21/05/2017 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


21/05/2017

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


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It's Sunday Morning, and this is the Sunday Politics.

:00:15.:00:19.

Labour attacks Conservative plans for social care and to means-test

:00:20.:00:21.

So can Jeremy Corbyn eat into the Tory lead

:00:22.:00:24.

Theresa May says her party's manifesto is all about fairness.

:00:25.:00:30.

We'll be speaking to a Conservative cabinet minister about the plans.

:00:31.:00:34.

The polls have always shown healthy leads for the Conservatives.

:00:35.:00:37.

But, now we've seen the manifestos, is Labour narrowing the gap?

:00:38.:00:41.

And coming up here: Just six weeks into the job and Robin Swann

:00:42.:00:45.

is leading the Ulster Unionists into an election battle

:00:46.:00:46.

So how will his brand of "confident unionism" play with the voters?

:00:47.:00:58.

And with me - as always - the best and the brightest political

:00:59.:01:01.

panel in the business: Sam Coates, Isabel Oakeshott

:01:02.:01:03.

and Steve Richards - they'll be tweeting throughout

:01:04.:01:05.

the programme, and you can get involved by using

:01:06.:01:08.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says pensioners will be up to ?330 a year

:01:09.:01:16.

worse off under plans outlined in the Conservative manifesto.

:01:17.:01:28.

The Work Pensions Secretary Damian Green has said his party will not

:01:29.:01:34.

rethink their plans to fund social care in England. Under the plans in

:01:35.:01:38.

the Conservative manifesto, nobody with assets of less than ?100,000,

:01:39.:01:44.

would have to pay for care. Labour has attacked the proposal, and John

:01:45.:01:49.

McDonnell, Labour's Shadow Chancellor, said this morning that

:01:50.:01:52.

there needs to be more cross-party consensus.

:01:53.:01:56.

That's why we supported Dilnot, but we also supported

:01:57.:01:58.

Because we've got to have something sustainable over generations,

:01:59.:02:01.

so that's why we've said to the Conservative Party,

:02:02.:02:03.

Let's go back to that cross-party approach that actually

:02:04.:02:06.

I just feel we've all been let down by what's come

:02:07.:02:10.

Sam, is Labour beginning to get their argument across? What we had

:02:11.:02:21.

last week was bluntly what felt like not very Lynton Crosby approved

:02:22.:02:25.

Conservative manifesto. What I mean by that is that it looks like there

:02:26.:02:29.

are things that will cause political difficulties for the party over this

:02:30.:02:33.

campaign. I've been talking to MPs and ministers who acknowledge that

:02:34.:02:38.

the social care plan is coming up on the doorstep. It has cut through

:02:39.:02:44.

very quickly, and it is worrying and deterring some voters. Not just

:02:45.:02:47.

pensioners, that people who are looking to inherit in the future.

:02:48.:02:59.

They are all asking how much they could lose that they wouldn't have

:03:00.:03:01.

lost before. A difficult question for the party to answer, given that

:03:02.:03:04.

they don't want to give too much away now. Was this a mistake, or a

:03:05.:03:09.

sign of the Conservatives' confidence? It has the hallmarks of

:03:10.:03:16.

something that has been cobbled together in a very unnaturally short

:03:17.:03:20.

time frame for putting a manifesto together. We have had mixed messages

:03:21.:03:25.

from the Tory MPs who have been out on the airwaves this morning as to

:03:26.:03:29.

whether they will consult on it whether it is just a starting point.

:03:30.:03:34.

That said, there is still three weeks to go, and most of the Tory

:03:35.:03:40.

party this morning feel this is a little light turbulence rather than

:03:41.:03:44.

anything that leaves the destination of victory in doubt. It it flips the

:03:45.:03:48.

normal politics. The Tories are going to make people who have a

:03:49.:03:52.

reasonable amount of assets pay for their social care. What is wrong

:03:53.:03:59.

with that? First, total credit for them for not pretending that all

:04:00.:04:02.

this can be done by magic, which is what normally happens in an

:04:03.:04:06.

election. The party will say, we will review this for the 95th time

:04:07.:04:11.

in the following Parliament, so they have no mandate to do anything and

:04:12.:04:16.

so do not do anything. It is courageous to do it. It is

:04:17.:04:20.

electorally risky, for the reasons that you suggest, that they pass the

:04:21.:04:25.

target their own natural supporter. And there is a sense that this is

:04:26.:04:32.

rushed through, in the frenzy to get it done in time. I think the ending

:04:33.:04:37.

of the pooling of risk and putting the entire burden on in inverted

:04:38.:04:42.

commas the victim, because you cannot insure Fritz, is against the

:04:43.:04:51.

spirit of a lot of the rest of the manifesto, and will give them huge

:04:52.:04:54.

problems if they try to implement it in the next Parliament. Let's have a

:04:55.:05:03.

look at the polls. Nearly five weeks ago, on Tuesday the 18th of April,

:05:04.:05:08.

Theresa May called the election. At that point, this was the median

:05:09.:05:13.

average of the recent polls. The Conservatives had an 18 point lead

:05:14.:05:18.

over Labour on 25%. Ukip and the Liberal Democrats were both on 18%.

:05:19.:05:27.

A draft of Labour's manifesto was leaked to the press. In the

:05:28.:05:32.

intervening weeks, support for the Conservatives and Labour had

:05:33.:05:35.

increased, that it had decreased for the Lib Dems and Ukip. Last Tuesday

:05:36.:05:40.

came the launch of the official Labour manifesto. By that time,

:05:41.:05:46.

Labour support had gone up by another 2%. The Lib Dems and Ukip

:05:47.:05:52.

had slipped back slightly. Later in the week came the manifestos from

:05:53.:05:56.

the Lib Dems and the Conservatives. This morning, for more polls. This

:05:57.:06:01.

is how the parties currently stand on average. Labour are now on 34%,

:06:02.:06:09.

up 4% since the launch of their manifesto. The Conservatives are

:06:10.:06:13.

down two points since last Tuesday. Ukip and the Lib Dems are both

:06:14.:06:19.

unchanged on 8% and 5%. You can find this poll tracker on the BBC

:06:20.:06:25.

website, see how it was calculated, and see the results of national

:06:26.:06:30.

polls over the last two years. So Isabel, is this the Tories' wobbly

:06:31.:06:33.

weekend or the start of the narrowing? This is still an

:06:34.:06:38.

extremely healthy lead for the Tories. At the start of this

:06:39.:06:45.

campaign, most commentators expected to things to happen. First, the Lib

:06:46.:06:50.

Dems would have a significant surge. That hasn't happened. Second, Labour

:06:51.:06:56.

would crash and plummet. Instead they are in the health of the low

:06:57.:07:00.

30s. I wonder if that tells you something about the tribal nature of

:07:01.:07:07.

the Labour vote, and the continuing problems with the Tory brand. I

:07:08.:07:11.

would say that a lot of Tory MPs wouldn't be too unhappy if Labour's

:07:12.:07:17.

result isn't quite as bad as has been anticipated. They don't want

:07:18.:07:23.

Corbyn to go anywhere. If the latest polls were to be the result on June

:07:24.:07:30.

the 8th, Mr Corbyn may not be in a rush to go anywhere. I still think

:07:31.:07:35.

it depends on the number of seats. If there is a landslide win, I

:07:36.:07:40.

think, one way or another, he will not stay. If it is much narrower, he

:07:41.:07:45.

has grounds for arguing he has done better than anticipated. The polls

:07:46.:07:51.

are very interesting. People compare this with 83. In 83, the Tory lead

:07:52.:07:56.

widened consistently throughout the campaign. There was the SDP -

:07:57.:08:09.

Liberal Alliance doing well in the polls. Here, the Lib Dems don't seem

:08:10.:08:11.

to be doing that. So the parallels with 83 don't really stack up. But

:08:12.:08:14.

let's see what happens. Still early days for the a lot of people are

:08:15.:08:17.

saying this is the result of the social care policy. We don't really

:08:18.:08:22.

know that. How do you beat them? In the last week or so, there's been

:08:23.:08:25.

the decision by some to hold their nose and vote Labour, who haven't

:08:26.:08:31.

done so before. Probably the biggest thing in this election is how the

:08:32.:08:35.

