08/03/2012 Newsnight


Does it matter if mortgages go up? Newsnight considers the future for mortgage rates and asks what will become of those hoping to own a home. Presented by Kirsty Wark.

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A failed rescue attempt by British special forces in Nigeria ends in


tragedy, as a British and Italian hostage are killed. It is with


great regret I have to say that both Chris and Franco have lost


their lives. We are still awaiting confirmation of the details, but


the early indications are clear that both men were murdered by


their captors, before they could be rescued.


Our diplomatic editor Mark Urban is here.


This was a set piece British operation, conducted after an


intelligence gathering operation that lasted months. But tragically,


it failed to save the hostages. We speak to an Italian senator who


said they should have been consulted about the rescue


operation. Spring is in the air, and just as


we thought house buying was about to bloom, wham, balm, mortgage


rates start to rise, what now for our property-obsessed economy.


These photographs are the work of Time Magazine, William Daniels, who


came under attack with the late Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik in


Baba Amr. We talk to him about that attack, and his harrowing escape


with his wounded colleague, Edith Bouvier. Reasons to be cheerful, it


may be International Women's Day, but are women suffering more in the


downturn. These women are divided over a 21st century women's lot.


-- woman's lot. Good evening. A British and an


Italian hostage being held in Nigeria are dead tonight. After a


failed rescue attempt involving British Special Forces. Their


captors, believed to be from the Al-Qaeda-inspired militant Islamist


sect, Boko Haram, were working on a construction project and have been


hostages since last May. The operation to rescue them has been


on going for six months. The two men were taken on the 12th


of May last year, appearing in a video made by their kidnappers.


Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara, both worked for an Italian


construction company, on projects in the state of Kebbi. A joint


Nigerian and British security operation cornered the kidnappers


in Sokoto, not far from where they were taken, and tonight David


Cameron announced the outcome of a failed attempt to save them.


Preparations were made to mount an operation to attempt to rescue


Chris and Franco. Together with the Nigerian Government, today, I


authorised it to go ahead with UK support. It is with great regret I


have to say that both Chris and Franco have lost their lives. We


are still awaiting confirmation of the details, but the early


indications are clear that both men were murdered by their captors


before they could be rescued. The skeej in Sokoto at the house


where the two -- scene in Sokoto at the house where the two hostages


were killed is described by an eyewitness. The neighbour told me


they numbered about 40-50 and the occupants of the house were about


seven, including these two hostages. The kidnappers were from the


militant group, Boko Haram, it has recently been responsible for


bloody bomb attacks in northern Nigeria. It is a Jihadist Islamic


organisation, that emerged two years ago. Although loosely


modelled on Arab militant groups, it has its own agenda in Nigeria.


The point is they are making a political statement that it is very


dangerous for westerners to work in northern Nigeria, a move they hope


that will destablise the Government of Goodluck Jonathan, the President,


and drive western companies out of Nigeria.


With today's operation, Boko Haram moves up the international militant


league table. Western firms, that for years have operated with care


in Nigeria, because of the risks, will now have to look again at


whether it is safe enough to carry on there, as this new insurgency


gathers force. Mark Urban is with me now, a pretty


dreadful end to the operation. In military terms it will not be seen


in any way to be well planned, do you think? I think it could be


argued that it was well planned. In a sense that finding the right


intelligence to zero in on a kidnap gang is extremely hard, that was a


Nigerian-led process, they raided a Hughes recently where they obtained


intelligence of what was called a rebel stronghold, in the town where


the incident took place today. They closed in, the British role was to


provide the assault force, the SBS, the Special Boat Service, a group


up to 24 troops engaged in assaulting it. It turned out to be


a tough target, heavily defended. It is thought the hostages were


probably killed while it was happening. This is the difficult


thing with these operations. Some Downing Street tonight as to


whether any of the hostage-takers emerged. The Nigerian President


said they did, but people are telling me nobody came out alive.


