26/02/2012 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser present political news and debate, including former defence secretray Liam Fox in his first major television interview since leaving the cabinet.

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In his first major television interview since quitting the


Cabinet, Liam Fox on why George Osborne should depend on Tory


policies to grow the economy even if the Liberal Democrats do not


like it. And that he does want to return to government. That is the


Sunday interview. Could the Lords reform be the


unlikely issue that cracks the Coalition? A Lib Dem at Lord and a


Tory backbencher go head-to-head. On Sunday Politics Scotland, the


energy giant SSE says the constitutional uncertainty is a


risk factor which may infect -- affect future prospects.


Is any job better than no job? When will graduates get jobs are to


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1853 seconds


We are talking about learn -- a long-term fix. If you don't agree


with the Coalition agreement, and you don't, your own manifesto said


it was in favour. It was a democratic mandate. I couldn't


hand-pick someone and agree with them about everything. I don't


agree with every bit my party says either. When I was knocking on


doors for the general election, I did not come across someone who


said... Are they banging on the table and saying...? Are you saying


we must have a changed constituency? It is another part of


a democratic package falls --? have all been nominated by the


parties. They probably already failed in government. That is the


whole point of having proportional representation. We are in favour of


openness where the people can decide. Someone like Philip who is


known in Yorkshire would have a good chance of getting into the


Lords. He is already elected. that case, you will be it fighting


the election on the old boundaries. If the Tories do not deliver on


towards reform, you think the Lib Dems will oppose the boundary


changes? I think we will not be wanting to put that throw. A deal


is a deal. And that means your Coalition is fractured. I take the


debate on its merits rather than a petulant argument. You have been


going on about Europe! You can never get away from it. If Philip


and his friends persist with the is tactics, it will make it very


difficult. We're here to implement the Coalition agreement and stick


to it, but I'm afraid, we have to get on with it even if we don't


like it. The Conservatives have to do the same. The House of Commons


is so partisan, that is the complaint. I don't think it will


crack the Coalition, but he has just said that it could. The Lib


Dems have 8% of the opinion polls. If they want to run away from the


Coalition, we'll be happy to fight the general election. We have to


leave it there. I enjoyed that. It is 12:35pm. You are watching the


Good afternoon and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up


on the programme: This week we were trying, honestly,


not to use the r word - Rangers or the referendum - but then


Scotland's energy giant SSE, the country's second largest company,


said the uncertainty about the constitutional future created


certain risks and this would be a factor in deciding their future


35 % of Scottish Homes will be suffering from fuel poverty this


year. It is a daily struggle for some. It is costing about �9 a day


to heat the house. More if I put the panel heaters on in the bedroom.


It is a struggle. Many recent graduates are taking jobs way below


their skills level. They're off the unemployment register and earning


cash, but will based get stuck in jobs they did not want? The issue


that is important to remember about the unemployment situation, there


Over the last financial year the company will have spent almost �900


million in Scotland. It says its existing projects will go ahead as


planned but future projects may have to have a risk premium, the


cost of which will effect whether the investment goes ahead or not.


Joining me now in Dundee, the SNP's Stewart Hosie, and with me in the


studio, Labour's Tom Greatrex. Thank you very much for coming in.


The principal that we can all agree is that companies attach a


financial cost to risk so a risk premium has to be attached to an


investment sometimes. Yes or no? That is correct. What SSE are


saying is the development of their existing projects in Scotland will


continue. It does mean that the additional uncertainty represents


increased risk of which SSE will have no alternative but to take


into account in making final decisions on those projects while


that additional uncertainty remains. Here we have the present


uncertainty potentially undermining future investment. What they report


said in for is that they are not entering the constitutional debate.


Their headquarters are remaining in Perth. They have also said they


will not stop investing in Scotland, that is clear. As you just pointed


out, the existing investments of �900 of this financial year will


continue. They will take a commercial decision in the future.


It is hypothetical. It will see what, if any, premium may have to


be applied, but they are simply taking a look at what is happening.