Right has reunited behind Theresa May. That figure for Ukip is

:08:36.:08:42.

incredibly small. She has brought those Ukip voters behind her, and

:08:43.:08:47.

that could be the decisive factor in many seats, rather than the Labour

:08:48.:08:52.

share of the boat picking up a bit or down a bit, depending on how

:08:53.:08:57.

turbulent the Tory manifesto makes it. Thank you for that.

:08:58.:09:00.

We've finally got our hands on the manifestos of the two main

:09:01.:09:03.

parties and, for once, voters can hardly complain that

:09:04.:09:05.

So, just how big is the choice on offer to the public?

:09:06.:09:09.

Since the Liberal Democrats and SNP have ruled out

:09:10.:09:11.

coalitions after June 8th, Adam Fleming compares the Labour

:09:12.:09:13.

Welcome to the BBC's election centre.

:09:14.:09:16.

Four minutes from now, when Big Ben strikes 10.00,

:09:17.:09:20.

we can legally reveal the contents of this, our exit poll.

:09:21.:09:24.

18 days to go, and the BBC's election night studio

:09:25.:09:26.

This is where David Dimbleby will sit, although there is no chair yet.

:09:27.:09:36.

The parties' policies are now the finished product.

:09:37.:09:39.

In Bradford, Jeremy Corbyn vowed a bigger state,

:09:40.:09:42.

the end of austerity, no more tuition fees.

:09:43.:09:45.

The Tory campaign, by contrast, is built on one word - fear.

:09:46.:09:53.

Down the road in Halifax, Theresa May kept a promise to get

:09:54.:10:01.

immigration down to the tens of thousands, and talked

:10:02.:10:04.

of leadership and tough choices in uncertain times.

:10:05.:10:07.

Strengthen my hand as I fight for Britain, and stand with me

:10:08.:10:13.

And, with confidence in ourselves and a unity

:10:14.:10:19.

of purpose in our country, let us go forward together.

:10:20.:10:27.

Let's look at the Labour and Conservative

:10:28.:10:30.

On tax, Labour would introduce a 50p rate for top earners.

:10:31.:10:36.

The Conservatives ditched their triple lock, giving them

:10:37.:11:00.

freedom to put up income tax and national insurance,

:11:01.:11:02.

although they want to keep the overall tax burden the same.

:11:03.:11:04.

Labour offered a major overhaul of the country's wiring,

:11:05.:11:06.

with a pledge to renationalise infrastructure, like power,

:11:07.:11:08.

The Conservatives said that would cost a fortune,

:11:09.:11:11.

but provided few details for the cost of their policies.

:11:12.:11:14.

Labour have simply become a shambles, and, as yesterday's

:11:15.:11:16.

manifesto showed, their numbers simply do not add up.

:11:17.:11:18.

What have they got planned for health and social care?

:11:19.:11:20.

The Conservatives offered more cash for the NHS,

:11:21.:11:24.

reaching an extra ?8 billion a year by the end of the parliament.

:11:25.:11:28.

Labour promised an extra ?30 billion over the course of the same period,

:11:29.:11:32.

plus free hospital parking and more pay for staff.

:11:33.:11:38.

The Conservatives would increase the value of assets you could

:11:39.:11:45.

protect from the cost of social care to ?100,000, but your home would be

:11:46.:11:48.

added to the assessment of your wealth,

:11:49.:11:50.

There was a focus on one group of voters in particular

:11:51.:11:54.

Labour would keep the triple lock, which guarantees that pensions go up

:11:55.:11:59.

The Tories would keep the increase in line

:12:00.:12:05.

with inflation or earnings, a double lock.

:12:06.:12:08.

The Conservatives would end of winter fuel payments

:12:09.:12:11.

for the richest, although we don't know exactly who that would be,

:12:12.:12:14.

This is a savage attack on vulnerable pensioners,

:12:15.:12:23.

particularly those who are just about managing.

:12:24.:12:27.

It is disgraceful, and we are calling upon the Conservative Party

:12:28.:12:31.

When it comes to leaving the European Union, Labour say

:12:32.:12:37.

they'd sweep away the government's negotiating strategy,

:12:38.:12:40.

secure a better deal and straightaway guaranteed the rights

:12:41.:12:43.

The Tories say a big majority would remove political uncertainty

:12:44.:12:49.

Jeremy Vine's due here in two and a half weeks.

:12:50.:13:01.

I'm joined now by David Gauke, who is Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

:13:02.:13:07.

Welcome back to the programme. The Tories once promised a cap on social

:13:08.:13:14.

care costs. Why have you abandoned that? We've looked at it, and there

:13:15.:13:22.

are couple of proposals with the Dilnot proposal. Much of the benefit

:13:23.:13:27.

would go to those inheriting larger estates. The second point was it was

:13:28.:13:31.

hoped that a cap would stimulate the larger insurance products that would

:13:32.:13:37.

fill the gap, but there is no sign that those products are emerging.

:13:38.:13:42.

Without a cap, you will not get one. We have come forward with a new

:13:43.:13:47.

proposal which we think is fairer, provide more money for social care,

:13:48.:13:51.

which is very important and is one of the big issues we face as a

:13:52.:13:56.

country. It is right that we face those big issues. Social care is

:13:57.:14:01.

one, getting a good Brexit deal is another. This demonstrates that

:14:02.:14:09.

Theresa May has an ambition to lead a government that addresses those

:14:10.:14:11.

big long-term issues. Looking at social care. If you have assets,

:14:12.:14:17.

including your home, of over ?100,000, you have to pay for all

:14:18.:14:21.

your social care costs. Is that fair? It is right that for the

:14:22.:14:26.

services that are provided to you, that that is paid out of your

:14:27.:14:31.

assets, subject to two really important qualifications. First, you

:14:32.:14:35.

shouldn't have your entire estate wiped out. At the moment, if you are

:14:36.:14:42.

in residential care, it can be wiped out ?223,000. If you are in

:14:43.:14:48.

domiciliary care, it can be out to ?23,000, plus you're domiciliary.

:14:49.:14:54.

Nobody should be forced to sell their house in their lifetime if

:14:55.:14:59.

they or their spouse needs long-term care. Again, we have protected that

:15:00.:15:01.

in the proposals we set out. But the state will basically take a

:15:02.:15:11.

chunk of your house when you die and they sell. In an essence it is a

:15:12.:15:16.

stealth inheritance tax on everything above ?100,000. But we

:15:17.:15:19.

have those two important protections. I am including that. It

:15:20.:15:23.

is a stealth inheritance tax. We have to face up to the fact that

:15:24.:15:28.

there are significant costs that we face as a country in terms of health

:15:29.:15:32.

and social careful. Traditionally, politicians don't address those

:15:33.:15:37.

issues, particularly during election campaigns. I think it is too Theresa

:15:38.:15:42.

May's credit that we are being straightforward with the British

:15:43.:15:46.

people and saying that we face this long-term challenge. Our manifesto

:15:47.:15:49.

was about the big challenges that we face, one of which was

:15:50.:15:53.

intergenerational fairness and one of which was delivering a strong

:15:54.:15:57.

economy and making sure that we can do that. But in the end, someone is

:15:58.:16:03.

going to have to pay for this. It is going to have to be a balance

:16:04.:16:07.

between the general taxpayer and those receiving the services. We

:16:08.:16:10.

think we have struck the right balance with this proposal. But it

:16:11.:16:13.

is entirely on the individual. People watching this programme, if

:16:14.:16:18.

they have a fair amount of assets, not massive, including the home,

:16:19.:16:25.

they will need to pay for everything themselves until their assets are

:16:26.:16:29.

reduced to ?100,000. It is not a balance, you're putting everything

:16:30.:16:34.

on the original two individual. At the moment, for those in residential

:16:35.:16:40.

care, they have to pay everything until 20 3000. -- everything on the

:16:41.:16:44.

individual. But now they will face more. Those in individual care are

:16:45.:16:48.

seeing their protection going up by four times as much, so that is

:16:49.:16:52.

eliminating unfairness. Why should those in residential care be in a

:16:53.:16:56.

worse position than those receiving domiciliary care? But as I say, that

:16:57.:17:01.

money has to come from somewhere and we are sitting at a proper plan for

:17:02.:17:05.

it. While also made the point that we are more likely to be able to

:17:06.:17:08.

have a properly functioning social care market if we have a strong

:17:09.:17:12.

economy, and to have a strong economy we need to deliver a good

:17:13.:17:16.

deal on Brexit and I think Theresa May is capable of doing that. You

:17:17.:17:20.

have said that before. But if you have a heart attack in old age, the

:17:21.:17:25.

