04/05/2017 Question Time


David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Wigan. On the panel are David Davis, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Paul Nuttall, Leanne Wood and the CEO of Siemens UK Juergen Maier.

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Welcome to Question Time and tonight, we are in Wigan.


On our panel here, the man in charge of Brexit, the Secretary of State


for Exiting the EU, the Conservative David Davis. Labour's Shadow


Business Secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey. The leader of Ukip,


Paul Nuttall. The leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood. And the boss of


Siemens UK, Juergen Maier. Thank you very much. Just before we


start, remember you can join in these debates. Twitter, our hashtag


is bbcqt. On Facebook search for BBC Question Time. Press the red button


and see what others are saying. Mark Buckley please, our first question


comes from you. Considering the recent rhetoric coming from Europe,


do we need a bloody difficult woman to negotiate Brexit?


APPLAUSE. Well, before we come to the


politicians, Juergen Maier, do we need a bloody difficult woman to


negotiate Brexit? Well what I think we need above all is, we need a


little bit more calm and we need a little bit more rational debate.


Now, that doesn't mean that it can't get difficult and, you know, clearly


there are going to be difficult players on both sides. But in the


end, what is going to get us through these very important and very


difficult negotiations is if both sides just spend more time


understanding each other's position and that also means that we in the


UK have to spend much, much more time understanding where is the EU


coming from on this, we have to understand that on our side and when


we do that, we've got a chance of getting a good deal and we damn well


need to get a good deal. APPLAUSE.


So, as an outsider to this, was the Prime Minister right to say on the


steps to the BBC, that the next person to find out she's a bloody


difficult woman would be Jean-Claude Juncker? Was that a sensible thing


to say, or was that provocative in the way you don't want to see the


negotiations conducted? Well, the way that I see it is, we are in an


election, you know, and we've had a week where emotions just ran a


little bit high. I guess it is to be expected at this point that you get


a bit of positioning. That's what you get in tough negotiations. But


I'm pretty confident that when we, after the elections, when we get


into the real debate, I think it will be what's right for the


country, not what's right for your own political party and we'll get


some calm and proper debate, I hope. Rebecca Long-Bailey? Well, look, I


think the displays that we've seen over the last 48-hours have been


very worrying, suggesting quite an unstable approach taken by the Prime


Minister. What's even more worrying is that she was using the EU as an


electioneering tool, one of the biggest decisions this country's had


to make. And even more worrying than that, were the comments we'd heard


had been made by Juncker. He said that at the recent meeting she


wasn't fully briefed. Apparently Angela Merkel said she lived in


another galaxy in terms of the things she was putting forward. But


ultimately, what we need to see now is a Government that puts


collaboration and patriotism at the part of our Brexit negotiations so


that they get a deal for the many, not the few, and turn us into a tax


haven which is the threats we have had from Philip Hammond. We need


patriotism in terms of British industry. We want the see the


Government giving industry the tools it needs to succeed. For example, we


asked the Government to provide support for reshoring UK supply


chains to make sure manufacturer was brought back to this country and


brought down costs for this country. The Government seems intent on


offering bespoke deals to one or two businesses and leaving the rest to


rot. That's not an industrial strategy. We asked them to plug the


skills gap to make sure businesses had the skills and we had a high


skilled workforce ready to go. They cut the adult skills budget by ?1.


36 billion. Before we get into too much detail, let us deal with the we


of attitude and the Prime Minister said she's a bloody difficult woman,


quoting what Ken Clarke said about her. Would Jeremy Corbyn be a bloody


difficult man negotiating Brexit? I think you need to have a mixture of


being very robust and pursuing the needs your country has, alongside an


air of winning friends and influencing people, shall I say and


Theresa May certainly hasn't displayed the charisma we need to


negotiate our way through these talks. OK.


APPLAUSE. David Davis? Well, let's go back to


the start of this. There was the dinner. I was at the dinner. I won't


tell you much about it because it was supposedly private. What came


out afterwards was a leak. It was a misleading briefing to position the


commission in one position and trying to undermine the position of


the British Government. And the response to that by the Government,


by the Prime Minister was, we simply said we don't recognise this. That


was all. It was very polite. And for 48-hours we stuck to that. Why? We


want to keep this stable, calm and sensible, like Rebecca said, so we


get the outcome for both sides. That's been our stance all the way


through. Then we had further briefings, we are going to have to


pay ?100 billion, the Prime Minister won't be able to negotiate. The line


was then crossed. What was happening was that the Commission was trying


to bully the British people and the British people will not be bullied


and the Government will not allow them to be so she made the point she


made and she was right to do so. Now, at the end of this, what we are


aiming for is a very good deal. A very good deal for the British


people. Based on what they voted on in the referendum, taking back


control of our laws, borders and money, and deliver ago comprehensive


Free Trade Agreement protecting all business and to give us the security


we need that we have currently. So for all those reasons we are very


lucky we have got a bloody difficult woman and I think we are very


good... APPLAUSE.


