06/10/2013 Sunday Politics Scotland


06/10/2013

The latest political news, interviews and debate in Scotland.


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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. An in-out EU referendum

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before the general election? We talk to the Tory rebel demanding

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one next year. That's our top story. As Government ministers prepare to

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decide how the press should be regulated, what will be the impact

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of this week's row between the Daily Mail and Ed Miliband?

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You take this and you have kept out the colour of people's faces. You

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are a disgrace! And we'll hear from the MEP who ruined UKIP's

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conference. And coming up on Sunday Politics

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Scotland: The meter's running on the cost of living. What can the

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politicians do to help people? And who's to blame?

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He will try to force a vote in the Commons to hold the poll next

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October. Home Secretary Theresa May was asked about his plans on the BBC

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earlier this morning. I think he has got it wrong, I think what we need

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to do is to negotiate the settlement with the European Union and then put

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that to the people me to decide whether to be in or out. Is this a

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flea bite or a real threat? I think what is crucial is that we have, at

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the next election, a Conservative Party that will be offering people

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that renegotiation, a new settlement with Europe, looking to the future

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and putting that to the British people in and in or out referendum.

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And what the amendment possibly could do, as James Wharton, who was

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putting the Referendum Bill through Parliament has said, is it could

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jeopardise that bill. Adam Afriyie joins us now from Millbank studio.

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Good morning. If the referendum would be held next October, it would

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have to be an in-out question based the status quo? There wouldn't be

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time for a full renegotiation. I disagree. By having a referendum in

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2014, it gives us 12 months to renegotiate, but it kick-started

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negotiations, because the European Union, if they wish us to remain

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members, would need to accommodate and make changes so that they would

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persuade the British public to stay, if that is what they want. It

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strengthens the Prime Minister's hand, and 12 months is ample time

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for that kind of negotiation. You might think that, but Germany has

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not even got a government at the moment, why should they meet our

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timetable? This is going to be incredibly, located renegotiation. I

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think, basically, 80% of people want a referendum. More than 50% what a

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referendum this side of the election. British businesses need

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certainty, and we could carry on taking a scan down the road for

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ever, but I have struggled with my conscience over this one. I do not

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want to cause trouble, but it is essential that Parliament and MPs

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have the opportunity to search their souls and give people a referendum

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this side of the election. That would also bring certainty and

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clarity for the future, and like I said, it strengthens the Prime

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Minister's hand if it is successful. You right in the Mail on Sunday that

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the people are not convinced there even will be a referendum, so they

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don't trust David Cameron? I think the headline was not the headline I

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wrote for that piece. What I am saying is a very calm analysis...

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You are saying that the British people are not convinced. Look,

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there are too many uncertainties here - they may not be convinced the

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Conservatives will win the election, I hope we will, they may not be

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convinced the renegotiation will be good enough, that there will be a

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referendum. Do you trust David Cameron to deliver a referendum?

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That is why we need to bring the referendum forward, there is time to

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negotiate, and we tidy up the issue that has been hanging around for too

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long. Do you trust David Cameron to deliver a referendum in 2017? I

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completely support the Prime Minister, and of course I trust the

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completely support the Prime Prime Minister. To deliver a

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referendum? There as only variables in between. What I am doing with

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referendum? There as only variables this amendment, is to try to be sure

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is that Parliament and every MP has the opportunity decide whether they

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want to be sure of a referendum within this parliament, or maybe

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leave it to the vagaries of what may within this parliament, or maybe

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happen in 2015. Supposing you got your way, how would you vote? Like

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Michael Gove, I would vote for us to leave as of today, but there will be

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Michael Gove, I would vote for us to an enormous amount of pressure on

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European Union leaders to come an enormous amount of pressure on

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forward with proposals. If they were to say, the mandate is not ever

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closer political union, it is ever closer trading harmony, giving us

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more border control and control over our legal system, I might change my

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mind. But this is what needs to happen - if we have a referendum in

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2014, 12 months is time for negotiations to be kick-started and

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people to argue in or out, and the end result is a stronger Prime

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Minister. Is it true that you have got about 80 MPs supporting this? It

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is cross-party, that is for certain, and I think we will see it

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on hold over the next three or five weeks. He will have to ask each

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individual MP. I am asking you, it is your motion! There will be other

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motions coming forward, and I know there is widespread support,

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cross-party, for people who want the British public to have a say in

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2014. You know it is not going to get through, the whips will stop

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this from happening. One of the successes, apparently, of your

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party's Manchester conference was that you were not divided over

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Europe anymore, the Europe issue was settled. Here you are bringing it

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Europe anymore, the Europe issue was back to life and pouring petrol on

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the flames - are you now the unlicensed troublemaker of the

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Tories? The only struggle I have had is not a fight with my party but

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Tories? The only struggle I have had with my conscience as to whether or

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not I would give Parliament and the British people an opportunity to

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have a say in 2014. I wrestled with it, and I decided I wanted people to

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have that opportunity. It is for each individual MP to search their

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soul, speak to constituents and decide whether they want that. You

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decided it would get you in the headlines again. Oh, you are so

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cynical, Andrew! I have no ambition in that direction, I am not a

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publicity seeker. All I seek is for the British people do have this. I

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would not be able to sleep at night if I did not bring forward this

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opportunity for Britain to have its say. We have left it far too long.

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Nobody under the age of 56 has had a say. Thanks for joining us, good

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luck with this continuing struggle with your conscience! I will move

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the seat around and addressed the panel, what do you make of it? The

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party managers must be furious with him. I think what this confirms is

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that David Cameron is incredibly lucky in his enemies. His most

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prolific critics, Nadine Dorries, Peter Bone, Adam Afriyie, even if

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you are very anti-Cameron, you will not think, man, if only they were in

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charge of the party! I think the party managers are not too alarmed.

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They do not take him seriously? No, it is not a frivolous amendment. It

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is not as if the James Wharton bill is a work of genius, it is riddled

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with flaws, anomalies and loopholes. It purports to guarantee that a

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referendum will take place in the next Parliament. My understanding of

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the constitution is that is theoretically impossible and that

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all the future government would do is cancel out that bill with another

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bill. He does have a point that Cameron's plan for a referendum is

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nothing like as likely to happen... Hung parliaments, frivolous

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amendments can be immensely dangerous. The problem for David

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Cameron is twofold. One, if Ed Miliband says he's going to support

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Adam Afriyie, it will go through. Unlikely that Ed Miliband would do

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that, but what he might do is say to his MPs, ignore this. It may well be

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that the Labour payroll and a significant number of Labour MPs do

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not turn up, and then what you have got is a war between the

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Conservative payroll and the Conservative backbenchers, and in

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that war you might well find that Adam Afriyie's amendment goes

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through, and then the Prime Minister has real trouble, because Adam

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Afriyie says, the Prime Minister could renegotiate terms of

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membership, up what basis and with which mandate? He would not be able

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to get agreement with Nick Clegg or Ed Miliband, so you would be looking

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at Adam Afriyie voting to leave. I think he is a Labour mole, that is

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what I have come to, a Daily Mail style conspiracy theory, it could

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not be more perfect. The prospect of style conspiracy theory, it could

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a referendum on the EU at the same time as Scottish independence is

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what no-one once, so that is it. He has told us he could not sleep at

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night, wrestling with his conscience. We could send him some

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pills, I suppose. We know he's going to sack all those lieutenants were

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going around and saying he is the great future and the next leader of

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the Conservative Party. He denied doing that! He would be amazed to

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hear you say that, this is a crisis of conscience. Whispered

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conversations in corridors, quite an operation to get letters into Graham

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Brady, he said to have letters, not 46, but at the moment this campaign

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is being run by Lieutenant of Adam Afriyie. He has got lieutenants?

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They are disaffected and not happy under David Cameron's leadership.

