09/03/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


09/03/2014

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with political news, interviews and debate. With work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander.


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Transcript


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.

:00:36.:00:43.

He's a man on a mission. But is it mission impossible? Iain Duncan

:00:44.:00:45.

Smith has started the radical reform of our welfare state. No tall order.

:00:46.:00:49.

And not everything's going to plan. We'll be talking to the man himself.

:00:50.:00:54.

Nick Clegg's hosting his party's spring conference in York. He's

:00:55.:00:58.

getting pretty cosy with the party faithful. Not so cosy, though, with

:00:59.:01:02.

his Coalition partners. In fact, things are getting a wee bit nasty.

:01:03.:01:05.

We'll be talking to his right-hand man, Danny Alexander.

:01:06.:01:09.

And are all politicians self-obsessed? Don't all shout at

:01:10.:01:12.

once. We'll be examining In the East Midlands, the Ddfence

:01:13.:01:22.

Minister and an Afghan veteran on whether the war was worth it.

:01:23.:01:25.

In London, we're focusing on the biggest social housing landlords.

:01:26.:01:28.

Can Southwark Council really build 11,000 new homes in the next three

:01:29.:01:30.

decades? And with me, as always, three of the

:01:31.:01:37.

best and the brightest political panel in the business. At least

:01:38.:01:42.

that's what it says in the Sunday Politics template. Back from the

:01:43.:01:45.

Oscars empty handed, Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh and Iain Martin. Yes,

:01:46.:01:50.

three camera-shy hacks, who've never taken a selfie in their life. We'll

:01:51.:01:53.

be coming to that later. They just like to tweet. And they'll be doing

:01:54.:01:56.

so throughout the programme. Welcome.

:01:57.:01:58.

Now, first this morning, the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in York.

:01:59.:02:04.

I know you speak of nothing else! The Yorkshire spring sunshine hasn't

:02:05.:02:07.

made the Lib Dems think any more kindly of their Coalition partners.

:02:08.:02:12.

Indeed, Tory bashing is now the Lib Dem default position. Here's Danny

:02:13.:02:17.

Alexander speaking yesterday. Repairing the economy on its own

:02:18.:02:21.

isn't enough. We have to do it fairly.

:02:22.:02:30.

isn't enough. We have to do it the agenda a decision to cut taxes,

:02:31.:02:30.

income taxes, for working people. Now, conference, note that word -

:02:31.:02:38.

forced. We have had to fight for this at the last election and at

:02:39.:02:43.

every budget and at every Autumn Statement since 2010 and what a

:02:44.:02:44.

fight it has been. Danny Alexander joins us now. Are we

:02:45.:02:56.

going to have to suffer 14 months of you and your colleagues desperately

:02:57.:02:59.

trying to distance yourself from the Tories? It's not about distancing

:03:00.:03:06.

ourselves. It's about saying, " this is what we as a party have achieved

:03:07.:03:09.

in government together with the Conservatives". And saying, " this

:03:10.:03:16.

is what our agenda is for the future" . It's not just about the

:03:17.:03:22.

fact that this April we reach that ?10,000 income tax allowance that we

:03:23.:03:25.

promised in our manifesto in 20 0 but also that we want to go further

:03:26.:03:31.

in the next parliament and live that to ?12,500, getting that over a

:03:32.:03:37.

2-term Liberal Democrat government. It's very important for all parties

:03:38.:03:40.

to set out their own agenda, ideas and vision for the future, whilst

:03:41.:03:44.

also celebrating what we're achieving jointly in this Coalition,

:03:45.:03:49.

particularly around the fact that we are, having taken very difficult

:03:50.:03:55.

decisions, seeing the economy improving and seeing jobs creation

:03:56.:03:58.

in this country, which is something I'm personally very proud and, as

:03:59.:04:02.

the Coalition, we have achieved and wouldn't have if it hadn't been for

:04:03.:04:04.

the decisions of the Liberal Democrats. Lets try and move on

:04:05.:04:09.

You've made that point about 50 times on this show alone. You now

:04:10.:04:13.

seem more interested in Rowling with each other than running the country,

:04:14.:04:18.

don't you? -- rowing with each other. I think we are making sure we

:04:19.:04:27.

take the decisions, particularly about getting our economy on the

:04:28.:04:31.

right track. Of course, there are lots of things where the

:04:32.:04:34.

Conservatives have one view of the future and we have a different view

:04:35.:04:38.

and it's quite proper that we should set those things out. There are big

:04:39.:04:42.

differences between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives

:04:43.:04:45.

just as there were big differences between the Liberal Democrats and

:04:46.:04:49.

the Labour Party. I believe we're the only party that can marry that

:04:50.:04:51.

commitment delivering a strong economy, which Labour can't do, and

:04:52.:04:56.

that commitment to delivering a fairer society, which the Tories

:04:57.:04:59.

can't be trusted to do by themselves. You are going out of

:05:00.:05:02.

your way to pick fights with the Tories at the moment. It's a bit

:05:03.:05:06.

like American wrestling. It is all show. Nobody is really getting hurt.

:05:07.:05:11.

I've been compared to many things but an American wrestler is a

:05:12.:05:18.

first! I don't see it like that It is right for us as a party to set

:05:19.:05:21.

out what we've achieved and show people that what we promised on 2010

:05:22.:05:26.

on income tax cuts is what this government is delivering. But nobody

:05:27.:05:31.

seems convinced by these manufactured rows with the Tories.

:05:32.:05:35.

You've just come last in a council by-election with 56 votes. You were

:05:36.:05:39.

even bitten by an Elvis impersonator! Yes, that is true --

:05:40.:05:51.

beaten. I could equally well quote council by-elections that we've won

:05:52.:05:54.

recently, beating Conservatives the Labour Party and UKIP. Our record on

:05:55.:06:00.

that is pretty good. You can always pick one that shows one or other

:06:01.:06:05.

party in a poor light. Our party is having real traction with the

:06:06.:06:08.

electric and the places where we have a real chance of winning. If

:06:09.:06:12.

you're not an American wrestler maybe you should be an Elvis

:06:13.:06:17.

impersonator! You told your spring forum... You don't want to hear me

:06:18.:06:23.

sing! You want to raise the personal allowance to ?12,500 in the next

:06:24.:06:27.

Parliament. Will you refuse to enter into Coalition with any party that

:06:28.:06:32.

won't agree to that? What I said yesterday is that this will be

:06:33.:06:35.

something which is a very high priority for the Liberal Democrats.

:06:36.:06:40.

It's something that we will very much seek to achieve if we are

:06:41.:06:46.

involved... We know that - will it be a red line? If you are a number

:06:47.:06:52.

in 2010, on the front page of our manifesto, we highlighted four

:06:53.:06:56.

policies... I know all that. Will it be a red line? It will be something

:06:57.:07:01.

that is a very high priority for the Liberal Democrats to deliver. For

:07:02.:07:06.

the fifth time, will it be a red line? It will be, as I said, a very

:07:07.:07:12.

high priority for the Liberal Democrats in the next Parliament.

:07:13.:07:15.

That's my language. We did that in the next election. The number-1

:07:16.:07:20.

promise on our manifesto with a ?10,000 threshold and we've

:07:21.:07:23.

delivered that in this Parliament. People can see that when we say

:07:24.:07:26.

something is a top priority, we deliver it. Is it your claim... Are

:07:27.:07:33.

you claiming that the Tories would not have raised the starting point

:07:34.:07:37.

of income tax if it hadn't been for the Liberal Democrats? If you

:07:38.:07:41.

remember back in the leaders' debates in the 2010 election

:07:42.:07:46.

campaign, Nick Clegg was rightly championing this idea and David

:07:47.:07:48.

Cameron said it couldn't be afforded. Each step of the way in

:07:49.:07:55.

the Coalition negotiations within government, we've had to fight for

:07:56.:08:00.

that. The covert overtures have other priorities. -- the

:08:01.:08:06.

Conservatives. I don't want to go back into history. I'd like to get

:08:07.:08:10.

to the present. Have the Conservatives resisted every effort

:08:11.:08:13.

to raise the starting point of income tax? As I said, we promised

:08:14.:08:18.

this in 2010, they said it couldn't be done. We've made sure it was

:08:19.:08:24.

delivered in the Coalition. Have they resisted it? We've argued for

:08:25.:08:28.

big steps along the way and forced it on to the agenda. They've wanted

:08:29.:08:33.

to deliver other things are so we've had to fight for our priority.. Did

:08:34.:08:39.

the Conservatives resist every attempt? It has been resisted,

:08:40.:08:46.

overall the things I'm talking about, by Conservatives, because

:08:47.:08:49.

they have wanted to deliver other things and, of course, in a

:08:50.:08:54.

