22/11/2017 Newsnight


22/11/2017

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis and Emily Maitlis, incluing an examination of the Budget.


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Transcript


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He made us laugh...

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I did take the precaution

of asking my right honourable friend

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to bring a packet of cough

sweets, just in case.

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He made us cry...

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Regrettably, our productivity

performance continues to disappoint.

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But did he do enough

for the country?

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It's been a ragged old few

weeks for the government,

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at a difficult time for the country.

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Budget day is the big chance

for Chancellors to show they've

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got a grip on things.

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With some serious economic

downgrades, we'll ask

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where the budget leaves us.

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We have our home team

of specialist correspondents.

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We'll hear from the

Government Treasury team,

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as well as the opposition.

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We'll digest the day

with our panel of commentators.

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And we're all here in Bury

to bring you the first focus

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group since the Chancellor

made that budget speech.

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What do they think of

what he's offering today?

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Hello.

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The budget headline: Britain isn't

quite the strong economy

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we'd hoped or thought.

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And that's official.

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The sixth biggest economy

in the world, the Chancellor

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told us, not the fifth

as it is often described.

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Our new budget forecasts predict

growth over the next five

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years to be lacklustre.

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Less than 2% all the way.

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Pathetic is a term

that comes to mind.

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Not that you would have thought

so from the early paragraphs

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of Philip Hammond's speech,

with an upbeat description

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of Britain's ability

to benefit from the white heat

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of a new technology revolution.

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For the first time in decades

Britain is genuinely

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at the forefront of this

technological revolution.

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Not just in our universities

and research institutes,

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but this time in the commercial

development labs of our great

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companies and on factory floors

and business parks across this land.

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But we must invest to secure that

bright future for Britain.

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And at this budget,

that is what we choose to do.

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Well, park that thought,

because we soon had to get

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into the nitty gritty.

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And two big things stuck out for me.

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First, that low growth.

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It's all about productivity,

the amount we produce

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for an hour of work.

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In the past, productivity tended

to go up as we get better at things.

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But look here at the graph -

when the financial crash came,

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it fell right back.

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And for years now, the OBR have been

forecasting that it'll bounce back.

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These are the last few forecasts.

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But actual productivity

simply stagnated.

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So now they've scaled

back the forecast.

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And from that, all other

bad news follows.

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Borrowing, for example,

is not coming down nearly as fast

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as the Chancellor wanted.

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And this is not just

a temporary recession either.

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Nor is this Brexit -

that could still muck everything up

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as the forecast assumes it

goes fairly smoothly.

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No, this is a downgrading

of our economic potential.

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The productivity bounceback

is like an awkward date -

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you wait for them to show up

at the restaurant,

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after ten years you decide

they are probably not coming.

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The OBR has assumed at each

of the last 16 fiscal events that

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productivity growth would return

to its pre-crisis trend

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of about 2% a year, but it has

remained stubbornly flat.

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So today they revise down

the outlook for productivity growth,

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business investment,

and GDP growth across

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the forecast period.

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That line was more important

than everything else

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in the speech combined.

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But a second striking feature

of this budget concerns public

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spending and austerity.

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After the last six elections,

we've had big tax rises to pay

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for extra public spending.

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Not this time.

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An historic shift.

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And yet, we still have spending cuts

baked in to our plans,

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Sizeable spending cuts.

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Here's the graph.

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Per capita spending on government

services from 2015 to 2022.

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So is this really do-able?

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Today the Chancellor bunged some

billions into the public sector

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to ease the pain in the next couple

of years but he's still

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budgeting on pain later.

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Well, that's two big themes.

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There's a lot more to talk about,

notably three billion for Brexit

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and lots on housing.

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But here's Nick Watt

with his take on the day.

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We have known him as spreadsheet

Phil, the cautious and rather dull

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guardian of the nation's

public finances.

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But after that hammering

at the general election, did the new

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spendthrift Phil

step onto the stage?

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The Chancellor unveiled

what the Treasury billed an extra 25

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billion in spending and in easing

of taxes over the next five years.

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This has been

a wretched year for the

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government after Theresa May lost

her parliamentary majority in June.

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The Tories were deeply unsettled

by Labour success in winning over

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younger voters who believed

austerity had had itS day.

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And then there are

the warring Brexit

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factions who are overshadowing the

work of this government and putting

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one minister in the firing line.

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So today Philip Hammond

needed to reset

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the dial for the Tories

by reasserting his own authority and

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making clear he hears that cry

of frustration in June.

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We are listening and we understand

the frustration of

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families where real incomes

are under pressure,

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so at this budget we

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choose a balanced approach.

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Yes, maintaining fiscal

responsibility as

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we at last see our debt peaking.

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Continuing to invest in the skills

and infrastructure that will support

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the jobs of the future.

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Building the homes that

will make good on our

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promise to the next generation.

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Jeremy Corbyn thought

the budget had failed

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its first test, improving

the

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lives of ordinary people.

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Utter complacency

about the crisis facing

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our public services and complacent

about the reality of daily life for

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millions of people in this country.

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Entirely out of touch with that

reality of life for millions.

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While this had the

trappings of a normal

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budget day, there

was a different feel.

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The Chancellor's team were very keen

to talk up the extra

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spending and in language that

would have been unthinkable until

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relatively recently they talked

about fiscal loosening.

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So is this Chancellor

really turning the taps?

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Well, the answer

to that in the words

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of Evelyn Waugh is up to a

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point, Lord Copper.

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This budget does mark a limited

net giveaway to help

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the economy after the dramatic

downgrade in growth forecasts with

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measures such as the abolition

of stamp duty for most first-time

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buyers.

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But then take aways are pencilled

in for the early part of

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next decade.

