03/07/2017 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


As Boris Johnson joins the list of ministers calling for the 1%


public sector pay cap to be lifted, what price Cabinet


And if the cap is lifted, how will it be paid for?


Brexit could have big implications for Ireland.


We'll be talking to a former ambassador who thinks it shouldn't


During the campaign come up my recognition factor is suffered a bit


of a setback when a picture of me was mistakenly substituted with a


And as new MPs line up to make their first contributions


in the Commons, we'll give them some tips on making the


And with us for the whole of the programme today,


two new MPs performing that other important rite of passage


of life at Westminster - being guests of the day on the Daily


It's Labour's Sarah Jones, she's the new MP for Croydon Central,


and the Conservative Bim Afolami, he's the new MP for


Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has this morning joined the ranks


of ministers calling on his own government to consider


lifting the pay cap for many public sector workers.


But what exactly is the cap, and how many people does it affect?


Some five million people work in the public sector in the UK -


A third of them work for the NHS, and another third in education.


Others work in local government, the police and the armed forces.


To employ them all costs around ?180 billion a year, just over


Public sector employees have seen their pay restricted


Between 2011 and 2013, pay was frozen for all


Since 2013, public sector pay has risen by 1% each year.


However, some have been earning more - because automatic 'progression


pay' means they move up the pay scale as they gain experience.


The Government currently plans to extend the 1% cap


to 2019-20, which is predicted to save around ?5 billion.


In setting public sector pay, the Government has been


following the recommendations of the eight independent pay review


They report at different times of year.


Pay rates for this year have already been set for all workers,


but the Government could yet decide to lift the cap


Well, we're joined now by Jonathan Cribb,


from the Institute for Fiscal Studies.


Many people think it is time to give public sector workers a bigger pay


rise. Can you tell us what has been happening broadly the private sector


and public sector pay over the last seven years? Yes, there is a


relatively simple story that has happened since the recession.


Between 2008 and 2011, private sector pay fell in real terms


sharply while public sector pay continued to rise at roughly the


same rate as it was before the recession. In 2011, private sector


pay began to recover and pay restraint was introduced in the


public sector. That means when we are sitting here in 2017, public and


private sector pay have now grown at roughly the same rate when we look


all the way back to 2070 2008 over that 10-year period. When you look


at public sector pay now, what would the cost be for a rise in line with


inflation? If public sector pay was increased in line with inflation for


the next two years, that was the proposal for the Liberal Democrat


Party at the last election. That would cost about ?4.1 billion per


year in 2019 the extra amount the Government would need to give the


departments and local government for those departments not have to make


cuts elsewhere. It pay does not go further than the 1% cap in place at


the moment, will public sector pay generally fall behind the private


sector in the next few years? According to the office for budget


responsibilities forecast, that was be the case -- the Office for Budget


Responsibility's forecast. And that could exacerbate recruitment and


retention problems in the public sector. Bim, inflation is running at


2.9%, it is it time to end the 1% pay cut for public sector workers?


There is definitely a case to be made that the 1% pay cut has been in


place for too long. That case has been made, not just by me now and my


maiden speech on Wednesday, but by several Conservative MPs. The


question is, where'd we focus that? Is that generally a rise in all


areas of the public sector, is it for all public sector workers? I


would like a focus on the lowest paid public sector workers. Because


they are the people of greatest need. And it is worth saying that


public sector pay still is about 13% higher than private sector pay when


you take the average. Although if you look at a number of graphs, it


shows private sector pay is overtaking public sector pay broadly


speaking. Well, that 30% number is over the last ten, 15 years. Really,


I think the focus as far as I am concerned is in the lowest paid


public sector workers if we can do something. If the pay review body


says the cap should go, would you agree with that? We have to listen


to the pay review body, that is why we have these bodies. Is it an area


of weakness for the Government, so says Theresa May's Chief of Staff?