A lot of hands up. Let me hear from one or two members of the audience?


You, there? I think it's a bit rush Rebecca, you are sat there saying


Theresa May wasn't fully briefed after Labour's performance on


reeling out some of her policies this week.


OK. And you on the right? It just seems to me she said that phrase as


a device in the general election to make sure all the people that want


Brexit and want a hard Brexit vote for her. She's not said that device


to actually help us negotiate with the EU. That's right...


APPLAUSE. You, Sir, at the back? To me, the


statement she came out with shows a lack of negotiating skills. I


thought negotiation was people sitting around a table trying to


achieve the best outcome for all parties. She's adopting Donald


Trump's tactics and we know what he does to negotiators, he drops a big


bomb on somebody. We don't want that. It won't work, that.


What about the EU Commission President saying Brexit can't be a


success and she's living in another galaxy, that's aggressive too? Well,


she is. Oh, she is? For many other reasons. But she doesn't actually


say anything of substance, she comes out with sound bites all of the


time. It's globals. It was said... You, Sir? Can Theresa May deliver on


Brexit because she's never delivered on a promise in her life, as far as


I can see. APPLAUSE.


David Davis, a brief answer from you then the other members of the panel


I haven't spoken to. Never deliver on a promise. She was Home Secretary


in over six years in which crime came down by 30%. That's pretty good


delivering. Did it go down throughout Europe... Hang on. The


point about negotiating. The man was saying up there, you have to accept


in this process that there'll be difficult times. I've said a dozen


times in the House of Commons, there'll be times in this when it


will get tough and they'll try to test out our patience and


willingness to play the game. The real skill in the negotiations is


finding the area where both sides benefit. What Juergen does every day


in his business, where both sides benefit. That's what we've done.


We've said we want the European Union to succeed. We've said we'll


be a good European citizen even though we are not in the European


Union. We have said we want a free trade deal to help everybody, not


just the one. That's what a good negotiator does and that's what we


are going to deliver on. Leanne Wood?


I think this was more to do with the election than to do with the EU


negotiations and I think it's irresponsible to use something like


this as big as this and important as this as an election issue.


APPLAUSE. Of course she said they were trying


to interfere in the British election. Do you think that? I don't


accept that if I'm honest. I think that she's trying to approach this


with quite an aggressive attitude, it's the wrong attitude, it's not


the attitude that's going to get the best deal. She needs to be much more


open-minded and I think this is quite an English nationalist


approach and Rebecca talked earlier about the need for patriotism. It's


quite clear that Theresa May is speaking on behalf of England.


That's clear to me. That's why she's 10% ahead in Wales then, the leading


party in Wales is now the Conservative Party? If you are


referring to a poll that Kim out recently, let's wait and see the


next poll because there are big questions as to the voracity of


that. Let's wait to see the result - even better. Yes, the local


elections. If we are talking about patriotism, we have Theresa May


speaking on behalf of nationalism, the SNPs speak on behalf of


Scotland. What Wales needs now is someone to speak on behalf of Wales.


We've been ignored and neglected as a country through all of this


process and it's vital now that in this election Wales sends a large


team of Plaid Cymru MPs to Westminster to defend the Welsh


national interest because at the moment our needs are getting


completely ignored in all of this. The woman in blue? People say she's


a difficult woman and it's a smoke screen her bringing in more


austerity. If she wins the general election there'll be more cuts and


austerity. I agree... And privatisation as well. Paul Nuttall?


Remember the question Mark asked - do we need a bloody difficult woman


to negotiate Brexit? Well, on Theresa May's record, I would say


that she's a failure actually. You look at her record as Home


Secretary. This was the Home Secretary who said that she would


get the numbers of people coming to this country down to the tens of


thousands. Last year it was a city the size of Newcastle upon Tyne. So


her record isn't that great. What we do need is someone who will go into


these negotiations and actually be prepared to walk away, walk away if


we don't get the deal we want. APPLAUSE.


Because frankly, no deal is better than a bad deal. You are quoting her


aren't you? That's what she said? No. The difference is, I mean it. I


don't think she does. The EU is showing its true colours here.


