08/12/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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The morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. First, some Sunday


morning cheer, if you are an MP, that is. You are set to get an 11%


pay rise. The Chancellor has gone from zero to hero for some, who


credit him for turning the economy around. We will be taking a fine


tooth comb to his Autumn Statement. Should this man get a pay rise?


Complete denial about the central facts... And 11% pay rise for Ed


Balls? He was certainly working hard to be heard last Thursday. We will


be reviewing his performance. What about this man? We will be joined by


In the East Midlands, does the recovery mean it will be a happy New


Year for the economy? had on the capital, its politics and


those who met him. With me, three scruffy eternal


students. They would celebrate if they achieved a C+. But they are all


we could afford and there will be no pay rise for them. They will be


glued to an electronic device throughout the programme and if we


are lucky they might stop there internet shopping and tweet


something intelligent. But don't hold your breath. Janan Ganesh,


Helen Lewis and Nick Watt. Last week, storms were battering Britain,


the East Coast was hit by the worst tidal surge in more than a century,


thousands of people had to be evacuated and Nelson Mandela died.


The downed the news agenda was the small matter of George Osborne's


Autumn Statement. His giveaways, his takeaways and his first opportunity


to announce some economic cheer. It might be winter outside, but in


the studios it is awesome. Autumn Statement time. -- autumn. This is a


moment of TV history. Normally when the Chancellor delivers these


statements, he has to say the economy is actually a lot worse than


everyone predicted. This time, he can stand up and say the economy is


better than everybody predicted. A lot better.


Britain is currently growing faster than any other major advanced


economy. Faster than France, which is contracting, faster than Germany,


faster even than America. At this Autumn Statement last year, there


were repeated predictions that borrowing would go up. Instead,


borrowing is down, and down significantly more than forecast.


But George Osborne said the good numbers still mean more tough


decisions. We will not give up in giving in our country's debts. We


will not spend the money from lower borrowing. We will not squander the


harder and games of the British people. -- hard earned gains. In


other news, further cuts to government departments. The state


pension age will increase in the 2040s, affecting people in their 40s


now. There were some goodies, like discounted business rates for small


businesses, free school meals for infants, favoured by the Lib Dems,


and those marriage tax breaks below that by the Tories. But, as with all


big fiscal events, it takes a while for the details to sink in.


The marriage tax allowance is a long-standing commitment that he


could not abandon. It does help those families were only one goes


out to work. It does not go to higher rate taxpayers, I don't


think. Perhaps it does, I can't remember. It makes me feel guilty, I


am taking them very seriously, but... Shall I give you them? There


is the Autumn Statement. Have that, a free gift from the Sunday


Politics. Is there no limit to the generosity of the BBC?


In the meantime, Twitter was awash with unflattering pictures of a


red-faced Ed Balls giving his response. Some pictures were more


than flattering than others. Is Ed Balls OK? Should we be worrying


about him? He looks very stressed. There is nothing to worry about in


terms of Ed balls and his analysis. He and Ed Miliband have been setting


the pace in terms of the focus on the living standards crisis. It was


very telling that there was not a mention of living standards last


time, we got 12 mentions this time. Never mind what he was saying, by


now everybody has a copy of the all-important paperwork. Time to


hand over to number cruncher extraordinaire Paul Johnson from the


Institute for Fiscal Studies. Of course it means that things are


significantly better this year and next than we thought they would be


just nine months ago. That has got to be good news. But it is also


worth looking at the growth figures a few years out. They have been


revised down a little bit. The reason is, the view of the office of


budget response ability is that the long run has not really changed very


much. We are getting a bit more growth now, but their view is that


it is at the cost of a little bit of the growth we will expect in the


years after the next general election. As the day draws to a


close, the one place there has definitely been no growth is the


graphics budget of my colleague, Robert Preston. It's as good as it


gets these days, I don't think the viewers will mind. It's very Sunday


Politics, if I might say. That is very worrying.


Was this a watershed for George Osborne? Was it a watershed for Ed


Balls? We can all make the case that it is the wrong sort of recovery, a


consumer led recovery. People are spending money they don't have. At


the end of the day, it for George Osborne, it is growth, the first


time he has been able to talk about growth. It allows him to control the


baseline, the fiscal debate for the next generation. For Ed Balls,


nearly not a good performance. But don't write this man off. Judging by


Twitter, Iain Dale, no friend of it all is, said he did a good interview


this morning on a rival TV channel. I feel the fact that the Tories hate


Ed Balls so passionately is probably a good reason that they should hang


onto him, in that Labour sends his effectiveness. May be the Tories


hope that they hold on to him as well? A lot of people shouting at


someone and mocking their speech impediment, that is politics that


doesn't make me want to engage. The takeaway will be lots of people


thinking that none of these people are people they like. Who is the


main heckler on the Labour front bench West remarked I suppose he


can't cast any stones. It would be easier to sympathise with him, if it


were not that David Cameron went through a similar situation and John


Bercow did not step in to stop the wall of noise. It was guaranteed a


good happen to a Labour politician. It's painful to remove him because


he had a Parliamentary following and he will kick up a fuss. I think he's


much more pragmatic on issues like business than Ed Miliband. I'm told


he wasn't keen on the energy price freeze. The problem with Ed Balls,


to have the first words that you say, the Chancellor is in denial,


after he is presiding over growth, it means nobody is listening to you.