Coalition you negotiate. Both parties have their priorities. Our

:08:55.:08:58.

priority has been a very consistent one. Last year, they were arguing

:08:59.:09:01.

about tax breaks for married couples. They were arguing in 2 10

:09:02.:09:10.

for tax cuts for millionaires. Our priority in all these discussions

:09:11.:09:13.

has been a consistent one, which is to say we want cutbacks for working

:09:14.:09:19.

people. -- we want to cut tax for working people. That has been

:09:20.:09:24.

delivered by both parties in the Coalition government full top So

:09:25.:09:27.

what do you think when the Tories take credit for it? I understand why

:09:28.:09:33.

they want to try to do that. Most people understand what we have just

:09:34.:09:40.

said. Not if the polls are to be believed... You're under 10%. This

:09:41.:09:44.

is one of the things, when I talk to people, but I find they know that

:09:45.:09:51.

the Lib Dems have delivered in government. People know we promised

:09:52.:09:55.

it in 2010 and we're the ones who forced this idea onto the agenda in

:09:56.:10:00.

our election manifesto. You've said that five times in this interview

:10:01.:10:05.

alone. The reality is, this is now a squabbling, loveless marriage. We're

:10:06.:10:12.

getting bored with all your tests, the voters. Why don't you just

:10:13.:10:18.

divorced? -- all your arguments I don't accept that. On a lot of

:10:19.:10:22.

policy areas, the Coalition government has worked very well

:10:23.:10:25.

together. We're delivering an awful lot of things that matter to this

:10:26.:10:29.

country. Most importantly, the mess that Labour made of the economy we

:10:30.:10:34.

are sorting out. We are getting our finances on the right track, making

:10:35.:10:37.

our economy more competitive, creating jobs up and down this

:10:38.:10:41.

country, supporting businesses to invest in growth. That is what this

:10:42.:10:45.

Coalition was set up to do, what it is delivering, and both myself and

:10:46.:10:48.

George Osborne are proud to have worked together to deliver that

:10:49.:10:52.

record. Danny Alexander, thanks for that. Enjoyed York. Helen, is

:10:53.:10:59.

anybody listening? I do worry that another 40 months of this might

:11:00.:11:01.

drive voter apathy up to record levels. There is a simple answer to

:11:02.:11:10.

why they don't divorced - it's the agreement that Parliament will last

:11:11.:11:13.

until 2015. MPs are bouncing around Westminster with very little to do.

:11:14.:11:16.

They are looking for things to put in the Queen's Speech and we are

:11:17.:11:21.

going to have rocks basically the 40 months and very little substantial

:11:22.:11:26.

difference in policies. Do you believe Danny Alexander when he says

:11:27.:11:29.

there would have been no rise in the starting rate of income tax if not

:11:30.:11:33.

for the Lib Dems? He's gilding the lily. If you look back at papers are

:11:34.:11:41.

written in 2001 suggesting precisely this policy, written by a Tory peer,

:11:42.:11:47.

you see there are plenty of Tories which suggest there would have been

:11:48.:11:53.

this kind of move. I can see why Danny Alexander needs to do this and

:11:54.:11:57.

they need to show they've achieved something in government because they

:11:58.:12:01.

are below 10% in the polls and finding it incredibly difficult to

:12:02.:12:07.

get any traction at all. The other leg of this Lib Dem repositioning is

:12:08.:12:11.

now to be explicitly the party of Europe and to be the vanguard of the

:12:12.:12:16.

fight to be all things pro-Europe. Mr Clegg is going to debate Nigel

:12:17.:12:20.

Farage in the run-up to the European elections. If, despite that, the Lib

:12:21.:12:27.

Dems come last of the major parties, doesn't it show how out of touch

:12:28.:12:52.

different. They are targeting a section of the electorate who are a

:12:53.:12:55.

bit more amenable to their views than the rest. They wouldn't get 20%

:12:56.:13:02.

of the vote. They are targeting that one section. They have to do

:13:03.:13:04.

disproportionately well amongst those and it will payoff and they

:13:05.:13:09.

will end up with something like 15%. How many seats will the Lib Dems

:13:10.:13:15.

losing the next election? Ten. 0. 15. Triangulation! We'll keep that

:13:16.:13:24.

on tape and see what actually happens!

:13:25.:13:27.

The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is a man on a mission.

:13:28.:13:31.

He's undertaken the biggest overhaul in our welfare state since it was

:13:32.:13:34.

invented way back in the black-and-white days of the late

:13:35.:13:38.

1940s. A committed Roman Catholic, he's said he has a moral vision to

:13:39.:13:43.

reverse the previous welfare system, which he believes didn't create

:13:44.:13:47.

enough incentive for people to work. But are his reforms working? Are

:13:48.:13:51.

they fair? As he bitten off more than he can chew? In a moment, we'll

:13:52.:13:55.

speak to the man himself but first, here's Adam.

:13:56.:14:00.

Hackney in north London and we're on the road with the man who might just

:14:01.:14:02.

be the most ambitious welfare secretary there's ever been. It s a

:14:03.:14:08.

journey that started in the wind and rain on a Glasgow council estate 12

:14:09.:14:12.

years ago when he was Tory leader. He came face-to-face with what it

:14:13.:14:15.

meant to be poor. A selection of teddy bears. It's where he

:14:16.:14:21.

discovered his recipe for reform, according to one of the advisers who

:14:22.:14:25.

was with him. There are things that if you do get a job, keep your

:14:26.:14:31.

family together, stay off drugs and alcohol, make sure you have a proper

:14:32.:14:35.

skill - that's what keeps you of poverty. He, very ambitiously, wants

:14:36.:14:41.

to redefine the nature of what it means to be poor and how you get

:14:42.:14:47.

away from poverty. Back in north London, he's come to congratulate

:14:48.:14:50.

the troops on some good news. In this borough, the number of people

:14:51.:14:54.

on job-seeker's allowance has gone down by 29% in the last year, up

:14:55.:15:01.

from around 1700 to around 1200 But the picture in his wider changes to

:15:02.:15:05.

the welfare state is a bit more mixed. A cap on the total amount of

:15:06.:15:11.

benefits a family can get, of ?26,000 a year, is hugely popular

:15:12.:15:15.

but there have been howls of protest over cuts to housing benefit,

:15:16.:15:19.

labelled the bedroom tax by some. Protests, too, about assessments for

:15:20.:15:24.

people on disability benefits, inherited from the previous

:15:25.:15:27.

government. Iain Duncan Smith has been accused of being heartless and

:15:28.:15:32.

the company doing them, Atos, has pulled out. And then the big one -

:15:33.:15:37.

and universal credit, a plan to roll six benefits into one monthly

:15:38.:15:41.

payment, in a way designed to ensure that work always pays. Some of the

:15:42.:15:45.

IT has been written off and the timetable seems to be slipping.

:15:46.:15:49.

Outside the bubble of the stage-managed ministerial trip, a

:15:50.:15:52.

local Labour MP reckons he's bitten off more than he can chew. The great

:15:53.:15:58.

desire is to say, " let's have one simple one size fits all approach" .

:15:59.:16:03.

And there isn't one size of person or family out there. People need to

:16:04.:16:08.

change and they can challenge on the turn of a penny almost. One minute

:16:09.:16:11.

they are doing the right thing, working hard. Next minute, they need

:16:12.:16:15.

a level of support and if this simple system doesn't deliver that

:16:16.:16:19.

for them, they're in a difficult position. And that's the flying

:16:20.:16:24.

visit to the front line finished. He does not like to hang about and just

:16:25.:16:30.

as well do - his overhaul of the entire benefits system still has

:16:31.:16:35.

quite a long way to go. And Iain Duncan Smith joins me now. Before I

:16:36.:16:43.

come onto the interview on welfare reform, is Danny Alexander right

:16:44.:16:47.

when he claims the Lib Dems had to fight to get the Tories to raise the

:16:48.:16:55.

income tax threshold? That is not my recollection of what happened. These

:16:56.:16:58.

debates took place in the Coalition. The Conservatives are in

:16:59.:17:03.

favour of reducing the overall burden of taxation, so the question

:17:04.:17:08.

was how best do we do it? The conversation took place, they were

:17:09.:17:14.

keen on raising the threshold, there were also other ways of doing it but

:17:15.:17:19.

it is clear from the Conservatives that we always wanted to improve the

:17:20.:17:23.

quality of life of those at the bottom so raising the threshold fit

:17:24.:17:27.

within the overall plan. If it was a row, it was the kind of row you have

:17:28.:17:33.

over a cup of tea round the breakfast table. We have got a lot

:17:34.:17:44.

to cover. There are two criticisms mainly of what you are doing - will

:17:45.:17:49.

they work, and will they be fair? Leslie Roberts, one of our viewers,

:17:50.:17:56.

wants to know why so much has already been written off due to

:17:57.:17:59.

failures of the universal credit system even though it has been

:18:00.:18:08.

barely introduced. Relatively it has been a ?2 billion investment

:18:09.:18:14.

project, in the private sector programmes are written off regularly

:18:15.:18:20.

at 30, 40%. The IT is working, we are improving as we go along, the

:18:21.:18:25.

key thing is to keep your eye on the parts that don't work and make sure

:18:26.:18:29.

they don't create a problem for the programme. 140 million has been

:18:30.:18:39.

wasted! The 40 million that was written off was just do with

:18:40.:18:44.

security IT, and I took that decision over a year and a half ago

:18:45.:18:48.

so the programme continued to roll out. Those figures include the

:18:49.:18:54.

standard right down, the aggregation of cost over a period of time. The

:18:55.:19:04.

computers were written down years ago but they continue to work now.

