23/02/2012 Newsnight


23/02/2012

As David Cameron condemns anti-business 'snobbery', Newsnight assembles a panel of CEOs to ask if business is under unfair attack. Presented by Kirsty Wark.


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Tonight, business has been taking a kicking for big profits, big pay

:00:10.:00:15.

pacts and big bonuses for executives. Tonight the Prime

:00:15.:00:18.

Minister praised it to the skies. Business is not just about making

:00:18.:00:22.

money, vital as it is, it is also the most vital force for social

:00:22.:00:25.

progress that the world has ever known.

:00:25.:00:28.

Four chief executives are here to debate what business does right,

:00:28.:00:31.

what it does wrong, and what it wants from the Government.

:00:31.:00:37.

What happens when it all comes crashing down? David Cameron's

:00:37.:00:41.

families' champion quits her role after a shrew of fraud allegations

:00:41.:00:45.

against her company, A4e, I will be asking the Employment Minister did

:00:45.:00:49.

the Prime Minister fail to carry out due diligence on Emma Harrison.

:00:49.:00:53.

Until his cap tue, he was Colonel Gaddafi's righthand man, now he's

:00:53.:00:58.

in jail in Misrata. We interviewed him, and his jailer chipped in too.

:00:58.:01:03.

TRANSLATION: I wish you would be more co-operative. TRANSLATION:

:01:03.:01:13.
:01:13.:01:13.

swear to God, any question you have asked me I have answered.

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Good evening, frankly, I'm sick of all this anti-business snobbery,

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said the Prime Minister today, in an attempt to change the stormy

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weather blowing around business and enterprise in the UK. Accused of

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putting profits before people, paying themselves megasalary

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packages what Sir Martin Sorrell has called indiscriminate business

:01:32.:01:38.

bashing. All the politicians have been at it too. Writing today, the

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industry giant head of Centrica talked about the profits.

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20 years ago it would have been inconceivable that business would

:01:44.:01:48.

have been held in such low regard. What has gone wrong. David Grossman

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reports. There are quite a few in business

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wishing the politicians would just keep quiet.

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Capitalism takes no prisoners. It kills competition when it can.

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The parties, in an apparent competition to talk tough.

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Predators are just interested in the fast buck, taking with what

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they can out of the business. People right at the top of

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Government. There is a wealthy elite, or large businesses, who can

:02:28.:02:32.

pay an army of tax accountants to get out of paying their fair share

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of tax. Today the mood couldn't have been more different. The

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Prince Charles in North London to celebrate 30 years of business in

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the community. That's three decades of corporations, helping to make

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Britain a bit better. The Prime Minister's message, business

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bashing has to stop. In recent months we have heard some

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dangerous rhetoric creep into our national debate. That wealth

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creation is some how anti-social, that people in business are some

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how out for themselves. I think we have to fight this mood with

:03:03.:03:07.

everything that we have got. And the bashing has to stop, said

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the Prime Minister, not just because business creates jobs and

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pays tax, but because it also makes society work.

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Business is not just about making money, as vital as it is. It is

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also the most powerful force for social progress that the world has

:03:23.:03:30.

ever known. While the hall applauded, Labour

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has accused the Prime Minister of breath taking inconsistency, of

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declaring a truth with vested interests. On the very day you see

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RBS paying out millions in bonuses, in a loss-making investment bank,

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and British Gas also making millions of pounds in profits at

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the same time that families are being squeezed in this country, the

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biggest squeeze in living standards in a generation, small businesses

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and entrepeneurs struggling to get access to finance. You have the

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Prime Minister saying everyone trying to reform the system is

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wrong, you are anti-wealth creation and anti-business, this is a

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ridiculous state of affairs. Needs to get his act together.

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The Prime Minister was in a bit of a hurry, had he to get back to a

:04:12.:04:16.

meeting on Somali pirates. He left behind, though, plenty of business

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people, who feel that they too are often portrayed as ruthless

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plunderers. You have listened to the stories of what many companies,

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small, medium and large enterprises are doing to put something back

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into the community. That is so refreshing, you have a lot of

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chairmen and CEOs here today, they are here because they believe they

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ought to be doing it. They are doing it. So it would be nice if

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some of the coverage actually focuses on what is happening, and

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what business is putting back, rather than sort of just assuming

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that because a business make as profit, and it pays its executives

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well, that is some how obscene. Today's gathering came at the end

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of a week when Tesco and others have faced a campaign to stop them

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offering unpaid work experience. Some firms here complain that in

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the current atmosphere, they are criticised, even when they try to

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do some good in the community. is dammed if you do, dammeded if

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you don't, expression. We had a situation where we employ a lot of

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aprend dis -' present tis painters, and they are -- apprentice painters,

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and they are local kids, if you put them as a gang on painting a local

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council building, people will say is cheap labour. We are offering

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work experience, and money into the local economy, and inspiration to

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peer groups. The clients are adding value because we are putting those

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people into work. They are leverageing more out of business

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instead of us taking profit and leaving. Ultimately, unless these

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things are recognised as good practice, they will wither on the

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vine. With the budget coming up, another subject discussed here, of

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course, is tax. Is the tax environment right here?

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It is getting better, corporation tax is coming down. We pay our

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corporation taxes in the UK. The Government has made big strides

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there, I think. Ultimately we will have to sort out how we tax people

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in general, I think. Higher rates of tax? I think we are going to

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have to look at some of those in keeping all lent here inside the UK.

