Analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis. How can we punish Russia? Why did Trump dump Tillerson? The Spring Economic Statement.
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TRANSLATION: I don't care. I
couldn't care less.
Ever get the feeling
someone's laughing at you?
He was actually laughing
at accusations of US
but President Putin might as well
have been talking about Salisbury.
So what, if anything,
can we do about Russia?
One option - kick Russian state
television out of Britain?
Or maybe boycott the World Cup?
But is there really anything
we can do to intimidate
such a large nation?
There have been declarations
of solidarity today from the US
to France and Germany -
but how far will their support
extend beyond rhetoric?
What kind of strategy will work?
We'll reflect on the choices,
or lack of them.
Meanwhile, it's goodbye from him.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
has been shown the door,
which means the West is not
at its most cohesive - in fact,
not even the West Wing is.
Is US foreign policy in disarray,
or has Trump now found someone
who can see it his way?
And puzzle time: which Disney
character has the chancellor
likened himself to?
But what is a Tigger?
# The wonderful thing about tiggers
# Is tiggers are wonderful things!
# Their tops are made out
# Their bottoms are
made out of springs!
Yes, some upbeat economic news
in his spring statement gives
Philip Hammond a spring
in his step.
# I'm the only one!
Time, then, to ask
whether it's time to ease
the squeeze on public spending.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister had
said Russia should tell us what it
knows about the Salisbury attack
by the end of today.
Her time horizon was quickly
hardened into a theatrical midnight
deadline for the Russians
to respond, and we
are not far off that.
Today, we heard a Russian response -
Moscow says Britain must supply
samples of the poison found
on Mr Skripal and his daughter,
and anyway denies any
involvement in the attack.
It's perhaps unsurprising that
the Russians are not playing ball.
But it leaves a challenge
for Theresa May as tomorrow -
to mix metaphors -
the ball now lies in her court.
What does Britain do?
The helpful news for her is that
from Germany to France
even to the White House,
there is now increasing
support from close allies.
Here's Mark Urban.
Britain set the timescale,
little more than 24 hours for Russia
to come up with answers
on the poisoning in Salisbury.
But it's a type of pressure that's
not likely to cow president Putin.
I think it's very difficult
to see whether the Kremlin
is worried or not.
But if we judge purely
by what is in the Russian press
and the Russian newspapers, it
is not on the front pages anywhere,
including on the main
And it doesn't seem to be
that this is the core issue
which is going to dominate
the remaining several days
of the Russian election campaigning.
It is quite remarkably absent
for the kind of crisis
that is looming on the horizon
from public opinion.
And asked today about Britain's
challenge, Russian Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov responded
with one of his own.
TRANSLATION: We immediately
requested through an official note
access to that chemical agent
so that our experts could
analyse it in accordance
with the Chemical
So, time is short for Russia,
but they aren't going to buckle.
The march of minutes also prompts
questions for the UK's allies.
Since late last week,
British diplomats have been
consulting European capitals,
often reluctant to sanction Russia
in the past, gauging their appetite
for tough action now.
It's a very complicated issue.
We have certain very large European
countries like Germany,
France and Italy, where the
sentiment is not as firm on Russia
as we see in other countries.
So it is still an open question.
But I think there is a universal
condemnation of this kind of attack.
But what the EU will do
is still not very clear.
And unfortunately, we have
seen in the past that
sometimes tough talk has not
followed by concrete action.
And President Trump,
often assailed by critics
for being in Putin's thrall,
says Russia must now
provide clear answers.
It sounds to me like they believe
it was Russia and I would certainly
take that finding as fact.
It will be organised in Russia!
For many European countries
the question may be
whether they are prepared to boycott
the football World Cup in Russia.
Germany are the reigning champions,
but interestingly, even Germany's
bestselling tabloid could be ready
to advocate a boycott.
I think there are things
So in the case that, for example,
Prime Minister May would ask
for a British boycott
of the World Cup, and would ask Nato
allies in Europe, in the West,
to join into the boycott,
I would say we as a newspaper,
a news organisation,
would not be in favour of turning
down a request.
We would be in favour
of supporting that request.
And as the last hours of Mrs May's
ultimatum trickle away,
it's time also for her to decide
what steps the UK
should take on its own.
From expelling spies
in the Russian Embassy -
which today tweeted out a series
of messages warning Britain
against tough action -
to imposing so-called Magnitsky
law-type sanctions on Russian
officials or even using GCHQ
against the Kremlin.
are something that has
to by definition happen
in the shadows, so to say.
