12/01/2014 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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Good morning, welcome. 2014 is barely under way, and the


coalition is fighting over cuts Nick Legg says Tory plans to balance


the books would hit the poorest hardest. He will not say what he


will cut. That is the top story Chris Grayling called for a


completely new deal with Europe as he battles will rings from the


European Court of Human Rights. He joins me.


Labour promises to shift house-building up a gear, but how


will they Labour promises to shift


house`building up a gear but how will they get 1 million new homes


built by 2020. We hear from the Shadow Housing Minister. In the


North East and Cumbria, why tax is going up despite government


be serious. Have cuts left to the service being overstretched?


With me for the duration, a top trio of political pundits, Helen Lewis,


Jan and Ganesh and Nick Watt. They will be tweeting faster than France


or long scoots through Paris. Nick Clegg sticks to his New Year


resolution to sock it to the Tories, the is how he described Tory plans


for another 12 billion of cuts on welfare after the next election


You cannot say, as the Conservatives are, that we are all in it together


and then say that the welfare will not make any additional


contributions from their taxes if there is a Conservative government


after 2015 in the ongoing effort to balance the books. We are not even


going to ask that very wealthy people who have retired who have


benefits, paid for by the hard-pressed taxpayers, will make a


sacrifice. The Conservatives appear to be saying only the working age


pork will be asked to make additional sacrifices to fill the


remaining buckle in the public finances.


Nick Legg eating up on the Tories a, happens almost every day. I


understand it is called aggressive differentiation. Will it work for


them? It has not for the past two years. This began around the time of


the AV referendum campaign, that is what poisoned the relations between


the parties. They have been trying to differentiation since then, they


are still at barely 10% in the polls, Nick Clegg's personal ratings


are horrendous, so I doubt they will do much before the next election. It


is interesting it has been combined with aggressive flirtation with Ed


Balls and the Labour Party. There was always going to be some sort of


rapprochement between them and the Labour Party, it is in the Labour


Party's interests, and it is intent macro's interests, not to be defined


as somebody who can only do deals with the centre-right. A colleague


of yours, Helen, told me there was more talk behind closed doors in the


Labour Party high command, they have to think about winning the election


in terms of being the largest party, but not necessarily an overall


majority. There is a feeling it was foolish before the last election not


to have any thought about what a coalition might be, but the language


has changed. Ed Miliband had said, I cannot deal with this man, but now,


I have to be prismatic, it is about principles. Even Ed Balls. Nick


Clegg had specifically said that Ed Balls was the man in politics that


he hated. He said that was just a joke. Of course, it is about


principles, not people! When Ed Balls said those nice things about


Nick Clegg, he said, I understood the need to get a credible deficit


reduction programme, although he said Nick Clegg went too far. The


thing about Nick Clegg, he feels liberated, he bears the wounds from


the early days of the coalition and maybe those winds will haunt him all


the way to the general election But he feels liberated, he says, we will


be the restraining influence on both the Conservatives, who cannot insure


that the recovery is fair, and the Labour Party, that do not have


economic red ability. He feels relaxed, and that is why he is


attacking the Tories and appearing pretty relaxed. He could also be


falling into a trap. The Tories think what they suggesting on


welfare cuts is possible. The more he attacks it, the more Tories will


say, if you gave us an overall majority, he is the one it. He keeps


taking these ostensibly on popular positions and it only makes sense


when you talk to them behind the scenes, they are going after a tiny


slice of the electorate, 20%, who are open to the idea of voting Lib


Dem, and their views are a bit more left liberal than the bulk of the


public. There is a perverse logic in them aggressively targeting that


section of voters. In the end, ten macro's problem, if you do not like


what this coalition has been doing, you will not vote for somebody who


was part of it, you will vote for the Labour Party. The Tories are too


nasty, Labour are to spendthrift, Lib Dem, a quarter of their vote has


gone to Labour, and that is what could hand the largest party to


Labour. That small number of voters, soft Tory voters, the problem for


the Liberal Democrats is, if you fight, as they did, three general


elections to the left of the Labour Party, and at the end of the third,


you find yourself in Colour Vision with the Conservatives, you have a


problem. Chris Grayling is a busy man, he has


had to deal with aid riot at HM Prison Oakwood, barristers on strike


and unhappy probation officers taking industrial action.


Prison works. It ensures that we are protected from murderers, muggers


and rapists. It makes many who are tempted to commit crime think twice.


Traditional Tory policy on criminal justice and prisons has been tough


talking and tough dealing. Not only have they tended to think what they


are offering is right, but have had the feeling, you thinking what they


thinking. But nearly two decades after Michael Howard's message, his


party, in Colour Vision government, is finding prison has to work like


everything else within today's financial realities. The Justice


Secretary for two years after the election had previous in this field.


Ken Clarke. Early on, he signalled a change of direction. Just binding up


more and more people for longer without actively seeking to change


them is, in my opinion, what you would expect of Victorian England.


The key to keeping people out of prison now, it seems, is giving them


in a job, on release. Ironically, Ken Clarke was released from his job


15 months ago and replaced by Chris Grayling. But here, within HM Prison


Liverpool, Timpson has been working since 2009 with chosen offenders to


offer training and the chance of a job. Before you ask, they do not


teach them keep cutting in a category B prison. The Academy is


deliberately meant to look like a company store, not a prison. It


helps. You forget where you are at times, it feels weird, going back to


a wing at the end of the day. It is different. A different atmosphere.


