23/09/2012 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with the latest political news, debate and interviews, including chief secretary Alexander and communities secretary Eric Pickles.

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Good morning. Thank you it that for joining us for the new and extended


programme. The Treasury Secretary announces plans to crack down on


anyone who has homes or other assets above �1 million may not be


paying all the taxes they should. Or will we hear more about Nick


Clegg's wealth tax. Will it improve the economy? And time for a fresh


crackdown on yobs who will abuse at the police? No sign yet, as the


chief whip hangs on to his job. Eric Pickles says his posher


colleague should get out of the Cabinet.


And in the Sunday Politics Scotland....


Michael Moore in Brighton talks to us about welfare reform and Nick


Clegg's chances of survival. Plus, the campaign to get every man


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1778 seconds


and his dog on the march for Firstly, under Labour, Labour got


the gap between it rich and poor wader, do not forget about that.


The wealthy, who own much more than the percentage they are paying in


tax, should be paying more. It is absolutely ridiculous that they


should pay less than the marginal rate. Where the wrong to agree to


that? All the evidence shows that it would clearly raised a lot more.


Not, I disagree with that. All the academics who have studied this do


not agree with that. I do not mind if the Conservatives said that the


next election, if you fought for us, we will not be that tough on the


wealthy. But that is because we know how to tax the rich in a way


to get more revenue from them full. Surely that is the way to go.


seem to a one part of the coalition saying we need to freeze taxes and


benefits and genocide saying that you need more tax on the welfare.


Surely some sort of deal will have to be done? We have been following


the label Liberal Democrat approach in many aspects. The higher tax


rates at are bringing in a less revenue. Seven-tenths of the


reduction is coming from spending cuts. How have you looked at the


numbers question mark. What we are saying is we do not think there


should be any more cuts affecting the working court until the wealthy


Parts of the Conservative Party believe that George Osborne is not


putting enough in this respect. that is another debate. It's is


Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland.


Coming up on the programme... Marching to the tune of


independence. But are they just preaching to the converted?


And we will be live at the Liberal Democrat Conference with Michael


Moore. How will the the impending welfare reform changes impact on


the working poor? I do not think that work pays. If you have


children and you are part-time. You have always got concerns for the


likes of babysitters and child care. Thousands of people gathered in


Edinburgh this weekend for a march and rally for independence. It was


staged under the banner Independence for Scotland and is


not part of the official Yes, Scotland campaign, but all the


leading lights were there. The event aims to build support ahead


of the referendum. With annual marches planned until the vote, it


could become a significant staging post in the two-year campaign. Our


reporter Andrew Kerr followed the marchers. A merry dance to it warm-


up for the march ahead. You are getting you back painted? Does that


sure your dedication to the cause? I hope so. I am looking to raise


awareness. As the march got underway, the aim was clear.


Raising the profile of the independence movement. The marchers


are heading into the gardens for the rally. The fault of Edinburgh


have come out to watch them, but it is then they have to convince about


independence. I am sure that even the fall in the northern islands


can hear as. The crowd chanted independence now, but quite a wait


until the referendum. A we are wanted to put forward this totally


democratic process so that everyone has the chance to put forward their


argument. I thought 2014 was the right date for that campaign.


one third of Scots believe in independence now, everyone of us as


good two years to persuade another one person and then we are warm and


dry. So will, as Margo MacDonald said, one-third of people want


independence. Optimism abounds. think the tonight and a delight


this demonstrates that there are people who are convinced that


independence is the right way forward. There was a slight scuffle


when the Union flag was unfurled. Or will Foy, may well look back and


this with pride. I have no doubt whatsoever that there will be a


change in the future. There will be one more rally next year. There


will also be another and 2014. It will be crunch time for the


supporters of independence. With me in the studio is the former


Labour MP, Independent MSP and now Chair of the Yes, Scotland Advisory


Board, Dennis Canavan. What are much as for? To the ever persuade


anyone or are they simply preaching to the converted? They raised the


profile of the campaign and I think yesterday's event was very


successful. They were young people, all people, men, women, black


people, or Mark marching together demonstrating their commitment to


Scottish independence, simply because an independent Scotland


will break a better future for the people of Scotland because the


people of Scotland will be able to share that future. People were


saying this was a lot less people to march for devolution, saw was


that a disappointment? It the early days of Scotland United, we had


similar attendances, but we built on it. And we will build on that


attendance we got yesterday. There are a lot of Hearts and minds out


there in Scotland. There are a lot of people who do not know how they


would vote in two years' time and we have to win the Hearts and minds


by putting forward a positive vision that we have for the future.


