23/03/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


23/03/2014

Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew Neil is joined by pensions minister Steve Webb, Labour's Chris Leslie and Happy Mondays star Bez.


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. The dust has barely

:00:36.:00:43.

settled on George Osborne's Budget and, amazingly, for once it hasn't

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all gone horribly wrong by the weekend. So, is this the election

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springboard the Tories needed, and where does it leave Labour? Turns

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out the big Budget surprise was a revolution in how we pay for old

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age. The Pensions Minister says he's relaxed if you want to spend it all

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on a Lamborghini. He'll join us later. And could the man with the

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maracas be on his way to Westminster? Bez from the Happy

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Mondays tells us about his unlikely plan to

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In the East Midlands: We are in Brussels at the European Parliament

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with four of our MEPs. They will be arguing the

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stay in Axbridge. Are there ways of making the European arrest warrant

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work better? -- Uxbridge. And who better to help guide you through all

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of that than three journalists, who dispense wisdom faster than Grant

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Shapps calls out the numbers in his local bingo hall over a pint of

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beer. Yes, they're hard-working and they're doing the things they enjoy.

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Cup of tea, number three. It's Nick Watt, Polly Toynbee and Janan

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Ganesh. So, George Osborne delivered his

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fifth Budget on Wednesday and had so many glowing front pages the day

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afterwards he must be running out of room to pin them up in on his

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bedroom wall. Although it's probably a pretty big wall. For those of you

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who didn't have time to watch 3.5 hours of Budget coverage on the BBC,

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here's Giles with the whole thing in three minutes.

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Budget days have a rhythm of their own, driven partly by tradition,

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like that photocall at 11 Downing Street and part logistics, how to

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get this important statement out and explain to those whom it affects -

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us? Behind-the-scenes of a Budget Day is much the same. This ritual

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red boxery may be the beginning of the end of weeks of work behind the

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scenes in the Treasury and sets the clock ticking on the process of

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finding out the answer to one question. You got any rabbits in the

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box, Chancellor? Yes, there will be something in the Budget we don't

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know about. Time marches steadily towards the statement and already

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commentators are hovering over what those potential surprises are. As

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Big Ben chimes, all focus returns to the Commons, where there is Prime

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Minister's questions and the Chancellor gets up and does his

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thing. Once he's on his feet and remembering there is still no copy

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of the details, the major measures are rapidly highlighted as they come

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and then put up on screen. A cap on Government welfare spending set for

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2015/16 at 119 billion. Income tax personal allowance raised to

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?10,500. Bingo duty halved, which ticked boxes for some but was

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unlikely to make anyone a poster boy. And the beer tax cut of 1p, or

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the froth on the top. And changes to pensions allowing people to take

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their money out in one lump sum, rather than being forced to accept a

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fixed annual pay-out, or annuity. This is a Budget for the makers, the

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doers and the savers and I commend it to the House. Not everyone can

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focus on the Budget by listening to what the Chancellor says. We need to

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get a copy of the script. We do not get that till he sits down. I'm

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going to go into the House of Commons to get that right now. There

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will be a response on that and all the other things from Mr Miliband.

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The Chancellor spoke for nearly an hour but he did not mention one

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essential fact, the working people of Britain are worse off under the

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Tories. It is a tricky job answering the Budget at the best of times,

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though some, including Labour MPs, think it is better to mention the

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Budget when you do. Here we are. I am going to go. I am

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not the only journalist missing Ed Miliband's speech. Many others leave

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the Chamber as the Chancellor sits down to attend a special briefing

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from the Chancellor's advisory team. I am hotfoot to the studio. There is

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a little more detail to the Budget than the Budget Speech. That detail

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can be whether words unravel and other interpretations emerge. By now

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the gaggle of supporters and detractors are taking the debate

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onto the airwaves. Are you the BBC? Have the Daily Politics packed up?

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No, we're still standing and, days later, still trying to assess

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whether the measures announced still seem fresh and appetising or have

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already gone stale in the minds of voters?

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How significant are these two poles this morning putting Labour and Tory

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nip and tuck? Osborne gave his party a good bounce. It was an

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astonishingly theatrical coup. At first glance, it seems like a huge

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gift to all people. That is where all of the money has been channelled

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by this government. They have been ultra-protected, triple locked.

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Pensioners have done very well and others less well. It is not

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surprising. Normally a budget which is well received on the day and the

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day after has unravelled by the weekend. This time, it has not, so

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far. The dangerous thing for the Labour Party now, George Osborne is

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the assessment this thing called the baseline. He says, in government,

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you must control the baseline. The Labour party controlled in 2001 and

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2005 and he needs to control it next time. He is controlling it on fiscal

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policy because labour is matching them on everything. The danger for

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Labour on the big, headline grabbing issue, which was freeing up

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annuities on pensions, that again Labour was pretty much saying it was

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going to support it though it were saying it has to be fair and

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cost-effective. On a big, policy issue, they are following on behind

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George Osborne. George Osborne is controlling the crucial baseline.

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Are we in danger of reading too much into the political implications of

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the budget? The good thing about the pensions policy is, if it does

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unravel, it will not happen for ten years and, by that time, George

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Osborne will have left office. Towards the end of his speech, I

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thought, that is not enough. There is not an idea in your budget which

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is politically very vivid a year before an election. What I

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underestimated was, how many frustrated savers that are in the

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country. There are a lot of people who are frustrated by low interest

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rates and tax rates on pension pots. This was an explicit gesture for

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them. That is what has paid off in the polls in the past few days. You

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spend all of your money on your wardrobe, is that right? The bingo

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poster was a kind of get out of jail card for Labour. It gave them

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something to zoom in on. Everyone beat up on Grant Shapps, the Tory

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chairman. We read in the daily Telegraph that the fingerprints of

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the Chancellor were all over this poster. The Chancellor signed off it

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-- off on it and so did Lynton Crosby. They referred to working

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class people as, they are. How did it get into the Telegraph? We can

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only presume but grant Shapps made it clear that it was not him. We had

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a time when Labour politicians, we saw from the response of Ed Miliband

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onwards, they were not quite sure how to react to this budget. A lot

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of detail had to be absorbed. Suddenly, here is something we can

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talk about. You can see the thinking behind the poster was very sensible.

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We are not Tory toffs, we are interested in helping people who do

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not come from our backgrounds. The wording was awful and played into

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every cliche. It was all his fault. It shows how unsophisticated he

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was. There were people from Tory HQ who agreed the budget. A month down

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the line will the budget look as good? Probably. Once people look at

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it, pensions are fiendishly conjugated. Once they look and see

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what it will do with people having to pay for their own care because

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they can now take capital at their pension, that will come as a shock

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to a lot of people with small savings. It all be gone on their

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care. The polling will be neck and neck all the way. In the past,

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George Osborne has been accused of using his Budgets to tinker at the

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margins or pull cheap tricks on his political opponents. Perish the

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thought. But the big surprise in this year's statement was a

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genuinely radical shake-up of the pensions system that will affect

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most people who've yet to retire. At the moment, everyone is saving money

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into a defined contribution pension, that is the type most common in the

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private sector. They can take 25% of the pot is a tax-free lump sum when

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they retire. The rest of the money, for most people, they are forced to

:10:57.:11:01.

buy an annuity, a form of insurance which provide a guaranteed monthly

:11:02.:11:04.

income until they die. Annuities have hardly been a bargain since

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interest rates were flat slashed following the financial crash. Even

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with a ?100,000 pension pot would only get an income of ?5,800 a year

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at current rates. From 2018, pensioners will not be forced to buy

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an annuity. They can do what they like with their money, even taking

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the entire pot as a lump some but paying tax on 75% of it.