The other big that they said in their report was that we are


looking at the common energy market across not just the UK, but the


whole of the British Isles. That was an issue they were concerned


about. The British Isles council agreed that that is important and


is -- that is expected to continue. A lot of the so-called risk they


might be talking about is a hypothetical and we will see if


there is actually a real premium ever applied in the future. We are


also talking about the risk of uncertainty about gone and's


position within Europe. Europe has such an influence on regulation and


the market. That is another level of risk. Do you accept that it is


legitimate for them to say, look at the uncertainty. We have to put a


price on this and that could affect future investments. They are


entitled to make the response they have made, but in relation to


Europe it is clear that when Scotland and England become


successful states in the EU, there will be no change to the EU


position whatsoever. Before we leave the element of uncertainty,


they are making the point also that if the -- if there is a yes vote


for independence, the uncertainty continues, but also they talk about


in the negotiations. No issue, including the electricity and gas


industry, would be looked at in isolation from the others. They are


saying that if there is a yes vote post referendum, the rest continue


its, whereas you may say that you while some divine what is happening


in the energy market, once you tight into wider negotiations that


risk and uncertainty remains. seem to be very focused on risk and


uncertainty. A Yes vote in the referendum will be extremely


certain indeed. Scotland would become an independent nation and


have its own government and they will have all the rights and


obligations and duties of the other normal independent countries. We


will move on not just in relation to energy and electricity, but also


the other matters that in normal Independent government would look


after. Tom, it is a matter of fact that risk exists for SSE in the


existing investments, for example a lack of clarity in the electricity


market. Also, SSE have already, because of government policy in the


south, had important project. For them, there are risks whatever they


do. That is a fact of commercial life. It was not because of a


change in policy, it was because it was found that it would not be


economic to continue with it. The UK government said it was not a


change in policy that drove that decision. What Stewart failed to


point out and what SSE pointed out in their contribution is that at


the moment, for renewable generation, there is a subsidy


which exists which is paid across the bills of every consumer in


Britain. In Scotland, we have less than 10 % of consumers. We have


more than 30 % of renewable obligation payments. That is a


great thing because of what that demonstrates is that where


electricity can be generated in Scotland, we will pay together. In


a separate Scotland, the question has not been answered as to what


happens in terms of the subsidy. That support is needed. It is


needed to generate the investment. Either the bills will go up, all


the subsidy will be less and the investment will not happen. Given


that Scotland has 25 % of Europe's offshore renewable capacity


potential, it is a strange question to ask but why would be not have


the money from the renewables obligation invested in the part of


the world which can best generate the renewable electricity? What


Stewart is missing here, and that he does not quite understand it, is


that that subsidy allows that Investment and Development to


happen. In a state where you have two separate countries, the rest of


the UK it will not be paying that subsidy for that development in


Scotland. If Scotland is paying for a... That is a point that has been


raised. There will be a financial shortfall in terms of renewables.


How will that be met if all the money coming out of the South no


longer comes to Scotland? I'm and a loss to understand why money for


renewable Investment would not be invested in an area of which has a


huge amount of renewable potential. You cannot invest money in


renewables where there are no renewables. You are saying that the


factor of energy supply and demand would say that you have to come


into Scotland if you want to do this sensibly. Let me ask you, Tom,


as well about the increase cross- border in -- integration. British


Irish councils have said this is something they wish to develop.


That is the direction of travel. It would be counter-productive for


south of the border not to do that. That has long been the direction of


travel. There will be a lot of investment needed to make that


happen. But we have a single energy market now. We have a need for


upgrading infrastructure as well as new plants. That happens on a UK-


wide basis. We all pay for that in our bills. That is either through


the levy or through other investments through the charge is


that the company made. That works because we have a bigger energy


market, 27 million households about pay that across Britain. If in a


separate Scotland, how would that work? That is a question that the


SNP have been unable to answer and that is key to the uncertainty that


SSE are concerned about. The grid will be maintained. There is a


common electricity market, it is not just in the island of Britain,


it is across the entire British Isles. The point that the British


Irish Council want this is important. A single common market


in energy across the islands is something that we have, and


something we intend to keep. When I hear Tom's comments, it is the


worst scaremongering. The lights will not go out, the power grids


will not be torn down, there will still be a pan British island's


electricity market. Still it should ask himself why would they want to


invest in Scotland? Two reasons: Firstly because of the potential


for renewables in Scotland, and second because the support regime


that exists and is paid for through Britain making sure that the


investments happened. Renewable energy is capital intensive, you


need that money up front. The SNP have not answered how they would do


that in separate Scotland. We have to leave it there, thank you.


Stewart, you are going to stay with us for your views on other issues


we are looking at this morning. Going off at a tangent now in the


energy issue, Donald Trump has told this programme he would be honoured


to give evidence to a Scottish parliament energy committee if


invited. He's accused the First Minister of being hell bent on


destroying Scotland coastline with offshore turbines. There are plans


for 11 in the sea off the Menie estate where Mr Trump has built a


golf course, a situation he describes as a personal betrayal.


Court action he says could delay the project for years.