That would make the assumption that the SBS had to work very hard


because they were very well armed? It was a heavy firefight, that is


what people are saying. significant diplomatic fall-out


from this? A significant fall-out, the Italian Government are unhappy


about what happened. When this was put together, as an intelligence


operation between the Nigerians and British several months ago, as we


have been saying. I understand there was a general Italian


approval given to pursue this type of init tell begins and follow it


to its logical conclusions. It is clear -- intelligence and follow it


through to its logical conclusions. But it is clear when David Cameron


spoke today, he did not consult the Italian authorities when he gave


the go ahead. I have the chair of the all-party parliamentary group


on Nigeria, and I'm joined by a member of Silvio Berlusconi's


People of Freedom Party. First of all, Mark Urban was saying that the


Italians were not informed of the imminent attack, is that true?


apparently so. It is something that is against what is usually done in


this case, as it is quite uncommon that a country that is involved is


not informed before. Apparently it was very difficult in the situation.


It might have been the best decision, but it is still to be


explained why the Italian authorities haven't been informed,


although they are quite present on the territory of Nigeria. They were


present on the territory, but presumably they signed up to the


initial intelligence gathering operation, with the logical


conclusion that it would be acted upon. Was that not sufficient for


Italy's needs? Well, it is something that we are not


completely informed on so far. Usually in these cases, the other


countries are informed when the operation is started. It was not


started by surprise, I mean, it was something planned. The situation


that we have heard about the situation, tells us that maybe it


was impossible to do better than that. But certainly the outcome was


not good, and we are not satisfied. I was going to say, it is a


dreadful loss to have the death of the hostage, but, I assume, for the


family as well, although, obvious low, the British family did not


know there was about -- obviously, the British family did not know


there was about to be an attack, neither did the Italian family as


well? Every human loss deserves all the respect, we are not saying that


our fellow countryman is more important than others. But the


British Government was informed and our Government was not informed.


That is all. I think that we are two countries that are friends,


that fight alongside together say in Afghanistan, for instance, and


I'm sure that everything will be set. Still, we would like to have


what is the common way of doing in this case, as we would have liked


to see the same also this time. this the mood generally, a cross-


party mood, is this the mood emerging among all politicians in


Italy? Yes. The current Government itself has asked for an explanation.


The Government we have today is supported by more than 80% of the


MPs. It expresses the positions, the position of the whole political


Panorama of Italy. Finally, what would you like to hear from David


Cameron? I think that he used the right words. We are absolutely sure


that he was very sorry about what happened. As I said, we just want


explanations to know why we have not been informed. With all the


understanding we are ready to give, but to understand one has to be


informed. Thank you very much for joining us.


It was always going to be a very difficult operation, what do you


make of what happened? I wasn't on the ground, I don't know what


information the Prime Minister had. It seems there must have been some


long-term negotiation going on. It is a very fraught country, Nigeria.


We don't know exactly who is involved, it is too early to


analyse that, but there seems to be links, possibly with Boko Haram.


Boko Haram being an Islamist sect, following Al-Qaeda? It is early


days. I would say where it happened is a long way from where they have


been active before. Because of that distance we have to be careful of


the analysis. I don't know if there are survivors. In terms of the


Italian situation, I don't know how fast-moving it was at the moment.


It seems odd that an ally like Italy was not kept informed. It is


important we find out what happened, and the Prime Minister explains to


the Italian Government what happened. So you would like him to


apologise to the Italian Government? It is unusual that the


Italian Government wasn't informed. At the moment with the military


action you would that wouldn't happen, but diplomats in London


could have been talking to Rome. the hours running up? Yes. There


must be some point when knew the decision was going to travel, we


are talking about long distances, we are not talking about split


second decisions, it is difficult to talk about the distance.


know the territory well, this would not be said to be, as it were, a


coup for the hostage takers, but it was probably probblebatic for the


Government, two men are -- problematic for the Government, two


men are dad. Boko Haram is a threatening organisation for lots


of people working in Nigeria? was a small group, it was


geographically complicated until its leader was killed, now it is


spread. It is difficult to know who is Boko Haram and who is taking the


mantle. This is one of the challenging things about the issue


of security in Nigeria, it is not easy to identify the leaders. It is


a very serious issue for the country, a strategic importance in


west Africa and the UK. The President has a really big task to


tackle the security issue in his country.


