With Emily Maitlis. The first interview with Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai since Robert Mugabe's resignation. Plus what can be expected in tomorrow's Budget?
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A country in ecstasy,
as Robert Mugabe steps down.
He resigns, after
nearly four decades
at Zimbabwe's helm.
But will it be more
of the same in Zimbabwe?
We speak to Morgan Tsvangirai,
the opposition leader and one-time
who battled Mugabe
at the ballot box.
So, like in any new birth, I think
the celebration represents a new...
A new feeling.
And I think it will go
down like in 1980,
when we got our independence,
as a very memorable occasion.
Ahead of the budget,
the Chancellor will be dotting
the Is and crossing the Ts.
But do we really need something
far, far more radical?
We report from Middlesborough.
At the moment, struggling.
When the food runs out,
I'll start crying, and...
And I'll...ask my daughter -
hopefully she'll have
something for me.
Or my son, my eldest son.
And... But I ain't spending any time
on it because in the meantime, every
three months, a person is torn to
pieces by a crocodile in Queensland.
When it happened, it almost
happened too quickly.
A letter read out in parliament that
would herald the biggest
political change the country
has known for decades.
And then, gently, like a ripple,
word spread until it hit
the streets, stopping conversations
in mid flow, starting tears -
Robert Mugabe no
longer rules Zimbabwe.
That much still needs to sink in.
Tonight we ask how this very
peaceful coup has managed to do
what it set out to do,
and whether Zimbabwe's next leader
will truly be a break
with what has gone before.
We also get the world's first
interview after the news broke
with Zimbabwe's opposition leader
and one-time prime minister
All that to come, but we start,
where else, but Harare.
Shingai Nyoka is there.
Tell us what kind of David has been
It's been the most
extraordinary day that I can
remember since independence in 1980.
I was a young girl then but I
remember the celebration and the
euphoria, the sense that this was a
new beginning. And the scenes that I
have witnessed a few hours ago today
really brought back that sense, that
glimmer of hope, and I saw that in
the eyes of Zimbabweans who now
believe that after 37 years, they
now have a real sense of change.
What do you think happens tomorrow?
Is anyone talking about that, or is
it just an endless party?
It is an
endless party at the moment. Those
questions are being asked now that
President Robert Mugabe has stepped
down, who will take over? Everybody
knows that this stage that his
sacked vice president and long-time
ally Emmerson Mnangagwa will be
sworn in as president and that will
happen tomorrow or the day after.
But at this stage Zimbabweans are
saying that they want to savour the
moment and they don't want to think
about what will happen tomorrow.
As you've seen, Zimbabwe
is in party mode tonight.
What can it be
like for a leader to watch these
scenes of jubilation
and reflect on how happy you've
made your own people by going?
Mike Thompson looks at what Zimbabwe
feels like tonight,
and what the future may now hold.
The crowds had waited a long,
long time for the news.
And when it came, it was met
by an outpouring of joy
not seen in decades.
After impeachment proceedings got
underway, President Robert Mugabe's
resignation letter was
finally read to the House.
Outside, some found it
all too much to take in.
I'm very happy.
I don't have anything
to say, but I'm
happy with this.
I don't have any words to say now.
37 years with one
president, is doesn't
make any sense.
So this time it is a new era
for us as a nation.
We were tired of this
man, we are so glad he
We don't want him any more.
And yes, today it is victory.
It is victory in our hearts.
It is victory for our children.
But how long will this euphoria
continuing coverage will the man
expected to replace Mugabe, his
former henchmen and vice president
Emmerson Mnangagwa, sweep away
oppression? Is the nation simply
swapping one tyrant for another?
has some skeletons in his cupboard
as a former henchmen of Mugabe. But
we know he is more open to change
double Mugabe. He's also more open
for Western involvement.