:19:05.:19:09.

Universal credit is rolling out we are doing the Pathfinders and

:19:10.:19:13.

learning a lot but I will not ever do this again like the last

:19:14.:19:21.

government, big band launches, you should do it phrase by phrase. Even

:19:22.:19:28.

your colleague Francis Maude says the implementation of universal

:19:29.:19:34.

credit has been pretty lamentable. He was referring back to the time

:19:35.:19:38.

when I stopped that element of the process and I agreed with that. I

:19:39.:19:44.

intervened to make the changes. The key point is that it is rolling out

:19:45.:19:49.

and I invite anyone to look at where it is being rolled out to. You were

:19:50.:19:55.

predicting that a million people would be an universal credit, this

:19:56.:20:00.

is the new welfare credit which rolls up six existing welfare

:20:01.:20:05.

benefits and you were predicting a million people would be on it by

:20:06.:20:11.

April, well it is March and only 3200 are on it. I changed the way we

:20:12.:20:21.

rolled it out and there was a reason for that. Under the advice of

:20:22.:20:24.

someone we brought from outside he said that you are better rolling it

:20:25.:20:30.

out slower and gaining momentum later on. On the timetables for

:20:31.:20:34.

rolling out we are pretty clear that it will roll out within the

:20:35.:20:38.

timescale is originally set. We will roll it out into the Northwest so

:20:39.:20:43.

that we replicate the north and the Northwest, recognise how it works

:20:44.:20:50.

properly. You will not hit 1 million by April. I have no intention of

:20:51.:20:56.

claiming that, and it is quite deliberate because that is the wrong

:20:57.:21:00.

thing to do. We want to roll it out carefully so we make sure everything

:21:01.:21:06.

about it works. There are lots of variables in this process but if you

:21:07.:21:09.

do it that way, you will not end up with the kind of debacle where in

:21:10.:21:16.

the past something like ?28 billion worth of IT programmes were written

:21:17.:21:23.

off. ?38 billion of net benefits, which is exactly what the N a O Z,

:21:24.:21:29.

so it is worth getting it right William Grant wants to know, when

:21:30.:21:35.

will the universal credit cover the whole country? By 2016, everybody

:21:36.:21:41.

who is claiming one of those six benefits will be claiming universal

:21:42.:21:48.

credit. Some and sickness benefits will take longer to come on because

:21:49.:21:53.

it is more difficult. Many of them have no work expectations on them,

:21:54.:21:59.

but for those on working tax credits, on things like job-seeker's

:22:00.:22:04.

allowance, they will be making claims on universal credit. Many of

:22:05.:22:09.

them are already doing that now there are 200,000 people around the

:22:10.:22:14.

country already on universal credit. You cannot give me a date as to when

:22:15.:22:26.

everybody will be on it? 2016 is when everybody claiming this benefit

:22:27.:22:31.

will be on, then you have to bring others and take them slower.

:22:32.:22:35.

Universal credit is a big and important reform, not an IT reform.

:22:36.:22:41.

The important point is that it will be a massive cultural reform. Right

:22:42.:22:47.

now somebody has to go to work and there is a small job out there. They

:22:48.:22:51.

won't take that because the way their benefits are withdrawn, it

:22:52.:22:55.

will mean it is not worth doing it. Under the way we have got it in the

:22:56.:23:00.

Pathfinders, the change is dramatic. A job-seeker can take a

:23:01.:23:04.

small part time job while they are looking for work and it means

:23:05.:23:09.

flexibility for business so it is a big change. Lets see if that is true

:23:10.:23:14.

because universal credit is meant to make work pay, that is your mantra.

:23:15.:23:23.

Let me show you a quote Minister in the last

:23:24.:23:39.

-- in the last Tory conference. It has only come down to 76%. Actually

:23:40.:23:51.

form own parents, before they get to the tax bracket it is well below

:23:52.:23:56.

that. That is a decision the Government takes about the

:23:57.:23:59.

withdrawal rate so you can lower that rate or raise it. And do your

:24:00.:24:05.

reforms, some of the poorest people, if they burn an extra

:24:06.:24:12.

pound, will pay a marginal rate of 76%. -- if they earn an extra pound.

:24:13.:24:21.

The 98% he is talking about is a specific area to do with lone

:24:22.:24:27.

parents but there are specific compound areas in the process that

:24:28.:24:33.

mean people are better off staying at home then going to work. They

:24:34.:24:39.

will be able to identify how much they are better off without needing

:24:40.:24:42.

to have a maths degree to figure it out. They are all taken away at

:24:43.:24:50.

different rates at the moment, it is complex and chaotic. Under universal

:24:51.:24:53.

credit that won't happen, and they will always be better off than they

:24:54.:25:01.

are now. Would you work that bit harder if the Government was going

:25:02.:25:10.

to take away that portion of what you learned? At the moment you are

:25:11.:25:16.

going to tax poor people at the same rate the French government taxes

:25:17.:25:20.

billionaires. Millions will be better off under this system of

:25:21.:25:25.

universal credit, I promise you and that level of withdrawal then

:25:26.:25:27.

becomes something governments have to publicly discussed as to whether

:25:28.:25:35.

they lower or raise it. But George Osborne wouldn't give you the extra

:25:36.:25:41.

money to allow for the taper, is that right? The moment somebody

:25:42.:25:46.

crosses into work under the present system, there are huge cliff edges,

:25:47.:25:51.

in other words the immediate withdrawal makes it worse for them

:25:52.:25:57.

to go into work than otherwise. If he had given you more money, you

:25:58.:26:02.

could have tapered it more gently? Of course, but the Chancellor can

:26:03.:26:10.

always ultimately make that decision. These decisions are made

:26:11.:26:16.

by chancellors like tax rates, but it would be much easier under this

:26:17.:26:21.

system for the public to see what the Government chooses as its

:26:22.:26:24.

priorities. At the moment nobody has any idea but in the future it will

:26:25.:26:31.

be. Under the Pathfinders, we are finding people are going to work

:26:32.:26:37.

faster, doing more job searches and more likely to take work under

:26:38.:26:44.

universal credit. Public Accounts Committee said this programme has

:26:45.:26:52.

been worse than doing nothing, for the long-term credit. It has not

:26:53.:26:59.

been a glorious success, has it That is wrong. Right now the work

:27:00.:27:03.

programme is succeeding, more people are going to work, somewhere in the

:27:04.:27:09.

order of 500,000 people have gone back into work as a result of the

:27:10.:27:15.

programme. Around 280,000 people are in a sustained work over six

:27:16.:27:19.

months. Many companies are well above it, and the whole point about

:27:20.:27:25.

the work programme is that it is setup so that we make the private

:27:26.:27:29.

sector, two things that are important, there is competition in

:27:30.:27:34.

every area so that people can be sucked out of the programme and

:27:35.:27:39.

others can move in. The important point here as well is this, that

:27:40.:27:44.

actually they don't get paid unless they sustain somebody for six months

:27:45.:27:49.

of employment. Under previous programmes under the last

:27:50.:27:52.

government, they wasted millions paying companies who took the money

:27:53.:27:57.

and didn't do enough to get people into work. The best performing

:27:58.:28:03.

provider only moved 5% of people off benefit into work, the worst managed

:28:04.:28:11.

only 2%. It is young people. That report was on the early first months

:28:12.:28:17.

of the work programme, it is a two-year point we are now and I can

:28:18.:28:22.

give you the figures for this. They are above the line, the improvement

:28:23.:28:26.

has been dramatic and the work programme is better than any other

:28:27.:28:30.

back to work programme under the last government. So why is long term

:28:31.:28:40.

unemployment rising? It is falling. We have the largest number of people

:28:41.:28:46.

back in work, there is more women in work than ever before, more jobs

:28:47.:28:52.

being created, 1.6 million new jobs being created. The work programme is

:28:53.:28:59.

working, our back to work programmes are incredibly successful at below

:29:00.:29:02.

cost so we are doing better than the last government ever did, and it

:29:03.:29:07.

will continue to improve because this process is very important. The

:29:08.:29:12.

competition is what drives up performance. We want the best

:29:13.:29:17.

performers to take the biggest numbers of people. You are

:29:18.:29:21.

practising Catholic, Archbishop Vincent Nichols has attached your

:29:22.:29:27.

reforms -- attack to your reforms, saying they are becoming more

:29:28.:29:31.

punitive to the most vulnerable in the land. What do you say? I don't

:29:32.:29:37.

agree. It would have been good if you called me before making these

:29:38.:29:40.

attacks because most are not correct.

