13/12/2012 Newsnight


The UK government agrees to pay 2.2m pounds to a Libyan dissident and his family. An end of term report on free schools. And why government cleaners will get the living wage.

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More than �2 million, for a man forced on to a plane, imprisoned in


Libya, and claims he was tortured. Has the Government payout done


enough to save the reputation of the Secret Intelligence Service?


MI6 might want to move on, but it is hardly going to end there.


Others are suing, and the service will face police and judicial


inquiries into Hirst its conduct. An end of term report on free


schools, it was the Education Secretary's big idea, have the new


kids delivered, and what does the competition think? I think they


feel we are a threat, and they are worried about the competition. I


think they find that, for them, it is a challenge.


Is it healthy or unhealthy competition? We will be debating


that. After cleaners dropped letters on


to the minister's desk at the Department of Work and Pensions,


they are to get pay rise to the living wage. Can anyone other than


the public sector and big companies afford to pay it. Two small


business owners here, one who pays the living wage, and another would


Good evening, it is a lot of money for the Government to pay up in


case where they have not admitted any liability. Sami Al-Saadi, an


opponent of the late Colonel Gaddafi, said the Government were


involved in rendition for him in 2004, along with his family, where


he says he was tortured. He may remember last year that William


Hague said accusation that is MI5 and MI6 had colluded in the ill-


treatment of detainees. The apparent abduction happened when


Tony Blair was engaged in an entente cordiale with Colonel


Gaddafi. Britain's relations with Libya have


gone from good to bad and back again. And done so more than once.


People were bound to get caught out in that ebb and flow, and in 2011,


it went sour for MI6. Documents detailing their co-operation with


Libyan intelligence, were recovered from an HQ, as revolutionary


sources feesed Tripoli. Wn told the tale of a Libyan Islamist militant


called Abu Munthir. This was a none deGurerre for Sami Al-Saadi. He was


detained on a rendition flight. When I arrived to the aircraft door,


they handcuffed me and my wife. 2004, Mr Al-Saadi and his family


had gone to Hong Kong, he says he was lured there, only to be


detained on passport violations. British intelligence officers


contacted the Libyan authorities to tell them that the Al-Saadi family


were in detention and might be transferred to Libya. A Libyan


aircraft was dispatched as far as the Maldives, before it became


apparent that the Hong Kong authorities wouldn't allow it to


land. The CIA stepped in, offering to charter a plane to deliver the


detainee, but said that any help was contingent that Abu Munthir and


his family, will be treated humanely. Eventually the means were


found to get them to Libya, where he remained in jail for more than


five years. British intelligence officers visited him there.


British team, two people, one lady and one man. They came to see me.


Did you tell them you were being tortured? I couldn't, because I was


being tortured again. I can't say what I want.


At the time of Sami Al-Saadi's rendition, Britain and Libya had


become friends again. After paying out compensation to the victims of


Lockerbie, Colonel Gaddafi welcomed Tony Blair to his country. Trade


deals were done, and so were favours granted in the intelligence


business. A second leading member of the militant Libyan Jihadist


underground, Abdel Hakin Belhaj, was also bundled on a plane, and is


now seeking compensation. We wanted the British Government to apologise


for what it did against us. And for the injustice against us and the


mistakes made against us. Especially from the British


Intelligence Services. The Foreign Secretary at the time has, in the


past, denied authorising the Libyan renditions. Not only did we not


agree with it, we were not complicit in it, nor did we turn a


blind eye to it. No Foreign Secretary can know all the details


of what its intelligence agencies are doing at any one time. However,


sources in Whitehall have stressed that the transfers of Mr Al-Saadi


and Belhaj, were signed off, by political masters. Today Mr Straw


Where does it end? The management of MI6 has been anxious to contain


the reputational damage from these Libyan cases, and avoid revealing


battles in UK courts. The Libyans - - Libyans' lawyers in this country


insist that shouldn't be the end of it. We need an inquiry into this


case, the Metropolitan Police are carrying on a criminal decision,


which goes right to the highest level of ministers, about


complicity in these potential crimes. That's the first step. But


then we really do need to know, both in this case, and generally,


if it was just what happened under the Blair regime, and in the


alliance with Bush, then, we need to know that too. Sami Al-Saadi has


said he accepted �2 million to prevent further suffering for his


family, and to fund their education. The British Government has learnt


its lessons from this saga too. There are plenty in the


intelligence business who argue that MI6 may now follow the law so


closely, that its ability to co- operate with others has been


undermined. First of all, you talked about, as


it were, staunching the reputational damage of MI6, will


this be enough? I think that's been the aspiration of their management


for some time. But people who were involved in the secret aspects of


these cases know, that they are going to be under scrutiny,


possibly for years to come, from the police investigation and also


there is a judicial inquiry under way. Now, as far as I can tell,


they seem to think that they might well be vindicated by those


inquiries, they feel they acted within the law at the time, and


therefore, they regard today's payout as not a particularly


positive or good thing, because it appears to cast doubt about the


behaviour that they saw as being quite legitimate. They now feel


compromised. �2.2 million of public money being handed out is quite a


lot of money. Do you think that this, for the Government at the


moment, this is the least worst option? The problem is things have


got tangled up, there is the Justice and Security Bill, being


debated at the moment. It is deeply politically controversial. Some


people in the secret world had been hoping that if this went through,


this would be safeguards against full disclosure, in civil cases,


and there would be other safeguards in criminal case, that would


prevent them having to reveal everything that plaintiffs might


want in some of these cases. There is a feeling that perhaps they


settled on this one, because they didn't want to have to contest this


case under existing rules. Because they have come a cropper before?


They have had to settle before. Thank you very much, with me is Ben


Emmerson QC, a human rights bars te, and the UN special raptor on human


rights and counter terrorism. Let's be clear the Government has


made no admission of liability on this one? That is absolutely right,


one needs to approach these things with caution and an open mind. What


your viewers will recall is in January last year, the inquiry set


up by David Cameron, under the chairmanship of Sir Peter Gibson,


was wound up precisely because of these two cases. Mr Belhaj's case


and Mr Al-Saadi's case, while police investigations continued.


The results of those investigations are not yet known. What we do know


is that two key documents that were found amongst the office in the


office of Mussa Kussa, following the fall of Tripoli, are the


smoking guns. When one sees the documents, and they are very, very


specific, they are some what more than smoking guns, they are a gun


with two smoking barrels. One is the memorandum from Sir Mark Alan,


then head of MI6's counter terrorism department, to Moussa


Kussa, formally acknowledging that he was responsible for the


rendition of Mr Belhaj. And decribing him as "air-cargo", the


other was the United States cable to the same effect in Mr Al-Saadi's


case. Do you think this is keeping all the intelligence out of court,


as Mark says? There is no question of that happening in this case. In


January, when Ken Clarke, the Justice Secretary, wound up the


Gibson Inquiry, he announced once the cases had been fully


investigated by the police, there would be a further judicial inquiry


into these cases. Are you disappointed that Mr Al-Saadi is


settled? No, I understand exactly why he has been settled, and I have


been in close consultation with his lawyers. I'm due to report on this


and other cases to the human rights council in March. Mr Al-Saadi had


four children, my understanding is that the offer that the UK


Government made was its first offer, that is the first point. It was an


awful of �2.2 million, first of all, secondly, it was an awful that it


was intended to xen -- an offer that was intended to compensate him


and his family. Had he chosen to fight on, it was clear to him and


made clear to him that the compensation to his children would


not be paid. Now we are in a situation where Mr Belhaj will not


settle? Mr Belhaj has made it absolutely clear that he intends to


continue to a final decision. Can I say this h this isn't just about


money, this isn't just about individual actions against the


Government, or the reputation of MI6. But they may be vindicated?


don't think there is any doubt that there was British and US Government


involvement in the transfer of these two men to Libya. Nor any


doubt that they were tortured during the course of their


detention in Libya. What the consequences of that are remain now


to be seen. You are pulling together all this for your report


in Geneva in March. But actually, it doesn't have any clout, does it,


in terms of US and British politicians? The position is this,


for a decade now, the crimes committed by the Bush era CIA and


the proxies in Europe, have gone -- proxys in Europe, have gone


shielded by the Government's in Europe. Now, just as we speak today,


that dam is beginning to crack. What happens next? What happens


today, apart from this case, is a decision of the European Court of


Human Rights, finding that Macedonia was responsible for rend


diction and, indeed, that the CI -- rendition, and indeed, the CIA


inserted a truncheon into the anus of a man called Al-Masseri and they


have said that Macedonia was responsible there. There are cases


since Poland and Romania. Although the UK is not involved in any of


those, what is clear is the web of interaction between those states is


finally becoming under the light of public accountability. Thank you


very much indeed. Like Chairman Mao moo, we have


embarked on a long -- Chairman Mao, we have embarked on a long March to


improve our schools system. It is two years since Michael Gove set


off on the March, and the free school systems has started, 79


opened and more to come. What is the impact on the children who


attend, the performance of the school, and the wider college of


schools. This is an end of term report.


Earlier this year Paul and Debbie Edwards made a difficult decision,


they took their 12-year-old daughter Rebecca, out of an


established local secondary school, where she had settled in, and put


her in a brand new free school near their home in Cheshire. I really,


really didn't want to come of the I wouldn't even touch the blazer or


anything, I didn't want to come. I didn't want to leave all my new


friends in the other school. after a term in the new school,


she's happy. Mum and dad persuaded me and said it was best for me. It


is like going to another home. It is nothing to be worried about.


far, there are just 38 pupils in Sandymoor School in Runcorn. That's


up from 19 at the start of term, and the headteacher says it is in


line with his plans. 21 of them are, like Rebecca, in year eight, they


have left other local secondary schools. There is a small amount of


people in each class, so it's like more one-to-one, and more help, and


the teachers make the lessons really good. They are really


friendly. And they don't treat you like children, they treat you like


adults, and if you respect them they will respect you back. For now,


the school is in temporary classrooms, thanks to capital


funding from the Department for Education, they should have a new


building here, in this adjoining field, by 2014, with room, they say,


for 900 children. It was a very hard decision, because it was just


an open field, it was absolutely a brand-new school, no Ofsted reports,


em. It was moving her away from her friends, she had settled into the


school she was in. It was a hard decision, but you have to do what's


best for your kids, you think. According to the Government, free


schools are set up in response to local demand, to improve education


for children in a community. They are competition for established


schools. What is your relationship like with the other local secondary


schools? Hmmph. Em, formal and professional. I think that they


feel we are a threat, I think they are worried about that competition.


I think they find that, for them, it is a challenge. For me it is


more about collaboration, it is more about how we can work together,


it is about young people, not small politics. The income of all schools


depends on how many pupils they have. They get funding directly


from the Department for Education, around �5,000 per head per year, in


this local authority, Halton. Here in Halton there is currently a


surplus of secondary school places, that is the way the free school


policy was intended to work. Partly by creating new kinds of schools,


partly by introducing real choice for parents, real competition


between schools. So pushing them to raise their standards. So, what


impact is the new free school having on other schools here?


going to burn some magnesium powder and compare rates of reaction.


miles from Sandymoor is The Heath, an outstanding school, according to


Ofsted, it is a big school, 250 pupils per year. They are moving


with the times, they have become an academy and starting their own


sixth form. The free school is not a threat to them, they say. As far


as The Heath goes, we are far from the free school, we are our ethos


and aims, I wouldn't be worried about it. I think we work really


well in collaboration with other schools. I can't comment how other


heads feel, I know there are surplus places in Runcorn schools


at the moment. That is a problem for schools? It could be a problem


for some schools. Two schools are most likely to be affected by the


free school, both with GCSE results below average. Neither was


available to talk to us. The local authority says if the free school


does expand, as planned, then other schools might have to cut teaching


posts and subjects. What I'm interested in is the impact on


other schools, we want every school in Halton to be a success. We also


have a responsibility for the pupils attending our schools today,


that their future education isn't threatened by their school not


being viable, or a large number of surplus placess, or money being


removed from their budgets, which otherwise would have gone to them.


Across the River Mersey, and to the north, lies the authority of


knowsly, while Halton's -- Knoosley, while Halton's results were the


highest in the area, their's are the lowest. The Government is


trying to get local people to support the idea of a free school.


That is how free school ideas are brought into being, there is no


central planning. Some parents believe schools should


improve by working more closely together, rather than by competing.


Stuart, on the piano, and Logan, on the violin, go to a North London


primary school that was forced to become an academy. Now, out of


local authority control, it is part of the Harris Federation. Their


mother, opposes free schools? want all children to have a good


education at their local school, now that some parents can form a


group and decide we're going to have this type of school for our


children. It is unfair. Schools in London have improved, thanks to the


London challenge programme, where schools, and local authorities work


together. It is not terrible, the education system here, it is not,


it is actually a success story. The secondary schools in London are a


massive success story, and the primaries aren't terrible.


Harris Federation say they run a family of schools, which support


each other to improve. London's population is growing, approaching


its record high. London councils estimate they will need 90,000


extra school places within the next four years. So free schools in the


capital are less about providing parental choice, and competition


between schools, and more about satisfying basic need.


This new free school in Enfield, down the road from the Williams


family, was so oversubscribed, they ended up taking two reception


classes instead of one. To Rachel Wolf, who helped make free schools


a reality, it is a sign that the policy works. But although nearly


200 free schools have been approved, or opened, there are around 23,000


schools in England. She believes there must be more to make a bigger


impact. What we would really like to see going forward, is to


increase the flexibility of the programme. Particularly around


sites and Prom sis, which remains the big -- premises, which remains


the biggest challenge for groups across the country when opening a


school. If they could increase the flexibility in allocated capital


funding, you will see even more free schools coming forward.


Not all free schools have been successful. Two failed to open this


year, they hadn't enroled enough pupils. Others are not yet full.


Many have had difficulty finding sites. If there is urgent need,


local authorities sometimes support free schools, it is often the


easiest, quickest, cheapest way to get extra school place. But they


don't want to see them in areas where there is a surplus already.


What we would like to see is Government aproving free schools,


primarily where that will meet the basic need in the local area. And


secondly, where it creates surplus places to add competition in into


the community of local schools. Where there is such a desperate


shortage of school place, in London and the south-east of England and


across cities in the UK, we should be spending the money there first,


and locking at those areas where there is already maybe -- looking


at those areas where there is already 20% surplus places in the


free school systems afterwards. Government gave the free school


policy a boost this month, by promising money for 100 more. The


Department for Education told us they would be in areas where there


is the greatest pressure for school place, and that the majority of


free schools were in areas of basic need. They said they had no plans


to review the schools approved to open next year and beyond.


We did ask for a Government minister to appear on the programme,


to discuss their flagship free schools policy, none was available.


With me are the headteacher of the Bedford Free School, and parent and


former teacher, who is trying to open a new free school in Oxford,


Lucy Rhys a parent governor from Camden, where the schools have the


best Ofsteds in the country. And the headteacher of the West Bridge


Ford School. In your free school, what does it have that other free


schools have? We have deliberately gone out of our way to offer


something different to local parents. We are a secondary school


in an area with middle and upper schools for children. We are


smaller. It is not about competition? It is about giving


parents and students more choice and diversity. You heard Andrew


Green-Howard saying he has a professional relationship with the


local authority school, but he is seen as a threat? I don't see it


like that. Only this morning I was in the secondary school Heads'


meeting, we are working together like any other schools in the


family of schools. We are collaborating over things we have a


common interest in. That is always what has been done. People can


worry about new schools, but the evidence is that we are all getting


in there and getting stuck in like everybody else. From your point of


view, presume blie it is about choice, if it is all about choice -


- -- presumably it is about choice, and if it is all about choice, you


might not have the right provision? I don't think there is a


headteacher in the country that would want children to have to


select their school because they have no choice, and they have to.


That is the case for a lot of people at the moment? There is the


case for the free schools, and we would have to welcome free schools


into the education system, if they provide choice for parents,


particularly where there is need and there aren't enough secondary


school places. That, for me, the free school, would be a positive


outcome of the agenda. In your own area, you have good reports, there


is sufficient provision, and so you don't want free schools in your


area? As I say, I don't mind, and I don't object to choice. In my


particular circumstances, there are actually 12 secondary schools


within a three-mile radius, we are an outstanding school, and we are


confident that parents will still want to send their children to us.


Where you don't have a need for pupil places, and where there isn't


an issue to do with standards, is that the right place for a free


school. So basically what you are saying is you should only have free


school where there is a problem with the provision that exists at


the moment, you shouldn't have a free school where you have a school


like your's, doing well in Ofsted reports and whatever. It is not


necessarily about choice, it is about filling a gap? Well, as I'm


saying, I think there is plenty of choice, certainly in our area


already. But I'm really reflecting the DEFT criteria when they are


looking at free school, they do focus on is there enough school


provision in the area, and what is the standard of the local schools


in the area. You are trying to open a school, you have had one bash at


it so far. Why are you so desperate to have a free school? We're in


Oxford and there is a compelling need for more school places. By


2014, when we plan to open, there will be 200 places too few in the


system. There is a genuine and statistical need for more places,


we are asking -- answering a need in the city and improving the


outcome for the kids. You are a teacher and very well best placed


to know what to do about creating a free school, are you saying that


actually rather than improve the local authority provision, you need


a free school to, in a sense, to up their provision, is it about that.


Is it about driving everybody upwartds? We have been careful not


to use the word "choice" or "competition", we don't think it is


about choice but good local schools for everybody. There is a need for


more schools in the city, the schools in the city are trying to


improve, and there is good teachers trying to improve their schools. I


wish them well in doing. That we are not in competition with them.


There is scope, they recognise this, to improve what they are doing,


they recognise the challenge. is the case that is thrs not enough


provision, that is why you -- there is not enough provision, that is


why you can start a free school, but it is an issue with the kind of


provision? We are answering both of those issues, there are free


schools where they are not, one of the unfortunate things is there is


an opportunity with this policy, and the academy programme, to


increase the amount of innovation in the system, there should be more.


Therefore, surely what you want to do in Oxford is what you should


support? I don't support it. It is not needed. My children go to


schools in Camden, a recent Ofsted report said that children who live


in Camden have the best chance in the whole of Britain to go to a


good or outstanding school, our schools are controlled by the local


authority who do a brilliant job. What I think, this gentleman...What


Happens when you are in schools in areas where, as was said, the


provision is neither sufficient to the need, or indeed, as far as he's


concerned, challenging enough? Government has decided that the


only new schools it is going to build are free schools and


academies, that is a policy. There is no reason why money couldn't be


given to his local authority, the Government has decided against that.


That is a political and ideolgical decision. It is really interesting,


everyone wants their children and the children in the local area to


go to really good local schools, no-one is arguing against that. The


key thing for me is, who are the people best placed to decide what


is the right kind of school for their child? Experts? I think you


should come to talk to the nearly 200 set of familiar a parents who


sent their children to our school. I think the idea that other people


know better than them what is right for their child, they might find a


little bit patronising. I have just had such good experiences of the


people who run my local school. My children go to, I have two children


in the school system, one is too young for school, basically,


particularly the older child, the school is fantastic, they work very


closely, one of the things I like particularly about the way it


operates, it offers a joined-up service. If your child needs extra


service, it gets it and joins up with other agencies. Maybe a free


school could do that. But there is a co-ordinated approach to


education that I like. Listening to this from your perspective here,


what we seem to be saying, certainly from this point of view,


is actually people are losing faith in local authorities to make the


best provision for the children, not necessarily in Camden, that is


what you are saying. Not necessarily in your school. But do


you accept that some people actually do not trust the local


authority to be the best provider? Yes, I'm sure there are examples of


that around the country, where local authorities have failed local


parents for many, many years. I would emphasise the point with free


schools, they can work and be very successful, where there is a lack


of school place provision in the area. Or that schools themselves in


those areas have been failing parents for some time. Where you do


have very good local schools, providing high-quality education


for parents, and where there isn't the need for school places, then


actually they can have a destablising effect on those


excellent skoolgs. A destablising - - Schools. A destablising effect?


No, where we came along there was a balance in the supply of places,


and we have created another 100 places per year group. That is


undoubtedly having an affect on local schools, as we are adjusting.


It might have a detrimental effect, it might be that those schools are


deemed to fail and the budgets close, that is the market then?


some parts of the town the children weren't going to local schools and


driving miles to go everywhere else. While we have above the average


number of free school meals, they have had those coming from the


independent sector, to bring more students into state education, I


think that is a fantastic thing. The free schools are doing that.


don't think you need the free school, you can support local


authorities f a local authority isn't doing well, why can't it be


supported, why can't the moneying shared out. We have in Camden, you


have heads that will go, our head at Toriano free school is going to


another school to help them improve, why not have people working


together to help the local authority, I want to see schools


sharing. There is generations of attempts to improve the school


system, the national strategies did great work, it has hit a wall. I


think there is an opportunity for innovation and fresh blood into the


system. We need to look at how we can einvolve the school system.


Isn't it the case -- Evolve the school system. It is on the fringes


and it seems a middle-class endeavour, if free schools are


going to provide a proper alternative, there needs to be a


critical mass, as Rachel Wolf says, there needs to be more. At the


moment we are around about 450,000 school places short, and the free


schools will only provide 250,000 of those. Maybe we do need to do


more. I think the key thing I want to say is that the structural


school does not in any way preclude, innovation, working together. By


opening up the system to new groups coming in. Two thirds of new


schools being opened are teacher groups like mine. The Government


set them up for competition t but you guys are saying where they are


is where there is a lack of provision? In our case that is not


the case. Our standards at 16 are well below the national average,


and what drove us on, three years ago, a group of teachers talking


together, the idea that by the time a child has sat their GCSEs they


have spent 14,000 hours in the classroom, and I don't know how


many tens of thousands of pounds invests in theired education, do we


really think that only 55% of our children in our country are capable


of reading and writing and adding up. Absolutely not, the teachers


are great and schools are great, we need to get closer to every child


achieving that. What I see about free schools, you are a passionate


educator and a nice guy, what is worrying is business will move in


on it. Most parents like myself haven't the time or energy to set


up school, but there are lots of big companies out there gag to go


get their hand on education budgets. That is my fear about them. That is


why decided today get on board. We are worn out people trying to do


this t the reason we are doing it is because there is a window at the


moment, whether for-profit comes into schools and the academy chains,


that are waiting, at the moment we can control the process as parents.


Five months ago the cleaning staff of the Department of Work and


Pensions left letters on the ministerial desk they cleaned,


complaining about their wages. Now, rather than the minimum wage, their


demands are to be met, and they will be paid a living wage, that is


�7.45 in London, and less outside London. Is this a new kind of


bargaining power, directly where it hurts. What if you are not a big


public employer or a large company, could your company cope with such


demand, and should the minimum wage just go. We will hear from two


owners of smaus small business, one who pays a living -- of small


business, one who pays a living wage and one that doesn't. What do


you want for clis mass? -- Christmas? For these people,


campaigning outside the Department for Work and Pensions in London, it


is a pay rise, that is what they have done. 450 low-paid catering


and cleaning staff, working for the Government's contractors, will,


from April 2014, get paid what is known as the living wage.


At the moment the national minimum wage for those over 21 is �6.19 an


hour, employers have to pay this by law. Over the past few years, a


campaign has grown to say this isn't nearly enough to live on.


�7.45 is the figure we're told that is required to meet the normal


costs of living. It is called the living wage, and it is higher in


London, at �8.55 an hour. Although there are clearly tidings


of great joy here at the DWP tonight. Let's be clear on what


happened, the DWP maintained they didn't make it a condition that the


company pay their workers more. And the company says, that they are


absorbing the full costs. It is difficult to make the case that


this is a profound shift in Government or party policy. No,


what we might be witnessing here, though, is a shift in industrial


power in Britain, the rise of something like soft industrial


power. The living wage campaign gained


national prominence over the summer, when Newsnight reported that


Government cleaner, Valdimar venture ra, had left a letter on


Nick Clegg's desk asking for the living wage.


He was moved on, but Nick Clegg has written and asked him to return.


This has caused a lot of problems. I didn't sleep in two months. My


wages were down, my families as well -- family's as well, I have


given a lot of support but it is not easy to pass now. Now I'm very


happy, because I know so many politicians give me support.


living wage for the UK is calculated by Loughborough


University, they take into account such factors as rent, council tax


and childcare, what their computer spits out is lots of different


living wages. Ranging from �6 an hour for someone in a child less


couple, to a whopping �18.57 for a lone parent with three children.


These individual living wages are then weighted by how common that


group is in the population as a whole, to come up with one national


figure. The politicians do seem to be


getting on board the idea of a living wage, from Boris Johnson in


London, Nick Clegg and David Cameron in Government, and Ed


Miliband in opposition. He says a Labour Government would name and


shame big companies, who don't pay the living wage. In Scotland too,


the Scottish Government and many local authorities are now committed


to paying it. Obviously increasing the lowest rate of pay in the


council to �7.50 an hour, living rate, does come at a cost. But we


have looked at the figures carefully, we can afford it. As I


believe it will not just benefit the employees who receive the extra


money per hour, it will benefit the local economy. While there might be


a small cost to implement it, the greater good for Edinburgh


outweighs that. It will generate income spending into the local


economy. The costs for businesses vary.


According to research from the Resolution Foundation, the living


wage would add considerably to some sectors. For example, bars and


restaurant, rising 6.2%, general retailers 4.9%, and food and drug


retailers 4.7%. There is less of an impact on other sectors, banks


least hit, a living wage would odd 0.2 to their costs. Robert runs a


string of care homes in Scotland, local authorities are his biggest


customer, it supports the living wage in principle, but worries who


will meet the cost. At a time when we are all struggling, and in my


view, councils are struggling as well. It is really such a poor and


bad time n my view, it doesn't make any sense at all to be introducing


it at this current time. Having it as an aspiration, and a goal we


should all be looking to get to, in four or five years time or


something, and work out a way of trying to get there, then fine, I'm


all for that. To force us to do it when we have nowhere to go.


Meanwhile, at the BWP, the campaigners are sending a thank you


to the minister. The impact of moving from the minimum to the


living wage is clearly huge for individuals, it is less clear what


it means for the economy as a whole, and what it means for tax-payers


and consumers, whose own finances are already under pressure. The


politics seems to be moving more and more in its favour. Well, Jan


Cavell runs her own furniture company in Suffolk, she has 30


employees and is against the living wage. Miles Carroll is the chief


executive of an on-line payments company in Staffordshire and


employs 16 people, he renegotiated with staff to make sure everyone


was earning the living wage. You didn't get letters on the table,


but what persuaded you? It is always the right time to do the


right thing. When we saw the campaign, it really struck us as


the appropriate thing to do, so that we could run our business in


the best way we can, by attracting the right people, retaining those


people, and making sure our customers were well served. You are


saying rather than an economic argument, or a moral argument with


an economic benefit eventually? made the moral decision first and


backed it with good business. is not possible for you, it is not


what you want? I would love to be able to pay all my employees as


much as possible. You know, it is not a question of it, it is a


different type of business entirely. It as different structure. I'm in


manufacturing, which is very different, of course, from you. In


fact I'm in a very specific part of manufacturing in furniture. We have


now direct competitors, we have lots of competition that never


quite does the same thing as us. We can't get for some areas, we can't


get people to come in ready skilled. You are pay the minimum wage while


you train them? Absolutely. You know there isn't, because I have


tried, the equivalent on Government apprenticeship schemes. Financially


have you said like him that it would benefit you eventually?


doesn't for a variety of reasons. We can't get the skill off the


street. We have to do the training. You subsidise it for the first two


or three years and then they are trained up? What would be your


argument to say that she should take the leap and see what happens?


I think customers will follow value. We will understand what a business


stand for, and they will buy into that. We are all about innovation,


qal and excellence. That comes from our people, not from our -- quality


and excellence, that comes from our people not business. You use it


like a calling card? We have, categorically, in the last four


months, won business from promoting that. We promote excellence too, we


train our staff to be skilled craftmen, that takes time and going


through a process. Interestingly are you concerned about your own


staff seeing the power of the living wage and saying here is the


minimum wage and a living wage, it doesn't appear an hourly rate to be


so different? Starting line, I don't pay on the line of minimum


wage. I pay under a starting point of what the living wage would be,


depending on what they set it at, there is talk of �8 for next year.


What do you feel about big business, particularly, let's leave big


business to one side, talk about public, local authorities, who


essentially are saying, for example, as they are doing in Edinburgh, we


are now going to move to the living wage, but as a taxpayer you helping


to pay for that. And you would then, as it,were penalised? I think it is


horrendously worrying for small business, like myself, struggling


to break even, or not, for the last few years, and we're trying


desperately to keep staff in work, those staff have stayed local and


on low wages. You get a situation where it is enforced bringing in


wages at a higher level. What happens to the staff who have moved


up and grafted. If we wanted for newcomers to come in at the same


wage. It would be gross. Do you think the days will soon be


numbered with the campaign and everybody that responds to it, but


you will have both the minimum wage and the living wage? Picking up the


point around salies, as a country we are one of the richest countries


out there, GDP �36,000 in the UK. We can't do a race to the bottom on


salaries against countries like China, with a quarter of our income.


Ultimately we have to innovate and change. When we look at our


business, operating in niche, exactly as January's business does,


my -- Jan's business does and my business dose t proebgttebgts us


from that. We have to do -- does protect us from that.


Presumably the living wage would help the poor in a trap at the


moment? I preerpbt that, of course I do, but -- appreciate that, of


course I do, but equally getting the economy going will also help.


You know I just find it the most mammoth Government double sync that


they ask us to buy into, you know, understanding that it is the age of


austerity, because there isn't any money available. Yet they can turn


around to businesses who they are asking to rescue them from the


whole thing, from this whole thing, and they can say to business, well


you may not be able to afford it, but you have to pay out any way.


Where is the justice in that. That's all tonight, Jeremy is


staying up late tomorrow night, I will be back with review. Join us


Good evening, just in time for the weekend, milder weather moving its


way into the UK. But for Friday it does come tied up with some very


wet and windy conditions as well. Particularly to the south of the UK,


some heavy downpours on their way. By the afternoon perhaps some of


the heavyist of the rain sitting across northern England, into East


Anglia and the south-east. The afternoon should see the rain


easing some what, along the south coast, but the morning could be


tricky, partly because of high tides and the south-easterly wind


direction. There will be a risk of coastal flooding, applying to the


Bristol Channel too. Rain in the afternoon, despite that much milder


than of late, temperatures in double figures, it will feel chilly


in the wet and windy conditions. Northern Ireland in for a wet day,


a risk of coastal flooding in south eastern areas. For Scotland a risk


of blizzards ayes cross the Grampian, strong wind and some --


across the Grampians, strong wind, but the rain not until the late in


The UK government agrees to pay 2.2m pounds to a Libyan dissident and his family who say MI6 was involved in their illegal rendition. An end of term report on free schools. And why government cleaners will get the living wage.