01/12/2013 Sunday Politics East


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. George Osborne


announces a ?50 cut to annual household energy bills. We'll talk


to Lib Dem president Tim Farron ahead of the Chancellor's mini


budget this week. Net immigration is up for the first


time in two years. Labour and the Tories say they want to bring it


down, but how? Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper joins us for the


Sunday Interview. The harder you shake the pack, the easier it will


be for some cornflakes to get to the top. The Mayor of London says


inequality and greed are essential to spur economic


Suffolk MP Tim Yeo is docked by his local party.


Suffolk MP Tim Yeo is docked by his capital is now a crisis. Another


week, another strategy? Can this one deliver?


And with me throughout today's programme, well, we've shaken the


packet and look who's risen to the top. Or did we open it at the


bottom? Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh and Sam Coates. All three will be


tweeting throughout the programme using the hashtag #bbcsp. So, after


weeks in which Ed Miliband's promise to freeze energy prices has set the


Westminster agenda, the Coalition Government is finally coming up with


its answer. This morning the Chancellor George Osborne explained


how he plans to cut household energy bills by an average of fifty quid.


What we're going to do is roll back the levees that are placed by


government on people's electricity bills. This will mean that for the


average bill payer, they will have ?50 of those electricity and gas


bills. That will help families. We are doing it in the way that


government can do it. We are controlling the cost that families


incurred because of government policies. We are doing it in a way


that will not damage the environment or reduce our commitment to dealing


with climate change. We will not produce commit men to helping


low-income families with the cost of living. Janan, we are finally seeing


the coalition begin to play its hand in response to the Ed Miliband


freeze? They have been trying to respond for almost ten weeks and


older responses have been quite fiddly. We are going to take a bit


of tax year, put it onto general taxation, have a conversation with


the energy companies, engineered a rebate of some kind, this is not


very vivid. The advantage of the idea that they have announced


overnight is that it is clear and it has a nice round figure attached to


it, ?50. The chief of staff of President Obama, he said, if you are


explaining, you're losing. The genius of this idea is that it does


not require explanation. He would not drawn this morning on what


agreement he had with the energy companies, and whether this would


fall through to the bottom of the bill, but the way he spoke, saying,


I am not going to pre-empt what the energy companies say, that suggests


he has something up his sleeve. Yes, I thought so. The energy companies


have made this so badly for so long. It would be awful if he announced


this and the energy companies said, we are going to keep this money for


ourselves. I do not think he is that stupid. The energy companies have an


incentive to go along with this don't they? My worry is that I am


not sure how much it will be within the opinion polls. I think people


might expect this now, it is not a new thing, it is not an exciting


thing. Say in the markets, they may have priced the ten already. If by


Thursday of this week, he is able to say, I have a ?50 cut coming to your


bill. The energy companies have guaranteed that this will fall


through onto your energy bill, and they have indicated to me that they


themselves will not put up energy prices through 2014, has he shot the


Ed Miliband Fox? I think he has a couple of challenges. It is still


very hard. This is an answer for the next 12 months but did is no chance


announced that Labour will stop saying they are going to freeze


prices in the next Parliament. He will say, I have not just frozen


them, I have done that as well and I have cut them. When people look at


their energy bills, they are going up by more than ?50. This is a


reduction in the amount that they are going up overall. Year on 0


will be for George Osborne. He will have to come up with something this


time next year. The detail in the Sunday papers reveals that George


Osborne is trying to get the energy companies to put on bills that 50


has been knocked off your bill because of a reduction by the


government. He is trying to get the energy companies to do his political


bidding for him. It will be interesting to see if they go along


with that, because then we will know how cross the arm with Ed Miliband.


Let's get another perspective. Joining me now from Kendal in the


Lake District is the president of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron.


Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Good morning. Let me ask you this, the


coalition is rowing back on green taxes, I do comfortable with that or


is it something else you will rebel against? I am very comfortable with


the fact we are protecting for the money is going. I am open to where


the money comes from. The notion that we should stop insulating the


homes of elderly people or stop investing in British manufacturing


in terms of green industry, that is something that I resolutely oppose,


but I am pleased that the funding will be made available for all that.


You cannot ignore the fact that for a whole range of reasons, mostly


down to the actions of the energy companies, you have prices that are


shooting up and affecting lots of people, making life hard. You cannot


ignore that. If we fund the installation of homes for older


people and others, if we protect British manufacturing jobs, and


raise the money through general taxation, I am comfortable with


that. It is not clear that is going to happen. It looks like the


eco-scheme, whereby the energy companies pay for the installation


of those on below-average incomes, they will spin that out over four


years, not two years, and one estimate is that that will cost


10,000 jobs. You're always boasting about your commitment to green jobs,


how do square that? I do not believe that. The roll-out will be longer.


The number of houses reached will be greater and that is a good thing. My


take is that it will not affect the number of jobs. People talk about


green levies. There has been disparaging language about that sort


of thing. There are 2 million people in this country in the lowest income


families and they get ?230 off their energy bills because of what isn't


-- because of what is disparaging the refer to as green stuff, shall


we call it. There will be more properties covered. We both know


that your party is being pushed into this by the Tories. You would not be


doing this off your own bad. You are in coalition with people who have


jettisoned their green Prudential is? -- credentials. You have made my


point quite well. David Cameron s panicked response to this over the


last few months was to ditch all the green stuff. It has been a job to


make sure that we hold him to his pledges and the green cord of this


government. That is why we are not scrapping the investment, we are


making sure it is funded from general taxation. I am talking to


you from Kendal. Lots of people struggle to pay their energy bills.


