Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news and debate. With guests John Cridland of the CBI, Sir Simon Jenkins of the National Trust, and Stephen Hammond MP.
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In the North East: the Government's health reforms are being piloted
here. Yet we cannot get GPs to tell us why they are working or why they
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1713 seconds
Coming up in North East and Cumbria: government health service
changes are being piloted here. Yet doctors seem to have taken a vow of
silence. What do people who used it NHS make of the tall? And looking
ahead to the Budget are in North Tyneside MP, and Conservative peer.
Businesses and holidaymakers would like to see the chance will scrap a
plan to raise taxes on flying. Passenger duty is due to increase
next month, a further hike in as many years. In fact it has trebled
on some flights since 2007. Campaigners say it is damaging
attempts to revive the North East economy. The rise will see the tax
on economy flights to Europe -- increase. A bigger increase for
flight to the US. And the larger one to Australia. -- largest.
Horrendous. But it is the taxes which are the bulk of an air fare.
It is quite something. If the Government want to get money out of
Oz they will do. Everything has to be paid for but we do all want
cheaper flights if we can. Travelling the world the way I do I
can assume you this is one of the best country still have an. Some
may be the taxes to don't do harm. -- the best country to live and.
The greatest burden is on airlines and who may not come into the North
East. If they put their airlines and other locations rather than
hear that will weaken our competitiveness. Some argue that a
tax is a small price to pay to help planet. It is a carbon tax designed
to discourage a high carbon emitting form of transport.
Although the medicine is painful the illness of climate change does
far more damage to our national and global economy than a carbon tax.
Of course if you run an airport you do not like these taxes and I'm
sure that it director of Corporate Affairs at Newcastle Airport is
about to tell me that! But surely you accept it helps the environment.
The aviation industry has to work hard to move forward with environ
mental performance and it is in its best interests to do so. So I think
there will be action on fuel- efficient aircraft going forward.
But are you really arguing that people will be put off flying by
what is on paper a few Pounds extra? We find it has had a bigger
impact on the regions. People have less money and are more price
sensitive. Therefore demand has been impacted. That is why we're
asked the Government to look particularly at the impact
regionally. In effect you want an advantageous deal? Heathrow may
have one type of tax and here, another? Yes. The most congested
airports should have a higher rate of tax and then the less congested
airports, I e, the regional airports, law. We think that will
help to rebalance the economy. Coming back to be environmentally
argument, that is not good. There must be action from a global point
of view. All governments, on the environ mental issues of all forms
of transport. That should be global, not a UK level. Are you telling me
that airlines are not coming to Newcastle because of this barrier?
It is a barrier. It is not a case of their planes queuing at the door
to come to Newcastle, we knock at their door and then try to argue
that the economy is large enough to support those services. Michael
Bates, I know you have just written to from Greece. How should we look
at this tax? It is a very environmentally friendly way to get
from Athens, to walk! It is easy to say, let's not raise passenger
duty... But we all say... It is about helping the environment and
cutting the deficit. The key thing is that Newcastle is a terrific
airport expanding its services. But last year we froze air passenger
duty for the year. Unlike other countries there is no VAT on
domestic flights. So I think that airlines can be helped but also we
must have to take some of the pain to pay for the deficit. A study
this week, albeit by the travel industry I admit, so that you scrap
these taxes you can create 90,000 jobs. That outweighs the money
going into the Treasury and makes economic sense, doesn't it? This is
the balance. That is why the Labour government introduced this tax and
we have only inherited it. We must balance goes to demands. But that
is not happening. Newcastle Airport has additional services. It is
dying on its feet. It is doing remarkably well and getting
international trade. I think it is all there. Listen, it is not easy
and there is never any popular way to help the environment of cut the
deficit but I think we have got the balance about right. Do you agree?
Record export levels so it does seem that the one thing these air
passenger duties is not affecting as export. -- es export. And other
tax -- this is another tax that. People doing things on their lives.
�1 per flight to Europe? There are variations depending on where
people are travelling. You referred to the report that has come out
from the travel industry. It seems ludicrous that we could have over
�4 billion worth of money in the economy as opposed to �2 billion in
tax. The two things just do not weigh up. And the job as you, that
is at an important one. But I feel strongly that we should import a
world -- support our local airport. It is really important. The Green
Party make the point that it is far more damaging to our economy to not
have a decent air taxes. The end result will be climate change and
disaster. We mentioned before improving the green credentials of
air flights and putting money into that. But what message does it send
out if you cut their duty just as soon as the travel industry put
pressure on you? You are saying that ordinary people should not be
able to use their planes to fly away on their holidays. How would
they reach Australia or New Zealand? Trying to use this excuse
of saying it is about the environment when there are things
that can be done, and especially when it has been proven that we
could make more money for the region by reducing the tax - it
just does not add up. Thanks for that very much. The state of the
economy locally is the subject of a special programme tomorrow evening
on BBC One in which a studio audience will talk about how the
crisis has affected them. There will also be details of new
research into the prospects for economic growth in the region. That
is tomorrow evening at 11:05pm. Now, GP commissioning will see family
doctors handed picks laces of the NHS budget. Cumbria is already
piloting the scheme. -- Devon large slices. You would think that
doctors would be falling over themselves to tell us how good it
is. As we report, they seem to be strangely silent. Doctors and
nurses are familiar territory for these toddlers. Plans for a radical
overhaul the NHS will almost certainly affect their future lives.