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The big news in the budget

was really the first few

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minutes when he explained

that the growth forecasts had been

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downgraded.

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It has massive knock-on

implications, far less government

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revenue, higher public borrowing

and a decline in people's living

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standards beyond what they were led

to expect before the election.

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That is £700 a head

at the end of the

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parliament.

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There was a mixed reception

amongst Tory MPs.

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Some were a little

underwhelmed, but I

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spoke to one leading Brexit

supporter who told me, I am

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delighted with this budget

and I was hoping to get rid

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of Philip Hammond

just a few weeks ago.

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But the Chancellor faces a delicate

balancing act as he seeks to win

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back those younger voters who

believe austerity has had its day.

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He needs to spend in a way

that does not spook

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the market but he needs

to

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deliver change with

enough of a flourish

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that the Tories get

the

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credit - a mini me Labour budget

would probably rebound.

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I think this budget

effectively effectively did

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not go in for Corbyn light.

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That is what I most

feared, that he would

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listen to some of the dafter voices

lobbying, trying to press him to

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give into as many lobbies as

possible to try to buy a few votes.

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Even Corbyn light is not affordable.

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First, get the economy on a

sustainable and reasonable path,

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then decide how best to spend

the revenues that will produce.

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If he was just handing

out money today, I

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would have been very worried indeed.

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One Labour critic of Jeremy Corbyn

thought the budget failed the

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challenge set by her

party at the election.

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There is nothing really hopeful

or inspiring about today's

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budget.

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There is nothing that says

we are going to get productivity

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going up, this is a country about to

get up and start looking after

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itself.

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Actually what it is is growth

is down and productivity is

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down and spending cuts have caused

growth to be down, so it is just

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more of the same lack of hope

from a hopeless government.

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Philip Hammond has for now

earned a reprieve with a

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budget that was relatively well

received on the Tory benches, but

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budgets that go down well on day one

can often run into trouble

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further down the line.

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When Chancellors get

punished for budget mishaps,

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it tends not to be the really bad

news that gets them,

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the downgrade of growth or whatever.

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It is usually the specific measures

that entangle them in knots.

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Today, the specific measures

that were the headline

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grabbers related to housing.

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Getting the young who feel shut out

of the housing market back in,

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and back in love with the Tories.

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Our business editor

Helen Thomas is here.

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Also is Chris Cook who's

been looking at the NHS

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and public spending.

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Let us start Ities, with you, the

NHS, not cracking open the

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champagne.

You can forgive a bit of

irritation in Whitehall, with NHS

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leaders today. They have put in

about 2 billion next year, a further

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3.6 billion over the rest of the

Parliament, in capital, the slight

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problem is that the NHS made clear

that they thought they wanted 4

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billion to make the sums up next

year and 10 billion of capital over

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the rest of the Parliament, to

modernise the estate and make sure

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the hospitals can keep up with the

ever rising demand for health care,

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the thing is the NHS has this odd

structure, we have a chief executive

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of the NHS, we have a chair of the

NHS England, and they are

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independent, they are allowed do

what they like, they have started

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campaigning for more money, so we

have this odd thing, they have been

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given 2 billion, 3.6 over the rest

of the Parliament and Sir Malcolm

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Grant says the extra money is

welcome, but he say, we can no

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longer avoid the difficulty debate

about what is possible to deliver

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for patients with the money

available. They will have a board

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meeting to discuss what they do and

don't do on November 30th.

That is

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big news.

Yes.

What about briefly,

the rest of public spending, because

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there is a squeeze coming to a few

departments, even though they have

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had one.

The critical thing is we

don't know where it will go, because

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there is a sort of cliff edge in the

budget beyond which we know nothing

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about public spending and huge

amount of pain is concentrated in

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the mystery years.

Thank you. Helen.

Eye-catching measures on housing, a

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stamp duty removal for first-time

buyers.

It was the headline grabber

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so this zero stamp duty for Bayers

of up to £300,000 you can save for

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up to 5 grand on a property of up to

a million pounds, this is sticky in

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a few ways, Ed Miliband proposed a

similar policy in 2015 and the

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Conservatives called it a gimmick

sand said it had been tried before

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and failed. The Office for Budget

Responsibility said today, that when

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it has been tried before, the

savings have basically been

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incorporated into hiring house

prices and it hasn't helped

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affordability. It is worth thinking

about, the average first time buy e

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the purchase prize is 210,000, so

they will save about £1700. The

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bigger savings is for Bayers of more

expensive property, if you are in a

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part of the country with lower house

price, plenty of properties for

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under 125,000, it doesn't change

things.

Look, one of the things they

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have said, is the real measures have

to get the supply of housing up and

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there was a lot in the budget. At

the end of the budget there is a

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rabbit...

There was. A big headline

number was 44 billion in support for

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the housing market. Now actually

only about 15 billion of that is new

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measures announced today. The rest

was already out there. And most of

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that when you lock at it was either

loans or loan guarantee, especially

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to new builder, so private sector

builders, when you come down to cold

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hard cash, spending announced today

was about 6 billion over five year,

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so that sounds less impressive. What

I will say is that the housing

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experts I have spoken to like some

of the areas that money is going

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into. So they like the signs of a

more robust approach, and they like

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this definite focus on resuscitating

the smaller end of the house

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building market.

OK. Thank you.

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Well, this government has had

a turbulent time in recent weeks.

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Brexit is basically one concession

to the Europeans after another,

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and there is a sense of a lack

of vision about that and more.

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A government treading time to see

where things will go.

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So does this budget show

a government with a direction?

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I'm joined by Liz Truss,

who is Philip Hammond's deputy

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Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

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Also with us, Peter Dowd,

her Labour opposite number.

