Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with the latest political news, interviews and debate including conservative party chairman Grant Shapps and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.
Browse content similar to 18/11/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Good morning. Welcome to the Sunday politics.
As the stand-off between Israel and Hamas continues, the Foreign
Secretary calls for restraint on both sides. Is anyone listening?
That is our top story. After about be swept across England
and Wales last week, if we will ask the Tory chairman, will the police
commissioner's de back will Leeds David Cameron's dreams of firing up
society? And his Ed Miliband getting a bit
carried away after his party's victory? We will have the Shadow
Home Secretary here to ask whether this triumph is anything more than
a routine mid-term setback for Government?
And is it time for prisoners to get the boat? It might increase the
turnout! Under pressure, the Government will put options before
Parliament. And on Sunday Politics Scotland...
With funding cuts and mergers happening in the college sector, we
look at how this is affecting Further Education students and ask
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2177 seconds
are the Universities benefiting Have a four year option it is not
an option in this country. I would support South Africa. They have
given us a very good message. They have been through an awful
experience... You want all prisoners to get the vote? To yes,
I do believe that. That is interesting. What happens if we
don't give prisoners the vote and we end up having to pay millions of
pounds in compensation to them? would not have to pay millions of
pounds. Even if the court fined us, we would not have to pay it. In UK
law, there has already cases before British courts and there will be
more. If parliaments boats in the negative... That should be the end
of it. It won't be the end of it. If you ignore the European Court,
as you seem to want to do, then you were also ignoring UK law, because
under the Human Rights Act, the European Court decisions are
incorporated into UK law. This is bigger than a prisoner vote. This
is a new thing that is being established. We are saying that the
European Court is subservient to the British Parliament. Parliament
will vote on its... The whole point is that it is that of Parliament.
You can subject you are decisions to judicial review against certain
principles that you have signed up to. Even United agree on this...
doubt it. He is an intelligent, sensible person. You would accept
that the independence of the judicial system from politicians...
Yes, the British judicial system. The Supreme Court of this country.
That is worth begins and ends. we have incorporated the convention
into British law, then it is British law. And that is what this
book will be about. He wants to float this island off somewhere
else. Would you allow prisoners to vote on police and crime
Commissioner elections? Obviously. You vote for MPs to make laws,
councillors implement laws, European MPs to vote... Even though
you are a criminal...? You can vote if you're a remand prisoner at the
moment... Is prisoners were allowed to vote, it might actually increase
the turnout in these elections. one thing Ella from the Police and
Criminal elections is, you do not have elections in November. Maybe
we just don't elect police commissioners. On that shock
agreement here on the Sunday politics, we will leave it there.
It is the closest we have got to an agreement in the past six minutes.
Good afternoon and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up
on the programme... The political point scoring over
Further Education College Budgets' played out at Holyrood this week,
when it turned out the sums were wrong. This figure should have been
556 million, not 545 million. I apologise to the chamber for this
error. We look behind the verbal sparring
at the substantial changes happening in the college sector. I
will be on the farm to see how the rural sector is coping after a
terrible summer. And how easy is it to slide into
poverty? We look at the numbers and ask why they are important.
What a torrid time in Scotland's Further Education Sector. The First
Minister had to apologise to Holyrood for using incorrect
funding figures while calls continue for an inquiry into the
role of the Education Secretary in a college chairman's resignation.
But behind the sound and fury, what is the reality for colleges and
their students. Are they being sacrificed to keep the university
sector sweet? Our reporter has been crunching the numbers.
Away from the politics, away from that talk of spy-pens, this is what
our college students are doing - gaining a skill in the midst of a
new world of worry. And it is not just about getting a job. It is
about whether their course will survive the cuts. At the cuts are
coming in now. Am I going to be able to stay here? Is it worries me,
because I feel that this is my time to better myself and help my
children. Let's look at her college maths. Since 2000, the number of
students in our further education colleges has fallen by around 16%.
In October, it was announced that just over 21,000 students were
still on waiting lists. Around half of them were 16 year-olds to 19
years old. The Scottish Government is not sure of these figures and
has announced and all that. There are fears that those who need it
most are missing out on further education. We are talking about
single parents, people with care responsibilities. If these people
are not given the opportunities in education, there are losing out.
