26/01/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including an interview with transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

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Politics. Politics.


Ed Balls has gone socialist and fiscal Conservative in one speech.


He promises to balance the biggest bit of the budget. And to bring back


the 50p top tax rate. Political masterstroke, or a return to old


Labour? If you go to work by public


transport, chances are the price of your ticket has just gone up -


again. We'll speak to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. He's


our Sunday Interview. And it's been another wet week


across much of the UK, but what's the outlook according to this man?


This morning.This morning. Held in recent years by party veterans


In the East Midlands: The council`funded centre that finds


jobs for migrant workers. A waste And with me - as always - the


political panel so fresh-faced, entertaining and downright popular


they make Justin Bieber look like a boring old has-been just desperate


to get your attention. Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh, and


they'll be tweeting quicker than a yellow Lamborghini racing down Miami


Beach. Being political nerds, they have no idea what I'm talking about.


Ed Balls sprung a surprise on us all yesterday. We kinda thought Labour


would head for the election with a return to the 50p top rate of tax.


But we didn't think he'd do it now. He did! The polls say it's popular,


Labour activists now have a spring in their step. The Tories say it's a


return to the bad old days of the '70s, and bosses now think Labour is


anti-business. Here's the Shadow Chancellor speaking earlier this


morning. I was part of a Government which did very many things to open


up markets, to make the Bank of England independent, to work closely


with business, but the reality is we are in very difficult circumstances


and because if I'm honest you, George Osborne's failure in the last


few years, those difficult circumstances will last into the


next Parliament. Business people have said to me they want to get the


deficit down, of course they do But to cut the top rate... It is foolish


and feeds resentment I want to do the opposite and say look,


pro-business, pro investment, pro market, but pro fairness. Let's get


this deficit down in a fairway and make the reforms to make our economy


work for the long term. What are the political implications of Labour now


in favour of a 50%, in practise 352% top rate of tax? One of the


political implications I don't think exist is that they'll win new


voters. I'm not sure many people out there would think, I would love to


vote for Ed Miliband but I'm not sure if he wants to tax rich people


enough. It will con Dale their existing vote but I don't think it


is the kind of, in the 1990s we talked about triangulation, moving


beyond your core vote, I don't think it is a policy like that. If there


has been a policy like that this year, this month, it has been the


Tories' move on minimum wage. I thought Labour would come back with


their own version, a centre-right policy, and instead they have done


this. I think we talk about the 35% strategy that Labour supposed will


have, I think it is a policy in that direction rather than the thing Tony


Blair or Gordon Brown would have done. Where he was not clear is on


how much it would raise. We know the sum in the grand scheme of things


isn't much, the bedroom tax was about sending a message. What we are


going to see is George Osborne and Ed Balls lock as they try to push


the other one into saying things that are unpopular. The Tories,


?150,000 a year, that's exactly where Ed Balls want them to be. All


three main parties have roughly the same plan, to run a current budget


surplus by the end of the next Parliament. George Osborne said ?12


billion of welfare cuts, hasn't said how he is going to do it. Ed Balls


is giving an idea that he is going to restore this 50 persons rate The


contribution of that will be deminimus. It is not much, but what


does it say about your values. Because it is that package, it is


cleverer than people think. Where the challenge is is the question


that Peter Mandelson posed at the last election, which is can the


Labour Party win a general election if it doesn't have business on its


side? That's the big challenge and that's the question looking


difficult for them this morning Does it matter if Labour has


business on its side. I thought the most fascinating thing about this


announcement is it came from the guy mindful of business support, Ed


Balls. When in opposition and when a Minister and as a shadow as a


result, he's been far more conscious than Ed Miliband about the need not


to alienate the CB Bill. In the run-up of an election. This is a


measure of Ed Miliband's strength in the Labour Party, that his view of


things can prevail so easily over a guy who for the last 15 years has


taken a different view. Eight out of ten businesses according to the CBI


don't want us to leave business Business is in a bit of a cleft


stick. Ed Miliband would like to see businesses squealing, and Ed Balls


is clearly not so comfortable on that one. There's a difference on


that. Mind you, they were squealing this morning from Davos. They


probably had hangovers as well. The other thing they would say is this


is not like Ed Balls thinks that 50p is the optimal rate forever, it what


go eventually. Isn't that what politicians said when income tax was


introduced? Yeah, in '97 Labour regarded 40 persons as the rate


where it would stay. It's been a bad week for the Lib


Dems. Again. Actually, it's been one of the worst weeks yet for Nick


Clegg and his party in recent memory, as they've gone from talking


confidently about their role in Government to facing a storm of


criticism over claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour by a


Lib Dem peer, Chris Rennard, and a Lib Dem MP, Mike Hancock. Here's


Giles with the story of the week. A challenge to Nick Clegg's authority


as he face as growing row over the Liberal Democrat... I want everyone


to be treated with respect by the Liberal Democrats. We are expecting


him to show moral leadership on our behalf. A good man has been publicly


destroyed by the media with the apparent support of Nick Clegg. I


would like Nick Clegg to show leadership and say, this has got to


stop. When Nick Clegg woke up on Monday morning he knew he was in


trouble, staring down the barrel of a stand justify with Lord Rennard


over allegations that the peer had inappropriately touched a number of


women. Chris Rennard thought he was cleared. Nick Clegg wanted more I


said if he doesn't apologise, he should withdraw from the House of


Lords. If he does that today, what do you do then? I hope he doesn t. I


think no apology, no whip. 2014 was starting badly for the Liberal


Democrats. Chris Rennard refused to apologise, saying you can't say


sorry for something you haven't done. The and he was leaning towards


legal action. Butch us friends better defending Pym and publicly.