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We'll come to you in a minute.

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Let me start with Liz. Can we start

on that housing, the Office for

0:14:270:14:33

Budget Responsibility say on the

stamp duty measure, the main gainers

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from the policy are the people who

already own property not the first

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time buyers themselves. Because your

measure will push up the prices, so

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the owners benefit not the Bayers.

I

think lots of people are struggling

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to get on the housing ladder, there

are many people in that 20s and 30s

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who previously would have been able

to buy a home, now finding it much

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more difficult and of course, we

need to increase the supply of homes

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and that is what the measures are

about and getting up to 300,000, but

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we felt it was necessary to do

something now, to help those who

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have struggled for a number of

years,

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But you are not helping them if you

simply push the price of houses up?

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People will not have to pay the tax

up to 300000 and they will have a

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reduction up to 500,000. That is

cash you are not paying to the

0:15:280:15:31

taxman.

But you are paying the

higher price. Do you agree with the

0:15:310:15:37

statement by the budget of office

regulation that the main gainers are

0:15:370:15:42

the people who own property?

The

main gainers are people who will be

0:15:420:15:46

able to buy their own home.

You are

saying something different. They

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said the main gainers were people

who own property.

That is who we are

0:15:530:15:58

aiming to help.

You disagree with

their analysis?

Their analysis

0:15:580:16:04

suggests that overall the impact on

house prices will be 3%. That is a

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minor increase and what we are

looking at...

It is not a minor

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increase for people who are buying!

The people we want to help other

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people we want to exempt from tax.

Why did the Tory party say it was a

0:16:220:16:29

panicky, underfunded announcement

and failed last time when Labour

0:16:290:16:32

suggested this in the 2015 election?

This is funded announcement, our

0:16:320:16:37

budget package fully funded.

You

called it a gimmick and you said it

0:16:370:16:44

failed. Why would you pick up

something that Labour suggested two

0:16:440:16:47

years ago which you said was a

failure? The Treasury announcement

0:16:470:16:51

said when it was tried before it did

not have a significant impact in

0:16:510:16:56

improving affordability for

first-time buyers. The Tory party,

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the Treasury, the Office for Budget

Responsibility all said it was

0:17:000:17:03

stupid.

We except the big issue is

supply and we need to expand supply,

0:17:030:17:08

but there is a need in the short

term to help people out because

0:17:080:17:13

people are struggling and we

recognise people are struggling with

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getting on the ladder.

Are we not in

an era where you are actually saying

0:17:150:17:23

that by refusing to entertain the

notion that not helping people, but

0:17:230:17:29

you are just making gestures to show

that you care and you listen and it

0:17:290:17:32

does not matter whether it works, it

is more about what it says. We know

0:17:320:17:37

it does not work because of all

these people who say...

I am a

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believer in low taxation. If we can

exempt people from taxes, lower

0:17:420:17:47

taxes for hard-pressed people, we

have done it on the lower allowance

0:17:470:17:51

and giving basic tax rate payers

£1000 of they would have paid and it

0:17:510:17:56

is the right thing for a

Conservative government to be doing.

0:17:560:18:00

Let's move on to spending. We heard

Chris saying the NHS is sitting down

0:18:000:18:09

and they need to work out what they

are going to do and not do. What

0:18:090:18:14

would be your advice over what the

NHS should stop doing because they

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do not have the funds?

We understand

there are pressures in the NHS. We

0:18:180:18:23

have seen a big increase in the

number of people going to A&E and a

0:18:230:18:27

big increase in the number having

operations and there is pressure on

0:18:270:18:31

the NHS. That is why whilst keeping

to our fiscal rules we have found

0:18:310:18:36

that extra money for the NHS. We

have also said we were looked at

0:18:360:18:41

funding for a package for nurses and

other NHS workers as well because we

0:18:410:18:45

recognise how hard those people work

and we do want to be able to.

They

0:18:450:18:52

say they cannot do everything on the

budget they are given at the moment,

0:18:520:18:55

what would you like them to stop

doing in order to stick to the

0:18:550:19:00

budget?

A lot of the money we are

putting in its capital to be able to

0:19:000:19:05

modernised NHS facilities and that

should enable the NHS to improve its

0:19:050:19:09

productivity and be able to do more.

That is the whole purpose of that

0:19:090:19:14

capital funding.

You say they can do

everything.

We are giving them

0:19:140:19:22

capital money to help transform the

service so they can do more.

When it

0:19:220:19:26

comes to things like NHS targets on

waiting times and A&E which are

0:19:260:19:31

being failed all the time everywhere

at the moment, is there a chance

0:19:310:19:36

that we will start meeting those

targets?

Absolutely.

They will say

0:19:360:19:40

we cannot do it on this money, are

they wrong?

I am not saying they are

0:19:400:19:47

wrong, absolutely not, but I am

saying the money we are putting in

0:19:470:19:51

should help us reach those targets.

That is why we are putting the money

0:19:510:19:55

in and we have looked at how that

will help achieve those targets in

0:19:550:19:59

conjunction with the money we are

putting in to modernise facilities

0:19:590:20:03

and what we are looking at on pay as

well for nurses and other staff.

I

0:20:030:20:08

know you are not the Health

Secretary, but you either public

0:20:080:20:12

spending secretary, when do you

think they will be able to get back

0:20:120:20:15

into those targets?

This will help

make positive progress towards those

0:20:150:20:19

targets over the next few years.

You

used to be Justice Secretary and the

0:20:190:20:26

Justice budget has about 25% in real

time cuts over the last seven years

0:20:260:20:30

and it is getting another 15% or

thereabouts. Do you think seriously

0:20:300:20:36

you can cut the Justice budget by

that amount when you see what the

0:20:360:20:39

state of prisons are at the moment?