In the classified domain,
through the intelligence agencies
of the British Government
or European governments
and the United States.
This is also something that has been
discussed during the Obama
administration in the
United States, during
the election interference.
Whether the US should,
you know, for example,
have a more offensive cyber strategy
against Russia, to maybe have
intelligence communities leak
information about corrupt Kremlin
officials, where their money is,
how they are using Western financial
institutions to hide their stolen
money and to launder that money.
I think these are all
The choices are many,
but the dilemma is acute.
A nerve gas attack
on British streets may be
an unprecedented outrage,
but the response, the extent,
and even what it's meant to achieve,
are all the subjects
of fierce debate.
And Mark's here now.
Our political editor
Nick Watt is here too -
Nick, we'll come to you in a moment.
Mark, update us on the investigation
in Salisbury today.
We have known
for a couple of days that
identifying the agent suddenly
recast the investigation and they
are looking further back. As a
result of what we have learned
today, we can now see that it is a
window of between one and a half and
four and a quarter hours during
which they think this happened,
never before they got the pub in the
centre of Salisbury. In that window
of time, the is very important. But
they are still saying that they
don't know how and when the poison
was dispensed -- the car is
important. There was speculated
within the law enforcement community
that there was some kind of method
of dispensing it inside the car.
That would not appear to be the case
from what the police have said
today. But the car is important and
where it was during 40 minutes after
they had left home and before they
arrived in the town centre, much
longer than is needed for that
journey. This is the key thing we
have heard from the police, though -
they are still saying there is no
suspect, and they must be keen to
make a determination of someone of
So they want people who
saw the red BMW.
The pressure is on.
Theresa May is going to step up
tomorrow and talk about whatever the
Russians have responded. What might
I understand there will be a
substantial response from the Prime
Minister in the House of Commons
tomorrow, but we will not see the
full range of measures in the UK for
two broad reasons. In the first
case, there will be things that the
UK will do that they will not want
to advertise. And in the second
place, there is an assumption that
Vladimir Putin will retaliate, and
therefore the UK needs some space to
be able to respond to that. There is
also a hope that the UK will not be
alone. There were two encouraging
phone calls today with two Nato
allies, Chancellor Merkel and
In a further development today,
it was confirmed that
counterterrorism police are leading
an investigation into
the unexplained death in London
yesterday of a man believed to be
Mr Glushkov sought exile in Britain
after being convicted of fraud
in Russia and had become a vocal
opponent of President Putin.
There seems to be no evidence
linking this latest death
to what happened in Salisbury -
but the timing is at the very least
awkward as the world waits to see
how Mrs May responds
to the Skripal affair.
So let's discuss that response now.
I'm now joined by Andrew Mitchell,
Conservative MP and the former
Secretary of State for International
He is leading a cross party group
of MPs preparing to back
a "Magnitsky amendment"
to the government's Sanctions Bill.
Also with me is the Washington
Post columnist and LSE
professor Anne Applebaum.
In Washington is Andrei Illarionov.
He was chief economic
advisor to Putin -
and is now a senior fellow
at the Cato Institute's Center
for Global Liberty and Prosperity.
I wonder if I could start with you,
Andrei Illarionov. Where do you
think we go when it looks as though
the Russians are somehow not taking
the British complaints very
Well, that is not
surprising. The traditional response
of the Russian authorities is like
that. Remember what happened with
the Litvinenko case, when he was
poisoned in Britain 12 years ago. So
it is not a surprise. What is more
surprising is the lack of response
from the British side and the
western side to all these cases of
aggression, whether it is against
Britain, as it was in 2006 and 2018,
or against Georgia in 2008 or
against Ukraine in 2014, against the
United States during the
intervention in the election and so
We know the charge sheet. Tell
us what we should be doing?
us what we should be doing?
are at least two sides of potential
response. One is punishment of those
who are responsible for all those
acts of aggression and terror. It
should be clearly said that that is
a terrorist act. The other one is
more long term and a wider response
from Britain and not only from
Britain, but from the wider West.
The final long term goal of such a
strategy is to have Russia, free,
democratic, rule of law based on
Sorry to interrupt, but
what do we actually do? We know the
goal. What do we do?
You don't know
yet, because there is no consensus
in the western world. There is not
even discussion about what the long
term goal is. There was not much
discussion about the strategy
itself. That is why it is firstly
necessary to come to an
understanding among the Western
countries of what the West wants
from Russia. That is the main
question new post at the beginning.