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There is a little -- talent here inside the UK. There is a little

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bit of drain on that. The 50p tax rate we are talking about? I think

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we are looking in general at tax in the UK, and how that works relative

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to other economies. If the Government gets it wrong,

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businesses could relocate taking tax and jobs with them.

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Bashing businesses might be good politics, but it also could be very

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bad economics. With me now are four people who

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manage some of the biggest businesss in Britain. Among them

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they employ over 70,000 people, Mark Price is the managing director

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of Waitrose, and chairs the charity For the community. And one of the

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UK's most powerful business women, and Ken McMeiken, and Paul

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Dreschler, sitting at the head of Wates Construction, a major

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contractor. Paul Dreschler, first of all, the

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idea that business is a pariah has grown up much more than ever before,

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over the last two years. Why do you think it has been so bad? I think

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you can look at this in a few ways. I feel over the past number of

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years business has done a tremendous amount for good in

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society. I think perhaps with all the challenges of the world economy

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and the local economy, and some of the financial service issues,

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society has lost trust in business. We have to earn that back. I think

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the best way to earn it back is to be more public about some of the

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great things we are doing. It is interesting, in fact, often when we

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actually ask business people to come on and justify their own

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positions in their own companies, it is hard to get them to come on

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to the programme and talk about what they actually do? I think you

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will find tonight we will be delighted to talk about what we are

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doing. This idea that moral capitalism, which is what Ed

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Milliband is talking about, which begs the question of what is

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immoral capitalism. He talked about predator rather than producer

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companies, what is that about? is hard to comprehend, begin people

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talking about businesses making a fast buck, they are not businesses

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around for the long-term. All of us here work for businesses that have

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been around for a long time. We have been in the UK for 80 years.

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If you are going to be a sustainable business, you have to

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make sure you are doing the right thing not just for today but for

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the long-term. Is there immoral capitalism? I'm sure you can find

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anything where you look, for the main, most businesses are in this

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for doing good. People who are not business literate, most of us, in a

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way, what they see is huge headline profits? Yeah, but the profits are

:09:15.:09:18.

hugely important, if companies are going to invest and continue to

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grow, by growing what you then do is create jobs. If there is one

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thing we have as a big challenge as a country, we need to create more

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jobs, because there are so many people out of work, that's how we

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are actually going to get a feel- good factor back into the UK.

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Unless we have companies growing profitably, and investing those

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profits back into growing and creating jobs, then we get into a

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vicious downward spiral. talking about any of the companies

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here, there is this whole question from UK Uncut, that there are

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companies not paying their full corporation tax, they would

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presumptionably, be seen by you, as the immoral face of capitalism?

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think the simple answer to that is, yes. We want to pay our share of

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taxes to the UK economy, we want to create jobs and do something for

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society. As it was said 30 years ago, a healthy high street needs a

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healthy back street. What all the companies you have here, and all

:10:10.:10:14.

the companies in BITC do, they understand that we need a strong

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society if we are going to build good, sustainable businesses, with

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good profits. The point about UK Uncut, they are right, there are

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some companies not paying full corporation tax. You talk about

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companies would do better to be more transparent, there is a

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problem, of course, when you don't pay full corporation tax, you don't

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want to be transparent? On the other hand, there are 840 member

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companies in Businesses in the Community, that are great examples

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of doing business with people in the community, ex-offenders. That

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far outweighs it. You would be against people not paying

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corporation tax? Everybody has to pay society. They are giving awe

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bad name? They have to pay their way. This idea that making money is

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a bad thing, it is a good thing. The suggestion would be that you

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can make your profit, but actually you pay a fair wage, you don't pay

:11:09.:11:13.

massive bonuses and put people, as it were, in the lower orders, on

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pay rises that don't even take care of inflation, that you act in a way

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that is moral, and a lot of companies don't? You have got to

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act in a trustworthy, moral, transparent way, that is seen as

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being fair. Some people may get paid more thans or, that would be

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seen as being fair. I pick -- others, that would be seen as fair?

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I pick you up on that, the companies that want a sustainable

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future know they have to treat all stakeholders with respect, their

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buyers, their employers, we have to get that right. We don't report on

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the news on companies that don't make their profit figures and don't

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get numbers, we report the few that have done well. We miss the

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thousands of companies, 10,000 companies are aligned to BITC,

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doing great work today, 40 companies got their community

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marked today, those 40 companies gave three quarters of a billion

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pounds to charity in the last four years. It is those stories that are

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really important. Let's talk about the differentials. Do you think, of

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in itself, the gap between the lowest paid and the highest paid is

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an issue? Can I just before we move on to that point, go back to the

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last point for a second. The point you were really trying to get at,

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is it immoral in some way that companies aren't paying their fair

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tax. I think what people look at is, if they are paying their taxes, why

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aren't company seen to pay their's. And big high-profile companies, I

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won't name them, but they are high- profile companies? It is right, if

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a company is not seen to be paying its tax it should be held to

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account, and there are many ways to do that. What we are saying is you

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have to have a balance, if you blow it up and say those fewer companies

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are systematic of what is happening in all business, then all business

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gets cast with the same shadow. Let's see, do you think there are

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predators and producers, do you think there are companies in this

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country more predatory than producing? The terminology is not

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helpful. Do I think there are really good companies that do a

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fantastic amount for the community, and also very strong, growing

:13:20.:13:23.

businesses that pay their taxes, which is good for the economy,

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absolutely. Are there some that don't? I'm absolutely sure there

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are, they have to be held to account as individuals. Not

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taornishing the whole of business. I do -- taornishing the whole of

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business. I think this is a danger for British business, when the

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media holds up one or two examples and says that is business.

