05/07/2012 Dragon's Eye


05/07/2012

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 05/07/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Tonight, we reveal the impact of the UK Government's working tax

:00:01.:00:11.
:00:11.:00:24.

credit reforms on low income Welsh Good evening. This programme has

:00:24.:00:27.

discovered that more than 9,000 low income households will be more than

:00:27.:00:30.

�70 a week worse off following the UK Government's changes to working

:00:30.:00:33.

tax credits. Couples earning less than �18,000 are being required to

:00:33.:00:37.

increase their working hours from a minimum of 16 hours a week to 24 or

:00:37.:00:40.

lose their working tax credit. That means over 9,000 families in Wales

:00:40.:00:45.

are losing nearly �4,000 of benefits. One children's charity

:00:45.:00:48.

has called it a calamity that plunges thousands of children deep

:00:48.:00:58.
:00:58.:01:14.

below the poverty line. Arwyn Jones The payment tops up their income of

:01:14.:01:19.

people on low incomes. But the UK government has insisted that couple

:01:19.:01:24.

with children will now have to work for 24 hours a week between them

:01:24.:01:31.

and cannot 16 in order to qualify for working tax credits. Over 9000

:01:31.:01:36.

Welsh families will lose over �4,000 benefits. A single parent

:01:36.:01:42.

has to work 16 hours a week to qualify for working tax credit. The

:01:42.:01:46.

UK government thought it was unfair that a couple between them only had

:01:46.:01:56.
:01:56.:01:56.

to work 16 hours a week as well. Unless a couple can find an extra

:01:56.:02:02.

eight hours a week, they will lose their working tax credit. But can

:02:02.:02:08.

additional work be found? We have 1.4 million people in part-time

:02:08.:02:17.

work just now who want to be in full-time work. The number of

:02:17.:02:21.

people in part-time work has gone up exponentially in the last few

:02:21.:02:27.

years. It is not easy to pick up an extra eight hours a work to

:02:27.:02:31.

continue to make it worth your while court out to work. That

:02:31.:02:37.

fundamental issue of should have been recognised by the government.

:02:37.:02:42.

They should have thought this through. They are going to do

:02:42.:02:46.

damage to families and further diminished trust in the welfare

:02:46.:02:53.

system. There is plenty of work at the Citizens Advice Bureau. They

:02:54.:02:57.

say thousands of people are coming to them with concerns about changes

:02:58.:03:07.
:03:08.:03:12.

to working tax credits. People are coming to us, the message is that

:03:12.:03:18.

people have to move back into work, but people have found that if they

:03:18.:03:22.

are not on to be working enough hours, there will not be a

:03:22.:03:26.

financial support for them and so they have postpone the decision to

:03:26.:03:36.
:03:36.:03:37.

return to work. They will be worse off on in work than on benefits.

:03:37.:03:46.

There is a fear that it will lead to an increase in child poverty.

:03:46.:03:56.
:03:56.:03:57.

There will be an eight increase of 800,000 children in poverty. Wages

:03:57.:04:04.

are stagnating, unemployment is high, prices are high. Food banks

:04:04.:04:11.

are flourishing in these austere times. A recent report found that

:04:11.:04:17.

42% of those who used food banks are there because of a result of

:04:17.:04:21.

changes or delays to their benefits. When it welfare payments are cut,

:04:21.:04:29.

people still need to buy food for themselves. We have done a survey

:04:29.:04:35.

of people who come to us for help. About 50% of those people have said

:04:35.:04:43.

that if they did not receive help, they would have committed a crime,

:04:43.:04:48.

20% have said they have suffered from depression and 30% of said it

:04:48.:04:54.

has put a strain on family relationships. The Treasury have

:04:54.:05:00.

said they have had to take tough decisions but have done so in the

:05:00.:05:06.

fairest way possible. Meaning that 15 times as many people game than

:05:06.:05:11.

it loser from the recent changes. We are not looking at people having

:05:12.:05:16.

to increase there are us. We are saying that if a single pair it has

:05:16.:05:25.

to work 16 hours, it is not a reasonable that a couple should

:05:25.:05:30.

only work 16 hours. Some of those families will be benefiting from

:05:31.:05:36.

other tax changes as well. The overall picture is not as bad as

:05:36.:05:41.

people are trying to claim. Next year, the rules will change again.