Within the space of 48-hours, our divorce bill went from ?50 billion


to ?100 billion. OK. Now, they're on dodgy legal ground with this anyway


but we shouldn't be paying the divorce bill into an organisation


whereby we have given it in membership fees alone ?183 billion


since 1973. We've got ?9 billion tied up in the European Investment


Bank, we I don't know some of the EU's real estate. They have ?156


billion worth of real estate in Europe. We shouldn't be paying a


divorce bill to this organisation. Real who we are, Great Britain, the


seventh largest economy in the world and the Prime Minister should go


into these negotiations confident that she can get the best deal


possible. APPLAUSE.


Let's stick with this but maybe we'll come back to what went on at


Number Ten as David Davis described it. Robert Langley, your question,


please? How much is too much, ?50 billion, ?60 billion or ?100


billion? David, I'm not going to do


the negotiation here. The aim of this exercise, remember,


is to get a successful outcome, not just to talk


about the successful outcome. And we are determined


to get the successful But the point he raised


is actually a very good one, that in the course of this exercise,


which Leanne thought was perfectly reasonable behaviour


by the European Union, they upped the ante from 50 to 100


with no reason whatsoever, except as an intimidation play


in a negotiation. So we're not going to get


into debating that. We're going to say we want


talk about free trade, because that's beneficial


to both sides. The history of the European Union


is trying to make other countries pay for the privilege of trading


with them, when free trade Remember, they sell 290 billion


to us, we sell 230 billion to them. So Paul's right, we have a strong


hand, that's where we stand. I find it laughable


that the Conservatives are commenting on the Brexit


campaign and commenting on how much we have to pay


to exit the European Union, when they were the ones who actually


said, "This is how much money we're going to give back to the NHS


as a result of that". Or is it just this that


you are complaining about? We may come to the NHS later


on in the programme. Well, look, I think we're living


in cloud cuckoo land if we think we're going to get away


without paying anything at all. I don't know what the exact figure's


going to be but this highlights the importance of having a skilful


negotiator on our side in the form of a Prime Minister, somebody that


can negotiate obligations down. I'd highlight the importance


of making sure that we adhere to our obligations, because let's


remember, we're going to be making trade deals


across the world and we have to look like a partner that keeps


up our side of the bargain, otherwise nobody will want to sign


any free trade agreements with us. But I also want to go back


to a point David made And he talked about policing


and how crime has fallen. In the last year, violence against


the person has increased by 19%. Let's look at some of


the other obligations... Hang on, that's not


the question I asked you, which is what is Labour's position


on the 50, 60 or 100 billion? Because you can talk


about Theresa May until the cows come home, but people want to know


what Labour thinks, too. We need to make sure


we are in a strong position to negotiate, and we need to make


sure we win friends and influence Of course, but do you have any idea


of the kind of figure that Well, as I say, it's all part


of the negotiations. Well, David, is 100


billion acceptable? What figure have you said that


you're going to set as a benchmark? You want me to give


a minimum amount here. That's a very good


tactic in negotiations, Which, I'm afraid,


is a demonstration. Labour have had six different


positions on this in the course It's a decision not just


on what is said publicly, it's Do you trust Theresa May to do


this, or do you trust And that's a decision


the British people will make. You poured scorn on the upping


from 50 to 100 billion. You would treat 100 billion


as beyond the pale? That's all I want to know,


so you are putting down a benchmark. I think we're in danger of having


the wrong conversation here. At the end of the day,


I think there is going We don't know what


that is going to be. David Davis, you've said yourself


there are some liabilities There are some support programmes


that the EU has made So, therefore, we have to pay


for that for a period of time. But what I would like to hear much


more about is what is the vision Because once we have


decided what that vision is, it might just make the fact


that we have to make some contribution a little


bit more palatable. For example, we definitely do want


to continue to have a relationship We probably want to have


a relationship about climate change. We probably want to continue


to participate in some I am not here arguing in any way


that we want to stay part of the single market,


but there are certain areas. So let's have a vision for those,


describe them, and then we can get on to a conversation


of how much we really owe. Juergen is exactly right


and that is something that The vision here is a global Britain


that trades with the whole world. Remember, nearly 60% of our trade


now is with other parts of the world, most of which we don't


have a free-trade agreement with. So in the next few years we will be


developing the basis of free trade agreements with the fastest-growing


parts of the world, the Indian The areas where actually Wales


is selling most at the moment. But don't forget, 44% of our trade


is still with the European Union, vitally important for British


businesses, and we need to find And that's the point


about the comprehensive free trade agreement,


it's designed to protect what we have whilst freeing us up


to actually develop markets We have the English language,


the culture, the Commonwealth, So it's a real vision for a great


future for this country The danger is that it will be


like TTIP, the trade deal with America that was rejected,


which risked opening up And the Tories have failed


to guarantee not opening up I want to go to the audience,


but David Davis, you began talking a bit about the dinner party


at Number Ten. It was reported that the President


of the EU Commission said, "Brexit cannot be a success",


and that Theresa May It doesn't sound very promising


at the start of negotiations. I'm not going to talk about


the dinner party, as you call it. It was very convivial,


