Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser present. Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna on Labour's plan for the economy and is it time to leave the European Court of Human Rights?
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Afternoon. Welcome to the Sunday politics. The top story is George
Osborne wanting Britain to play its part to stabilise the world economy.
The opposition will request billions of pounds of extra funds
to bail out the eurozone. Does the Chancellor had a fight on his
hands? Has Ed Miliband got his fingers burned? I will be asking
the shadow Business Secretary in the Sunday interview. A judge has
ruled that a radical Muslim cleric can stay in this country. Should we
leave the European Court of Human Rights? We will debate that topic
live. And on Sunday Politics Scotland:
The head of the Council of Economic Advisors tells us he doesn't know
what a post-independence economy would look like and using sterling
wouldn't be ideal. But Crawford Beveridge is still finding reasons
to be cheerful. And is the Advocate General above
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1655 seconds
I am sitting on the government commission looking at this. People
have raised a number of things. One of the things they are concerned
about is if we withdrew from the European Convention, we would be
withdrawing from the Council of Europe. It would be very difficult
to withdraw from the European Council. What would be wrong with
having a British Bill of Rights? am one of the people who argued
that we should have a jury trial, habeas corpus, incorporated into
our very own Bill of Rights. The problem with it is people like
Martin want to use this as a Trojan horse because they do not like
Europe. The Council of Europe is completely separate to the EU.
Another example is the issue of prisoners voting rights. The House
of Commons has ordered by enormous majorities that we do not wish to
give the right of prisoners the vote. The European Court of Human
Rights is substituting its judgment for the will of our elected
representatives. What are the chances of Mr Cameron making any
move on this? We will see what he comes out with. He wants to
introduce a filtering mechanism. What does he want to do? He does
not have a good chance. Thank you Good afternoon. Welcome to Scotland.
Coming up, the head of the Council of Economic Advisers tells us that
fiscal policy of using Stirling in an independent Scotland is not
ideal. He is not sure what the economic implications of
independence would be. Is the nude role of the Advocate General
becoming political? Who'll board in the referendum? Will Scottish
soldiers based in England miss out? The government say you can have
your cake and eat it, but at what cost? The Council of economic
advisers met this week for the first time since the end of 2010.
This independent body offers insight and advice to government. I
caught up with the businessman Crawford Beveridge after the
meeting. It is hard to tell how it 2012 is shaping up. It looks like
many of the economies will see ourselves slipped forward for a
month and go forward for a month. It looks like it will take a longer
time to recover. What sort of growth can you predict for
Scotland? As usual, we were very low last year, it is hard to
predict. Somewhere between no gross and one % growth for UK economies.
What does that mean for Scotland? We need to be very careful about
the kind of policies we set. I am very pleased the Government has
continued to spend on capital, because the more we can do on
capital investment, the more we can go against the trend of being
downward in other business areas. The private sector has also been
very good at creating jobs compared to the rest of the UK, which
offsets some of the drop in the public sector. Do you think the
referendum question is affecting business confidence? I am not
getting that from the people like Dr. -- people I talk to. The
concerns are more about the rest of Europe, the euro, those are causing
uncertainty. I have had no one -- I have not had any body suggesting
the referendum is one of the things that is high on their list. Could
it affect the credit rating of the UK? I would be surprised. They are
much more concerned with getting the economy back to normal.
have said in the past that full fiscal autonomy would actually
deliver less revenue because of the depressed tax base. Is that still
your opinion? It is not clear to me that that would be the case. Some
of it depends on the negotiations of the oil revenue. Also, Scotland
has done rather well in the Foreign Investment a rear in the last few
months, with companies like Amazon moving in. Do you support
independence? I do. Can we discuss in some detail what you think a
post-independence Scottish economy would look like? I was speaking to
someone the other night who was very concerned about figuring out
whether you would be better off or worse off financially. My answer to
that was, if you are asking me over the next 15 or 20 years how the
economy will do, the answer is nobody knows. What we do know is we
have strong growing sectors in Scotland, a very stable population,
one that is growing for the first time in a long time, so there is a
lot more resources, we are successful at capturing inward
investment, we have good plans about exports, and so I am
confident that when left to our own devices, people at understanding we
are standing on a Rome two feet. -- our own two feet. How important do
you think the economy will be? think it will be more important
than it should be. I would like to think people would like to make a
decision based on whether they want to determine their own future. If
we want to do those things, then we should be voting in that direction.
