25/11/2012 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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Welcome to The Sunday Politics. As Rotherham heads for a by-election


on Thursday, the Labour-run Council is engulfed by a row over the


decision of its social services department to remove three children


from their foster parents because the couple were members of UKIP. We


will be talking to a former Children's Minister in our top


story. This week marks the 70th


anniversary of the Beveridge Report, which gave us the welfare state.


But is it now time to build a new welfare state? Liam Byrne, Labour's


Work and Pensions spokesman, joins us for the Sunday Interview.


And to regulate or not to regulate the press by statute. That is the


burning question the Prime Minister will have to answer this week, when


Leveson reports on Thursday. The two sides go head to head.


And on Sunday Politics Scotland... Could you afford to pay for your


defence if you are charged with a crime? Holyrood wants to cut the


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1601 seconds


Legal Aid budget. So who picks up What ever plan is sketched out, it


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1601 seconds


10 us never forget, you cannot really talk about a free press and


the situation. I a lot of this was to do with the behaviour of the


newspaper group with which you were involved. There are plenty of laws


already in place. Except the press still behaves disgracefully the way,


for instance, it has treated the McCann family. Why does it deserve


another chance in the last-chance saloon, when you have been drinking


in there for 60 years and nothing has changed? Their recent cases,


but not instantly recent. The newspaper industry is not going to


go back down that road. There are other ways of dealing with


miscreants and cases of bad conduct. There could be a system of press


regulation by the press, but not run by them, but run by outsiders.


That they said, we are going to behave ourselves, everyone would


say that is OK. But the lesson is that that that does not get a deer


to. When it comes to the lock, you can only make use of the lot if you


are incredibly rich. But what about people who are attacked to do not


have any money. That has to be stopped. They will lose conditional


fee arrangements, which was the only way that people who had no


money could get redress. The E East have access, the swift response and


guaranteed action by the newspapers are to act upon what they were told,


in you lot would not force the police to do anything we did not do


in the past. To suggest that the rules put forward will work is just


nonsense. It is just a contract between the press which the press


will not enforce. The is no barrier to entry at all. He is there is.


Every newspaper war have an ombudsman. There will be forced to


act swiftly. But they will be hired by the press. The law. Is it will


not be. The proposals which have been put forward to say that. If


you have not seen them, I will give you a copy of them. The full thing


is actually quite a long report. Thank you for that. It is all there.


But this is the Mafia getting together. It is not the Mafia.


when we talk about the disgraceful treatment of the McCann family by


some British tabloids, will that not happen again. Mr X will always


be made. -- mistakes will always be made. But there will never be a


case like that of the McCann family ever again. Their report is


Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up on the


programme... If you ended up in a criminal court,


could you afford a lawyer? Changes set to come in will mean fewer


people will qualify for legal aid. The Justice Secretary says the


small not undermine access to justice. And I will be finding out


how a skills shortage in the renewables sector threatens


Scotland's energy targets. And will Spain and Catalonia live


happily ever after? We will be live in Barcelona, the day they go to


the polls. Could you afford to pay for your


defence if you are charged with a crime? The government wants to make


more people stump up, but critics say they are targeting those who


can least afford it. So is this a simple tweak in the Legal Aid Bill


or a dangerous challenge to access to justice? Hayley Jarvis is at


Glasgow Sheriff Court. If you end up in here, will you be


able to afford to pay for a lawyer? The criminal legal aid bill last


year was �98 million. The Scottish government says this has to change


and more people will have to come up with the cash.


Under their plans people who, at the moment, would get their defence


costs paid will face bills of hundreds of pounds. And if you have


a disposable income of more than �68 a week, you are in the frame


here. Lawyers are threatening to strike


over the plans, but those who support the bill say the Justice


Secretary has to balance the books somehow. He has made the policy


choice that he wants to provide civic legal aid. I personally think


it is the decent thing to do. We are any recession.


So who will have to pay? Not those on benefits would fall below the


threshold and not middle income families, who would not qualify for


criminal legal aid anyway. Critics of the plans say it is


those who can least afford it - people who are working, but do not


make much money. Now is is about access to justice. It is about the


21-year-old on the minimum wage who would be represented in court, but


who might not be. It is not a contribution, it is the removal of


legal aid. The government wants to save �3.9


million on the criminal legal aid budget, saying the system must


become more efficient. They insist the changes will widen access to


justice. But their critics say they will have the opposite effect. They


are predicting chaos in the courts with more people defending


themselves and innocent people pleading guilty because they cannot


afford a defence. Very often, people do not have sympathy for a


solicitor's. But there is the case that a fair trial could be


interfered with and this is a test of the Scottish legal system.


Everyone in Scotland has a legal right to a fair trial. For a


government hoping to save money, the cost of denying people an


adequate defence could prove extremely expensive in the appeal


courts. Just before we came on air, I spoke to Justice Secretary Kenny


MacAskill, who was in our Edinburgh studio, and suggested to him there


was an obvious danger that access to justice would be compromised.


do not believe so. What we have got to remember is that the legal-aid


budget was the second highest on record. Two-thirds of that was


spent on criminal legal aid. We have been faced with massive cuts


from London and we have to look at the role of every organisation. We


need to preserve the integrity of the legal system - not go down the


road of south of the border where you cannot get legal aid for a


whole range of things - and that is why we support the principle of


contributions to the victims of domestic violence, there should be


contributions from the alleged perpetrators. These contributions


would be the same. There is obviously a legal obligation on you


to run a system which guarantees a fair trial. If we look at the


potential consequences of what you are proposing, if people plead


guilty because they feel they cannot afford legal aid, that is


one issue. Another one is that if people defend themselves and come


up against a professional prosecutor and a thrill weight of


the government prosecuting machine, you are saying you have no concerns


about this would breaching fair trial considerations? Nor, I do not.


I do not want to be where we are, but we have the huge legal-aid


budget and we are facing huge cuts. We need to have a shared burden. 82


% of people who apply for work legal-aid do not have to make a


contribution. After that, the contributions would be fairly minor.


This has been made clear by Parliament, why should the victim


of domestic violence have to pay for getting a protection order when


the alleged perpetrator does not have to pay? That has been a


manifest injustice in Scottish legal aid. We are going to change


that. We want to create a level playing field. As I said, the vast


majority will not have the contribution to pay and others will,


but it will be assessed on their ability to pay and, in most cases,


the contributions will be modest. That way, we protect the integrity


of the system and there is no evidence that similar systems which


operate elsewhere that justice is interfere with. It is the 20 % that


you are talking about who will be called on to contribute. It could


be argued that people who are regularly in court to not have jobs


and a guaranteed to fall below this threshold. It is low income


families who will be most affected by this. For example, someone with


an income of �160 a week will pay �473 as the contribution to the a


legal aid. That is just a few pounds short of the entire fixed


fee. That is not a contribution figure which is known to me. Back


interior of someone who earns more than �200 who will have nothing to


pay. The figures you for what are not recognisable to me. It does


seem to me that there has to be some parity. At the moment, we're


getting children who have to be taken into care should have to pay


a contribution. Victims of domestic violence should not have to pay


when the alleged perpetrator does not. They should have to pay. It is


wrong that they should not be in the victim should have to. What


about the expenses park? We are never had that system in Scotland.


He faced the sanction that the court pits upon you. It is not a


question of expenses. For instance, someone who is privately paying


would not get any costs back. someone defends himself in court


and Barnes really expensive court time and if it turns out you have


to then go to the Appeal Court, this amount in savings will be a


drop in the ocean? That is right. If the scenario panned out that way,


but the evidence from elsewhere is that there are not many more people


appealing. There are always some people who choose to appear


unrepresented in Scotland. But evidence from elsewhere suggests


that people do not become more unrepresented. Are you reviewing


the threshold? He yes, they are. This threshold is the same


threshold for a similar legal aid. I have made it clear I would like


to see an increase in the threshold. It would be manifestly unfair if


the victim of domestic violence should have to pay a higher


contribution than the alleged perpetrator. I am prepared to


increase that threshold. We will have discussions with the loss


society on that. But we have no more money for that, so it will


have to come out of the legal aid budget. Her which she described


you're relationship with Scotland's solicitors, who are threatening to


go on strike again. I do not like to see us and the situation. But we


are having to cope with cuts from Westminster. I do not like to see


injustice anywhere. But we have to come to terms with the consequences


of cuts from Westminster and we have to look at that budget. The


budget from my office says that legal aid will have to be cut by


seven % in its budget. But that compares with a cut of 17 % south


of the border. The but it will mean that we retain all the situations


where back people will still be able to get legal redress. He know


that in civil actions you can get expenses and you can get damages


from that. Do you accept that you where it defence solicitor that you


will be astonishing them with this proposal? You can have your


children taken from year by the powers that are available and the


consequences that up apply to civil matters. I have never


underestimated the amount of trauma in relation to the likes of


domestic violence. There is a manifest injustice there. A work


legal-aid budget is the highest ever. 14 legal firms received over


�1 million from legal aid. But it is their own fixed fees and this


idea that they are all making money hand over fist is not right. If


they are learning that, they are doing it the requisite number of


cases. I have not seen the are a earning money hand over fist.


suggesting we are in difficult times and the need to take a share


of that band that burden. We will protect those who need to be


protected. That goes for the victims as well as the perpetrators.


Thing to very much. -- thank you very much.


A leading engineering company has called on the Scottish government


for help to bridge a skills gap in the renewables sector. This comes


as a report from Holyrood's energy committee says that gap and other


key areas are hurdles to ambitious green energy targets. It is hoped


the equivalent of 100% of Scotland's electricity needs will


be generated from renewable sources by 2020. There are some flashing


images at the beginning of this report. Degree is a bright future


in a growing industry for these apprentices. But training from this


college courses not enough to get people up to scratch. We would like


them to be here for the remainder of the week that there is no


funding mechanism for that to happen. We need to do more tough


bridge that gap. It is agreed that the skills gap could hurt the


industry. Some environmental groups say that the targets are to


bureaucrat of too bureaucratic and counter-productive. We want to be


good places for communities and to his arm. There is adequate space


for us to be developing an infrastructure. That was not a few


shared by everybody. The committee took the view that the independence


debate was not having a negative The Scottish government see the


report as a vindication of their green policy. It is about


generating income for communities, jobs for many people in the nation.


Not 18,000 as the First Minister stated, then corrected this week.


Of those jobs will be subsidised by households across the UK.


Westminster makes clear how much that bill will be in the future.


are investing into cream -- green energy. At the moment it is 2% of


people's bills by 2020 it will be 7%. Infighting has made the


decision about setting green targets has been delayed until


after the next election. Ed Davey has been diminished and his


defensive about this delay. Opposition parties have been angry


that targets have not been made. Crucial hurdles need to be met


before they can be achieved. Joining me from our Dundee studio


is Mike Weir and the MSP Tavish Scott. Mike, if we look at the


subsidy structure, how much is a problem is to secured long-term


investment if there is not a certainty about the subsidy


structure coming out of Westminster. Investors want to know the long-


term structure because these investments are for the long term.


The energy bill has put forward a new structure, we have yet to see


the detail. There are already worries about how which will work


and whether the price for Nuclear will be higher than for offshore


wind. We need to detail this to see how we go forward. We need -- we


are keen to build up renewable energy. But we need to have the


structure correct. Tavish Scott, access to the grade is being called


for, but it looks as if the islanders will not get reduced


costs at this stage? Yes, that issue needs to be resolved. But


Shetland has agreed to set up a working group to tackle the


island's issues. The two governments should work together on


this vitally important thing, that renewables coming into Scotland can


feed into the grid. The regulator is right to roll-up -- to insist


that happens at a cost which does not put this projects in jeopardy.


De you feel that the independence to pay -- debate is itself creating


controversy and putting off investors? That is the view of


Scottish and Southern Electricity, one of the biggest players in the


industry. Their views, the industry views, are more cautious than the


political ones. It means that there is uncertain future simply because


why could England rely on this, they could purchaser from anywhere.


Is there evidence that the debate in itself, or where energy would be


bought from in the future, would be a problem? No, there is none. If


you look at a Viva, who invested in Scotland to build wind turbines.


England will still need energy. Maybe -- Tavish Scott Scott says


maybe they won't buy it from Scotland, who knows. But Scotland


has a huge black -- potential for renewable energy. The capability


gap between what is produced and what is needed within Great Britain


is producing. But Scotland can continue to sell energy to the rest


of the UK. It is not unusual to sell energy across Borders. Tavish


Scott, let me ask you about the other potential hurdles, is the


planning or training? The crucial issue is training. We have had a


discussion over college funding in recent weeks. Your report


illustrated the need for funding of colleges. It has been cut in


government -- in Scotland by the Scottish government. I want the


government to get their ducks in a row. I think it is right to have


these desirable long-term targets but they also have the -- have to


have the other building blocks in place, the skills. The college


sector is under pressure from the government and they need to be


given the flexibility to get on. Mike comedy next accept that there


is a problem with training at this point? -- Mike, do you accept.


should look at what the oil and gas industry are doing. They have their


own training bodies. People in my constituency are getting


apprentices. It is a competitive industry and there are crossovers


between it the renewable industry and oil and gas. It is not only the


government, the industry itself also should look at how it trains


up the skills that it needs. What about construction and generation,


what you think the picture is at the moment at the moment? In


different parts of Scotland, is there enough of a spread? Projects


are delivered by individual companies making assessments of the


best capabilities. In other words, where it is best to put wave and


tidal energy. The West Coast and the Northern Isles of Scotland are


important in terms of the ways and tides. In terms of the construction


contracts, would that have to be a these localised places, or could


there be a better spread? I don't think it is for the government to


start laying down will wear Industry decides where it wants to


build wind turbines Towers or other infrastructure that they need for


these projects. We didn't tell Aberdeen to become the offshore


centre of Europe. The industry did that. That's the way it should be.


Mike, we are out of time but do you think you'll meet your electricity


target by 2020. We will, in a way we have already exceeded our


interim target and there is a bright future for renewal energy in


Scotland. Coming up after the news, we visit


the Spanish region of Catalonia as voters go to the polls as the


governing party seek a mandate to hold their own referendum. Let's


cross now for the news with Maxine Good afternoon. One woman has died


and hundreds have been driven from their homes in storms. Scotland has


form -- has borne the brunt of the weather. -- the South West.


The rain has stopped but the market town of Malmesbury is under three


feet of water. People had to be rescued from the worst floods in


decades. We had around eight or nine inches on Wednesday night.


Everybody has said they had never seen anything like this before.


Dozens of businesses have been -- homes have been left under water.


All we could do was mark the position of the flood water. At the


height of the storm, high winds brought down the streets in Exeter.


A woman had been camped in the tent underneath. Two men were also


injured. It was the south-west which bore the west of the


overnight rain. At one point there were four severe flood warnings in


this county. There are still more than 200 alerts in place. In Devon,


hundreds of homes were deluged by the floodwaters, with the residents


using any means to keep the flood waters down. It is coming in all


the rooms. The flood waters may have begun to recede for now, but


there is more to come. Another band of heavy rain is expected.


Our correspondent is in Cornwall where the river burst its bank --


its banks. More bad weather on the way?


Yes, and things were pretty bad last night in the whole of Cornwall.


Overnight, the river levels here rose dramatically, resulting in a


severe flood warning, the most severe that the Environment Agency


give. That has been downgraded in the last hour. The skies are still


looking pretty leaden. The rain it may have stopped but we know that


more bad weather is on the way. A fresh weather system is due to come


through bringing more rain to the south-west and heavy and persistent


rain to the north-west of England and the north of Wales this


afternoon. A new law criminalising stalking


has come into effect in England and Wales today. Those convicted will


face up to six months in jail. The change followed a parliamentary


inquiry which showed that 120,000 people, mostly women, are stalked


every year. People have died in a clothing


factory fire in Bangladesh. People jump from windows to escape the


blaze. It was in the capital. Good afternoon. BAE Systems could


decide to close one of their major shipyards next month. The future of


Govan, Scotstoun and Portsmouth are in doubt after the completion of


two new aircraft carriers. The chief executive has warned


manufacturing may stop at one of the sites. BAE are in discussions


with ministers about the future - union leaders say they're


apprehensive. We have had talks with the company and that has been


the suggestion. In reality, the sooner the decision is made, the


better. It is just fuelling speculation.


Scottish Women's Aid is launching a campaign to highlight why women do


not leave violent homes when they're being abused. It's called


Together We Can Stop It and looks at ways the public can stop abuse.


Victims' real stories have been recorded and released on the


charity's website. Rugby - and Andy Robinson has


stepped down as Scotland coach. The Scottish Rugby Union made the


announcement in the last hour. Yesterday's defeat to Tonga was the


19th in Robinson's 35 matches in charge and comes at the end of a


calendar year which began with the RBS Six Nations wooden spoon.


After all the fine weather yesterday, a rather dull affair. A


lot of rain around central Scotland and eastern Scotland. That will go


into the North Sea. It would turn to snow near Aberdeen. A trying


picture from the West. It will fill rather cold today under all that


cloud temperatures will go to about six Celsius. We are picking up a


fresh northerly wind across the Now it is that time of the day


where we take a look back at the highlights of the Week in 60


Seconds. It was a wet start to the week for


many people across Scotland, with flooding causing major disruption


to roads and towns. The further education saga


continued, when Education Secretary Mike Russell apologised to MSPs for


giving wrong information on college budgets.


MSPs from Scotland's three largest opposition parties launched their A


New Union plan, to find agreement on further powers for Holyrood if


Scots vote no to independence. Labour's Michael McMahon was banned


from the chamber for a day after heckling the Speaker, Tricia


Marwick. Mr McMahon said he felt the punishment did not fit the


crime. Order! Order! I would ask you to withdraw it that remark.


And no agreement on the European Union's budget. Prime Minister


David Cameron insisted the deal on offer "was not good enough".


The people of Catalonia vote today after a bitter and hard-fought


campaign dominated by the issue of independence from Spain. The


elections were called by Catalan president Artur Mas, in a bid to


get a mandate for a referendum, something the government in Madrid


has ruled out. But there has been a furious response, with one Spanish


newspaper accusing Mr Mas of corruption just a week before the


poll. Our political correspondent is in Barcelona. Sealed with a kiss.


A happy couple celebrate their wedding day. Modern Spain was


united. Their political successors have fallen out. President Artur


Mas called for a referendum to get the mandate on independence. It was


rejected by Madrid. A sea of red and yellow Catalan flags came out


demanding a new place within the country. Even if he does get


support at the ballot box, it does not mean it is going to happen. The


Spanish constitution blocks the road to independence. Independence


campaigners say they need to have their say. TRANSLATION: We need to


be given the chance. Things got rather messy after a leading


newspaper accused Artur Mas of corruption. Companies are come here


because what it is like and have people find that the government is


putting up walls around the region, it would be catastrophic. Those in


favour of independence hope that the vote goes their way and the


force Spain to give them a fort on independence few. What kind of


result is expected? What are the early indications? It is clear


enough that there will be a majority in favour of independence.


The real question is whether Artur Mas gets the out right majority he


needs. He is having to deal with these corruption allegations. He is


accusing the Spanish President of been behind these allegations. But


of course, there are also having to deal with their share of the


austerity of which is gripping all of Spain. As Scotland been


mentioned in this? Yeah, it is very interesting. Artur Mas has called


for an Alex Salmond style push for independence. Now, at regarding the


NATO situation, they have become very clear on this, as opposed to


Scotland, when Alex Salmond became very defensive when asked on the


issue. Thank you for that. Sorry that we were slightly off sink on


that report. We will have to leave it there. We will get early polling


and L indications of their results later this evening.


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser.

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