as you could watch when they came out, everyone was joking


and laughing together. So a lot of this briefing


has been nonsense. But the point you made


about his comment about it cannot be a success, early on in this process,


immediately after the referendum, there was talk about


punishing Britain. Then they realised that was perhaps


not particularly acceptable to British people and they talked


instead about Britain cannot be allowed to do better


outside than inside. Frankly, that's not


for them to decide. How we do outside is down to us,


as an independent nation standing Don't you want to try and have


a good relationship with the EU? With all these billions


being mentioned, with the French election and the possible


Marine Le Pen getting in, if there's a referendum


and they come out and they do a Frexit, what I'm wondering is,


if it's a domino effect, is it the last man standing gets


all the money? I'm a little tired of


listening to a bad Brexit Why don't we just let these


guys get on with it. All we hear is rhetoric


in the newspaper, on the television. In a month's time we are going


to have a confirmation Let them get on with it


and we'll see where it takes Not stop talking about it,


but hard and soft, the rhetoric isn't doing


us any good. I think the fact that the EU


is asking for any money for Britain undertaking a democratic exercise


is frankly ridiculous, and it shows that we're dealing


with bloody difficult men. That was the question


that Robert asked. That's like asking in a divorce


settlement before you go to court, does one partner get half the house,


a quarter of the house, I mean, the point of negotiation


is to be like adults, to sit around a table and to try


and sort things out And going into these


negotiations with the attitude the Prime Minister has got,


all superior, we are better than them over there in Europe,


is the wrong way to go about it. The only people that will end


up with all the money in all of this are the lawyers,


like they do in a real divorce. We don't know how much that will be


yet, but we do know that that promise of ?350 million


that was on that bus, that they said would go


to the NHS every week, that is the figure that they rowed


back on straight away. And many people that I know


in the constituency I represent back in Wales are desperate to see money


go back into the NHS. And they voted for Brexit


on the basis of a lie. I think what we are forgetting


is that David Cameron proved beyond any doubt,


it's the EU who won't negotiate. He came back saying


he'd got a good deal. I'll take a couple more points


and I want to move on. I come to you waving at me,


not because you are waving but because you have


had your hand up. At the end of the day,


Europe are trying to make an example out of Britain to try to prevent


other member states doing exactly what we've done


and having their own Brexits. And where was the person


with the tattoos? Until a professional outside body


adds up both assets and liabilities, who can have any idea


what the bill can be? The interesting quote of the week


was from Juncker when he said that The reason why he is saying


that is because they are terrified, because if Brexit is a success


and we are a beacon of light for the rest of the European Union,


then France will go next, then Sweden will go,


then Denmark will go and the whole And as for going into these


negotiations, we can be confident. We have a huge trading deficit


with the European Union. In many ways, they need us


more than we need them. The six million jobs


on the continent which are Now, this might be a devious


organisation, it might be a bullying organisation,


but it isn't a stupid organisation. And I think people like David can go


into these negotiations confident that we can get a really good deal


for the British people. Just to say before I do,


next week we're going to be in Edinburgh and the week


after that we are in Norwich. The details of how to apply


are on the screen and I will Now here is a topic we have had


a number of questions on. Why is the media refusing to portray


Jeremy Corbyn in a positive light? In case you missed it,


why is the media refusing to portray Well, I'm afraid they are reflecting


a view not just of the media but of three quarters


of the Labour Party who passed a vote of no


confidence in him last year. My own opposite number,


Keir Starmer, who is the shadow Brexit secretary, resigned last year


and the words he gave were because he didn't think that


Jeremy Corbyn could provide the leadership to negotiate


a decent deal on Brexit. So I'm afraid what they are


reflecting is a commonly held view. Now, look, I actually


like Jeremy Corbyn. I took him to Washington with me


when we got the release of the last British resident in Guantanamo Bay,


and he was hopeful on that. But I'm afraid, in terms


of actually leading a country, in terms of delivering


on a government, in terms of making decisions, Brexit alone,


six positions in nine months, he simply hasn't proved


able to do the job. Laura, what's your


complaint about the media? Nobody is listening to his policies


and all the Conservatives seem to be doing is, like, portraying him


in a negative light. They're not doing their own thing,


they're just abusing him. And is that the papers, radio,


television, everything? I'm in business and my role is not


to take political sides. I see my role as working


with whichever political party to help create a strong


British economy. I think Jeremy Corbyn is clearly


a man of strong conviction. I think in terms of business,


what I would like to see is a little bit less of the "Business is nasty


and you don't all pay your taxes". Of course, we know there


are incidents of that but the truth is that business


is a huge value creator. We pay, as business,


when you take our corporation tax, National Insurance, all those tax,


three quarters of all the taxes raised by the country


is generated through business. We are a very important


engine of the economy, and I would like to see a little bit


more partnership of how we can work together


and achieve economic growth. Laura says that the media


are being unfair to Jeremy Corbyn, You know, I think the media


will just pick up anything At the end of the day,


I think our audience here today and the British population


is intelligent to see through that and to make their decision based


on the policies and based on the manifestos, and not what


you're reading in the Daily Mail. APPLAUSE.