What kind of Russia would you like
Lets hope that there. Andrew
Mitchell, it does feel as though we
don't have a strategy here. While
lurching after a headline that will
work on Thursday. Is there actually
a strategy for a medium-sized
country like Britain to have
sanctions that work against someone
I am sure there will
be. It is comparatively early. We
have the statement yesterday from
the Prime Minister. There will be
another tomorrow, but the most
important thing is to gather the
evidence. We must find out where
culpability lies and put it in my
view through the United Nations.
Firstly, it may be circumstantial.
Is that good enough?
We must be
absolutely clear about what
happened, or we won't have
conviction when we put it into the
public domain through the United
Nations so that our allies can see
the threat it poses to all of us.
it premature for the Prime Minister
to stand up tomorrow and pretend we
are starting on a new path? It is
our deadline, not theirs. Do we need
to do it that fast?
, the deadline
was to answer two questions.
tomorrow, should she be saying this
was the response, or should she say
now we will think about it response
and gather a coalition of allies?
think she will take it to the next
stage. She will say what evidence is
now available, how she will put into
the public domain and what the
And the same question to you.
nature of the question shows what is
the important point, the UK needs to
be part of an alliance, part of the
European Union, what with EU allies.
Unfortunately this is the worst
possible moment for the UK to leave
the EU just as Russia becomes the
surgeon in many spheres not just
inside Britain. The most the UK
could do to revive those alliances,
the better. It is all about the
allies but also about understanding
why we do have power and influence.
The Russians keep their money, their
wives and children, their property,
in this country and western Europe.
Ending that practice, the
money-laundering done, enforcing our
own laws and using those laws about
mysterious money, we now allowed to
go and ask people where your money
comes from. Pushing that through,
ending the practice of using shell
companies to buy property, companies
in the UK, that could all make an
And you would
agree with that, you support the
enables us to take serious measures
against those conducting themselves
in this way from Russia and I think
Parliament will want to see
something like the full Magnitsky
Amendment that has been introduced
in America and Canada.
A couple of
other options, a World Cup boycott,
surely pointless unless everyone
does the same?
I think it is silly
to involve sport and talk about a
ban. We need to use the leverage we
have in those areas where we can
control things that matter. And
working in conjunction with other
allies. Imagine if we could end
Russian money-laundering all across
Europe and begin working with the EU
to close all the loopholes.
not ban RTX. I spoke out during the
Russian bombing of Aleppo and they
carried that in Russia. I do not
think it is sensible to ban arty.
gives credence to the view that
broadcasting is partisan here.
not sensible to ban Russian state
Of all the things, the
specific things you've heard, I know
you want a big strategy for the West
to align itself. What would you do
specifically if you with the UK?
me just address what my colleague
has already said, everyone should
understand this is war. This is
aggression against Britain,
aggression against other countries,
aggression against the West. And in
the war of aggression there is no
response that would be enough or not
enough. So that is why all these
instruments that have already been
mentioned dealing with illegal
financial assets in London or the
Magnitsky act or the state
broadcaster of all of them are
important. All of them are important
but they are only elements. Some
elements of the possible grand
strategy. So you do not need to
forget about the long-term goal of
such a strategy. And that is why
those instruments could not
those instruments could not only be
elements but if you really want to
win the war you need to give this
Thank you very much.
Well, we've referred to it already.
Rex Tillerson, US secretary
of State, has finally,
after months of chat about it -
been sacked by President Trump.
Mr Tillerson was reportedly
not actually told,
other than finding out with everyone
else when the President
announced it on Twitter.
One satirical website suggested that
Tillerson had been surprised to find
he was still in the job.
He had certainly been semi-detached
from the Trump operation
for almost his entire
period in office.
When he was appointed 13 months ago,
Rex Tillerson was an outsider.
He wasn't a politician, but a former
Exxon chief executive, and he'd
never met Donald Trump
until he was offered the job.
At his Senate confirmation,
a record number of
votes went against him.
he was too pro-Putin.
Now of course,
the line is he has been
sacked because he is too
anti-Russian for president Trump.
That is not the President's line.
We got along actually quite well.
But we disagreed on things.
When you look at the
Iran deal, I think
it's terrible, I guess
he thought it was OK.
I wanted to either break it or do
something and he felt a little
And President Trump is right,
they clearly have been at
In tone and substance,
again and again.
In the summer Tillerson openly
registered his opposition to
Trump's plan to withdraw
from the Paris climate accord.
I was free to express my views.