I have been told by our attorney's and lawyer's that we can bring a


very large lawsuit and probably win it based on the harm that these


horrible things would do to Scotland. I had been told we have a


very good law suit and we can delay it for years to come. I feel


betrayed because obviously all you have to do is check the newspapers


and I think the word in terms of how I feel is betrayed, because he


would have thought this would happen? I had a very good


relationship with Alex Salmond and I like him, but I cannot let


Stewart Hosie, just in response to a couple of these things. Do you


think this legal threat has any traction at all? I have absolutely


no idea. I would probably doubt it, given that there is no decision


made on the deployment facility of the Menie Estate. That decision


will be taken into cause. I am sure it will be taken properly. The key


thing to remember here is that this facility is a test facility. It is


11 turbines, I think about three- and-a-half kilometres off the coast.


It is not a full-scale wind turbine array, but a relatively small test


facility. But what you think about Donald Trump's general tone. There


was concern about the lack of respect shown to the office of the


First Minister in some of his comments. I am sure he will say the


things that he wants to say. The original Trump development went


through the planning process and the Scottish Parliament committee


agreed that have been done properly. There will now be a test the city


offshore. Again, the prices will be followed her properly. If Donald


Trump is not happy, I am sure he will do whatever he feels is


necessary but so long as the planning process let -- prisoners


is done absolutely scrupulously, as I am sure it will become I'm not


sure where Mr Trump will go with it. Let's look at the new Scottish Sun


on Sunday. It is at today. It says it has a world exclusive, day of


destiny, Saturday the ANC of October 2014 they have revealed as


the day for Scotland's historic independence vote. Is that the


date? It is certainly a possibility. 18th October is certainly the


autumn of 2014. It is a Saturday and not a Thursday and that is one


of the areas the Scottish Government is consulting on. But


the consultation has not finished and it would be wrong of anyone to


prejudge the date for that might be concluded from the consultation.


Would it be wrong of any of the SNP Government to have this announced


in our Rupert Murdoch's papers before they told parliament the


formal date? I had a quick look at it this morning and they cannot


actually find a ministerial great. I am not quite sure where they have


got the story from. But I am asking you about the principle. Just in


principle. For to tell a newspaper rather than Parliament. I am all in


favour of important announcements being made to Parliament, by the


Scottish Parliament or Westminster, to parliamentarians before they are


leaked. Tom Greatrex, what you think? I wonder if this came out of


a conversation Alex Salmond and Rupert Murdoch had last week. But


when this happens, it will be a matter for everyone who happens --


he lives in Scotland. I think we should get on and get this sorted


out so we have the referendum as soon as possible.


Growing numbers of people are worried they cannot afford their


next fuel bill. One in two says it will put a strain on their finances


this year, according to Citizens Advice Scotland. The Government's


own figures show 35 % of households are in fuel poverty, which is when


you spend more than 10% of your disposable income on energy costs.


In at the Western Isles it is This is the bathroom. We have done


about nine coats of paint and it is a bathroom paint and it is still


coming through. This is the mould on the back of the wardrobe after


about a year. Does the smell. It is kind of embarrassing. You can smell


it off his close. Their breathing, their skin. It is costing about �9


a day to heat the house and more if I put the panel heaters on in the


bedroom. I cannot really take my kids out because I cannot afford to.


Stacey and her family live in rural East Lothian and spend around 40%


of their total income on fuel. Today she is being shown how to use


her heating system more effectively to help her cut down her bail.


situations like this where it is an off gas area, there is any electric


heating in this property, it can be a challenge to find the balance


between the warm home and high bills. Scottish Power is the only


electricity provider in the area so Stacey is unable to shop around for


another supplier. Just before Christmas, the six-speed energy


providers in Scotland increased their prices by about 20%.


Government, Ofgem and the Scottish Government will need to challenge


the six big energy companies to get a better deal for customers.


Airdrie, the community has put on a fuel poverty road show to provide


advice to locals. I am quite worried about it. I have been


turning way he does down, turning my thermostat down. It is the same


fuel, so why can't they give the same price? To his by spending two


Haugen thief the �1,000 on a school poverty and the Scottish Government


is struggling to reach its target of eradicating fuel poverty in the


next few years. -- a quarter of a billion pounds. If we can


incentivise and health and people to improve their standards of


insulation in the Rhone homes... But clearly if the prices keep


getting jacked up by a these amounts it becomes a moving target.


Your hands were blue. There was no feeling in your feet. And the


breath that was coming out of your mouth. It was just like steam.


Until a few weeks ago Margaret's house was not connected to gas. She


did not just the offers from the energy companies and turned to the


Government for help. I have been trying for over two years all the


different Government schemes. It is just a case of, we have not got


enough funds available. In a new report, the Scottish Parliament's


Economy Committee is a -- considering one stop approached to


tackle fuel poverty. There is a great deal of confusion about who


might be eligible for these schemes and who might be eligible. Margaret


has now received a grant from one of the big energy companies and has


had her central heating installed. For Stacey and her family, living


in an old house in a rural area with no access to gas gives her


little choice but to keep turning up the heat.