Independence in 1980 promised much
under a man who seemed to value
democracy and human rights. As the
years went by, repression through
and Zimbabwe evolved into a virtual
1-party state. Only Mugabe's party,
Zanu-PF, is allowed to win
There is no room for
opposition at the heart of
government. Zanu-PF, but it, there
is no Prime Minister from anywhere
else. The first thing we will see is
whether there will be constitutional
amendments to allow for that.
that the figure likely to be
president initially at least has a
reputation as a hard man, on used to
compromise, such amendments might be
hard to get. But some take the view
that having finally got rid of
Mugabe after 37 long years, the
momentum for change is now
Politicians, they all
focus on power. But we will focus on
them delivering on the issues that
they promised, we will focus on
delivering our rights. So, it's not
going to be easy but right now, the
people of Zimbabwe have the
confidence to stand up for their
rights and to demand the right to be
Few will be looking too
far into the future just now. In the
coming days, it is more likely to be
celebrations of the dawn of a new
era which many thought might never
The Mugabe resignation came
by letter, in mid-afternoon.
Just a few minutes later,
I spoke to the opposition leader,
Morgan Tsvangirai himself.
The MDC leader contested Mugabe
in 2008, winning more votes
than Mugabe in the first round.
But when he tried to claim
the presidency, he encountered
widepsread violence and intimidation
by government supporters,
and withdrew, offering instead
to power-share with Mugabe,
which he eventually did,
with limited success.
I began by asking Tsvangirai if it
would open the door to real
democracy in the country.
One would hope that
it opens a new trajectory
where people are respected and that
the rule of law is restored.
Does that mean, then,
that you will sit quietly
by until August 2018?
You won't press for free
and fair elections before
that date of August?
My role is to ensure
that the MDC has a role to play
during these eight
months that are there.
The fact that this transition
Zanu-PF passing from one leader
to the next, suggests
the opposition, your party, the MDC,
had no role to play at all?
Well, remember that this was not...
Yes, there was an internal
But remember that it is
the military which intervened
in that faction war.
Does that mean that
Zanu PF is united?
Far from it.
What about MDC?
You are the opposition party
and yet you have seen this
happen as bystanders?
Well, we're not the military.
It is only the military which has
taken an interventionist role.
So, as far as we are concerned,
our role will always be democratic.
Do you think it was a mistake
for you to agree to support
the Mugabe government in 2008
after those elections?
You wanted to go in and be part
of that - looking back,
was that a mistake?
Well, it was a strategic
Our people were suffering
and we needed to rescue the country.
So, it was not a mistake.
I don't regret it at all.
If you ask Zimbabweans, 85% of them
did not care about Mugabe,
they cared about their welfare.
And because of our intervention,
we were able to rescue
Zimbabweans from a very dire
situation that existed.
And will you stand in the elections
in August of 2018, do you want to be
Zimbabwe's next president?
Well, it's too early to tell.
But definitely my party will decide
and my alliance partners
will decide whether I will be
a candidate or not.
What should happen to Robert Mugabe
now, would you like to see him
indicted for war crimes?
No, I don't think so.
I think to pursue the old man
would be a futile exercise.
I think let him go
and rest his last days.
So, you bear him no ill will?
No, I don't.
I don't have any ill will at all.
In fact, my call for him has
always been, why don't
you find a dignified exit?
That is why Zimbabweans have
been pressurising him.
And you have claimed that this
is a victory for the Army.
Zanu-PF has said it is not a coup.
Do you see it as a coup?
No, but I've never said
it is a victory for the army.
I said the army intervened.
But the people supported them.
I don't want to get into arguments
about was it a coup,
was it not a coup.
As far as the people are concerned,
it's something that was desirable
and maybe the means
justifies the end.
People will look back
in years to come on this
day in November 2017.
Tell them what this day means
in history, the day that
Robert Mugabe resigned?
Well, I'm sure that the people
of Zimbabwe will look back
to this day with a hearty
degree of nostalgia.
Because it's something
that they have been wishing
for for the last five years.
But it's been very difficult
to achieve because of the machinery
that has been put to prevent it.
So, like in any new birth,
I think the celebration
represents a new feeling.
And I think it will go
down like in 1980,
when we got our independence,
as a very memorable occasion.
The opposition leader there saying
Mugabe should not be
indicted for war crimes,
and that he didn't know
if he would ever stand
again for President.
