05/02/2012 Sunday Politics East


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Here in the east, the green energy plans of our councils are left high


and dry by government cuts to the solar tariff.


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1756 seconds


And fun in the San? Not any more. Hello and welcome to the programme.


Let's meet our guests but this week. Richard have it is Labour's member


for the European Parliament for the East. Vicky Ford is the MEP of also.


Coming up air the expat to his plans for a dream retirement have


turned sour. Could the crisis in the Eurozone


leave them stranded? First, the news that Chris Huhne is stepped


down as energy secretary after being charged with perverting the


court -- perverting the course of justice has resulted in a cabinet


reshuffle. Norman Lamb has been appointed as


business minister. This is a long over due promotion for an MP who


has never had much of a public profile, but has always been highly


regarded within his party. It is a very interesting role, and


I think that the business department is absolutely central to


try to get growth going in the economy and, in particular, to get


jobs and if I can contribute to that massive challenge then I'll be


very happy to do that. For the last 18 months, Norman Lamb has been


working quietly behind the scenes to -- as the political adviser to


Nick Clegg. He has impressed his party leader with his loyalty, at


his grasp of detail. He is someone who is passionate about what he


believes in and is trusted by his colleagues. He is an incredibly


hard worker. A former lawyer, it to come through attempts to win his


seat in North Norfolk. His majority is down below 12,000. Many expected


him to become a minister when the coalition was formed, but he was a


victim of internal politics. Mayor, a here and a half later, he has his


commission, which few at Westminster will grudge him.


Richard Hannah at, do you think that he now we can see Lib-Dems in


the coalition? Chris Huhne is a personal matter.


He was the biggest critic and was prepared to speak out in the


Cabinet against David Cameron. The coalition is weakened in that way.


A red when you go, the Daily Telegraph from me up and said, that


Chris Huhne had been an MEP when this alleged slight had to place,


and they asked, witty in the same flight coming back from the


European Parliament? I had to go through all my old tickets to find


out. I do congratulate one of our region's MPs coming into government.


The key for, what do you make of the reshuffle being confined to the


Lib Dems? It all goes back to the coalition, and people asking why


they are so many Lib Dems in front bench seats in the first place.


What I hope happens now is that there is a quick look at policy,


and that we can carry on with some important policies like the cream


deal, which is going to be really helpful for house owners to get


their electricity bills down. Let's look at the good policies. We now


have a new energy secretary. He will have to oversee the


government's Supreme Court challenge to the ruling that its


cut sick in Paris were unlawful. On the six weeks notice was given that


subsidies were to be reduced one also were in solutions that will


not be completed by a certain cut- off point. This to the industry


into chaos. We can reveal that millions of pounds of investment in


the solar industry in the region has been put on hold as plans to go


green had been shelved. When the sum is out, I used my


washing machine. I feel so lucky that I have been given the


opportunity to help -- to have green electricity and it has


changed my life completely. Brendan Nicoll lives in a council house.


Brenda. A few months ago, so photovoltaic panels were installed


in her red. To save that amount of money every here is amazing, and I


utilises as much as I can. The plan to install solar panels -- a


Palmerston and stole many thousands of solar panels over many houses


over three years. But when the government cut a subsidy to solar


panels, the project ground to a halt. This remains one of many who


missed out. The cos I am on a pension and I am disabled, I have


to have Mike heating on all the time. My energy bills are quite a


lot. So having the panels will have made the big difference? It would


have, yes. I was gutted. Everything had been working correctly. We had


the surveys done and the hats looked at all the properties, they


were all suitable. Ha law is far from alone. Of the road in Wootton,


the council there had planned to install solar panels on 4,000 of


its properties. In the end, it managed 126. Sunday politics has


discover that in just 300 local authorities, an estimated �44


million of investment is in jeopardy.


The diocese of St Edmunds in Ipswich put panels on just over 100


vicarages. It has abandoned its plans for churches and community


halls. We queued up everything knowing that we had up until April


this year to complete. -- we dear to up everything. We had planned


there is in accordance with their environmental policy. People are


upset their as the subsidy was too high. They were spending hundreds


of pounds of taxpayers' money. The government must look at it again,


because it is not fair to cut community schemes that actually


benefit people are more income. Last month, the government was


found to have acted illegally in how it cut the solar subsidy. It is


appealing to the Supreme Court. While the legal wrangling continues,


councils, charities and the solar industry are left in limbo.


