10/04/2012 Newsnight


10/04/2012

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman. Paul Mason looks at the ways and means the rich employ to reduce their tax bills.


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Transcript


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You thought giving was good? It is up to a point, but only up to a

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point determined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He believes some

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rich people should give less to charity and more to the Treasury.

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They are paying money to charities, quite often that charity will be

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something that they control, it might even own their own company,

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which will then pass on from generation to generation

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inheritance tax. Is the charity sector being used as

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a tax dodge, and so what if it is. A philanthropist, MP, banker and

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trade unionists are here to tell us. Thank you all very much, God bless

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you. The Conservative, Rick Santorum

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gives up on becoming the Republican Party's candidate to unseat Barack

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Obama in November. Is the battle for the White House finally clear?

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This is how President Bashar al- Assad interprets calls for a

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ceasefire, is it now a struggle to the death in Syria.

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Foul language, free downloads, and fortunes to be made in youth

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culture, another rising star has an audience with Steve Smith.

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My lyrics, aren't, I don't know, I'm sorry if I keep talking, my

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lyrics aren't offensive. Aren't they, some people find them

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offensive, you have heard that before? Some people behind

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everything offensive. Some of the richest people in the

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country are paying tax at a lower rate than delivery drivers or

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school teachers, despite being hardly short of a bob or two

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himself, the Chancellor of the Exchequer insists he has been

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astonished to discover some of the schemes being used by the very

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wealthy. He says that's why he's putting limits on giving to charity.

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Cue outrage recipients of charitable giving. Before we have

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this out, our Paul Mason was here. He was giving in the budget tax

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breaks to rich people, now he wants them to pay more in tax? The budget

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brought a controversial principle, that is, they think, the Treasury,

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impossible to raise money from rich people by raising the tax rate,

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because they change their behaviour, and the tax take falls off. There

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is a famous curve, controversial, that shows it falling off. Now the

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solution they have come up with, is to attack the behaviour, to attack

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the avoidance behaviour, which, as all good economicss or pond dents

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know, is legal, it is evasion that is illegal, so you change the

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behaviour by clamping down. As part of this on going battle, George

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Osborne briefed the newspapers this morning that he was shocked by

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these top 20 avoiders not paying much tax. The solution to it is to

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impose a tycoon tax, which actually says the amount of tax relief you

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get on charitable giving is capped. You can't just wipe out all your

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tax bill by giving more and more to your charities. Why are they

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attacking charitable giving? Because it is one of the most

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efficient ways to avoid paying tax. The charities have come out and say

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they have already seen people stop giving, people are putting

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donations on hold until they find out what is going on. The

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recipients, the good causes are up in arms. But Downing Street came

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out fighting today and actually said, we know of charities where

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there doesn't seem to be a lot of charitable work going on, but a lot

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of effect on individuals' tax bills is taking place. What is certain is

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that this issue, which was seen on the fringes when the UK Uncut

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movement started 18 months ago, has come, via this studio, Ken and

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Boris, right to the centre of the political mainstream.

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These are dark days for the rich. But one sanctuary remained.

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Until now. From Qatar, from Russia, the Greece, the hot money of the

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rich has one destination, Blighty. But now, with the resistance rising,

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the man in charge has called a halt. Everybody is to leave here

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immediately, this cafe is closed until further notice, clear the

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room. How can they close me up, on what grounds. I'm shocked, shocked,

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to find that gambling is going on in here. Your winnings, Sir. Thank

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you very much. Everybody out at once. Of all the rows of all the

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world, why did George Osborne have to walk into this one. The

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Chancellor said he was shocked at the scale of tax avoidance, but

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most tax experts are not shocked, in fact, some have been warning

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about Britain's conviviality for tax dodgers, for years. This

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accountant has waged a one-man campaign for tighter tax dodging

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laws. These people are earning figures of �15-�20 million a year.

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Who are they? They could be footballers, they could be bankers,

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they could be the directors of FTSE 100 companies, they are that sort

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of catagory of people. Or else it is inherited wealth. How do they do

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it? A number of ways. The biggest, perhaps, is to have enormous

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portfolios of buy-to-let property. They go and buy lots of houses,

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which they are letting, and they mortgage the whole lot, to the hilt,

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and so all of that portfolio of property, massive amount of rental

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income, is basically cancelled by the interest on the mortgages, we

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are subsidising their creation of a wealth portfolio. What else? They

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are borrowing, personally, and lending the money to their company.

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What else are they doing? They are paying money to charities, quite

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often that charity will be something that they control. It

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might even own their Owen company, which will then pass on from -- own

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their own company, which will then pass on from generation to

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generation. Osborne says he's shocked, having viewed these

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anonymous tax records, how shocked would you be if you could see them?

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Not at all shocked, I would say that's normal, that is what I would

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expect. I warned in 2008 that the tax gap was maybe �12 billion from

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individuals in the UK. The revenue have said for years it is �1.5

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billion, mass mum, that is utterly implausible, now they are saying 20

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people make up just 10% of their total tax gap. Shows how daft their

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estimate has been. To recap, to avoid tax on the scale of a

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superyacht, you have to give your money to your family, make a loss

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on some of your businesses, buy lots of houses and rent them out,

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and give a lot of money to charity. Hold on a minute, aren't some of

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these tax dodges actually useful to society, even if they do pull a

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fast one on the Exchequer. There is a very practical issue here about

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do you want to try to squeeze the rich as hard as you can to get

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every penny out of them, or create a climate in which more people

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become rich, more rich people move to the United Kingdom. If the UK is

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seen to be extremely bad place for tax reasons for millionaires to

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live, then you have actually got a revenue problem.

