13/12/2012 Newsnight


13/12/2012

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

:00:14.:00:17.

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

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enough to save the reputation of the Secret Intelligence Service?

:00:24.:00:27.

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

:00:27.:00:32.

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

:00:32.:00:37.

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

:00:37.:00:40.

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

:00:40.:00:45.

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

:00:45.:00:49.

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

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

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Is it healthy or unhealthy competition? We will be debating

:00:59.:01:02.

that. After cleaners dropped letters on

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

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

:01:10.:01:13.

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

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

:01:19.:01:29.
:01:29.:01:32.

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

:01:32.:01:38.

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

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opponent of the late Colonel Gaddafi, said the Government were

:01:41.:01:45.

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

:01:45.:01:50.

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

:01:50.:01:57.

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

:01:57.:02:03.

treatment of detainees. The apparent abduction happened when

:02:03.:02:09.

Tony Blair was engaged in an entente cordiale with Colonel

:02:09.:02:15.

Gaddafi. Britain's relations with Libya have

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

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

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

:02:34.:02:38.

Libyan intelligence, were recovered from an HQ, as revolutionary

:02:38.:02:47.

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

:02:47.:02:56.

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

:02:56.:03:02.

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

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

:03:07.:03:11.

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

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detained on passport violations. British intelligence officers

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

:03:19.:03:24.

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

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

:03:29.:03:31.

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

:03:31.:03:35.

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

:03:35.:03:40.

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

:03:40.:03:44.

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

:03:44.:03:50.

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

:03:50.:03:56.

five years. British intelligence officers visited him there.

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

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

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

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

:04:17.:04:24.

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

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

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

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business. A second leading member of the militant Libyan Jihadist

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

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now seeking compensation. We wanted the British Government to apologise

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

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mistakes made against us. Especially from the British

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

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

:05:10.:05:14.

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

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

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

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

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

:05:31.:05:41.
:05:41.:05:45.

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

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the reputational damage from these Libyan cases, and avoid revealing

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

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

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

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which goes right to the highest level of ministers, about

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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undermined. First of all, you talked about, as

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it were, staunching the reputational damage of MI6, will

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

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

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

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

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

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

:07:22.:07:26.

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

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

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

:07:34.:07:39.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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prevent them having to reveal everything that plaintiffs might

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kussa, formally acknowledging that he was responsible for the

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

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

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

:10:05.:10:08.

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

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

:10:13.:10:15.

Gibson Inquiry, he announced once the cases had been fully

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

:10:19.:10:24.

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

:10:24.:10:28.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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made clear to him that the compensation to his children would

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

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

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

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

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

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

:11:32.:11:36.

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

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doubt that they were tortured during the course of their

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:12:23.:12:26.

Human Rights, finding that Macedonia was responsible for rend

:12:26.:12:33.

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

:12:33.:12:43.
:12:43.:12:46.

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

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have said that Macedonia was responsible there. There are cases

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

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

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finally becoming under the light of public accountability. Thank you

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very much indeed. Like Chairman Mao moo, we have

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

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

:13:18.:13:25.

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

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

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

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schools. This is an end of term report.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the teachers make the lessons really good. They are really

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

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

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the school is in temporary classrooms, thanks to capital

:15:02.:15:05.

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

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

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

:15:15.:15:23.

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

:15:23.:15:27.

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

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

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

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

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for children in a community. They are competition for established

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

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

:15:58.:16:05.

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

:16:05.:16:09.

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

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

:16:12.:16:17.

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

:16:17.:16:21.

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

:16:22.:16:27.

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

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

:16:31.:16:34.

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

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

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partly by introducing real choice for parents, real competition

:16:45.:16:50.

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

:16:50.:16:57.

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

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

:17:02.:17:07.

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

:17:07.:17:13.

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

:17:13.:17:16.

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

:17:16.:17:20.

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

:17:20.:17:24.

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

:17:24.:17:28.

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

:17:28.:17:32.

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

:17:32.:17:36.

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

:17:36.:17:40.

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

:17:40.:17:44.

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

:17:44.:17:47.

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

:17:48.:17:53.

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

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

:17:57.:18:03.

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

:18:03.:18:07.

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

:18:07.:18:10.

have a responsibility for the pupils attending our schools today,

:18:10.:18:14.

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

:18:14.:18:18.

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

:18:18.:18:23.

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

:18:23.:18:28.

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

:18:28.:18:38.

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

:18:38.:18:42.

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

:18:42.:18:46.

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

:18:46.:18:52.

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

:18:52.:18:55.

central planning. Some parents believe schools should

:18:55.:19:00.

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

:19:00.:19:05.

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

:19:05.:19:09.