With me now, Trisha McAuley, the deputy director of Consumer Focus


Scotland and the co-convener of the Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie. In


one of their reports you said energy companies have money to


spend but they are not finding people to spend it on. Is that


still the case? Yes, there are a lot of people throughout Scotland


are eligible for money from social programmes, environmental


programmes, and people particularly who are very fuel poor and the


energy company are saying they are having trouble finding these people.


So there is a lot more they can do to reach out to put it ages is


worked together we could do a lot more to help people. So in the


South where the Government says it is up to be able to get in touch,


he is that the rank and disease? Yes. People do not just the


companies so they are not willing to take the risk. We definitely


believe the energy companies should not be sitting back at going out


there to find people, being much more active. Patrick, a free repair


the political situation, -- if we look at the political situation,


the Government in Scotland is saying that the fuel poverty budget


will rise by 16 % next year followed by a force of 3% in 2014-


2015. But it also has a warm homes fund. Using everything that can be


done is being done? Now, not at all. The budget will go up a bit this


year but that is only reversing part of last year's cut and so even


after that increase we will be spending less on fuel poverty and


energy efficiency than we were a few years ago. I was looking back


yesterday after I gutters call to invite me on to the programme at


the discretion in the Scottish Parliament way back ten years ago


in the first session when the target date to eradicate fuel


poverty was set and even then people were saying, 15 years, that


is a really challenging timescale. 13 % of households in fuel poverty.


Where they cause of a million households. Now here we are with


four years to go before the target date is reached and we have


something like 30% of households in fuel poverty. The best part of a


million. We have less than four years to go before we reach that


date and will further away from the target by far than we were when the


target was set in 2002. So I understand why some of the measures


that were put forward were put forward but we are still at this


point of having a proliferation of different schemes and did all


adding up to a pot that is dramatically less than we need to


be spending. When we look at how money is raised for this and the


social tariff which goes on to bills, is it time we said that the


social tariff is now starting to cost people who cannot afford to


pay and let's look at other ways of raising cash for this. What do you


think about alternative ways of raising money? The DIS very


difficult. The Government, the Scottish Government, has to


definitely find more money and lever in funds from the private


sector and from energy companies. They called all do a lot more. But


the one thing that the Government should be able to do is use it as a


preventive spend so for example, there is no strategic influence


within the Scottish Government to say, well, we have not got a lot of


money, let next -- let's make best use of it and integrate funding for


fuel poverty into our health budgets, into existing funding


streams in local government, social work departments as well. Patrick,


what you think about the current ways of raising money, leading on


from what Trisha it said. Do you think that this tariff is


necessarily the only way we should be looking at helping people who


cannot afford to pay. He it is not the only way to do it. On one level


I find it frustrating that people think the level of public funding


is a problem, there is no problem putting billions of pounds into


building projects. I would like to see councils in Scotland setting up


their own energy companies, publicly owned, not just to invest


in renewables, and they can do that by borrowing, which they end pay


back from the Revenue that renewable energy generates for them,


but also by bulk-buying the electricity market. That might be


in social housing projects and housing associations. Ultimately,


it could be much more widespread because what is happening to the


electricity market is about encouraging small new retailers to


come on. Local councils could be doing that. Let's look to some of


the northern European nations that Alex Salmond constantly compares to


an look at what they are already doing. We can empower local


Government to do this even now with existing powers we have in Scotland.


There is no reason at all we should not start doing that now. Thank you.


Thousands of our brightest young men and women are working in jobs


are below their abilities. The experiences of the so-called under-


employed have been reviewed by Strathclyde University. Student


leaders warned that this group may lose out even in an economic upturn,


if employers prefer a more recent graduates, so are we creating a


lost generation? For our newest crop of graduates,


the old assumptions are unreliable. A degree no longer guarantees a job,


far less the one they had hoped for, and increasing numbers are under-


employed, in other words, in drops significantly below their skills at.


It has been three years since I graduated and I expected to work


jobs I did not want to do for a while before finding a job that was


part of a career but the wait has been longer than I expected.