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The issue of tax avoidance has been rushing at politicians ever since

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the UK Uncot protest honed in on a controversial deal between

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Vodaphone and the Inland Revenue. And the row between Ken and Boris

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has given it added spleen. Which some on the right find unhelpful.

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I'm also concerned that some of this grandstanding, and screaming

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about the behaviour of the rich detracts from the actual facts. If

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we were to look at the top 1% of earners in the United Kingdom, that

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top 1% of earners earn about 12% of all income in the UK, and

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contribute about 28% of all income tax.

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We should be applauding this top 1%, they are providing the schools and

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hospitals that the rest of us use. On Budget Day, the argument for

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cutting the top rate of tax to 45p was that you just can't collect tax

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from the rich beyond a certain tax rate. Now, it seems, if you use

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brute force, you can. To discuss these issues we have the

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Conservative MP, Penny Mordaunt, form charity activist herself, the

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trade unionists, economist, Nicola Smith, Christine Ross from the

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private bank, and Sir Stephen Bubb, head of the Voluntary Organisations

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and chief executive there. You are surely not surprised that rich

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people can afford good accountants? We want people to give to charity,

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and in an efficient way. What is happening is aggressive avoidance.

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You are as surprised as George Osborne is? It does beg the

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question where have these tax returns been, in a drawer somewhere

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in the Treasury. It is a question of where the Chancellor of the

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Exchequer has been too isn't it? is an issue the coalition

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Government have tackled from the off. They have put �900 million

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into addressing tax avoidance and evasion, yielding �7 billion by

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2014. More needs to be done. And what will be introduced in the tax

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bill next year, is an anti- avoidance rule. Nothing illegal has

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taken place? The TUC has been worried that �13.8 billion a year

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is being lost in tax avoidance in the UK. Our worry is, when we have

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had lots of warm words from the Chancellor today, about the need to

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tackle the tax gap, we haven't had much action. I say again, nothing

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illegal has happened? Absolutely, but tax avoidance, whereby people,

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use legitimate loopholes to avoid paying tax rates that parliament

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would have intended, is not something that this country could

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currently afford, when we have a large deficit and poorest peoples

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are paying thousands in tax credits, is not what most people would think

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is particularly fair. Why is it fair that someone with an income of

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millions a year is paying a tax rate less than someone on the

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minimum wage. Answer that question? I completely agree. I can

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understand why the Chancellor takes the view about everyone wealthy and

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poor should make a contribution to the running of the country. I

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absolutely see that. But why should you put charitable giving in that

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same bracket? Charitable giving, rich people who make donations to

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charity, are not gaining personally. The whole point of the reliefs is

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to encourage more giving. For many charities, the health charities,

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the cancer charities, international development, rely on very big

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donations to do a lot of their work. If you have a cap, which stops that

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giving, and the consumate giving, that is damaging society. You know

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people who give more than �50,000 or a quarter of their salary?

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Absolutely. We know that. And actually, what's happened since,

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this was a bombshell for charities, what's happened is, since then, the

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big charities, many of the done nars that we know have been --

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donors we know have been saying this will affect giving now and in

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the future. Giving you an example, the cancer charities, I took the

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leaders of Macmillan Cancer Care and Cancer Research to see the

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minister, and they said for their big projects, the cancer institutes,

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80% would come from rich donors and 20% from general fundraising.

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Anything that hits the potential for wealthy people to give

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generously is damage to go charities. How does it look from

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where you are, you look after a lot of wealthy people's money? People

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plan and people are allowed to plan, we are talking about avoidance that

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is legitimate. The Chancellor himself said in the quote today in

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the Tell knows are the rules. Everyone -- The Telegraph, those

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are the rules. Everyone knows it is legal, but what effect will the

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change have? It will help people come to decisions about how to

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invest. Some of the ail veil bltd is riskier businesses, start-up

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businesses, if there is a loss, the rules say you can write that off

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against your income that year. That could be perhaps write off

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someone's total income, they have made a loss, they invested in

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something riskier, that helps to fuel the economy overall. You would

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accept as a woman of the world, that some people buy these

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businesss to write off tax? sure some people do, I wouldn't

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deny that. There might even be some charities that control things that

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are in the interests of those people who are seeking to put money

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away rather than paying tax? would find that difficult to

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believe. In which case they are acting fraudulently. Charity law,

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there is law that governs charities, they have to act for public benefit.

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This was the most remarkable in the justification by the Prime

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Minister's spokesman today, he said some of these charities didn't seem

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to be doing a lot of charitable activity, that is a matter for the

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Charity Commissioners isn't it? haven't seen the case studies that,

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none of us have. Unfortunately none of us has been allowed to, we have

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been told what the statement is? you are a major donor, and you are

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giving money now, you are making a loss. This is about encouraging

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donations. What we have got to be careful of, and Stephen is right,

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the cases that Stephen has raised are people worried about the

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uncertainty, it is not the policy. This is the Prime Minister's

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spokesman telling us that charities are behaving, by implication,

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uncharityably, dishonestly perhaps? -- unchairably? He didn't say all

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were doing that. He said some? have to be careful to get the

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message across to people who are genuine philanthropists and givers,

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that they should continue to do that. It is cracking down on people

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abusing the system. By giving a lot of money to charity, how are they

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abusing them? You don't know, you are guessing? I could speculate, it

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could be a corporation that has a charitable arm, that is using it to

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avoid national insurance contributions. Apparently these

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were individuals? It could be an individual who has a large business

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empire. I don't know the cases that these are referring to, clearly

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there are people who are very, very wealthy, and using this as part of

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a mechanism for paying no tax. That has got to be wrong. What we have

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got to do is tackle that, but we have to reassure genuine donors, as

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Stephen has said, that they can still carry on giving, and we need

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to provide the certainty, we need to provide the information for them

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to carry on doing that. The problem with what happened today, and it is

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a real shame, suggesting that there are some fraudulent charities, and

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actually not naming them, I mean, if the Prime Minister's spokesman

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wants to give me the names of these charities, I will give them to the

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Charity Commission and they will be investigated and deregistered.