That is why people like it. Timpson have six academies in prisons,


training prisoners inside, and outside they offer jobs to


ex-offenders, who make up 8% of their staff. It has been hard work


persuading some governors that such cooperation can work. I have seen a


dramatic change positively, working with prisoners, particularly in the


last five years. They understand now what business's expectation is.


Timpson do not just employ offenders, but as one ex-prisoner


released in February and now managing his own store says, the


point is many others will not employ offenders at all. From what I have


experienced, on one hand, you have somebody with a criminal conviction,


on the other, somebody who does not have one, so it is a case of


favouring those who have a clean record. Anybody with a criminal


conviction is passed to one side and overlooked. That, amongst myriad


other changes to prison and how we deal with prisoners, is on the desk


of the man at the top. Ever since Chris Grayling became Secretary of


State for Justice, he has wanted to signal a change of direction of


policy, and he is in a hurry to make radical reforms across the board,


from size and types of prisons to probation services, reoffending


rates, legal aid services, and there has been opposition to that from


groups who do not agree with him. But what might actually shackle him


is none of that. It is the fact that he is in government with a party


that does not always agree with him, he has to abide by the rulings of


the European Court of Human Rights, and in those famous words, there is


no money left. We would like to go further and faster. I would like him


too, but we are where we are. If the Liberal Democrats want to be wiped


out at the next election based on what they believe, that is fair


enough. We accept there has to be savings, but there are areas where


we feel that there is ideological driven policy-making going on, and


privatising may not save any money at all, and so does not make any


sense. The question is, we'll all of that means some of Chris Grayling's


reforms need closer inspection? Chris Grayling joins me now.


Welcome. We have a lot to cover If you get your way, your own personal


way, will be next Tory manifesto promise to withdraw from the


European Convention of human rights? It will contain a promise


for radical changes. We have to curtail the role of the European


court here, replace our human rights act from the late 1990s, make our


Supreme Court our Supreme Court they can be no question of decisions


over riding it elsewhere, and we have to have a situation where our


laws contain a balance of rights and responsibilities. People talk about


knowing their rights, but they do not accept they have responsible it


is. This is what you said last September, I want to see our Supreme


Court being supreme again... That is clear, but let's be honest, the


Supreme Court cannot be supreme as long as its decisions can be


referred to the European Court in Strasbourg. There is clearly an


issue, that was raised recency - recently. We have been working on a


detailed reform plan, we will publish that in the not too distant


future. What we will set out is a direction of travel for a new


Conservative government that will mean wholesale change in this area.


You already tried to reform the European Court, who had this


declaration in 2012, do you accept that the reform is off the table?


There is still a process of reform, but it is not going fast enough and


not delivering the kind of change we need. That is why we will bring


forward a package that for the different from that and will set a


different direction of travel. We are clear across the coalition, we


have a different view from our colleagues. You cannot be half


pregnant on this, either our decisions from our Supreme Court are


subject to the European Cup or not, in which case, we are not part of


the European court. I hope you will see from our proposals we have come


up with a sensible strategy that deals with this issue once and for


all. Can we be part of the Strasbourg court and yet our Supreme


Court be supreme? That is by point, we have to curtail the role of the


court in the UK. I am clear that is what we will seek to do. It is what


we will do for this country. But how? I am not going to announce the


package of policies today, but we will go into the next election with


a clear strategy that will curtail the role of the European Court of


Human Rights in the UK. The decisions have to be taken in


Parliament in this country. Are you sure that you have got your own side


on this? Look at what the Attorney General says.


