26/01/2014 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


26/01/2014

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including an interview with transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.


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Politics. Ed Balls has gone socialist and

:00:36.:00:42.

fiscal Conservative in one speech. He promises to balance the biggest

:00:43.:00:47.

bit of the budget. And to bring back the 50p top tax rate. Political

:00:48.:00:50.

masterstroke, or a return to old Labour?

:00:51.:00:55.

If you go to work by public transport, chances are the price of

:00:56.:00:58.

your ticket has just gone up - again. We'll speak to Transport

:00:59.:01:00.

Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. He's our Sunday Interview.

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And it's been another wet week our Sunday Interview.

:01:04.:01:06.

across much of the UK, but what s the outlook according to this man?

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This morning.This morning. Held in recent years by party

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On the Sunday Politics in the North East...

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And with me - as always - the political panel so fresh-faced,

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entertaining and downright popular they make Justin Bieber look like a

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boring old has-been just desperate to get your attention. Nick Watt,

:01:47.:01:49.

Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh, and they'll be tweeting quicker than a

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yellow Lamborghini racing down Miami Beach. Being political nerds, they

:01:53.:02:09.

have no idea what I'm talking about. Ed Balls sprung a surprise on us all

:02:10.:02:13.

yesterday. We kinda thought Labour would head for the election with a

:02:14.:02:16.

return to the 50p top rate of tax. But we didn't think he'd do it now.

:02:17.:02:20.

He did! The polls say it's popular, Labour activists now have a spring

:02:21.:02:24.

in their step. The Tories say it's a return to the bad old days of the

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'70s, and bosses now think Labour is anti-business. Here's the Shadow

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Chancellor speaking earlier this morning. I was part of a Government

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which did very many things to open up markets, to make the Bank of

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England independent, to work closely with business, but the reality is we

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are in very difficult circumstances and because if I'm honest you,

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George Osborne's failure in the last few years, those difficult

:02:40.:02:43.

circumstances will last into the next Parliament. Business people

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have said to me they want to get the deficit down, of course they do But

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to cut the top rate... It is foolish and feeds resentment I want to do

:03:00.:03:02.

the opposite and say look, pro-business, pro investment, pro

:03:03.:03:07.

market, but pro fairness. Let's get this deficit down in a fairway and

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make the reforms to make our economy work for the long term. What are the

:03:12.:03:17.

political implications of Labour now in favour of a 50%, in practise 352%

:03:18.:03:24.

top rate of tax? One of the political implications I don't think

:03:25.:03:27.

exist is that they'll win new voters. I'm not sure many people out

:03:28.:03:31.

there would think, I would love to vote for Ed Miliband but I'm not

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sure if he wants to tax rich people enough. It will con Dale their

:03:37.:03:42.

existing vote but I don't think it is the kind of, in the 1990s we

:03:43.:03:50.

talked about triangulation, moving beyond your core vote, I don't think

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it is a policy like that. If there has been a policy like that this

:03:54.:03:57.

year, this month, it has been the Tories' move on minimum wage. I

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thought Labour would come back with their own version, a centre-right

:04:01.:04:05.

policy, and instead they have done this. I think we talk about the 35%

:04:06.:04:09.

strategy that Labour supposed will have, I think it is a policy in that

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direction rather than the thing Tony Blair or Gordon Brown would have

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done. Where he was not clear is on how much it would raise. We know the

:04:24.:04:29.

sum in the grand scheme of things isn't much, the bedroom tax was

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about sending a message. What we are going to see is George Osborne and

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Ed Balls lock as they try to push the other one into saying things

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that are unpopular. The Tories, ?150,000 a year, that's exactly

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where Ed Balls want them to be. All three main parties have roughly the

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same plan, to run a current budget surplus by the end of the next

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Parliament. George Osborne said ?12 billion of welfare cuts, hasn't said

:05:04.:05:09.

how he is going to do it. Ed Balls is giving an idea that he is going

:05:10.:05:14.

to restore this 50 persons rate The contribution of that will be

:05:15.:05:18.

deminimus. It is not much, but what does it say about your values.

:05:19.:05:23.

Because it is that package, it is cleverer than people think. Where

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the challenge is is the question that Peter Mandelson posed at the

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last election, which is can the Labour Party win a general election

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if it doesn't have business on its side? That's the big challenge and

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that's the question looking difficult for them this morning

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Does it matter if Labour has business on its side. I thought the

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most fascinating thing about this announcement is it came from the guy

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mindful of business support, Ed Balls. When in opposition and when a

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Minister and as a shadow as a result, he's been far more conscious

:05:59.:06:04.

than Ed Miliband about the need not to alienate the CB Bill. In the

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run-up of an election. This is a measure of Ed Miliband's strength in

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the Labour Party, that his view of things can prevail so easily over a

:06:14.:06:18.

guy who for the last 15 years has taken a different view. Eight out of

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ten businesses according to the CBI don't want us to leave business

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Business is in a bit of a cleft stick. Ed Miliband would like to see

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businesses squealing, and Ed Balls is clearly not so comfortable on

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that one. is clearly not so comfortable on

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that. Mind you, they were squealing this morning from Davos. They

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probably had hangovers as well. The other thing they would say is this

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is not like Ed Balls thinks that 50p is the optimal rate forever, it what

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go eventually. Isn't that what politicians said when income tax was

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introduced? Yeah, in '97 Labour regarded 40 persons as the rate

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where it would stay. It's been a bad week for the Lib

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Dems. Again. Actually, it's been one of the worst weeks yet for Nick

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Clegg and his party in recent memory, as they've gone from talking

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confidently about their role in Government to facing a storm of

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criticism over claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour by a

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Lib Dem peer, Chris Rennard, and a Lib Dem MP, Mike Hancock. Here's

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Giles with the story of the week. A challenge to Nick Clegg's authority

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as he face as growing row over the Liberal Democrat... I want everyone

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to be treated with respect by the Liberal Democrats. We are expecting

:07:35.:07:38.

him to show moral leadership on our behalf. A good man has been publicly

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destroyed by the media with the apparent support of Nick Clegg. I

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would like Nick Clegg to show leadership and say, this has got to

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stop. When Nick Clegg woke up on Monday morning he knew he was in

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trouble, staring down the barrel of a stand justify with Lord Rennard

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over allegations that the peer a stand justify with Lord Rennard

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inappropriately touched a number of women. Chris Rennard

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inappropriately touched a number of cleared. Nick Clegg wanted more I

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said if he doesn't apologise, he should withdraw from the House of

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Lords. If he does that today, what do you do then? I hope he doesn t. I

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think no apology, no whip. 2014 was starting badly for the Liberal

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Democrats. Chris Rennard refused to apologise, saying you can't say

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sorry for something you haven't done. The and he was leaning towards

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legal action. Butch us friends better defending Pym and publicly.

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This is a good, decent man, who has been punished by the party, with the

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leadership of the party that seems to be showing scant regard for due

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process. But his accusers felt very differently. It is untenable for the

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Lib Dems to have a credible voice on qualities and women's issues in the

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future if Lord Rennard was allowed to be back on the Lib Dem benches in

:09:07.:09:13.

the House of Lords. Therein lay the problem that exposed the weaknesses

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of the Lib Dem leaders. The party's internal structures have all the

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simplicity of a circuit diagram for a supercomputer, exposing the

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complexity of who runs the Liberal Democrats? The simple question that

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arose of that was can the leader of the Lib Dems remove a Lib Dem peer?

