27/05/2012 Sunday Politics East


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Here: A boost for our hi-tech industry. Meanwhile, up workers are


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1676 seconds


fighting for jobs at Remploy Hello and welcome to Sunday


Politics East. As Remploy factories face closure workers are forced to


find work in mainstream employment. You are like a sparrow amongst the


starlings but here you are like a starling amongst the starlings -


all in the same boat. First, the economics secretary to the Treasury


is here. Let us start with a quick word about the IMF report this week.


It said the government might have to make some tough measures to


boost growth, such as cutting taxes like VAT. I know you think there


should be more growth, but do you think the IMF wants to see growth


as well? I believe they say it for themselves. These cuts on posterity


are self defeating in terms of people losing their jobs when it


doesn't have to happen. I'm glad to be on with your other guest. Let us


begin on a mature note. Let us have a debate here based on what the IMF


said. Briefly, the IMF was positive in his report but there are mixed


messages. Britain needs to deal with its debts and that is what


this country has been doing and it has and as credibility to turn to


measures for growth. There isn't actually a fierce opposition


between austerity and growth. You need one to get to the other.


has been a mixed picture for jobs in the region. On the positive side,


the government gave millions to Life Science Research and one of


our universities announced plans to create more jobs. On the negative


side, there were redundancies and uncertainty as some well known -


might in some well-known companies. The Cromer crab Company has been


buying and processing the local produce and selling it around the


world and for the last year, the town has been fighting to keep it


open. They thought they were getting somewhere but this week,


they learned the plant will close in the summer. We all carried hope


in our hearts that something would come up and the owners would find a


buyer who would continue the crowd processing operation but the news


today that 109 jobs is going is a bit at blow. They have been


fighting hard to send -- save Lola cars in Huntingdon. The future of


the correct an oil depot became more and Sourton with reports that


refining could go elsewhere. The Cambridge computer firm Autonomy


has uncertainty after its founder left and it reported a big drop in


sales. But the government says this is only one side of the story. This


week, the Science Minister was digging for growth as he announced


�127 million for a research project in Cambridge and Norwich. Thousands


of jobs are likely to follow. is real support for East Anglia


where there are so many world-class centres. There are many businesses


to grow and bring us that jobs that the Coalition believes in for hi-


tech jobs in the future. Ruskin University announced a new project


in a move which could create 12,500 jobs. A delegation from China


visiting Norfolk this week is believed to be close to invent


sting tens of millions of pounds in the automotive engineering centre.


It is a great opportunity to bring jobs in Norfolk and wrote the


skills base we have. This large amount of investment is welcome


news. Government MPs are saying it puts the region at the forefront of


the economic recovery. By creating those jobs will take time and that


is not such good news for those out of work now.


Terry Smith, new hi-tech industries taking off but that is not


compensation for people who are losing their jobs now. Where will


they get jobs from -- Chloe Smith. It is extremely sad for those.


Every job lost his up a tragedy for an individual and family. What we


have to do in government is put in place the conditions to get jobs


out there. Things like infrastructure, credit to


businesses and this kind of funding that can help innovation in the hi-


tech economy. Richard, we have seen a lot of investment in life


sciences. That has got to be good news, hasn't it? I think more could


have been done. The local management dip their best and was


involved in negotiations. And Labour's campaign did his best to.


I agree that the East - in our universities and businesses - has a


specialism in life sciences. There is a great expertise in terms of


medical degrees and this will add to that in terms of medical


technology. When we talk about the government, giving a bit with one


hand when you take away a huge slice with the other. If you take


the universities, they have taken �2 billion a weight recently. We


have seen local enterprise partnerships set-up when the east


of England Development Agency was set up with 140 million. Giving


with one and taking away with the other. We had the double dip is


worse than feared. You need a plan for quotes, don't you? Has David


Cameron asked you to look at a triple-A rating to borrow money?


The plan begins with recognising when you have a problem. Richard,


I'm afraid, does not understand that. She a lack of credibility


with which Labour left our economy in is overwhelming. But what a back


infrastructure projects? It is from that position we have to begin. We


have to recognise that the position is tough at the moment and that


party left the economy in tatters. We have to put up with that Des and


doing that gives us credit on the international scene. Are you going


to use that to borrow to invest to stimulate growth? We have to be


able to use that and we are able to use that to use the Government's


balance sheet to increase growth. The government is doing something


right, isn't it, Richard? They are doing something right. This is the


week in which they have had to admit figures on recession are


worse than thought. The construction industry has been


shrunk. In France, people are turning away from Conservatives


towards a social democratic candidate. The German Conservatives


are losing their regional elections and it is only a matter of time


where the people make a judgement. You mention Greece and Europe. A


creek - that quick comment on Greece. Again, we are left in a


position where there are Conservative Euro-sceptics who want


to blame Europe whereas growth is better in Germany than in Britain.


Things are tough in Greece and they have some responsibility for where


they have got to but sitting on the edge of Europe and spectating has


not help businesses in this region. There is a lot more to talk about


on that but I want to move on. One set of workers are struggling to


hold on to their jobs and they are the employees that Remploy. One


fact respect -- set up for disabled workers is set to close. It is one


of 13 factories nationwide that is up for review. Hundreds of disabled


workers will have to find new jobs. Harvey has learning and mobility


difficulties. He has worked for Remploy for 21 years and knows


everything there is to know about the factories product, cardboard


packaging. It is a good company and offer support. It offers people a


chance to get back to work and get self-respect and dignity and


training. What I you going to do if this place closes? Probably never


work again. As hard as I might do, no one will employ me because they


look at my disability. Susan has worked for Remploy for a long time.


