18/03/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


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.

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