:29:41.:29:51.

For the poorest temper sent in their society, they are now spending, as a

:29:52.:29:55.

percentage of their income, less than they did before. I'm not quite

:29:56.:30:00.

sure what he thinks welfare is about. Welfare is about stabilising

:30:01.:30:06.

people but most of all making sure that households can achieve what

:30:07.:30:09.

they need through work. The number of workless households under

:30:10.:30:13.

previous governments arose consistently. It has fallen for the

:30:14.:30:20.

first time in 30 years by nearly 18%. Something like a quarter of a

:30:21.:30:24.

million children were growing up in workless households and are now in

:30:25.:30:27.

households with work and they are three times more likely to grow up

:30:28.:30:30.

with work than they would have been in workless households. Let me come

:30:31.:30:35.

into something that he may have had in mind as being punitive - some

:30:36.:30:40.

other housing benefit changes. A year ago, the Prime Minister

:30:41.:30:43.

announced that people with severely disabled children would be exempt

:30:44.:30:47.

from the changes but that was only after your department fought a High

:30:48.:30:54.

Court battle over children who couldn't share a bedroom because of

:30:55.:30:58.

severe disabilities. Isn't that what the Archbishop means by punitive or,

:30:59.:31:03.

some may describe it, heartless We were originally going to appeal that

:31:04.:31:09.

and I said no. You put it up for an appeal and I said no. We're talking

:31:10.:31:12.

about families with disabled children. There are good reasons for

:31:13.:31:17.

this. Children with conditions like that don't make decisions about

:31:18.:31:20.

their household - their parents do - so I said we would exempt them. But

:31:21.:31:25.

for adults with disabilities the courts have upheld all of our

:31:26.:31:29.

decisions against complaints. But you did appeal it. It's just that,

:31:30.:31:35.

having lost in the appeal court you didn't then go to the Supreme Court.

:31:36.:31:39.

You make decisions about this. My view was that it was right to exempt

:31:40.:31:43.

them at that time. I made that decision, not the Prime Minister.

:31:44.:31:48.

Let's get this right - the context of this is quite important. Housing

:31:49.:31:51.

benefit under the last government doubled under the last ten years to

:31:52.:31:59.

?20 billion. It was set to rise to another 25 billion, the fastest

:32:00.:32:02.

rising of the benefits, it was out of control. We had to get it into

:32:03.:32:06.

control. It wasn't easy but we haven't cut the overall rise in

:32:07.:32:11.

housing. We've lowered it but we haven't cut housing benefit and

:32:12.:32:13.

we've tried to do it carefully so that people get a fair crack. On the

:32:14.:32:18.

spare room subsidy, which is what this complaint was about, the

:32:19.:32:22.

reality is that there are a quarter of a million people living in

:32:23.:32:24.

overcrowded accommodation. The last government left us with 1 million

:32:25.:32:27.

people on a waiting list for housing and there were half a million people

:32:28.:32:31.

sitting in houses with spare bedrooms they weren't using. As we

:32:32.:32:35.

build more houses, yes we need more, but the reality is that councils and

:32:36.:32:39.

others have to use their accommodation carefully so that they

:32:40.:32:42.

actually improve the lot of those living in desperate situations in

:32:43.:32:45.

overcrowded accommodation, and taxpayers are paying a lot of

:32:46.:32:48.

money. This will help people get back to work. They're more likely to

:32:49.:32:53.

go to work and more likely, therefore, to end up in the right

:32:54.:32:57.

sort of housing. We've not got much time left. A centre-right think tank

:32:58.:33:04.

that you've been associated with, on job-seeker's allowance, says 70 000

:33:05.:33:08.

job-seekers' benefits were withdrawn unfairly. A viewer wants to know,

:33:09.:33:16.

are these reforms too harsh and punitive? Those figures are not

:33:17.:33:21.

correct. The Policy Exchange is wrong? Those figures are not correct

:33:22.:33:25.

and we will be publishing corrected figures. The reality is... Some

:33:26.:33:31.

people have lost their job-seeker benefits and been forced to go to

:33:32.:33:35.

food backs and they shouldn't have. No, they're not. What he is

:33:36.:33:41.

referring to is that we allowed an adviser to make a decision if some

:33:42.:33:44.

but it is not cooperating. We now make people sign a contract, where

:33:45.:33:49.

they agree these things. These are things we do for you and if you

:33:50.:33:52.

don't do these things, you are likely to have your benefit

:33:53.:33:55.

withdrawn on job-seeker's allowance. Some of this was an fairly

:33:56.:33:59.

withdrawn. There are millions of these things that go through. This

:34:00.:34:04.

is a very small subset. But if you lose your job-seeker benefit

:34:05.:34:09.

unfairly, you have no cash flow There is an immediate review within

:34:10.:34:15.

seven days of that decision. Within seven days, that decision is

:34:16.:34:19.

reviewed. They are able to get a hardship fund straightaway if there

:34:20.:34:23.

is a problem. We have nearly ?1 billion setup to help people,

:34:24.:34:27.

through crisis, hardship funds and in many other ways. We've given more

:34:28.:34:34.

than ?200 million to authorities to do face-to-face checks. This is not

:34:35.:34:39.

a nasty, vicious system but a system that says, "look, we ask you to do

:34:40.:34:44.

certain things. Taxpayers pay this money. You are out of work but you

:34:45.:34:47.

have obligations to seek work. We simply ask that you stick to doing

:34:48.:34:50.

those. Those sanctions are therefore be but he will not cooperate" . I

:34:51.:34:55.

think it is only fair to say to those people that they make choices

:34:56.:34:58.

throughout their life and if they choose not to cooperate, this is

:34:59.:35:03.

what happens. Is child poverty rising? No, it is actually falling

:35:04.:35:10.

in the last figures. 300,000 it fell in the last... Let me show you these

:35:11.:35:17.

figures. That is a projection by the Institute of fiscal studies. It also

:35:18.:35:21.

shows that it has gone up every year and will rise by 400,000 in this

:35:22.:35:25.

Parliament, and your government, and will continue to rise. But never

:35:26.:35:29.

mind the projection. It may be right, may be wrong. It would be

:35:30.:35:36.

400,000 up compared to when -- what you inherited when this Parliament

:35:37.:35:40.

ends. That isn't a projection but the actual figures. But the last

:35:41.:35:45.

figures show that child poverty has fallen by some 300,000. The

:35:46.:35:49.

important point is... Can I just finished this point of? Child

:35:50.:35:55.

poverty is measured against 60% of median income so this is an issue

:35:56.:36:00.

about how we measure child poverty. You want to change the measure. I

:36:01.:36:04.

made the decision not to publish our change figures at this point because

:36:05.:36:08.

we've still got a bit more work to do on them but there is a big

:36:09.:36:11.

consensus that the way we measure child poverty right now does not

:36:12.:36:15.

measure exactly what requires to be done. For example, a family with an

:36:16.:36:20.

individual parent who may be drug addicted and gets what we think is

:36:21.:36:23.

enough money to be just over the line, their children may be living

:36:24.:36:26.

in poverty but they won't be measured so we need to get a

:36:27.:36:30.

measurement that looks at poverty in terms of how people live, not just

:36:31.:36:33.

in terms of the income levels they have. You can see on that chart -

:36:34.:36:40.

400,000 rising by the end of this Parliament - you are deciding over

:36:41.:36:43.

an increase. Speedier I want to change it because under the last

:36:44.:36:46.

government child poverty rose consistently from 2004 and they

:36:47.:36:51.

ended up chucking huge sums of money into things like tax credits. In tax

:36:52.:36:58.

credits, in six years before the last election, the last government

:36:59.:37:03.

spent ?175 billion chasing a poverty target and they didn't achieve what

:37:04.:37:08.

they set out to achieve. We don't want to continue down that line

:37:09.:37:10.

where you simply put money into a welfare system to alter a marginal

:37:11.:37:15.

income line. It doesn't make any sense. That's why we want to change

:37:16.:37:19.

it, not because some projection says it might be going up. I will point

:37:20.:37:30.

out again it isn't a projection up to 2013-14. You want it to make work

:37:31.:37:37.

pay but more people in poverty are now in working families than in

:37:38.:37:40.

workless families. For them, workers not paying. Those figures referred

:37:41.:37:46.

to the last government's time in government. What is interesting

:37:47.:37:52.

about it is that until 2010, under the last government, those in

:37:53.:37:57.

working families - poverty in working families rose by half a

:37:58.:38:02.

million. For the two years up to the end of those figures, it has been

:38:03.:38:06.

flat, under this government. These are figures at the last

:38:07.:38:09.

government... You inherited and it hasn't changed. The truth is, even

:38:10.:38:15.

if you are in poverty in a working family, your children, if they are

:38:16.:38:20.

in workless families, are three times more likely to be out of work

:38:21.:38:25.

and to suffer real hardship. So, in other words, moving people up the

:38:26.:38:29.

scale, into work and then on is important. The problem with the last

:38:30.:38:35.

government system with working tax credit is it locks them into certain

:38:36.:38:38.

hours and they didn't progress. We're changing that so that you

:38:39.:38:42.

progress on up and go out of poverty through work and beyond it. But

:38:43.:38:45.

those figures you're referring to refer to the last government's

:38:46.:38:51.

tenure and they spent ?175 billion on a tax credit which still left

:38:52.:38:57.

people in work in poverty. Even 20 minutes isn't enough to go through

:38:58.:39:00.

all this. A lot more I'd like to talk about. I hope you will come

:39:01.:39:04.

back. I will definitely come back. Thank you for joining us.

