16/03/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


16/03/2014

Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew Neil looks ahead to the budget and speaks to UKIP leader Nigel Farage.


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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. George Osborne's fifth

:00:36.:00:43.

Budget will offer more tax relief for the lower paid but not for

:00:44.:00:46.

middle income earners being thrust into the 40p tax bracket. That's our

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top story. Ed Balls says millions of people

:00:49.:00:53.

aren't feeling any benefit from the recovery. We'll discuss the economy

:00:54.:00:55.

with big political beasts from Labour, the Conservatives, and the

:00:56.:01:03.

Lib Dems. Now that Ed Miliband has effectively ruled out an in/out EU

:01:04.:01:06.

referendum, how does UKIP deal with Tory claims that a vote for UKIP

:01:07.:01:08.

means no chance The Education Secretary says our

:01:09.:01:16.

schools are letting children down and fancy a seat in the House of

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Lords? We will be hearing from the of cycling. The three areas of

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London getting a cash boost to try something different.

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And with me as always our top political panel - Nick Watt, Helen

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Lewis and Janan Ganesh. They'll be tweeting their thoughts using the

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hashtag #bbcsp throughout the programme. So, just three months

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after his last major financial statement, George Osborne will be at

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the despatch box again on Wednesday, delivering his 2014 Budget. The

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Chancellor has already previewed his own speech, pledging to build what

:01:53.:02:01.

he calls a "resilient economy". The message I will give in the Budget is

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the economic plan is working but the job is far from done. We need to

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build resilient economy which means addressing the long-term weaknesses

:02:12.:02:13.

in Britain that we don't export enough, invest enough, build enough,

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make enough. Those are the things I will address because we want Britain

:02:18.:02:22.

to earn its way in the world. George Osborne's opposite number, Ed Balls,

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has also been talking ahead of the Budget. He says not everyone is

:02:26.:02:28.

feeling the benefit of the economic recovery, and again attacked the

:02:29.:02:30.

Government's decision to reduce the top rate of tax from 50 to 45%.

:02:31.:02:37.

George Osborne is only ever tough when he's having a go at the week

:02:38.:02:41.

and the voiceless. Labour is willing to face up to people on the highest

:02:42.:02:44.

incomes and say, I'm sorry, justifying a big tax cut at this

:02:45.:02:51.

time is not fair. We will take away the winter allowance from the richer

:02:52.:02:55.

pensioners, and I think that's the right thing to do. George Osborne

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might agree, but he's not allowed to say so. That was the Chancellor and

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the shadow chancellor. Janan, it seems like we are in a race against

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time. No one argues that the recovery is not under way, in fact

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it looks quite strong after a long wait, but will it feed through to

:03:12.:03:15.

the living standards of ordinary people in time for the May election?

:03:16.:03:22.

They only have 14 months to do it. The big economic variable is

:03:23.:03:25.

business investment. Even during the downturn, businesses hoarded a lot

:03:26.:03:29.

of cash. The question is, are they confident enough to release that

:03:30.:03:34.

into investment and wages? Taking on new people, giving them higher pay

:03:35.:03:37.

settlements. That could make the difference and the country will feel

:03:38.:03:40.

more prosperous and this time next year. But come to think of it, it

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strikes me, that how anticipated it is, it's the least talked about

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Budget for many years. I think that is because the economy has settled

:03:52.:03:56.

down a bit, but also because people have got used to the idea that there

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is no such thing as a giveaway. Anything that is a tax cut will be

:04:00.:04:03.

taken away as a tax rise or spending cut. That's true during the good

:04:04.:04:07.

times but during fiscal consolidation, it's avoidable. --

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unavoidable. There is a plus and minus for the Conservatives here.

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49% of people think the government is on roughly the right course, but

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only 16% think that their financial circumstances will improve this

:04:23.:04:26.

year. It will be a tough one for the Labour Party to respond to. I agree

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with Janan. Everyone seems bored with the run-up to the Budget. The

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front page of the Sunday Times was about fox hunting, the front page of

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the Sunday Telegraph was about EU renegotiation. Maybe we are saying

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this because there have not been many leaks. We have got used to

:04:46.:04:51.

them, and most of the George Osborne chat on Twitter was about how long

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his tie was. Freakishly long. I wouldn't dare to speculate why.

:04:57.:05:04.

Anything we should read into that? I don't know. For a long while there

:05:05.:05:10.

was no recovery, then it was it is a weak recovery, and now, all right,

:05:11.:05:14.

it's strong but not reaching everyone in the country. That is

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where we are in the debate. That's right, and the Conservative MPs are

:05:19.:05:25.

so anxious and they are making George Osborne announcing the rays

:05:26.:05:28.

in the personal allowance will go up, saying it might go up to 10,750

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from next year, and Conservative MPs say that that's OK but we need to

:05:35.:05:41.

think about the middle voters. People are saying the economy is

:05:42.:05:44.

recovering but no one is feeling it in their pocket. These are people

:05:45.:05:49.

snagged in at a 40p tax rate. The Tories are saying these are our

:05:50.:05:54.

people and we have to get to them. He has given the Lib Dems more than

:05:55.:05:57.

they could have hoped for on raising the threshold. Why is he not saying

:05:58.:06:03.

we have done a bit for you, now we have to look after our people and

:06:04.:06:07.

get some of these people out of that 40% bracket? Partly because the Lib

:06:08.:06:14.

Dems have asked for it so insistently behind-the-scenes.

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Somebody from the Treasury this week told me that these debates behind

:06:18.:06:20.

the scenes between the Lib Dems and Tories are incredibly tenacious and

:06:21.:06:24.

get more so every year. The Lib Dems have been insistent about going

:06:25.:06:27.

further on the threshold. The second reason is that the Tories think the

:06:28.:06:33.

issue can work for them in the next election. They can take the credit.

:06:34.:06:39.

If they enthusiastically going to ?12,000 and make it a manifesto

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pledge, they can claim ownership of the policy. The Liberal Democrats

:06:42.:06:48.

want to take it to 12,500, which means you are getting into minimum

:06:49.:06:51.

wage territory. It's incredibly expensive and the Tories are saying

:06:52.:06:56.

that maybe you would be looking at the 40p rate. The Tories have played

:06:57.:07:01.

as well. There have been authorised briefings about the 40p rate, and

:07:02.:07:05.

Cameron and Osborne have said that their priority was helping the

:07:06.:07:08.

lowest paid which is a useful statement to make and it appeals to

:07:09.:07:11.

the UKIP voters who are the blue-collar workers. And we are

:07:12.:07:17.

right, the economy will determine the next election? You assume so. It

:07:18.:07:24.

was ever that is. It didn't in 1992 or 1987. It did in 1992.

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Ed Miliband's announcement last week that a Labour government would not

:07:31.:07:34.

hold a referendum on Europe unless there's another transfer of powers

:07:35.:07:37.

from Britain to Brussels has certainly clarified matters. UKIP

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say it just shows the mainstream parties can't be trusted. The

:07:40.:07:45.

Conservatives think it means UKIP voters might now flock back to them

:07:46.:07:48.

as the only realistic chance of securing a referendum. Giles Dilnot

:07:49.:07:49.

reports. When it comes to Europe and

:07:50.:07:56.

Britain's relation to it, the question is whether the answer is

:07:57.:08:00.

answered by a question. To be in or not to be in, that is the question,

:08:01.:08:03.

and our politicians have seemed less interested in question itself but

:08:04.:08:06.

whether they want to let us answer it. Labour clarified their position

:08:07.:08:15.

last week. There will be no transfer of powers without an in out

:08:16.:08:22.

referendum, without a clear choice as to whether Britain will stay in

:08:23.:08:25.

the EU. That seems yes to a referendum, but hold on. I believe

:08:26.:08:31.

it is unlikely that this lock will be used in the next Parliament. So

:08:32.:08:35.

that's a no. The Conservatives say yes to asking, in 2017, if

:08:36.:08:44.

re-elected, but haven't always. In 2011, 81 Tory MPs defied the PM by

:08:45.:08:48.

voting for a referendum on EU membership: the largest rebellion

:08:49.:08:50.

against a Tory prime minister over Europe. Prompted by a petition from

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over 100,000 members of the public. The wrong question at the wrong time

:09:02.:09:04.

said the Foreign Secretary of a coalition Government including

:09:05.:09:06.

selfie-conciously-pro European Lib Dems, who had a referendum pledge in

:09:07.:09:09.

their 2010 manifesto, but only in certain circumstances. So we have

:09:10.:09:11.

the newspapers, and the public meeting leaflets. UKIP have always

:09:12.:09:15.

wanted the question put regardless. But Labour's new position may change

:09:16.:09:18.

things and The Conservatives think so. I think it does, because, you

:09:19.:09:27.

know, we are saying very clearly, like UKIP, we want a referendum, but

:09:28.:09:32.

only a Conservative government can deliver it because most suffer

:09:33.:09:39.

largest would say it is possible in the first past the post system to

:09:40.:09:46.

have a UKIP government -- sophologists. And then it's easy for

:09:47.:09:54.

as to say that if a UKIP vote lets in a Conservative government, then

:09:55.:10:01.

they won't hold a referendum. UKIP seem undaunted by the clarifications

:10:02.:10:04.

of the other parties, campaigning like the rest but with a "tell it

:10:05.:10:08.

how it is, just saying what you're thinking, we aren't like them"

:10:09.:10:13.

attitude. They seem more worried about us and what we want, and I

:10:14.:10:18.

don't see that in the other parties. In parts of the UK, like South

:10:19.:10:22.