They will not get back into employment and Scotland is losing
talented people. Three-quarters of the further education budget comes
from the Scottish Government. But all that Scotland has predicted
that grant will fall. From 545 million this year to 471 million in
2014. That is a real-terms cut of 24%. Discovers Government hopes to
achieve all this by merging colleges. 37 colleges will become
no more than 23. The thought of these cuts proved too much for one
former principal and Labour Party member. I did not want to spend the
last five years in the college dismantling what it had taken 20
years to build. I got out. believes the focus on full-time
courses will exclude some students. If you say to them, come for a year
and you will get a qualification. A year is a long time. However, if
you can come for six weeks and then come for another six weeks and
maybe another 12 weeks after that, then you start to make progress and
young people getting gauge -- get engaged and stay. This opportunity
is not being restricted, says the SNP. The whole idea of this is to
focus and ensured that Scotland's young people to have a good future.
But some believe vocational courses are being sacrificed to fund our
universities. If you cut universities, there will be the
chattering parties in the elites who will start to make political
trouble. But the people in the East End of Glasgow, they will be the
politically dispossessed or the politically illiterate and
therefore, even if they do object, they will not know how to fight it.
For the last week, further education colleges have been a
party political playground of accusations and counter allegations
on both sides. These students just want clarity about their future and
the future of our education system. We asked the Scottish Government if
the Education Secretary, Mike Russell, could come on the
programme today. They said he was unavailable. Instead they gave us
this statement: "The Scottish Government is
committed to the role of Scotland's colleges in building the economy.
Our college sector is being reformed to bring colleges closer
together on a regional basis to cut out inefficiency and duplication,
as well as improving links with employers. In the face of
substantial cuts from the Westminster government, we have
maintained high levels of investment in a sector which has
been neglected over a number of years to ensure Scotland's young
people can maximise their chances of finding employment following a
college course". So instead, we are joined by
Scottish Labour's Education spokesperson, Hugh Henry. We have
just heard this morning that the Liberal Democrats are saying there
must be much greater clarity on funding before the budget vote next
month. They're saying they want a fresh vote on college funding. They
also want the education committee to have an inquiry into over all
strategic funding of colleges. Does Labour support that?
These are helpful suggestions. It is unfortunate the Cabinet
Secretary would not come on the programme. Twice, he has made a
untruthful statements to us and we need to get to the bottom of this.
The Liberal Democrats are suggesting that we cannot make
decisions without accurate figures. We need to know why wrong figures
were given to the Scottish Parliament. It is fundamental to
the Budget decision making and the credibility of the Parliament.
Were the correct figures not given it to the Education Committee?
Yes, but Michael Russell knowingly give wrong information. In June, he
said there were no cuts. In October, accurate figures were given to the
education committee. He did not take the opportunity to come back
to Parliament and apologise. Last week, he said that he had never
said that there were no cuts. We need to know why he did this. But
also, we need to know where the First Minister then give an
accurate information last week when the information was in the public
going into the education committee in October? The credibility of both
those ministers is under question. It could be argued that human
beings make mistakes. The actual written statement was given to the
Education Committee, so you could argue that there was no intent to
mislead you. Let's find out of it is. I have
written to the First Minister to ask if he will present to
Parliament all the written information that he had when he
stood up to make that statement to Parliament.
Is it your concern that the autonomy of further education
colleges has been eroded? I think it is. Forums are bringing
in unwelcome changes. The Cabinet Secretary of Education promised
college principals and boards that the appointments to the new boards
would be done through the Public appointments system. He then
grenades done that and he has made the appointments himself. What we
have is a number of people whose being now depends on the Cabinet
Secretary. That will intimidate them into thinking twice about what
they say. They are in turn influential in the. That of
principles. This brings him quite a significant degree of if
ministerial control and interference.
What would it affects the? The minister could determine who is
running Scotland's colleges on a day-to-day basis. And if they say
or do something that a minister doesn't like, there will be hauled
over the coals. We have already seen the representatives from
Scotland's colleges all then to be given a grilling by the Cabinet
Secretary because they had the temerity to say that there was
waiting list and students were being affected. We cannot have
colleges scared to speak out because the Cabinet Secretary might
not like it. What you think the effect of
mergers will be? Of what will that effect be on students?
Be in some areas, it might make sense to merge some colleges. But
the Cabinet Secretary has decided to leave some colleges on their own.