So, where will the country wake up
with its collective hangover?
Will Zimbabwe seem like
a new place tomorrow?
Joining me now are Xavier Zavare
from Robert Mugabe's party, Zanu-PF,
the Zimbabwean journalist
Georgina Godwin, and Miles Tendi,
a Zimbabwean writer and academic,
who lectures at Oxford University -
but first our diplomatic
editor Mark Urban.
It does all seem incredibly peaceful
and happy, this whole transition was
ultimately smooth. But was it a
takeover essentially Bardiani?
it's undoubtedly anything which
sends shudders through many of the
established powers that be
throughout Africa. We saw that in
the African Union statement that
greeted the initial move by the
military, very much against this
idea of the military taking power.
Many people in the region worry
about it, many people speculate
about Jacob Zuma in South Africa,
how much he worries about it and the
extent to which he tries to
influence this transition, worrying
about how it was going. I suppose
all you can say from the point of
view of somebody like Jacob Zuma is
that the very things which are
concerning to the opposition about
the way this is happening, in other
words, the crocodile Emmerson
Mnangagwa is a creature of Zanu-PF
and the apparatus which has
engineered that, are things which
will give him comfort in this
Do you think this is easy
for the international community, is
there one clear line in terms of how
they respond to this now?
fair bit of emphasis being put by
foreign ministries around the world
on the need for a move towards free
and fair elections, that type of
thing, the sort of thing you would
expect them to say just what I have
to say that in a situation like
this, where you've had so long under
somebody in charge who is considered
so undesirable and so difficult to
get along with by the international
community, everyone will want to
take advantage of this reset, even
if he doesn't prove in the long run
to be so different to President
Mugabe, they will want to deal with
somebody that gives them a fresh
chance to reset on trade, on tourism
and to take advantage of this
Let's join our guests now. Georgina,
what does that mean for your life
It is extraordinary, this is
the one goal I have been working
towards professionally all my life.
I hardly remember a time without
Robert Mugabe, he has influenced
every sphere of my life and it is
too big for words almost.
spoken to family or friends back
I have and they are absolutely
elated as are my butt with a note of
caution and I think that is
something we all must be aware. It
is important for us to celebrate and
God knows we have had this coming
for a long time but I do think this
is our moment and we have to seize
the opportunity. I also think it is
incredibly important to honour the
people that got us to this point and
perhaps even need a second wave of
war veterans, to honour people in
some way because so many people have
suffered and the people in Zimbabwe
who did not eat today will not
necessarily eat tomorrow.
you said note of caution, what is
that referring to?
with Zanu PF in any way is somehow
associated with everything Robert
Mugabe did and can a leopard change
its spots, we do not know but there
is this window of opportunity. You
have the international community
watching and you have, you cannot
put the genie back in the box, you
have the people now who have tasted
freedom and the army who for once
did not have too oppressed people.
Why should anyone in Zimbabwe now
believe that Emmerson Mnangagwa will
be any different to the man who he
governed alongside as vice president
for all those years, Xavier Zavare?
I think there is a reason to believe
in Emmerson Mnangagwa in the sense
that for the first time he will be
able to come out of the shell and be
himself. The Emmerson Mnangagwa we
know is very pragmatic in terms of
situations. He is also a good
listener in terms of everyone he
works around with.
You worked, he
worked alongside Mugabe with the
massacres, the corruption, why would
he not back that government now?
Well he needs to have his own legacy
away from Robert Mugabe and he will
have to work very hard for that. And
that is a source of comfort for me
and source of belief that he will
want to do very well and do things
differently. Even one of the
challenges why he ran for his life
was this argument behind the scenes
that he was having with Mugabe.
Miles, do you think that Emmerson
Mnangagwa then becomes in charge of
Zimbabwe or is that the army pulling
the strings question mark that is a
good question and I would like to
move beyond personalities, this was
done by the army.
I call them deep
state, they will not go away and the
important question to ask as well,
when Emmerson Mnangagwa becomes
president is is he really in charge
or is it the Army behind the scenes.