But all these things pale into insignificance compared to the


threat of climate change and we must hold the Prime Minister to account


on this issue. Argue reconciled to the idea that as long as you're in


coalition with the Tories you will never get a mansion tax? I am not


reconciled to it. We are trying to give off other tax cut to the lowest


income people. What about the mansion tax? That would be


potentially paid for by another view source of finance. That would be


that the wealthy... We know that is what you want, but you're not going


to get that? We will keep fighting for it. It is extremely important.


We can show where we will get the money from. I know that is the


adamant. That is not what I asked you. Ed Balls and Labour run in


favour of a mansion tax, have you talked to them about it? The honest


answer is I have not. It is interesting that they have come


round to supporting our policy having rejected it in power. So if


Labour was the largest party in parliament but not in power, you


would have no problem agreeing with a mansion tax as part of the deal?


If the arithmetic falls in that way and that is the will of the British


people, fear taxes on those who are wealthiest, stuff that is fear,


which includes wealth taxes, in order to fund more reductions for


those people on lowest incomes, that is the sort of thing that we might


reach agreement on. You voted with Labour on the spare room subsidy.


Again, that would be job done in any future coalition talks with Labour,


correct? I take the view that the spare room subsidy, whilst entirely


fail in principle, in practice it has caused immense hardship. I want


to see that changed. There are many people in government to share my


view on that. So does Labour. The problem was largely caused Labour


because they oversaw an increase in housing costs both 3.5 times while


they were in power. The government was forced into a position to tidy


up an appalling mess that Labour left. You voted with Labour against


it, and also, you want... No, I voted with the party conference


Let's not dance on the head of the ten. Maybe they voted with me. - on


the head of a pin. You are also in favour of a 50% top rate of income


tax, so you and Labour are that one there as well? No, I take the view


that the top rate of income tax is a fluid thing. All taxation levels are


temporary. Nick Clegg said that when the 50p rate came down to 45, that


was a rather foolish price tag George Osborne asked for in return


for as increasing the threshold and letting several million people out


of paying income tax at the bottom. So you agree with Labour? In favour


of rising the tax to 50p. I take the view that we should keep our minds


open on that. It is not the income tax level that bothers me, it is


whether the wealthy pay their fresh air. If that can be done through


other taxes, then that is something that I am happy with. -- their fair


share. Given your position on the top rate of tax, on the spare room


subsidy, how does the prospect of another five years of coalition with


the Tories strike you? The answer is, you react with whatever you have


about you to what the electorate hand you. Whatever happens after the


next election, you have got to respect the will of the people. Yes,


but how do you feel about it? We know about this, I am asking for


your feeling. Does your heart left or does your heart fall at the


prospect of another five years with the Tories? My heart would always


follow the prospect of anything other than a majority of Liberal


Democrat government. Your heart must be permanently in your shoes then.


Something like that, but when all is said and done, we accept the will of


the electorate. When you stand for election, you have got to put up


with what the electorate say. I have not found coalition as difficult as


you might suggest. It is about people who have to disagree and


agree to differ. You work with people in your daily life that you


disagree with. It is what grown ups do. A lot of people in your party


think that your positioning yourself to be the left-wing candidate in a


post-Nick Clegg leadership contest. They think it is blatant


manoeuvring. One senior figure says, this is about you. Which bit of the


sanctimonious, treacherous little man is there not to like? What can I


see in response to that. My job is to promote the Liberal Democrats. I


have to do my best to consider what I'd defend to be right. By and


large, my position as an MP in the Lake District, but also as the


president of the party, is to reflect the will of people outside


the Westminster village. That is the important thing to do. Thank you for


joining us. David Cameron has said he wants to get it down to the tens


of thousands, Ed Miliband has admitted New Labour "got it wrong",


and Nick Clegg wants to be "zero-tolerant towards abuse". Yes,


immigration is back on the political agenda, with figures released


earlier this week showing that net migration is on the rise for the


first time in two years. And that's not the only reason politicians are


talking about it again. The issue of immigration has come


into sharp focus because of concerns about the number of remaining ins


and Bulgarians that can come to the UK next year. EU citizenship grants


the right to free movement within the EU. But when Bulgaria and


Romania joined in 2007, the government took up its right to


apply temporary restrictions on movement. They must be lifted


apply temporary restrictions on end of this year. According to the


2011 census, about one eyed 1 million of the population in England


and Wales is made up of people from countries who joined the EU in 004.


The government has played down expectations that the skill of


migration could be repeated. This week David Cameron announced new


restrictions on the ability of EU migrants to claim benefits. That was


two, send a message. That prompted criticism is that the UK risks being


seen as a nasty country. Yvette Cooper joins me now for the Sunday


interview. Welcome to the Sunday Politics, Yvette Cooper. You


criticised the coalition for not acting sooner on immigration from


Romania and Bulgaria but the timetable for the unrestricted


arrival in January was agreed under Labour many years ago, and given the


battle that you had with the Polish and the Hungarians, what


preparations did you make in power? We think that we should learn from


some of the things that happened with migration. It would have been


better to have transitional controls in place and look at the impact of


what happened. But what preparations did you make in power? We set out a


series of measures that the Government still had time to bring


in. It is important that this should be a calm and measured debate. There


was time to bring in measures around benefit restrictions, for example,


and looking at the impact on the labour market, to make sure you do


not have exploitation of cheap migrant Labour which is bad for


everyone. I know that but I have asked you before and I am asking


again, what did you do? We got things wrong in Government. I


understand that I am not arguing. You are criticising them not


preparing, a legitimate criticism, but what did you do in power? Well,


I did think we did enough. Did you do anything? We signed the agency


workers directive but too slowly. We needed measures like that. We did


support things like the social chapter and the minimum wage, but I


have said before that we did not do enough and that is why we


recommended the measures in March. I understand that is what you did in


opposition and I take that. I put the general point to you that given


your failure to introduce controls on the countries that joined in


2004, alone among the major EU economies we did that, should we not


keep an embarrassed silence on these matters? You have no credibility. I


think you have got to talk about immigration. One of the things we


did not do in Government was discussed immigration and the


concerns people have and the long-term benefits that we know have


come from people who have come to Britain over many generations


contributing to Britain and having a big impact. I think we recognise


that there are things that we did wrong, but it would be irresponsible


for us not to join the debate and suggest sensible, practical measures


that you can introduce now to address the concerns that people


have, but also make sure that the system is fair and managed.


