14/02/2016 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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Morning folks and welcome to The Sunday Politics.


David Cameron says a manifesto shouldn't be a "wish list,


He says he's been ticking off the commitments his manifesto made,


Well, today we launch our own Manifesto Tracker and we'll be


talking to the minister responsible for implementing it.


The Government wants to crack down on the gender pay gap.


But is it really as bad as everyone seems to make out?


We'll be talking to TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady.


And we'll be asking who's wooing who


in the putative Tory leadership contest?


MLAs' expenses - has the Assembly Commission ignored


a ruling by Stormont's independent financial watchdog?


We'll hear from its chair, Pat McCartan.


And the row over renewables - we ask who's to blame.


And with me, as always, a match made in heaven.


Nick Watt, Polly Toynbee and Tim Shipman,


who'll be tweeting throughout the programme.


First, this morning let's turn to the situation in Syria.


A nationwide "cessation of hostilities" is due


But, despite that agreement, the prospects for peace


The truce does not apply to the battle against what Russia


calls terrorist targets and means it will continue its heavy bombing


Meanwhile, Turkey has shelled Kurdish positions in Northern Syria


and the Turkish Foreign Minister has said his country is pondering


This morning, the Foreign Secretary said Russia had to begin complying


The situation in Aleppo is extremely worrying,


the Russians are using carpet-bombing


tactics, indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas


Yes, we demand that the Russians comply with their obligations under


international law and their obligations under the UN


Security Council resolutions that they have signed up to.


Nick, you get a feeling that given this deal was signed in Munich, it


it is living up to deal is signed in Munich reputations. When we hear the


Foreign Secretary saying we demand Russian do something when they are


creating facts on the ground and we are not, that will have a hollow


ring. Russia is now. President's Asad air force. They have ensured


that President Assad cannot lose this war but he cannot also win it.


They have the air force but no forces on the ground. Now that


President Assad cannot lose this war has changed the dynamics. We can


whistle in the wind as much as we like but Russia is the reality and


power. Sir Roderick Lyne, the former UK ambassador to Moscow was on radio


five this morning and he said we should not get too carried away with


quite how powerful Russia is, they don't have troops on the ground,


they have a faltering economy and they are nervous about going into


far because of the disaster of Afghanistan 35 years ago. They do


have some troops on the ground, they have proxy forces on the ground from


Hezbollah and the uranium National Guard. Although they can't take back


the whole of Syria, they will take back enough of it -- Iranians


National Guard. Making success in the south, the border with Turkey,


controlling the Mediterranean coastline. When they have done that,


they might be serious about peace talks. Then they are stuck with it.


It is not clear if Vladimir Putin thinks beyond tomorrow. It is not


clear what the long-term strategy could do. It could be like the


Russian invasion of Afghanistan, an absolute disaster. President Assad


is saying that they intend to take over the whole of the country,


entirely unrealistic. There will be some sort of partition. What is


happening is very frightening in the sense that everybody is fighting a


proxy war, the Iranians and Saudis. The one thing that people keep


saying is Barack Obama was so weak that it is quite unclear what he


could have done. Perhaps he could have given Syria's weapons to the


more moderate rebels. Hillary Clinton wanted him to do that in


July 2012. She put a plan together along with the general and he turned


it down. What would have happened is that they would be shooting down


Russian planes with American weapons. Or Russia might not have


gone to war. We don't know. Everything has a dynamic to it. This


dynamic is leaving the west pretty much as onlookers. It is clear that


at least in the short-term, Mr Putin will get back enough ground for


Assad to then say we have got rid of a lot of these "Terrorists" because


they are not Islamic state. It is now asked versus Islamic State.


Exactly, we sound like the mouse that squeaked this morning. I


disagree with Polly. One of the great powers in the world has now


got very involved in a situation and the other hasn't. President Obama


had options. He did not explore them to any sort of extent that it put


off the Russians. Britain is left on the sidelines, waiting for a new US


president, to get engaged in this issue and do something proactive.


What could have been done that would have been any use at all? Either


useless or worse than useless, stuck us in there... He did say he had


chemical weapons and it was an important red Line. And he let them


cross the red line. He totally ignored it. What would you have done


that would have been useful? You could have set up a humanitarian


safe haven and protected it with force and armed the rebels to deter


the Russians and make it a situation where Assad could not continue. We


now have a situation where Assad is now a fact of life, he is not going


anywhere. There is not much you can do without you were serious


involvement. I am glad we touched on Syria, it is an important developing


story. Now, what's black and white


and not read all over? Even if you did read it,


would you be able to remember all the promises and whether


the Government had delivered them? Today, we're launching our very


own Manifesto Tracker, which charts the progress


of the pledges Sort of like a blue virtual


Edstone, or maybe not! Over the next four years,


we'll be monitoring the Government's progress on all of the commitments


the Conservatives made ahead of the 2015 general election


in their manifesto, and a few big promises they made


during the campaign. So, we've identified 161 pledges,


and loaded them into our Manifesto We've grouped them into categories


covering all the major areas of Government policy,


from the constitution And we've given each


of the promises a colour rating. Red signalling little


or no progress so far. Amber when the Government


has made some progress. Let's start by looking


at the Conservative commitments As you can see they've made at least


some progress on all of them. Easily the party's biggest promise


here was to hold a referendum on Britain's membership


of the EU by December 2017. We've marked that amber,


to show that some progress The bill setting the vote has passed


through Parliament and it's looking likely the poll will


be held this year. The cornerstone of the Conservative


election campaign last May was how they would handle the economy,


and as you can see, that's where we've found the greatest


number of promises. Let's look at one of the policies


they identified as part of their plan to


eliminate the deficit. That was to reduce the welfare


bill by ?12 billion. Again, we've given


that an amber rating. The savings were outlined


in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement But it's too early to say