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Hang on, these examples might be pretty stark examples. They might

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be getting away with it, and tarnishing you. On the question of

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differentials, lowest to highest paid, does the gap actually matter?

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I think it does, particularly to the people that work for you, in

:14:04.:14:11.

your company. They will look, I think, to see whoever is earning

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the most, and whether they think 245 person deserves it. There is a

:14:17.:14:21.

credibility - that person deserves it. There is a credibility issue.

:14:21.:14:27.

What is your's, the gap? The gap times the average is 50. What is

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the John Lewis partnership? constitution in the John Lewis

:14:31.:14:36.

partnership, says the highest-paid executive can't earn more than 75

:14:36.:14:41.

times the average partner. Do you think in terms of reputation for

:14:41.:14:47.

business, if there was the John Lewis-style 75-times more, would

:14:47.:14:50.

that be moral and responsible capitalism, do you think that is a

:14:50.:14:53.

model, if we rolled this out through many of the big companies,

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you would be seen to be more ethical, more upstanding? It is

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good to have a guide as a guiding principle, but it comes back to

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exactly that point. Would you be able to stand up in front of your

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employees, your associates, and for them to know how much you earned

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and to think it is fair. Trust is about doing the right thing and

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doing the fair thing, in society and your own business as well.

:15:16.:15:20.

think we would all see, if you want to survive in the long-term, and we

:15:20.:15:25.

are a fourth generation family company, 115 years, you only last

:15:25.:15:32.

that amount of time if you have the trust of all your stakeholders.

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Your customers and society at large. Do you, in terms of I don't know

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how your own salary is constituted, do you have a moral compass when it

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comes to a percentage you are paid more than your lowest worker?

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have a compass that says the people who own the company have to

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determine what it is to pay all the executives. What is the difference?

:15:53.:15:56.

I have no idea what the percentage is. Should you know? I don't think

:15:57.:16:00.

that is the fundamental issue. The fundamental issue is employees have

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to decide, the owners of the company, and the people who do

:16:03.:16:05.

business with us. If you are talking about restoring the

:16:05.:16:09.

reputation of business, if you thought that was, I'm not saying

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you have a bad reputation, if it was that the transparency issue,

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that would be one way, presumably, in which you could change what

:16:16.:16:20.

people think of the company, in some way? We would say, as a

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company, that we will be, and are totally transparent in the way we

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report. It is all available for employees, for all of our

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shareholders and customers. other point on this, what we do at

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Gregg s, 10% of all profits are shared with staff. There is

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something about when your employees feel they are benefiting in the

:16:43.:16:47.

success of the company. It is proportionate, but everyone is

:16:47.:16:52.

sharing in the success. How many employees are on minimum wage in

:16:52.:16:56.

the company? We are above minimum wage, and we work very hard to keep

:16:56.:17:00.

bof it. If you take the last three or four years, we have made sure we

:17:00.:17:05.

have a wage increase every year, this year it is 2.7 pay increase.

:17:05.:17:10.

Let's move on and talk about the budget. Not so much from the

:17:10.:17:16.

construction point of view, but retail, chocolate, pays trees, you

:17:16.:17:20.

are seeing what your custom -- pass trees, you are seeing what

:17:20.:17:25.

customers are buying every day? Consumer confidence is very low,

:17:25.:17:31.

lower than the Government recognises at the moment. In terms

:17:31.:17:36.

of the budget, anything that can be done to help the unemployed,

:17:37.:17:40.

disposable income, getting people back into the work force, has to be

:17:40.:17:43.

a good thing. In the budget what would you like to see, there is

:17:44.:17:48.

talk of cutting NI, cutting taxes for various things, and

:17:48.:17:53.

infrastructure, it would help Wates. What would you like to see?

:17:53.:17:56.

things would help, from a business point of view, absolute clarity

:17:56.:17:59.

from the Government in terms of corporation tax, and where we are

:17:59.:18:02.

going with that, so we can plan very much in how we will continue

:18:02.:18:05.

to invest as a business. The other one for me is actually

:18:05.:18:09.

infrastructure, believe it or not. I think if we can get some of these

:18:09.:18:13.

big schemes that create jobs, into the economy, then from a consumer

:18:13.:18:17.

point of view, that puts more money back into people's pockets, which

:18:17.:18:24.

actually means we have got more disposable income, which means

:18:24.:18:27.

people will spend again. One of the suggestions today was for

:18:27.:18:31.

deregulation, what people will see who are not in business about

:18:31.:18:34.

deregulation that it is easier to get rid of people and sack them?

:18:34.:18:37.

would like to see something that would make it easier for the work

:18:37.:18:42.

force, but it has to be fair. I would not support employees' rights

:18:42.:18:50.

being removed. We have to make sure it is fair, not just for businesses.

:18:50.:18:53.

