18/11/2012 Sunday Politics Scotland


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.

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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.

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