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With an average pension pot closer to around ?30,000, pensioners would

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be more likely to buy a Skoda instead of a Lamborghini. Most newly

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retired people who take the cash are more likely to spend the money

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paying off their mortgage, helping a family member to buy a property or

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investing the money elsewhere. Well, earlier I spoke to the Pensions

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Minister. He's a Lib Dem called Steve Webb. I began by asking him if

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he still thought the reforms might lead to pensioners splurging all

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their savings on supercars. What this reform is about is treating

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people as adults. For far too long, we have said, we will make sure you

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save for your old age and then we will control each year how much is

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spent on what you spend it on. What we are saying is because we have

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formed -- reformed the state pension, we will be much more

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relaxed about what people do with their own money. The evidence is

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that people who have been frugal and saved hard for retirement do not

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generally blows a lot. They will spin it out. It is treating people

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as adults and giving them choices they should have had all along. It

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is a red herring, isn't it? The average pension pot is between 25000

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and 30,000. Lamborghinis aren't an option, correct? I gather only about

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5000 people a year retiring can buy a flashy Italian sports car. It

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might be about paying off a mortgage, paying off outstanding

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debts. Maybe spending more money earlier in retirement when they are

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fit and able and can enjoy it more. We will give people guidance. We

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will make sure when they retire, there is someone to have a

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conversation with talking through the implications of spending the

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money early and options of investing it. This will be a real step

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forward. Even if you have a much bigger pension pot, say half ?1

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million, which is way bigger than the average, even then the marginal

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rates of tax will be a disincentive to take it all out at once. You will

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lose huge chunks of it at the 40% band and then the 45% band. The tax

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system gives you the incentive to spread it out if the tax threshold

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is a bit over 10000 and the state pension is a bit over 7000, the

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first 3000 you draw out in a given year is tax-free. The next band is

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at 20%. Spreading your money will mean you pay less tax. That is why,

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in general, people will not blow the lot up front. They will spread it

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out over their retirement. You have kept this policy quiet. Not even a

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hint. How did you test it? How did you make sure it would be robust?

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You did not do a consultation. I have been talking about freeing up

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the annuity market for a decade. The idea of giving people more choice.

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The government has relaxed rules over this Parliament. It was not a

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completely new idea. We know in places like Australia and America,

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people have these freedoms. We already have something to judge it

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by. We will spend the next year talking to people, working it

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through. There will be a three-month consultation. I want people to have

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choices about their own money. There is detail still to be worked out and

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we are in listening mode about how we implement it. When you announce

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something you cannot do widespread consultation, for the reasons I have

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given, you do run the risk of unforeseen consequences? Pension

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companies this morning are indicating, you, the government can

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write you are looking for ?25 billion of infrastructure investment

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from us. You hold our shell below the water line. That may not happen.

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We spoke internally about the implications for instruction --

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infrastructure. It seems to me there will still be long-term investments.

:15:59.:16:06.

Many people want to turn their whole pot into an income. I understand the

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insurance companies are lobbying, but I'm convinced there will still

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be plenty of money for investment and infrastructure. If the

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Chancellor's pro-savings measures work, that will generate more

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savings. With no requirement now to buy an annuity, surely it is the

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case that pension pots are another ordinary savings fund, so why should

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they continue to get favourable tax treatment? Bear in mind that a lot

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of the tax treatment of pensioners is tax deferred so most people pay

:16:46.:16:49.

tax at the standard rate. If they put money into a pension, they don't

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pay tax when they earn it, but they do at retirement. We do want, we

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will still have automatic enrolment into workplace pensions, we do want

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people to build up, because at age 20 and 30 nobody thinks about

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retirement. It is still vital that people do reach retirement to have

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these new choices with a decent sized pension pot. Pensions. Tax

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breaks because they were supposed to provide an income in retirement,

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that is how it was structured, but that is no longer a requirement,

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surely that undermines the case that if they get tax breaks, other forms

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of savings should get tax breaks. Other forms do get tax breaks, of

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course. The return with ISAs is tax free. The point with pensions is

:17:55.:18:00.

that you are simply deferring your earnings. There is a bit when high

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tax rate payers get a kick when they are working and then retire on

:18:10.:18:14.

standard rate, so there is the issue of the top getting too many tax

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breaks, but the basic principle that you pay tax when you get the income

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seems right to me and isn't affected by these changes. You have announced

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save friendly measures, are we right to look at them as a consolation

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prize because savers have suffered from the Government's policy of

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keeping interest rates abnormally low? It is certainly the case that

:18:40.:18:44.

very low interest rates have been a huge boon to people of working age

:18:45.:18:51.

with mortgages, and people who have retired said they thought they could

:18:52.:18:54.

have got a better deal on their savings. I think there is a

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recognition that whilst we have done the right thing with pensioners on

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the state pension, we have brought in the triple lock, and many will

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bent on -- benefit from these changes. Why don't savers who are

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not pensioners get the same help? They have been hit by low interest

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rates as well. Those of working age, many of them say they have

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benefited from low interest rates was predominantly people in

:19:33.:19:39.

retirement have not had the benefit. Obviously people of working age will

:19:40.:19:46.

have benefited from the tax allowance so it is a myth to say the

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Budget was all about pensioners. And yet even when the Office for Budget

:19:56.:19:59.

Responsibility takes into account your new measures, it still shows

:20:00.:20:02.

that over the next five years households will save less and less,

:20:03.:20:09.

indeed the savings ratio falls by 50%. You haven't done enough. One of

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the things we know is that the economy is picking up strongly, and

:20:16.:20:20.

as we have more confidence about the future they will be more willing to

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consume now, so without these measures it may be that the saving

:20:24.:20:28.

rate would have fallen further. We want people to save and spend, it is

:20:29.:20:36.

about getting the right balance. As the economy picks up, people will

:20:37.:20:39.

want to spend more of their money and it is about getting the balance

:20:40.:20:45.

right. You make the point that if people are little profligate with

:20:46.:20:49.

their private pensions, they will have the state pension to fall back

:20:50.:20:53.

on and it will be higher than it has been, but it is also the case that

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in these circumstances they will still be entitled to housing benefit

:20:59.:21:04.

and even to perhaps some council tax benefit as well. Do you know by how

:21:05.:21:10.

much this could put the welfare bill up? We think the impact will be

:21:11.:21:15.

relatively modest because the sort of people who save for a pension and

:21:16.:21:19.

make sacrifices while they are at work are not the sort of people who

:21:20.:21:26.

get to 65 and decide to blow the lot for the great privilege of receiving

:21:27.:21:30.

council tax benefit or housing benefit. There will be people on the

:21:31.:21:32.

margins and benefit. There will be people on the

:21:33.:21:44.

who retire with some capital want to put some money away for their

:21:45.:21:47.

funeral. People like to save even into retirement so the myth of the

:21:48.:21:52.

spendthrift pensioner I don't believe. I think this has been

:21:53.:22:01.

rightly welcomed. Ever fancied a Lamborghini yourself? If you turned

:22:02.:22:07.

the camera around you would see my 2-door Corsa!

:22:08.:22:20.