I would be asking Strasberg a different question to that. If the


best in class, he is saying is enough is enough, actually somebody


in Strasberg should be asking if this has gone the way it should have


done. I would love to see wholesale reform in the court tomorrow, I m


not sure it is going to happen which is why we are going to the election


with a clear plan for this country. Would you want that to be a red line


in any coalition agreement? My mission is to win the next election


with a majority. But you have to say where your red lines would be. We


have been very clear it is an area where we don't agree as parties but


in my view the public in this country are overwhelmingly behind


the Conservative party. 95 Conservative MPs have written to the


Prime Minister, demanding he gives the House of Commons the authority


to veto any aspect of European Union law. Are you one of the people who


wanted to sign that letter but you couldn't because you are minister? I


haven't been asked to sign the letter. We need a red card system


for European law. I'm not convinced my colleagues... I don't think it is


realistic to have a situation where one parliament can veto laws across


the European Union. I understand the concerns of my colleagues, but when


we set out to renegotiate our membership, we have got to deliver


renegotiation and deliver a system which is viable, and I'm not


convinced we can have a situation where one Parliament can prevent


laws across the whole European Union. So you wouldn't have signed


this letter? I'm not sure it is the right approach. I support the system


I just talked about. Iain Duncan Smith has suggested EU migrants


coming to work in this country should have to wait for two years


before they qualify for welfare benefits, do you agree? Yes, I think


there should be an assumption that before you can move from one country


to another, before you can start to take back from that country's social


welfare system, you should have made a contribution to it. I spent two


and a half years working in Brussels trying to get the European


Commission to accept the need for change. There is a groundswell of


opinion out there which is behind Iain Duncan Smith in what he is


saying. I think we should push for a clear system that says people should


be able to move from one country to get a job, but to move to another


country to live off the state is not acceptable. You are planning a new


2000 capacity mega prison and other smaller presence which will be run


by private firms. After what has happened with G4S, why would you do


that? No decision has been made about whether it will be public or


private. What do you think it will be? I'm not sure yet. There is no


clear correlation over public and private prisons and whether there


are problems or otherwise. Oakwood is in its early stages, it has had


teething problems at the start, but the rate of disturbance there is


only typical for an average prison of its category. If you take an


example of Parc prison in Wales a big private run prison, run by G4S,


when it was first launched under the last government it had teething


problems of the same kind as Oakwood and is now regarded as one of the


best performing prisons. Why would you give it to a private company


then? We have only just got planning permission for the so we will not be


thinking about this for another few years. Some of the companies who run


prisons are under investigation with dreadful track records. In the case


of G4S, what we have experienced is acceptable and they have not been


able to go ahead with a number of contracts they might have otherwise


got. They are having to prove to the Government they are fit to win


contracts from the Government again. They are having to pay compensation


to the Government and the taxpayer. What has happened is unacceptable.


So why would you give them a 20 0 capacity mega prison? Or anyone like


them? It cannot be said that every private company is bad. In addition


to problems at Oakwood, you are quite unique now in your position


that you have managed to get the barristers out on strike the first


time since history began. What happens if the bar refuses to do


work at your new rates of legal aid and the courts grind to a halt? I


don't believe that will happen. When the barristers came out on strike,


three quarters of Crown Courts were operating normally, 95% of


magistrates courts were operating normally. We are having to take


difficult decisions across government, I have no desire to cut


back lately but we are spending over ?2 billion on legal aid at the


moment at a time when budgets are becoming tougher. You issued


misleading figures about criminal barristers, you said that 25% of


them earn over ?100,000 per year but that is their turnover, including


VAT. 33% of that money goes on their expenses, they have to pay for their


own pensions and insurance. People are not getting wealthy out of doing


this work. I don't publish figures, our statisticians do, with caveats


in place explaining the situation. Where you have high-cost cases,


where we have taken the most difficult decisions, we have tried


hard in taking difficult decisions to focus the impact higher up the


income scale. But do you accept their take-home pay is not 100, 00?


I accept they have to take out other costs, although some things like


travelling to the court, you and I and everyone else has to pay for


travelling to work. That is net of VAT. We have had a variety of


figures published, some are and some are not. Let's be clear, the gross


figures for fees from legal payments include 20% VAT. On a week when even


a cabinet minister can be fitted up by the police, don't we all need


well-financed legal aid? There is no chance that as a result


well-financed legal aid? There is no changes people will end up in court


unable to defend themselves. We have said in exceptional circumstances,


if you haven't got any money to pay, we will support you, but there is no


question of anyone ended up in court, facing a criminal charge


where they haven't got a lawyer to defend them. Let's look at how so


many dangerous criminals have managed to avoid jail. Here are the


figures for 2012. Half the people for sexual assault found guilty not


jailed. I thought you were meant to be tough on crime? Those figures


predate my time, but since 2010 the number of those people going to jail


has been increasing steadily. If you put the figures for 2010 on there,


you would see a significant change. We will never be in a position where


everybody who commits violence will end up in jail. The courts will


often decided to his more appropriate to give a community


sentence, but the trend is towards longer sentences and more people


going to jail. That maybe but it is even quite hard to get sent to jail


if you do these things a lot, again and again. In 2012 one criminal


avoided being sent to jail despite having more than 300 offences to his


name. 36,000 avoided going to jail despite 15 previous offences. That


is why we are taking steps to toughen up the system. Last autumn


we scrapped repeat cautions. You could find people getting dozens. As


of last autumn, we have scrapped repeat cautions. If you commit the


same offence twice within a two year period you will go to court. You


still might end up not going to jail. More and more people are going


to jail. I cannot just magic another 34,000 prison places. You haven t


got room to put bad people in jail? The courts will take the decisions,


and it is for them to take the decisions and not me, that two men


in a bar fight do not merit a jail sentence. These figures contain a


huge amount of offences from the most minor of offences to the most


despicable. Something is wrong if you can commit 300 offences and


still not end up in jail. That's right, and we are taking steps so


this cannot happen any more. Nick Clegg said this morning you are


going to make 12 billion of welfare cuts on the back of this, he is


right, isn't he? People on the lowest incomes are often not paying


tax at all, the rich... But these cuts will fall disproportionately on


average earners, correct? Let's look at the proposal to limit housing


benefit for under 25s. Until today, after people have left school or


college, the live for a time with their parents. For some, that is not


possible and we will have to take that into account, but we have said


there is a strong case for saying you will not get housing benefit


until you are some years down the road and have properly established


yourselves in work. And by definition these people are on lower


than average salaries. Give me a case in which those on the higher


tax band will contribute to the cuts. We have already put in place


tax changes so that the highest tax rate is already higher than it was


in every year of the last government. The amount of tax..