:05:41.:05:44.

In the meantime, thousands of families in Wales will be losing

:05:44.:05:50.

out. Arwyn Jones reporting. I'm joined

:05:50.:05:53.

now by the Labour AM Julie Morgan and the Conservative AM Byron

:05:53.:05:56.

Davies. Do you have any concerns over those

:05:56.:06:03.

figures? There are concerns obviously. In at the last 10 hours,

:06:03.:06:07.

we have been in a terrible state but almost a third of four children

:06:07.:06:12.

in poverty. And yet you support a government reform that is likely to

:06:12.:06:22.
:06:22.:06:24.

put more than 9000 Welsh families just under �4,000 a year worse off.

:06:24.:06:30.

Government have a responsibility to be equitable in the way it treats

:06:30.:06:37.

people. I believe this is a good step forward. What do you think?

:06:37.:06:43.

am extremely concerned about it. Children will be plunged into

:06:43.:06:48.

poverty. It is an alarming situation. The chances of

:06:48.:06:52.

increasing working hours are limited. You can see from all the

:06:52.:07:01.

empty shops. It is difficult to get extra hours of in retail. I am very

:07:01.:07:11.
:07:11.:07:12.

concerned. On the face of it, it does seem to have, it does seem

:07:12.:07:16.

unfair to have the same working requirement for a couple as for a

:07:16.:07:25.

single parent. It seems to be an unfair burden on a single person.

:07:25.:07:29.

You have to look at the circumstances under which this is

:07:29.:07:39.
:07:39.:07:42.

being carried out and the children that are being targeted. These

:07:42.:07:51.

credits are targeted at children and that is why they are a success.

:07:51.:07:56.

Independent studies all agreed that cutting a family tax credit Haas

:07:56.:08:06.
:08:06.:08:14.

the poorest children in society. -- harms. We spend a lot of money on

:08:14.:08:23.

welfare. These are difficult times and we have to be equitable.

:08:23.:08:32.

mantra has been making work pay. But this appears to be the opposite.

:08:32.:08:36.

If you cannot raise your working level by eight hours a week, there

:08:36.:08:41.

is a disincentive to work at all. would save quite the opposite. It

:08:41.:08:48.

is an incentive to go out to work. I believe this will encourage

:08:48.:08:53.

people out to work. It is unfortunate for the 9000 families

:08:53.:09:02.

in Wales, but the fact is, according to the Treasury, vastly

:09:02.:09:07.

more people will be better off under these reforms. But the

:09:07.:09:14.

poorest families will be hit most. Raising the tax threshold affects

:09:15.:09:22.

everybody. These benefits affect families with children. This is a

:09:22.:09:26.

vulnerable group and they are coming off worst. I cannot see that

:09:26.:09:30.

this is justified. I do think that the government must think again on

:09:30.:09:40.

this policy. These families are suffering in other ways as well. It

:09:40.:09:50.
:09:50.:09:51.

is a huge concern. If Julia is so worried, why doesn't her government

:09:51.:10:01.

do something about it in Wales? Welsh Labour government is doing a

:10:01.:10:07.

lot about it. The Welsh Labour government has specific benefit

:10:07.:10:16.

aimed at encouraging people to go to work. Free prescriptions. If you

:10:17.:10:22.

are on benefit and go to work, you get free prescriptions. But it is a

:10:22.:10:27.

universal benefit now. But it is a benefit to encourage people to go

:10:27.:10:31.

to work because you do not lose it when you are in work. The Welsh

:10:31.:10:38.

government is working very hard at this. Council tax benefit has been

:10:38.:10:42.

devolved and we are going to try to do something with that. Nothing has

:10:42.:10:46.

changed since Welsh Labour have been in power. Thank you very much

:10:46.:10:54.

for joining us. Wales will not benefit financially

:10:54.:10:56.

if Scotland becomes independent according to one of Wales' leading

:10:56.:10:58.

economists, Professor Gerald Holtham. His report for the Welsh

:10:58.:11:00.