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won't give them to you? I'm sure that's right. The wider issue we

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have to keep a focus on, is the level of tax relief people in the

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top 1% have access to. Our analysis is people earning over �150,000 a

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year, have the equivalent of �15,000 in charitable donations

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tax-free, that is more than some people in the private sector earn.

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What is wrong with an individual who has earned money, deciding that

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they would rather give it to a charity than have George Osborne

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decide to spend it on whatever the equivalent of the hot -- cones hot-

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line is? The individual's decision, what they do with the money they

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have earned, it goes to a common good, one way or another?

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Individuals have a right to do whatever they want. Not according

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to to you? Across the income speck trem people have the right to do

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what they want to do with the money once they have paid the tax

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parliament intends them to pavement that is true for all of us. We all

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pay a certain amount of tax to allow our public services to exist,

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hospitals and schools, beyond that people are allowed to do whatever

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they want with their income. We are arguing that people should pay a

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fair rate of tax, and at the time when the public finances are under

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strain. You haven't said what was wrong with the principle of

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somebody deciding what to do with their own money rather than George

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Osborne? People have the right to decide what to do with their money

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after they have made a legitimate rate of tax, by parliament, 40-50%.

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Let's look in a slightly broader context, what are your clients

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thinking about this country when they see these sorts of measures,

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alorpbg with the other measures in the budget? -- along with the other

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measures in the budget? I think there is huge relief the 50% rate

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is going. We knew it wouldn't collect the amount of tax it was

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intended to, it is just a psychological tipping point. Let's

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leave the question of whether it works or not aside, I'm asking what

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your clients think? They think there is an awful lot of tax. Most

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people aren't leaving, it is heavy, they are counting all the different

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taxes they pay. I think what will start to happen, contrary to what

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we are seeing now, in the same budget a few weeks ago, we saw a

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doubling of the Enterprise Investment Scheme, permissible

:18:06.:18:11.

investment. It was �500,000, now it is �1 million a year, there is

:18:11.:18:13.

healthy tax relief there, to sit that against the restriction on

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relief, it is saying to people if you guide your money this way you

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can have the reliefs, if you are having interest relief and trading

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loss relief, you can't have that. There are still reliefs for the

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people to use, but the Government is guiding them to particular areas.

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It is very, very hard to quite get a handle on this Government, it

:18:31.:18:35.

says it is business friendly and wants to encourage enterprise and

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wealth generation and all the other things it trots out, and yet acts

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like this against the interests of people likely to do that? We have

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to have much more clarity in the tax system. I think what I want to

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ensure is that bad communications don't get in the way of good policy

:18:51.:18:55.

S just to pick up on the point. That is precisely what we have got,

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we don't know any facts, we just know that the Chancellor of the

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Exchequer is apparently astonished that rich people have God

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accountants? I think what we do -- good accountants? I think what we

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do need to do, to bring it back to the charity point. There is lots of

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announcements in previous budgets to support high-value donors,

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leaving money in there as an inheritance and offsetting against

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inheritance tax, leaving it in the wills. But the charity sector wants

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there to be supported, a much broader way of giving. Charities, I

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know as a former charity director, we want to get our mits on money,

:19:33.:19:37.

not just in legacies, but also through the course of their life.

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What we are looking for, I think, is more clarity, from the Treasury,

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about the whole range of ways that people can give. And not just

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pushing them, as Christine says, into one particular direction.

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are sit anything the corner grunting, not just because you are

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the only male in this discussion, perhaps there were other reasons,

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why were you grunting, what was your point? What I kind exorderry I

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began by thinking that they had -- extraordinary, I began by thinking

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they made an honest mistake by including charity donations in the

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cap. It is beginning to looks a though that is not a mistake. It is

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deliberate. It runs counter to the Government's stated aim to

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encourage giving. Up until the budget, they had introduced

:20:24.:20:28.

measures to encourage giving, there was a giving White Paper, which was

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aimed at getting richer people to make a bigger contribution to

:20:32.:20:37.

society. And so, why, I don't understand why they have introduced

:20:37.:20:42.

a measure which will discourage that giving from philanthropists.

:20:42.:20:46.

Do you disagree with the basic principle that there is something

:20:46.:20:51.

healthy for a society, in trying to attract people who are likely to

:20:51.:20:54.

create businesses and generate wealth? Absolutely not. There is no

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evidence at all that the tax regime we currently have in the UK is

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having anything like that effect. Rich people in this country have

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seen their incomes go up by 56% over the last decade, that is far

:21:07.:21:12.

faster than anyone else. Even over the recession, the incomes of the

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top 1% rose by 13%, per hour worked. The rich in this country are doing

:21:17.:21:22.

better than they have done before, they can afford to make a better

:21:22.:21:27.

contribution to our public finances. The richest 10% of this country

:21:27.:21:31.

earn 100% more of the wealth of those at the bottom 10%. The wealth

:21:31.:21:35.

inequalities we have got, are comparable with those we saw over

:21:35.:21:39.