Essex, it's a message they think is working. They are taking the voters

:10:23.:10:29.

for granted again and people have had enough. People are angry, they

:10:30.:10:36.

see people saying they will get a vote on the European Union, but then

:10:37.:10:40.

it just comes down the road. They were quick to capitalise on the

:10:41.:10:46.

announcements, saying only the Conservatives will give you say, so

:10:47.:10:52.

does it change things? Not really. We have been talking about a

:10:53.:10:55.

referendum and having a debate on the European Union for years, and

:10:56.:10:58.

the other parties are playing catch up. They have a trust issue. Nobody

:10:59.:11:03.

trusts them on the European Union and that is why people come to us.

:11:04.:11:07.

Who the average UKIP voter is, or how they voted before is

:11:08.:11:10.

complicated, and what dent they might make on Conservative and

:11:11.:11:12.

Labour votes in 2015 is trickier still, but someone's been crunching

:11:13.:11:19.

the numbers anyway. We reckon it is between 25 and 30% of the electorate

:11:20.:11:23.

broadly share the UKIP motivation, so to top out at that level would be

:11:24.:11:28.

difficult. That's an awful lot of voters, but it's not the majority,

:11:29.:11:32.

and this is the reason why the main parties can't afford to just openly

:11:33.:11:36.

appealed to the UKIP electorate too hard because the elections are won

:11:37.:11:40.

and lost amongst the other 70%, the middle-class, the graduate, the

:11:41.:11:46.

younger, ethnic minorities. An appeal to the values of UKIP voters

:11:47.:11:49.

will alienate some of the other groups, and they are arguably more

:11:50.:11:54.

significant in winning the election. Whatever, the numbers UKIPers seem

:11:55.:11:57.

doggedly determined to dig away at any support the other parties have

:11:58.:11:58.

previously enjoyed. Giles Dilnot reporting. UKIP's

:11:59.:12:04.

leader, Nigel Farage, joins me now for the Sunday Interview.

:12:05.:12:15.

Nigel Farage, welcome back. Good morning. So the Labour Party has

:12:16.:12:22.

shot a fox. If Ed Miliband is the next by Minister, there will not be

:12:23.:12:27.

a referendum customer there's a long way between now and the next

:12:28.:12:31.

election, and Conservative party jobs and changes. We had a cast-iron

:12:32.:12:34.

guarantee of a referendum from camera, then he three line whip

:12:35.:12:37.

people to vote against it, and now they are for it. What the Labour

:12:38.:12:42.

Party has done is open up a huge blank to us, and that is what we

:12:43.:12:45.

will go for in the European elections this coming year in May. I

:12:46.:12:49.

think there is a very strong chance that Labour will match the

:12:50.:12:52.

Conservative pledge by the next general election. There may be, but

:12:53.:12:56.

at the moment he has ruled it out, and if he does not change his mind

:12:57.:13:00.

and goes into the election with the policy as it is, the only chance of

:13:01.:13:07.

a referendum is a Tory government. If you think the Tories will form a

:13:08.:13:11.

majority, which I think is unlikely. Remember, two thirds of our voters

:13:12.:13:14.

would never vote Conservative anyway. There is still this line of

:13:15.:13:20.

questioning that assumes UKIP voters are middle-class Tories. We have

:13:21.:13:23.

some voters like that, but most of them are coming to us from Labour,

:13:24.:13:27.

some from the Lib Dems and a lot of nonvoters. But it come the election

:13:28.:13:33.

you failed to change Mr Miliband's line, I repeat, the only chance of a

:13:34.:13:38.

referendum, if you want a referendum, if that is what matters,

:13:39.:13:41.

and the polls suggest it doesn't matter to that many people, but if

:13:42.:13:45.

that is what matters, the only way you can get one is to vote

:13:46.:13:50.

Conservative. No, because you have a situation in key marginals,

:13:51.:13:53.

especially where all three parties are getting a good share, where we

:13:54.:13:58.

will see, and this depends a lot on the local elections and the European

:13:59.:14:04.

elections, there are target constituencies where UKIP has a

:14:05.:14:07.

reasonably good chance of winning a seat, and that will change the

:14:08.:14:12.

agenda. Every vote for UKIP makes a Tory government less likely. Arab

:14:13.:14:18.

voters are not Tory. Only a third of the UKIP boat comes from the

:14:19.:14:21.

Conservative party -- our voters are not Tory. -- the UKIP vote. It was

:14:22.:14:27.

mentioned earlier, about blue-collar voters. We pick up far more Labour

:14:28.:14:31.

Party and nonvoters than conservatives. On the balance of

:14:32.:14:35.

what the effect of the UKIP boat is, the Tories should worry about

:14:36.:14:39.

us, they should worry about the fact they have lost faith with their own

:14:40.:14:44.

electorate. Even if there is a minority Ed Miliband government, it

:14:45.:14:47.

means no referendum. Labour and the Liberal Democrats are now at one on

:14:48.:14:52.

the matter. The next election is in a few weeks time, the European

:14:53.:14:56.

elections. What happens in those elections will likely change the

:14:57.:14:59.

party stands and position on a referendum. The fact that Ed

:15:00.:15:03.

Miliband has said this means, for us, our big target on the 22nd of

:15:04.:15:08.

May will be the Labour voters in the Midlands and northern cities, and if

:15:09.:15:11.

we do hammer into that boat and we are able to beat Labour on the day,

:15:12.:15:15.

there's a good chance of their policy changing. One poll this

:15:16.:15:28.

morning suggests Labour is close to you at 28, the Conservatives down at

:15:29.:15:34.

21, the Lib Dems down at eight. You are taking votes from the

:15:35.:15:38.

Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. We are certainly taking

:15:39.:15:46.

votes from the Lib Dems but that is comparing the poll with one year ago

:15:47.:15:51.

when I don't think most people knew what the question really was. You

:15:52.:15:56.

seem to be in an impossible position because the better you do in a

:15:57.:15:59.

general election, the less chance there will be a referendum by 2020.

:16:00.:16:07.

No, look at the numbers. Only a third of our voters are

:16:08.:16:14.

Conservatives. When we have polled voters that have come to us, we

:16:15.:16:18.

asked them if there was no UKIP candidate who would you vote for,

:16:19.:16:22.

less than one in five said Conservative. Less than one in five

:16:23.:16:27.

UKIP voters would be tempted to vote Conservative under any circumstances

:16:28.:16:31.

so the arithmetic does not suggest we are the Conservative problem, it

:16:32.:16:36.

suggests we are hurting all of the parties and the reason the Tories

:16:37.:16:41.

are in trouble is because they have lost their traditional base. Why do

:16:42.:16:47.

you think Nick Clegg is debating Europe? I think they are in

:16:48.:16:52.

trouble, at 8% they could be wiped out, they could go from 12 to

:16:53.:17:00.

nothing and I think it is a chance for Nick Clegg to raise their

:17:01.:17:08.

profile. They are fringe party with respect to this contest so I see why

:17:09.:17:13.

he wants to do it. One of our big criticisms is that we have not been

:17:14.:17:16.

able to have a full debate on national television on the

:17:17.:17:20.

alternatives of the European Union so I am looking forward to it. How

:17:21.:17:30.

are you preparing? I think you can be over scripted with these things.

:17:31.:17:41.

Are you not doing mock debates? No, I am checking my facts and figures

:17:42.:17:45.

and making sure that I can show the British people that in terms of

:17:46.:17:51.

jobs, we would be far better off not being within the European Union, not

:17:52.:17:55.

being within its rule book, not suffering from some of the green

:17:56.:17:59.

taxes they are putting on the manufacturing industry. The idea

:18:00.:18:06.

that 3 million jobs are at risk, I want to show why that is nonsense.

:18:07.:18:13.

Who do you think is playing you in their mock debates? They probably

:18:14.:18:18.

went to the pub and found someone! We will see. You have promised to do

:18:19.:18:24.

whatever it takes to fund your European election campaign, how much

:18:25.:18:30.

has been given so far? Just give it a few weeks and you will see what

:18:31.:18:35.