NHS will take care of you. If you have dementia, you now have to pay

:17:26.:17:29.

for the care of yourself. Is that they are? It is already the case

:17:30.:17:33.

that if you have long-term care costs come up as I say, if you are

:17:34.:17:37.

in residential care you pay for all of it until the last ?23,000, but if

:17:38.:17:43.

you are in domiciliary care, excluding your housing assets, but

:17:44.:17:47.

all of your other assets get used up until you are down to ?23,000 a

:17:48.:17:53.

year. And I think it is right at this point that a party that aspires

:17:54.:18:00.

to run this country for the long-term, to address the long-term

:18:01.:18:03.

challenges we have is a country, for us to be clear that we need to

:18:04.:18:08.

deliver this. Because if it is not paid for it this way, if it goes and

:18:09.:18:14.

falls on the general taxpayer, the people who feel hard pressed by the

:18:15.:18:18.

amount of income tax and VAT they pay, frankly we have to say to them,

:18:19.:18:22.

those taxes will go up if we do not address it. But they might go up

:18:23.:18:26.

anyway. The average house price in your part of the country is just shy

:18:27.:18:32.

of ?430,000, so if you told your own constituents that they might have to

:18:33.:18:36.

spend ?300,000 of their assets on social care before the state steps

:18:37.:18:42.

in to help...? As I said earlier, nobody will be forced to pay during

:18:43.:18:47.

their lifetime. Nobody will be forced to sell their houses. We are

:18:48.:18:52.

providing that protection because of the third premium. Which makes it a

:18:53.:18:57.

kind of death tax, doesn't it? Which is what you use to rail against.

:18:58.:19:02.

What it is people paying for the services they have paid out of their

:19:03.:19:07.

assets. But with that very important protection that nobody is going to

:19:08.:19:10.

be wiped out in the way that has happened up until now, down to the

:19:11.:19:16.

last three years. But when Labour propose this, George Osborne called

:19:17.:19:20.

it a death tax and you are now proposing a stealth death tax

:19:21.:19:24.

inheritance tax. Labour's proposals were very different. It is the same

:19:25.:19:30.

effect. Labour's were hitting everyone with an inheritance tax. We

:19:31.:19:37.

are saying that there are -- that there is a state contribution but

:19:38.:19:39.

the public receiving the services will have to pay for it out of

:19:40.:19:46.

assets, which have grown substantially. And which they might

:19:47.:19:49.

now lose to social care. But I would say that people in Hertfordshire pay

:19:50.:19:54.

a lot in income tracks, national insurance and VAT, and this is my

:19:55.:19:59.

bet is going to have to come from somewhere. Well, they are now going

:20:00.:20:03.

to pay a lot of tax and pay for social care. Turning to immigration,

:20:04.:20:08.

you promised to get net migration down to 100,020 ten. You failed. You

:20:09.:20:12.

promised again in 2015 and you are feeling again. Why should voters

:20:13.:20:17.

trust you a third time? It is very clear that only the Conservative

:20:18.:20:21.

Party has an ambition to control immigration and to bring it down. An

:20:22.:20:26.

ambition you have failed to deliver. There are, of course, factors that

:20:27.:20:30.

come into play. For example a couple of years ago we were going through a

:20:31.:20:34.

period when the UK was creating huge numbers of jobs but none of our

:20:35.:20:37.

European neighbours were doing anything like it. Not surprisingly,

:20:38.:20:41.

that feeds through into the immigration numbers that we see. But

:20:42.:20:48.

it is right that we have that ambition because I do not believe it

:20:49.:20:53.

is sustainable to have hundreds of thousands net migration, you're

:20:54.:20:57.

after year after year, and only Theresa May of the Conservative

:20:58.:21:01.

Party is willing to address that. It has gone from being a target to an

:21:02.:21:05.

ambition, and I am pretty sure in a couple of years it will become an

:21:06.:21:09.

untimed aspiration. Is net migration now higher or lower than when you

:21:10.:21:14.

came to power in 2010? I think it is higher at the moment. Let's look at

:21:15.:21:20.

the figures. And there they are. You are right, it is higher, so after

:21:21.:21:24.

six years in power, promising to get it down to 100,000, it is higher. So

:21:25.:21:32.

if that is an ambition and you have not succeeded. We have to accept

:21:33.:21:35.

that there are a number of factors. It continues to be the case that the

:21:36.:21:40.

UK economy is growing and creating a lot of jobs, which is undoubtedly

:21:41.:21:44.

drawing people. But you made the promise on the basis that would not

:21:45.:21:48.

happen? We are certainly outperforming other countries in a

:21:49.:21:50.

way that we could not have predicted in 2010. That is one of the factors.

:21:51.:21:56.

But if you look at a lot of the steps that we have taken over the

:21:57.:21:59.

course of the last seven years, dealing with bogus students, for

:22:00.:22:05.

example, tightening up a lot of the rules. You can say all that but it

:22:06.:22:08.

has made no difference to the headline figure. Clearly it would

:22:09.:22:12.

have gone up by much more and we not taken the steps. But as I say, we

:22:13.:22:17.

cannot for ever, it seems to me, have net migration numbers in the

:22:18.:22:22.

hundreds of thousands. If we get that good Brexit deal, one of the

:22:23.:22:27.

things we can do is tighten up in terms of access here. You say that

:22:28.:22:32.

but you have always had control of non-EU migration. You cannot blame

:22:33.:22:36.

the EU for that. You control immigration from outside the EU.

:22:37.:22:39.

Have you ever managed to get even that below 100,000? Well, no doubt

:22:40.:22:46.

you will present the numbers now. You haven't. You have got down a bit

:22:47.:22:51.

from 2010, I will give you that, but even non-EU migration is still a lot

:22:52.:22:56.

more than 100000 and that is the thing you control. It is 164,000 on

:22:57.:23:00.

the latest figures. There is no point in saying to the voters that

:23:01.:23:04.

when we get control of the EU migration you will get it down when

:23:05.:23:07.

the bit you have control over, you have failed to get that down into

:23:08.:23:13.

the tens of thousands. The general trend has gone up. Non-EU migration

:23:14.:23:17.

we have brought down over the last few years. Not by much, not by

:23:18.:23:23.

anywhere near your 100,000 target. But we clearly have more tools

:23:24.:23:28.

available to us, following Brexit. At this rate it will be around 2030

:23:29.:23:33.

before you get non-EU migration down to 100,000. We clearly have more

:23:34.:23:36.

tools available to us and I return to the point I made. In the last six

:23:37.:23:40.

or seven years, particularly the last four or five, we have seen the

:23:41.:23:44.

UK jobs market growing substantially. It is extraordinary

:23:45.:23:48.

how many more jobs we have. So you'll only promised the migration

:23:49.:23:51.

target because you did not think you were going to run the economy well?

:23:52.:23:55.

That is what you are telling me. I don't think anyone expected us to

:23:56.:23:59.

create quite a number of jobs that we have done over the last six or

:24:00.:24:03.

seven years. At the time when other European countries have not been.

:24:04.:24:06.

George Osborne says your target is economically illiterate. I disagree

:24:07.:24:12.

with George on that. He is my old boss but I disagree with him on that

:24:13.:24:19.

point. And the reason I say that is looking at the economics and the

:24:20.:24:22.

wider social impact, I don't think it is sustainable for us to have

:24:23.:24:27.

hundreds of thousands, year after year after year. Let me ask you one

:24:28.:24:31.

other thing because you are the chief secretary. Your promising that

:24:32.:24:35.

spending on health will be ?8 billion higher in five use time than

:24:36.:24:40.

it is now. How do you pay for that? From a strong economy, two years ago

:24:41.:24:42.

we had a similar conversation because at that point we said that

:24:43.:24:48.

we would increase spending by ?8 billion. And we are more than on

:24:49.:24:53.

track to deliver it, because it is a priority area for us. Where will the

:24:54.:24:57.

money come from? It will be a priority area for us. We will find

:24:58.:25:01.

the money. So you have not been able to show us a revenue line where this

:25:02.:25:07.