There is no more expected of the rich. We will clearly look at future


policy and work out how best to distribute the tax burden in this


country and it is not for me to second-guess George Osborne's future


plans, but we need to look at for example housing benefit for the


under 25s. Is it right for those who are not working for the state to


provide accommodation for them? Thank you for being with us.


All three major parties at Westminster agree there's an urgent


need to build more homes for Britain's growing population. But


how they get built, and where, looks set to become a major battle ground


in the run-up to the next general election.


Although 16% more house-builds were started in 2012/13 than the previous


year, the number actually completed fell by 8% - the lowest level in


peacetime since 1920. The Office for National Statistics estimates that


between now and 2021 we should expect 220,000 new households to be


created every year. At his party's conference last autumn, Ed Miliband


promised a Labour government would massively increase house-building. I


will have a clear aim but by the end of the parliament, Britain will be


building 200,000 homes per year more than at any time for a


generation. That is how we make Britain better than this. The Labour


leader also says he'd give urban councils a "right to grow" so rural


neighbours can't block expansion and force developers with unused land to


use it or lose it. The Government has been pursuing its own ideas


including loan guarantees for developers and a new homes bonus to


boost new house-building. But David Cameron could have trouble keeping


his supporters on side - this week the senior backbencher Nadhim Zahawi


criticised planning reforms for causing "physical harm" to the


countryside. Nick Clegg meanwhile prefers a radical solution - brand


new garden cities in the south east of England. In a speech tomorrow,


Labour's shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds will give more details


of how Labour would boost house-building, and she joins me


now. It is not the politicians to blame, it is the lack of


house-builders? We want a vibrant building industry, and at the moment


that industry is dominated by big house-builders. I want to see a more


diverse and competitive industry, where self build plays a greater


role. In France over 60% of new homes are built by self builders,


but small builders build more homes as well. 25 years ago they were


building two thirds of new homes, now they are not building even a


third of new homes. That's because land policies have been so


restrictive that it is only the big companies who can afford to buy the


land, so little land is being released for house building. I


agree, there are some fundamental structural problems with the land


market and that is why we have said there doesn't just need to be


tinkering around the edges, there needs to be real reforms to make


sure that small builders and self build and custom-built have access


to land. They are saying they have problems with access to land and


finance. At the end of the day it will not be self, small builders who


reach your target, it will be big builders. I think it is pretty


shameful that in Western Europe the new houses built in the UK are


smaller than our neighbours. But isn't not the land problem? France


is 2.8 times bigger in land mass and we are and that is not a problem for


them. There is a perception we are going to build on the countryside,


but not even 10% is on the countryside. There is enough for us


to have our golf courses. There is enough other land for us to build on


that is not golf courses. The planning minister has said he wants


to build our National Parks, I am not suggesting that. The single


biggest land border is the public sector. It is not. There are great


opportunities for releasing public land, that is why I have been asking


the government, they say they are going to release and of public land


for tens of thousands of new homes to be built, but they say they are


not monitoring how many houses are being built on the site. When your


leader says to landowners, housing development owners, either use the


land or lose it, in what way will they lose it? Will you confiscated?


This is about strengthening the hand of local authorities, and they say


to us that in some cases, house-builders are sitting on land.


In those cases, we would give the power to local authorities to


escalate fees. This would be the compulsory purchase orders, a matter


of last resort, and you would hope that by strengthening the hand of


local authorities, you could get the house-builders to start building the


homes that people want. Would you compulsory purchase it? We would


give the local authority as a last resort, after escalating the fees,


the possibility and flexible it is to use the compulsory purchase


orders to sell the land on to a house builder who wants to build


houses that we need. Can you name one report that has come back in


recent years that shows that hoarding of land by house-builders


is a major problem? The IMF, the Conservative mayor of London and the


Local Government Association are telling us that there is a problem


with land hoarding. Therefore, we have said, where there is land with


planning permission, and if plots are being sat on... Boris Johnson


says there are 180,000 plots in London being sat on. We need to make


sure the house-builders are building the homes that young families need.


They get planning permission and sell it on to the developer. There


is a whole degree of complicity but there is another problem before


that. That is around transparency about land options. There is


agricultural land that house-builders have land options on,


and we do not know where that is. Where there is a need for housing,


and the biggest demand is in the south-east of England, that is where


many local authorities are most reluctant to do it, will you in


central government take powers to force these authorities to give it?


We have talked about the right to grow, we were in Stevenage


recently. What we have said is we want to strengthen the hand of local


authorities like Stevenage so they are not blocked every step of the


way. They need 16,000 new homes but they do not have the land supply.


