21/11/2013 Question Time


David Dimbleby presents the topical debate from Salford, with an audience who are all either under 30 or over 60 years old. The panel includes Jeremy Hunt MP and Sadiq Khan MP.

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Tonight, we are in Salford, and welcome to Question Time.


And welcome to our audience tonight, who are from different


generations. One half under 30, and one half over 60. And welcome to the


panel, Conservative Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, Labour's


Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan, Liberal Democrat Olly Grender,


adviser Tony Clegg until last year and is now in the House of Lords. --


adviser to the Clague. -- Nick Clegg.


You may have noticed only three panellists, because sad to say how


two other panellists who we had asked to come, Daily Telegraph


writer Tim Stanley and broadcaster Joan Bakewell, were held up on a


train by a fire at the side of the track. They came halfway and then


went back, lost for ever, I suspect. When they turn up, we will have them


on. They will not be here tonight. Let's go to our first question. We


get a lot of questions about the divide between the generations and


the idea behind this programme is to explore those questions, and other


things, in terms of these two generations, under 30 and over 60.


The first from Anthony Robinson. Would the money spent on universal


benefits for wealthy pensioners be better used to help young people?


These are that list - free television licences, went a few, bus


passes, I test is, even being exempt from the under occupancy charge, the


bedroom tax. Olly Grender. I think, Anthony, yes, on the whole, they


should. Where I think it gets difficult is that we work on an


assumption that you all look very young and sprightly on this side of


the audience, and we work on an assumption that you are baby


boomers, and therefore reaping the rewards of a post-war era. This lot


here? They look very healthy? They look very healthy to me. And so I


think what we need to stop doing is to stop thinking of you as a


homogenous group. There was a recent report in the place I have just


become a member of, the House of Lords, which says that age is no


longer an indicator of need. For instance, you might be quite a


wealthy pensioner, or have a fewer assets, in terms of property, but be


quite lonely. Or you might have property, but be pretty poor in


terms of fuel poverty. Are you saying you cannot work out who to


give benefits to? My preference would be that wealthy pensioners do


give up bus passes. I would like to see that happen. But what I am


saying is that I think it is much harder than people assume to say,


you are all in this huge lump of quite wealthy. I do not think you


are. Jeremy Hunt, do you think you can define who are wealthy among


pensioners and then say, you do not need the money so we will give it to


that lot? You can do it, but the reason we are not doing it is


straightforward. David Cameron promised before the last election


that he would protect pension benefits. He is someone who believes


he must keep his word. Was it a wise promise and does it last until the


next election? Absolutely. And after, if you win it? He believes it


was right for the simple reason that we started the parliament with a


huge deficit to tackle and big decisions to take us to the fairest


way to tackle the deficit. We decided pensioners were different,


because they had passed the point in their life where they are able to


earn more money to make up for any shortfalls, so we should -- thought


it was right to make that decision. The worry is that if you start


chipping away at some entitlements, others may follow. We have been true


to our word, kept our promise on protecting the state pension and


pension benefits. In a very difficult period, that shows our


commitment to the people who would find it otherwise most difficult to


make up for their earnings. I have to admit, I am quite confused why we


constantly seem to be coming back to this question of whether these


benefits should be taken away from wealthier pensioners. Would this not


have been done years ago if it was easy? I understand it would be


difficult to administer the means test and give it to pensioners. I


think we should maybe stop dividing the groups against each other.


Eventually, young people are going to be pensioners, too. If we pay


into the system, we should expect something back.


Didn't David Cameron also promised not to top-down reorganise the NHS?


I think that is what is called a rhetorical question. The man on the


far left. Perhaps MPs should lead by example. There are MPs who have been


claiming gas and electric rounds on their expenses. Perhaps they could


donate that to pensioners. -- gas and electric allowance on expenses.