if they'll all be achieved. When it comes to the constitution,


the Government's made some progress But it promised to scrap


the Human Rights Act, and replace it That gets a red rating,


as although there have been reports something is in the pipeline,


as yet there is no sign of the legislation


required to introduce it. Some manifesto commitments have


already been delivered in full. Like the introduction of English


votes for English laws to give English MPs a veto over laws that


only affect England. Other changes promised in


the manifesto are less well known. Like the promise to recover


?500 million from migrants and overseas visitors who use


the NHS by the middle We will give that amber,


because some new charges have already been introduced,


and the Department of Health Let's add on the rest


of the promises in each of the policy areas and have a look


at how the government Taken together, of the 161


Conservative election commitments, we think ten are red,


111 are amber, and 40 are green. We'll be returning to the manifesto


tracker every few months, but in the meantime you can find


the full data on the politics And with us now the Cabinet Office


Minister and Paymaster General, Matt Hancock, he oversees


the implementation Welcome to the programme, do you


regard this manifesto as a contract with the British people and do you


intend to intimate it all? It is certainly the commitments on which


we were elected. We take it incredibly seriously -- goals to


implement it. That is the goal. We have got about a quarter delivered,


we have had less than a year. In fact, I really welcome this scrutiny


and this project you have been on. We will implement and publish our


own plans and make sure that each individual manifesto commitment has


an individual minister responsible for delivering it. And publish that.


We will nationalise you and this process. You will nationalise us? We


can't afford you, probably, but we will do this as a government. Let's


see if you still want to do that at the end of this interview. Your


manifesto promised to scrap Labour's Human Rights Act and replace it with


a British Bill of Rights, and abolition Bill would be drafted


within the first hundred days after the election. It didn't happen. Why?


The work is in progress. Internally, we will publish it. Why have you not


kept to the timetable? The timetable of the whole manifesto is to deliver


within the parliament. You said this would be done, the draft bill within


the first 100 days. Clearly, we will deliver against the commitment. I


thought it was a bit harsh to call that read, I would call that Amber.


It is not delivered yet. We called it red because the justice minister,


Mr Bove, said the consultation had been delayed yet again. The question


is what we deliver over the five-year parliament. -- Mr Gove. We


are less than a year in and we have got one quarter delivered and that


is one where there is work in progress but we are committed to


doing it. The manifesto promised to make the UK's Supreme Court "The


ultimate arbiter of human rights in the UK". That will not happen. This


is all part of the same package which we have committed to


delivering. We are less than a year in and we have a few years to go.


Whatever the package, the Supreme Court will not be "The ultimate


arbiter" on human rights, will it? That is part of the proposed


package, as part of the replacement of the Human Rights Act. We will get


to that. There is a bigger picture, which is making sure that we deliver


on the overall set of commitments in the manifesto where we are making


good progress. But, you can enhance the role of the Cyprian Court on


human rights, I understand that. Maybe the British Bill of Rights


will do their -- Supreme Court. But at the end of the day, the European


Court of Human Rights is the ultimate arbiter. That is the


factual legal situation. It all depends on the changes that you


make. We will bring forward a package of changes to be able to


deliver against these commitments in the Parliament. Mr Gove says we are


not planning to derogate from the European Court of Human Rights.


Let's see what happens when we published the proposals on this


particular package. Immigration, probably your biggest fail, I would


suggest. The 2050 manifesto repeated the pledge in the 2010 manifesto to


get annual net migration down to tens of thousands -- 2015. After


five years, far from getting it down, net migration reached a record


336,000 last year, that is a spectacular failure. Clearly, this


is a commitment. To get immigration down to tens of thousands, that


remains the goal. But we haven't yet reached it. Presumably you did not


call that green. No. It is red. That the commitment remains because we


think it is reasonable to control immigration in this country, so that


while some immigration can be very good for the economy and more


broadly, actually it has got to be done at a reasonable level.


It's not just that you didn't get it down enough, it's actually risen


since you came to power. Why would you promise what you have failed


dismally to deliver again? I think it is a reasonable goal. Clearly we


put it in the manifesto for a reason, to get immigration down. And


we are less than a year into the Parliament and we've got four years


to go. Is it a goal or a pledge? Do you pledge to the British people


today that net migration will be down to the tens of thousands by


2020? Well I pledge to fulfil what was in the manifesto on which I and


every other Conservative MPs was elected. Well that pledge was to get


it down to the tens of thousands. It was meant to be in the tens of


thousands by 2015, it is 346,000, is there a pledge that it will be down


to the tens of thousands by 2020? There is a whole series of actions


that we are taking, not least the EU renegotiation to try to tackle


immigration and make sure that it's brought down to a reasonable level.