Anything else for George Osborne? Consistency and getting down the

:18:54.:18:57.

national debt. We are spending too much on the state and we need to be

:18:57.:19:02.

in good shape, that trumps everything else. The what about

:19:02.:19:06.

cutting NI? There are a whole host of things in cutting tax, that is

:19:06.:19:10.

the most important thing. The other thing you can do is look at,

:19:10.:19:15.

different g the -- given the nation is short of funds, can we find

:19:15.:19:19.

smarter ways of using private finance, there is tremendous

:19:19.:19:24.

opportunities out there. One of the criticisms of businesses is your

:19:24.:19:28.

hoarding too much cash and you are keeping too much as a rainy day?

:19:28.:19:34.

can only Madam Speaker for us, we spent �21 million on two new

:19:34.:19:38.

bakeries, and record capital expenditure opening more shops and

:19:38.:19:43.

creating more jobs. Where I have seen, from my position as CBI

:19:43.:19:45.

chairman in the north-east, I have seen some of the smaller private

:19:45.:19:49.

companies, who are very cautious about the economy, who are not

:19:49.:19:52.

hearing good mood music coming out, whether that's from Government or

:19:52.:19:56.

from the media. There is all sorts of reasons why people will

:19:56.:20:01.

potentially hoard cash. We have to find way of giving them the

:20:01.:20:05.

confidence to invest now for the long-term. David Cameron said today

:20:05.:20:09.

business is the most powerful tool for social change, is that your

:20:09.:20:12.

job? It is the most exciting part of the job. The greatest source of

:20:12.:20:18.

pride is what we can do with young people in schools, we have today.

:20:18.:20:22.

Would you like to run a school? There is nothing more important for

:20:22.:20:26.

this nation than to transform the opportunity for every child, so

:20:26.:20:29.

they are able to have the best opportunities in life. So I think

:20:29.:20:34.

that education, which is why we have, in business in the community,

:20:34.:20:38.

a long-term partnership programme between 115 companies, and 150

:20:38.:20:45.

schools, with the aim of moving that to 500 by 2014, because we can

:20:45.:20:49.

raise aspirations. That is a bigger model, as a company would you like

:20:49.:20:52.

to run a school? That is not what this is about. Some companies do

:20:53.:20:56.

want to do that? We are talking about a mutual model, it is about a

:20:56.:21:00.

force for change. What is in it for us, employees go out there, they

:21:00.:21:04.

get great skills, they start to mentor, mentor other kids in

:21:04.:21:09.

schools and programmes, they come back more rounded individuals. Also

:21:09.:21:12.

what we find is we are building skills in the environment in which

:21:12.:21:16.

we are employing from. I know business people they would be the

:21:16.:21:21.

better people to run training academys, and turn round

:21:21.:21:24.

aspirations for young children, for whom the standard model of schools

:21:24.:21:29.

is not what they want, they want a more targeted thing? We want to run

:21:29.:21:33.

great businesses and create jobs, we want to serve our stakeholders.

:21:33.:21:38.

In Business In The Community, we are absolutely focused on getting

:21:38.:21:44.

young people into work. How we are doing that, Paul runs a great

:21:44.:21:48.

business class on getting people into work in school, we have

:21:48.:21:52.

146,000 work placements we have apprenticeship and mentoring

:21:52.:21:55.

schemes. We are concerned as a group to do all we can to get young

:21:55.:22:00.

people working. I will talk about unemployment in a moment. The

:22:00.:22:06.

Government has set enormous store on the work schemes to get that two

:22:06.:22:09.

million unemployed down and get them into companies like we are

:22:09.:22:13.

talking about tonight. The boss of one training company, A4e, under

:22:13.:22:20.

police investigation, resigned today from the role of Government's

:22:20.:22:23.

Families' Champion. I will ask today whether David Cameron failed

:22:23.:22:26.

to do due diligence on Emma Harrison. First the twists and

:22:26.:22:32.

turns on the work experience row. Great play is being made of the

:22:32.:22:36.

welfare-to-work idea. But is the dizzying number of ideas,

:22:36.:22:41.

programmes and schemes, really providing value, at best it is

:22:41.:22:45.

swings and roundabouts, according to Sarah. She has had two spells

:22:45.:22:49.

with the Government's favourite job seeking firm, A4e. She was sent to

:22:49.:22:53.

be coached into finding work, instead they gave her a placement,

:22:53.:22:57.

unpaid, training as their receptionist. To begin with, I

:22:57.:23:03.

didn't mind, I needed the experience, I wanted to get into

:23:03.:23:06.

reception/administration, and I had no previous experience, it was a

:23:06.:23:10.

stepping stone for me. You did the 13 weeks, unpaid? That's right.

:23:10.:23:16.

Then what happened? They decided to take me on as a full-time employee.

:23:16.:23:22.

For Sarah, back then, five years ago, it seemed ideal. For A4e too,

:23:22.:23:25.

it would have earned them more Government cash, first for getting

:23:25.:23:28.

Sarah a placement, although with themselves, and then for getting

:23:29.:23:35.

her a paid job, again at A4e. It is firms like A4e, that are supposed

:23:35.:23:38.

to search out jobs in the woj programme, the Government's big

:23:38.:23:42.

idea to use the private and voluntary sectors to cut

:23:42.:23:48.

unemployment. The programme's 18 providers, running back to work

:23:48.:23:51.

schemes, are only part of the picture. The first point of contact

:23:51.:23:56.

is the Jobcentre, sending job seekers on other routes. Some are

:23:56.:24:00.

put on mandatory work activity. We asked how many, the Department for

:24:00.:24:05.