Who would replace him? Certainly not Alistair Darling, the side of the


referendum and even afterwards. Ed Balls did get a roasting in the


press and on Twitter. He seemed to disappear from public view following


the Autumn Statement. But a little bird tells me he managed one


interview this morning before he went off to an all-important piano


recital this afternoon. Watch out, Jools Holland, he could be after


your job. How bad was his performance on Thursday? Here is the


Shadow Chancellor in action. The Chancellor is incomplete denial


about the central facts that are defining this government in office.


He used to say he would balance the books in 2015. Now he wants us to


congratulate him for saying he will do it in 2019, Mr Speaker. With this


government, it is clearly not just the badgers that move the goalposts.


No mention of the universal credit in the statement. IDS, in deep


shambles, Mr Speaker. Chris Leslie is the Shadow Chief Secretary to the


Treasury. He is Ed Balls's deputy, in other words. Why do more and more


of your Labour colleagues think that your boss is below the water line?


I'm not sure I accept the premise of your suggestion. I don't think my


colleagues believe that George Osborne has a superior argument. I


think Ed Balls will certainly trying his best, loud and clear, to make


the case there is a cost of living crisis in this country and the


Chancellor doesn't understand this. That was essentially the heat of the


debate on the Autumn Statement day. One leading Labour MPs said to me


that Ed Balls is always looking back, fixated with the rear-view


mirror, that was the exact quote. A Labour MP told Sky News, Labour has


a strong argument to make, unfortunately it was not made well


in the chamber today. Quoting the Daily Mail, this is two poor


performances. A quote that I can't use because it uses too many four


letter words. Baroness Armstrong, speaking at Progress, a former


Labour Cabinet minister, we are not sufficiently concerned about public


spending, how we would pay for what we are talking about. Quite a


battering? There were two sets of quotes you were giving. The couple


were about the strategy for tackling public expenditure. I think it's


fair that we talk about that. The rest were pretty unattributed,


nameless sources. You have never given and of the record briefing? We


have conversations off camera, but I don't think you have a wealth of


evidence to say that somehow Ed Balls's arguments were wrong. He was


making the point that, ultimately, it is a government that does not


have its finger on the pulse about what most of your viewers are


concerned about, that wages are being squeezed and prices are


getting higher and higher. You have had time to study the Autumn


Statement. What part of it does Labour disagree with? It is a very


big question. I think the overall strategy the Autumn Statement is


setting out does not deal with the fundamental problems in the economy.


What measures do you disagree with? A lot of it is the absence of


measures we would have put in if we were doing the Autumn Statement. If


you are going to deal with the cost of living crisis, you have got to


get productivity levels up in our society. One of the best ways of


doing that is on infrastructure. We believe in bringing forward 's


investment and housing, getting some of the fundamentals right in our


economy. By planting, the business lending we have to do. We have seen


a lamentable failing. There are big structural reforms that we need.


Ultimately, the public are concerned about the cost of living crisis.


That has got to be childcare help, a 10p starting rate of tax. Above


all, and energy price freeze, which still this government are refusing


to do. On Friday, you told me you supported the principle of a welfare


cap. But you change bling claim the Chancellor's cap included pensions.


You have now seen the figures, and it does not include pensions,


correct? We do want a welfare cap. The government have said they are


going to put more detail on this in the March budget. But it does not


include pensions? We think they have a short term approach to the welfare


cap. They put in some pension benefits. The state pension is not


in the short-term plan because, as we believe, a triple lock is a good


idea. In the longer term, if you are talking about structural welfare


issues, you do have to think about pensions because they have to be


sustainable if we are living longer. I think that is about the


careful management. Let me show you what Ed Balls said on this programme


at the start of the summer. As for pensioners, I think this is a real


question. George Osborne is going to announce his cap in two weeks time.


I don't know if he will exclude pension spending or including. Our


plan is to include it. Pension spending would be included in the


welfare cap? That is our plan, exactly what I just said. Over the


long-term, if you have a serious welfare cap structural welfare


issues, over 20, 30, 40 year period, you can't say that we will


not work and pensions as part of that. Pensions would be part of the


Labour cap? In the longer term. What is the longer term? If you win 2015?


We want to stick with the triple lock on the pension, that is the


Government approach to their short-term welfare cap. In the


longer term, for example, on the winter fuel allowance, we should not


necessarily be... There are lots of benefits... I understand that, I am


talking about the basic state pension, is that part of your


welfare cap or not? In a 20, 30, 40 year frame... Even you will not be


around in government, then. You are writing me off already. You have to


focus on welfare changes, pensions have to be affordable as part of


that. It's dangerous to say, well, if you are going to have a serious


welfare cap, we should not look at pensions cost. It would be


irresponsible. Will pensions be part of the cap from 2015 until 2020 if


Labour is in power? In our long-term cap we have to make sure... I'm


talking about 2015-16. We haven't seen the proposition the Government


has put before us. You claim people of ?1600 worse off


under the coalition. That is true when you compare to pay and prices.


Can you confirm that calculation does not include the ?700 tax cut


from raising the income tax threshold, huge savings on mortgages


because of low interest or the freezing of council tax? It doesn't


include the tax and benefit changes. If you do want to look at


those, last year, the ISS said they could be making people worse off. It


might not include those factors. The VAT increase, tax credit cuts, child


benefit cuts, they all add up. My understanding is that the ISS


figures have said people are ?891 worse off if you look at the tax and


benefit changes since 2010. You have to look at wages and prices. The ISS


confirmed our approach was broadly the right way of assessing what is


happening. The Chancellor was saying, real household disposable


incomes are rising. He is completely out of touch. Can you sum up the


macro economic policy for Labour? Invest in the future, make sure we


have the right approach for the long-term politicking. Tackle the


cost of living crisis people are facing.