In my part of the world, he has decided to merge Clydebank with
three other colleges. Heidi students from Clydebank get to
Greenock if they want to study a specific course? They have to go to
the city centre in Glasgow and then get the train. We're often talking
about students from low-income families who are struggling to go
to college in the first place and then on top of that, we give an
added burden. There is no cohesion in the way that this has been done.
This is a crude attempt to save money and he is destroying and
undermining morale. In a tight budget settlement, money
has to be saved. How would you balance the books?
There are a number of things that the Cabinet Secretary has to do.
Some of the consequences are results of decisions he has made.
We are cutting colleges but we are spending �75 million per year to
fund to new students. That figure will rise to �225 billion per year
if that Scotland leave the UK. McGurk's bar told the Parliament he
would sort that out. And university tuition fees?
Yes, but he has failed to come back. University tuition fees?
We need to have an honest debate. We are helping well-off people in
this country, people such as myself and the First Minister and Michael
Russell, and we are making my constituents, who are low-income
families, paid dearly. Because of SNP cuts, we have seen disabled
people being charged to go to adopt a centres.
If we just focus on the education issue, are you saying that in some
ways, the further education sector is suffering because there shoring
up the university sector? Further education has been
penalised at the expense of universities. We need world-class
universities, but not at the Farmers in Scotland are counting
the cost of a washout summer. NFU Scotland have given us initial
results of a survey which suggests that one-third of farmers still
have crops left and harvested. As farmers lose money hand over fist
there is pressure in Europe to cut subsidies.
As autumn rolls into winter, the effects of the terrible weather are
still being felt on farms on the east coast. It has been a difficult
here. The weather in summer and autumn has been atrocious. Securing
all the crops has been very difficult. They yield happen much
more, 50 or 60% of normal crops. Andrew received thousands of pounds
per year from the EU Common Agriculture Policy. He is still
making a loss of �1,000 per week. It is a common experience this year.
Initial results from an NFU survey suggests that one third of animal,
potato and vegetable farmers have crops left on harvested, a lot of
work for no return. 10% of arable farmers still had more than half of
their crops in the field. Cereals and crops are title to the industry.
We have had extra cost, that is the reality of these conditions. Drew's
yield and quality has played a lot of money from our industry. He will
get a survey, 40-45% of respondents believe they will have to extend
their credit lines just to secure the money to plant the crops next
year. For struggling dairy farmers, poor
weather piled on the misery. situation is difficult, all of the
input costs that we need to run the farm have risen due to factors
outwith our control. The price we're getting for milk his average
to poor. We need more money to cover the cost.
As farmers here in five try to make a living from the land, key
decisions about their livelihoods are made far away and across the
North Sea in Brussels. David Cameron will be there next
week to try and secured a freeze in the EU budget. That could further
reduce the money available to farmers, which has already been cut.
What we're seeing at the moment is a significant cut in direct
payments of seven or eight or even 9%. And then even greater cut in
rural development of something close to 20%.
The Common Agricultural Policy Hoovers up 39% of the EU budget.
Labour and the SNP MPs voted to actually cut the total budget, not
just freeze it. The Rural Affairs Secretary had this promise to
farmers. A new funding formula is being
proposed that could eventually deliver a massive up with of �150
million per year for Scotland. That is equivalent to �6,000 for every
farm in this country. But there is a catch. Scotland will only qualify
for this up with it if we remain a member state in their own rates.
Where will that cash come from? It seems that the UK do not want to
access that fund as it would affect the rebate. Although the European
Commission told us that they were not sure that Mr Lockett's figure
came from. Four other struggling industries watching this debate
there is a hint of jealousy. Over the last number of years we have
always been seen that we have been unfairly treated, especially in
light of the high fuel costs. The farmers get the Common Agricultural
Falk -- Common Agricultural Policy. Subsidies are currently being
reformed. Any large drop in payments could have a significant
effect on farmers, even if the sun shines next year.
Joining us now from Elgin is the rural affairs and Environment
Secretary Richard Lochhead. In Aberdeen studio there is the
Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone who also has a family farm. Thank you
both for speaking to us. Mr Lockett, please give us some in
for where this figure of �6,000 per farmer comes from. Is this based on
an independent Scotland having every date Award convergence
criteria, which is equally noble? At the moment, support for Europe
is very important for Scottish agriculture. If we were a member
state in our own right, the formal which has been proposed as part of
the current negotiations for the next six or seven years would
actually deliver more payments and support at to Scotland, and that
will not be a case via the UK at the moment. At the moment we have
the fourth lowest level of single farm payment in all the countries
in Europe. For the Rural Development Fund in general, we
actually get the lowest within the UK and the UK gets the lowest in
Europe. We are the lowest of the lowest when it comes to the rural
development in Europe. That is a poor deal for Scotland. Alex
Johnstone, to these figures add up? I think as we have seen in a number
of areas, the SNP's figures do not add up. The truth is we do not know
what position we would be and if Scotland became independent.