The economy is that important. People worry about whether they
will be OK and have a job. I understand those fears will stop I
do not think they should be that nothing on the mind. -- I
understand those fears, but I do not think they should be the only
thing. If we look at the Stirling, post-independence, is it could
Europe to have the Bank of England dictating the interest rate for
Scotland? If that was the decision that was made, and that would seem
most logical, it is not ideal. You can look at other currency unions
that have happened in the past, you can solve some of this via fiscal
rules. Sit down and say we will abide by certain amount of debt.
The last Council of Economic Advisers had suggested that this
goal Commission would allow this to appear to rules that would mean we
would not do anything that would drive down the wrong path. How many
public sector jobs do you think will have to go if the Government
is to have an appropriate economic policy? It will depend on this
balance between pay restraint and how long you can do that. It is
hard to keep people on a pay restraint for a long time.
council tax wheeze should continue for no more than a year or more?
would hope it does not have to go on for long time, but it is
sensible to keep it as an assurance to people. For another year?
that is what it takes. If we look at some of the recommendations he
made, which ones should be revisit? If you could just list them.
all those areas, I think... Just to clarify, what areas do you mean?
Three personal care, bus travel, prescriptions. -- free personal
care. The feeling of the Independent budget review was if
you were looking at those, it was not a case of scrapping them, it
was where there are those who can afford to pay for them should be
invited to do that. It was off focusing on providing it for people
who need it, and not people like me. That would be our advice. If we
have to keep cutting, rather than taking those things away from the
vulnerable, take a look at how those who are more fortunate can
pay some of their share. Where is the evidence that he persuaded John
Swinney to do anything he was going to do anyway? I can only talk to
the last council. It had 10 meetings between 2007 and 2010.
Over that period we made many recommendations to the government.
They accepted 45 of those recommendations, which later
appeared in the economic strategy and some of the Budget. Assuming we
have the same leeway with this council, I fully expect we will
have the same influence going forward. Having accepted this
position, can you have a profile on the independence referendum? Would
you want one? Not particularly! I am happy to do whatever people want
me to do, and I am always happy to sit down with friends and talk to
them about why that makes sense, but it is not one of those things.
I am not a politician. Can you vote in the referendum? I can. I have
the distinct privilege of paying taxes in two countries, the United
States and the United Kingdom. I am on the electoral register and I am
here half of the time. I call by. Crawford Beveridge there. -- I
qualify. Joining me is hums a use of and Ken Macintosh. -- Humza
Yousaf. This system of setting up the school rules, that would be
dependent on the Bank of England. Is that satisfactory? It is an
interesting argument. Crawford Beveridge seemed to be making the
case on one side for independence, and on the other talking about
interdependence of the economy. He was quite clear you cannot be that
Independent these days. It is a very strange argument. He is saying
we will prosper but we will get their main lever of power to
another nation. That is assuming that the English would want us to
use their currency. Why would they allow us to use it? We would have
to ask their permission. We would not have to ask their permission.
That is why George Osborne ended up backtracking. Crawford Beveridge
actually makes the point very well. We have 40 currency unions across
the world. Our currency is an interchangeable dynamic currency.
People would still have a pound in their pocket. It is not about his
face is on the Collins, on the power note. -- whose face is on the
coin or pound note. You do not have the lever, the point is you will
not have the currency and be discussion format. Even if you have
a joint currency union, you still have the decision to make over
corporation tax, welfare system, various other taxes. You still have
that the choice over other aspects. That is what in the pen is is about,
tried in, illegal war. This would be up for negotiation, that is the
point. When it comes to independence, of course we will be
negotiating. It is incorrect to say we would have to get permission.
That is simply not true. I still do not understand. You say you would
be independent because you want to control power, but you say you do
not want this power. I just explained, being independent is the
decision not having nuclear weapons, illegal war. Do you want economic
independence, you're talking about having power over your tax system,
welfare system, and when it comes to it, over 40 currency unions are
extremely successful. The key thing here is devilish and gives you
influence and control over your spending and some of your taxation.
