23/06/2013 Sunday Politics Scotland


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Sunday interview. And a group of 40 right wingers are hankering for a


Margaret Thatcher of equality. They also want to bring back hanging. And


here in Scotland: As George prepares to wield the axe again, is the UK


really moving from rescue to recovery and what effect will the


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1872 seconds


my parents did think it was a home for life. Luckily they were always


in work and did not rely on benefits. Nobody knows when they


take a council house that they will at some stage depend on the benefit


system. Using the benefit system to socially engineered the housing


stock is the wrong way round. What we need to do is build more houses.


The anther is to build more houses. Hopefully this government will get


the message. If you did not do attend the last 15 years why would


you do it next time? I am pushing the government to do that. It is


also about building the right houses that we need. People's expectations


have gone up, people want to bedrooms, two bathrooms that sort of


thing. When someone falls out of work or has health problems that


means they cannot work the might then become dependent on housing


benefit and using housing benefit to manipulate this is not the right way


forward. What you do is simply punish the people for the economic


situation the add-in. You are just the people? With respect, my


grandparents have gone from having four children and their hose to


living alone, the housing need has changed and why shouldn't they be


encouraged to liberate that house for a family to have the same


privilege they did? I was encouraged by what you said about perhaps being


more positive. Really we should be working at that. Where local


authorities have not, we need to look at the housing benefit system


to incentivise. What about someone's grandparents, what


incentive is there for them when they are family have gone to move to


a smaller place? For the pensioner couple the incentive is a nice house


in a nice area that is cheaper to heat and easier to keep but


sometimes that does need to be sold to people. You housing benefit


changes do not affect that pensioner couple, they are still stuck in the


four-bedroom house and it is less likelihood of them being moved


simply because the one-bedroom flats they might have moved into our being


taken up by the people who are of working age. What about people who


have lived in DC media dear Paul lives and later in life, in the


mid-60s and 70s you want them to move? Their whole network is there.


If you have worked in the same area for 40 years that is your home and


you have root beer. If the taxpayer is going to continue to pay the bill


for your rent you have no incentive which is why we have to use carrots


as well as state. And is it your feeling that Labour will reverse


this policy if they win this election? I would certainly hope


they would look at the policy again. The problem as some people will have


moved, some will have only years, I cannot imagine a future government


writing off all sorts of years it will depend where we are in a few


years time. You are watching the Sunday politics. Hello and welcome


to Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up on the programme: The Chancellor


is sketching out his spending plans as we speak, what will the impact on


Scotland be and is the economy really healing? A show of strength


from the SNP in Aberdeen Donside, what was the message from voters in


the Granite city? The main negotiator in the spending round has


been the Lib Dem's Alexander. -- Danny Alexander. The Chief Secretary


to the Treasury has been cajoling ministers to offer up departmental


savings for 2015, partly because the plan to cut the deficit is taking


longer than expected. You have my commitment that we will not let up.


I will fit out the spending plans and with tough negotiating by the


Chief Secretary those plans are almost complete. Are they not? Did


our more difficult decisions. There have to be. When the country is


living way beyond its means. So George or Jeffrey will tell MPs the


detail on Wednesday. Whatever the outcome, there will be implications


for the Scottish Government's spending plans for the period


following next year's independence referendum. Our Westminster


correspondent Tim Reid reports. It is the same for almost anyone trying


to earn a living nowadays. From those busking outside the window of


the Chancellor to those in every form of government. The austerity


theme, the tight rein on public spending and the coalition cuts,


much criticised, will have many more years to run. It will have an impact


on what Scotland gets. Money will be allocated to the English NHS and


English schools and they can spend that as they wish, they will also


get cuts in public services and then they will have to meet the growing


decisions about how they want to eat cuts across different services. In


Scotland in the last spending round the cuts were similar in Scotland.


Britain will go in an historic new direction of hope and unity and


common purpose. It is not quite how the coalition partners had hoped


when the promised to wipe out the deficit by 2015. This is not just


about finding savings but about making the right choices for the


future of this country. We are on track to do that. Every department


here in Whitehall has been negotiating its budget in recent


weeks. Some have in doing it find close borders like the Treasury but


the Scotland office have been offering up to 70% cuts and then


there is the MOD. The Prime Minister has said it will be no more manpower


cuts there at least. We were promised a bigger army, navy and air


force but the fact is they have cut of the forces. We do not know what


will happen in the future of the Armed Forces we will just have to


wait and see what is announced. At the moment it is significant


scepticism over the government and its promises. The public no longer


believe. It is up to the Scottish government how to spend it back �1


billion government budget but it could be hundreds of millions lost


from the coffers. Infrastructure projects to boost the economy still


do not stop concerns about the next round of cuts. It could be a


detrimental impact on Scotland while removing the room to manoeuvre. It


could influence unemployment figures throughout the UK. The Chancellor is


also calculating that they will pile political pressure on Labour ahead


of the next election to see whether they will match these cuts or not.