Ironically, every time you read this in Parliament SNP argue that
Scotland is already a member of the UK and we already know what the
Thames would be. When it suits their purpose to suggest that it
would be different if Scotland were independent, we can see that this
is not consistent with the general approach. What we do know is that
will the Westminster Government does not want to secure the rebate,
Scottish farmers are losing out. The UK Government are very
concerned about the rebate, but the direction of travel is that support
for agriculture is being put into the eastern European and southern
European countries where the effort will be focused in years to come.
The idea that Scotland can somehow buck the trend and reverse the
movement of resources and bring more money to Scotland is one that
would surprise at great many small countries across Europe.
Richard, is it not the case that the SNP wants the budget freeze and
given that the Cap is about 39% of big European budget, that would
have a massive effect? We have this crazy position at the moment what
the UK Government just lost a vote in the House of Commons all over an
increase in the EU overall budget. At the same time in Brussels and
Europe they are arguing over a substantial cut in the cap money
that goes to Scotland's farms. This could put thousands of farms in
Scotland out of business. It seems a strange position for the UK
Government to be in. Alex Johnstone's party was defeated in
House of Commons, but they actually won a substantial cut within the
farming budget. The whole of industry in Scotland is behind us,
tried to resist this movement from the UK Government in Brussels.
Scotland faces additional challenges, you have been speaking
about the weather, for instance. We have one of the lowest levels of
support. Both the Palace of cat, up below one is direct payments and
pillar to is the general payment fund. We have a raw deal. The UK
Government has not negotiated a good deal for Scotland. If Alex,
moving on to the practical impact for farmers, what NFU are telling
us about the large number of an harvested crops, the ground is to
read for farmers to get the winter or over winter crops in and not
knowing what is going to happen in sprinting, how serious is the
problem? Agriculture is one of these
businesses that will always be exposed to the weather. The problem
is very serious and their crops that are on harvested. The ground
is wet and difficult to work on, particularly better still potatoes
to be lifted. The way to deal with that as far as the Government is
concerned is to ensure that they do their bit correctly and ensure that
support payments are paid in a timely way and we do not get the
disgraceful position we have had in previous years were some farmers
are left without their payments at almost with no knowledge as to when
they will come. The Government have proved they can do this without --
can do this effectively. Let's ensure there are no mistakes.
Richard, what is the Government's response at this stage? What would
be appropriate? And staggered by Alex Johnson's comments, given that
Scotland has the best records in the whole of the UK given that we
have -- when it comes to payments from the EU on our farms. I am
having regular discussions with farming representatives just now
about the impact of the weather and again you report referred to how
the National Farmers' Union in Scotland carried out their own
survey and have promised to bring their resolve to us so we can
discuss that. There is a chance that the lack of supply in some
sectors may lead to a rise in prices. Old boy that will mitigate
some of the financial impact. -- hopefully that will mitigate
financial impact. Richard, would this also lead to a rise in prices
for consumers? Of course, if there is a lack of supply of some
products, vegetables or from the arable sector, that will impact on
prices. That is not only a Scottish situation but throughout the whole
of Europe and the rest of the world. Many countries are suffering from
drought which is leading to an increase in prices that is hitting
the poor. It is a very difficult issue and that is why negotiations
over the Common Agriculture Policy are so important. That is about
support for food production in Europe in the years ahead. We must
make sure this support is there. This is part of a much bigger
debate. Alex, we hear repeatedly from farmers that the debt problem
is that when they go to banks and say that we're not getting returns
expected this year because of the weather conditions, for Light
Harvest, revenues jingling then, we need to extra money to tide us over
and the banks are reluctant to give this. How can this be turned
around? Is that the experience you hear? Yes, I hear that very often.
It is essential that we are sure that the banks are aware that there
is an expectation that they will insure that farming is allowed to
continue from one year to the next. Farming is a business where
everyone expects they have difficult years from one reason or
another and weather is the biggest cause of that. But you must be
prepared to watch from one year through to the next as the banks
must be prepared to work with their customers.
