05/10/2011 Newsnight Scotland


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it has to be in the speech. thank you both very much.


Tonight on Newsnight Scotland, should the Scottish Parliament


except Iain Duncan Smith's welfare reforms? They are among the


government's flagship policies but Holyrood art suggesting throwing


some of them out. -- are suggesting. And the government here wants to


spend millions on preventing illness and crime. We visit


Liverpool, where they already have a prevention system in place. Does


it work? An outbreak of peace between the


SNP and Labour threatened to place Holyrood in an almost unprecedented


situation. Because the UK Government's welfare reforms


affects how the Scottish government operates, they have to be signed


off by the Scottish Parliament. But the two biggest parties today


agreed that the reforms should not be passed without the chance to


pick holes in it and perhaps even rejecting some reforms out right.


This is an issue on which we can't be silent. We have responsibility


to speak out for the vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our


society. The system is broken, rock -- we recognise that, but we have


to make sure it is reformed in a way that is fundamentally fair and


it does not simply pass responsibility elsewhere. I will


stand shoulder to shoulder with any group to challenge the UK


Government's welfare reform agenda but attacks but poorest members of


our society but equally I will challenge the SNP to meet their


responsibilities as well. Nicola Sturgeon started talking about the


SNP's aspirations independence. For a party that wants control over the


welfare state, they need to be organised when key aspects are


devolved to Scotland. That left smaller groups of Conservative and


Lib Dem MPs to defend the reforms. How can it be right that we ask to


be unemployed to move from benefit into work when they are losing more


than 95p for a free additional pound but they earned. The poor of


being taxed at a rate which far exceeds the wealthy. It is right


that we keep pressing for appropriate safeguards but claiming


to be in favour of reform but holding the feud that any cuts to


any benefits or any taking of any demands is automatically unfair is


no longer credible. Or what happens next? Can SNPs


throw at legislation that is reserved at Westminster or is this


a show of defiance before they sign on the dotted line? Jackie Baillie


and John Dickie are with me now. John Mason, the technicalities of


this, can the Scottish Parliament say, no, we don't want these


reforms? For technically we don't have a veto but we were told by


David Cameron... I mean technically, because there are aspects of these


reforms that impact on how the Scottish government operates. Does


that give the Scottish Parliament some leverage in these particular


areas? It means we are involved in these areas and we have to go back


to the UK Government and I'd ask for some changes -- either ask for


some changes or an answer, yes or no. At but we do not have a veto.


legislative consent motion, if that was not brought to the Scottish


Parliament, or if you and Labour voted against it, the British


government could just say, we value your opinions, get lost. It would


show that they did not value our opinions. Clearly we are going to


discuss the details of why this is a bad Bill but I don't think we


have been in quite this situation before. Jackie Baillie, when -- you


have been made in Parliament since 1989? So this is unprecedented, or


isn't it? No, this would be an unprecedented action. I think it


signifiers the strength of feeling in Parliament and what would happen


as a consequence, should Parliament motion, is that it sends an


extremely strong signal to the government in Westminster about the


strength of feeling in Scotland, but I hope it opens up the channels


of communication to some quite substantive amendments being made.


The context in which we are examining this Bill, of course the


system needs improving, but what we are witnessing are sweeping changes


that actually are an attack on the most vulnerable in our society.


