09/02/2014 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


09/02/2014

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news on the floods, plus an interview with shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.


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morning, folks, welcome to the Sunday Politics. Rising flood water,

:00:00.:00:44.

a battered coastline, the winter Sunday Politics. Rising flood water,

:00:45.:00:48.

storms forced the Government to take control. Is it hanging the

:00:49.:00:54.

Environment Agency out to dry? Embarrassment for the Government is

:00:55.:00:57.

the Immigration Minister resigns after he discovered he was

:00:58.:00:59.

a cleaner with no right to work here a cleaner with no right to work here

:01:00.:01:01.

for seven years. Ed Miliband a cleaner with no right to work here

:01:02.:01:07.

promised an end to what he called the machine politics of union fixes

:01:08.:01:09.

in the Labour Party, just doesn't feel right.

:01:10.:01:23.

In London after two days of disruption in the capital the Mayor

:01:24.:01:26.

Boris Johnson will be talking to ask about strife on the Underground All

:01:27.:01:37.

of that and after a week of very public coalition spats can David

:01:38.:01:42.

Cameron and Nick Clegg keep the coalition show on the road? Two

:01:43.:01:47.

senior party figures will go head to head. And with me, Helen Lewis, Nick

:01:48.:01:53.

Watt and Iain Martin who would not know they Somerset Levels from their

:01:54.:01:57.

Norfolk Broads, but that will not stop them tweeting their thoughts.

:01:58.:02:02.

We start with the strange Case of the Immigration Minister, his

:02:03.:02:08.

cleaner and some lost documents Yesterday Mark Harper tendered his

:02:09.:02:13.

resignation, telling the media he had discovered the cleaner who

:02:14.:02:15.

worked for him for seven years did not have the right to work in the

:02:16.:02:20.

UK. The Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said he had done the

:02:21.:02:25.

honourable thing. I was sad to see him go, he was a strong minister.

:02:26.:02:30.

Had he been a member of the public he would not have done anything

:02:31.:02:37.

wrong, but he set himself a very high standard and he felt that

:02:38.:02:41.

standard and honourably stood down. This would seem like a good

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resignation, maybe unlike the Baroness Scotland one years ago on a

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similar issue, but have we been told the full story? We wait to see that.

:02:51.:02:57.

Labour have picked up saying he is an honourable man, that the reason

:02:58.:03:02.

why he resigned is these very owners checks that landlords and employers

:03:03.:03:06.

will have to perform on employees over their documentation. The most

:03:07.:03:13.

interesting line is that, we do not require them to be experts or spot

:03:14.:03:17.

anything other than an obvious forgery. The suggestion that there

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is the document he was presented with originality, which he lost was

:03:24.:03:29.

on home office paper and was perhaps not entirely accurate. That is the

:03:30.:03:34.

embarrassment. He is the minister putting through a bill that will

:03:35.:03:38.

demand tougher checks on people and he himself did not do enough checks

:03:39.:03:44.

to discover she was illegal. There is an odd bit where he involves the

:03:45.:03:48.

home office later to check her out as well. He writes a resignation

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letter and he has to hold himself to pay higher standard. He has done the

:03:54.:03:59.

David Laws approach to this, resign quickly and he can come back. David

:04:00.:04:03.

Cameron wants him to return swiftly to the frontbenchers. He is a state

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school educated lad. He is the kind of Tory that the Tories are in short

:04:14.:04:20.

supply of. He is a rising star. I would caution on this idea that it

:04:21.:04:24.

is customary that whenever anyone resigns, it is always thought they

:04:25.:04:30.

will come straight back into office. If only the outside world worked

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like that. It is not, in a company if the HR person resigns, he is such

:04:37.:04:40.

a great chap he will be back next week. There is a silver lining for

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David Cameron is he has been able to move Harriet Bond up as he moves

:04:48.:04:53.

everyone up. But nobody will see her in the whips office because she is

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not allowed to appear on television. And if you three want to resign Do

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not hate you are coming back next week. But we will do it with honour.

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It has been a hellish week for residents of coastal areas with more

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storms bringing more flooding and after Prince Charles visited the

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Somerset Levels on Tuesday the Government has been keen to show it

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has got a grip on the situation at last.

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For last weekend's Sunday Politics I made the watery journey to the

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village of Muchelney, cut off for a whole month. Now everyone has been

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dropping in. First it was Prince Charles on a park bench pulled by a

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tractor. He waded into the row about how the floods have been handled.

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Next it was the chair of the Environment Agency, Lord Smith, who

:06:03.:06:08.

faced angry residents. Sought the river is out. That is precisely what

:06:09.:06:14.

we are going to do. Where he faced, a resident, he did not need that

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many. David Cameron went for a look as well and gave the region what it

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wanted, more pumps, more money and in the long-term the return of

:06:26.:06:30.

dredging. There are lessons to learn. The pause in bridging that

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took place from the late 1990s was wrong and we need to get dredging

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again. When the water levels come down and it is safe to dredge, we

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will dredging to make sure these rivers and stitches can carry a

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better capacity. The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has not been

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seen again because he is recovering from emergency eye surgery. In the

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meantime the floodwaters rose ever higher. Some residents were told to

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evacuate. In Devon the railway was washed away by the waves leaving a

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big gap in the network. Look at the weather this weekend. If you can

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believe it, the storms keep rolling in. What is the long-term solution

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for flood prone areas of the country? I am joined from Oxford by

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the editor of The Ecologist magazine, Oliver Tickell, and by

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local MP Tessa Munt. Tessa, let me come to you first. What do you now

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want the Government to do? I want it to make sure it does exactly as it

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promises and delivers what every farmer and landowner around here

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knows should have been done for years. First, to solve the problems

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we have right now, but to make sure there is money in the bank for us to

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carry on doing the maintenance that is necessary. Was it a mistake not

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to do the dredging? When the waters start to subside does dredging

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become a key part of this? Yes, of course. It is something the farmers

:08:12.:08:18.

have been asking for four years When you wander along a footpath by

:08:19.:08:23.

a river and you see trees growing and there is 60% of the capacity

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only because there is silt, it needs to have a pretty dramatic action

:08:31.:08:35.

right now and then we need to make sure the maintenance is ongoing

:08:36.:08:41.

Oliver Tickell, was it a mistake to stop the dredging? If the dredging

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had happened, the land would not be covered in water for so long?

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Clearly it is necessary to do at least some dredging on these rivers

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and in particular because these rivers are well above ground level.

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They are carrying water that comes down off the hills well above the

:09:04.:09:09.

level of the flood plain on the Somerset Levels. They naturally tend

:09:10.:09:15.

to silt up. But the key thing is that is only a small part of the

:09:16.:09:21.

overall solution. What we need is a catchment wide approach to improve

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infiltration upstream and you also need to manage the flood plain on

:09:27.:09:30.

the levels and upstream so as to have active flood plain that can

:09:31.:09:38.

store water. This idea it is just about dredging is erroneous.

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Dredging is a part of it, but it is a catchment wide solution. Dredging

:09:44.:09:48.

is only a small part of the solution he says. Yes, of course it is. But

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look here. With the farmer is locally, the landowners, they know

:09:57.:10:01.

this land will carry water for a few weeks of the year, that is not a

:10:02.:10:06.

problem. But this water has to be taken away and there is a very good

:10:07.:10:11.

system of drainage and it works perfectly well. In my area there are

:10:12.:10:15.

serious problems because the dredging has not taken place. There

:10:16.:10:20.

are lunatic regulations around were when they do do some of dredging,

:10:21.:10:27.

the Environment Agency is asked to take it away because it is

:10:28.:10:32.

considered toxic waste. This is barmy. We need to take the stuff out

:10:33.:10:37.

of the rivers and build the banks up so we create protection in the

:10:38.:10:43.

future. We have to make sure the dredging is done but make sure the

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drainage works well and we have pumps in places and we have

:10:49.:10:55.

floodgates put onto the rivers. We need to make sure repairs are done

:10:56.:11:02.

more quickly. All right, let me go back to Oliver Tickell. Is it not

:11:03.:11:07.

the case a lot of people on your side of the argument would like to

:11:08.:11:11.

see lands like the Somerset Levels return to natural habitat? Looe I

:11:12.:11:17.

would like a degree of that, but that does not mean the whole place

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needs to turn into wilderness so it will remain agricultural landscape.