Everybody my own age is working in offices tamping or answering


A lot of employers are looking to see that candidates are prepared to


roll their sleeves up and do what ever is required in order to earn


money. Eilat of us like to see candidates going out and putting a


chef been, that is a very good thing to do. But opinions are


divided on this. University macro - - the Strathclyde University have


said that after graduating, a third of graduates will not be using


skills that they have learned. Three years later, 20 % of them


will be in the same position. is a big impact on those people who


have come through university in terms of their personal experiences,


they are not getting the most from their degree. We are worried about


the knock-on impact that has on those who are taking jobs away from


people who are otherwise -- would otherwise be taking them. There is


a real knock-on effect on people who do not have such high


qualifications. With every graduation ceremony, the numbers


are stacking up. Been employed, or finding jobs, they are stacking up


on each other. It depends on how long beak stacking on will go on


for. What we require to clear this pile of graduates, it is going to


be a high rate of economic growth. I think it would be dishonest to


say that this is something I believe is going to happen soon.


According to the research, students with post grad qualifications their


best in the market, but that is out for many.


With me is the new Minister for Youth Employment, the MSP Angela


Constance. Let's pick up that first point


about postgraduate funding. Your government has an emphasis on that


16 to 19-year-olds. Do you think you should look at putting funding


into post grad work because that is where the upfront fees are? It is


very important to know whether his government does prioritise 16 to


19-year-olds. One of the important points but was published a few


weeks ago was that we do recognise that all -- not all young people


are the same. Graduates do indeed have particular needs. The


government is focused on economic recovery before it is essential


that we do get graduates into graduate level employment otherwise


we will see displacement in the labour market. But I don't think


anyone would find anything contentious in that, that is a


given. We need jobs in order to have... What do you practically do


about things up to help them in the interim and of those jobs become


available? Do you have a responsibility there, or should be


graduates be on their own? We do have a responsibility to ensure


that the young people get the best start to their working lives, that


they get the right start in the first rung of the career ladder. In


terms of supporting postgraduates, is this government that has access


to loans and grants. Nonetheless the picture is mixed. Young


Scottish graduates have actually -- are actually doing well to hold


their own despite the very difficult economic climate. For


example, graduates from Scottish universities are far less likely to


be unemployment -- unemployed with it a year of leaving lunar boasted.


The employment rate for young graduates between the ages of 20


and 24 is 4% higher than the UK figure. Starting salaries is higher


in Scotland as well. -- far higher. Two-thirds of graduates in


employment are in graduate jobs. That figure is not currently at the


pre-recession levels, but it is something we are focused on. We do


need to get graduates into graduate level jobs. This is great for the


graduates who got the jobs, but I am asking what the sake today who -


- to someone who did a degree, worked very hard and has had three,


four or five years in a job way below their skills level? It must


be discouraging for them, people have done everything expected of


them. As a government, we need to make sure that our young people


remain encouraged and focused. But I think a positive destination


figures for Scottish graduates are very encouraging. Again, highest in


the UK, so in terms of... Nearly 89 % of Scots graduates continue their


studies, go into work or do a combination. But do you see a


particular value in postgraduate studies, especially at a time of


economic downturn? You could argue it is cheaper. It has a value


because you are building your skills and are used for to the


economy when it picks up. Do you see his argument about the value of


postgraduate study -- study? Absolutely. The longer young people


continue their education, it does increase their long-term


employability. But what is also crucial is that the university


sector is already engaged with the key employers and that sort of work


has to continue. It is far more common these days for


professionally accredited teaching universities... The relevance of


qualifications to the world of work is improving, I believe. Only last


week there was an employer summit for all universities in Scotland


where they met and that is very much about university sector doing


their bit. It is stepping up to the plate to ensure that we get back to


a rising youth unemployment. But if we stick with this and the


employment issue because we are looking at that, is it your view


that governments do not create jobs because we have heard from quite a


lot of young students, that they won the economic circumstances


created in which businesses can create jobs? Is there an


improvement -- river improvement there? There is always room for


improvement. Governments do not directly create jobs. It would not


be a surprise to you for me to say the Scottish government...


Governments cannot do things to engage with employers and encourage


and even in centre vice with the employment of young people. Thank


you indeed. We have to leave it there.


Following on from the minister there, we can now hear from the


Scottish Conservative, Murdo Fraser, who is in our Dundee studio.


Thank you for coming in. We are getting a lot of high value at a


view today! Let me ask you about this issue of the stacking up of


graduates and the possibility of a lost generation. The thing that is


a real prospect? It is a serious issue. We have a major problem with


youth unemployment. The statistics show that it is the area of the


economy where there is the most concern. In terms of what God --


the government can do, a number of things need to happen in the


university sector itself. Many employers will say they have a


challenge with some graduates, they do not have the soft skills that


employers are looking for. There is much more that can be done in terms


of improving their employability. How are soft skills defined? Sorry


to interrupt. For example, how to fit in in a working environment,


turning up on time, had to present yourself in the workplace, how to


get on with your workmates. That is why work placements and internships


are so important. A lot of good work is going on in our


universities in terms of equipping students particularly towards the


end of their courses in terms of making that transition from


education to employment much more seamless. I think that sort of


thing but many still encourage. In terms of direct government policy,


a lot of graduates do a generalist degree like an arts and they might


want to move into a more specialist field, going back to a further


education college to do a short course, and what we have seen in


the government budget that has been passed by Parliament is a cut of


more than �50 million in the budget of our further education colleges.