Immigration is important to Britain but it does have to be controlled


and managed in the right way. Let's remind ourselves of your record on


immigration. The chart you did not consult when in power. This is total


net migration per year under Labour. 2.2 million of net rise in


migration, more than the population of Birmingham, you proud of that? --


twice the population. Are you proud of that or apologising for it? We


set the pace of immigration was too fat and the level was too high and


it is right to bring migration down. So you think that was wrong?


Overruled have been huge benefits from people that have come to


Britain and built our biggest businesses. -- overall. They have


become Olympic medal winners. But because the pace was too fast, that


has had an impact. That was because of the lack of transitional controls


from Eastern Europe and it is why we should learn from that and have


sensible measures in place now, as part of what has got to be a calm


debate. These are net migration figures. They don't often show the


full figure. These are the immigration figures coming in. What


that chart shows is that in terms of the gross number coming into this


country, from the year 2000, it was half a million a year under Labour.


Rising to 600,000 by the time you were out of power. A lot of people


coming into these crowded islands, particularly since most of them come


to London and the South East. Was that intentional? Was that out of


control? Is that what you are now apologising for? What we said was


that the Government got the figures wrong on the migration from Eastern


Europe. If you remember particularly there was the issue of what happened


with not having transitional controls in place. The Government


didn't expect the number of people coming to the country to be the way


it was. And so obviously mistakes were made. We have recognised that.


We have also got to recognise that this is something that has happened


in countries all over the world We travel and trade far more than ever.


We have an increasingly globalised economy. Other European countries


have been affected in the same way, and America, and other developing


countries affected in the same way by the scale of migration. I am


trying to work out whether the numbers were intentional or if you


lost control. The key thing that we have said many times and I have


already said it to you many times, Andrew, that we should have a


transitional controls in place on Eastern Europe. I think that would


have had an impact on them level of migration. We also should have


brought in the points -based system earlier. We did bring that in


towards the end and it did restrict the level of low skilled migration


because there are different kinds of migration. University students


coming to Britain brings in billions of pounds of investment. On the


other hand, low skilled migration can have a serious impact on the


jobs market, pay levels and so on at the low skilled end of the labour


market. We have to distinguish between different kinds of


migration. You keep trying to excuse the figures by talking about the


lack of transitional controls. Can we skip the chart I was going to go


to? The next one. Under Labour, this is the source of where migrants came


from. The main source was not the accession countries or the remainder


of Europe. Overwhelmingly they were from the African Commonwealth, and


the Indian subcontinent. Overwhelmingly, these numbers are


nothing to do with transitional controls. You can control that


immigration entirely because they are not part of the EU. Was that a


mistake? First of all, the big increase was in the accession


groups. Not according to the chart. In terms of the increase, the


changes that happened. Secondly in answer to the question that you just


asked me, we should also have introduced the points -based system


at an earlier stage. Thirdly there has been a big increase in the


number of university students coming to Britain and they have brought


billions of pounds of investment. At the moment the Government is not


distinguishing, it is just using the figure of net migration. And that is


starting to go up again, as you said in the introduction, but the problem


is that it treats all kinds of migration is aimed. It does not


address illegal immigration, which is a problem, but it treats


university graduates coming to Britain in the same way as low


skilled workers. If Labour get back into power, is it your ambition to


bring down immigration? We have already said it is too high and we


would support measures to bring it down. You would bring it down? There


is something called student visas, which is not included in the


figures, and it does not include university graduates, and it is a


figure that has increased substantially in recent years. They


come for short-term study but they do not even have to prove that they


come for a college course. They do not even have to have a place to


come. Those visas should be restricted to prevent abuse of the


system and that is in line with a recommendation from the Inspectorate


and that is the kind of practical thing that we could do. Can you give


us a ballpark figure of how much immigration would fall? You have


seen the mess that Theresa May has got into with her figures. She made


a target that it is clear to me that she will not meet. I think that is


right. She will not meet it. Can you give as a ballpark figure by which


we can judge you? If she had been more sensible and taken more time to


listen to experts and decide what measures should be targeted, then


she would not be in this mess. You cannot give me a figure? She has


chosen net migration. She has set a target, without ifs and buts. I


think it is important not to have a massive gap between the rhetoric and


reality. Not to make promises on numbers which are not responsible.


OK, you won't give me a figure. Fine. Moving on to crime. 10,00


front line police jobs have gone since 2010 but crime continues to


fall. 7% down last year alone. When you told the Labour conference that


you do not cut crime by cutting the police, you were wrong. I think the


Government is being very complacent about what is happening to crime.