Now, let's talk to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid


Javid. Discovery, underpinned by rising


house prices, increasing personal debt, do you accept that is


unsustainable? I accept the OBE are also said the


reason why this country is facing more these challenges -- OBR.


That is because we went through a Labour recession, the worst we have


seen in 100 years. But do you accept that a recovery underpinned by these


things I have just read out isn't sustainable? We set out a long-term


plan for recovery, and again this week. We have shown with the tough


decisions we have made already, the country can enjoy a recovery. There


are still a lot of difficult decisions. The biggest risk are


Labour's plans. The March projections work at for those -- for


both business investment and exports. Suddenly it is expected to


rise 5% next year, a 10% turnaround in investment. How is it credible? I


have been in business before politics. Any business person


listening will know, when you have gone through a recession, the


deepest in 100 years, it will hit investment, profits, you can't make


plans again until you have confidence in the economy. That is


what this country is seeing now under this government. This is an


assumption made independently. The fall in business investment is


because of the recession. The forecast increases, 5% next year,


and so on, it is based on the independent forecast. Based on fact.


If you look at the investment plans of companies, this week, the


Chancellor went to JCB, Jaguar Land Rover has plans to create more


jobs, these investment plans are coming through now because of the


confidence generated by this government, such as the cut in


corporation tax which Labour would increase. Are the export forecasts


more credible? The 15 years, our share of world trade decline.


Suddenly starting next year, it stops falling. That's not credible.


I worked in finance the 20 years. I have yet to find any forecast which


is fully right. Under Labour, we would have forecasts made by Gordon


Brown who would announce he would hit all his targets. Now we have an


independent system. Do you accept, if exports or


business investment do not pick up, then a purely consumer led recovery


is not sustainable? We need more than a consumer led recovery. We


need consumer investment to go up. On Xbox, it is noticeable that


experts are primarily down because the markets we trade with, the


eurozone markets, are depressed. Many have just come out of


recession. Or they are still in recession. If you look at exports to


non-EU countries, they are up 30%. 120% to China. 100% to Russia.


Will you keep the triple lock for the state pension beyond 2015? Yes,


long term. That's why it is not part of our welfare cap. Chris Leslie


cannot answer that question. It is straightforward.


House prices are now rising ten times faster than average earnings.


That's not good. House prices are rising, partly reflecting recovery.


Ten times faster than average earnings, how can people afford to


buy homes if it carries on? What you would hope, this is the evidence, if


you look at the plans of the month companies, they are planning new


homes which will mean that, as this demand spurs that investment, more


homes will come about. We need to give people the means to buy those


homes. We have introduced the help to buy scheme. I accept the OBR says


it will start rising again but as household debt rises again Petr Cech


reduces, -- as household debt reduces, we need to make sure there


are checks in place. Wages have not been rising in real terms for quite


some time. Over the next five years, even as the economy grows, by about


15% according the OBR to the OBR -- but people will not benefit. These


hard-working families will not share in the recovery. What is the best


way to help those families? The government doesn't set wages. What


we can do is influence the overall economy. We don't have a magic


lever. Wages have been stagnating for five years. When will people get


a proper salary? The best way for wage growth is a growing economy,


more jobs. We have more people employed in Britain today than at


any time in our history. The biggest risk to recovery is if we let Labour


into the Treasury with more spending and more debt. Which got us into


this trouble. By whatever measure you care to choose, would people be


better off come the 20 15th election than they were in 2010? Yes, they


will be. Look at jobs. Already more people employed than at any other


time in history. Will they be better off? The best way for anyone to


raise their living standards is access to a growing job market. But


will they be better off? I believe people will be. Compared to 2010.


Yes. In terms of take-home pay. This is a credible measure.


Now, what do you think the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, was like at


school? Hard-working? Hand always up? Top of the class? Well, if he


wasn't passionate about education then, he is now. In fact, since he


took office, it seems he hasn't stopped working very hard indeed.


When the coalition came to power, Michael Gove evoked Mao, saying they


were on a long march to reform education. Just like Mao, they faced


a baby boom, so pledged ?5 billion for new school places. They extended


Labour's academy programme. There's now about 3,000 in England. But


then, they marched even further, creating free schools run by


parents, funded by taxpayers. 174 have opened so far. The schools


admission code was changed, to give parents more choice.


And a pupil premium was introduced, currently, an extra ?900 funding for


each disadvantaged child. An overhaul of the national


curriculum provoked criticism. Chairman Gove mocked detractors as


"bad academia". But exam reforms didn't quite go to plan. Although


GCSEs got harder, plans to replace A-levels had to be abandoned.


Ultimately, the true test of these reforms will be what happens in the


classroom. The person in charge of making sure those classrooms are up


to scratch in England is the Chief Inspector Of Schools, head of


Ofsted, Michael Wilshaw, who joins me now.


Over the past 15 years, we have doubled spending on schools even


allowing for inflation. By international standards, we are


stagnating, why? I said last year that mediocrity had settled into the


system. Too many children were coasting in schools, which is why we


changed the grading structure, we removed that awful word,


satisfactory. Saying that good is now the only acceptable standard and


schools had a limited time in which to get to that. We are seeing


gradually, it is difficult to say this in the week we have had the


OECD report. Things have gradually improved. I will come onto that in a


minute. Explain this. International comparisons show us flat-lining or


even falling in some subjects, including science. For 20 years, our


domestic exam results just got better and better. Was this a piece


of fiction fed to us by the educational establishment, was there


a cover-up? There is no question there has grade inflation. I speak


as an ex-headteacher who saw that in examinations. Perceptual state is


actually doing something about that. Most good heads will say that is


about time. We have to be credible. Do politicians and educationalists


conspire in this grade inflation? It might suit politicians to say things


are going up every year. As a head, I knew a lot of the exams youngsters


were sitting were not up to scratch. The latest OECD study places us 36th


for maths, 23rd reading, slipping down to 21st in science. Yet,


Ofsted, your organisation, designates 80% of schools as good or


outstanding. That's another fiction. This year, we have. If we see this


level of progress, it has been a remarkable progress over the last


years since we changed our grading structure, then... In a year,


absolutely. We have better teachers coming into our school system.