What's your favourite thing about an election? Could it be the candidates

:22:21.:22:23.

ringing on your door while you're having dinner? The leaflets piling

:22:24.:22:26.

up on your doormat? Or the endless adverts aimed at hardworking

:22:27.:22:28.

families? Well, if you thought that was bad enough, then you might want

:22:29.:22:32.

to consider going overseas for the 2015 election because the parties

:22:33.:22:35.

are going to be aiming their message at you like never before. Adam's

:22:36.:22:40.

been to Worcester to find out more. One of the most famous political

:22:41.:22:45.

figures in history lived here, she is called Worcester woman. She was

:22:46.:22:49.

in her 30s, working class with a couple of kids, aspirational yet

:22:50.:22:54.

worried about quality of life. But she wasn't a real person, she was a

:22:55.:22:58.

label for the kind of voter new Labour were trying to reach and she

:22:59.:23:03.

was later joined by Mondeo man and several others. Doesn't that all

:23:04.:23:10.

seem a bit 90s? The technique, called segmentation, was used by

:23:11.:23:17.

George Bush in 2004. Then refined by Barack Obama. Rather than focusing

:23:18.:23:21.

on crude measures like cars and hometowns, they delved into the

:23:22.:23:27.

minds of voters. It is not just women, not just people who live in

:23:28.:23:31.

cities, but if you start to put together these groups of people you

:23:32.:23:36.

can even in an anecdote or way imagine who they are, what types of

:23:37.:23:46.

language and imagery might relate to them. We have been given access to a

:23:47.:23:51.

new polling model being used here by this firm, which is pretty close to

:23:52.:23:57.

the one we are told is being used by the Tories. It carves the country

:23:58.:24:01.

into six personality types, and we are trying it out on Worcester woman

:24:02.:24:06.

and wast of man. We are using an online quiz to work out who is in

:24:07.:24:13.

which segment. Meet new monk, Susie. She feels well represented. I

:24:14.:24:22.

know the Budget and the increases to childcare, I think at the moment I

:24:23.:24:28.

am fairly represented. This puts her in the category of optimistic

:24:29.:24:32.

contentment, people who feel they are doing OK. Terry, on the other

:24:33.:24:38.

hand, isn't happy about Britain today. Health and safety and all

:24:39.:24:46.

that! I hardly recognise the country a living in any more? Yes. Are you

:24:47.:24:56.

ready for the result? He is Mr comfortable nostalgia, they tend to

:24:57.:25:01.

favour the Tories and UKIP. They dislike the cultural changes they

:25:02.:25:06.

see as altering Britain for the worst. That sums me up. Tony is

:25:07.:25:11.

worried as well but feels much less secure. I look forward to the future

:25:12.:25:23.

with optimism or anxiety? Anxiety. Optimist or pessimist? Pessimist.

:25:24.:25:33.

His category is... You feel a bit insecure, you think the Government

:25:34.:25:39.

could probably help you more? Yes. Labour picks up a lot of these

:25:40.:25:44.

voters. This man is being asked to do more and more at work, but he is

:25:45.:25:53.

getting less and less. I am getting more towards the despair side.

:25:54.:25:58.

Things are getting tougher, generally? It puts him into the

:25:59.:26:03.

segment called long-term despair, people who feel left out. Finally,

:26:04.:26:12.

this is ever thoughtful Carol. I am a bit of an idealist. Her idealism

:26:13.:26:21.

makes her a cosmopolitan critic. I am a liberal person. Apparently a

:26:22.:26:25.

lot of the media fit into this category as well. There is one group

:26:26.:26:32.

of voters we have not come across, people who show calm persistence.

:26:33.:26:35.

They hope things will get better but don't expect them to. They are

:26:36.:26:40.

coping, rather than comfortable. Presumably they are all out of work.

:26:41.:26:45.

Which group are you win? You can take the poll on the BBC website,

:26:46.:26:50.

and in the coming weeks we will be doing our own polling using the six

:26:51.:26:55.

segments to see of the politicians really have worked out how we think.

:26:56.:27:02.

And as Adam said, if you want to try the survey for yourself, you can go

:27:03.:27:06.

to the BBC website and click on the link.

:27:07.:27:08.

And we're joined now by the pollster, Rick Nye. Welcome to

:27:09.:27:18.

Sunday Politics. We have had Worcester woman, Worcester man, is

:27:19.:27:24.

this any different? It is a recognition that or politician --

:27:25.:27:40.

all politics these days is like this. It enables them to cut them

:27:41.:27:48.

more finally. You think all politics is coalition politics, you think

:27:49.:27:52.

they have to put together these groups of people, not that the Lib

:27:53.:27:59.

Dems will always be in power? No, and if you listen to the coverage

:28:00.:28:04.

these days you might think it is about grumpy old men on the one hand

:28:05.:28:10.

with Guardian readers on the other. It is far more complicated than

:28:11.:28:14.

that, there is a lot of churning going on underneath which is driven

:28:15.:28:21.

by people's value systems. A lot of this has been pioneered in the

:28:22.:28:25.

United States, very sophisticated on their election techniques, and in

:28:26.:28:29.

Britain we are always the first to grab whatever the New Year will is

:28:30.:28:35.

from America. How do you think this will translate to this country? I

:28:36.:28:40.

think it means that if you are target photo you will still get the

:28:41.:28:45.

same of leaflets and people calling, but you will probably have different

:28:46.:28:48.

kinds of conversations because people on the other side, the party

:28:49.:28:55.

campaigners, will think they know more about you. Will I know who you

:28:56.:29:01.

are? If I am a party campaigner, will I know, looking down the

:29:02.:29:06.

street, who fits into which category? You will be able to

:29:07.:29:10.

approximate that with all of the other data that you have gathered

:29:11.:29:15.

through polling, or doing local campaigning, that is the idea to

:29:16.:29:19.

make sense of this vast quantity of data people have about voters. We

:29:20.:29:26.

asked our panel to fill in your survey. Nick is optimistic

:29:27.:29:32.

contentment, 99%. He was 1% cosmopolitan critic, which is how he

:29:33.:29:37.

keeps his job at the Guardian. Polly's job could not be more

:29:38.:29:42.

secure, 100% cosmopolitan critics, and Janan Ganesh, optimistic

:29:43.:29:48.

contentment, which is what you would expect from a financial Times

:29:49.:29:54.

columnist. What do you make of this technique? Why are you only 99? It

:29:55.:30:12.

sounds really clever. 95% of the population five years ago voted

:30:13.:30:18.

Labour or the Conservatives. We have got away from that. It is coalition

:30:19.:30:22.

politics. You need sophisticated methods. Presumably you must not

:30:23.:30:30.

lose touch with basic points. You said it was used in the US

:30:31.:30:33.

presidential elections. Wasn't there them moment emit Romney 's sweet

:30:34.:30:40.

when the initial response was, we did not know the sort of people

:30:41.:30:45.

voted. His next response was, we did not know these people existed.

:30:46.:30:51.

Unless you know about certain key demographics, you are wasting your

:30:52.:30:57.

time. Is it important in modern campaigning? I think it is useful

:30:58.:31:04.

because it is about attitude. We have got Mosaic. We have got Acorn.

:31:05.:31:14.

It does not tell us very much. What people think and feel may be

:31:15.:31:18.

different to their income. You can be quite a high earner and anxious.

:31:19.:31:23.

You can be quite a low earner and feeling aspirational and optimistic

:31:24.:31:26.

about the future. I think this does get something else. In days gone by,

:31:27.:31:34.

particularly in America, overwhelmingly, if you are in the

:31:35.:31:39.

better of segment, you would be Republican and the blue-collar

:31:40.:31:42.

workers and some academics and Liberals voted Democrat. In the last

:31:43.:31:47.

election, the richest 200 counties in America voted Democrat. That is

:31:48.:31:51.

an attitude thing. Income does not tell you how people will vote. There

:31:52.:31:57.

is a huge, working-class base of support for the Republicans. It is

:31:58.:32:02.

unavoidable. Add a time when people no longer identify with ideologies

:32:03.:32:06.

or class blocks, you have to go the temperament and lifestyle and

:32:07.:32:20.

manageable. In America there were 128 segments according to lifestyle

:32:21.:32:24.

and Outlook. Once you get to that stage, it becomes close to useless.