Again there is a broader point, of the 160 odd commitments that you are


measuring, delivering an accord of them, of course some are quicker


than others to deliver on, it's fair to say. But the whole point of


having the manifesto and tracking it as we are doing is to make sure we


know where we are up to. Lets come onto the European negotiations, that


was in the manifesto. The manifesto promised several key things in the


renegotiation, a four-year ban on EU migrants claiming in work benefits,


a new residency requirement for social housing, and no child benefit


for EU migrants if their children live abroad. The draft deal contains


none of these things. Well, firstly, as you say, the centrepiece of our


European policy was to have the referendum, and we will be having


the referendum. Although you call that Amber it is certainly going to


happen. I understand that but none of the things you said we would get


to vote on in this referendum have been delivered. We then sat out --


set out what we wanted to negotiate and that negotiation is not


complete. We have a lot of work to do this week to get the best


possible deal we can. I hope we will have a good deal and be able to vote


to stay in a reformed Europe. There is a version of the ban on EU


migrants benefits, there is not no child benefits, now there will be 28


different child benefits that Britain will pay but there is no


mention of residency requirement for social housing, no mention of that


in the deal, so that has gone? Look, we don't know the outcome of this


negotiation until the end of this week. There is a week of hard work


to get the deal. But there is a bigger picture here. Social housing


is not on the agenda? Let's see what we get in this deal over the next


week. But there's a bigger point here, which is that we said we'd


have the renegotiation, lots and lots of people said you are never


going to get these things on the table. A question of in work


benefits, child benefit, we were told you couldn't even put that on


the agenda. The discussion in Europe this week is exactly how far we go


on those. People said that we couldn't deliver anything in this


space and we've managed to deliver already the draft deal, and we will


see where we end up. But not what was in the manifesto. We will see


where we end up at the end of this week. We will indeed. Not


necessarily next week but in the weeks ahead we will be coming back


to go through this. Onto the economy, you put in place a charter


for budget responsibility which commits you to running a surplus, a


legal obligation as well as a policy. The in situ for fiscal


studies says that will require tax rises or spending cuts as yet


unannounced, do you agree? Not in the latest financial forecast put


out by the office for budget responsible to who independently


advise on these, and we have a budget in just over a month's time


so we will see what the figures say, then. Clearly in the latest forecast


from the government, yes, we have that surplus. You have not hit a


surplus. We have hit it in the forecast. And they change. They do,


as the economy changes. On that economic front there was an awful


lot in the manifesto on that, it is all about economic security,


generating jobs, in the same way that the national Security ones were


all about national security. And those were the two elements at the


heart of this manifesto that we were elected on. I would say that we are


delivering very strongly on both. In terms of the big picture of what you


are getting from the message that we said we were going to deliver. Let


me come down to the smaller but still very important picture. You


have a legal obligation to reach a surplus by 2020. If, to reach that


surplus, you had to raise taxes, would you? Look, much as I'd love


to, I'm not going to set out tax policy on Sunday morning. To meet


the legal obligation, if it required tax increases, would there be tax


increases? We've set out the plans and the plans hit a surplus. We did


that in the Autumn Statement in November. Clearly the economy


changes all the time, internationally, people have seen


falls in the stock market in the last few months. But we will have a


budget in more than a month's time. But I voted to have that surplus and


that is clearly what we will set out to do. You promised a lower tax


society. Yes. Yet on the forecast, the overall tax burden is rising as


a percentage of GDP and on the forecast, not the buoyancy but extra


tax that you have introduced will be ?50 billion higher. So you have


previous on this, you could raise taxes again because you already


have? Clearly there are some areas where we have tightened things up,


especially on tax avoidance. We took an extra ?5 billion from tax


avoidance measures. And what about the billions in addition to that? We


have reduced the tax burden especially on people in lower wage


jobs, they are going to get the national minimum wage but we are


well on the way to the manifesto commitment of making sure you don't


have to pay any income taxed until you make ?12,500. We have made


progress but there is more to do. The manifesto talks about reducing


the tax relief on pension contributions for people earning


more than ?150,000, people on 45%, the highest income tax band, you are


going to cut tax relief on their pension contributions. If you were


to also cut the tax relief of those on the 40% rate, that would be


breaching the manifesto? There we've done what we said we would do in the


manifesto. We've followed the manifesto clearly in terms of the


commitment that it made. Outside the manifesto there's always going to be


other things that you do. On pension tax review were explicit that it


would be those in the 45% wouldn't get it, you didn't mention any other


bracket, the imprecation is that it's only the 45%. If you took away


tax relief from the 40% taxpayers that would be broken manifesto


commitment? That's not how I see it, you can add things to the manifesto.


Look at the whole reform programme a massive reform programme which was


not in our manifesto because we've built it up as a proposal since


then. Likewise the Prime Ministerspeech on social mobility


and an tackling an just inequalities -- an just inequalities. We've done


a huge amount of that on the autumn. Delivering on the manifesto


commitments is absolutely essential. But it is not the only thing you do


in government because you respond to events. But the purpose of this


interview is to hold your manifesto to account. Hunting, when will you


give Parliament the chance to repeal the hunting act. We are committed to


doing that. When? In this Parliament. We looked at doing it


early on. You dropped that. We decided not to do it then, but we


are committed to its. You set a target of ?1 trillion of exports by


2020, most forecasters including your own oh BR say you will be at


least ?350 billion short. Can we agree that you will not hit that


target? It's fair to say that it is stretching target, but it remains


our target, our aspiration. But you will miss it. There is an awful lot


of work going into achieving it. Thank you for that, come back and we


will see the progress in the months ahead. Look forward to it.


And remember if you want to see how the government is doing


in detail our manifesto tracker is available for you to peruse


On Friday, new measures to tackle the pay gap between genders


From 2018, companies with more than 250 employees will have


to publish the differences in salary between men and women.


Businesses failing to address the problem will be named


Here's what Women and Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan had to say.


Transparency about the gender pay gap in companies and public sector


organisations is going to be very important in driving behaviour.


So we are going to require companies, under the regulations,


companies of over 250 employees, to publish their gender pay gap


We, as a government, will then compile those league tables.


It will be two fold, one, companies will hopefully,


and we expect from the response we have,


to think a lot harder about where women are in their workforce.


How they are distributed, what they are being paid.


But it will also drive applications to work in certain


organisations because I think women will look and see what is the gender


pay gap in this organisation and is this somewhere


And with us now, General Secretary of the TUC, Frances O'Grady.