:39:05.:39:09.

You're watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers

:39:10.:39:12.

in Scotland, who leave us now for Sunday Politics Scotland.

:39:13.:39:28.

As our troops pull out of Afghanistan, we will hear from a

:39:29.:39:32.

Defence Minister and a veteran as to whether it will be `` it has all

:39:33.:39:38.

been worth it? towns are opdn for business, girls are going to school

:39:39.:39:42.

and millions of Afghan refugees have come home. No`one doubts thdy are

:39:43.:39:46.

going to be huge challenges when British troops leave later this

:39:47.:39:49.

year. Same`sex marriage becomes legal this week, but one advice

:39:50.:39:52.

centre in the region says epual rights for gay people are still a

:39:53.:39:56.

long way off. From the 2nd of January, when we opened our doors

:39:57.:39:59.

after the Christmas break, we have dealt with 11 suicidal individuals

:40:00.:40:02.

who have attempted to kill themselves. My guests this week the

:40:03.:40:08.

Conservative MP for Roxburgh and Defence Minister Anna Soubrx and

:40:09.:40:11.

Labour's MP Margaret Becket and a would`be politician, David Bishop,

:40:12.:40:15.

who has been in the news thhs week. David Bishop, you stood with your

:40:16.:40:18.

Bus Pass Elvis Party and yot took a momentous fourth place in a

:40:19.:40:28.

Nottingham City Council by`dlection. You pushed the Lib Dems into fifth

:40:29.:40:32.

place. Congratulations. How do you feel? Thank you very much.

:40:33.:40:35.

Surprised, but I thought I light get somewhere this time. I didn't think

:40:36.:40:41.

the Lib Dems would do very well In a recent by`election in Manchester,

:40:42.:40:44.

they lost their deposit, so I thought there may be a chance this

:40:45.:40:48.

time that I would beat them. I never saw the Liberal Democrat calpaign

:40:49.:40:54.

team. I didn't see any literature. I don't know where they were

:40:55.:40:56.

leafleting. I never saw anything. Your success has taken you to

:40:57.:41:00.

trending on Twitter. Are yot aware of the success? No. You are. I don't

:41:01.:41:08.

have a computer. Somebody h`s to look at these things for me. I

:41:09.:41:11.

haven't got a computer, I h`ven t got a TV. I haven't got a mobile

:41:12.:41:17.

phone. You haven't got a phone? Mobile phone. The Lib Dems have told

:41:18.:41:22.

us that they knew that they couldn't win the seat, so they didn't

:41:23.:41:25.

campaign there. Do you belidve that? That is what they have told us. They

:41:26.:41:31.

didn't stand last time. I know they didn't stand last time. Why this

:41:32.:41:36.

time? Why did they stand thhs time? They didn't stand last time. I guess

:41:37.:41:40.

to give people a chance to vote To see the strength of support that

:41:41.:41:45.

they have. We actually have history. I thought you and I had stood

:41:46.:41:49.

against each other, but we haven't. How do you feel about it whdn people

:41:50.:41:52.

like David, fringe candidatds, stand? Brilliant. We had a

:41:53.:41:56.

by`election in Sherwood, in the city ward, which I have stood in. You had

:41:57.:42:02.

different name them. You were the Elvis Appreciation Party. Church of

:42:03.:42:06.

the Militant Elvis. That is it, Church of the Militant Elvis. They

:42:07.:42:10.

all have Elvis as a theme, don't they? Different campaigns. That was

:42:11.:42:14.

the more religious one. That was good fun. Obviously, Elvis hs more

:42:15.:42:17.

popular than the Lib Dems, hn conclusion. How do you feel,

:42:18.:42:21.

Margaret, about people like David standing? They've got every right to

:42:22.:42:24.

stand. If they enjoy themselves fine. A bit of a nuisance, really?

:42:25.:42:38.

No. It adds great fun. I might not be so amused if I lost to somebody!

:42:39.:42:47.

I lost to a garlic in a student union election. ``

:42:48.:42:51.

. I lost to one of the Daleks. You're not a Doctor Who fan? You got

:42:52.:43:09.

67, the Lib Dems got 56. Yot weren't expecting to do as well as xou did.

:43:10.:43:14.

You doubled what you did last time. I think the Lib Dems probably wish

:43:15.:43:19.

they had not have stood. I would have been bottom if they had not

:43:20.:43:22.

have stood. It was an interdsting by`election. To be truthful, I

:43:23.:43:27.

didn't think we would do as well as we did. We did well. It is ` very

:43:28.:43:34.

interesting... I know a bit about the area. It is an interesthng seat,

:43:35.:43:38.

it used to be held by three Tories. Labour won it in 2011. David, where

:43:39.:43:43.

do you go now? Where do I go now? Yes, general election wise. I was

:43:44.:43:49.

going to say to the pub! No, I am not sure what I will do. I hope you

:43:50.:43:54.

might stand in Anne's consthtuency! I heard you might. Is that true

:43:55.:43:58.

Don't you dare! Not against me. Not with a majority of 389. Go to

:43:59.:44:01.

Margaret's seat. David, thank you very much. The lighter side of

:44:02.:44:05.

politics there. But you cannot get much more serious than our next

:44:06.:44:09.

topic. British troops have begun their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

:44:10.:44:12.

Among them, hundreds of troops from the East Midlands. Much of ht has

:44:13.:44:17.

been documented by our correspondent. Now, as the bases are

:44:18.:44:27.

wound down, he's been back to Afghanistan for a special rdport on

:44:28.:44:30.

the impact East Midlands soldiers have had. This is Camp Basthon. The

:44:31.:44:33.

sprawling British base in the middle of the desert that was designed by

:44:34.:44:36.

engineers from the Chilwell. Thousands of men and women have been

:44:37.:44:40.

deployed here over the last few years. Some are packing up to head

:44:41.:44:42.

home. It is already well under wax. They

:44:43.:44:45.

are dismantling bases, loadhng containers and cleaning thotsands of

:44:46.:44:49.

vehicles that will be sent back to the UK. When I first came hdre five

:44:50.:44:55.

years ago, it was very diffdrent. It was all`out war. The soldiers from

:44:56.:44:58.

Derbyshire saw some of the toughest fighting since World War II. They

:44:59.:45:04.

have shown extraordinary cotrage and more than 20 men have lost their

:45:05.:45:09.

lives from the East Midlands. I asked the commander here in Helmand

:45:10.:45:12.

Province what they have achheved. The role that has been playdd by

:45:13.:45:15.

regiments such as the Royal Anglian Regiment, their contribution has

:45:16.:45:23.

been really valuable. You c`n see the changes, you can see thd

:45:24.:45:27.

progress that has been made. We were originally in Afghanistan bdcause of

:45:28.:45:30.

the threat that was posed from this part of the world which led to /11

:45:31.:45:34.

and the summer attacks in London. Since then, there has been `n

:45:35.:45:38.

operation to assist the Afghans in the rebuilding of their nathon in

:45:39.:45:41.

order so they can have their own security forces that can prdvent

:45:42.:45:44.

that threat from emanating from this part of the world again. But there

:45:45.:45:47.

still remains an underlying political issue here in Afghanistan

:45:48.:45:50.

which is the source of the insurgency. Some people will say

:45:51.:46:01.

that the Taliban still has hnfluence in this part of Afghanistan. We are

:46:02.:46:05.

withdrawing. We haven't won this war. A secure environment in which

:46:06.:46:09.

they can recruit their army and their police. Would concede that the

:46:10.:46:21.

activity of the troops and British soldiers as part of that, h`ve

:46:22.:46:25.

successfully bought the Afghans time. That has allowed a secure

:46:26.:46:31.

environment. We have been ddlivering training. Can you see the T`liban

:46:32.:46:37.

back in power in some form hn Helmand Province? I can see no

:46:38.:46:40.

chance here in Helmand. The people of Helmand overwhelmingly rdject the

:46:41.:46:47.