Something like �2 billion will be stripped out of Scotland. What are


you suggesting? I am struck by this new found friends should. You are


suggesting that you and the SNP might get together and agree on


changes you might like and so to London, if you want us to pass this,


do this. Four I would expect a process of negotiation in any event


but I am very pleased that the SNP decided to support Labour's


decision today, although that was in some dispute in their group


meeting today. You are only going now. -- niggling. It is only right


and proper that we come together to do this. There is responsibility on


the SNP government because this welfare reform viewed devolves a


number of benefits for the Scottish government to deploy. They have


been light on detail as well. For a party of independence to believe in


control of the welfare state, they have not demonstrated how they will


deal with that. John Dickie, I know you disagree profoundly with some


of this legislation, but is there any practical steps you think that


these two could make to ameliorate the worst effects? Firstly, we are


delighted that they have used this opportunity to send an unequivocal


message to the UK Government that this Bill poses an unacceptable


risk to tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of families and


households across Scotland. The challenge now is to build on that


consensus, to use that as leverage to seek to influence and to end the


UK Government's proposals so that we will minimise the damage they


are likely to do... I am sorry to sound technical, but Jackie was


making the point that some benefits are devolved to Scotland through


this process. Given that they would then be administered through the


Scottish government or its agencies, you still don't have any power of


veto so you would have to if push came to shove simply administered


these benefits in the way that the British government wants. Is that


right? Ultimately, yes. But I am an optimist. You are basically right


in the facts of the case but in the next stage one of the committees at


Holyrood, I think the health and sports committee, is going to look


at this in much more detail. Then we will see if Labour had


amendments they think we should put through. We may agree on these or


not, but that then goes back to the UK Parliament. The other thing


We'll come back to you. Now, the notion of preventative spending


became a bit of a buzzword in last month's Scottish budget when the


Finance Secretary John Swinney unveiled what he labelled a


decisive shift in goverment spending. In particular, he


announced a �500 million boost targeting adult social care, early


years and re-offending. But what exactly is preventative spending,


and what does it mean? David Allison's been to Liverpool where


they have been taking this approach Even the rockers and the 1950s were


told by their granny so that prevention is better than cure. The


idea is that concentrated spending to stop things go wrong and the


first place six my letter. It can include buildings as well as more


obvious things such such as education. Liverpool has always


been remarkably similar to Glasgow. Glasgow shares many of the health,


social and economic issues of Liverpool. But the Glasgow


effective also means that the same problems has a worse effect north


of the border. In health, in Liverpool, as well as encouraging


hostile changes, they are finding that health can be improved by


spending in areas not necessarily connected to health. Smoking, or


wait management, alcohol, mental health promotion, all those kind of


things. They are part of the problem. It is a cultural, late


into other issues around a regeneration, education, housing.


They all have a part to play. Prevent overspending in education


will improve the public health. Spending on housing will improve at


the public health. Spending on transport will improve the public


health. People have attempted to measure how in reducing the cost of


public transport actually impacts on the public health.


You could say that 80-year-old Margaret is preventative spending


in action. Order people who injure themselves enough for often it


discharged from hospital and there have another accident and require


permanent residential care. Now, up to six weeks of residential care is


provided. This preventative spend and prevents long-term hospital


care. Delayed discharge money has been paid to their acute care. We


cannot find care for those people to go back home. So what we are


doing here, they come straight here once they are discharged, we then


start looking for a care package to get them back, again. It says money


as well. There pull has paid him no delayed a discharge fines, so that


is great. -- Liverpool. Liverpool is finding that preventative


spending need not involve long-term intervention to achieve a long-term


effect. In alcohol misuse, there is good evidence that brief


intervention early, that can have a real impact on things like hospital


admissions. Not far from the city centre, Toxteth allies in the


shadow of the city's Anglican cathedral. It still there's plenty


of signs of deprivation, but are making the set -- the case for


preventative spending in times of economic recession is not easy. It


can be difficult to present the case. We have had to manage it very


carefully. Changes always frightening and I think you have to


explain it to people very carefully. It is easier to persuade people to


invest in prevention and times of plenty and when you have going -- a


growing the resources. It is harder in times of austerity. Liverpool


still remembers that Toxteth riots, a clear of example of what happens


when things go wrong. Crime is also an area were preventative spending


can play a role. Problem youngsters can still end up him petty crime,


at a cost to them and a society. When the police and the rest of the


criminal-justice system gets involved, the cost rises


accordingly. Youngsters at the school are being helped it to avoid


getting into more serious trouble. Often they can be a simple and


showing them how to budget and avoid getting into financial


difficulty. When there is no money, it can lead to crime. Crime at


Leeds at a more serious crime, bad health, bad planning. We have seen


people who have not had the advantage of a financial planning


background end up victims as a result of that. You could say that


preventative spending is an idea which has been around for a fire,


but it is there a political buzz word in Scotland at a time of


unprecedented spending cuts. The Glasgow effect might not be present


in Liverpool, but we might be about to see the Liverpool effect in


John, do you broadly welcome this idea of prevention and a different


approach or do you see any dangers in it? It is something I had been


arguing for for a long time. Preventing child poverty and the


cost that comes from that, it can cost up to �1.5 billion. Far better


to invest a �1.5 billion in early education, childcare and supporting


families. There is real opportunities here for the Scottish


government to demonstrate his commitment to prevented of spending


by spending and investing in it are poorest households. Presumably, the


principle of the thing you welcome? Absolutely. At the heart of


Labour's manifesto was a preventative strategy at the heart


of child poverty. Similarly, for elderly people, being here at four


in their own home. It prevents and plant emergency admissions at


hospital. My one regret is that we all talk about prevention, but the


reality is that a lot of the government's funding framework is


that they are forcing local authorities do only deal with those


in crisis. The voluble preventative work that we all want to see is not


getting funding. -- a valuable. John Mason, the prevention spending


means of that the funds have to come from elsewhere. Yes, the


finance committee has been looking at this in great detail. There are


good examples of this in Nottingham. Keeping families together saves


money. That also means working with typical teenagers. It is very


difficult to judge whether this is having an effect other than


anecdotal. It has gone further than that already. There are good


examples in the United States, and in Nottingham, we have some


ourselves as well. We have to leave it there.


A quick look at tomorrow's front pages, most of which lead with


That is all we have time for tonight. I will be back again


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