House said it is this campaign so that people do not think it is


simply another name for the Scottish National Party. Of this


are, by the very nature of their party, the Scottish National Party


will play a very important role in this. But this is a very broad


church of people from various party political affiliations. What is the


role of Alex Salmond? As the First Minister, he has to Speaker behalf


of the Scottish government. A as regards the campaign, is he the


figurehead? Yes, he would obviously be a leader in the campaign. There


are aspects of Scottish government policy but I disagree with. Within


a hour Yes, Scotland campaign, there are a lot of people who will


have reservations about what the Scottish gunmen is saying and


certain aspects of policy. But what unites us is that the democratic


right of the people in Scotland to determine their own future and


become full members of the international community. After all,


I am not a nationalist. If the is the clash of interests between the


domestic interests of the Scottish National Party and that of the


campaign, do you trust Alex Salmond unequivocally? I had the good


working relationship with them. he knows that I disagree with some


of the things that his government have done and will do in the future.


But what brings us together in the Yes, Scotland is this desire to


come together to maximise the yes vote in the referendum, on the


grounds that the people of Scotland should determine their own future.


And you can guarantee that he will put that before party political


interests? If there was a DevoMax question on the ballot paper, which


you vote against that? I do not want a second question on the


ballot paper. The Yes, Scotland campaign will be campaigning for


independence. When the to be an independent Parliament, would


actually lead to a boost for a Scottish Labour? He is, I actually


think that the party was badly hurt by Tony Blair abandoning socialism


and that really hurt them in Scotland. To an extent, the


Scottish National Party have filled a vacuum. The likes of free


prescriptions and getting rid of tuition fees and getting rid of


nuclear weapons. If there where an independent Scotland, it could be


the death-knell not for Scottish Labour, but actually in lead to


their renaissance. At the return to the Parliament for you? I not say


that. You are not ruling it out! Not, I am not looking at. But who


knows what the future will hold. it disappointing that the new


leaders ship of the Scottish Labour Party has not to form words there


intentions as regards this campaign. They have got to do a lot better


than what the dead it in 1979 with the fought back then. You could now


have the Scottish and Labour Conservatives bought saying that


you should go for goal in 2014, without putting forward any


alternatives. We agreed on one question for the referendum and


that would give people a simple choice for the people of Scotland.


With positive campaigning in the name for six campaign, we will win


in 2014. How important is it now that this moves beyond the process


and you move towards developing the campaign. Is there a problem with


momentum? A as I said yesterday, it is going to be more like a marathon


than a short distance print. We have got to time the campaign for


it to work. We already have and the Yes, Scotland campaign a great team,


a executive management team, who are involved in advising the


strategy for that campaign. He will develop the strategy for


fundraising to finance it and I think if we can get across the


positive arguments to the people of Scotland about what independence


will mean, we will win in 2014. Now this may be our first outing


after the summer recess, but in Holyrood the politicians began


their stretching exercises a couple of weeks ago warming up for the


explosion of political energy that was the budget. Let's take a look


back at the Week in Sixty Seconds. The summer of sport is over but the


finance secretary is building on the momentum with a �1 million


budget handout to Scotland's elite athletes. Would an independent


Scotland have automatic membership of the EU? They have been calls for


an inquiry which has provoked heated exchanges. You want to gag


me a game in public. It is such an important topic, but she wanted


this matter to be gagged? Claim and counter-claim on welfare, the work


and pensions Secretary said an independent Scotland would not be


able to afford its welfare bill. The First Minister insists it would.


