16/06/2013 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


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specially extended programme, we assess the impact of the G8 summit


with live interviews from Fermanagh - including the Secretary of State,


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2320 seconds


Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland.


Big events here are a bit like buses - you wait around for ages and then


two come along at once. It's the eve of the G8 summit, of course, and the


focus is on County Fermanagh, where world leaders arrive tomorrow. And


in the midst of all the fuss, the First and Deputy First Ministers


have signed off on an economic package with the Prime Minister. But


what is it worth and is it enough to make a difference? I'll be talking


live to the Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, who's in


Enniskillen. And not everyone is rolling out the


red carpet for the G8 leaders. Protesters in Belfast signalled


their opposition to capitalism in one protest, while the focus was on


world hunger in a separate demonstration in Botanic Gardens.


I'll be talking to one of the headline acts, the singer Baaba


Maal. With me throughout the programme


with a view on everything G8 and more, my guests are Deirdre Heenan


and Rick Wilford. And we start with the G8 summit,


where some of the most powerful world leaders will start gathering


tomorrow. Prime ministers, presidents and at least one


chancellor will meet in the Lough Erne Resort for a two-day summit.


Leaders from Germany, Canada, Italy, the UK, USA, Japan, Russia and


France will discuss a range of issues and our political editor,


Mark Devenport, is there. What is the mood like this morning? Fairly


relaxed as far as I can tell. There is an obvious and substantial


security presence. I came here late last night before midnight and was


stopped by a security checkpoint on the road coming in from Belfast. We


are being passed on a regular basis by integrative or police patrol


boats and if I turn around in every direction I look I can see police


land Rovers police officers. So it is substantial but relaxed. We are


expecting large congregations of people today, not all to do with the


G8. There is a service going on at the Cathedral which is related to


the G8 but will be attended by a mob of clergymen including the


Archbishop of York and various local dignitaries. Have you managed to


talk to local people? Are they fairly relaxed or some of them


frustrated at the locked and you have described? -- the lock down?


Well, local business people are making the most of it. One of them


is selling a series of ice creams modelled on the world leaders. Local


takeaway is doing quite good business. And one man involved in


haulage and shipping would like an event like this every week because


he is taking good business this week in terms of moving in some of the


gear that is being used for the summit. Politically, what can this


summit achieve? Well, they have outlined this agenda in terms of


tax, greater transparency of tax in relation to earnings and the


extraction of minerals in developing countries, improved trade deals. But


what is also looming over all of this of course is the issue of


Syria, and there is this meeting of David Cameron and Ballard make Putin


today. -- and Putin today. For Northern Ireland, they will be


wanting to advertise the economic opportunities here and to ensure


that particularly the US and indeed other countries remain committed to


the peace process as it moves forward. Thank you. Hopefully we


will hear from him a bit later in the programme.


We'll hear from the Secretary of State, who's in Enniskillen, very


soon, but first, one issue that is certain to be on the summit agenda


is tax avoidance. It has dominated the news in recent weeks and has


attracted attention on both sides of the Atlantic. There's also been much


focus on Dublin after it was revealed that large, multi-national


companies are using Irish operations to save billions in taxes. Our


political reporter, Stephen Walker, administration here in Dublin, used


tax rates and incentives to attract foreign investment. The generations,


they were the rules of the economic game. But in recent months, stories


about tax avoidance have changed the atmosphere, and now tax reform is on


the international agenda. Last month's US Senate hearing put Dublin


on the world map for the wrong reasons. Ireland was labelled a tax


haven after representatives of Apple admitted they had negotiated a deal


in the 1980s to set up an Irish operation. Recent figures are


revealing. Apple operations international made a profit of 30


billion over three years but paid no income taxes over that time. Another


Apple sales international made 74 billion in profit but paid only a


tiny fraction of that in tax. Apple insist they have done nothing wrong.