Welcome back. We know there is a gender pay gap. In some age groups,


not all, but still in some age groups. Where is the evidence that


it is a result of dissemination, of employers not paying properly, as


opposed to lifestyle and choices? We still do have this pretty crazy


situation where women have Giroud and 80p for everyone pound that men


do across the economy. -- where women earn 80p for every pound that


men do. This is a welcome step, this initiative, but it is a very small


step. It is about reporting, not about telling us why this is going


on, not coming up with actions to deal with it. When you dig down from


the headline figure, and you have just used one, you begin to see some


quite deep-seated cultural issues, not just a matter of economics. The


labour market study shows that men tend to work in occupations that pay


more, that's been a historic thing. And women in jobs that pay less. For


example men in construction, women in retail. Men in computer


programming, women in nursing. That is one of the explanations for the


page gap. There is certainly still big job separation, but one of the


questions we must ask is, is it case of equal values? People paying for


the work of equal value. It is illegal to pay anybody less than a


man is getting or vice versa, equal pay for equal jobs. For example, why


is looking after children considered to be less valuable than mending a


car? The problem is, in order for women to prove it, they've got to be


able to take employment tribunal claims, and of course we've seen


this government introduce very significant fees that have massively


reduced the number of women being able to take pay and six


dissemination claims. Is on the gender pay gap really a generational


matter, and it might be resolving itself? I'd like to show you this


chart, here, which looks at different age groups. For women aged


40 to 49, there is a gap, it's coming down but there is still a


substantial gap. For younger women in the 22 to 29, there is no pay


gap, indeed there is some evidence now that the gender pay gap is the


other way among younger people than it is amongst men. What I think it


shows you is that the real problem kicks in when women have babies.


Yes. That's when women are much more likely to work part-time, much more


likely to need nurseries, and as we get older and we are looking after


elderly parents, too. Elder care as well. Some of those public service


cuts are hitting our sure start centres and care for the elderly. I


think you hit on something, there. You can begin to see the return of


the gender pay gap as women hit their late 20s or early 30s, because


the average age that women have their first child is 28 and a half.


So that suggests that the policy response will have to be quite


sophisticated to get rid of a later developing pay gap. Stopping cuts on


this is would help but also helping dads as well. A lot of men nowadays


want to be more involved with their children but they need more paid


paternity to be able to do that. I want to show you another chart that


suggests there are developers. This shows you a figure that is not


widely known, there are now every year 100,000 more women applying for


university than men. 100,000 more. Women from poor backgrounds are 50%


more likely to go to university than men. Women now take most of the


first in medicine and law, two professions that are pretty well


paid. Again, isn't this sense that, even in the later years, now, the


gender pay gap could begin to resolve itself?


I really hope so the TUC analysis shows that at this rate of change it


would take another 45 years. No, I looked at these figures. Frances


O'Grady, you took one year of the pay gap, which strode it came down


by 0.2%. Dodt which showed. If you had taken the last ten years it


still takes too long but it is not 47 years, that was a propaganda


figure. You can't do a trend on one year. Most people agree we need bold


action to change it. Given we have agreed that it is a complicated


picture and now becomes an issue primarily for women who have taken


time off and then go back into the workforce again, get me one thing


that the government could do that would stop this gender pay gap


re-emerging in their 30s and 40s? Stop cuts to nurseries. Provide a


proper system of care for old people, that allows women and men to


combine those caring responsibilities with a responsible


job. That is what would really make... I can see how it would help.


It is about progression and people feeling they can go for that


promotion or training course that would get them a better job. And


having the confidence to do it, that their life won't fall apart if they


tried. If the TUC wanted to be ahead of the curve, should you not now be


giving a lot more attention to the growing underperformance of young


males, particularly from poorer backgrounds in education and the


workforce? That is a looming problem. Believe you me, we do, we


do. We've been fighting very hard for not just more apprenticeships


but real quality apprenticeships. Equal opportunities for all. That


would help. There are a lot of young men who want to be as involved in


bringing up their children as their partners do. Why doesn't the TUC


practice what it preaches when it comes to gender equality? Only three


of the largest ten unions are led by women even though most unions have a


female majority membership. Being a national offices in the unions are


lower than the percentage of the night union members. Eight out of


ten. And seven out of ten unions have women where they are


significantly underrepresented on the national executive. Of the TUC


delegation is. Even though women are majority membership. As you know,


the picture has changed dramatically over the last few years. We do just


have over the last few years. We do just


have three in ten union leaders elected on average. That is a big


change, it is a lot better than the board room and a hell of a lot


better than many sat around the Cabinet table. It is still not that


great. 74% female membership. Only 70% full time. 75% TUC delegation


and only 28 on the TUC. Led by a woman general secretary. You have a


way to go. For the first time in history it is 50-50. We are


committed. We want to work with businesses who want to make that


change. I am delighted to say. He loves unions. Thank you.


It's just gone 11:30am, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now


Coming up here in 20 minutes, The Week Ahead.


Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland.


The Assembly Commission clears Sinn Fein


of any wrongdoing over expenses claims -


but Stormont's independent watchdog isn't happy.


We'll hear from the chair of the Independent Financial Review Panel.


Plus a row over renewables - why is a green energy incentive


scheme set to burn such a large hole in the Economy Minister's budget?


And with their thoughts on all of that and much more,


my guests of the day are Newton Emerson and Allison Morris.


The Assembly Commission has found Sinn Fein MLAs


who claimed almost ?700,000 in expenses for research


from a company run by the party's finance managers did nothing wrong.


The expense claims were one of a number of issues highlighted


set up to make determinations on MLAs' salaries and allowances


says he's concerned by the the findings.


We'll hear from Pat McCartan in just a moment,


but first here's our political correspondent, Stephen Walker.


The Spotlight programmes work broadcast in November 20 14. One of


the ABC programmes reported that Sinn Fein MLA 's kind about ?700,000


in total through Stormont expenses to pay a research service, RSI, over


a 10-year period. The programme makers were not able to find any


research carried out by RSI and one Sinn Fein MLA was reported to have


said they had never heard of the company until they saw it on the


annual expenses. TUV leader Jim Allister asked the SMB commission


how much of the money had been recovered. In response, the


commission said its review confirmed that payments for research services,


as reported in the programme, were made for admissible X-Men which are


up to and including the 20 12th-13 financial year. -- the 2012-2013


financial year. So no recovery has been sought. There has been no


serious effort to recall the ?700,000. Whether that is because of


the political inconvenience of doing those things or not is a matter of


speculation. But it is appalling that nothing has been done. Jim


Allister also asked about the disclosure that former DUP speaker


William Hay's office claimed money for heating oil in one year.


