06/02/2013 Newsnight Scotland


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involved in the cover up. They should never work in public office


Tonight: The government's budget for next year has been passed. The


finance sector is conjuring up more money for schools and housing. And


we are to have a network of charge 0.4 electric cars. -- a network of


charges for electric cars. Good evening. Lots of big numbers were


floating around Parliament today. The biggest of the lot was �30


billion, the size of the Budget that John Swinney has had to play


with. Its real value is falling as the UK wide spending cuts kick in.


�61 billion, that is how much Mr Swinney has vowed to give two


Further Education over the next three years. Big cuts to the


funding had caused lots of problems in recent months. The cash will


ensure that the cut will be less severe than first envisaged. Here


are two small numbers. 68, the number of MSPs who supported the


Budget, and 56, the number of voters who voted against. We will


be speaking to Mr Swinney about what he called a budget for growth.


We are building on our original spending plans, having listened to


the views of Parliament and the country, and are delivering extra


funding for housing, creating jobs and cutting emissions. Funding to


regenerate town centres and investment in our trouble that work.


This -- in our trouble at work. I commend this to Parliament and to


the people of Scotland. Even if we look at this Budget as the worst of


the Tory cuts and are not as an engine for growth, it would do


nothing to protect the Scottish people. -- and not as an engine for


growth. The net effect will be the same. Cuts to public services.


is a government that has at its disposable -- disposal, �7 million


more this year than it had it next year -- this year than it had last


year. Therefore, any cuts or changes that we make our political


choices of the SNP. They do not like its -- they do not like it,


but the choices are entirely theirs. Last year I think we made quite a


bit of progress at reversing the �40 million cut to the college


budget. This year, Our ambition was to rid her -- restore �35 million


of cuts. Those cuts would have had significant effects on our colleges.


Expecting them to reform in a period of contraction is very


difficult, which is why I found it astonishing that there was a


celebration on the benches, the SNP benches, when a cut of �25 million


was announced. That is nothing to celebrate. Just before we came on


air, John Swinney came to error Dundee studio. I asked him first


with the additional cash is coming from. -- came to our Dundee studio.


�10 million will come from consequent of funding that has come


from us from the UK -- come to us from the UK government. We had to


that the Budget from the original one that was in place. The decision


will have to come from decisions that by making the preparations for


the Budget coming up, which will be concluded in September, and that


will be -- that will mean... Obviously, the September but it


will show a change of plans to take into account the fact... It is


coming from a change, from two sources. One is the change that


Scottish water has put in place for its investment programme. Contract


will prices have been coming in at a lower level than anticipated. --


contractual prices. Also, the investments that we had expected to


have to fund in Grenoble in -- renewable energy are taking longer


to come through. When you reallocate this money next year,


you will of course be reminded of your lectures to opposition parties.


They will ask where the money will come from. We can expect a full and


frank from you? I have balanced the budget six years in a row and I


have seen every bit of public expenditure has come from. I have


no intention of breaking that standard. I am sure the viewers


will note that you have got millions of pounds of an allocated


funds to stick into colleges when you are constantly telling us how


terrible the British government's cuts are. This is an allocated


money that you are getting from the British government. Yes, but it is


�10 million. But keep a sense of perspective. The important thing to


remember, the main point that I have made to the UK government, has


been about the draconian cuts to capital expenditure that they have


been taken. -- taking. The UK government has been rolling back


from the savage cuts they have made a capital spending. OK. The number


of students in Further Education colleges has fallen by something


like 60,000 since he came into power in 2007. Are you proud of


that? What I am proud of that... The but are you part of that?


proud of the fact that we said we would maintain student numbers at


the level of 116,000, which was the full-time equivalents. That means


that we have had a shift from the number of students to have come


through the door of colleges. They are better equipped for work.


time equivalents is a bureaucratic term. These are real people. Surely


it is better to have young people studying in college and possibly


being on the dole during a recession. You have cut real people,


not these full-time employees, by about 60,000. Are you proud of


that? We have a guaranteed to every young person in this country that


if they cannot find a place in college or in a training


establishment or in work, the government will help them to do


that and will guarantee that they get a place. That guarantee exists


for every person between the ages of 16 and 19 in this country. This


is not some bureaucratic nonsense that you refer to. What it is is a


recognition that young people need substantial courses to enable them


to access work. That is why we have shifted resources away from some of


the part-time courses in two more substantial learning that better


equips young people to get into the labour market and to find


sustainable employment. That is the sustainable shift that we have made.


I am proud of that. You are always telling us about tough choices. You


have made them. You are always telling us about how the MSPs want


a social democratic government. Why is a social democratic to have


60,000 fewer college students? Middle-class people still get free


bus passes. It is cutting something like �200 million a year, I think.