OK. Leanne Wood? I think that the right and the far


right on the march, not just here in the UK, but in other parts of the EU


as well and in America, I think the media are reflecting that and anyone


who's not on the right or the far right seems to be getting it. My


colleague Nicola Sturgeon is getting a hard time as well. She's been


described as one of the most difficult women in politics and I


think part of that is around the way the media portray her. I would like


to see a more balanced media, more balanced ideas. I think social media


can help with some of that because it's not going through a filter. But


I don't think the leader of the Labour Party is helping himself by


refusing to participate in the electoral TV debates if the Prime


Minister doesn't turn up. I think they should be both empty chaired if


they don't show, but what they are doing by refusing to turn up is


turning down that platform to put across your policy ideas, reducing


the range of opinion available to people. There are large numbers of


people who watch those television debates that might not access


politics in any other way. I think it's important for democracy that


they go ahead with the full range of opinion that's available.


APPLAUSE. The woman there? I would like to


say, I voted in the last general election, I'm voting in this general


election and I would like to say, Jeremy Corbyn really turned my head


to politics. He speaks about what is real and I don't think it's a case


of the press being against him, I think it's just the case that


no-one's reporting what Labour's actually standing for, people are


voting for personalities and lies, rather than...


APPLAUSE. Rebecca Long-Bailey, the question,


is the media refusing to portray Jeremy Corbyn in a positive light.


You may want to pick up on what Leanne said, he's not doing himself


much of a service by refusing to debate with other party leaders?


I'll be honest, it's been a struck until the media since Jeremy was


elected leader. The media have focussed on divisions and people


arguing with people within the party rather than reporting on our


policies. We have a fight on our hands in this election, we are


fighting for every single vote. While Theresa May is refusing to do


TV debates and having stage-managed events, Jeremy is travelling the


country showing how he'll represent Britain. This election is a choice,


it's about having a Britain for the many, which is what the Labour Party


believes in, where wealth and prosperity is shared, or it's a Tory


Britain that only looks after a privileged few. And to come back to


the point about business, it breaks my heart to hear you say that


because we have been fighting to get our business message out there. We


were at the front of the queue when it came to business rates, we were


talking about how businesses were really being pushed to the edge of a


cliff. We asked for manufacturing industries and other industries to


be given support in the exemption of plant and machinery to grow their


businesses because we think that Government and business in


collaboration can deliver the future Britain needs, it will deliver the


high-paid, high-skilled economy that these people need.


APPLAUSE. Sorry, you didn't answer why he


won't debate, even though Theresa May isn't there in the studio, why


won't he debate with the others to get his ideas across? I think Jeremy


having Theresa May taken the decision that he's taken he felt


that it was necessary to go out and meet the people and develop his


policies and discuss them with the general public. It's not one or the


other, I'll be doing both. I'll be meeting the people and being


involved in television debates. We are the opposition, we are the only


chance of getting rid of the Tory party and Jeremy felt in order to


get a fair hearing he needed to have a debate with Theresa May so if she


comes to the debates a and I think she should because the British


public need to hear what she has to say and she should be held to


account, then Jeremy will be there as well. Politicians need to stop


the mud-slinging. They quote this week mutton headed old mud lump, it


does nobody any favour, it grabs headlines. It sets bad examples to


children, we tell them not the bully and yet you're bullying each other


in. The midst of all this we are losing the debates because the press


are picking up on the mud slinging backwards and forwards, there's


nothing reported about the policies and we need to hear the policies in


adult grown-up debate. The TV debates are important. Yes, you on


the gangway? Without debate, there can't be any scrutiny. Exactly.


Theresa May's refused to debate Jeremy Corbyn. Silly sound bites are


not match against honesty and integrity.


APPLAUSE. That's why Mrs May will not debate


with Jeremy Corbyn on TV. Because she does not have any policies. But


she will on the other hand, as far as we know, at this stage, and it's


not certain, debate with a Question Time audience. So she will argue her


case with you and you and you and you. Why won't she debate Corbyn


then? OK, I don't know the answer to that one. You, Sir, in the middle? I


think my concern and I think a lot of people in the country would like


to see Jeremy Corbyn because he will answer a question. All I've seen of


Theresa May is dodge, Don, dodge, she hasn't answered anything


directly. The BBC interview the other day, why can't we have


politicians that will give us a direct answer like Jeremy Corbyn?