What about the authorities that do not want to do it? They should be


forced to sit down and agree with the neighbouring authority. In


Stevenage, it is estimated at ?500,000 has been spent on legal


fees because North Hertfordshire is blocking Stevenage every step of the


way. Michael Lyons says the national interest will have to take President


over local interest. Voice cannot mean a veto. The local community in


Stevenage is crying out for new homes. Do you agree? There has to be


land available for new homes to be built, and in areas like Oxford


Luton and Stevenage... Do you agree with Michael Lyons? The national


interest does have to be served with Michael Lyons? The national


will put the five new towns? We have asked him to look at how we can


incentivise local authorities to come forward with sites for new


towns. You cannot tell us where they are going to be? I cannot. We will


have to wait for him. When you look at the historic figures overall not


at the moment, Private Housing building is only just beginning to


recover, but it has been pretty steady for a while. The


recover, but it has been pretty difference between house-building


now and in the past, since Mrs Thatcher came to power a and


including the Tony Blair government, we did not build council houses


Almost none. Will the next Labour government embark on a major council


has programme? We inherited housing stock back in 1997... This is


has programme? We inherited housing important. Will the next Labour


government embark on a major council has programme? We have called on


this government to bring forward investment in social housing. We


want to see an investment programme in social housing, I cannot give you


away from the election. Will the away from the election. Will the


next Labour government embark on away from the election. Will the


major council house Northern programme? I want to see a council


house building programme, because there is a big shortage of council


homes. That is a guess? Yes. We got there is a big shortage of council


there in the end. -- that is a yes? We will be talking to Patrick homes


in the West Midlands in a moment. You are watching the Sunday


in the West Midlands in a moment. Politics. Coming up in just over 20


minutes, I will look at the week ahead with our political


The sheer. We ask why so many town halls are refusing calls to freeze


bills. Could an independent Scotland


reopened dishes railway lines. Here are my first guess of 2014. Welcome


to you both. There are more bookies on the Regent `` region's High


Street. That is 1000 of them in the North East alone. Some people have


described them as the crack cocaine of gambling addiction. Labour wants


councils to begin in more powers to limit these machines. How big a


problem are these? Labour called a debate on this issue because we are


very concerned about the increasing numbers. Also the areas they are


targeted on. They are targeted on deprived areas and we know people


are getting addicted to these machines. We would like to see


better regulation and better safety aspects. Councils have the power to


make decisions whether they want more betting shops under High


Street. They tend to be springing up at every opportunity. They are part


of the same class use as financial institutions like banks and building


societies. If a company want to put a new shop in one of those premises,


they do not need authorisation from the authority to do that. ?1 billion


in the North East went into these machines. The government has been


dithering about whether to take action. It is clearly a problem.


There is a problem and the Liberal Democrats are clear about that. We


are forced the government to take action. It was the Labour Party that


permitted these onto the High Street in the first place, even though the


Liberal Democrats warned at the time and voted against it at the time. It


was predictable that putting these machines onto the High Street would


have these effects. We need to see change. The industry is being told


to tighten controls by March or face action. Evidence is being gathered


at the moment. The liberal Democrats supported the government this week.


They say they need to train control this. We have always said it needs


to be kept under review. Unfortunately, as often with


opposition, you have to look at the wording of the motion. It... I am


afraid the motion by Labour would have made no difference to the


existing situation in the High Street. We have to leave it there.


Now to the council tax. The cost could be about to go even higher.


The government says local councils should be thinking of householders


and putting a freeze on bills. A number of councils have said they


cannot afford to do that. It is all smiles at this children's centre


today, but that is a threat. The council is thinking of having their


budget for children's centres. We have used the centre in the past and


many of us have second babies on the way and we are panicking if it will


not be there. I have always worked and my taxes. At a time when I


needed now, the service I rely on is at risk. The council says it could


contribute to a target cut. It also asks if people might be prepared to


pay council tax with an increase to protect services. We want to protect


services like this. The only way to do that is to say to people, will


you pay more? People in Gateshead seemed divided about whether they


would pay more. I would rather pay less, not more. Yes, just to keep


care in the community going. Yes, I would. I think we pay enough


already. I am struggling as it is. Some councils the bills will have to


go up. Darlington is planning a 2% rise. It will not stop all the cuts.


This railway museum will lose its funding in two years. The council


says it will make a difference with the increase. 2% is not a lot. It is


a lot if you are on benefits and on top of the other charges. The


alternative is that something like 60% of social care might be cut. We


cannot achieve this without the increase. We need that revenue. Eric


Pickles says he has provided enough help for councils to freeze bills.


He might be more angry when he sees with other councils have planned.


Durham, North Yorkshire, Cumbria, Carlisle, Copeland, Allerdale,


Northumberland and middle but at all considering an increase of 2%. ``


). Even Darlington conservatives accept there might have to be arise.


We do have major concerns because they are also talking about reading


the balances over the next two years to try and balance the books. We had


another very serious situation. We have to look at more in marriage and


at ways of providing services. Unless local authorities can be


persuaded of their local track, the plans for a freeze could be


derailed. Given the financial position of councils, you can


understand it goes back clearly times are tough. Councils rely


heavily on government grants. We have seen big cuts going on. Redcar


have recently done a fundamental review of their services which will


save a large amount of money for local taxpayers. It will mean some


people will lose their jobs which we regret. Is that acceptable? They


have refused to do any freezing, apart from the very first year so we


have seen the council tax go up every year and I am pleased they are


finally getting to grips with sharing services and making things


more efficient. That is what the public want. Wages are not going


up. Yet it is Labour councils which are putting this up? We have to be


clear about why councils are in this position. The government is


implementing these cuts in an extremely unfair way. Councils and


the more deprived areas in the country are being hit really hard


when more affluent parts are actually getting an increase in


funding from the government. It is about choices... People who are


struggling to make ends meet are being charged more? Newcastle have


taken a decision to freeze council tax. They have seen an increase in


requests for debt advice in the last two years. We know people are


struggling with the cost of living, housing, rent, electricity bills.