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There is a whole army of them! I am pleased he has outmanoeuvred the

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awkward squad, and now James Wharton is saying, you're going to kill my

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bill. I do not think they are very competence lieutenants. The main

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political consequence of this episode is it will unify a large

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political consequence of this chunk of the Colin Hendry

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Conservative Party behind David Cameron. On what they hope is a

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settled position. We still hope to be talking to John Prescott, who is

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in hole, if you see him, pointing in the direction of the BBC studios! Do

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you want to buy a house? Can you afford the mortgage repayments but

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not the 20% or 30% deposit the mortgage provider is demanding from

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you? The Government says it has a scheme designed for you which is in

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launching next week, help to buy, and it should lead to the

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re-emergence of 95% mortgages, remember them?! But is the policy

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really good for home-buyers or the British economy? Here is Giles.

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Never mind who lives in a house like this, who can afford to buy a house

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these days? The Government would this, who can afford to buy a house

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like many more people to be able to without putting down a crippling

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amount of money as a deposit, and in the spirit of rights to buy, the

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government has launched help to buy, confusingly it is the name for two

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different schemes. The first scheme, Help to Buy 1, has

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been running since April. Help to Buy 2 was supposed to come in

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January next year, but the government are bringing it in early.

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Let's get in on the inside and take a good look around at what this

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scheme actually has to offer. And why the Government thinks it really

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works. Help to Buy 1 was an equity loan scheme. The idea, nice, is that

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it was for new build only, up to a value of £600,000. But it is Help to

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Buy 2 that everyone is looking into right now. It is for any property up

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to a value, again, of £600,000. This time the Government is guaranteeing

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that it will take on the first losses should the home owner in the

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future failed to make their mortgage payments. Don't worry about that, if

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you are a buyer, you are going to be concerned about coming up with the

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5% deposit and 95% mortgages will be available again in participating

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banks and building societies. And that, the Prime Minister thinks, is

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a housing prime mover. You cannot get training to 5% mortgage anymore,

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90% even, so there are couples in our country who have good jobs,

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decent incomes, they could afford the mortgage payments but they

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cannot buy the house. It is a failure in our banking market. So

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that is the Prime Minister, Jonathan, but I guess for you this

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is not Homes Under The Hammer, but a scheme which should be hammered. The

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main impact of this scheme will be to push up prices, who does that

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benefit? Mostly rich and all the people who own their houses. Plus

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the banks, of course, because it is a subsidy for them. Who loses?

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People who want to buy a house in the future. Moreover, it is a bit

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odd that the Government says it is not OK to borrow to finance schools

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or roads, but it is fine for the Government to take on more debt,

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effectively, in order to guarantee 95% mortgages and pump up the

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housing market. 2.3 million? I do not think Help to Buy covers that.

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But enter a would-be buyer, will they now be seeing a plethora of

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help to buy mortgages? In a word, no. David Cameron has brought the

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announcement forward by three months, and banks were not ready at

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that stage. Two banks have committed to fund the scheme, the Lloyds group

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and the RBS group, so lenders like Halifax, RBS and NatWest. They will

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be doing the scheme, but even once the scheme is up and running you are

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not going to see Help to Buy mortgages badged up. You will

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probably find 95% mortgages on the high street because of the guarantee

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the government is offering. People might say this is how we got into a

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mess in the first place. Why would the government want to make those

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products available then now? It was more what investment banks were

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doing in the background that caused the problems. Mortgages have

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performed extremely well through the depths of the downturn. Is this a

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game changer? Yes, I have done my best to save over the last few years

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but this has enabled me to make that first purchase. How frustrating was

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it just renting? Very frustrating, you are throwing away money hand

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over fist, and now I can take that leap to being an owner. His

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enthusiasm raises a question back at the flat. If you are looking for a

:15:57.:16:01.

95% mortgage, you don't really care what will happen in the wider

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economy, you are thinking, great, I can buy a house. Yes, if I was a

:16:06.:16:14.

house buyer or a bank, I would be pleased, but it will do longer term

:16:14.:16:18.

economic damage. The tricky steps pleased, but it will do longer term

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the government are trying to pull off is that home-buyers might be so

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grateful for the opportunity to buy their own homes that they reward the

:16:26.:16:33.

Government with the vote, while at the same time the Government tries

:16:33.:16:38.

to sidestep consequences that such a scheme might create.

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Now Conservative MP Margot James, and Allister Heath, editor of City

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AM, go head to head. It is said by the critics that this

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scheme will cause a housing bubble. Where is the evidence? House prices

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are more varied. Housing not just in London remains overvalued and the

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problem with this scheme is that it will pump up house prices, it will

:17:19.:17:23.

not increase the supply and therefore houses will become even

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more overvalued. That is a dangerous territory, last time it ended in

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tears, and now the Government is taking on the risk of that policy.

:17:34.:17:41.

What do you say to that? We have a real problem, it takes people on

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average until they are 38 years old until they can buy their own

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property. The problem is not that they cannot afford it, but they

:17:54.:17:59.

cannot afford the deposit. We have got to do something to allow people

:17:59.:18:03.

to get their feet on the property ladder and I don't agree it will

:18:03.:18:07.

cause a boom in house prices. It would if we were not building any

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new houses, but we are. Are you? We have had a record this year, 12

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months to right now, the record for the last ten years. These are not

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the statistics I have seen, but the new supply is coming up. It is

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the statistics I have seen, but the starting to creep up. We don't see

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enough house building, need to build more houses and that is a solution

:18:46.:18:50.

to this problem. You are right, people cannot afford to buy homes

:18:50.:18:54.

and the reason is there are not enough good quality homes in the

:18:54.:18:58.

right places. The reason the deposits are so high is because

:18:58.:19:02.

house prices are still too high, and secondly the Government has passed

:19:02.:19:05.

laws to make the banking system more prudent, telling them to put more

:19:05.:19:10.

money aside in case things go wrong. Now suddenly the Government

:19:10.:19:15.

is not happy with the outcome of its own rules and is trying to create

:19:15.:19:19.

these subsidies to circumvent the rules it has put in place. It is not

:19:19.:19:26.

a subsidy. Don't forget banks have to pay a charge in order to take

:19:26.:19:28.

a subsidy. Don't forget banks have part in this loan scheme and that

:19:28.:19:34.

the... You are guaranteeing the money. Yes, but the fear is worked

:19:34.:19:41.

out on a commercial basis. The taxpayer is protected. Why? You are

:19:41.:19:48.

guaranteeing £12 billion worth of mortgages per year. Yes but the

:19:48.:19:54.

change in the whole mortgage basis has been made a few years ago in

:19:54.:19:59.

response of the crash. They made the distressed test on people applying

:19:59.:20:01.

response of the crash. They made the for mortgages much higher and you

:20:01.:20:08.

have to be able to repay at twice... So it will not be like

:20:08.:20:12.

these self certification mortgages handed out in America that caused

:20:12.:20:19.

the sub-prime crisis? Pigment bit like that but the banks are rightly

:20:19.:20:23.

asking for bigger deposits, they know there is a big chance house

:20:23.:20:28.

prices could fall if interest rates will go up, which they will

:20:28.:20:33.

eventually, so they are demanding bigger deposits. The Government is

:20:33.:20:36.

making sure the risk of circumventing this is being passed

:20:36.:20:38.

making sure the risk of on to the taxpayers which is why it

:20:39.:20:43.

is a dangerous policy. Instead they should be massively accelerating

:20:43.:20:49.

house-building. Which we are. Planning permission is much easier

:20:49.:20:54.

to get now, we have seen a 49% increase in planning permission for

:20:54.:20:58.

a new building over the last year, a huge increase. In the figures I saw

:20:58.:21:05.

recently, they showed new start in the 12 months to the autumn were

:21:05.:21:11.

only about 110,000 which is the figure you inherited, which was at

:21:11.:21:17.

an all-time low in 2010. New house built in the last quarter are third

:21:17.:21:23.

up on the time last year. You have got to give a chance for the

:21:23.:21:27.

relaxation of planning laws and the other policies the Government put

:21:27.:21:30.

into effect last year to take effect and it is coming through now. I

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agree, if we weren't building more houses, if the construction sector

:21:36.:21:40.

was not really ready to take advantage of the increased demand,

:21:40.:21:44.

there would be a risk. David Cameron says you are snob and it is only

:21:44.:21:51.

snobs who dislike Help To Buy. They don't have the bank of mum and dad,

:21:51.:21:59.

people like that will finally get on the housing ladder. That is complete

:21:59.:22:04.

nonsense. We need a sustainable housing market where there is a

:22:04.:22:09.

large amount of construction, like in the 1930s for example, where

:22:09.:22:13.

large numbers of proper family homes were being built for people. House

:22:13.:22:21.

prices were pushed down and people could afford houses. You are now

:22:21.:22:27.

encouraging people to take out a 95% mortgage, I thought that was a bad

:22:27.:22:34.

idea, so supposing interest rates go up by a lot, I am going to

:22:34.:22:38.

struggle, and supposing house prices fall by more than 5%, I am now faced

:22:38.:22:43.

with negative equity and soaring interest rates that I cannot afford.