APPLAUSE. Paul? Yes. Do you know, I sort of


feel sorry for Jeremy Corbyn, I have to say. I think he's an honourable,


principled man, I disagree with his principles. And the problem he's got


is that, although the press or the media are plunging the knife in his


chest, his own party are plunging the knife in his back all the time


so he goes on TV talking about Trident then he's being contradicted


an hour later boy they are members of his Shadow Cabinet.


on the manifestos, and not what you're reading in the Daily Mail.


You've got the Blairites who want a bit of Corbyn.


You've got Corbyn himself who is in effect a throwback to a bygone era.


But at least with Corbyn you've got a clear choice in this election,


because unfortunately what happened with politics during the Blairite


era is that everyone rushed to the Centre.


I mean, there's a clear choice with Jeremy Corbyn as leader


You could give me ten Jeremy Corbyns over any Tony Blair, any day.


The use of food banks has increased under this Tory government.


Should we hang our heads in shame that as one of the richest


countries in the world, people are queueing for food?


Juergen, would you like to start on that?


The answer is that it's a real tragic situation, isn't it,


that we've not been able to raise living standards, and we have


and we have more in-work poverty than we have had before.


However, we need to find a solution to that.


And this is definitely an issue where, you know,


we need to really raise above party politics, and there is a really


And that is that we have, for decades, actually not focused


on what is it that generates wealth in this country.


And one of the key things that generates wealth is manufacturing.


It's high-technology industries, which export,


which create high-value jobs, which create productivity.


And through those mechanisms, we can actually raise wages


And we have not had a strategic approach for that,


which has to be long-term, so it has to be across governments,


And we need a much, much stronger focus on that,


and only through that can we start raising living standards again.


Wendy Doherty, David Davis, put it very vividly.


Shouldn't we hang our heads in shame that in one of the richest


countries in the world, people are queueing for free food?


And nobody is comfortable with the idea of using food banks.


Let me pick up on Juergen's point, because he has a point,


that in the Western world we have to think much harder, be more agile


about encouraging business, encouraging wealth creation.


And that's what Theresa May, actually one of the unique things


about her, in terms of leader of the Tory party, is she believes


She believes in creating the foci for development,


the innovation, the research, apprenticeships, all of these


things central to her approach to Conservatism.


You can't do it without wealth creation.


At the other end, the thing that brings people out of poverty is not,


It's getting up to do a job that brings self-respect, brings money.


And we've got 2.8 million more people in work today than we had


when we came into power, the highest level of employment ever


in our country and the lowest level of unemployment for over a decade.


When the Prime Minister appeared on Andrew Marr's programme,


he quoted to her the Royal College of Nursing saying that nurses


were even turning to food banks, employed nurses were turning


And her reply was, there are many complex reasons.


Presumably people go to food banks because they are hungry.


People have short-term cash issues, all sorts of things.


The complexity of individual people's lives.


But that doesn't mean it's something you want to see.


The main reason that people are going to food banks


is because there are delays with paying benefits and there have


been changes to social security with the pernicious Tory welfare


reforms which have cut money to people with disabilities.


They've cut money to the children whose parents have been bereaved.


They've cut money to any third, fourth or fifth child in a family,


unless the mother can prove that she was raped when that


And if we give the Tories a bigger mandate in this election,


There's been a lot of conversation about industry being the main way


of us avoiding the use of food banks.


However, what happens when those people using the food banks


are your public sector workers, where industry isn't


We seem to have stopped caring firstly about those


that need caring for, and secondly for the people that


And we seem to have no answer to that currently.


I have not visited a food bank before but I have


And the vast majority of them that do go for free food smoke,


Some people use food banks who are in work.


Last night I travelled through Wigan town centre to Hindley and I saw ten


people sitting in doorways, obviously not watching Sky.


The benefit system as we refer to it is the main reason people


are falling out of society and living on the streets.


There's been an exponential increase in homelessness, and it's


Well I'm telling you, it's a purposely designed


policy of creating more dismay and discomfort.


And this man is not an unintelligent man, and he knows what's going on.


The party that introduced the living wage, which is actually


raising people's wages, the party that is creating a welfare


system that's trying to give people an to get back to work.


-- trying to give people an incentive to get back to work.


Of course there's a homeless problem.