This is a good, decent man, who has been punished by the party, with the


leadership of the party that seems to be showing scant regard for due


process. But his accusers felt very differently. It is untenable for the


Lib Dems to have a credible voice on qualities and women's issues in the


future if Lord Rennard was allowed to be back on the Lib Dem benches in


the House of Lords. Therein lay the problem that exposed the weaknesses


of the Lib Dem leaders. The party's internal structures have all the


simplicity of a circuit diagram for a supercomputer, exposing the


complexity of who runs the Liberal Democrats? The simple question that


arose of that was can the leader of the Lib Dems remove a Lib Dem peer?


The simple answer is no. The Lib Dem whips in the Lords could do it but


if enough Lib Dem peers disagreed, they could overrule it. Some


long-stand ng friends of roar Rennard think he is either the


innocent victim of a media witch-hunt or at the least due


process has been ridden over rough shot by the leadership. Nobody ever


did spot Lord Rennard as he didn't turn up to the Lords, will citing


ill health. But issued a statement that ruled out an apology. He


refused to do so and refused to comply with the outcome of that


report, so there was no alternative but for the party to suspend his


membership today. On Wednesday Nick Clegg met Lib Dem peers, not for a


crunch decision, but to discuss the extraordinary prospect of legal


action against the party by the man long credited with building its


success. The situation was making the party look like a joke. One Tory


MP said to one of my colleagues this morning, the funny thing about the


Liberal Democrats, you managed to create a whole sex scandal without


any sex. And we can laugh at ourselves but actually it is rather


serious. And it got more serious, when an MP who had resigned the Lib


Dem whip last year was expanded from the party over a report into


allegations of serious and unwelcome sexual behaviour towards a


constituent. All of this leaves the Lib Dems desperately wishing these


sagas had been dealt with long ago and would now go away. Nick Clegg


ended the week still party leader. Lord Rennard, once one of their most


powerful players, ended the week, for now, no longer even in it.


Giles on the Lib Dems' disastrous week. Now, as you doubtless already


know, on Tuesday Lib Dem MPs will vote to choose a new deputy leader.


You didn't know that? You do now. The job of Nick Clegg's number two


is to speak with a genuine Lib Dem voice, untainted by the demands of


coalition Government. At this point in the show we had expected to speak


to all three candidates for the post, held in recent years by party


veterans like Vince Cable and Simon Hughes. We thought it being quite a


significant week for the party, they might have something to say. And


here they are. Well that's their pictures. For various reasons, all


three are now unavailable. Malcolm Bruce, he's reckoned to be the


outsider. His office said he had a "family commitment". Gordon


Birtwistle, the Burnley MP, was booked to appear but then told us,


"I was at an event last night with Lorely Burt" - she's one of the


candidates - "and she told me it was off". And Lorely Burt herself, seen


by many as the red hot favourite, told us: "Because of the Rennard


thing we don't want to put ourselves in a position where we have to


answer difficult questions." How refreshingly honest. Helen, how bad


politically is all this for the Lib Dems? What I think is the tragic


irony of the Lib Dems is they've been revealed as being too


democratic. In the same way that their party conference embarrassed


Nick Clegg by voting sings that he signed up to, and now everything has


to be run past various sub-committees first. Is it


democratic or chaotic? It is Byzantine. Mike Hancock was


voluntarily suspended, and this week he was properly suspended. It was


new information into the public domain that forced that. I'm already


hearing Labour and Conservative Party musing that if it is a long


Parliament, we will form a minority Government. It is a disaster for


them. Voters like parties that reflect and are interested this


their concerns. Parties that are self obsessed turn them off. The


third party, if they carry on like this, they'll be the fifth party in


the European elections, so they have got to draw a line under this. They


do that, if they do, through mediation. As I understand it, Chris


Rennard,s who has go devoted his entire life to the Liberal


Democrats, and previously the Liberal Party, is keen to draw a


line under this. He is up for mediation but he needs to know that


the women that he has clearly invaded their personal space, that


there wouldn't be a possible legal a action from them. The it is very


difficult to see how you could resolve that. Except he is


threatening through his friends these famous friends, to spill all


the beans about all the party's sex secrets. Isn't the danger for the


Lib Dems, this haunts them through to the European elections, where


they'll get thumped in the European elections? They'll get destroyed in


the European elections, which keeps it salient as a story over the


summer. And it has implications for Nick Clegg's leadership. He's done a


good job until now, perhaps better than David Cameron, of exercising


authority over his party. He had a good conference in September.