We are joined by Adrian Ramsay, deputy leader of the Green Party


and former Norwich councillor. This tariff was unsustainable. It had to


come down, but that? It is one thing for the government to review


the level of the tariff, but it is another two/it by half. Another


still to conduct a consultation. -- quite another to cut it in half.


The way the government has gone about this is disgraceful, and it


has caused chaos in the solar industry and caused real problems


for local councils. What the people who were going to benefit from this


scheme, either by having a job from it, as 20,000 jobs were created, or


by having their energy bills have been reduced, really the government


ought to think again. A As and the tariff been hijacked by the middle


classes? Only the better-off can afford to take advantage of it.


What we have seen in the film is quite the opposite. Because of the


feed in tariff rates, councils have been successful in installing solar


panels and helping people who are in fuel poverty. Having the feat in


Paris Skeels -- he in Paris schemes have met that what the people


benefited. What will councils are following measures that the Green


Party produced for energy economy there. The benefits of solar energy


have been broadened out, and my concern is that the government's


approach is holding back progress that we need to be making to catch


up. I will come to Vicky Ford in a second. Are you concerned that all


this is ultimately going to push up carbon emissions? Yes, I am. We


need to be doing more to meet the European targets and to do our role


in helping climate change. Vicky Ford. The FT in Paris are supposed


to help homeowners go green. -- the feat in tariffs. Something had to


be done quickly. As long as the result is the same, does it matter?


There is still a lot of value in investing in this. The effect of


too many people taking advantage of this is that everyone's energy


bills will go up because they have been so much. So, you should have


community schemes and they should be supported, you should have


social policy to help people in energy policy -- people in energy


poverty, but it should not necessarily be the same tariff and


the same levels that you give to the middle classes. Let's bring


Richard her it in. They need to sort out what they think about this.


The cuts are worse than Adrian said. Some thought -- 43p and sometimes


in 9p. What the government had done was illegal. What is unsustainable


is that our economy will -- our economy with global warming. This


is the worst sort of short-termism. Cuts made to affect carbon in the


future. How high would you let consumer bills go? Whether there is


greater in -- where there is greater investment in Solar Energy


in Germany bills have gone down. In Britain, it is going down. This is


not just in Havel, I was helping the business somewhere else and the


sort of jobs and businesses we need to be supporting for the future,


and it is they who are being had hardest. Her heart will it be for


the new Energy Secretary if the government was is the Supreme Court


appeal? I think it will be really bad for the Solar industry in terms


of the chaos that has been created in the short term and in terms of


planning for the future. People will still be able to get some


return on the best but, but the question is, have they gone about


this in the rate we? The level of the cut-rate is horrendous, and


even if you say it is acceptable, why primitive before? Do you think


that the government could have lost momentum in the consultation


progress -- consultation process? The ice has clearly upset a lot of


business, and that is a big concern. -- this has clearly. I do support


more renewable energy, that is something I have to support. We


need to look at how they can be priced. We need to support


community action in energy-saving sat in Haiti by your fuel. Thank


you very much. -- in Haute you buy your fuel. Many of us fantasise


about having a place Abbott, possibly when you retire.


That has become a reality for many from our region. Since the European


financial meltdown, there has been a different reality. The euro has


collapsed in value and the value of homes has plummeted. So concerned


is the government, they are drawing up contingency plans in case


thousands of experts decide to come home. -- thousands of ex pats.


We are two hours south of Alicante. Many foreigners have been attracted


to pitch routes down in this part of Spain. Particularly the British.