If you could recoup even a quarter of that, you could restore the cuts


you have made a Further Education colleges and more. The travel


scheme has got many attributes. It provides social mobility. That is


more important than having students in Further Education colleges?


agree with you on the importance of the Further Education policy, which


is ensuring that young people are given a guarantee that they will


have a training place or employment opportunity in Scotland. That is a


guarantee that is made available to date to every young citizen of our


country. -- made available today. We are equipping young people with


sub-standard training and skills to enable them to go into the label


market. -- substantial of training. This is the right focus we should


take folk -- forward. The non- profit distributing model which had


so many high hopes for, the value of this investment this year was


projected at �350 million, and it is now going to be �20 million. Is


that something you are proud of? What I am proud of is that, in the


face of a very substantial reduction in capital expenditure,


which would have resulted in a cancellation of a number of


strategic projects and Scotland, we have brought forward a model which


enables us to support these projects. The projects have taken


on -- longer to take to procurement than anybody would have liked, but


what is happening is that we now have �1.6 billion of contracts in


The projection for 2013 is �338 million. The following year,


instead of the Mick -- the prediction will be in excess of


�900 million. The point I am making is that it is taking these projects


longer to get into procurement so it will take longer for the


projects to be delivered on the ground. The alternative to that


would be to follow the UK Government's agenda and cancel


range of capital investment projects and I was not prepared to


do that. We are making every endeavour to get that work


undertaken as quickly and effectively as we can.


What would you -- make you buy an electric car? A commitment to


tackling climate change, a government subsidy or just the


knowledge that you will arrive your destination before your car runs


out of energy? We have been looking at the latest plan to tackle that


particular road block to electric car ownership.


Easily outnumbered and drowned out by engine noise. It is a sight that


remains relatively unusual on Scotland's roads and the Scottish


government have identified them as a key part of their vision for


LOCOG and future, convincing people to take the plunge has been easier


said than done. Too expensive is just one of the complaints levelled


against electric vehicles. Another thing that can put -- put people


off is their concern about whether or not it will get them where they


want to go. It is a specific condition called range anxiety and


the cure can be found here. planted in like any circuit. --


plug it in. How long would that take? About seven hours to give the


car a full charge. Now similar charging points are said to be


installed throughout Scotland's road network and Scots are being


offered free installation for charges. The idea is that an


electric car on a trunk road will never have to travel more than 50


miles to plug in. People will see this as a viable alternative. We


are also investigating hydrogen powered vehicles and others but


this is a vital part of the mix in reducing our carbon footprint. This


is a high-performance car but nonetheless an electric car. For an


80,000 pound test car to be precise, an eye-catching way to advertise


the complete removal of carbon from our roads by 2050. It costs about


three pence per mile in an electric -- electric vehicle. About 16p for


regular vehicle. You can get a Mitsubishi for �13,000 or so brand-


new from the shower room. Something but those who backed the steam car


all those years ago would say is, the question whether it will be


motoring into the future or left stranded on history's hard shoulder.


Four I am joined by Neil Greig, from the Institute of Advanced


Motorists. These charging points, are they going to be the fast ones


or the slow ones. You can charge these things in about 12 minutes?


You can do. It is good to have both. This gives people the chance to


think about their -- there driving in the future and makes electric


cars more than option. �2.5 million is not going to transform the


transport network. That he is the free installation at home. These


cars are aimed at short journeys. - - the key is the free installation.


The other thing is, of -- what to has a trunk road? Is it any A or


Roeder? -- A Road. We are never going to have the same road network


as we have for petrol and diesel cars. Presumably some day you could


have, if these things became the norm? People don't know yet which


technology will win out, we have hybrid cars, hydrogen cars. If you


are deciding now to buy a car, do you know what it will be like in


five years' time? What is the answer to that question you have


raised? Surely it is more the infrastructure. If the


infrastructure is there, it might still be worth buying for five


years. It is a start, we need the network in place. In 10, 20 years


we are still going to be using fossil fuels in most of our


vehicles. The value of a hybrid is that if the battery goes flat you


still have petrol to keep you going the last few miles. Hydrogen cars


seem to be the way that a lot of manufacturers are going. Some of


the manufacturers, like Toyota, actually stopped making an electric


only vehicle because they found they could not sell them around the


world. Can you buy a hydrogen car? Not yet, but ultimately hydrogen


will take over. But they are still rather expensive compared to


mainstream models. FE even with the hybrid cars, people say that if you


buy a new one you are not going to recoup the extra money with your


fuel savings. It depends on the mileage. We need all public bodies


to be buying electric cars. Then that establishes a market and


perhaps the public will move towards it. To be clear, you think


hydrogen is the car of the future? Yes, but for the next 10, 20 years


hybrid is the way to go. Let's start with the Scotsman for the


front pages. Another day of shame for Britain's banks. RBS is fined


millions of pounds for fixing interest rates. The Financial Times,


interest rate fixing scandal shakes three continents. Underneath that,


George Osborne urges Bank of England to take action in push for


growth. The Scottish Daily Mail, a rise of the child criminals as


young as three years old. The Guardian, Cameron's prescription


for NHS misses targets. That is all It is the coldest night of the week


so far with a widespread frost. Temperatures at or below freezing


across northern England and the Midlands. Still a few of these


sleet or snow showers but they will eventually he's away. -- he's away.


There will be high cloud increasing due to a weather system from the


Atlantic. One or two showers affecting the north and west of


Wales. They will leave some icy patches. But cloud is thickening


for Northern Ireland and rain at not too far away. Still some icy


patches to contend with in Scotland. The rest of the day, cloud is going


to increase. To the west we will see this weather system coming in


with rain, sleet and snow. Despite the lighter wind it will still feel


quite cold. Some snow affecting Scotland during the Thursday


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