Absolutely, and now the Lib Dems have looked like a party without a


leader or a leadership structure. Part of that is down to the chaotic


or Byzantine organisational structure of the party. Part of it


is Nick Clegg's failure to assert himself and impose himself over


events. Is it Byzantine or Byzantine. It is labyrinthine. You


don't get these words on the Today programme. The cost of living has


been back on the agenda this week as Labour and the Tories argue over


whether the value of money in your pocket is going up or down. Well


there's one cost which has been racing ahead of inflation and that's


the amount you have to pay to travel by train, by bus and by air. Rail


commuters have been hard hit over the last four years, with the cost


of the average season ticket going up by 18% since January 2010, while


wages have gone up by just 3.6% over the same period. It means some rail


users are paying high prices with commuters from Kent shelling out


more than ?5,000 per year from the beginning of this month just to get


to work in London. It doesn't compare well with our European


counterparts. In the UK the average rail user spends 14% of their


average income on trains. It is just 1.5% in Italy. Regulated fares like


season tickets went up 3.1% at the beginning of this month, and with


ministers keen to make passengers fought more of the bills, there are


more fare rises coming down the track. And Patrick McLoughlin joins


me now for the Sunday Interview Welcome. You claim to be in the


party of hard-working people, so why is it that since you came to power


rail commuters have seen the cost of their average season ticket going up


in money terms by over 18% while their pay has gone up in money terms


by less than four? I would point out that this is the first year in ten


years that we have not had an above inflation increase on fares. The


Government accepts we have got to do as much as we can to help the


passengers. A big inflation increase since 2010. This is the first year


in ten years that it has not been above RPI, but we are also investing


huge amounts of money into the railways, building new trains for


the East Coast Main Line and the great Western. We are spending 500


million at Birmingham station, this is all increasing capacity, so we


are seeing investments. Over the next five years Network Rail will


invest over ?38 billion in the network structure. We also have an


expensive railway and it is ordinary people paying for it. A season


ticket from Woking in Surrey, commuter belt land in London, let's


look at the figures. This is a distance of over 25 miles, it cost


over ?3000 per year. We have picked similar distances to international


cities. The British commuter is being ripped


off. The British commuter is seeing record levels of investment in our


railways. The investment has to be paid for. We are investing huge


amounts of money and I don't know whether the figures you have got


here... I'm sure they are likewise, as you have managed to do... White


-- ten times more than the Italian equivalent. We have seen


transformational changes in our railway services and we need to


carry on investing. We were paying these prices even before you started


investing. We have always paid a lot more to commute in this country than


our European equivalents. I'm not quite sure I want to take on Italy


is a great example. You would if you were a commuter. You


is a great example. You would if you the other rates of taxation has to


be paid as well. Isn't it the case they are making profits out of these


figures and using them to subsidise cheaper fares back in their


homeland? The overall profit margin train companies make is 3%, a


reasonable amount, and we have seen a revolution as far as the railway


industry is concerned. a revolution as far as the railway


20 years we have seen passenger journeys going from 750 million to


1.5 billion. That is a massive revolution in rail. Let me look


1.5 billion. That is a massive spokesperson for the German


government, the Ministry of transport.


They are charging huge fares in Britain to take that money back to


subsidise fares in Germany. What do you say to that? We are seeing


British companies winning contracts in Germany. The National Express are


winning contracts to the railways. What about the ordinary commuter?


They are paying through the nose so German commuters can travel more


cheaply. We are still subsidising the railways in this country, but


overall we want to reduce the subsidy we are giving. We are still


seeing growth in our railways and I want to see more people using them.


Why do you increase rail fares at the higher RPI measure than the


lower CPI measurement? That is what has always been done, and we have


stopped. This is the first time in ten years that we have not raised


the rail figures above RPI. You still link fares to RPI. You use the


lower CPI figure when it suits you, to keep pension payments down for


example, but the higher one when it comes to increasing rail fares. We


are still putting a huge subsidy into the rail industry, there is


still a huge amount of money going from the taxpayer to support the


rail industry. I am not asking you about that, I am asking you why you


link the figures to the higher RPI vesture Mark if we are going to pay


for the levels of investment, so all the new trains being built at Newton


Aycliffe for the East Coast Main Line and the great Western, ?3.


billion of investment, new rolling stock coming online, then yes, we


have to pay for it, and it is a question of the taxpayer paying for


it all the -- or the passenger. You have capped parking fines until


the next election, rail commuters we have seen the cost of their ticket


has gone up by nearly 20%, you are the party of the drivers, not the


passengers, aren't you? We are trying to help everybody who


has been struggling. I think we are setting out long-term plans for our


railways, investing heavily in them and it is getting that balance


right. But you have done more for the driver than you have for the


user of public transport. I don t accept that. They are paying the


same petrol prices as 2011. This is the first time in ten years that


there has not been an RPI plus rise. We are investing record


amounts. Bus fares are also rising, 4.2% in real terms in 2010, at a


time when real take-home pay has been falling. This hits commuters


particularly workers who use buses on low incomes, another cost of


living squeeze. I was with Stagecoach in Manchester on Friday,


and I saw a bus company investing in new buses. Last week First ordered


new buses. Part of your hard-working families you are always on about,


they are the ones going to work early in the morning, and yet you


are making them pay more for their buses in real terms than they did


before. They would be happier if they could travel more cheaply. It


is about getting investment in services, it has to be paid for Why


not run the old buses for five more years? Because then there is more


pollution in the atmosphere, modern buses have lower emissions, and we


are still giving huge support overall to the bus industry and that


is very important because I fully accept that the number of people,


yes, use the train but a lot of people use buses as well. High-speed


two, it has been delayed because 877 pages of key evidence from your


department were left on a computer memory stick, part of the submission


to environmental consultation. Your department's economic case is now


widely regarded as a joke, now you do this. Is your department fit for


purpose? Yes, and as far as what happened with the memory stick, it


is an acceptable and shouldn't have happened, and therefore we have


extended the time. There has been an extension in the time for people to


make representation, the bill for this goes through Parliament in a


different way to a normal bill. It is vital HS2 provides what we want.