Taliban. They can see that the government of Afghanistan h`ve been

:46:48.:46:49.

able to deliver effective sdcurity and they have also been abld to

:46:50.:46:53.

deliver the functions of government that we would expect in the UK. The

:46:54.:47:02.

Taliban offer none of that. Since the Royal Anglians first arrived

:47:03.:47:05.

here 12 years ago, things h`ve changed dramatically. Towns are open

:47:06.:47:08.

for business, girls are going to school, and millions of Afghan

:47:09.:47:14.

refugees have come home. But no`one doubts there are going to bd huge

:47:15.:47:17.

challenges when British troops leave later this year. So will security

:47:18.:47:26.

here deteriorate? Could the Taliban be back in power and will the

:47:27.:47:30.

sacrifices of so many troops from the East Midlands make a lasting

:47:31.:47:33.

difference here? You can sed more of Jeremy's report on Afghanistan on

:47:34.:47:36.

the BBC 's website. Joining us now is an ex`servicemen from

:47:37.:47:39.

Nottinghamshire who lost a leg when a landmine exploded in Afgh`nistan.

:47:40.:47:43.

It is great to see you. Jerdmy posed a big question at the end there

:47:44.:47:46.

Were the sacrifices, includhng your own, worth it? It depends what

:47:47.:47:52.

question you are asking. We needed to be out there and the Govdrnment

:47:53.:47:56.

decided that soldiers are to go out there and that is our job. Ht is a

:47:57.:48:03.

difficult one, it is a diffhcult question to answer, it depends who

:48:04.:48:11.

you believe. Some people wotld say that we are coming out, but we have

:48:12.:48:17.

not defeated the Taliban. I've got to agree. I would like us

:48:18.:48:25.

to be there until the job is done, but I cannot see the job evdr been

:48:26.:48:29.

done, to be honest, and I think it is time that somebody is br`ve

:48:30.:48:33.

enough to put up their hand and say, "It is time to leave." As Jdremy

:48:34.:48:36.

said, 20 deaths from th East Midlands.

:48:37.:48:40.

Was it worth it? I think so, yes. It is difficult. When you're whth

:48:41.:48:47.

someone who has lost a loved one or a son or a friend or neighbour or

:48:48.:48:50.

whatever, especially when somebody has been injured extremely badly, it

:48:51.:48:57.

is always difficult. But on balance I think yes we did the right thing.

:48:58.:49:02.

We went in in 2001. We know why we went in, to see off the Talhban and

:49:03.:49:06.

to reduce, hopefully destrox, the threat that we have seen with the

:49:07.:49:15.

9/11 incident. That was the whole reason for starting. That is why we

:49:16.:49:21.

went in. The very real thre`t of terrorist cells. When you t`lk to

:49:22.:49:27.

some people who are coming back I know it is fair to say that people

:49:28.:49:32.

are going to put a big face on it. One of the things that we h`ve

:49:33.:49:35.

achieved is that there is a much better governance, a better civil

:49:36.:49:40.

society. So when you ask thd question ` will the Taliban be

:49:41.:49:44.

coming back in? One thing wd have done is enabled the Afghan people to

:49:45.:49:48.

say, we can do this. Was it right as you were in the Government that took

:49:49.:49:52.

us to Afghanistan? One of the things that people have tended to forget is

:49:53.:49:56.

that this was a United Nations operation. It was not just the US

:49:57.:49:59.

and the UK, it is about 30 countries, if I recall corrdctly.

:50:00.:50:02.

Because everybody was so appalled at 9/11, not just by what happdned but

:50:03.:50:06.

by the realisation that this was a completely new kind of thre`t which

:50:07.:50:17.

people had not anticipated. We have a lot of experience in this country,

:50:18.:50:20.

we have had terrorism from Northern Ireland, but on the whole pdople

:50:21.:50:24.

were not willing... They were willing to take the risk of dying,

:50:25.:50:28.

but they were setting out to be killed. It was all a completely new

:50:29.:50:32.

phenomenon. With the cuts that we are facing now to the Armed Forces,

:50:33.:50:36.

could we mount that kind of operation now? Could we do what we

:50:37.:50:39.

have done? My personal opinhon is no. We struggled originally to do

:50:40.:50:44.

what we did, we went with no kit. We had the wrong kit in Iraq. Hn Iraq,

:50:45.:50:52.

2006, we had the wrong kits. We would go out on patrol with three

:50:53.:50:56.

magazines. We had 10,000 rotnds when I went out in Afghanistan. @re the

:50:57.:51:00.

cuts going too far? It is h`rd to say. I haven't got all the figures.

:51:01.:51:08.

I would like all the wastagd in the MoD to be sorted out and thdn you a

:51:09.:51:12.

problem we find you would not need as many cuts. We have cut pdrsonnel,

:51:13.:51:17.

we have increased the kits now. I think everybody agrees that the kits

:51:18.:51:21.

that the guys get, the vehicle, new fleet of vehicles, it is ex`ctly

:51:22.:51:25.

what they want and when I go out, one of the things... You get

:51:26.:51:28.

soldiers in particular who `lways ask you, would you like to see our

:51:29.:51:32.

weaponry? I want to know, do you have what you need? And thex say,

:51:33.:51:36.

"Yes, we have what we need." We re talking reducing personnel `nd one

:51:37.:51:38.

MP, the Shadow Defence Minister said that the redundancy programme

:51:39.:51:50.

should be put on pause. He said the cuts will leave us with

:51:51.:51:53.

8000 fewer soldiers than we need. Can we be doing this at this time,

:51:54.:51:58.

faced with the problems we have We have gone through the review. In

:51:59.:52:02.

America, they have announced huge cuts. I don't know whether Vernon is

:52:03.:52:08.

saying that the next Labour Government will increase spdnding,

:52:09.:52:14.

the anyway you can do it. I think a lot of people, including in

:52:15.:52:17.

Hannah's own party, really puite worried about the way in whhch there

:52:18.:52:21.

is emphasis on reserves and so on. The events of the last few days have

:52:22.:52:26.

shown us just how much something can blow up almost out of the blue and

:52:27.:52:31.

the problems it can cause. H think there is anxiety. There is the

:52:32.:52:35.

worry. As all the soldiers from Afghanistan, a will need help. You

:52:36.:52:41.

told me before you came in, you have been recently diagnosed with PTSD.

:52:42.:52:45.

You have had friends who have come back from fighting. They ard

:52:46.:52:49.

struggling, aren't they? Thd help is not there. That is the truth of the

:52:50.:52:53.

matter. The Government is not helping us that they must step in

:52:54.:52:56.

and do. Charities are there. There are a lot of charities therd that

:52:57.:53:00.

are struggling themselves. There is a lot of money being put into

:53:01.:53:03.

charities, but over the next few years when it isn't there any more.

:53:04.:53:08.

We have put in tens upon tens upon millions of pounds into charities.

:53:09.:53:13.

Forgive me, it is right that Help for Heroes will raise 40 million a

:53:14.:53:23.

year. Did you get the help xou need it yourself? Sorry. It is ilportant.

:53:24.:53:36.

What happens then? That is why we put this funding, guaranteed ?1

:53:37.:53:40.

million year on year. I think it is really important to say that the

:53:41.:53:43.

majority of our serving personnel and veterans, actually, havd better

:53:44.:53:46.

mental health. Very, very briefly. I have to disagree. Completelx. The

:53:47.:53:56.

help is not there. The problem soldiers have got, PTSD norlally

:53:57.:53:59.

happens five or ten years after they left the army and they cannot prove

:54:00.:54:03.

it happened during service. You wish you had more help. I wish there was

:54:04.:54:09.

more helpful soldiers. Thank you for joining us. On Thursday, sale`sex

:54:10.:54:13.

marriages will pass into law. It has been billed as an historic loment.

:54:14.:54:16.

Campaigners say many gay people are still facing discrimination and even

:54:17.:54:22.

violence and intimidation. With same`sex marriages becoming

:54:23.:54:26.

legal, it is easy to think that the battle for gay rights is ovdr. But

:54:27.:54:30.

this centre in Leicester tells a different story. The centre offers

:54:31.:54:37.

help and advice to people from the Lesbian, gay, bisexual and

:54:38.:54:39.

transgender committees. `` communities. It has never bden

:54:40.:54:45.

busier. From the 2nd of Jantary when we opened our doors after the

:54:46.:54:48.

Christmas break, we have de`lt with 11 individuals who have attdmpted to

:54:49.:54:52.

kill themselves. They range from somebody in the late 30s to the

:54:53.:54:56.

opposite end of the spectrul, 1 or 14`year`olds. We had an inqtiry from

:54:57.:55:05.

an 11`year`old who wrote a detailed letter to his grandmother bdcause he

:55:06.:55:08.

couldn't cope with the Billhngham school. `` the bullying in school.