In Scotland, before then, there is the small matter of an independence


referendum. Could the prospect of more public spending cuts prepaid --


persuade Scotland to pack its banks will be hopes of an economic revival


help to keep Britain as one? Now we have assembled our own brains trust


to analyse this now. Joining me now from our Edinburgh studio is


Professor of Management at Queen Margaret University, Richard Kerley,


and in the studio, the economist Jo Armstrong, Honorary Professor at the


Adam Smith Business School at Glasgow University and also


Professor of Economics at Stirling University, David Bell. Now we hear


epic row is going on with Vince cable at the moment but I believe


defence was agreed last night? believe most departments have


reached agreements. The Treasury has a target to meet. The government,


Prime Minister and Chancellor are behind that target. They may be


politics but essentially the Treasury will get its way in the


end. What is the Chancellor hoping to do with growth? There are some


reports in the papers today about a long-term infrastructure plan.


Clearly he has defined different routes to make sure the current


growth we are seeing is sustained and takes off. He is looking to use


infrastructure as one means of doing that, hopefully not just through


dead boring but also encouraging the private sector to invest. There has


been criticism that he has not done enough to boost growth. He has


talked of measures to finance of public money but the devil is in the


detail and they have not taken off. He has two find a way quickly and


one obvious way to boost investment with the around housing. He could do


quite a lot through housing. Talking about the devil being in the detail,


when it comes to Scotland, it can be tricky to work out the


consequential, Mr Swinney will have his work cut out on Wednesday, will


he not? The big picture emerges on the day but the fine detail of that


only runs out over a period of time. The point was well made in Europe


bought. It is a matter for John Swinney and the Scottish government


today ordered the figure they get in a way they think is appropriate.


They are going to have a bigger level of production. The top end is


going to be a deduction but then it is a matter for the Scottish


government on how that applies that and redirects resources. I worry


that the Chancellor is still fiddling around with the combination


of immediate measures such as the housing project he introduced a


while ago. That only adds to house price inflation. We are not making


progress on the big infrastructure projects that have promised. As the


money heads north to Edinburgh isn't always obvious way that is going?