?8 billion will come from. We have a record of making promises to spend

:25:08.:25:11.

more on the NHS and delivering. One thing I would say is that the only

:25:12.:25:15.

way you can spend more money on the NHS is if you have a strong economy,

:25:16.:25:21.

and the biggest risk... But that is true of anything. I am trying to

:25:22.:25:24.

find out where the ?8 billion come from, where will it come from? Know

:25:25.:25:29.

you were saying that perhaps you might increase taxes, ticking off

:25:30.:25:32.

the lock, so people are right to be suspicious. But you will not tell us

:25:33.:25:39.

where the ?8 billion will come from. Andrew, a strong economy is key to

:25:40.:25:43.

delivering more NHS money. That does not tell us where the money is

:25:44.:25:47.

coming from. The biggest risk to a strong economy would be a bad

:25:48.:25:51.

Brexit, which Jeremy Corbyn would deliver. And we have a record of

:25:52.:25:55.

putting more money into the NHS. I think that past performance we can

:25:56.:25:59.

take forward. Thank you for joining us.

:26:00.:26:01.

So, the Conservatives have been taking a bit of flak

:26:02.:26:03.

But Conservative big guns have been out and about this morning taking

:26:04.:26:07.

Here's Boris Johnson on ITV's Peston programme earlier today:

:26:08.:26:11.

What we're trying to do is to address what I think

:26:12.:26:15.

everybody, all serious demographers acknowledge will be the massive

:26:16.:26:18.

problem of the cost of social care long-term.

:26:19.:26:22.

This is a responsible, grown-up, conservative approach,

:26:23.:26:25.

trying to deal with a long-term problem in a way that is equitable,

:26:26.:26:28.

allows people to pass on a very substantial sum,

:26:29.:26:31.

still, to their kids, and takes away the fear

:26:32.:26:33.

Joining me now from Liverpool is Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary

:26:34.:26:39.

Petered out, welcome to the programme. Let's start with social

:26:40.:26:51.

care. The Tories are saying that if you have ?100,000 or more in assets,

:26:52.:26:55.

you should pay for your own social care. What is wrong with that? Well,

:26:56.:27:00.

I think the issue at the end of the day is the question of fairness. Is

:27:01.:27:05.

it fair? And what we're trying to do is to get to a situation where we

:27:06.:27:09.

have, for example, the Dilnot report, which identified that you

:27:10.:27:15.

actually have cap on your spending on social care. We are trying to get

:27:16.:27:18.

to a position where it is a reasonable and fair approach to

:27:19.:27:24.

expenditure. But you will know that a lot of people, particularly in the

:27:25.:27:28.

south of country, London and the south-east, and the adjacent areas

:27:29.:27:33.

around it, they have benefited from huge house price inflation. They

:27:34.:27:36.

have seen their homes go up in value, if and when they sell, they

:27:37.:27:41.

are not taxed on that increase. Why should these people not pay for

:27:42.:27:47.

their own social care if they have the assets to do so? They will be

:27:48.:27:51.

paying for some of their social care but you cannot take social care and

:27:52.:27:55.

health care separately. It has to be an integrated approach. So for

:27:56.:27:58.

example if you do have dementia, you're more likely to be in an

:27:59.:28:02.

elderly person's home for longer and you most probably have been in care

:28:03.:28:07.

for a longer period of time. On the other hand, you might have, if you

:28:08.:28:11.

have had a stroke, there may be continuing care needs paid for by

:28:12.:28:14.

the NHS. So at the end of the date it is trying to get a reasonable

:28:15.:28:18.

balance and just to pluck a figure of ?100,000 out of thin air is not

:28:19.:28:26.

sensible. You will have heard me say about David Gold that the house

:28:27.:28:32.

prices in his area, about 450,000 or so, not quite that, and that people

:28:33.:28:36.

may have to spend quite a lot of that on social care to get down to

:28:37.:28:41.

?100,000. But in your area, the average house price is only

:28:42.:28:45.

?149,000, so your people would not have to pay anything like as much

:28:46.:28:51.

before they hit the ?100,000 minimum. I hesitate to say that but

:28:52.:28:57.

is that not almost a socialist approach to social care that if you

:28:58.:29:00.

are in the affluent Home Counties with a big asset, you pay more, and

:29:01.:29:05.

if you are in an area that is not so affluent and your house is not worth

:29:06.:29:08.

very much, you pay a lot less. What is wrong with that principle? I

:29:09.:29:13.

think the problem I am trying to get to is this issue about equity across

:29:14.:29:17.

the piece. At the end of the day, what we want is a system whereby it

:29:18.:29:23.

is capped at a particular level, and the Dilnot report, after much

:29:24.:29:27.

examination, said we should have a cap on care costs at ?72,000. The

:29:28.:29:31.

Conservatives decided to ditch that and come up with another policy

:29:32.:29:35.

which by all accounts seems to be even more Draconian. At the end of

:29:36.:29:39.

the day it is trying to get social care and an NHS care in a much more

:29:40.:29:48.

fluid way. We had offered the Conservatives to have a bipartisan

:29:49.:29:51.

approach to this. David just said that this is a long term. You do not

:29:52.:29:56.

pick a figure out of thin air and use that as a long-term strategy.

:29:57.:30:01.

The Conservatives are now saying they will increase health spending

:30:02.:30:07.

over the next five years in real terms. You will increase health

:30:08.:30:12.

spending. In what way is your approach to health spending better

:30:13.:30:17.

than the Tories' now? We are contributing an extra 7.2 billion to

:30:18.:30:24.

the NHS and social care over the next few years. But you just don't

:30:25.:30:28.

put money into the NHS or social care. It has to be an integrated

:30:29.:30:33.

approach to social and health care. What we've got is just more of the

:30:34.:30:38.

same. What we don't want to do is just say, we ring-fenced an out for

:30:39.:30:43.

here or there. What you have to do is try to get that... Let me ask you

:30:44.:30:51.

again. In terms of the amount of resource that is going to be devoted

:30:52.:30:56.

in the next five years, and resource does matter for the NHS, in what way

:30:57.:31:02.

are your plans different now from the Conservative plans? The key is

:31:03.:31:06.

how you use that resource. By just putting money in, you've got to say,

:31:07.:31:11.

if we are going to put that money on, how do we use it? As somebody

:31:12.:31:18.

who has worked in social care for 40 years, you have to have a different

:31:19.:31:22.

approach to how you use that money. The money we are putting in, 7.7,

:31:23.:31:27.

may be similar in cash terms to what the Tories claim they are putting

:31:28.:31:32.

in, but it's not how much you put in per se, it is how you use it. You

:31:33.:31:46.

are going to get rid of car parking charges in hospital, and you are

:31:47.:31:48.

going to increase pay by taking the cap on pay off. So it doesn't

:31:49.:31:51.

necessarily follow that the money, under your way of doing it, will

:31:52.:31:53.

follow the front line. What you need in the NHS is a system that is

:31:54.:31:57.

capable of dealing with the patience you have. What we have now is on at

:31:58.:32:05.

five Asian of the NHS. Staff leaving, not being paid properly. So

:32:06.:32:14.

pay and the NHS go hand in hand. Let's move onto another area of

:32:15.:32:18.

policy where there is some confusion. Who speaks for the Labour

:32:19.:32:24.

Party on nuclear weapons? Is it Emily Thornbury, or Nia Griffith,

:32:25.:32:30.

defence spokesperson? The Labour manifesto. It is clear. We are

:32:31.:32:35.

committed to the nuclear deterrent, and that is the definitive... Is it?

:32:36.:32:46.

Emily Thornbury said that Trident could be scrapped in the defence

:32:47.:32:49.

review you would have immediately after taking power. On LBC on Friday

:32:50.:32:55.

night. She didn't, actually. I listened to that. What she actually

:32:56.:33:01.

said is, as part of a Labour government coming in, a new

:33:02.:33:06.

government, there is always a defence review. But not the concept

:33:07.:33:10.

of Trident in its substance. She said there would be a review in

:33:11.:33:17.

terms of, and this is in our manifesto. When you reduce

:33:18.:33:21.

something, you review how it is operated. The review could scrap

:33:22.:33:27.

Trident. It won't scrap Trident. The review is in the context of how you

:33:28.:33:32.

protect it from cyber attacks. This will issue was seized upon that she

:33:33.:33:38.

was saying that we would have another review of Trident or Labour

:33:39.:33:43.

would ditch it. That is nonsense. You will have seen some reports that

:33:44.:33:50.

MI5 opened a file on Jeremy Corbyn in the early 90s because of his

:33:51.:33:54.

links to Irish republicanism. This has caused some people, his links to

:33:55.:34:03.

the IRA and Sinn Fein, it has caused some concern. Could you just listen

:34:04.:34:09.

to this clip and react. Do you condemn what the IRA did? I condemn

:34:10.:34:16.

all bombing. But do you condemn what the IRA did? I condemn what was done

:34:17.:34:21.

with the British Army as well as both sides as well. What happened in

:34:22.:34:25.