What I am very pleased about is when the paving bill was passed by


Parliament just a few months ago, there was overwhelming support, and


I kept reading there was going to be 70 people voting against it, in the


end 30 people voted against it and there was a good majority in the


House of Commons. So can you give a guarantee that this legislation will


get onto the statute books? I will do all I can. I cannot tell you the


exact Parliamentary time scale. The bill will have started its progress


through the House of Commons by 2015, and it may well have


concluded. The new chairman of HS2 said he can bring the cost of the


line substantially under the budget, do you agree with that? The figure


is ?42 billion with a large contingency, and David Higgins, as


chairman of HS2, is looking at the whole cast and seeing if there are


ways in which it can be built faster. At the moment across London


we are building Crossrail, ?14. billion investment. There was a


report last week saying what an excellent job has been done.


Crossrail started under Labour. Actually it was Cecil Parkinson in


the 1990 party conference. You may get HS2 cheaper if you didn't pay


people so much, why is the nonexecutive chairman of HS2 on


?600,000? And the new chief executive on ?750,000. These are


very big projects and we need to attract the best people become so we


are going for the best engineers in the world to engineer this project.


It is a large salary, there is no question about it, but I'm rather


pleased that engineers rather than bankers can be seen to get big


rewards for delivering what will be very important pieces of national


infrastructure. I didn't have time to ask you about your passenger duty


so perhaps another time. We are about to speak to Nigel Mills and


all of these MPs on your side who are rebelling against the


Government, how would you handle them? We have got to listen to what


our colleagues are talking about and try to respond it. Would you take


them for a long walk off a short pier? I'm sure I would have many


conversations with them. An immigration bill to tack the


immigration into the UK. When limits on migration from Bulgaria and


Romania were lifted this year there were warnings of a large influx of


migrant workerses from the two new European countries. So far it's been


more of a dribble than a flood. Who can forget Labour MP Keith Vaz


greeting a handful of arrivals at Luton Airport. But it is early days


and it is one of the reasons the Government's introduced a new


Immigration Bill. The Prime Minister is facing rebellion from


backbenchers who want tougher action on immigration from abroad. Nigel


Mills would reimpose restrictions on how many Romanians and Bulgarians


can come here. Joining me is Nigel Mills, Conservative MP behind the


amendment and Labour MP Diane Abbott. Welcome. Nigel Mills, there


hasn't been an influx of Romanians and Bulgarians. Why do you want to


restore these, kick these transitional controls way forward to


2019? I don't think any of us were expecting a rush on January 1st


Andrew. I think we were talking about a range of 250,000 to 350 000


people over five years. That's obviously a large amount of people,


especially when you think net migration to the UK was well in


excess of the Government's target of tens of thousands last year. The


real concern is that it would be ever increasing our population,


attracting lots of low-skilled, low-wage people, which keeps our


people out of work and wages down. Did you accept that if you were to


accept this, it would be in breach of the Treaty of Rome, the founding


principle of the European Union We were trying to keep the restrictions


that Bulgaria and Romania accepted for their first seven years of EU


membership, on the basis that when we signed the treaty we weren't


aware that we would have a huge and catastrophic recession we are still


recovering from. But you would be in breach of the law, correct? The UK


Parliament has a right to say we signed this deal before the terrible


recession, and we need a bit longer in our national interest. It is


worth noting that Bulgaria and Romania haven't met all their


accession requirements. The Bulgarian requirement passed a


law... So if they break the law it is alright for us to break the law?


Is we should be focusing on trying to get 2. 4 million of our own in


work, and 1 million people not in work... Let me bring in Diane


Abbott. Will you vote for this amendment and why? It is in breach


of the treaty. While I deplore MPs that try to cause trouble, these MPs


have been particularly mindless because what they want to do


wouldn't be legal. However, it is a Tory internal brief, if I might say


so. Maybe you can cause trouble by voting for it. No, that would be


going too far. Underlying it is a real antagonism for David Cameron.