Paul is planning to do. He has made a substantial investment in the

:18:36.:18:45.

campaign already. How much? I'm not answering that for now. We are well

:18:46.:18:50.

on our way to a properly funded campaign and our big target will be

:18:51.:18:54.

the big cities and the working vote in those communities. Your deputy

:18:55.:19:00.

chairman Neil Hamilton is another former Tory, he says so far we

:19:01.:19:06.

haven't seen the colour of his money. Exactly two weeks ago, and

:19:07.:19:13.

things have changed since then. Mr Sykes has written a cheque since

:19:14.:19:20.

then? Yes. This morning's papers saying you will be asking MEPs to

:19:21.:19:27.

contribute ?50,000 each, is that true? Over the next five years, yes.

:19:28.:19:34.

Not for the European campaign. So lack of money will not be an excuse.

:19:35.:19:41.

We will have a properly funded campaign. How we raise the kind of

:19:42.:19:46.

money needed to fund the general election afterwards is another

:19:47.:19:56.

question. What is UKIP's policy on paying family members? We don't

:19:57.:20:00.

encourage it and I didn't employ any family member for years. My wife

:20:01.:20:05.

ended up doing the job and paid for the first seven years of my job. She

:20:06.:20:12.

is paid now? Until May, then she comes off the payroll am which

:20:13.:20:21.

leaves me with a huge problem. In 2004 you said, UKIP MEPs will not

:20:22.:20:28.

employ wives and there will be no exceptions. An exception was made

:20:29.:20:32.

because I became leader of the National party as well as a leader

:20:33.:20:36.

of the group in European Parliament. Things do change in

:20:37.:20:41.

life, and you can criticise me for whatever you like, but I cannot be

:20:42.:20:45.

criticised for not having a big enough workload. No, but you didn't

:20:46.:20:50.

employ your wife when you had told others not to do it your party.

:20:51.:20:59.

Nobody else in my party has a big job in Europe and the UK. We made

:21:00.:21:04.

the exception for this because of very unusual circumstances. It also

:21:05.:21:08.

looks like there was a monetary calculation. Listen to this clip

:21:09.:21:16.

from a BBC documentary in 2000. It is a good job. I worked it out

:21:17.:21:21.

because so much of what you get is after tax that if you used the

:21:22.:21:25.

secretarial allowances to pay your wife on top of the other games you

:21:26.:21:30.

can play, I reckon this job in Stirling term is over a quarter of

:21:31.:21:36.

?1 million a year. That is what you would need to earn working for

:21:37.:21:41.

Goldman Sachs or someone like that. I agree with that. More importantly

:21:42.:21:46.

the way you really make money in the European Parliament is being their

:21:47.:21:49.

five days a week, because you sign in every day, you get 300 euros

:21:50.:21:56.

every day, and that is how people maxed out. The criticism of me is

:21:57.:22:00.

that I am not there enough so whatever good or bad I have done in

:22:01.:22:04.

the European Parliament, financial gain has not been one of the

:22:05.:22:08.

benefits. There have been allegations of you also employing a

:22:09.:22:14.

former mistress on the same European Parliamentary allowance, you deny

:22:15.:22:21.

that? I am very upset with the BBC coverage of this. The ten o'clock

:22:22.:22:25.

news run this as a story without explaining that that allegation was

:22:26.:22:29.

made using Parliamentary privilege by somebody on bail facing serious

:22:30.:22:37.

fraud charges. I thought that was pretty poor. You have a chance to do

:22:38.:22:45.

that and you deny you have employed a former mistress? Yes, but if you

:22:46.:22:50.

look at many of the things said over the last week, I think it is

:22:51.:22:55.

becoming pretty clear to voters that the establishment are becoming

:22:56.:22:59.

terrified of UKIP and they will use anything they can find to do us down

:23:00.:23:06.

in public. Is an MEP employs his wife and his former mistress, that

:23:07.:23:12.

would be resigning matter, wouldn't it? Yes, particularly if the

:23:13.:23:16.

assumption was that money was being taped for work but was not being

:23:17.:23:22.

done. Who do you think is behind these stories? It is all about

:23:23.:23:30.

negative, it is all about attacks, but I don't think it is actually

:23:31.:23:34.

going to work because so much of what has been said in the last week

:23:35.:23:39.

is nonsense. A reputable daily newspaper said I shouldn't be

:23:40.:23:44.

trusted because I had stored six times for the Conservative party, I

:23:45.:23:48.

have never even stored in a local council election. I think if you

:23:49.:23:54.

keep kicking an underdog, it will make the British people rally around

:23:55.:24:03.

us. Is it the Conservatives? Yes, and the idea that all of our voters

:24:04.:24:10.

are retired colonels is simply not true. We get some voters from the

:24:11.:24:19.

Labour side as well. Would you consider standing in a Labour seat

:24:20.:24:24.

if you are so sure you are getting Labour votes? Yes, but the key for

:24:25.:24:32.

UKIP is that it has to be marginal. Just for your own future, if you

:24:33.:24:38.

fail to win a single soul -- single seat in the general election, if Ed

:24:39.:24:44.

Miliband fails to win an outright majority, will you stand down as

:24:45.:24:50.

UKIP leader? I would think within about 12 hours, yes. I will have

:24:51.:24:56.

failed, I got into politics not because I wanted a career in

:24:57.:25:01.

politics, far from it. I did it because I don't think this European

:25:02.:25:04.

entanglement is right for our country. I think a lot of people

:25:05.:25:08.

have woken up to the idea we have lost control of our borders and now

:25:09.:25:13.

is the moment for UKIP to achieve what it set out to do. Will UKIP

:25:14.:25:20.

continue without you if you stand down? Of course it will. I know that

:25:21.:25:25.

everyone says it is a one-man band but it is far from that. We have had

:25:26.:25:34.

some painful moments, getting rid of old UKIP, new UKIP is more

:25:35.:25:37.

professional, less angry and it is going places. Nigel Farage, thank

:25:38.:25:44.

you for being with us. So, what else should we be looking

:25:45.:25:47.

out for in Wednesday's Budget statement? We've compiled a Sunday

:25:48.:25:49.

Politics guide to the Chancellor's likely announcements.

:25:50.:25:51.

Eyes down everyone, it's time for a bit of budget bingo. Let's see what

:25:52.:25:55.

we will get from the man who lives at legs 11. Despite some good news

:25:56.:25:58.

on the economy, George Osborne says that this will be a Budget of hard

:25:59.:26:02.

truths with more pain ahead in order to get the public finances back

:26:03.:26:05.

under control. But many in the Conservative party, including the

:26:06.:26:07.

former chancellor Norman Lamont, want Mr Osborne to help the middle

:26:08.:26:11.

classes by doing something about the 4.4 million people who fall into the

:26:12.:26:17.

40% bracket. Around one million more people pay tax at that rate compared

:26:18.:26:21.

to 2010 because the higher tax threshold hasn't increased in line

:26:22.:26:26.

with inflation. Mr Osborne has indicated he might tackle the issue

:26:27.:26:29.

in the next Conservative manifesto, but for now he is focused on helping

:26:30.:26:35.

the low paid. It's likely we will see another increase in the amount

:26:36.:26:38.

you can earn before being taxed, perhaps up another ?500 to ?10,500.

:26:39.:26:44.

The Chancellor is going to flesh out the details of a tax break for

:26:45.:26:47.

childcare payments, and there could be cries of 'house' with the promise

:26:48.:26:50.

of more help for the building industry. The Help To Buy scheme

:26:51.:27:07.

will be extended to 2020 and there could be the go-ahead for the first

:27:08.:27:11.

Garden City in 40 years. Finally, bingo regulars could be celebrating

:27:12.:27:14.

a full house with a possible cut in bingo tax.

:27:15.:27:16.

And I've been joined in the studio by the former Conservative

:27:17.:27:18.

chancellor Norman Lamont, in Salford by the former Labour Cabinet

:27:19.:27:21.

minister Hazel Blears, and in Aberdeen by the Lib Dem deputy

:27:22.:27:24.

leader, Malcolm Bruce. Let me come to Norman Lamont first, you and

:27:25.:27:29.

another former Tory Chancellor, Nigel Lawson, have called in the

:27:30.:27:34.

fall in the threshold for the rate at which the 40p clicks in. I would

:27:35.:27:45.

have preferred an adjustment in the Budget but I agree with what you are

:27:46.:27:48.

saying, it sounds like the Chancellor will not do that. My main

:27:49.:27:55.

point is that you cannot go on forever and forever increasing the

:27:56.:27:59.

personal allowance and not increasing the 40% tax threshold

:28:00.:28:03.

because you are driving more and more people into that band. It is an

:28:04.:28:07.

expensive policy because in order to keep the number of people not paying

:28:08.:28:11.

tax constant, you have to keep adjusting it each year. When this

:28:12.:28:18.

was introduced by Nigel Lawson, it applied to one in 20 people, the 40%

:28:19.:28:25.

rate, it now applies to one in six people. By next year, there will be

:28:26.:28:31.

6 million people paying base. Why do you think your Tory colleagues seem

:28:32.:28:35.

happy to go along with the Lib Dems and target whatever money there is

:28:36.:28:50.

for tax cuts rather -- on the lower paid rather than the middle incomes?