Crime patterns are changing. There has been an exponential increase,


and that is in the words of the police, in online crime. We have


also seen, for example, domestic violence going up, but prosecutions


dropping dramatically. There is a serious impact as a result of not


having 10,000 police in place. You have talked about the exponential


increase in online and economic crime. If those are the big growth


areas, why have bobbies on the beat? That would make no difference. It is


about an approach to policing that has been incredibly successful over


many years, which Labour introduced, which is neighbourhood policing in


the community is working hard with communities to prevent crime. People


like to see bobbies on the beat but have you got any evidence that it


leads to a reduction in crime? Interestingly, the Lords Stevens


commission that we set up, they have reported this week and it has been


the equivalent of a Royal commission, looking at the number of


people involved in it. Their strong recommendation was that this is


about preventing crime but also respectful law and order, working


with communities, and so they strongly took the view with all of


their expertise and the 30 different universities that they have involved


with it, that on the basis of all that analysis, the right thing was


to keep bobbies on the beat and not push them cars. Instinctively you


would think it was true. More visible policing, less crime. But in


all the criminology work, I cannot find the evidence. There is


competing work about why there has been a 20 year drop in overall crime


and everybody has different opinions on why that has happened. The point


about neighbourhood policing is that it is broader than crime-fighting.


It is about prevention and community safety. Improving the well-being of


communities as well. Will you keep the elected Police Commissioners?


Big sigh! What the report said was that the system is flawed. We raised


concern about this at the beginning. You will remember at the elections,


Theresa May's flagship policy, at the elections they cost ?100 million


and there was 15% turnout. You have to have a system of accountability


at the police. Three options were presented, all of which are forms.


So you have to have reform. It is not whether to have reformed, it is


which of those options is the best way to do it. The commission set out


a series of options, and I thought that the preferable approach would


be collaboration and voluntary mergers. We know they won't


volunteer. There have been some collaboration is taking place. I


think the issues with police and crime commissioners have fragmented


things and made it harder to get collaboration between police


forces. Everybody is asking this question, just before you go. What


is it like living with a nightmare? Who does all the cooking, so I can't


complain! Says Miliband people are wrong, he is a dream cook? He is!


In a speech this week, Boris Johnson praised greed and envy as essential


for economic progress, and that has got tongues wagging. What is the


Mayor of London up to? What is his game plan? Does he even have a game


plan and does he know if he has one? Flash photography coming up. Boris.


In many ways I can leave it there. You'd know who I meant. And if you


didn't, the unruly mop of blonde hair would tell you, the language.


Ping-pong was invented on the dining tables of England. Somehow pulling


off the ridiculous to the sublime. It is going to go zoink off the


scale! But often having to speed away from the whiff-whaff of


scandal. Boris, are you going to save your manage?


There's always been a question about him and his as role as mayor and


another prized position, as hinted to the Tory faithful this year at


conference, discussing former French Prime Minister Alan Juppe. -- Alain


Juppe. He told me he was going to be the mayor of Bordeaux. I think he


may have been mayor well he was Prime Minister, it is the kind of


thing they do in funds -- AvD in France. It is a good idea, if you


ask me. But is it a joke? He is much more ambitious. Boris wants to be


Prime Minister more than anything else. Perhaps more than he wants to


be made of London. The ball came loose from the back of the scrum. Of


course it would give great thing to have a crack at, but it is not going


to happen. He might be right. First, the Conservatives have a leader


another Old Etonian, Oxford, Bullingdon chap and he has the job


Boris might like a crack at. What do you do with a problem like Boris? It


is one of the great paradoxes of Tory politics that for Boris Johnson


to succeed, David Cameron must feel. Boris needs David Cameron to lose so


that he can stand a chance of becoming loser. -- becoming leader.


And disloyalty is punished by Conservatives. Boris knows the man


who brought down Margaret Thatcher. Michael Heseltine, who Boris


replaced as MP for Henley, never got her job. In 1986, she took on the


member for Henley, always a risky venture. And why might he make such


a jibe, because he's won two more elections than the PM. Conservatives


like a winner. Boris, against Robert expectations, has won the Mayor of


London job twice. -- public. He might've built a following with the


grassroots but he's on shakier ground with many Tory MPs, who see


him as a selfish clown, unfit for high office. And besides, he's not


the only one with king-sized ambition, and Boris and George are


not close, however much they may profess unity. There is probably


some Chinese expression for a complete and perfect harmony. Ying


and yang. But in plain black and white, if Boris has a plan, it's one


he can't instigate, and if David Cameron is PM in 2016, it may not be


implementable. He'd need a seat and it wouldn't be plain sailing if he


did make a leadership bid. My leadership chances, I think I may


have told you before, or about as good as my chances of ying


reincarnated as a baked bean. Which is probably quite high. So if the


job you want with Brown-esque desire is potentially never to be yours


what do you do? He is, of course, an American citizen by birth. He was


born in New York public hospital, and so he is qualified to be


President of the United States. And you don't need an IQ over 16 to find


that the tiniest bit scary. Giles Dilnot reporting. Helen Lewis,


Janan Ganesh and Sam Coates are here. Is there a plan for Boris and


if so, what is it? I think the plan is for him to say what he thinks the


Tory activist base wants to hear just now. He knows that in 18 months


time they can disown it. I think he is wrong, the way the speech has


played has a limited number of people. He has cross-party appeal.


He has now reconfirmed to people that the Tories are the nasty party


and they have been pretending to be modernised. Is it not the truth that


he needs David Cameron to lose the 2015 election to become leader in


this decade? It is very interesting watching his fortunes wax and wane.


It always seems to happen in inverse proportion to how well David Cameron


is doing in front of his own party. There is no small element of


strategy about what we are doing here. The problem with Boris is that


he's popular with the country, but not with the party's MPs and its


hard-core supporters. This was an appeal to the grassroots this week.