:11:23.:11:30.

Everybody, all the interested parties who signed up to a document

:11:31.:11:37.

called vision 2034 the Somerset Levels envisages most of the area of

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the Somerset Levels being turned over to extensive grassland and that

:11:42.:11:46.

is what it is best suited for. Let me put that to Tessa Munt. Have you

:11:47.:11:53.

signed up to this where you will end up with extensive grassland? I have

:11:54.:12:01.

seen it, but grass does not grow if water is sitting on this land for

:12:02.:12:07.

weeks and weeks. What you have to remember is a lot of the levels are

:12:08.:12:12.

managed very carefully and they are conservation land and that means

:12:13.:12:15.

cattle are allowed to go out at certain times of the year and in

:12:16.:12:22.

certain numbers. It is well managed. Do you accept it should return to

:12:23.:12:31.

grassland? Grassland, fine, but you cannot call land grassland in the

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flipping water is on it so long that nothing grows. It is no good at

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doing that. You have got to make sure it is managed properly.

:12:41.:12:46.

Drainage has been taking place on this land for centuries. It is the

:12:47.:12:52.

case the system is there, but it needs to be maintained properly and

:12:53.:12:56.

we have to have fewer ridiculous regulations that stop action. Last

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year the flooding minister agreed dredging should take place and

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everything stopped. Now we have got the promise from the Prime Minister

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and I thank Prince Charles for that. Is it not time to let the local

:13:11.:13:14.

people run their land rather than being told what to do by the

:13:15.:13:18.

Environment Agency, central Government and the European Union?

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The internal drainage boards have considerable power in all of this.

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They wanted to dredge and they were not allowed to. The farmers want to

:13:33.:13:35.

dredge that is what is going to happen, but they have signed up to a

:13:36.:13:42.

comprehensive vision of catchment management and of environmental

:13:43.:13:46.

improvement turning the Somerset Levels into a world-class haven for

:13:47.:13:52.

wildlife. It is not much good if your house is underwater. The

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farmers themselves, the RSPB, the drainage boards, they have all

:13:57.:14:02.

signed up to this. The real question now is how do we implement that

:14:03.:14:07.

vision? You give the money to the drainage boards. At the moment they

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pay 27% of their money and have been doing so for years and years and

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this is farmers' money and it has been going to the drainage boards

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and they pay the Environment Agency who are meant to be dredging and

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that has not happened. We have to leave it there. We have run out of

:14:29.:14:33.

time. Last week saw the Labour Party

:14:34.:14:37.

adopts an historic change with its relationship with the unions.

:14:38.:14:41.

Changes to the rules that propelled Ed Miliband to the top. Ed Miliband

:14:42.:14:47.

was elected Labour leader in 20 0 by the electoral college system which

:14:48.:14:52.

gives unions, party members and MPs one third of votes each. This would

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be changed into a simpler one member, one vote system. A union

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member would have to become an affiliated member of the party. They

:15:03.:15:07.

would have to opt in and pay ?3 a year. But the unions would have 50%

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of the vote at the conference and around one third of the seats on the

:15:16.:15:20.

National executive committee. The proposals are a financial gamble as

:15:21.:15:24.

well. It is estimated the party could face a drop in funding of up

:15:25.:15:28.

to ?5 million a year when the changes are fully implemented in

:15:29.:15:34.

five years. The leader of the Unite trade union has welcomed the report

:15:35.:15:38.

saying it is music to his ears. The package will be voted on at a

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special one of conference in March. And the Shadow Business Secretary

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Chuka Umunna joins me now for the Sunday Interview. Welcome back. In

:15:50.:15:58.

what way will the unions have less power and influence in the Labour

:15:59.:16:02.

Party? This is about ensuring individual trade union members have

:16:03.:16:06.

a direct relationship with the Labour Party. At the moment the

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monies that come to us are decided at a top level, the general

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secretaries determine this, whether the individual members want us to be

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in receipt of those monies or not so we are going to change that so that

:16:23.:16:27.

affiliation fees follow the consent of individual members. Secondly we

:16:28.:16:31.

want to make sure the individual trade union members, people who

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teach our children, power via - fantastic British businesses, we

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want them to make an active choice, and we are also recognising that in

:16:49.:16:52.

this day and age not everybody wants to become a member of a political

:16:53.:17:01.

party. We haven't got much time The unions still have 50% of the vote at

:17:02.:17:07.

Labour conferences, there will be the single most important vote, more

:17:08.:17:22.

member -- union members will vote than nonunion members, their power

:17:23.:17:33.

has not diminished at all, has it? In relation to the other parts of

:17:34.:17:42.

the group of people who will be voting in a future leadership

:17:43.:17:45.

contest, we are seeking to move towards more of a one member, one

:17:46.:17:50.

vote process. At the moment we have the absurd situation where I, as a

:17:51.:17:57.

member of Parliament, my vote will count for 1000. MPs are losing. .

:17:58.:18:05.

They still have a lot of power. I am a member of the GMB union and the

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Unite union, also a member of the Fabians as well so I get free votes

:18:13.:18:17.

on top of my vote as a member of Parliament. We are moving to a

:18:18.:18:20.

system where I will have one vote and that is an important part of

:18:21.:18:26.

this. You asked how many people would be casting their votes. The

:18:27.:18:30.

old system, up to 2.8 million ballot papers were sent out with prepaid

:18:31.:18:37.

envelopes for people to return their papers were sent out with prepaid

:18:38.:18:46.

turnout. The idea that you are going to see a big change... Even if

:18:47.:18:52.

your individual party members. In one vital way, your purse strings,

:18:53.:19:04.

your individual party members. In the unions will be more powerful

:19:05.:19:05.

than ever because at the moment they have to hand over 8 million to

:19:06.:19:16.

than ever because at the moment they fraction of that now. They will get

:19:17.:19:18.

to keep that money, but then come the election you go to them and give

:19:19.:19:28.

them a lot of money -- and they will have you then. They won't have us,

:19:29.:19:36.

as you put it! The idea that individual trade union members don't

:19:37.:19:40.

have their own view, their own voice, and just do what their

:19:41.:19:44.

general secretaries do is absurd. They will make their own decision,

:19:45.:19:48.

and we want them to make that and not have their leadership decide

:19:49.:19:55.

that for them. Let me go to the money. The Labour Party manifesto

:19:56.:19:59.

will be reflecting the interests of Britain, and the idea that somehow

:20:00.:20:06.

people can say we are not going to give you this money unless you do

:20:07.:20:10.

this or that, we will give you a policy agenda which is appropriate

:20:11.:20:14.

for the British people, regardless of what implications that may have

:20:15.:20:20.

financially. They will have more seats than anybody else in the NEC

:20:21.:20:25.

and they will hold the purse strings. They will be the

:20:26.:20:31.

determining factor. They won't be. Unite is advocating a 70% rate of

:20:32.:20:35.

income tax, there is no way we will have that in our manifesto. Unite is

:20:36.:20:44.

advocating taking back contracts and no compensation basis, we would not

:20:45.:20:57.

-- there is no way we would do that. How many chief executives of the

:20:58.:21:07.

FTSE 100 are backing Labour? We have lots of chief executives backing

:21:08.:21:15.