But there could be a question on the ballot about that. You do not
need a question about that. You are remaining for the interview
with Lord Wallace, but the Budget will be discussed in Holyrood on
Wednesday. The you think it is sustainable to keep the council tax
freeze? I think the council tax freeze is unsustainable. We
actually lost 13,000 government jobs this year alone. Clearly if we
continue we will lose more jobs. It is not sustainable on those terms,
and I would welcome a far greater openness about that discussion.
Compulsory redundancies? That is not a genuine argument. 200 Scott
every day lose jobs, and if you ask them whether they were laid off
compulsory -- via compulsory methods, it is a sham. It is a
disguise. Let me come back on that, in the Labour manifesto, they were
advocating a council tax freeze. To go back on that and say it is
unsustainable is ridiculous. Ed Miliband has now said a pay freeze
for public sector workers is absolutely the correct thing to do.
Now Scottish Labour are saying it is not. We have given the SNP are
support for two years because that was our election position, and they
promised five years. When would you put it off? Iris was only for two
years. -- Ours. It is no longer sustainable. The figures go up
every year. I think you should allow councils the freedom to set
their own tax, but the key to this is if you give them enough money,
if he were to give them the subsidy to keep it down, they would. Labour
introduce the council tax free in Glasgow before the SNP. Your policy
would be to end the council tax free. Would you cut the rise?
SNP have got a policy in place of freezing council tax without giving
councils the money to pay for it. We would give them the money and
The former Lib Dem Deputy First Minister, and now Advocate General
- Lord Wallace of Tankerness - threw himself into the political
battle between the coalition and the SNP in Glasgow on Friday to
reiterate Westminster's legal position on the referendum and his
role. This is a matter of law. If you are an officer, law is your job.
Under the Scotland Act, I have some statutory functions.
The Advocate General is in our Edinburgh studio for us now. In at
stressing this role that you have, it is supposed to be legal rather
than political. If you're interested in purely legal terms,
if your objective is to secure the competency of the referendum, you
should have offered that protection without any conditions. Let us
celebrate the two things. -- separate. I gave a your lecture.
That is what I delivered. -- a law lecturer. I said that is why the
Scottish Parliament doesn't have the competence to take forward the
Bill, and the document sets out why the Government should also be fair
and decisive. The argument I was putting forward was very much a
legal one, but I of asleep support government policy. -- but I
obviously support. Would to be obliged to challenge it through
judicial review? That is a hypothetical situation. Is it part
of your statutory role to challenge this? What is your position? If you
look at section 33 of the Scotland Act, he will find the Attorney
General, the Lord advocate and myself can each individually take a
bill... Are you are obliged to?... Cannot take it to the Supreme Court.
Every bill is overlooked that. -- every bill is looked that. Who can
actually do this? There was a case last year which involved accident
and insurance. Him coming to their decision, the Supreme Court
indicated that what qualified people to have interest, will be
much wider. That is the point are had been trying to make: We want to
avoid that situation. The Scottish and UK governments would agree that
an issue as important as this, the last thing we want to have is
having these issues boiled down to a legal wrangle in court. If there
is a way forward, we should be exploring that. I think we are
making progress. What specifically? The Scottish government is not
adverse to using a section 30 order, Mr Swinney said that the priority
of the Scottish government was to have a single question, there has
been a suggestion in the press today that the Scottish government
might not be so insistent on extending to 16 and 17-year-olds,
and we heard on Friday evening that the role of the electoral
commission is one the Scottish government would be willing to
accept. I think there is a lot to discuss. And nothing has been
firmed up for you at this point? As we go into these discussions, can I
ask you, how comfortable is it for you personally, as a federalist,
someone who has signed his Scottish Claim of Right, someone who has
campaigned all his life for federalism, how comfortable is it
for you personally to oppose this on a referendum paper? Confusing
two separate issues on a referendum pay-per- would lead to confusion.
Therefore I think it would be better that we can actually decide
the question which the Scottish National Party will put forward in
his manifesto. Once that question is decided, I hope we will remain
part of the UK. It will make it easier for us to go forward. I want
to enhance the powers of the Scottish Parliament. It is easier
to argue that case. Are you saying that to you signed the Scottish
Claim of Right, but it is now your judgment that they are not smart
enough to work out a referendum? That is not what I'm saying. I
signed that Claim of Right. And that produced a blueprint for the
Scottish Parliament. The Scottish people voted for that. That is the
settlement we have a. Scottish people will have the opportunity to
decide whether it they will wish to remain part of the United Kingdom
or not. I hope that they do value feelings we have with the rest of
the UK, and that we can move on to see how we can improve. Let us
remember as well there is a Bill before Parliament this coming week
which will enhance the powers of the Scottish Parliament as well.