:32:25.:32:28.

We were talking about the budget earlier. What other polls saying

:32:29.:32:36.

about the budget? The lead of labour has been narrowed over the

:32:37.:32:43.

Conservatives. -- Labour. Osborne and Cameron as an academic team have

:32:44.:32:51.

always had a lead over Miller band and Balls. This week it is about

:32:52.:32:56.

economic management. -- over Mr Miller band.

:32:57.:33:03.

Thank you for being with us today. It's just gone 11:30am. You're

:33:04.:33:14.

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

:33:15.:33:17.

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

:33:18.:33:37.

We are in the European Parliament. In a few weeks time, we be voting in

:33:38.:33:44.

those important elections. We have four MEPs with us and we will be

:33:45.:33:47.

putting your questions to them as we take a closer look at Europe and

:33:48.:33:54.

what it means to us. If we stay in the EU, we would carry on with

:33:55.:33:57.

better subsidies but if we came out, we wouldn't have as much red tape.

:33:58.:34:01.

It would be nice if they tell us more about the benefits because we

:34:02.:34:06.

don't know any different. I can name the Parliamentary MPs but not the

:34:07.:34:13.

MEPs. Welcome to the plush TV studio at the European Parliament in

:34:14.:34:18.

Brussels. Let's meet our guests. A Conservative MEP for the East

:34:19.:34:24.

Midlands. The Liberal Democrats. Dennis Wilmot is the Labour MEP for

:34:25.:34:32.

our region. And here is one of two UKIP MEPs. Two months ago. I you

:34:33.:34:42.

excited? `2 months to go. Are you excited? I'm really excited. It is

:34:43.:34:45.

our chance every five years to tell people what we've been doing and

:34:46.:34:50.

what our policies are. We have a really clear message that the

:34:51.:34:53.

selection that if you want real change in Europe and if you want to

:34:54.:34:57.

have a referendum on the Conservative Party is the party to

:34:58.:35:01.

vote for. Is there a buzz about the place? Since the Lisbon Treaty came

:35:02.:35:07.

in a few years ago which changed the powers, this election matters

:35:08.:35:10.

enormously about what kind of Europe we are going to have in future. The

:35:11.:35:15.

Liberal Democrats want to stay in because we want to keep influence

:35:16.:35:21.

for Britain. How important do you think these elections are? They are

:35:22.:35:24.

very important but for a different reason. All three of the old parties

:35:25.:35:30.

have promised the British people a referendum on the European question.

:35:31.:35:33.

All three have failed to deliver. What we are saying is, this is your

:35:34.:35:38.

referendum. If you like Europe and want to stay in Europe, that's

:35:39.:35:41.

fine, you can vote for any of the old parties. If you want to make a

:35:42.:35:46.

statement and vote against British membership of the European Union,

:35:47.:35:52.

vote for UKIP. These elections are a taste of things to come. We are very

:35:53.:35:56.

excited about it because we are doing very well in the polls. It is

:35:57.:36:00.

also our chance to say why it is important that we have membership of

:36:01.:36:04.

a single market of 500 million people. That's a massive advantage.

:36:05.:36:08.

It means many thousands of jobs in the East Midlands. That's really

:36:09.:36:11.

important. There is a lot riding on this. We are constantly told that we

:36:12.:36:18.

want to be in the EU for jobs in the East Midlands. When we leave, trade

:36:19.:36:23.

will continue. China, America, Canada can all sell into Europe and

:36:24.:36:27.

so will we. And not worried about the jobs they think we are going to

:36:28.:36:31.

lose. I am worried about the jobs we are losing out because of European

:36:32.:36:34.

energy policy, immigration policy and the damage that the euro is

:36:35.:36:38.

doing, because of overregulation in the labour market. This is costing

:36:39.:36:44.

jobs today. We want out. It's absurd what Roger says. Shell, Nissan,

:36:45.:36:51.

Toyota, all sorts of enormous companies have all said Britain has

:36:52.:36:55.

to stay in, otherwise they could well move away from Britain. Where

:36:56.:37:00.

do the Tories sit on this? It is very clear. The choices for the

:37:01.:37:05.

people. You can vote Liberal Democrat, they want to stay in,

:37:06.:37:12.

Labour to stay in. UKIP Want to stay out. They don't have that power. If

:37:13.:37:15.

you vote Conservative, you will get your referendum and then the British

:37:16.:37:21.

people can decide. Our own research of voters tells us there is a good

:37:22.:37:24.

deal of confusion out there about what goes on here in Brussels. We've

:37:25.:37:29.

asked our political reporter to give us a tour of the European Parliament

:37:30.:37:31.

and explain everything you ever wanted to know about what goes on

:37:32.:37:33.

here but were too afraid to ask. This is the grand entrance of the

:37:34.:37:48.

European Parliament. Faces from 28 countries are staring down at me.

:37:49.:37:53.

751 MEPs will be voted in in May. Let's have a look inside. Inside,

:37:54.:38:00.

artwork like this. This piece is supposed to represent the unity of

:38:01.:38:03.

the European Union will stop there are eight buildings like this. There

:38:04.:38:08.

are a symbol that similar number in Strasberg with 14,000 people working

:38:09.:38:12.

inside. That's about the same number of people who work in our councils

:38:13.:38:17.

across the East Midlands. Plenty of TV crews, plenty of media

:38:18.:38:21.

attention, perhaps not for our British MEPs though, of which there

:38:22.:38:26.

are five and East Midlands. Each earns around ?75,500 a year, more

:38:27.:38:31.

than a British MP come up but on top of that, they can claim ?250 in a

:38:32.:38:38.

daily allowance. This is the main debating chamber. I would love to

:38:39.:38:41.

show you inside but unfortunately, the reef is falling in. Some might

:38:42.:38:45.

see a metaphor in that. It will only be open for one more session before

:38:46.:38:51.

the all important elections in May. Tim finished by talking about the

:38:52.:38:54.

European elections and they are the most keenly awaited in years. The

:38:55.:39:04.

big question is, how well UKIP will do and the damage they will inflict

:39:05.:39:07.

on the three main parties. How will you do? We think we are going to do

:39:08.:39:12.

well. I've been an MEP for 15 years. I've been campaigning throughout

:39:13.:39:15.

that period. I have never seen such a positive reaction on the doorstep,

:39:16.:39:19.

in the street. The best thing I can give you is a poll from a couple of

:39:20.:39:24.

days ago, when we were on 30%, Labour on 28%, conservatives on 21%

:39:25.:39:31.

and the Liberal Democrats on 8%. That is the running order now. How

:39:32.:39:37.

many in the East Midlands? To MEPs. We can be pretty clear. We can take

:39:38.:39:48.

those results. If we plug goes in to the system, you can be accurate. It

:39:49.:39:52.

is the public 's choice. They can vote as they choose. Are you

:39:53.:39:58.

worried? We have a very clear message from our party. If you want

:39:59.:40:03.

real work done here in Europe, if you want real reform and a real

:40:04.:40:07.

referendum and sundry that can deliver that, you have to vote

:40:08.:40:13.

Conservative. They can shout at the wind as much as they want to, UKIP,

:40:14.:40:19.

but we cannot get results for the UK. You worried about them? No, not

:40:20.:40:27.

really. Many people are voting UKIP cars they are a protest party. We

:40:28.:40:32.

have two concentrate on the issues that matter to people, issues like

:40:33.:40:36.

rights at work. People get four weeks paid holiday because of

:40:37.:40:44.

legislation in Europe. I would never ever be complacent. You never know

:40:45.:40:47.

the result until it is finished. I'm not being complacent. Let's be

:40:48.:40:53.

honest, predictions for your party are not good. You about to lose your

:40:54.:40:58.

seat? That is up to the public to decide. When we have the debate on

:40:59.:41:05.