Better leaders. Better schools. The big challenge for our country is


making sure that progress is maintained which will eventually


translate into better outcomes. These figures are pretty much


up-to-date. Are you saying within a year 80% of the schools are good


enough? All of the schools we upgraded have had better grades in


GCSE and grade 2. We have to make sure that is maintained. The


Government has based its reforms on similar reforms in Sweden. In


opposition they were endlessly going to Stockholm to find out how it was


done. Swedish schools are doing even worse than ours in the tables. Why


are we copying failure? The secretary of state believes, and I


actually believe, as somebody who has come from an academy model, that


if you hand power and resources, you hand autonomy to the people on the


ground, to the people in the classroom, in the corridors, in the


playgrounds, things work. If you allow the great monoliths that used


to have responsibility for education in the past to take control again,


you will see a reverse in standards. You have got to actually empower


those people that make the difference. That is why autonomy and


freedom is important. We spent a lot of money moving what were local


authority schools to become academies and new free school czar


being set up as well. When the academies are pretty much the same


level of autonomy, the free school is maybe a little bit more, the


evidence we have had so far is that they don't really perform any better


than local authority schools? Indeed, Encore GCSE subjects, they


might even be doing worse? These are early days. We will say more about


this on weapons they when we produce the annual report. The sponsored


academies that took over the worst schools in the country, in the most


difficult circumstances, in the most disadvantaged communities, are doing


much better now. What about GCSE? They are doing GCSE equivalents, the


lass academic subjects question my cull OK, but they are doing better


than previous schools. If you look at the top performing nations in the


world, they focus on the quality of teaching. The best graduates coming


to education. They professionally develop them. They make sure they


spot the brightest talents and get them into positions as soon as


possible. We have got to do the same if we are going to catch up with


those jurisdictions. This isn't just a British problem. It seems to be a


European problem. The East Asian countries now dominate the top of


the tables. What's the most important lesson we should learn


from East Asia? Attitudes to work. We need to make sure that we invest


in good teachers, good leaders. We have to make sure that students have


the right attitudes to work. It's no good getting good people into the


classroom and then seeing them part of teaching by bad behaviour,


disaffected youngsters and poor leadership. We see young teachers


doing well for a time and then being put off teaching and leaving from


that sort of culture in our schools. Are you a cheerleader for government


education policy rather than independent inspectors? I am


independent, Ofsted is independent. I believe we are saying the right


things on standards. The Association of teachers and lecturers say you


are an arm of government. The NUT has called for your resignation.


Another wants to abolish or Inspectorate. Have you become a


pariah amongst teaching unions? If we are challenging schools to become


better, that is our job, we will carry on doing that. I am not going


to preside over the status quo. We will challenge the system to do


better, we will challenge schools and colleges to do better. We will


also challenge government when we think they are going wrong. Many


people in the education establishment think your primary


purpose is to do the Government's bidding by shepherding schools into


becoming academies. Not true at all. You are a big supporter of


academies? Yes, I believe the people that do the business in schools are


the people that are free to do what is necessary to raise standards. I


am a big supporter of autonomy in the school system. But where we see


academies Vale, where we see free schools fail, we will say so. The


study does not find much evidence that competition and choice raise


standards, but it does go with you and say that strong school


leadership, coupled with autonomy, can make a difference. Can somebody


with no experience in education be in charge of a school? A lot of hot


air has been expounded on the issue of whether teachers should be


qualified or not. If qualified teacher status was the gold


standard, why is it that one in three teachers, one in three lessons


that will observe are not good enough. Taught by qualified


teachers. I've not yet met a headteacher that has not appointed


by qualified staff when they cannot get qualified teachers. Their job is


to make sure they get accredited as soon as possible and come up to


scratch in the classroom. Do you support the use of unqualified


teachers? I do. I have done it. If I could not get a maths, physics or


modern languages teacher and I thought somebody straight from


university, without qualified teachers start this, that they could


communicate well with youngsters, I would get that person into the


classroom and get them accredited if they delivered the goods. If we are


going to allow schools to have more autonomy and not be accountable to


local authorities, free schools academies, don't you have to do...


New entrants will be coming into the market, the educational marketplace.


Do you not have to act more quickly when it is clear, and there has been


examined recently, where it is clearly going badly wrong and


children's education at risk? Absolutely. I made a point to the


secretary of state and it is something I will talk more about


over the coming year. We need to be in school is much more often. If a


school fails at the moment, or underperforms, goes into this new


category, Her Majesty 's inspectors stay with that institution until it


improves. Sometimes we don't see a school for five or seven years. That


is wrong. My argument is that Ofsted should pay a much greater part in


monitoring the performance of schools between those inspections.


Are you enjoying it? It is a tough job. Are you enjoying it? This is a


tough job, but I enjoy it. Sometimes.