Labour. I don't know the exact number. Ed Miliband has just placed

:21:16.:21:19.

an important business person in the House of Lords, the former chief

:21:20.:21:31.

executive of the ITV, Bill Grimsey. How many? You can only name one

:21:32.:21:39.

Bill Grimsey, there is also John Mills. Anyone who is currently

:21:40.:21:45.

chairman of the chief executive With the greatest respect, you are

:21:46.:21:50.

talking about less than half the percent of business leaders in our

:21:51.:21:55.

country, we have almost 5 million businesses, not all FTSE 100

:21:56.:22:01.

businesses, not all listed, and we are trying to get people from across

:22:02.:22:07.

the country of all different shapes and sizes. Let's widen it to the

:22:08.:22:22.

FTSE 250. That is 250 out of 5 million companies. The largest ones,

:22:23.:22:28.

they make the profits and provide the jobs. Two thirds of private

:22:29.:22:33.

sector jobs in this country come from small and medium-sized

:22:34.:22:37.

businesses, and small and medium-sized businesses are an

:22:38.:22:40.

important part of a large companies supply chains. So you cannot name a

:22:41.:22:51.

single chairman from the FTSE 2 0, correct? I don't know all the

:22:52.:22:58.

chairman. Are you going to fight the next election without a single boss

:22:59.:23:09.

of a FTSE 250 company? I have named some important business people, but

:23:10.:23:12.

the most important thing is that we are not coming out with a manifesto

:23:13.:23:22.

for particular interests, but for broader interest. Let me show you,

:23:23.:23:33.

Digby Jones says Labour's policy is, "if it creates wealth, let's kick

:23:34.:23:46.

it" . Another quote, that it borders on predatory taxation. They think

:23:47.:23:53.

you are anti-business. I don't agree with them. One of the interesting

:23:54.:23:59.

things about Sir Stuart's comments on the predatory taxation and I

:24:00.:24:03.

think he was referring to the 5 p rate of tax is that he made some

:24:04.:24:07.

comments arguing against the reduction of the top rate of tax

:24:08.:24:14.

from 50p. He is saying something different now. Digby of course has

:24:15.:24:17.

his own opinions, he has never been a member of the Labour Party. Let me

:24:18.:24:23.

come onto this business of the top rate of tax, do you accept or don't

:24:24.:24:27.

you that there is a point when higher rates of income tax become

:24:28.:24:32.

counter-productive? Ultimately you want to have the lowest tax rates

:24:33.:24:38.

possible. Do you accept there is a certain level you actually get less

:24:39.:24:44.

money? I think ultimately there is a level beyond you could go which

:24:45.:24:50.

would be counter-productive, for example the 75% rate of tax I

:24:51.:24:54.

mentioned earlier, being advocated by Unite in France. Most French

:24:55.:25:07.

higher earners will pay less tax than under your plans. I beg your

:25:08.:25:15.

pardon, with the 50p? Under your proposals, people here will pay more

:25:16.:25:22.

tax than French higher earners. If you are asking if in terms of the

:25:23.:25:27.

level, you asked the question and I answered it, do I think if you reach

:25:28.:25:34.

a level beyond which the tax burden becomes counter-productive, can I

:25:35.:25:38.

give you a number what that would be, I cannot but let me explain -

:25:39.:25:42.

the reason we have sought to increase its two 50p is that we can

:25:43.:25:49.

get in revenue to reduce the deficit. In an ideal world you

:25:50.:25:53.

wouldn't need a 50p rate of tax which is why during our time in

:25:54.:25:57.

office we didn't have one, because we didn't have those issues. Sure,

:25:58.:26:07.

though you cannot tell me how much the 50p will raise. In the three

:26:08.:26:13.

years of operation we think it raised ?10 billion. You think. That

:26:14.:26:22.

was based on extrapolation from the British library. It is at least

:26:23.:26:26.

possible I would suggest, for the sake of argument, that when you

:26:27.:26:32.

promise to take over half people's income, which is what you will do if

:26:33.:26:39.

you get your way, the richest 1 currently account for 70 5% of all

:26:40.:26:49.

tax revenues. -- 75%. Is it not a danger that if you take more out of

:26:50.:26:56.

them, they will just go? I don't think so, we are talking about the

:26:57.:27:06.

top 1% here. If you look at the directors of sub 5 million turnover

:27:07.:27:08.

companies, the average managing director of that gets around

:27:09.:27:23.

?87,000. Let me narrow it down to something else. Let's take the .1%

:27:24.:27:33.

of top taxpayers, down to fewer than 30,000 people. They account for over

:27:34.:27:38.

14% of all of the income tax revenues. Only 29,000 people. If

:27:39.:27:43.

they go because you are going to take over half their income, you

:27:44.:27:50.

have lost a huge chunk of your tax base. They could easily go, at

:27:51.:27:57.

tipping point they could go. What we are advocating here is not

:27:58.:28:02.

controversial. Those with the broadest shoulders, it is not

:28:03.:28:06.

unreasonable to ask them to share the heavier burden. Can you name one

:28:07.:28:16.

other major economy that subscribes to this? Across Europe, for example

:28:17.:28:24.

in Sweden they have higher tax rates than us. Can you name one major

:28:25.:28:31.

economy? I couldn't pluck one out of the air, I can see where you are

:28:32.:28:37.

coming from, I don't agree with it. I think most people subscribe to the

:28:38.:28:42.

fact that those with wider shoulders should carry the heavy a burden We

:28:43.:28:49.

have run out of time but thank you for being here.

:28:50.:28:53.

Over the past week it seems that Nick Clegg has activated a new Lib

:28:54.:28:57.

Dem strategy - 'Get Gove'. After a very public spat over who should

:28:58.:29:00.

head up the schools inspection service Ofsted, Lib Dem sources have

:29:01.:29:03.

continued to needle away at the Education Secretary. And other

:29:04.:29:06.

senior Lib Dems have also taken aim at their coalition partners. Here's

:29:07.:29:30.

Giles Dilnot. It's unlikely the polite welcome of these school

:29:31.:29:33.

children to Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and his party colleague

:29:34.:29:36.

schools minister David Laws would be so forthcoming right now from the

:29:37.:29:38.

man in charge of schools Conservative Michael Gove. Mr Laws

:29:39.:29:41.

is said to have been furious with The Education secretary over the

:29:42.:29:44.

decision to remove Sally Morgan as chair of Ofsted. But those who know

:29:45.:29:48.

the inner working of the Lib Dems say that's just understandable. When

:29:49.:29:50.

you have the department not being consulted, it would be possible for

:29:51.:29:53.

him to not publicly comment. The remarkable thing would be if he

:29:54.:29:57.

hadn't said anything at all. We should be careful to understand this

:29:58.:30:07.

is not always part of a preplanned decision. There is a growing sense

:30:08.:30:18.

that inside Number Ten this is a concerted Lib Dem strategy, we also

:30:19.:30:21.

understand there is no love lost between Nick Clegg and Michael Gove

:30:22.:30:25.

to say the least, and a growing frustration that if the Lib Dems

:30:26.:30:31.

think such so-called yellow and blue attacks can help them with the

:30:32.:30:34.

election, they can also damage the long-term prospects of the Coalition

:30:35.:30:42.

post 2015. One spat does not a divorce make but perhaps even more

:30:43.:30:45.

significant has been Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander s

:30:46.:30:47.

recent newspaper interview firmly spiking any room for George Osborne

:30:48.:30:50.

to manoeuvre on lowering the highest income tax rate to 40p. All this

:30:51.:30:53.

builds on the inclusion in Government at the reshuffle of

:30:54.:30:56.

people like Norman Baker at the Home Office and Simon Hughes at Justice

:30:57.:30:59.

people who are happier to publically express doubt on Conservative

:31:00.:31:01.

policy, unlike say Jeremy Browne who was removed and who has made plain

:31:02.:31:15.

his views on Coalition. It is difficult for us to demonstrate that

:31:16.:31:19.

we are more socialist than an Ed Miliband Labour led party. Even if

:31:20.:31:27.

we did wish to demonstrate it, doing it in coalition with the

:31:28.:31:33.

