08/08/2013 Newsnight Scotland


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 08/08/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



the fire. I shall not be wandering back to the fire. I shall make


Tonight on Newsnight Scotland. Economic growth up. Retail sales


up. Industry growing. It looks like the recovery might be here. Does


that mean George Osborne's economic policy was right all along?


And our Scottish performer is at the Edinburgh Festival shying away from


talking about independence? Britain is booming according to one


survey. GDP is up by 0.7%. It also seems we are starting to spend money


again and we are buying big-ticket items like cars. Have we really


turned the corner is to mark if we have does that mean George Osborne


was right all along? George Osborne has been having a


tough time of late. With the recession, spending reductions, and


job losses, his opponents have been less than gracious about his plan


for economic recovery. This is a budget for people who aspire to work


hard and get on. For three years the Chancellor has come to the chamber.


Every single time it is getting worse. He has applied a straitjacket


to the public finances of Scotland. You get the picture. That are there


are no signs that the Chancellor's strategy is being of? Recent figures


pointed to a 0.6% growth in the economy in the three months until


June. Output grew in construction. There was also a boost for


manufacturing and in the services sector. It led George Osborne to


declare this. The economy is on the mend but we have got a long way to


go as we move from rescue to recovery. How confident can we be


that the strategy is helping the UK's economy step at to plead


recession levels? Chancellors are brilliant when they do nothing. This


Chancellor has been very good at not succumbing to the calls for


Keynesian style reflation. What we have seen over the past year is a


healthy recovery without driving up Government borrowing. But none of


that satisfied George Osborne's political opponents who say the


failure of wage rises to keep up with face increases have let


families struggling. So how much success can the Chancellor clean?


People are struggling to make ends meet. They may now think they can do


a little more. He might think they can get away with it politically.


But in terms of having solved the problem in Parliament according to


the plan that was set out in 2000 and ten, it did not happen. -- in


2010. We are on our knees and trying to get vertical again. That's the


future still looks uncertain with key areas of industry still looking


to return to the levels of 2008. Experts warn things could yet be


blown off course. I am joined by David Bell from


Stirling University and David Maddox from The Scotsman. I know there are


questions about whether the recovery is sustainable. We does this leave


those who have been seeing for the last four years that George Osborne


is completely wrong-headed and is doing the opposite of what he should


be doing in a recession with zero interest rates? Where does that


leave them? It is still the case that the recovery is slow. We are


making quite a fuss about getting a growth rate up to 1.7%. In the last


decade we were at 2.5% average each year. We are still 3% below the


level of output that we had in 2007. We are one of the only industrial


countries that has not recovered to the level that we were at at the


start of the recession. You have two walk before you can run. The


recovery has to start somewhere. There is still a way to go before


you can say we are back to the growth rates that we experienced in


the last few decades. The argument would be that if you have done what


we wanted, that perhaps economic growth would have started earlier,


perhaps he could have done in one Parliament more than he has done?


There is a consensus about infrastructure. Those plans were


started and the Labour Party. Those plans have been to the long-term


detriment of the economy. Although he doesn't seem to have changed tack


on this. There has been inconsistency. That is an obstacle


also. I take the point about your, but a lot of fluid people who are


arguing for stimulus, have been saying that it would be nice if the


stimulus went into long-term investment, but that is not the


point of Keynesian stimulus. It is just to pump money into the economy.


It might as well be used in employing people to dig holes in the


ground and fill them in. That is true. The recovery that we have seen


in the last couple of quarters has been driven by a reduction in


savings. Consumers are saving less and spending more. That is the


old-style boost to the economy that we have experienced for many


decades. It is not the rebalancing of the economy towards exports,


towards more investment. Investment is down. It is 12% down. David


Maddox, the politics of this, it may be that those calling for a fiscal


stimulus can say it was all about timing. One suspects the electorate


will not see it that way. I do not think they will care. All people


care about is money in their pocket. There is a long way to go,


but in the run-up to the next election and this could be seen as a


turning point. The figures look good. The new governor of the Bank


of England has given a stamp of approval to the austerity measures,


saying that the recovery is now underway. There seems to be a few


abroad that Labour have been wrong-footed by this and that they


bet the House on the economy tanking. Is that the view down


there? Labour are in total disarray. A few weeks ago they bought into the


conservative view of what should happen with the economy. They bought


into the philosophy will stop that angered the union is a great deal.


They have got nowhere to go with an alternative message. Note the


figures are beginning to look as though George Osborne is right.