What is the game of Eric Pickles? Would be more anxious `` on its to


save services? This decision is being left to local authorities


because it is a decision they have to decide about what their residents


can put up with. They have to provide value for money in the


current circumstances. Newcastle has taken the decision that imposing an


additional burden on households would just come back on debt. Eric


Pickles's offer is a bogus one, it is a headline grabber. It will


disappear within a couple of years? The problem for councils is they can


take the government money but it does not shake `` change the base.


It is 1% of the budget. That enables councils to freeze council tax.


Newcastle is one of these. That is the choice, it is a local choice.


Actually, Eric Pickles will not raise council tax above 2% without a


referendum. That is not local democracy. Let people choose.


Referendums are democracy. Do you want a referendum every time you


change tax rates in the budget? Now, but the choice you have referred to


is what he's giving people. There is also money available for two more


years of threes but it remains to be seen whether people will take it or


not. We will have two leave it there. Traditionally, Scotland has


been seen as a threat to the North East, competing for jobs and


investment. It is no surprise that many are worried about the prospect


of Scotland getting more power after the independence referendum insert


member. It could also bring benefits to our region. `` in September. The


Waverley line ran through the Scottish Borders from Edinburgh to


Carlisle and closed in 1969. In 2006, the Scottish Parliament made


way for a partial restoration of the service. Work is already underway in


Scotland. Extending the line to Cumbria is only an ambition at


present. This is the biggest restoration project ever in the UK.


It is over 30 miles. It has 60 miles to go. It will take a long time, but


it is achievable. The current restoration will only go from


Edinburgh to Tweedbank. Those who voted for it say independence will


help extend the line back to Cumbria once more. Cross`border


communications go beyond transport. I think transport is a major factor,


but there are other issues we're working on. We want to work in


collaboration with Scotland's own tourism, rural issues, retail.


Carlisle is the capital of this particular region. Our catchment


area for retail is a huge area. We attract a lot of people. It is


really important. The strategic `` position of Carlisle is being taken


into consideration as the referendum approaches. The referendum has drawn


attention to things which have been ongoing like the way in which


services are delivered and economic development is organised by either


side of the border. We want to coordinator effort across`the`board.


It is a range of areas that work through the local authorities.


Improvements could be made. The prospect of independent Scotland is


viewed as more of a challenge than an opportunity to those supporting a


no vote. Carlisle is at the centre of the United Kingdom at present. If


Scotland were independent, we would be a border city. I do not think


that is a benefit to Scotland or Carlisle or England. We are better


as a united country. How England could benefit from Scottish


independence is far from clear, but the fact the referendum is happening


is focusing minds in Cumbria. The SNP of history hopes for a yes


vote. We spoke to an SNP member of the Scottish Parliament and asked


him how realistic it was to talk about future independence. Clearly,


I would like to see the real we reopen over a period of time. We


have suggestions that might go all the way from Edinburgh to London. As


a long`term objectives, I believe it is essential. We will insure that is


meaningful communication between Carlisle and others. If that were


likely to happen under an independent Scotland? I would say


it's more likely, wouldn't I. The emphasis we have put on capital


expenditure and infrastructure benefits that would be brought is of


importance. What other kind of cross`border cooperation could


people look forward to? There are similarities. If you look at


Carlisle and Cumbria, the energy focus, this is an parallel with what


we're trying to do in Scotland. There is no reason why we should not


be able to work in partnership in the region successfully together.


There is a great desire to dual the A1 in the North East. Would an


independent Scotland help out with that? I do not know that I can


comment on that. We have so many other priorities, but these are the


kind of things we would want to discuss with the rest of the UK


government and decide what is of major priority. That they to be one


of them. There is anxiety south of the border, where people don't have


a vote about what an independent Scotland might mean. What if


Scotland set and lower corporation tax, businesses might head north of


the border, so what can you say to reassure people? It is incumbent on


the UK government to ensure that the people of the North East understand


what the implications are for them when Scotland becomes independent. I


believe will see more generation and enthusiasm, especially on the


business front and tourism and agriculture. That will encourage


less of London sucking all the economy down south.