He is not the only potential candidate. If we were in some kind


of circumstance where Boris was a runner to replace Mr Cameron, who


with the other front the? I think it will skip a generation. The recent


intake was ideological assertive. I do not buy the idea that it will be


Jeremy Hunt against Michael Gove. I then, that generation will be


tainted by being in government. It is interesting, what is he trying to


pull? He is ideological. He does not believe in many things, but he


believes in a few things quite deeply, and one is the idea of


competition, both in business and academic selection. He has never


been squeamish about expressing that. We do make mistakes sometimes,


assuming he is entirely political. Look at all the Northern voters who


will not vote for the Tories even though they are socially or economic


the Conservatives. I do not think he helps. Who in the Tories would


help? That is a tough question. To reason me has also been speaking to


the hard right. -- Theresa May. I have been out with him at night It


is like dining with a film star People are queueing up to speak to


him. Educational selection is one of the few areas that he can offer He


has gone liberal on immigration as are made of London would have to.


Welcome to Sunday Politics in the East. Coming up, as George Osbourne


prepares for his Autumn Statement, we look at the pressures on local


services. In particular, proposed cuts to rural bus routes. Some


passenger journeys cost as much as ?15. It was not a good way of


spending public money. It will leave us stranded. We are all important


and need to get around as easily as other people do.


Let's get down to business with the news that one of this region's


longest serving MPs has been dropped by his constituency party. Tim Yeo


has represented South Suffolk for the last 30 years but the local


association have announced they do not want him to be their man of the


next election. The views of our guests in a moment. They are George


Knox and the Conservative MP for Norwich North. First, this report.


It was not supposed to end like this. For the last 30 years, Tim Yeo


has been a hard`working member of Parliament, re`elected with thumping


majorities on every occasion. In his constituency this weekend, surprise.


I think it is a bit rotten without a very good reason. He has done a good


job. He has always fought for things in the town. 30 years is a long


time. Possibly not the way it has been done but possibly 30 years, he


has had enough time to make changes. Is a little bit of `` there is a


little bit of controversy about some of his changes but I think it is


wanting a younger boys. In parliament, he had become an elder


statesman. As Chair of the environment select committee, a


respected, controversial voice on green matters. Last week, he was one


of 25 Conservative MPs who told the prime ministers you this dividing


the party if he dropped his green agenda. In an interview, he had


warned against cutting green taxes in this week's Autumn Statement.


Green taxes account for about 10% of the average energy bill and some of


them are designed to help able improve their energy efficiency. I


am not sure it is the right place to be looking at. I think it would make


a small difference and might even reduce some of the support for


energy efficiency measures, which particularly helped fuel poor


households. You are out on a limb within your party, are you not? I am


used to sometimes having to file a lonely furrow that Macleod. But I


will continue to argue for what I believe is right for energy


consumers and security. Labour said the deselection showed the Tories


were reverting to type with no place for those who believed in green


issues. But this weekend's developments are more to do with how


he was perceived in South Suffolk. I have been hearing stories for the


past year about concerns within the local party that Tim Yeo was typing


seen much in the constituency and appeared to be spending too much


time on his outside and well`paid business interests rather than


Parliament. `` was not seen much. These are claims which he denied. I


am told that local members look enviously at the younger MPs in


neighbouring constituencies, who were seen a lot of Parliament,


championing welcoming issues `` championing local issues. This


undercover sting by the Sunday Times was the final straw. He was cleared


last week of any wrongdoing but to be seen boasting about his influence


did not look good. Introducing tolls on roads without an alternative...


His question about the A14 Toll Rd was seen by some as an attempt to


show his local party that he was still feeling. It was too late.


Conservatives had hoped he would choose not to stand at the next


election and make a dignified exit but they had to make the decision


for him. We will talk about policy around


energy but less walk about Tim Yeo first. Are you surprised that such


an elder statesman has been treated in this way? I am not surprised in


view of the last Parliament report in the Sunday Times. Nobody has a


job for life. The idea that somehow deselection is some sort of, you


know, something on fear is wrong. You're not entitled to a job for


life. You have to deserve it. `` something not fair. I in favour of


regular reselection. Indeed, a leading Conservative councillor


recently called for all to be reselected. What I could you see


this as a formality? How does it work? In the Conservative party, the


local constituency has the right to choose the handed it. There are


different methods of choosing. Some hold large events, local primaries,


there may be more. In my case, we had a meeting with local members and


I was pleased to be able to lay out my record as an MP to date and heard


what I wanted to achieve with them and 19 in the future. In my case, it


was a very happy occasion. `` and plan what I wanted to achieve. What


about the issue of longevity? Surely Westminster should be wholly


representative and have people of all ages? It is absolutely up to the


local party. Let's face it, although we like to pretend that we are so


wonderful, I do not think any of us would be elected if we were not


representing a political party. That is the reality of the situation.


People vote because of their political affiliations and I do not


think... It is therefore up to local parties to choose who they want to


have as their standard`bearer. You can run as independent if you want.


Do you think there is a generation gap at Westminster? I was pleased in


2010 to see lots more people of different ages coming to Parliament.


I have been on record consistently saying that we need both old and


young in Parliament. I am at the younger end and very pleased to be


able to do more work at bringing younger people into politics. It is


crucial. I am at the older end! Conservatives said ?50 on energy


bills. Energy bills are going up for more than ?50 per year. It is a very


small amount. We're not going to get the details until next Thursday but


I think this is a feeble attempt to try to steal Ed Miliband's thunder.


Ed Miliband's proposals are quite clear`cut. Will come back to that in


a moment. You heard what Mr Nobbs had to say. You have been accused of


making politics on the hood. Ed Miliband's pose to is a con to stop


you cannot just freeze prices because everybody knows they would


go up. `` con. I think this morning's Postal 's which will be


fleshed out this week seek to `` this morning's proposals, which will


be fleshed out, what people need of their bills, to reward the need for


the cost of living to come down, which we have other policies on as


well. It has got to be a balance. There is not a single magic that.