Now, for some borrowers it has just go got a whole lot more expensive


to get a mortgage. As some lenders hike up their standard variable


mortgage rates. The Chancellor wanted low-cost mortgages to remain


that, as a cornerstone of recovery. But the banks say borrowing on the


wholesale market has risen and they are reluctant to lend to each other.


With the Bank of England saying interest rates will be held at 0.5%


even longer. Are things getting completely out of kilter?


It is exactly three years now since the Bank of England slashed its


official rate to its lowest in three centuries, and it stayed


there. Which has borrowers like Linda wondering, why, when the


Central Bank is holding its rates at record lows, is her bank jacking


them up. With a mortgage of �25 2,000, it is not the Halifax giving


her extra, more the other way round. I got out Michael lator, I haven't


had anything officially from the Building Society yet, but on the


figures they were giving on television, our mortgage will go up


by �100 a month. How will that affect you? It is a lot of money,


our train fares have gone up �50, that is an extra �150 a month, it


is a lot of money to have to find. The only way to do it is by cutting


down on other things. Linda supplements her meagre income at a


city farm in south London, by working as an estate agent at the


weekends, even then she can't rein in her costs. I understand if the


Bank of England puts up the risks, that is a risk -- puts up its rates,


that is a risk we took. But for the mortgage lenders to put up rates is


despicable. It used to be in the dim distant days before the credit


crunch, that where the Bank of England led, the mortgage lenders


would follow, rates would only go up and down when the Bank of


England changed its rates. Four years ago that mechanism got


crunched. Ever since then it hasn't been the Bank of England policy s


but mortgage lenders' finances that have dictated what happens to


interest rates. What is worrying is interest rates can be at record


lows for years, and tens of billions have been printed, and


still the Bank of England can't hold rates down. While the bank


tries and fails to rein in mortgage costs, which lenders are refusing


to follow its lead? Halifax is putting up its standard variable


rate, from 3.5 to 3 .99%. Bank of Ireland's rate will raise to 4.49%


by September. At RBS some offset and one mortgage account rate will


climb from 3.75% to 4%. Those rises will affect 1.2 million households,


just over a tenth of all mortgage borrowers, expect more to follow.


Mortgage lenders say it is costing them more to get hold of the funds


to lend, so they have to pass that cost on, in higher rates. Mortgage


lenders have to attract savings in from the public, they have to offer


rates that attract the money. Equally, in some cases they have to


go to the wholesale markets to raise money. They have been


affected by the general economic situation in the eurozone. So it


isn't as stable a position as you might say, as you might think, when


you look at the base rate. At the moment I don't see any rise in


savings rates, in fact they seem to be as low as they ever were three


years ago, why is that a justification for raising mortgage


rates?. It is quite a complicated position. I think some rates are


rising. Bear in mind as well, a lot defends on the particular need of


the particular lender. -- depends on a particular lender, their


particular view of their mortgage book, and what sort of business


they want to attract. Back at Linda's farm that is not enough to


satisfy the lend ers' critics. Last year -- lenders' critics. Raising


rates when the banks bonuses were out might not have gone down well,


and the cost of funds has come down since then. First of all, a lot of


us put money with the banks and get nothing at all. Then they raise


money broadly, they have to put capital when they lend. That cost


to them, if you like, of supplying mortgages, it did go up last year


and squeeze, in recent week it is has relief. I'm very surprised they


put the rate up now, the margin has widened. Their money is cheaper


than a few weeks ago? It is cheaper for the banks to lend to us. This


is the wrong time, in my opinion, for them to raise mortgage rates.