And Pat McCartan, who chairs the watchdog, the IFRP,


Welcome to the programme. Thank you for joining us. Where do you think


the commission has got it wrong? In the 12-13 year we made enquiries


into the like RSI. It appears from our information that payments have


been made after the end of December of that year. That is contrary to


the determination, and the commission, if it thinks these were


OK, is quite wrong. So the commission, in your view, has got it


wrong. You believe that your watchdog body was crystal clear


about what was allowable and what was not allowable. Where does this


leave us question at these are matters for the commission. Our


panel doesn't have the same panels as the panel in Westminster,


otherwise they would be matters for us and we would have dealt with them


long ago. These issues are only coming to light now, which is of


concern to the panel because we are about to launch our determination


for the next Assembly. We must be assured that there is no way in


which what we determine is going to be circumvented. Stephen Walker


talked their about ?700,000 over ten years that had been claimed. In


terms of the nine months that you're talking about, where claims were


allowed, which should not have been allowed. From April to December


2012, how much was claimed that should not have been claimed? It


could be ?150,000 which went to RSI in that period. Wrongly. And that


?150,000 has come from the public purse? It has come from office costs


expenses drawn down by individual members of the Assembly. Yes, it is


out of public money is for an entirely different purpose. They


fought running constituency offices or providing and 70 member with a


secretarial service. And that is being paid to Sinn Fein MLA 's


graduate that is paid to Sinn Fein MLA 's and something like ?5,000


appears to have been paid from that money to RSI in the nine months from


the 1st of April 20 12th to the 1st of December 2012. I do not have the


full details but I'm awaiting those from the emission. You have made it


clear that this money ought not to have been removed from the topic


purse, it was not allowable in your view. Does it suggest that the


Assembly commission appears to have pulled rank on your body? It does


not accept your finding? It has effectively ignored it, is that


right question what if it has done that, it is acting contrary to the


law. The law is clear. It has given us power to determine these matters


and we did do the first determination from the 1st of April


20 12. It is explicit. So it will be for the commission to explain if any


payments have been made wrongly in that period. We have asked for a


representative of the commission to take part in today's programme. We


were told that nobody was available. We had again that some of what the


commission has said, defending the payments that were made, that on a


technicality, or for whatever reason, it does not accept your view


of the world. The question people at home will be wondering is, what


happens next? Will be making our determination for the next Assembly.


We are very careful to ensure that there is no every of ambiguity or


problem of interpretation of our findings. They are, under the 2011


act, part of the law in relation to the payment of expenses. And that is


the way they should be treated. Now, in other jurisdictions, where people


have been prosecuted for wrongful claims, we have no such powers as a


panel yet. We are not given the same powers as they have in Westminster


on a double. If we were, we would be able to take care of these matters


at source. And there will be no persecutions in Northern Ireland.


That is not even on the agenda. I'm not aware of anything, other than by


particular case involving expenses for fuel. As far as the broader RSI


claims, there is no suggestion that there is an issue as far as that is


concerned. Do you feel undermined by this situation? I certainly feel


that the panel has been treated wrongly that it is for the


Commission to satisfy us. They will adhere to our findings, as per their


legislation setting is up. That is what we would expect in the new


determination. Jim Allister, that UV leader, referred in that short


report to the political inconvenience. It could have been


behind the decision not to attempt to recover any of the money paid to


RSI. The think political inconvenience could be a factor in


all of this? I don't know. I would think that that is, somewhere along


the line, some pressure has been brought to their on the Secretariat


to make payments contrary to the determination. Pressure from whom?


From politicians saying that they need the money. I have no evidence


other than what we have seen in a recent report, carried out by an


independent IBSA, that some out of determination has gone on. It is a


complicated situation because you have got politicians making up the


Assembly, commission. They are putting pressure on the secretariat,


you imagine. At the end of the day, it is the Assembly Commission who


have the final say, and that is politicians. That is what is wrong


with the system. That is why the Independent Financial Review Panel


did ask for the legislation to be reviewed. We are disappointed in


what has been said. They wish to continue with the present system. In


the meantime, Wendy you publish your next determination, and what is it


likely to say of significance, given the conversation we have just had?