:28:51.:28:56.

They are not helping the lowest paid. If you wanted to really help

:28:57.:29:01.

the lowest paid people you would raise the threshold for national

:29:02.:29:06.

insurance contributions, which is around ?6,000. Is it the Lib Dems

:29:07.:29:11.

stopping any rise in the 40p threshold? We are concentrating on

:29:12.:29:21.

raising the lower threshold because we believe that is the way to help

:29:22.:29:29.

those on lower incomes. Whilst they haven't benefited as much as the

:29:30.:29:32.

lower paid they have participated and I think people understand right

:29:33.:29:37.

now, if you were going to prioritise the high earners, when we are still

:29:38.:29:41.

trying to help those on lower and middle incomes who haven't enjoyed

:29:42.:29:45.

great pay increases but have got the benefit of these tax increases, that

:29:46.:29:50.

is why we would like to do it for the minimum wage level. But the

:29:51.:29:56.

poorest will not benefit at all. The poorest 16% already don't pay tax.

:29:57.:30:02.

Why don't you increase the threshold at which National Insurance starts?

:30:03.:30:07.

You only have two earned ?5,500 before you start to pay it. You've

:30:08.:30:15.

got to remember that the raising of the threshold to ?10,000 or more was

:30:16.:30:18.

something the Tories said we could not afford. Why are you continuing

:30:19.:30:27.

to do it? If you want to help the working poor, the way would be to

:30:28.:30:31.

take the lowest out of national insurance. The view we take is they

:30:32.:30:37.

are benefiting, and have benefited from, the raising of the tax

:30:38.:30:41.

threshold. You now have to earn ?10,000, we hope eventually 12,500,

:30:42.:30:46.

and that means only people on very low wages. If you opt out of

:30:47.:30:50.

national insurance, you're saying to people that you make no contribution

:30:51.:30:55.

to the welfare system, so there is a general principle that people should

:30:56.:30:59.

participate and paying, and also claim when they need something out.

:31:00.:31:05.

We thought raising the threshold was simple and effective at a time of

:31:06.:31:08.

economic austerity and the right way to deliver a helpful support to

:31:09.:31:15.

welcoming people. -- working people. With the Labour Party continue to

:31:16.:31:18.

raise the threshold, or do they think there is a case that there are

:31:19.:31:22.

too many people being dragged into the 40p tax bracket? If Norman

:31:23.:31:28.

Lamont thinks this is the right time to benefit people who are reasonably

:31:29.:31:31.

well off rather than those who are struggling to make ends meet, then

:31:32.:31:35.

genuinely, I say it respectfully, I don't think he's living in the world

:31:36.:31:39.

the rest of us are. Most working people have seen their wages

:31:40.:31:44.

effectively reduced by about ?1600 because they have been frozen, so

:31:45.:31:49.

the right thing is to help people on modest incomes. I also understand

:31:50.:31:54.

that if the 40% threshold went up, the people who would benefit the

:31:55.:31:57.

most, as ever, are the people who are really well off, not the people

:31:58.:32:02.

in the middle. The Conservatives have already reduced the 50p tax on

:32:03.:32:08.

people over ?150,000 a year, and we have to concentrate on the people

:32:09.:32:12.

going out to work, doing their best to bring their children up and have

:32:13.:32:15.

a decent life and need a bit of help. I think raising the threshold

:32:16.:32:19.

is a good thing. We would bring back the 10p tax, which we should never

:32:20.:32:24.

have abolished, and do things with regard to childcare. At the moment,

:32:25.:32:28.

childcare costs the average family as much as their mortgage, for

:32:29.:32:33.

goodness sake. We would give 25 hours free childcare for youngsters

:32:34.:32:36.

over three and four years old. That would be a massive boost the working

:32:37.:32:43.

families. We are talking about nurses, tube drivers, warrant

:32:44.:32:47.

officers in the army. There are many people who are not well off but have

:32:48.:32:51.

been squeezed in the way everybody has been squeezed and they are

:32:52.:32:56.

finding it continuing. I am stunned by Malcolm's argument where

:32:57.:32:59.

everybody should pay something so you should not take people out of

:33:00.:33:03.

national insurance, but the principle doesn't apply to income

:33:04.:33:07.

tax. You can stand that argument on its head and apply it to income tax.

:33:08.:33:13.

Most people don't see a difference between income tax and national

:33:14.:33:15.

insurance, it's the same thing to most people. It is true that it

:33:16.:33:20.

isn't really an insurance fund and there is an argument from merging

:33:21.:33:23.

both of them. But we have concentrated on a simple tax

:33:24.:33:29.

proposition. Norman is ignoring the fact the people on the 40% rate have

:33:30.:33:35.

benefited by the raising of the personal allowance. To say they have

:33:36.:33:39.

been squeezed is unfair. The calculation is that an ordinary

:33:40.:33:43.

taxpayer will be ?700 better off at the current threshold, and about

:33:44.:33:48.

?500 better off at the higher rate. It is misleading to say the better

:33:49.:33:52.

off we'll be paying more. I agree with Hazel, if you go to the 40%

:33:53.:33:57.

rate, it's the higher earners who benefit the most, and we won't do

:33:58.:34:00.

that when the economy is not where it was before the crash. How much

:34:01.:34:06.

will the lower paid be better off if you reintroduce the 10p rate?

:34:07.:34:13.

Significantly better off. I don't have the figure myself, but they'd

:34:14.:34:19.

be significantly better off and the Budget should be a mixture of

:34:20.:34:22.

measures to help people who work hard. That is why I think the

:34:23.:34:26.

childcare issue has to be addressed. ?100 a week of the people

:34:27.:34:30.

with childcare payments. It is a massive issue. We want the job is

:34:31.:34:36.

guaranteed to get young people back into work. There's been hardly any

:34:37.:34:40.

discussion about that, and we have nearly 1 million people who have

:34:41.:34:43.

been out of work for six months or more, and as a country we need to do

:34:44.:34:49.

something to help that. 350,000 full-time students, so it is a

:34:50.:34:54.

misleading figure. It is not a million including full-time

:34:55.:34:57.

students. All parties do this. It sounds to me, Malcolm Bruce, you

:34:58.:35:03.

have more in common with the Labour Party than you do with the

:35:04.:35:06.

Conservatives. You want an annual levy on houses over ?2 million, so

:35:07.:35:11.

does Labour. A lot of your members want to scrap the so-called bedroom

:35:12.:35:14.

tax and so does labour. You think every teacher should have a teaching

:35:15.:35:19.

qualification, and so does Labour. Your policy on the EU referendum is

:35:20.:35:24.

the same. Let me go on. And you want to scrap the winter fuel allowance

:35:25.:35:29.

for wealthy pensioners. We want to make sure we get the public finances

:35:30.:35:32.

in order and we have grave reservations about the Labour Party

:35:33.:35:38.

promises. But they followed your spending plans in the first year.

:35:39.:35:45.

The point we are making is we can make a fairer society and stronger

:35:46.:35:49.

economy if you keep the public finances moving towards balance. We

:35:50.:35:51.

don't think the Labour Party will take a stand that track. It is

:35:52.:35:55.

interesting that the Labour Party want to introduce the 10p rate that

:35:56.:35:59.

Gordon Brown abolished. We consider that before we can -- committed to

:36:00.:36:05.

the 0% rate -- we considered that. It makes a complicated system

:36:06.:36:11.

difficult and we think it's better doing it that way. As a fiscal

:36:12.:36:17.

conservative, why are you talking about any tax cuts when the deficit

:36:18.:36:21.

is over ?100 billion, and effectively, anything you propose

:36:22.:36:25.

today can only be financed by more borrowing. I totally agree with you.

:36:26.:36:29.

I said that this week. I thought the best thing would have no Budget. The

:36:30.:36:35.

main thing is to get the deficit down. My argument is is that you

:36:36.:36:38.

have an adjustment in tax rates it should be shared between the

:36:39.:36:40.

allowances and the higher rate, but I don't think that the progress on

:36:41.:36:47.

the deficit is something we can give up on. This is still a very long way

:36:48.:36:53.

to go. We're only halfway through. Hazel, does it make sense to borrow

:36:54.:36:59.

for tax cuts? I am reluctant to do this, but I agree with both Norman

:37:00.:37:05.

and Malcolm. Malcolm Bruce wants to borrow for tax cuts. We absolutely

:37:06.:37:10.

need to get the deficit down and get finances on a strong footing. But we

:37:11.:37:14.

also have to think about having some spending in the system that in the

:37:15.:37:17.

longer run saves us money. We all know we need to build new homes. I

:37:18.:37:21.

don't think it's necessarily the right priority to give people in

:37:22.:37:27.