Simon Hughes has been saying there should be an English Parliament. Do
you agree? I am agnostic as to whether it the English have one
Parliament or not. I note that if we are looking at decentralisation,
I have never been persuaded that an English Parliament would give you
that degree of decentralisation. I will let my English colleagues
worked a tub. You don't see a little bit of a paradox there?
work that out a. We are talking about a settlement agreed by the
Scottish people in 1997, where some things were resolved -- devolved to
Westminster, and others at the to the Scottish Parliament. I am
heartened by the progress there has been made. That is a sensible way
forward, and we should not end up with these matters being dragged
through the courts. The referendum goes through the civil process, but
can I transfer now to the criminal process. I am talking about cases
ending up in the Supreme Court. Lord Hamilton says "they should
have the same process as the High Court". You said that you remain to
be persuaded that that. Why? I had a consultation of this last year,
and in terms of the response as we got, the views were expressed that
they should not be that certification. When Lord McCluskey
consulted on that, there was a wide range of opinion which said that
certification it should not be there. There our legal issues here,
but I give evidence to the Scottish Parliament that the reason it was
brought in, when a right of appeal to the House of Lords in 1961
criminal matters was introduced, it was for purely administrative
reasons. No one is suggesting that the Supreme Court, on a narrow
issue of whether a -- own appeal should go that way, we will have
this debate in the House of Lords. Lord McCluskey has tabled
amendments. I will give proper consideration to the further
representations letter from the Lord President, and I can
anticipate that the debate will be well informed. The Government does
not guarantee a majority either. It is a genuine that legal issue, and
they are different views from legal opinion on this. We will have a
very healthy debate. Let me just ask you - the Lord President is
saying this is an appropriate way to go. He is also saying "we will
do as Lord McCluskey be recommended a". Are you concerned that the
Scottish bench will block cases that should be referred to the
Supreme Court? -- as Lord McCluskey recommended. There is a genuine
scope here for debate. That will take place in the House of Lords.
But we are not comparing like with like. In England and Wales, it is
the whole criminal justice system that is no doubt, in terms of
Scottish issues, is the apex. There would be an appeal to the House of
Lords, so we are not comparing like with like.
Still with me are the MSPs Humza Yousaf and Ken Macintosh. Let us
pick up this idea of an English Parliament. What you think of that?
I thought that the paradoxes were spot on. He said that those north
of the border should not be commenting on an English Parliament.
Yet, he is more than content to have Westminster colleagues
interfering. I think English people should have their own Parliament
and representation, they are a very proud nation. Do you think there is
a stage in this process in which people south of the border should
be consulted? The UK government and Parliament will have to make a
decision, because legally, the decision rests with them. They will
have to vote on it. As to the decision, it is a Scottish one.
Lib Dems are saying there has to be a process in which there is some
reflection of what is happening in England. At the time of devolution,
English people were consulted. rejected the Scottish model. They
The think the SNP should join in? Labour has been arguing that Alex
Salmond has been reluctant to engage with the other parties bus-
stop the has asked the Prime Minister to see in six or seven
times. The Scottish Labour will get involved in the consultation that
will be launched on Wednesday. One top of that, I am sure when the
referendum is held there will be plenty of talks. What stage are we
at here? I do not believe there are in for more formal talks. The
opposition parties are in a position where would like to reach
out. We would like to embrace civic Scotland, the trade unions, in
discussions. We want to involve everybody. Why, if you will not
allow at devolution Max question. This is about independence. They
were not elected to deliver devolution Max. If you are going to
listen to civic society, at the Church of Scotland committees, you
have already made up your mind. The SNP says very clearly are
questioned his independence. But we will listen to civic society. They
are asking to discuss the devilish and Max. -- devolution max. We have
always supported abolition. We do not need to discuss it with anybody.
The only thing we have to agree on is whether we should be independent.
You are not sure whether you will get away with it.