The definition of a wealthy pensioner now seems to be taken as


anybody who pays tax at the standard rate. That means they have an income


of slightly over ?10,500. That is a ludicrous mark. Where do you get


that from? Because the government do not like to means test, that is


where the line is likely to be drawn. I do not want to pick the old


against the young, but I think the question goes to a root issue, which


is that the British promise basically is that those who are the


next generation will do better than the current generation. The way that


the social contract works is that it is a pyramid where those at the


bottom who are working pay tax which goes towards your pension and you


get out what you put in. There is a big Rob, which is that this


generation will, for the first time in generations, the less well-off


than that generation. I am an MP in London. The average age of a


first-time property buyer in London is 38. We can have a discussion


about some universal benefits staying universal. The pension. I


think the bus pass is very important. Many older people need


the bus passed to see friends and family, it addresses loneliness and


get them out of the house. But Richard Branson and Alan Sugar do


not need it but are entitled to it, which is ridiculous. Richard Branson


does not use his bus pass and we are not paying for it. If you means test


and shimmers for the bus pass, they will not apply for it. They will be


stuck at home and it will be a huge cost to all of us. Rather than


pitting you against them, make sure these guys have a future. Get them


to work on the get them paying tax, get them paying national insurance


and rebuild the social contract. The problem we have with the bus passes


is that if the people did not use them, the buses would be empty. They


still have to run, they have a schedule to keep. They run whether


there are people on the bus or not will stop why take it from people


who could use it and fill the buses? I agree with Sadiq Khan on this. We


pay for bus passes for those who need them and we do not end up


paying for the richer pensioners anyway. I also agree that I think,


without wanting to dispute the premise of this programme, David, I


actually do not think there is any point in trying to set one age group


against another. All young people have parents and grandparents who


they want to see through their old age with dignity and respect. And


all grandparents want opportunities for their grandchildren. Everyone


wants to make sure we have a fair society where we take the right


decisions for the long-term, where everyone gets those opportunities.


We can do that, but it means difficult decisions in a difficult


period, when you have challenges ahead, as we all have, and those


challenges do change. I think one of the problems is that if you got on


the housing ladder at the age of these people and were lucky


enough... Which people? The older generation. If you have built up a


great deal of equity, and it is so much harder now to get into


housing, and yet that is the basis, in the UK, unfortunately, of a lot


of wealth. It is very hard. What we would need to do is to have quite a


good and lengthy discussion about how the older people give up some of


the equity, or release it to the younger people. For once, I agree


with the whole panel. It is not their fault. It is not our fault. It


is your fault. We were not the ones who sold off the council houses. We


were not the ones who promised no Jewish in fees and as soon as they


got anywhere near government sold out everybody who voted for them.


You are the ones who did it. It is your fault, isn't it? All right, you


made your point. The big question to grapple with, and we should be proud


of this, we are living much older than we were historically. There are


big questions about social care. We will be looking after our parents,


because they will live longer. Also, people who are older will have to


work longer. There are questions about when pension entitlement


should kick in. It is an issue for all of us because we will be old one


day as well. The idea of clashing generations is not the way. But


tinkering with bus passes, which is a huge lifeline for many pensioners,


is not the source of addressing these problems. These are big


questions and need big answers. There are many pensioners who want


to give up some of their benefits and have made that clear. You do not


have to take the bus pass, the winter fuel allowance. You do not


have to do any of these things. When you say there are people who want to


give up... There are people who are saying they do not want these things


and would like to give them up. Who are they? Maybe you are one of


them. No. I agree, who defines a wealthy pensioner.