What about the fact that you can freeze this for 20 months but prices


were what after? Superman this is why when Mrs Thatcher privatised


these companies had a `` the good sense to prevent a monopoly. We


cannot do without any of these things and that is why this is that


appointed regulators. You not think there is a flaw? No.


Obviously not. Otherwise there would not be advocating it. Ed Balls has


said that the Conservatives are running scared of the energy


companies, what you see? They are taking action on the cost of living.


We are going to move on to look at the impact of council cuts on bus


routes. First, a little background. There are some services that


councils have to provide. A fire service, good schools, decent


roads. Other areas, like bus travel, are discretionary. When council


started looking for savings, the state of subsidy quickly comes under


the microscope. `` when council 's start looking.


Jackie lives in the village. She cannot afford to run a castle couple


times a week, she travels with a group of friends on the one bus


Purdy to Royston. She relies on the bus for helping to create a small


community. `` hair day. It is a friendly atmosphere on the bus. That


also makes the David Broder. Now she and her friends are worried that the


bus operator might lose its subsidy. `` also makes a DDR bit brighter.


How worried are you that the service might disappear? We are worried


because we rely on it. We would be lost without it. We would lose our


independence. There are other means of transport but would prefer to


keep our costs. Cambridgeshire County Council has had to find


savings of ?150 million over five years. That is why it took a long


hard look at the bus subsidy. It was costing around ?2.7 million per


year. We have to look at all aspects of spend and looked at the bus


subsidy. We think that this was not providing good value for money for


the council taxpayer. When some passenger journeys were costing as


much as 14 or ?15, it was not a good way of spending public money.


This is the bus which serves other villages `` villages to the south of


Cambridge. It as an example of how the council sees the future. By


changing the route, using a smaller bus and working more closely with


commercial partners, it is hoping to see some ?200,000 on this route


alone. The council is reviewing some 50 routes across the county and


trying to find further savings. Susan is the Liberal Democrat


councillor for Melbourne and Mildred. `` for the villagers. She


is concerned that this has created an atmosphere of uncertainty. If


services are cut, vulnerable people could suffer, costing the council


more in the long`term. The cost of social care for people who are


isolated and may develop other problems due to isolation, the cost


of social care is expensive. It is something like ?15 per hour. We need


to think about the implications of removing what really is lifeline


transport. Back on the bus to Royston, Jackie


is keeping our fingers crossed. If you had to give a message to the


council, what would your message be? Please do not leave us stranded. We


are all important. We need to get around as easily as other people do.


So please do not leave us in the lurch. They do not want to lose


their bus. Can you say for sure that they will not? I cannot. Nobody


wants to lose their bus but what we will do is talk to them. We will try


to work it out with any area, not just that village, but any village


or town in the county. We will talk to people first.


There are no guarantees from the council, only difficult choices. Try


telling that to people like Jackie. When it comes to transport, the


choices are not difficult. The one to get to Royston is pretty much her


only choice. Since 2010, these are some of the


cuts to bus subsidies which have already gone through. The biggest in


Suffolk. All three rural counties had to make big cuts. Further


savings could well be on the way. Essex has an ?8 million budget for


subsidies and it is consulting on cuts at the moment. Earlier this


week, I spoke to local government Minister Brandon Lewis. I began by


going back to film and the passengers and asking if one bus


today into Royston is too much to expect. I think she makes a good


point. She is absolutely right to want to keep that service. In the


countryside it is important to be able to have access out over your


lives and into it. Whether it is to go to work, shopping, visit friends


or family. I think it is a very fair point. Particularly in


Cambridgeshire whether it is an increase in council tax next year


for `` last year. The right to say that they are spending money and so


it should be spent on services they want. You mentioned that campaigned


to keep services in Norfolk. You say that the system is broken and needs


reforming. Are you telling me that it is not the job of the Department


to help reformers? The reform of how this works comes through Department


for Transport. `` to help reformers. We did manage to confirm that there


are these flexibilities that councils can use. If they are


looking at a bus service that has very low usage, they can look at


other ways of providing that service and use the money in more effective


ways. Campaigners say that departments such as yours need to


work more closely with other departments to try to persuade


people of the benefits of bus travel and ring fence a pool of funding so


that we can maintain the subsidies. We do not ring fenced money for


local government. We trust local government, councillors who we


elect, to make the decisions that are right. We put a lot of pressure


on them. I am very open about this. The councils and council officers


should be looking at the needs of local residents. I am not saying


that every village should his own bus route and service if there is


very few people using it `` should have its own bus route. Some


councils may say that a taxi service or a small bus may be more


appropriate. If you live in the countryside, do you not agree that


we need a better deal for rural communities? The funding is 50% less


in real terms. What you have to look at is that when we look at funding


across it and the whole package of funding that local authorities get,


they get a very fair share of the funding. We did get extra funding


for rural bus routes. The Department of Transport put extra money across.


We have also got to make sure that her pencils look their whole pot of


money and how they spend it. `` our councils. Do you deny that there has


been too much of a cut? Local governments have done well and


reports show that satisfaction of council services has gone up since


2010. But the cuts are only just beginning to bite. Actually, the


cuts and changes has been a couple of percent. It is not that great a


change in spending power. There is no protection for that to change


dramatically. There are a lot of scare stories but the reality is


that the spending power council have changed pretty minimally. We have


been able to freeze council tax. That makes a big difference for


people and reality with the cost of living being an issue. That is a few


hundred pounds per year saved for people since 2010. That is really


good. What we are racing to local authorities is that where there is


less money, and from central government, central government has


got to live with and means, `` within its means, we have got to


make sure that money is being spent on those important following


services to stop thank you very much.


Mr Nobbs, you have been the leader of the County Council for six


months, bus subsidies must be pretty low on your list of things to save.


Are they? The Iraqi are not go on my list of priorities as Norfolk is one


of the most rural counties. They are a vital service. `` they are not low


on my list of priorities. He says the system is broken and needs


mending buttons to think it is nobody's responsibility. `` and


needs mending but seems to think. My counsel, unlike every other County


Council, has had to face massive cuts. We have now got to make


another ?189 million of cuts. On top of that, thanks to the lobbying of


Norfolk, `` Norfolk's MPs, we have lost ground. It is nonsense,


absolute nonsense. Do you know how much are discretionary spending will


become over this six`year period? 52%. For Brandon tried to make it


this is a drop in the ocean is nonsense.


What about this message he was trying to convey? There is more


austerity to come, is there not? I want to speak up in the taxpayer.


This is not the council's money, it is taxpayers' money. The reason


there is not very much of it available is because the Labour


Party, winning government, spend too much and borrowed too much and ran


up the debts. It is easy to make cuts? The Labour Party can blame the


other lot. I do not think there is any point in doing that. I will


certainly, along with every Council Leader in this country blame the


Government. There is not a party political issue as far as I'm


concerned. I am happy to stand alongside Conservative County


Council leaders and say the Government is being unfair to local


government. Are they making a 52% cut in their budgets? No, they are


not. We are having to do it. What about these figures? Mr Nobbs and


Brandon Lewis are seeing quite a different things. I do not think the


taxpayer cares whether it is local or central. Yes, they do. This is


about the money that comes from people's taxes and is in the sense


of what people has just `` the Government has to spend. There is


not enough because we have had to make tough decisions which are only


fair to make for the next generation. We have got to be


responsible in the sense of not loading debts onto our children. How


fair at the Conservatives being on people who live in rural areas? I do


not think they are forgetting rural people. I would point to a local


success which Brandon and the County Council have been part of West the


campaign last year which was a great success. What are your fears, Mr


Nobbs, for people living in rural areas? I am concerned with the whole


issue of rural isolation because you cannot continue to keep squeezing


local government. Ask any Conservative council leader whether


he agrees with you or me. You cannot continue to keep squeezing local


government, expecting them to carry the burden of the Government. The


Government is not cutting its own expenditure. It is asking local


government today. There is a very important point... The Lehman


Brothers responsible for the crisis in Greece. It is Gordon Brown's


fault. The practical thing is to look to the back office costs. I was


part of saving ?10 billion for the taxpayer. Norfolk County Council...


How much have you saved? How much have you saved? We will


discuss that with her. It is time for a summary. Mr Nobbs, you make


the cut in our 62nd round up. `` 60 second round up.


Last week, Norfolk County Council partnering with Southwark. This


week, controversy over delays to Labour's plans for a move towards


the committee system which shares more power. While the East of


England Ambulance Service has admitted it still needs hundreds


more paramedics before it can meet its targets for getting to emergency


calls on time. I am not hiding the fact that the agreement is a


problem. Add is not down to me not trying to grab people. MPs and


business leaders lobbied the Transport Secretary, and David


Cameron was forced to reiterate that he is looking at the planned toll


for the A14 upgrade. I am well aware of the strong feelings in Suffolk


about this issue. I have been approached by many members of


public. Partnership has said it wants to


create 65,000 jobs across Norfolk and Suffolk by 20 25. Here in the


East of England, we have got unemployment is lower than the


national average. That brings with it problems of needing to make sure


that are not skilled people around. Briefly, let's talk about the A14.


You are former Treasury minister. Any U`turns? I think the Prime


Minister has been quite clear. He has been asked twice on this. I


personally think that the Suffolk campaign is quite persuasive. It


seems unfair to have only one road up for the tour. Mr Nobbs, why do


you think there has been so much campaigning in Suffolk and not from


Norfolk? That is not true. Suffolk and Norfolk are as one on this. Jim


Rodger has also played its part. Norfolk County Council voted last


Monday against any tools. `` Cambridgeshire has also played its


part. Do you back that all? No. Others say, I think the campaign is


quite persuasive. It seems unfair to have just one road. Thank you for


joining us. That is all for now. You can keep in touch through our


website. You will also find links, a blog and all the latest political


updates. We blog and all the latest political


picked out. People thought he was touching on eugenics and things like


that. That is all we have time for. Thank you. What rabbit has George


Osborne got up his sleeve? And what's David Cameron up to in China?


All questions for The Week Ahead. To help the panel led, we are joined by


Kwasi Kwarteng, Tory MP. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Why has the


government been unable to move the agenda and to the broad economic


recovery, and allowed the agenda to stay on Labour's ground of energy


prices and living standards? Energy has been a big issue over the last


few months but the autumn state and will be a wonderful opportunity to


readdress where we are fighting the ground, the good economic news that


we delivered. If you look at where Labour were earlier this year,


people were saying they would they 5 million people unemployed. They were


saying that there should be a plan B. He is not in the Labour Party?


Elements of the left were suggesting it. Peter Hain told me it would be


up to 3 million people. Danny Blanchflower said it would be 5


million people. So we have got to get the economy back to the centre


of the debate? Yes, the game we were playing was about the economy. That


was the central fighting ground of the political debate. We were


winning that battle. Labour have cleverly shifted it onto the cost of


living. It is essential that the government, that George, talks about


the economy. That has been its great success. I do not think this has


been a week of admitting that Labour was right, plain cigarettes


packaging, other issues. If you look at the big picture, where we are


with the economy, we have the fastest growing economy in the G-7.