That are running the show. You do
not think he called on the Army but
the Army called on him, a decision
that came from the military?
have called on the Army but the
military did the work. And in that
sense he owes them. While he was
away from the country the Army did
this. So they have a significant
hold of him.
Is that how Zanu PF
likes to see it now, that the Army
can bring him in, replacing, they
may be calling the shots?
I do not
think our defence forces would like
to operate that way. The evidence of
what we've seen is that they have
tried as much as they can with this
intervention to let the government
function, to make sure that the
world understands it is not a cool.
They're just helping out in a
difficult situation. I do not think
they would want to be seen
continuing being involved, they will
just go back to their barracks and
remain as professional as they have
Do you sit back and
think this is a change for Zimbabwe,
using the Army in a very peaceful
It is not a coup? That language
had to be used in order not to
stimulate regional fight back. But I
think the Army themselves, the rank
and file where out there having
selfies done with citizens, those
are their brothers and sisters and I
think the Army now have had that
taste of being part of the crowd, of
all that joy and I think that cannot
be stopped. I also think it is
wonderful for us to be here together
tonight because as Morgan said in a
speech earlier today we must go
forward in hope and joy. And I think
the only way forward is to say some
terrible things happened, we
acknowledge that and we have to move
on and have some kind of unity.
is interesting how little
recrimination is, I was amazed
speaking to Morgan Tsvangirai that
he did not want to talk about
indictment or imprisonment. What
happens now to Mugabe?
I do not
think much will happen to him
because the people who replaced him
with the people...
will be left to die an old man?
Because the people who replaced him
did his dirty work and if you bring
him down that would bring them down
Are there any Mugabe
supporters left in the country
tonight, how does a man who has been
held in power for 37 years suddenly
have no wonder they're on the ground
who supports him question what it is
not necessary that he does not have
supporters any more because many
people still appreciate former
President Mugabe for what he did.
course we must accept that he also
made mistakes in his later years but
for what he did in the early years
of independence, the education he
introduced, and everything that he
did for the black majority will
always be remembered.
happened quickly, not a telling off,
was this a fear of Grace Mugabe?
Know I think what happened, Mugabe
did retain significant support on
the ground but because the process
of his removal has been militarised,
many of the MPs who went out to cast
the impeachment vote were told to do
so by the Army.
They were worried
that the wife would take over? All
these quotes like democracy is not
sexually transmitted and all these
placards people held up in the
streets. Is this a misogyny, what
kind of people can put up with a
dictator who commits God knows what
kind of atrocities for 30 years and
more and then says no to the wife?
Zanu PF is an institution and it has
a way of doing things and the way
the wife was now doing things is
contrary to what Zanu PF has always
been. Everything that the wife was
doing is against the principles that
we believe in as Zanu PF, against
the constitution of the PF itself.
And you can get away with it if you
are asked someone who has liberated
the country but she did not and that
was part of it.
Thank you all very
Well, tomorrow it's
Phillip Hammond's turn to use
long, economicky words.
He may choose, however,
to keep tomorrow's budget simple.
His task is to ease austerity
with what little money
he has at his disposal.
And to sound less gloomy
about Brexit than he may be feeling.
The chancellor will announce
an education package of around
£177 million to promote maths skills
- part of a drive towards
productivity and learning -
as well as a little bit more
for teacher training.
Perhaps the hardest challenge
for the government right now
is working out how to bring young
people, voting in their droves
for Corbyn at the last election,
into the Conservative fold.
Here's Chris Cook.
As we've got closer and closer
to finding out what's
in the Chancellor's red box,
it's become clearer and clearer
that the space he has to wield it
has shrunk and shrunk.
His last budget in March was hardly
a giveaway to begin with.
Since then, though,
his options haven't improved.
Economists worry in particular
about something that they refer
to as "head rooom".
That's the term they give
to the amount of money
that the Chancellor has on hand
without needing to raise taxes that
can be put towards spending
increases or tax cuts or coping
with unforeseen events.
The problem that Philip Hammond has
going into this budget
is that the amount of head room
he thought he has has been
This former OBR economist
explains what's happened.
The single biggest problem
that the Chancellor is facing
is that productivity is not growing
as fast as it once did.