I pay a small amount of income tax, but am I a wealthy pensioner? Could


you define a wealthy pensioner? The government can do these things. The


sums are much smaller. I have looked at these sums and they are much


smaller than you might think. Usually, most people's definition of


wealthy is the super wealthy. Actually, it does not have a huge


impact because they are often not claiming benefits in the first


place. The problem is that we have to recognise that we have a very


expensive benefits there will, and we have to take some difficult


decisions the fairest way to deal with it. And is it fair to do what


David Cameron is proposing for the next manifesto, abolishing benefits


for those under 25? Saving how much? What he has said is that everyone


under 25 should be earning all learning, and I think that is


absolutely right. It is completely wrong that someone can leave school,


sign-on, find a house or flat to rent, get housing benefit and then


start a life on the dole. I think it is immoral. We need a society that


does not allow that. If you look at Holland, they do not allow anyone to


claim benefit under the age of 27, and they have half the youth


unemployment that we have. They find a combination of studying and


working. That is a much better start for people. Are you in favour of


that policy? No. It is shocking that it is coming at a time to tell


people to earn, or to learn, when the minimum wage is so far below the


then -- the living wage. Zero our contracts and the failure to provide


people with work are skyrocketing, and fees for education have gone


through the roof. So earning and learning is becoming increasingly


difficult and you are telling people they have no safety net if they


fail. You are against abolishing the benefit. Let's move on because we


have a lot of questions. Are you in favour or against the proposal of


under 25-year-olds not getting benefit? I am against it. I am


against sweeping generalisations about young people. Many young


people do not get a good job. Why does the government not focus on


those who do not go to university, giving them vocational skills to get


a proper job? Why not put pressure on big businesses to provide


apprenticeships for young people? The way to reduce the benefit bill


is not to cut and fits but to get these guys into work, give them


apprenticeships, the skills they need. There are double the number of


apprenticeships than under Labour. You are telling stuff that is not


right. There are almost 1 million young people unemployed. In the last


quarter, the number of young people unemployed for more than a year went


up by 7000. There are record numbers not in employment, education or


training. They are desperate for education, desperate for employment.


They are in the right place, because in Salford, apprenticeship went up


90% since Labour left the government. You cut education


maintenance allowance, treble Jewish and fees, so do not be surprised if


these guys do not go to university or college.


We have one and a half million apprenticeships starting, double


under Labour. We are doing those who are not in education or employment,


that has gone down by 50,000, we are doing the things helping young


people. That is what counts. We have got a lot of questions.


You can join in the debate from home. The Red Button will let you


see what others are saying. Catherine Johnson, please.


If clever banks and bankers in London, and ethical banks mess up,


who can Manchester girl trust? It is shocking, the revelations at


the co-operative bank, and what has happened over the last few years.


Had things been different they would have taken 700 Lloyd's branches as


well, I welcome the enquiries. The Treasury Select Committee will be


doing an enquiry, also the Financial Conduct Authority. It is about


mutuals, not-for-profit, getting involved in provision for funeral


services, legal services, grocery stores, financial advice. Many


people back with it because it is ethical. When you bear in mind who


is bailing them out, people banking with them are concerned. We are very


proud of our association with them. Is it safe to bank with?


It is not for me to say. We have changed the way banks are


regulated. The fact they have not stepped in and gives me a source of


confidence. I am pleased we are looking into the affairs. To make a


sweeping assertion against the movement based on the actions of one


ex-chairman and what happened is very unfair. In this part of the


country in particular the co-operative movement doing a huge


source of good for the population. What can Manchester girl do?


If you have got savings, they are safe. The focus from the Prime


Minister should not be to score party political points, but making


job or worse, savers and investors are reassured their money is safe.


I agree with him. Mutuals are a brilliant concept. In a period where


people are mistrusting banks, the sort of trust you get with someone


like John Lewis, it gives you confidence in an organisation and we


should be encouraging different ownership models. We are doing a


study to see if there is anything we can learn in the NHS about the


mutuals movement. We should be thinking about the nearly 8 million


individual holders, most of these people are not wealthy, it is their


life savings invested in something they trusted, they got a dividend


last year, they haven't had one this year. They are wondering how on


earth the reverend flowers -- Reverend Flowers managed to become


chairman. There have been a lot of newspaper headlines but how can


somebody with so little knowledge of banking got to run a really


important into station -- institution? I hope, we are clearing


up a lot of mess after the banking crisis, but it does look like he got


that job because of his connections, some of them look like political


connections and I hope the Labour Party will be transparent. Their


responsibility is to those 8 million bondholders to make sure we get to


the truth they have a secure future for their savings and this can never


happen again. Is it a cheap political point to attach blame to


Labour? In fairness there were big


connections between the Labour Party and the Co-op bank. Labour has still


got its loans, the least it could do is be honest and transparent.