Derry in 1972 was pretty devastating as well. Do you distinguish between

:34:26.:34:32.

state forces, what the British Army did and the IRA? Well, in a sense,

:34:33.:34:38.

the treatment of IRA prisoners which made them into virtual political

:34:39.:34:44.

prisoners suggested that the British government and the state saw some

:34:45.:34:48.

kind of almost equivalent in it. My point is that the whole violence if

:34:49.:34:55.

you was terrible, was appalling, and came out of a process that had been

:34:56.:35:02.

allowed to fester in Northern Ireland for a very long time. That

:35:03.:35:07.

was from about two years ago. Can you explain why the Leader of the

:35:08.:35:11.

Labour Party, Her Majesty 's opposition, the man who would be our

:35:12.:35:15.

next Prime Minister, finds it so hard to condemn IRA arming? I think

:35:16.:35:22.

it has to be within the context that Jeremy Corbyn for many years trying

:35:23.:35:25.

to move the peace protest... Process along. So why wouldn't you condemn

:35:26.:35:34.

IRA bombing? Again, that was an issue, a traumatic event in Irish -

:35:35.:35:42.

British relations that went on for 30 years. It is a complicated

:35:43.:35:47.

matter. Bombing is not that complicated. If you are a man of

:35:48.:35:52.

peace, surely you would condemn the bomb and the bullet? Let me say

:35:53.:35:56.

this, I condemn the bomb and the bullet. Why can't your leader? You

:35:57.:36:03.

would have to ask Jeremy Corbyn, but that is in the context of what he

:36:04.:36:08.

was trying to do over a 25 year period to move the priest process

:36:09.:36:09.

along. Thank you for joining us. It's just gone 11.35,

:36:10.:36:12.

you're watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers

:36:13.:36:14.

in Scotland and Wales. Hello and welcome to

:36:15.:36:24.

Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland. The election campaign in Britain

:36:25.:36:26.

heated up this week with the launch of the Labour and Conservative

:36:27.:36:30.

manifestos, but we're still waiting to hear what our local

:36:31.:36:32.

parties have up their sleeves. Heading into his first election

:36:33.:36:36.

as leader of the Ulster Unionists, Robin Swann will be outlining

:36:37.:36:40.

his plans to retain the party's And sharing their thoughts I'm

:36:41.:36:43.

joined by the Irish News journalist Allison Morris and

:36:44.:36:49.

the columnist Alex Kane. With two and half weeks to go before

:36:50.:36:57.

polling in the Westminster election, one issue that has been

:36:58.:37:00.

at the front of the campaign Yesterday, protesters

:37:01.:37:03.

were on the streets of Belfast Thousands of people marched

:37:04.:37:06.

from the Falls Road Politicians too joined the protest

:37:07.:37:12.

including the SDLP, Sinn Fein, At City Hall the crowd heard

:37:13.:37:18.

speeches in English and Irish No longer will we be in the back

:37:19.:37:35.

rooms. We will be front and centre. We will take over our towns and

:37:36.:37:38.

cities. The Irish language are at the very centre of who we are as

:37:39.:37:42.

people now. We're not going anywhere.

:37:43.:37:50.

Body singles going on yesterday? You can see from the amount of people on

:37:51.:38:02.

the streets, that some people have tried to make it a Rob Dallek

:38:03.:38:10.

radical Republican agenda. It is actually people from all walks of

:38:11.:38:19.

life. It has allies from other communities towards this issue. The

:38:20.:38:24.

issue with Irish language is the priests the Mac peace process that

:38:25.:38:27.

Mac peace and a figure reason it has become

:38:28.:38:42.

so... Are missing the nationalist vote being galvanised once again?

:38:43.:38:48.

They certainly are going to try and maximise it. In the wider issue, we

:38:49.:38:55.

are asking if there will be an Irish language act. I think there is going

:38:56.:39:00.

to be. I think it is inevitable that there will not be a return to the

:39:01.:39:04.

status quo. This has to be at the heart of their agenda. Without this

:39:05.:39:10.

act, there is going to be no assembly, no executive. There was a

:39:11.:39:18.

softening from Michelle O'Neill last week when she talked about Ulster

:39:19.:39:22.

Scots and other cultural aspect being brought into the same package.

:39:23.:39:28.

Think we are looking at the deal. I think there will be a package on the

:39:29.:39:36.

Irish act very soon. Is that how you see it? Yes. I think it has to have

:39:37.:39:43.

a wider cultural context. Once you widen it out, I think they will

:39:44.:39:46.

accept that they know it has been put down as a red line and I think

:39:47.:39:50.

the amount of people that has taken to the streets says it is not just

:39:51.:39:55.

something on a whim, it is an important aspect of the talks.

:39:56.:39:59.

Thank you, both, we'll hear more from you later.

:40:00.:40:01.

Just six weeks into the job and Robin Swann is facing his first

:40:02.:40:05.

electoral challenge as leader of the Ulster Unionist Party.

:40:06.:40:07.

His main challenge is to retain the two Westminster seats the party

:40:08.:40:10.

has held since 2015, but he also has to try to reverse

:40:11.:40:13.

a long-term downward trend in the party's vote.

:40:14.:40:17.

How confident are you of keeping your seats in South Antrim

:40:18.:40:24.

I am pretty confident. We are under no illusion that both seats are

:40:25.:40:29.

going to be a fight and a struggle for us, but we're up for that fight.

:40:30.:40:38.

We are under pressure from thin Fein because they are galvanised.

:40:39.:40:52.

Southampton, Danny Kennedy is the best candidate. You accept that they

:40:53.:41:00.

are both in pretty tight fights and that you could lose some of those

:41:01.:41:07.

seats that is a real possibility. Yes. To MPs are putting in lots of

:41:08.:41:17.

work and I'm confident that they will retain those seats. This is a

:41:18.:41:26.

first past the post election, so it is about personalities and it is to

:41:27.:41:29.

very strong candidates. Confident, pragmatic

:41:30.:41:34.

unionism is your mantra, yet you're running fourteen

:41:35.:41:35.

candidates in this election, the smallest number

:41:36.:41:37.

of the five main parties. The party itself has made it very

:41:38.:41:49.

clear that I wanted the two be a champion of the union. And how it

:41:50.:41:57.

fits in in a wider UK context. It broadens out over Brexit, it

:41:58.:42:02.

broadens the strength of the union both in Scotland and Wales and the

:42:03.:42:06.

rest of the UK. That is where I see the Ulster Unionist Party fitting.

:42:07.:42:16.

Engaging at that level, coming out of Brexit negotiations, we are going

:42:17.:42:20.

to be on a global stage. An economic stage, a social stage and the rest

:42:21.:42:24.

of the global sphere. I see Northern Ireland is being able to do that. We

:42:25.:42:28.

withdrew... You withdrew from several

:42:29.:42:30.

constituencies before you'd even tried to secure a pact with the DUP

:42:31.:42:31.

- and some people saw that as a sign What was your strategy -

:42:32.:42:35.

did you have a strategy? Of course we had a strategy. One of

:42:36.:42:43.

the things that we looked at, going back to the previous answer,

:42:44.:42:51.

Northern Ireland need voices in Westminster not just for Brexit but

:42:52.:42:54.

for the period after that. Because of Northern Ireland art in there, we

:42:55.:42:59.

are in a far weakened position. An example of that is that we have

:43:00.:43:07.

three MEPs in Europe. The middle of Brussels, arguing as a conglomerate

:43:08.:43:13.

for Northern Ireland. Those three voices came together and represented

:43:14.:43:18.

Northern Ireland, irrespective of party politics. They could stomach

:43:19.:43:26.

got good deals in Europe. Now we need people in Westminster. Your

:43:27.:43:33.

party is a shadow of its former self. We look at the nub of seats

:43:34.:43:37.

you had 20 years ago and look at where you are now, scrabbling around

:43:38.:43:40.

to hang onto one or two seats, when you look at how your representatives

:43:41.:43:46.

in The Assembly has fallen? There is no scrambling. We are in a tight

:43:47.:43:54.

fight for Northern Ireland, as well. The just rumour that in 1997, you

:43:55.:44:03.

have 32.7% of the votes. 60% of the vote in 2010. -- 16. You lost seats.