It is total nonsense. And our national emblem shows its cuddly


sides as it is unveiled as the official mascot for the


Commonwealth Games. Welfare. How can Scotland afford to


go it alone? That was the question posed by Work and Pensions


Secretary Iain Duncan Smith when he was in Glasgow this week to outline


his flagship policy of Universal Credit. The Scottish Government say


of course they can pay their own way, their main concern is how to


mitigate the damage caused by coalition benefit cuts. But away


from the pure politics, how are changes to the benefit system


affecting those who rely on support? Hayley Jarvis reports from


Easterhouse, the Glasgow suburb that inspired Iain Duncan Smith's


mantra that work should always pay. He still has 2002, Iain Duncan


Smith, then Leader of the Opposition when to a dilapidated


housing estate and left within knew were aimed. 10 years on, the now


Work and Pensions Secretary is back in Glasgow promoting his Universal


Credit. From next year, benefits like housing and income support


will be rolled into one payment. The UK Government says it will be a


fairer system and will save �7 billion. But how will the reforms


play at at Easterhouse today where unemployment remains high and


almost a third of people are on benefits? I caught up with some


part-time workers at a community centre said to have impressed Iain


Duncan Smith. Now we new premises, they say they are already feeling


the sting. I am worried because I know there will be cats and cuts


will be made to people who get working Tax Credit and things like


that. Even if I did get the council tax benefit, when it comes to April,


I would lose it anyway. I am quite poor. So to since advice in Glasgow


are bracing themselves for the introduction of the Universal


Credit which they believe will lead to more people on low incomes


coming through their doors. It is undoubtedly going to happen. There


will be more multiple debt situations. But people cannot


manage on fields and fuel, their general living costs are going to


create debts in other areas. Scottish Parliament broke new


ground when it refused to accept the UK wide reforms won it looks at


the impact it will have year. Meanwhile, it has passed its own


legislation to protect certain benefits. I have had to find �23


million to support the mitigation of the cuts to welfare benefits


that have been put forward by the United Kingdom Government. I found


that. By making difficult choices within the Budget. Those are the


choices I make to ensure we can fulfil our obligations. As Iain


Duncan Smith spreads the word on Universal Credit, the Chancellor


says he wants to lose a further �10 billion from the welfare budget.


But could it mean breaking the link between benefits and inflation,


something that the work of Pensions Secretary has rejected before?


Whatever happened in the past is not the same now. You look at what


happens at the time and then you make a decision. To be honest, I


have not discussed it and I do not plunge do so until I know the


inflation figures. Such a move would not go down well back in


Easterhouse where people say the cost of living is already too high.


There will be opposition from the Liberal Democrats. Their leader


says he will not back further cuts unless there is a trade-off for


taxes for the wealthy. Will Nick Clegg be able to stick to his guns?


We can go live now to Brighton, where we are joined by the


Secretary of State for Scotland and the Liberal Democrat MP for


Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, Michael Moore.


George Osborne once �10 billion of cuts from the welfare budget. Is


that something you support? Their discussions have been held about


what the next Spending Review will we look like and what will be


happening in any of the departments across Government, so that is not a


figure that I accept it and is not one I expect to see delivered.


Would you accept any further cuts to the welfare budget? What we are


seeking to do with welfare reform and short piece was focused on


Universal Credit, is make sure we have a system designed to help the


most vulnerable with that we have people and we can make sure that


work pays. We are making sure that as we do that, we are rejecting a


degree of fairness into some of the toughest decisions we have had to


take about the economy and Government spending overall. In the


last year, we have been seen more Scot come out of tax altogether so


that by next April, we will have 160,000 Scott will not be paying


Scott -- paying tax. 2 million will be paying less in tax every year


and for pensioners, we have made some important strides. We have got


the biggest cash increase in the state pension ever and by next


April, Scottish state pensioners will have had �500 more than they


would have otherwise had. In the toughest of times, we have focused


on making sure we are fed to people. Just to be clear about this, are


you saying that you are absolutely happy with the mechanics and the


effect of Universal Credit? We are determined to get Universal Credit


right. We accept this is a very ambitious change in the offer. What


people also recognise across the country is that the current system


is far too cumbersome, far too complicated for people to navigate


their way through. We need to make it a lot simpler so that people


know what their entitlements will be an to get those reliably. We


also need to make sure that we make sure that work pays. But we take


less away from people as the going to work and as they increase their


row was. That has been one of our biggest challenges. We are making


sure that reform happens. Coalition former policy Tsar is


saying he thinks the mechanics of all the best do not work. Nick


Clegg has said, no more cuts to anything until we get some movement


on wealth tax. Is that not opposition? We want to see the


wealthy pay a much higher at Burton on taxation in the country. A much


higher share of the tax from them. It is in a fair way of ensuring


that in tough times, people can contribute the right amount.