We have an extra 100 million into

0:20:390:20:46

prisons every year and we are

successfully recruiting more prison

0:20:460:20:50

officers, so we have made more real

progress and we are getting more

0:20:500:20:55

officers in our prisons and it is

fair to say the situation...

If you

0:20:550:21:01

were Justice Secretary, do you think

you could take 15% out of that

0:21:010:21:05

budget without shocking conditions

in prisons? That is the policy at

0:21:050:21:09

the moment. I am wondering if you

think you can deliver it.

I am

0:21:090:21:14

saying we put in an extra 100

million to deal with those staff

0:21:140:21:17

measures.

So they will not make the

15% cut?

There are ways in different

0:21:170:21:26

services like using modern

technology, cutting out some of the

0:21:260:21:29

paperwork and processes. If I can

give you an example... Let me give

0:21:290:21:37

you an example of the police force.

I went out with the Northern

0:21:370:21:41

Constabulary and they now use body

cameras, they did not need to go

0:21:410:21:50

back to the police station, they

have got a friend down and they can

0:21:500:21:53

do investigations and those things

more efficiently. That is great for

0:21:530:21:58

people in public services because

they are spending more time on the

0:21:580:22:01

front line and they can deliver that

service more efficiently. We are

0:22:010:22:06

carefully looking at every single

public service to make sure they

0:22:060:22:09

have the resources they need which

is why we are putting the extra

0:22:090:22:12

money into the NHS because we

recognise there are very real.

Very

0:22:120:22:20

quickly on growth and productivity,

do you think we should get used to

0:22:200:22:23

these figures are 1.5%? Is that now

the new normal? Would you work on

0:22:230:22:29

that assumption?

I do not think we

should accept that at all. I think

0:22:290:22:33

we have huge potential in this

country, I think we can do better

0:22:330:22:37

and I think we can match our

international competitors when it

0:22:370:22:41

comes to areas like maths and

computer science. It will take time.

0:22:410:22:46

Of course when we are changing

things like the school curriculum or

0:22:460:22:50

the number of students doing

computer science it takes a while

0:22:500:22:53

for those people to come through the

system. We have got tremendous

0:22:530:22:57

things going on in Britain. We have

got a record number of start-up

0:22:570:23:03

companies, $22 billion tech

companies, and I do that we have a

0:23:030:23:06

bright future. It will not be

instant magic but we should not

0:23:060:23:11

accept mediocrity, we have got to

get better.

Wait there until I talk

0:23:110:23:15

to Peter Dowd. It all comes back to

growth, doesn't it? In the Labour

0:23:150:23:21

manifesto you were spending £48

billion extra but none of it was

0:23:210:23:26

directed towards productivity. It

only got two mentions in the

0:23:260:23:31

manifesto.

That is not correct. Half

of that money was in relation to

0:23:310:23:36

education from early years through

to primary schools, secondary

0:23:360:23:39

schools, further education,

universities and lifelong learning.

0:23:390:23:45

That is an investment and that would

feed into productivity.

The spending

0:23:450:23:50

on education was mostly about giving

money to students, restoring the

0:23:500:23:55

education maintenance allowance,

abolishing fees. That will not raise

0:23:550:24:02

productivity unless you get more

students better taught.

That was

0:24:020:24:06

half that budget and a significant

portion was in relation to further

0:24:060:24:10

education which is where we should

be putting the money.

There was some

0:24:100:24:16

funding of 16-19 -year-old, but we

are talking less than 2 billion.

And

0:24:160:24:21

on top of that we had our

infrastructure spending of 250

0:24:210:24:26

billion, so there were significant

amounts in relation to raising

0:24:260:24:30

productivity and putting investment

in the system. That was there for

0:24:300:24:35

everyone to see. 48.6 billion.

Productivity relies on

0:24:350:24:39

infrastructure. Can I ask you about

new technology? Philip Hammond today

0:24:390:24:45

made a lot about driverless cars and

the industrial revolution and I was

0:24:450:24:50

wondering if there was a

philosophical difference. He wants

0:24:500:24:54

Britain to be good at driverless

cars and he wants them to take off

0:24:540:24:58

in this country. That could destroy

hundreds of thousands of jobs of

0:24:580:25:03

drivers. Do you welcome that or not?

Of course I welcome new technology.

0:25:030:25:09

The whole of the Industrial

Revolution is about new technology.

0:25:090:25:12

We are talking about the fourth

industrial revolution. You cannot

0:25:120:25:18

stop the advance of technology. What

that does not mean its people are

0:25:180:25:21

less well off and there are less

jobs.

What is the policy on

0:25:210:25:27

driverless cars? You agree with him

promoting them. What do you do to

0:25:270:25:32

all the drivers at the moment?

There

are suggestions that in the future

0:25:320:25:37

there are jobs which we do not know

will exist now. We do not know what

0:25:370:25:46

those jobs are. The idea that all

these people lose jobs and they will

0:25:460:25:50

not be replaced with other jobs, you

only have to look at Singapore and

0:25:500:25:54

the growth levels and the employment

levels, so they are not mutually

0:25:540:25:58

exclusive.

You have been very open

that you want higher taxes.

0:25:580:26:05

Criticism of the Labour position on

taxes is why you say you want higher

0:26:050:26:09

taxes you pretend to know one will

feel it. They will only be paid by

0:26:090:26:13

companies or a small number of very

wealthy people. The Institute for

0:26:130:26:17

Fiscal Studies has said you cannot

raise 50 billion through companies

0:26:170:26:22

because they were either pay their

workers less or charge their

0:26:220:26:26

customers more or pay out less to

pensioners who are shareholders and

0:26:260:26:30

rely on the income. Is it time to

admit that those costings will hit

0:26:300:26:35

ordinary people as well as just

companies?