Conservatives would be harder still. Nonetheless a differentiation

:31:34.:31:37.

strategy was always likely as 2 15 approached, so is there evidence it

:31:38.:31:43.

works? Or of the work we publish shows the Lib Dems have a huge

:31:44.:31:47.

problem in terms of their distinctiveness, so attacking their

:31:48.:31:53.

coalition partners or the Labour Party is helpful in showing what

:31:54.:31:55.

they are against, but there are bigger problem is showing what they

:31:56.:32:01.

are for. And one Conservative MP with access to Number Ten as part of

:32:02.:32:06.

the PM's policy board says yellow on blue attacks are misplaced and

:32:07.:32:12.

irresponsible. At this stage when all the hard work is being done and

:32:13.:32:16.

the country is back on its feet the Lib Dems are choosing the time to

:32:17.:32:25.

step away from the coalition. That is your position, but do you suspect

:32:26.:32:29.

coming up to the next election we will see more of this? I think the

:32:30.:32:35.

Lib Dems are about as hard to pin down as a weasel in Vaseline. And

:32:36.:32:41.

with the public's view of politicians right now, and wants to

:32:42.:32:44.

be seen as slicker than a well oiled weasel? And we have Lib Dem peer

:32:45.:32:51.

Matthew Oakeshott and senior Conservative backbencher Bernard

:32:52.:33:01.

Jenkin. Matthew, the Lib Dems are now picking fights with the Tories

:33:02.:33:05.

on a range of issues, some of them trivial. Is this a Pirelli used to

:33:06.:33:11.

Lib Dem withdrawal from the coalition? I do not know, I am not

:33:12.:33:18.

privy to Nick Clegg's in strategy. Some of us have been independent for

:33:19.:33:22.

some time. I resigned over treatment of the banks. That is now being

:33:23.:33:29.

sorted out. But what is significant is we have seen a string of attacks,

:33:30.:33:34.

almost an enemy within strategy When you have Nick Clegg, David Laws

:33:35.:33:40.

and Danny Alexander, the three key people closest to the Conservatives,

:33:41.:33:47.

when you see all of them attacking, and this morning Nick Clegg has had

:33:48.:33:51.

a go at the Conservatives over drug policy. There is a string of

:33:52.:33:56.

policies where something is going on. It is difficult to do an enemy

:33:57.:34:02.

within strategy. I believe as many Lib Dems do that we should withdraw

:34:03.:34:08.

from the coalition six months to one year before the election so we can

:34:09.:34:12.

put our positive policies across rather than having this tricky

:34:13.:34:16.

strategy of trying to do it from within. Why does David Cameron need

:34:17.:34:24.

the Lib Dems? He probably does not. The country generally favoured the

:34:25.:34:29.

coalition to start with. Voters like to see politicians are working

:34:30.:34:33.

together and far more of that goes on in Westminster then we see. Most

:34:34.:34:38.

of my committee reports are unanimous reports from all parties.

:34:39.:34:46.

Why does he need them? I do not think he does. You would be happy to

:34:47.:34:54.

see the Lib Dems go? I would always be happy to see a single minority

:34:55.:34:59.

Government because it would be easier for legislation. The

:35:00.:35:04.

legislation you could not get through would not get through

:35:05.:35:07.

whether we were in coalition or not. The 40p tax rate, there

:35:08.:35:12.

probably is not a majority in the House of Commons at the moment,

:35:13.:35:17.

despite what Nick Clegg originally said. It does not make much

:35:18.:35:21.

difference. What makes a difference from the perspective of the

:35:22.:35:26.

committee I chair is historically we have had single party Government

:35:27.:35:30.

that have collective responsibility and clarity. The reason that is

:35:31.:35:34.

important is because nothing gets done if everybody is at sixes and

:35:35.:35:39.

sevens in the Government. Everything stops, there is paralysis as the row

:35:40.:35:44.

goes on. Civil servants do not know who they are working for. If it

:35:45.:35:50.

carries on getting fractures, there is a bigger argument to get out If

:35:51.:35:56.

it continues at this level of intensity of the enemy within

:35:57.:36:01.

strategy as you have described it, can the coalition survived another

:36:02.:36:06.

16 months of this? It is also a question should they. I never

:36:07.:36:10.

thought I would say this, I agree with Bernard. Interestingly earlier

:36:11.:36:17.

Chuka Umunna missed the point talking about business support.

:36:18.:36:21.

Business is worried about this anti-European rhetoric and that is a

:36:22.:36:24.

deep split between the Liberal Democrats and the UKIP wing of the

:36:25.:36:29.

Tory party. That is really damaging and that is something we need to

:36:30.:36:35.

make our own case separately on Do you get fed up when you hear

:36:36.:36:39.

constant Lib Dem attacks on you What makes me fed up is my own party

:36:40.:36:44.

cannot respond in kind because we are in coalition. I would love to

:36:45.:36:50.

have this much more open debate I would like to see my own party

:36:51.:36:57.

leader, for example as he did in the House of Commons, it was the Liberal

:36:58.:37:00.

Democrats who blocked the referendum on the house of lords and if we want

:37:01.:37:04.

to get this bill through it should be a Government bill. We know we can

:37:05.:37:08.

get it through the Commons, but we need to get the Liberals out of the

:37:09.:37:12.

Government so they stop blocking the Government putting forward a

:37:13.:37:16.

referendum bill. And put millions of jobs at risk? I am not going down

:37:17.:37:26.

the European road today. It strikes me that given that the attacks from

:37:27.:37:30.

the Lib Dems are now coming from the left attacking the Tories, is this a

:37:31.:37:35.

representative of the failure of Nick Clegg's strategy to rebuild a

:37:36.:37:40.

centrist Liberal party and he now accepts the only way he can save as

:37:41.:37:47.

many seats as he can do is to get the disillusioned left Lib Dem

:37:48.:37:53.

voters to come back to the fold The site is we have lost over half our

:37:54.:37:57.

vote at the last election and at the moment there is no sign in the polls

:37:58.:38:01.

of it coming back and we are getting very close to the next election I

:38:02.:38:05.

welcome it if Nick Clegg is starting very close to the next election I

:38:06.:38:10.

to address that problem, but talking about the centre is not the answer.

:38:11.:38:15.

Most Liberal Democrat voters at the last election are radical,

:38:16.:38:19.

progressive people who want to see a much fairer Britain and a much less

:38:20.:38:24.

divided society and we must make sure we maximise our vote from

:38:25.:38:30.

there. We know what both of you want, but what do you think will

:38:31.:38:34.

happen? Do you think this coalition will survive all the way to the

:38:35.:38:38.

election or will it break up beforehand? I think it will break up

:38:39.:38:43.

beforehand. Our long-term economic plan is working. The further changes

:38:44.:38:49.

in policies we want to implement to sustain that plan are being held

:38:50.:38:51.

back by the Liberal Democrats. When sustain that plan are being held

:38:52.:38:58.

will they break up? It has lasted longer than I thought it would, but

:38:59.:39:02.

it must break up at least six months before the election. Do you think it

:39:03.:39:07.

will survive or not? The coalition before the election. Do you think it

:39:08.:39:12.

has delivered a great deal in many ways, but it is running out of

:39:13.:39:18.

steam. It depends what happens in the May elections. If the Liberal

:39:19.:39:19.

steam. It depends what happens in Democrats do not do better than we

:39:20.:39:23.

have done in the last three, there will be very strong pressure from

:39:24.:39:32.

the inside. You both agree. Television history has been made.

:39:33.:39:38.

Politics. Coming up: I will be Politics. Coming up: I will be

:39:39.:39:52.