That is completely short-sighted in the current climate where you have


got many graduates desperate to get these additional skills to get them


into the workplace. Is it your argument that any job is better


than no job even if it is way below your skills level was mad in the


short term, yes. It was very interesting in the clip you showed


with recruitment consultants, that is exactly the point they were


making. If you are an employer, the last thing you want is to receive a


c been formed someone who has been out of work since they graduated.


You would rather have is a new graduate who has had to take in the


short term a job below their expectations at a lower pay grade,


perhaps even a part-time job, but that is better than not having any


employment at all. And we are also joined now by the


Scottish Labour Education spokesperson, Hugh Henry MSP, and


Laurie Russell, the Chief Executive of the WiseGroup, an organisation


which specialises in getting unemployed people back into work.


This argument, take any job if you are a graduate, when we hear from


Strathclyde there is some evidence that students can get trapped in


jobs and there is a long term there with to the outcome, what would you


say? -- long-term negative. There are implications for people further


down the change. A lot of people come out of school without


qualifications and we are working with them. They are looking for


entry-level jobs so if graduates take those jobs, it makes it much


more difficult for other people to get into work. What is the answer


then? I think the answer is that if you go to revitalise the Scottish


economy, we need graduates and we need them working in the jobs they


are trained for. A lot of it comes down to pretty much more effort


into getting graduates to set up their own businesses and to work


together to set up their own businesses and to do more about


entrepreneurship at further education and higher education


levels. I know some is done, but more effort can go into that.


point is the government cannot create jobs. Labour have said they


have created jobs, but governments do not create jobs, do they?


Governments can work with employers to help create the right


environment. The problem is that we need to grow the economy. It is not


enough just to put people into short-term courses and projects. We


need a long-term future for them. We are of a generation that when we


came out of university, it was a matter of choosing what you wanted


to do, not been desperate to take what was on offer. There are things


the government can do to work with the private sector to help young


people flourish in an entrepreneurial way. There was a


mention of incentives. Could you develop that? It could be, but you


need to remember there is a direct consequence of what the Scottish


government is doing. There are graduates working and displacing


others, in jobs that they are over- qualified for. Alex Salmond that


teaching numbers are out 54,000. Over the last few years, teaching


numbers have been at 3,000. People cannot get jobs in these fields.


Microbiologists are working in pharmacies, youngsters are working


in fast food restaurants. We are displacing people across the market


so we need to create the jobs. We can also build on the Scottish


Enterprise Scheme of talent and helping for a short term goal.


of the students week spoke to said they felt there was a status


attitude and perception that had to be challenged, and that was that


unless you went to university it somehow what you were doing a... It


was the attitude of middle-class families. The students would have


been better going into practical training. Do we need a big social


shift in attitude about what people would be best done in? We probably


do. We probably need to shifter by what we mean by jobs. I think any


of us could go hour -- around our constituencies and do a lot through


projects, environmental projects, communities. We were talking about


developing our sports centre earlier. If you have a project like


that, if you can work with the employers and construction


companies and the funders to make sure that we are always building an


opportunity for training for young people to get a chance in those


projects, there are different ways that we can find jobs in the


existing infrastructure. I think it is about a cultural change, about


what we mean by jobs. But also you are right in some communities and


families, there is a thing about getting a qualification. Let's


remember that further education and higher education people are paid to


Murdo Fraser, do you think we need to be quite careful about how we


assess the value of apprenticeships? And I am also


thinking particularly of the work- experience programme that the


coalition Government has put in place in the South which some


employers are now saying they do not want anything to do with an


campaigners are saying it is slave labour. Do we have to be careful


about what is being and is actually of value to the young people taking


part? Bear has been a vicious campaign run by far left elements


to try to discredit this. But a lot of major companies have withdrawn


from it because they agree. They have been scared off. The important


statistic to know from the scheme Dan SATs he is that half of those


that entered the scheme will end up in permanent employment. So this is


delivering for 50% of those involved a permanent job by the end


of it. I think that is an extremely worthwhile initiative for people


who otherwise might be facing many more years of unemployment.


work experience worth anything if you do not get a job at the end of


it? They can be good quality work experience programmes that help


young people, give MAC the, give them a reference and give them


skills. What I think people are concerned about is that it is not a


good quality scheme and it seems to be replacing full-time labour.