You spoke about student support. Were there hidden there or like


that? It is difficult to track from one year to the next exactly how any


government is shifting money around but the outcome of the Barnett


consequential is is open to the Scottish government to manipulate in


whatever way it chooses. It sometimes produces some unexpected


results in terms of the impact on particular budgets. Education here


benefited a couple of years ago from some changes that were made to the


system in England in particular, relating to the introduction of


student fees for higher education. The NHS and overseas development


have impacts here in Scotland but when it comes to protecting these


budgets is there a sense that if you was budgets perhaps the economy


would benefit the cause you could tackle inefficiencies? It is


difficult to understand in a world where everybody is having to take


cuts, inhale fund schools down south, that people are being ring


fenced. No demand is growing in health so the budget is effective


and demand is rising but if you're not seeing cash cuts you start to


question whether you can justify that. By capping health you are


effectively cutting other budgets between five and 10%. Debt is still


rising. There was not good news on Friday. Are we seeing these elusive


clean sheet -- green shoots of the economy healing and getting into


recovery? In 2004 the UK had one of the lowest debt free shows in the


developing -- developed world. It is now hitting 80% of GDP. Almost all


the political parties accept something has to be done about that


because coming down the track are big changes in the democracy of the


UK and that will inevitably put further upward pressure on debt


going forward. I think it is some consensus. The Labour Party seem to


be coming along with the notion that borrowing limits will have to be


adhered to over the future. This goes beyond the next election and


well into possibly the next decade that government spending is a sheer


of the overall pot in the economy. That will be expected to be


declining. On a steady tea, the teeming parties almost agree. -- on


posterity the three main parties almost agree -- posterity. --


austerity. I am not sure there is a night peak of consensus. -- an


outbreak of consensus. The Argent is how the huge government budget is


deployed ostensibly. Universally headlines on the radio this morning


was about whether the Chancellor is falling into the classic first of


fiddling around the edges and trying to lock pleasant surprises out of a


complex and generally depressing situation. They claim he is planning


to redirect money from banks to helping injured service people, that


seems to me the worst kind of election needing rather than a


considered view of how we try to get together and the anaemic growth we


are experiencing. We do not actually know why, at least in employment


terms, things have seemed to be better in Scotland and else where in


the United Kingdom. It is very hard to determine whether it is the


actions of the Scottish government, the UK government or just


circumstantial in the broader economy. If you look at the spending


cuts, we still have more coming. It is not like he has a lot of


manoeuvre around electioneering. If he is trying to keep the markets


happy, if they thinks we are keeping debt interest level is low, he has


got to find good news. At the moment the news is all those things I have


described. Thank you for joining me. It wasn't an upset in the campaign


did not set the heather alight. The Aberdeen Donside by-election came


and went and now the SNP when is now safely in his seat. Labour also


blame progress. We have been looking at the swings and roundabouts in


Aberdeen. It was the by-election that sent


driver sent -- round in circles. This notorious roundabout at times


felt like all everyone was talking about. It did not send the voters


and spend. Only 39% turned out to vote. Mark McDonald, subnational --


Scottish National Party. Those who dared, voted for the SNP's


candidate. It was a clear victory in what was her historical Labour seat.


Brian Adam had a majority in the seat. He worked as MSP for 25 years.


They have placed their trust in me. I will be a strong local champion


for Aberdeen Donside. All smiles after the results were given time to


sink in. The reality is the Nationalists lost vote but it is


still seen as a good vote. The SNP is halfway through a second term in


government. The SNP not only won this by-election but we did some


pretty comfortably. The SNP do retain a clear majority but that is


down almost five thousand on 2011. The Conservatives saw a slight


reduction. While the Liberal Democrats made again. That push them


up from fourth to third. There is still plenty of opportunity


for navel-gazing and this was a chance for the parties to test the


temperature on their doorstep. Strangely all parties were hearing


noises in their favour. Back in the headquarters those noises could help


in years to come. It helps towards the 2016 election. We would take out


over 25 thousand MSP 's from the SNP. -- MS plays. -- MSPs. We think


the momentum is in our direction. We have got past some of our


difficulties in recent years. I think together with delivery at


Westminster, cutting taxes, increasing tensions, as well as our


excellent record that our local parliamentarians have, we think we


can build on this and get good results. Other past six weeks as has


been a battlefield. The campaign has been fought hard in the candidates


have been talking tough. Other parties no blood has been shed, no


damage done. -- for their parties. Apart from the swing to Labour,


nothing here has changed. In the great volume of Scottish political


history, you will have to look hard in the index in the back for


Aberdeen Donside. Joining me from our Aberdeen studio


is the winner of the by-election, Mark McDonald. Congratulations first


of all. Thank you very much. I met sure the other Friday when you were


out campaigning. I asked a few were complacent. I don't think you were


because the SNP through a lot at this, but yet it was a lot closer


than many expected, as we have been seeing. The swing to Labour would


have taken out some SNP cabinet members. As you know swings in


by-elections do not materialise in general elections. What you have in


by-elections is a concerted five-week, six-week campaign. It is


focused on issues in the constituency. The other parties


through everything, including the kitchen sink at the SNP during this


campaign. They ran a relentlessly negative campaign. We are delighted


we held the seat and we held at comfortably, a good four figure


majority. Other governments would have to -- would kill to have a


majority like that after two years in power. You are a well-known


face, you have been known as a councillor. Do you think the


majority should have been slimmed down as much? I said to you that I


was not going to make any predictions for the outcome of the


by-election. Our objective at the beginning was to hold the seat. We


have achieved that objective. I was first elected as a councillor in


2007, so I have been around in the political scene in Aberdeen for six


years. It took Bryan Adams at least a quarter of a century to build up


the reputation he did. This is a seat that the Labour Party in the


past used to expect. We will continue to work hard for the people


of Donside following in that tradition. Thursday had the need


18th of September 2014, how would it have looked for the independence


movement? I have not very good? I do not think it will hinge on the local


schools and roundabouts. It is difficult to extrapolate this


campaign into the independence campaign. We released the results of


our super survey of Donside residents. It is showing that


everything is still to play for. 29% opposed and 30% of people said that


at present they are undecided. We know that there were undecided what


to hear the arguments, they want to be convinced in order to place their


vote. It is up to us to put out a positive position and make sure that


they vote yes in the referendum. Labour pointed out that your


literature only made one reference to render pendent Scotland. -- to an


independent Scotland. It was on a leaflet that highlighted Denis


Healey's undervaluing of oil to Scotland. It was in our campaign


newspaper. It was on a survey card that went to every single voter in


the Donside constituency and it was part of cans and saying script on


the door said. -- canvassing script. Looking at your companions in the


yes campaign, there was no SSP standing in the by-election. UKIP


scored about three times as many votes as the Greens. Is the yes


campaign really just the SNP? Andrew. The yes campaign, obviously


the SNP are major stakeholder in the campaign. It is wider than the SNP.


It includes people from all political parties and none. What we


were finding on the doorstep was there was a large section of the


Labour Party support who are for independence and wishing to vote


yes. Perhaps it is for the Labour Party to start looking at what it


supporters telling them and maybe consider its position in relation to


the independence referendum. Particularly in light of the


revelations today, in 2015 people will be resented with posterity from


all parties as their options. a pretty gruelling campaign.


Yesterday in the press and journals, Alex Salmond made a visit to a


primary school and he did not have permission to be there. What


happened with that visit? Did Mr Salmond have permission to be at the


school? Mr Salman was invited to come into the school well we were


visiting. -- Mr Salman. Alex Salmond. There is the story of the


school campaigners who were asked to leave. They were asking people


leaving the station to the sign at campaign against closing the school.


I think there are question marks about those campaigners. We have to


leave it there. Thank you. We are heading to the news now and after


that we have are looked at the The Good afternoon. The US whistle


blower, Edward Snowden, who has revealed details of secret US and


British surveillance programmes, has fled Hong Kong from where the US


authorities were seeking to extradite him. He is on a flight


bound for Moscow - where he's due to arrive shortly. From Hong Kong, John


Sudworth reports. The hunt for Edward Snowden, the man


America wants to bring, has taken a surprise in turn. According to one


newspaper citing credible sources, he is on board a flight to Moscow. A


statement from the Hong Kong government confirms that Mr Snowden


has indeed left the territory, although it does not say where he


has gone. It leaves a US legal blunder did not meet the legal


requirements. His departure comes shortly after further revelations


exposing the extent of Britain's high-tech spying capabilities. He


also revealed details about US efforts to Hakkinen -- hacked into


Hong Kong's communications. Hong Kong may have taken the easy way


out. It was facing a lengthy extradition battle and intends


diplomatic pressure from the US and perhaps China to. It call -- report


says that Mr Snowden is put on a flight from Moscow to Cuba on


Monday. As he slips away from Hong Kong, America may find that their IT


specialists ends up some are much further from its reach.


The Chancellor, George Osborne says he has reached agreement with the


Defence Secretary on MOD spending for the year 2015 to 2016. Speaking


ahead of his spending review this week, he said the civilian numbers


would be reduced but there would be no cut in armed forces personnel.


They will not be a reduction in own military capability, we will not


reduce the number of sailors, soldiers and a man. We will spend


more money on cyber, which is the new frontier in defence.


Gunmen have killed ten people, including nine foreign tourists,


after storming a hotel in far northern Pakistan. Officials say


five are from Ukraine, one from Lithuania and three from China. A


tour guide of Pakistani or Nepalese origin was also killed. The assault


happened at the remote base camp of the world's ninth highest mountain.


Two separate militant group said they have taken -- committed the


student who has been missing since the beginning of the month are


stepping up their appeal for information. Yulia Solodyankina, was


last seen at the Wee Red Bar in Edinburgh. Today friends in a drum


and dance group will busk at The Mound to raise awareness of her


disappearance, and her face is to appear on coffee cups around the


city. The Scottish government is hoping to


establish better trade links with China. The External Affairs Minister


Humza Yousaf is visiting the country in a bid to encourage more Chinese


investment in Scottish industry and infrastructure. A direct air link


and more Mandarin and Cantonese language lessons are among the


suggestions which could strengthen cultural ties.


Two hundred of the UK's top cyclists are in Glasgow today for the biggest


road cycling event of the year. Mark Cavendish and Laura Trott will be


among those competing in the The British Cycling National Road Race


Championships. More than 20,000 people are expected to line the


route, which runs through the city centre, and starts and finishes at


Glasgow Green. Let's now have a look everyone. Gusty northerly winds will


make for a wet afternoon. Heavy rain for the Borders and Central and


South West Scotland, brighter but with the odd heavy shower. Our next


update is that ten to seven. I will now hand you back to Andrew.


We will be discussing the big political events coming up. Let's


take a look back at the week in 60 Proposals to end the centuries-old


requirement for corroboration in court cases were brought forward by


the Scottish government. The plans would also increase the number of


jurors required for a majority guilty verdict. A report by the


Parliamentary commission on banking standards said reckless bosses


should be jailed and there should be an overhaul of the repeat to stop


them being rewarded for failure. The administrators at heart began the


painful is that -- job of starting the painful task of telling is that


whether they have a job or not. had to make many admin staff


part-time. It is likely that for players will also be made redundant.


Ruth Davidson was left feeling half her age when she was knocked back


trying to buy the Scotland office Minister of beer at the Bruce


Springsteen concert. The 34-year-old said being ID at Hamdan had made her


laugh. What will be making the headlines in politics this week.


guests today are the blogger Kate Higgins and Political Editor of the


Daily Record, David Clegg. Vince cable challenges George Osborne


overgrowth. I think this is a slightly smoother process.


Everything has been almost tied up now. All tied up but bizarrely a


kind of outbreak of consensus. I think it all this morning was


clarifying about spending, he would road to spend on capital spending


but the e-mail parties all sticking to the austerity plans? I am glad


Vince cable is making the case. It has two the hood to bed in advance


of the 2015 election. If we know that all the major parties are


seeing cuts, cuts and more cuts until we get this debt down then


there is no point in voting. labour wise to follow that strategy


do you think? It has consequences for the referendum debate here.


Effective years there is no difference in the offering with in


the Westminster system and the UK then it is the opportunity for the


SNP to seize on. It is a very clear dividing line. The positive is that


people have an alternative but the negative is people seeing if that is


happening in Westminster why is it not happening here? A lot of people


are calling for clarity and certainty. They want to know what


independence offers. The certainty we have got here is that we know


what will happen when we bought now, austerity and cuts. That is bad news


for people at home. The same-sex marriage Bill have produced a


video. We can have a look at that bill has been hit by some delays but


it looks like it is going forward. Aid is still going to be a lot of


noise about this but the battle is won. As you can see from that


video. Even Alex Salmond is holding it up. There will be a very vocal


campaign against it but it has God supporting the Scottish parliament


and it will go through. About 11 MSB is still going to court against. --


vote against. It is all over bar the shouting. The interesting thing is


whether or not the Scottish government will offer a free vote.


It is not a conscience vote, they do have policy there. The latter number


of ministers who are bubbly on the opposing side and what will be quite


interesting in that the vote is there are probably more SNP MSP is


who will vote against equal marriage due to there own faith or conscience


leafs. That is the first time we have had that kind of conscience


split coming across the SNP government. There has been a lot of


cynicism and scepticism about leaving this until after the


referendum. I think Will there be a marriage before the referendum? That


is difficult to say. They are seeing firmly know that this is going to


happen but whether that happens or not Israeli academic. We had


President Bill Clinton in Scotland this week, this is what he had to


say. You will come about this rate regardless of whether you go about


it in the right way. It is very important that there be an honest


effort to list the consequences of this. That was the former president


of the United States seeing we need to outline the arguments.


Absolutely. When we have this coming to Scotland to give sage advice why


was that not televised? I know he was eating to business people but he


lives up former president coming to Scotland with words of advice. I do


not agree that it was a study in blandness. I think this is eminently


sensible. Things have got very polarised very quickly and he was


spot on. We need to talk to each other and reserve game here if we


want to have top in Scotland with the Scottish people. And William


Hague was up this week as well? I was at the speech and it was


largely just a same things I have heard from the Prime Minister. The


aspect that the Sunday Times is picking up on is countries like


Spain with similar movements. I think there is some truth. Now let


me bring you some breaking news, some sad news, Ruth Evenson has paid


tribute to Lord Carmyle Eve who has died suddenly. He was an MP who


represented East Angus and South Angus and was made a life here in


1989. Very sad news just coming in. I had not heard that. I used to work


for the Dundee Cuneo newspaper which is quite strong and I know that he


was very popular and well liked up in Angus. It is a sad day for a lot


of people. Very sad news, he was a strong character. Yes, we are losing


quite a number of people who have been around for a long time. It is


sad news and condolences to his family. Also the conservative


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.

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