They have had to hold off on this bill until January. It was supposed


to be debating before Christmas As we speak they've not cut a deal so


it could be pretty grus om. Nigel Mills, what do you say to that I


think there is a recognition that there is a problem with the amount


of migration from EU countries that we need to tackle. We could try to


achieve an annual cap perhaps, longer limits on when countries get


free movement. I think the debate is moving in the right direction, but I


think those people who are trapped out of work and desperately looking


for work want something to be done now and not wait a few more years


while we have more assessments Andrews. People are worried about


the level of immigration. They I it is too high. That's the consensus in


the country. We spoke to to migration centre in Hackney and they


said they are struggling to cope with the number of people using


their services. These are people with problems with the law. In the


past years EU migrants put in more to the economy in taxation than they


take out in benefits. When it comes to free movement, which is agitating


Nige em, that horse has bolted. We signed a treaty. There is nothing


people like Nigel Mills can do, unless they want to rip their party


apart, God forbid. Will you go as far as to rip your party apart,


Nigel Mills? Are you going to take this all the way? Would you rather


see this bill go down than your amendment not be accepted? This is a


very important bill. I think we all want to see measures on the statute


book, so the last thing we want to see is this bill go down. We do need


to set out clearly that we have real concerns about the level of EU


migration and something needs to be done. Would you rather have the bill


without your amendment or no bill at all? I am hoping we can have the


bill with the amendment. I know that, but if you can't? Is that will


depend on what the Labour Party decide to do. They are talking


tougher on immigration but will they take action on it? Your party has


been talking tough on immigration but I will be surprised if an Ed


Miliband Labour Party would vote for egg in direct cameravention of the


Treaty of Rome. It would make no sense. Nigel Mills is wishing for


the impossible. If I was a Tory I would be wringing high hands. He


hasn't ruled out crashing the bill. That's incredible. Where will this


end, Nigel Mills? We'll end with a vote on Thursday. There's a lot of


amendments people can use to show their concern about migration. We


want limited and proportionate action, and that's what I am


proposing. I want to see the bill on the statute book, I want the


restrictions on people who shouldn't be here getting bank accounts and


driving licences. I don't want to crash this bill but there's more


measures we need in it. Nigel Mills thank you. You are going to be -


popping up I think on the Sunday Politics East Midlands. Diane


Abbott, thank you as well. We're in for more heavy rain and


high winds across the UK today. You may remember that one UKIP


councillor - he's since been suspended - caused controversy last


weekend by blaming the recent flooding on the legalisation of gay


marriage. Why didn't I think of that? So who better than this man to


bring you the unofficial forecast. I'll be bringing you the late least


UKIP weather from your area. You're watching Sunday Politics.


Also coming up in just over 20 minutes, I'll be looking at the week


ahead with our political panel. In the East Midlands: The


council`funded centre that finds jobs for migrant workers. A waste of


taxpayers' money or a vital service that's boosting our economy? This is


what it is about. Great opportunities for people to get into


employment and a job. And the threat to our ancient


woodlands. Campaigners say dozens are at risk and want us to join the


fight to save them. Tourists come to England from all over the world.


They love the stories of Robin Hood. Hello, I'm Marie Ashby, and my


guests today: The Amber Valley MP, Nigel Mills, and Labour's MP for


Derby North, Chris Williamson. Welcome both. First, let's take a


look at what feels like weekly reports of good news on the economy.


This week, it was employment. The East Midlands has seen the biggest


drop in unemployment in the country, down 22% over the last year, with


our guests' home patches of Derby and Derbyshire doing particularly


well. Unemployment rate of 78% in Amber Valley, but what kind of jobs?


We are seeing great progress in the last year. Most of the jobs


full`time once. Very good employers. There are some part`time jobs and


there, but many people do want that. It's a good picture. Are you feeling


the benefits and Derby North? We are seeing people's living standards


under pressure. We also know that there has been a big increase in the


number of part`time workers since the coalition government came to


power in the East Midlands. But these figures look good. It's always


welcome when people get work, but what kind of work are they getting?


Are they able to improve their living standards? As a result of the


policies that Nigel's party and the Liberal Democrats are putting


through, people are put under pressure. You think we are


performing more strongly here. Why do you think that is? The East


Midlands 0 do you think that is? The East


Midlands is a strong part of the region. We have got the


manufacturing businesses here. When we think about people's living


standards, we should also think that we have given them a sizeable tax


cut. But surely as people find work, their living standards will rise? If


they are unemployed, that should be the case, but the problem is people


find themselves not that much better off when they find work. There has


been an increase across the East Midlands in the number of people


working part`time and a file in the number of full`time jobs. What


sectors are growing currently? From my experience, we are seeing an


increase in part`time work. It is probably, to some extent, in the


retail sector. When we are definitely not seeing it was any


increase in the public sector, which has seen a big shake`out in the


number of jobs. 0 has seen a big shake`out in the


number of jobs. People are losing well`paid jobs and finding


themselves only able to get employment which pays less. Euro


party predicted there was a loss of 1 million jobs but we have actually


gained 1 million. `` your party. We have now got employment increasing


wage is starting to rise. Well, alongside the economy and


jobs, immigration is one of the most divisive issues in politics at the


moment, and many say the two go hand`in`hand. So are migrant workers


a boon to our economy or are there too many people here already,


stretching our services to breaking point? Our reporter, Tim Parker, has


been to an employment centre in Derby that's funded by council money


and helps local people AND migrant workers to find jobs.


This small busy centre finds itself on the front line of what is now the


biggest debate British politics. The centre has helped migrants from many


different places. The majority are from Eastern Europe and the


Baltics. Our core purpose is to improve economic prosperity in the


region. We work with young people, unemployed people, adults, women. We


need to get them to do something better and give them aspiration.


This is one of the quieter days. People queueing in there to get


advice in here from staff and trained volunteers on how to get a


job. This woman is from Lithuania. She first use the centre to help


find work but now volunteers there. I am on a jobseeker's allowance. You


can to volunteering jobs. It's an easy way to climb up, I think.


Critics may question spending ?118,000 of money. The money is


therefore disadvantaged, local people, and there are lots of other


people who use our services. The council insists the money boost the


local economy. In terms of the city, we are creating over 2500 jobs a


year. People are accessing these jobs. This is what it is about:


Creating opportunity for people. But whether it's value for money or


not, with immigration so high up the political agenda, centres like this


will continue to find themselves in the spotlight.