London mortgage relief in terms of ?600,000. We have to get the balance

:37:28.:37:32.

right. Sometimes it is right to spend to save. I'm afraid we have

:37:33.:37:38.

run out of time. There will be plenty more discussion in the lead

:37:39.:37:40.

up to the Budget on Wednesday. It's just gone 11:35am. You're

:37:41.:37:45.

watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who

:37:46.:37:48.

leave us now for Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up here in 20

:37:49.:37:51.

minutes, Frances O'Grady, the General Secretary of the TUC, joins

:37:52.:37:53.

us discuss In the East Midlands ` the Education

:37:54.:38:15.

Secretary says many of our schools are letting children down. We need

:38:16.:38:19.

to raise the level of ambition. But as a new academy school prepares

:38:20.:38:23.

to open, there's a row over how it's finding new pupils. If children are

:38:24.:38:25.

being poached from other secondary schools, that has enormous

:38:26.:38:28.

implications for the schools' budget and for their forward planning and

:38:29.:38:31.

resourcing and for all the children that don't go.

:38:32.:38:35.

And fancy a seat in the House of Lords? We meet the Baroness who's

:38:36.:38:41.

talent spotting for East Midlanders to take their place on those famous

:38:42.:38:44.

red benches. Hello, I'm Marie Ashby. My guests

:38:45.:38:47.

this week ` the Conservative MP for Sherwood, Mark Spencer, and Labour's

:38:48.:38:50.

Derby North MP, Chris Williamson. First, it's been a big story

:38:51.:38:54.

everywhere ` the death of a political figure who played an

:38:55.:38:57.

important role here in the East Midlands. Tony Benn was the MP for

:38:58.:39:02.

Chesterfield for 17 years. His death was announced on Friday. Chris, a

:39:03.:39:07.

big loss to your party, particularly those of you to the left? Well, yes,

:39:08.:39:16.

in my view, Tony Benn was the best Leader of the Labour Party they

:39:17.:39:18.

never had. Had he had the opportunity to become the Prime

:39:19.:39:21.

Minister, I think our country would be a very different place to what we

:39:22.:39:25.

are living through today. I remember campaigning for him in the 1984

:39:26.:39:30.

by`election after he lost his seat in Bristol, I threw a sicky for a

:39:31.:39:39.

week so I could go up and campaign. You bunked off college to help him

:39:40.:39:45.

out? I did. What was he really like? He was a true gentleman in the

:39:46.:39:55.

truest sense of the word. He always made you feel included and special.

:39:56.:39:59.

He was a great inspiration to me and a great inspiration to millions of

:40:00.:40:03.

people. Mark, what do you make of his legacy? He was a great orator

:40:04.:40:12.

and the one thing ` today you see a lot of people like weather vanes `

:40:13.:40:23.

Tony Benn never moved. He stuck fast to his principles. Did you meet him?

:40:24.:40:29.

No. He shaped my political thinking. I didn't agree with him on most of

:40:30.:40:33.

the topics. He had the ability to change the way that you thinked.

:40:34.:40:41.

What sort of mark has he left on the Labour scene in Derbyshire? A huge

:40:42.:40:51.

mark. We will probably never see his like again. The way he chronicled

:40:52.:40:55.

the political process in this country will be invaluable to

:40:56.:41:00.

historians looking back on the post`war political period and he is

:41:01.:41:05.

a great loss and somebody who will be remembered very fondly by both

:41:06.:41:08.

sides of the political spectrum. Thank you.

:41:09.:41:12.

Well, from a political giant of the past to one very much of the

:41:13.:41:15.

present. The Education Secretary Michael Gove has been visiting

:41:16.:41:18.

schools in the region. Education's a hugely controversial issue with the

:41:19.:41:21.

problems at the Al Madinah School in Derby and a blitz by Ofsted on

:41:22.:41:29.

Nottingham Schools. Our Political Editor John Hess asked Mr Gove

:41:30.:41:32.

what's going wrong. We need to change leadership. We needed to make

:41:33.:41:40.

sure we've got the right leadership teams, the right head teachers in

:41:41.:41:43.

place and we need to raise the level of ambition for children in the

:41:44.:41:47.

city. What are you doing to turn around those failing schools? You

:41:48.:41:50.

need the right head teachers and the right support leading individual

:41:51.:41:53.

departments, maths and English in particular. You also need to have a

:41:54.:41:56.

higher level of ambition. One of the problems that we've had in the past

:41:57.:42:00.

is that there's been an assumption that children in Nottingham can't

:42:01.:42:04.

succeed on the same basis or at the same level as children in leafier

:42:05.:42:07.

suburbs or in wealthier parts of the country. That's wrong. There are

:42:08.:42:10.

children in some schools that are achieving brilliantly and we needed

:42:11.:42:13.

to make sure that we get more children from Nottingham, ambitious

:42:14.:42:16.

to go on to university or integrate apprenticeships. Half of those

:42:17.:42:19.

secondary schools in special measures are academies. Academies

:42:20.:42:23.

are supposed to be the saviour of underperforming inner city schools?

:42:24.:42:27.

Yes, academies only work if you have the right leddership. `` Leadership.

:42:28.:42:37.

We are determined to ensure whether schools are local authority schools

:42:38.:42:40.

or academies, they are held to account. We know there are some

:42:41.:42:43.

academies that have been underperforming and lots of local

:42:44.:42:45.

authority schools that have been underperforming across the country.

:42:46.:42:49.

The real test is how quickly can we turn schools round that are failing?

:42:50.:42:52.

And if, for any reason, the leadership of an academy is not

:42:53.:42:55.

being challenged effectively, then we will step in. You mention

:42:56.:42:58.

accountability, but isn't it time for our Local Education Authorities

:42:59.:43:01.

to have that role as scrutiny again? There's a role that local

:43:02.:43:04.

authorities do have to play and they need to be more ambitious. One of

:43:05.:43:08.

the things I have been impressed by is that there are some local

:43:09.:43:11.

authorities like Northumberland that are introducing additional measures

:43:12.:43:14.

to ensure that schools don't just meet national targets, but exceed

:43:15.:43:17.

them. I think part of the problem in Nottingham is that people haven't

:43:18.:43:20.

been ambitious enough and I think the question for Nottingham Local

:43:21.:43:23.

Authority is not to try to second guess what happens on the ground in

:43:24.:43:27.

schools when it comes to the management and allocation of

:43:28.:43:30.

resources, the thing to do is to set an ambitious target for how many

:43:31.:43:33.

children should be getting good GCSEs and going on to to college. Or

:43:34.:43:41.

on to apprenticeships. Michael Gove laying it on the line. A lack of

:43:42.:43:46.

ambition in communities and in schools, is he right? We need to

:43:47.:43:52.

support those pupils and we need to get them from education into careers

:43:53.:43:57.

so they've got that aspiration to thrive and to strive forward and why

:43:58.:44:01.

can't you come from Nottinghamshire and go on to be a doctor, or an

:44:02.:44:07.

astronaut? Is that what it is about, Chris, lack of ambition? I'm all for

:44:08.:44:13.

giving people opportunities. We are living through this very difficult

:44:14.:44:17.

austere time with the economy flatlining and that is down to

:44:18.:44:22.

Mark's party in large measure. In terms of these academies, what we

:44:23.:44:25.

are seeing with the present Government is pursuing an

:44:26.:44:28.

ideological agenda, in spite of the evidence to the contrary. As a

:44:29.:44:33.

consequence of going down the Academy route, we have seen a

:44:34.:44:39.

massive increase in unqualified teachers in our schools ` we need to

:44:40.:44:46.

tackle that. I don't like this new agenda that is being pursued. You

:44:47.:44:52.

can see that determination to push this through, to get the job done?

:44:53.:45:00.

He is passionate. Against all odds? As a Government, that is our

:45:01.:45:03.

responsibility, to make sure those kids get those opportunities and get

:45:04.:45:07.

the education that we ought to be providing. You can almost hear the

:45:08.:45:16.

teachers shouting at the telly? We have looked at some of the things

:45:17.:45:22.

that can be achieved. If you get great headmasters and a teaching

:45:23.:45:26.

team which is working together, you can really achieve great things.

:45:27.:45:31.

There have been problems, Chris, in Derby schools and also this week,

:45:32.:45:35.

two more Derby schools have been threatened with being forced into

:45:36.:45:41.

becoming academies. It is worrying? There is this ideological agenda

:45:42.:45:46.

that is being pursued by Michael Gove. We are seeing Michael Gove is

:45:47.:45:55.

determined to force academies on communities when they are not

:45:56.:46:00.

wanted. The truth is, we need to invest in our education system. We

:46:01.:46:04.

need to give oversight to Local Education Authorities and we have to

:46:05.:46:10.

sort out the economy. It is all very well Mark saying he is giving kids

:46:11.:46:13.

opportunities ` opportunities for what? We need to create hundreds of

:46:14.:46:19.

thousands of jobs for young people. Not these half`baked apprenticeships

:46:20.:46:25.

which aren't worth the paper they are written on. Youth unemployment

:46:26.:46:30.

is one of our biggest problems? We have managed to get hold of that.

:46:31.:46:36.