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The simple answer is no. The Lib Dem whips in the Lords could do it but

:09:39.:09:43.

if enough Lib Dem peers disagreed, they could overrule it. Some

:09:44.:09:49.

long-stand ng friends of roar Rennard think he is either the

:09:50.:09:53.

innocent victim of a media witch-hunt or at the least due

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process has been ridden over rough shot by the leadership. Nobody ever

:09:57.:10:02.

did spot Lord Rennard as he didn't turn up to the Lords, will citing

:10:03.:10:05.

ill health. But issued a statement that ruled out an apology. He

:10:06.:10:10.

refused to do so and refused to comply with the outcome of that

:10:11.:10:13.

report, so there was no alternative but for the party to suspend his

:10:14.:10:18.

membership today. On Wednesday Nick Clegg met Lib Dem peers, not for a

:10:19.:10:23.

crunch decision, but to discuss the extraordinary prospect of legal

:10:24.:10:26.

action against the party by the man long credited with building its

:10:27.:10:29.

success. The situation was making the party look like a joke. One Tory

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MP said to one of my colleagues this morning, the funny thing about the

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Liberal Democrats, you managed to create a whole sex scandal without

:10:38.:10:41.

any sex. And we can laugh at ourselves but actually it is rather

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serious. And it got more serious, when an MP who had resigned the Lib

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Dem whip last year was expanded from the party over a report into

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allegations of serious and unwelcome sexual behaviour towards a

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constituent. All of this leaves the Lib Dems desperately wishing these

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sagas had been dealt with long ago and would now go away. Nick Clegg

:11:05.:11:10.

ended the week still party leader. Lord Rennard, once one of their most

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powerful players, ended the week, for now, no longer even in it.

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Giles on the Lib Dems' disastrous week. Now, as you doubtless already

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know, on Tuesday Lib Dem MPs will vote to choose a new deputy leader.

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You didn't know that? You do now. The job of Nick Clegg's number two

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is to speak with a genuine Lib Dem voice, untainted by the demands of

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coalition Government. At this point in the show we had expected to speak

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to all three candidates for the post, held in recent years by party

:11:42.:11:45.

veterans like Vince Cable and Simon Hughes. We thought it being quite a

:11:46.:11:52.

significant week for the party, they might have something to say. And

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here they are. Well that's their pictures. For various reasons, all

:11:57.:12:02.

three are now unavailable. Malcolm Bruce, he's reckoned to be the

:12:03.:12:06.

outsider. His office said he had a "family commitment". Gordon

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Birtwistle, the Burnley MP, was booked to appear but then told us,

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"I was at an event last night with Lorely Burt" - she's one of the

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candidates - "and she told me it was off". And Lorely Burt herself, seen

:12:17.:12:22.

by many as the red hot favourite, told us: "Because of the Rennard

:12:23.:12:25.

thing we don't want to put ourselves in a position where we have to

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answer difficult questions." How refreshingly honest. Helen, how bad

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politically is all this for the Lib Dems? What I think is the tragic

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irony of the Lib Dems is they've been revealed as being too

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democratic. In the same way that been revealed as being too

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their party conference embarrassed Nick Clegg by voting sings that he

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signed up to, and now everything has to be run past various

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sub-committees first. Is it democratic or chaotic? It is

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Byzantine. Mike Hancock was voluntarily suspended, and this week

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he was properly suspended. It was new information into the public

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domain that forced that. I'm already hearing Labour and Conservative

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Party musing that if it is a long Parliament, we will form a minority

:13:32.:13:35.

Government. It is a disaster for them. Voters like parties that

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reflect and are interested this their concerns. Parties that are

:13:40.:13:43.

self obsessed turn them off. The third party, if they carry on like

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this, they'll be the fifth party in the European elections, so they have

:13:48.:13:51.

got to draw a line under this. They do that, if they do, through

:13:52.:13:56.

mediation. As I understand it, Chris Rennard,s who has go devoted his

:13:57.:14:01.

entire life to the Liberal Democrats, and previously the

:14:02.:14:04.

Liberal Party, is keen to draw a line under this. He is up for

:14:05.:14:08.

mediation but he needs to know that the women that he has clearly

:14:09.:14:12.

invaded their personal space, that there wouldn't be a possible legal a

:14:13.:14:16.

action from them. The it is very difficult to see how you could

:14:17.:14:17.

resolve that. Except he difficult to see how you could

:14:18.:14:24.

these famous friends, to spill all the beans about all the party's sex

:14:25.:14:29.

secrets. Isn't the danger for the Lib Dems, this haunts them through

:14:30.:14:33.

to the European elections, where they'll get thumped in the European

:14:34.:14:36.

elections? They'll get destroyed in the European elections, which keeps

:14:37.:14:40.

it salient as a story over the summer. And it has implications for

:14:41.:14:45.

Nick Clegg's leadership. He's done a good job until now, perhaps better

:14:46.:14:49.

than David Cameron, of exercising authority over his party. He had a

:14:50.:14:53.

good conference in September. Absolutely, and now the Lib Dems

:14:54.:14:57.

have looked like a party without a leader or a leadership structure.

:14:58.:15:02.

Part of that is down to the chaotic or Byzantine organisational

:15:03.:15:06.

structure of the party. Part of it is Nick Clegg's failure to assert

:15:07.:15:09.

himself and impose himself over events. Is it Byzantine or

:15:10.:15:18.

Byzantine. It is labyrinthine. You don't get these words on the Today

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programme. The cost of living has been back on the agenda this week as

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Labour and the Tories argue over whether the value of money in your

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pocket is going up or down. Well there's one cost which has been

:15:37.:15:39.

racing ahead of inflation and that's the amount you have to pay to travel

:15:40.:15:43.

by train, by bus and by air. Rail commuters have been hard hit over

:15:44.:15:45.

the last four years, with the cost of the average season ticket going

:15:46.:15:49.

up by 18% since January 2010, while wages have gone up by just 3.6% over

:15:50.:15:53.

the same period. It wages have gone up by just 3.6% over

:15:54.:15:55.

users are paying high prices wages have gone up by just 3.6% over

:15:56.:16:01.

commuters from Kent shelling out more than ?5,000 per year from the

:16:02.:16:06.

beginning of this month just to get to work in London. It doesn't

:16:07.:16:11.

compare well with our European counterparts. In the UK the average

:16:12.:16:16.

rail user spends 14% of their average income on trains. It is just

:16:17.:16:24.

1.5% in Italy. Regulated fares like season tickets went up 3.1% at the

:16:25.:16:30.

beginning of this month, and with ministers keen to make passengers

:16:31.:16:34.

fought more of the bills, there are more fare rises coming down the

:16:35.:16:37.

track. And Patrick McLoughlin joins me now for the Sunday Interview

:16:38.:16:51.

Welcome. You claim to be in the party of hard-working people, so why

:16:52.:16:55.

is it that since you came to power rail commuters have seen the cost of

:16:56.:16:59.

their average season ticket going up in money terms by over 18% while

:17:00.:17:08.

their pay has gone up in money terms by less than four? I would point out

:17:09.:17:14.

that this is the first year in ten years that we have not had an above

:17:15.:17:20.

inflation increase on fares. The Government accepts we have got to do

:17:21.:17:25.

as much as we can to help the passengers. A big inflation increase

:17:26.:17:33.

since 2010. This is the first year in ten years that it has not been

:17:34.:17:40.

above RPI, but we are also investing huge amounts of money into the

:17:41.:17:45.

railways, building new trains for the East Coast Main Line and the

:17:46.:17:50.

great Western. We are spending 500 million at Birmingham station, this

:17:51.:17:56.

is all increasing capacity, so we are seeing investments. Over the

:17:57.:18:00.

next five years Network Rail will invest over ?38 billion in the

:18:01.:18:10.

network structure. We also have an expensive railway and it is ordinary

:18:11.:18:15.

people paying for it. A season ticket from Woking in Surrey,

:18:16.:18:21.

commuter belt land in London, let's look at the figures. This is a

:18:22.:18:27.

distance of over 25 miles, it cost over ?3000 per year. We have picked

:18:28.:18:36.

similar distances to international cities.