100 years ago. People at the top are doing extremely well, those at

:21:39.:21:44.

the bottom are being hard pressed by the cuts. You concede we haven't

:21:45.:21:49.

seen any real measures likely to significantly deter people from

:21:49.:21:52.

moving here and investing here? can't say who is not coming or say

:21:52.:21:57.

we have seen a mass exodus. We know firms are setting up businesses

:21:57.:22:03.

abroad. We can't see who hasn't arrived. I haven't seen a mass

:22:03.:22:06.

exodus, but at the same time I don't think, we have always allowed

:22:06.:22:12.

people to plan, to plan sensibly. What will solve this is the general

:22:13.:22:16.

anti-avoidance rule for next year. That will deal with abusive schemes.

:22:16.:22:21.

What we have now is interest on buy-to-let properties. When we know

:22:22.:22:26.

that we will reconvene. At last we know who Barack Obama

:22:26.:22:30.

will face in the race to become the most powerful man on earth. It will

:22:30.:22:37.

be the multi-millionaire and one- time Morman missionary, Mitt Romney.

:22:37.:22:41.

His opponent, long a long way behind, was until today, Rick

:22:41.:22:48.

Santorum, the enemy of gay marriage, abortion and climate change. He

:22:48.:22:53.

threw in the towel today. The podium with the uncontentious

:22:53.:22:58.

slogan, the flag the size of the tennis court, and the family

:22:58.:23:01.

assembling. It can only be American presidential politics. And today's

:23:01.:23:06.

big news, well, what everyone was predicting was going to happen, has,

:23:06.:23:10.

in fact, happened. We made a decision over the weekend, that,

:23:10.:23:15.

while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will

:23:15.:23:23.

suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done nighting.

:23:23.:23:27.

Rick Santorum was running a poor second in the race to become the

:23:28.:23:31.

Republican nominee, he has then decided to bow out. But, as is

:23:31.:23:35.

traditional on these occasions, he shall not, he says, be giving up

:23:35.:23:38.

the fight for the future of America. We are going to continue to go out

:23:38.:23:43.

there and fight to make sure that we defeat President Barack Obama,

:23:43.:23:48.

that we win the House back, and that we take the United States

:23:48.:23:52.

Senate and we stand for the values that make us Americans, that make

:23:52.:23:55.

us the greatest country in the history of the world, that shining

:23:55.:24:00.

city on the hill. To be a beacon for everybody for freedom around

:24:00.:24:05.

the world. Thank you all very much, God bless you.

:24:05.:24:08.

Rick Santorum is a social Conservative, with the kind of

:24:08.:24:12.

religious views that appeal to many Republicans. His problem, though,

:24:12.:24:16.

was there weren't enough of those voters to secure him the nomination.

:24:16.:24:20.

Plus, he couldn't compete with his rival's money or organisation. So,

:24:20.:24:25.

we can now be more or less certain that the Republican candidate, who

:24:25.:24:27.

will face Barack Obama in November's election, will be this

:24:27.:24:31.

man, Mitt Romney. Although, two other candidates are

:24:31.:24:36.

still in the race, they pose a negligible threat. Romney's firing

:24:36.:24:41.

his mud at Rick Santorum...Today's News should have a big imtact on

:24:41.:24:45.

the tone of this contest. We -- impact on the tone of this contest.

:24:45.:24:52.

We should see the end of negative ads of someone candidate attacking

:24:52.:24:56.

another, they can save their money for the attack on the democrats,

:24:56.:24:59.

and Mitt Romney can stop worrying about the right flank and nipping

:24:59.:25:04.

away of support. He can concentrate instead on trying to appeal to

:25:04.:25:10.

voters in the centre, especially women, whom he needs to connect

:25:10.:25:15.

with if he wants to become President. There is a struggle

:25:15.:25:19.

within the Republican Party over who is best equipped to lead the

:25:19.:25:23.

party in a next general election. Mitt Romney, the slightly more

:25:23.:25:26.

moderate candidate on most issues won this time around, he still has

:25:26.:25:30.

some fences to mend with the conservative base, by and large he

:25:30.:25:34.

has not been as damaged as he might have been. One encouraging sign for

:25:35.:25:38.

the Republicans, although they trail the President on who voters

:25:38.:25:42.

tell pollsters they would vote for, Mitt Romney has a small lead on who

:25:42.:25:47.

would be best for the economy. I think the White House may be a

:25:47.:25:50.

little overconfident at the moment. They see all these things trend

:25:50.:25:55.

anything their direction, but, not only has the Dow been down for the

:25:56.:25:59.

last five days in a row, but the unemployment numbers weren't as God

:25:59.:26:03.

as they might have been, and have been in the last three months.

:26:03.:26:08.

Democrats are celebrating a little early, Mitt Romney won't be an easy

:26:08.:26:12.

candidate to beat. Now it is time for the Republicans to start

:26:12.:26:18.

building, rather than tearing each other to pieces.

:26:18.:26:25.

I'm joined in Washington by the White House correspondent for

:26:25.:26:27.

Newsweek, Daniel Stone, and also the former member of President

:26:27.:26:31.

Bush's senior staff, Brad Blakeman. What do you think Rick Santorum has

:26:31.:26:36.

done to the presidential campaign? He has certainly brought to life

:26:36.:26:39.

the important issues that are important in the primary process,

:26:39.:26:43.

as well as the electoral process. Remember in America you must be

:26:43.:26:46.

selected by your party before you are elected by the people. Rick

:26:46.:26:50.

Santorum was an effective voice, but now he certainly doesn't have a

:26:50.:26:53.

chance to be nominated. He needs now to do good for the party. The

:26:53.:26:58.

way he can do that is work hard for the House and the Senate, and to

:26:58.:27:02.

get Romney, not only selected, but also elected in the fall. I think

:27:02.:27:08.

he can do that. What do you think he has done to Romney's campaign?