Well, and we've been building more houses


to help with that, too, 313,000 houses in


Well, look, we are in Wigan tonight and I'm sure many of the audience


members have read the famous book the Road to Wigan Pier


by George Orwell where in the 1930s he travelled across the country


to see how people, often in work, were living in destitution.


There's a group of people recreating his footsteps.


Recently they visited a Staffordshire food bank.


And in that food bank they met a man who walked seven


He was on a zero-hours contract, often turned away and had to walk


He was 50 and he'd spent 15 years fighting for Britain


Now, is this the kind of Britain he deserves,


where he is forced to rely on charity?


I think it's absolutely shameful that we have food


banks on our streets, that we aren't building an economy


that will keep people sustained, that we've got a government that


hands out tax breaks to a wealthy elite whilst cutting the benefits


And I agree wholeheartedly with the comments made


about investing in business and industry to create


those high-paid, high skilled jobs of the future,


but unfortunately this government isn't delivering that.


We're one of the lowest countries in the OECD in terms of investment


in industry and innovation at 1.7% of GDP.


Our competitors around the world are on 3%.


So to deliver the economy that this country deserves and to share


the wealth equally around the regions and nations,


we need to elect a Labour government so that we can invest


Quite clearly there is a problem with homelessness in this country.


There's lots of issues surrounding why people end up homeless,


mental health issues, there can be issues


Obviously people being put out of work as well.


Clearly, there isn't enough houses in Britain.


The problem that we've got is that we've had a massive population boom,


and that does go back to the issue of how many people


But equally, we haven't built enough houses over the years.


We need a real council house building programme.


And we're sitting here in Wigan tonight.


This is part of my constituency, I am an MEP for the north-west.


And I just feel as if we've been left behind.


Because everything in this country, all of the money, everything


What we want to see is not only real devolved power


The Tories had this Northern powerhouse,


I'll give you an example just before I finish.


In London they are spending ?5,000 per head on infrastructure.


In the north-east of England it's about ?400.


We need to get the money out of London and out of places


-- we need to get it out to places like the north-west of England.


One point from the woman in the third row and then we'll go


The issue of food banks, you say it's about job creation,


Surely it's going to get worse because with artificial


intelligence, jobs in the service sector are going to be impacted.


Anything that is repeatable, a robot can do it.


Well, you raise a very good point here, and this is exactly why


we need a much stronger focus on investing and innovation and R


Because actually my calculation is that as long as we invest very


well, we can actually create more jobs than we displace


through the implementation of these technologies.


But we have to, with that, create the new industries.


We have to create instead of having the manufacturing jobs.


It will be jobs who are writing software, creating


We have to create new jobs in technologies like


Here in Wigan there some companies creating brand-new textiles


And more of that can create more jobs, highly paid jobs,


more tax income, which will pay for more welfare,


I said earlier on when it was briefly


mentioned by one or two of you that we would come


Rebecca Crabtree, with a rather different take on the usual


As a portrayed saviour of the NHS, how does the Labour Party plan


to combat an NHS culture of wastage, inefficiency and poor


It's a question that everybody around


Paul Nuttall, what do you say to that?


While you have a chance to think, Paul!


Well, the question is, obviously behind Rebecca's question


is that the NHS has a culture of wastage, inefficiency


It's no good just putting money into it.


Well, you have to start by putting money into it. People are getting


older, the demands on the health service are greater. More high-tech


medicine has to be delivered, which is expensive. So you do have to put


money in and that starts with the economy. If you don't deliver the


money, do not have enough created in the economy, you can't do it. We put


in 10 billion so far. We are talking about your 350 million a week, at 10


billion is more than the Labour Party promised that the last


election. Out of that, to be fair, talking about inefficiency, the


health service is actually delivering, according to independent


reviews, better major care, better outcomes than three years ago, five


years ago, ten years ago. So we should be fair, it is doing a good


job, it is still a world leader in many respects. Beyond that, we have


to keep innovating. We have a proposal, sustainability and


transformation partnerships, which will actually improve delivery on


the ground. Labour are opposing it, even though they supported it six


months ago. But that sort of reform will deliver better outcomes again.


They are improving but they will improve even further. Rebecca, come


back to your question. You are missing the point that just putting


money into something is not the solution. Much of the money is


wasted because we have not got enough nurses, midwives, and the


money is being wasted on agency staff, who get paid approximately


three times the wage. APPLAUSE


And that is what I mean about inefficiency in the NHS.