thank you. Another of our series looking ahead


to the key themes in the council elections. A few weeks ago we look


at how Labour and the SNP was set to fight a battle for CRASBO but


this week, different protagonists. The Conservatives and the Liberal


Democrats have been in collision in the Borders for five years. How can


they work together now and fight against each other for votes in a


In the Borders, there is much to commemorate the great battles of


But in the council now traditional adversaries have learnt to become


colleagues. As with most councils, no one party has an overall


majority and here, that has led to a situation that is almost


Westminster in miniature, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats


In the council chamber, things are finely balanced between three


coalition partners. 12 Conservatives and 10 Liberal


Democrats are joined by three independent councillors. They are


very well deserved... Coalition was nothing new five years ago but what


was new was the way the coalition came together. Until 2007, we had


been independent and conservative. We have formed the administration


of the council. In 2007, most of the independents were washed away,


so more Liberals came in and a few more Conservatives. So we thought


the pragmatic and right thing to do was to join up. They year or two


after the election we got together to compare manifestos, to see if


there was any common ground. Basically, within a couple of days,


with followed up with a draft programme of work of what we would


like to do in the next five years. We Conservatives do like to be


pragmatic and practical and we like to do things we can actually do.


The tough bit was agreeing with the others, particularly the Liberals,


on what was do-able, because we do not like to say we are going to do


a thing and then not do it. Once that was done, we have had a couple


of spats but on the whole it has been pretty good. There was a point


about 18 months ago when the Scottish Liberal Democrats, my grip,


was within that of leading the commission. We considered that the


programme of work we focus on with our constituents is the most


important thing. Commissions always involve compromise and supporters


of the party may feel they class is either half-full or half-empty but


can the council elections, how well each of the two big parties in the


coalition here manage to make distinct appeals to the local


voters? We have brought rigorous financial management and we have


simply got to think ahead. We have not just fought for this period of


office. We have thought ahead. We have actually got capital, a


financial plans going forward five years. We can only relate to the


public in terms of the issues as we see them and the public are telling


us. Principally, I would say that is economic development. However


the numbers stack up after the election, it is unlike the one


party alone will be able to spin its own Web. Labour have no


councillors here just now but the SNP and independence will be


fighting hard. And both coalition partners will be competing for


every vote. But also hoping it will not be able to live moment


Jamie will be back with another piece on the council elections in a


few weeks but now, the headlines. Good afternoon. It has been


reported that the Scottish Government's preferred date for a


referendum on independence is Saturday 18th October 2014. The


claim is made in the first edition of the Scottish Sun to be published


on a sunbed. Speaking to Sunday Politics: Earlier, Stewart Hosie


said the date is being considered. It is certainly a possibility. 18th


October is certainly in the autumn of 2014. It is a Saturday and not a


Thursday and that is one of the areas that the Scottish Parliament


is consulting on. Talks are continuing for the future


of two emergency debates covering Scottish waters. They are currently


operating on a temporary basis for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.


They were due to be withdrawn last year to save money.


Labour Party members in Falkirk will meet this evening for the


first time since their MP was charged with three counts of common


assault. Eric Joyce was arrested following an incident in the House


of Commons bar last week. Mr Joyce will not attend, because he is


currently suspended from the party. Rugby and Scotland face a tough


encounter against France in Six Nations at Murrayfield this


afternoon. They are still looking for a victory in this year's


Championship, despite decent performances against England and


Wales, they lost their two opening games.


We have a lot of cloud today, particularly for western Scotland


where it will be quite a misty and murky afternoon with outbreaks of


patchy rain, turning heavy for a time. Across central and eastern


parts it will be brighter. In the North East, we will see our top


temperature today of 12 Celsius. More typically nine or ten. So very


much on the wild side for this time More from the newsroom at 6:10pm


this evening. In a moment we will be discussing


the bigger events coming up this week at Holyrood. First, let's take


a look back at The Week In 60 A tweeting Rupert Murdoch suggests


he supports independence for Scotland. He's tweet...


Rangers' tax debt continues to rise and financial documents have been


provided to Strathclyde Police. hope that their way will be found


forward to allow it ranges to meet their obligations to the taxpayer.


The Falkirk Labour MP Eric Joyce has been charged with assault


following an incident at a bar in the House of Commons, and suspended


from the Labour Party. The Royal Bank of Scotland has


reported a pre-tax loss that is almost double the last it made in


2010. Big losses, in a strange way, horror sign of success. It is a


sign we're taking the medicine at RBS needs.