would you do that? What we are not going to do is balance the books on


the back of the power. That is our key message at this conference and


when we will be taking around the country. We will have to make some


tough choices. But as a Liberal Democrats in the Coalition, we are


making a central commitment to fairness in the welfare system and


fairness in our tax system. Are you saying that if you bring in the


wealth taxes that you want and perhaps you might later explain how


he would raise these taxes, and two would be targeted, but are you


saying the principle is that you bring in these wealth taxes,


therefore, you can reduce the amount of money that has to come


out of the welfare budget? Cuts will not have to go ahead to the


same extent if you can offset that with what taxes? -- wealth taxes.


We believe it is right that the wealthy should give more. We will


continue to argue that case across the country. But particularly


within the Government so that we get the right balance between the


wealthy paying their share and making sure we have got support for


You signed the pledge as regards tuition fees. By you sorry? So it,


I did not hear that. Did you say and by apologising? Yes, but I do


apologise, we all have a apologised for that. Nick like has made that


very public statement about that. - - Nick Clegg. We are almost out of


time. Are you apologising for having made the pledge or


apologising for not been able to keep to it? We apologising to make


a pledge which was not going to be deliverable. We were wrong to make


that part of our pre- election campaign. Where you naive or ill-


advised? Where you just totally unprepared for the reality of


coalition politics? We made the wrong decision. We made a pledge


that these circumstances would mean we were unable to keep. We paid for


that in terms of public support in recent years. I think it is right


for Nick Clegg to acknowledge that fact and make sure we are clear or


about what we're going to see in advance of elections about how we


will implement them. Why you come up with your wealth tax plan, you


coalition partners say absolutely not, that looks like you aligning


yourself up for another broken pledge? We are working through the


proposals of the wealth tax. This is not simply what we do within


government. We want to make sure the argument is made across the


whole of Scotland and the United Kingdom. What we're determined to


do is make tough decisions about public spending and make sure we


make the right decisions. We want the benefits system to be share --


fair and make sure that the wealthy pay their fair share. There is talk


of plotting against Nick Clegg? What we Jews say about that? People


will be focusing on the issues. We want to get out across the country


to put forward Olla ideas. We have to leave it there. Thank you very


much. The Deputy Prime Minister has said they would not let the


Conservatives let the wealthy away with tax cuts. He says the voters


realise his party is fighting for fairness. People would find it all


the unacceptable a further fiscal austerity it was picked on to the


poor. They have already gone for a new levy on expensive properties.


It was not clear to be what other plans they had to hit the wealthy.


The river is going to be in power at the next Parliament will have to


introduced further cuts. I think we need to have the debate now in the


middle of this Parliament about the principles which will govern that


process. They are government will make sure that the better-off cough


up. A specialist team of tax inspectors has been increased from


200 to 300. Now, a millionairess will come under scrutiny. Nick


Clegg, perhaps more than any other politician knows the dangers of


promising what you cannot deliver. Now he has to tell them how and


when. He and his that the Liberal Democrat conference. How much is he


trying to just please his own supporters? To be fair, I think it


will please his supporters that he is determined to tax the most


wealthy. He has put a team together to come up with the various options.


But the voters may be sceptical as to whether they can deliver. He has


been unable to deliver this with regard to getting his coalition


partners to agree. Again, he has come out with plans today, but very


little detail. The idea that the wealthy will pay more in difficult


times is popular with the voters, but what the conference will be


asking is how he is going to do anything into practice. About has


died and another seriously injured in a skydiving accident in


Peterborough. It is not the men collided 50 ft above the ground.