We're not getting more efficient
at producing things and this means
the economy is going to grow more
slowly in the future
than it has in the past.
And this means there will be less
money to spend because tax revenue
will be slower as well.
Productivity is a long-term problem.
Back in 2010 the OBR had to forecast
what they thought would happen to it
and so they assumed it
would just rise.
But it didn't.
This is where we were by late 2013.
Productivity growth had stalled.
And what did the OBR
forecast say then?
Well, it predicted productivity
growth was just around the corner.
But it wasn't.
This is where we thought
we were at this last March budget.
The forecast once again was,
it's just about to take off.
And guess what, that was wrong, too.
With big consequences
for the Chancellor.
The Chancellor has a target.
And last time at the budget he had
about £26 billion of head room
against that target in the year
2020 - 2021.
Now because growth is slower,
this means he has much less head
room against that target,
probably only around £13 billion.
£13 billion of head room is a lot
of money, but it could easily be
eaten by future downgrades.
And a large slug of it
could go into one public
spending line in particular.
The government has already pencilled
in 2.5 billion extra cash
for the NHS next year.
But that really is just to keep
in line with inflation.
We estimate that on top
of that the NHS will
need another 4 billion.
And that is to keep up
with the demand for NHS services,
so effectively the increasing level
of patients coming in to the system.
Last week Simon Stephens,
the NHS England chief executive,
called for Vote Leave's promises
of extra NHS cash to be honoured.
By the end of the next financial
year for the NHS, March 2019,
the United Kingdom will have left
the European Union.
Trust in democratic politics
will not be strengthened
if anyone now tries to argue,
you voted Brexit partly for a better
funded health service,
but precisely because of Brexit,
you now can't have one.
Without extra money,
the health and social care system
faces further degradation in care
quality and waiting times.
But the Chancellor's slim room
for manoeuvre means it will be hard
for him to find very much NHS cash
without tax rises.
Nick Watt has had his nose
to the ground much of the week.
What are you sniffing out? This is
one of the key moment since the
general election and Philip Hammond
tomorrow must reach out to those
under the age of 50 who preferred
label -- preferred Labour. But it
got off to a scrappy start, one of
the dullest press releases ever
previewing the budget, talking about
was all to embrace change was a
vastly less exciting than the quite
interesting interviews Philip
Hammond did at the weekend on BBC
and the Sunday Times and then two
hours later a more interesting press
release, talking about a £42 million
investment in teacher training in
deprived areas and £177 million
investment in the maths teaching for
the Treasury sources said that there
will be plums tomorrow and you heard
from Chris Cook about how the
Chancellor has little room for
manoeuvre. There is a feeling that
things have looked a bit better in
the last month or so, the Eurozone
bouncing up which is good for the UK
and that will help tax revenues and
productivity which was looking
dreadful now ticking up a little
More broadly where is he going
The key thing is this
head room. He had £26 billion in
March and now just below £10
billion. What is interesting is that
because this is the first fiscal
event since the general election,
this will make in what was a change
at the general election so in the
general election the Tories said
they would balance the budget with
no deficit by the middle of the next
decade. Before that at the time of
the Autumn Statement it was 21, 22
so what that does is give the
Chancellor another three or four
years to spend the difference
between what is the borrowing target
of 2% of national income by the end
of the decade and the balance of the
budget, spending the difference
between 2% and 0% for three or four
Budgets by their very
nature tweak and tease -
one constituency of people feel
a little better,
another a little worse.
But what if we need to radically
reshape our economy into something
that picks up the disenfranchised
in our society?
Those who, bluntly put,
sometimes barely have enough to eat.
We report tonight
and from a part of that town
where house prices are amongst
the lowest in the country -
£49,000 on average in 2017,
having fallen by 47% since 2007.
I've lived here for 15 years.
The area's just gone down.
Loads of gangs round here,
and just the community,
it's not how it used to be.
The house prices are, like,
going down in this area.
There's not that much
increase in wages.
So, people, like the general
public's buying power has gone down.
You run out of cash,
you run out of food.