In the seat Sarah Jones now has taken. Reflecting on the reasons why


he lost the seat comment you agree with him? He knows he seat better


than I do. It was an issue that came up in my campaign, in my


constituency, so it is definitely an issue for the Government. But we


have to make sure we deal with these things responsibly. Is it


responsible for Cabinet ministers to publicly make this argument without


having decided what the overall policy is going to be? I think


Cabinet ministers, like all Members of Parliament, have their own views


on a range of different subjects. I'll welcome politics where we can


discuss views on a range of different subjects. In public? That


is a reason we are in this programme, the talk in public in


different areas of policy. You are different to a member of Cabinet,


there is something called collective responsibility and should people


like Michael Gove and Boris Johnson be talking about this publicly


before a decision? I cannot speak about what they have said. Labour


would scrap the 1% cap on public sector pay, how much of a pay raise


would you like to see them get? We have to look at the reality on the


ground in terms of the NHS and teachers. In our campaign, we would


see time after time people leaving the public sex -- public services


because they are under huge pressure and not being paid enough. We need


to listen to what the pay review body say because they are the


experts, and take a view as to what we can do and what is fiscally


possible. In our manifesto, we would have taken measures to increase the


funding we have so I think we need to look at what the pay review body


says and reflect on the reality we see in hospitals and schools on the


ground where people need to get paid a decent wage to keep them doing


those jobs. What is a decent wage the usual words, and your colleague


Jonathan Ashworth called it a fair Perez, how much? We have seen nurses


getting about 14% loss in their income so we need to put that up. I


do not know what that figure should be, I need to listen to the pay


review bodies. But we do need to see a pay rise. And this is where Labour


had been talking for many months about this, we need to have a


conversation, what is the role of the state and providing the public


services that we need? You said it had to be fiscally responsible as


the IFS have estimated that if you were to rise, increase our big


sector pay in line with the private sector pay, it costs about ?6.3


billion a year by 2020, rising to ?9.2 billion a year by 2022. Labour


budgeted for ?4 billion. Can the country afford those sorts of pay


rises? If you look at the police force and the firemen who went above


and beyond in the last couple of weeks and months in terms of doing


their jobs, we need to give what we can. And you prepared to do 6.3


billion, 9.2 billion by 2020? I would listen to the pay review


bodies and do what we can. We would not be having this conversation if


it was not for the Labour Party calling for these things and it is


great they are having the same conversation, but we need to look at


this collectively and sensibly and do what we can. There is a measure


of agreement here that the independent pay bodies are important


and they need to be listened to and I hope that is something possibly we


could work on a cross-party and make sure once we listen to those pay


bodies, then debate. Let's unpack this 1% pay cut. Some people had


been receiving an annual pay increase of more than 1%. Which is


noted by the NHS pay review body, 54% of NHS staff in England with


Jude to receive pay increments of 3%, 4% on average in 2016-2017 some


the cap does not apply across the board. So do you accept that are


variations in terms of people being paid more than 1%? Yes, and what I


said at the beginning, it is really important to focus, I think, in the


lowest paid public sector workers at the moment. That was also included


in the freezer and the 1% pay cap and did not apply to those at the


lowest end, do we not look at those above that. I think you have got to


look at a range and we could come up with a different definition of the


lowest paid, but the important point is it is an important is system and


you have different areas within the public sector and it is eight


different pay review bodies, or several and we need to listen to


what all of them say. But the central point is this is definitely


the time to look again at the 1% and Seve we can lift it. In the timing,


I do think there is an issue of not leaving people unsure of what is


happening for the next six months. We have noises about wanting to do


something, the pressure now from us should we need to do something


sooner rather than later because there is so much uncertainty. And


generous pensions in some parts of the public sector should also be


looked at in the round when looking at pay? Pensions will always be part


of the package. But the main point is, the debate and how it is moving


in to a situation where I think the public and politicians are saying it


is time to fund these things properly.


The question for today is: MPs are reportedly worried


Is it: a) The ghost of former Commons clerk 'Simon Stone'.


b) The mythical rock which brings MPs good luck.


c) The extra weight that new MPs gain due to an unhealthy lifestyle.


Or d) The unusually large pips in apricots in the Commons canteen?


At the end of the show, Sarah and Bim will give


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is now, in the words of his deputy leader


Tom Watson, "completely secure" following the party's better


Mr Watson said at the weekend that meant there was no need to rush


through measures that would give members more power in the party's


ruling body and the right to nominate leadership candidates.


But does everyone in the Shadow Cabinet agree?


Here's the Justice Secretary, Richard Burgon, speaking to Andrew


I do believe that all parties, including the Labour Party, need to


be made more democratic. We have got membership of well over half a


million and I would like the members to have more say in our party's


policies and in the way the party is run.