:18:37.:18:45.

The British commuter is being ripped off. The British commuter is seeing

:18:46.:18:53.

record levels of investment in our railways. The investment has to be

:18:54.:18:58.

paid for. We are investing huge amounts of money and I don't know

:18:59.:19:02.

whether the figures you have got here... I'm sure they are likewise,

:19:03.:19:19.

as you have managed to do... White -- ten times more than the Italian

:19:20.:19:28.

equivalent. We have seen transformational changes in our

:19:29.:19:32.

railway services and we need to carry on investing. We were paying

:19:33.:19:37.

these prices even before you started investing. We have always paid a lot

:19:38.:19:42.

more to commute in this country than our European equivalents. I'm not

:19:43.:19:51.

quite sure I want to take on Italy is a great example. You would if you

:19:52.:19:57.

were a commuter. You is a great example. You would if you

:19:58.:20:03.

the other rates of taxation has to be paid as well. Isn't it the case

:20:04.:20:09.

they are making profits out of these figures and using them to subsidise

:20:10.:20:13.

cheaper fares back in their homeland? The overall profit margin

:20:14.:20:22.

train companies make is 3%, a reasonable amount, and we have seen

:20:23.:20:25.

a revolution as far as the railway industry is concerned.

:20:26.:20:30.

a revolution as far as the railway 20 years we have seen passenger

:20:31.:20:30.

journeys going from 750 million 20 years we have seen passenger

:20:31.:20:40.

1.5 billion. That is a massive revolution in rail. Let me look

:20:41.:20:44.

1.5 billion. That is a massive spokesperson for the German

:20:45.:20:45.

government, the Ministry of transport.

:20:46.:20:58.

They are charging huge fares in Britain to take that money back to

:20:59.:21:05.

subsidise fares in Germany. What do you say to that? We are seeing

:21:06.:21:10.

British companies winning contracts in Germany. The National Express are

:21:11.:21:16.

winning contracts to the railways. What about the ordinary commuter?

:21:17.:21:20.

They are paying through the nose so German commuters can travel more

:21:21.:21:25.

cheaply. We are still subsidising the railways in this country, but

:21:26.:21:30.

overall we want to reduce the subsidy we are giving. We are still

:21:31.:21:36.

seeing growth in our railways and I want to see more people using them.

:21:37.:21:42.

Why do you increase rail fares at the higher RPI measure than the

:21:43.:21:48.

lower CPI measurement? That is what has always been done, and we have

:21:49.:21:54.

stopped. This is the first time in ten years that we have not raised

:21:55.:22:00.

the rail figures above RPI. You still link fares to RPI.

:22:01.:22:07.

lower CPI figure when it suits you, lower CPI figure when it suits you,

:22:08.:22:12.

to keep pension payments down for example, but the higher one when it

:22:13.:22:17.

comes to increasing rail fares. We are still putting a huge subsidy

:22:18.:22:21.

into the rail industry, there is still a huge amount of money going

:22:22.:22:26.

from the taxpayer to support the rail industry. I am not asking you

:22:27.:22:32.

about that, I am asking you why you link the figures to the higher RPI

:22:33.:22:40.

vesture Mark if we are going to pay for the levels of investment, so all

:22:41.:22:46.

the new trains being built at Newton Aycliffe for the East Coast Main

:22:47.:22:51.

Line and the great Western, ?3. billion of investment, new rolling

:22:52.:22:55.

stock coming online, then yes, we have to pay for it, and it is a

:22:56.:22:59.

question of the taxpayer paying for it all the -- or the passenger.

:23:00.:23:13.

You have capped parking fines until the next election, rail commuters we

:23:14.:23:16.

have seen the cost of their ticket has gone up by nearly 20%, you are

:23:17.:23:26.

the party of the drivers, not the passengers, aren't you?

:23:27.:23:33.

We are trying to help everybody who has been struggling. I think we are

:23:34.:23:47.

setting out long-term plans for our railways, investing heavily in them

:23:48.:23:51.

and it is getting that balance right. But you have done more for

:23:52.:23:56.

the driver than you have for the user of public transport. I don t

:23:57.:24:04.

accept that. They are paying the same petrol prices as 2011. This is

:24:05.:24:10.

the first time in ten years that there has not been an RPI plus

:24:11.:24:17.

rise. We are investing record amounts. Bus fares are also rising,

:24:18.:24:24.

4.2% in real terms in 2010, at a time when real take-home pay has

:24:25.:24:30.

been falling. This hits commuters particularly workers who use buses

:24:31.:24:36.

on low incomes, another cost of living squeeze. I was with

:24:37.:24:40.

Stagecoach in Manchester on Friday, and I saw a bus company investing in

:24:41.:24:54.

new buses. Last week First ordered new buses. Part of your hard-working

:24:55.:25:00.

families you are always on about, they are the ones going to work

:25:01.:25:06.

early in the morning, and yet you are making them pay more for their

:25:07.:25:10.

buses in real terms than they did before. They would be happier if

:25:11.:25:17.

they could travel more cheaply. It is about getting investment in

:25:18.:25:22.

services, it has to be paid for Why not run the old buses for five more

:25:23.:25:31.

years? Because then there is more pollution in the atmosphere, modern

:25:32.:25:35.

buses have lower emissions, and we are still giving huge support

:25:36.:25:39.

overall to the bus industry and that is very important because I fully

:25:40.:25:42.

accept that the number of people, yes, use the train but a lot of

:25:43.:25:52.

people use buses as well. High-speed two, it has been delayed because 877

:25:53.:25:58.

pages of key evidence from your department were left on a computer

:25:59.:26:05.

memory stick, part of the submission to environmental consultation. Your

:26:06.:26:08.

department's economic case is now widely regarded as a joke, now you

:26:09.:26:16.

do this. Is your department fit for purpose? Yes, and as far as what

:26:17.:26:22.

happened with the memory stick, it is an acceptable and shouldn't have

:26:23.:26:25.

happened, and therefore we have extended the time. There has been an

:26:26.:26:31.

extension in the time for people to make representation, the bill for

:26:32.:26:41.

this goes through Parliament in a different way to a normal bill. It

:26:42.:26:54.

is vital HS2 provides what we want. What I am very pleased about is when

:26:55.:26:59.

the paving bill was passed by Parliament just a few months ago,

:27:00.:27:04.

there was overwhelming support, and I kept reading there was going to be

:27:05.:27:10.

70 people voting against it, in the end 30 people voted against it and

:27:11.:27:14.

there was a good majority in the House of Commons. So can you give a

:27:15.:27:19.

guarantee that this legislation will get onto the statute books? I will

:27:20.:27:27.

do all I can. I cannot tell you the exact Parliamentary time scale. The

:27:28.:27:31.

bill will have started its progress through the House of Commons by

:27:32.:27:39.

2015, and it may well have concluded. The new chairman of HS2

:27:40.:27:45.

said he can bring the cost of the line substantially under the budget,

:27:46.:27:56.

do you agree with that? The figure is ?42 billion with a large

:27:57.:28:01.

contingency, and David Higgins, as chairman of HS2, is looking at the

:28:02.:28:06.

whole cast and seeing if there are ways in which it can be built

:28:07.:28:11.

faster. At the moment across London we are building Crossrail, ?14.

:28:12.:28:16.

billion investment. There was a report last week saying what an

:28:17.:28:18.

excellent job has been done. Crossrail started under Labour.

:28:19.:28:29.