BBC between Nick and Nigel, Nick is going to elevate the pro`Europeans

:41:06.:41:08.

and the Lib Dems would do a lot better than the 8% currently in the

:41:09.:41:12.

polls. You don't sound show yourself as to whether you will keep your

:41:13.:41:16.

seat. No politician should be sure. Are you worried? Some of those

:41:17.:41:22.

predictions are pretty dire. Senior Liberal Democrats are talking

:41:23.:41:25.

privately about the party being wiped out. The public will decide.

:41:26.:41:31.

We say we've got to stay in Europe for jobs and there are a large

:41:32.:41:35.

number of pro`European people in the East Midlands and we would like them

:41:36.:41:38.

to vote Lib Dem. Reject the ridiculous ideas of UKIP. Cameron's

:41:39.:41:46.

promise of a referendum is a cynical party management device, designed to

:41:47.:41:54.

get Eurosceptics of his back. He cannot get a significantly

:41:55.:41:57.

negotiation. He is unlikely to get into a position where he can

:41:58.:42:00.

deliver. The way to vote against British mentorship of the EU has to

:42:01.:42:06.

be to vote UKIP. The point about this is, we need to do what is in

:42:07.:42:11.

Britain's interest. It's in Britain's interest to be part of the

:42:12.:42:16.

EU. There are so many benefits. It would be stupidity to leave. We

:42:17.:42:20.

really have got to get across our message to people why it is

:42:21.:42:24.

important and why it's important we stay in the EU. Many jobs depend on

:42:25.:42:29.

it. 300,000 in the East Midlands alone. If we are on the inside, we

:42:30.:42:34.

can affect the future. We have an ability to vote. Outside, we will

:42:35.:42:41.

drift. We have very little influence here. We have about 8% of the vote.

:42:42.:42:49.

We do not have much influence. Roger's attendants that attendants

:42:50.:42:56.

record is bad. It's better than the average of your Lib Dems. Would you

:42:57.:43:02.

like to apologise? That's not true. You are not here yesterday. He

:43:03.:43:08.

didn't turn up. No, I was actually campaigning. I was campaigning in

:43:09.:43:17.

the region, like utility to. I was working in a region. No, you are

:43:18.:43:23.

not. You are an absentee. Should he be there all the time? He should be.

:43:24.:43:28.

I do serve the people of the East Midlands. The point I must make and

:43:29.:43:33.

I will make again, by voting dash my voting participation rate in the

:43:34.:43:38.

European Parliament is almost exactly the same as Bill's. It is

:43:39.:43:45.

higher than the average of Liberal Democrat MEPs. Is that important to

:43:46.:43:51.

people in the East Midlands? Let's get back to the issue. We have more

:43:52.:43:54.

say as a global player being part of Europe than we do on our own. This

:43:55.:43:59.

is about influence for the people we represent. We get more influence

:44:00.:44:03.

being part of the EU than not being part of the EU. Sometimes it seems

:44:04.:44:07.

you work against each other. Do you work together? People with nonsense

:44:08.:44:15.

policies want us to throw away all our influence. We need to listen to

:44:16.:44:21.

the people and it is people listening to politicians fighting

:44:22.:44:25.

amongst themselves which they are sick to death. This puts off

:44:26.:44:29.

politics. You are coming from different sides. There are things

:44:30.:44:37.

that we have to work together on and sometimes we put together. In this

:44:38.:44:41.

Parliament, we have to build alliances. Sometimes we do and

:44:42.:44:44.

sometimes we disagree. It depends on the issue. Let's leave that one

:44:45.:44:48.

there for the moment. What about you? We've been in Brussels and our

:44:49.:44:53.

political editor has been sampling local delicacies. Are there any

:44:54.:44:57.

connections with the folks back home?

:44:58.:45:04.

I am in the heart of the Belgian capital and it is celebrated for its

:45:05.:45:14.

lace, beers and chocolates. What else has it got that we haven't got?

:45:15.:45:20.

Where is that chocolate shop? Utopia does a fine line in chocolate as

:45:21.:45:23.

well but they are made at the company's shop in Nottingham. There

:45:24.:45:27.

is a definite Belgian influence here. They find being able to source

:45:28.:45:32.

supplies and packaging within the EU is a useful spin off from the

:45:33.:45:35.

European Union. It makes it easier to buy things in Europe. There are

:45:36.:45:41.

more convocations a few why anything outside the European Union. ``

:45:42.:45:47.

convocations. It is simpler to do tax and returns, things like that.

:45:48.:45:52.

In Brussels, they fancy themselves up making knockout beer. At places

:45:53.:45:57.

like this brewery, we can match them all the way. Traditional English

:45:58.:46:04.

ales and yet the brewery was built with 40% funding from Europe.

:46:05.:46:08.

Despite that cash help, the talk here is whether there is a financial

:46:09.:46:12.

case for staying in or pulling out. We need value for money. We need a

:46:13.:46:22.

clear strategy as to where we are going. We either join them for lawn

:46:23.:46:26.

or we don't. My personal view is that we join them. If we are not

:46:27.:46:32.

going to, let's step straight out. There is lamb on the menu here and

:46:33.:46:36.

the likelihood is it is British. It's one of the many exports from

:46:37.:46:40.

the East Midlands. It was valued at 1000 million pounds last year. For

:46:41.:46:45.

our farmers, the EU is or was on the menu. In Derbyshire, at the Bakewell

:46:46.:46:51.

cattle market, they are torn. They are aware that the EU, with its

:46:52.:46:57.

agricultural subsidies, is very pro`market but frustrated by red

:46:58.:47:01.

tape and wondering if it would be better if we left. The worst thing

:47:02.:47:07.

that happened was as going into the common market. We should be

:47:08.:47:10.

self`sufficient. We shouldn't be in this situation, ruled by what they

:47:11.:47:16.

do and everything. We should be on our own. Farmers would be better if

:47:17.:47:23.

we stayed in the European Union. We would carry on with better

:47:24.:47:26.

subsidies. But if we came out, we wouldn't have as much red tape like

:47:27.:47:35.

this EID system for the lambs. We are the biggest sheep industry in

:47:36.:47:39.

Europe. We should be saying what goes on. I am not sure that Britain

:47:40.:47:44.

as a whole would be better off staying in. I believe we would be

:47:45.:47:48.

better off out. From my own personal view, from making a living in the

:47:49.:47:55.

sheep trade, we are definitely better in. Act, react, impact. It is

:47:56.:48:03.

a slogan we will hear a lot of over the next few months as the European

:48:04.:48:06.

Parliament and the EU explain to us voters what these elections are all

:48:07.:48:11.

about. It would be nice if they did tell us more about what the benefits

:48:12.:48:13.

are because we don't know any different. Everyone is talking about

:48:14.:48:18.

the referendum but nobody actually knows the full detail. I could name

:48:19.:48:24.

a Parliamentary MPs but I never see them. The constituency is too big.

:48:25.:48:28.

Places like this can be a long way from home but with Europe going up

:48:29.:48:32.

the political agenda, many voters may have an appetite for more

:48:33.:48:36.

information about Europe and whether to embrace the EU or whether it is

:48:37.:48:40.

time to ask for the bill and to check out for good.

:48:41.:48:46.