You are watching Sunday Politics. Coming up in just over 20 minutes,


Diane Abbott will be joining us. And we


Will it be a Merry Christmas or are hundreds facing a cold winter at


food banks? We hear from a businessman. We are taking our


employees from 75 to 180, we are on course for our plan regardless of


the 0 course for our plan regardless of


the recession. Who is making their shopping is Fairtrade? It is not


expensive than normal products. I would if it was cheaper. I believe


in helping third 0 would if it was cheaper. I believe


in helping third World countries and supporting local communities. Hello,


I'm Marie Ashby and my guests today are two of the region's most high


profile MPs. Anna Soubry is the Conservative MP for Broxtowe and a


defence minister and the Nottingham East MP, Chris Leslie, who's


Labour's shadow Treasury spokesman. Well, we're all winding down for


Christmas and for our MPs, not long to go. You break up a week on


Friday. And next year you've only got 145 days in the House of


Commons. Sitting days. We feel strongly about this. We work all of


the time. I work seven days a week. I am sure that Chris does. It is a


great myth that if the house isn't sitting, we are not working.


Tomorrow I was meant to be doing defence questions but the house is


sitting to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela. We have this flexibility


and early on Chris said we will be re`called in the summer. It used to


be the case when there was not so much scrutiny that some MPs would go


to the Bahamas for a month. Nowadays, especially with smart


technology, people can drop as e`mails all of the time. And we see


it in real`time. Even though Parliament will not be sitting over


Christmas, we are going through the e`mails, up cases. So, what will you


be doing? Constituency work. It is a combination, some of it is not as


great as other bits. There are parts of the constituency work which I


enjoy doing, casework getting results. It is so rewarding and it


is fantastic. On the frontbenchers, we have this battle of ideas which


never stops. We are on duty rotor through the holiday season. Margaret


Beckett told us it was the lightest schedule she has seen for


legislation. That is different. This is the first five`year parliament we


have had, I do not think the government have brought enough


legislation forward. More marginal deceit, it tends to be the more


stuff you get which means the more work `` marginal the seat. The


workload is not the same in the marginals. Chris has more experience


of Parliament than I do but the number of e`mails is phenomenal. I


get the picture that 0 number of e`mails is phenomenal. I


get the picture that you are 0 number of e`mails is phenomenal. I


get the picture that you are working hard. It is one of the big set


pieces of the Autumn statement. And George Osborne used it to paint a


rosy picture of the economy, with growth forecasts up and borrowing


coming down. But Labour says ordinary people aren't benefiting


from any growth. So how does it feel for those on different sides of the


economic divide here in the East Midlands?


Will it be a Merry Christmas and happy New Year when it comes to jobs


and prosperity, one Derbyshire business think so. They are moving


to new purpose`built premises and looking to take on workers. The


company makes carbon fibre parts for the car industry, we spoke to the


owner this time last year and he was pessimistic about the outlook but


now he is looking forward to expanding. We have a 6`5p project, a


loan from a lending fund and we are paying interest and alone will be


spun back into the economy and the council can find reinvestment. We


will spend the money on planting equipment and upscaling. The order


but is there, we have 0 equipment and upscaling. The order


but is there, we have three new customers next year, we have done an


exhibition and we have been lucky to win an MoD military application and


the facility is three times bigger. We 0


the facility is three times bigger. We are taking the staff up to 180.


We are on course regardless of the recession. Minor said to the


Treasury is keep your hand on the tiller, do not let go. Keep things


simple, keep it consistent `` my advice to the Treasury. Not everyone


has a positive outlook. At the food bank may have had their busiest


week. They are preparing for a busy Christmas and see no sign of a


growing economy improving incomes. It can be ordinary families that are


finding they haven't got enough to make ends meet. Over the summer


holidays, families where children get free school meals could not feed


the children. We have had supply teachers who have not had enough


work, no work over the summer and their income has dried up. They have


not been able to get by. That is working people that are not able to


manage. One of the realities is throughout the recession those who


have had more money have continued to have an increase in income, those


who have not had enough have got worse. One of the huge effects of


the recession is the extent to which local authorities have cut local


services to support local people and that has had a massive impact on


ordinary people who need support and it's been taken away altogether. The


Hope Nottingham food bank is in your constituency ` even if 0


Hope Nottingham food bank is in your constituency ` even if the economy


is improving, there are still hundreds of people relying on


charity to eat they're not seeing any benefit in the upturn. No, the


reality is we have always had people in society who are not as well off


as others and that ever we have had people who are poor, it is the why


`` it is why some people come into politics. Food banks have never been


busier. With food banks who do a fabulous `` fabulous thing, they


also grew under the 0 fabulous `` fabulous thing, they


also grew under the last government. Food banks have increased and they


are more popular and more widely known. You make it sound like a good


thing. They are doing a fantastic job, that is the good thing. Whether


there is more need out there is something to debate. You don't solve


those problems by not increasing business so... It is about creating


jobs. The businessman we saw there is creating jobs, he's getting new


premises thanks to government funding ` the economy is growing


again, he's happy about it and it's difficult for you to argue


otherwise? Let's hope that when we see a recovery that everybody gets a


fair crack of the whip. On the Labour side we are concerned there


is complacency in the Conservatives, George Osborne doesn't understand


that for most people life is harder and the Institute for Fiscal Studies


say that household incomes will be squeezed very much more considerably


by the next election. But many new workers will feel the benefit. The


worry is it is turning out to be a recovery for the few and those who


are already wealthy but the cost of living squeeze is continuing. The


jobs that are going to be created at that business are not jobs for the


rich, 0 that business are not jobs for the


rich, they are jobs for ordinary people. Youth unemployment, up 127%.