Actually it was Cecil Parkinson in the 1990 party conference. You may

:28:30.:28:37.

get HS2 cheaper if you didn't pay people so much, why is the

:28:38.:28:43.

nonexecutive chairman of HS2 on ?600,000? And the new chief

:28:44.:28:52.

executive on ?750,000. These are very big projects and we need to

:28:53.:28:55.

attract the best people become so we are going for the best engineers in

:28:56.:29:01.

the world to engineer this project. It is a large salary, there is no

:29:02.:29:06.

question about it, but I'm rather pleased that engineers rather than

:29:07.:29:10.

bankers can be seen to get big rewards for delivering what will be

:29:11.:29:15.

very important pieces of national infrastructure. I didn't have time

:29:16.:29:19.

to ask you about your passenger duty so perhaps another time. We are

:29:20.:29:25.

about to speak to Nigel Mills and all of these MPs on your side who

:29:26.:29:29.

are rebelling against the Government, how would you handle

:29:30.:29:34.

them? We have got to listen to what our colleagues are talking about and

:29:35.:29:39.

try to respond it. Would you take them for a long walk off a short

:29:40.:29:44.

pier? I'm sure I would have many conversations with them. An

:29:45.:29:56.

immigration bill to tack the immigration into the UK. When limits

:29:57.:30:03.

on migration from Bulgaria and Romania were lifted this year there

:30:04.:30:08.

were warnings of a large influx of migrant workerses from the two new

:30:09.:30:12.

European countries. So far it's been more of a dribble than a flood. Who

:30:13.:30:18.

can forget Labour MP Keith Vaz greeting a handful of arrivals at

:30:19.:30:22.

Luton Airport. But it is early days and it is one of the reasons the

:30:23.:30:27.

Government's introduced a new Immigration Bill. The Prime Minister

:30:28.:30:31.

is facing rebellion from backbenchers who want tougher action

:30:32.:30:37.

on immigration from abroad. Nigel Mills would reimpose restrictions on

:30:38.:30:46.

how many Romanians and Bulgarians can come here. Joining me is Nigel

:30:47.:30:53.

Mills, Conservative MP behind the amendment and Labour MP Diane

:30:54.:30:57.

Abbott. Welcome. Nigel Mills, there hasn't been an influx of Romanians

:30:58.:31:05.

and Bulgarians. Why do you want to restore these, kick these

:31:06.:31:09.

transitional controls way forward to 2019? I don't think any of us were

:31:10.:31:14.

expecting a rush on January 1st Andrew. I think we were talking

:31:15.:31:19.

about a range of 250,000 to 350 000 people over five years. That's

:31:20.:31:24.

obviously a large amount of people, especially when you think net

:31:25.:31:29.

migration to the UK was well in excess of the Government's target of

:31:30.:31:32.

tens of thousands last year. The real concern is that it would be

:31:33.:31:38.

ever increasing our population, attracting lots of low-skilled,

:31:39.:31:44.

low-wage people, which keeps our people out of work and wages down.

:31:45.:31:48.

Did you accept that if you were to accept this, it would be in breach

:31:49.:31:53.

of the Treaty of Rome, the founding principle of the European Union We

:31:54.:31:58.

were trying to keep the restrictions that Bulgaria and Romania accepted

:31:59.:32:02.

for their first seven years of EU membership, on the basis that when

:32:03.:32:05.

we signed the treaty we weren't aware that we would have a huge and

:32:06.:32:10.

catastrophic recession we are still recovering from. But you would be in

:32:11.:32:15.

breach of the law, correct? The UK Parliament has a right to say we

:32:16.:32:19.

signed this deal before the terrible recession, and we need a bit longer

:32:20.:32:24.

in our national interest. It is worth noting that Bulgaria and

:32:25.:32:31.

Romania haven't met all their accession requirements. The

:32:32.:32:35.

Bulgarian requirement passed a law... So if they break the law it

:32:36.:32:40.

is alright for us to break the law? Is we should be focusing on trying

:32:41.:32:46.

to get 2. 4 million of our own in work, and 1 million people not in

:32:47.:32:51.

work... Let me bring in Diane Abbott. Will you vote for this

:32:52.:32:57.

amendment and why? It is in breach of the treaty. While I deplore MPs

:32:58.:32:59.

that try to cause trouble, these of the treaty. While I deplore MPs

:33:00.:33:03.

have been particularly mindless because what they want to do

:33:04.:33:07.

wouldn't be legal. However, it is a Tory internal brief, if I might say

:33:08.:33:13.

so. Maybe you can cause trouble by voting for it. No, that would be

:33:14.:33:21.

going too far. Underlying it is a real antagonism for David Cameron.

:33:22.:33:24.

They have had to hold off on this bill until January. It was supposed

:33:25.:33:28.

to be debating before Christmas As we speak they've not cut a deal so

:33:29.:33:34.

it could be pretty grus om. Nigel Mills, what do you say to that I

:33:35.:33:40.

think there is a recognition that there is a problem with the amount

:33:41.:33:44.

of migration from EU countries that we need to tackle. We could try to

:33:45.:33:49.

achieve an annual cap perhaps, longer limits on when countries get

:33:50.:33:52.

free movement. I think the debate is moving in the right direction, but I

:33:53.:33:56.

think those people who are trapped out of work and desperately looking

:33:57.:34:00.

for work want something to be done now and not wait a few more years

:34:01.:34:06.

while we have more assessments Andrews. People are worried about

:34:07.:34:10.

the level of immigration. They I it is too high. That's the consensus in

:34:11.:34:15.

the country. We spoke to to migration centre in Hackney and they

:34:16.:34:20.

said they are struggling to cope with the number of people using

:34:21.:34:24.

their services. These are people with problems with the law. In the

:34:25.:34:29.

past years EU migrants put in more to the economy in taxation than they

:34:30.:34:33.

take out in benefits. When it comes to free movement, which

:34:34.:34:37.

take out in benefits. When it comes Nige em, that horse has bolted. We

:34:38.:34:41.

signed a treaty. There is nothing people like Nigel Mills can do,

:34:42.:34:46.

unless they want to rip their party apart, God forbid. Will you go as

:34:47.:34:50.

far as to rip your party apart, Nigel Mills? Are you going to take

:34:51.:34:55.

this all the way? Would you rather see this bill go down than your

:34:56.:35:00.

amendment not be accepted? This is a very important bill. I think we all

:35:01.:35:06.

want to see measures on the statute book, so the last thing we want to

:35:07.:35:10.

see is this bill go down. We do need to set out clearly that we have real

:35:11.:35:15.

concerns about the level of EU migration and something needs to be

:35:16.:35:22.

done. Would you rather have the bill without your amendment or no bill at

:35:23.:35:27.

all? I am hoping we can have the bill with the amendment. I know

:35:28.:35:29.

all? I am hoping we can have the that, but if you can't? Is that will

:35:30.:35:34.

depend on what the Labour Party decide to do. They are talking

:35:35.:35:40.

tougher on immigration but will they take action on it? Your party has

:35:41.:35:44.

been talking tough on immigration but I will be surprised if an Ed

:35:45.:35:47.

Miliband Labour Party would vote for but I will be surprised if an Ed

:35:48.:35:51.

egg in direct cameravention of the Treaty of Rome. It would make no

:35:52.:35:56.

sense. Nigel Mills is wishing for the impossible. If I was a Tory I

:35:57.:36:03.

would be wringing high hands. He hasn't ruled out crashing the bill.

:36:04.:36:06.

That's incredible. Where will this That's incredible. Where will this

:36:07.:36:11.

end, Nigel Mills? We'll end with a vote on Thursday. There's a lot of

:36:12.:36:16.

amendments people can use to show their concern about migration. We

:36:17.:36:20.

want limited and proportionate action, and that's what I am

:36:21.:36:22.

proposing. I want to see the bill on action, and that's what I am

:36:23.:36:27.

the statute book, I want the restrictions on people who shouldn't

:36:28.:36:32.

be here getting bank accounts and driving licences. I don't want to

:36:33.:36:36.

crash this bill but there's more measures we need in it. Nigel Mills

:36:37.:36:42.

thank you. You are going to be - popping up I think on the Sunday

:36:43.:36:47.