Despite Labour's predictions, none of this has happened, none of the


triple dip has happened. The British economy is on a good fitting. That


is a good story for the government to bat on. You say that people have


stopped talking about the economic recovery, but it is worse than that,


people have stopped talking about the deficit? As long as people were


talking about the deficit, the Tories were trusted. But people have


forgotten about it. This country still spends ?100 billion more than


it raises. Yes, I am of the view that the deficit, the national


debt, is the biggest question facing this generation of politicians. You


are right to suggest that the Conservative Party was strong on


this. That head, not deficit, is not going to come down in the


foreseeable future? It is rising. This is a test that George Osborne


is not going to pass. We know what is coming in the Autumn Statement,


it is lots of giveaways, paying for free school meals, paying for fuel


duty subsidies. We are still talking about the cost of living, not


changing it actively wider economy. There might be extra money for


growth but it is not clear what will happen to that. If it is time for


giveaways, let's speak about Labour. I have never been a fan of


giveaways. Fiscal prudence is what our watchword should be. Look at the


headlines. Each time, the deficit figures, the debt figures, were


always worse than predicted. This year it will be significantly


better. I think that is significant. Any kind of recovery is probably


better than no recovery at all. When you look at this recovery, it is


basically a consumer spending boom. Consumer spending is up, business


investment is way down compared with 2008, and exports, despite a 20


devaluation, our flat. Let's get one thing straight, it is a recovery.


Any recovery is better than no recovery. Now we can have a debate


about, technical debate about the elements of the recovery. It is not


technical, it is a fact. There is evidence that there is optimism in


terms of what are thinking... Optimism? If I am optimistic about


the economy, I am more likely to spend money and invest in business.


So far you have not managed that? Exports have not done well either?


Exports are not a big section of the British economy. But of course, they


are important. But given where we were at the end of last year, no


economist was saying that we would be in this robust position today.


That is true, in terms of the overall recovery. Now the PM loves


to "bang the drum abroad for British business" and he's off to China this


evening with a plane-load of British business leaders. And it's not the


first time. Take a look at this Well, you might not think exports


unimportant, but clearly the Prime Minister and the Chancellor do. They


are important, but they are not what is driving the growth at the moment.


We used to talk about the need for export led recovery is, that is why


the Prime Minister is going to China. Absolutely, and he's doing


the right thing. Do we have any evidence that these tend of trips


produce business? The main example so far is the right to trade the


Chinese currency offshore. London has a kind of global primacy. London


will be the offshore centre. Is that a good thing? I have no problem at


all with this sort of policy. I do not think that Britain has been


doing this enough compared with France and Germany in recent years.


I am optimistic in the long term about this dish -- about British


exports to China. China need machine tools and manufacturing products. In


20 years time, China will be buying professional groups, educational


services, the things we excel at. All we need to do is consolidate our


strengths, stand still and we will move forward. The worst thing we can


do is reengineer the economy towards those services and away from


something else. We have a lot of ground to make up, Helen? At one


stage, it is no longer true, but at one stage you could say that we


exported more to Ireland, a country of 4 million people, than we did to


Russia, China, India, Brazil, all combined. I believe we form 1% of


Chinese imports now. The problem is what you have to give up in exchange


for that. It is a big problem for David Cameron's credibility that he


has had to row back on his meeting with the Dalai llama. This trip we


have been in the deep freeze with China for a couple of years. This


trip has come at a high cost. We have had to open up the City of


London to Chinese banks without much scrutiny, we have had to move the


date of the Autumn Statement, and there is no mention of human rights.


It is awkward to deal with that all in the name of getting up to where


we were a few years ago. A month after strong anchor -- one month


after Sri Lanka, where he apologised three human rights abuses, this is


difficult to take. Do we have any idea what the Prime Minister hopes


to do in China this time? I am not sure there is anything specific but


when you go to these countries, certainly in the Middle East China,


they complain, why has the Prime Minister not come to see us? That is


very important. High-level delegations from other countries go


to these places because the addict -- because they are important export


markets. You might look at the Prime Minister playing cricket over there,


and wonder, what is that for? I do not mind the Prime Minister Rajoy


cricket. This is a high visibility mission, chose that politicians in


Britain care. You are part of the free enterprise group. It had all


sorts of things on it like tax cuts for those on middle incomes or above


the 40% bracket, tax cuts worth 16 billion. You will get none of that


on Thursday, we are agreed? No. But he does have two budgets between now


and the election and if the fiscal position is using a little bit, he


may have more leeway than it looked like a couple of months ago. Yes,


from a free enter prise point of view, we have looked at the tax cuts


that should be looked at. The 4 p rate comes in at quite a low level


for people who, in the south-east, do not feel particularly wealthy.


They are spending a lot of money on commuting, energy bills. The


Chancellor has been very open about championing this. He says that the


40p rate will kick in at a slightly higher rate. Labour had a bad summer


and the opinion polls seem to be narrowing. Then they had a good


hearty conference season. The best. Has the Labour lead solidified or


increased the little, maybe up to eight points? If it is a good Autumn


Statement, or the Tories start to narrow that lead by the end of the


year? If they go into 2014 trailing by single digits, they cannot


complain too much. That gives them 18 months to chip away at Labour's


lead. But do they do that chipping away by eight bidding Labour or do


they let time take its course and let the economic recovery continue,


maybe business investment joins consumer spending as a source of


that recovery, and a year from now, household disposable income begins


to rise? That is a better hope than engaging in a bidding war. Be


assured, they will be highly political budgets. That's all for


today. The Daily Politics is on BBC Two at midday all this week, except


on Thursday when we'll start at 10:45 to bring you live coverage and


analysis of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement in a Daily Politics


special for BBC Two and the BBC News Channel. Remember if it's Sunday,


it's the Sunday Politics.


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