Some interesting views and what seems to come across is that people

:48:47.:48:49.

are not necessarily hostile to Europe dashed towards Europe. Among

:48:50.:48:54.

those farmers there, there was a reluctant agreement that they are

:48:55.:49:04.

better off in. Top delete with macro there are some very powerful

:49:05.:49:08.

arguments for being in favour. Every pound you get in European grant

:49:09.:49:14.

funding costs them British Parliament threepence. I am very

:49:15.:49:17.

concerned about his idea that we wouldn't be able to trade if we

:49:18.:49:21.

left. The other point that I want to make is about farmers. Everybody

:49:22.:49:25.

agrees that in today's world, British farmers need a subsidy

:49:26.:49:28.

regime. Our point is quite simple. British farmers would be better off

:49:29.:49:32.

with a British subsidy regime, designed in Britain, rather than

:49:33.:49:37.

with a subsidy regime designed in Brussels for French farmers. Did you

:49:38.:49:41.

hear what the farmers said? They recognise there is a financial need

:49:42.:49:56.

to union, whether they personally felt they wanted to be in it.

:49:57.:49:58.

Financially, they felt they had to be. They were making the assumption

:49:59.:50:01.

that in the EU, they get payments but if they leave, that's the end of

:50:02.:50:04.

farm subsidies. My job is to reassure. We would have less

:50:05.:50:06.

regulation. You were sceptical about this. When we joined the European

:50:07.:50:12.

Union, it was for a common market, for the benefits of trade. It's a

:50:13.:50:20.

substantial contributor to the UK economy. What is in question is the

:50:21.:50:24.

level of interference we are having. We have been working hard in cutting

:50:25.:50:29.

that red tape and making sure people are actually working towards

:50:30.:50:32.

building an economy that is going to spill on growth and jobs. There is

:50:33.:50:35.

no getting away from it, there were a lot of sceptics in that film. I

:50:36.:50:40.

think partly because we don't get the message across well enough. When

:50:41.:50:46.

Emma talks about red tape, but the Conservatives are talking about are

:50:47.:50:52.

cutting rights at work, cart `` writes for part`time workers and for

:50:53.:50:55.

maternity provision. What is always said about the cost... I heard Roger

:50:56.:51:00.

talking about it. The CBI did a survey and each family is ?3000 a

:51:01.:51:07.

year better off... It's about information. They don't know who you

:51:08.:51:12.

are. Why is that? Some of you have been in Parliament in Europe for so

:51:13.:51:18.

long. We have to represent 3.5 million people in the East

:51:19.:51:22.

Midlands. It is physically impossible... Is that the problem?

:51:23.:51:29.

The cost of postage of a second`class stamp is 50p so we can

:51:30.:51:34.

certain letters out as well. It is physically impossible to reach these

:51:35.:51:38.

people. We don't get on national TV. This sounds like you're blaming us.

:51:39.:51:44.

The last thing is, the people who get the national media attention and

:51:45.:51:49.

are able of `` able to inform people other national leaders at

:51:50.:51:53.

Westminster. No party leader has ever talked about Europe in

:51:54.:51:58.

favourable terms. It would help if people in the East Midlands knew

:51:59.:52:03.

what it is you are doing for them. Can I give an example? I have a vote

:52:04.:52:09.

in a couple of weeks time on clinical trials. That means we will

:52:10.:52:12.

have medical research made easier and quicker. That brings new

:52:13.:52:16.

medicines to people in the East Midlands. I did that because I met

:52:17.:52:19.

cancer patients at the Nottingham hospital. That will be better for

:52:20.:52:22.

all of these patients suffering from those diseases. That is something we

:52:23.:52:25.

have done here. That's something practical. I can give an example.

:52:26.:52:34.

This very morning, I was arguing in a meeting that was taking place with

:52:35.:52:39.

the commission, that they should be reducing green energy subsidies,

:52:40.:52:43.

having the effect of reducing energy prices. I have brought into place,

:52:44.:52:50.

through working on the professional qualifications directive and alert

:52:51.:52:53.

mechanism so we will know if health care professionals working in this

:52:54.:52:57.

country have been struck off in another country. There will be an

:52:58.:53:00.

alert sent out to all countries in the EU and to also allow us to

:53:01.:53:05.

language test our professionals. That is something concrete that will

:53:06.:53:12.

change people 's lives. Mobile roaming charges would be got rid

:53:13.:53:17.

of. It's practical things that people care about. And also things

:53:18.:53:22.

like if you are bumped off your aircraft with your flight is

:53:23.:53:26.

cancelled, how you can actually make a claim for those sorts of things.

:53:27.:53:32.

It is not going to get us to the barricades. They don't know this

:53:33.:53:36.

comes from Europe. They think it is national legislation. The point I am

:53:37.:53:38.

making is this is European legislation. Glenys made a good

:53:39.:53:42.

point. The national ministers comeback from Brussels and claim the

:53:43.:53:48.

credit. They say I did this and that. They don't actually say it is

:53:49.:53:53.

the European Parliament. Another debate about whether we should be in

:53:54.:53:57.

Law out. Isn't that the time we gave voters once and for all the chance?

:53:58.:54:03.

You have to decide whether you think it is in Britain's interest. That is

:54:04.:54:08.

what you expect you to do. They expect you to take a lead. We

:54:09.:54:11.

believe it is in Britain's interest to be in the EU. We have been quite

:54:12.:54:18.

clear, there will be a referendum if there is any move of powers back to

:54:19.:54:23.

Brussels from the UK. There will be an in out referendum. That is our

:54:24.:54:26.

position. That is a sensible position to take. The uncertainty

:54:27.:54:32.

that the Conservatives are causing at the moment is for investment.

:54:33.:54:37.

Businesses tell me all the time they don't know whether to invest in

:54:38.:54:39.

Britain because they don't know whether we are going to be out in a

:54:40.:54:43.

couple of years time or not. We have to give that stability. We have said

:54:44.:54:47.

yes, we are in and we will have an in out referendum if there are

:54:48.:54:51.

powers... We need the referendum now. The reason why we cannot have

:54:52.:54:57.

the referendum now is because we need to get legislation through the

:54:58.:55:01.

House of Commons to have a referendum. These two parties won't

:55:02.:55:04.

let that happen. The remedy is, if we are going to have a new

:55:05.:55:08.

relationship with the EU going forward, needs to be the British

:55:09.:55:11.

people who make that decision. We need a referendum. We need a plan in

:55:12.:55:15.

place. There is no plan for the future from UKIP. We trust the

:55:16.:55:20.

British people which Labour and the Lib Dems don't, to make that

:55:21.:55:23.

decision. You don't have a plan because we don't know what is going

:55:24.:55:27.

to be negotiated. We don't know what it is going to look like and what we

:55:28.:55:34.

are going to vote on. It is not clearly outlined. There is no plan

:55:35.:55:39.

because nobody knows. If you ask David Cameron, will he say yes or

:55:40.:55:42.

no? You doesn't know because he doesn't know what he is going to

:55:43.:55:48.

come out with. It's nonsense. He doesn't want to stay in the

:55:49.:55:53.

casino... We have a referendum in 1975. The campaign started, they

:55:54.:55:58.

were two to one against. After four weeks of campaigning, the public

:55:59.:56:06.

voted in favour of staying in. For four weeks we will have all the

:56:07.:56:09.

facts put forward. I'm very confident that the public will vote

:56:10.:56:12.

yes to stay in. We will have to leave it there. That's it from

:56:13.:56:19.

Brussels. Next, we will be slumming it

:56:20.:56:22.

decision, she will weigh up the factors. Andrew, back

:56:23.:56:23.

The big news is the popular server is struggling to control all of the

:56:24.:56:39.

people who want to find out where they fit in the political spectrum.