A documentary showing Billy Connolly on tour in Northern


Ireland at the height of the violence in 1975 has been screened


at the Glasgow Film Festival this weekend.


Spring conference time is fast approaching with both Scottish


Labour and the Liberal Democrats holding theirs next week.


And with me to look ahead we have the political commentator and


author David Torrance and the editor of Holyrood Magazine in our


Edinburgh studio. Before we go on to the conference season, what you


make of the day of destiny prediction in the Scottish Sun?


is a good scoop for a brand new Sunday newspaper. Of course the


there are cabinets. The Scottish Government source says it is a date


they are lining up, so it is just a possibility. It would not be on the


front page go unless they have had a pretty firm steer from that


source. Are you putting it in your diary, Mandy Rhodes? I made a


decision this morning not to bite the newspaper at and I have been


advising the Scottish Government for the same reasons that perhaps


they should not have given any exclusive to the paper. But we will


see. But is it appropriate, it is accurate, and not just a best guess,


is it appropriate that this is given to renew his paper, which


happens to be owned by Rupert Murdoch, rather than being told to


Parliament? No, my reasons for not supporting the paper is that we


seem to have forgotten quickly when the News of the World was faulty.


Secondly, hundreds of journalists and other people lost their jobs.


And there is an ongoing police investigation and the Leveson


Inquiry. Mike view is that this is Mr Murdoch putting two fingers up


at our sensibilities and intellect and I feel sad that the SNP


Government felt they could first welcome his tweeting about


supporting the SNP stands but also give him an exclusive. David, we


have before Scotland meeting on Tuesday pensively Scotland meeting


in Glasgow on Thursday. Everyone is talking about Devo Max,


Independence Lite, independence, what you'd think will actually come


out of what is coming this week? For all when you think we may get


clarity in the different propositions, who is putting them


forward and who they imagine will be able to enforce them if they are


adopted? What we have here is a twin-track process. The Siddick


Scotland exercise is geared towards, or the Scottish Government hopes it


is geared towards Devo Max, which the Unionist Party considered to be


independence by another name. The Ivo Plus option which I think is


the more significant of the two he is quite fully developed. Reform


Scotland have already set out precisely what they mean by Bath


and they are now ready for a cross- party exercise to lend it more


credibility. But importantly, I think that is the direction of


travel, devolution plans, of the opposition parties. Mandy, we know


that we have the spring conferences for Scottish Labour and the Lib


Dems as welcoming up. What do you think will be the messages that


have to come out, first of all, say, from Labour? For the onus is on


Labour to start meeting the opposition fightback around the


independence referendum. What I am saying in my column tomorrow is


that I think the leader has adopted it to stand up and paint a picture


of the vision they have fought Scotland. They have a lot to say


about what they don't want about independence but we still have no


clarity about what they would have. Their leader's position is probably


not very far from the rest of Scotland. She is not an arts


unionist, she wants more powers and she needs to articulate that.


that has not happened with enough clarity? No, people are left


wondering what is going to happen and even with devolution plus and


the launch this week of that, as David says, Reform Scotland have


beefed out their own proposals, been around for more than a year.


Why haven't the opposition parties got behind that by now? For their


bosses offer last week from Willie Rennie to say if Ming Campbell is


looking at all is, why don't you see what we can come Upwood and we


can look at that constructively? Do you think it's likely that the


other opposition parties would say, yes, banks, we would love to do


that. I interviewed Menzies Campbell and Johann Lamont are to


discuss this. They have started to flesh out what they will do as a


joint effort in the fight back against independence. So that is


happening. We just needed you the details. Usage as there is a joint


effort. The individual parties, and Renault are going to have to appeal


to their own bases if they are going to turn out a no to


independence? Yes, and what you will see in the weeks ahead with


the party conferences is each party doing precisely that, setting out


their constitutional pitch, or is the direction of travel and how


they propose to bite the no campaign, an umbrella campaign will


follow thereafter. I also understand that Labour are working


towards it articulating their constitutional vision towards the


end of this year, in the autumn. That is the risk that if people do


not seem to... Obviously they need time to formulate what they're


going to say. Is there any sense that these other parties are being


cracked along, perhaps not the Lib Dems, dropped into a situation that


their heart and soul is not really in? Will that be a problem for


them? To an extent, DS. The Lib Dems have a consistent ideological


manifesto of what they want. Be other two parties to some extent


feel forced to say and do something. Although there are sections of


Labour and the Conservatives who genuinely believe in more powers,


others, such as Alistair Darling, feel compelled to offer something


because they feel politically they have no choice. Mandy, juicing


there will be no single leader for the Senate Independent's campaign?


-- do you think? The problem will not be but there has to be.


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser.

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