I wasn't interrupting you. We are doing good work on use. We have


abolished national insurance for Under`21s. We are talking about


hard`working people. There are hard`working people, 0


hard`working people. There are hard`working people, supply


teachers... People trying to do their job, supply teachers... People


who go to food banks tend not to be in jobs. The majority are not in


work. We are desperately trying to make sure you are better off in work


than not in work, their work programmes to get people back into


work and we have invested 0 programmes to get people back into


work and we have invested hugely in that. You do not borrow, that is


what put us into this position. The money advice and service this week


said in Nottingham over 40% of people are struggling to cope with


the debts they have got. They are depleting savings at the fastest


rate in 40 years and the squeeze is on. They don't feel you are doing


enough. In 2010, we were nearly bankrupt. Household debt... We had


one of the biggest deficits... We have brought down... We have reduced


the deficit by a third and if you look at the plans, we will reduce it


further. The economy is improving and people might not be feeling it


so much yet in their pockets but in a year as get closer to the


election, it looks far better than George Osborne. It is not a problem


if the economy is improving. People watching this programme need to ask


themselves to they feel as though they are seeing the recovery after


three long years, we have not had growth because the Chancellor pulled


the rug of confidence. The lack of growth of three years has put the


public finances into a deep problem, it has created a crisis.


An energy price freeze, bills will go up ?70. You cannot allow the


energy companies to go along without their profits being touched. Deal


with the energy. We need childcare improvements.


As you approach an election, the economy is on the up. It is what you


want. In your constituency, people are


facing... 15 hours free childcare, you cannot do a part`time job. You


have to give people affordable childcare. You still have so many


differences. People say your policies are the same.


There are things you disagree on. We will see what happens after the


election. Christmas is traditionally a time of goodwill, which could mean


good news for the Fairtrade movement which aims 0


good news for the Fairtrade movement which aims to give farmers and


workers across the world a better deal. But with cash still short, are


people tempted to buy Fairtrade or more inclined to look for a bargain?


We've been to Hinckley, a Fairtrade town, to find out. And watch out for


the Des Coleman Christmas jumper! A few years ago I was lucky enough


to go to Ghana to speak to the Ghana to speak to the Garners who benefit


from Fairtrade. Are we in the East Midlands still willing to support


it? You own this coffee shop and you serve Fairtrade products.


I have been in Hinckley for five years and with self edge trade


because we believe in supporting the communities in the third world


countries who are less fortunate than ourselves.


I have come to meet a group of Fairtrade supporters. We think it's


important because we have so much wealth on this side of the world and


the producers very often have a raw deal.


We know by supporting Fairtrade we are improving conditions for people


in developing countries. We might moan about our working


environment but they are nothing compared 0 0


environment but they are nothing compared to people in developing


countries. A common misconception is it is chocolate, tea and coffee.


There are many gifts you can buy fair trade and fruit and olive oil


and wine. There is more than the average tea and coffee. Are you a


supporter of Fairtrade Wine? Yes, very much so!


Do you buy Fairtrade? No, they are more expensive than normal


practice. I would if they would treat ``


cheaper. When it comes to Fairtrade, do you


buy them or not? Yes. I believe in helping third World countries and


supporting local communities. I do not consciously not buy it but


price dictates what you buy these days. 0


We're joined by Mathew Hulbert, a Liberal Democrat councillor in


Hinckley and Bosworth and the council's Fairtrade champion.


What does a Fairtrade champion do? I am the only one in the country.


I champion of fair trade at the borough council. I speak up at


council meetings, I am part of a forum of volunteers and I speak out


and promote that ethical shopping is a great thing to do. A lot of people


agree and say it is a great thing to do but when a look at the prices,


they say it is not for them. Yes, I think the lady was echoing a


misconception which is it is more expensive.


Fair trade products are cheaper now, they compete very well with regular


products. It used to be that you pay more under products were not as


good, the coffee and other things but now the products are good, you


pay a competitive price and you are helping people in the developing


world. Lots of people have bought into it.


Is it a good idea? My thing is that I feel strongly it


is obscene when, and we all do it, we wear clothes that have been put


together 0 we wear clothes that have been put


together by a 0 we wear clothes that have been put


together by a child and so Fairtrade clothing, if we could do that would


be great. I have done Fairtrade T`shirts. It is quite hard to find


and if we could make 0 T`shirts. It is quite hard to find


and if we could make advances there, we would see people take that up.


There are 2000 Fairtrade products. People think of bananas and tea and


coffee. Consumers have a lot of power if


they decide to shop in the right way, there is Fairtrade, organic


purchasing but also shopping locally. Small business Saturday was


yesterday and talking to local firms there is a lot of power consumers


have if they think. If they are competitive and the quality is good,


more people are aware of it. Some 0


more people are aware of it. Some people will pay more if it


means they know a child has not made that product.


Some of the people were from local business networks in Hinckley who do


a fantastic job in promoting local businesses, businesses were people


run them from their home and they did a great job. Do you see people


buying into this at Christmas and will people pay more if it is


Fairtrade? I think so and we saw recently with


Children in Need, people are generous in this country. Even


though we are living in austerities Britain, people are prepared to help


people who are more in need than they are.