Would this have ever come to light if his past haven't been exposed by


a national newspaper? It is possible the answer is no. We


still rely on our newspapers as thriving and vibrant and exposing


organisations. For instance, we are seeing the trial, the Murdoch trial,


the trial looking at the telephone hacking, and that would not have


been exposed if it hadn't been for some of the newspapers. I think, as


a long-term customer of the Co-op myself, I'm disappointed in all of


this. What I really ask is how on earth after the banking crisis we


had in 2007, why is there still a kind of regulatory system that isn't


picking up these things? The one thing I would say is if we are going


to have for enquiries about what happened in the past, I am not


overly interested in that now, but what I am interested in is saving a


great bank, it is the kind of bank we need rather than payday lenders.


Mr Hunt likes winning political points with regards to blaming the


Labour Party, perhaps we should start looking more into the


financial organisations that made significant payments to the


Conservative party and their dodgy appointments? Do you agree? He


cannot stop himself. They have given no donations to the Labour Party.


Recommendations were made which is implemented now would have uncovered


some of this. Last year the Chancellor and the Treasury


ministers spent a great deal of time lobbying Brussels to change the


rules and persuade the Co-op bank to take over the Lloyds branches, the


last three years, under your watch. Stop making cheap points about our


connection with the Co-op bank. We are very proud with our link with


the co-operative movement. Go on, Jeremy.


The Chancellor lobbied on behalf of the Co-op rank which is a donor to


the Labour Party. You say it doesn't lend money. What I actually said was


that we need transparency from Labour to get to the bottom of this.


Nearly 8 million bondholders are worrying about what will happen to


their savings and we need to make sure we find out the truth stop that


is all we are saying. I want to go onto a question that


affects the generations we have. Let's move on. A question from Paul


George. What can the government do about the


housing market when house prices continue to rise? This affects the


younger generation who cannot get on to the housing ladder, average wages


decreasing, house prices going up. If you look at how the world has


changed, when I left university until now, one of the biggest


changes is it is so much harder to buy a house. There are other things


that have got better for young people, the technology revolution


has made huge strides, but this is very difficult thing because


everybody wants to own a house rightly so. There are some big


challenges if we want to get this right. We need to get new housing


starts going again. They have got back to their 2008 levels but it has


been a struggle. We need to look at planning laws, and my party, the


government, made some controversial changes to make sure we do start


building houses. The biggest betrayal of young people would be if


we said we have got our houses now, we will not do what it takes to help


young people get a foot on the housing ladder. The third thing is


access to finance. That is why pay help to buy scheme has been


significant, helping 75 families every day at their home. It is true


it is still a real struggle. We have to do everything we can. It is


something that hasn't changed between the generations, that they


desire to own a house. Every government has a responsibility to


do what it can to help people take that step.


The man at the back. Part of the problem is the Labour


government of the 90s set a target of sending 50% of young people into


higher education. These young people cannot afford to buy a house because


they are coming out of university, there are not the graduate jobs they


need, and they are having to take jobs on a much lower level, less


pay, in order to be able to survive so they cannot save up the money to


buy a house. That is something the previous government have two out of


four. -- they have to answer for. So roughly speaking 7% of that age


group went to university, the older group. I am proud we wanted to have


50% going to university. We have all benefited from a university


education. The crisis in the housing market. Besides Ollie. -- Olly. Last


year there were as many housing completes as the 1920s. We need to


build more houses. The older side.


There is a shortage of land yet there are property developers


holding onto land for years and years waiting to maximise the prices


when they should be legislation that makes them start building within 12


months of buying the land. Do you own a house yourself?


Yes. Your children, grandchildren? My children have got on the housing


ladder. How old are they? 44, 42. They are not here on this site of


the audience? This woman here. There is currently lots of three-bedroom


houses empty because people affected by the bedroom tax, because nobody


can move into them because they cannot afford them.


The help to buy scheme is a bit scary because you are giving more


people who cannot afford a house more income, jobs are not certain so


why would you give more people access to more money when the


economy is not stable, the income is not enough to pay the mortgage?