Alan Graves, who's the East Midlands chair of UKIP, has joined us. A job


centre funded by the council, finding work for Eastern European


migrants must be UKIP's worst nightmare! Of course it is. We are


talking about immigration which is the UKIP effect. These parties, nor


trying to find the immigration affect... ?118,000 should not be


spent on trying to find Eastern European 's jobs when we have 2.5


million people unemployed. As a Derby MP, what do you make of all


this? The funding for this project goes back to 2007. It came at a time


when Alan was on the council, funnily enough. The important thing


is this is not just about finding work for migrant workers. It's about


finding employment opportunities for anybody out of work, and I think


that is money well spent. This is money for the new communities. It is


for Eastern European 's. The money is 0


for Eastern European 's. The money is directly affecting them. They are


the new communities in the Derby area. The council have just


announced 350 job losses. Why do we spend that money on those 350 people


that are being made redundant from the council? The key issue here is


ensuring that exploitative employers don't use migrant labour to drive


down the wage rates. We have heard horrendous stories about how migrant


workers are being exploited and paid below the minimum wage. That is also


the knock`on impact of wage rates and everyone else. That's what we


should be tackling. You have been very active on this issue. What do


you think about this? I would rather have people find work than live on


benefits. And this centre is finding them jobs, so it's keeping them off


benefits? Free movement within the EU, not to come and claim benefits.


It would be interesting to see whether any of that happens. Is it a


particular problem in the East Midlands? In parts of Lincolnshire,


there have been larger issues. But we have 2.5 million unemployed young


people. If the council wasn't going to have these people, where are they


supposed to go to help? The real issue is we don't want mass


immigration in this country. It is directly related to being a member


of the EU. These two parties want to remain in the EU and so do the


Liberal Democrats. UKIP are the only party with a solution. This centre


have given us a breakdown of the people who use their services: 30%


Asian, 30% Eastern European, 40% white British. They are helping lots


of people, but do you think it is fair we spent ?118,000, not to the


existing population? Are you worried about the threat of UKIP in Derby?


Alan is plain to the lowest common denominator, trying to play on


people's there. `` is playing. We benefited from immigration down the


ages. What are people saying to you on the doorstep? People are


concerned about the cost of living and whether they will be able to


keep a roof over their heads and whether they will have a job at the


end of the year. Mass immigration affects everything. Ed Miliband has


called for a closing of the loophole that allows a employment agencies to


exploit these migrant workers, and other workers, to paid below the


going rate. Would you support that? I don't support any exploitation.


Would you support closing that loophole, then? You have employment


agencies exploiting workers and forcing them to work for less than


the going rate. What seats to you propose to win here? The European


elections are next. We have five candidates. We will win at least


two, and possibly three. What target seats? Amber Valley is a very


interesting area. Are you worried about that, Nigel? I have been very


strong in these issues. My constituents are concerned about it.


The economy was growing when the Tories came to power. As a


consequence of the austerity measures the coalition is


pursuing... Your party triggered the worst recession since the war!


Personal insults are not what people want to hear about. They want to


hear about the real issues, like mass immigration.


A national campaign's been launched in the East Midlands to save


Britain's ancient Woodlands. The Grantham`based Woodland Trust says


almost 30 woods in our region are under threat from developers. It


comes as the government considers a move to relax rules to allow


builders to remove ancient trees if they plant new trees elsewhere. Des


Coleman's been down to the woods to find out more.


This place has not been touched for over 1000 years and it is reckoned


one third of our forests are ancient woodlands. But campaigners now said


they are under threat from developers and government agencies.


You are head of conservation. What is it you want from people? At the


Woodland Trust, we are passionate about ancient woodland and native


trees. Our ancient woodlands are not protected. People seem to think that


because they are special, they get automatic protection from planning,


but that's not the case. What are your concerns? At the moment, the


government have been talking about biodiversity offsetting, which


allows developers and projects to think about creating new areas of


habitat to make up for those that may be lost or damaged. We have


always said that ancient woodland is our most precious resource and it


cannot be replaced, so we don't think we can apply that approach to


ancient trees and woods. They take so long to develop. Like here, with


his beautiful oak trees, and the soil and wildlife, it has taken


decades to develop. You can't replace it with a few new trees. We


want people to join us in adding their voice. People can get onto the


Woodland Trust website, look at our campaign and add their name on the


list. Fair enough. In the depths of


winter, this place is fairly bare. But in the summer, it will be full


of leaves and lots of colour, as has been for hundreds of years, and


campaigners hope that it will continue by hundreds of years into


the future. Do you worry about the future of our


ancient woodland? Are ancient woodlands are an incredibly


important asset, but the government's planning policy is


innate complete mess. `` is in a. But we need housing. There is a


housing crisis in our country. Developers who are land banking must


either use it or lose it. That way, we hope it will bring more


development land into use, and it is important to visit the Brownfield


policy as well. Nobody wants to see us lose our ancient woodland. If you


have two derive a new railway... We need to protect those woodlands.


What would you do? Development should be the last resort. It should


be there is no other alternative. A lot of people would think these


ancient woodlands are already protected. They have been under


tremendous pressure. Moore does need to be done to protect this essential


asset for the future generations. When developers cut down 10,000


trees to make way for the M6 toll road, they did plant trees behind


them. We need to distinguish between ancient another woodlands. `` and


other woodlands. One of the things the government could do is exempt


ancient woodland from the offsetting proposals they are talking about.


Would you back the campaign to protect 0


Would you back the campaign to protect these woodlands further?