And we see some of these natural disasters that are reflecting the


poorest parts of the world but it is not just about the emergency aid. We


have to realise our economy and consumers can affect bringing them


up to a more 0 consumers can affect bringing them


up to a more sustainable standard. I am a proud supporter of the


international aid. We talked about the economy, give us your view of a


Lib Dem. I think we are growing in the East


Midlands and the economy is growing. Nick Clegg said it this week, he was


doing 0 Nick Clegg said it this week, he was


doing a better 0 Nick Clegg said it this week, he was


doing a better job at Prime Minister's Questions, it is because


of the Lib Dems but we have a recovery. The government would not


have a majority worried not for the Lib Dems, the pupil premium, taking


millions out of tax, Chris is right to say... You are right when you say


we need to do more to help the most vulnerable. I agree. So, the


recovery is down to the Lib Dems. It is about to part is about two


parties coming together in the national interest.


We inherited a mess. We have worked well together. I will not score


points against the Lib Dems because I enjoy working with the Liberal


Democrats in government. I work with Norman Lamb and it is great. Would


you work with the Lib Dems? I do not think the Lib Dems will be in play


at the next election. There are simile broken promises.


Tuition fees... No one is convinced Ed Miliband is a


potential future Prime Minister. Labour are really really vicious


against the Lib Dems in Parliament. The cost of living is what matters.


We are getting on and doing it! Thank you for joining us.


Happy Christmas. Time for a round`up of some of the


other political stories in the East Midlands this week, here's Rob


Pittam with 60 seconds: a former UKIP candidate for Derbyshire police


and crime commission has resigned from the party.


He says it is moving too far to the right. It is a claim denied by UKIP.


We are attracting votes from former Tories and Labour and former Lib


Dems. And especially where attracting


votes from people who have not bothered to vote for a decade. The


badger cull is under scrutiny in a debate called by Chris Williamson.


He's been against the cult and has tabled a Westminster debate. And


Leicester City Council has been given a kick in the pants from the


plain English 0 given a kick in the pants from the


plain English campaign for a notice on controlling dogs would set a


person who habitually as a dog in his possession shall be taken to be


in charge of the dog at any time unless at that time some other


person is in charge of the dog. The council said it the criticism.


`` it accepts the criticism. We live in hope. You could not make it up.


Christmas is around the corner. What is top of the agenda? 2014, some of


those difficult decisions we have taken will bear fruit more, the


economy will grow, there's still a lot to be done.


It is looking better than 2010. We will see the growth and add a


greater rate. An optimistic look. I wish I was so optimistic. I worry it


is complacent, there's a lot more to be done to help those who are the


least well off in society and ordinary working people who see


earnings going down while prices rise.


New years resolutions? Yes, I have broken them.


They are there to be broken. Stop smoking and I didn't. I finally


stopped five`year is ago. I had no chocolate for a year but more


Fairtrade this year. That's the Sunday Politics in the


East Midlands, thanks to our guests Anna and Chris. From all the team


here have a very Merry Tomorrow, the House of Commons will


pay its tributes to Nelson Mandela. Our nation has lost its greatest


son. Our people have lost a father. The first thing I ever did that


involved an issue or policy, or politics, was protest against


apartheid. I think his greatest legacy, to


South Africa and to the world, is the emphasis which he has always put


on the need for a conciliation, on the importance of human rights. He


also made us understand that we can change the world. We can change the


world by changing attitudes, by changing perceptions. For this


reason, I would like to pay him tribute as a great human being, who


raised the standard of humanity. Thank you for the gift of Madiba.


Thank you for what he has enabled us to know we can become.