We pay all the taxes we owe, every single dollar. Ireland's local


bridge and tax of 12.5% has been an incentive for foreign investors, and


it is clear other European countries have looked at Dublin would envy. So


that annoys other countries because maybe we attract their factories,


businesses, banks. On top of that, there is the worry about what is


called transfer pricing, that big multinational companies can in a


sense that the prices for the things they buy and sell in such a place as


to put their profits into particular locations. Moving profits to take


advantage of lower tax rates concerns some at Stormont who feel


the Republic's game if the UK's loss. My view is the British


government does have some leveraged on the Irish government back,


because they have made a 7.5 billion loan, and that is a lot of


leveraged. They should be saying to the government, you cannot stage tax


revenue from us in this way. -- cannot steal. In Dublin, they say


the loan was not related to changing tax rates. But are they exploiting


the rules? What of the allegation of Ireland becoming a tax haven?


it is wrong, and it is put out there by countries who I suspect are


looking at the success this country is making. It is not Irish tax law


that is at stake here, it is other jurisdictions with their tax law.


But there are those who insist that island now has a reputation as a tax


haven. This week, Richard Boyd Barrett will be in Fermanagh


protesting. I think it is outrageous. Our economy is


outrageous. Now we discover that the Irish government policy is to


further encourage and expand this sector at the same time that


ordinary workers and citizens are being actually Chris vied with cuts,


austerity and employment, while these vulture companies are making


fortunes. -- are being crucified. Finding answers will be difficult,


but it is clear there is a mood for greater tax transparency. People


listening to this will think, goodness me, the taxman pursues me


sometimes for a few hundred pounds. I think we need to address this.


This week, money will take centre stage. When it comes to tax, G8


leaders know they have a worldwide problem to address. Finding some


harmony is the key. Stephen Walker reporting. While the


spotlight will be on County Fermanagh for the next few days, on


Friday all eyes were on Downing Street as details of that long


awaited economic package were unveiled. David Cameron described


the agreement as a symbol of our ambitious vision for Northern


Ireland: a genuinely shared society fulfilling its economic potential.


So, can the momentum of G8, combined with the economic pact, deliver


lasting benefits? The Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, joins me


from Enniskillen. Thank you for joining us. Can I pick -- pick up on


this comment. The Republic of Ireland government has been stealing


the UK tax revenues. Do you agree? think what the current controversy


around Irish tax rules illustrates is that David Cameron was right to


put on the agenda for the G8 how we ensure, together, as an


international community, that big business pays its fair share of tax.