Economists hope as spring gets under way, so will the economic


recovery. Many are in negative equity, and 1.9 million with equity


of 10%. For mortgage prisoners it is difficult to switch mortgages,


when their rates go up there is little they can do. With me to


discuss the changes in the mortgage market, is the director of Europe


Economicss, and Wendy Evans-Scott, President of the National


Association of Estate Agents. That whole very point, that the banks


are offering nothing to savers, because they can't, the Bank of


England interest rates are there, they could add little and little


bit on for different policies. But that is a quick way of getting


money in, people can't move suddenly, they will be getting


money in quickly from the additional mortgage costs?


shouldn't be too fussed about the timing. It hasn't been politically


expedient or economically expedient for banks to have raised rates over


the last nine months. They now think they have the opportunity to


do so. The opportunity? It is an opportunity. RBS, and Halifax, are


owned by the public? They face some genuine funding difficulties


associated with liquidity scheme from the Bank of England which is


stopped. There are various regulatory requirements, associated


with the way mortgages are looked at, tightening over time. We are


reaching a point at which, looking out in the future, either we are


going to, the economy will tick along or get worse, in which case


we will get lots of foreclosures because of that, lots of defaults,


or the economy will start to get better, in which case interest


rates will go up, in which case a lot of people currently in distress


will default. The economy gets better or worse, but people will be


stung, it is the market? Well, the aspiration is still there to own a


home. An Englishman's home is his castle. The market has seen some


signs of recovery recently, this is a great shame, because obvious low


the market was doing very well. -- obviously the market was doing very


well. We are not happy about the interest rate rises. It effects


roughly 1.2 million at the moment, it might go up to five and a bit


million if everybody follows suit. Of that 5.5 million, there is bound


to be a proportion that won't be able to pay the mortgages and there


will be defaults, and people will have less disposable income to fuel


the recovery? It is the wider picture, how it is affecting the


rest of the economy. What will happen to the housing market if


people default on their mortgages? We will have more repossessions,


repossessions have been very low, recently, we are hoping a lot of


people will take advantage of some new fixes on their mortgages,


perhaps remortgage now, if they can. Would you be concerned about


repossessions, increasing repossessions? We are concerned


about repossessions. Especially when you have negative equity at


the moment for people. So it is bad for people, isn't it?


It is obviously difficult for individuals, but I think from the


banks' point of view, they have to price realistically, one of the


problems in the past is mortgage rates were too low, things which


place mortgages moraleistically with respect in the genuine risk


around mortgages should be welcomed. Difficult for individuals but


better for the economy as a whole. Locking a little bit further ahead,


if we get some recovery in the economy, it is often the case that


the early phase of recovery is associated with many corporate


insol Len sis, businesses finally give up the ghost in the recovery


phase. Many households clinging on by their fingernails, once interest


rates start to rise in the recovery rate, a symptom of recovery will be


some bleeding off of households, that, frankly, should have been


foreclosed on some time ago, and only kept on by policies. People


will be out of their houses, this is exactly what the Chancellor


didn't want? It is politically different. Those houses, in some


cases they might benefit by these matters being resolved. If in the


end they are going to have to default, it is better it happens


sooner rather than later. You are actually saying this could be a


good thing because it weeds people out with crippling mortgages they


can't afford any way? The natural state here should be much more


foreclosures. Do you agree with that? It is not a good thing at all.


As I go back to what I was saying before, it has a greater impact on


the economy. So many businesses are relying on property sales. It will


affect the high street, in the US a recent survey said that the housing


market is vital to the economy. Absolutely vital, and actually


equated it to a number of jobs. We shall see what happens. As far


as you are concerned, it is going to be 5.5 million affected by this


in the end, this will find their way to things that are not variable


mortgages, of that proportion, how many will be out on their ears?


the 1990s, there were 300,000 foreclosures, housing price crash,


that is larger than that, you should expect a fairly similar


number. Policy has kept people going for a very long time. It is a


legitimate for policy to think if things are temporary, stuff might


get better, you can use policy to get people through that. If it will


carry on for years and years, it is not the job of the Bank of England


to punish prudent people by keeping savings rates very low, and coping


inflation high, so as to keep some people who shouldn't have borrowed


the run in houses they can't afford. -- borrowed in houses they can't


afford. We can't verify the facts in Homs.


Today Baroness Amos said she had been deaf Vass tailted by what she


witness -- devastated in what she witnessed in Homs. Kofi Annan has


warned that further militarisation of the conflict would worsen a


desperate situation. The pictures behind me were taken by the Time


Magazine photographer, who came under attack, the same attack that


killed Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik. We will hear from him in a moment.