Do you not get any sense at all that the electorate are signing up
for this? Can I just say, we are discussing this, the Scotland Bill
has not gone through yet. It delivers a whole lot of new powers
for Scotland. All I'm saying is it has not even been implemented yet.
We do not even have a date for the referendum, and you are talking
about post the referendum that we do not know the date of, what the
questions might be. I am sorry, but the only people bringing up
independence are the SNP, so why don't we resolve that? Then we
could have a decent discussion about evolution. You would do very
well to listen to Malcolm Chisholm, who says you need to get off the
Scotland Bill as quickly as possible.
Those comments were not met with a slammed door. Do you think there's
a chink of light going into this question? It is so unimportant
compared with the issue of independence. We just had terrible
economic news this week, about unemployment. We cannot even get at
clear statement from the SNP on their policy. Talking about that
terrible news, Ed Miliband said the Tory cuts are appropriate. Did he
top two Joanne landmark before he said that? -- did he talk to Johann
Lamont? I think these are difficult times and back pain has to be
shared. We are not unrealistic about this. So you think the cuts
are appropriate and proportionate? That is not what we said. We want
to address unemployment first and foremost. They are not delivering a
budget that creates jobs. Thank you very much.
Who will get a vote in the independence referendum? There is a
debate about 16 and 17 year-olds. Both governments seem to agree that
a system based on residency should be used. That would mean thousands
of Scots outside Scotland would not get to vote and could also exclude
some Scottish soldiers based in England.
Gordon Henderson is Scottish, his wife is English and has lived in 10
years. They will both get aboard in the independence referendum, but
Gordon's Scottish brother and sister living in England might not.
They would like to vote on the future of their country. I think it
should be extended to Scott living outside Scotland. I think it should
be extended to all people in the There are separate systems for the
Scottish and Westminster elections. The local government and parliament
franchise is mainly based on franchise is mainly based on
residency. The general election is largely the same, except EU
The local government and Scottish parliamentary franchise was used in
the 1997 devilish in referendum. -- devolution. The government's
largely agree about who should Ford in a Scottish referendum. They say
it is the same as those who should boat in a Scottish Government
election. That is determined primarily by presidents and bike
One man has launched a campaign to allow people to vote who are living
outside Scotland. If I was living in New York, living in France, why
can I vote for my Scottish MP yet am being denied the board for the
biggest question of all on independence? -- the vote.
campaign was raised in the Scottish Parliament by a Labour MP. But the
SNP say it would be too complicated to extend it? If the system is
based on residency, what would it mean for Scottish troops based in
England? Members of the public eye usually registered where their
Barack start. This is probably the time to think how the referendum
affects your long-term pretensions, will it increase or diminish your
intention to retire to Scotland when you leave the armed forces?
Will you consider registering in the constituency where you have a
connection? The electoral commission says the service
personnel have already collected two bought in England. -- elected
to vote. The burning question for people in Hamilton College is
whether people of the rate will get to vote. The SNP are in favour. --
People of they age. The coalition government do not want to allow
them the board. It could be a sticking point between Holyrood and
Westminster. Opinion is divided. do not know what I tipped that
we're not got a laugh about it. -- we do not know enough about it.
think we should be allowed to have our say. Legislation paving the way
for the referendum will ultimately decide who gets the vote. Those
Scot living outside the country will need to wait a bit longer.
The Westminster government is thinking of introducing a tax on
obesity. Our reporter has been to Drumchapel to investigate whether
putting a levy on junk food could actually changed our reading habits.
-- change our eating habits. With 33 % of Scots now obese, public
health experts are warning that unless it is tackled, obesity could
cost Scotland �3 billion per year. If we do nothing, the evidence is
very strong that obesity will increase substantially. To protect
the public and their health service, Denmark has slapped our flat tax on
food such as milk, cheese and beats up. -- a fat tax on pizza. Will it
work here? It will oblige manufacturers to change the recipes.
Here in Drumchapel community centre, locals are taking part in a cookery
programme designed to change their attitude to food. Despite a range
of healthy-eating initiatives, Glasgow as some of the highest
death rates from heart disease in the world. Do the women here think
attacks would help? If a bag of crisps was to rise, it would not
discourage me. It is sometimes cheaper to buy an active pizzas. --
buy a pizza. It will not solve the problem. They need education.
they are taxing the junk food, they should use the money to subsidise
healthier food. The Scottish Government is working with the food
industry business to cut obesity. One of the local GPs believes more
needs to be done to tackle the bigger picture. It would be an
assault on the poor. The UK Government is considering
introducing this tax. Is our love affair meaning we cannot afford to
not take action? With me is Amanda Hamilton and
Brenda Sowny. Thank you for coming in. Would an obesity tax work?
on its own. It would actually make people who live very poor, it could
net the work if there was other things in place, but not overnight.