Hello and a warm welcome to you on our local part of the show. This

:39:53.:40:00.

week a look at the attempts to improve standards in the north on

:40:01.:40:05.

our schools. Will it satisfy Michael Gove. We have with us John

:40:06.:40:12.

Stevenson. And coming ing coming ing , 40,000 people have had benefits

:40:13.:40:16.

cut as they have a spare room, but where are the smaller properties for

:40:17.:40:22.

them to move into? Let's talk about a weighty issue, the north`east is

:40:23.:40:27.

officially the fattest region in England. We are nearly seven out of

:40:28.:40:34.

10 people overweight. Cumbria, is apparently the fattest counties.

:40:35.:40:39.

John, do you think that the county is the fattest in the country? I am

:40:40.:40:43.

surprised by the statistics. I have no idea if they are accurate, but

:40:44.:40:48.

there is an obesity issue in the country, it must be looked at and we

:40:49.:40:52.

have to change people's lifestyles. That is the key issue, to improve

:40:53.:40:57.

people's health. Snrp can the Government do? It is complex. It is

:40:58.:41:03.

lifestyle, what we eat, parents, children, schools, Government has a

:41:04.:41:08.

role to play but there is personal responsibility coming into play.

:41:09.:41:14.

Nick Brown, this has not appeared this is down to choice. There is a

:41:15.:41:21.

limited amount that the Government can do? Public information and under

:41:22.:41:26.

standing is important. It is about things that are well understood like

:41:27.:41:31.

diet, drink, alcohol and exercise. We all have our responsibility, a

:41:32.:41:35.

personal responsibility and just to have that explained to us and then

:41:36.:41:39.

to focus on it, that is the right thing to do.

:41:40.:41:42.

Thank you very much. My body, of course, as you can tell

:41:43.:41:47.

is a temple! Now a new plan to raise standards in the region's

:41:48.:41:52.

underperforming schools at the end of 2013, 232 schools judged

:41:53.:41:58.

inadequate or acquiring improvement. Northumberland has been critised by

:41:59.:42:04.

off sed, Cumbria is awaiting a verdict on an inspection there.

:42:05.:42:10.

There is a former head who wants to set up his own chain offed academies

:42:11.:42:15.

in Cumbria. This community college in Penrith.

:42:16.:42:21.

Like the dance students, increasingly sure`footed. A rise in

:42:22.:42:26.

results has seen a surge at the tables and attracted the attention

:42:27.:42:36.

of Chris Wood head. 20 years on, I find myself in this Community

:42:37.:42:42.

College, Ullswater and on a Sunday night, a phone call from Sir

:42:43.:42:47.

Christopher woodhead, asking if we would be interested in developing a

:42:48.:42:52.

plan to support schools in difficulties.

:42:53.:42:55.

While this school is improving, Cumbria has a number of struggling

:42:56.:43:00.

schools. Three put into special measures since Christmas and more

:43:01.:43:06.

criticism is likely when a Ofsted inspection is published school. So

:43:07.:43:14.

Chris Woodhead sold us `` told us why he wants to help.

:43:15.:43:19.

I love Cumbria. Coming here for 50 years, climbing the rocks and

:43:20.:43:22.

walking the months. I know the people here. It is a place that I

:43:23.:43:27.

have a personal affection for. It is a place that it seems from the

:43:28.:43:32.

Ofsted reports, that there are some problems. If I can find ways to help

:43:33.:43:36.

improve education in Cumbria, that is what I want to do.

:43:37.:43:42.

This week, Ullswater governors agreed to work with Sir Chris.

:43:43.:43:47.

Spreading good work like this into struggling schools.

:43:48.:43:50.

We will work with the school, with the support and the expertise of Sir

:43:51.:43:58.

Chris, who can bring all kinds of ideas and contacts to the table in

:43:59.:44:02.

looking for improvements to the school. We have been approached by a

:44:03.:44:08.

number of schools in the Eden Valley, interested in being

:44:09.:44:11.

voluntary partners, but there will be other schools, to come, where our

:44:12.:44:16.

role is to support them in their improvement.

:44:17.:44:21.

Perhaps not everyone will be as enthusiastic as Ullswater as Sir

:44:22.:44:28.

Chris, he has had detractors but with the picture being painted of

:44:29.:44:32.

the bleak situation of schools in Cumbria, improvements are needed.

:44:33.:44:38.

There is a model that helped to raise standards in London schools,

:44:39.:44:42.

this is a model that could be used. There has been a bid discussed for

:44:43.:44:47.

?30 million to get this under way. We have a high level of

:44:48.:44:52.

unemployment. We have the lowest level of skill, I believe that the

:44:53.:44:56.

people, given the opportunity, can attain the skills. If we want to

:44:57.:45:00.

change the position of the north`east economically, this is

:45:01.:45:04.

critical. We have got to start now. It is a long`term thing. We will not

:45:05.:45:09.

see the benefit immediately but if we don't start somewhere, we will

:45:10.:45:13.

never achieve. It is a huge opportunity for the next generation.

:45:14.:45:17.

What is the best way to improve the standards? Are the academies the

:45:18.:45:25.

solution. With me is Vince k Allen. How do you feel about Sir Chris

:45:26.:45:32.

Woodhead running a chain of academies in Cumbria? I regard its

:45:33.:45:38.

as something of an irrelevence. We have looked at the Ofsted data from

:45:39.:45:44.

2012. We have seen that the picture of achievement from the north`east,

:45:45.:45:49.

to North Yorkshire to Cumbria is of improvement on the previous yearment

:45:50.:45:54.

the picture of there being a wide`scale failure on the part of

:45:55.:45:57.

schools is not something borne out of what Ofsted is saying. It causes

:45:58.:46:04.

concerns. What we see is what appears to be a Government practise.

:46:05.:46:11.

Targeting North Yorkshire, targeting Durham, targeting Northumberland,

:46:12.:46:15.

and now Cumbria. What they have in common is a lack of academies it is

:46:16.:46:19.

hard to see that the criticism that ises about made is borne by the

:46:20.:46:25.

information that the Ofsted produces.

:46:26.:46:29.

The inspectors were to say to Michael Gove that they are following

:46:30.:46:33.

an agenda than looking at the standards in schools? Looking at the

:46:34.:46:40.

data that Ofsted produced itself, based on the inspections on the

:46:41.:46:45.

schools, that is not the picture presented here, no.

:46:46.:46:49.

So there is no problem? There is always room to improve. One of the

:46:50.:46:53.

reasons that teachers come to the professionals is for the zeal to

:46:54.:46:58.

want to improve. Give the teachers an opportunity to develop their

:46:59.:47:03.

practise, improve what goes on in their schools and those around them,

:47:04.:47:08.

they will jump on that opportunity. What will not help is strike action.

:47:09.:47:11.

That is planned for next month? That is right. There is strike action set

:47:12.:47:17.

for the end of March. People will say that is one of the problems

:47:18.:47:22.

here. Teachers are obsessed with their problems, rather than thinking

:47:23.:47:27.

of the young? Teachers are interested in their problem, of

:47:28.:47:31.

course. They are far more interested in the problems of young people.

:47:32.:47:36.

They are not coming to ing it gives a huge income, but the issue with

:47:37.:47:40.

the strike action is that we wanted to negotiate with the Secretary of

:47:41.:47:43.

State for Some time, we did set a date for a strike in November. We

:47:44.:47:48.

pulled back from that when the Secretary of State said that there

:47:49.:47:52.

would be talks. The talks did not occur. We set a date in February. We

:47:53.:47:57.

held back. We are waiting for the discussions still to occur.

:47:58.:48:02.

Thank you very much. John Stevenson, two academies in

:48:03.:48:07.

Carlisle, in special measures, are they the solution? We have to be

:48:08.:48:10.

careful. There are successful and good performing schools in Cumbria.

:48:11.:48:14.