First this. The streets of Homs, once the


centre of Syria's uprising, are eerily quiet now. Days after the


Government forces crushed the rebellion there. We don't know for


sure what has happened. Newsnight has heard reports from several


sources in the city of whole Paul Conroy, the British


photographer, injured in Homs, whom Newsnight spoke to last week, has


heard similar reports from other sources tonight about killings in


another district, Baba Amr. I got a message out from activists


who I worked with on the ground, they have sent me through very


detailed reports full of names, locations and places of eight


families that were massacred, also that the women, the young girls


were taken off to a separate place. Very detailed, very accurate, very


credible reports. I have no reason to doubt the authenticity.


The reports can't be verified, monitoring organisations say they


are also aware of the alleged murders, they think they may be


sectarian in nature. Certainly this senior foreign


visitor, the UN humanitarian chief, Baroness Amos, wasn't able to check.


She was talking to Syrian officials in Damascus today, after a 24-


minute tour yesterday of Baba Amr, the scene of the worst violence in


Homs. I have been struck by the difference between what I have seen


here in Damascus, and what I saw yesterday in Baba Amr. The


devastation there is significant, that part of Homs is completely


destroyed, and I'm concerned to know what has happened to the


people who lived in that part of the city.


She is still trying to negotiate access for international aid


workers. While the violence continues.


After quelling the uprising in most parts of Homs, the regime is now


reported to be turning its attention further north. Its troops


massing on the border of Idlib province. In the Jabal Al-Zawiya


area, a stronghold of the rebel Free Syrian Army, there are said to


have been clashes already with Government forces. Meanwhile back


in the capital, Damascus, today, the army opened fire to disperse


mourners at a funeral. Now, for the first time, a member of Syria's


Government has defected, on YouTube. TRANSLATION: I do not want to end


my career serving the crimes of this regime, I choose to join the


voice of justice, knowing they will burn my house, persecute my family,


and fabricate lies against me. I advise my colleagues and those who


have remained silent for a year, about the crimes of this regime, to


abandon this sinking ship. He's the most senior civilian official to


abandon the regime, since the uprising began a year ago. The news


has delighted opposition leaders. It shows, perhaps, the beginning of


defections by important people, in the regime, who have started to


realise that this regime is not going to stay. One defection by a


junior minister, is also a reminder of how united Assad's Government


has remained until now. Of his army, once 200 strong, maybe a quarter


have deserted. Only -- 200,000 strong, maybe a quarter have


deserted, not all of those have joined the opposition. His regime


may not be done for yet. It is similar after how the Algerian


Government won the civil war, after eight years. It is framing itself


like those regimes, and saying provided the west doesn't intervene


as it did against Gaddafi, perhaps the regime can survive with a


smaller social base, but with a powerful security force, keeping it


in power. In Hama, in 1982, the President's


father, crushed an uprising and saved his regime at the cost of


many thousands of lives. His son may still think he can repeat that


feat. One person who has seen the


bombardment of Homs up close is the Time Magazine photographer, William


Daniels. He was with reporters Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik when


they were killed last month in Baba Amr. He eventually escaped the city


with another injured journalist, Edith Bouvier, at one point making


use of a network of water pipes under the city. I spoke to him


about his experiences from our bureau in Paris.


Images like these are rare, not the grainy, unverified pictures we have


grown used to from Syria, but professional photographs from


inside a conflict that has grown increasingly bloody, and


increasingly invisible to the outside world. These are the work


of William Daniels, one of few foreign journalists to have worked


inside Syria in recent month. A French photo magazine working for


Time Magazine, he was in the same building as Marie Colvin and Remi


Ochlik, when they were bombed and died two weeks ago. He took these


pictures of Baba Amr and Homs on that ill-fated trip. Daniels was


lucky, after a harrowing journaly, with wounded journalist, Edith


Bouvier, he made it back to France for a presidential welcome. But the


story he left behind is far from over.


Can you tell us what happened at 8.00am on February 22nd? All of us,


the six journalists, we were in this apartment, it is called the


Media Centre, it was an apartment with a internet connection. At


8.25am the first rocket hit the apartment out on the road. Two more


rockets close to the apartment, then the fourth one, after the


third one one Syrian guy asked us to go out, so we tried to escape


very quickly. And Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik were already outside.