Thank you both very much indeed for that. Richard, before we let you go,
this week further Government they got their college funding figures
wrong, the First Minister must apologise. The Education Secretary
must apologise. Headlines say the Education Secretary is a bully.
This is not a good week for you. It is always challenging been in
Government, particularly he current time with these budget cuts through
Westminster. In terms of Mike Russell, who is Education Secretary,
might wake up every day with a massive challenge to deliver the
best possible future for Scotland's young people. We have record
numbers of people attending further and higher education. I am
surprised that you any cast doubt over his commitment to education.
Mike Russell is committed to free education and is partially
responsible for making sure that the people in Scotland do not have
to pay for education. Thank you very much indeed.
Coming up to the news, how to redefine what it means to live in
poverty in Scotland? Over to the Newsham.
-- over to the news room. The Israeli military attacks on
Gaza have now claimed more than 50 lives according to health officials.
Overnight, an air strike on the home of a senior Hamas commander is
reported to have killed two young children living nearby., has
renewed its missile attacks into his Royal this morning. Rockets
were fired at places like Tel-Aviv. Attacks on Israel have been so far
claimed three lives. There have been brief moments of
carnage here. And they never last for long. -- brief moments of Caen.
This morning in overnight, Israel once again pending Gaza with tanks.
Among the building's character, this one and another where local
and foreign journalists are based. Several were wounded. One lost a
leg. Israel said they were aiming at a mass communication equipment.
The number of injured and dead across Gaza is mounting. Emergency
services are at full strength. Hospitals, too, are struggling to
cope. As you will again ramped up its
operation last night. Not only were attacks coming in from the air, but
also from the sea. Israeli warships pending northern desert with
artillery rounds. The -- pending in northern and gas at.
In Israeli cities, people are scrambling to reach bomb shelters.
This was after an eight-hour break which led some to hope for a
ceasefire. Rocket fire resumed. The damage inflicted is not on the same
scale, but on both side, civilians are suffering. Back in Gaza, Israel
are showing their military strength. There is no end in sight.
That is the Secretary Vince Cable has said more must be done to
tackle companies who are legally able to avoid their corporation tax
liabilities here in the UK. Speaking on Andrew Marshall this
morning, Mr Cable said that their practices were unfair to British
businesses. Well they are here if they make profits then they should
pay tax on it. There is nothing more galling to small or medium-
sized companies that they take to their tax to the British Government
that we have found people dodging. There are ways to deal with this.
Her own tax authorities must be tough on royalty payments. This is
where the subterfuge comes in. The big question is whether you can get
The operator at A-Level crossing in Egypt has been arrested. Reports
say that the man left the barriers are open and was asleep. Distraught
families and angry demonstrators have prevented members of the
Egyptian Government from visiting the site.
The British car maker, Jaguar and Land Rover, has had the go-ahead
for his first manufacturing site in China. Sales are up 80% so far this
year. The project, based North of Shanghai, will be in partnership
with the Chinese car maker. The two companies will assemble models
tailored specifically for the Chinese market.
Good afternoon. Scottish Labour are calling for a
review of Holyrood's parliamentary procedures. This comes after the
First Minister apologised to the chamber for using incorrect figures
on college funding. Labour's Paul Martin wants a code of conduct,
which he says would compel ministers to be accurate. The
Presiding Officer has repeatedly told MSPs she's not responsible for
the veracity of statements. The remains of what's believed to
be one of Scotland's earliest homes have been found during building
work for the new Forth crossing. This artist's impression shows how
the site in South Queensferry could have looked. It dates from 10,000
years ago, when settlers came to Scotland after the last ice age.
Jason Kenny has withdrawn from the sprint competition at the Track
World Cup in Glasgow. The Olympic champion crashed in the Keirin last
night, hitting the track at 75 kilometres an hour. His coach said
he's feeling very sore. Philip Hindes is now Britain's sole
representative in today's Now let's take a look at the
weather. Here's Judith. And a lot of fine weather this
afternoon. Make the most of it. Wet and windy conditions coming tonight
and tomorrow. Decent sunshine across the central, southern and
eastern Scotland. We will continue to see some showers across North
Argyll. Cable becomes you as the day progresses. They will turn this
no over higher ground. Breezier That's it for the moment. I'll now
hand you back to Isabel. How do we know if a child is poor?