:44:04.:44:16.

We lost seats because of the drop from six seats to five seats. You

:44:17.:44:22.

can't claim it was anything other than a bad result. We would only

:44:23.:44:27.

party that increased our percentage share of the vote. It may have only

:44:28.:44:35.

been... Is what I want to do under my leadership. I can expand that

:44:36.:44:41.

said that unionism is no longer seen as a derogatory insult. That

:44:42.:44:46.

unionism is actually something that a lot of people can buy into because

:44:47.:44:51.

of the strength of what it means on a UK basis. Following Brexit, what

:44:52.:44:56.

it means to be part of the UK on a worldwide basis, as well. On the

:44:57.:45:01.

global stage. What is your relationship with Arlene Foster? You

:45:02.:45:04.

called her a bit arrogant when she wrote in the Belfast Telegraph that

:45:05.:45:09.

she wouldn't be standing, but wanted a clear run in south Belfast. A bit

:45:10.:45:14.

arrogant, doesn't that suggest that she sees herself as the person who

:45:15.:45:18.

is leading and speaking for unionism and make you are a bit part player?

:45:19.:45:23.

I didn't know that Arlene actually said that, but I will talk to her

:45:24.:45:29.

about it. I am reading between the lines. It's just your context in

:45:30.:45:39.

your spin on it, Mark. We have just announced that we were going to run.

:45:40.:45:50.

And the DUP was written about by the Belfast Telegraph as being given

:45:51.:46:05.

every run. -- a free run. As I said earlier, 103,000 votes. Many

:46:06.:46:11.

recognise the value of the Ulster Unionist party. 225,000 opted for

:46:12.:46:21.

the DUP. That is not worth getting excited about 100 and 3000. There is

:46:22.:46:29.

no doubt about which is the main Unionist party. That does not mean

:46:30.:46:35.

when going to go away, either. What it does do is it nails the nonsense

:46:36.:46:41.

that Mike Nesbitt talked about when he said he wanted the Ulster

:46:42.:46:45.

Unionist Party to be the main party of unionism. We're still fighting.

:46:46.:46:57.

Ripley for a credible candidates for this election. We have got a very

:46:58.:47:03.

strong team and we have let to see them being functional and working

:47:04.:47:10.

for the people of Northern Ireland. Because of the inability of The

:47:11.:47:13.

Assembly to come about. At this point of time, we are getting in the

:47:14.:47:21.

doors. We need to make sure there is an assembly and that there is a

:47:22.:47:30.

change of the mindset that we are seeing of people on the steps. Now

:47:31.:47:36.

people want to see The Assembly work. Because we are seeing the

:47:37.:47:39.

denigration of the services in our health services. Also education.

:47:40.:47:47.

With respect, they may or may not want to see the semi-working, this

:47:48.:47:53.

is a election to Westminster. You have two seats there. If you hold

:47:54.:47:57.

onto them, you will have very little influence on a Westminster dominated

:47:58.:48:00.

by a Conservative Party that does very well and all the polls

:48:01.:48:03.

suggesting that that is going to be case. Whether we have a return to

:48:04.:48:08.

Stormont or not is not what that it's about. It is what we are

:48:09.:48:11.

getting on the doorsteps and that is what we have do understand the

:48:12.:48:16.

context of Northern Ireland. It all becomes amalgamated. What are people

:48:17.:48:22.

saying on the doorstep about Mike Nesbitt lying on his face in a

:48:23.:48:28.

hotel? How difficult was it about the confusion and speculation? We're

:48:29.:48:38.

not fighting this on that. If you have any specific questions you want

:48:39.:48:45.

to ask, then I will answer them. He is accounted a comic you must be

:48:46.:48:52.

embarrassed. -- he is a candidate. Mike is a strong candidate of his

:48:53.:49:01.

own right. We have got strong candidates across the country. Let's

:49:02.:49:12.

talk about Brexit. That is an important issue as far as this issue

:49:13.:49:16.

is concerned. You said we need to get the best deal for Northern

:49:17.:49:19.

Ireland. What does that look like in your view? One of the things we

:49:20.:49:27.

hear, and I think it is one of the things we have two nail down as

:49:28.:49:31.

well, no matter what party you vote for on the 8th of June, is not to

:49:32.:49:47.

engage in a second referendum. Theresa May is going to move on. The

:49:48.:49:53.

calls are fear and threat that has been put around about the hard

:49:54.:49:57.

border. The Irish Government are very clear that he didn't want a

:49:58.:50:06.

hard border. Nobody wants a hard border. Why are we putting that on

:50:07.:50:14.

the political agenda? One of the things I'm very clear about, I don't

:50:15.:50:18.

want to see a border in the Irish Sea because that is something that

:50:19.:50:23.

Northern Ireland could could not afford politically or economically

:50:24.:50:28.

across Irish Sea trade and I do not think it is something that the

:50:29.:50:32.

Republic of Ireland want, either. Arlene Foster told me that it isn't

:50:33.:50:47.

outrage that Michelle... That is between Michelle and Arlene. That is

:50:48.:50:54.

holding up the return to Stormont that you have just said is important

:50:55.:51:00.

to your voters. We do not know at this stage whether it is going to

:51:01.:51:05.

hold up. There are a number of round tables that we are having leading

:51:06.:51:12.

into this time. I think this will be the final challenge between Sinn

:51:13.:51:19.

Fein and them. It is up to them to work out how best to move forward.

:51:20.:51:28.

Do you think there should be an Irish language act? One of the

:51:29.:51:34.

things that I am not constable with was the Irish language act that Sinn

:51:35.:51:40.

Fein put forward in 2015, which would have an Irish language

:51:41.:51:49.

official. He would have the same powers as a High Court judge who

:51:50.:51:54.

would be able to penalised people for not recognising Irish language.

:51:55.:52:04.

We are cutting back the number of our civil servants, to bring in

:52:05.:52:07.

legislation that would bring in 10% recruitment of Irish language

:52:08.:52:13.

speakers. If it came down to it with the Ulster Unionist Party back and

:52:14.:52:21.

Irish language act or not? That sounds such a simple question. Not

:52:22.:52:26.

the one we have in front of us. I'm not going to sign a blank cheque on

:52:27.:52:31.

behalf of the Ulster Unionist Party before I know what is in it. If the

:52:32.:52:35.

act was not the Sinn Fein version, if the act was a wider cultural act,

:52:36.:52:39.

then you would be persuadable, would you? This is the conversation that

:52:40.:52:48.

we had with Sinn Fein about this specific issue. We tabled an act,

:52:49.:52:56.

they wouldn't wear that because it wasn't a specific Irish language

:52:57.:53:00.

act. They wanted a specific Irish language act. We were trying to look

:53:01.:53:07.

at a broader language act. I believe there are solutions. Sinn Fein want

:53:08.:53:12.

a specific Irish language act. Finally, Mike Nesbitt predicted the

:53:13.:53:15.

outcome of last year's assembly election. He put a number in a

:53:16.:53:21.

sealed envelope. I have an envelope, can I tempt you? Know. I'm not

:53:22.:53:30.

interested in playing with fire. Maybe you know more than I know.

:53:31.:53:36.

What about the challenge of holding onto those two seats? A big

:53:37.:53:45.

challenge. In fairness, I felt that in 2015, there were more likely to

:53:46.:53:54.

lose one and when the other. I think it will be the other time round this

:53:55.:54:03.

-- other way round. I still think Danny Kennedy will hold on. In term

:54:04.:54:17.

of the biggest challenge, the Ulster Unionist Party exactly where the DUP

:54:18.:54:25.

were in 1991 or 9092. It is about working out how you reinvent

:54:26.:54:31.

themselves. A road that has not already been swallowed up by the

:54:32.:54:35.

DUP. Saying this is how we can make a difference since it has become DUP

:54:36.:54:41.

and Sinn Fein that has turned it into a permanent contest. Is that

:54:42.:54:47.

doable, Alison? Is the situation possible to be turned around? I

:54:48.:54:53.

don't think so, at this point. I do think that Robin was right when he

:54:54.:55:00.

said that elections can be more about personalities. There has been

:55:01.:55:12.

a lot of outreach for softer nationalist who maybe would be

:55:13.:55:21.

looking at Sinn Fein. The charge that was made against the Ulster

:55:22.:55:24.