The weather is great and there is plenty to do. Life here is not as


idyllic as it used to be. His woman has had to install new security


after being burgled. A number of homes in the area belonging to ex


pat had been burgled. It is economic. It is since the recession


has hit. The crime rate has increased. Outside, her husband has


just received the new electricity bill, which has gone up because of


new taxes. The couple from Ipswich have noticed that life here has


become a more risky and expensive. Several of their neighbours have


already returned to Britain. They want to go back for health reasons,


but it is impossible to sell at a decent price. At the moment, there


are people who are really desperate to get back to the UK, they are


almost prepared to half the price of their houses. This is all we


have, so we cannot afford to give it away, so to speak. For many ex


pats, the Spanish team is becoming harder to love. This could from


Suffolk are keen to stress that none of them up are millionaires,


and they poured what little savings they had into living abroad. Since


we have lived here from 2007, I think we have lost almost, maybe


one third of what a pensions were worth. Property is not moving, so


technically you are trapped. When we first moved here, you definitely


got things cheaper here. Close, when he came to Spain years ago and


got cheaper clothes, now the go back to England. Spain is a country


in trouble, and it shows. The roads are full of unprepared pot holes


and the property market is in freefall. Youth unemployment now


stands at 51%. The 800,000 Britons who without you are caught up in it.


They are starting to worry a lot. They are not on skid Row, of course,


but the value of their pound has fallen an awful lot. Coupled with


rising prices here, that means latest hate. There are reports that


in some of the big cities, some Britons are receiving food parcels


from charities. Back in Britain, there are real fears that things


could become too hard for British expats here.


Senior sources in the Foreign Office had told be that contingency


plans are being drawn up in case the euro collapses or the situation


here were since so much that thousands of Britons want to come


home. The plans, I am told, could involve chartering planes and boats.


If the cash points ran dry, emergency loans might be available.


Ministers insist these are worst- case scenario plants. Most of those


I met were keen to stay here if at all possible. -- worst-case


scenario plans. Richard, I do concern as to what


might happen to expats as we have seen their? I am sure it is true


that the people you are talking to, and others, people of modest means


to have put their life savings into it and what a better life, he


cannot have anything but compassion for them. There are key, what is


your view on this? Should the government be making contingency


plans? I think it is really difficult, because there are many


people across the UK and East Anglia who have seen their house


prices and earnings top. Property prices in Spain have collapsed, and


are still falling, as he says. -- scene of property prices and


earnings a drop. The euro is now going down. The big issue here is,


how uncertain the economy is. In Spain, one in every two young


people is unemployed. In Italy, it is one in every so the -- one in


every three, added France it is one in every four. When we look at the


deficit, the budget deficits across the Eurozone, that is around-4%.


There is UK budget deficit is double that. We are still under a


huge financial spending pressure to get our spending down, we cannot


just afford to give it more and more money. How worried should we


be about the perilous state of the you know? Well done to Becky for


refuting the case for the hero of the back of a family in Spain. This


is a major market. It is really tough out there. That affects jobs


and businesses in her own region. Within the you know, Germany and


France have better income and low unemployment and lower debt and us.


The issue is not the you know, good or bad, the you know -- the issue


is the euro crisis fuelled by banks and dodgy lending. In this week,


when we have seen the failure to deal with banker bonuses and


regulation, until the deal with that, we will not help a businesses.


Vicky Ford? These countries cannot get themselves out of their


economic crisis. That is why the pound went down in 2008, 2009. And


thank goodness we are not in the you know, because we can save


ourselves in ways that they can't. There is a lot more to say, and we


will do that another day. It is time to sound the baleful stop time


to look at the political high notes. The kiss of life for Hitchen but,


as it becomes the first NHS hospital in the country to be run


by a private company. It is also sure renewable energy that the


local MP wanted to see in peak condition. Rebel, Europe is on the


critical list. They Clacton in Peel once the


people's place for a vote on whether or not they should be a


national referendum to be the easier. Neighbouring Essex MP


Bernard Jenkins applied pressure to David Cameron over his phantom


European treaty veto. He a subset of member states --


subset of member states can bypass the the tour and hijack it for


their own purpose. Another MP's put pressure hits the


roof after the loss of the Euro fighter contract. The �20 billion


fighter contract has been lost two, of all people, the French. And we


know now that the lead bidder on this was not the British Prime


Minister or British government, it was the Germans. What on earth do


they know about cricket at Currie? Vicky Ford, what are the it is idea


of a private company running an NHS hospital?


Are I think it is really interesting. Let's see how it does


work. My big question is, why does it take four years from when the


decision is made to actually have it running. Everything in the


public sector takes so long. Richard, would you like to be


treated their? They the Cameron came to a Tory party conference and


said that the NHS was safe. This week, the BBC are reporting that


not just picture book, but perhaps Great Yarmouth possible are


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