And that's the end of it.
It makes me feel a bit
sad, because I know
I'm leaving in a week.
And it's been my home
for, like, 14 years.
So, I do feel like a bit
of an ending is coming, really.
So, I've had my house up for sale
for a while, I'm wanting to move
because the area has gone really
downhill and is quite deprived now.
And property, houses,
are dropping quite rapidly.
Well, you don't need that.
All right, bin that.
We've got people who are dealing
drugs on the street,
there's a lot more different
cultured people and with different
Erm, nobody working,
people up all night play music loud.
And my house has been burgled
and I don't particularly feel safe
any more when I live by myself
on this street.
You don't need sun lotion.
No, but it's brand-new that,
I don't want to bin it.
Keep it for next year.
It's just when she rings me at night
time and says there's
a fight outside the door.
She's scared and I just say stay
in and lock the door.
I can't even say come
to my house because she
wouldn't dare go outside.
I have a good wage, I make a lot
of extra money that either
gets took off me in tax.
I also have then that increase
that the government takes
more off me in pension.
More off me in student loan.
And all my other bills leave me
with not very much money.
I do like to have a good life
and to do nice things
with my friends, to travel,
to go out for meals.
But I can't always keep up
with everyone because I
just can't afford it.
The business, it's quite
a few reasons, the corner
shops are going down
and down every year.
Everybody is asking
like cheaper, cheaper stuff,
do you sell cheap bread?
If somebody comes in,
do you sell any cheap cigarettes?
When are you moving, then?
So, I'm moving next Wednesday.
Have you sold the house?
I've nearly sold it, it's under
offer, but I'm just hoping,
because if it falls through then
I don't know what I'm going to do.
It's very hard to sell
the properties over here.
I've got the house over the road
and I put the lodgers in,
I haven't received the rent
since last four months.
And I'm struggling now.
You can't afford it, can you?
Four months I haven't
received anything yet.
I work seven days.
And about 13 to 14 hours a day.
And if you count the hours
over the week or month,
I don't have any break.
For years and years.
At the end of the day I don't
even get minimum wage.
How long can you work for 14
hours a day and all week?
I think nobody does.
And it's only me.
I'm constantly thinking about money,
I'm constantly doing
spreadsheets to work out how I'm
going to pay my bills.
I'm always on the phone
setting up payment plans,
asking for help with stuff.
And I'm quite a proud person,
and I don't like that.
The community has
gone down, hasn't it?
It's not the same any more.
I'm just hanging my coat up.
I would never let him out at all.
What happened the other week?
You said you got robbed?
Well, there was two bikes outside.
And the thieves must
have pushed the gate.
Does it feel safe
round here at night?
When the food runs out,
I'll start crying and then
I'll ask my daughter,
hopefully she'll have something
for me, or my son.
My eldest son.
At the moment, struggling a lot.
With being on universal
credit, erm, and the way
they actually deal with you.
It's all over the phone
or online, job coaches.
Since 2008, I lost a lot
of my family through bereavement,
and that's what caused my
depression and anxiety.
And I've been on a downward spiral
ever since, basically.
I am struggling, to be fair.
Just love to work.
Just to get a better life for him.
You know, better schooling,
But at the moment with me, I can't
because I have to care for him.
I'm his carer - as well as his
parent, I'm his carer.
So, it's very difficult.
Just want a nicer life
for my son round here.
Well, not round here per se,
but somewhere nice.
Nicer environment, nicer area.
I never ask for help,
I never have done, never will.
But now I think it's coming to that
stage where I do need help.
And I need to ask for it, really.
I worked all my life
since the age of 16.
To not work now is...
Basically I feel it's
the end of my life now.
I feel like it's over.
A lot of the time I just want to lie
down, I prefer not to wake up
when I go to sleep on a night.
But I do.
And I'm a survivor
and I keep fighting.
And keep going.
But it's not nice, it's not.
I haven't got the motivation.
I want to go back to work.
I really do, because I
can't live like this.
I don't know how people have done it
for years, I really don't.
It's really bad.
Let's pick up some of those
concerns with Torsten Bell,
from the Resolution
Foundation, a think-tank.