It is likely to make it very exquisite as to what is or is not


allowed. It is likely to ensure that there is clarity in each of the


allowances and how they will be paid. It is likely to recommend, if


we cannot act ourselves, on a range of these issues to ensure that


public bodies are properly accounted for. You will make that


determination, but we still do not have the power, the legislative


power, for you to enforce your view on the Assembly Commission as things


stand question what we do have that power but it is for the Commission


to enact it. If it is not enacting it, that is a matter for the


Commission. That is what cannot be followed up question that is the


issue currently. Of course we are concerned for the general public to


ensure that the legislation is absolutely clear that there is a


full independent body that is was possible for policing and paying out


these matters. That is what is being rejected by the fresh start. Thank


you for coming in. Let's see what my


guests make of that. Newton Emerson and Allison


Morris are with me. What do you make of that question


what it is absolutely startling. I think most people will be shocked


that there is nothing that can be done. If this had been at West Mr,


able would be committed for prosecutions but we have a situation


where politicians are regulated themselves. The rules were clearly


wrong. ?150,000 outside of when the rules were changed. That should be


paid back immediately. There is no question. With regards to the fact


that there is no power for anyone to include any prosecutions, I think


now we are living in times of austerity, that probably won't win


these games wait ten years ago, I don't think many numbers of the


public will look on them in the same way as they would have then. We are


hearing that politicians are paying themselves outside of the rules. I


think it is fair to say that the frustration was apparent there. On


the face of it, it looks like an astonishing situation. Pat McCartan


has identified payments after the rules which range -- were changed in


2012. It is also ludicrous that they were allowed before that. Clear


evidence was broadcast on the whole of Northern Ireland and the


Commission response was that it was admissible, without exhalation, and


that it should not be processed. That only raises more questions than


answers. If you're talking about expenses claims for heating system


is being run around the clock. There is absolutely a clear case that must


be set out of how, if this was not wrong, how was it not wrong? You


cannot say it is admissible and drop the paperwork down the back of the


radiator and forget about it. To be clear, what we're talking about,


what is still outstanding, what Pat McCartan was referring to, was the


?100,000 between April and December 20 12. That is the issue. The point


is that the Assembly Commission is effectively leasing itself. It is


policing itself will stop if they do not choose to rip accepted the


recommendations, there is nothing anybody can do. The Nice to be some


sort of enforcement here. We will speak to you both later.


Now, millions of pounds worth of work will be lost


and jobs are at risk if a green energy scheme is scrapped -


that's the claim from renewables companies


after the Enterprise Minister, Jonathan Bell,


has announced his intention to close the renewable heat incentive scheme.


Here's what the Minister had to say last week.


My department faces a huge budgetary pressure, given the decision of the


Chancellor of the Exchequer to limit the amount of money paid to Northern


Ireland out of the UK part for renewable heat. Now, that is why I


signalled my intention last week to ease that financial pressure. Which


could amount to over ?27 million. By announcing an immediate closure to


the scheme and by bringing Ford and order to suspend the scheme, as soon


as possible. I want to make every one know that I'm listening to the


industry and I'm listening to individuals who are currently


installing renewable heat boilers. I will come back and try to give that


clarity at the early possible date. Now I'm joined by the chair of the


DETI committee, Patsy McGlone, Welcome to you both. In the Autumn


Statement, George Osborne announced cuts to the funding for real for


schemes. If Northern Ireland goes over its limit, it comes out of the


DETI budget. This is an issue that goes back to the Exchequer in


London, rather than the door of Jonathan Bell. Yes and no. It has


emerged since that back as far as June 2014, it was anticipated that


we would have 300 applications under the scheme within that financial


year. Up to March 20 15. In November, it had already reached


308. As of last Tuesday, they told us that concerns were raised about


it last March. Concerns were raised in July. What we have here is a


situation where this mess that has arrived, that has put individuals


who wanted to install systems to the home, who took out loans on the foot


of that, it has put them in problems. It has put businesses into


trouble. They had invested in the scheme which they thought would last


until the end of March. Another ?100,000 of equipment and 25 jobs


being at risk in one case. It is estimated that this could jeopardise


jobs. We have a mess at the Department. We have a mess at the


Department in your view. If the department should have been aware of


these issues, so should your committee. You were aware of this as


well but in actual fact, this announcement was released Friday a


week ago. It was an attempt to bury the story. People got on the phones


to us and immediately I acted as chair of the committee. This is


seriously jeopardising jobs. I'm sure the department will deny


burying the story. We did ask Jonathan Bell to take part in the


story but he is not available today. Do you think that Department has


mishandled the situation? I think this was a good idea as a scheme


when it was launched. It took some time for people who could denture


use it and benefit from it to appreciate it. What has happened is


that the economics of the scheme have changed. What has happened is


the Chancellor of the Exchequer setup the warning sign on the ward


when -- in the Autumn Statement. I did not notice it then and Patsy is


saying that his committee has only just begun to look at it carefully.


Jonathan Bell in how did the scheme. I think he was already on the skids


on the day he took up office. There is certain ambiguity about that. The


critical question is that the scheme is proving to successful, in the


sense that it is getting too many people making bids, it will cost the


taxpayer a lot of money, and the question is, how well have they


handled acting out of the scheme? I think this is where Patsy is making


his case. Backing out of the scheme has been handled badly and too


slowly. His point is that dumb bunnies are going to suffer, they


are going to lose out and people will potentially lose jobs. --


companies are going to suffer. There came the rush. People have given us


the figures where the potential bidders have gone up or stop they


are heading for an impossible position for any minister and for


the taxpayer. The minister wanted to close it down as big as possible. He


may be moved to slowly and he is now caught with a possible legal


nightmare because he has announced this closure with braided notice. So


what happens next? -- with braided full very little notice. They are


potentially in a limo situation? The officials say they became aware of


the scale of the problem last March. They do it to the minister's


attention in July. There is a mechanism used which is demand led


so that terrorists are adjusted up and down to reduce the heat in the


system and reduce the demand for the scheme. That mechanism exists.


Unfortunately, we did not have it here. That is another question that


will have to be asked. The difficulty is the suddenness of this


scheme. The actual legislation and tariffs set for the scheme rock up


until the 31st of March. People made projections on that, business


projections, people took out loans on the foot of that. He is only


bringing it to a close a few weeks earlier. If it was going to the end


of March and year is closing it at the end of February, what is the


fuss estimate if you are developing a scheme, if you're putting in these


biomass oilers and the like, 03 weeks, countries were working to


that date. You were taking orders for equipped, working to that date.


They have been installing this in homes and we had the farmers union


with us. They were working to that date. They had a project in mind of


around upwards of 50 farms. If they do not cancel this, they are going


to lose ?30 million. But it was staring him in the face last year.


He is caught in between a rock and a hard place. Having been caught in


that position, he now has to move, presumably in a way that is legal,


in bringing this scheme to a close was what does he have to do? No


schemes will be approved after the 29th of February, which is coming


forward a month. There is a human doubt there. Some people who saw the


way in which the scheme is expanding rapidly may well have said, this


will not keep going, we had better get in now. That business of getting


in now as given rise to a discussion, is this use or abuse of


the system? Just in a sentence, it comes before the Assembly tomorrow,


I think. What happens but it comes before the rule extended sheen the


attention of the scheme, until the 29th of February. It may be extended


beyond the short time they gave us. It does before the semi tomorrow and


it will come to a vote. It is whether they vote in favour of that.