:55:09.:55:14.

You are the project worker here What sort of problems do yot see? We

:55:15.:55:18.

get a wide range of issues. I never know who is going to be at the end

:55:19.:55:25.

of the phone. One of the social issues that we are encountering

:55:26.:55:28.

much more lately, is that of the lesbian gay bisexual or transgender

:55:29.:55:36.

asylum seeker. At the moment, they are put in the impossible shtuation

:55:37.:55:40.

of having to prove that thex are lesbian or gay. What does that look

:55:41.:55:47.

like? I have dealt with people who say that they have been told that

:55:48.:55:51.

they are too pretty to be a lesbian or too butch to be a gay man. For

:55:52.:55:56.

the people who use the centre, it is a vital lifeline. Amy, you find this

:55:57.:55:59.

place quite useful. Yes. Whx is that? It is mainly to do with the

:56:00.:56:06.

people that you meet and yot can relate to other people and lost of

:56:07.:56:10.

them have been through what you have been through, like bullying and

:56:11.:56:13.

stuff like that. The support here is really good. I feel like I can say

:56:14.:56:17.

anything too poor or ten and they will help we have in any wax

:56:18.:56:21.

possible. `` Paul or Tim. It is good. We have come so far. When I

:56:22.:56:28.

was growing up at 14 or 15, our to a psychiatrist, to where we are now,

:56:29.:56:31.

if there is not a comparison. `` I was sent to a psychiatrist. But I

:56:32.:56:34.

think the generation after ts and after that will benefit frol the

:56:35.:56:41.

work we are doing now. Therd is terrible work that is being put

:56:42.:56:44.

about at the moment is that we are tolerant. We tolerate the b`d

:56:45.:56:47.

weather, we shouldn't be tolerating human beings. That is not p`rt of

:56:48.:56:50.

our agenda. Same`sex marriage becomes illegal next week. Some

:56:51.:56:59.

people here think there is ` long way to go before they reach full

:57:00.:57:03.

equality and the bleak mess`ge is that some think it would happen in

:57:04.:57:07.

their lifetime. That is one bleak message.

:57:08.:57:09.

The centre says it has has 01 cases of people attempting suicidd. It is

:57:10.:57:13.

shocking. I don't think it hs that gay people don't have equal rights,

:57:14.:57:16.

but they still suffer from prejudice. That is wrong. I have

:57:17.:57:19.

been a long`time campaigner for gay rights, since I was a student. I am

:57:20.:57:23.

very proud of that. We know we have prejudice. I held a public leeting

:57:24.:57:28.

in my constituency at the thme of the same`sex marriage bill. I was

:57:29.:57:32.

somebody who was in favour of the same`sex marriage Bill, I stpported

:57:33.:57:35.

it. It was one of the most puite unpleasant events that I have ever

:57:36.:57:38.

been to. The level of blind prejudice was extremely unpleasant.

:57:39.:57:51.

What was interesting is that older gay people there, it was like,

:57:52.:57:54.

"Yeah, we have experienced this all our lives." How do we Had wd

:57:55.:58:00.

overcome that prejudice? I think you just have to keep working away at it

:58:01.:58:04.

and recognise that there will always be people that you will not win

:58:05.:58:08.

over. As Anna says, it is one of the issues we get some of the most

:58:09.:58:14.

unpleasant correspondence. Do you think legalising same`sex m`rriage

:58:15.:58:16.

is enough, though? I agree with Anna. I thought, watching the film,

:58:17.:58:26.

it isn't about rights, it is about attitude. It is about understanding.

:58:27.:58:30.

Tolerance. They want more than just that. It is about recognising the

:58:31.:58:33.

humanity in somebody has different sexuality and attitudes to xou. It

:58:34.:58:40.

is not for me, somebody who is straight, to tell gay peopld what

:58:41.:58:44.

they want. What we want is we want the end of prejudice. It has changed

:58:45.:58:48.

hugely in my lifetime. They do say they want to be treated as dqual. In

:58:49.:58:52.

law, they are. Forgive me, H think it is prejudice and attitudds. The

:58:53.:58:58.

attitude of young people to same`sex marriage, overwhelmingly thd

:58:59.:59:01.

attitude I have found sorry, what is the problem? It was the olddr

:59:02.:59:08.

generation, not all, of course, who had more faith problem with it. ``

:59:09.:59:14.

more of a problem. So for a lot of young gay people, they are shocked

:59:15.:59:17.

now to see this level of prdjudice. To be fair, where there is prejudice

:59:18.:59:21.

among the young, it becomes part of this horrible bullying atmosphere

:59:22.:59:25.

that can go around. Actuallx, it is just one of the tools. Maybd it is

:59:26.:59:36.

almost an indication of how younger people don't think of it as being

:59:37.:59:39.

absolutely terribly important in the way that some older people do, but

:59:40.:59:43.

it is just one tool that is to beat somebody if you don't like them and

:59:44.:59:47.

wants to believe in. `` you want to believe them. You explain to us how

:59:48.:59:50.

you voted for same`sex marrhage and half of the MPs in the East Midlands

:59:51.:59:54.

voted against. `` half of the Conservative MPs. Yes, but that is

:59:55.:59:57.

not because they are anti`g`y. Forgive me, same`sex marriage.. It

:59:58.:00:00.

was about marriage. It was `bout marriage. It is also about same`sex

:00:01.:00:03.

marriage. Yes, that was the vote. But that is not just for gax people.

:00:04.:00:16.

A lot of people don't understand this, but I have the most alazing

:00:17.:00:19.

couple in my constituency who married as a man and a woman, who

:00:20.:00:24.

now find themselves the man is a woman, and they live togethdr and

:00:25.:00:27.

they bring up three children they are utterly brilliant. But for her

:00:28.:00:30.

now to have her certificate, she would have to divorce her whfe,

:00:31.:00:34.

because it would... It is a very small example, but it is for them

:00:35.:00:37.

and a lot of people transgender it is a fantastic step forward. Can we

:00:38.:00:41.

do more to help centres likd this? I don't know about the centres. Gay

:00:42.:00:45.

people don't have to just h`ve centres. It is about prejudhce. Some

:00:46.:00:48.

do. That needs to be funded, doesn't it? I think we are in danger of

:00:49.:00:53.

being simplistic. Forgive md, I wasn't trying to be. Here's our

:00:54.:01:01.

political editor with 60 seconds. Thousands of people suffering from a

:01:02.:01:04.

fatal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos whilst at work will be

:01:05.:01:07.

eligible for new compensation from July. The Government is increasing

:01:08.:01:18.

payments to ?123,000 for sufferers. Even if they cannot trace their

:01:19.:01:23.

former employer or insurer. Mansfield's MP Sir Alan Neill and

:01:24.:01:27.

welcomes the move, but... The only thing they have announced is a

:01:28.:01:30.

maximum ?8,000 increase which is not a lot of money. The number of people

:01:31.:01:35.

taking apprenticeships has brought a ?150 million windfall for btsinesses

:01:36.:01:39.

in the region. That is according to South Derbyshire's Heather Wheeler.

:01:40.:01:45.

The Conservative MP says each apprentice brings nearly ?2000 worth

:01:46.:01:48.

of benefits into a company. Andrew Brigden is leading a call for

:01:49.:01:52.

people who watch TV without a licence to be spared a crimhnal

:01:53.:01:57.

record. At the moment, people can be taken to court and fined up to

:01:58.:01:59.

?1000. That is the Sunday Politics. Thank

:02:00.:02:11.

you to our guests. Time to hand you back to Andrew Neill. Thanks very

:02:12.:02:13.

much indeed. Gove is right to focus. We've run

:02:14.:02:19.

out of time. Thanks for being here. Andrew, back to you.

:02:20.:02:28.

Now, without further ado, more from our political panel. Iain Martin,

:02:29.:02:37.

what did you make of Iain Duncan Smith's response to the Danny

:02:38.:02:43.

Alexander point I'd put to him? I thought it was a cheekily put

:02:44.:02:46.

response but actually, on Twitter, people have been tweeting while on

:02:47.:02:50.

air that there are lots of examples where the Tories have demanded the

:02:51.:02:56.

raising of the threshold. The 2 06 Forsyth tax omission is another

:02:57.:03:00.

example. Helen, on the bigger issue of welfare reforms, is welfare

:03:01.:03:07.

reform, as we head into the election, despite all the

:03:08.:03:11.

criticisms, still a plus for the government? I don't think so.

:03:12.:03:16.