:56:40.:56:44.

It hasn't quite crashed but it is queueing up those people. Who would

:56:45.:56:49.

have thought the Sunday Politics had so many viewers? It has never

:56:50.:56:59.

happened on the X factor. This morning's papers don't make

:57:00.:57:01.

comfortable reading for Labour with two separate polls showing the

:57:02.:57:04.

party's lead over the Tories is down to just one point. And there's been

:57:05.:57:07.

plenty of criticism of Ed Miliband's response to the Budget. Let's take a

:57:08.:57:11.

look. You know you are in trouble when even the Education Secretary

:57:12.:57:14.

calls you and out of touch bunch of elitist. Where is he? He is hiding!

:57:15.:57:26.

I think he has been consigned to the naughty step by the Prime Minister.

:57:27.:57:33.

The naughty step! And we're joined now by shadow chief secretary to the

:57:34.:57:38.

Treasury, Chris Leslie. There was a widely criticised response by Ed

:57:39.:57:42.

Balls to the Autumn Statement, now a widely criticised response by Ed

:57:43.:57:48.

Miliband to the Budget. Does this show you are struggling at the

:57:49.:57:54.

moment? Of course Ed Balls and Ed Miliband don't want to hear the fact

:57:55.:57:59.

that in reality, for most people, life is getting harder and there is

:58:00.:58:03.

the cost of living crisis. Did we get any mention of that in the

:58:04.:58:13.

Budget? Of course we didn't. We were waiting for action on the cost of

:58:14.:58:17.

living and it wasn't forthcoming. Ed Miliband came up with the tactic of

:58:18.:58:22.

responding to the Budget without mentioning anything that was in it.

:58:23.:58:27.

He mentioned the fact the personal tax allowance was a bit of a

:58:28.:58:31.

giveaway but he takes more with the other hand. He is in favour of that,

:58:32.:58:38.

right? Anything we can get but we need a lot more. Let me tell you

:58:39.:58:42.

something else he mentioned, the fact the national debt has risen by

:58:43.:58:51.

a third and George Osborne and David Cameron... They knew that before the

:58:52.:58:54.

Budget. The borrowing figures were announced and Ed Miliband made

:58:55.:59:00.

reference to those. There is not a lot of happiness on Labour

:59:01.:59:05.

backbenchers about this, is there? And indeed not a lot of happiness in

:59:06.:59:10.

the shadow cabinet. There is concern that Ed Miliband is on a journey to

:59:11.:59:15.

remodel world capitalism whilst George Osborne is firing some love

:59:16.:59:19.

bombs at Middle England by talking about freeing up the pensions market

:59:20.:59:23.

and there is real nerves that what Ed Miliband is saying is not going

:59:24.:59:28.

to be in tune with those middle income earners that the Labour Party

:59:29.:59:34.

has got to attract if they are going to win the general election. When

:59:35.:59:41.

Rachel Reeves used the medium of Radio 4 to announce you were broadly

:59:42.:59:45.

in favour of the pension reforms announced by the Chancellor on

:59:46.:59:49.

Friday night, was that a result of a decision taken by the shadow

:59:50.:59:59.

cabinet? Is With annuities, they are a very old-fashioned product. There

:00:00.:00:06.

are some serious questions which need to be addressed. Was that the

:00:07.:00:13.

result of a Shadow Cabinet decision? We have not had a Shadow

:00:14.:00:17.

Cabinet since the budget. We all want to make sure that we understand

:00:18.:00:22.

the point about flexibility. No one is arguing with that. There are some

:00:23.:00:27.

serious concerns. Let me give you a couple of examples. This is

:00:28.:00:30.

something the Chancellor has done, he claims, for reasons of freedom

:00:31.:00:35.

and flexibility. Is it a coincidence he is grabbing quite a lot of tax

:00:36.:00:39.

from pensioners early on to plug a hole which is necessary because the

:00:40.:00:47.

deficit has not gone down? Forgive me for being slightly cynical about

:00:48.:00:53.

motives. For or against it? We need to have safeguards for protection of

:00:54.:00:58.

pensioners. What will it do for the annuity market if most people still

:00:59.:01:01.

want to have a steadying come for a third of their lives? -- steady

:01:02.:01:09.

income. What does Labour have to do to get it show back on the road? The

:01:10.:01:18.

question is, how do people feel? How many people will still not be

:01:19.:01:22.

feeling better by the next election? Wages may be rising slightly but not

:01:23.:01:25.

for a large and significant number of people. They were just looking at

:01:26.:01:31.

the YouGov poll. If you look at the middle to low earners, they are

:01:32.:01:34.

overwhelmingly pro-labour. Can Labour get those people out to vote?

:01:35.:01:39.

They are really hurting. There are plenty of them. The question is

:01:40.:01:43.

whether people are optimistic because they see figures as if they

:01:44.:01:48.

look as if they are on the up or whether they vote according to how

:01:49.:01:53.

they feel, which will still be very far behind. Cost of living has been

:01:54.:01:58.

a major mantra from Labour. That's that this chart shows how things are

:01:59.:02:03.

beginning to change. What this shows is that, sometime this year, after a

:02:04.:02:09.

long time at which average earnings trailed inflation, they now overtake

:02:10.:02:13.

it in the run-up to the election and they stay there for the forecast

:02:14.:02:20.

period. What do you now do if your cost of living mantra is running out

:02:21.:02:26.

of steam? I am not sure that, for most people, they will recognise the

:02:27.:02:30.

sense that suddenly things will be getting better. Particularly the

:02:31.:02:33.

younger generation are really feeling quite down about the

:02:34.:02:39.

pressures they are facing to make ends meet. You can see the lines are

:02:40.:02:46.

exaggerated because the Y axis on the side starts quite high up. It

:02:47.:02:51.

does not start at zero. The other statistic from the OBR is that we

:02:52.:02:55.

will not be getting back to the point where wages are exceeding

:02:56.:02:59.

prices from the pre-banking crisis period until late 2017. There are

:03:00.:03:07.

some really serious pressures that people are under. What they wanted

:03:08.:03:11.

was a budget that would address concerns and, for the vast majority

:03:12.:03:16.

of people, they will have heard the statement by George Osborne and

:03:17.:03:22.

think, how is it really help them now? It did not address it. It is

:03:23.:03:30.

clear that by 2015, average living standards will probably not have

:03:31.:03:35.

returned to where they were in 2010. Average wages will not have

:03:36.:03:39.

done that. On the other hand, the chart shows the sense of direction

:03:40.:03:43.

is moving in the right way. Which one matters more with the

:03:44.:03:49.

electorate? I suspect it is sense of direction. People sense of

:03:50.:03:52.

prosperity does not need to be buoyant. It has to be something

:03:53.:03:57.

worth preserving. We have to fear the all turn. That is what intrigued

:03:58.:04:03.

me this week. People make too much of a fuss about the Parliamentary

:04:04.:04:07.

response by Ed Miliband. People will forgive a bad day at the dispatch

:04:08.:04:12.

box. What they will not forgive is the absence of a macro economic

:04:13.:04:19.

mess. Labour have a very powerful message on living standards and lots

:04:20.:04:24.

of popular, targeted interventions like the energy price freeze. You

:04:25.:04:30.

can imagine they will be sufficiently nervous about that next

:04:31.:04:35.

year. If living standards are not back to where they were, Labour can

:04:36.:04:43.

say, are you better off now than when you were four years ago? The

:04:44.:04:51.

reason why break and -- wallowed waken one that is because Jimmy

:04:52.:05:03.