At the moment, statisticians measure it by household income, but
the UK government says this doesn't give the whole picture and wants
the focus to shift towards other factors, such as how many parents
are living in the home and educational success. So is it
useful to redefine how we measure poverty or is it, as critics claim,
a distraction? This snakes and ladders board is
just a game. It shows how easy it can be to slide into poverty.
could be in a job and made redundant. Your money could run out.
You might not find another job. Having a low-paid job could see you
slide right back down to square one when it comes to the poverty game,
but how should policy makers measure how well off we are? At the
moment, poverty is just some household income. Those earning
less than 60% of the median income of �416 a week. By that measure, up
170,000 children are living in poverty in Scotland's. 17%. But the
UK Government says this definition is too narrow. I believe that
understanding the nature of family life, the nature of your debt, are
you actually in a family that there is serious addictions and?
Understanding does give you a much better picture of whether that
child is likely to be living in poverty. Both Westminster and
Holyrood signed a commitment to eradicate child poverty by Twenty20.
Charity see what to see them achieve this are sceptical about
the UK government's Milan Mandaric call for change. We're seeing a
real risk of child poverty rising over the next few years as a direct
result of the current Government's policies and decisions. The worry
is, they have been distracted from review their policies by reviewing
the way they measure child poverty. But some social researchers welcome
the debate, saying income is just one part of the story. You may have
parents with poor health, parents out of work, peril what -- parents
with poor qualifications. These other factors which are having a
significant impact on the sorts of pathways that children take through
their lives. Oxfam Scotland is also looking beyond money when it comes
to measuring quality in life. It's humankind index surveyed more than
3,000 people to find out what matters most to them. We need to
think about the context in which people pursue their lives and great
well-being for its other point At the top of that his health and
housing and that goes right down to things like having enough skills
and education to participate, having good transport. For those
whose job it is to analyse the figures, in, still the most
reliable tool. You change the measure, you haven't got
consistency of retirement to cart track are well the Government is
performing. The current measure does a very good job of capturing
the core of what it means to be in poverty. This woman says poverty is
a reality for her and it is what is done about it rather than how it is
measured that what it that matters. There's too much scapegoating from
the Government. They tend to say that it is our own fault, that we
infected it. So why is measuring poverty important? It feeds into
Government policy and how it helps people living in poverty to cope
with whatever life throws at them. Joining me today is Judith
Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland. Scotland's Commissioner for
Children and Young People, Tam Baillie, and Professor Ailsa McKay,
who is a Professor of Economics at Whatever way he looked at it,
poverty is about lack of money, lack of income. We have measured
that saying this way for many years. We're not the only country to
measure it that way. You are able to compare it yourself not only
over a period of time, but also you are able to compare how these UK
and Scotland figures in the European and world setting. It is
not perfect and we know it is not only about income, as has been
indicated. He must keep the focus on income and in fact we are off-
target to eradicate child poverty for 2020 and two medal round and to
play around with that the measures at this point in time could be at -
- to be read as a cynical move to move this target without affecting
the lives of the children. You feel strong that the existing
mechanisms must be maintained? Whatever other assistance you make?
The other measures are actually a good indication of where we should
be targeting air time and energy, we know that the consequences of
poverty are things like low attainment, things like higher
instances of children and adults and mental well-being. We must take
those into account in terms of measures putting into -- measures
going into place to eradicate tell poverty. This is about how much
money is going into your household. What this means to your child is
that they are aware of the fact that they do not have the sources
for engagement in sports activities. It might be the child who does not
have a holiday. They know that they are shopping in the cheaper shops
for the clothing. We pick up on the stresses and strains on the parents.
The stress of not being able to pay bills, the stress of the mental
well-being of their parents or carers, the stresses of, here we
are leading up to Christmas. Many families and parents will be
dreading the Christmas coming up. And in fact, all we know now, the
research on stress on the household, stress on parents affect the child.
Judith, the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts 800,000 children
will be picked into poverty as a direct result of the Westminster
Government's welfare reform. There is an obvious cause and effect here.
What is your attitude on whether or not the existing measures should be
changed? I would agree with ham that the measures which looks at
income is important, it gives you an indication of a clear -- it
gives a clear indication on how families are doing. From her
perspective, we like to look at what are the causes of poverty?