Politics East Midlands. Diane Abbott, thank you as well.

:36:48.:36:54.

We're in for more heavy rain and high winds across the UK today. You

:36:55.:36:56.

may remember that one UKIP high winds across the UK today. You

:36:57.:36:58.

councillor - he's since been suspended - caused controversy last

:36:59.:37:01.

weekend by blaming the recent flooding on the legalisation of gay

:37:02.:37:03.

marriage. Why didn't I think of that? So who better than this man to

:37:04.:37:07.

bring you the unofficial forecast. I'll be bringing you the late least

:37:08.:37:09.

UKIP weather from your area. You're watching Sunday Politics

:37:10.:37:19.

Also coming up in just over 20 minutes, I'll be looking at the week

:37:20.:37:21.

ahead with our political panel. A warm welcome to the local part of

:37:22.:37:40.

the show from the North East and Cumbria. The week has been dominated

:37:41.:37:48.

by cuts to the fire services. We will discuss it with two local MPs.

:37:49.:37:54.

Also, we hear the children are going hungry because she the parents have

:37:55.:38:02.

had their benefits stopped. We ask whether government sanctions and

:38:03.:38:05.

job`seekers are being efferent fairway. The economic boost was not

:38:06.:38:16.

sheared with the new unemployment figures. We could not imagine

:38:17.:38:23.

anything worse for the region. There is progress in the rest of the

:38:24.:38:27.

country and at best, it is stagnating here or perhaps even

:38:28.:38:38.

getting worse. The two areas in the most problem is the North East and

:38:39.:38:43.

the south`west. We have two entries the likes of communication. I want

:38:44.:38:50.

to get apprenticeships and new jobs in the area. We suffer from the loss

:38:51.:38:55.

of jobs from the older industries and from the public sector. We were

:38:56.:39:04.

warned that the government policies would affect the North East much

:39:05.:39:11.

more and no we are of that. We could not sit and watch the public debt

:39:12.:39:16.

grow and grow so public sector cuts were inevitable. However, I do not

:39:17.:39:24.

see that the cuts will come anyway to balancing the books. It does mean

:39:25.:39:28.

we have to work a lot harder for jobs in the North East and Vince

:39:29.:39:31.

Cable has been doing that. There have been good signs underneath the

:39:32.:39:38.

headlines. There is some hope the but a lot of the jobs have been

:39:39.:39:43.

treated as Eagle awards contracts, low paid. Unemployment in the North

:39:44.:39:50.

East is 20% worse than in any other region of the country, so it is dire

:39:51.:39:56.

here. When I challenged Vince Cable about this, he did not have anything

:39:57.:40:01.

to say. He talked about in regional growth fund, but that is not helping

:40:02.:40:06.

to get money to the small and medium`size businesses who could be

:40:07.:40:09.

growing the economy. The government need to be doing something. Letters

:40:10.:40:15.

move on to another story. The political fallout from the cuts to

:40:16.:40:23.

the fire service. One regional MP has called for a rethink on the

:40:24.:40:30.

decision. The cuts will mean 150 redundancies. It is proving a hot

:40:31.:40:43.

issue, if you permit the pun. In three years time, there will be no

:40:44.:40:47.

fire station in the heart of Sunderland. What do people think of

:40:48.:40:57.

that? My son is eight firemen. The consequences are grave. In response

:40:58.:41:08.

times. It is a disgrace. It is the same with the police station.

:41:09.:41:14.

Everything is going from Sunderland. This issue has put politicians and

:41:15.:41:21.

tricky spots. It was taken by a Labour dominated Fire authority, but

:41:22.:41:26.

the Labour MP is not pulling her punches. It is totally the wrong

:41:27.:41:31.

decision. This was badly thought out and not consulted properly. This is

:41:32.:41:36.

the worst possible scenario. We have to think again. Fires which affected

:41:37.:41:44.

property on life. We responded to as quickly as they were before. The

:41:45.:41:49.

location of the station is secondary to making sure we continue to have

:41:50.:41:55.

good response times. All the cuts off at the headlines, there are a

:41:56.:42:00.

lot cuts rate across the region. It will cost 131 jobs in the closing of

:42:01.:42:07.

the fire stations. Cleveland could shed 60 firefighters and eight

:42:08.:42:11.

station could close in Middlesbrough. Cumbria wants to cut

:42:12.:42:19.

five engines and close one station. Give it back fire cuts even in their

:42:20.:42:24.

own backyard or join the protesters? In Penrith, that is what happened.

:42:25.:42:29.

Marches went onto the streets and outfront, the Labour MP. If there

:42:30.:42:41.

was a big pile`up of cars on the M6, you simply would not be able to

:42:42.:42:46.

respond quickly enough. When you have people protesting in the

:42:47.:42:49.

streets and then even, they have to be paid attention to. What about NT

:42:50.:42:56.

say? This fire burned for a fortnight. We have a number of fire

:42:57.:43:05.

risk places in the region. I want the risks properly assessed. They

:43:06.:43:12.

have to be fit for purpose for any eventuality. For some politicians,

:43:13.:43:23.

the outgoing the party line scenario is going up in smoke. Let us talk to

:43:24.:43:30.

the local MP. Who is to blame for this `the government or the

:43:31.:43:39.

Labour`controlled fire authority? I think they are very culpable. The

:43:40.:43:47.

authority has been placed in a very difficult situation. But we think

:43:48.:43:51.

they did have options. They have the biggest reserves in England, that is

:43:52.:43:54.

in their in their own words, and what they

:43:55.:43:58.

have chosen is the worst case scenario. I was at the meeting, but

:43:59.:44:04.

the reserves are like savings. If you depend, you might be OK this

:44:05.:44:10.

year, but next year, you will have to find the money some other way. I

:44:11.:44:15.

find it offensive that local politicians are making cheap

:44:16.:44:19.

political points by finger`pointing at each other. There are people 's

:44:20.:44:24.

lives and people 's livelihoods at stake here. At the meeting, the

:44:25.:44:31.

language changed from we can use to the reserves to we choose not to.

:44:32.:44:39.

When we are talking about station closures and the loss of jobs, we

:44:40.:44:47.

feel that is unacceptable. Julian said the consultation was not

:44:48.:44:52.

carried out correctly. Would we have to ask the same people again? With

:44:53.:44:57.

respect, the petition was Ashley handed in by a member of the public.

:44:58.:45:03.

The person involved collected hundreds of signatures. We have the

:45:04.:45:11.

population of 1.1 million. I would guess at least 50% of those who

:45:12.:45:21.

actually went to the meetings were probably families of firefighters. I

:45:22.:45:26.

would not read too much into them. But for a consultation to take

:45:27.:45:29.

place, it has to be meaningful. The public need to be able to take part.

:45:30.:45:35.

They were not aware of what was going on. There was only 270

:45:36.:45:41.

responses to the consultation. What should be happening? They should not

:45:42.:45:48.

be using `` losing their jobs or losing the applications. They have

:45:49.:45:58.

said they will be able to reclaim the good response times of the past.

:45:59.:46:06.

We do not dispute that. We think it is misleading to say that they will

:46:07.:46:13.

not change, however. If you take the fire station out of Sunderland, it

:46:14.:46:20.

will be taking longer to get to a fire in the centre of Sunderland.

:46:21.:46:27.

That is just common sense. They have taken the option which will lead to

:46:28.:46:32.

the biggest possible chance of fatalities. Other fire authorities

:46:33.:46:39.

have come to different decisions. This has not convinced the public.

:46:40.:46:45.

This is not convinced people closest to the fire service. In

:46:46.:46:56.