And when you look at that kind of
struggle, weather it's a woman
talking about food running out or
someone saying they have never had
to ask for help but then again I
have to now. The shopkeeper talking
about those 14 hour days on less
than the minimum wage - is there
anything the Chancellor can start to
do tomorrow that addresses trouble
is on that scale?
the stories brings to life some of
the statistics you see about the
cost of living crisis and how people
feel in Britain today. But the big
picture over quite some years is
that Britain's population as a
whole, not just the extreme end of
this, are in a serious living
standards squeeze the likes of which
none of us have seen in living
memory. And at the lower end of the
income distribution that is felt
very severely, people being squeezed
who already have very little income
and people being pushed into the
summer the situations we heard about
there. That is when some people say
this is an unprecedented period in
British history for people at the
heart end of that it is really
Because there's so much
emphasis on the house-building side
of things, on Theresa May wanting to
be remembered as the builder and yet
if you take many parts of the
country, not just Middlesbrough,
house prices declining there, there
is even marry oversupply there. The
problem of the lack of housing is
very much in the south of England?
We need to be careful about that.
What is technically true is that we
are focusing on what will raise
living standards in different parts
of the country. So in Birmingham
it's about unemployment and a labour
market disaster. In Sheffield it's
low pay. In London it is acutely
housing. But let's be clear, housing
is a problem right across the
country. If we look at how much of
our income as a population we are
spending on housing, it has troubled
over the last 50 years. Housing is a
problem everywhere, homeownership is
falling in the north-east, not as
fast as it is in parts of London but
it is falling. And housing costs
have risen very significantly, even
in the north-east as a whole.
about the whole idea of right to
buy, in that case?
On housing the
problem has been building at least
since the 19th 80s and it is a
disgrace that we haven't focused on
that. We put up with it because
house prices were rising and we put
up with it because homeownership was
still high and incomes were growing.
Now, we've got falling homeownership
and incomes being squeezed.
where the government has pledged to
put their attention and their money
now. But the problem politically, if
you will allow, for the Chancellor
tomorrow, is how to pull in all
these young people that don't find
the Conservatives a very sexy brand
any more, if they did. And how does
he do that? It's not going to be
through rail cards, is it? It's not
going to be through...
cards are no use either politically
or substantively. They may be a nice
thing to have. The bigger picture
with young people today,
substantively, is not just that they
can't get a house, the problem is
that their wages ask wheat in a way
that we've not seen, they had a 9%
pay squeeze during the financial
crisis, more than any other age
group. We've seen the fastest rising
housing costs and is now getting
less for that. Addressing that is
what substantively the Chancellor
needs to do, and actually that will
matter politically. It will show
young people that he is focusing on
their concerns and secondly weather
you are young or not you know that
this intergenerational question is a
big question facing the country.
Grandparents and parents want these
problems are addressed for the sake
of the country not just for the sake
of the young people.
These are not
normal times. Is there anything
you're expecting the Chancellor to
do tomorrow? Will it be rolling back
Universal Credit, will it be
something dramatic, pushing that
whole idea away, which will...?
the Chancellor should do is get on
with building houses. He should
reverse the cuts to benefits which
are coming over the next few years
which will hit young people in their
30s just as they are entering the
expensive early childcare phase of
their lives. That might start
looking like we're focusing on real
Thank you very much for
That's all we've got time for this
evening, but before we go,
seasoned Newsnight viewers will know
that some of the most effective
politicians are able to pivot,
seamlessly, from the topic you ask
them about to the topic
they really want to talk about.
Clegg, they all did it.
But we think Australian MP
Bob Katter might have taken it a bit
far when asked about the country's
recent referendum on equal marriage.
Final, final observation
on the same-sex marriage
debate from Bob Katter.
I mean, you know, people
are entitled to their sexual
proclivities, you know!
I mean, let there be
a thousand blossoms bloom,
as far as I'm concerned!
But I ain't spending any time on it,
because in the meantime,
every three months, a person is torn
to pieces by a crocodile
in North Queensland.
in North Queensland.
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