Unionist Party against Mike Nesbitt was that there was too much mixed

:55:25.:55:28.

messaging. How does Robin Swan deal with that and sell one single

:55:29.:55:35.

message? I think that was a confident performance by Robin there

:55:36.:55:41.

today. It was mixed messages. They quite happily wandered into the

:55:42.:55:51.

Unionist forum. I have been in the Ulster Unionist Party. They need to

:55:52.:55:56.

find one key thing that the Ulster Unionists can say. Interesting. They

:55:57.:56:00.

give very much indeed. That pause and have a look back at the week

:56:01.:56:01.

gone past with Na. A relaxed end of interview chat

:56:02.:56:13.

created headlines. Arlene Foster didn't expect them. My advice to her

:56:14.:56:18.

as any politician come as any client would be think before you speak. The

:56:19.:56:23.

DUP leader was on more familiar territory by the end of the week.

:56:24.:56:27.

How dare Sinn Fein tell the Unionist people who their leader should be.

:56:28.:56:33.

It is an outrage. Was the Sinn Fein leader RH bye blonde comment? She

:56:34.:56:40.

was wrong. We have a responsibility to set the tone and be very

:56:41.:56:47.

responsible of our language. He is stepping down, but is he being

:56:48.:56:50.

treated fairly? He had to go and do his job. I have enough to prosecute.

:56:51.:56:58.

And it was goodbye after the leader said he was leaving office. Simon

:56:59.:57:07.

Kofi and Liam are vying for his job. Let's have a final word

:57:08.:57:15.

with Allison and Alex. You think the criticism of their --

:57:16.:57:34.

is fair about calling her blonde? Yes. Politically I think she thought

:57:35.:57:42.

it was going to be a nice soft interview when she could show her

:57:43.:57:48.

fluffy side backfired. There is no such thing as a soft interview. That

:57:49.:57:53.

proved it. She was left her own thinking what could go wrong?

:57:54.:58:01.

Anybody who allows themselves to have a word association game is not

:58:02.:58:09.

a good idea. She should have dodged that question completely. We heard

:58:10.:58:15.

from Arlene Foster and she was talking for the first time about the

:58:16.:58:19.

issue of the Brexit donation RC. What did you make of what she had to

:58:20.:58:24.

say about that donation of ?435,000? She should be much clearer. The

:58:25.:58:29.

following day it was revealed that the guy who was the source of the

:58:30.:58:33.

donation have handled it. She clearly knew all about. What it is

:58:34.:58:37.

out there, somebody will find the truth. It is much easier and

:58:38.:58:40.

politics just to say, this is what happened. This is how it happened,

:58:41.:58:44.

this is why we did it. If you leave questions unanswered, it is not only

:58:45.:58:47.

the interview is it like you who will go after, it is also twitter

:58:48.:58:54.

any social media world. Also the point about the blonde thing, it was

:58:55.:59:01.

epically stupid. It will not lose to a vote within unionism. She doesn't

:59:02.:59:07.

care. Final quick sentence? I agree. It will do her no harm. She based

:59:08.:59:13.

herself on Margaret Thatcher and she should stick to that and not try and

:59:14.:59:18.

be cancelled. And rent to own is still

:59:19.:59:18.

our cancelled. And rent to own is still

:59:19.:59:18.

be too cancelled. And rent to own is still

:59:19.:59:19.

our policy. cancelled. And rent to own is still

:59:20.:59:19.

be too fluffy. cancelled. And rent to own is still

:59:20.:59:19.

our policy. Thank cancelled. And rent to own is still

:59:20.:59:19.

be too fluffy. Thank cancelled. And rent to own is still

:59:20.:59:19.

our policy. Thank you cancelled. And rent to own is still

:59:20.:59:19.

be too fluffy. Thank you cancelled. And rent to own is still

:59:20.:59:19.

our policy. Thank you very cancelled. And rent to own is still

:59:20.:59:19.

be too fluffy. Thank you very cancelled. And rent to own is still

:59:20.:59:19.

our policy. Thank you very much, cancelled. And rent to own is still

:59:20.:59:19.

be too fluffy. Thank you very much. cancelled. And rent to own is still

:59:20.:59:20.

our policy. Thank you very much, Tom Brake. Andrew, back to you.

:59:21.:59:26.

So, two and half weeks to go till polling day,

:59:27.:59:28.

let's take stock of the campaign so far and look ahead

:59:29.:59:31.

Sam, Isabel and Steve are with me again.

:59:32.:59:40.

Sam, Mrs May had made a great thing about the just about managing. Not

:59:41.:59:47.

the poorest of the poor, but not really affluent people, who are

:59:48.:59:54.

maybe OK but it's a bit of a struggle. What is in the manifesto

:59:55.:59:58.

for them? There is something about the high profile items in the

:59:59.:00:02.

manifesto. She said she wants to help those just above the poorest

:00:03.:00:07.

level. But if you look at things like the winter fuel allowance,

:00:08.:00:12.

which is going to be given only to the poorest. If you look at free

:00:13.:00:16.

school meals for infants, those for the poorest are going to be kept,

:00:17.:00:20.

but the rest will go. The social care plan, those who are renting or

:00:21.:00:28.

in properties worth up to ?90,000, they are going to be treated, but

:00:29.:00:33.

those in properties worth above that, 250,000, for example, will

:00:34.:00:39.

have to pay. Which leads to the question - what is being done for

:00:40.:00:46.

the just about managings? There is something, the personal allowance

:00:47.:00:49.

that David Cameron promised in 2015, that they are not making a big deal

:00:50.:00:54.

of that, because they cannot say by how much. So you are looking in tax

:00:55.:01:00.

rises on the just about managings. Where will the tax rises come from.

:01:01.:01:08.

We do not know, that there is the 40 million pounds gap for the Tories to

:01:09.:01:15.

reach what they are pledging in their manifesto. We do not know how

:01:16.:01:20.

that is going to be made up, more tax, or more borrowing? So that is

:01:21.:01:26.

why the questions of the implications of removing the tax

:01:27.:01:30.

lock are so potentially difficult for Tory MPs. The Labour manifesto

:01:31.:01:34.

gives figures for the cost of certain policies and where the

:01:35.:01:37.

revenue will come from. You can argue about the figures, but at

:01:38.:01:43.

least we have the figures. The Tory manifesto is opaque on these

:01:44.:01:47.

matters. That applies to both the manifestos. Looking at the Labour

:01:48.:01:51.

manifesto on the way here this morning, when you look at the

:01:52.:01:55.

section on care for the elderly, they simply say, there are various

:01:56.:01:59.

ways in which the money for this can be raised. They are specific on

:02:00.:02:05.

other things. They are, and we heard John McDonnell this morning being

:02:06.:02:10.

very on that, and saying there is not a single ? in Tory manifesto. I

:02:11.:02:18.

have only got to page 66. It is quite broad brush and they are very

:02:19.:02:24.

open to challenge. For example, on the detail of a number of their

:02:25.:02:29.

flagship things. There is no detail on their immigration policy. They

:02:30.:02:33.

reiterate the ambition, but not how they are going to do that, without a

:02:34.:02:38.

massive increase in resource for Borders officials. We are at a time

:02:39.:02:45.

where average wages are lagging behind prices. And in work benefits

:02:46.:02:52.

remain frozen. I would have thought that the just-about-managings are

:02:53.:02:57.

people who are in work but they need some in work benefits to make life

:02:58.:03:00.

tolerable and be able to pay bills. Doesn't she has to do more for them?

:03:01.:03:08.