On the help to buy scheme, there are much more checks and balances than


they used to be. They used to be hundreds of schemes that would lend


money at 93% of the value of the house, and it is something like 40


3% -- 43 products. I know what happened in Manchester is that a


whole load of single by Jim Holmes were bulldozed -- single bedroom


homes. A lot of people in Manchester have been evicted as tenants. At the


same time as there is money available to pay them to keep them


in tenancies, unlike stop what, where tenants have been evicted


under this system -- unlike Stockport. There is central


government funding of ?180 million that can help people through this.


If I can just say about the housing thing, I was really interested to


see Ed Balls today was admitting Labour kind of screwed up on this.


When I was working at backward shelter -- Shelter trying to lobby


the government to build houses we got nowhere. It is good to hear Ed


Balls finally admit housing was a big failure by the Labour


government. I think it was. We are building and have finally managed to


start building more affordable homes. For the first time we are


getting more social housing after it was sold off by successive Labour


and Tory governments. That is not my experience. What about what Ed Balls


said? He said we should have built more houses when we were in


government. We had to bring those appalling properties and social


housing up to decent standard. We should have got more housing but we


did not. If we build more houses, it means more builders getting into


work, paying National Insurance and tack 's. We need to have a law that


says you use it or you lose it. We say to property developers hoarding


the land, unless you use the development plans you have to build


a housing, we will take it away from you and build on the land ourselves.


You mentioned earlier that you are getting to the stage where people in


their 30s are only able to get onto the housing ladder for the first


time. I was 30 when I got onto the housing ladder and I entered the


housing market a mortgage rate of 10%. And the reason why I did that,


and a lot of others did, too, was a simple fact of mobility. We were


willing to go where the job market was. I was caught up in the


north-east and had to move to London to get a job in order to get onto


the housing market. I do not see too much of that mobility in the


marketplace. Our Usain young people will not move? -- are you saying? We


do move. We move around all the time. If where we go to university


there are not jobs, we have to go to another city. We move around. You do


not necessarily see it, but we do it. Surely basic economics tells us


when demand outstrips supply, the price goes up. Jeremy has already


told us we are not building enough houses. At the same time, they are


making it easier for people to get mortgages. Prices go up. What do you


think the effect will be on this generation, who cannot get on the


housing ladder until 38? Maybe if we adopt a more European approach. In


Germany, more people rent. Isn't it going to turn into a system


where we end up renting and the rich get richer and we put more money


into their pockets because we cannot get into the housing market? Do you


have any aspiration? I cannot afford to enter the housing market at the


moment so I will be forced to rent. I do not understand where the space


for these houses will be. We currently have an immigration


problem, a lack of job is. You are lending money to people, which seems


a statistics game for the government to make itself look better.


Eventually it will crash because the house prices will go down. Because


there are more houses, the equity will do appreciate and it will crash


eventually again. I have no intention of even wanting to get


into that. We have two very different views on that. I think the


answer is that we need a bit of both. We need to increase supply,


but also to make sure people can afford it when you increase supply.