I took a counter view
to the decision that
But I fully appreciate the elements
behind why he took the
And then there was a striking
interview that Tillerson
gave to Fox News after racist
violence in Charlottesville,
distancing himself from
the president's views.
I don't believe anyone
doubts the American
or the commitment of
the American government,
or of the
government agencies to advancing
those values and defending those
And the President's values?
The president speaks
for himself, Chris.
Tempting as it is to see this
in terms of policy differences,
perhaps the real story is just
the chaos in the White House.
John Kerry, Hillary Clinton,
Colin Powell, Madeline Albright
and Warren Christopher, the last six
secretaries of state have all served
four years, not one.
And no-one needs reminding
that there have been all
too many comings and goings
in an administration so young.
Well the replacement to Rex
Tillerson is Mike Pompeo. He is a
defender of the CIA after a Senate
report on torture detailing
practices such as waterboarding. He
said that they were heroes and not
torturers. So where I things in the
I'm joined from Washington by
David Frum - he was a speechwriter
for George W Bush and has recently
written a book about
Donald Trump's White House.
Anne Applebaum is still with me too.
I think he will be remembered at the
least bad Secretary of State under
Donald Trump. I will direct
attention to a story that may not
broken in the UK but is indicative
of what is going on. Rex Tillerson
was not the only person to lose his
job today, Donald Trump also lost
his chief personal aide, the person
who would walk around with the
president and hold onto things for
him. It turns out he was escorted
from the building to the new job
because he is under investigation
for serious financial crimes. That
is the kind of thing that is
happening more and more, people
going out for reasons that another
administration 's would have
prevented them even serving as
visitors let alone star.
You were a
fan of Rex Tillerson?
I think he
will be remembered as a disastrous
secretary of state. He treated the
State Department as if it were a
kind of non-performing part of Exxon
and tried to reform it, bases. He
stuck to a tiny group of advisers,
he ignored diplomats and expect. He
tried to do large-scale reforms
which no one saw the point of,
mostly to do with cutting money
which is not how you want to push
the diplomatic corps. All kinds of
people left the State Department.
Huge numbers of exits.
diplomacy seemed like an
unattractive thing. Having said
that, these things are not
exclusive, on the one hand you could
say he was a terrible secretary of
state at also say the next one main
be no better. So not clear that we
have reason to rejoice.
Do we think
might Pompeo will be less of a
restraining influence on the
president and the world will be more
subject to changes and policy
changes in the presidency?
Pompeo was a businessman and member
of Congress, and much more sensitive
reader of the personality of the
president than Rex Tillerson. So he
will bend more to the presidential
will then Rex Tillerson and seems
more in line with his views on Iran.
But we're already escalating crisis
in the Korean peninsula, the idea
that we could escalate that with
Iran as well, to nuclear crisis at
the one time.
And just expand on
your idea about more instability to
come. And thinking in foreign
policy. You have all these crises
but just in terms of the sort of
day-to-day stuff outside of the
three or four critical things on the
top of the list for the Secretary of
Donald Trump has repeatedly
said that he has his administration
not quite the way he wants, but
almost. Indicating more changes are
to come. And he also seems to be
more and more impatient on any kind
of restraint on him. That augurs ill
for those members of his
administration who have tried to
restrain him in one way or another.
Chief of staff John Kelly, people
who are good at their jobs and have
told the president you cannot do
this or that.
It feels like people
come and go so frequently, can we
believe that for another three years
or even seven years under resident
tramp, that that kind of place of
chaos can carry on.
It happens in
other countries, Italy for years had
government that changed constantly,
in Latin American countries people
come and go all the time. We get
used to thinking of the United
States as a stately model where
things happen slowly and
administrations do not change. And
the secretaries of state stick
around for four years but really
there's no reason to expect that.
This is a president who wants to
hear, he wants people to express his
will and when they do not he fires
them. He does not want to hear
people contradict him. But he did
not like about Rex Tillerson is that
he sometimes said no, that is not
how things are, I see things
differently. Mike Pompeo, he has
been good and ripping the president,
outlining his views with those of
the president. Done a couple of
things that think are worrying, one
of them he actually lied about an
CIA report and said it showed there
was no Russian interference of
significance in the election whereas
the report said the opposite.
not want to talk much more about
Russia but how much did it play in
the sacking of Rex Tillerson?
not know the answer to that because
we do not know exactly when Rex
Tillerson was fired. The president
clearly has been on his way to this
decision for some time for Doctor
John Kelly the. As said to
reporters, that he had indicated to
Rex Tillerson on Friday to be braced
for bad news. But the actual firing
happened today, the day after Rex
Tillerson gave support to the UK in
a way that is more forthright than
the president has yet done. He has
not yet agreed that Theresa May was
correct in what she said to the
House of Commons. In any normal
administration the US and the UK
would have worked out their
statement in advance. In private
agreement before either country made
a public statement on the matter so
serious. So if he has undercut
Theresa May and that is quite
troubling and troubled Rex
In the end, international news
completely overshadowed the first
ever Chancellor's Spring Statement.