Government found that the country was being underfunded by �300

:11:00.:11:10.
:11:10.:11:15.

million a year because of the Barnett formula. But he has

:11:15.:11:17.

rejected the conventional wisdom that independence or financial

:11:17.:11:19.

autonomy for Scotland, sometimes known as devo max or devo plus,

:11:19.:11:22.

will inevitably mean that Wales will get more funding from

:11:22.:11:32.
:11:32.:11:39.

Trade statistics are not covered for Trade within a country. I do

:11:39.:11:46.

not get the impression that the supply-chain... I think there are

:11:46.:11:56.
:11:56.:11:59.

six sections, but the two economies As we currently understand Scottish

:11:59.:12:03.

independence, it would stay in the single market with the rest of the

:12:03.:12:08.

United Kingdom, have complete freedom of movement of workers, no

:12:08.:12:13.

capital controls and would continue to share the same currency. Given

:12:13.:12:18.

all that, the immediate impact would not be very great at all. The

:12:18.:12:22.

main impact would come if Scotland were able to have very different

:12:22.:12:29.

tax rates from the rest of the country which could result in some

:12:29.:12:39.
:12:39.:12:42.

businesses moving to or from Scotland as a result. If Scotland

:12:42.:12:47.

were independent, it would not receive a block grant and it would

:12:47.:12:52.

be open to the British government to design again at the block grant

:12:52.:12:56.

that it currently gives the devolved administrations. The

:12:56.:13:04.

Barnett formula could go and they could adopt an needs based Formula.

:13:04.:13:11.

In principle, that would be better for Wales. My concern is that

:13:11.:13:15.

although that should happen, I am not clear that it will. If Scotland

:13:15.:13:20.

is gone, the UK government could afford to give Wales a bit more

:13:20.:13:26.

money, but why should it? If we have not been able to bargain and

:13:26.:13:29.

no go Sirte for that in the present circumstances, it is not obvious

:13:30.:13:38.

that we would be in a better position with Scotland Independent.

:13:38.:13:48.
:13:48.:13:56.

It looks as if the Scots will not vote for devolution. It makes Flint

:13:56.:14:00.

-- sense for them to say it in a social security union with the UK

:14:00.:14:07.

but devo plus would be very likely. It is not clear to me that Wales

:14:07.:14:15.

can follow Scotland very far down the path. The commission I sat on

:14:15.:14:18.

argued for income tax devolution for Wales and that could work.

:14:18.:14:24.

Wales has not got the resources to go very far in the direction of

:14:24.:14:28.

fiscal autonomy because we are running a public sector deficit

:14:28.:14:35.

which is 25% of the total output of the GDP of the country. It is a

:14:35.:14:38.

huge deficit. We're running a deficit per head three times the

:14:38.:14:43.

size of the English or Scottish deficit. Therefore, we will need a

:14:43.:14:53.
:14:53.:15:03.

block grant for the foreseeable At the present time, every man,

:15:03.:15:09.

woman and child in Scotland is borrowing �2,000 a year. As a

:15:09.:15:14.

result of the recession and the big deficit the UK is running. In Wales,

:15:14.:15:19.

every man, woman and child is borrowing �6,000 a year. That is

:15:19.:15:23.

the measure of how much we care the economy is that the Scots economy.

:15:23.:15:27.

It is reasonable for people in Wales to want to get their hands on

:15:27.:15:34.

more levers of policy, more ways to stimulate the economy and get it to

:15:34.:15:39.

grow. Until we succeed in rebuilding the economy, our ability

:15:39.:15:45.

to have a lot of autonomy will be restricted. He who pays the piper,

:15:45.:15:52.

will call the tune. Gerald Holtham. Joining me now is the economist and

:15:52.:15:55.