What does he mean by being more democratic? I have been in the


Labour Party 25 years and I have not met a member of the Labour Party who


does not have strong views on virtually everything. We have more


members as well which is fantastic and there is a question about how we


run the party and how democracy works within the party, so what say


the people have? In policy-making, the decisions... And should members


have more say? Yes, there will be a big debate about this over the


coming months. The key point is, Jeremy Corbyn is our leader and


enormously popular now and he has done very well in terms of the


election and that is clear. The slightly different conversation is


how do we make sure the party runs as democratically as possible? Were


you a fan of Jeremy Corbyn before the election? I did not vote for


Jeremy, but he is responsible for my victory, I would say. Election


campaign was one of the most extraordinary I have ever seen,


having been in the party for many years. The shift was quite tangible


in terms of the opinion of everybody that we would talking to and I think


the more that we heard from Jeremy and the framing of the debate that


was him being so clear about what we wanted rather than Theresa May being


so weak was extraordinary and I think he did very well. Do you agree


with moves within the party to take the power of electing or selecting


the next leader out of the hands of MPs and going


We haven't got any proposals on the table yet, we will have a debate at


conference. But do you broadly agree with that? I think absolutely the


MPs have a huge role to play and the membership has a huge role to play


and we need to work out the balance and I don't know what that is. But


would you like to see a lower threshold for nominations for


leadership candidates? We will be talking about it locally in our


general committee this week and we will see where we end up, but as I


said everyone in the Labour Party will have a view about this and we


will reach some kind of agreement at conference. Your new party chairman


said Labour is too broad a church, do you agree with him? I don't think


there's any question about that, all of the major political parties are


brought a church. We are united, the question is who was in charge of the


Conservative Party at the moment, who is running the country and I


think those questions are to be answered and much more significant.


Did you think you would be in a position as a new MP where Jeremy


Corbyn was considered safe and secure in his future but Theresa May


less so? I expected the Conservative Party would have a majority and it


was obviously a very difficult night for us. It's been a difficult week


subsequent to the election for us. I think what we are not hearing is


that actually the divisions within the Labour Party are still deep and


still quite substantial, in particular around Trident and the


economic policy that effectively the hard left leadership wants to pursue


which a lot of areas of the Labour Party don't want to pursue. But they


do have an agreed policy on Trident, yes Jeremy Corbyn doesn't agree but


there is a settled view. But it is a bit odd if your leader doesn't agree


with the party policy. He may look safe and secure now but when we


start to see these divisions open up I think he will be less so. Do you


think mandatory reselection would be a good idea? There's already a


process where the committee can... Sure, but mandatory reselection? I


think all of these things need to be discussed. We are much larger party


than we were, we need to have these conversations but the real question


is how we will hold to account a government which is very weak, which


is buying votes. Who was running it, we don't know and that's the real


issue. The effect of Brexit on Ireland has


so far focused on what it might mean for the border


between Northern Ireland But in a report out today


for the Policy Exchange think-tank, the former Irish ambassador


Ray Bassett argues that allowing the EU to negotiate Brexit


on Ireland's behalf may be a mistake, and the country


should even consider Welcome to the programme. Why are


you arguing Ireland should leave the single market and the customs union?


Because circumstances have changed. Ireland in general wanted the UK to


stay inside the EU but now it has changed and the UK are certainly


leaving the EU, and it looks like they are leaving the single market


and Customs union, we have to decide whether our best course is to stick


with the remaining 26 or to look at the whole issue of maintaining our


customs and free trade with the United Kingdom and may be seeking a


new arrangement with the rest of the EU. But what is the best course of


action for us. But why would Ireland prioritise the UK with a population


of 65 million people over 26 member states with almost 500 million


people? Because we have much greater connections with the UK. In a poll


in Dublin, 56% of people in Ireland polled said they felt the


relationship with the UK was more important than its relationship with


the rest of Europe. Ireland and Britain have so many connections


it's by far the most important bilateral relationship, so we have


got to look, if we break that relationship as part of the EU, what


do we get on the other side. The EU was moving in a direction that we


don't particularly like. 88% of Irish people polled also believe the


UK should stay in the European Union, so are you a lone voice? If


it came to a choice and there was a hard Brexit most people said they


would prefer to see us in an arrangement that didn't break up


with the United Kingdom. But why should it break a relationship with


Ireland? Ministers have been very keen to stress that relations should


remain close with Ireland. Relations should remain closed but if you look


at Michel Barnier, their priority with regard to Ireland is that


whatever happens with Ireland the outcome must maintain the integrity


of the union's legal order, so they are saying there will be customs


posts and Ireland will be in the same situation as every other


countries. We share the common jurisdiction for hundreds of years.


