment because it is


surely a credit to the government in some way that create the jobs that


more people are in work, certainly compared our European counterparts'


average, not Germany but suddenly the southern European countries. I


think everybody wants to see everybody having a chance of a job


but I think the conversation has moved on. We launched our great jobs


agenda this week. So you mean that has been priced in? Everybody just


assumes there won't be high youth unemployment? I think people are


saying that having no job -- having a job in and of itself shouldn't be


the limit of our ambitions. We want everybody to have a good job on a


secure job and the kind of job you can raise a family on and four


delivered his life. Isn't there something different in terms of


accessibility now? We look at education and tuition fees you said


wasn't a high priority. Accessibility is much better, too,


compared to when we were students. Do you think people have taken that


on board? If you are young person you will only see what is a young


person you will only see what is around you at the time. No, they


haven't taken it on board at all. Was very hard on the old days for


people to get into Europe and -- AE -- into a university. We used to


have Polytechnic. 50 years ago, one in 2018-year-olds, usually boys, got


into university. We have doubled or tripled or increase the size of the


higher education sector in 20 years or something and you expect nobody


to pay for it. You have to make a contribution for it. Isn't that the


realpolitik in terms of material wealth, opportunities to travel and


work abroad? All of these things are now accessible to more young people


than they were 30 years ago. But isn't the real issue about what's


going to happen when they become pensioners, and if we haven't got


occupational pension schemes and of the state pension isn't high enough,


if we haven't got time is to sell to pay for social care, what then?


There you go. The point is that people my age and older I in a


situation where yes, they may have built some assets and wealth up in


their home and so forth but as soon as they get dementia or some other


long-term illness, they will lose the lot. Where is the fairness in


that? And every single thing you can think of, apart from housing, from


cars to computers, entertainment, meals out, anything you can mention,


is miles better than it was 30 years ago. Social mobility? Sean O'Grady,


they give very much. -- thank you very much.


You may recall this time last week we were talking about the former


Labour leader Ed Miliband's appearance as guest presenter


He was listening to people flushing the loo, among other things.


Well, this week it's the turn of the former Conservative


Let's have a listen to how he's been getting on.


Hello, this is Iain Duncan Smith, sitting in this


We want to hear your views, as you're listening to this,


Are negotiations with Europe over Brexit much tougher than we thought?


The argument that I made, and I'm pretty sure I remember


You refer to the Iain Duncan Smith who's outside the studio,


I'm Iain Duncan Smith, sitting in for Jeremy Vine.


So, what does flying a flag say about you?


Does it make you patriotic or is it something else?


Actually, in the studio they're all running around looking


Whether it's Cornish, Scottish, Manx, Welsh or the Union,


not to mention Northern Ireland, where we know you love your flags.


Are you there with it ready to hoist?


I am here and I am ready to hoist it.


I've loved this and I know that you've probably spotted


all the deliberate mistakes but I'm looking forward to being


We're joined again by the Telegraph's radio


critic Gillian Reynolds - she was with us last week


to review Ed Miliband's performance on Radio 2.


And by the former Conservative minister


Welcome to both of you. Would you say that Ian Duncan Smith is a


natural broadcaster? No, I wouldn't. He coughs a novel, for a start,


which makes all the grounds of the country, me included, really nervous


and we would like to send him some cough mixture and lozenges. He is


not at ease with someone chatting down his ear, "Go to Madonna".


Music, as a man who was an aficionado of many genres of music,


is not that easy if you've never done it before. I felt sorry for


Iain Duncan Smith when he was Tory leader and I feel even sorrier for


him now he is a broadcaster. It proves the point that anybody can do


it. When I started doing 606 on Radio 5 live, David Hatch said to


me, "Enjoyed it but remember 1000 people can do it just as well". He


wasn't very good at the start but he was with Danny Baker. Gillian is


quite right in what she says, it is not easy. What skills do you need,


would you say, David? I asked Terry Wogan for advice and said, what I do


to prepare for it? He said, "You just turn up and you will find you


can either do it or you can't". But at the end of it all, it depends


what you're doing. In terms of music you got to have ownership of the


product. I did programmes on Radio 3 and then I thought I wanted an


audience I moved to classic FM. I heard that Digg! I want ownership of


the music. To be told it is Andy Neal and the Street warmer saying


so-and-so in your ear, I couldn't do that. For Iain Duncan Smith, he has


talked about some of his favourite topics already. Do you think that is


a good thing? I think he is at a disadvantage because he's much more


called on to be a spokesman on serious affairs like Brexit and


stuff so he is bound to feel inhibited trying to keep people to


the point and to time and not expressing his own opinion because,


of course, he can't. But he really warmed up towards the end. He had a


very sad item about should you take a holiday when you get a terminal


illness and he actually listened and you could hear him relax into that


and when he got to the end, the item about flags, he came into his own


and the nation learned what a flag expert is. Do you know what it is?


Of Excel Logistics. I do know because we have had one on! It comes


from the Latin root, meaning a banner. When you say he was talking


about Brexit and perhaps you go into automatic politician mode because he


had to spell out his impartiality credentials, which is never a good


sound on the radio, you might say. It was the only word he got in


because the two of them went head-to-head, Daniel Hannan and


Sarah Ludford, went head-to-head and he couldn't get in at all. Will he


improve over the week? I don't know. I wouldn't expect so. He's going to


sign you up as his PR agent! I resigned from the Tory party when he


became leader. Thought he would be hopeless as leader and he was and I


think he is the same as a broadcaster but he is doing his


best, as we all try to. But the point is, actually, that programme


began with Jimmy Young, who was a friend of mine, a constituent of


mine and even voted for me. But Jimmy Young created an atmosphere in


which people would give out, as they always used to do with David Frost.


You can't expect someone like him or indeed Ed Miliband to create that


kind of atmosphere. Do you admire him for having a go? I admire anyone


for having a go but don't you think they should recruit for a bigger


pool? Where are the women? I think Ruth Davidson would've been a much


better booking. Tory, balance. FE, balance. Interesting, very good


balance. And young. Who would you have if you are looking at


politicians? People who have genuine talent and not just doing it because


it is a geek. Ken Clarke was very good on Jazz FM. It was a passion. I


think broadcasting cannot just be a job, it's got to be a passion and I


just don't think that he or, indeed, Ed Miliband have much of a passion


for it and the other problem is that until you develop a voice of your


own and you're just in the hands of the producers, you could just as


well be a ventriloquist's dummy. Thank you both very much for coming


in and being our critics for the day, marking Iain Duncan Smith's


card! There's just time before we go


to find out the answer to our quiz. And yesterday saw a first


in Parliament - an MP made their maiden speech and claimed


to be the first MP ever to sit I know it is not David but I am


really hoping it is Wayne. It is Darren. Darren Jones. You didn't get


it right but nor did I when I was looking at it!


Thanks to all my guests, especially Frances.


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


I'll be back at 11.30 tomorrow with Andrew for the first


Prime Minister's Questions of this new Parliament.


Brexit means Brexit. We did it!


To pretend that it's going to be plain sailing is such


knuckle-headed lunacy. Happy days are here.


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