We need to be brave and accept we will have to do that throughout the


country. I think it is perfectly possible to increase supply and


protect a beautiful countryside. I think there are lots of places where


we could be more imaginative. The NHS is, for example, sitting on a


lot of land which we could be much quicker at disposing of, and some of


that could be appropriate for housing. But I think that at the


heart of this is responsibility for those of us who did manage to get


onto the housing ladder when houses were a lot cheaper to think about


doing what it takes for people who are much younger, who have the same


dreams and aspirations we had. It does not work and it is not


acceptable to sit tight. I think we have to say, what are we going to


do? Tackling this from all directions is the only way to do


that. I want to look my children in the eye and say, I did what it took


to help you enjoy the same ambitions and aspirations that I had. 13,500


houses which have permission to build in Salford, but nobody is


building, and the number is going up by about 2000 each year. Permission


is being given but nobody is building. Why not? Profit. What can


the government do? That is where the Help to Buy scheme can make a


difference. Young people would be confident that they could buy the


houses, and people would be confident they could build them and


make a profit. You can relax planning permission. If they do not


think it is profitable, they will not build. One problem is land


banking. Second, it is people not having confidence in the economy and


not wanting to invest in bricks and mortar. We have to use whatever


levers we have two persuade them. Olly Grender is right, after a


period of time, you could revoke the permission after five years. I am


saying, let's go further. Unless you start building, we will take away


the permission that you have. We can do it and we should. That will force


them to start building houses. Onto another question. Alice Sugden,


please. Will the reforms to the NHS do enough to prevent serious


failings in care such as at Stafford Hospital? Olly Grender. This week,


what the government has done is publish some responses to the report


into Mid Staffs. I am sure Jeremy Hunt will go through quite a feud in


detail, but I will look at one in particular which was actually in the


Lib Dem manifesto. It is about a UK of candour. I see this as incredibly


important. This is about honesty from people. When I hand my child to


a nursery, I expect all of the staff to be absolutely straight with me if


anything has gone wrong. It is exact in the same, as an elderly relative


goes into hospital, you want to know there is an absolute expectation on


both the organisation and the individuals in the organisation.


That goes without saying but how would what happened at Staffordshire


hospital be prevented? It does not go without saying. It goes without


saying that you think it should happen. I think that is one of the


reforms that will prevent things like this in future. I am confident


that will happen. I think, in a way, what we need to do is to start


celebrating the whistle-blowers. This is exactly the kind of thing we


expect and want, people to be honest when something has gone wrong. This


is exactly what did not happen in Mid Staffs. On this one particular


point, I have confidence. I have confidence in the others as well. We


had better not list the others! One of the reforms will criminalise


doctors and nurses for wilful neglect. Will that create a culture


of openness in the NHS, or a culture of fear? One of the shocking things


about what happened at Mid Staffs hospital was that no nurses and


doctors were brought to book for a very long time. In extreme cases, I


think it is right, if someone deliberately harms a patient. Lots


of doctors and nurses have said they would not want a doctor who


deliberately harms a patient not to meet full force of the law. What


doctor or nurse would ever agree with that. That is not the heart of


the change. The heart of the changes something different, making it


easier for people to speak out by giving them protection they have not


had before. I meet many nurses and doctors who see things they worry


about but then think what will happen if I speak out gesture more


we need to change the culture so everyone understands that we all


want people to speak out. Her point was about criminalising them. Are


you happy with his answer? Does it answer your point? I think by


criminalising people, other people will be scared to criminalise their


colleagues. So they will not whistle-blowers if they think that


-- they will be charged. In order for the duty of candour to really


work, it depends on the culture of the organisation. It really does


depend on that going from the top throughout the organisation.


Otherwise a blame culture enters. What we want, and I agree that it is


different, those prosecutions are different because it is where harm


has been done deliberately. But where there is a mistake, we have to


have it so that staff can put up their hand and say, I have messed


up. I am sorry, we have to put it right, but also we have to learn


from it. It is that culture of learning running through the


organisations that I think will make the big change.


On the point of criminalising neglect, I am going to qualify as a


doctor in a couple of months. I am wondering why is it OK for other


professions when they make a mistake in their job not to facing class


oration, but it is a completely different story for medical


professionals? -- not to face incarceration. If you deliberately


harm anyone in any profession you are subject to the law. This is


changing what is in common law and putting it in statute. This


gentleman made the point that is right. This is not about trying to


create more criminals, but a culture of openness. You have one of the


best hospitals in the country here, which is the safest hospital outside


London. They have done that because they have an inspiring Chief


Executive and chief nurse, who have created a culture where the staff


feel able to speak out. That is because they think if they talk


about an error, something is going to happen and someone will learn


from it. There is also another in Greater Manchester, greater


Manchester mental health hospital trust. I happen to be on the board.