It is not necessarily the tax system in Ireland that is a problem, it is


the way big business is manipulating the international rules on tax to


avoid paying any tax at all. We can only resolve that if we have


international action, and that is why it is so important that David


Cameron has championed this issue and why he was right to put it on


the agenda this week. Sammy Wilson once the UK government to raise this


issue with the Republic of Ireland administration sooner rather than


later. Will you do that? Will David Cameron do that? Well, the UK


government has wanted to engage with a whole range of international


partners as to how we find a solution. We firmly believe that in


local corporation tax rates and we'd stood up for the Republic of


Ireland's right to have those tax rate in face -- in the face of


Europe's wish to abolish those. In reality, it is the system which


enables big business across the world to aggressively avoid paying


tax which is the problem here. We really think big business needs to


pay its fair share of tax alongside all of those who go out to work hard


for a living and cannot afford a aggressive avoidance schemes to


reduce their bills. Let's talk about Friday's economic package. You said


it would help to build lasting peace and prosperity. How, precisely, will


it do that? We believe that the economic package agreed on Friday


will help as we balance the Northern Ireland economy. It will see the


executive and the government working more closely together than ever


before on a whole range of issues which will help bring jobs and


prosperity to Northern Ireland. That is a crucial way to underpin


political stability in Northern Ireland, and the package also seeks


to support the announcements already been eight -- already made in recent


weeks about a shared society in driving forward with a


reconciliation. People are wondering if there is anything particularly


new. There has been a lot of talk about special area status, but the


statement says we can retain 100% of what we already have, so that is


effectively no change. That is a very significant decision and it was


actually very hard to persuade my Whitehall hot -- colleagues that


that would be possible. Significant changes in the EU rules on these


matters means it will be difficult to retain hundred percent coverage


for Northern Ireland. This package is recognition that special


circumstances justify that special treatment, and it is only through


hard work that we've been able to persuade my Whitehall colleagues


that Northern Ireland should retain that status. The First Minister said


that for him the game changer remains the dev elution of


corporation tax. That is not in this package. What the package does


contain is a further indication of the way forward. We have clearly


said that although the decision in principle will wait until the Autumn


statement in 2014, we're going to continue with technical work to


prepare for a possible depletion of corporation tax, and the baggage


confirms that if the PM's decision is yes in principle, we will proceed


with a stand-alone bill to legislate in this Parliament on corporation


tax. You are joining us from what looks like a very beautiful


Fermanagh. The world leaders arrive tomorrow and there is a lot of


anticipation. What do you think -- to develop how far Northern


Ireland has come. It demonstrates that Northern Ireland is a great


place to do business and come on holiday. We can make sure the rest


of the world knows how far we have moved since the peace agreement and


the political settlement. Thank you very much indeed for joining us will


stop Theresa Villiers there, live from Enniskillen. With me now,


Deirdre Heenan and Rick Wilford. What do you think G8 could mean for


Northern Ireland? In the short term, it is going to mean that local


businesses down and Fermanagh are going to do very well. Some already


are. The G8's platform is the globe, so in that respect, it is not going


to be anything other than short-term gains from hosting -- hosting the


conference. It is ironic that the venue for the conference is a hotel


which does not chime with the austere times we are confronting. I


don't think the G8 conference in itself is going to have any lasting


effect. Deirdre, some businesses are going to do well out of it, but


others are suffering, and complaining about suffering quite


badly, certainly in the short term. How do you see at? It's going to be


a balance, when you host something on this scale. That goes with the


territory. What is different about Enniskillen and Northern Ireland


being chosen is the perception of Northern Ireland. 20 years ago, this


could not have happened. This is an opportunity to think about us in a


different way. When it was at Gleneagles, the location didn't


really feature. In Northern Ireland, it is all about location. We need to


put our best foot forward and embrace that. What about the view


that Northern Ireland is stealing tax revenue from the rest of the UK?


What do you make of that? It is very emotive language, and it does


nothing to help. To accuse the Labour government of stealing money


from the UK Treasury... That is an helpful, to say the least. The


response that Theresa Villiers made referred more generally to the UK


public's dysfunctional tax regime and the structure of the global


economic system. It is dysfunctional, and the issue


highlights the disparities between different tax regimes, and the kind


of drive to try and secure some kind of harmonisation of tax systems and


more transparency. The tree, the tax package announced on Friday - is


that helpful? We are almost seeing a repackaging of existing things. We


have to welcomed it. It will make us a more attractive place for trade


and investment. I would like more detail on the infrastructure of


Northern Ireland, and how we are going to address the key issues of


infrastructure. Thank you very much. Not everyone is happy to welcome the


world's most powerful leaders. Unionists and campaign groups led a


march in Belfast city centre yesterday, challenging the agenda of


the G8 leaders. The Fairer World Campaign wants... Thousands gathered


for the Big IF Belfast concert. One of the performance at the events was


the Senegalese musician and Oxfam Ambassador Baaba Maal. Thank you


very much for joining us. Did yesterday's concert achieve what you


hoped it would? I think so. We played music, and showed people what


we think is a link for what we are standing up for. Especially, there


was lots of young people. They are the future. We started this campaign


since January. We see it growing up little by little. I think it is


really important to talk about these issues. We must cut the hunger.


made a visit to West Africa recently, to your home country of


Senegal and other countries. How much difference have you seen on the


ground, and what do G8 leaders need to take on board? Coming from


there, I was not aware on how people are suffering. Senegal, Mauritania,


Burkina Faso, it is all similar in those country. People are not ready


to face that. I visited families where, for example, the woman was


the centre of raising the children. I asked them about education and


other issues, and they said they were not interested in that. They


were more interested in how to feed their children and take care of


themselves. That is something that is happening. World leaders need to


be aware of that. They have to fix that. I'm sure they can fix it.


global ambassador for Oxfam, you have made many public announcements.