I do not think it is time

0:26:350:26:40

to admit that because I do not

believe that. We set out absolutely

0:26:400:26:47

transparently hour 46.8 billion and

where we would raise that money

0:26:470:26:50

from. We believe it would affect

only 5% in terms of income tax

0:26:500:26:55

payers and the rest of the formula

will come from corporations. Let's

0:26:550:27:00

take an example. In relation to

corporation tax it was a 26% and the

0:27:000:27:06

government proposed to bring it down

to 17% and we would take it to 26%

0:27:060:27:11

and it was still be the lowest in

the G7.

Somebody has to Bear this,

0:27:110:27:16

either the shareholders, the workers

or the customers. That is the point.

0:27:160:27:21

There is no such thing as a company

independent of people who actually

0:27:210:27:25

run it.

That is the point, you raise

productivity, you put investment in

0:27:250:27:32

the economy, people get higher

wages, there is more profit and that

0:27:320:27:35

is where the growth comes from in

relation to the tax we get.

It is

0:27:350:27:40

all back to growth and both of you

would like that very much.

0:27:400:27:43

would like that very much.

0:27:430:27:44

Now, it is a grand tradition

on budget days to ask

0:27:440:27:47

what the public reaction is.

0:27:470:27:48

We've had a government in a mess

for the last few weeks and public

0:27:480:27:51

services struggling.

0:27:510:27:53

So has the Chancellor done anything

to get the show back on the road?

0:27:530:27:56

Emily has been in Bury today

with a focus group selected for us

0:27:560:27:59

by a market research company.

0:27:590:28:00

The panel was drawn from the local

area and designed to be

0:28:000:28:03

politically mixed -

some voted Conservative last time,

0:28:030:28:05

some for Labour and some

didn't vote at all.

0:28:050:28:07

These groups can never

offer a scientific study

0:28:070:28:09

of public sentiment,

but they did offer a rich guide

0:28:090:28:12

as to how things are playing.

0:28:120:28:16

Lynette, I'm going to come to you,

you picked up a few bits and bobs.

0:28:160:28:20

What were the things

that jumped out at you?

0:28:200:28:22

Interesting probably

was more money for the NHS,

0:28:220:28:24

I think that's something we really

need at the moment.

0:28:240:28:26

Also, the increase

in the minimum wage.

0:28:260:28:28

It's only a small increase,

but it's helping people

0:28:280:28:30

in this economic climate.

0:28:300:28:34

And also, I think, raising the tax

thresholds, I think the basic tax

0:28:340:28:37

threshold has gone up a little bit

and also the 40%, it's kind of gone

0:28:370:28:41

up ever so slightly.

0:28:410:28:42

So I think that's helped.

0:28:420:28:46

You work part-time so

that is helpful for you?

0:28:460:28:48

Yes, I think especially

with the basic tax, I think

0:28:480:28:51

that definitely helps,

along with the minimum wage.

0:28:510:28:53

It just helps push

things up a little bit.

0:28:530:28:55

Was anyone disappointed

by what they heard today?

0:28:550:28:57

Was there something you were holding

out for that you didn't hear?

0:28:570:28:59

Yes.

0:28:590:29:02

I overall was impressed

by the budget speech,

0:29:020:29:06

but I did want to hear something

about gambling, and trying to solve

0:29:060:29:10

this problem of addictive gambling,

I thought it was a bad opportunity

0:29:100:29:13

missed by the Chancellor today.

0:29:130:29:16

Can I ask the younger ones

whether they responded

0:29:160:29:20

to the first-time buyers

announcement at all?

0:29:200:29:23

Is that going to make a difference

do your life if you don't have

0:29:230:29:27

to pay stamp duty up to £300,000

on a house you're buying?

0:29:270:29:29

Yes, I think it will

help quite a lot.

0:29:290:29:35

Obviously as a first time buyer

300,000 is obviously quite a lot

0:29:350:29:41

of money but I'm looking to buy

a house into the next year and it

0:29:410:29:44

will help quite a lot.

0:29:440:29:45

I found it a lot easier

because it is hard now these days

0:29:450:29:49

to save up enough deposit to put

towards your first time house,

0:29:490:29:54

but the problem is, they're saying

they are going to build more houses

0:29:540:29:58

for us, but are they affordable

for people like us?

0:29:580:30:00

Are they just for the more people

that earn more money?

0:30:000:30:03

It's whether they get built as well.

0:30:030:30:06

Because they have promised to build

more houses before in previous

0:30:060:30:10

budgets and never built them.

0:30:100:30:11

I think it was 200,000 a a few years

ago and they never built them.

0:30:110:30:15

So who doesn't believe

the house building promise?

0:30:150:30:17

I don't believe it.

0:30:170:30:18

It is unrealistic for what they say.

0:30:180:30:19

I think they should try to free up

local authorities to build,

0:30:190:30:23

I think that would make a big

impression because they would build

0:30:230:30:26

social housing and I don't see any

route to social housing being built,

0:30:260:30:29

that has been mentioned

in the budget today.

0:30:290:30:31

Social housing that wouldn't be

privately purchased then?

0:30:310:30:33

Correct.

0:30:330:30:34

Right.

0:30:340:30:35

But they need to reduce the amount

of bureaucracy as well.

0:30:350:30:39

The old council house,

they were all built by the local

0:30:390:30:41

authorities, and that's just not

happened for many years now,

0:30:410:30:44

and there's an opportunity

today to do that.