We have that culture going. I think the Francis Report is a very good


report. Unlike Olly Grender and Jeremy, I think we should implement


all of the recommendations in full. Jeremy talks a great talk, but one


of the problems is that the evidence is that since his party joined a


coalition government, the number of nurses, and my source is the NHS


information Centre today, the number of nurses is down by 6642 since May


of 2010. One of the main findings of the report was that staffing levels


are so low that doctors and nurses led to inadequate care and lead to


bad things happening in Mid Staffordshire. One other thing is


that you can have a criminal law about wilfulness collect and


publicise the ratio of staff on wards, but unless you give hospitals


the resources and the nurses, it is talk and no action. That is what


needs to happen, Jeremy. Equally robust figures which you did not


mention are that over the last three years we have had 6600 more doctors


in the NHS. We have 1200 more midwives, 1000 more health visitors.


Yes, I am worried about the nurses going down, not in hospitals, but in


the community. District nursing numbers have gone down. That is


wrong and that is why we are making the changes this week, which means


everyone has to publish the number of nurses, so we know if there is


safe staffing. You don't actually have anywhere to go, because your


party opposed the public enquiry. You did not want to have the


enquiry. It is true that Andy Burnham decided not to have a public


enquiry and we decided to have it. That is why we are making, adopting


so many of these recommendations today. What has happened as a result


of that enquiry you did not want? Over the last year, hospitals have


decided to recruit 4000 more nurses than they were planning 12 months


ago. I think the climate is changing. I agree we need safe


staffing in our wards, but it is not about one number for every ward. It


is about a ward by ward basis, transparency and people feeling


comfortable to speak out when they see something wrong.


Several years ago the NHS carried out one of the biggest job


evaluation surveys. Many nurses were put onto management grades which is


why a lot of nurses disappeared, on the face of it. Now a ward sister


isn't a ward sister, she is called a ward manager so she is not counted


in the nursing numbers. So the numbers are understated? We may not


have lost that number of nurses. You can talk about statistics all


night, but the question was about whether the reforms the government


are implementing will help. One of the root causes of the report said


the management at Stafford Hospital were pushing to meet government


targets and to try and get foundation status, that is why they


were ignoring patients, they were more focused on getting targets. The


question is, will the reforms help, wouldn't it be better removing


politicians from the NHS, no offence intended, so there cannot be this


constant reorganisation and change going on?


We have got to go onto another point.


It is about ensuring the care is wrapped around the individual. That


is why the Care Bill is so important, it breaks down these


politically led institutions and places them wrapped around, so that


one person gets the dignity, attention, care and personal


attention they need. That is the foundation of the bill we are taking


three Parliament. The definition of success was meeting waiting times


target and being in financial balance and we have set up this year


a new chief inspector of hospitals who is going round, it will not be


possible to be a good or outstanding hospital unless you have good or


outstanding compassionate care. Patients need to be at the heart of


what hospitals do. Jeremy talks the good talk. Patients, if they are at


the heart of things, means not waiting more than four hours for


accident and emergency, not queueing in an ambulance waiting to get in,


not waiting for days rather than being at home. That is the problem


with the ?3 billion wasted on a reorganisation nobody wanted. Let's


have a question from Kelly Parker. With the UK jobless rate falling to


a three-year low last week, why is it that youth unemployment remains


above 20%? Lots of reasons. One of the things


we had when we were in government is a guarantee for young people, if you


were a graduate out of work for six months you will be guaranteed a job.


The government idea of getting young people into work is just to get them


stacking shelves, it is in a good -- it is inadequate. You need to give


them skills making them attractive to employee. Apprenticeship schemes


will be useful to the employer, the young person. Focus on 50% who don't


go to university, vocational skills that will make them desirable to


employers. Give young people the skills to make them attractive to


employers. One of the great tragedies is the wasted talent


amongst young people. I am in favour of a future jobs guarantee for a


young person, if you are out of work for a year we will guarantee you a


job with an employer, we will subsidise that, so they get benefits


from the government, you will stop paying taxes, national insurance.


Can you choose the league say you can guarantee a job? -- truthfully.


Who are these employers? When you speak to small and medium-sized


lawyers is the young people don't have the skills -- employers . The


big concern and criticism is people from overseas taking these jobs.


I am doing a four-year degree with a sandwich course right now and I am


in my second year so looking for my placement. I go on websites where


there are 70 placements for accounting and finance, only seven


of those are written in north-west, they are all in London.