:22:43.:22:51.

95% mortgage, if you can afford the repayments, you will be fine. What

:22:51.:22:57.

happens when interest rates rise? They have got to rise a lot before

:22:57.:23:02.

you get into trouble. People are already affording rent which is a

:23:02.:23:08.

lot higher than mortgage payments. You will not be able to get into

:23:08.:23:15.

this scheme unless you can afford repayments double what they are at

:23:15.:23:20.

the moment. The Conservatives should have been enjoying the media

:23:20.:23:24.

limelight last week but there was an unwelcome intruder in the shape of a

:23:24.:23:30.

row between Ed Miliband and the Daily Mail. Just over a week ago the

:23:30.:23:33.

Daily Mail printed an article claiming that Ed Miliband's Father

:23:33.:23:40.

Ralph hated Britain. They showed a picture of his father's gravestone

:23:40.:23:47.

with the caption, grave socialist. They then removed the photo and gave

:23:47.:23:52.

Ed Miliband the right to reply on the Tuesday edition, but also

:23:52.:23:56.

printed an editorial alongside it saying they stood by every word they

:23:56.:24:01.

published an fair headline. It also emerged in the week that the

:24:01.:24:05.

reporter had gate-crashed a private memorial service for Ed Miliband's

:24:05.:24:10.

uncle in a London hospital, for which the paper has now apologised,

:24:10.:24:14.

but Ed Miliband has called on the Daily Mail owner to take a long,

:24:14.:24:20.

hard look at the way his papers are run. This comes a week before a new

:24:20.:24:23.

system of press regulation is run. This comes a week before a new

:24:23.:24:27.

considered at the Privy Council. Joining us now from Hull, John

:24:27.:24:35.

Prescott. Does this row between Ed Miliband and the Daily Mail

:24:35.:24:42.

reinforce the case for tough, new regulation of the press? It

:24:42.:24:45.

certainly influences the opinion about that but that is more of Paul

:24:45.:24:51.

Dacre's doing. Ed Miliband rang me while I was in Strasbourg making

:24:52.:24:57.

sure my complaints were nothing to do with press regulation and he is

:24:57.:25:04.

right. This argument is not about politicians and media people, it is

:25:04.:25:08.

about ordinary people that love this and dealt with. All of these cases

:25:08.:25:16.

affected individual people and they are the ones that need to have

:25:16.:25:22.

justice in this matter. Next week we will be hearing whether the Privy

:25:22.:25:31.

Council will be reporting on the proposal to replace it. Are you

:25:31.:25:37.

agreeing then that what the mail did with its Miliband article was a

:25:37.:25:48.

matter of judgement? Yes, and the with its Miliband article was a

:25:48.:25:57.

Leveson inquiry came to the conclusion that the relationship

:25:57.:26:04.

between the press, the police and politicians should be governed, but

:26:04.:26:07.

this is about how you have a framework that can be fair to

:26:07.:26:12.

everyone. If you look at the proposal given by half the press

:26:12.:26:18.

industry that that does not meet the Leveson requirement and I suspect

:26:18.:26:22.

the Privy Council this week will have to reject that, and I hope it

:26:22.:26:26.

will because it is not consistent with the Leveson report which the

:26:26.:26:31.

Prime Minister said he supported. You attacked the mail in your column

:26:31.:26:38.

today but your paper went through the Cameron family bins to see what

:26:38.:26:42.

nappies they used for their disabled son. Isn't that far more offensive

:26:42.:26:46.

than what the Daily Mail wrote about Ralph Miliband? It probably is, I

:26:46.:26:56.

couldn't defend that. I have had reporters going through my bins.

:26:56.:27:01.

couldn't defend that. I have had Haven't we all? Yes, but we are

:27:01.:27:07.

dealing with the judgement of editors who acts unilaterally. Paul

:27:07.:27:14.

Dacre is running this thing in the Mail. How can we accept their

:27:15.:27:22.

Dacre is running this thing in the judgement and some accountability

:27:22.:27:30.

which the press have accepted the old PCC is no good. They are playing

:27:30.:27:34.

for time because if they reject it this week there is 12 months until

:27:34.:27:39.

you can consider a parliamentary alternative and then you are near

:27:39.:27:43.

the election and you begin to bully the leaders. That is how they have

:27:43.:27:47.

been successful in putting off recommendations. Maybe my memory is

:27:47.:27:57.

fading but did you or anybody else in the Labour Party object to the

:27:57.:28:04.

Sunday Mirror's behaviour? I didn't know about it. I would just say it

:28:04.:28:09.

is wrong if that is what they did. As you said, you have the same

:28:09.:28:13.

position when they go through your rubbish bins, I think that is wrong.

:28:13.:28:18.

We have Leveson set up by the Prime Minister to look at the cultures and

:28:18.:28:22.

practices and the unilateral action of editors and he came forward with

:28:22.:28:26.

a proposal that was agreed in Parliament under a compromise of the

:28:26.:28:39.

Royal Charter. I don't like a Royal Charter, it is not democratic

:28:39.:28:41.

frankly, but we have agreed to go along with it so why did the

:28:41.:28:44.

Government set up in charge at the same time rushed through the press

:28:44.:28:50.

box? It looks like a fix, like they are using the Royal Charter as a

:28:51.:28:58.

means of delaying everything. They have now said they are going to

:28:58.:29:01.

introduce their own independent charter. This industry does not want

:29:01.:29:07.

to face up to any form of accountability. We know Alistair

:29:07.:29:08.

Campbell and Ed Miliband's officers accountability. We know Alistair

:29:08.:29:13.

are working closely on the assault of the Mail. What is the endgame for

:29:13.:29:23.

this? Is it the head of Paul Dacre? He is not an acceptable character to

:29:23.:29:35.

me, and he needs to be taking account. When Ed Miliband rang me it

:29:36.:29:40.

was to say, don't let these arguments drift into press

:29:40.:29:43.

regulation, he wanted the argument of decency. Are you and Ed Miliband

:29:43.:29:57.

after Paul Dacre's head? No, he can stay there. It is like with Murdoch,

:29:57.:30:00.

after Paul Dacre's head? No, he can we were not attacking him but what

:30:00.:30:03.

is papers were doing. To that extent, what they are doing about

:30:03.:30:06.

is papers were doing. To that ordinary people, not just big

:30:06.:30:09.

politicians who can look after themselves. We know, with the bad

:30:09.:30:13.

cases he had to deal with, they might get libel action, which the

:30:13.:30:17.

press say, but they pretty well destroyed their lives. That is about

:30:17.:30:21.

judgment. If you say, as Paul Dacre got good

:30:21.:30:36.

What is the endgame in this? Whether the Labour Party is trying to make

:30:36.:30:42.

this an issue of press regulation or not, that is where it is going.

:30:42.:30:47.