Northumberland, although our issues, there is a more effective

:46:57.:47:01.

consultation. They were facing much less of a financial meltdown. 8.8

:47:02.:47:08.

million pounds, because the rate the government has adjusted the funds,

:47:09.:47:15.

it hits urban deprived areas because they cannot raise money from council

:47:16.:47:22.

tax. Absolutely. So ugly just morning? Though I do not think they

:47:23.:47:27.

having gauged with the public to make decisions about how they can

:47:28.:47:35.

adjust. I think they have not consulted as to how they could best

:47:36.:47:41.

be efficient. I know you have concerns about what is happening in

:47:42.:47:44.

Cleveland, but on the face of it, you are getting off lightly? I would

:47:45.:47:50.

not have thought so. He said is probably the biggest fire risk in

:47:51.:47:54.

the continent, because of the eight chemical complexes in the region.

:47:55.:48:02.

The decision to close the main fire service is a nonsense. But also to

:48:03.:48:08.

sack 60 firefighters and rely on part`timers, we are increasing their

:48:09.:48:16.

risk. What should be the attitude of Labour councillors? Become

:48:17.:48:20.

complained about the cuts but still put them through. We have to

:48:21.:48:24.

remember this is all the result of government cuts. Labour councils

:48:25.:48:31.

have little choice? They do not. They have to do something. We try to

:48:32.:48:37.

get a delegation to see the fire minister. I think they need to go

:48:38.:48:40.

back and look again at executive pay, the car was allocated to senior

:48:41.:48:47.

managers. We need to look at this again and consult properly, so the

:48:48.:48:51.

public can understand what they are proposing and take the right

:48:52.:48:55.

decisions so that people in petrochemical complexes and

:48:56.:49:01.

elsewhere are kept safe. It is a bit rich for the local Conservative MP,

:49:02.:49:06.

they are raising concerns when ultimately, they must have known

:49:07.:49:10.

this was coming because of the week he government has cut funding. I

:49:11.:49:15.

think Teessiders are a particular serious case. Ultimately, the

:49:16.:49:23.

government has two deal with the financial mess we were left with.

:49:24.:49:30.

But if you compare them to the south of the country, the settlements are

:49:31.:49:36.

worse. That is the key? Through the last government, we found rule

:49:37.:49:42.

counties had far worse settlements. This argument goes on all the time.

:49:43.:49:47.

Some Labour authorities are doing better than others. Other

:49:48.:49:54.

authorities another authorities have other parties have coped better. No,

:49:55.:50:01.

what about economies of scale? Maybe merging fire services in

:50:02.:50:05.

neighbouring counties? If we could share management costs, and save

:50:06.:50:13.

some money in that way, and some of the other things which a colleague

:50:14.:50:20.

suggested, then it could work. However, a bad merger with debtors

:50:21.:50:24.

into the same problems we have heard. We have here the likes of

:50:25.:50:33.

Private fire services, such as the John Lewis firefighters? Would that

:50:34.:50:41.

work? I do not. But I do think there could be merger costs which could

:50:42.:50:47.

work. Local authorities could cut the likes of human resources and

:50:48.:50:52.

make savings in other ways. The government wants to deter people

:50:53.:50:55.

from Ike abusing the benefits system. If you feel to attend an

:50:56.:51:02.

interview, your allowance could be stopped. In extreme cases, this

:51:03.:51:08.

could be up to three years. The government say the sanctions only

:51:09.:51:13.

last resort. But the unions and accusing them of having politically

:51:14.:51:21.

motivated decisions. One of the most deprived areas in England. Some

:51:22.:51:25.

people here claim their jobseeker's allowance is being unfairly stopped

:51:26.:51:30.

due to new benefit sanctions regime. I forgot it am not too an

:51:31.:51:37.

appointment. I note the adviser. I phoned them up and said I forgot. My

:51:38.:51:44.

benefit seemed fine. She said I will have to tell the Department of work

:51:45.:51:51.

and persons. The letter and up on the 20th of December and I was

:51:52.:51:55.

sanctioned over Christmas. I had to go begging for food at the church

:51:56.:52:05.

hall. It was a genuine mistake. I have had to rely on food banks and I

:52:06.:52:16.

also lost in the middle of winter, my gas and electricity. Under a new

:52:17.:52:23.

tougher regime introduced in October, people can use their

:52:24.:52:28.

allowance for up to four week 's and up to three years. Reasons are

:52:29.:52:33.

leaving a job voluntarily through to failing to come up to an interview.

:52:34.:52:40.

Between October 2012 and June of last year, there was a 6% increase

:52:41.:52:46.

compared with the same period a year earlier. In this region, it means

:52:47.:52:52.

nearly 17,500 people in the region had their allowance log stopped.

:52:53.:53:00.

Nearly 16,000 in the Roman Tees Valley and 20,000 in Cumbria and

:53:01.:53:04.

Lancashire. The Department of work and pensions say there are no

:53:05.:53:10.

targets for sanctions. The unions say they been put under pressure to

:53:11.:53:14.

sanction people. Staff are faced with the threat of sanctions

:53:15.:53:21.

themselves, in the form of performance improvement plans. If

:53:22.:53:25.

you look at the guidance for that, it clearly states that it is a major

:53:26.:53:33.

against targets. We believe these are politically motivated targets.

:53:34.:53:37.

Our staff are being forced to carry them out. People say the sanctions

:53:38.:53:47.

are having a devastating effect. We had the Child here. Children's

:53:48.:53:49.

services had called because they felt the child had not been eating.

:53:50.:53:56.

It was true. The child had not been eating because the parent had been

:53:57.:54:02.

sanctioned for three months. The government said sanctions are only

:54:03.:54:08.

used at a last resort and there is a right of appeal. Supporters say the

:54:09.:54:14.

sanctions are necessary. It is part of the government 's attempts to

:54:15.:54:17.

stamp out the something for nothing culture which has been very damaging

:54:18.:54:22.

in the country in recent years. If someone is out of work and looking

:54:23.:54:26.

for work, they should get benefits, but there should be conditions

:54:27.:54:31.

attached. With jobless figures falling nationally, there has been

:54:32.:54:34.

good news for the government regarding unemployment. But critics

:54:35.:54:40.

say poor communities are being made to buy the unfair application of

:54:41.:54:50.

benefit sanctions. Alex, sanctions could be applied fairly, but if you

:54:51.:54:54.

missed appointments or do not convince the job centre like you are

:54:55.:54:57.

looking for work, why should we all fund that lifestyle? There has been

:54:58.:55:07.

a 100 and 40% increase in sanctions. It is even greater for people with

:55:08.:55:13.

disabilities. I have a lot of casework in my office because people

:55:14.:55:16.

are coming to others who have been unfairly sanction. One person was in

:55:17.:55:21.

a corner in the hospital when they were sanctioned. One person who was

:55:22.:55:28.

let down by the local bus company was sanctioned. There are genuine

:55:29.:55:36.

things happening out there. The staff in these places are under

:55:37.:55:38.

pressure and I believe the have targets. Do you think this is

:55:39.:55:46.

politically motivated? There are certainly targets. Whether there are

:55:47.:55:51.

government driven or not I do not know. But we are seeing decisions

:55:52.:55:56.

being taken very quickly and people treated unfairly. Is the eight bit

:55:57.:56:01.

of pushing of the job centre to sanction people who should not be?

:56:02.:56:08.

That is pushing for the right thing to be done. If people are clicking

:56:09.:56:12.

money not trying to work, the taxpayer fits the bill for that. But

:56:13.:56:23.

to these people sound like there? There are situations where the

:56:24.:56:26.

system is unfair. I will take these cases up and we get the results. But

:56:27.:56:32.

of a coincidence that this figure has suddenly gone up so much? It is

:56:33.:56:37.

not a coincidence that the government is trying to crack down

:56:38.:56:45.

on abuses of the system. Taxpayers do not have very much themselves.

:56:46.:56:52.