Almost every organisation in Ireland is linked into the UK organisation


and we don't know what the final format of Brexit is, but there is a


danger the EU would prioritise itself and the maintenance of its


integrity over these unique and special relationship between Ireland


and Great Britain. But couldn't Ireland benefit from Brexit? It is


in the eurozone which has found new confidence if you like following the


of Emmanuel Macron. There could be a tightening of the relationships


between those countries in the eurozone. Ireland has done well in


terms of having one of the lowest corporation rates in the EU whilst


still adhering to rules and regulations, so what's not to like


for Ireland? You have just touched on it. Emmanuel Macron has picked


out Ireland as his target in terms of trying to get a consolidated


corporation tax rate, a common tax rate across Europe. There huge


pressures coming on Ireland now to raise its tax rate and our biggest


ally in doing that along with the Netherlands has been the UK. We will


find it difficult to maintain that type of relationship that we had in


the past without the UK. OK, Ray Bassett, thank you very much.


When an MP speaks for the first time in the Commons after their election


It's an opportunity for them to praise their constituency,


set out their priorities, and sometimes even raise a smile.


Let's have a look at a few of them from recent,


It is a very great privilege to be standing here


I want to stress that this speech tonight, Mr Deputy Speaker,


is not a maiden speech, as I've been specifically instructed


by the Speaker that whatever maiden status I may have once possessed


It is daunting on these occasions to have members of one's family


Worse, I feel, to have them sitting in the chamber.


Any increase in aggregate supplementary credit


approvals issued will result in an increase in PSBR.


We had great generals, like John Churchill,


Duke of Marlborough, who was rewarded with


Blenheim Palace for his victories in the War of the Spanish


As on this side of the House, we settle our own issue


of succession, Spanish or otherwise, I can, er...


We are now in the ridiculous situation whereby because I am


an MP, not only am I the youngest, but I am now also the only 20 year


old in the whole of the UK that the Chancellor's prepared


When I moved into my new office, on the very first morning


I was there, the first telephone call I received, I eagerly


picked up the receiver to see who this could be,


only to discover that the person on the other end of the line only


There is no offsetting effect on PSBR for any notional release


The now ageing VC10s which thunder down the runway loaded with fuel


for our fighter aircraft are fondly known locally as Prescotts,


because they are able to refuel two Jaguars simultaneously.


During the campaign, my recognition factor suffered a bit


of a setback when one campaign profile mistakenly substituted


a picture of me with a photo of a brick wall.


We're joined now by the Labour MP Paul Flynn.


He's written a book about how to be an MP.


Do you remember what you said in your maiden speech? I followed the


precept of don't change the speech, change the audience, so I made a


speech I have done a hundred times before with a good opening line and


a good finishing line and as short a period as possible in between the


two. That's when you did yours, would you still give that advice as


the main components to new MPs? Yes, you have to stick to the ritual


because it's a terrifying experience. They go from the fear,


and you longer you put off the hurdle the higher it becomes. You


have the fear beforehand and the joy afterwards of having done it. There


have been some wonderful maiden speeches over the years. Stephen


Pound actually ran down his constituency, couldn't find anything


good to say about it except an elephant died their 100 years ago


and the elephant was so embarrassed by dying there he crawled over the


boundary to do it, a very funny speech. We have seen remarkable


maiden speeches of people who have made a great impression. The MP for


North West Durham made a very impassioned speech that went on to


make a hit on the web as well but it was based on her experience as a


worker in the mental health... And the new member of Kensington was


brilliant, faced with this awful calamity and she combined that and


spoke with great authority, pointing out there are many poor people, poor


children in Kensington as there are in Lanark. You have been through it,


was it frightening, Bim? Yes it was beforehand, but this is testament to


more senior colleagues, people really want you to do well. So you


feel they are wanting you to succeed. They laugh at your


admittedly not terribly funny jokes and that gives you that confidence


which then allows you to go for it. The speaker congratulated you on


your maiden speech, I have never heard of it before. Unique, I think.


There you go! And what was the main thrust of your speech? I talked


about my predecessor, Peter Lilley, the I talked about my constituency


and constituents, and the I talked about education and how important it


was, important for a 21st-century skill -based economy, then I talked


about a just society at the end. I haven't written mine yet, it gets


more scary as I go. I have ask two questions and that was scary enough.


When do you do it? You write to the speaker and ask, and choose a


particular debate. Anything in it that you know you will say already?


Education will be a huge part of it and my responsibilities as an MP of


course. There's just time before we go


to find out the answer to our quiz. MPs are reportedly worried


about the Westminster stone. A) The ghost of former


Commons clerk 'Simon Stone' b) A mythical rock that


brings luck c) The extra weight that new MPs gain


or d) The large apricot So, Sarah and Bim, what's


the correct answer? C, the extra weight


new MPs are said to gain That's all for today.


Thanks to our guests. I'll be back with all


the big political stories of the day tomorrow,


and we're on at the earlier time of 11am again because of Wimbledon -


do join me then.


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