Pretty soon the privy Council will discuss the issue of press

:30:47.:30:51.

regulation, before the end of the year. The question is, what is the

:30:51.:30:55.

impact on the various political partiesmy hunch is that the total

:30:55.:31:01.

political impact of the Levinson enquiry over the past several years

:31:01.:31:05.

is close to zero, because most voters don't care and those who do

:31:05.:31:09.

care tends to believe that all parties are roughly equally

:31:09.:31:12.

complicit in being too close to editors. You said that the claims

:31:12.:31:19.

that Adam Afriyie was a Labour maul -- mole, this has been a dream for

:31:20.:31:30.

Ed Miliband. I am taking on Murdoch, the energy companies, and now the

:31:30.:31:35.

evil Daily Mail! Are used to work for the Daily Mail, so I have to

:31:35.:31:39.

take that into account. When they printed the right of reply, they

:31:39.:31:43.

surrounded it with a big two fingers up at him. If they hadn't done

:31:43.:31:47.

that, they probably would not be in the position they are in now. The

:31:47.:31:53.

poll in the Sunday Times this morning shows that most people think

:31:53.:31:56.

the Daily Mail was wrong. If you defend your dad, people will

:31:56.:32:00.

naturally do this, but it took all the coverage away from the Tory

:32:00.:32:04.

conference. The media likes covering itself and here it is doing it

:32:04.:32:09.

again. This has been a dream for Ed Miliband. The political significance

:32:09.:32:13.

of this is that David Cameron said that he wanted to try to find some

:32:13.:32:17.

common ground between the three party Royal Charter and the

:32:17.:32:23.

so-called press Royal Charter which is half of the press industry which

:32:23.:32:26.

has signed up to it. The Daily Mail has ensured that the Prime Minister

:32:26.:32:29.

will not be able to do that. What will happen this week is that the

:32:29.:32:33.

press Royal Charter has to be considered first. That will probably

:32:34.:32:39.

be rejected. Then what will happen is the three party Royal Charter in

:32:39.:32:46.

will come up, but meanwhile there will still be a press regulatory

:32:46.:32:49.

body because the Royal Charter is not a proper statutory underpinning

:32:49.:32:53.

and they will therefore be able to go ahead with that. Basically, it

:32:53.:32:59.

will all just go into the long grass and it will be an impasse that will

:32:59.:33:03.

probably not be resolved. That you say that nobody much cares about

:33:03.:33:07.

this outside of our profession. My point is that this has been great

:33:07.:33:14.

politics for Ed Miliband. Is only great politics if he scores a

:33:14.:33:18.

relative victory, if he's seen to be pure than the other party leaders.

:33:18.:33:21.

There is little evidence of that so far. I take your point about the

:33:21.:33:25.

poll that shows people are sympathetic to him. He says that, I

:33:25.:33:30.

am the chap who stands up a vested interest. That all the vested

:33:30.:33:34.

interests he stands up to people you would expect a left-wing politician

:33:34.:33:38.

to want to take on, Murdoch, the mail and so on. It is about who he

:33:38.:33:46.

has stated before, who is his father. Maybe people thought of him

:33:46.:33:50.

as a Marxist and now people think of him as a hero. It is approaching

:33:50.:33:59.

11:35am. You are watching the Sunday Politics.

:33:59.:34:06.

Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up, how

:34:06.:34:09.

the cost of living issue could cost the political parties. They have all

:34:09.:34:16.

been anxious to address the problem. The next Labour government will

:34:16.:34:20.

freeze gas and electricity prices until the start of 2017. Can I

:34:20.:34:28.

recall a measure introduced by a leader of a major political party in

:34:28.:34:35.

the UK which has received such widespread and utter and total

:34:35.:34:40.

condemnation? ! I see that the Labour Party has stopped talking

:34:40.:34:44.

about fuel prices and energy prices and now they are talking about the

:34:44.:34:48.

cost of living prices, as if one was not directly related to the other.

:34:48.:34:51.

So with the pound in your pocket seeming to drain away, how are you

:34:51.:34:54.

being affected by the cost of living, and is it a crisis? I didn't

:34:55.:35:00.

think, when I was retired, I thought I would be comfortable. I own my

:35:00.:35:05.

house and I have no mortgage. I am still struggling.

:35:05.:35:11.

Hello. The Prime Minister talked about it, Holyrood debated it and Ed

:35:11.:35:14.

Miliband even mentioned it in a letter of complaint to the Mail on

:35:14.:35:18.

Sunday. Yes, the cost of living has dominated debate. It probably stems

:35:18.:35:21.

from so-called Red Ed's pledge to freeze energy prices. So how can

:35:21.:35:27.

politicians address the problem, and who is to blame anyway? Here's Niall

:35:27.:35:30.

O'Gallagher's take on the week's events.

:35:30.:35:36.

Counting the cost. Inverness man Eddie Collins keeps a close eye on

:35:36.:35:54.

the energy users. He has to do. Armed with his latest meter

:35:54.:35:58.

reading, Eddie scours the internet for the best deals. Prices keep

:35:58.:36:06.

rising, but as a pensioner, his income is fixed. Every penny counts.

:36:06.:36:12.

I monitor my costs monthly, and also in between the months and I do a

:36:12.:36:21.

forecast once a week to get a meeting -- a reading and I put it

:36:21.:36:25.

into the computer and it gives me a forecast of what I will need for the

:36:25.:36:28.

end of the month. The pressure on consumers is pushing up the

:36:28.:36:32.

political temperature. Ed Miliband wants to see prices capped. But his

:36:32.:36:37.

opponents say the government should get out of the control room. The

:36:37.:36:42.

energy promise, they admitted 24 hours later they would not be able

:36:42.:36:46.

to keep it. It is all sticking plasters and quick fixes, together

:36:46.:36:52.

for the cameras. Read Ed and his blue Peter economy. Will the

:36:52.:36:58.

Minister simply match that commitment for his preferred

:36:59.:37:02.

separate Scotland and you regulator? Never can I recall a

:37:02.:37:09.

measure introduced by a leader of a major political party in the UK

:37:09.:37:15.

which has received such widespread utter and total condemnation as

:37:15.:37:24.

being completely unworkable! Ministers seemed complete the aware

:37:24.:37:27.

he was trashing the idea of a cap as Ministers seemed complete the aware

:37:27.:37:31.

they made their way into the chamber for first ministers questions.

:37:31.:37:34.

Later, the Scotsman said their expert commission could look at the

:37:34.:37:45.

Labour proposed freeze to. Today, we saw Fergus Ewing give the game away.

:37:45.:37:49.

None of you agree with it and you on the side of the energy companies and

:37:49.:37:55.

not on the side of ordinary people. I thought I would be more

:37:55.:37:58.

comfortable when I was retired. I own my house and I have no mortgage.

:37:58.:38:05.

I'm still struggling. Eddie expects prices to keep going up and is

:38:05.:38:08.

sceptical about the ability of politicians to pin the energy

:38:08.:38:14.

companies back. Labour think this is fertile ground for them, as they

:38:14.:38:19.

pursue their cost of living agenda. The question for voters is whether

:38:19.:38:25.

pruning prices will help coax the economy back to growth or stop the

:38:25.:38:29.

green shoots from breaking through. I'm joined now in the studio by

:38:29.:38:38.

Stewart Maxwell. He is an SNP MSP. From Edinburgh we have Scottish

:38:38.:38:41.

Labour's finance spokesman Ian Gray and his counterpart from the

:38:41.:38:51.

Conservatives, Gavin Brown. The SNP split over energy price freeze, that

:38:51.:38:56.

was in the headlines this week. Is there a split in the SNP over Ed

:38:56.:39:00.

Miliband's plans to freeze energy prices? There is no split, I know

:39:00.:39:04.

the papers enjoy that kind of thing, but there is no split. We are

:39:04.:39:08.

focused on trying to reduce household bills in Scotland. It is

:39:08.:39:11.

an interesting idea for Labour to freeze energy prices, but the

:39:11.:39:15.

problem they face if they have published no information or evidence

:39:15.:39:19.

or background research, so we have no idea whether that is feasible or

:39:19.:39:26.

not. Is an interesting that -- idea, and we all want to see a full

:39:26.:39:38.

analysis. Yes, but many senior people both in the industry and the

:39:38.:39:42.