There is another problem. There was a constant message that Ed Miliband


was in the Treasury when things went wrong and they have never shaken


that off. A recovering economy could play either way. I have no sense at


all. Do you have any sense of which side would gain from a strong bout


of economic growth? It very much depends on who wins the battle of


the cred I believe for the -- credit for the economy recovering. I've no


doubt the Scottish Government will be saying they their slightly


alternative approach, given the limits to what they could do, was


the difference, no doubt that - in fact the coalition already saying


the extra money they pumped into capital projects for Scotland is


making the difference. I'm not - I'm not sure if it's going to make that


much of a difference. It didn't seem to really play that much in terms of


the kind of independence referendum ratings before, I'm not convinced it


will play too much after. An unfair question to you, it's not strictly


an economic question. The other things Labour hopes will depend on,


they are saying, well, look people's living standards are falling, which


of course they are. Now, there was - and there are some people who will


argue - that is much more important. There was a leader in the financial


times saying that is a problem for Labour because most people in


Britain accepted that, look, times were hard and living standards were


going to fall. That won't annoy them as much as they will like the fact


that things might be turning around. I wonder which side you think people


are actually on? That is a difficult one. Certainly, the message will be


out there that things are getting better, it's absolutely clear that


on the ground families have suffered more in this recession in the sense


of having lower living standards than has been the case for 100


years. Out of every recession that we have had in 80s, 90s whatever


people came out with rising wages, we haven't had that. Yeah and the


middle is being squeezed, isn't it? Absolutely. Killed workers


particularly? Absolutely. Four out of five of the new jobs that have


been created, since 2010, have been at wages of less than �7.95 an hour,


the bottom 25% is where the jobs growth is. There is no growth of


jobs in the middle of the income distribution. People are saying, we


don't care about this, there are horrendous cuts that George Osborne


is making, that is what is wrong with them. Analysis this week showed


the cuts might get worse when you look out to 2017/18 or so. On


current plans that is the case. I presume, if you are George Osborne


you are thinking - if I get strong economic growth that goes away?


Yeah. I mean, it makes complete difference to the public finances.


The extent of growth generates the tax revenue, you don't have to cut


the spending so much. By having that in an odd sense he could benefit


from having failed arguably and had to push it forward, had to bring in


more cuts, if he gets economic growth he can say, I might never


have to do that. He won't say it openingly? So long as the growth is


taking place in parts of the economy where he can generate tax, not on


companies who don't pay tax or people on very low incomes. Very


much indeed. Edinburgh's festivals are known for


taking the cultural pulse. There are plenty prepared to tackle


everything from corruption to the exploitation of women, but only a


handful of shows deal with the issue of Scottish independence.


Most of those have been created by non-Scots.


Why? Are Scots too scared to speak up or


question, a different performer and a different point of view each day.


All imagine the future of a baby found floating in a Moses basket on


the River Tweed on the night of the disillusion of the night of union.


After that, it's a question of singing about it. It's not a kind of


slogan earring yes or no kind of format here at all. It really is


people are coming from very, very kind of different perspectives.


There has been created a lovely space there to feel very free to


just throw some ideas out and then the night might take another angle


again. It feels like a lively, fun debate. I don't think anybody feels


they are being hit over the whaed any agenda or manifesto. It's - how


about this as an idea? How about this as an idea? It's a lot of fun.


A music is also key to this show, I'm With The Band, in which the


Scots guitarist of a rock band decides to quit and leave his


Englishman, an Irishman, a Welshman and a Scot band mates wondering what


to do next. Its creator isn't Scottish and doesn't have a say in


the referendum. He feels it's important to look at how it might


affect the whole of the UK. There is pressure on Scottish artists to


engage with this issue. I kind of understand the difficulty around


that because, if Wales was having a referendum, I'm not sure I would


know where to start, how to drama advertise that, you know. I would


probably just have one actor on stage with a plaque card saying,


independence debate like this Finish company whose show Preen Back Yer


Lugs! Imagines a post apocalyptc world where Scotland is the only


surviving nation and the largest ethnic minority are the English seek


seeking refuge North of the border. Cast members believe local companies


are weary of nailing their colours to the mast. People might be afraid


to give a strong message about it. It is a personal thing, there is a


lot of support for the "yes" campaign a lot of people are


undecided if you put your neck on the line you would be judged for


that. There are quite a few things going around the subject matter, I


think. I have not been able to see anything else. There is nothing


quite like this which leaves it open. So, I don't know the answer to


Scottish artists and performers will speak out loud and clear when they


want to. For the moment, they are simply raising the questions and


Stoking the debate on both sides of the border. When someone starts to


lecture or try and convince or persuade, that becomes very boring.


If you want to do that make a speech, write an article, theatre is


not a place to say - do this. It's a place to go - what about this?


may be a handful of shows overtly about independence, but you don't


have to look far to find artists and performers mulling over the subjects


of nationhood and identity, like this exhibition by Rachel Maclean.


One thing is sure, next year's Festival will be awash with shows on


the big question, by which time the referendum will be just weeks away.


referendum will be just weeks away. A look at tomorrow's front pages:


Scotland's population hits highest ever level. The Telegraph, Met Fraud


Squad to probe BBC payoffs. Payoffs, redundancy payments to senior


Download Subtitles