Plaid Cymru advisor Eurfyl ap Gwilym and the political

:15:55.:16:05.
:16:05.:16:06.

commentator David Torrence. Welcome. David, your thoughts on the very

:16:06.:16:10.

stark contrasts that he was making between the economies of Scotland

:16:11.:16:16.

and Wales and perhaps the ability of Scotland's to go further in

:16:16.:16:20.

terms of independence or fiscal autonomy. Yes, that is a

:16:20.:16:27.

fundamental point. The analysis shows Scotland outside of London is

:16:27.:16:31.

the wealthiest part of the UK. And clearly that is not the case with

:16:31.:16:39.

Wales. The piece was right to point towards devo plus which is in

:16:39.:16:42.

essence the devolution of income tax powers as the most likely

:16:42.:16:47.

outcome of all of this. In Scotland, income tax is a bit of a red

:16:47.:16:53.

herring. It has half been devolved all ready by the Scotland Act and

:16:53.:17:00.

the SNP and no other party are interested in that. They see it as

:17:00.:17:04.

off-limits. So, that is the most likely outcome but even then it

:17:04.:17:11.

will not change. What are your thoughts on the contrast but he was

:17:11.:17:20.

making between the two economies? There is no doubt, as pointed out,

:17:20.:17:24.

Scotland GDP per capita which is a good measure of economic well-being

:17:24.:17:28.

and wealth generation, Scotland has Greywell and is doing well and

:17:28.:17:36.

Wales as poorly. That is what we need to pick up on what he said

:17:36.:17:41.

towards the end of the report, the real challenge is to say we have

:17:41.:17:46.

not been doing well for 20 or 30 years, some of the reasons we

:17:46.:17:51.

understand, and it is disappointing successive Welsh governments have

:17:51.:17:55.

not done further analysis. We will be producing more analysis and I

:17:55.:18:00.

would like to see Wales, not a party political thing, people

:18:00.:18:04.

getting together and say how well we saw the issue out, how will we

:18:04.:18:07.

overcome the weaknesses are going forward because we need to,

:18:07.:18:12.

whatever your political view we want Wales to be more successful

:18:12.:18:17.

economically and socially and that means wrestling with these issues.

:18:17.:18:21.

I wonder what you make of the knock-on argument for Welsh

:18:21.:18:29.

nationalism because Gerry Holtham went on when he gave evidence to a

:18:29.:18:37.

House of Lords committee to say any argument made by Plaid Cymru did

:18:37.:18:42.

Wales could pay its own weight was obviously preposterous --

:18:42.:18:52.
:18:52.:18:55.

preposterous. I am a great admirer of Gerry Holtham. I watched his

:18:55.:18:59.

performance and I found him despondent. Perhaps he has spent

:18:59.:19:05.

some months working closely with the Welsh government but certainly

:19:05.:19:09.

in the short term we have major challenges. There's no doubt. What

:19:09.:19:15.

I would like to see is how well we address these issues and I think

:19:16.:19:20.

increasingly we want to look to what we can do in Wales. Awash

:19:20.:19:25.

government does have a 15 billion padlock ranch which is substantial

:19:25.:19:30.

sum. How will we make better use of that -- the Welsh government. In

:19:30.:19:35.

essence, we need more people in work and people in work been better

:19:35.:19:40.

paid. We want the private sector companies... That is what has

:19:41.:19:47.

caused the drop in the profitability of world business.

:19:47.:19:53.

David Torrence, talking about the reform of the Barnett formula air

:19:53.:19:57.

which is something that all political parties in Wales would

:19:57.:20:04.

love to see. Scotland does pretty well out of it and has been

:20:04.:20:08.

considered the block to any reform. Gerry Holtham suggests even if the

:20:08.:20:11.

block was rebuked he was not optimistic about the possibilities

:20:11.:20:18.

for reform. The Rhys a certain reluctance in Westminster to open -

:20:18.:20:24.