Carter mucked it up -- Ronald Reagan. Labour have to say, vote for

:05:04.:05:11.

us and you will get 2 million homes. At the moment, the offer is very

:05:12.:05:15.

modest. You need to find the money to do that. People need to

:05:16.:05:19.

understand that housing is at the very heart of the economy, as well

:05:20.:05:23.

as young people and their aspirations. At the moment, Labour

:05:24.:05:30.

's offer is not spectacular in. If the focus group shows the cost of

:05:31.:05:33.

living crisis have no longer has the attraction it did, what line do you

:05:34.:05:39.

move onto? Yellow McCoy must remind people of the wasted years and the

:05:40.:05:42.

cost of living pressures they have been under. -- we must remind

:05:43.:05:49.

people. We want a recovery which has low growth, low wage. A race to the

:05:50.:05:58.

bottom. They want a recovery that is felt by everyone, shared and felt by

:05:59.:06:04.

all. Now, here's an idea to twist your melon. Mark Berry, better known

:06:05.:06:09.

as Bez, it says here he's a member of something called The Happy

:06:10.:06:11.

Mondays, wants to stand for parliament. He's best known for

:06:12.:06:15.

being in a band, and not doing very much, so he might fit in. Here he is

:06:16.:06:20.

in action. And Bez joins us from our Salford

:06:21.:06:48.

studio. Good to see you. Is this a genuine candidacy or are you

:06:49.:06:56.

twisting my melon? Amazing how time flies when you're having fun! You

:06:57.:07:05.

having fun doing this candidacy? I am doing the job of the politicians

:07:06.:07:09.

and standing up for the people and bringing attention to the horror of

:07:10.:07:15.

fracking, which is a totally unsafe technology. There is no one in

:07:16.:07:19.

mainstream politics who is discussing or saying anything about

:07:20.:07:24.

it. It is an unsafe technology and it has been proven in America. You

:07:25.:07:29.

see the process in America and the people out on the streets. The whole

:07:30.:07:39.

atmosphere has been made toxic. These people are allowing it to

:07:40.:07:44.

happen in the name of profit. This has been a Labour seat you are

:07:45.:07:50.

fighting in Salford since 1945. It is a tough mountain. Supposing you

:07:51.:07:55.

were to win, could you ever see yourself entering a coalition? With

:07:56.:08:02.

a bit of luck I may be able to shame Labour politicians to do the job

:08:03.:08:05.

properly and stand up for the rights of people. They are not and I am

:08:06.:08:09.

having to do that job. All I am doing is causing debate and bringing

:08:10.:08:15.

to attention the horror that is hanging on our doorsteps. It is not

:08:16.:08:19.

only fracking but GM modified foods that they want to bring into this

:08:20.:08:24.

country as well. Owen Paterson is one of the main lobbyists. Lobbying

:08:25.:08:32.

is legalised bribery, by the way. It is run by the bankers. Basically, we

:08:33.:08:38.

have to stop these monsters from getting into our country and turning

:08:39.:08:42.

our land into a toxic waste. That is what I am trying to say. You are

:08:43.:08:48.

raising the debate, as you are doing with us here. We do not really need

:08:49.:08:54.

fracking. You have done that and you have talked about other things as

:08:55.:08:59.

well. In terms of a new integrity, if you were to become an MP, would

:09:00.:09:06.

you claim expenses? If I ever do get in charge, I would completely enter

:09:07.:09:10.

the banking system and there would be expensive, but they would be like

:09:11.:09:15.

bus passes and train passes. You behave like the people and you are

:09:16.:09:19.

in touch with the people, you move with the people and do understand

:09:20.:09:24.

what the people want. You do not live in acre Kuhn of your own making

:09:25.:09:28.

of luxury, wealth and total disregard of everyone else. -- a

:09:29.:09:36.

cocoon. If you did get into the Palace of Westminster and had to

:09:37.:09:39.

mingle with all these people, who would you rather have in night out

:09:40.:09:45.

with - Mr Cameron, Mr Miller band or Mr Clegg? I would be willing to

:09:46.:09:54.

discuss politics with anybody. I would make them realise what they

:09:55.:10:02.

are doing. I am glad too have a debate and with anyone. The people

:10:03.:10:09.

of Salford, quite a lot people people behind me. I have been

:10:10.:10:15.

speaking to Salford councillors. They are going to lend me their

:10:16.:10:23.

support. The people of Salford, and not to forget the people of Eccles,

:10:24.:10:29.

sending you much. We must stop this horror. There is a monster on our

:10:30.:10:34.

doorstep and we must stop it, people. Do not forget to take your

:10:35.:10:40.

maracas on campaign trail. Would you like a pair to shake yourself? You

:10:41.:10:48.

shake your maracas against fracking! Thanks, Bez, goodbye. Thank you for

:10:49.:10:54.

giving me a little platform to express my views. Now if there's one

:10:55.:11:01.

thing that gets us hot under the collar here at the Sunday Politics

:11:02.:11:03.

it's European elections. The only thing we like more than the

:11:04.:11:06.

elections themselves is a TV debate about them. And we're in luck! Take

:11:07.:11:11.

a look at this. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome leader of

:11:12.:11:14.

the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. Gives

:11:15.:11:22.

the most fantastic welcome to Nigel Farage. I would challenge Nigel

:11:23.:11:30.

Farage to a public, open debate, about whether she we should be out

:11:31.:11:37.

all in of the European Union. I will do it for Nick Clegg. Since 2009, I

:11:38.:11:48.

have taken part in 45% of votes in the European Parliament. Nigel

:11:49.:11:55.

Farage has not tabled a single amendment since July 2009. Mr Clegg

:11:56.:12:03.

has only taken part in 22% of votes in the House of commons. You can

:12:04.:12:10.

watch the debate at 7pm on the 2nd of April over on BBC Two. And for a

:12:11.:12:22.

chance to be part of the studio audience on the night and put your

:12:23.:12:25.

question to the two party leaders, e-mail the question you'd like to

:12:26.:12:28.

ask to [email protected] or tweet it using the hashtag

:12:29.:12:30.

#europedebate. And Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage will be limbering up

:12:31.:12:34.

this week with their first debate on LBC radio on Wednesday. Who is going

:12:35.:12:42.

to come out the best? I suspect Nigel Farage. It is easy to portray

:12:43.:12:48.

Nick Clegg as morally compromised, who has not asserted himself in

:12:49.:12:52.

government. I do wonder about Nigel Farage, whether he is much better at

:12:53.:12:57.

delivering a popular line and responding to the second question of

:12:58.:13:02.

third question. Nick Clegg will win it hands over fist because he knows

:13:03.:13:06.

this stuff. He is right. The evidence that he can produce about

:13:07.:13:10.

what will happen if we pulled out of Europe will, I think, overwhelm

:13:11.:13:18.

Nigel Farage 's one-liners. They will both be winners because you

:13:19.:13:25.

will have the rare sight of the pro-European saying he likes the

:13:26.:13:29.

European Union. That is unlike Eurosceptics who tie themselves up

:13:30.:13:35.

in knots. 14 Nigel, one for Nick and one for both. There you go. Here is

:13:36.:13:48.

a mess, it is Janen Ganesh. That's all for today. The Daily Politics is

:13:49.:13:52.

on BBC Two at Lunchtime every day this week, I'll be back here next

:13:53.:13:55.

week with Energy Secretary Ed Davey. Remember if it's Sunday, it's the

:13:56.:13:57.

Sunday Politics.

:13:58.:14:03.

Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew Neil is joined by pensions minister Steve Webb to discuss the government's pension reforms, while Labour's Chris Leslie will talk about his party's response to the Budget. Finally, Happy Mondays star Bez will explain why he wants to become an MP.