Labour Party have said that, frankly, they doubt it is even

:39:42.:39:46.

workable or can even be in demented. There are clear problems with the

:39:46.:39:49.

policy they have put forward. We are focusing on what we can do and we

:39:49.:39:53.

have made sure that, for example, we have frozen council tax. That will

:39:53.:39:58.

save the average household in Scotland £1200 by the end of this

:39:58.:40:02.

Parliament. Labour's energy policy, even if it is implementable, would

:40:02.:40:08.

only save £120. So we are doing much more already through this proposal.

:40:08.:40:12.

£120 is a lot of money for a lot of people. In principle, would you

:40:12.:40:15.

welcome this policy? If you could sort out some of the tweaks here and

:40:15.:40:19.

there, would you like a policy to freeze energy prices if you could

:40:19.:40:24.

work one? Absolutely, we welcome the principle of keeping all household

:40:24.:40:28.

bills down, which is why we have scrapped tuition fees, prescription

:40:28.:40:32.

charges and bridge tolls. The point is that we have put this whole

:40:32.:40:36.

policy, as well as other things to do with energy regulation, into an

:40:36.:40:40.

expert commission. Let's not three judge the work of the expert

:40:40.:40:45.

commission. It into the long grass? Not at all. They will get energy

:40:45.:40:48.

regulation and not with whether or not this is a workable policy.

:40:49.:40:52.

Frankly, we have not had any evidence from Labour that it is. The

:40:52.:40:58.

Scottish government has sent this to an expert commission and will look

:40:58.:41:01.

at it in more detail than just an off-the-cuff announcement at

:41:01.:41:06.

conference. Is this policy workable? It is workable and there

:41:06.:41:09.

is nothing off-the-cuff about it. It is not just about the energy

:41:09.:41:15.

crisised price freeze -- energy price freeze. We want to introduce a

:41:15.:41:23.

more open wholesale market, but also a strong regulator will stop in

:41:23.:41:28.

Parliament this week, Fergus Ewing did not say that he did not believe

:41:28.:41:31.

it was possible to freeze energy prices, he also said that an

:41:31.:41:37.

independent Scotland might see an independent regulator. I know that

:41:37.:41:42.

Stuart is keen to say there is no split, but call me old-fashioned,

:41:42.:41:49.

but Fergus Ewing is this deck -- government's energy minister, and if

:41:49.:41:52.

he says this policy is impossible and they will not pursue it, surely

:41:52.:41:55.

that is the policy of the Scottish government. So either we stay part

:41:56.:41:59.

of the United Kingdom and benefit from a freeze in energy prices and a

:41:59.:42:04.

strong regulator he then continued to regulate those unfair prices, or

:42:04.:42:07.

we going to an independent Scotland with Fergus Ewing's policy of

:42:07.:42:10.

allowing energy companies to continue to put their prices up

:42:10.:42:14.

willy-nilly. I think we heard from the energy companies, he thought the

:42:15.:42:19.

policy was unworkable. Fergus Ewing was giving some examples from

:42:19.:42:23.

California where a similar policy had catastrophic consequences. Let

:42:23.:42:26.

me address the California example. It is ridiculous. The reason the

:42:26.:42:34.

California energy market collapsed and had blackouts was not because

:42:34.:42:38.

there were controls on prices, but because the energy market was run by

:42:38.:42:42.

Enron, who illegally manipulated the market to create energy shortages.

:42:42.:42:47.

Unless Fergus Ewing is suggesting that the SNP in an independent

:42:47.:42:51.

Scotland will let Enron run our energy markets, that is simply not

:42:51.:42:55.

going to happen. I think that example, it really shows you how

:42:55.:43:00.

desperate the SNP are to rubbish the policy because they know they are on

:43:00.:43:04.

the wrong side of this, on the side of the energy companies is set off

:43:04.:43:09.

on the side of hard-pressed consumers. 900,000 households in

:43:09.:43:12.

Scotland live in fuel poverty. That is the side we are on. They are on

:43:12.:43:17.

the side of the energy companies. Stewart Maxwell, a quick response

:43:17.:43:21.

from you. That is clearly nonsense. I have already pointed out that we

:43:21.:43:25.

are saving the average house or in Scotland ten times more through

:43:25.:43:30.

council tax freezing than through Labour's energy policy. Even Lord

:43:30.:43:36.

Mandelson has said this policy is unworkable. Let's that the expert

:43:36.:43:40.

commission have a go at this. I want to bring in Gavin Brown from the

:43:40.:43:43.

Conservatives. You are sitting on the sidelines on this debate, but Ed

:43:43.:43:50.

Miliband was really quite a fright for the Prime Minister when he made

:43:50.:43:57.

his promise. His poll ratings shot up and Mr Cameron was forced to

:43:57.:44:01.

address it in his conference speech. The idea of reading an energy bill

:44:01.:44:05.

is superficially attractive to consumers, but it is a short-term

:44:05.:44:09.

measure and I think there would be quite serious long-term

:44:09.:44:13.

implications. I would be concerned about the level of investment we

:44:13.:44:16.

would see from companies across the board as we try to move towards a

:44:16.:44:23.

low carbon economy. We already know that there is several hundred

:44:23.:44:26.

billion pounds of infrastructure investment needed to keep the lights

:44:26.:44:30.

on and in order to have a proper energy system in the future. I think

:44:31.:44:34.

this would potentially damaging. I think there are other investments

:44:34.:44:38.

you could take us are just giving greater powers to Ofgem and looking

:44:38.:44:42.

into price mechanisms and looking into mis-selling, for example. The

:44:42.:44:47.

energy bill itself will force energy companies to have the lowest

:44:47.:44:55.

possible tariff for consumers. There are things that can be done, but

:44:55.:44:59.

they do think that this policy of Mr Miliband is unworkable and I -- and

:44:59.:45:07.

it will have damaging long-term publications -- implications. All

:45:07.:45:11.

three of your parties are complicit in higher energy bills because of

:45:11.:45:15.

the extra tariff levied for green renewable investment. One analysis

:45:15.:45:20.

today in the Sunday Telegraph puts it at £425 in higher bills over the

:45:20.:45:27.

next six years. Stewart Maxwell cup -- of the SNP, you need that

:45:27.:45:33.

investment in green technology. Yes, and the investment will provide many

:45:33.:45:38.

jobs going forward, and it will be a hugely important part of the

:45:38.:45:41.

Scottish economy going forward. We must replace the carbon heavy fuels

:45:41.:45:45.

that we use at the moment. Yes, we have to invest in it, and that is

:45:45.:45:49.

one of the big questions about Labour's policy. What damaging

:45:49.:45:53.

consequences would it have for the future of green energy? Ed Miliband

:45:53.:46:01.

was the person who introduced the energy secretary -- green tariff as

:46:01.:46:09.

energy secretary. We do need investment for the shift to

:46:09.:46:12.

renewables. One of the lesser noticed aspects of Fergus Ewing's

:46:12.:46:16.

intervention in Parliament was that he also described something that

:46:16.:46:20.

would destroy the single integrated energy market in the United Kingdom,

:46:20.:46:24.

so the cost you are referring to, instead of being spread between 60

:46:24.:46:28.

million essential consumers in the UK might well for 5 million

:46:28.:46:33.

consumers in Scotland, and that is a policy which we would certainly

:46:33.:46:40.

think would put our energy bills up. The coalition government have not

:46:40.:46:44.

done enough to tackle the high fuel bills. Had they are on the side of

:46:44.:46:48.

vested interests. They are taking action, and the Conservatives

:46:48.:46:54.

leaving balanced measures. We believe nuclear power needs to be a

:46:54.:46:58.

part of the energy mix. That, of course, is low-carbon, and you would

:46:58.:47:02.

not therefore need quite the same levels you would need under SNP

:47:02.:47:07.

proposals. Let's look at other living costs

:47:07.:47:13.

issues. We had a debate in Parliament this week where Labour

:47:13.:47:15.

accused the Scottish governance of not doing enough to help people with

:47:15.:47:20.

the cost of living. Frankly, that is nonsense. If we had had a Labour

:47:20.:47:23.

the cost of living. Frankly, that is government in Scotland just now, we

:47:23.:47:26.

would still have tuition fees and prescription charges. They were

:47:26.:47:30.

having outstayed commission that would roll back all the progress

:47:30.:47:35.

that has been made on free bus passes for the elderly and other

:47:35.:47:38.

people, and we would not have had the council tax freeze that is

:47:38.:47:42.

saving the average household £1200 by the time this car -- Parliament

:47:43.:47:48.

is completed. We are doing everything we possibly can and we

:47:48.:47:52.

have had over £260 million of investment over three years for

:47:52.:47:57.

energy-saving measures. A lot of work is being done. Ian Gray from

:47:57.:48:02.