Somebody earlier was saying move, would you move?


I would . This all comes down to the downturn


of industry, it has been eroded year after year. If we started, for


example with nuclear energy, if we bought nuclear energy and the


manufacture of nuclear plants back from a French company that would


provide jobs. Employment is rising but employment among the young has


stood still. You are always talking about young


people needing skills and if they have got skills there will be a job.


The jobs are not there. I have got a 28-year-old with a Masters degree,


and she has got lots of skills, she has worked in Budapest, on the West


Bank, she has worked for UNESCO in Paris for six-month is unpaid, she


is now working in Japan on a three month contract teaching English. She


cannot get a job in the UK. Use a move, the only time she has ever


been able to move, she still cannot get a job that will pay for housing,


so she goes and illegally sublets because that is the only way she can


afford somewhere to live and a lot of her friends are in the same


situation. They are trapped, they cannot move, the jobs are not there


Trapped. Trapped. Jeremy Hunt?


I was going to come to her point and explain the issue but I want to say


this, it is not government that creates jobs, it is the private


sector. Over the last three years 400,000 businesses have been


created. That is why we have 1.1 million more people in employment


than three years ago. There are some signs the tide is turning for youth


unemployment. If you asked me what the single thing we could do that


would make a big difference in this area, it is to make sure the skills


people leave college or university with relevant to the jobs market. We


did have a system where sometimes people getting certificate that they


were not actually matched very well with the kind of things employers


wanted. She seemed to have every qualification under the sun.


I have been with her around Preston opening series and they say we do


not want another one. -- CVs. We have let them down. What they come


up with is a qualification that needs to be valued by employers.


What is worrying is we have a situation where an opponent is


falling, jobs are going up but it is not making a big dent in youth


unemployment. We need to look at the education system and vocational


education and apprenticeships. Nothing is worse than that


experience of looking for a job and not being able to find it but in


this area, the Northwest, there was better news. For instance, HS2,


electrification. The airport development is bringing jobs, but


also for greater Manchester there is a 5.8 million investment and it is


specifically about helping people to get into work, young people in


particular to get into work. As I said before, apprenticeships in this


area, I am sorry that doesn't apply to your incredibly qualified


daughter, but apprenticeships have gone up 90% since Labour were in


power. I am sorry, since Labour left power. This is an important --


important point with regard to the 50% that don't go to university, the


gentleman raise that issue earlier, Ed Miliband talk about the 50% and


he describes it as the rest, the people that almost don't matter


ordered. We do count those of us who didn't go to university and the


people that have done other ways to get into work.


I want to bring in some people affected by this you haven't spoken


yet. Don't stick your hand if you have spoken already.


You say implement has gone up but what kind of jobs? Zero hours where


people get 15 hours per week? Agency jobs? I have got employment agencies


saying can you go down tomorrow only to find out it is a one-day


contract. It is all right bashing Conservative


policies and agree there are problems with part-time jobs but


where will you get money from? The ads is borrowed money. Where will


you get money from? Somebody who hasn't spoken from the older side.


The jobs are fixed. Who can live on part-time jobs? The figures are all


fixed. Are you sympathetic to the youth who cannot find jobs?


Yes. The reason is people cannot get jobs


the economy is structured wrongly. If you pay thousands of pounds to


somebody pushing a mouse around a desk, and give the money to young


people they will gain experience and we will all benefit.


On that note we have two and. Our time is up. We will be in Falkirk


next week, the Scottish government is posting its case for


independence. The week after that we are in London. That is on the day of


the prebudget report. If you want to come to either programme go to our


website or you can call us. If you are listening to Radio five Live you


can continue the debate, but my thanks to our panel, Tim Stanley and


Joan Bakewell couldn't get here because the trainer didn't deliver


them we will have them some other day. Thank you to this panel and all


of you, over 60, and under 30. Thank you all very much, good night.


David Dimbleby presents the topical debate from Salford, with an audience who are all either under 30 or over 60 years old.

With health secretary Jeremy Hunt MP, shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan MP, Liberal Democrat.

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