She has autism. Before getting her job 15 years ago she had been


unemployed. If you saw what we have been doing today it shows we have


jobs just the same as able-bodied people. Perhaps not on a production


line and working quickly but we still work for are bread-and-butter


and still earn a wage and we are not on benefits. The employee was


set up after the Second World War. For those who had been disabled


during the conflict. Of their 54 factories, 36 now face possible


closure, including Remploy in Norwich which has 28 disabled


employees. We cannot show your working because Remploy's head


office which comes under government control, will not allow West in.


The average wage is �14,000 a year and the government pays �11,000 per


employee to cover specialist support they need at work.


important thing for anyone affected by the decision here to make sure


the money we used and the projected budget we use is supporting more


disabled people is that this is an opportunity to support existing


Remploy factory employees into new work where required, to put in


place the sort of training that can make a real difference to the sorts


of jobs they might be able to get. I would reassure them that we will


make sure the support is there - one on one support - to make sure


they can look at all the options. While this factory attract business


from factories like Marks and Spencer, year-on-year, it has


operated at a loss. So will business leaders really be


interested in taking all of this on? No-one -- it doesn't require


modernisation but they can remain open. It is a vital life source for


people and their families and to prevent them being a burden on the


tax payer. There is talk of a ballot for strike action but there


is little optimism. You can go and speak to someone with your problems.


All birds Of A Feather go together. If you going to the outside world


you are like a sparrow amongst the starlings. But here you are a


starling amongst starlings - all in the same boat. We will be staying


in touch with them to see how they get on. Joining us is Glen Holden


from the GMB union. What you think the future of that plant is?


don't think it has too much of a future, unfortunately. And


disappointed Remploy didn't take the opportunity to come on the


programme. We have a brand here which can be sustained and moved


forward into the future. Isn't there an argument for getting these


workers into mainstream jobs rather than segregating them? Let us make


it clear that we have always said people should have a choice to go


into mainstream employment and a lot have chosen to do so. Others


have chosen to stay at the factory. In 2011 there was a voluntary


redundancy factory where people saw a future with a factory and chose


to remain with them. I don't think there is a case financially or


economically for the closure of the factories. We are not against


modernisation and the unions will not say that necessarily 54


factories will remain open. But is -- there is not a case for all too


close. But there are thousands of pounds of subsidies over the years


- is that enough incentive for employers to take on these workers?


I don't think it is at the end of the day. There are liabilities and


there is always a level of subsidy required as within rail network. No


one is saying there shouldn't be a subsidy but this is quality


employment. Clare week and Richard are aware of that. The let me bring


them in. -- Chloe. It will leave hundreds of workers back on


benefits. Not the case. I have visited this factory. I have talked


about this recently with members of Remploy. I'm conscious of some of


the numbers involved here. There were 26 people at the Norwich


factory. You could compare that to the many tens of thousands of


disabled people in the City as a whole. I think we have to look at


how the budget available - the protected budget for specialist


employment - could be used to help many more people. Harvey said he


will never work again in that film. Harvey and anyone else in that


situation, if that were the case at Norwich, would get a very decent


package to help him. We must make the money go further to help more


disabled people. That is what we want to see. Richard, modernisation


started under Labour. You could have done more? I have to


contradict what we have heard. Ian Duncan Smith said earlier this


month, they sit around and drink t. Say that to Harvey and Susan. I


have been associated with the Norwich factory and don't deeply


concerned the government will not let the cameras in. Local


management has done a great job in building the business up. They are


real jobs. We are talking about a comparison as a company where they


have a major contract for a hotel. If that is closed down, look at


ways beach in the Fens. The Remploy factory was closed and beat survey


shows that 85 diff -- 85% of the people are still out of work years


later. Do you think they will find mainstream jobs? No I don't and the


statistics will reflect that. 85% of those people left in 2008 did


not find meaningful employment. Only 7% remain in employment. I


deal with a host of employers and the longest that anyone has lasted


in those companies in mainstream employment has been about one year.


We will keep in touch with them to see what their future is. Thank you


for joining us. It is time for our weekly political round-up. There


were calls once again to reduce the cost of filling up your car. Here


It is now a law that the coast of Suffolk is the only place in UK


waters where ship to ship all transfers can take place. We sent


out a big flashing beacon to come to our area so I am concerned there


will be a significant increase in their number. And onshore, EDF has


said it remains on course for expansion at Sizewell as the


Government's energy bill pledged financial incentives for future


nuclear development. But it was the price of petrol that prompted calls


for -- from the Harlow MP for a fuel duty cut. It feels like you


need a if court order to get prices down. One baby bonding charity won


praise from the PM. How where does her huge credit. Princess Anne's


passions for all things the question was reflected at this new


home in Newmarket for people who work in the racing industry.


Is there ever going to be any good news on crippling fuel prices?


is another of those things that need to be seen in the round. Many


people know what it is like to fill up a car. The fact days that it is


the kind of decision that needs to be taken in the round. Prices are


deeply affected by the Middle East, by the global energy crisis and, of


course, the Government listens to the other half of the equation


about fuel duty. The government has put in around �4.5 billion for the


motorists which is significantly better than what Labour did. If


there were called to lower duty again, is it a wise use of public


money. Rigid, I know you will say this. People are using their cars


less aren't they? I represent my constituency just as much as any


other MP. When the energy bill Kay mac this week, Greenpeace said


there was a complete failure to support renewable energy, a failure


of leadership from the government. The east of the region has been the


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