:27:08.:27:12.

Right now there isn't much that he has done to help it. It remains to

:27:12.:27:17.

be seen how he can add value to this campaign, now that he's not in

:27:17.:27:21.

contention for the nomination. me bring in Daniel Stone here, how

:27:21.:27:25.

does it look to you what Rick Santorum has done to the Republican

:27:25.:27:30.

campaign? It is remarkable, if you look at what this man has done.

:27:30.:27:34.

This was someone who was rebuked from his Senate seat in 2006,

:27:34.:27:39.

essentially fired by the people of Pennsylvania, his state, to become

:27:39.:27:42.

one of the most domnaint voices in the campaign over the last two

:27:42.:27:46.

months. He set the tone of this debate, he forced Mr Romney to tack

:27:46.:27:50.

towards the right. To really contend with him on social issues,

:27:50.:27:56.

on real fiscal conservative issues over the past couple of months,

:27:56.:28:00.

where as we know Mitt Romney has been a more conservative candidate

:28:00.:28:05.

and we can expect that in the next coming months. Looking ahead to the

:28:05.:28:09.

presidential campaign and how it will play out, what are the big

:28:09.:28:13.

issues, now we know there the two Titanic figures in it? What will

:28:13.:28:18.

happen now is, we have to lock up the nomination and get the 144

:28:18.:28:23.

delegates to put Romney over the top. -- 1144 delegates to put

:28:23.:28:28.

Romney over the state. Then we need the states to when the general

:28:28.:28:33.

election. Places like Wisconsin and New Hampshire, in order for Romney

:28:33.:28:36.

to be successful and become President, we are only talking

:28:36.:28:39.

about eight or nine states that will actually determine the

:28:39.:28:44.

presidency in 2012. What do you think will be the big

:28:44.:28:51.

battleground between the two men? Those battleground and swing states,

:28:51.:28:54.

they are the only place that it matters. We know Republicans and

:28:54.:28:59.

Conservatives will vote for whoever the nominee is, likely Mitt Romney,

:28:59.:29:01.

Democrats and liberal also go for President Obama. It is those folks

:29:01.:29:05.

in the middle that will be the only one who is matter over the next few

:29:05.:29:08.

months. As you see both candidates moving towards the middle, you hear

:29:08.:29:12.

both of their messages sort of converging, on issues like the

:29:12.:29:15.

economy and foreign policy, they are going to be singing the same

:29:15.:29:19.

tune. They want to go after the same voters. Those are the only

:29:19.:29:24.

ones that will matter. There is one figure we have forgotten in all

:29:24.:29:28.

this conversation, I have forgotten, it is Newt Gingrich, he's still

:29:28.:29:33.

there somewhere, there abouts? still in this race, and he wants to

:29:33.:29:37.

maintain a voice in this campaign. I mean, look, Newt Gingrich has

:29:37.:29:41.

been an influential person in the past. He has been function in this

:29:41.:29:45.

campaign. He has slowly petered off, he knows as soon as he leaves this

:29:45.:29:48.

campaign, as soon as he suspends his campaign, he will no longer be

:29:48.:29:52.

able to get media coverage. He won't be able to influence his

:29:52.:29:56.

supporters at this point. I think he's staying in until he can find

:29:56.:30:00.

an acceptable exit strategy. Brad Blakeman, the question also,

:30:00.:30:04.

the vexed question of which one appeals to the women voters?

:30:04.:30:07.

Clearly Obama has much more leverage with female voters than

:30:07.:30:13.

Mitt Romney does, is that right? That's true, but this too shall

:30:13.:30:18.

change, as the men go head-to-head against each other, we have yet to

:30:18.:30:22.

determine who Romney will pick as a VP which could help in that regard.

:30:22.:30:26.

The jury is out as to whether or not women are going to stick with

:30:26.:30:29.

Obama in light of his record and the economy, which has affected

:30:29.:30:34.

women just as much as men. How do you read it Daniel Stone?

:30:34.:30:38.

have six months at the very least to go before this election, which

:30:38.:30:42.

is a lifetime in politics. The situation now certainly women

:30:42.:30:46.

favour the President more than Mitt Romney. Anything can happen, many

:30:46.:30:49.

things can change, most significantly the economy. I think

:30:49.:30:54.

that's the thing more than any age or gender or class demographics.

:30:54.:31:01.

That will matter most. It was the outcome the cynics

:31:01.:31:04.

predicted and peace makers feared, the deadline for President Assad's

:31:04.:31:07.

troops to stop attacking civilians came and went today.

:31:07.:31:12.

With no let up in the killing, the former secretary-general of the

:31:12.:31:16.

United Nations, Kofi Annan, says he still hopes that peace may fall the

:31:16.:31:22.

day after tomorrow. Opposition leaders fear it may now be too late.

:31:22.:31:27.

This was supposed to be the day the guns fell silent, what happened?

:31:27.:31:29.

is difficult to get the full picture of what is going Onyango

:31:29.:31:34.

the ground in Syria. Syria claims it is complying, and Kofi Annan has

:31:34.:31:38.

said that troops have been withdrawn from some areas, he has

:31:38.:31:44.

also said that appears to be only a repositioning of forces. He says

:31:44.:31:48.

there is credible reports of rolling military operations in

:31:48.:31:51.

population centres. According to opposition activists, Government

:31:51.:31:58.

troops have moved into new areas. That appears to be the case in Homs.

:31:58.:32:03.

We have heard so much about that, a centre of resistance to the regime.

:32:03.:32:07.

Activists have given accounts of shelling in the districts of Bayada,

:32:07.:32:10.

and also in the district of Khalidiya, which we are just seeing

:32:10.:32:20.
:32:20.:32:22.

up there on the map. Glk These are the latest pictures, we are told,

:32:23.:32:27.

of Homs, we can't verify them. Activists say dozens of people have

:32:27.:32:32.

been killed there, and reports of some of the discoveries of bodies,

:32:32.:32:36.

including two families. Hear you can hear people cursing the regime

:32:36.:32:41.

of Bashar al-Assad, you can hear them crying out "God is great".

:32:41.:32:45.

Tanks still here in populated areas. And still, as you can see and hear,

:32:45.:32:49.

actually firing. The violence has not been confined to Homs. There

:32:49.:32:56.

are reports of attacks in deaths of the town of Hama, Deraa, Idlib in

:32:56.:32:59.

the north, and the Government claims it has lost men too. And all

:32:59.:33:03.

this on the day we were supposed to see the beginning of the end of the

:33:03.:33:08.

fighting. Where does this leave Kofi Annan's supposed peace plan?

:33:08.:33:15.

He's been visiting Syrian refugees on a camp on the Sir January-

:33:15.:33:18.

Turkish border today -- Syrian- Turkish border today, he has been

:33:18.:33:22.

trying to sound upbeat. The plan calls for the Government to

:33:22.:33:27.

withdraw troops and heavy weapons, such as tanks, from populated areas.

:33:27.:33:30.

They were supposed to do that by today. That hasn't happened. In the

:33:30.:33:34.

next 48 hours, the ceasefire was supposed to be implemented on the

:33:34.:33:38.

ground. With the onus on the opposition to follow the

:33:38.:33:43.

Government's lead. And then, by 6.00am on Thursday, all forms of

:33:43.:33:49.

violence by all sides is supposed to have stopped. Well Kofi Annan is

:33:49.:33:53.

clearly extremely frustrated with the Syrian regime, he insists his

:33:53.:33:57.

plan is not dead yet. The plan is still on the table, and it is a

:33:57.:34:03.

plan we are all fighting to implement. It is a plan that

:34:03.:34:06.

council has endorsed and the Syrians have endorsed, and from the

:34:06.:34:10.

comments made by the opposition, they are also prepared to go along

:34:10.:34:14.

with it, if the Government makes commitments to pull the troops out.

:34:14.:34:22.

I think the plan is very much alive. If you want to take it off the

:34:22.:34:24.

table, what would you replace it with.

:34:24.:34:28.

That is exactly the problem. The international community really

:34:28.:34:34.

doesn't have anything else up its sleeve to end the fighting. What

:34:34.:34:38.

next? Andrew Green was the British ambassador to Syria, and has

:34:38.:34:43.

maintained a close interest in the country since. Do you think that

:34:43.:34:48.

President Assad's likely to accept Kofi Annan's plan? Not a snowball's.

:34:48.:34:51.

It is absolutely clear that the regime have decided they don't want

:34:52.:34:55.

a ceasefire. They have made a calculation, their calculation is

:34:55.:34:57.

that if there is a ceasefire it will help the opposition. And on

:34:58.:35:02.

the other hand, they think that they can continue to crush them.

:35:02.:35:05.

Brave though they are, the regime think they can crush them. Doesn't

:35:05.:35:12.

he care what the rest of the world thinks? No. Why not? Because his

:35:12.:35:17.

own survival, and the survival of his clan and his power, indeed his

:35:17.:35:20.

actual survival, depends on staying in power. There was a theory, at

:35:20.:35:24.

one point, that perhaps he basically was a decent guy, and he

:35:24.:35:28.

was a prisoner of all the security apparatus, the generals and the

:35:28.:35:33.

other around him, that your belief? Not entirely. I mean he has never

:35:33.:35:36.

run the country in the way his father did. He has always been a

:35:36.:35:40.

figurehead, and the real power has been with those who run the six

:35:40.:35:43.

Intelligence Services and the key military units. He has always been

:35:43.:35:47.

a figurehead, he has never had decisive power. I think nonetheless

:35:47.:35:51.

he made some serious mistakes. I think when this whole thing started

:35:51.:35:56.

he should have been much quicker in meeting the new situation. But he's

:35:56.:36:01.

not the key figure, the key figure is the generals who lie behind this

:36:01.:36:05.

regime. Given the position he's in now, if you think there is no

:36:05.:36:09.

chance of his accepting any kind of ceasefire plan, it's a struggle to

:36:09.:36:16.

the death isn't in? Yes, I'm afraid has exactly the situation. They

:36:16.:36:18.

know if they lose power they will lose their lives. And they will,

:36:18.:36:22.

therefore, continue to crush the opposition for as long as the army

:36:22.:36:27.

remains loyal. Now part of that army are from their own clique, the

:36:27.:36:32.

Alawites, part of them are Sunnis. But you see, even the Sunnis in the

:36:32.:36:38.

army now have a lot of blood on their hands. They must hesitate

:36:38.:36:42.

before they could contemplate a change of regime in Syria. It is

:36:42.:36:47.

going to have a violent end, then? I'm afraid that we are on a

:36:47.:36:52.

slippery slope towards civil war. And one that could indeed spread to

:36:52.:36:56.

Lebanon and perhaps Iraq. It is interesting, isn't it, when you see,

:36:56.:37:00.

I don't know, were you ambassador at the time when Jack Straw went

:37:00.:37:04.

there, he was just after you? was later, yes. When you remember

:37:04.:37:08.

those pictures, there clearly was a time when western Governments

:37:08.:37:13.

thought he was turnable, that he was perhaps a force for good. There

:37:13.:37:16.

was some potential there, was that just a misreading of everything, or

:37:16.:37:20.

what? Not entirely. I think there was a time, and there was some hope

:37:20.:37:24.

that Syria would very gradually change to a lighter regime. And it

:37:24.:37:29.

did, for a period. Years ago, before he came to power, you didn't

:37:29.:37:32.

even discuss politics, because it was too dangerous. After he had

:37:32.:37:36.

been in power about five years, you could discuss politics privately.

:37:36.:37:41.

The deal was that's OK, but you start organising and you're in jail

:37:41.:37:45.

and you will be beaten up. So there was some improvement. What has

:37:45.:37:48.

happened is when the Arab Spring started to take place, which nobody

:37:48.:37:52.

foresaw a year ago. Then their reaction to that, their defensive

:37:52.:37:55.

reaction to that has been absolutely vicious, as you have

:37:55.:38:01.

seen. Do you think, you would have to include yourself among them, the

:38:01.:38:06.

west was niave in characterising Bashar al-Assad as a person who was

:38:06.:38:10.

potentially a force for something other than the repression of his

:38:10.:38:13.

father? No, I don't think so. There was a time when there could have

:38:13.:38:17.

been, and indeed there was, some gradual progress towards a softer

:38:17.:38:22.

regime. They would always want to stay in power, qet is the

:38:22.:38:28.

viciousness that they needed d the question is the viciousness they

:38:28.:38:34.

needed to stay in power, what has changed is the threat tho their

:38:34.:38:37.

continued existence of the -- to their continued existence through

:38:37.:38:41.

the Arab Spring, has caused them to take the stand you see every night

:38:41.:38:45.

on the television. So they have changed? I don't think the people

:38:45.:38:49.

behind him have changed particularly, once threatened they

:38:49.:38:52.

have reacted with unspeakable viciousness.

:38:52.:38:57.

Thank you. Now, in youth culture, nothing

:38:57.:39:02.

succeeds like excess, from Elvis to Eminem, singers have grown rich by

:39:02.:39:07.

scandalising their elders to sell music to their children. The latest

:39:07.:39:13.

development from a gang of Los Angeles rappers called Oddie, or as

:39:13.:39:18.

their aunties know them, Oddie, is slight low different. They are

:39:18.:39:22.

gaifg their and I way their music and -- giving away their music and

:39:22.:39:30.

charging large amounts for merchandise. Is this the future of

:39:30.:39:37.

rock'n'roll? Hundreds of teenagers, forming an orderly queue, in order

:39:37.:39:46.

to go shopping. Maybe this is the future of

:39:46.:39:50.

rock'n'roll. Los Angeles rappers, Odd Future, the critics seem to

:39:50.:39:54.

think so. # Excuse the swag

:39:54.:39:57.

# I'm trying to tone it down # I guess we looking like the

:39:57.:40:05.

living dead Perhaps it is a bit of both.

:40:05.:40:09.

These are fans of Odd Future, who are waiting to moat their heros at

:40:09.:40:13.

a defunct store off Brick Lane in East London.

:40:13.:40:18.

For a couple of days only, while the band is in town, it is a pop-up

:40:18.:40:25.

shop, selling their merchandise. What are you selling today? Some

:40:25.:40:30.

jeans? There is a hoodie with my face on it, you should buy that.

:40:30.:40:36.

I did all of these in 24 hours, I did 300 T-shirts in 24 hours.

:40:36.:40:44.

All hand done. What will they be retailing at today? I think it is

:40:44.:40:50.

like �100. Are there any washing instructions here?

:40:50.:40:54.

# We open three hours. Odd Future are in the remarkable

:40:54.:40:58.

position of being a hit band who haven't sold any records, or hardly

:40:58.:41:03.

any. Instead they have given away 20 all comes worth of songs on-line,

:41:03.:41:09.

so the merch, as it is known, is a vital element of their income. You

:41:09.:41:11.

guys are pretty tired, you have been working hard and travelling a

:41:11.:41:16.

lot? We have been doing this every other day, these store openings and

:41:16.:41:19.

we have shows, it's all right though.

:41:19.:41:25.

# To have some type of knowledge # That is one perception

:41:25.:41:32.

# Knowing you own your opponent When they are not hucktering

:41:32.:41:37.

product, they write tracks that don't get played on the radio,

:41:37.:41:42.

their lyrics are too provocative or puerile, depending on what you

:41:42.:41:45.

think. Their young fans, who follow them on-line, seem to like it best

:41:46.:41:50.

about them. They are more aggressive, they

:41:50.:41:53.

don't care what they say, they say anything they feel like, and they

:41:53.:41:58.

get away with it. Why is that appealing to you, would you like to

:41:58.:42:03.

be able to do the same? I have heard a lot worse lyrics. Do you

:42:03.:42:09.

think it is tongue-in-cheek, or do they mean it? They don't mean it.

:42:09.:42:14.

Where do mum and dad think you are now? Geography trip. I'm on a

:42:14.:42:23.

geography trip right now. What are you studying? Urban...Renewal!

:42:23.:42:27.

Rebels or sell-outs, both? We explored the paradoxs of Odd Future

:42:28.:42:31.

on stage before a recent show in London.

:42:31.:42:39.

What about your lyrics? What about them? What are you saying your

:42:39.:42:46.

lyrics? Stuff to piss off old white people like you. I'm sorry, my

:42:46.:42:52.

lyrics aren't offensive. Some people find them offensive? Some

:42:53.:42:58.

people find everything offensive. OK. What about this hard sell you

:42:58.:43:02.

do with your merchandise, we were in that shop yesterday, you had

:43:02.:43:07.

kids queuing up since 4.00am, they couldn't take a picture of you, did

:43:07.:43:13.

you know that? They couldn't? Yes they could. I thought you had guys

:43:13.:43:20.

saying don't take any pictures? I don't care. He's just a hard ass,

:43:20.:43:24.

we take pictures with most of the kids in the shop. Some want four

:43:24.:43:29.

pictures and nine autographs. does the pop-up shop work, is the

:43:29.:43:32.

idea you can't necessarily make so much money from records? We pop up

:43:32.:43:38.

wherever we at, set up shop, slam, and make our money, and we dip,

:43:38.:43:42.

ain't nobody taking no taxs from us, no cuts.

:43:42.:43:47.

Not paying taxes, that is for rich, British people, do Odd Future pay

:43:47.:43:56.

tax or don't they? 100%. Check your account some day? Anybody can.

:43:56.:43:59.

There is no marketing, it is exposing it at the right place at

:43:59.:44:05.

the right time. When you have kids that are completely themselves, you

:44:05.:44:09.

don't necessarily market it, you take who they are and expose it, it

:44:09.:44:17.

is not like a push. A collectors item clean performance

:44:17.:44:21.

by Odd Future, haven't we been here before. Some say the band are a

:44:21.:44:31.
:44:31.:44:32.

case of old wine in new bottles. Or maybe that's old dope in new bongs.

:44:32.:44:37.

We have been here throughout rock'n'roll history, it is only

:44:37.:44:43.

since Britpop it has been predicated on this all-ages-welcome

:44:43.:44:47.

philosophy, before that was it was pitting generations against each

:44:47.:44:55.

other. That dates back to Elvis upsetting people. In that sense,

:44:55.:45:02.

yeah, Odd Future exist in a tradition of creating outrage.

:45:02.:45:07.

Tomorrow morning's front pages, the Mail and the Telegraph, to follow

:45:07.:45:12.

in a a second or two, both lead with the story we were covering

:45:12.:45:14.

earlier which is restrictions on the amount of money rich people can

:45:14.:45:21.

give to charities. Other papers, the Times.

:45:21.:45:25.

It leads on news of a fascinating story in China. Paul Mason is here,

:45:25.:45:31.

what is it about? In November, a British businessman, Neil Heywood

:45:31.:45:35.

was found dead in a hotel room in China. Tonight the wife of probably

:45:35.:45:39.

the third most powerful politician in China has been charged with his

:45:39.:45:46.

murder, that third most powerful politician, the boss of the City of

:45:46.:45:53.

Chung ching has been sacked from the Polek Bureau, regard lisence of

:45:53.:45:56.

the rights and wrongs in the murder investigation, we have a power

:45:56.:46:01.

struggle at the very heart of the communist party in the second most

:46:01.:46:06.

powerful country in the world. power struggle which we know about

:46:06.:46:11.

zero? Not much, we can guess. We know for many years there has been

:46:11.:46:14.

two factions in the chuen niece communist party, the pro-market one

:46:14.:46:19.

and the socially democratic one, which is allowed to a called Maoist

:46:19.:46:25.

left, which he's the leading example. What he did was not be

:46:25.:46:29.

part of this faction struggle, he stepped out of the rules. The rules

:46:29.:46:33.

were you never appear over the heads of the party to the masses.

:46:33.:46:42.

He had been appealing to the masses in Chung Ching using rhetoric from

:46:42.:46:48.

the cultural revolution, he had some book stores and websites

:46:48.:46:52.

supporting him, they have closed down. I visited the book store.

:46:52.:46:56.

Anybody who knows about Stalinist purges, this is classic purge, the

:46:56.:47:00.

problem is, we don't know how these things end in the modern world, how

:47:00.:47:03.

do theyend? Thank you very much Paul. Also on the front pages of

:47:03.:47:07.

the FT and elsewhere. That is all from Newsnight tonight, time' told

:47:07.:47:13.

goodies tomorrow at the usual time. -- I'm told goodies tomorrow at the

:47:13.:47:23.
:47:23.:47:41.

Good evening, a few showers would continue overnight, for many it

:47:41.:47:45.

would be a dry, chilly start for Wednesday morning. As temperatures

:47:45.:47:51.

rise under the largely bright continues, the shower clouds will

:47:51.:47:55.

build, some heavy and thundery. Persistent cloud and rain, it is

:47:56.:47:59.

inland we will start to see heavy and thundery showers develop,

:47:59.:48:02.

particularly from the Pennines, Midlands, eastwards, this is where

:48:02.:48:08.

the focus will be. The winds will be light and slow-moving.

:48:08.:48:11.

Variations in rainfall, across the south west and through western

:48:11.:48:15.

parts of Wales, I fancy very few showers into the afternoon, most

:48:15.:48:19.

staying dry and bright, with longer spells of sunshine by the coast.

:48:19.:48:22.

Temperatures with many 10-14, nice in the sunshine, cool when the

:48:23.:48:25.

showers go through. Scattering of showers through Wales, not the

:48:25.:48:28.

number we saw through Tuesday afternoon. While the showers are

:48:28.:48:32.

possible in Scotland, the-iest will be across central and eastern areas,

:48:32.:48:36.

wintry over the hills as well. Wednesday into Thursday, across

:48:36.:48:39.

northern areas, sunshine and showers mix, but across northern

:48:39.:48:43.

Scotland you can see in Inverness, thicker cloud bringing longer

:48:43.:48:47.

spells of rain. Further south the showers could get heavier Wednesday

:48:47.:48:50.

into Thursday, still very much hit and miss, some places staying

:48:50.:48:53.

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