The figures are coming down. Only half the schools... You scrapped the

:46:37.:46:44.

Future Jobs... The Labour Party want to oppose... No, you have massive

:46:45.:46:52.

cuts, mass youth unemployment. The Government scrapped the Future Jobs

:46:53.:46:57.

Fund. Let's talk about academies again. Let's find out our next

:46:58.:47:01.

report. Well, the growth of academy schools,

:47:02.:47:04.

state`funded but independent of local authority control, is one big

:47:05.:47:07.

area of contention. In Nottingham a planned new academy has angered

:47:08.:47:10.

parents and teachers who accuse them of poaching children away from their

:47:11.:47:14.

schools ` and it's being set up by two organisations which already

:47:15.:47:16.

preside over failing schools in the city. Here's Jane Dodge.

:47:17.:47:21.

The current uniform is high`vis jackets. In six months it will be

:47:22.:47:28.

blazers and ties. The site of the old Dunkirk fire station is to

:47:29.:47:31.

become Nottingham's latest purpose built academy. 100 students have

:47:32.:47:42.

signed up so far. By 2017, Nottingham University Academy of

:47:43.:47:44.

Science and Technology hopes to have 800. They'll start at the age of 14,

:47:45.:47:53.

study from 8.30am to 5.00pm and take technical qualifications as well as

:47:54.:48:00.

GCSEs. There is a real collaboration between education and employers and

:48:01.:48:03.

a real enthusiasm and indeed the Academy is part of the Nottingham

:48:04.:48:06.

City Council's growth plan because we want to make Nottingham the city

:48:07.:48:15.

of science. The University of Nottingham and the Djanogly Learning

:48:16.:48:18.

Trust are sponsoring the Academy. It is not their first. There is

:48:19.:48:22.

Nottingham University Samworth Academy and Djanogly City Academy,

:48:23.:48:25.

both were rated inadequate by Ofsted recently. It is hardly a ringing

:48:26.:48:31.

endorsement for this one? It is about collaboration. You will find

:48:32.:48:38.

that the city, despite the challenging Ofsted assessment, they

:48:39.:48:40.

will take it forward, collaboratively between the local

:48:41.:48:43.

authority schools and the academies and they will share good practice

:48:44.:48:47.

and standards will rise. For this academy to succeed, it needs to

:48:48.:48:50.

persuade parents it can offer a better education than other

:48:51.:48:55.

secondary schools in the area. To get that message across, more than

:48:56.:48:58.

2,500 letters have been sent to selected homes. Tactics deemed by

:48:59.:49:06.

some to be unethical. As far as I understand it, that's contravening

:49:07.:49:12.

the Data Protection Act. This is very intrusive and in terms of the

:49:13.:49:16.

other secondary schools in our city, if I was the head of a secondary

:49:17.:49:20.

school, I would be hopping mad and I would be very worried because if

:49:21.:49:23.

children are being poached from other secondary schools, that has

:49:24.:49:26.

enormous implications for the schools' budget and for their

:49:27.:49:28.

forward planning and their resourcing and for all the children

:49:29.:49:33.

that don't go. It is the role of local authorities that's incensed

:49:34.:49:36.

the head teachers we have spoken to. It was Nottingham Futures which is

:49:37.:49:40.

owned by the city and County Councils that sent the letters to

:49:41.:49:47.

parents. We were giving information out of a new institution that is

:49:48.:49:52.

opening in our city. We wouldn't give it any endorsement. What we

:49:53.:49:56.

need to get on to is what opportunities there are going to be

:49:57.:49:59.

here for encouraging young people to be prepared for the workplace. NUAST

:50:00.:50:07.

wants to produce the next generation of world innovators. The clock is

:50:08.:50:13.

ticking. Ofsted has warned improving performance in schools is one of the

:50:14.:50:18.

region's greatest and most urgent challenges. Mark, you talked earlier

:50:19.:50:22.

about the importance of young people finding careers. It sounds like this

:50:23.:50:27.

school is exactly all about that? It is about vocational skills? What an

:50:28.:50:32.

inspiration. One of the leading universities in the world, linking

:50:33.:50:35.

up with a school to develop those young minds and find them careers in

:50:36.:50:39.

the future. It is a real inspiration. Is that a change of

:50:40.:50:43.

emphasis for you as a party, not university, get a vocational career

:50:44.:50:48.

instead? We need to look at that. In my personal opinion, more people

:50:49.:50:52.

have been going to university and not everybody warms to that academic

:50:53.:50:56.

environment and I think some young people can go straight into a career

:50:57.:51:00.

with vocational education and we need to recognise as employers that

:51:01.:51:04.

those skills and qualifications are just as valuable. It was a big

:51:05.:51:09.

Labour push to get more people go to university, now we are talking about

:51:10.:51:12.

vocational skills? University education is vitally important. We

:51:13.:51:16.

have also got to make sure that young people can have access to good

:51:17.:51:21.

quality vocational skills, proper apprenticeships. We need to create

:51:22.:51:25.

the jobs for young people to be able to use those skills when they leave

:51:26.:51:29.

school and there is a real challenge to make sure we sort the economy

:51:30.:51:35.

out, to generate those jobs. We need a Renaissance in our manufacturing

:51:36.:51:40.

industry. We need a push in the construction industry, too. There is

:51:41.:51:44.

a huge housing crisis. We have a major problem with fuel poverty.

:51:45.:51:48.

Let's get back to schools and to education. Should Local Education

:51:49.:51:51.

Authorities have more of a say? They have been pushed back a little bit

:51:52.:51:56.

with the advent of academies? It comes down to the leadership in the

:51:57.:52:01.

school. If you can make that funding direct to those head teachers, give

:52:02.:52:04.

them the power and give them the ability to make decisions about

:52:05.:52:08.

their school, they are in a better place to make those decisions. Why

:52:09.:52:12.

are you shaking your head? It is unco`ordinated. It is fine when you

:52:13.:52:20.

have a good head, but the very isolated become islands. I think you

:52:21.:52:29.

need that that tee JIC `` strategic oversight. We have to get to grips

:52:30.:52:35.

with this? We have. We have an ideological agenda being pursued by

:52:36.:52:40.

Michael Gove. Ofsted are saying... They are pushing down the road

:52:41.:52:46.

essentially of part privatisation of our secondary education. One of the

:52:47.:52:53.

leading universities in the world combined with employers who are

:52:54.:52:56.

working with those kids to give them the right qualifications and the

:52:57.:52:59.

right training to give them a career in the future. Ofsted say this is a

:53:00.:53:03.

priority. What are you doing to make sure it is? It is about making sure

:53:04.:53:07.

the funding goes direct to those leaders in those communities, in

:53:08.:53:11.

those schools and parents will vote with their feet. That is what

:53:12.:53:18.

terrifies some of these people. Will we lose schools? This is crazy. This

:53:19.:53:25.

is fantasy land. I'm sorry, Mark. We have a responsibility, surely, to

:53:26.:53:30.

all our children, we have this unco`ordinated arrangement which is

:53:31.:53:33.

being pushed by Mark and his party which will leave some kids behind

:53:34.:53:41.

and enable others to excel. Now, how does a seat in the House of

:53:42.:53:45.

Lords sound? A little far`fetched for most of us perhaps, but one of

:53:46.:53:49.

our peers is planning to do some talent`spotting in the East

:53:50.:53:52.

Midlands. Our region has the lowest representation of any in the House

:53:53.:53:56.

of Lords. John Hess, or Lord Hess of Bridgford as he's known round here,

:53:57.:54:01.

reports. The House of Lords has never claimed to truly represent the

:54:02.:54:05.

people, that after all is a job of the directly`elected House of

:54:06.:54:09.

Commons. But should our second law`making chamber be more

:54:10.:54:12.

representative of the Nations and Regions of the UK and with only 2%

:54:13.:54:16.

of working peers from the East Midlands, are we losing out and what

:54:17.:54:22.

should be done about it? I'm about to meet this lady. She's one of the

:54:23.:54:28.

handful of peers from the East Midlands. How are you? Lovely to

:54:29.:54:35.

meet you. I do think we must not let the discussion go down the road of

:54:36.:54:40.

we need to have a certain percentage of peers coming from particular

:54:41.:54:48.

regions. What we do in the House is scrutinise legislation. Brought up

:54:49.:54:54.

and ucated in Leicester, she was raised to the peerage eight years

:54:55.:54:58.

ago. She is now a junior minister in the Department for Energy and

:54:59.:55:00.

climate change. She's a Conservative. What we have in the

:55:01.:55:05.

Midlands is that we ourselves are not very good at showcasing those

:55:06.:55:13.

people that should really be nominated for the House. How would

:55:14.:55:17.

you reform the House of Lords? If we do have people that we believe

:55:18.:55:21.

rightly should come and sit in the House, from the Midlands, then I

:55:22.:55:25.

think that we need to be able to talent spot ourselves. Do you think

:55:26.:55:30.

that regional representation in this place matters? We have elected

:55:31.:55:35.

members who if they are doing their jobs right, will be the voices for

:55:36.:55:39.

those constituencies in those regions and I think our job in this

:55:40.:55:43.