-- maybe work. The Danish are saying there is no disadvantage but
there are less of a margin between salary levels. Is it a problem that
they are cheaper? Education, people do not understand how bad this book
can affect you. If they do not have money to do a big shock, -- big
shop, they are going to buy what is on their doorstep. In theory this
is fantastic, but in practice people cannot afford it. We also
need to attack sugar to make a genuine impact. I also think those
working on the ground know that it cannot work in isolation. It needs
to be ring-fenced. We need to do something bold, we are the fattest
nation in Europe. Whatever we are doing is not enough. It is sending
the message that food manufacturers need to step up to the mark. Nobody
advertises bananas and apples. It is carbohydrate and refined,
Do you think that it is slightly patronising to say to certain
sections of society "don't eat that". There have been a lot of
campaigns. I think it is wrong to say "changed the way you are
living". If they can get access to fresh fruit and vegetables, then it
is a wrong to presume that somebody living on a low income is obese,
and they need to change their way of life. You are running a project
in which three fruit and vegetables were being distributed. Do you have
concerns that in this current economic climate, that is the sort
of very practical, basic initiative that could be hit? We have had huge
funding cuts in the last three years, it so we do not give out
freak fruit and vegetables. So we give out low-cost crude and
vegetables. -- fruit and vegetables. One supermarket is costly, so
people do use it. It also helps in different ways, such as a
volunteering. There are a lot of different things it does. The
Government have not withdrawn putting fresh fruit in. Part of
this money could be used to fund this. You cannot say a backward we
are in centre rising health"and then raise the money elsewhere. --
you cannot say we are in centre rising health. It is people that
are giving up their time, like yourself, that one need to be
supported more. It has got to be in schools, it has to become more
important in Scotland. It will only get worse. If you look and economic
problem, or why elect somebody already impoverished? It is only a
downward spiral. When we look at the most basic responses, it in --
is at his basic as cookery classes in schools? I worked on a panel
recently talking about home economics. The Cross family impact,
that we have seen, I was saying, why not have sex at up a bit? I
think we should engage with children in a much more modern way.
Why not incentive as health end a different way? I have got three
children I am feeding at home, and you cannot say"come on children,
step up". It is about linking the different parts together. They do
both very much. And now here's the lunchtime news
with Andrew Kerr. Good afternoon. The Deputy Prime
Minister has called on the Scottish Government to provide basic answers
on their plans for an independent Scotland. Speaking on the BBC's
Andrew Marr Show, Nick Clegg rejected calls for an English
Parliament made by the Liberal Democrats' Deputy leader, Simon
Hughes. The Scottish Government says details of the referendum will
be released on Wednesday, but Mr Clegg says there are fundamental
issues about independence itself. At a time when the central argument
is about the wisdom of wrenching Scotland out of the UK, let us
focus on that debate, and let us get the SNP to provide basic
answers. They would be able to provide answers, and that is what
we should focus on. Police in Inverness searching for a
missing teenage boy have found a body. Scott Campbell, who is 16,
was last seen in the city in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The body has not yet been formally identified, but Scott's family have
been made aware of the circumstances.
Scientists at the Beatson Institute in Glasgow say they have created
the first 3D image of a protein which protects against cancer. If
the protein stops functioning properly, cells divide too often,
which can lead to the disease. The team hope their images will assist
the development of new drugs. Now let's take a look at the
A colt, breezy afternoon. A lot of dry weather across the country,
particularly across central, southern and eastern Scotland. Some
showers pulling him across the northern isles. These are showers
are fewer than it yesterday. Temperatures peaking at 7-8 Celsius.
That is your forecast. That's all for now. Our next
bulletin is at 18:50pm, but for now, Thanks, Andrew. Now, in a moment,
we'll be discussing the big events coming up this week at Holyrood,
but first, let's take a look back at the week in sixty seconds.