Changes to welfare reform will push more families and young people into
poverty. That is clear. We're in this situation where a large
sectors of society are not actually getting the opportunity, the
economy has systematically field full -- economy has failed to
provide opportunities for families to get out of poverty. The Turkey
Moody's in Scotland were third and 4th generations are not actually
able to gain employment. -- there are situations in Scotland. 60% of
those living in poverty in Britain, their families are in work. Welfare
reform is a crucial factor, but the index was intended, we did that
analysis based on people's own perspectives on what prosperity
would be like. To get a sense to be able to say to Government there are
many issues causing poverty and contributing to people's prosperity
or lack of prosperity. One of our goals is that we actually do
poverty proof policy. What difference will this policy make to
people in poverty? The Institute for Fiscal Studies say that welfare
reform will pursue 800,000 people, that was borne out in communities.
That is something we must seriously addressed if we are going to seek a
fairer society. What do you think economic Glee is the effect of
generally avoiding income standards on assessments of poverty? I agree
with what has been said by both panellists, income measures are
crucial and for the purpose of consistency we must use income
measures and national comparisons. Like GDP figures, they are not
wrong, just badly used. They are wrongly used. We constantly look at
average incomes and average incomes are on the up. They are rising. If
you look at a typical income, typical in comes are stagnating or
falling. It must be a dead relative income. It is not just about income
measures but inequalities about -- inequalities across Scotland.
People who are aware that they live in the poorest councils and scholar,
he must look at that and her income are distributed across households
in Scotland rather than just at that income measures. One very
practical thing I wanted to raise before we don't have to time, we're
discussing education funding in tertiary education funding, how
much is going to universities and colleges, the fact is, when you
look at the big returns, if you have an intervention programme and
turning around to tell's life chances, that is investing at the
nursery stage. Is that an area that has been overlooked? I absolutely,
one of the biggest causes of poverty in families is the high
cost of childcare which is prohibited, and prevent people
accessing employment. He end up spending a high proportion of your
income. Sometimes prohibitively high, so they do not take any job
opportunity. We have an opportunity in Scotland's not only to improve
her early years, not only to ensure we can provide quality childcare,
and better Government plans for some extension to that, I believe
it should go further, but it could also help free up families to
enable them to seek employment to better their overall position. That
is particularly important given what has been said about the
position of women. It will affect Investing in children is like
stocking a sports team without teaching them how to play the game.
If you ignore gender inequalities and invest in children, your
investment will not have the returns you expect. Women are
primarily responsible for the care of children. As we look at
employment figures, since the start of the recession, women's
employment has doubled from 4% to 8%. Women are losing a job steelier
Grosskopf and's communities. If they're losing in comes, our
children are losing in comes. I just wanted to check with you,
what you think would be Inverkeithing is that should be
done my to alleviate poverty? Practical, key responses?
We need to address low wages, put resources into poor communities and
ensure that those resources are going to women and into the poorest
families. In Scotland, we would benefit from having a poverty
Commissioner, someone whose job it is to assess policy and say, well
as improve things for people or make it worse? That perspective
will actually Oriented policy towards actually addressing policy.
For final word. Poverty affects all levels of society. We have
international evidence that tells us that has an impact on mental
well-being on all strata of society and we have to learn lessons to
make sure that we are living in a more equal society. It will benefit
everybody. 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 The committee of MSPs voted
unanimously in favour of the section 30 order which will enable
the Hollywood to hold a referendum on Scottish independence. --
Holyrood. It was a watershed moment in Scotland's home rule journey.
Captain Walter Barry was shot dead in Afghanistan in an insider at
tack, bringing the total of British service personnel killed by their
Afghan colleagues this year to 12. The number of Scots looking for
work went up by 4,000. The amount looking for employment across the
rest of the UK fell. Hospitals in south-east England's -
- Scotland said they were facing a shortage of trainee paediatric
doctors. NHS boards say they are trying to find the best cure for
the problem. And policy bear has managed to
change the lives of disadvantage children are in Scotland this year
by raising a provisional total of the 889,876 pts.