But do parents know any more than the toddles do? If something is
broken, you fix it. But if it is not broken there is no need to
change something completely. Really silly. Personally I am happy. I
suppose they will do whatever they are going to do anyway. Family
doctors hearing Cumbria have already been piloting the proposals.
GPs control most of the local NHS budget and decide on where to spend
the money to buy care for their patients. This GP was keen to talk
last year about why the system works so well. He even went to
London to meet David Cameron for the launch of the reforms. But now
our requests for an interview are being turned down. The primary care
trusts say that he will not be available until the outcome of the
bell is more clear. Other GPs who have approached say that they will
not speak either. But one senior professional has spoken out about
his opposition. What is very disturbing is that this paves the
way for private health insurance and to have two tears of healthcare
side by side in the same hospital. Private beds and public beds.
Cumbria doctors and nurses who have declared their support for the
changes are now proving hard to track down. But the Government is
bullish about their silence. They have given strong support in the
past. I am not sure where you're coming from. I believe that the GPs
in North Cumbria at the forefront of these reforms. I cannot comment
on what the Primary Care Trust are saying but that doctor was a strong
supporter of our proposals. these mothers remain aware that
changes to the NHS are on the way but how they will affect day-to-day
access to doctors and hospitals is Let's deal with the fact that we
cannot talk to these doctors. I do not expect you to have a detailed
idea of why not. But surely it is a sign the reforms are not
progressing as well as hoped. not know why oh why people will not
speak. But I am looking at the big picture. Everybody appreciates that
the health service needs to be reformed. The number of people over
the age of 85 is going to double in the next number of years. Clearly
we are seeing an number of things - the Labour Party already recognised
there had to be reform and introduced a private contribution
to the health service in the last parliamentary term. The realised
you need to cut bureaucracy and give more power to doctors to
commission services. So many ways we're saying, there is reform, but
there is also an element of protecting funding and we want to
make sure that things are free at the point of access. You say
everybody accepts the need for reform. But does mother's did not.
Why fix it if it is not broken? Because we had a ridiculous
situation where bureaucracy was expanding. Six managers for of the
doctor. We today money to the people in need it, like the people
in your film. These people will not benefit from this wealthy? Your
scaremongering is irresponsible. -- they will not benefit, while they?
These are scarce resources and should be directed to actually
doing things that improved people's health. But when you think about it,
what Labour did was improve the health service and -- enormously.
We cut waiting times. We had more staff in hospitals. New hospitals.
And whatever people say about Labour there was a commitment. Yes,
we know that reform must continue but the way the Government are
doing it, a few years' time, those same women may be ruing what the
Government has done. But all that happened with Labour reforms - and
you cannot put privatisation back in the box - you introduced it.
is probably the opposite. When we brought in the opportunity for
privatisation it was not on the same scale. It was to help of the
capacity Barton of the health service. That reduced when the
capacity built under Labour created a completely different ball game. -
- the capacity warden. The point is that you have not taken the medical
profession of patients with you. Why not, if things are so good?
Speaking as a member of the House of Lords it is always difficult to
see the need for reform from the inside. We have put a cap of 49% on
it. We are crucially taking money away from administration and
bureaucracy and giving it to people know how it ought to be spent. That
is something that Labour supported and did before the last election
and now they are opposing it. was different circumstances. Not an
unlimited cap. There were Foundation trusts. And the issue
about the private patients money being more for the opportunity of
private treatment, it was about 2%, the cap at the time. So Labour did
not actually going to privatisation in the same way that the
opportunities being created now. will not get you to agree so we
will leave it at that. Thank you. Time for my colleague to cram the
political week into 60 seconds. It was bad news for the 450 workers at
this pharmaceutical company Newcastle whip -- coup were told
that the company was closing. Gateshead and Middlesbrough failed
in their attempt to win city status. The Conservatives are widening the
net in their search for Durham Police Commissioner candidates. But
it was the policing of the Liberal- Democrat conference that helped put
Nick Clegg on the spot. I sincerely hope that the Deputy Prime Minister
enjoyed our famous North East hospitality. Could he now tell the
House when the 3,000 extra police he promised at a general election
will be in their posts? And this new earth sculpture has been
The search for police commissioner of candidates - his membership of
the Conservative Party so bad that you have to drag people off the
streets? We're just trying to open it up to people with no background
in politics. People want a breath of fresh air. These are new posts
in a new system which will connect policing with the local community.
As we have seen with elected mayors, sometimes having people who are
fresh, come from a new perspective, can bring dynamism to the post.
Labour-run the other hand seemed to be clinging to a former MP and lots
of councillors. We want people with a knowledge of their region and to
think we conserve their region in a different way. Giving people a
choice of somebody who is absolutely new and has no political
links is fair enough. In the end people will make a vote, let's just
hope that the party's produce good candidates. Budget next week, what
is what the one thing the Chancellor should do for the North
East and Cumbria? Corporation tax and keeping the success we are
having in manufacturing. Something that people are asking me about is
the cost of fuel. People are concerned and would like to see it
go down. Especially a lot of our businesses. Do you think either of
you will get you wish? I think I might have a bit more luck! I would
hope so, as part of the Government! 50% tax rate? To yes or no. Wealth
Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news and debate.
Andrew Neil interviews John Cridland, Chairman of the CBI on what businesses want from Wednesdays Budget. Sir Simon Jenkins, Chairman of the National Trust, and Stephen Hammond MP go head to head over the Government's plans to change planning laws affecting the countryside.