It is not run like a business. Rebecca Long Bailey, you say you are


putting money into the NHS but it is not run like a business and the


money will be wasted, Rebecca says. There has been a narrative put out


about the NHS for some time in terms of inefficiency and wastage. There


can always be changes made to make systems more efficient, but it seems


it has come out of Jeremy Hunt's playbook. Remember, he co-authored a


book calling for the privatisation of the NHS, so we know where the


rhetoric is coming from and what is. The picture of the child lying on


two plastic chairs in an A corridor haunts me and many in the


audience, I'm sure, because that is the extent of the NHS crisis. We


have over 1 million vulnerable people who cannot look after


themselves because of cuts to social care. The crisis was of this


government was Mac making. They were setting it up for privatisation.


They orchestrated a top-down reorganisation which cost ?3 billion


and did not have a positive outcome. Can you point to any privatisation?


They cut ?600 million from mental health and 4.6 billion from social


care. They are driving it into the sea. Can you point to any? The rate


of use of non-NHS health care was much higher, the growth rate was


much higher under Tony Blair's Labour than it has been under the


Conservative coalition governments. So how can you point to this as


supposedly some sort of privatisation initiative? There no


facts behind your argument. I would read Jeremy Hunt's book if you have


not looked at it. It is a race to was an American -based insurance


system that is privatised. And we haven't got it. The lady quite


properly raised the issue of the demand on the health service. 11,000


more doctors, over 12,000 more nurses and midwives since we have


been empowered. That is not privatisation, that is public money


put in for public service, delivering better outcomes for


people suffering from dreadful diseases. Juergen Maier. I watch


this programme pretty much every week and it seems we have the same


debate every week. And I don't think we are going to resolve it by saying


we need to throw many more billions into the service, which is exactly


the point that you are asking. I think there is a fundamental issue


here, and when I compare the National health system here too that


I have experienced in Germany and Austria, a fundamental difference is


that we just do not put the focus on preventative health. And what that


means is that our hospitals, our health service is just overloaded,


so they don't have any time to actually sort out their


efficiencies, which is your point. I think there is a solution, and the


solution is potentially happening right here in Greater Manchester.


This will be one of the first evolved city regions where there


will be the funding for both social care and the National health has --


and the national health system will be under one responsible T. That is


the first time there will be an incentive in the system to make sure


that we do more preventative medicine, to make sure that people


do not end up in hospital and do not end up with the actual social care,


after-care type of issues. I think that is the way we have to go to get


more efficiency. The NHS is its workers. That is what this


government is not putting money into. 1% pay rise again this year.


That is for the last seven years, 1%, which is devaluing the wages of


nurses, encouraging people to go on banks and to go to agencies, to


leave the country. There is a shortage of doctors and nurses but


you will not give us a pay rise. APPLAUSE


We only have a couple of minutes left.


The first thing you could do is to merge social care and health care.


In January there were 1 million people lying in hospital beds who


could not leave because they had nowhere else to go. It's insane. The


problem we have is that when Labour came to power in 1997 we were


spending 33,000,000,000-a-year on the NHS, and when they left we were


spending 99 billion. The problem is that they stuffed the NHS with pen


pushers, bureaucrats and managers, OK.


APPLAUSE I have to stop you, Paul.


He wants to privatise the NHS. He has said in the past that he wants


to privatise the NHS. Our NHS needs defending. It is a risk of


privatisation and has been underfunded. I agree that there is


waste in terms of agency staff and locums, and we need investment in


staff. Isn't it interesting that those on the top of the pay grade


get decent paying creases, while those at the bottom are those who


have had the pay freeze? APPLAUSE


Very quickly, because we have 30 seconds left.


A lot of the problem is streamlining they are trying to do with the NHS.


That little boy might have been waiting for a bed in another


district general because there was no bed in his hospital -- his


hospital that he was in A for, because they closed the beds and


moved it to a different one and were waiting for an anvil him. This is


the streamlining causing a backlog of patients in A At the back. The


main issue that we have and we are bypassing is the amount of people


that are in this country. We are a very tiny country with too many


people, and the funding with the NHS does not recognise that. As Paul has


just noted, it was Labour and Tony Blair who opened our borders and


that rose dramatically, so how are we going to do that? You are more


likely to have an immigrant treating you. People that want to work in


that sector. We have a shortage of doctors. We need more immigrants.


The don't want to work there because there is too much pressure. As has


been said, we always debate this on Question Time and we have run out of


time before we have got through everyone with their hand up.


Apologies, but our time is up. We will be in Edinburgh next week and


Norwich the week after, so come and join us there. Edinburgh and


Norwich. On the screen is the website and the number to apply. If


you are listening on five live on medium wave, if you are able to get


it, which I never can, the debate carries on until the early hours of


the morning and it is very exciting and vivid when you catch it. My


thanks to our panel and to all of you who came to Wigan to take part.


Until next Thursday, good night.


David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Wigan. On the panel are Conservative Brexit secretary David Davis, Labour's shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and the CEO of Siemens UK Juergen Maier.

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