They were ready to go. Then this same guy was taking care of us, he


heard a launch of a new rocket. So he said, no, go back inside, to


protect yourselves. Then the rocket hit the road, just at the entrance


of the building, and Remi and Marie were very close to the impact, so


they died directly. The four other journalists were


inside the room with some Syrian people. Some had been wounded, like


Edith and Paul, Javier and myself were just behind a wall and were


safe. What happened with the Syrian activists and residents, residents


were kind and risking their own lives to try to help you? Of course


they were, they carried us to the hospital, they spent some time with


us. Several days, and we were treated, Edith and Paul while we


were shelled. Our apartment was targeted, for sure. But the people


who took lots of danger to save us are the ones who helped us escape


from Baba Amr and to go back to Lebanon for the last five days.


had gone in by the tunnel, and you and he had dit tried to get out by


the -- Edith tried to get out by the tunnel. What happened in the


tunnel, you were pulling her stretcher, is that right? In the


tunnel we went all together to try to escape. Before the end the


Syrian forces, the Syrian army began to fire at the exit of the


tunnel. I have been told they killed some people, the two


journalists, Paul and Javier could escape, Edith and I had to stay in


the tunnel and go back to Baba Amr, we came back to the hospital, Edith


had to have a small operation on her knee. We went to bed, slept


just two or three hours, and then in the morning a man who we have


been seeing for several days, he told us, there is a solution now,


maybe the guy is here, it is dangerous, do you want to try. We


looked at each other and said OK, we will try it. We tried this road,


and it was something very, very scary. As we said before, it was


very close to Assad's army. Edith r dit was in great danger, wasn't --


Edith was in great danger, there was a danger she could get a blood


clot? If he was transported like this she could have had a blood


clot and died. It was a lot of responsibility for me. It was


something very, very, that makes me very anxious. But, well, it was


fine. We are fine now. And we are safe. So I think now what is


important is to talk about the Syrian people. We are safe, but the


Syrian people are not safe. From your observations, what is daily


life like in Baba Amr? It is something unbelievable. It is


unbelievable. The city is all destroyed. On the streets you have


pieces of concrete everywhere, you have big holes in each buildings,


big rocket or mortar holes everywhere. There is no water or a


little bit of water. There is not much food. You feel like there is


nobody living in this city when you go out. Because you see nobody in


the street. When you try to find you can, when you try to look for


people, you can find that many families were still living in Baba


Amr, just hiding in some apartment, hiding in some basement. They just


couldn't escape. It was too dangerous to escape. Every day you


have the shelling, sometimes it was like several hundred, maybe three


hundred, I don't know, it is a personal estimation. Maybe


sometimes it was something like 300 bombs a day. These bombs kill women,


children, men, fighters of course. Thank you very much.


Women across the globe marked International Women's Day today,


but how much is there to celebrate. Everywhere you look, from


parliament to the boardrooms, women are still underrepresented. This


morning I was at the meeting where the Deputy Prime Minister couldn't


remember how many women were in the cabinet. Nearly two years after the


coalition came to power, promising to be the most family-friendly


Government ever, what has changed. With are my guests.


Labour MP Stella Creasy, Conservative MP Claire Perry, and


Ruth Porter from the Institute of Economic Affairs. We are going to


begin with Deborah and Ruth, I want to see your charts to support your


ideas about whether women are doing better or not starting with you


Deborah? I have pulled out a few statistics to get the discussion


going. What we find is that women are significantly more likely than


men to be unhappy with the Government's performance in general.


Particularly with the Government's performance on the economy. Let's


see? We have a couple of slides. Do you approve or disapprove of the


Reasons for that? I think women have very high hopes for this


coalition Government. The idea of the coalition, two parties working


together for the good of the country really appealed to women.