Labour, it sounds like a shopping list to tackle the cost of living.

:48:02.:48:10.

We have paid for cuts in services in many other ways. If this is the

:48:10.:48:14.

SNP's approach to addressing the cost of living, it isn't working.

:48:14.:48:20.

900,000 households in Scotland are in fuel poverty. That is increasing.

:48:20.:48:26.

The way in which these things have been paid for, we demonstrated

:48:26.:48:30.

through the week that this was because of the disappearance of £1

:48:30.:48:36.

billion of anti-poverty programmes. You use that to do things like make

:48:37.:48:42.

prescriptions free. My prescriptions are free now. That is not the way

:48:42.:48:46.

you address the cost of living for those who are most seriously

:48:46.:48:49.

affected. He talks about the investment the government are

:48:49.:48:52.

making, but if we look at capital investment, the government refused

:48:52.:48:59.

to make sure that the investment is creating local, high-quality,

:48:59.:49:04.

full-time and permanent jobs. We support investment in the economy,

:49:04.:49:10.

not investment in zero hours contract jobs. We need the Scottish

:49:10.:49:16.

governance do far more on this. There was a debate through the

:49:16.:49:21.

week... I want to get onto Gavin Brown. Mr Gray made the point about

:49:21.:49:27.

targeted and universal benefits, but the fact is that universal benefits

:49:27.:49:31.

are extremely popular with voters, although the Conservatives probably

:49:31.:49:35.

want more targeted benefits. I think you need a blend of both. The

:49:36.:49:39.

government needs to do to maximise here. We need to focus on the

:49:39.:49:42.

economy and get the economy moving so that we can get people back into

:49:42.:49:48.

work. We also need to look at specific measures that have been

:49:48.:49:51.

highlighted as particularly challenging. The UK government, for

:49:51.:49:56.

example, raised income tax threshold to £10,000, or it will be by April

:49:56.:50:00.

next year. That takes hundreds of thousands of people out of tax

:50:00.:50:04.

altogether and gives them more money in their pocket. Freezing the fuel

:50:04.:50:07.

duty which has happened now for three years and it is hoped will go

:50:07.:50:12.

on until the end of the Westminster Parliament, that puts money back

:50:12.:50:17.

into people's pockets saving not just motorists, but also people in

:50:17.:50:21.

rural areas, feeding into the general cost of the economy. And I

:50:21.:50:31.

want to pick up with that point. And we saw the clip from the Prime

:50:31.:50:37.

Minister at the start of the programme. In his conference speech,

:50:37.:50:42.

he was talking about fixing macro economic stuff. He was wanting to

:50:42.:50:49.

address the cost of living. Is this Labour 's problem that we are in

:50:49.:50:55.

this mess in the first place? No, the Prime Minister has made a mess

:50:55.:51:00.

of this. What about the figures we saw this week which showed that in

:51:00.:51:03.

the last year, 500,000 Scottish people borrowed money to buy food.

:51:03.:51:12.

That is the date basis. That is a problem people are facing BN, PO. It

:51:12.:51:18.

is caused by the decisions made in both Westminster and Holyrood.

:51:18.:51:23.

Freezing energy prices would be a start. I want to look at other

:51:23.:51:32.

headlines. And you defence paper coming out on Tuesday. A warning

:51:32.:51:36.

that an independent Scotland could not inherit the traditional

:51:37.:51:43.

regiments. Philip Hammond has already said Scotland would inherit

:51:44.:51:50.

its fair share of the assets, so let us put the scaremongering to bed. If

:51:50.:51:56.

you are being faced by redundancy at the moment from the conservative

:51:56.:52:01.

party and fill Howard Hammond is seen you will be sacked, or you

:52:01.:52:06.

could join the Scottish defence Force and no redundancies will be

:52:06.:52:12.

there, I think people will very proudly choose to serve any Scottish

:52:12.:52:18.

defence force. Scaremongering from the Secretary of State for defence?

:52:18.:52:26.

I think the point in the papers is that it is inherent on several

:52:26.:52:32.

points. The simple carve up of Scottish regiments simply would not

:52:32.:52:44.

be the case. It is up to serving personnel to decide what they would

:52:44.:52:47.

want to do in the event of separation. But I has to be said

:52:47.:52:55.

that Scotland would not get automatic entry into Natal. This is

:52:55.:53:02.

another example of how the SNP prospective is based on wishful

:53:02.:53:07.

thinking, for the let us to do with Europe, Natal or carving up Scottish

:53:07.:53:11.

regiments. The applicant then they could do these things and it is a

:53:11.:53:20.

dishonest prospectus to offer the population of Scotland.

:53:20.:53:24.

So, that is what the politicians have to say. How are people really

:53:24.:53:29.

coping with a definite decline in their living standards. In a moment,

:53:29.:53:32.

we will explore what a couple of experts have to say on the matter,

:53:32.:53:36.

but first, here is a look at life when bills are going up and money is

:53:36.:53:45.

tight. Just over six years ago, we walled in cheap energy prices and

:53:45.:53:53.

low interest rates. No, annual income is not matching expenditure.

:53:53.:54:00.

As increasing numbers seek help, what are the asking about? Problems

:54:00.:54:09.

with date and increasingly people not having the money to boot into

:54:09.:54:14.

prepayment meters. They are getting extortion bells and one a date will

:54:14.:54:19.

never be able to pay them. There are also other increasing pressures on

:54:19.:54:23.

their income. The utility bills are going up and the food is going up.

:54:23.:54:27.

The money they have got coming in, whether from jobs are benefits, is

:54:27.:54:32.

getting cut and not going as far as it did even just a couple of years

:54:32.:54:37.

ago. Things ain't what they used to be. Citizens advice Scotland seat

:54:37.:54:46.

they saw a one third rise in people worried about energy bills.

:54:46.:54:54.

Remarkably, there was a 87% rise in people asking about warm home

:54:55.:55:02.

discount or in surely she areas. It shows how keen people are about the

:55:02.:55:06.

energy bills. I am joined here in the studio by

:55:06.:55:10.

Jim McCormick of the Rowntree Foundation and, in our Edinburgh

:55:10.:55:13.

studio, by business and economics journalist Bill Jamieson. Thank you

:55:13.:55:23.

for joining me. Jim, you are looking closely at the cost of living. What

:55:23.:55:28.

is the snapshot pictures you are seen? Every year, we ask the British

:55:28.:55:34.

public what would be an a basket of goods adequate for living. That

:55:34.:55:45.

level of income that we have seen as a 25% increase in the cost of

:55:45.:55:49.

essentials, the likes of food, energy and childcare. Given that

:55:49.:55:54.

wages, tax credits and benefits have either stalled or been cut in

:55:54.:56:00.

certain places, people on low to moderate incomes have been

:56:00.:56:03.

struggling to keep the head above the water, in terms of the gap

:56:03.:56:06.

between the income and living standards. It is right that

:56:06.:56:10.

politicians should address this agenda. Bill Jamieson, you study the

:56:10.:56:17.

cost of living a lot and rate about it a lot. Is this a picture you

:56:17.:56:24.

recognise? I was it affecting different sectors of society, the

:56:24.:56:30.

working class, the middle-class, to use the old labels. We are seeing

:56:30.:56:34.

polarisation in the highest rate. We have seen figures from Tesco which

:56:34.:56:40.

showed the dramatic fall in profits. People are going to the low-cost end

:56:40.:56:48.

of shopping, such as liberals and other shops like that. At the top

:56:48.:56:53.

end, there are great performances by the likes of Waitrose, who are doing

:56:53.:57:00.

extraordinarily well. Luxury car sales are up 12%. Well it is right

:57:00.:57:05.

to focus on the low end of the scale, whether as hardship, we are

:57:06.:57:11.

seeing polarisation. That is an interesting point, the polarisation.