People in Scotland are out of work. The Finance Secretary calls for a
new cook wide job summit. -- for a UK-wide.
The brakes will be included in these hours, and although the
ambulance service remains committed to ensuring staff are rested, all
teams will be available to attend emergency calls.
The Lib Dems say Scotland's top civil servant is cheerleading for
the SNP. Ministers say he has acted within the Civil Service code of
conduct. The downfall of Labour's social media, Tom Harris, as he
compared Alex Salmond to Hitler was an unhelpful describe the action.
On Wednesday, as the First Minster takes to his feet to unveil the
details of the SNP's consultation on the referendum, it's a fair
guess the press gallery will be a bit fuller than normal.
This week, we have invited a couple of ex MSPs on to give us their take
on the week ahead. We're joined by the former Labour MSP, Des McNulty,
and for the SNP, Shirley Anne Somerville. His life outside that
building refreshing, enjoyable? is interesting to not be part of it,
I have to save. It is a lot more friendly! If we look at what is
coming up, we have got the discussion on the Budget coming up,
and we have heard from Crawford Beveridge about the council tax. Do
you think this phrase is sustainable,? I think we will have
a situation where elections are coming up, the freeze has been
geared towards those elections. Nobody wants to put tax up in
advance of elections, but after that, councils will have very
serious problems maintaining services, social care, education
and so on. It will create a huge difficulties. Do you think people
will be willing to pay for about �1 a week for social services?
problem is the people with the biggest houses are gaining the most.
I don't know Airth Sir Fred could win still has his house in the
Grange, but he would be a great beneficiary. But other people in my
constituency would get nothing back. In that way, it is unfair. Should
so Fred keep his knighthood? don't think so. I think he deserves
to have some pay back. Looking at it from the outside, do you think
this is sustainable in the longer term? It was sustainable in the
last Parliament when I was an MSP. It is a fully funded by the
Scottish government to local councils. What has caused the
problems is the Scottish Grand being cut by Westminster. We need
to look at why social services are under pressure, and why people are
losing their jobs and the public sector. That is not because of a
council tax freeze, it is because the Scottish government does not
have enough money any more, because that has been cut by Westminster.
When you look at the no compulsory redundancies, all that happens, we
are now told, it is a third this section of people go because they
have chances to go elsewhere, and then what is left, there can be
huge gaps in provisions if you are running that approach. Do you
accept that these redundancies does not give us the best structure for
providing public services? It is very important for the families
throughout Scotland. You have to look at it why the Government is
wanting to do this. We need to protect the families in the public
sector to ensure at we are not saying people hit even harder by
what is happening. People are going through difficult things with their
families, and at this package does not go through, people would like
to see that - they want to see the Government protecting people's jobs,
they don't want to see the Government adding to unemployment.
That is why it is such a critical issue for us. If we look at the
referendum question, and the wider view on this, how are the different
parties are playing this? I they appropriately representing the
views of the people? I think we are at just the start of the prose is.
Might view is that Alex Salmond is a gambler. He wants to put forward
the single question on independence, but he also wants a question in
there third allows them to push a different issue forward. The fair
thing to do is to have a simple referendum. Yes or no to
independence. What Alex Salmond needs to do is explain to people
what that means in terms of the constitutional status of Scotland,
or what will happen in terms of currency, what happens to big
companies like RBS and other companies in Scotland who, if they
were to remain Scottish, would need to be bailed out. These are big
questions. Alex Salmond needs to explain the answers to those.
Clegg is also saying that they know the questions, but not the answer
is. Is that there? No. I find it strange that it is fair to not ask
the people a question. People want a government who listens to
different opinions about there. The SNP have said their first option is
independence. That is what I want as an individual. If there is a
boys' of opinion about there that wants to see a different question,
then surely you should see a government that listens to that. --
voice of the opinion. I thought that was what democracy was about.
It could be a union safety net as well? If you wanted to go down a
route of debating how you extend devolution, there is a perfectly
legitimate way to do that. You need to work your way through what that
actually means. The problem is that Birt Alex Salmond is trying to tie
it into his independence referendum. He has tried to have it both ways.
Should there be an English Parliament? That is a question up
to the English people themselves. I had we get an opportunity for the
Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with the latest political news with Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna on Labour's plan for the economy and is it time to leave the European Court of Human Rights?