You think women are generally more consensual? They are, they don't


like back-biting politics, or dog- eat-dog politics, they wanted two


parties working for the common good and they didn't see it. What is the


next chart? It is focusing more That's a net figure. Now, what I


think that tells us is, it is a number of things. I think women


actually are harder hit by the changes at the moment. They are


more likely to have lost their job, they are more likely to be working


in the public sector, more likely to be employed in the public sector.


A million women now unemployed is the highest for 20 years. The women


don't look at the economy from their perspective, they are


thinking about their kids and their mum, they are seeing the economy in


a round. Before your charts Ruth, just some response to that, the


YouGov date it is woman are going bad, because they are disappointed


by the coalition Government, and they are hit harder in the


unemployment stakes? We have to be careful that we don't let


perception influence how we view reality, in a sense, how we feel


about things, often isn't a true reflection of how things are. We


see that all over at the moment, with things like the people's


attitude, people think that the Government is closing down the debt


that actually they are reducing, they won't be adding to the debt


over the course of the parliament. They are adding masses to the debt


over the course of this parliament. How we feel about what is happening


in the economy isn't always a reflection of what is happening. I


think when we look at the data on women and how they are being


affected by the coalition's policy, I think we see actually a different


picture toe that. Let's see the charts you have -- Picture to that.


Let's see at the charts you have brought? It looks at the redundancy


rates. It is across the public and private


It is across the public and private sector. Who is this from? The ONS.


When you look at it, it is men feeling the hit overall, in erpls


it of redundancy ..-- in terms of redundancy ..4% per 1,000, and 5%


per ,000 for women. That is public and private sector. What is


interesting when you look at the public sector, you can see. So


public sector, the work force, it is made up disproportionately of


women, 65%. We will see more cuts in the public sector. Women will be


hit harder there. We need to be careful we don't engage with this


debate in simplistic terms. Women will be hit with more public sector


quts cuts, are you expecting them to do better when the private


sector picks up the slack? Absolutely, for all women, getting


the economy back on track, getting rid of the deficit and the public


sector down to managable levels is important. There might be short-


term pain for certain women in certain contexts for that to happen.


I think we are falling into classic politicians' traps here. That is


why women feel very turned off by politics. Number one, there are 32


politics. Number one, there are 32 million in this country. To define


us all as having one set of policy needs and agendas, we heard in this


programme about mortgages, millions of women are paying off mortgages


across the country, who have done extremely well by the low interest


rates this Government has secured. We are taking a million people out


of taxation all together. 60% of those are women. The other trap we


are falling into is we are chucking up all the charts MPs like to talk


about all the time. Let's get back to a principle here, there is


nothing good for women about leaving this deficit for our kids


and grand kids to pay off. That is why so many people like me have


come into politics. We think we have an opportunity to sort this


country out, and pay off the Labour Party's debt. What do you think of


this? I think Claire is right, not every woman is suffering in the


same way. It is the women' poorest end of the scale most affected by


this. In the next couple of weeks thousands of families will lose


Working Tax Credits, because you have changed the rules about


entitlement. Unless they have more hours at work they will lose �4,000


on incomes, they are on �17,000 a year, they are not the people you


are talking about. This is the challenge we are facing. This is


happening particularly to the poorest communities. Communities


like mine where losing tax benefits and Child Tax Credits are important


to women, they are in charge of household budgets. We had an


International Women's Day today, and Labour activists got up saying


we are removing child benefit from the seventh-richest country in the


world. This is not what it is about, it is about when there is no money.


The bendy bus drivers in my area, it is not a fair thing. Listening


is a good women's thing to. Do we talked about public sector


employment, 65% of public sector employment is women, it is actually


at the lower end. There is a reason, flexibility in the work place has


been a real problem for women in the private sector. It is easier,


right now, to be a mother working in the public sector rather than


the private sector, sharing parental leave. A lot of the jobs


doing now are jobs seen when the chips are up as expendable jobs?