Would you vote in favour question on no, I have had firms in touch with


me saying it is an unrealisable deal. They were led up the garden


path, basically, they feel. It will be interesting to see what happens


tomorrow. Thank you. Let's take a look back


at the political week in 60 seconds The issue of abortion dominated the


headlines, and one MLA told his personal story. I don't like talking


about this because I get emotional but, believe me, that decision to


give us to this day. The Justice Minister revealed what courthouses


were -- would close. Jim Wells provoked a controversy.


The Secretary of State warned about people rewriting the past. In


certain isolated cases, the state was at Fort but it would be entirely


wrong to say that it was endemic. The chief cos the ball -- Chief


Constable says we need to talk about the past.


Just time for a final word from Allison and Newton.


I wonder what you make of the legacy inquest unit, and us by the Lord


Chief Justice on Friday? There are still the gauche Asians going on


about how the past will be dealt with. -- skilled negotiations going


on. It indicates that it is revealing about where that debate is


going on. The British governor did looking confident, I think was that


is that a constructive contributing? It was very hurtful to the victims


who think there will be an attempt to get a line drawn in the sand


before there is any justice. That's it - now back


to Andrew in London. MPs are on their half term holiday


at the moment, so you might be forgiven for thinking we'll be


in for a quiet time next week. On Thursday, David Cameron heads


to Brussels where he hopes to finalise his deal on Britain's


membership of the EU at what's been dubbed the "crunch"


European summit. We will see how crunchy it is. Tim,


Mr Hammond, the Foreign Secretary this morning, Matthew Hancock on


this programme, they both said, let's see what the final deal is


because there could be more in it than the draft settlement, more for


the British government. I would suggest that the draft settlement


for Mr Cameron is as good as it gets. That may well be the case,


journalists have been seeking rabbits from hats for many weeks,


taking them out, and Eurosceptics have been shooting them long before


David Cameron got anywhere near it. One thing I understand David Cameron


will do before next weekend, he can explain what he means by this


sovereignty lock, the sovereign Parliament will be... That is all


smoke and mirrors. It is but it is the one thing he has got left. It is


something they can do in domestic law and explain how the Supreme


Court here will hold the European Court to the letter of the European


treaty. It is effectively getting a British court to say that the


European Court is not adhering to its own treaties. If the summit


finishes on Friday I suspect he will unveil that either at a press


conference or we will see him doing Andrew Marr next Sunday and telling


the world all about it. He is going to do Andrew Marr next Sunday.


Politically the Prime Minister would be in trouble with his own party if


this deal was further watered down, wouldn't he? He needed to be


strengthened. I'm hearing stories coming out of Brussels saying there


is a rabbit or two, but whether they are tiny little rabbits or great big


ones I don't know. I think this is a campaign that will be won by fear,


not by terrific bribes and isn't the deal wonderful? What Philip Hammond


said this morning was very important, that if we vote to leave,


Europe will make sure our conditions are as bad as possible for fear of


the whole thing falling apart, other countries peeling off. That's the


serious threat. The idea that we will get a wonderful deal out of


Europe or that France will go on being our border guards and look


after our camp in Calais, I think it's those sorts of fears that will


win it. If Mr Sarkozy wins in France, it could change the camp


whether we are in or outcome he is campaigning on that. He could,


that's true. Next year is next year. The problem with all these things,


like the out campaign saying if in, Europe will react like this, none of


that is provable until it happens. We had a close colleague of Angela


Merkel today warning that it would be bloody, our terms, if we leave.


And why shouldn't they say that? There's no point in issuing the


threat afterwards. If they want to threaten, now is the time. Doesn't


mean he's not a good man just because we haven't heard from him,


but we haven't. It seems, I was suggesting, that Michael Gove, in


terms of which Cabinet ministers are going to go with remain and which


ones are going to go without, it seems that Michael Gove is becoming


the pivotal figure, here. Suggestions that if he decides to go


out, and apparently he is incredibly anguished about this, Boris Johnson


could well follow. If he doesn't, they might not. Michael Gove is


genuinely torn. Downing Street were very confident at the beginning of


this year that Michael Gove would be with the Prime Minister. But anybody


that has no Michael Gove, and are used to be his colleague, he will


know that in his heart of hearts he would like to get Britain out of the


European Union, it is as simple as that. At he knows that if he


campaigns to take Britain out of Europe, what he is essentially doing


is joining a campaign which, if successful, will destroy David


Cameron's Korea, and George Osborne's and hand the Tory


leadership to the two people in the Conservative Party he loathes more


than anybody else, Theresa May and Boris Johnson. So he is torn. The


thing about Boris Johnson, in his heart of hearts, believes Britain


should be in the European Union. But there is one thing Boris Johnson


believes more than that, which is that Boris Johnson should be Prime


Minister. Therefore he needs to do what is best for that, which is why


he needs this sort of thing. Grateful for that blinding


revelation that Boris Johnson wants to be Prime Minister. If Cameron can


keep Michael Gove on board, there will be fewer defections other than


the usual suspects? I think that's right. Somebody described him to me


as the big Domino and if he falls, others could. Cameron is trying


quite hard. He had Gove in last week trying to persuade him. What they


think they've got is an enlargement from Gove that if he does opt to


follow his conscience and vote out he will not do much campaigning. I


suspect he would do one interview and sit the thing out, and they


think if he is not out there leading it, that will not do quite as much


damage. We know Alan Johnson is heading up the labour effort to stay


in, but is Jeremy Corbyn really going to campaign hard to stay in?


Is the Labour Party going to spend money on this campaign? I very much


doubt it. It's not in his heart. His instincts are to pick up the wrong


issue, today there he is saying that he thinks Cameron is wrong on


immigration, we should have much easier immigration, he shouldn't be


trying to cut back the number of EU migrants coming into the country.


That is no way to win it, I presume he knows it. It's very important


that Labour voters are brought on board. Mr Cameron needs them, too.


Cameron really needs Labour voters. It ought to be the great, strong,


uniting message for Labour. Virtually all Labour MPs are


strongly in favour part from a maverick hand. Quite the clear


majority of the Parliamentary party. It should have been a big contrast,


Labour pro-European, Tories all over the place. I'm afraid Jeremy Corbyn


will muddy that. final debate when he laid into the


European Union. He hates the new free trade area. He said he would


support our membership but push four reform from within. A few days


before the big summit which is meant to clinch it one way or the other


are we heading for a June 23 referendum? Almost certainly and


thank God. So we can plan our summer holidays and ministers and advisers


feel the same. Never mind about the needs of the nation. It looks like


there will be some kind of deal and they may give him a bit more in some


areas. Cameron is determined to press on with this, he does not want


this hanging over his government. Every Monday he


Will have backed out of the referendum, that is a factor in


several politicians cut relations right now. As I discovered, the


front runners have been very coy about it all. What is this about? A


programme about the Tory leadership. What on earth is the


relevance of that to your many millions of viewers


when you consider that there is no, thankfully, thankfully,


and there is no vacancy Nor is there going to be one


for a very long time. Oh well, maybe I'll get lucky


with some of the other Apparently, Health Secretary,


Jeremy Hunt, might Speculation surrounds


the Welsh Secretary, Stephen Crabb, Education


Secretary Nicky Morgan once a female candidate,


preferably her. Defra Secretary, Liz Truss


is repeated to be ambitious. There are mutterings


about Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, but is he really


angling to be the next And is a leadership bid


while Michael Gove is swinging over which side to back


in the referendum. Energy Minister, Andrea Leadsom


is holding surgeries in the Commons tearoom and a mystery member


of the 2015 intake is rumoured to have big plans and


Employment Minister and arch Eurosceptic Priti Patel is expected


to have a profile-boosting role in the Out Campaign


and then there is Liam Fox. This week, a poll


on the website run by Paul Goodman found that the former


Defence Secretary was favourite If you speculate that the hard right


of Conservative Party membership, is about a fifth of it,


that sounds fair enough. What was remarkable about his score


was in fact how low it was, it was the joint-lowest


score for a leading A lot of this is total


nonsense, but it presages potentially three years of Tory


leadership gossip for the people The Tory party would be in a


leadership crisis but the country would be in a huge political crisis.


It would go on for years. It would take at least smack years of very


painful negotiations, maybe longer, to get us out of these treaties.


Nobody has done it before, nobody knows what it would look like.


Cameron would have to go. The humiliation would be appalling.


Osborne's chances would be shot to pieces. By then, the country might


have changed its mind and be upset by having narrowly voted against for


getting out. They might regret it. Where does that leave whoever the


future leader is? Do you agree? This whole contest will boil down to


several binary choices, in and out of Europe, George Osborne and not


George Osborne. Boris Johnson Atmos Boris Johnson. Woman and man. -- or


not Boris Johnson. Depending on the circumstances we will find a leader.


The young and old. 2015 intake are getting bored about George Osborne


is nearly inevitable and if not him, Boris Johnson. They are thinking


about running one of their own. There are names that we haven't even


considered that may enter the fray. David Cameron might not go


immediately but if he has to go he would be the walking wounded through


the summer and into the autumn. Mr George Osborne probably the same. He


kind of throws everything open. It stars. There is a lot of chat


amongst ministers about what happens if we vote to leave -- it does. The


Prime Minister says we trigger at ago 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, two


years negotiation and I should do that -- at Article 50. One school of


thought is that the prime and will bring in David Davies as the Deputy


Prime Minister and lead the exit negotiations but I can't see that. I


think that will be a leadership contest and the defining feature is


who is the best person to lead those exit negotiations. And you would


assume that a minister who has said we should leave would be best


placed. Maybe it will be possible to have administered through said we


should be in but maybe not wholly involved in the remaining campaign.


A good Eurosceptic track record. Boris Johnson? Theresa May Possibly.


Do you want Boris Johnson negotiating the future of the treaty


over two years? I think Boris Johnson's position will be weaker


than anyone things because of the dithering. It is so transparent and


nakedly ambitious. Whether he is fought in or out. Anybody who is


interested in politics feels passionately in or out and he can't


pretend to be waiting for these minor negotiations on this


fundamental issue that he has tackled all his life. Even if we


wrote to remain, what is your view on what is sometimes called even if


we vote to remain, the Conservatives, whose heart would not


have been in remaining, will want someone to lead them after Mr


Cameron, much later, who was Brexit? There is a strong case for that.


Most of the polls suggest that 70% of the conservative grassroot is a


Brexitier. There are polls which show, to speak up for Boris, that he


is wildly more popular than any other conservative. There are


conservative MPs who will look at those polls, the one in the


Independent this morning he is the only main stream politician who has


a positive rating. This is a 2-stage process, the MPs put you on the


ballot paper, the grassroots people select you. Only two names go


forward. You need to get past the MPs and then make your case to the


wider. If Boris gets through, to being one of the final two, given


his popularity with the Tory grassroots, could change, it could


be skin deep, I don't know, but wouldn't he be an unstoppable? He


doesn't have a huge backing at Westminster, a lot of MPs don't know


him. Will he survive the rigours of a campaign? The interview on the


Andrew Marr show, he faced awkward questions about one of his friends.


You assume he will get through that process. We are talking about a


contest after we have voted to stay in. Important lesson from 1975,


Harold Wilson was a massively strengthened after that win. He


moved Tony Benn at the crucial post of industry because he was very


strong. The Prime Minister will pretty strong on that.


Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.


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