0:30:440:30:49

Let me ask how many of you are still

living with parents, or parents how

0:30:490:30:52

many of you still have children

living with you, just

0:30:520:30:55

put your hand up if that...

0:30:550:30:56

I have two daughters

and a son, they're all at...

0:30:560:30:59

One's just finished her degree,

one is now a teacher,

0:30:590:31:02

and the other one is living at home,

he's at college.

0:31:020:31:06

Do you think this will help any

of your kids by buy their own homes?

0:31:060:31:11

I hope so, I really do hope so,

for them to be able to be able

0:31:110:31:14

to buy their own home would be

something that we

0:31:140:31:17

would be looking for.

0:31:170:31:18

Adam you said you are

trying to buy next year.

0:31:180:31:20

I think it is not necessarily

they have reduced it,

0:31:200:31:24

but I think it's the deposit that's

the big thing, that's

0:31:240:31:27

the difficult thing in getting

on the property ladder now.

0:31:270:31:29

Saskia, you're still living at home.

0:31:290:31:33

I'm still living at home,

and like I often think that compared

0:31:330:31:37

to some people, I think I'm

fortunate, because I never went

0:31:370:31:41

to university and stuff,

and I just think, you know

0:31:410:31:44

if some of my friend

0:31:440:31:45

who are at uni, they finish uni

and they have so much money

0:31:450:31:48

they owe, they are going to be stuck

at home for such a long time

0:31:480:31:53

because you know deposits to put

down on a house are just enormous.

0:31:530:31:56

And you would be looking

to buy your own now, would you?

0:31:560:32:00

Would anything in the budget

change your plans for the next year,

0:32:000:32:02

do you think or not yet?

0:32:020:32:07

I don't know all about it,

but it's optimistic you know,

0:32:070:32:10

to hear they are doing something

about it, they are aware

0:32:100:32:13

that this, it is a massive

struggle for some people.

0:32:130:32:15

Let me pick up on that now.

0:32:150:32:18

Who could tell me the hardest thing

in their life at the moment,

0:32:180:32:21

that the budget did

or didn't address.

0:32:210:32:25

My mum is an Alzheimer's sufferer,

she is currently in care,

0:32:250:32:32

she is living in a place,

a housing trust, but she's trying

0:32:320:32:35

to be rehomed at the moment

and the system is just collapsing,

0:32:350:32:38

it's falling apart.

0:32:380:32:39

Although there was mention

of money for the NHS,

0:32:390:32:43

there wasn't any specific mention

of money for social care

0:32:430:32:46

and particularly elderly social

care, and just being in that loop,

0:32:460:32:48

I know that that system

is ready to collapse.

0:32:480:32:52

More money for like specifically

allocated for mental health.

0:32:520:32:58

I think it is a really big issue

at moment and just mental

0:32:580:33:01

Health Services are really

like stretched at the moment,

0:33:010:33:03

waiting lists and I think they need

to really specify which areas

0:33:030:33:08

they are going to be spent in.

0:33:080:33:10

Who else would agree with that?

0:33:100:33:12

I agree with that but also

the conditions and disabilities

0:33:120:33:14

such as autism are not

catered for enough.

0:33:140:33:17

I work in autism, and I know

the measures aren't there

0:33:170:33:19

to assist particularly

the more challenging people.

0:33:190:33:21

So you would like to see more money

in the NHS for social

0:33:210:33:24

care for disability,

for mental health as well.

0:33:240:33:27

Let me ask you this question,

would you be prepared

0:33:270:33:31

to see your own taxes go up,

to fund better provision

0:33:310:33:34

of these services?

0:33:340:33:35

Just raise your hand

so we get a sense.

0:33:350:33:38

That is amazing, all

of you are saying you would be

0:33:380:33:42

prepared to pay more taxes?

0:33:420:33:45

As long as we can be confident

it is being spent properly

0:33:450:33:48

and it is not being misspent

in different areas.

0:33:480:33:50

It is like the alcohol duty

being frozen is a mistake,

0:33:500:33:53

that is a revenue stream we can get.

0:33:530:33:55

It is a luxury, you know,

people can afford it or they can't.

0:33:550:34:00

And I think to freeze it,

to go for the bottom end

0:34:000:34:04

and to freeze the alcohol duty

for me, smells of a vote winner

0:34:040:34:07

because a lot of the people...

0:34:070:34:09

It mentioned whiskey

so specifically that sort of thing,

0:34:090:34:15

but also I think, it maybe send out

the wrong message where

0:34:150:34:18

you are trying to get people

to drink responsibly.

0:34:180:34:20

We have a problem.

0:34:200:34:21

You know, we are not

really addressing it.

0:34:210:34:23

You say this because you mentioned

to me you're a drinker and a driver

0:34:230:34:26

a drinker and a driver -

not at the same time but you do both

0:34:260:34:30

yet you disagree the freeze on duty.

0:34:300:34:32

Yes, I mean obviously the fuel

is slightly different

0:34:320:34:34

because of the industry

and everything, and I understand

0:34:340:34:36

that, but I do definitely think that

tax and duty on alcohol should

0:34:360:34:39

have been increased.

0:34:390:34:40

So I find that extraordinary.

0:34:400:34:42

Did the Chancellor then miss

a trick, if you have

0:34:420:34:45

all said you don't mind

0:34:450:34:46

paying more taxation,

you have all said that, as long

0:34:460:34:48

as it's going in the right place,

so he could have raised money to pay

0:34:480:34:52

for the things you all want today?

0:34:520:34:57

He's a politician, he has

to be very careful.

0:34:570:34:59

He can't do what he may be wants

to do, raising taxes would perhaps

0:34:590:35:03

lose him an election

or something like that.

0:35:030:35:05

I think most people

expect alcohol to go up.