We have to acknowledge that a lot of students are receiving a good

:48:15.:48:19.

education. I support the academies programme, continuing from the last

:48:20.:48:23.

Labour Government policies. I think that they do work. We unfortunately

:48:24.:48:29.

have two failing academies but they are taken under the wing of a larger

:48:30.:48:33.

organisation. That is where you can improve the standards. You replicate

:48:34.:48:37.

the standards and ideas from other schools and bring them in to improve

:48:38.:48:40.

the school. What about Vince Allen's thought,

:48:41.:48:46.

that Cumbria is being picked on as there are not enough academies here,

:48:47.:48:50.

that is the reason for the drive, not the standards? I disagree. We

:48:51.:48:57.

want to improve education levels. We want to see secondary sools improve,

:48:58.:49:04.

I think that the academies there is greater freedom to schools and to

:49:05.:49:08.

the heads, that helps driving up the standards.

:49:09.:49:14.

Is this a Labour legacies `` legacy? And a lot of these authorities are

:49:15.:49:19.

run by Labour councillors? What we do not disagree on is the need to

:49:20.:49:23.

drive up standards. The debate is how best to do it. There are

:49:24.:49:28.

well`performing schools. I can think of those in my constituency, that

:49:29.:49:33.

are wholly in the public sector but standards are being driven up. So,

:49:34.:49:40.

obviously, Labour introduced a lot of academies, do you see a hidden

:49:41.:49:46.

agenda here? Or is is it just about the standards? I am not sure from

:49:47.:49:50.

the film what is proposed for Cumbria. I don't know enough about

:49:51.:49:56.

the education system in Cumbria to comment.

:49:57.:49:59.

The local education authorities have had their chance in places like

:50:00.:50:04.

Cumbria, Ofsted are suggesting that standards are not high enough, why

:50:05.:50:11.

not let someone like Sir Chris Wood Head run a chain of academies to

:50:12.:50:16.

chair the prak sis? But what evidence does that make things

:50:17.:50:20.

better? I am suspicious of that. I think it could be better to identify

:50:21.:50:24.

the problems in the schools and apply the resources to dealing with

:50:25.:50:28.

the problems, rather than hand it willing over to somebody else that

:50:29.:50:35.

says he has a solution `` handing it over to somebody else.

:50:36.:50:40.

And the ?30 million is not for Cumbria.

:50:41.:50:43.

For the north`east. Yes, for the north`east.

:50:44.:50:47.

I would welcome anything that got more money into the education system

:50:48.:50:53.

in the north`east. John Stevenson, it is the Government

:50:54.:50:58.

putting its money where its mouth is, if it is serious about the

:50:59.:51:01.

standards it should be putting in the money? We do put in money. The

:51:02.:51:07.

school's money is ring`fenced. If there is concern about standards,

:51:08.:51:12.

more can be done. A lot of money was put into the London schools, what

:51:13.:51:16.

about Cumbria and the north`east? It is not all about money it is about

:51:17.:51:23.

best practise. That why change of academies can be good, it can take

:51:24.:51:28.

the schools performing well and transport the skills to those

:51:29.:51:33.

failing it is not always about the money but about raising the

:51:34.:51:37.

standards. It is about supporting the teachers and the professional

:51:38.:51:41.

leadership in the schools. I am not convinced that the current

:51:42.:51:44.

Government are doing that. Money goes to favoured projects. It is

:51:45.:51:49.

taking away from everybody else. We have to leave it there.

:51:50.:51:56.

Now since Housing Benefit changes were introduced in April, some

:51:57.:52:00.

40,000 families have had money cut as they are judged to have a spare

:52:01.:52:04.

room, but some have been able to move families into a larger

:52:05.:52:10.

properties that has become Saudi Arabiaing bt, but the policy has run

:52:11.:52:14.

into a problem, there is a shortage of one`bedroom properties. For Jean,

:52:15.:52:21.

this two bedroom flat has been her home for more than 20 years, but now

:52:22.:52:26.

it is seen as too big for her needs. Despite being out of work, she has

:52:27.:52:33.

faced an ?11 a week cut in her benefit.

:52:34.:52:36.

I think that the bedroom tax is unnecessarily cruel in some cases.

:52:37.:52:42.

I have found myself not being in a position to put food on my table as

:52:43.:52:50.

easy `` easily as I could. By accessing a local food bank,

:52:51.:52:55.

occasionally, I have been given a bag with teabags in, bread, sugar,

:52:56.:53:03.

coffee, etc, and the blafks `` bafshgs. That enables me to be able

:53:04.:53:08.

to breathe a little more easily. You are living in a two bedroom flat.

:53:09.:53:14.

You are encouraged to move to a one bedroom. Have you looked into it? I

:53:15.:53:20.

did make an attempt to try to get a one bedroom property, but I was

:53:21.:53:23.

refused. A sanction on the vulnerable, or a

:53:24.:53:29.

chance for a fresh start? For Stacey it has been the latter. Part of a

:53:30.:53:34.

home swap scheme, in which tennants with spare rooms downsized and

:53:35.:53:39.

others upsized. In her case to a house with a garden.

:53:40.:53:43.

I understand the frustration for people having to move. They are

:53:44.:53:46.

leaving a house that they are lived in for a number of years but I do

:53:47.:53:51.

appreciate it for myself and growing families that need the space and

:53:52.:53:55.

would have had to wait a longer period of time before they

:53:56.:53:58.

benefitted. Ministers say that the taxpayer

:53:59.:54:03.

cannot subsidise spare bedrooms, but in areas of the north`east, there is

:54:04.:54:08.

a problem. Not enough one bedroom how home but a surplus of two and

:54:09.:54:15.

three bedroom properties. A situation, some claim, is being made

:54:16.:54:18.

worse by the Government. This is one of the number of council

:54:19.:54:24.

flats vacated by the tennants. In this area, 11 tower blocks, a

:54:25.:54:30.

year ago we had eight voids, at the moment that is 77 voids. That is not

:54:31.:54:35.

down to those who cannot pay the bedroom tax but it is a part of the

:54:36.:54:40.

picture. We may have to demolish housing, redesignate some flats.

:54:41.:54:48.

So turn a two bedroom flat to a one bedroom? Yes. Change it around. That

:54:49.:54:53.

reduces the rent. Social housing providers in

:54:54.:54:57.

Gateshead, Northumberland and Teesside report a rise in larger

:54:58.:55:01.

homes falling empty, but they complain of a shortage of smaller

:55:02.:55:09.

properties. Teesside based Coast and Country say it is has 2,000 tennants

:55:10.:55:15.

needing homes. Some face a wait of more than 30 years.

:55:16.:55:20.

As a result of the benefit changes, Housing Associations are seeing

:55:21.:55:26.

increase in arrears. Up to 50 %, so they cannot build new one bedrooms.

:55:27.:55:31.

Supporters say that action was necessary.

:55:32.:55:35.

I do think it is right that we recognise that 250,000 people

:55:36.:55:40.

Nashally are living in overcrowded accommodation and 400,000 people are

:55:41.:55:45.

living in accommodation that is greater than the needs. We have to

:55:46.:55:49.

find some solution to that problem. Bedroom tax or spare room subsidy?

:55:50.:55:54.

Even the name is contention. Ten months on from its introduction,

:55:55.:55:59.

opinions on the outcome are just as divided.

:56:00.:56:03.

John Stevenson, whatever the rights and the wrongs of the change, it

:56:04.:56:08.

will be effective in terms of the waiting list if there are not enough

:56:09.:56:14.

one bedroom homes. 30 years of waiting is ludicrous? This is an

:56:15.:56:18.

interesting point about housing Nashally. We are centralised, we

:56:19.:56:24.

make a policy beneficial for one part of the country. This is

:56:25.:56:27.

something that the government could look at where there is an

:56:28.:56:31.

overarching policy. So you are saying that the benefit

:56:32.:56:35.

change was wrong for a region like ours? No. I think that there are

:56:36.:56:39.

different circumstances for different parts of the country.