- there is a reluctance to open the Pandora's box. You're quite right

:20:24.:20:28.

again, you look at the statistics and Scotland as well out of the

:20:28.:20:35.

Barnett formula. It never comes under serious attack. I disagree

:20:35.:20:40.

with it Gerry slightly, if Scotland was removed from that and the block

:20:40.:20:44.

grant is over 30 million, I am sure it would be used as a pretext for a

:20:44.:20:49.

shake-up. The Barnett formula in physical terms is unpopular in

:20:49.:20:53.

Wales and in the North of England and always has been since its

:20:53.:20:57.

introduction. I am sure David Cameron would come under pressure

:20:57.:21:01.

to do something about it. Coming back to the main points, you just

:21:01.:21:06.

have to look at the opinion polls, Scottish independence does not seem

:21:06.:21:09.

inevitable and the SNP long ago stopped arguing for full

:21:09.:21:15.

sovereignty. Briefly, what do you think, is reform possible with the

:21:15.:21:22.

Scottish block out the way? It will be quite difficult. The Treasury

:21:22.:21:28.

has been in Cowes at Trent. The parties in Wales want to reform it

:21:28.:21:33.

but the Labour Party in the UK has not come out against the bonnet for

:21:33.:21:38.

Miller and it defended it. Therefore, the question is Wales

:21:38.:21:45.

has few negotiating cards, we want to focus more on what we -- the

:21:45.:21:50.

authority and what can we do with that rather than the current tactic

:21:50.:21:56.

of doing a megaphone diplomacy down the M4. Thank you. In the biggest

:21:56.:21:59.

overhaul of the Army in decades, it's been announced today that four

:21:59.:22:01.

infantry battalions are to be abolished, including Second

:22:01.:22:04.

Battalion, The Royal Welsh. In a statement to the Commons, the

:22:04.:22:06.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed that the regular army is

:22:06.:22:10.

to be cut from 102,000 to 82,000 by the end of the decade - its lowest

:22:10.:22:14.

level since the Napoleonic Wars. Earlier I spoke to military expert

:22:14.:22:18.

Major Alan Davies and asked him how he thinks Wales has fared in

:22:18.:22:24.

today's announcement. Some will think we have done all

:22:24.:22:28.

right because the Queen should dunes guard survived and only one

:22:28.:22:33.

battalion has gone. That actually we have lost another regiment in

:22:33.:22:41.

the Royal Artillery. If you total up the major units it is two from

:22:41.:22:46.

five. 40% in Wales is not good news. Especially when you compare it to

:22:46.:22:55.

Scotland which has survived almost unscathed. There was a botched job

:22:55.:23:00.

to save a company of guards for Holyrood and Edinburgh Castle. With

:23:00.:23:04.

their record of recruiting compared to a good record for Welsh

:23:04.:23:09.

regiments in general I think we are hard done by. There was a

:23:09.:23:12.

suggestion that political considerations are coming into play

:23:12.:23:15.

with Scotland because the government did not want to give

:23:15.:23:21.

those Ardwick for the yes vote for the referendum extra ammunition.

:23:21.:23:26.

Yes, if you cut the record of recruitment, going back over

:23:26.:23:30.

previous defence reviews and the suggestions the Scottish regiments

:23:30.:23:35.

going because they cannot make up the numbers required, it is a

:23:35.:23:40.

regular occurrence. In the 70s and 80s, the Argylls were under threat

:23:40.:23:45.

but survive. There is nothing new in the threat. What has happened is

:23:45.:23:54.

the numbers have been done. A political intervention has happened

:23:54.:23:59.

to ensure there is minimal impact in Scotland, to make sure the

:23:59.:24:02.

nationalists do not have any arguments a throwback to

:24:02.:24:09.