0:35:050:35:07

I think it's almost a given.

0:35:070:35:08

To not put it up, is almost

like a sort of "Oh",

0:35:080:35:11

but nobody really goes "Oh,

that's brilliant, I don't

0:35:110:35:13

pay two pence more",

but if you raise £10 billion

0:35:130:35:16

to spend on the NHS,

then we would have all

0:35:160:35:18

gone,"OK, fair enough".

0:35:180:35:21

People are much more socially aware

as well, aren't they,

0:35:210:35:24

so people have a better

understanding of how that money

0:35:240:35:28

could be better spent on, you know,

public servants, our public sector,

0:35:280:35:31

right across the board.

0:35:310:35:32

Let me just ask you a

really unfair question.

0:35:320:35:35

At the end of today,

who would feel inclined to vote

0:35:350:35:38

for Conservative at the next

election if it were called next week

0:35:380:35:41

on the basis of what you have

heard in the budget?

0:35:410:35:44

Well I would.

0:35:440:35:45

Just put your hand up.

0:35:450:35:47

OK, who would say they have been put

off by what they've heard today?

0:35:470:35:53

And we have four undecided.

0:35:530:35:55

Thank you all very much.

0:35:550:35:56

Thank you for coming in.

0:35:560:36:02

Let us finish today with some budget

reflections with a panel of big

0:36:020:36:05

brains and years of experience.

0:36:050:36:12

Rupert Harrison was chief of Staff

to George Osborne at the Treasury.

0:36:120:36:15

He now works for Blackrock.

0:36:150:36:16

Fraser Nelson is editor

of the Spectator, and Faiza Shaheen

0:36:160:36:18

is the Director at the Centre

for Labour and Social studies.

0:36:180:36:21

We'll get to them in a moment

but first, Nick Watt is here.

0:36:210:36:24

Nick, what are you hearing tonight?

0:36:240:36:26

How has this gone down

on the Tory benches?

0:36:260:36:29

I was talking to one member of

cabinet, someone who is a fan

0:36:290:36:34

I was talking to one member of

cabinet, someone who is a fan of

0:36:340:36:34

Philip Hammond he said at last we

have a political Philip Hammond,

0:36:340:36:38

there was the disaster of his budget

earlier this year when his pool

0:36:380:36:43

political antenna got into trouble

and this member of cabinet said he

0:36:430:36:48

could see the job he was needing to

do, which was answer that roar to

0:36:480:36:53

persuaded to people who voted Labour

and the Brexiteers reasonably happy.

0:36:530:36:58

Let us look at the headlines

tomorrow. Financial Times grim

0:36:580:37:03

outlook overshadows housing drive.

The Guardian he struggles to meet

0:37:030:37:08

the gloom. Two with a gloomy air

about them. The times goes Hammond

0:37:080:37:14

eases off austerity. And the Mail is

the most interesting. The Mail

0:37:140:37:24

dubbed him #e6789 eyore.

I think

that is significant. The is very

0:37:240:37:30

rescind, we are taking it away and

you say as you point out they are

0:37:300:37:34

saying we like what he does, but

crucially, they like his Brexit

0:37:340:37:39

optimism, so as long as he appears

to be saying the right things, they

0:37:390:37:44

will be happy.

Thank you. Panel,

first of all is this the end of

0:37:440:37:50

austerity? Some are writing this up

as the end of austerity.

It is

0:37:500:37:54

pretty much. Have accuse loot a

forecast, he has given up he will

0:37:540:37:59

balance the book, it is stretching

off into the future, we have had

0:37:590:38:03

lots of spending without any

indication about where the money

0:38:030:38:06

will come from. They have thought,

Jeremy Corbyn isn't going to tease

0:38:060:38:10

up for running up a massive debt so

we are in a political hole so let us

0:38:100:38:15

dig out with lots of borrowed money.

Have they given up on austerity?

I

0:38:150:38:20

think there has to be a recognition

it hasn't worked when you have a

0:38:200:38:24

missed so many of your target, and

when economic growth is downgraded

0:38:240:38:29

again, you have got to start

thinking this isn't the right

0:38:290:38:32

approach, saying that, the real end

of austerity would be to is that

0:38:320:38:36

right undoing the cuts.

We have more

to come.

Exactly. They haven't, they

0:38:360:38:43

are still doing the same narrative

about austerity is the right thing

0:38:430:38:48

rather than this opportunity to

invest.

Do you think this is the

0:38:480:38:53

key, that Jeremy Corbyn's relative

success against expectation in the

0:38:530:38:57

general election has spooked them

and they have said we need to throw

0:38:570:39:00

bait of money at stuff, is that your

take?

Yes, but they are just

0:39:000:39:06

gesture, they created it themselves.

Homelessness has doubled since they

0:39:060:39:11

have been leading Government, and

sow they throw money at it. They are

0:39:110:39:15

undoing the damage they have done. I

am not going to clap about it.

You

0:39:150:39:19

were there running it when austerity

was the name of the game. Do you

0:39:190:39:22

feel like this is a significant

change in direction?

It spent quite

0:39:220:39:27

a lot of money, so he is spending

tens the of billions more, normally

0:39:270:39:31

that would be seen as a pretty

expensive budget for the public

0:39:310:39:36

finance, the big picture it is not

the end of austerity, government

0:39:360:39:39

budgets are tight for some years to

come. It there are difficult

0:39:390:39:44

decisions like a benefit freeze that

is stretching years ahead. I think

0:39:440:39:47

they have paused their level of

ambition, I think that is partly for

0:39:470:39:51

the politics, and partly on the

economics that right now with Brexit

0:39:510:39:56

uncertainty isn't the time to be

doubling down.