We hear a lot from unionists about the danger of Scottish


independence, but is there an opportunity here to work with the


government for a common cause? I think that opportunity currently


exists and is being utilised. Most of what the SNP has to say to argue


for independence unravels quickly as we see already on the clip you


showed. You have seen, we work closely with Scotland's already. We


have a lot of common interests. A government that can do more than it


can do no? We are to have a government, a devolved


administration which is working closely with local authorities. We


have a common interest in the North Sea, the North Sea gas and oil, we


see five daily flights to Aberdeen at the moment from Newcastle


Airport. This is because of the skills we have freaky news for the


benefit of Scotland. Also the benefit we have of having those jobs


available to us. There are huge areas of independent `` of mutual


interest we already work together on. If Scotland does go


independent, cooperation can continue? If Scotland goes


independent, they will be outside the UK and the European Union. They


will not get in because Spain and others will veto it. We will have


border points and immigration rules. That is not the intention of


Scotland, is that? No, it is not but if they are not in the European


Union, all our immigration laws will apply. I have spoken to people who


live on one side of the border and work on the other and they say this


is a nightmare. I think the more the SNP talk about this, the more


logically give to the union. Our current system for the North East


means we have to go cap in hand to London, Edinburgh is closest


potential capital city. We already work closely with Scotland. We work


on a number of issues across`the`board. `` cross border. I


think ultimately we have two remember how deeply destabilising


this talk of up potentially independent Scotland is at a time


when the economy is still very fragile. We are talking about


getting jobs into the economy and that has to be our focus,


destabilising like this is very damaging. For Eric Pickles, his New


Year resolution was not to make friends with local councils. He has


already had an argument with them about rubbish. Here are the


highlights. The government new bill has been


approved but many asbestos victims. Be denied compensation according to


a local MP. The Middlesbrough MP has asked the government to expand the


use of the Darlington airport. The Berwick MP has asked the government


to help deal with a fire which has been burning since September last


year. The residents have been suffering from the fumes and small


of potentially hazardous waste. The fire brigade can't protect the fire


for a polluting the water supply. Councils which collect rubbish


fortnightly are crazy, according to Eric Pickles. He wasn't returned


weekly collections. This was the height of municipal splendour when


it was built and now with the new town hall in Gateshead is to get a


new lease of life as a music venue. Has Eric Pickles been mischievous


about rubbish collections? When Redcar went to a weekly collection


there was a row but there has been nothing since. It would cost more to


go back to weekly collections so I think it is pie in the sky. I do not


know why he has he and his border about this. Perhaps it is because


people do care about this. `` RB in his bonnet. People are recycling


more. The landfill charges are rising every year so it would be


cost prohibitive to do what he is suggesting. It is very strange of


him to talk about localism and then dictate from Whitehall how often


people should get their bins collected. He has issued a crazy


bible about bins for local authorities. It is patronising and


he's just mischiefmaking. Or is he saying something that a lot of


people do actually care about? Clearly, people who are still on


weekly bends do not want to go to fortnightly bends. You do get used


to it. I do not understand why he is going on about this. `` bins.


Perhaps he is just trying to win friends and influence people. Keep


up on Twitter with me. Make a comment on the BBC blog if you like.


Back next will not be revoked. And I wouldn't


want it to go. Thank you, back to Andrew.


Can David Cameron get his way on EU migration? Will he ever be able to


satisfy his backbenchers on Europe? Is Ed Miliband trying to change the


tone of PMQ 's? More questions for the week ahead.


We are joined by Jacob Rees Mogg from his constituency in Somerset.


Welcome to the programme. You one of the 95 Tory backbenchers who signed


this letter? Suddenly. Laws should be made by our democratically


elected representatives, not from Brussels. How could Europe work with


a pick and mix in which each national parliament can decide what


Brussels can be in charge of? The European Union is a supernatural


body that is there for the cooperation amongst member states to


do things that they jointly want to do. It ought not be there to force


-- to enforce uniform rules on countries that do not want to


participate. It is the vision of Europe that people joined when we


signed up to it and came in in 973. It has accreted powers to itself


without having the support of the public of the member states. This is


just a way of preparing the ground for you to get out of Europe


altogether, isn't it? I do not big so. There is a role for an


organisation that does some coordination and that has trade


agreements within it, I do not think there is a role for a federal state.


Europe seems to be dominating the. I remember your leader telling you not


to bang on about Europe, your backbench colleagues seem to have


ignored that. Would you like to restrict the flow of EU migrants to


come to work in this country? Yes. I think we should have control of our


own borders, so we can decide who we want to admit for the whole world.


What we have at the moment is a restrictive control of people coming


from anywhere other than the EU There is a big decrease in the


number of New Zealanders who came in the last quarter for which figures


are available, but a huge increase in people coming from the continent.


Does it really make sense to stop our second cousins coming so that we


can allow people freely to come from the continent? I do not think so, we


need to have domestic control of our borders in the interests of the


United Kingdom. There are still lots more people coming from the rest of


the world than from the European Union. That has been changing. But


there are still more. A lot more. The permanent residence coming from


the European Union are extremely high. In the period when the Labour


Party was in charge, we had to put 5 million people coming here, of whom


about 1 billion were from Poland. -- we had 2.5 million people coming


here. We have no control over them. Like the clock behind you, you are


behind the times on these figures. I have stopped the clock for your


benefit, because it was going to chime otherwise! I thought that


might be distracting! Only a Tory backbencher could stop a clock!