:57:11.:57:16.

There is a gap between the well-off middle classes and the working

:57:16.:57:19.

classes, but also the working brewer, actually. In Parliament this

:57:19.:57:25.

week, we were hearing about people who are working going to food

:57:26.:57:33.

banks. I think the scale of this surprises politicians of all

:57:33.:57:40.

parties. When politicians are in opposition, they are very keen to

:57:40.:57:44.

express opinions on this, but when they are in government, there has

:57:44.:57:48.

never been a cop even responds to this. This not only refers to likes

:57:48.:58:01.

of childcare, but if you are on EPA meter, you are paying a higher tire

:58:01.:58:04.

tariffs, so people who have less choice as can tumours are the most

:58:04.:58:13.

vulnerable. It is not just people out of work, but people and workers

:58:13.:58:18.

well. The way the childcare market operates, we see very high cost, but

:58:18.:58:23.

very patchy quality. The government needs to address not just energy,

:58:23.:58:28.

but private rents and what is happening in childcare. Politicians

:58:28.:58:33.

have to hear the complaints about the cost of living, so what do you

:58:33.:58:39.

make of attempts made this week and the three gentlemen you have here

:58:39.:58:43.

from. What you think of the attempts to address this? I do not think

:58:43.:58:49.

there is a lot they can do in the image of town. I think we are in for

:58:49.:58:55.

the long haul here. I think week the reason we are seeing this

:58:55.:58:58.

polarisation I was talking about, for people who already have assets,

:58:58.:59:05.

such as property or shearers in companies, they are doing very well.

:59:05.:59:12.

The property boom raised the price of assets. If you do not have

:59:12.:59:18.

assets, not a lot will happen for you. This will time to address. As I

:59:18.:59:25.

missing, why we are seeing buoyant sales at the high end of the market.

:59:25.:59:34.

On television tonight, we have seen a high end television drama queer

:59:34.:59:39.

Tesco are taking advertising space in it. We're also seeing the

:59:39.:59:48.

difference mortgage rates compare to the mortgage outgoings compared to

:59:48.:59:52.

the 1980s and 1990s. That is a big difference for many households.

:59:52.:00:01.

People who do not have assets are turning to payday loan lenders and

:00:01.:00:04.

we will see will legislation about this to tighten up on that next

:00:04.:00:12.

week. Although energy, companies would like customers to pick up the

:00:12.:00:15.

phone and let them know when they are having problems paying bills,

:00:15.:00:21.

more often than not, people will ignore any warning let us went to

:00:21.:00:31.

these payday loans. We have the likes of help to buy schemes and

:00:31.:00:38.

other payday lending licensing schemes. The question is how we do

:00:38.:00:47.

this intelligently. The response from business from regulation, the

:00:48.:00:54.

response was interesting. The big six energy companies took fright.

:00:54.:00:59.

How can be what the semi-capitalist system where we regulate these

:00:59.:01:05.

markets and to taxpayers have a raw deal? When you liked it utility

:01:05.:01:10.

companies were privatised, we are still picking up the tab, paying for

:01:10.:01:19.

higher real fears and energy prices? Yes, the joys of privatisation have

:01:19.:01:26.

worn very thin. We have not seen the likes of competition that we hoped

:01:26.:01:29.

we would see which would keep prices down. There is certainly a cause for

:01:30.:01:37.

ramping up the regulatory muscle. There is a feeling that that one

:01:37.:01:52.

will be in that industry for the likes of a year or 18 months before

:01:52.:01:58.

regulation will stamp down on it. But we are faced with the vagaries

:01:58.:02:02.

of energy prices, which are out with our control, as are the oil prices.

:02:02.:02:09.

We are is the rate balance, the fear and efficient balance, between the

:02:09.:02:14.

cost to the consumer and the government. People would argue that

:02:14.:02:20.

we still have to get the balance right.

:02:20.:02:24.

You are watching Sunday Politics Scotland from the BBC. We have still

:02:24.:02:28.

got our look at the Week Ahead to come, with our two pundits, Gillian

:02:28.:02:32.

Bowditch of The Sunday Times and Murray Ritchie, the former political

:02:32.:02:35.

editor of The Herald. But first, let us cross to Alisdair Fraser for the

:02:35.:02:41.

latest news from Reporting Scotland. Good afternoon. An investigation has

:02:41.:02:45.

begun after two prison officers were injured during a disturbance

:02:45.:02:49.

yesterday at Scotland's newest jail. The incident at Low Moss prison in

:02:49.:02:52.

East Dunbartonshire lasted more than seven hours. It is understood that

:02:52.:02:56.

only a small number of prisoners were involved.

:02:56.:03:00.

A motorcyclist has died in a road accident in the Highlands. It

:03:00.:03:06.

happened on the A87 Invergarry to Kyle of Lochalsh road near Bun Loyne

:03:06.:03:10.

in the Highlands, just before five o'clock yesterday evening. The

:03:10.:03:13.

51-year-old man has not been named. Some of the world's top athletes are

:03:13.:03:16.

pounding the streets of Glasgow today in the Great Scottish Run.

:03:16.:03:20.

Around 23,000 runners are taking part in the half-marathon and 10k

:03:20.:03:31.

events. Olympic gold-medallist Kathleen Grainger started the event.

:03:31.:03:35.

The route passes some of the city's most famous landmarks, iconic

:03:35.:03:37.

buildings and Commonwealth Games venues. Late running engineering

:03:38.:03:40.

works had delayed some runners travelling to the event by train,

:03:40.:03:43.

but ScotRail say their service is back to normal.

:03:43.:03:47.

Time now for a look at the weather with Judith.

:03:47.:03:51.

Good afternoon. Quite a settled look to the weather, which is good news

:03:51.:04:00.

for these runners that you were just seen. Some thick cloud across the

:04:00.:04:10.

south-west, which will lead to rain in the likes of Galloway. Bails

:04:10.:04:14.

particularly in the East of Scotland. Quite breezy along the

:04:14.:04:22.

East Coast -- West Coast. That is all for now. Reporting

:04:22.:04:26.

Scotland is back at 6.10pm. Thanks, Alisdair. It has been a busy

:04:26.:04:39.

week in politics. Here is our look back at the past seven days in 60

:04:39.:04:50.

seconds. Hundreds of patients in NHS client had their appointments

:04:50.:04:57.

postponed GGA, future failure. Plans to close police stations out

:04:57.:05:02.

for consultation. Upto 1000 new jobs are being created

:05:02.:05:06.

in Scotland by a major call centre operator.

:05:06.:05:13.

Tram testing starts next week in Edinburgh. Residents have been

:05:13.:05:16.

warned to look out for them at junctions.

:05:16.:05:22.

And the Scottish Green party's annual conference has been held in

:05:22.:05:26.

Inverness. Delegates were told the party could play a key role in

:05:26.:05:30.

convincing Scots to vote for independence in the referendum. We

:05:30.:05:34.

do have to work harder to knock on more doors, to work with building

:05:34.:05:38.

relationships with more voters, to persuade them to put across in the

:05:38.:05:46.

box for the Green party. Let's turn our attention to the week

:05:46.:05:53.

ahead with our pundits. I'm joined here in the studio by Jim

:05:53.:05:57.