Do you feel like it's

0:39:560:39:59

a vision of what it is doing or

where it wants to go? He said this

0:39:590:40:03

is not a budget about Brexit, it is

about more than Brexit. Did you get

0:40:030:40:06

the sense they have a kind of a

picture

I thought he did a better

0:40:060:40:12

job of telling the stories focussing

on house building and the

0:40:120:40:17

progressive nature of the reforms,

the top of the 1%, the richest 1%

0:40:170:40:23

paying 27% of income tax, these are

real achievements from conSepp

0:40:230:40:28

Blatter accepts sieve remortgages

and the forries have been bad about

0:40:280:40:30

boasting about it, but now they are.

So for once, he is beginning to

0:40:300:40:35

point out that this is not just

about cutting, this is about

0:40:350:40:39

building a fairer and stronger

country.

It is difficult to claim we

0:40:390:40:43

are fairer when we have so many

people going to food bank ex when

0:40:430:40:48

those on the rich list have seen

their wealth double.

Inequality has

0:40:480:40:52

been coming down. The States say we

are more equal.

Which measure are

0:40:520:40:58

you Ewing.

That is bad at the

extremes, you can ask the IFS that:

0:40:580:41:05

The overall measure of inequality

has come down since 2010 and the

0:41:050:41:09

people whose incomes have fallen the

most are those at the top.

I am more

0:41:090:41:13

interested, we have been saying the

narrative has been this is a

0:41:130:41:16

leaderless Government, it doesn't

know what it is doing, where it is

0:41:160:41:19

going. It is passing time. Has this

game change that?

For the economy,

0:41:190:41:25

and for what our country is going to

look like. Nothing else matters

0:41:250:41:29

but...

We don't know what anything,

this is a sort of Fantasy League.

A

0:41:290:41:34

statement for the Government to try

to say something and the biggest

0:41:340:41:37

thing it hasn't been a disaster,

which is more than you can say about

0:41:370:41:41

the party conference, the election,

about the last Budget. You need to

0:41:410:41:44

get through this and it not to

implode. So far the night is young

0:41:440:41:48

it hasn't.

What a low bar, what a

low bar we have set. Meanwhile,

0:41:480:41:54

meanwhile we have more nurses, 30%

more nurses leaving than join, we

0:41:540:42:00

have 88% of education of schools

facing real term cuts. I mean,

0:42:000:42:05

listen, when you look at the stat,

whether it is child poverty and

0:42:050:42:09

relative child poverty is going up.

When you look at homelessness, this

0:42:090:42:13

is not a sign of a healthy economy.

How far do you think is the, if not

0:42:130:42:19

the Jeremy Corbyn kind of nod to

him, at least a nod to Ed Miliband.

0:42:190:42:23

There is a lot of that about this

Government at the moment.

I think it

0:42:230:42:27

is a nod to Jeremy Corbyn more than

Ed Miliband. He lost an election and

0:42:270:42:31

Jeremy Corbyn also lost but he

gained a lot of seat, I think some

0:42:310:42:36

of the spending money on the Health

Service any Conservative Government

0:42:360:42:40

would do, what Chris Cook was saying

about the line between NHS England

0:42:400:42:46

and the Government is something to

watch. Your point about vision, I

0:42:460:42:50

thought that Philip Hammond managed

20 do today, which was just the

0:42:500:42:54

beginning, was try and give us a

picture of in the long-term there

0:42:540:42:58

are some things that might be more

important than Brexit, I think think

0:42:580:43:03

it is important but the new

technology, biotechnology,

0:43:030:43:09

driverless car, longer life span,

they will be more important than

0:43:090:43:11

Brexit. He did at least have a long

section of the speech trying to talk

0:43:110:43:16

about science and technology in an

interesting way. That was a small

0:43:160:43:19

achievement.

It is interesting from

the same sort of end of the

0:43:190:43:25

political spectrum, Rupert is

thinking Jeremy Corbyn has made a

0:43:250:43:28

lot of running here.

Yes, Corbyn

terrifies the Conservatives, sixth

0:43:280:43:32

months ago they were laughing at

him. It has been a big change.

Does

0:43:320:43:36

this work then? Ken Clark said it is

not Corbyn Lyth but do you think

0:43:360:43:41

what he has done shoots the Corbyn

fox, rail cards for 26-30-year-olds.

0:43:410:43:48

They are bribes and ghijs and will

be seen as such. We are at the

0:43:480:43:53

beginning of recovery. It is

beginning to show a government which

0:43:530:43:56

knows where it is going and made a

few reasonable steps today in

0:43:560:43:59

getting there.

This was a nothing

budget. There was nothing really in

0:43:590:44:03

it. It was gimmicks and gestures and

Hammond said this is about the

0:44:030:44:07

future and being fit for the future,

and then he had nothing, no

0:44:070:44:11

substance to really start backing

that up.

A lot of this is designed

0:44:110:44:15

to get young people up. The figures

are shocking.

What a stamp duty

0:44:150:44:21

holiday when young people are coming

out of university with £50,000 of

0:44:210:44:27

debt.

Do you think it will work?

We

likely have four years or more until

0:44:270:44:33

the next election, this is about

steadying the ship, about getting a

0:44:330:44:37

government that won't collapse

month-to-month, that can deliver

0:44:370:44:39

Brexit, and you know, by the time we

have the next election we will have

0:44:390:44:43

a new leader of the Conservative

Party and the world will look

0:44:430:44:46

different.

Thank you all very much.

Well, tomorrow we will probably

0:44:460:44:50

discover if there was anything we

hadn't talked about today, but that

0:44:500:44:53

is all we have time for for now. I

will be here tomorrow. Good night.

0:44:530:45:03

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