On this day in years past
we would have had a full-on Budget,
but Philip Hammond has moved that
to the autumn, so today
we had a slimmed down
update on where we are.
The Chancellor's central thought
was that the economic news
is marginally better -
spring is in the air, but the long
term projections have not changed,
and so only if things continue
to improve will there be
extra money to spend.
Nevertheless, the Chancellor
was in an upbeat form,
eschewing his traditional role
as the gloomy one in the cabinet.
And if, in the autumn,
the public finances continue
to reflect the improvements that
today's report hints at,
then in accordance with our balanced
approach and using the flexibility
provided by the fiscal rules,
I would have capacity to enable
further increases in public spending
and investment in the years ahead.
While continuing to drive value
for money to ensure that not
a single penny of precious
taxpayers' money is wasted.
He even likened himself to Tigger.
Now he had to offer a more
With hope of more spending later,
but not so optimistic that people
could demand extra spending NOW.
And here's a graph to show why.
This is the OBR graph on borrowing.
That's the Office for
Budget Responsibility -
the official forecaster.
This goes back over a decade.
So this is what has happened
over the last decade -
you see borrowing soar,
and now, the government
has got it right down.
It's a huge adjustment.
So are we there yet,
as every impatient child asks
on a long car journey?
Can we relax now?
This is what the OBR did think
would happen to borrowing over
the next five years; this
is what they projected
back in November.
but still not disappearing.
So that's the old forecast,
And then we got the new,
more optimistic one today.
Here it is - and you see that
not much has changed.
Borrowing comes down,
but is not eliminated.
Well, I'm joined by Nick Watt.
What were your impressions of this
Against the backdrop you
were talking about, the dour
Spreadsheet Phil macro became de
rigueur Phil and indeed liberated
Phil. He gave a much stronger
indication of spending in the
November Budget, but said no, I do
have my fiscal head room, but
November is a long way off, so let's
be cautious about that. And to other
things he will do in November is
that he will use that headroom to
keep taxes low and to keep paying
down the deficit. But we also saw
liberated Phil, and the Chancellor
was able to make arguments against
labour that he was not allowed to
make in the general election. He is
essentially going to say the choice
now between vote Conservatives and
you will get spending up and get
down, vote Labour and you will get
spending up and that up, to which
Labour will no doubt say, if used in
the late and economy, you can expand
One eye-catching thing
not so much obvious from the speech
but from the documentation of the
OBR - about Brexit.
That's right, a
very striking graph in the OBR book,
saying that the UK will be paying
its Brexit divorce bill up until
2064. It's important to say that the
OBR is mapping out the Treasury
plan. That means it will take 48
years after the referendum for the
UK to finally settle its accounts.
The Treasury is very relaxed about
this. They are saying two key things
which you should be able to see from
that graph. 75% of that will be paid
off by 2022, which coincidentally
will be the next general election.
The other thing they are saying is
that this was actually a UK idea, to
ensure that the UK doesn't make any
payments earlier than if it had been
a member state of the European
Union. And obviously, the crucial
thing is pensions and if the UK
wanted to change the profile of
those payments, we could negotiate
Mel Stride is Financial Secretary
to the Treasury, and Peter Dowd
is Shadow Chief Sectary
to the Treasury.
Mel, are you happy with the level of
public services and how much we are
spending on them?
Well, we always
want to do more and we have done a
So you must be happy.
have spent over £60 billion on
additional public expenditure. In
the last Budget, we put an extra 6.3
billion into the National Health
You are quoting all these
numbers, but are you happy with the
level of public services at the
It has to be seen in the
context of taking a balanced
So are you happy?
am happy is that the Chancellor's
sense of direction is that we need
to keep bearing down on the deficit,
and the OBR says we are successfully
doing that. At the same time, we
look to invest in public services.
So obviously, you are unable to say
you are happy with the level of
public services at the moment, and
yet your policy is to cut them by
another 1% in 2019, another 1% on
top of that in 2020 and another 1%
in real terms per capita. The
day-to-day spending on public
services still has to be cut year
after year. So you must be pretty
unhappy. You can't say you are happy
with them at the moment, and you are
planning another three years of
We have to look at the whole
picture, which is firstly being a
responsible government that takes a
sensible approach to bringing down
You could put up taxes.
Well, this comes to my other point.
Firstly, we need to bear down on the
deficit, or we will leave ourselves
vulnerable to external economic
shocks. Secondly, we want to invest
in public services and we have done
a huge amount of that.
Thirdly, we do want to
make sure we do whatever we can to
alleviate the financial pressures on
a hard-working family.
a hard-working family.
outlining a big group of
incompatible objectives. You are not
giving me a policy. We would all
love lower taxes, better public
spending and less borrowing.
Stewardship of the economy is of
course about choices.
your choices are to spend more and
tax more, correct?
To tax more in
relation to the top 5%, yes.
Conservative Party are saying you
can have all the welfare state you
like and pay no more tax, which
isn't true. On the other side,
Labour are saying we can levy more
tax but someone else will pay
because it will come from the rich,
which also isn't true.
Well, it is
true. I have spoken to you before
about funding Britain's future. We
set out in the manifesto £46 billion
worth of expenditure and £48.6
Paul Johnson went on to say
Labour's manifesto had a lot of
overestimates on what you can get
from the rich and it did not balance
Yes, it did.
Yes, it did.
Do you take expert
Of course we do.
there any group of experts better
than the Institute for Fiscal
Studies on making these kinds of
Of course they
are entitled to their view, but we
do take advice.
But their view is a
pretty good view. They have a good
overview of the tax system.
is not the only view.
But should the
public believe them, who have no
agenda, or you, who are trying to
sell us better public services
without having to pay for them's
well, the government refused access
to the OBR. The guy running the OBR
used to run the IFS. You would get
the same answer from the OBR, I
Maybe a at least we could
have the opportunity to test that
Isn't the truth that both of
you are trying to infantilise the
nation and denied the nation a
sensible decision we have to make,
that if we want better social care
and they better NHS, we probably
have to spend another £15 billion on
public services? Borrowing is not
too low, so we have two tax more,
and we have to tax real people more
to pay for extra public spending. Do
you have any agreement with that?
And my Justin Tucker Ghulam?
not about being in cloud cuckoo
land. We are trying to set out
spending plans in our document.
you are against straightforward
increases in spending?
At the end of
the day, we would not start from
where we are now. The point I was
making before is the question of
investment. We are not getting the
investment in the economy that we
Do you ever think that maybe
we just need a bit more tax to pay
for social care? You are from Devon.
What do your local Conservative
council say about funding in their
We recognise that there
are precious out there.
vulnerable and elderly of Devon are
to be supported, it is essential
that additional funding is secured.
That is your local Conservative.
There is no way of my taking up the
There is, put up taxes.
will say that that is possible, but
we know from history that it is not
It's not possible to raise
taxes for better public services?
What are you talking about?
we take a balanced approach to the
economy, which means we have to get
on top of the debt. Equally, we want
to take the pressure of hard-pressed
households. That doesn't mean
overburdening them with additional
taxes, the kind of spending policy
that the Labour Party will pursue
will not leave people feeling better
off. It will make them worse off and
in the long term would derail the
hard work we have done.
government have their own fantasy
figures in their Budget and to make
up fantasy figures for Labour is
ridiculous. We have set up our
And the IFS say they
are not credible.
different opinions, but the bottom
line is that the nation is in a mess
in terms of economic growth,
productivity. Schools are having
cuts to their budget. And people out
there recognise that. People out
there who can't get social care
He says he is not
happy with public services as they
I didn't say that.
say you were happy.
I don't agree
with Peter's characterisation of our
country and our economy.
cabinet are arguing the same thing.
This is an economy with a
near-record level of employment.
Then why is it not possible... If it
is going well, as
is going well, as you say, why do we
not have social care that is
We will have a
green paper on social care. We have
already put £2 billion into social
care. And the reason we have been
able to do those things is that our
stewardship of the economy has been
responsible. If you go for this tax
and spend and spray the money
around, it ends up in disaster. We
end up back where we were in 2010.
You keep saying tax and spend. You
have gone from a strong and stable
economy to the magic money tree. You
gave the DUP £1 billion, which
suddenly was found. The magic
monetary analogy went. The bottom
line is that the country is in need
of investment and we are not getting
it from the government.
gentlemen, is where we have to leave
it. It was a good discussion. Thank
you both. That is all we have time
for. I will be here tomorrow. Until
then, good night.