:56:40.:56:43.

But this has been applied across the country? Yes it has. And you can

:56:44.:56:49.

look at changing the tax rate as to London having separate issues to

:56:50.:56:53.

other parts of the country. In Carlisle, I have spoken with the

:56:54.:56:57.

Housing Association there, they don't have an issue with the number

:56:58.:57:03.

of one bedroom properties available. There are beneficiaries here, what

:57:04.:57:06.

the Government talked about is happening. People moving into larger

:57:07.:57:10.

homes that have been waiting for them. You found one, how many

:57:11.:57:15.

others? There were others that did not wish to appear on cameras. As

:57:16.:57:21.

few as that. I cannot give the numbers. There are

:57:22.:57:26.

some 7,000 people disadvantaged by the policy. Half of them living in

:57:27.:57:32.

the east of Newcastle. The overwhelming majority are those

:57:33.:57:35.

people in what is currently classed as two bedroom accommodation. They

:57:36.:57:41.

are only eligible for a single room now. How do they get into that? The

:57:42.:57:47.

truth of the matter is that when the mrgs were constructed, a generation

:57:48.:57:52.

ago, the average household size was 1. 9. Therefore it was logical for

:57:53.:57:56.

the local authorities, when they could build houses, to build the

:57:57.:58:01.

overwhelming of them as two bedrooms. That is what the local

:58:02.:58:05.

authority had to let to people. The assumption at the time was that

:58:06.:58:11.

people were renting. That is history. But it is

:58:12.:58:15.

interesting. It sets the terms for the tennants now.

:58:16.:58:19.

But tennants of the private sector do not have the spare room subsidy.

:58:20.:58:25.

So it was tackling a degree of unfairness? But social housing is

:58:26.:58:28.

social housing. It is there to make... Those in the private housing

:58:29.:58:38.

do not have more money... It costs more to rent a one bedroom flat in

:58:39.:58:43.

gentlemens Monday than it does to rent a two bedroom flat in more

:58:44.:58:50.

come. The Housing Benefit covers the one bedroom, if you are eligible in

:58:51.:58:56.

full but there is a claw back on the two bedroom... It is economic

:58:57.:58:59.

nonsense. This is madness when councils are

:59:00.:59:05.

reclassifying two bedroom flats as one bedroom? It shows it is a policy

:59:06.:59:12.

that should have been allowed to bed in when the houses wag provided? It

:59:13.:59:17.

has been brought in for two reasons. One we have to have saving.

:59:18.:59:24.

Given what happened under the last administration in terms of the

:59:25.:59:27.

economics. And there are a quarter of a million people in overcrowded

:59:28.:59:32.

accommodation. We have to look after their needs as much as those where

:59:33.:59:37.

they are in a `` accommodation with a spare room.

:59:38.:59:41.

Now, I guess you like me did not win millions on the lottery.

:59:42.:59:48.

But more than half of all north`east households do play the lottery each

:59:49.:59:52.

week. MPs think that the region does not get a fair share of the money

:59:53.:59:56.

raised. Here is that and the rest of the week's news in 60 seconds.

:59:57.:00:06.

The north`east deserves a larger share of funding for arts and

:00:07.:00:10.

culture, according to MPs. The capital gets ?69 per head, compared

:00:11.:00:17.

to just ?4. 50 in the rest of England. Almost half of all lottery

:00:18.:00:21.

grants go to London. The Prime Minister has been urged to ensure

:00:22.:00:25.

that the counties employers has the resources to investigate victims of

:00:26.:00:29.

potential abuse. Will the Prime Minister commit that

:00:30.:00:33.

if it proves necessary, his secretary will meet with the PCC,

:00:34.:00:38.

the Chief Constable and myself, to ensure that the team has the

:00:39.:00:41.

resources it needs to see the investigation to its conclusion. The

:00:42.:00:47.

victims deserve no less. Yoshg City Council facing budget

:00:48.:00:53.

cuts. It 40 posts to be `` 2 who `` 240 posts to be lost too.

:00:54.:01:05.

And Barbie toys could be not helping education for young children.

:01:06.:01:13.

So, arts funding. It is netable, that there is this

:01:14.:01:19.

imbalance in funding? That is true up to a point.

:01:20.:01:24.

The 40`1 ratio, that the report has put in front of the world seems too

:01:25.:01:32.

much. The ?69 for London per head. The funding comes from four separate

:01:33.:01:38.

sources. The private sector, the department's main budget, the Arts

:01:39.:01:43.

Council's budget and the National Lottery money stered the arts ``

:01:44.:01:49.

administered through the Arts Council. On the last budget, I

:01:50.:01:53.

agreed with the recommendation on the report there should be a

:01:54.:01:56.

ring`fenced amount for the regional arts. That is a modest

:01:57.:02:01.

recommendation, I think it is a good one.

:02:02.:02:04.

John, Carlisle has not got a theatre. What events have been cut

:02:05.:02:09.

this year? Is it time for change? We have Tulley House. That the Labour

:02:10.:02:15.

council decided to cut their budget. That is a problem for Tulley House,

:02:16.:02:20.

but I have sympathy. We accept that London is going to get the main

:02:21.:02:25.

resources. It attracts tourists and all of that, but still, I think that

:02:26.:02:31.

we in the region do get our fair contribution.

:02:32.:02:33.

Thank you very much. That is all we have time for. We are back at the

:02:34.:02:38.

same time, the same place next Sunday. In the meantime keep

:02:39.:02:40.

up`to`date with all of the Sunday. In the meantime keep

:02:41.:02:44.

Londoners who otherwise may not have a voice. Both of you, thank you so

:02:45.:02:56.

much. Andrew, it is back to you Can David Cameron get a grip on the

:02:57.:03:01.

floods? Can UKIP push the Conservatives into third place in

:03:02.:03:04.

the Wythenshawe by-election on Thursday? Is the speaker in the

:03:05.:03:08.

House of Commons in danger of overheating? All questions over the

:03:09.:03:16.

weekend. Let's look at the politics of the flooding. Let me show you a

:03:17.:03:22.

clip from Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, earlier on

:03:23.:03:29.

the BBC this morning. We perhaps relied too much on the Environment

:03:30.:03:35.

Agency's advice. I apologise. I apologise unreservedly and I am

:03:36.:03:39.

really sorry we took the advice of what we thought we were doing was

:03:40.:03:45.

the best. The Environment Agency is being hung out to dry by the

:03:46.:03:48.

Government and the Government has taken over the running of the

:03:49.:03:54.

environmental mess in the Somerset Levels. It is turning into a serious

:03:55.:03:59.

crisis by the Government and even more so for the people who are

:04:00.:04:03.

dealing with the flooding. There is no doubt that what has been revealed

:04:04.:04:09.

is it is not just about what the Government did or did not do six

:04:10.:04:14.

months ago. What is being exposed is an entire culture within the

:04:15.:04:19.

Environment Agency, fuelled often by European directives about dredging

:04:20.:04:23.

and all manner of other things, a culture grew up in which plants were

:04:24.:04:28.

put ahead of people if you like All of that is collapsing in very

:04:29.:04:32.

difficult circumstances by the Government and it is difficult for

:04:33.:04:38.

them to manage. Chris Smith would save the Environment Agency is

:04:39.:04:41.

acting under a law set by this Government and previous governments

:04:42.:04:46.

and the first priority is the protection of life, second property

:04:47.:04:49.

and third agricultural land and he is saying we are working within that

:04:50.:04:55.

framework. It is an edifying spectacle, they are setting up Lord

:04:56.:04:59.