McCormick of the Rowntree Foundation, and in our Edinburgh

:05:57.:06:00.

studio we have Bill Jamieson, the business and economics journalist.

:06:00.:06:17.

Her bark -- I'm joined here in the studio by Gillian Bowditch of the

:06:17.:06:20.

Sunday Times, and Murray Ritchie, the former Political Editor of the

:06:20.:06:24.

Herald. What you think about the cost of living and what politicians

:06:24.:06:31.

had to say? Very interesting to hear politicians speak on this subject.

:06:31.:06:35.

What I think is that, superficially, it has attracted the idea of

:06:35.:06:39.

controlling energy prices. In practice, there was little the

:06:39.:06:43.

politicians can do. It is about wages and inflation and prices, and

:06:43.:06:47.

they don't have the mechanism to make a big difference. What it comes

:06:47.:06:56.

down to, you can freeze energy prices, but you can bet your bottom

:06:56.:06:58.

dollar that the energy prices will prices, but you can bet your bottom

:06:58.:07:02.

go up before the 20 month deadline and they will go up again at the end

:07:02.:07:05.

of it. It is something that people are very concerned about, but what

:07:05.:07:08.

the politicians have to do is ensure that the economy is in a state where

:07:08.:07:13.

we are going to create general prosperity and wealth. It is tough

:07:13.:07:19.

for the politicians, isn't it? Particularly those in the UK

:07:19.:07:23.

government and Holyrood, it is difficult for them to address these

:07:23.:07:28.

living cost issues. In the conference season, the party leaders

:07:28.:07:30.

always look to the polls. They always want to try to find a comment

:07:31.:07:36.

or a promise or a statement, something that will help their

:07:36.:07:38.

or a promise or a statement, standing in the opinion polls. It

:07:38.:07:43.

worked brilliantly for Ed Miliband. His comments on freezing energy were

:07:43.:07:49.

brilliant, and the Prime Minister had to respond. He said that he

:07:49.:07:54.

would control the cost of living, as though he could cost -- sap his

:07:54.:07:57.

fingers and it would happen. As Gillian said, this is rhetoric and

:07:57.:08:02.

not action. It frightens people like this and this time of year when we

:08:02.:08:06.

are looking at polls and all the rest of it, they out in the real

:08:06.:08:09.

world, I am not sure people respond to this greatly. People are looking

:08:09.:08:16.

for real action. Yes, people are suffering. Compared to five years

:08:16.:08:19.

ago, wages are suppressed and prices have gone up, so people really

:08:20.:08:23.

notice it. The thing that has to happen is that the economy has to

:08:23.:08:27.

get going. There is no point doing a huge amount about prices, you cannot

:08:27.:08:31.

do that. But you can create prosperity so that people have more

:08:31.:08:33.

money in their pockets and they have better paying jobs. That is where

:08:33.:08:41.

the focus has to be. Let's turn our focus to the independence

:08:41.:08:45.

referendum. The Greens have been having their conference in

:08:45.:08:50.

Inverness. Murray, have you seen the role of the Greens in the

:08:50.:08:53.

referendum? They were debating that, the story today was about an

:08:53.:09:00.

apparent so-called split in the yes campaign and the Greenstone want the

:09:00.:09:04.

pound. When I was convener of the independence convention after my

:09:05.:09:08.

retirement, we invited the Greens join and they were hesitant. Some of

:09:08.:09:12.

them supported independence and some supported devolution. They have

:09:12.:09:15.

since embrace independence, but I think they were always worried that

:09:15.:09:20.

this would be seen as an Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon and

:09:20.:09:27.

venture, and even Labour voters would be kept to the side. It is

:09:27.:09:34.

good to see the Greens emerging from this with their own policies and

:09:34.:09:39.

they have very cogent arguments to make about how Scotland would be a

:09:39.:09:47.

better place under independence environmentally. And Gillian, do you

:09:47.:09:50.

think they are uneasy bedfellows with the SNP? Patrick Harvie has

:09:50.:09:56.

always said that the form of independence being offered by SNP

:09:56.:10:00.

and Alex Salmond is a deceptive form of independence. It is not that I

:10:00.:10:07.

must -- it is not an honest form of independence. The Greens want to see

:10:07.:10:11.

a radical form of independence, separating from the pound and the

:10:11.:10:14.

monarchy and the state. It is all the things that Alex Salmond is

:10:14.:10:18.

trying to fudge just now. Patrick Harvie has said that people have to

:10:18.:10:21.

make this hard decision and cannot pretend it will be all things to all

:10:21.:10:24.

people. That is where the fundamental difference is. The

:10:24.:10:28.

Greens? Vision of independence would make Scotland, the cost of living

:10:28.:10:35.

would go screaming up some of that policies were introduced. But

:10:35.:10:39.

intellectually, it is a more honest version of independence. Murray, the

:10:39.:10:47.

front page of the Scotland on Sunday today, MoD warns SNP on control of

:10:47.:10:51.

unit after independence. This looks like it's coming out in a White

:10:51.:10:57.

Paper on Tuesday. Does this complicate matters? They seem to be

:10:57.:11:00.

saying that Scottish regiments would not be Scottish any more. Think

:11:00.:11:04.

about that. All these guys in kilts playing bagpipes marching down the

:11:04.:11:08.

street saying, we are an English regiment will sub it does not

:11:09.:11:11.

compute. There will be questions to be settled. End the stories are

:11:11.:11:20.

coming out, being churned out in Whitehall and Westminster and

:11:20.:11:25.

saying, Scotland can't do this on that. We're going to get a lot more

:11:25.:11:29.

of that. Their answers to all of these things. Only one question has

:11:29.:11:32.

been settled so far and that is Europe. The yes campaign have won

:11:32.:11:37.

the European debate hands down. We're not going to be thrown out of

:11:37.:11:41.

Europe, we will be members of the European Union, and all that remains

:11:41.:11:44.

is a negotiation about how much we pay for it. As for the rear -- rest

:11:44.:11:50.

of it, there is still a debate going on. There is more debate and more

:11:50.:11:55.

interested these papers coming out from the UK government. Is it

:11:55.:11:58.

arrogant of the UK government to say, hang on, these are Scottish

:11:58.:12:03.

regiments would be Scottish? It is to be critical, because the success

:12:03.:12:06.

of Labour and Conservative governments have hacked Scottish

:12:06.:12:10.

regiments right down. We have lost a lot of them over successive English

:12:10.:12:17.

governments, so it is rich to come out and say you're going to lose the

:12:17.:12:26.

Black Watch. However, having said that, defensive a big issue, it is a

:12:26.:12:39.

lot of jobs are a huge part of Scottish life. I think that to

:12:39.:12:43.

recreate a defence industry for Scotland or the whole issue of

:12:43.:12:45.

defence is going to be extremely costly, when we do actually have

:12:45.:12:48.

something that works quite well just now. And finally, the Cabinet

:12:48.:12:49.

reshuffle. The former defence secretary Liam Fox, rumours of a

:12:49.:12:52.

Cabinet reshuffle on Monday or Tuesday. Murray, do you think Liam

:12:52.:12:54.

Fox will make a reappearance in government? I haven't the faintest

:12:54.:13:03.

idea is! I imagine he must come back sometime, and Philip Hammond is not

:13:03.:13:06.

the most popular defence secretary we have ever had. He was even booed

:13:06.:13:11.

at the Tory conference. And Gillian? What is interesting about

:13:11.:13:17.

the reshuffle is the potential for women in government. Liz truss and

:13:17.:13:22.

Karen Bradley may start to move into more senior jobs. It may be a

:13:22.:13:27.

welcome change to see some more women around the table. And talk of

:13:27.:13:35.

one planning Minister he might go. He was bored of speeding about

:13:35.:13:38.

planning applications! Thank you very much.

:13:38.:13:42.

That is all from as this week. We are back at the same time next week.

:13:42.:13:45.

From all others on the Sunday Politics Scotland team, enjoyed

:13:45.:13:47.

afternoon. Goodbye.

:13:47.:13:51.

Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.


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