They want the money to be going to people who are out of work and

:56:53.:56:55.

genuinely looking for work. What about the Child who did not eat

:56:56.:56:59.

because their parent maybe did something wrong. Should they be

:57:00.:57:05.

suffering because of what the appeal in bed? No child should be suffering

:57:06.:57:09.

in the system and in the circumstances. If there are real

:57:10.:57:17.

problems, the God who a food bank can also get financial advice. What

:57:18.:57:22.

we cannot have is people 's children being used as a means to excuse them

:57:23.:57:30.

making no attempt to work. This system is breaking down. We had a

:57:31.:57:35.

child who came to us who went to the job centre, tried to get onto a job

:57:36.:57:41.

search, could not get on the internet because it was not working

:57:42.:57:48.

and then got sanctioned. It is not a reason not to have a system which

:57:49.:57:53.

protects the taxpayer. The problem for Labour is that if you protest

:57:54.:57:59.

over time, it looks as if you are on the side of the benefit claimant,

:58:00.:58:05.

not the taxpayer? This has been very restricted. We have the futures jobs

:58:06.:58:16.

fund and new ideas, but. But voters see you protesting every benefit

:58:17.:58:21.

change, every sanction. That is not true. We have been frustrated

:58:22.:58:30.

because often the most vulnerable people suffer. We need a system that

:58:31.:58:35.

sees people back into work. We need local authorities involved, instead

:58:36.:58:40.

of huge organisations which have not done jobs corporately. One of the

:58:41.:58:46.

MPs in the North confessed to being a passionate take that fans this

:58:47.:58:53.

week. She said she shared her daughter 's musical tastes. It is

:58:54.:59:00.

all part of her battle against ticket touting. Here is the news in

:59:01.:59:10.

60 seconds. Kane fell in many parts of the country, but was up in

:59:11.:59:18.

Northumbria. Teeside could have new drilling for shield gas. There has

:59:19.:59:26.

been a call for action to tackle ticket touts. This happens week in

:59:27.:59:33.

week out. This happens in Peter, comedy, sport up and down the

:59:34.:59:43.

country. It is not just about large cities, but these things affect all

:59:44.:59:51.

over the country. There is to be a further ?50 million worth of cuts at

:59:52.:59:55.

Sunderland Council. There are plans to set up a combined authority

:59:56.:00:00.

looking at jobs and transport. 4,000 people have signed a petition is to

:00:01.:00:06.

further call plan should have an elected beer.

:00:07.:00:13.

That is it from others. You can keep up`to`date in a variety of ways. All

:00:14.:00:26.

the details online. Next week, we report from Whitehaven.

:00:27.:00:27.

constituency, very pleased. Andrew, back to you.

:00:28.:00:42.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage is never far away from controversy, but this

:00:43.:00:45.

week he's been outdoing himself He was hit over the head with a placard

:00:46.:00:48.

by a protester in Kent, provoked outrage by saying women with

:00:49.:00:51.

children are worth less to city firms, and said the ban on owning

:00:52.:00:58.

handguns was 'crackers'. He also seemed less than sure of his party's

:00:59.:01:01.

own policies when I interviewed him on the Daily Politics. And

:01:02.:01:03.

own policies when I interviewed him that got everyone talking was the

:01:04.:01:07.

suggestion by a UKIP councillor that flooding is linked to gay marriage.

:01:08.:01:12.

We'll talk about all of that in a moment, but first, over to Nigel

:01:13.:01:19.

with the weather. Weather for all areas of the British Isles but

:01:20.:01:23.

definitely not "Bongo Bongo Land." You may have heard about a storm in

:01:24.:01:29.

a tea cup developed when you kip councillor in Oxfordshire blamed the

:01:30.:01:35.

floods on the gay marriage Bill The old party is focusing on the view of

:01:36.:01:40.

UKIP members like him, even though he had said a sell yuj of things

:01:41.:01:47.

before when a Tory councillor. How quickly things change depending on

:01:48.:01:54.

when the blouse. There are occasional barmy views by people of

:01:55.:02:02.

all persuasions. In Whitby a Labour councillor claimed of fathered a

:02:03.:02:05.

child with an extra terrorist ral, and said his real mother was a

:02:06.:02:17.

foot green alien. And in Wales a councillor

:02:18.:02:23.

thinking about heading off for the slopes, there were flurries of

:02:24.:02:31.

embarrassment for the Tories after Aidan Burly organised a Nazi skiing

:02:32.:02:36.

party in a resort. Anyone heading to Brussels, perhaps

:02:37.:02:43.

on the gravy train, watch out for hot air.

:02:44.:02:47.

In Britain temperatures are rising ahead of the European elections in

:02:48.:02:55.

May. It could get stormy, so advise light aircraft. Watch out for

:02:56.:02:59.

outbreaks of common sense, and no chance of cyclonic fruit cakes. Back

:03:00.:03:04.

to you, Andrew, with the rest of the Sunday Politics.

:03:05.:03:09.

Nick, if it was any other party that had bon through the past week it

:03:10.:03:14.

would be in meltdown. And maybe it is harming UKIP and maybe it isn't.

:03:15.:03:19.

What do you think? That just shows, that great weather forecast, Prince

:03:20.:03:25.

Charles now has a rival to be an excellent weather forecaster, as

:03:26.:03:30.

does the Duchess of Cornwall. It shows why Nigel Farage is the fefr

:03:31.:03:35.

candidate to the European elections. Our invitation to the British people

:03:36.:03:39.

to kick the establishment. The establishment have spent five years

:03:40.:03:43.

that the European Parliament is a waste of time, so who are you going

:03:44.:03:47.

to vote for? A Nigel Farage type of person. What was important about

:03:48.:03:54.

your eadviceration of Nigel Farage on Daily Politics is that when it

:03:55.:03:57.

came to the substance, they flounder. But the point about that

:03:58.:04:01.

party is they may have the thinnest set of policies, but people know

:04:02.:04:06.

what they stand for more than any other parties - get out of Europe, a

:04:07.:04:14.

grammar school in every town. If any other leading politician called for

:04:15.:04:19.

an end to the ban on handguns, at a time when we've seen these appalling

:04:20.:04:22.

gun deaths in the United States now almost one every week in some

:04:23.:04:27.

terrible siege in a school. It would be a crisis. It seems to wash off

:04:28.:04:37.

him. He's got congenital foot-and-mouthitis. Straight into

:04:38.:04:41.

another wild nothing to do with why people might vote UKIP. I don't

:04:42.:04:47.

think people are desperate to have handgun licences back in this

:04:48.:04:52.

country. It is such an unusual phenomenon, UKIP, that if this was a

:04:53.:04:58.

Tory or a Labour or a Lib Dem saying it, we've seen the damage done to

:04:59.:05:03.

the Lib Dems on a much more serious manner, we would say this is

:05:04.:05:08.

terminal. But maybe it adds to this image that we are not like the other

:05:09.:05:13.

parties. I think that is it. We keep waiting for these scandals and

:05:14.:05:19.

embarrassments to do damage to UKIP's poll ratings, but it's not

:05:20.:05:25.

working. It is ultimately because if you are an antiestablishment party,

:05:26.:05:29.

if you are an anti-system party the rules of the game which apply to the

:05:30.:05:34.

establishment parties don't apply to you. And the more ramshackle and

:05:35.:05:40.

embarrassing you are, the more authentic you seem. It what be take

:05:41.:05:46.

something for them not to finish second in May. Do they spend the

:05:47.:05:51.

following 12 months sinking in the poll snoos And George Osborne's

:05:52.:05:55.

strategy is fame everything as Labour versus the Conservatives The

:05:56.:05:58.

electorate will have their fun in May. Maybe the Tories will be beat

:05:59.:06:04.

into third place but in thejection is that -- but in the general

:06:05.:06:09.

election it is Labour versus the Tories. The Conservative Party will

:06:10.:06:17.

run around, 46 letters to Graham Brady, a leadership contest. That

:06:18.:06:22.

sort of scenario. UKIP, if it rules well in the European elections,

:06:23.:06:26.

could cause big trouble for Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg couldn't it?