Yes, no one wants to see ancient woodland lost. An acid for the East


Midlands. The Woodland Trust reckons up to 300 across the country are


under threat. Once they are gone, they 0


under threat. Once they are gone, they are gone. That's right, and


that's why I think the government needs to look at this very


carefully. The minimum ship `` the minimum step should be exempting


woodlands from the offsetting proposition. Brownfield first,


ensuring the land developers are hoarding inland backs are brought to


the table. `` are hoarding in land banks. We put pressure on the


developers? I have the same problem in my seat. We share the same


housing area. I have got Brownfield sites which need to come back to


life. That has to be the right way. We need housing.


Now with our regular round`up of other stories in the East Midlands.


Here's our political editor, John Hess, with 60 Seconds.


The Liberal Democrats say they will fight any plans to go ahead with


tracking. The former leader of Leicestershire


county council has hinted he still has political ambitions. He left the


Tories and is now an independent. I have been exonerated by the police


but I have cooperated with them. It is not something I would 0


but I have cooperated with them. It is not something I would like to go


through again, but nevertheless, I am out on the other side and I am


perfectly happy to take a wider role in politics.


The campaigning Notts youngster who died from a brain tumour has been


praised. We had the privilege of meeting Sam


White and his family last year. He was a remarkable young man and our


thoughts are with his family. And his mum, Pam, has told us she's


delighted with the way the campaign's going and it could have a


big impact for lots of people. Are you all right? Do you need a glass


of water? What is on your agenda this week? I have got an important


public meeting on Thursday. It closed due to asbestos. We also have


the immigration bill back in Parliament. What about you, Chris?


Over the weekend, I shall be knocking on a few doors and


hopefully be meeting residents ahead of the upcoming council elections. I


am also meeting firefighters in the week to look at the future of the


Fire and rescue service and talk about the attacks they are coming


under. That's the Sunday Politics in the


East Midlands. Thanks to our guests, Nigel Mills and Chris Williamson.


Next week, MPs Andrew Bridgen and Jon Ashworth will be here and we'll


be discussing how politicians can encourage young people to vote. See


you then. Now back to Andrew Neil. constituency, very pleased. Andrew,


back to you. UKIP leader Nigel Farage is never


far away from controversy, but this week he's been outdoing himself He


was hit over the head with a placard by a protester in Kent, provoked


outrage by saying women with children are worth less to city


firms, and said the ban on owning handguns was 'crackers'. He also


seemed less than sure of his party's own policies when I interviewed him


on the Daily Politics. And the story that got everyone talking was the


suggestion by a UKIP councillor that flooding is linked to gay marriage.


We'll talk about all of that in a moment, but first, over to Nigel


with the weather. Weather for all areas of the British Isles but


definitely not "Bongo Bongo Land." You may have heard about a storm in


a tea cup developed when you kip councillor in Oxfordshire blamed the


floods on the gay marriage Bill The old party is focusing on the view of


UKIP members like him, even though he had said a sell yuj of things


before when a Tory councillor. How quickly things change depending on


when the blouse. There are occasional barmy views by people of


all persuasions. In Whitby a Labour councillor claimed of fathered a


child with an extra terrorist ral, and said his real mother was a


foot green alien. And in Wales a councillor


thinking about heading off for the slopes, there were flurries of


embarrassment for the Tories after Aidan Burly organised a Nazi skiing


party in a resort. Anyone heading to Brussels, perhaps


on the gravy train, watch out for hot air.


In Britain temperatures are rising ahead of the European elections in


May. It could get stormy, so advise light aircraft. Watch out for


outbreaks of common sense, and no chance of cyclonic fruit cakes. Back


to you, Andrew, with the rest of the Sunday Politics.


Nick, if it was any other party that had bon through the past week it


would be in meltdown. And maybe it is harming UKIP and maybe it isn't.


What do you think? That just shows, that great weather forecast, Prince


Charles now has a rival to be an excellent weather forecaster, as


does the Duchess of Cornwall. It shows why Nigel Farage is the fefr


candidate to the European elections. Our invitation to the British people


to kick the establishment. The establishment have spent five years


that the European Parliament is a waste of time, so who are you going


to vote for? A Nigel Farage type of person. What was important about


your eadviceration of Nigel Farage on Daily Politics is that when it


came to the substance, they flounder. But the point about that


party is they may have the thinnest set of policies, but people know


what they stand for more than any other parties - get out of Europe, a


grammar school in every town. If any other leading politician called for


an end to the ban on handguns, at a time when we've seen these appalling


gun deaths in the United States now almost one every week in some


terrible siege in a school. It would be a crisis. It seems to wash off


him. He's got congenital foot-and-mouthitis. Straight into


another wild nothing to do with why people might vote UKIP. I don't


think people are desperate to have handgun licences back in this


country. It is such an unusual phenomenon, UKIP, that if this was a


Tory or a Labour or a Lib Dem saying it, we've seen the damage done to


the Lib Dems on a much more serious manner, we would say this is


terminal. But maybe it adds to this image that we are not like the other


parties. I think that is it. We keep waiting for these scandals and


embarrassments to do damage to UKIP's poll ratings, but it's not


working. It is ultimately because if you are an antiestablishment party,


if you are an anti-system party the rules of the game which apply to the


establishment parties don't apply to you. And the more ramshackle and


embarrassing you are, the more authentic you seem. It what be take


something for them not to finish second in May. Do they spend the


following 12 months sinking in the poll snoos And George Osborne's


strategy is fame everything as Labour versus the Conservatives The


electorate will have their fun in May. Maybe the Tories will be beat


into third place but in thejection is that -- but in the general


election it is Labour versus the Tories. The Conservative Party will


run around, 46 letters to Graham Brady, a leadership contest. That


sort of scenario. UKIP, if it rules well in the European elections,


could cause big trouble for Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg couldn't it?