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

:19:09.:19:13.

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

:19:13.:19:18.

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

:19:19.:19:22.

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

:19:22.:19:25.

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

:19:26.:19:35.

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

:19:35.:19:39.

London challenge programme, where schools, and local authorities work

:19:39.:19:44.

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

:19:44.:19:49.

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

:19:49.:19:55.

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

:19:55.:19:58.

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

:19:59.:20:07.

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

:20:07.:20:11.

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

:20:11.:20:16.

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

:20:16.:20:20.

capital are less about providing parental choice, and competition

:20:20.:20:30.
:20:30.:20:32.

between schools, and more about satisfying basic need.

:20:32.:20:36.

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

:20:36.:20:40.

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

:20:41.:20:49.

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

:20:49.:20:54.

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

:20:54.:20:59.

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

:20:59.:21:04.

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

:21:04.:21:07.

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

:21:07.:21:10.

increase the flexibility of the programme. Particularly around

:21:10.:21:15.

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

:21:15.:21:18.

the biggest challenge for groups across the country when opening a

:21:18.:21:22.

school. If they could increase the flexibility in allocated capital

:21:22.:21:27.

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

:21:27.:21:31.

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

:21:31.:21:37.

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

:21:37.:21:41.

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

:21:41.:21:46.

local authorities sometimes support free schools, it is often the

:21:46.:21:50.

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

:21:50.:21:54.

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

:21:54.:21:58.

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

:21:58.:22:04.

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

:22:04.:22:06.

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

:22:06.:22:11.

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

:22:11.:22:14.

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

:22:14.:22:18.

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

:22:18.:22:22.

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

:22:22.:22:29.

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

:22:29.:22:33.

free school systems afterwards. Government gave the free school

:22:33.:22:38.

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

:22:38.:22:41.

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

:22:41.:22:44.

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

:22:44.:22:48.

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

:22:48.:22:58.

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

:22:58.:23:01.

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

:23:01.:23:05.

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

:23:05.:23:11.

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

:23:11.:23:17.

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

:23:17.:23:22.

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

:23:22.:23:27.

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

:23:27.:23:31.

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

:23:31.:23:34.

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

:23:34.:23:38.

something different to local parents. We are a secondary school

:23:38.:23:43.

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

:23:43.:23:46.

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

:23:46.:23:52.

parents and students more choice and diversity. You heard Andrew

:23:52.:23:54.

Green-Howard saying he has a professional relationship with the

:23:54.:23:57.

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

:23:57.:24:03.

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

:24:03.:24:06.

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

:24:06.:24:10.

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

:24:10.:24:14.

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

:24:14.:24:17.

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

:24:17.:24:22.

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

:24:22.:24:27.

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

:24:27.:24:31.

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

:24:31.:24:34.

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

:24:34.:24:37.

headteacher in the country that would want children to have to

:24:37.:24:41.

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

:24:41.:24:44.

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

:24:44.:24:48.

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

:24:48.:24:53.

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

:24:53.:24:57.

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

:24:57.:25:03.

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

:25:03.:25:08.

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

:25:08.:25:11.

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

:25:11.:25:18.

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

:25:18.:25:21.

particular circumstances, there are actually 12 secondary schools

:25:21.:25:25.

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

:25:25.:25:28.

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

:25:28.:25:32.

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

:25:32.:25:37.

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

:25:37.:25:41.

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

:25:41.:25:44.

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

:25:44.:25:47.

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

:25:48.:25:52.

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

:25:52.:25:56.

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

:25:56.:25:59.

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

:25:59.:26:05.

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

:26:05.:26:09.

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

:26:09.:26:12.

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

:26:12.:26:15.

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

:26:16.:26:21.

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

:26:22.:26:25.

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

:26:25.:26:31.

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

:26:31.:26:35.

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

:26:35.:26:42.

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

:26:42.:26:45.

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

:26:45.:26:51.

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

:26:51.:26:54.

actually rather than improve the local authority provision, you need

:26:54.:26:59.

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

:26:59.:27:02.

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

:27:02.:27:07.

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

:27:07.:27:10.

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

:27:10.:27:13.

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

:27:13.:27:16.

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

:27:16.:27:20.

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

:27:20.:27:23.

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

:27:23.:27:27.

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

:27:27.:27:31.

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

:27:31.:27:34.

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

:27:34.:27:38.

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

:27:38.:27:42.

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

:27:42.:27:46.

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

:27:46.:27:50.

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

:27:50.:27:55.

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

:27:55.:27:58.

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

:27:58.:28:01.

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

:28:01.:28:05.

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

:28:05.:28:08.

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

:28:08.:28:12.

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

:28:12.:28:17.

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

:28:17.:28:21.

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

:28:21.:28:24.

concerned, challenging enough? Government has decided that the

:28:24.:28:27.

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

:28:27.:28:30.

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

:28:30.:28:33.

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

:28:33.:28:37.

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

:28:37.:28:40.

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

:28:40.:28:43.

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

:28:43.:28:47.

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

:28:47.:28:51.

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

:28:51.:28:55.

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

:28:55.:28:58.

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

:28:58.:29:02.

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

:29:02.:29:07.

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

:29:07.:29:10.

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

:29:10.:29:14.

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

:29:14.:29:17.

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

:29:17.:29:21.

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

:29:21.:29:24.

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

:29:24.:29:28.

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

:29:28.:29:30.

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

:29:30.:29:36.

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

:29:36.:29:39.

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

:29:40.:29:44.

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

:29:44.:29:47.

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

:29:47.:29:49.

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

:29:49.:29:52.

you accept that some people actually do not trust the local

:29:52.:29:58.

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

:29:58.:30:00.

that around the country, where local authorities have failed local

:30:00.:30:07.

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

:30:07.:30:10.

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

:30:11.:30:14.

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

:30:14.:30:18.

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

:30:18.:30:22.

have very good local schools, providing high-quality education

:30:22.:30:25.

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

:30:25.:30:29.

actually they can have a destablising effect on those

:30:29.:30:36.

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

:30:36.:30:41.

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

:30:41.:30:46.

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

:30:46.:30:50.

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

:30:50.:30:53.

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

:30:53.:30:58.

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

:30:58.:31:02.

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

:31:02.:31:08.

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

:31:08.:31:12.

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

:31:12.:31:17.

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

:31:17.:31:21.

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

:31:21.:31:23.

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

:31:23.:31:26.

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

:31:26.:31:31.

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

:31:31.:31:38.

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

:31:38.:31:41.

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

:31:41.:31:44.

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

:31:44.:31:48.

sharing. There is generations of attempts to improve the school

:31:48.:31:51.

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

:31:51.:31:54.

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

:31:54.:31:59.

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

:31:59.:32:04.

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

:32:04.:32:08.

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

:32:08.:32:11.

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

:32:11.:32:16.

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

:32:16.:32:20.

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

:32:20.:32:24.

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

:32:24.:32:28.

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

:32:28.:32:34.

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

:32:34.:32:37.

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

:32:37.:32:41.

schools being opened are teacher groups like mine. The Government

:32:41.:32:45.

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

:32:46.:32:49.

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

:32:49.:32:52.

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

:32:52.:32:56.

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

:32:56.:33:02.

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

:33:02.:33:05.

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

:33:05.:33:09.

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

:33:09.:33:13.

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

:33:13.:33:17.

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

:33:17.:33:23.

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

:33:23.:33:27.

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

:33:27.:33:31.

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

:33:31.:33:35.

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

:33:35.:33:39.

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

:33:39.:33:43.

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

:33:43.:33:46.

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

:33:46.:33:49.

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

:33:50.:33:53.

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

:33:53.:33:58.

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

:33:58.:34:02.

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

:34:02.:34:04.

Pensions left letters on the ministerial desk they cleaned,

:34:04.:34:09.

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

:34:09.:34:14.

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

:34:14.:34:20.

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

:34:20.:34:24.

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

:34:24.:34:28.

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

:34:28.:34:32.

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

:34:32.:34:35.

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

:34:35.:34:39.

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

:34:39.:34:47.

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

:34:47.:34:50.

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

:34:50.:34:54.

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

:34:54.:34:59.

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

:34:59.:35:05.

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

:35:05.:35:11.

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

:35:11.:35:15.

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

:35:15.:35:20.

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

:35:20.:35:23.

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

:35:23.:35:27.

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

:35:27.:35:32.

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

:35:32.:35:37.

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

:35:37.:35:41.

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

:35:41.:35:45.

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

:35:45.:35:48.

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

:35:48.:35:52.

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

:35:52.:35:57.

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

:35:57.:36:00.

power in Britain, the rise of something like soft industrial

:36:00.:36:05.

power. The living wage campaign gained

:36:05.:36:08.

national prominence over the summer, when Newsnight reported that

:36:08.:36:18.

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

:36:18.:36:22.

Nick Clegg's desk asking for the living wage.

:36:22.:36:26.

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

:36:26.:36:34.

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

:36:34.:36:40.

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

:36:40.:36:44.

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

:36:44.:36:48.

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

:36:48.:36:53.

living wage for the UK is calculated by Loughborough

:36:53.:36:57.

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

:36:57.:37:00.

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

:37:00.:37:04.

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

:37:05.:37:10.

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

:37:10.:37:13.

These individual living wages are then weighted by how common that

:37:13.:37:16.

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

:37:16.:37:21.

figure. The politicians do seem to be

:37:21.:37:25.

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

:37:25.:37:27.

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

:37:27.:37:32.

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

:37:32.:37:37.

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

:37:37.:37:40.

the Scottish Government and many local authorities are now committed

:37:40.:37:45.

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

:37:45.:37:53.

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

:37:53.:37:57.

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

:37:57.:38:01.

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

:38:01.:38:06.

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

:38:06.:38:10.

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

:38:10.:38:12.

outweighs that. It will generate income spending into the local

:38:12.:38:17.

economy. The costs for businesses vary.

:38:17.:38:20.

According to research from the Resolution Foundation, the living

:38:20.:38:25.

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

:38:25.:38:31.

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

:38:31.:38:37.

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

:38:37.:38:43.

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

:38:43.:38:48.

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

:38:48.:38:51.

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

:38:51.:38:55.

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

:38:55.:39:03.

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

:39:03.:39:08.

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

:39:08.:39:12.

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

:39:12.:39:17.

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

:39:17.:39:21.

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

:39:21.:39:26.

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

:39:26.:39:30.

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

:39:30.:39:33.

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

:39:33.:39:37.

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

:39:37.:39:41.

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

:39:41.:39:47.

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

:39:47.:39:54.

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

:39:54.:39:57.

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

:39:57.:40:02.

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

:40:02.:40:08.

executive of an on-line payments company in Staffordshire and

:40:08.:40:12.

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

:40:12.:40:15.

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

:40:15.:40:19.

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

:40:19.:40:23.

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

:40:23.:40:26.

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

:40:26.:40:30.

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

:40:30.:40:34.

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

:40:34.:40:40.

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

:40:40.:40:44.

an economic benefit eventually? made the moral decision first and

:40:44.:40:47.

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

:40:47.:40:53.

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

:40:53.:41:00.

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

:41:00.:41:04.

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

:41:05.:41:10.

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

:41:10.:41:15.

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

:41:15.:41:22.

now direct competitors, we have lots of competition that never

:41:22.:41:26.

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

:41:27.:41:30.

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

:41:30.:41:36.

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

:41:36.:41:40.

tried, the equivalent on Government apprenticeship schemes. Financially

:41:40.:41:46.

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

:41:46.:41:50.

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

:41:50.:41:54.

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

:41:54.:41:58.

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

:41:58.:42:01.

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

:42:01.:42:05.

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

:42:05.:42:09.

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

:42:09.:42:16.

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

:42:16.:42:20.

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

:42:20.:42:26.

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

:42:26.:42:32.

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

:42:32.:42:35.

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

:42:35.:42:39.

through a process. Interestingly are you concerned about your own

:42:39.:42:44.

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

:42:44.:42:50.

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

:42:50.:42:53.

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

:42:53.:42:58.

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

:42:58.:43:03.

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

:43:03.:43:07.

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

:43:07.:43:11.

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

:43:11.:43:15.

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

:43:15.:43:18.

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

:43:19.:43:26.

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

:43:26.:43:29.

horrendously worrying for small business, like myself, struggling

:43:29.:43:34.

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

:43:34.:43:39.

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

:43:39.:43:43.

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

:43:43.:43:47.

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

:43:47.:43:55.

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

:43:55.:43:58.

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

:43:58.:44:02.

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

:44:02.:44:05.

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

:44:05.:44:10.

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

:44:10.:44:17.

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

:44:17.:44:21.

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

:44:21.:44:25.

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

:44:25.:44:29.

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

:44:29.:44:35.

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

:44:35.:44:41.

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

:44:41.:44:44.

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

:44:44.:44:47.

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

:44:47.:44:50.

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

:44:51.:44:58.

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

:44:58.:45:04.

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

:45:04.:45:08.

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

:45:08.:45:12.

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

:45:12.:45:16.

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

:45:16.:45:21.

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

:45:21.:45:31.
:45:31.:45:54.

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

:45:54.:45:57.

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

:45:57.:46:07.
:46:07.:46:33.

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

:46:33.:46:37.

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

:46:38.:46:41.

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

:46:41.:46:45.

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

:46:45.:46:48.

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

:46:48.:46:50.

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

:46:50.:46:54.

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

:46:54.:46:59.

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

:46:59.:47:05.

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

:47:05.:47:09.

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

:47:09.:47:13.

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

:47:14.:47:17.

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

:47:17.:47:22.

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

:47:22.:47:26.

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

:47:26.:47:31.

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

:47:31.:47:41.
:47:41.:47:45.

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.


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