Work and Pensions hasn't replied. Meanwhile it is the unpaid, work

:24:05.:24:08.

experience placements, that have caused the recent controversy. They

:24:08.:24:12.

are arranged through the Jobcentre, and are initially voluntary. If

:24:12.:24:17.

they stick it out for a week at Tescos and elsewhere, they have to

:24:17.:24:21.

remain in place for up to two months, or risk losing benefits.

:24:21.:24:25.

That has exposed big firms to accusations they are making money

:24:25.:24:30.

for from people struggling to find work. It is really important people

:24:30.:24:33.

volunteer to take up work experience placements, we know it

:24:33.:24:38.

is an important way to get back into the work place. We think it is

:24:38.:24:42.

equally important, that organisations, whether charity or

:24:42.:24:47.

corporates, offer good quality work experience placements too. It seems

:24:47.:24:51.

issues around the benefit rules are getting in the way, with companies

:24:51.:24:54.

volunteering and wanting to put in those placements. We think the

:24:55.:24:57.

Government should look at the benefit rules again. David Cameron

:24:57.:25:02.

and the gang at Number Ten, that is the typically matey way A4e's boss,

:25:02.:25:06.

Emma Harrison, refers to her friends in Government. Well, the

:25:06.:25:12.

gang, may be interested to know, that Sarah, the A4e jobseeker who

:25:12.:25:16.

became an A4e employee, has a second part to her story.

:25:16.:25:21.

I tried to make the most of it, I mean I thought there was no use me

:25:21.:25:27.

sitting around doing nothing, so I, it was put towards me whether I

:25:27.:25:35.

could help out. You were helping advising other job seekers how to

:25:35.:25:40.

find jobs? That's right. You were looking for a job yourself? I was,

:25:40.:25:43.

yes. What assistance did you get this time? I didn't get any

:25:43.:25:51.

assistance at all, I did everything myself, I didn't get any advice.

:25:51.:25:55.

The last week of the 13th week I found a job. You did? That was all

:25:55.:25:59.

off my own back, nobody helped me. But you were on their books,

:25:59.:26:06.

though? I was, yes. A4e, like every private job seeking

:26:06.:26:09.

firm would pick up another Government fee for that. Tonight,

:26:09.:26:13.

Emma Harrison, the chairman, has resigned from her other Government

:26:13.:26:19.

job, the called Families Champion, saying she didn't want the current

:26:19.:26:23.

media environment to detract from very important work with troubled

:26:23.:26:27.

families. I spoke to Chris Grayling, the Employment Minister earlier

:26:27.:26:36.

today. Let's begin today with the resignation of Emma Harrison as the

:26:36.:26:40.

Families' Champion, was due diligence done on Emma Harrison?

:26:40.:26:43.

First of all, I can't really comment very much about what's

:26:43.:26:47.

happening, there is obviously an on going police investigation. We put

:26:47.:26:52.

out a very clear statement to the department yesterday, saying we had

:26:53.:26:57.

reminded A4e of their contractual ob gauges to us. She has ob --

:26:57.:27:00.

obligations to us, she has obviously taken the decision she

:27:00.:27:03.

has taken today. Because of the on going police investigation it is

:27:03.:27:08.

not right for me to say anything further. Historically since 2005,

:27:08.:27:13.

there have been nine investigations into ra. 4E, five of which resulted

:27:13.:27:18.

in the return of public money. Surely that is a huge failure of

:27:18.:27:22.

judgment by David Cameron. issue when we address any concern

:27:22.:27:28.

of what happens in a sub contractor to any Government department is any

:27:28.:27:31.

organisation can have an individual localised problem, the issue always

:27:31.:27:35.

for any department looking at these issues is whether the problem is

:27:35.:27:38.

systemic. We have been very clear in the statement we made yesterday,

:27:38.:27:45.

that we would, in the case of a systemic issue, we would not

:27:45.:27:48.

hesitate to terminate our relationship with A4e, that is all

:27:48.:27:53.

we can say now. One final point on this, when she was appointed as

:27:53.:27:56.

families' champion, these investigations had been going on

:27:56.:27:59.

before that. This is not something new, it was a failure of judgment?

:27:59.:28:05.

Look, I think the detail of what's happened, we treat anybody,

:28:05.:28:08.

organisation, individual, in this country, as innocent until proven

:28:08.:28:12.

guilty. I think it is important to wait and see what happens at the

:28:12.:28:14.

end of the police investigation before we form any judgments.

:28:14.:28:19.

move on now, sticking with A4e, this is something new, and a

:28:19.:28:22.

Newsnight investigation has discovered this today, that

:28:22.:28:26.

somebody, who was an unemployed client of A4e, was subsequently

:28:26.:28:31.

employed by A4e, did you know about that? There are very many examples

:28:31.:28:35.

this the welfare-to-work industry of people who have been unemployed

:28:35.:28:39.

who have gone on to become employment advisers. As long as it

:28:39.:28:43.

is a proper, long-term position, that is a totally sensible thing to

:28:43.:28:47.

do. If somebody has been unemployed, they have the personality and skill

:28:47.:28:50.

and able to mentor other people unemployed, there is nothing at all

:28:50.:28:53.

unreasonable about that. In establishing the work programme,

:28:53.:28:56.

and you have to recognise that all these issues predate the work

:28:56.:28:59.

programme and the current programme. They are programmes that existed

:28:59.:29:02.

under the previous Government. What we have done is we have put

:29:02.:29:06.

together a package that means the providers aren't paid until an

:29:06.:29:10.

unemployed person has been in work for six months. There is no

:29:10.:29:13.

question of somebody being able to put a short-term work placement in

:29:13.:29:17.

their office, it couldn't happen under the programme. What you are

:29:17.:29:21.

saying, basically, is if A4e, or any other provider, has an

:29:21.:29:26.

unemployed person comes to them, takes them on, and that person

:29:26.:29:30.

stays. After six months how much does the provider get? After six

:29:30.:29:34.

months, typically, it is just over �1,000, so the sums don't add up.

:29:34.:29:38.

To take someone on, even on the national minimum wage, you will pay

:29:38.:29:43.

them many thoiss of pounds. I would not in any way want to prevent the

:29:43.:29:46.

welfare-to-work industry from recruiting some previously

:29:46.:29:51.

unemployed people to be meant tord by the currently unemployed. Surely

:29:52.:29:56.

-- men tord by currently unemployed people. There are many who have

:29:56.:30:02.

emerged from difficult times and ended up in roles providing

:30:03.:30:06.

mentoring to those having a difficult time. The woj programme

:30:06.:30:11.

makes it impossible for it to be a - the work programme makes it

:30:11.:30:16.

impossible for someone to take on somebody for a six month period and

:30:16.:30:20.

claim a payment after it. You have lots of schemes. Let's talk about

:30:20.:30:23.

the work experience scheme specifically, specifically

:30:23.:30:31.

unemployed people working for profit-making companies. Do they

:30:31.:30:36.

have to take the placement? We have been very clear, the purpose of the

:30:36.:30:39.

scheme is it is a voluntary scheme to provide young unemployed people

:30:39.:30:42.

with an opportunity to get into the work place, and demonstrate to a

:30:42.:30:46.

potential employer what they can offer, or gain experience they can

:30:46.:30:50.

take to an interview elsewhere. think go to this profit-making

:30:50.:30:54.

company -- if they go to this profit-making company, and leave

:30:54.:30:58.

again, do they have their benefits taken away from them? The situation

:30:58.:31:02.

is very straight forward. The scheme is voluntary, they will meet

:31:03.:31:06.

the potential ploiper, if they are happy they will -- employer, if

:31:06.:31:09.

they are happy they will start the placement. If the placement doesn't

:31:09.:31:14.

work out they can leave in the first few days. If they leave at a

:31:14.:31:18.

later date we will investigate the reason, if they leave without good

:31:18.:31:23.

reason, rude to the employer or walked away, they could face a

:31:23.:31:29.

sanction. That is the same sanction they might face up to for not

:31:29.:31:33.

attending a job interview. within a wiek if they choose to

:31:33.:31:36.

leave the scheme they will have benefit taken away from them, it is

:31:36.:31:40.

not voluntary it is compulsory? is voluntary, they don't need to be

:31:40.:31:44.

there in the first place. If you say if someone goes on a placement,

:31:44.:31:48.

the company provides a mentor and uniform, and down the line they are

:31:48.:31:51.

rude and walk out, are you saying there should be no consequence at

:31:51.:31:58.

all for that person. There could be lolts of reasons they could -- lots

:31:58.:32:01.

of reasons they could leave. If they leave after the first week and

:32:01.:32:06.

face the sanction of their benefits being taken away, that equates to

:32:06.:32:10.

compulsory? It is not automatic, we would only sanction somebody if

:32:10.:32:13.

they left without good cause in circumstances of the kind I have

:32:13.:32:16.

described. There has to be an issue here. We are putting a lot of

:32:17.:32:22.

effort, and are employers, into giving young people a chance.

:32:22.:32:27.

essentially cheap labour? Nonsense, if I thought any employer was using

:32:27.:32:31.

it to replace staff, I would stop referring. I don't accept, in the

:32:31.:32:35.

case of Tesco, taking someone and giving them four weeks work

:32:35.:32:39.

experience, and the possibility of a job afterwards, is anything but

:32:39.:32:44.

giving them a chance in life. When you have companies in manufacturing

:32:44.:32:48.

and technology is anybody saying we shouldn't help young people to get

:32:48.:32:52.

into the work place and show off what they can do, and go into work.

:32:52.:32:55.

Half of the young people in the scheme are coming off benefits as a

:32:55.:33:02.

result. Our four CEOs are still here.

:33:02.:33:12.
:33:12.:33:14.

Mark Price, Fiona Dawson, Ken McMeiken, and Paul Dreschler.

:33:14.:33:17.

Are you comfortable with young people coming to you and leaving

:33:17.:33:22.

after a week and having benefits taken away? I'm not comfortable

:33:22.:33:25.

about that part of the scheme. We are giving unemployed youngsters a

:33:25.:33:29.

real opportunity to get work experience, we are giving them

:33:29.:33:33.

great training, mentoring, it enables us to give them a reference

:33:33.:33:37.

if they don't come and work for us at the end of it. Half of the

:33:37.:33:41.

people we have taken through on our scheme are now in employment, after

:33:41.:33:45.

anything from a four to eight week placement. Let's stick with the

:33:45.:33:49.

idea you are not comfortable with, if you are not comfortable with it,

:33:49.:33:52.

are you able to do anything about it? I have asked for talks with

:33:52.:33:56.

Government, there will be a meeting next week, along with other

:33:56.:33:59.

business leaders, to talk about the issue. With Chris Grayling?

:33:59.:34:03.

after a week or more, you decide as an individual, that it is not

:34:03.:34:08.

working for you, and you leave the scheme, we don't believe at Greggs,

:34:08.:34:11.

that the benefit should be taken away from them. Our view is if they

:34:11.:34:15.

are volunteering for the scheme, and for whatever reason they come

:34:15.:34:19.

off, they go back on to benefits. Are you in the minority in this,

:34:19.:34:23.

are there a number of businesses going with it? I don't know how

:34:23.:34:26.

many businesses are going with it. We have asked in response to our

:34:26.:34:29.

concerns about this part of the scheme we have a meeting and talk

:34:29.:34:33.

about it. Do you think it undermines the scheme, a number of

:34:33.:34:37.

companies, as you well know have pulled out of it, and Tesco's, this

:34:37.:34:41.

is a different point, Tesco's have said they are doing benefit plus

:34:41.:34:45.

now, plus payment, would you alter your attitude to that and follow

:34:45.:34:51.

the Tesco model, separate from people losing their benefits to

:34:51.:34:55.

make it seem more morally reasonable. You have young people

:34:55.:34:58.

working side-by-side with workers doing the same job but getting full

:34:58.:35:03.

pay? There is a different point of it, they are coming into jobs that

:35:03.:35:09.

we have created as additional to what we need to get job experience,

:35:09.:35:12.

otherwise they wouldn't exist. We have created them to give them the

:35:12.:35:15.

training, the experience, the mentoring, the coaching and the

:35:15.:35:20.

support, then, hopefully, and nearly half of the people that we

:35:20.:35:22.

have had through our scheme over the last eight months, are now

:35:22.:35:26.

working for us or working for other companies. The other half that

:35:26.:35:29.

aren't, we are actually able to give them a really good reference

:35:29.:35:33.

to say they have actually spent time with us. I have asked the

:35:33.:35:37.

people we have had through Greggs on the scheme, whether they should

:35:37.:35:41.

thought we should continue doing the scheme or pull out.

:35:41.:35:45.

Unequivocally they said stay in it. They said you need to see it for

:35:45.:35:48.

them, this is a lifeline that gives them an opportunity to get a job.

:35:48.:35:52.

They need a job. Would you be comfortable continuing with the

:35:52.:35:58.

scheme if they do not remove this threat for take away benefit, it is

:35:58.:36:02.

a very big threat -- taking away benefit, it is a very big threat?

:36:03.:36:07.

would hope the response would be to continue with the scheme as it is

:36:07.:36:11.

going. If more than a week after people come off, they would lose

:36:11.:36:16.

benefits. You can see why a company like Tesco's has changed their

:36:16.:36:20.

approach to this, they were targeted, but you are not involved

:36:20.:36:25.

in the scheme, but as an employer would you be comfortable taking

:36:25.:36:29.

people on benefits, and not paying something towards the employment?

:36:29.:36:33.

It depends on the role, clearly with ourselves and Greggs, we have

:36:33.:36:36.

a variety of different schemes. This is what we have to do with

:36:36.:36:39.

building schemes in our work place and the communities involved. There

:36:39.:36:43.

are many ways of doing it, work placement is one of them. A

:36:43.:36:48.

mentoring scheme, we have over 50% of our employers who volunteer in

:36:48.:36:52.

the local community. Most that have is skills based, which is terrific.

:36:52.:36:55.

I think, you know, it is not about the fact that these people who come

:36:55.:36:59.

and work in our business, are necessarily doing a full-time job,

:36:59.:37:03.

they are jobs in addition to the jobs we would normally have. We

:37:03.:37:07.

want to create a mind set of work, which is incred below important at

:37:07.:37:14.

the same time. Construction is incredibly difficult at the moment,

:37:14.:37:19.

would you support this scheme? the Prince's Trust we have given

:37:19.:37:23.

3,000 young people the opportunity to experience the world of work,

:37:23.:37:27.

build their confidence. Of those, this is a very short, two-week

:37:27.:37:33.

programme, of those, 53% go into employment afterwards, and 20% go

:37:33.:37:37.

into training afterwards. These are some of the one million young

:37:37.:37:40.

people in this country not in education, employment or training,

:37:40.:37:44.

these programmes can make a big difference. If they are undermined

:37:44.:37:48.

because they are seen as unfair, predatory, and a substitute for

:37:48.:37:51.

people who are actually in full- time employment, then actually it

:37:51.:37:55.

is a displaysment activity and will be completely undermined? Sorry,

:37:55.:38:04.

there is a small minority of people out there who don't like the scheme.

:38:04.:38:07.

When you talk to young people on the scheme they like it, they want

:38:07.:38:09.

us to continue offering it as employers.

:38:09.:38:14.

Thank you very much. With the world's eyes on the

:38:15.:38:21.

violence in Syria, the aftermath of the revolution has moved off the

:38:21.:38:25.

crisis. But the highest-ranking officer in custody today, has

:38:26.:38:34.

spoken to Newsnight today. Our diplomatic editor Mark Urban

:38:34.:38:44.
:38:44.:38:44.

visited his jail sell in Misrata. This was where the Gaddafi regime

:38:44.:38:51.

made its last stand. It was to Sirte, the former leader's home

:38:51.:38:54.

town, where he came last year, after the fall of the capital. And

:38:54.:38:59.

where, as this last haven was besieged, his inner circle saw

:38:59.:39:07.

their world crumble. TRANSLATION: For us as military personnel, for

:39:07.:39:11.

me personal, the situation was terminal. However, we didn't know

:39:11.:39:15.

what other people's feelings or views were. The situation was

:39:15.:39:19.

precarious, none the less, there were no hospitals or doctors, nor

:39:19.:39:24.

power, or medicine, or communication. We had returned to a

:39:24.:39:34.
:39:34.:39:38.

primitive life style. On the 20th of October, Gaddafi,

:39:38.:39:44.

seeing the end was near, tried to flee with his last, most loyal men,

:39:44.:39:51.

in a convoy of armed 4X4s. The dictator said they were heading to

:39:51.:39:57.

the village he had been born. But spotting the vehicles from the air,

:39:57.:40:05.

the Libyan revolution's foreign friends had other ideas.

:40:05.:40:09.

TRANSLATION: NATO hit us twice, once while we were moving. But the

:40:09.:40:14.

impact wasn't on the vehicle, it was on two cars behind us. Our car

:40:14.:40:18.

stopped, the air bag deployed and the engine seized. We had to change

:40:18.:40:22.

to another car, only Gaddafi suffered a small wound from the

:40:22.:40:26.

glass shards, not anything else. All the vehicles grouped at a power

:40:26.:40:31.

station and again we were targeted by NATO planes, and attacked

:40:31.:40:35.

forcefully. Although we got out of the vehicles, the firing continued,

:40:35.:40:40.

and people were shot, and suffered burns.

:40:40.:40:44.

(scheming) With survivors of the convoy trying

:40:44.:40:50.

to get away on foot, Gaddafi, and his son were captured.

:40:50.:41:00.
:41:00.:41:04.

General Dhao, bearded at this time, was taken alive, but wounded.

:41:04.:41:09.

In jail today, he remains unrepentant in his loyalty to the

:41:09.:41:19.

former leader, and is still urging people to follow his ideas.

:41:19.:41:23.

TRANSLATION: Gaddafi was in power for 42 years, had he strong ideas,

:41:23.:41:27.

and tremendous support. I don't think that will disappear overnight.

:41:27.:41:32.

Gaddafi is dead, that's true, but his ideas as a philosopher, or as a

:41:32.:41:39.

politician, will live on. These may carry on and be adopted by non-

:41:39.:41:44.

Libyans and appear elsewhere outside Libya. All the philosophers

:41:44.:41:51.

of the world had their ideas adopted after their death.

:41:51.:41:56.

The general has now been in prison for four months. Like many others,

:41:56.:42:02.

locked up by the revolution, he has been held in a legal limbo. Have

:42:02.:42:08.

you seen a lawyer, do you know whether you will face a trial?

:42:08.:42:12.

TRANSLATION: No. Do you know whether you will face charges, will

:42:12.:42:19.

there be a trial, have they told you anything? TRANSLATION: No, no.

:42:19.:42:26.

How do you see your future now? TRANSLATION: Let's try to look out

:42:26.:42:30.

of the window. I can't foresee the future, I don't know what the mood

:42:30.:42:35.

on the street is like. I have no idea or contact or visits from the

:42:35.:42:45.
:42:45.:42:46.

outside world. I can't tell you what the future will hold.

:42:46.:42:49.

The general is accused by the revolution of involvement in many

:42:49.:42:57.

of the crimes of the Gaddafi years. As our interview drew to a close,

:42:57.:43:00.

the prison director challenged his detainee to provide more

:43:00.:43:04.

information. TRANSLATION: I wish you would be

:43:04.:43:09.

more co-operative. TRANSLATION: I swear to God that

:43:09.:43:12.

any question you have asked me I have answered. You must have trust

:43:12.:43:17.

in me, even if you have received contrary information, you must

:43:17.:43:25.

trust me. TRANSLATION: This is an interview

:43:25.:43:29.

and you are in custody, it is possible that you are afraid.

:43:29.:43:33.

However, the questions are there for you to answer, whether now or

:43:33.:43:41.

in the internal section. TRANSLATION: I answered you, I

:43:41.:43:46.

swear to God I have no further about this evidence someone has

:43:46.:43:52.

passed on. If I had any information, why wouldn't I tell you?

:43:52.:43:57.

TRANSLATION: The reason I ask, is why keep this information from us?

:43:57.:44:07.

There is some information that you haven't given us.

:44:07.:44:12.

TRANSLATION: No, no, whatever I had, I gave. But sometimes you think I

:44:12.:44:16.

have information that I don't have. Why would I want to keep

:44:16.:44:22.

information from you? The director also accused his captive of

:44:22.:44:29.

involvement in the Abu Saleemmassacre, the killing of 1200

:44:29.:44:33.

prisoners in 1996. TRANSLATION: stated you were in an office with

:44:33.:44:39.

the head of intelligence and you saw an explosion. TRANSLATION:

:44:39.:44:45.

no, Ibrahim, you have got the documents. We left the one-time

:44:45.:44:49.

head of the Libyan people's guard, in the hands of those who still

:44:49.:44:55.

believe he can unlock many of the old regime's secrets. As an

:44:55.:45:00.

As David Cameron brands business 'the most powerful force for social progress the world has ever known' and condemns anti-business 'snobbery', Newsnight assembles a panel of CEOs to ask if business is under unfair attack.

Presented by Kirsty Wark.


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