Smith to be the fall guy. His term of office comes at the end of the

:05:00.:05:03.

summer and they will find something new. But the point Lord Smith is

:05:04.:05:08.

making is that dredging is important and it was a mistake not to dredge,

:05:09.:05:12.

but it is a bigger picture than that. I am no expert, but you need a

:05:13.:05:17.

whole skill solution that is looking not just bad dredging, but at the

:05:18.:05:24.

whole catchment area looking at the production of maize. It is harvested

:05:25.:05:28.

in autumn and then the water runs off the topsoil. You see the

:05:29.:05:34.

pictures of the flooding, it is all topsoil flooding through those

:05:35.:05:38.

towns. What you have got to have in the uplands is some land that can

:05:39.:05:42.

absorb that water and there are really big questions about the way

:05:43.:05:47.

we carry out farming. Chris Smith was meant to appear on the Andrew

:05:48.:05:51.

Marr show this morning, but pulled back at the last minute. There must

:05:52.:05:55.

be doubts as to whether he can survive to the summer. Where is the

:05:56.:05:59.

chief executive of the Environment Agency? I agree with Nick that Chris

:06:00.:06:06.

Smith has been setup in this situation. David Cameron went to the

:06:07.:06:10.

Somerset Levels on Friday for about half an hour, in and out, with no

:06:11.:06:17.

angry people shouting at him. You to a farm. It is agreed he has had good

:06:18.:06:24.

crisis. But we are seen as being a London media class who does not

:06:25.:06:30.

understand the countryside. You can imagine David Cameron in a pair of

:06:31.:06:34.

wellies. If this was happening in Guildford, it would not have dragged

:06:35.:06:40.

on for so long. Looe it is interesting how they are saying the

:06:41.:06:44.

Environment Agency has put words in front of everything else. The

:06:45.:06:49.

great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria thinks people should be

:06:50.:06:53.

sacked at the whim. He is talking about how the Environment Agency

:06:54.:06:58.

spent ?31 million on a bird sanctuary. It turns out the bird

:06:59.:07:03.

sanctuary was an attempt to put up a flood defence system for a village

:07:04.:07:08.

which has worked. That village has been saved. They compensated some

:07:09.:07:12.

farmers for the farmland they were not going to be able to farm and put

:07:13.:07:17.

a flood defence system further back to protect this village and then

:07:18.:07:26.

they built a bird sanctuary. It was not ?31 million to create a bird

:07:27.:07:29.

sanctuary, it was to save a village and it worked. But in 2008 the

:07:30.:07:35.

Environment Agency was talking about dynamiting every pumping agency

:07:36.:07:40.

There was a metropolitan mindset on the part of that agency. If it does

:07:41.:07:45.

what Owen Paterson, who is now off in an eye operation, suggested a

:07:46.:07:51.

plan to fix this, they will find a lot of what they want or need to do

:07:52.:07:56.

will be in contravention of European directives. The Wythenshawe

:07:57.:08:04.

by-election. There is no question Labour is going to win, probably

:08:05.:08:09.

incredibly convincingly, one poll showing 60% plus of the vote. It

:08:10.:08:14.

would be surprising if Labour was in any threat up there. The issue is,

:08:15.:08:19.

does UKIP beat the Tories and if so, by how much? The latest poll was

:08:20.:08:25.

showing it in second place as nip and tuck, but the feeling I have is

:08:26.:08:32.

UKIP will do better. And they have got a great local candidate. The

:08:33.:08:35.

Tories have not parachuted somebody in and they have got a local man in

:08:36.:08:40.

and that will help them. We have all been waiting to see if the Tories

:08:41.:08:45.

lose their head, but they might go chicken earlier than that. Will UKIP

:08:46.:08:53.

come second? It looks like that A poll this week showed that Labour is

:08:54.:08:58.

way ahead and UKIP possibly second. But it is an important by-election

:08:59.:09:03.

for UKIP. If they do well in the European elections, they should

:09:04.:09:08.

still be on a roll. They did really well in by-elections last year. If

:09:09.:09:11.

they do not do well, is it because they are not on payroll? Or in

:09:12.:09:17.

Manchester they have a fantastic leader of the council? Will UKIP

:09:18.:09:23.

come a good second? I think they will and if they do not, it might

:09:24.:09:27.

suggest Nigel Farage is losing its slightly. One thing to look out for

:09:28.:09:34.

is how little Labour are attacking UKIP. Their election strategy relies

:09:35.:09:40.

a lot on UKIP taking Tory votes But it could also take Labour votes

:09:41.:09:45.

Particularly in the north and we shall see. The results will be out

:09:46.:09:50.

on Thursday night. The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bird ,

:09:51.:09:57.

his interventions have become more frequent and something was strange.

:09:58.:10:03.

Have a look. I am grateful to the honourable gentleman. Order, the

:10:04.:10:10.

Government Chief Whip has absolutely no business whatsoever shouting from

:10:11.:10:15.

a sedentary position. Order, the honourable gentleman will remain in

:10:16.:10:20.

the chamber. If we could tackle this problem. I say to the honourable

:10:21.:10:28.

member for Bridgwater, be quiet if you cannot be quiet, get out, it is

:10:29.:10:32.

rude, stupid and pompous and it needs to stop. Michael Gove. Order.

:10:33.:10:51.

You really... Order. You are a very over excitable individual. You need

:10:52.:10:57.

to write out 1000 times, I will behave myself at Prime Minister 's

:10:58.:11:01.

questions. He was talking to the Education Secretary and it is not

:11:02.:11:07.

1000 lines, it is 100 lines, at least it was in my day. Is he

:11:08.:11:16.

beginning to make a fool of himself? There was only one over excitable

:11:17.:11:19.

person there and that was the speaker and he is losing the

:11:20.:11:22.

confidence of the Conservative MPs, but he never had that in the first

:11:23.:11:27.

place. But he is an incredibly reforming speaker. He has this

:11:28.:11:32.

strange idea that Parliament should hold the Government to account. It

:11:33.:11:39.

will never catch on. It means very frequently there are urgent

:11:40.:11:44.

questions. The other day he called a backbench amendment on the

:11:45.:11:47.

deportation of foreign criminals. He could have found a way not to call

:11:48.:11:53.

that. He is a real reformer and the executive do not like that. That is

:11:54.:11:57.

true and he has allowed Parliament to flourish which has given us room

:11:58.:12:05.

to breathe at a time of a coalition Government when Parliament has more

:12:06.:12:09.

power. That is all that enough to overcome these increasingly mannered

:12:10.:12:15.

and some of them may be preplanned interventions? The last one was last

:12:16.:12:22.

week, and last week the speaker had a rather stressful week with the

:12:23.:12:30.

tabloids. Something is clearly up. I think it is a real shame. I think

:12:31.:12:36.

many of us when he was elected did not think he would make a great

:12:37.:12:40.

speaker and there are people like Douglas Carswell and Tory rebels who

:12:41.:12:45.

have said he is a fantastic speaker. He has given the Commons room to

:12:46.:12:50.

breathe and he has called on ministers to be held to account when

:12:51.:12:55.

they do not want to be. What do you think? He is seen as anti-government

:12:56.:13:00.

and he is pro-backbencher and that is what people do not like. People

:13:01.:13:06.

like Douglas Carswell are actually very strongly in support of him We

:13:07.:13:13.

carry the interventions every week on Prime Minister 's questions and

:13:14.:13:17.

we see them every week and they are getting a bit more eccentric. If I

:13:18.:13:21.

was having to keep that under control, I would be driven slowly

:13:22.:13:28.

mad. But his job is easier than mine. But if you look at his

:13:29.:13:33.

deputy, Eleanor Laing, she is very robust, but she is calm. Chap who

:13:34.:13:40.

does the budget is excellent. We are on throughout the week at midday on

:13:41.:13:49.

BBC Two. We will be back next Sunday at 11. If it is Sunday, it is the

:13:50.:13:52.

Sunday Politics.

:13:53.:13:59.

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