You feel there is no excuse for hunger anywhere in the world in the


20th century. Of course. There is enough food in the world to feed


everyone everywhere. Especially when you travel in countries in West


Africa, you see big rivers, like the Senegalese River. You see good


agricultural land. But we don't have any support. People are ready to


work on agriculture. If you ask what our leaders are doing - I hope, with


the G8, people will be convinced to take action. What would you like to


see this G8 summit in Fermanagh achieved? I would like people to


think about all the issues that matter in the regions of the world


like Africa. By taking care about that, people can bring back some


profit to invest in developing countries. There is no way we can


make the balance come. We talk about peace every time, but there is a


proverb of Bob Marley who says, a hungry man is an angry man. We need


to feed people. Baaba Maal, thank you very much for coming in. Let's


hear more from Deirdre and Rick. What do you make of the


aspirations, the demands, of all of the campaigners who have been


agitating -- agitating ahead of the G8 summit? Do you think this will


have an effect inside the conference centre? I think they have to try.


With the protests, we had a lot of talk of huge protests that didn't


materialise. You have to ask, was that because people don't care about


issues like hunger and economic development, or are there too many


issues for them to separate out? They may want to be involved in


that, but they may not want to be involved in anti-capitalist march


is. Or do people think protests are pointless? In Northern Ireland, we


see the usual suspects protesting. And that turns people off. They say,


I do not want to be involved or aligned with those people, so I will


get my message through in other ways, such as attending a


conference. Yesterday's concert was anything but a damp squib, because


about 10,000 people came to the Botanic Gardens. The message was


pretty loud and clear. Explicit, in terms of tackling hunger across the


world. It is a chronic problem. It is difficult to explain. 50 years


ago, John Kennedy said, we have the capacity and the means to cure the


world of global hunger. What we need is the will. 50 years, we are still


waiting for that will to be realised. On the protest front,


every G8 summit is attended by protests and demonstrations, some


incredibly violent, such as in Seattle. Others are more passive or


Pacific, as they were yesterday. It always brings together a range of


organisations, each with a different focus. It is an umbrella movement.


Some are anti-state or anti-system. Others are pro-food. It captures a


wide range of interests. More from you later. Despite reassuring words


from our political leaders, not everyone is convinced the G8 summit


can deliver long-term economic benefits. There's been criticism of


the disruption it has been causing in Fermanagh itself. The Sinn Fein


MLA, Phil Flanagan, says any economic boost is likely to be short


lived. Are you warming at all to the notion of the G8 summit as it gets


closer? The G8 summit is upon us now. It is the big topic of


conversation here, over this last week or so. The attitude of most


people in Fermanagh that I have spoken to is one of concern at the


disproportionate response from the police and the security services to


the G8 taking place. Every single road, every layby, has a police car


with heavy machine guns. A road between Fermanagh and Enniskillen is


closed for a month. When you say disproportionate... Whether you like


it or not, these are eight of the most powerful people on this planet


and they have to be properly protected. All it takes is one


individual to set the cat amongst the pigeons. Why don't you accept


that? I accept that, but this is the middle of June, and the road is


already closed. The road has been closed for a fortnight. It is


completely over the top. I have children in school in Enniskillen


before eight o'clock -- you have to be in any skill and before eight


o'clock. There is no place for that on a Monday or Tuesday morning.


say a lot of people in Fermanagh are not happy. What about the world's


attention being focused on the beautiful Fermanagh? You are keen to


tell us about that, and the fact it is showing Northern Ireland to be a


normal society on a global stage. Shouldn't we celebrate that? That is


something worth celebrating, and it could not happen 20 years ago. That


is a positive step forward for us. Lots of jobs have been created in


the short term. That is very positive, and to be welcomed. The


figures thrown out by the British and Commonwealth office, about the


long-term benefits for Fermanagh being between �500 million and �700


million. That is ridiculous. The benefits to the Scottish economy of


Blair need was �74 million. The cost of hosting it was �94 million. There


is very little actual benefit to this. If we consider that Fermanagh


will be showcased around the world, I hope it will be done in positive


terms. What will actually be reported around the world is what


discussions these people have, and what decisions they take. That is


the most important part of this summit, and they have to take


decisions that will benefit those in greatest need around the world.


Thank you for joining us. The Sinn Fein MLA, Phil Flanagan, joining us


from Fermanagh. David Cameron has spoken of the three big Ts that are


at the heart of the G8, Oddbins. But with the situation in Syria,


agreement could be hard to find. -- at the heart of the G8, Tax,


Transparency and Trade. Do you think the focus will be Tax, Transparency


and Trade? I think the leaders of the biggest countries in the world,


open democracies... Every day, they are used to dealing with the


toughest issues across a broad range of things at home. When they come


together, they have a common bond. A strong focus will be on the three


tiers that David Cameron started out with. After Marley, terrorism has


risen to the top. And with Syria now. Making sure we win the economic


peace in North Africa and the middle east, having won the war in Libya.


lot of people are confused about the fact that the biggest democracy in


the world, India, is not represented in the G8. China is not there. There


is no representative from South America. Is the G8 what it used to


be? The G8 was created to promote individuality, liberty and social


advance. So in the case of India, there is a case for joining. China


is not there, nor is Saudi Arabia. Well, some people wonder about


Russia, of course. Well, it is a work in progress but we are vastly


better off with Russia than in 1997 before they joined as a full member


at the summit in Birmingham hosted. Should Italy still be there? It is


bankrupt. Yes, Italy is perhaps a different style of democracy. But


even the mother of all Parliaments has a coalition government as well


so they are becoming a bit Italian. They face the same problems, they


are with us as a member of NATO. They were a critical ally if you use


ago in stopping slaughter in Libya. -- a few years ago. I think if we


need to take hard decisions on Syria, they will be with those as


well. There is a huge focus that this event is taking place here. But


be honest, do people notice where the summit takes place? Absolutely.


For a start, it brings in the most prestigious journalists from the


most powerful countries in the world and the vast entourage from other


countries as well. Almost all of them will not have heard of the rich


array of assets here. They will see it first hand and have a chance to


make their own judgements. The message they will go home with is


not just the small one, that it is good for business or tourism, it is


a powerful inspiration for the central issue of this summit. What


we're seeing in Syria, massive sectarian violence, what we saw on


the streets of Boston in the bombing and London is that as well. Northern


Ireland proves we can win that fight. Very interesting to hear your


thoughts, thank you for joining us. Now, let's get a look at the


summit will put Northern Ireland in the shop window. A lot of people


look at these things in pounds and pence. I don't. For Northern


Ireland, a lot of this is about reputation. An economic pact with


London promises to help as break barriers to peace and prosperity.


The social development Minister revealed the Housing executive


overpaid housing contractors by �18 million. The scale of what has been


uncovered is a scandal. Let's not forget this is taxpayers money. At


Stormont, some politicians were living dangerously. And inside the


assembly, the newest political party was in for a bit of teasing.


thought it was NI 21 last Thursday, P 45 on Monday. Let's take a quick


final thought on Mark Devenport our political editor in Ennis killing. A


quick reflection? -- in Fermanagh. Well, we've heard bad that this


summit puts Northern Ireland in a shop window. No doubt there will be


a report on whether this was in fact a benefit. I think ministers at the


moment are saying they are taking this opportunity and that they


managed to negotiate a situation in which they pay a smaller proportion


of the build and maybe was the case in Gleneagles in 2005. We will have


to see which of the camps, the sceptics or the optimists, are


proved right. And a final brought from guests. Deirdre, how do we


judge the success of what happens over the next 48 hours? I think it's


a case of watch this space. We don't quite know yet. But I agree that


this is a unique marketing opportunity that we simply could not


pay for. It is a chance to change perceptions about Northern Ireland


and put it on a global stage. feeling outclassed here. How do we


think -- how do you think we judge the success? I think we have to


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