We are joined now by the Labour MP Diane Abbott. You met Mr Mandela not


one after he was released from prison in 1990. He went as an


election observer for the first one person, one-vote in South Africa. I


would guess, of all the people you met in your life, you must have been


the most impressive and biggest influence? He was extraordinary. He


had just come out of prison, 28 years in reason. He had seen a lot


of his colleagues tortured, blown up and killed. He was entirely without


bitterness. That is what came across. That was key to his


achievement, to achieve a peaceful transition. Everybody thought that


if you have black majority rule, you might have a bloodbath. It's down to


Nelson Mandela but didn't happen. I remember FW de Klerk saying that


Mandela was the key to getting a peaceful transition. Absolutely the


key, an amazing man. London was one of the centres, people talked about


it as being the other centre of the anti-apartheid struggle. That


anti-apartheid struggle in London, it had an effect on black politics


in Britain? Oh, yes. If you were black and politically active at the


time, the apartheid struggle, the struggle against white supremacy in


South Africa, was very important. Whatever your colour, the


anti-apartheid struggle, for our generation, was the political


campaign. We have the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's


assassination. Mr Mandela's death. We are kind of running out of people


that inspired us? I will never forget where I was when I saw him


come out of prison, hand-in-hand with the women, I might add. If you


have spent your whole teenage years and 20 is boycotting, marching,


picketing, to see him actually come out was amazing. Do you think it was


more exciting to meet you or the Spice Girls? I think the Spice


Girls. What did the Labour backbenchers think about Ed Balls's


performance after the Autumn Statement? Luck, Ed Balls is a


brilliant man, but I think even he would say that it was not his best


performance. But if you look at the polls, the public liked the points


he made. The backbenchers were quiet, there was something wrong? I


noticed that. It was like a wall of sound, deliberately. They know that


under pressure his stamina might come back and it is difficult for


him. That is what they were trying to incite. I have had experience


first hand, a look at all of these anonymous and sometimes not


anonymous quotes in the media. The spinning has begun against him? This


is the party of brotherly love, no matter what the Tories say, we can


say worse about each other. How could it be that two former aides to


Gordon Brown do not like each other? Far be it from me to say. If he


wanted to do it, and I'm not saying he does, is Mr Miliband ruthless


enough to get rid of Ed Balls? I mean, he got rid of you, he got rid


of his brother? One thing you should not do is under estimate Ed


Miliband's capacity for ruthlessness. If he feels it is the


right thing to do, he will do it. It's not just a matter of... Ed


Balls is a big, powerful personality. He's great to interview


because he is across his subject, you can have a really good argument


with him, a man that knows his brief, his facts. But it's not just


about the personality. There is a kind of sense that Labour needs to


look forwards more on economic policy. Of course, the standard of


living has been hugely successful for Labour. But it needs more than


that on economic policy? I think he has been one of the most effective


member 's Shadow Cabinet, and he's always associated with the Brown


years, where there is always an element about, you were the guys


that got it wrong. I think Ed Miliband will be very tempted to


replace him with Alistair Darling. The scenario goes like this,


Alistair Darling saves the union and then in September he saves the


Labour Party. Ultimately, I don't think he would do it. Talk about


shifting tectonic plates, it would, wouldn't it? But it is a step too


far. Ed Balls would not be too happy. It is not something you would


want to do lightly. That sounds a bit of a threat. Not from you. I


can't see Ed Balls magnanimously retreating and say, go on, Alistair


Darling, take the job I have been after all career. Where do you put


him? Do you make him a middle ranking business or welfare


secretary? He wouldn't do that. If you sack him, he would retreat to


the backbenchers. He might take up knitting and practices piano scales,


or he might have a blood feud with Ed Miliband. I don't know which


could be. You look back to when he was schools Secretary, you could


feel he was constantly fuming. I think he is better inside the tent,


looking out, than the other way around. The thing one Labour


strategist said to me was that he is too much looking into the rear-view


mirror, when it comes to economic policy. He needs to look ahead


through the windscreen. That had some resonance? He was at the centre


of Labour's economic policy-making from the mid-90s. So it's hard for


him but he has to look forward. There is an interesting comparison


with 2009. Gordon Brown got in trouble when he said the choice is


between Labour investment and Tory cuts. Everybody knew it was between


Labour cuts and Tory cuts. In other words, he was not acknowledging


reality. With Ed Balls, OK, we can say it is the wrong sort of


recovery, but there is a recovery. Does he not need to absorb that


punch and say there is a recovery, then people will listen to him?


Possibly. We know that the macroeconomics are looking better.


We also know people are not experiencing it as a recovery in


living standards. No one, not even Tories, really believe that David


Cameron knows what it is like for middle-income people to live normal


lives. Living standards is particularly powerful because of the


composition of the government? Don't go away. This time last year we


ambushed our political panel with a quiz. They didn't come out of it


smelling of roses, but they did come out rather smelly.


Will the coalition still be in place a year from now? Yes. Definitely. I


say definitely as well. From now, one year, will we know the date of


the European referendum? Yes. No. I say no as well. How much growth will


there be? Less than 1%. Father Christmas is less qualified than me,


but I will go for one. I will go for a quarter of that. 0.4%. Sorry, a


third of that. I am with you, and 1%. We didn't do too badly. What


will growth be next year? I will remind you, the OBR has upgraded to


2.4%. Better stick with the OBR, got it wrong last year. Well, they went


down in March and then went back in December. I'm going to go under and


claim credit where it's higher. I'm going to say 1%. Deliberately get it


wrong. Given our record, if we say there is going to be spectacular


growth, does it mean we're going to go into recession? There is


incentive to be cautious. 2%. 2.4%, because the housing market in London


is rocketing. It would be closer to 3% and 2.4, mark my words. We'll Ed


Balls be Shadow Chancellor by this time next year? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes,


I value my life. Will UKIP mean the European elections, by which I mean


have the highest percentage of the vote? Yes. Second behind Labour.


Second behind Labour. Will Alex Salmond win the independence


referendum? No, but it will be closer than we think. No, unless


they do something catastrophic like let Cameron debate him. Too close to


call. Controversial. How many Romanians and Bulgarians will come


to Britain in 2014? Far fewer than anyone thinks. The entire population


of Romania and Bulgaria, like Nigel Farage thanks. I'll go with that,


I'm confident. A change of tone for your magazine. Not many will come,


but a lot here already will normalise and be counted into


figures. Too many for most right-wing commentators. I think


quite a few will come, but not the kind of numbers that made such a


huge difference. This time, everybody is open. They do like to


speak English, that is the reason they want to come. We'll all three


of you still be here by this time next year? Yes. Would you recommend


that? Yes, keep them. And he has lovely boots. Shiny red boots. If


you can keep affording me, I will be here. I hope so, it sounds like you


have a firing squad outside. I hope so, maybe you will find some true


talent. Very pragmatic, aren't they? Let me put this to you, I think you


will agree. The coalition will not break now, this side of the election


next year? There will not be... They will not go their own ways by this


time next year? Of next year, maybe just after. Early 2015. This side of


the election? What is the UKIP view? I don't think there is an advantage


to either of them. If the Lib Dems pulled out, they would look like


there were a lodger in the Tory house of government. I think it


would suit the Lib Dems to break just before the election. I think


that is what Vince Cable wants to do. I don't think it is what Nick


Clegg would like to do. The Tories would love it. They would have all


of the toys to themselves. Yellow marker they would look like the


grown-ups. The problem for Vince Cable is that he's not the force


that used to be after his temper tantrum at the Conference.


I will be back with the Daily Politics next week. If Santer gives


you a diary in your stocking, pencil in Sunday the 20th of January, the


first Sunday Politics of 2014. Remember, if it is Sunday, it is the


Sunday Politics. Unless it is Christmas. And New Year.


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