The big point about this, David Cameron said this is not a political


party but a pressure group. This is the way to look at UKIP, and the way


it is used by people in the right of the party, who say we have to do


this. I like the policy of painting the trains in their old liveries. It


would be like my old train set. I like the bigger passports.


Pre-GNER... And London and Midland. I used to be a train spotter.


Gordon Birtwhistle has been on the phone. Good to know you are watching


but pity you are not here. He wanted to clarify he had constituency


commitments to prevent him coming on the show to talk about becoming


leader of the party, but he didn't dispute anything we said on the


show. Yesterday, Ed Balls said that


housing investment will be a central priority for the next Labour


Government. It's a big issue, as the lack of new homes pushes up the the


price of owning or renting. Well, tomorrow the Tories will announce


what they say is the most ambitious programme of affordable


housebuilding for 20 years. The Government sees housing as a really


important part of the economy. That's why we are announcing a 23


billion package for 165,000 new affordable homes. So individual


builders, councils, housing associations can bid for that money.


Phase one, which we are halfway through at the moment, we've built


170,000 houses. 99,000 already coming out of the ground, so we ve


made real progress on that. So, 165,000 new, affordable homes. It is


a lot. Let me add three more words. Over three years. It is not such a


lot. It is not, and Labour's commitment is 200,000 homes a year


and even that isn't enough. The problem here is that the vest


interest is with people who already have homes. They have a vote in the


system through the planning regulations. In London there is a


gap in the hedge through Richmond Park through which you should be


able to see St Paul's Cathedral That's why you cannot build homes


where you want them. I don't think we want to build homes over Richmond


Park. He wasn't saying that. That's dies an Tyne -- that's Byzantine.


You've got to deal with supply, which is why Labour is talking about


200,000 a year, and what George Osborne has done with supply is


helping with demand. We know the Help to Buy Scheme is pretty


dangerous, and Mark Carney is keen to put the break on that. If you are


to deal with supply, you have to do radical things. Chris Huhne talked


about on brownfield sites you can tax people who are holding the land


as if the development has taken place. Then if you are really going


to deal with it you have to talk about the greenfield sites, and you


have to deal with the garden cities argument, which is too much for the


Tories. All the parties seem to agree building new houses is a


political winner. I hope that they are right. I'm not sure they are.


The housing market is the example of what economists call the insider


in-outsider problem. People who are already homeowners have no rational


incentive to vote for more housing stock. Even if you leave aside the


Conservative arable objections, if you are a homeowner there is an


interest to stick with the planning promise that we have. So then we are


stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not only are we growing at


the moment but our population is growing. I've seen projects that in


quite quickly we will overtake Germany and become the largest


populated country in Europe. If that's the case we've got to build


homes. We have. If you look at Tower Hamlets in London, the population is


r ging higher than the number of dwelling. Classically the theory's


been young people are most affected by this and they don't vote much.


But when their parents have young Johnny stuck at home at 37, that's


an electoral issue. That's why the garden cities project is


interesting, because they finance themselves. You zone it for


development, it is worth ?2 million an acre and then you can build on


it. But who is going to want the greenfield sites gone. And how


quickly can we build garden cities today? Some were started before the


Town and Country Planning Act. I've read stats about the way Chinese and


Japanese are building houses and they were slower than that. Here's a


thought, sticking on the housing theme. Ed Miliband came up with the


energy freeze, a populist interventionist move. Then the use


it or lose it to land developers. Then breaking up the banks. Now the


50p tax rate. How much would you put on Labour coming up for rent


controls? That's already a big split. They are split already on it.


They have. In London it is a popular policy. It might not play well in


the rest of the country. I would say 50-50 on that. I think Labour


supporting rent controls like the Tories having a go at welfare. The


policy may be individually popular but it sends an impression about the


party which might be less attract active. It confirms underlying


suspicions that vote these guys into power and suddenly they are


tampering with the private economy. The memories of the '70s when


Governments tried and failed to do that. It is riskier than a


superficial reading of the polls would suggest. One to watch? I think


they are looking at it. That was the key message of the Ed Balls speech


on housing, is looking at supply and how you get to that 200,000 figure a


year, which is substantially more than what Kris Hopkins is talking


about. What we didn't get to talk about, remember we had Michael


Wilshaw on, the Chief Inspector of Schools. We all consumed was Mr


Gove's man, the Education Secretary's man. Now according to


the Sunday Times he is spitting blood about the way Mr Gove and his


office are speaking about him behind the scenes. We've checked the quotes


and he stands by them, so I think we'll have to have the head of


Ofsted back on the programme. If you are watching, we're here. All that


to the Lib Dems who didn't come on today.


That's all for today. Thanks to all my guests. The Daily Politics is


back on Monday at midday on BBC Two, and I'll be here again next week.


Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.


Britain, with 120,000 soldiers is now at war with Germany


This would be the first truly modern war.


and resolve of entire populations against each other.


A war that would turn the country upside down.


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