Maybe, but this whole manifesto was her inner circle saying, right, this

:03:09.:03:15.

is our chance to express our... It partly reads like a sort of

:03:16.:03:22.

philosophical essay at times. About the challenges, individualism

:03:23.:03:26.

against collectivism. Some of it reads quite well and is quite

:03:27.:03:32.

interesting, but in terms of its detail, Labour would never get away

:03:33.:03:36.

with it. They wouldn't be allowed to be so vague about where taxes are

:03:37.:03:40.

going to rise. We know there are going to be tax rises after the

:03:41.:03:45.

election, but we don't know where they will be. 100%, there will be

:03:46.:03:53.

tax rises. We know that they wanted a tax rise in the last budget, but

:03:54.:03:58.

they couldn't get it through because of the 2015 manifesto. Labour do

:03:59.:04:02.

offer a lot more detail. People could disagree with it, but there is

:04:03.:04:08.

a lot more detail. More to get your teeth into. About capital gains tax

:04:09.:04:14.

and the rises for better owners and so on. The SNP manifesto comes out

:04:15.:04:19.

this week, and the Greens and Sinn Fein. We think Ukip as well. There

:04:20.:04:25.

are more manifestos to come. The Lib Dems have already brought theirs

:04:26.:04:32.

out. Isn't the Liberal Democrat campaign in trouble? It doesn't seem

:04:33.:04:36.

to be doing particular the well in the polls, or at the local elections

:04:37.:04:41.

a few weeks ago. The Liberal Democrats are trying to fish in

:04:42.:04:46.

quite a small pool for votes. They are looking to get votes from those

:04:47.:04:51.

remainers who want to reverse the result, in effect. Tim Farron is

:04:52.:04:56.

promising a second referendum on the deal at the end of the negotiation

:04:57.:05:03.

process. And that is a hard sell. So those voting for remain on June 23

:05:04.:05:09.

are not low hanging fruit by any means? Polls suggesting that half of

:05:10.:05:15.

those want to reverse the result, so that is a feeling of about 20% on

:05:16.:05:20.

the Lib Dems, and they are getting slightly less than half at the

:05:21.:05:23.

moment, but there are not a huge amount of votes for them to get on

:05:24.:05:29.

that strategy. It doesn't feel like Tim Farron and the Lib Dems have

:05:30.:05:38.

promised enough. They are making a very serious case on cannabis use in

:05:39.:05:42.

a nightclub, but the optics of what they are discussing doesn't make

:05:43.:05:46.

them look like an anchor in a future coalition government that they would

:05:47.:05:50.

need to be. I wonder if we are seeing the re-emergence of the

:05:51.:05:54.

2-party system? And it is not the same two parties. In Scotland, the

:05:55.:05:59.

dynamics of this election seemed to be the Nationalists against the

:06:00.:06:03.

Conservatives. In England, if you look at what has happened to be Ukip

:06:04.:06:17.

vote, and what Sam was saying about the Lib Dems are struggling a bit to

:06:18.:06:21.

get some traction, it is overwhelmingly Labour and the

:06:22.:06:23.

Conservatives. A different 2-party system from Scotland, but a 2-party

:06:24.:06:25.

system. There are a number of different election is going on in

:06:26.:06:29.

parallel. In Scotland it is about whether you are unionist or not.

:06:30.:06:34.

Here, we have the collapse of the Ukip vote, which looks as though it

:06:35.:06:39.

is being redistributed in the Tories' favour. This is a unique

:06:40.:06:43.

election, and will not necessarily set the trend for elections to come.

:06:44.:06:50.

In the Tory manifesto, I spotted the fact that the fixed term Parliament

:06:51.:06:54.

act is going to be scrapped. That got almost no coverage! It turned

:06:55.:07:02.

out to be academic anyway, that it tells you something about how

:07:03.:07:06.

Theresa May is feeling, and she wants the control to call an

:07:07.:07:11.

election whenever it suits her. Re-emergence of the 2-party system,

:07:12.:07:14.

for this election or beyond? For this election, yes, but it shows the

:07:15.:07:24.

sort of robust strength of parties and their fragility. In other words,

:07:25.:07:27.

the Lib Dems haven't really recovered from the losses in the

:07:28.:07:32.

last general election, and are therefore not really seen as a

:07:33.:07:37.

robust vehicle to deliver Remain. If they were, they might be doing

:07:38.:07:42.

better. The Labour Party hasn't recovered in Scotland, and yet, if

:07:43.:07:47.

you look at the basic divide in England and Scotland and you see two

:07:48.:07:51.

parties battling it out, it is very, very hard for the smaller parties to

:07:52.:07:57.

break through and last. Many appear briefly on the political stage and

:07:58.:08:03.

then disappear again. The election had the ostensible goal of Brexit,

:08:04.:08:08.

but we haven't heard much about it in the campaign. Perhaps the Tories

:08:09.:08:13.

want to get back onto that. David Davis sounding quite tough this

:08:14.:08:17.

morning, the Brexit minister, saying there is no chance we will talk

:08:18.:08:22.

about 100 billion. And we have to have power in the negotiations on

:08:23.:08:26.

the free trade deal or what ever it is. I think they are keen to get the

:08:27.:08:31.

subject of the manifesto at this point, because it has not started

:08:32.:08:36.

too well. There is an irony that Theresa May ostensibly called the

:08:37.:08:40.

election because she needed a stronger hand in the Brexit

:08:41.:08:45.

negotiations, and there was an opportunity for the Lib Dems, with

:08:46.:08:48.

their unique offer of being the party that is absolutely against the

:08:49.:08:53.

outcome of the referendum, and offering another chance. There

:08:54.:08:59.

hasn't been much airtime on that particular pledge, because instead,

:09:00.:09:03.

this election has segued into being all about leadership. Theresa May's

:09:04.:09:09.

leadership, and looking again at the Tory manifesto, I was struck that

:09:10.:09:14.

she was saying that this is my plan for the future, not ABBA plan. Even

:09:15.:09:21.

when talking about social care, he manages to work in a bit about

:09:22.:09:27.

Theresa May and Brexit. And Boris Johnson this morning, an interview

:09:28.:09:31.

he gave on another political programme this morning, it was

:09:32.:09:36.

extraordinarily sycophantic for him. Isn't Theresa May wonderful. There

:09:37.:09:41.

is a man trying to secure his job in the Foreign Office! Will he succeed?

:09:42.:09:47.

I think she will leave him. Better in the tent than out. What did you

:09:48.:09:55.

make of David Davis' remarks? He was basically saying, we will walk away

:09:56.:10:00.

from the negotiating table if the Europeans slam a bill for 100

:10:01.:10:08.

billion euros. The point is that the Europeans will not slam a bill for

:10:09.:10:13.

100 billion euros on the negotiating table. That is the gross figure.

:10:14.:10:18.

There are all sorts of things that need to be taken into account. I

:10:19.:10:23.

imagine they will ask for something around the 50 or ?60 billion mark.

:10:24.:10:30.

It looks that they are trying to make it look like a concession when

:10:31.:10:34.

they do make their demands in order to soften the ground for what is

:10:35.:10:38.

going to happen just two weeks after general election day. He makes a

:10:39.:10:42.

reasonable point about having parallel talks. What they want to do

:10:43.:10:47.

straightaway is deal with the bill, Northern Ireland and citizens

:10:48.:10:52.

rights. All of those things are very complicated and interlinked issues,

:10:53.:10:55.

which cannot be dealt with in isolation. I wouldn't be surprised

:10:56.:10:59.

if we ended up with parallel talks, just to work out where we are going

:11:00.:11:03.

with Northern Ireland and the border. Steve, you can't work out

:11:04.:11:10.

what the Northern Ireland border will be, and EU citizens' writes

:11:11.:11:15.

here, until you work out what our relationship with the EU in the

:11:16.:11:20.

future will be. Indeed. The British government is under pressure to deal

:11:21.:11:25.

quickly with the border issue in Ireland, but feel they can't do so

:11:26.:11:30.

because when you have a tariff free arrangement outcome, or an

:11:31.:11:33.

arrangement that is much more protectionist, and that will

:11:34.:11:37.

determine partly the nature of the border. You cannot have a quick

:11:38.:11:40.

agreement on that front without knowing the rest of the deal. I

:11:41.:11:44.

think the negotiation will be complex. I am certain they want a

:11:45.:11:49.

deal rather than none, because this is no deal thing is part of the

:11:50.:11:54.

negotiation at this early stage. Sounding tough in the general

:11:55.:11:58.

election campaign also works electorally. But after the election,

:11:59.:12:03.

it will be a tough negotiation, beginning with this cost of Brexit.

:12:04.:12:09.

My understanding is that the government feels it's got to make

:12:10.:12:13.

the Europeans think they will not do a deal in order to get a deal. They

:12:14.:12:20.

don't want no deal. Absolutely not. And I'm sure it plays into the

:12:21.:12:24.

election. I'm sure the rhetoric will change when the election is over.

:12:25.:12:29.

That's all for today, thank you to all my guests.

:12:30.:12:31.

The Daily Politics will be back on BBC Two at 12.00

:12:32.:12:34.

And tomorrow evening I will be starting my series of interviews

:12:35.:12:38.

with the party leaders - first up is the Prime

:12:39.:12:40.

Minister, Theresa May, that's at 7pm on BBC One.

:12:41.:12:42.

And I'll be back here at the same time on BBC One next Sunday.

:12:43.:12:46.

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

:12:47.:12:50.

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