House is then to look at the legislation in the round to

:55:44.:55:47.

scrutinise it in the round and to ensure that the concerns raised by

:55:48.:55:52.

elected members are reflected in how that legislation is formulated. This

:55:53.:55:57.

Baroness wants more voices from the East Midlands to be heard in the

:55:58.:56:00.

Lords, but how to achieve that, she says, is the dilemma. It certainly

:56:01.:56:07.

is. Those figures are quite stark. Of the 430 working peers, 2% are

:56:08.:56:13.

from the East Midlands, does it matter, Mark? We need to be

:56:14.:56:20.

represented in both chambers and I wasn't aware that we were so poorly

:56:21.:56:27.

represented. We have some good Lords and Baronesses, but we need more.

:56:28.:56:31.

Both political parties need to address that. Does it matter, Chris?

:56:32.:56:35.

I think it does. There has been an accusation levelled at policymakers

:56:36.:56:40.

that it is London`centric. Nearly half of the peers come from Greater

:56:41.:56:44.

London and the South East, it is little wonder that that is a

:56:45.:56:51.

problem. I do think... 26% for London? 20`odd per cent for the

:56:52.:56:58.

South East. So I do think it would help. I do think it is important

:56:59.:57:02.

that they do have proper representation. Labour did make some

:57:03.:57:07.

fundamental changes to the House of Lords and we had a commitment in the

:57:08.:57:12.

last manifesto to have a referendum on having an elected Second Chamber.

:57:13.:57:18.

Short of that happening, I think there does need to be something

:57:19.:57:24.

done. One of the problems ` David Cameron has elevated 160 new peers

:57:25.:57:30.

into the House of Lords. There is a real challenge there. OK. Tony Benn

:57:31.:57:36.

said the House of Lords was the British Outer Mongolia for retired

:57:37.:57:43.

politicians! Did he have a point? I think it's a useful chamber where

:57:44.:57:47.

experience people can pass judgment and can contribute to legislation as

:57:48.:57:52.

it passes through the House. I think we do need more representation from

:57:53.:57:56.

the East Midlands so they understand East Midlands`type issues. How do we

:57:57.:58:02.

get more people from the East Midlands? It is a matter for the

:58:03.:58:05.

parties, if we are going to continue with this system of appointing

:58:06.:58:11.

peers, but there is a challenge. The House of Lords has already got

:58:12.:58:16.

several hundred more than there are seats in the House of Lords for them

:58:17.:58:23.

to sit on. So, you know ` and it is very costly. Do we need it? I think

:58:24.:58:30.

they can be enormously frustrating if you are a member of the House of

:58:31.:58:33.

Commons. They do a really important role in scrutinising legislation as

:58:34.:58:41.

it goes forward and without ` you can be a signpost without being a

:58:42.:58:46.

weather vane. Maybe I should nominate Chris! How would you feel

:58:47.:58:51.

about that, Chris? Going into the House of Lords? Yes. I don't think

:58:52.:58:55.

it is likely. It is unlikely. Would you turn it down? I'm not a fan of

:58:56.:59:04.

the Patronage that is afforded to party leaders at the moment...

:59:05.:59:09.

Really? What about Lord Mark of Sherwood? I don't know. Friar Tuck,

:59:10.:59:20.

maybe! Alan Fisher, the leader of NUPE, he said he would never take a

:59:21.:59:27.

seat in the House of Lords, but he thought about taking the name of

:59:28.:59:30.

Lord "Winter of Discontent"! Very good.

:59:31.:59:33.

Now a round`up of other stories in the East Midlands in Sixty Seconds.

:59:34.:59:38.

Two of our Labour MPs want a firmer commitment from their party on an EU

:59:39.:59:45.

referendum. They believe Britain is better off in and want to allow

:59:46.:59:49.

voters the chance to decide. A report on how much would be saved by

:59:50.:59:55.

abolishing district councils cost almost ?50,000. The council leader

:59:56.:00:00.

said the move would save ?30 million a year. It seems bus pass Elvis have

:00:01.:00:06.

the Lib Dems all shook up. Does the Deputy Prime Minister think it was

:00:07.:00:09.

his party support for the bedroom tax, the trebling of tuition fees,

:00:10.:00:14.

unfair cuts to the poorest families, or the betrayal of the NHS which led

:00:15.:00:21.

them to put bus pass Elvis ahead of the Liberal Democrats? Putting pus

:00:22.:00:32.

bass `` bus pass Elvis aside... He told us he might stand as an MP.

:00:33.:00:38.

That's the Sunday Politics in the East Midlands, thanks to Mark

:00:39.:00:43.

Spencer and Chris Williamson. Next week, we'll be finding out what our

:00:44.:00:47.

MEPs do for us in the East Midlands. We'll be in Brussels, home of the

:00:48.:00:50.

European Parliament for a special programme. Find us on Facebook or

:00:51.:00:54.

Twitter if you have a question for them. Now back to

:00:55.:00:55.

industrial action is a sign of failure marked success. -- not

:00:56.:00:59.

success. Andrew, back to you. Has George Osborne got a rabbit in

:01:00.:01:12.

his Budget hat? Will the Chancellor find a way to help the squeezed

:01:13.:01:16.

middle? And how do Labour respond? All questions for The Week Ahead.

:01:17.:01:24.

And joining Helen, Janan and Nick to discuss the budget is the general

:01:25.:01:28.

secretary of the Trades Union Congress Frances O'Grady. Welcome

:01:29.:01:33.

back to the programme. I know the TUC has a submission, but if you

:01:34.:01:36.

could pick one thing that you wanted the Chancellor to do above all, what

:01:37.:01:42.

would it be? We want a budget for working people, which means we have

:01:43.:01:46.

to crack the long-term problem of investment in the British economy.

:01:47.:01:52.

Certainly I would like the Chancellor to merit that title they

:01:53.:01:58.

want of the new workers party, and take action on living standards, but

:01:59.:02:01.

if they're going to do that it's got to be about unlocking investment. In

:02:02.:02:11.

the period where the economy has been flat-lining there has been

:02:12.:02:14.

little business investment, but there are signs towards the end of

:02:15.:02:18.

last year that it is beginning to pick up. But a long way to go. The

:02:19.:02:24.

problem is we have key industries like construction and manufacturing

:02:25.:02:27.

that are still smaller than they were before the recession. The

:02:28.:02:33.

government itself, of course, has slashed its own capital investment

:02:34.:02:38.

budget by half. There is plenty of good and important work that needs

:02:39.:02:42.

to be done from building houses to improving the transport system, to

:02:43.:02:48.

improving our schools. And the government really needs to pick up

:02:49.:02:52.

that shovel and start investing in our economy to get the decent jobs

:02:53.:02:57.

we need, the pay increases we need, and that in itself will help

:02:58.:03:02.

stimulate demand. It was Alistair Darling who cut in 2011, and it's

:03:03.:03:08.

interesting that Ed Balls in his plans for the next parliament would

:03:09.:03:13.

run a current budget surplus by the end of the parliament as opposed to

:03:14.:03:16.

George Osborne who would have an overall budget surplus. That gives

:03:17.:03:21.

Ed Balls or -- more wriggle room to do what you talk about, but he is

:03:22.:03:24.

reticent to talk about it. He does not want to say that he has an

:03:25.:03:27.

opportunity to spend on investment because he fears if he says it he

:03:28.:03:30.

will be attacked by the Conservatives for being

:03:31.:03:34.

irresponsible. Why is business doing this? The recession was deeper than

:03:35.:03:41.

any since the war and the recovery was slower than almost any since the

:03:42.:03:47.

war. The lag, the time it takes to get over that is longer than anyone

:03:48.:03:52.

expected. I read the same evidence as you towards the end of last year

:03:53.:03:56.

pointing to money being released, and it depends what it is released

:03:57.:04:01.

on, whether it is capital investment or bringing in people on higher

:04:02.:04:05.

wages. The one surprise in the downturn is how well the employment

:04:06.:04:10.

figures have done, but they have not invested in new capacity and they

:04:11.:04:13.

are sitting on a lot of dosh. I looked at one set of figures that

:04:14.:04:17.

said if you took the biggest company in Britain, they have about 715

:04:18.:04:23.

billion pounds in corporate treasury -- the biggest companies. I think

:04:24.:04:27.

it's reduced a little but they are sitting on a mountain in dash of

:04:28.:04:34.

skills. Yes, but they're not investing in skills, wages, or

:04:35.:04:38.

sustainable jobs. The new jobs we have seen created since 2010, the

:04:39.:04:43.

vast majority of them have been in low paid industries, and they are

:04:44.:04:48.

often zero hours, or insecure, or part-time. So it's not delivering a

:04:49.:04:51.

recovery for ordinary working people. Government ministers, as you

:04:52.:04:57.

know when you lobby them, they are anxious to make out that they know

:04:58.:05:00.

the job is not done and the recovery has just begun, but the one bit they

:05:01.:05:06.

are privately proud of, although they can't explain it, is how many

:05:07.:05:11.

private-sector jobs have been created. A lot of unions have done

:05:12.:05:15.

sensible deals with employers to protect jobs through this period,

:05:16.:05:18.

but it's not sustainable. The average worker in Britain today is

:05:19.:05:24.

now ?2000 a year worse off in real terms than they were. On a pay

:05:25.:05:30.

against price comparison? It doesn't take into account tax cuts. The

:05:31.:05:38.

raising of the personal allowance is far outweighed by the raising VAT.