Westminster. Explain to last why this is so important to people, why

:24:10.:24:14.

are there such emotional attachments to battalions? It is

:24:14.:24:19.

very strange to understand. Sometimes it is difficult to

:24:19.:24:22.

understand even if you are part of it. It is history, culture,

:24:22.:24:28.

atmosphere, many people together. Italians that trace histories back

:24:28.:24:32.

hundreds of years, the Royal Welsh tracing the history back over 400

:24:32.:24:37.

years. There are things that have happened in that time bringing

:24:37.:24:44.

people together, heroic moments, moments of absolute Fein in Wales

:24:44.:24:51.

the story of Gorkss drift and the Victoria Cross. These things unite

:24:51.:24:56.

people. Soldiers do not fight for Queen, or country, they do not

:24:56.:25:01.

fight for government. They fight for their mates in the regiment and

:25:01.:25:06.

their Italian and the guys alongside them. Those bombs come

:25:06.:25:13.

from a whole set of very subjective elements, the badge, the name, the

:25:13.:25:19.

history means such a lot. What you think this means for the future

:25:19.:25:23.

capability of our armed forces because budget are extremely tight

:25:23.:25:29.

and the cloth has to be cut. cloth has to be cut. We have to

:25:29.:25:37.

make savings and we cannot afford it. Realistically we have 20% fewer

:25:37.:25:42.

military plant than this morning, and we have no suggestion as to

:25:42.:25:47.

what cuts they might be in terms of expectations of the military. If we

:25:47.:25:52.

look at the rest of the world, there is no certainty we will leave

:25:52.:25:56.

Afghanistan in 2014, we do not know what will happen in Syria and

:25:56.:26:04.

Turkey. The threat to the Falkland Islands exists. These are the known

:26:04.:26:09.

names and there are those unknown events that are yet to be grasping

:26:09.:26:14.

our attention. We do not know what we will face but we will not be

:26:14.:26:19.

able to fight in Afghanistan and anyone else at the same time with

:26:19.:26:24.

an army of 82,000. I do not want us to go to war but there are times

:26:24.:26:29.

when the need to be able to go. We do not have a plan for the right

:26:29.:26:33.

number to project our power corrupted. A thank you. Our

:26:33.:26:41.

political editor Betsan Powys is here. Firstly, the Green Paper UK

:26:41.:26:46.

government has published on changing Assembly boundaries, there

:26:46.:26:50.

seems to be a tiff over whether their prime minister said anything

:26:50.:26:55.

to the first minister. Precisely, the bottom line is they cannot both

:26:55.:27:01.

be right. There is wriggle room around recollection but I did David

:27:01.:27:03.

Cameron said to Carwyn Jones the changes to the arrangements would

:27:03.:27:06.

not be decided without the agreement of the Assembly or he

:27:07.:27:13.

didn't. David Jones got his feet and said David Cameron did not give

:27:13.:27:19.

the assurance to the first minister, it was around this or that but the

:27:19.:27:23.

decision would not be taken by the Assembly. That is not what Carwyn

:27:23.:27:28.

Jones said. He expects the decision to be taken in London but with the

:27:28.:27:33.

blessing of Cardiff. David James then said what did Carwyn Jones say

:27:33.:27:38.

and the notes do not tally with what he said. Labour MPs say the

:27:38.:27:42.

notes are taken by officials who do not understand the nuances around

:27:42.:27:48.

devolution. The bottom line is we are not sure who said what to whom

:27:48.:27:53.

but the respect agenda is looking battered and scrappy. Talking about

:27:53.:27:57.

discussion about precision in language, there has been a hoo-ha

:27:57.:28:01.

about the comments about Trident and whether a base is welcome in

:28:01.:28:07.

Milford Haven. A huge argument. We were discussing how Carwyn Jones

:28:07.:28:11.

was under little pressure despite not having a majority at his own

:28:12.:28:18.

words Arad's Trident and is in backbench and put him under real

:28:18.:28:24.

pressure. Reminding him Labour MPs are not impressed, but it is the

:28:24.:28:30.

Join Felicity Evans as she takes a fresh look at politics through the Dragon's Eye.

Whether it is your local council, the National Assembly, Westminster or Europe, Dragon's Eye will be probing, scrutinising and shedding light on our democratic institutions.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS