Will the budget spell the end of austerity, or more of the same? Plus Trump's new travel ban, Holland and the far right, and the Trump internet cheerleaders. With Evan Davis.
Browse content similar to 06/03/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
The Chancellor will set out his plans.
But as Mike Tyson famously said, everyone has a plan until they get
Phillip Hammond knows Brexit hangs over everything right now.
But can he carry on the job of getting borrowing down?
I think the public sector is coming to the point
where there are going to be large social costs from increasing amounts
We'll ask if austerity has gone as far as it can
Also tonight, the Netherlands prepares
Is an anticipated far right surge also an identity crisis
for a supposedly relaxed and liberal country?
That is the good thing about the carnival.
Right. What about the rest of the time?
I heard somebody say something about Obamagate.
Looks like it's time for us to investigate!
We'll hear from President Trump's more unusual internet
Hello. This is Budget week.
On Wednesday the Chancellor Phillip Hammond will take
to the dispatch box, and set out his plan for taxes,
for borrowing, for spending, for improving British productivity,
It's a strange one - perhaps the strangest for a while.
Brexit offers an excuse for a pause on painful decisions,
but at some point, if the Chancellor is to match the aims
set out by his party, he'll have to find a way
More public spending cuts are already written
into the government's projections, just as Article 50 is about to hit
Now helping out is the fact that the economic news has been good
But unfortunately he can't rely on bags of money
falling from the sky, and that means this is not an easy
Sometimes you want a safe pair of hands at number 11, a man who does
This is probably one of those times and in
the last few days, he has been out and about, sensibly managing
If your bank increases your credit card limit, I don't think you feel
obliged to go out and spend every last penny of it immediately.
I regard my job as Chancellor as making sure that our economy is
resilient, that we have got reserves in the tank,
so that as we embark on
the journey that we take over the next couple of years, we are
confident that we have got enough gas in the tank to see us through
There are two kinds of budget, those that have a specific problem to
solve, normally a crisis in the public finances. And there are those
where there isn't much to do, chances just have to stand up and
look like they've been keeping busy. Well, this one is more in the latter
category. Part of the reason for that is that breaks it is looming
over everything at the moment. The old slogan used to be, you must fix
the roof while the sun is shining. -- Brexit is looming over anything.
Today might be, there is no point in fixing the roof if you think a great
victory might come toppling down on top of it. You should wait to see
what happens. -- a great big three. Until Brexit getting it down was the
main goal of getting it down, the deficit, and it slowly came under
control. The idea is it carries on going down but the basic job is far
from done. It's fair to say that a lot of people, perhaps ourselves
included, were sceptical about the scope for the scale of public
spending cuts experienced over the last parliament, but those were
essentially delivered as promised without everything falling apart. We
don't need to panic about the level of public borrowing at the moment,
but we do, broadly speaking, need to get it down rather than let it go
up. So we can't expect to borrow more as an answer to all our
prayers. Yet, when you look at the public sector, it's beginning to
scream that it needs more money. So if you are a Chancellor at number
11, you look out there, it doesn't look like there are any easy answers
to the long-term problems. Finding public spending savings now, after a
period of six or seven years of efficiency savings, is a much more
challenging job to do without hitting front line services or
significantly increasing poverty. Imagine you were Chancellor. Where
would you go for further cuts? Defence? Just as Nato is being told
to raise spending? Prisons? Amid the current violence and disorder?
Police? Just last week the official inspector said they were in a
perilous state. In transport, we are meant to be getting Brexit ready by
spending more on infrastructure. In business we are trying to launch a
new industrial strategy and it's already on the cheap. Health? Good
luck with that. Social care? You need to find money and not cut it.
You have to go a long way to look for low hanging fruit nowadays. Most
of that was plucked in 2011 and 2012. There was probably a lot of
low hanging fruit there. If you want to go foraging for some more, the
places to look are presumably, and this isn't what I am suggesting you
should do, but you could look at overseas aid where spending has
risen very fast over the last five or six years, but we have
commitments in that direction. Secondly, spending on pensions and
pension benefits, all of which have been more than fully protected over
the last five or six years in contrast to most areas of spending.
Inside the Treasury, they have got a lot on their plate. Getting to the
next two years is hard enough, and then the long-term beckons
thereafter with some difficult decisions to be taken.
Our political editor Nick Watt is here.
A little bit of news on education spending is out as we speak. Theresa
May and Philip Hammond are saying they want to move on from the era of
George Osborne where we had big political announcements surrounding
a budget. These are serious and earnest affairs. Tomorrow's
front-page headlines on all the papers are a big announcement that
will allow Theresa May to say she is pressing ahead for plans for grammar
schools. Speculation that was on the back burner. The Chancellor will
plough ?320 million into expanding the government's free school
programme. The key point is that will create extra spaces and those
schools would be able to select on the basis of academic ability. That
is obviously the big headline they want to get out tomorrow. The
important thing to remember about this budget is that it is the last
spring budget. In the Chancellor's mind we will have the first autumn
budget later this year. In his mind, that's the big moment where you
would make any big tax changes. And you would have a bit of news about
Brexit by then. What would you look out for as the things he will be
interested in either in this one or autumn? The key thing to remember
about autumn is that Brexit negotiations will be underweight for
several months by then. The French and German elections will be out of
the way. And the belief is the negotiations will be bumpy. They say
to Eurosceptics, who say all those Treasury warnings from George
Osborne were overstating it, they were based on the assumption Article
50 would be triggered immediately. We are about to trigger it, so we
will see what happens. In the autumn budget, will when the funding of
social care is addressed, the Chancellor is wary of taxing
inheritance. No death tax is the cry that is evidently going around the
Treasury at the moment. He's more interested in an idea from Baroness
Altmann, the former tension as minister, who says it's like an ice
for social care. The Chancellor likes that idea, he is responsible
to put on working people. The other thing he is alive to his criticism
on the Tory backbenches that stamp duty reforms from George Osborne
slowing down the housing market and not yielding the revenues talked
about. The Chancellor will hear that, but he needs to see more data.
If the concerns are true, he will be happy to respond.
Labour MP Helen Goodman was a minister in the Department
for Work and Pensions and now sits on the Treasury Select Committee -
A good evening to you both. Helen, what would you cut at this point? As
we have seen, and as your package showed, I think it's extremely
difficult to cut public service now. Adult social care in crisis. Three
quarters of NHS trusts in deficit. I would be amazed if they would spend
money on grammar schools, because across the country individual school
budgets are being cut in real and cash terms now. I think that's very
surprising as a development. I think it's necessary now to go back to
some of George Osborne's tax cuts. It's sensible to help people to save
for the long term for their care, but an inheritance tax cut that
enables people to leave ?1 million home? That is costing the Chancellor
?800 million. Capital gains tax, again reductions made by his
predecessor are costing him ?700 million. I would have thought he
would look there. You are saying, we have done enough on the spending
side, we have to look at taxes next. Chris, do you really believe,
because we haven't cut this year very much at all, there has been a
pause, can they do it and get the spending down? Putting the figures
in context, in 2016 real pounds, total government spending between
2010 and 2020 is about the same at ?760 billion per year in real terms.
People talk about the austerity of cuts, but in real terms the
government budget has stayed the same. In Helen's term, putting up
taxes willy-nilly, the way to clear a deficit is creating jobs and
growth. You help that by cutting taxes. One of the reasons
corporation tax receipts has gone up is because we have cut corporation
tax down from 28 to 20 and shortly 17%. That encourages businesses to
create jobs. It's not about government hand-outs or tax and
spending, it's about encouraging the economy to grow, which is what we
have done. Would you agree there is enormous pressure in many public
services at the moment? You see the headlines and you don't dismiss
that? Of course not. Social care is an obvious example. There is the
better care fund. ?3.5 billion more. Your government didn't manage to
make cuts this year, but the next three years it's intending that real
spending in departments, not welfare, but departments like health
and Home Office and so on, real spending cuts of 2% per head of
population per year. The fact is, the population of our country is
growing quite fast and that has put pressure on public spending, as the
public has told us. The population is growing at about 0.4% per year.
You believe that after six years of austerity, 2% cuts per head in real
terms spending is possible? Population is growing at 0.4% per
year. If you are freezing it, I think we can reduce public spending
per head after inflation by 0.4% per year and maintain services. Your
chart a few months ago showed how the government has progressively
reduced the Labour deficit from 2010 all the way down. The plan is to
continue that trajectory for the next few years until the deficit
hits zero. There is nothing responsible about raising more money
and sending the bill to our children. That's not what I
suggested. You need to take into account we have an ageing
population. The population is not what we had ten years ago. We have
more old people, they are older and more frail, so we have more NHS
needs. There are more adult social care needs. I think it's very hard
in a situation where we have food banks flourishing around the
country, to say, people must be allowed to inherit without any tax
at all, ?1 million inheritance. The inheritance tax will not be enough
to put money into the health service and pay for social care and get the
prisons and police and defence to levels people want. You have to do
have some proper tax increases on the average person as well as just
picking off a few... Not necessarily. As Chris says, for
example, we have already had ?6 billion of cuts in corporation tax
with another one in the spring. It raises more money. Maybe we could
leave corporation tax rate at 19% and not go to 17. Chris, what would
you actually cut? Give us a suggestion of something that would
save ?2 billion, which is the figure we sort of talking about. The
government is controlling spending in all areas. The biggest line
height is the welfare budget, and we have to get people off welfare and
into work. We have been successful. We have record employment, wages are
rising and we have record female employment as well. That's
ultimately the way you reduce public spending. We will have more of this
discussion on Wednesday, I'm sure. Now one of the more intriguing
suggestions that has been trailed as a budget possibility
is an increase in National Insurance It kind of makes sense at one level
as the self-employed people do pay less National Insurance,
and the government thus loses revenue when people switch
from employment to self-employment, which has been happening
more and more. But does it make sense
to Kevin Green, the Chief Executive of the Recruitment
Employment Confederation - the professional body
for the recruitment industry Their members place self-employed
contractors into jobs. Good evening. Just explain to
everyone, what is the difference between employment and
self-employment. In relation to National Insurance, if you're
self-employed, you pay 9% and if you are employed, you pay 12%. That is
what the Chancellor might go after. The much bigger gap, is that my
employer is paying 13%. You do not have an employer if you're self
employed. If you look at some of the business models like Cooper, they
will not be paying National Insurance contributions for the
people who work for them are self-employed and that is a
significantly bigger number. It is about 16% gap. Would it make sense
to do something in this budget to deal with that? The way it has been
positioned it looks like he will go after the worker rather than the
business and I think some of that is because it is much more complex when
you get into the business. We have a number of NEETs that we are waiting
for decisions on like Uber... They do not seem to have done anything
wrong. There is a definition about whether they are workers...
Employment tribunal 's have said that they are self-employed. No,
they said they were workers. We have got a fundamental problem between
employment regulation and taxation policy. Employment regulation you
have three definitions, self-employed, employed and worker
and taxation is self-employed or employee. Fundamentally, is there a
good case for charging self-employed people, basically 15 or 16% less tax
overall on the value of their Labour at the Newchurch employed people?
Clearly in relation to self-employed there is pension contributions,
holiday pay... The key is how do we, but the system which recognises some
of the risk about being self-employed, gives them some kind
of tax advantage but creates clarity and at the moment we have huge grey
areas in relation to tax for employers, employees cover the whole
thing is a mess and what we are looking for is the government to
come up with a systemic way of coming up with a fair taxation
policy for businesses and for employees, which actually aligns
these things so that we get the right tax for people. You're not
against aligning them will stop at some point over time. If you are
this government, you're not going to put 3p or 3% National Insurance on
the poorest least secure workers who are driving a cab for Uber or
working for Deliveroo, you will not say you will be paying more tax.
They are the ones they're trying to help! The Chancellor is clearly
looking for ways to raise tax. The issue at the moment is is this fair
or transparent? If you're employed, should you be paying more tax than
someone who is not employed? You are right, if the government is looking
at the tax from self-employment, it should go after the businesses and
really look that their model as well is looking at the workers because
the workers take more risk, they need to have some kind of incentive
to continue and we do not want to undermine our Labour market which
has been hugely successful. Kevin Green, thank you very much.
President Trump news now, and he has formulated
a new executive order to replace his old travel ban.
Remember, that was struck down in the courts.
This one takes effect in ten days time.
The executive order signed by the President earlier today,
protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into
the United States is a vital measure for strengthening
It is the President's solemn duty to protect the American people.
And with this order, President Trump is exercising his rightful authority
Professor Stephen Legomsky was President Obama's Chief Counsel
for US Citizenship Immigration from 2011 to 2013.
evening to you. Do you think this new executive order will get through
the courts? Very difficult to say. There are two kinds of provision in
this executive order and some of them deal specifically with refugees
and others deal with immigrants generally. On the refugee site, the
two main changes are eliminating the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees,
all of whom are still subject to the 120 day moratorium and all refugees
and the other thing they did was to eliminate what had been an exception
for people who are persecuted because of their religion but only
if their religion was a minority religion. This was widely derided,
as a back door attempt to save Christians over Muslims and my guess
is that the courts will not be fooled by it. The religious
discrimination claim is still there and the evidence and pre-tax will
still be a stroll. Why do you say that? Now, it is a country
discrimination, it is not a religious discrimination. He surely
is entitled to say no immigrants but this country or that country,
legally? Absolutely and we do that all the time. What makes this
different is that the plaintiffs are arguing that even though the
document is neutral on its face, it is motivated by a different pre-tax
and to back up that claim they cite multiple statements from President
Trump about his intention to institute a Muslim ban, there is a
statement by his closest adviser, a former New York City Mayor, Rudy
Giuliani to the effect that the troubled campaign reached out to him
to find a way to package the Muslim ban and then there are also the
comments indicating a desire to protect persecuted Christians. The
job for the plaintiffs will be to convince the court that although the
order has changed, it is nonetheless religious discrimination and since
those statements were made in the past, they really cannot be taken
back. The question will be whether the courts by the argument or not.
The courts surely look through his words, they do not listen to what he
said, they look at whether it is a bad weather he said it was and they
will look at this and say it is pretty different to the previous
one. The differences are fairly cosmetic foot, it is true that the
Syrians have been eliminated as a separate group and it is true that
they have eliminated the religious minority exception but on the
refugee site, everything stays the same and on the general side there
is still a 90 day ban on entries from nationals from six countries,
Iraq is off the list and the questionnaire again is whether this
is motivated by religious pretext or whether it is a genuine national
security measure. The process this time, it has been a few weeks
coming, this executive order and it has a ten day lead time, are you
impressed that they got the process side of this more in order than they
did last time? They have clearly made improvements, the 10-day
lead-in is important and in addition, they have exempted very
important categories, for example people who have lawful permanent
residents starters in the UK -- US are exempted as are those who hold
valid current visas and that will go a long way toward strengthening the
government case on the question of whether or not due process or what
would be called natural justice in the UK has been observed but I do
not know whether that gets them past the religious discrimination
argument. Thank you for talking to us.
We've been talking a lot about France and its impending
But there are Parliamentary elections in the
In the country often described as the most liberal in Europe.
They used to joke, "do you know what's illegal in the Netherlands?
Polls suggest many people will vote for Geert Wilders,
a right-wing populist who wants to pull the country out
of the EU and ban immigration from Muslim countries.
He might even win the largest number of seats.
So what happened to the supposedly tolerant, easy-going Dutch?
We've heard from the populists on this programme,
but Newsnight's Gabriel Gatehouse grew up in Amsterdam,
and he's been back to try to find out what liberals there make
The Netherlands is having an identity crisis.
I don't remember people agonising over this question in the past.
We are all the same, and we're very tolerant.
And we drink and eat and play and dance together.
That's the good thing about Carnival.
Some people are not so the same as other people.
I think the whole Islamic thing means that we are more
Geert Wilders, the Netherlands' answer to Donald Trump,
wants to ban the Koran, close the mosques, and the borders.
In defence of their tolerant way of life, many Dutch people
are apparently willing to vote for some pretty intolerant policy.
When I was growing up here in the 1980s, the Netherlands,
and Amsterdam in particular, felt like this sort of inclusive
space, a place that was open and tolerant, where anything goes,
and anyone, really, can come and be themselves.
It doesn't really feel like that any more.
So I've come back here to try and find out what's happened
to that peculiarly Dutch brand of liberalism.
This feels like a country on a difficult journey
A country that has suffered a sudden loss of faith
in a set of truths it once held be self-evident.
On the outskirts of the city, an abandoned shipyard has been
ADM, as it's known, is a community of artists and performers, the sort
of people for whom Amsterdam was once a haven.
It used to be a town with a lot of empty spaces.
It was a paradise for people who want to make things
It was really a part of, a sort of Utopia.
# When I'm hungry, I eat out of the dumpster.
# When I'm thirsty, is that your beer?
# When I'm tired, I find an empty house to sleep in.
# And if you don't like it, lock you!
But the welfare state that nourished that Utopia
These days, there's less space for squatters,
Under pressure perhaps, the collective now has
a surprisingly strict membership policy.
Everyone is allowed in, but we should be able to send them
out if it's not working, and close the gate behind.
If that sounds like something Geert Wilders might like, well,
he's not popular here, but perhaps the fate of the squat
in some ways mirrors that of the country.
The group is small enough to control ourselves,
and now we begin this fantastic, nonconformist little town.
Squatters were once a defining force in radical Dutch politics.
The squatter riots of the 1980s are a vivid and sometimes
In an apparent attempt to defuse the situation,
a policeman dressed as Santa Claus was lifted off the roof by crane.
Against the backdrop of Reaganomics and Thatcherism, the movement
These were battles over the concept of public versus private space.
As the squatters fought the riot police on the streets,
an architect specialising in school design was having a similar fight
I was in the first class of pupils to go to school here.
The architect, Herman Hertzberger, believed that buildings had
His aim was to foster a more egalitarian relationship
And I always had the enormous fight for every square metre, you know?
And this is not necessary, because the classrooms,
The teacher is saying, this is the way the world works,
But I said classrooms is one, but there's also the idea
of doing things together, seeing what the others are doing.
And so we must try to get space also for this communal thing.
The architecture of the Netherlands tells us
Walk along the canals in Amsterdam, you see not one or three
You see thousands of small palaces, of citizens.
At the heart of Dutch liberalism lies a fundamental tension,
between the sometimes competing notions of liberty and equality.
Of individualism versus the common good.
They are not individual portraits of a king or a count or something.
These are portraits of very proud citizens.
We drink together, fight together, without a king, without a leader.
When we talk about being liberal, it was also economically liberal.
Yes, that's deep in the genes of the Dutch.
Descartes, who lived for quite a long time in Amsterdam
at the beginning of the 17th century, said already,
everybody is only occupied here with earning money, nothing else.
Money, money, that's the big go-to here.
The Bergers of the Golden Age turned the Netherlands into the biggest
This new prosperity was driven by immigrants -
Protestants and Jews fleeing persecution in Catholic Europe.
Because we are a society full of minorities and groups,
That creates a society which has to be tolerant,
Growing up, we were taught that tolerance was as much a part
of Dutch culture as eating mayonnaise with your chips.
And that had less to do with the 17th century
I used to live in one of those buildings over there, number ten,
Before I lived there some other people did, whose
names are commemorated here in these plaques.
Seven of them, who were murdered by the Nazis
during the Second World War because they were Jewish.
There were similar plaques all along the canalside here,
and during the War one tenth of the population of this city were
The German occupation had a huge impact on how
Discriminating against people because of their religion,
their cultural or ethnic background, that was something that other
I grew up in a time when all of us in this country were still very much
under the impression that we lived in the most liberal,
I used to actually, literally say this to people -
that I'm from Amsterdam, so I live in the best
country in the world, the best city in the world,
and anything goes, and you are free to be whoever you are.
However, now when I look back I think, oh no,
there was definitely a lot going on under the surface that
Beneath the surface, many people felt uncomfortable
Fuelled by Geert Wilders, the debate has focused on Islam.
A lot of people think that Islamophobia,
or anti-Semitism and racism, they are all different things.
Sylvana Simons has set up a political party trying
to highlight what she says is a hidden current
Death threats is what I have received just for simply
That doesn't sound like the most tolerant,
the most progressive country on earth.
We used to take pride in saying we are so tolerant.
We've been tolerant, we have been tolerating.
And tolerating means accepting something that you really don't
actually agree with, but you are just,
Here's one thing that has definitely changed since I was at school.
People seem to have stopped believing that the future will be
I am from a generation that was just thinking everything
is going to be better, more, and that stopped now.
And we feel that our next generation will have more difficulties
It's still optimistic, but it's not an optimism of,
It's now an optimism of, when we do our best,
So, conservatism and hard work has won out over progressive
This really is a different country to the one I remember.
At the squatters' camp, it feels like the party is almost over.
Don't be surprised if a crack in the ice appears under your feet.
Because you are hippie and tolerant and everything is possible.
Even in ADM, we had a problem, and I was one of the people
always defending everyone, until I found out it's not
A hippie community can burst because everybody has taken too much
drugs or everybody has went to sleep with everybody, and
Perhaps the idea of the Netherlands as free space was never anything
Now, in an age of identity politics, the Dutch are asking themselves some
And does the Netherlands still want to be a place
We are discussing the same topic day after day in many different
manifestations. For opponents of President Trump,
particularly those without much imagination, it is hard
to understand how anyone "What are they thinking?", is
a sentiment quite widely expressed. The idea that a person of colour
might support him would seem Well, two black women -
siblings and keen supporters of President Trump - have made a big
impact on social media. They've even appeared
at his rallies, as the They are Lynnette Hardaway
and Rochelle Richardson, former Democrats who style
themselves Diamond and Diamond on the left,
Silk on the right, and asked them why they thought that
African Americans didn't, African Americans did go out
and they did march to those voting polls and they voted
for President Donald J Trump. The problem that we
have is the left. The Democrats, the Liberals,
that keep pushing an agenda They love that people burn
down their communities. President Trump wants to build
back these communities. President Trump wants
to stop the violence. He is going to be a President,
a good President not just for black You will know, he just lied
about how many people were at the inauguration,
everyone can see that it Let me go ahead and stop
you and we will get you straight. We were there, there were thousands
upon thousands upon thousands We were there, we saw
it with our own eyes. Honestly, Diamond, I think
it was easier to see it from the camera positions
and you really could see, there were more people there under
Obama than there were under Trump. OK, so, OK, why are you debating
me with this question I suppose I'm just interested
in what you think, He sometimes on occasion just
says stuff that is just Excuse me, my President,
wait a minute, my President never That's what's wrong
with you left people. You always want to be
so politically correct, well he is not politically correct,
he is honest and we love Many people are saying he has had
a slightly rocky start, he lost Michael Flynn,
obviously Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General,
has had to recuse himself Lots of questions over
the original travel ban, do you think it has been a bit
messy, who do you blame for that? Do you blame Donald Trump
for that or who you blame? I blame the media for taking
and conjuring up a story about the Russians and insulting
the American people, the millions that got out
and voted for our President, President Donald Trump,
it was not the Russians that hacked the elections,
the American people hacked it, we went to the polls
and we voted for him. Is there anything this guy could do
where you would not say You wouldn't get in a car
and let him drive you over Is there anything this bloke
can do that is wrong? You think it's wrong
because it's not your way. He is trying to secure the border
to keep people safe. He is trying to keep people
from coming into our country wanting The people that come from these
certain countries that do not like Americans,
he is trying to create the atmosphere where people
are thriving again, where the inner and urban cities are
being built again. So we, the American people we love
it, so there is nothing my President The thing is, everybody makes
mistakes, it would be very odd if Donald Trump did not make some
mistakes and I am just wondering if you can think of anything,
can you think of anything he has If you can't, it probably tells us
that you are, you know, you're just big fans and you're
on his side, come what may. Well you know what, the only mistake
that I can think of is the mistake of not continuously every single
day, all day, keeping He needs to do it on a regular
basis, every day. Tweet it out all day every
day about the fake news We are very loyal to our President,
we trust his decision, we trust that he will make the right
decision and the way that it will affect American people,
we trust that he wants to do things that are going to benefit
us and not hurt us. We trust his judgment,
that's why we voted for him Can I ask, do you two ever disagree
yourselves between the two of you or do you always
agree on everything? We agree to disagree
when we have a disagreement. Diamond, Silk, thank
you so very much. We've run out of time
for anything except this, news of the official confirmation
from Guinness that German Engineer Albert Beer and his Robot,
named Sub 1, are now the world As a political side note,
they beat Ed Miliband's 90
Will the budget spell the end of austerity, or more of the same? Plus Trump's new travel ban, Holland and the far right, and the Trump internet cheerleaders. With Evan Davis.