One man is in his early Fifties and died at the scene. The other is in


hospital with severe spinal and leg injuries. Households could be


compensated by a electricity and gas suppliers to break Industry


rules. Under the proposals, Ofgem will have the proposals to make the


company's give fines directly to the customer, as opposed to the


Treasury. Special services are being held today to commemorate the


two police officers killed in Manchester. Deal Keegan has been


accused of murdering four people. There will be more news at 635 this


evening. Good afternoon. Good afternoon. The Chief Secretary


to the Treasury and Highlands MP Danny Alexander has been charged


with overseeing the government's Trident review programme. The


Coalition partners disagree about the replacement of the nuclear


deterrent. A final decision will not be made until after the general


election. A 17-year old man has been killed


in a car crash in the Highlands. The accident took place on the road


between Whitebridge and Fort Augustus near the Suidhe viewpoint


at around ten o'clock last night. The car's driver is in a stable


condition in hospital. It is hoped millions of pounds of


funding will bring down waiting times for infertility treatment.


The Scottish government say an extra �12 million will go towards


improving access to IVF in all NHS boards. The money will support the


SNP's commitment to deliver a maximum waiting time of 12 months


for IVF treatment by 2015. Now let us take a look at the


Good afternoon. After a cold night for much of the country, we can


look forward to a fine autumnal day across much of Scotland. It will be


dry with nice smells of sunshine, but will feel cool, particularly in


coastal areas. That is all for now, I will hand


Thanks, Andrew. Now it is time for our regular look at The Week Ahead.


Today we are joined by two former special advisors for the Liberal


Democrats, Christine Jardine and for the SNP, Ewan Crawford. Thank


you both for coming in. A lot in the newspapers about the Liberal


Democrat conference. The Observer is leading on coalition cuts have


been too deep says a key aide to it Nick Clegg. Other trips revolting?


Dashmack will I think this is natural when things are not looking


so good any opinion poll. Any New Statesman this week, he was saying


it was time to back Nick Clegg and that is more what I think you will


see at the conference. People are having to think about what they


have to do here. We are halfway through the coalition and I think


what we will see is a very different approach from Nick Clegg.


What we will see at the conference will be a general movement towards


a different stance. If we are hearing about wealth tax and we do


not have the details of that. Is it going to be plausible? But probably


not. When you asked about Michael move whether he was sorry about


tuition fees, in my head didn't immediately came in was that we met


us that we here at! The trouble is that the Liberal Democrats have


gone into mockery, because Nick Clegg was forced to watch that on


the BBC he. I am sure thinking, when it comes to this wealth tax,


most people are laughing at the prospect of them been able to bring


it in. His the credibility issue a problem? As the think you will see


a lot more campaigning outside government. I think the problem in


coalition is the problem of collective responsibility. What


they're going to try and do now is make it clear to the public what


they actually want to, as opposed to what actually comes out of the


Cabinet decisions. You will see a response to what happened this week.


I think you will see differences in the next couple of years? The and


what way? Her I think you saw the fledgling Movement for the fairer


tax campaign before the Budget when Nick Clegg was pitching for the


10,000 pound tax threshold. Now, I think you will see the wealth tax


campaign. He said this morning that after what happened with tuition


fees he cannot promise that, but he was putting forward the point that


this is what they want. It is more honest for them to do that. Now, in


the Sunday Times, the talk about Vince Cable's war on shady tax


havens. A the front page picture is of the march in Edinburgh. To you


think there is a danger that people will peak too soon? Is it difficult


to bring up momentum or just about raising awareness at the moment?


think it was the good morale- booster for those who were there.


You saw earlier in the programme, Iain Duncan-Smith ducky about


welfare policy. It is an issue reserve to Westminster, but it


could become quite an issue if it was realised that this could be


decided by Holyrood. It is the type of thing which will be more


important that the likes of the march. It was a nice day out and


very enjoyable, but those issues will decide what is more important.


This that imported you move beyond the process and into the policies?


Here is, you need to start talking about the likes of welfare, Defence,


Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with the latest political news, debate and interviews, including chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and communities secretary Eric Pickles.

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