:05:39.:05:46.

Does the raising of the threshold which the Lib Dems are proud of and

:05:47.:05:49.

the Tories are trying to trade credit for, does it matter to your

:05:50.:05:54.

members? -- take credit for. It matters that it is eclipsed by the

:05:55.:05:59.

cuts in benefits and know what is conned any more. We're going to hear

:06:00.:06:02.

a lot about the raising of the allowance, but as long as the real

:06:03.:06:08.

value of work, tax credits, things like that, people won't feel it in

:06:09.:06:12.

their pocket, and they will find it harder and harder to look after

:06:13.:06:16.

their family. When you look at the other things that could take over

:06:17.:06:19.

from consumer spending which has driven the recovery, held by house

:06:20.:06:24.

price rising in the south, it is exports and business investment, and

:06:25.:06:27.

you look at the state of the Eurozone and the emerging markets

:06:28.:06:31.

which are now in trouble, and the winter seems to have derailed the US

:06:32.:06:35.

recovery. It won't be exports. Indeed, the Obie Eich does not think

:06:36.:06:42.

that will contribute to growth until 2015 -- OBI. So the figures we

:06:43.:06:47.

should be looking at our business investment. And also the deficit.

:06:48.:06:54.

The deficit is 111 billion, and that is a problem, because we are not at

:06:55.:06:57.

the end of the cutting process, there are huge cuts to be made. I

:06:58.:07:02.

understand we are only a third of the way through. That will

:07:03.:07:05.

definitely affect business confidence. It is clear that the

:07:06.:07:09.

strategy has failed. Borrowing has gone up and it's not delivered

:07:10.:07:13.

improved living standards and better quality jobs, so cutting out of the

:07:14.:07:20.

recession is not going to work. The structural budget deficit was going

:07:21.:07:23.

to be eliminated three weeks today under the original plan. They missed

:07:24.:07:29.

target after target. Every economist has their own definition of that. I

:07:30.:07:35.

think Mark Carney is right when he says that fundamentally the economy

:07:36.:07:40.

is unbalanced and it is not sustainable, growth is not

:07:41.:07:44.

sustainable. But if it clicked on, it would be more balanced. It is not

:07:45.:07:50.

just north and south and manufacturing a way out with

:07:51.:07:53.

services, but it is also between the rich and everybody else. What do you

:07:54.:07:59.

make of the fact that there will effectively be another freezing

:08:00.:08:02.

public sector pay, or at least no more than 1%? Not even that for

:08:03.:08:10.

nurses and health workers. But they will get 3% progression pay. 70% of

:08:11.:08:15.

nurses will not get any pay rise at all. They get no progression pay at

:08:16.:08:19.

all. I think this is smack in the mouth. Smack in the mouth to

:08:20.:08:25.

dedicated health care workers who will feel very, very discontented

:08:26.:08:30.

about the decision. Danny Alexander, I saw him appealing to

:08:31.:08:35.

health workers do not move to strike ballots and said they should talk to

:08:36.:08:41.

their department. But about what? Is that real pay cut has been imposed,

:08:42.:08:47.

what are workers left with? So do you expect as a result of yet more

:08:48.:08:52.

tough controls on public sector pay that unrest is inevitable? I know

:08:53.:08:58.

some unions will be consulting with their members, but ultimately it's

:08:59.:09:02.

always members who decide what to do. It does seem to me insulting not

:09:03.:09:07.

to at least be honest and say that we are cutting real pay of nurses,

:09:08.:09:16.

health care workers, on the back of a ?3 billion reorganisation of the

:09:17.:09:19.

NHS that nobody wanted and nobody voted for. Their long-term changes

:09:20.:09:27.

taking place here that almost talks about -- there are long-term

:09:28.:09:31.

changes. It is how lower percentage wages have become of GDP on how big

:09:32.:09:38.

the percentage of profits is. It seems to me there is a strong case

:09:39.:09:43.

for some kind of realignment there. The biggest event of my life, in

:09:44.:09:47.

this world, is the entry of a couple of billion more people into the

:09:48.:09:51.

labour supply. At the end of the Cold War, India and China plugged

:09:52.:09:55.

into the global economy. If there is a greater supply of that factor of

:09:56.:09:59.

production, logically you conclude that wages will fall or stagnate and

:10:00.:10:04.

that has been the story in this country and America and large parts

:10:05.:10:06.

of Western Europe in the last generation. What is not possible is

:10:07.:10:11.

for governments to do much about it. They can ameliorate it at the

:10:12.:10:15.

margins, but the idea that the government controls living

:10:16.:10:18.

standards, which has become popular over the last six months, and the

:10:19.:10:21.

Labour Party have in establishing that, and I don't think it's true.

:10:22.:10:27.

George Osborne's options are astonishingly limited compared to

:10:28.:10:31.

public expectations. If wages have reached a modern record low as

:10:32.:10:36.

percentage of GDP, who is going to champion the wage earner? We have

:10:37.:10:42.

lost Bob Crow, Tony Benn passed away, so who is the champion? The

:10:43.:10:47.

trade union movement is the champion of ordinary workers. We need those

:10:48.:10:52.

larger-than-life figures that we will mess. Have you got them yet? We

:10:53.:10:59.

have a generation of workers coming through. One thing about the loss of

:11:00.:11:03.

Bob Crow is that the whole union movement has responded strongly to

:11:04.:11:07.

that, and we want to say that we are strong and united and here to stand

:11:08.:11:10.

up for working people and we will fight as hard as Bob Crow did.

:11:11.:11:15.

Whoever replaces Bob Crow or Tony Benn, we can be sure they will not

:11:16.:11:19.

come from Eton because they all have jobs in the government. I want to

:11:20.:11:23.

put up on the screen what even Michael Gove was saying about this

:11:24.:11:25.

coterie of Old Etonian 's. He's right, is he not? He's

:11:26.:11:39.

absolutely right. We have the idea of the manifesto being written by

:11:40.:11:45.

five people from Eton and one from Saint Pauls. A remarkable example of

:11:46.:11:51.

social mobility that George Osborne, who had the disadvantage of going to

:11:52.:11:54.

Saint Pauls has made it into that inner circle. Here is the question,

:11:55.:12:02.

what is Michael Gove up to? If you saw the response from George

:12:03.:12:05.

Osborne, there was no slap down, and they know this is an area they are

:12:06.:12:09.

weak on an David Cameron will not comment on it. If this had been a

:12:10.:12:13.

Labour shadow minister making a similarly disloyal statement, they

:12:14.:12:18.

might have been shot at dawn. But there is a real tolerance from

:12:19.:12:21.

Michael Gove to go freelance which comes from George Osborne. It's

:12:22.:12:25.

about highlighting educational reforms that he wants to turn every

:12:26.:12:29.

school in to eat and so it won't happen in the future. But it's also

:12:30.:12:32.

pointing out who did not go to Eton school and who would be the best

:12:33.:12:36.

candidate to replace David Cameron as leader, George Osborne, and who

:12:37.:12:40.

did go to Eton school, Boris Johnson. Michael Gove is on

:12:41.:12:44.

manoeuvres to destroy Boris Johnson's chances of being leader.

:12:45.:12:51.

It's a good job they don't have an election to worry about. Hold on. I

:12:52.:12:57.

think they are out of touch with businesses as well as working

:12:58.:13:00.

people. You ask about who is talking about wage earners. Businesses are.

:13:01.:13:04.

They are worried that unless living standards rise again there will be

:13:05.:13:09.

nobody there to buy anything. We are running out of time, but the TUC,

:13:10.:13:15.

are enthusiastic about HS2? We supported. We think it's the kind of

:13:16.:13:20.

infrastructure project that we need to invest in long-term. He could, if

:13:21.:13:24.

we get it right, rebalance north and south and create good jobs along the

:13:25.:13:29.

way -- it could. Thank you very much tool. I have to say that every week

:13:30.:13:35.

-- thank you very much to you all. That's all for today. I'll be back

:13:36.:13:38.

next Sunday at 11am, and Jo Coburn will be on BBC Two tomorrow at

:13:39.:13:43.

midday with the Daily Politics. Remember if it's Sunday, it's the

:13:44.:13:45.

Sunday Politics.

:13:46.:13:48.

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