Whatever the opposite of a Midas touch is, Iain Duncan Smith has got

:03:17.:03:20.

it. David Cameron never talks about universal credit any more. The

:03:21.:03:24.

record on personal independence payment, for example... We didn t

:03:25.:03:30.

get onto that. Only one in six of those notes have been paid. A toss

:03:31.:03:34.

pulling out of their condiment has been a nightmare. It's a very big

:03:35.:03:42.

minus point for the Secretary of State. -- Atos pulling out of bed

:03:43.:03:53.

contract. Welfare cuts are an unambiguous point for the government

:03:54.:03:59.

but other points more ambiguous I don't think it's technical

:04:00.:04:04.

complexity that makes IDS's reform a problem. The IT gets moved out with

:04:05.:04:09.

time. But even if it's in fermented perfectly, what it will achieve has

:04:10.:04:13.

been slightly oversold, I think and simplified incredibly. All it does

:04:14.:04:18.

is improve incentives to work for one section of the income scale and

:04:19.:04:22.

diminishes it at another. Basically, you are encouraged to go from

:04:23.:04:27.

working zero hours to 16 hours but your incentive to work beyond 1

:04:28.:04:32.

goes down. That's not because it's a horrendous policy but because in

:04:33.:04:34.

work benefits systems are imperceptible. Most countries do

:04:35.:04:42.

worse than we do. -- benefits systems cannot be perfected. They

:04:43.:04:48.

need to tone down how much this can achieve even if it all goes

:04:49.:04:52.

flawlessly. There are clearly problems, particularly within

:04:53.:04:57.

limitation, but Labour is still wary of welfare reform. -- with

:04:58.:05:01.

implementation. Polls suggest it is rather popular. People may not know

:05:02.:05:05.

what's involved were like the sound of it. I think Janan is right to

:05:06.:05:12.

mark out the differences between welfare cuts and welfare reforms.

:05:13.:05:19.

They are related but distinct. Are we saying cuts are more popular than

:05:20.:05:26.

reform? They clearly are. The numbers, when you present people

:05:27.:05:32.

numbers on benefit reductions, are off the scale. Reform, for the

:05:33.:05:37.

reasons you explored in your interview, is incredibly

:05:38.:05:44.

compensated. What's interesting is that Labour haven't really

:05:45.:05:46.

definitively said what their position is on this. I think they

:05:47.:05:52.

like - despite what they may see in public occasionally - some of what

:05:53.:05:57.

universal credit might produce but they don't want to be associated

:05:58.:06:05.

with it. We probably won't know until if Ed Miliband is Prime

:06:06.:06:07.

Minister precisely what direction Labour will go. Immigration is still

:06:08.:06:12.

a hot topic in Westminster and throughout the country. This new

:06:13.:06:17.

Home Office minister, James Brokenshire, made an intervention.

:06:18.:06:21.

Let's see what he had to say. For too long, the benefits of

:06:22.:06:26.

immigration went to employers who wanted an easy supply of cheap

:06:27.:06:30.

labour or to the wealthy metropolitan elite who wanted cheap

:06:31.:06:33.

tradesmen and services, but not to the ordinary hard-working people of

:06:34.:06:38.

this country. With the result that the Prime Minister and everyone else

:06:39.:06:41.

has to tell us all whether they ve now got Portuguese or whatever it is

:06:42.:06:46.

Nanny is. Is this the most cack-handed intervention on an

:06:47.:06:51.

immigration issue in a long list? I think it is and when I saw this

:06:52.:06:55.

being trailed the night before, I worried for him. As soon as a

:06:56.:07:01.

minister of the Crown uses the phrase "wealthy metropolitan elite"

:07:02.:07:36.

more likely we see it in recession. We've just had the worst recession

:07:37.:07:43.

in several decades. It's no small problem but compared to what

:07:44.:07:46.

ministers like James Brokenshire has been saying for the past few years

:07:47.:07:50.

and also the reluctance to issue the report earlier, I thought that,

:07:51.:07:53.

combined with the speech, made it quite a bad week for the department.

:07:54.:07:58.

Was this a cack-handed attempt to appeal to the UKIP voters? I think

:07:59.:08:04.

so and he's predecessor had to leave the job because of having a foreign

:08:05.:08:08.

cleaner. It drew attention to the Tories' biggest problem, the out of

:08:09.:08:12.

touch problem. Most people around the country probably don't have a

:08:13.:08:16.

Portuguese nanny and you've just put a big sign over David Cameron

:08:17.:08:23.

saying, this man can afford a Portuguese Nanny. It is not the

:08:24.:08:26.

finest political operation ever conducted and the speech was

:08:27.:08:29.

definitely given by the Home Office to Number Ten but did Number Ten

:08:30.:08:33.

bother to read it? It was a complete shambles. The basic argument that

:08:34.:08:40.

there is a divide between a wealthy metropolitan elite and large parts

:08:41.:08:44.

of Middle Britain or the rest of the country I think is basically sound.

:08:45.:08:49.

It is but they are on the wrong side of it. What do you mean by that The

:08:50.:08:53.

Tory government is on the wrong side. This is appealing to UKIP

:08:54.:09:00.

voters and we know that UKIP is appealing to working-class voters

:09:01.:09:03.

who have previously voted Labour and Tory. If you set up that divide

:09:04.:09:06.

make sure you are on the right side stop When you talk about

:09:07.:09:12.

metropolitan members of the media class, they say that it is rubbish

:09:13.:09:15.

and everyone has a Polish cleaner. No, they don't. I do not have a

:09:16.:09:21.

clean! I don't clean behind the fridge, either! Most people in the

:09:22.:09:27.

country don't have a cleaner. The problem for the Tories on this is,

:09:28.:09:38.

why play that game? You can't out-UKIP UKIP. After two or three

:09:39.:09:43.

years of sustained Tory effort to do that, they will probably finish

:09:44.:09:50.

behind UKIP. Do we really want a political system where it becomes an

:09:51.:09:53.

issue of where your nanny or your cleaner is from, if you've got one?

:09:54.:10:00.

Unless, of course, they're illegal. But Portuguese or Italian or

:10:01.:10:04.

Scottish... And intervention was from Nick Clegg who said his wife

:10:05.:10:09.

was Dutch -- his mum was Dutch and his wife was Spanish. Not communism

:10:10.:10:18.

but who your cleaner is! It's the McCarthy question! Where does your

:10:19.:10:23.

cleaner come from. A lot of people will say are lucky to have a

:10:24.:10:28.

cleaner. I want to move onto selfies but first, on the Nigel Farage

:10:29.:10:33.

Nick Clegg debate, let's stick with the TV one. Who do you think will

:10:34.:10:41.

win? Nigel Farage. Clegg. He is a surprisingly good in debates and

:10:42.:10:44.

people have forgotten. I think Clegg is going to win. I think Farage has

:10:45.:10:50.

peaked. We're going to keep that on tape as well! Two 214 Clegg there.

:10:51.:11:00.

Selfies. Politicians are attempting to show they're down with the kids.

:11:01.:11:04.

Let's look at some that we've seen in recent days.

:11:05.:11:14.

Why are they doing this, Helen? I'm so embarrassed you call me reading

:11:15.:11:52.

the SNP manifesto, as I do every Saturday! They do it because it

:11:53.:11:57.

makes them seem authentic and that's the big Lie that social media tells

:11:58.:12:00.

you - that you're seeing the real person. You're not, you're seeing a

:12:01.:12:06.

very carefully manicured, more witty person. That doesn't work for

:12:07.:12:12.

politicians. It looks so fake and I'm still suffering the cringe I see

:12:13.:12:15.

every time I see Cameronserious phone face. Does Mr Cameron really

:12:16.:12:22.

think it big Sim up because he's on the phone to President Obama? Obama

:12:23.:12:31.

is not the personality he once was. There is an international crisis in

:12:32.:12:34.

Ukraine - of course we are expecting to be speaking to Obama! And if you

:12:35.:12:39.

were in any doubt about what a man talking on the telephone looks like,

:12:40.:12:44.

here's a photo. I must confess, I didn't take my own selfie. Did your

:12:45.:12:50.

nanny? My father-in-law took it Where is your father-in-law from?

:12:51.:12:56.

Scotland. Just checking. Janan, I think we've got one of you. The 1%!

:12:57.:13:11.

What a great telephone! Where did you get that telephone? It looks

:13:12.:13:15.

like Wolf Of Wall Street! That's what I go to bed in. It showed how

:13:16.:13:21.

excited Cameron was to be on the phone to Obama. All our politicians

:13:22.:13:26.

think they are living a mini version of US politics. President Obama goes

:13:27.:13:32.

on a big plane and we complain when George Osborne goes first class on

:13:33.:13:35.

first Great Western. They want to be big and important like American

:13:36.:13:38.

politics but it doesn't work. We'll see your top at next week!

:13:39.:13:43.

That's it for this week. Faxed all our guests. The Daily Politics is on

:13:44.:13:48.

all this week at lunchtime on BBC Two. We'll be back here same time,

:13:49.:13:53.

same place next week. Remember, if it's Sunday, it is the Sunday

:13:54.:13:55.

Politics.

:13:56.:14:00.

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander.


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