:06:27.:06:33.

The big point about this, David Cameron said this is not a political

:06:34.:06:37.

party but a pressure group. This is the way to look at UKIP, and the way

:06:38.:06:43.

it is used by people in the right of the party, who say we have to do

:06:44.:06:49.

this. I like the policy of painting the trains in their old liveries. It

:06:50.:06:56.

would be like my old train set. I like the bigger passports.

:06:57.:07:07.

Pre-GNER... And London and Midland. I used to be a train spotter.

:07:08.:07:16.

Pre-GNER... And London and Midland. phone. Good to know you are watching

:07:17.:07:21.

but pity you are not here. He wanted to clarify he had constituency

:07:22.:07:25.

commitments to prevent him coming on the show to talk about becoming

:07:26.:07:30.

leader of the party, but he didn't dispute anything we said on the

:07:31.:07:33.

show. Yesterday, Ed Balls said that

:07:34.:07:36.

housing investment will be a central priority for the next Labour

:07:37.:07:39.

Government. It's a big issue, as the lack of new homes pushes up the the

:07:40.:07:42.

price of owning or renting. Well, tomorrow the Tories will announce

:07:43.:07:45.

what they say is the most ambitious programme of affordable

:07:46.:07:52.

housebuilding for 20 years. The Government sees housing as a really

:07:53.:07:55.

important part of the economy. That's why we are announcing a 23

:07:56.:08:03.

billion package for 165,000 new affordable homes. So individual

:08:04.:08:07.

builders, councils, housing associations can bid for that money.

:08:08.:08:11.

Phase one, which we are halfway through at the moment, we've built

:08:12.:08:16.

170,000 houses. 99,000 already coming out of the ground, so we ve

:08:17.:08:24.

made real progress on that. So, 165,000 new, affordable homes. It is

:08:25.:08:29.

a lot. Let me add three more words. Over three years. It is not such a

:08:30.:08:33.

lot. It is not, and Labour's commitment is 200,000 homes a year

:08:34.:08:37.

and even that isn't enough. The problem here is that the vest

:08:38.:08:42.

interest is with people who already have homes. They have a vote in the

:08:43.:08:46.

system through the planning regulations.

:08:47.:08:50.

system through the planning gap in the hedge through Richmond

:08:51.:08:51.

Park through which you gap in the hedge through Richmond

:08:52.:08:55.

able to see St Paul's Cathedral That's why you cannot build homes

:08:56.:08:59.

where you want them. I don't think we want to build homes over Richmond

:09:00.:09:07.

Park. He wasn't saying that. That's dies an Tyne -- that's Byzantine.

:09:08.:09:12.

You've got to deal with supply, which is why Labour is talking about

:09:13.:09:16.

200,000 a year, and what George Osborne has done with supply is

:09:17.:09:23.

helping with demand. We know the Help to Buy Scheme is pretty

:09:24.:09:26.

dangerous, and Mark Carney is keen to put the break on that. If you are

:09:27.:09:33.

to deal with supply, you have to do radical things. Chris Huhne talked

:09:34.:09:38.

about on brownfield sites you can tax people who are holding the land

:09:39.:09:42.

as if the development has taken place. Then if you are really going

:09:43.:09:46.

to deal with it you have to talk about the greenfield sites, and you

:09:47.:09:50.

have to deal with the garden cities argument, which is too much for the

:09:51.:09:55.

Tories. All the parties seem to agree building new houses is a

:09:56.:09:58.

political winner. I hope that they are right. I'm not sure they are.

:09:59.:10:03.

The housing market is the example of what economists call the insider

:10:04.:10:07.

in-outsider problem. People who are already homeowners have no rational

:10:08.:10:13.

incentive to vote for more housing stock. Even if you leave aside the

:10:14.:10:18.

Conservative arable objections, if you are a

:10:19.:10:21.

Conservative arable objections, if interest to stick with the planning

:10:22.:10:22.

promise that we have. So then stuck between a rock and a hard

:10:23.:10:28.

place. Not only are we growing at the moment but our population is

:10:29.:10:34.

growing. I've seen projects that in quite quickly we will overtake

:10:35.:10:38.

Germany and become the largest populated country in Europe. If

:10:39.:10:41.

that's the case we've got to build homes. We have. If you look at Tower

:10:42.:10:47.

Hamlets in London, the population is r ging higher than the number of

:10:48.:10:52.

dwelling. Classically the theory's been young people are most affected

:10:53.:10:57.

by this and they don't vote much. But when their parents have young

:10:58.:11:03.

Johnny stuck at home at 37, that's an electoral issue. That's why the

:11:04.:11:08.

garden cities project is interesting, because they finance

:11:09.:11:12.

themselves. You zone it for development, it is worth ?2 million

:11:13.:11:17.

an acre and then you can build on it. But who is going to want the

:11:18.:11:22.

greenfield sites gone. And how quickly can we build garden cities

:11:23.:11:29.

today? Some were started before the Town and Country Planning Act. I've

:11:30.:11:34.

read stats about the way Chinese and Japanese are building houses and

:11:35.:11:38.

they were slower than that. Here's a thought, sticking on the housing

:11:39.:11:42.

theme. Ed Miliband came up with the energy freeze, a populist

:11:43.:11:46.

interventionist move. Then the use it or lose it to land developers.

:11:47.:11:52.

Then breaking up the banks. Now the 50p tax rate.

:11:53.:11:53.

Then breaking up the banks. Now the on Labour coming up for rent

:11:54.:11:59.

controls? That's already a big split. They are split already on it.

:12:00.:12:04.

They have. In London it is a popular policy. It might not play well in

:12:05.:12:09.

the rest of the country. I would say 50-50 on that. I think Labour

:12:10.:12:12.

supporting rent controls like the Tories having a go at welfare. The

:12:13.:12:16.

policy may be individually popular but it sends an impression about the

:12:17.:12:20.

party which might be less attract active. It confirms underlying

:12:21.:12:25.

suspicions that vote these guys into power and suddenly they are

:12:26.:12:29.

tampering with the private economy. The memories of the '70s when

:12:30.:12:34.

Governments tried and failed to do that. It is riskier than a

:12:35.:12:37.

superficial reading of the polls would suggest. One to watch? I think

:12:38.:12:42.

they are looking at it. That was the key message of the Ed Balls speech

:12:43.:12:47.

on housing, is looking at supply and how you get to that 200,000 figure a

:12:48.:12:52.

year, which is substantially more than what Kris Hopkins is talking

:12:53.:12:56.

about. What we didn't get to talk about, remember we had Michael

:12:57.:13:01.

Wilshaw on, the Chief Inspector of Schools. We all consumed was Mr

:13:02.:13:05.

Gove's man, the Education Secretary's man. Now according to

:13:06.:13:08.

the Sunday Times he is spitting blood about the way Mr Gove and his

:13:09.:13:13.

office are speaking about him behind the scenes. We've checked the quotes

:13:14.:13:17.

and he stands by them, so I think we'll have to have the head of

:13:18.:13:21.

Ofsted back on the programme. If you are watching, we're here. All that

:13:22.:13:25.

to the Lib Dems who didn't come on today.

:13:26.:13:28.

to the Lib Dems who didn't come on That's all for today. Thanks to all

:13:29.:13:29.

my guests. The Daily Politics is That's all for today. Thanks to all

:13:30.:13:34.

and I'll be here again next week. Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the

:13:35.:13:35.

Sunday Politics. Britain, with 120,000 soldiers

:13:36.:14:13.

is now at war with Germany This would be the first

:14:14.:14:22.

truly modern war.

:14:23.:14:30.

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