Helen, when you at this up, it is preparing to get out, is it not We


have had this one bill about a referendum that seems to have tied


us up in knots for months on end. If Parliament could scrutinise every


piece of EU legislation, we would never get anything else done. It


would be incredible. Even Chris Grayling said earlier that you can


not have a national veto on anything that the EU proposes. I am surprised


that Jacob Rees Mogg is talking about dismantling one of Margaret


Thatcher's most important legacies, the creation of the single market,


and the person sent there to dream it up under Margaret Thatcher said


the only way you can run this sensibly is by not having national


vetoes, because if you have that, guess what will happen? The French


will impose lots of protectionist measures. It was Margaret


Thatcher's idea that national parliaments should never veto. How


could you fly in the face of the lady? Even the great lady makes


mistakes. Excuse me, Jacob Rees Mogg says even Margaret Thatcher makes


mistakes! No wonder the clock has stopped! Even be near divine


Margaret made a mistake! But on the single market, it has been used as


an excuse for massive origination of domestic affairs. We should be


interested in free trade in Europe and allowing people to export and


import freely, not to have uniform regulations, as per the single


market, because what that allows is thought unelected bureaucrats to


determine the regular vision. We want the British people to decide


the rules for themselves. If this makes the single market not work,


that is not the problem, because we can still have free trade, which is


more important. If David Cameron is watching this, I am sure he is, it


will be nice for you to come on and give us an interview, he must be


worried. He is beginning to think, I am losing control. It is a clever


letter, the tone is ingratiating and pleasant, every time, you have stood


up to Brussels, you have achieved something, but the content is


dramatic. If you want Parliament to have a veto, you want to leave the


EU, because the definition is accepting the primacy of European


law. The MPs should be clear about that. It is almost a year since the


Europe speech in which David Cameron committed to the referendum. The


political objective was to put that issue to bed until the next


election. It has failed. David Cameron is going to have to pull off


a major miracle in any renegotiations to satisfy all of


this. Yes, it makes me think how much luckier he has been in


coalition with the Liberal Democrats, because there is a bit of


the Tory party that is irreconcilable to what he wants to


do. The Conservative MPs are making these demands just as David Cameron


is seeing the debate goes his way in Europe. Angela Merkel has looked


over the cliff and said, do I want the UK out? No, they are a


counterbalance to France. France one the UK to leave, but they do not,


because they do not want to lose the only realistic military power Tom


other than themselves. Just when the debate is going David Cameron's way,


Jacob Rees Mogg would take us out. Let me move on to another subject.


That is nonsense. The debate is not beginning to go David Cameron's way.


We are having before us on Monday a bill about European citizenship and


spending British taxpayers money so that Europe can go and say we are


all EU citizens, but we signed up to being a part of a multinational


organisation. The spin that it is going the way of the leader of a


political party is one that has been used before, it was said of John


Major, it was untrue then and it is now. It is, for the continuing


deeper integration of the European Union. I want to ask a quick


question. Chris Grayling said to us that the Tories would devise a way


in which the British Supreme Court would be supreme in the proper


meaning of that, but we could still be within the European Court of


Human Rights. Can that circle be squared? I have no idea, the Lord


Chancellor is an able man, and I am sure he is good at squaring circles.


I am not worried about whether we remain in the convention or not PMQ


's, we saw a bit about this week, Paul Gorgons had died, so the house


was more subdued, but he wants a more subdued and serious prime


ministers questions. Let's remind ourselves what it was like until


now. What is clear is that he is


floundering around and he has no answer to the Labour Party's energy


price freeze. The difference is John Major is a good man, the Right


Honourable gentleman is acting like a conman. Across the medical


profession, they say there is a crisis in accident and emergency,


and we have a Prime Minister saying, crisis, what crisis? How out of


touch can hate the? You do not need it to be Christmas to know when you


are sitting next to a turkey. It is not a bad line. Is Ed Miliband


trying to change the tone of prime ministers questions? Is he right to


do so? The important point is this was a special prime ministers


questions, because everybody was really sad and by the death of Paul


Goggins and in the country, the legacy of the floods. That was the


first question that Ed Miliband asked about, so that cast a pall


over proceedings. When it suits him, Ed Miliband would like to take a


more statesman-like stance, but will it last? That is how David Cameron


started. His first prime ministers questions, he said to Tony Blair, I


would like to support you on education, and he did in a vote


which meant Tony Blair could see off a naughty operation from Gordon


Brown. But it did not last, they are parties with different visions.


Jacob Rees Mogg, would you like to see it more subdued? I like a bit of


Punch and Judy. You need to have fierce debate and people putting


their views passionately, it is excellent. I am not good at it, I


sit there quite quietly, but it is great fun, very exciting, and it is


the most watched bit of the House of Commons each week. If it got as dull


as ditchwater, nobody would pay attention. Three cheers for Punch


and Judy. Ed Miliband is going to make a major speech on the economy


this week. You can now define the general approach. We had it from


Emma Reynolds, we have seen it over energy prices, this market is bust,


the market is not working properly, and that will therefore justify


substantial government intervention. Intervention which does not


necessarily cost money. It is the deletion and reorganising


industries. It constitutes an answer to the question which has been


hounding him, what is the point of the Labour Party when there is no


money left? He says, you do not spend a huge amount fiscally, but


you arrange markets to achieve socially just outcomes without


expenditure. It is quite serious stance. I am not sure it will


survive the rigours of an election campaign, but it is an answer. Is


that an approach, to use broken markets, to justify substantial


state intervention? Yes, and the other big plank is infrastructure


spending. The Lib Dems would not be against capital investment for info


structure will stop Emma Reynolds talking about house-building, the


idea of pumping money into the economy through infrastructure is


something that the Labour Party will look at. Jacob Rees Mogg, you once


thought Somerset should have its own time zone, and today, you have


delivered on that promise! Live on the Sunday Politics! I try to


deliver on my promises! That is all for today, the Daily


Politics is on BBC Two every day this week, just before lunch. I


aren't back next Sunday here on BBC One at 11am. -- I am back. If it is


Sunday, it is the Sunday Politics.


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