Now it's that time of the day, where we take a moment to analyse
the top stories. And joining me this week is the
Sunday Times journalist, Gillian Bowditch. And in our Dundee Studio,
the Scottish Political Editor of Let's start with the papers this
morning. More problems for the Education Secretary. Michael
Russell under tense meeting over college waiting list. This is
another story in the Sunday Herald. How do you think this is going to
play out? There are some inevitable tensions
when you have a policy whereby you want to widen access and increase
the number of young people going to colleges, and that is really good
thing. We know that will help the poverty situation you have been
talking about. But you also have this policy that the Government is
pursuing a which means that they're going to pay for all the tuition
fees. Inevitably, at a time of economic crisis, they're going to
be -- there are going to be squeezes on budgets and there will
be less money around and the colleges are having to make do with
much less and some are saying that that they are the poor relations of
the universities. We have some world-class education
establishments and Scotland. The bottom line has to be that we
cannot let these establishments slip and going to decline. It is a
global market place. The story in her old styles as today that their
21,000 young people in Scotland waiting for places in colleges.
That is 21,000 lives on hold, 21,000 people the need these
qualifications to get jobs. The Government needs a solution for
this. At the heart is the Government policies education
policy is this paradox, that there is not this money to do what needs
to be done. There is obviously this be
substantial argument here at the moment. We're hearing that the Lib
Dems want another vote on college funding and want the education
committee to look at the strategic bombing of colleges. They say there
must be much more clarity before the Budget. The Labour education
spokesman says that is a good idea. What are the substantial issues
facing the Government? The opposition parties are entitled
to demand another bite at this cheery. They were cheated at that,
especially at first Minister's Questions last week, when Alexander
-- Alex Salmond put up to say black to white. Crowed the whole issue of
college funding, and the squeeze is only just beginning to bite. It is
going to get an awful lot worse than it already is. But you for
money is the thing that will count more for more than anything else. I
have done a lot of research on this coming into this programme today. I
couldn't find a college that isn't offering a course on hairdressing
and beauty therapy. You would have to think that Scotland would have
to be an essentially oddly nation if we needed that many of them!
Whatever the course is that you structure to get people have to the
door, some people from certain areas to not have the confidence to
say they can commit two years of their life to a college course. You
get them over the door, you get them engaged, then you move up a
gear. That's right. More needs to be done
law down. We need to be getting young people who are confident, who
can going to situations and speak their voice, and to feel that they
can go to college and learn. One thing that collars us is instil
confidence. But actually, the schools should be instilling
confidence. The people going into colleges should be ready for a
college education. The problem is that there is of his the 21,002
cannot get it. If we look at the pure politics of
all of this and all the sound and fury, how damaging has this been
four were Michael Russell and for the Government?
Last Thursday was dreadful. It was appalling. We're going to see this
as an increasing part of the narrative for the anti-
independence parties. BS and he has depended not on people who are keen
on independence, but people who look to them as being a competent
Government. On Thursday, the wheels came off completely. For four cars,
the position of the Scottish Government was they did not know
what was happening to college funding. That is unacceptable. The
anti- independence parties will turn to that again and again to
conflate the idea that independence is the SNP and the SNP is not up to
If the Government can say that this was a mistake made a good fake and
the figures had been submitted to the education committee, we would
not have had a chapter and verse on writing on that. This will be more
interesting if there are questions on the tetramer and disposition,
the way he conducts himself on -- as the Education Secretary. He's
the best time and again with the SNP Government, they have talented
individuals, in this case the head of education as the head of Stoke
College, but we have seen public figures named by senior ministers,
by Alexander himself,, the principal off Glasgow Uni. People
are feeling that if they disagree with the Government they will be
singled out. We need their independent experts to be able to
tell us what the situation is. If they do not feel they can speak out
or if they do speak out they will be in some way finger, that is a
real problem. Andy, is this robust interaction some just politics or
something more? The key quote which has not been used is that he said,
I would sack you if I could. He acknowledged in that quote that he
could not sack him. By that I mean the chair of Stow College. If he
could not sack him, what is the issue? He could have been forced to
resign. I have not planning new powers to allow them to do that?
Indeed, but not yet. Richard Stow College what before that happened.
Argue reassured by that? That the powers are not in their? Given what
has happened this week? And the row that has come up. I think it might
be a bit more difficult, even given the SNP's majority, to get that
through. There is demand for a rethink. It is painful to say but
the truth is that when the SNP were a minority Government, Fiona Hyslop
as Education Secretary was moved to one side and replaced by Mike
Russell for a far smaller road in this, the threat of a parliamentary
lack of confidence in her. There has been a certain type of
political arrogance that has gone with this.
I am very sorry, we are out of time. Schedule both very much indeed for
Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser.