16/06/2013 Sunday Politics Scotland


16/06/2013

The latest political news, interviews and debate in Scotland.


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Is this man a

:00:39.:00:42.

racist thug with a taste for trouble or a voice of ordinary

:00:42.:00:46.

people in the face of Islamic fundamentalism? We'll ask English

:00:46.:00:51.

Defence League leader Tommy Robinson to come clean. The G8

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returns to the UK and the anti- capitalist protestors are gearing

:00:54.:01:02.

up, we'll go head to head on the evils - and virtues - of capitalism.

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And it is welfare reform's equivalent of the magic bullet. But

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And coming up on Sunday Politics Scotland: As the Conservatives and

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Labour tighten up on welfare, will granny escape the so-called bedroom

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1712 seconds

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tax? One charity says why should The Department for work and

:29:57.:30:07.
:30:07.:30:09.

pensions is aiming for 80% of claims to be online. If someone

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works, even for a short amount of time, it is worth their while and

:30:13.:30:17.

they remain in the system. government deliver IT change on

:30:17.:30:25.

this scale? I believe they can. The benefit system is incredibly

:30:25.:30:28.

complicated. The major projects Authority looked at universal

:30:28.:30:35.

credit in September of last year. Back then, it was graded amber/ red.

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It means successful delivery of the project is in doubt. Urgent action

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is needed. In May, the Government responded. Significant progress has

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been made in the delivery of universal credit. The pathfinder

:30:50.:30:54.

was successfully launched and we are on course to stop the

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progressive national roll-out of universal credit in October. -- to

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start. One MP is Warwick was that he is about to publish a book on

:31:03.:31:08.

the chequered history of a large government projects. -- is worried.

:31:08.:31:13.

The idea that the way to get this right is to say everything is going

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fine and there are no problems, it is all on time and on Churchill.

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That is not something I believe. -- on schedules. One theme runs

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through the tortuous history of bad software and that is the failure to

:31:28.:31:33.

confront reality. That is likely to be the case at the moment. That

:31:33.:31:37.

would be catastrophic for many currently on benefits. What do

:31:37.:31:47.
:31:47.:31:49.

someone who cannot afford to feed their children look and sound like?

:31:49.:31:54.

I had never thought I would be in this predicament but I am. There

:31:54.:31:59.

are others out there who are in this situation but never dreamed of

:31:59.:32:05.

being in it. The thing is, how do you get out of it? That is what I

:32:05.:32:10.

am struggling with. I do not want to be on benefits. I want to work.

:32:10.:32:16.

The situation I am in now stops me. Exactly the sort of person

:32:16.:32:21.

universal credit are designed to help. Why does she not think being

:32:21.:32:26.

paid a lump sum monthly will work for people like her? What do they

:32:26.:32:32.

have to fall back on? They do not have an overdraft. I did have an

:32:32.:32:36.

overdraft and I lived off the overdraft. It has got so bad that

:32:36.:32:42.

they cannot afford to pay it back. You get this money. What happens if,

:32:42.:32:46.

for some reason or another, you have to spend more than the

:32:46.:32:51.

budgeted for a week or so? People will apply crisis loans. It will

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get worse. The Government insists it will ensure no one falls through

:32:57.:33:01.

the cracks. Despite backing some of the aims of universal credit, food

:33:02.:33:07.

banks are preparing to help more people when changes come. Last year,

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in 2012, we looked after 153,000 people whose primary reason for

:33:13.:33:17.

needing the three days of food we give them in the food bank was that

:33:17.:33:23.

there was a problem, a mistake, a change or to lay in benefit

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payments. We are dealing with a significant change. We anticipate

:33:27.:33:32.

large numbers of extra people coming to the banks as a

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consequence. That worries us. -- food banks. The Government says it

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will be flexible with people who might struggle to manage their

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money. Universal credit will roll out of right, not early. It has not

:33:47.:33:53.

yet convinced everyone this flagship policy is under control.

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Now, we would have liked to put those concerns about the

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implementation and implications of universal credit to a government

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minister but our invitation to someone - anyone - responsible for

:34:01.:34:11.
:34:11.:34:12.

the policy was rejected. We will keep on asking. We are not easily

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embarrassed by rebuttals, and we will return to the subject in the

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weeks and months ahead. Now, it is G8 time again, and it is back in

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the United Kingdom, in Northern Ireland in fact, where the

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authorities are bracing themselves for aggro. This weekend, world

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leaders a Cabinet this luxurious golf resort in County Fermanagh for

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the latest G8 summit. On the agenda are trade, tax and transparency.

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There will also be discussions on Syria and internet spying. Prime

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ministers and presidents were not be the only ones descending on this

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peaceful part of Northern Ireland because protesters plan to make

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themselves heard as well. Meetings like the G8 and G20 have been

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accompanied by protests and violence for a number of years.

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Already this week, police raided a squat used by stock-take protesters

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in Central London. Police in Northern Ireland up on alert.

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Anarchist groups are protesting against capitalism itself. So, to

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debate all that, Owen Jones and Charlie Wolf go head to head on the

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I assume you stand shoulder to shoulder with the protesters. What

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do you want to achieve? Some of the main issues which are angering

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people are the fact we have 22,000 children dying every single day of

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hunger, poverty. That is seven times bigger than 9/11 every day.

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More people are dying of hunger can AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

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combined. We have 14 trillion dollars of tax which has been

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stashed away, hidden from the taxman, at a time when third World

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countries are losing three times more through tax avoidance than

:36:02.:36:06.

they are getting through eight. Then the issues of climate change,

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the human rights record of Russia. The key point is, what protesters

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are trying to do, in the way that UK has put tax avoidance on the

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agenda, it is to hold leaders to account and make sure we have a

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national and global debate. We are holding to recount the eight most

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importing countries in the world. - - holding to account. The problem

:36:33.:36:37.

with world hunger is generally local governments. You can continue

:36:37.:36:42.

to throw money at the problem. There is more than enough food in

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the world. I agree with you. In Zimbabwe, it used to be Africa's

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breadbasket. It is not any more. this an issue for the G8? I do have

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a problem with the protesters. You can see by the way they handle

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themselves was a bit speaks volumes. I do not like the word capitalism.

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I prefer the word, free market. Capitalism was first used by

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William Thackeray make peace. pressed taxpayers are having to

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bail out the banks. That is not the fault of the people. The whole

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point about free markets is people making free decisions. Free markets

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are a morally correct institution. This is something that Margaret

:37:31.:37:35.

Thatcher talked about many years ago. Let me put this to you Foster

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in terms of free-market capitalism, in 2008, when the linchpin of the

:37:44.:37:51.

capitalist system came crashing down. The state came to the rescue.

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That is socialism - socialism for the rich and capitalism for

:37:55.:38:03.

everyone else. A lot of people on the right had agreed to let them

:38:03.:38:07.

fail. There are places for the state. I do not disagree. One needs

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to look at how we got into the mess in the first place was a free

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markets were not allowed to be free. The whole genesis of the problem

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was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Capitalism is in crisis. Why is

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there left so weak? Why are they making no advances democratically?

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The number of protesters is diminishing. It is a good point.

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You need anger at how things I hope at how things can be. There is

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anger out there. The average worker is going through the bigger squeeze

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in pay packets since records began. What is lacking is hope. That is

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the need for a coherent alternative. That will give people hope.

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Ordinary folk, living standards being squeezed. They are paying a

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shed load of tax, helping to bail out the banks. Shouldn't they be

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angry that companies like Google and Amazon pay next to nothing?

:39:16.:39:20.

Governments right laws. They act to the laws. They are paying a legal

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tax. They had aggressive lawyers and accountants. Are they doing

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anything illegal? Of course not. That makes it worse. Change the tax

:39:33.:39:37.

laws. It disturbs me when I listen to David Cameron going on about the

:39:37.:39:41.

Irish and their corporate tax laws. If he does not like it, blow up our

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tax rates. Do you think socialism would ever come up in a search

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engine? -- lower at tax rates. They are still talking but not as bad as

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last week. It is coming up to Welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland.

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Coming up: As the so-called bedroom tax bites across the UK, we ask

:40:14.:40:20.

should the over-65s be dependent on benefit cuts, and what is the

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knock-on effect for Scotland? The political arguments go round and

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round the roundabout. I've been to Aberdeen Donside ahead of

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Thursday's by-election. Granny is mugging you, that is how

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one commentator in a newspaper yesterday warned the younger

:40:39.:40:44.

generation that there are not having it so good. As the Conservatives and

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Labour take tougher positions on welfare, how long will the elderly

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escape the cuts? One charity are seeing the bedroom tax should apply

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across the board. These ladies feel strongly that

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older people like them should not face welfare cuts, particularly when

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it comes to something known as the bedroom tax. Older people have

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adapted their homes by that age to suit their way of living. They have

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paid taxes all their life and when they get to that age they should be

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able to live in comfort. Currently none of the Westminster parties...

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Given that two thirds of the entire welfare budget is spent on older

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people, some say that position is not sustainable. When the UK

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Government introduced what became known as the bedroom tax, it was to

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save money and lease larger houses for families. One area they haven't

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tackled is the occupation of those over the age of 65. One charity for

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disabled people believes that the burden for the bedroom tax should be

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spread more equally. There should be a presumption of equality for older

:42:07.:42:16.

people as well as younger people. average 29% of people over the age

:42:16.:42:23.

of 65 are on housing benefit. Of them 81% live on their own. Only

:42:23.:42:26.

three local authorities were able to tell us how many of those were

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occupied. Interestingly, no one exactly knows how much under

:42:36.:42:41.

occupancy of the over 65s costs the country. Labour and the

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Conservatives have stated that they will reduce the level of welfare

:42:47.:42:52.

spending should they win the next election. An academic told me that

:42:52.:42:59.

older people could be in the frame for future cuts. The Chancellor at

:42:59.:43:03.

his last budget said he wanted to limit the amount spent on annually

:43:04.:43:10.

managed expenditure. 40% of that is the state pension. Labour have just

:43:10.:43:14.

said that if they return to government they would cap welfare.

:43:14.:43:23.

That cannot be done without capping payments to the elderly.

:43:23.:43:33.
:43:33.:43:36.

government has control over what buildings are created. Housing

:43:36.:43:40.

groups say it is making it very hard to plan. We didn't start off with a

:43:41.:43:45.

policy in Scotland that there is a problem with under occupied

:43:45.:43:50.

property. I was convinced that there was data for people of pensionable

:43:50.:44:00.
:44:00.:44:02.

age that showed that they were under applying to a significant extent.

:44:02.:44:07.

The elderly vote across the UK is a large and influential one. We know

:44:07.:44:12.

what those parties are going to give us and we will vote for the party

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that will serve us best. For any government to cut welfare to older

:44:18.:44:24.

people would be brave. But changes may be inevitable given the growing

:44:24.:44:34.
:44:34.:44:39.

elderly population. Joining me is the SNP's Linda

:44:39.:44:48.

Fabiani, Drew Smith and Alex Johnston. Our older people at risk

:44:48.:44:55.

now from funding cuts under a future Tory government, do you think?

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government had given a sound commitment that older people will be

:44:58.:45:04.

protected. We have already seen a record rise in the state pension and

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that is evidence of what is going on, but we have to remember that it

:45:08.:45:15.

is the case that pension age people are not exempt from the kind of

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reorganisation that is going on. The pension age will change radically

:45:19.:45:23.

and that will be the way in which efficiencies are made in the cost of

:45:23.:45:30.

keeping those who are now pensioners. That promised to protect

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the over-65s only extends to the end of parliament, doesn't it? In the

:45:35.:45:40.

car and circumstances there is a needed to ensure the welfare budget

:45:40.:45:46.

is brought under control. -- current. You can seek employment or

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find extra hours, for example, and many people do not have that

:45:52.:45:58.

option. These are people who have contributed all their lives to the

:45:58.:46:02.

support of the welfare and benefit system and it is appropriate that

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their position should be protected. Drew, it looks like Labour are now

:46:10.:46:19.

sticking to the Tory spending plans. Ed Miliband wants a cap on benefits.

:46:19.:46:21.

Perhaps you are understanding tough choices need to be made protest over

:46:21.:46:25.

the bedroom tax has turned into a whisper. Will you be cutting

:46:25.:46:30.

benefits for older people? protest for the bedroom tax has not

:46:30.:46:37.

reduced to a whisper. The protest is that it simply won't work. For a

:46:37.:46:42.

whole range of people affected by it and across disabled groups, they

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need that extra room for good reasons and the bedroom tax fails to

:46:46.:46:51.

recognise that. The real problem is that we don't have homes to move

:46:52.:46:56.

people into. Even if it was desirable, we take the view that

:46:56.:47:01.

there is a significant problem with under occupancy here in Scotland.

:47:01.:47:05.

The idea of extending bedroom tax is not something that will carry much

:47:05.:47:11.

favour. What about the winter fuel allowance for less well-off

:47:11.:47:20.

pensioners? We are saying that in terms of higher rates of income tax,

:47:21.:47:26.

we would not pay the winter fuel payment for those well-off

:47:26.:47:32.

individuals. That is a small group of people, so we are not removing a

:47:32.:47:34.

large group of pensioners from the system, but we are recognising that

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these are tough times and economies must be made. We need to look at

:47:44.:47:47.

what pensioners can afford, but in the main we need to understand that

:47:47.:47:52.

a lot of pensioners are on small incomes and it is difficult for them

:47:52.:47:59.

to meet the bills that we all have. Linda Fabiani, it is a different

:47:59.:48:04.

story from you. You want to repeal the bedroom tax in the first year of

:48:04.:48:10.

an independent Scotland. That would cost �60 million. How on earth can

:48:10.:48:18.

you afford this largess? When you look at the Treasury figures,

:48:18.:48:27.

Scotland spends less of its GNP on welfare than the UK as a whole, so

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Scotland can cope very well with its own system. What I would like to say

:48:32.:48:36.

about pensioners is any talk at all from the Westminster parties about

:48:36.:48:43.

extending the bedroom tax, we should always bear in mind that a lot of

:48:43.:48:48.

pensioners pay full rent and always have. A lot of pensioners pay most

:48:48.:48:53.

of their rent and get a top up from housing benefit, so the impression

:48:53.:48:56.

that there are all these pensioners getting free housing is quite

:48:56.:49:01.

clearly wrong. When you set out your stall to voters and people see what

:49:01.:49:07.

you are proposing, it does seem quite generous, but when you see

:49:07.:49:11.

what the Conservatives and Labour Party are doing, do you not think

:49:11.:49:19.

they are taking a more pragmatic view? When you look at what is

:49:19.:49:22.

happening to disabled people through the welfare cuts, when you look at

:49:22.:49:26.

the fact that for the first time in a long time you have people queuing

:49:26.:49:30.

at food banks. We have people being sanctioned for mistakes they have

:49:31.:49:35.

not made in their applications. We have even got people with terminal

:49:35.:49:39.

illnesses being forced to go to work assessment. I think people will look

:49:39.:49:44.

at that and think, "that is not what we want. That is not what we pay

:49:44.:49:48.

taxes for. Our country should not be part of a system that allows that to

:49:48.:49:56.

happen." Alex Johnson, hearing that, the bedroom tax has had terrible

:49:56.:50:01.

publicity. It has been pretty bad for the Coalition government. It

:50:01.:50:03.

sounds from what Linda Fabiani is saying that she thinks she can

:50:03.:50:09.

balance the books. What do you see? I do not believe that at all. The

:50:09.:50:15.

under occupancy charge is beginning to do its job. The commitment that

:50:15.:50:19.

Alex Salmond gave me that it would be repealed in the first year of an

:50:19.:50:23.

independent Scotland is bogus. By 2017, the charge will have done its

:50:23.:50:28.

job. As a result, it will no longer cost a vast amount to repealed. What

:50:28.:50:32.

has to be said is that in a recent report published by the welfare

:50:32.:50:38.

reform committee, it was suggested that welfare changes were going to

:50:38.:50:41.

cost Scotland �1.6 billion per year. At that stage, Linda Fabiani

:50:41.:50:45.

was jumping up and down, demanding that the �1.6 billion be brought

:50:45.:50:50.

back again. The fact is that when I asked the First Minister about this,

:50:50.:50:54.

he talked about a few million here and a few million there was 1

:50:54.:50:58.

million miles away from giving that �1.6 billion commitment. What you're

:50:58.:51:02.

getting is a lot of hot air. No facts on how an independent

:51:02.:51:08.

Scotland, or the SNP, would deal with the situation. It is all talk.

:51:08.:51:17.

I put that back to. A lot of hot air? Scotland can afford its own

:51:17.:51:22.

social care system. More than the rest of the UK. Fact, after the

:51:22.:51:25.

transitional arrangements within which will make changes such as

:51:25.:51:30.

getting rid of the bedroom tax in the first year and moving to a

:51:30.:51:33.

fairer system of an integrated tax benefit system instead of these

:51:33.:51:39.

quick fixes that the other parties do all the time. Fact. Is this going

:51:39.:51:44.

to be a 0-sum change? Will it cost us nothing? Scotland is even rich

:51:44.:51:50.

country. It is the richest ever been. Yes, Scotland can do it. The

:51:50.:51:53.

proof is there. You just have to look at the figures. Drew Smith,

:51:53.:52:01.

talking of a fairer, more equal society, it has been suggested that

:52:01.:52:05.

the burden should be shared across the ages. What do you think about

:52:05.:52:10.

that? I think any reform of the welfare system looks to look at the

:52:10.:52:15.

whole system. -- needs to look at the whole system. The debate here in

:52:15.:52:18.

Scotland is to an extended. Eight. Scottish Government are telling us

:52:18.:52:23.

that it will be all right if some we

:52:23.:52:31.

we are going to keep a transitional agreement with the rest of the UK,

:52:31.:52:34.

which is astonishing from a Nationalist party. They then say

:52:34.:52:38.

that we will continue with the bases of sharing that with the rest of UK?

:52:39.:52:44.

How that work? Will they need to have separate computer systems to

:52:44.:52:46.

administer this? In the meantime, we are not getting to the bigger

:52:47.:52:49.

changes which are actually needed, hitting people to work and

:52:49.:52:54.

supporting them. We are talking about infrastructure. The North of

:52:54.:52:58.

Ireland's part of the UK and already does that differently policy wise.

:52:58.:53:02.

Scotland can do that as well. We can have that transitional period. We do

:53:02.:53:09.

not want to wake up the day after independence and that nobody in

:53:09.:53:12.

England gets their benefit payments. That is not correct. Thank

:53:12.:53:18.

you all very much. We have to leave it there. It has been the final

:53:18.:53:20.

weekend of campaigning in the Aberdeen Donside by-election. The

:53:20.:53:24.

parties are now appealing for the poor on Thursday. The oil capital of

:53:24.:53:28.

Europe has not provided a fiery and energetic debate at local issues

:53:28.:53:35.

have come to the fore. I caught up with the candidates.

:53:35.:53:39.

Getting in some early practice for the Aberdeen traffic at this

:53:39.:53:44.

nursery. The Granite city's transport problems have been a

:53:44.:53:47.

feature of this campaign. Labour's Will Young has spotted this as a key

:53:47.:53:52.

issue. He has accused is SNP opponent of failing to stand up for

:53:52.:53:58.

the city. We are the oil capital of Europe. Our infrastructure is very

:53:58.:54:01.

important, to the people of Aberdeen. We need to give the

:54:01.:54:09.

roundabout sorted out. My opponent said it was a priority a few years

:54:09.:54:12.

ago. Now he says we need to wait until 2019 to sorted out. That is

:54:13.:54:19.

unacceptable. To the doorsteps of leafy Kings Wells, the Liberal

:54:19.:54:23.

Democrat says that both Labour and the SNP are giving a transport. She

:54:23.:54:27.

says the city is not receiving its of cash. What people want is money

:54:27.:54:33.

invested in Aberdeen. They want to see it getting its fair share. The

:54:33.:54:36.

SNP and Holyrood art shortchanging Aberdeen to the tune of �21 million

:54:36.:54:39.

per year. That is money that could be spent on the infrastructure that

:54:39.:54:44.

we would want to be spent on better roads, keeping schools open. It is a

:54:44.:54:50.

similar message from the Conservatives. Ross Thomson's a

:54:50.:54:53.

councillor. He says he has secured more money for monuments like this

:54:53.:54:58.

and is now fighting for what he calls the forgotten city. It is a

:54:58.:55:02.

successful city but not successful for all. In down side, we have some

:55:02.:55:06.

of the highest levels of deprivation. Some of the communities

:55:06.:55:14.

are in the top 15%. We're not getting our fair should have --

:55:14.:55:18.

first year of taxes and I would go to Holyrood and tell them to give us

:55:18.:55:24.

that. Also, the Scottish Greens. A different view. They don't want big

:55:24.:55:28.

transport projects. We want to concentrate on public transport. We

:55:28.:55:32.

see that as the way forward. You cannot keep building more and more

:55:32.:55:38.

roads, more and more bridges. You just increase the traffic and

:55:38.:55:44.

congestion. It is Friday lunchtime here. Six days to go until the

:55:44.:55:49.

by-election. Let's see what people are thinking. I have never voted. I

:55:49.:55:54.

just don't bother any more. Away from SNP, which devoted the last

:55:54.:56:04.
:56:04.:56:04.

time. I haven't decided. I am still thinking about it. SNP. Why? I have

:56:04.:56:11.

been brought up with that, with my family. It is just what we do.

:56:11.:56:16.

is the Aberdeen Exhibition And Conference Centre. It is -- I

:56:16.:56:22.

remember the night very clearly in 2003 when the late Brian Adam one

:56:22.:56:27.

Aberdeen North is a very slim majority over the liver party. It

:56:27.:56:32.

was a sign of what was to come, the SNP's popularity in this city and

:56:32.:56:39.

the rest of Scotland. The SNP won a majority in 2011. Their opponents

:56:39.:56:43.

claim independence has not been mentioned much in this Ambien. Not

:56:43.:56:48.

true, says Mark O'Donnell. He also rejects claims that he is dithering

:56:48.:56:51.

on the roundabouts. Apparently, the new bypass has to be constructive

:56:51.:56:55.

first. The so-called forgotten city of actually receiving �1 billion of

:56:55.:57:03.

investment, he claims. Brian Adam, of course, received about half the

:57:03.:57:08.

votes last election are you complacent? Absolutely not. We are

:57:08.:57:12.

speaking to as many voters as we can. Brian did a huge amount of work

:57:12.:57:15.

for this constituency, over many years. People are recognising that

:57:15.:57:18.

on the doorsteps. Many people you speak to will talk about O'Brien

:57:19.:57:23.

helped them, in one way or another. He a strong legacy of hard work for

:57:23.:57:26.

this constituency and I want to build on that and make sure that

:57:26.:57:30.

people continue to receive that representation. It may be a while

:57:30.:57:33.

until building work starts at the notorious roundabout but this

:57:33.:57:38.

political merry-go-round only has a few days left to run.

:57:38.:57:40.

For more information on the Aberdeen Donside by-election, you can visit

:57:40.:57:50.
:57:50.:57:53.

very own political editor Brian Taylor. Thanks for joining me.

:57:53.:57:59.

Before we get to predictions, let's talk about the issues. I learned to

:57:59.:58:02.

drive on the haddock and roundabout. You can understand why it has been a

:58:02.:58:06.

big issue that seems to have been the big one. We both have Aberdonian

:58:06.:58:13.

connections. I started my journalistic career there. It is

:58:13.:58:17.

totemic for transport services generally, for the bypass, for a

:58:17.:58:22.

third bridge crossing. It is for more than that. People in other

:58:22.:58:25.

cities in Scotland would find it absurd given the level of employment

:58:25.:58:28.

and welfare of other is in Aberdeen but there is also alongside that

:58:28.:58:34.

wealth, a sense of insecurity, a sense of uncertainty, a sense of

:58:34.:58:39.

doubt. A sense, perhaps, that they are missing opportunities. Here we

:58:39.:58:43.

talk about the roundabout, the gardens on the Main Street, and you

:58:43.:58:48.

just sends Aberdonians feeling that other cities might be taking the

:58:48.:58:58.
:58:58.:59:00.

lead. Whether we are modernising more quickly. The local council is

:59:00.:59:07.

led by Labour and it is whether it is whether to spin to that or

:59:07.:59:12.

Holyrood. Or, does that in itself to the UK Government? The Liberal

:59:12.:59:16.

Democrats were the Tories. It is a remarkable by-election with the four

:59:16.:59:20.

main candidates each having to defend a record in office. As they

:59:20.:59:23.

go around the doorsteps, they are having to defend the record in

:59:23.:59:28.

office, whatever that may be. Of course, there are some areas of

:59:28.:59:32.

deprivation in the city. We speak about its wealth and eyedropper of

:59:32.:59:41.

Aberdeen so naughty wealth, but there are areas of deprivation. -- I

:59:41.:59:49.

grew up in Aberdeen so now about the Wells. It is more generally. It is

:59:49.:59:53.

this curious sense of being bypassed. They are demanding a

:59:53.:59:58.

bypass but the curious sense of being bypassed. The argument is

:59:58.:00:02.

whether that is intrinsic within Aberdeen itself. As the city doing

:00:02.:00:05.

enough itself to stimulate its own economy or is it to external

:00:05.:00:10.

factors, including the Scottish Government and the UK Government?

:00:10.:00:15.

You're hearing this argument more and more. This has been a resolutely

:00:15.:00:19.

local by-election and I give no harm to them for that. There are some big

:00:19.:00:23.

vocal issues. Not just the roads but the provisional provision of schools

:00:23.:00:28.

and the general state of the structure of Aberdeen alongside that

:00:28.:00:33.

being the issue of poverty and deprivation. Each of the candidates

:00:33.:00:36.

having to address these. Having to address this general feeling. Again,

:00:36.:00:41.

I see that people in other parts of Scotland would find this incredible,

:00:41.:00:45.

this general feeling of disquiet. I do not want to overemphasise that

:00:45.:00:48.

Aberdeen is doing extremely well. Its economy is booming. There is

:00:48.:00:57.

still that sense of, "is it going to last? " no, the bookies are calling

:00:57.:01:02.

it for the SNP. Brian Adam had just over half of the vote. Mark McDonald

:01:02.:01:06.

says he is not complacent. He is not. The SNP will not like that sort

:01:06.:01:12.

of talk. They will not like the idea that it is a shoo-in for them. They

:01:12.:01:20.

are defending a large majority will top by Brian Adam. The patch of

:01:20.:01:22.

Aberdeen North generally has been a very strong Labour territory as

:01:22.:01:26.

well. Of course, the other parties will be fighting for a share of the

:01:26.:01:31.

vote. It will be down to who is best able to capture that zeitgeist in

:01:31.:01:38.

Aberdeen. That idea of standing up for the city. You heard of the

:01:38.:01:40.

candidates saying that they were going to knock on the First

:01:40.:01:45.

Minister's door and see... He would have easy access to that! All the

:01:45.:01:55.
:01:55.:01:55.

candidates would say they have -- or the ones to do that. What is

:01:55.:02:01.

Labour's strategy? They are talking about Aberdeen as the forgotten city

:02:01.:02:10.

and are also being dumb claim the independence card, they are going

:02:10.:02:13.

around saying that they have to use this opportunity to put a stop on

:02:13.:02:23.
:02:23.:02:24.

independence. -- also play the independence card. The issues that

:02:24.:02:28.

are coming today for a big local constituency issues. It is perfectly

:02:28.:02:35.

legitimate for those two opposed the SNP to stand against them. A huge

:02:35.:02:39.

effort by Labour and the SNP. A lot of footsoldiers being often. Over

:02:39.:02:46.

the period of the contest, for votes, it has been quite remarkable.

:02:46.:02:51.

They really are pulling out all the two ruin this. Kuipers ins the

:02:51.:02:55.

SNP's notional overall majority in. It is a big deal. Thank you.

:02:55.:02:59.

Don't forget, there will be full coverage of the results in a

:02:59.:03:03.

Newsnight Scotland by-election special at 11pm on Thursday on BBC

:03:03.:03:12.

Two. Coming up after the news, the week ahead with our guests. Alf

:03:12.:03:22.
:03:22.:03:27.

Young and Katie grant will be here. Good afternoon.

:03:27.:03:33.

David Cameron will hold talks with the Russian president Vladimir

:03:33.:03:36.

Putin, with the conflict in Syria expected to dominate discussions.

:03:36.:03:42.

The Russians have suggested that the claims that chemical weapons have

:03:42.:03:50.

been used or fabricated. -- or fabricated.

:03:50.:03:54.

Northern Ireland is getting ready. The G8 Summit starts tomorrow. World

:03:54.:03:57.

leaders to start arriving later today. Syria is like to be the big

:03:57.:04:02.

talking point. Russia strongly opposes the idea of arming the

:04:02.:04:06.

opposition there, exactly what the United States, France and the UK are

:04:06.:04:12.

now considering. The Prime Minister's doing his best to find

:04:12.:04:15.

common ground with Russia's President Putin, head of their talks

:04:15.:04:20.

in Downing Street this afternoon. The option we all want is an

:04:20.:04:23.

international peace conference and an international agreement for a

:04:23.:04:27.

transitional government in Syria that the Syrian people can have

:04:27.:04:30.

confidence in and then elections and a new Syrian government. That is

:04:30.:04:35.

what everybody wants. The disagreement is how we get there.

:04:35.:04:38.

David Cameron says he has not decided whether to arm decision

:04:38.:04:44.

rebels. His deputy, Nick Clegg, says he is not decided either but does

:04:44.:04:48.

not sound convinced. We have taken no decision to provide lethal

:04:48.:04:51.

assistance. Weak religion not think it is the right thing to do

:04:51.:04:55.

otherwise would have decided to do it. -- we clearly do not think. What

:04:55.:05:01.

we are doing is providing only for assistance. As the gathering County

:05:01.:05:06.

Fermanagh, the question is whether David Cameron could secure the

:05:06.:05:15.

majority of MPs to send arms if he concludes that is worthwhile. A man

:05:15.:05:19.

has been arrested after four people, including a police officer, were

:05:19.:05:26.

stabbed in a mosque in Birmingham late last night. The incident

:05:26.:05:30.

happened at around 11 o'clock last night. Local people were saying that

:05:30.:05:35.

there was a dispute in the mosque behind me between two people. One

:05:35.:05:40.

man was brandishing a knife, two other men went in to try to break up

:05:40.:05:45.

the altercation. Three people ended up being stabbed. The police

:05:45.:05:50.

attended afterwords and as they tried to detain the suspect one of

:05:50.:05:54.

the officers was stabbed. It is important to stress that all of

:05:54.:05:59.

those injured are in hospital but those injuries are not said to be

:05:59.:06:04.

life-threatening. A 23-year-old man of Somali appearance is in custody

:06:04.:06:09.

on suspicion of attempted murder. Police are not treating this as a

:06:09.:06:14.

suspected hate crime, but we will hear much more at a press conference

:06:14.:06:21.

in about one hour's time. Hundreds of Turkish police officers have used

:06:21.:06:26.

tear gas to clear demonstrators from the park in Istanbul with a have

:06:26.:06:30.

been protesting against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The

:06:30.:06:34.

move prompted and rest elsewhere in the city, with some people starting

:06:34.:06:36.

bonfires, and there were demonstrations in other parts of the

:06:36.:06:41.

country. The bodies of two men have been

:06:41.:06:45.

recovered by emergency crews searching for two climbers missing

:06:45.:06:50.

off the coast of Anglesey. The bodies were found in the water at

:06:50.:06:53.

South Stack near Holyhead. North Wales Police say they have yet to

:06:53.:07:03.
:07:03.:07:08.

speculate whether a threatening note found on board a plane travelling

:07:08.:07:13.

from Cairo to New York is credible. The EgyptAir flight was forced to

:07:13.:07:16.

make an emergency landing at Prestwick airport yesterday

:07:16.:07:21.

afternoon after a passenger found a note in a toilet. It shortly

:07:21.:07:27.

afterwards resumed its journey. Andy Murray will play Marin Cilic

:07:27.:07:31.

after defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three sets. The world number two

:07:32.:07:36.

battle from one set down against the Frenchman and won the last set 6-2.

:07:36.:07:42.

Final will begin in a few minutes and you can watch it live on this

:07:42.:07:52.

breaking to allow some spells of sunshine. There will be a scattering

:07:52.:07:58.

of showers. Not everyone will catch one, but if you do it will be

:07:58.:08:01.

slow-moving and possibly on the heavy side. Temperatures will be as

:08:01.:08:07.

high as 19 degrees. That is all from the newsroom for now, I will be back

:08:08.:08:13.

at ten minutes to seven this evening.

:08:13.:08:21.

Time to talk about the week that was and take a look at the week ahead.

:08:21.:08:25.

To do that I have the political commentator Alf Young and Katie

:08:25.:08:34.

Grant in the studio. Thank you for joining me. We had the debate on

:08:34.:08:39.

welfare and older people are now more likely to be hit by cuts as the

:08:39.:08:43.

two bigger parties at Westminster firm up their attitude on welfare.

:08:43.:08:48.

They think this is likely? I don't like the language of targeting, but

:08:48.:08:50.

I think there is a huge issue that I think there is a huge issue that

:08:50.:08:58.

must be It is not just about the bedroom tax, it is about the reality

:08:58.:09:03.

over the last 30 years that older people are doing rather well

:09:03.:09:07.

compared to almost every other group in the population. The people doing

:09:07.:09:16.

worst are those younger than 25. Younger people are starting their

:09:16.:09:19.

lives with greater disadvantages in terms of finding work and their

:09:19.:09:24.

earning power compared to when I was that age, so the big issue is the

:09:24.:09:27.

equity between these different groups and what politicians are

:09:27.:09:31.

going to do about it. What you saw from the film is that they are not

:09:31.:09:36.

going to do very much, cause older people will vote for the people who

:09:36.:09:43.

promised them the most. Katie Grant, you mentioned that Granny is mugging

:09:43.:09:49.

you. There is a feeling amongst the younger generation that they are

:09:49.:09:54.

paying a lot of benefits for the older generation. I agree with Alf,

:09:54.:09:58.

the language is bad and it is going to have to change, because when we

:09:58.:10:02.

talk about over-65s, these are relatively young people now because

:10:03.:10:07.

you can live until you are 90. Many people want to work until they are

:10:07.:10:12.

over 80, so this is a time of transition, but I agree with Alf. It

:10:12.:10:16.

is not fair for older people, who have benefited from changes since

:10:16.:10:22.

the war, to now say that younger people must look after themselves. I

:10:22.:10:27.

know a lot of older people help their grandchildren are a lot, and

:10:27.:10:30.

that is a good aim and I like the idea of older people helping younger

:10:30.:10:34.

people, but I don't think they should hold themselves aloof over

:10:34.:10:39.

what is happening in the world as though they are sacrosanct. The Tory

:10:39.:10:45.

MSP was saying that as the retirement age edges up we can now

:10:45.:10:52.

capture these people. Absolutely. We talk about pensioners as if they are

:10:52.:10:57.

an endangered species. I saw a picture last night, Neil Young and

:10:57.:11:05.

Crazy Horse at the SEC C. He is not at the stage where he is giving up

:11:05.:11:12.

work. 1 million people over 65 are still working. Pensioners say, we

:11:12.:11:16.

are discriminated against because of our age. You can't have it both

:11:16.:11:22.

ways, you can't be fragile and needy and still get a job. We need to

:11:22.:11:29.

change the way we think about being old. A big debate lies ahead. The

:11:29.:11:38.

papers are discussing the Donside collection. -- E-Lites and. --

:11:38.:11:47.

election. What are your thoughts on this by-election? Unlike you I have

:11:47.:11:52.

not been there, I see that right up front, but it seems to me it is

:11:53.:11:58.

quite hard to overturn a 7000 majority in the current climate. The

:11:58.:12:02.

really interesting question would be how many people vote, because if you

:12:02.:12:12.
:12:12.:12:13.

get a very poor results on Thursday it will not look good for the debate

:12:13.:12:16.

on the referendum because it says that a lot of people have just been

:12:16.:12:21.

turned off by the whole thing. The other interesting thing about it is

:12:21.:12:27.

you are getting a sense in Aberdeen of the outer Scotland beginning to

:12:27.:12:31.

see the same things about the central belt and Edinburgh that we

:12:31.:12:38.

are currently hearing about Scotland and London. I think this will be

:12:38.:12:41.

about local issues, not a litmus test on independence. The

:12:41.:12:45.

interesting thing will be what happens to the smaller parties, they

:12:45.:12:50.

are more interesting than the bigger parties in this by-election. It will

:12:50.:12:54.

be very interesting to see the anger directed against the Holyrood

:12:54.:12:58.

government and what it is not doing for us rather than the UK

:12:58.:13:03.

Government, so there is a sense that things are becoming more

:13:03.:13:12.

sophisticated, if you like. Sunday mail says Brown Not Out, Pm

:13:12.:13:22.
:13:22.:13:23.

Will Stand Again. If he doesn't, I suspect it is more about being

:13:23.:13:27.

involved in Kirk day than about being involved in Westminster.

:13:27.:13:31.

think he will, I think Sarah was saying, stand again, don't stay in

:13:31.:13:37.

the house all day. Tomorrow Jackie Bird will be hosting a special

:13:37.:13:42.

Newsnight Scotland debate. She will be joined by an audience of women.

:13:42.:13:47.

Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.


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