disagree completely. That is why they are not in the redundancy


figures. I suspect a lot of the redundancies are managerial jobs,


in Wiltshire Council the cuts have been in management, no cuts to


frontline services. That is not the case, it is evidence it is the


people like lolly pop ladies, care workers and support officers,


people who do an important job to help the public and private sector


grow together. Without these women the country falls apart. Let's talk


about perception, you are right we mustn't muddle up perception and


reality. If you are the woman on the receiving end of the cut, your


perception is your reality. A lot of women do feel very hard done by,


and not just, you know, they are worried because their husbands are


losing their jobs too. They are worried because their kids can't


get jobs. They are also worried because they see public services


begger roded, and they are much more likely than men to think cuts


are administered unfairly. What we need to do is look at actually how


to create more jobs, in the private sector, what can we be doing in


labour market deregulation. One of the problems here is women are bore


lowing from companies like illegal -- borrowing from legal loan sharks


to cover that. It is the people at the poorest end making decisions


that could leave them in debt for generations. That is a problem here.


Let's widen it out, culturally, International Women's Day is


celebrated, but culturally do you think things are better for the


majority of women in this country? I think the clock is turned back.


Whether we see changes on domestic violence. There are 230 women every


single day in this country now being turned away from refugees. It


is -- refuges, it is a huge cost to the public purse to look after


those women. There is a 30% cut in provision. I am a Ukhtaing actually


about a society, that might be the manifest -- I'm talking actually


about the society. That might be the perception, but it is the


manifestation of it. Women don't have the courage to say where the


cuts will fall. It is still acceptable for men, in some


families, for men to hit women in this country? It is completely


unacceptable. That is why today, at Number Ten there was an


announcement, three very important announcements, the adoption of


Claire's Law, it is in recognition of a woman who was battered to


death by somebody with a history of domestic violence. We are puting


that on the statute book, we are pass ago law to make stalking


something that is now illegal. Today we have put more money into


Rape Crisis and Victim Support centres, in my constituency they


say it is the first time they have been on a sustainable footing for


three years. I wish I could convey to you how strongly MPs across the


House feel about this. The time for this clapped out ideology is over,


the time for women to work together on these incredible initiatives. Do


you support the amendments freedom? Support the amendments to the bill


to tackle stalking. Let's not talk over each other. You have 20


seconds. This is the point, violence against women is not just


about rape, but it is domestic violence, we are losing half a


million street lights in this country, people won't be able to


walk down streets because they are dark. You and I go home most nights


after dark, it is not just about us, it is women at home fearing their


partner's vie leoints. We have an amendment in the law for you to do


this. Do you think things are better? Women have felt their lot


has improved. We did a big survey recently when we asked men and


people -- women feel, men are pessimistic, worried about the


economy, jobs, worried about their kids, particularly. Health centre -


- the lost generation. That is important thing to do as a


Government. We can't transfer the borrowing to our daughters and sons


to pay off. Thank you very much, tomorrow


morning's front pages, that story about Nigeria, British hostage


killed in a failed rescue bid. Kidnap Britain killed as PM sends


in Special Forces. In the times, new laws will speed up adoption.


That story, Al-Qaeda hostages die as SBS rescue fails. That is all we


have time for on Newsnight. From A cloudy night tonight means it is


not quite as cold T does make for a rather grey start on Friday morning.


Overall a much cloudier day, wet weather across North West Scotland,


slowly spreading into south of Scotland and parts of Northern


Ireland. Drizzley conditions over the Pennines and general lie across


Cumbria. Most places dry, some spots brighter skies in eastern


England. Temperatures jumping up to 13 Celsius, even where it is cloudy


around the western most coast, temperatures still 10-11. A bit of


drizzle here and there, conditions over hills and mountains over the


west coast. Most of Wales dry and cloudy. Dry and cloudy across the


southern half, maybe 14 in Belfast, northern parts of Northern Ireland,


after a dry start, it will turn wet by the afternoon. That rain


affecting the central belt of Scotland. Central Scotland starts


wet but brighter during the day. More brightness on Saturday,


eastern parts of Scotland and England. Where we get any sunshine


over the next couple of days, temperatures could really jump up,


maybe 14, 15 in the south-east on Saturday, similar conditions on


Sunday. Overall on Saturday it will start off cloudy, one or two spots


Does it matter if mortgages go up? Newsnight considers the future for mortgage rates and asks what will become of those hoping to own a home.

Presented by Kirsty Wark.

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