09/03/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


09/03/2014

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.

:00:36.:00:41.

He's a man on a mission. But is it mission impossible? Iain Duncan

:00:42.:00:44.

Smith has started the radical reform of our welfare state. No tall order.

:00:45.:00:50.

And not everything's going to plan. We'll be talking to the man himself.

:00:51.:00:54.

Nick Clegg is hosting his party's Spring Conference in York. He is

:00:55.:00:58.

getting pretty cosy with the party faithful. Not so cosy, though, with

:00:59.:01:05.

his Coalition partners. In fact, things are getting a wee bit nasty.

:01:06.:01:09.

We'll be talking to his right-hand man, Danny Alexander.

:01:10.:01:11.

And are all politicians self-obsessed? Don't all shout at

:01:12.:01:14.

once. We'll be examining the art of the political selfie.

:01:15.:01:17.

And coming up on Sunday Politics Scotland, we'll look at how UKIP is

:01:18.:01:21.

performing in Scotland after some supporters demand a rerun of the

:01:22.:01:24.

ballot to select their European parliament candidate.

:01:25.:01:35.

And with me, as always, three of the best and the brightest political

:01:36.:01:41.

panel in the business. At least that's what it says in the Sunday

:01:42.:01:44.

Politics template. Back from the Oscars empty handed, Helen Lewis,

:01:45.:01:50.

Janan Ganesh and Iain Martin. Yes, three camera-shy hacks, who've never

:01:51.:01:53.

taken a selfie in their life. We'll be coming to that later. They just

:01:54.:01:56.

like to tweet. And they'll be doing so throughout the programme.

:01:57.:01:58.

Welcome. Now, first this morning, the Liberal

:01:59.:02:04.

Democrat Spring Conference in York. I know you speak of nothing else!

:02:05.:02:07.

The Yorkshire spring sunshine hasn't made the Lib Dems think any more

:02:08.:02:11.

kindly of their Coalition partners. Indeed, Tory bashing is now the Lib

:02:12.:02:15.

Dem default position. Here's Danny Alexander speaking yesterday.

:02:16.:02:20.

Repairing the economy on its own isn't enough. We have to do it

:02:21.:02:22.

fairly. isn't enough. We have to do it

:02:23.:02:31.

the agenda a decision to cut taxes, income taxes, for working people.

:02:32.:02:36.

Now, conference, note that word - forced. We have had to fight for

:02:37.:02:42.

this at the last election and at every budget and at every Autumn

:02:43.:02:45.

Statement since 2010 and what a fight it has been.

:02:46.:02:53.

Danny Alexander joins us now. Are we going to have to suffer 14 months of

:02:54.:02:59.

you and your colleagues desperately trying to distance yourself from the

:03:00.:03:03.

Tories? It's not about distancing ourselves. It's about saying, " this

:03:04.:03:09.

is what we as a party have achieved in government together with the

:03:10.:03:15.

Conservatives". And saying, " this is what our agenda is for the

:03:16.:03:19.

future" . It's not just about the fact that this April we reach that

:03:20.:03:25.

?10,000 income tax allowance that we promised in our manifesto in 2010

:03:26.:03:29.

but also that we want to go further in the next parliament and live that

:03:30.:03:37.

to ?12,500, getting that over a 2-term Liberal Democrat government.

:03:38.:03:40.

It's very important for all parties to set out their own agenda, ideas

:03:41.:03:44.

and vision for the future, whilst also celebrating what we're

:03:45.:03:47.

achieving jointly in this Coalition, particularly around the fact that we

:03:48.:03:52.

are, having taken very difficult decisions, seeing the economy

:03:53.:03:57.

improving and seeing jobs creation in this country, which is something

:03:58.:04:01.

I'm personally very proud and, as the Coalition, we have achieved and

:04:02.:04:04.

wouldn't have if it hadn't been for the decisions of the Liberal

:04:05.:04:09.

Democrats. Lets try and move on. You've made that point about 50

:04:10.:04:13.

times on this show alone. You now seem more interested in Rowling with

:04:14.:04:16.

each other than running the country, don't you? -- rowing with each

:04:17.:04:24.

other. I think we are making sure we take the decisions, particularly

:04:25.:04:30.

about getting our economy on the right track. Of course, there are

:04:31.:04:34.

lots of things where the Conservatives have one view of the

:04:35.:04:38.

future and we have a different view and it's quite proper that we should

:04:39.:04:42.

set those things out. There are big differences between the Liberal

:04:43.:04:44.

Democrats and the Conservatives, just as there were big differences

:04:45.:04:47.

between the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party. I believe we're

:04:48.:04:52.

the only party that can marry that commitment delivering a strong

:04:53.:04:55.

economy, which Labour can't do, and that commitment to delivering a

:04:56.:04:58.

fairer society, which the Tories can't be trusted to do by

:04:59.:05:02.

themselves. You are going out of your way to pick fights with the

:05:03.:05:05.

Tories at the moment. It's a bit like American wrestling. It is all

:05:06.:05:10.

show. Nobody is really getting hurt. I've been compared to many things

:05:11.:05:13.

but an American wrestler is a first! I don't see it like that. It

:05:14.:05:21.

is right for us as a party to set out what we've achieved and show

:05:22.:05:25.

people that what we promised on 2010 on income tax cuts is what this

:05:26.:05:31.

government is delivering. But nobody seems convinced by these

:05:32.:05:34.

manufactured rows with the Tories. You've just come last in a council

:05:35.:05:39.

by-election with 56 votes. You were even bitten by an Elvis

:05:40.:05:44.

impersonator! Yes, that is true. -- beaten. I could equally well quote

:05:45.:05:54.

council by-elections that we've won recently, beating Conservatives, the

:05:55.:06:00.

Labour Party and UKIP. Our record on that is pretty good. You can always

:06:01.:06:03.

pick one that shows one or other party in a poor light. Our party is

:06:04.:06:08.

having real traction with the electric and the places where we

:06:09.:06:12.

have a real chance of winning. If you're not an American wrestler,

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maybe you should be an Elvis impersonator! You told your spring

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forum... You don't want to hear me sing! You want to raise the personal

:06:20.:06:25.

allowance to ?12,500 in the next Parliament. Will you refuse to enter

:06:26.:06:30.

into Coalition with any party that won't agree to that? What I said

:06:31.:06:34.

yesterday is that this will be something which is a very high

:06:35.:06:40.

priority for the Liberal Democrats. It's something that we will very

:06:41.:06:44.

much seek to achieve if we are involved... We know that - will it

:06:45.:06:50.

be a red line? If you are a number in 2010, on the front page of our

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manifesto, we highlighted four policies... I know all that. Will it

:06:56.:07:00.

be a red line? It will be something that is a very high priority for the

:07:01.:07:05.

Liberal Democrats to deliver. For the fifth time, will it be a red

:07:06.:07:12.

line? It will be, as I said, a very high priority for the Liberal

:07:13.:07:14.

Democrats in the next Parliament. That's my language. We did that in

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the next election. The number-1 promise on our manifesto with a

:07:20.:07:22.

?10,000 threshold and we've delivered that in this Parliament.

:07:23.:07:26.

People can see that when we say something is a top priority, we

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deliver it. Is it your claim... Are you claiming that the Tories would

:07:34.:07:36.

not have raised the starting point of income tax if it hadn't been for

:07:37.:07:41.

the Liberal Democrats? If you remember back in the leaders'

:07:42.:07:44.

debates in the 2010 election campaign, Nick Clegg was rightly

:07:45.:07:48.

championing this idea and David Cameron said it couldn't be

:07:49.:07:54.

afforded. Each step of the way in the Coalition negotiations within

:07:55.:08:00.

government, we've had to fight for that. The covert overtures have

:08:01.:08:04.

other priorities. -- the Conservatives. I don't want to go

:08:05.:08:08.

back into history. I'd like to get to the present. Have the

:08:09.:08:13.

Conservatives resisted every effort to raise the starting point of

:08:14.:08:18.

income tax? As I said, we promised this in 2010, they said it couldn't

:08:19.:08:22.

be done. We've made sure it was delivered in the Coalition. Have

:08:23.:08:28.

they resisted it? We've argued for big steps along the way and forced

:08:29.:08:32.

it on to the agenda. They've wanted to deliver other things are so we've

:08:33.:08:40.

had to fight for our priority... Did the Conservatives resist every

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attempt? It has been resisted, overall the things I'm talking

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about, by Conservatives, because they have wanted to deliver other

:08:50.:08:52.

things and, of course, in a Coalition you negotiate. Both

:08:53.:08:58.

parties have their priorities. Our priority has been a very consistent

:08:59.:09:01.

one. Last year, they were arguing about tax breaks for married

:09:02.:09:06.

couples. They were arguing in 2010 for tax cuts for millionaires. Our

:09:07.:09:12.

priority in all these discussions has been a consistent one, which is

:09:13.:09:16.

to say we want cutbacks for working people. -- we want to cut tax for

:09:17.:09:24.

working people. That has been delivered by both parties in the

:09:25.:09:27.

Coalition government full top So what do you think when the Tories

:09:28.:09:32.

take credit for it? I understand why they want to try to do that. Most

:09:33.:09:36.

people understand what we have just said. Not if the polls are to be

:09:37.:09:43.

believed... You're under 10%. This is one of the things, when I talk to

:09:44.:09:51.

people, but I find they know that the Lib Dems have delivered in

:09:52.:09:55.

government. People know we promised it in 2010 and we're the ones who

:09:56.:09:58.

forced this idea onto the agenda in our election manifesto. You've said

:09:59.:10:03.

that five times in this interview alone. The reality is, this is now a

:10:04.:10:10.

squabbling, loveless marriage. We're getting bored with all your tests,

:10:11.:10:14.

the voters. Why don't you just divorced? -- all your arguments. I

:10:15.:10:22.

don't accept that. On a lot of policy areas, the Coalition

:10:23.:10:25.

government has worked very well together. We're delivering an awful

:10:26.:10:29.

lot of things that matter to this country. Most importantly, the mess

:10:30.:10:32.

that Labour made of the economy we are sorting out. We are getting our

:10:33.:10:36.

finances on the right track, making our economy more competitive,

:10:37.:10:40.

creating jobs up and down this country, supporting businesses to

:10:41.:10:44.

invest in growth. That is what this Coalition was set up to do, what it

:10:45.:10:48.

is delivering, and both myself and George Osborne are proud to have

:10:49.:10:50.

worked together to deliver that record. Danny Alexander, thanks for

:10:51.:10:55.

that. Enjoyed York. Helen, is anybody listening? I do worry that

:10:56.:11:01.

another 40 months of this might drive voter apathy up to record

:11:02.:11:06.

levels. There is a simple answer to why they don't divorced - it's the

:11:07.:11:12.

agreement that Parliament will last until 2015. MPs are bouncing around

:11:13.:11:16.

Westminster with very little to do. They are looking for things to put

:11:17.:11:20.

in the Queen's Speech and we are going to have rocks basically the 40

:11:21.:11:23.

months and very little substantial difference in policies. Do you

:11:24.:11:29.

believe Danny Alexander when he says there would have been no rise in the

:11:30.:11:33.

starting rate of income tax if not for the Lib Dems? He's gilding the

:11:34.:11:37.

lily. If you look back at papers are written in 2001 suggesting precisely

:11:38.:11:46.

this policy, written by a Tory peer, you see there are plenty of Tories

:11:47.:11:51.

which suggest there would have been this kind of move. I can see why

:11:52.:11:56.

Danny Alexander needs to do this and they need to show they've achieved

:11:57.:12:00.

something in government because they are below 10% in the polls and

:12:01.:12:04.

finding it incredibly difficult to get any traction at all. The other

:12:05.:12:10.

leg of this Lib Dem repositioning is now to be explicitly the party of

:12:11.:12:15.

Europe and to be the vanguard of the fight to be all things pro-Europe.

:12:16.:12:20.

Mr Clegg is going to debate Nigel Farage in the run-up to the European

:12:21.:12:25.

elections. If, despite that, the Lib Dems come last of the major parties,

:12:26.:12:50.

doesn't it show how out of touch different. They are targeting a

:12:51.:12:55.

section of the electorate who are a bit more amenable to their views

:12:56.:13:00.

than the rest. They wouldn't get 20% of the vote. They are targeting that

:13:01.:13:05.

one section. They have to do disproportionately well amongst

:13:06.:13:07.

those and it will payoff and they will end up with something like 15%.

:13:08.:13:12.

How many seats will the Lib Dems losing the next election? Ten. 20.

:13:13.:13:22.

15. Triangulation! We'll keep that on tape and see what actually

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happens! The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain

:13:28.:13:30.

Duncan Smith is a man on a mission. He's undertaken the biggest overhaul

:13:31.:13:34.

in our welfare state since it was invented way back in the

:13:35.:13:37.

black-and-white days of the late 1940s. A committed Roman Catholic,

:13:38.:13:42.

he's said he has a moral vision to reverse the previous welfare system,

:13:43.:13:46.

which he believes didn't create enough incentive for people to work.

:13:47.:13:51.

But are his reforms working? Are they fair? As he bitten off more

:13:52.:13:54.

than he can chew? In a moment, we'll speak to the man himself but first,

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here's Adam. Hackney in north London and we're on

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the road with the man who might just be the most ambitious welfare

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secretary there's ever been. It's a journey that started in the wind and

:14:07.:14:10.

rain on a Glasgow council estate 12 years ago when he was Tory leader.

:14:11.:14:14.

He came face-to-face with what it meant to be poor. A selection of

:14:15.:14:20.

teddy bears. It's where he discovered his recipe for reform,

:14:21.:14:24.

according to one of the advisers who was with him. There are things that

:14:25.:14:29.

if you do get a job, keep your family together, stay off drugs and

:14:30.:14:35.

alcohol, make sure you have a proper skill - that's what keeps you of

:14:36.:14:41.

poverty. He, very ambitiously, wants to redefine the nature of what it

:14:42.:14:44.

means to be poor and how you get away from poverty. Back in north

:14:45.:14:49.

London, he's come to congratulate the troops on some good news. In

:14:50.:14:53.

this borough, the number of people on job-seeker's allowance has gone

:14:54.:14:57.

down by 29% in the last year, up from around 1700 to around 1200. But

:14:58.:15:05.

the picture in his wider changes to the welfare state is a bit more

:15:06.:15:09.

mixed. A cap on the total amount of benefits a family can get, of

:15:10.:15:15.

?26,000 a year, is hugely popular but there have been howls of protest

:15:16.:15:18.

over cuts to housing benefit, labelled the bedroom tax by some.

:15:19.:15:24.

Protests, too, about assessments for people on disability benefits,

:15:25.:15:26.

inherited from the previous government. Iain Duncan Smith has

:15:27.:15:30.

been accused of being heartless and the company doing them, Atos, has

:15:31.:15:36.

pulled out. And then the big one - and universal credit, a plan to roll

:15:37.:15:39.

six benefits into one monthly payment, in a way designed to ensure

:15:40.:15:45.

that work always pays. Some of the IT has been written off and the

:15:46.:15:49.

timetable seems to be slipping. Outside the bubble of the

:15:50.:15:52.

stage-managed ministerial trip, a local Labour MP reckons he's bitten

:15:53.:15:57.

off more than he can chew. The great desire is to say, " let's have one

:15:58.:16:02.

simple one size fits all approach" . And there isn't one size of person

:16:03.:16:07.

or family out there. People need to change and they can challenge on the

:16:08.:16:11.

turn of a penny almost. One minute they are doing the right thing,

:16:12.:16:14.

working hard. Next minute, they need a level of support and if this

:16:15.:16:18.

simple system doesn't deliver that for them, they're in a difficult

:16:19.:16:22.

position. And that's the flying visit to the front line finished. He

:16:23.:16:29.

does not like to hang about and just as well do - his overhaul of the

:16:30.:16:32.

entire benefits system still has quite a long way to go. And Iain

:16:33.:16:41.

Duncan Smith joins me now. Before I come onto the interview on welfare

:16:42.:16:45.

reform, is Danny Alexander right when he claims the Lib Dems had to

:16:46.:16:52.

fight to get the Tories to raise the income tax threshold? That is not my

:16:53.:16:57.

recollection of what happened. These debates took place in the

:16:58.:17:03.

Coalition. The Conservatives are in favour of reducing the overall

:17:04.:17:07.

burden of taxation, so the question was how best do we do it? The

:17:08.:17:12.

conversation took place, they were keen on raising the threshold, there

:17:13.:17:18.

were also other ways of doing it but it is clear from the Conservatives

:17:19.:17:22.

that we always wanted to improve the quality of life of those at the

:17:23.:17:27.

bottom so raising the threshold fit within the overall plan. If it was a

:17:28.:17:32.

row, it was the kind of row you have over a cup of tea round the

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breakfast table. We have got a lot to cover. There are two criticisms

:17:42.:17:48.

mainly of what you are doing - will they work, and will they be fair?

:17:49.:17:55.

Leslie Roberts, one of our viewers, wants to know why so much has

:17:56.:17:59.

already been written off due to failures of the universal credit

:18:00.:18:02.

system even though it has been barely introduced. Relatively it has

:18:03.:18:11.

been a ?2 billion investment project, in the private sector

:18:12.:18:18.

programmes are written off regularly at 30, 40%. The IT is working, we

:18:19.:18:24.

are improving as we go along, the key thing is to keep your eye on the

:18:25.:18:28.

parts that don't work and make sure they don't create a problem for the

:18:29.:18:38.

programme. 140 million has been wasted! The 40 million that was

:18:39.:18:43.

written off was just do with security IT, and I took that

:18:44.:18:48.

decision over a year and a half ago so the programme continued to roll

:18:49.:18:52.

out. Those figures include the standard right down, the aggregation

:18:53.:18:56.

of cost over a period of time. The of cost over a period of time. The

:18:57.:19:05.

computers were written down years ago but they continue to work now.

:19:06.:19:10.

Universal credit is rolling out, we are doing the Pathfinders and

:19:11.:19:14.

learning a lot but I will not ever do this again like the last

:19:15.:19:23.

government, big band launches, you should do it phrase by phrase. Even

:19:24.:19:29.

your colleague Francis Maude says the implementation of universal

:19:30.:19:35.

credit has been pretty lamentable. He was referring back to the time

:19:36.:19:39.

when I stopped that element of the process and I agreed with that. I

:19:40.:19:45.

intervened to make the changes. The key point is that it is rolling out

:19:46.:19:50.

and I invite anyone to look at where it is being rolled out to. You were

:19:51.:19:56.

predicting that a million people would be an universal credit, this

:19:57.:20:02.

is the new welfare credit which rolls up six existing welfare

:20:03.:20:06.

benefits and you were predicting a million people would be on it by

:20:07.:20:12.

April, well it is March and only 3200 are on it. I changed the way we

:20:13.:20:22.

rolled it out and there was a reason for that. Under the advice of

:20:23.:20:25.

someone we brought from outside, he said that you are better rolling it

:20:26.:20:31.

out slower and gaining momentum later on. On the timetables for

:20:32.:20:35.

rolling out we are pretty clear that it will roll out within the

:20:36.:20:40.

timescale is originally set. We will roll it out into the Northwest so

:20:41.:20:44.

that we replicate the north and the Northwest, recognise how it works

:20:45.:20:51.

properly. You will not hit 1 million by April. I have no intention of

:20:52.:20:57.

claiming that, and it is quite deliberate because that is the wrong

:20:58.:21:02.

thing to do. We want to roll it out carefully so we make sure everything

:21:03.:21:07.

about it works. There are lots of variables in this process but if you

:21:08.:21:10.

do it that way, you will not end up with the kind of debacle where in

:21:11.:21:17.

the past something like ?28 billion worth of IT programmes were written

:21:18.:21:24.

off. ?38 billion of net benefits, which is exactly what the N a O Z,

:21:25.:21:31.

so it is worth getting it right. William Grant wants to know, when

:21:32.:21:36.

will the universal credit cover the whole country? By 2016, everybody

:21:37.:21:42.

who is claiming one of those six benefits will be claiming universal

:21:43.:21:49.

credit. Some and sickness benefits will take longer to come on because

:21:50.:21:55.

it is more difficult. Many of them have no work expectations on them,

:21:56.:22:00.

but for those on working tax credits, on things like job-seeker's

:22:01.:22:05.

allowance, they will be making claims on universal credit. Many of

:22:06.:22:10.

them are already doing that now, there are 200,000 people around the

:22:11.:22:16.

country already on universal credit. You cannot give me a date as to when

:22:17.:22:27.

everybody will be on it? 2016 is when everybody claiming this benefit

:22:28.:22:32.

will be on, then you have to bring others and take them slower.

:22:33.:22:36.

Universal credit is a big and important reform, not an IT reform.

:22:37.:22:42.

The important point is that it will be a massive cultural reform. Right

:22:43.:22:48.

now somebody has to go to work and there is a small job out there. They

:22:49.:22:52.

won't take that because the way their benefits are withdrawn, it

:22:53.:22:56.

will mean it is not worth doing it. Under the way we have got it in the

:22:57.:23:01.

Pathfinders, the change is dramatic. A job-seeker can take a

:23:02.:23:05.

small part time job while they are looking for work and it means

:23:06.:23:10.

flexibility for business so it is a big change. Lets see if that is true

:23:11.:23:15.

because universal credit is meant to make work pay, that is your mantra.

:23:16.:23:25.

Let me show you a quote Minister in the last

:23:26.:23:40.

-- in the last Tory conference. It has only come down to 76%. Actually

:23:41.:23:52.

form own parents, before they get to the tax bracket it is well below

:23:53.:23:57.

that. That is a decision the Government takes about the

:23:58.:24:01.

withdrawal rate so you can lower that rate or raise it. And do your

:24:02.:24:06.

reforms, some of the poorest people, if they burn an extra

:24:07.:24:13.

pound, will pay a marginal rate of 76%. -- if they earn an extra pound.

:24:14.:24:22.

The 98% he is talking about is a specific area to do with lone

:24:23.:24:28.

parents but there are specific compound areas in the process that

:24:29.:24:34.

mean people are better off staying at home then going to work. They

:24:35.:24:40.

will be able to identify how much they are better off without needing

:24:41.:24:44.

to have a maths degree to figure it out. They are all taken away at

:24:45.:24:51.

different rates at the moment, it is complex and chaotic. Under universal

:24:52.:24:55.

credit that won't happen, and they will always be better off than they

:24:56.:25:03.

are now. Would you work that bit harder if the Government was going

:25:04.:25:11.

to take away that portion of what you learned? At the moment you are

:25:12.:25:17.

going to tax poor people at the same rate the French government taxes

:25:18.:25:21.

billionaires. Millions will be better off under this system of

:25:22.:25:26.

universal credit, I promise you, and that level of withdrawal then

:25:27.:25:28.

becomes something governments have to publicly discussed as to whether

:25:29.:25:36.

they lower or raise it. But George Osborne wouldn't give you the extra

:25:37.:25:43.

money to allow for the taper, is that right? The moment somebody

:25:44.:25:47.

crosses into work under the present system, there are huge cliff edges,

:25:48.:25:52.

in other words the immediate withdrawal makes it worse for them

:25:53.:25:58.

to go into work than otherwise. If he had given you more money, you

:25:59.:26:03.

could have tapered it more gently? Of course, but the Chancellor can

:26:04.:26:11.

always ultimately make that decision. These decisions are made

:26:12.:26:17.

by chancellors like tax rates, but it would be much easier under this

:26:18.:26:22.

system for the public to see what the Government chooses as its

:26:23.:26:26.

priorities. At the moment nobody has any idea but in the future it will

:26:27.:26:33.

be. Under the Pathfinders, we are finding people are going to work

:26:34.:26:38.

faster, doing more job searches, and more likely to take work under

:26:39.:26:45.

universal credit. Public Accounts Committee said this programme has

:26:46.:26:53.

been worse than doing nothing, for the long-term credit. It has not

:26:54.:27:01.

been a glorious success, has it? That is wrong. Right now the work

:27:02.:27:05.

programme is succeeding, more people are going to work, somewhere in the

:27:06.:27:10.

order of 500,000 people have gone back into work as a result of the

:27:11.:27:16.

programme. Around 280,000 people are in a sustained work over six

:27:17.:27:20.

months. Many companies are well above it, and the whole point about

:27:21.:27:27.

the work programme is that it is setup so that we make the private

:27:28.:27:30.

sector, two things that are important, there is competition in

:27:31.:27:35.

every area so that people can be sucked out of the programme and

:27:36.:27:40.

others can move in. The important point here as well is this, that

:27:41.:27:45.

actually they don't get paid unless they sustain somebody for six months

:27:46.:27:50.

of employment. Under previous programmes under the last

:27:51.:27:53.

government, they wasted millions paying companies who took the money

:27:54.:27:58.

and didn't do enough to get people into work. The best performing

:27:59.:28:04.

provider only moved 5% of people off benefit into work, the worst managed

:28:05.:28:13.

only 2%. It is young people. That report was on the early first months

:28:14.:28:18.

of the work programme, it is a two-year point we are now and I can

:28:19.:28:23.

give you the figures for this. They are above the line, the improvement

:28:24.:28:27.

has been dramatic and the work programme is better than any other

:28:28.:28:31.

back to work programme under the last government. So why is long-term

:28:32.:28:41.

unemployment rising? It is falling. We have the largest number of people

:28:42.:28:47.

back in work, there is more women in work than ever before, more jobs

:28:48.:28:53.

being created, 1.6 million new jobs being created. The work programme is

:28:54.:29:00.

working, our back to work programmes are incredibly successful at below

:29:01.:29:03.

cost so we are doing better than the last government ever did, and it

:29:04.:29:08.

will continue to improve because this process is very important. The

:29:09.:29:13.

competition is what drives up performance. We want the best

:29:14.:29:18.

performers to take the biggest numbers of people. You are

:29:19.:29:23.

practising Catholic, Archbishop Vincent Nichols has attached your

:29:24.:29:28.

reforms -- attack to your reforms, saying they are becoming more

:29:29.:29:32.

punitive to the most vulnerable in the land. What do you say? I don't

:29:33.:29:39.

agree. It would have been good if you called me before making these

:29:40.:29:41.

attacks because most are not correct.

:29:42.:29:52.

For the poorest temper sent in their society, they are now spending, as a

:29:53.:29:56.

percentage of their income, less than they did before. I'm not quite

:29:57.:30:01.

sure what he thinks welfare is about. Welfare is about stabilising

:30:02.:30:07.

people but most of all making sure that households can achieve what

:30:08.:30:11.

they need through work. The number of workless households under

:30:12.:30:14.

previous governments arose consistently. It has fallen for the

:30:15.:30:21.

first time in 30 years by nearly 18%. Something like a quarter of a

:30:22.:30:25.

million children were growing up in workless households and are now in

:30:26.:30:28.

households with work and they are three times more likely to grow up

:30:29.:30:32.

with work than they would have been in workless households. Let me come

:30:33.:30:36.

into something that he may have had in mind as being punitive - some

:30:37.:30:41.

other housing benefit changes. A year ago, the Prime Minister

:30:42.:30:44.

announced that people with severely disabled children would be exempt

:30:45.:30:48.

from the changes but that was only after your department fought a High

:30:49.:30:55.

Court battle over children who couldn't share a bedroom because of

:30:56.:30:59.

severe disabilities. Isn't that what the Archbishop means by punitive or,

:31:00.:31:04.

some may describe it, heartless. We were originally going to appeal that

:31:05.:31:10.

and I said no. You put it up for an appeal and I said no. We're talking

:31:11.:31:13.

about families with disabled children. There are good reasons for

:31:14.:31:18.

this. Children with conditions like that don't make decisions about

:31:19.:31:22.

their household - their parents do - so I said we would exempt them. But

:31:23.:31:27.

for adults with disabilities the courts have upheld all of our

:31:28.:31:30.

decisions against complaints. But you did appeal it. It's just that,

:31:31.:31:36.

having lost in the appeal court, you didn't then go to the Supreme Court.

:31:37.:31:40.

You make decisions about this. My view was that it was right to exempt

:31:41.:31:44.

them at that time. I made that decision, not the Prime Minister.

:31:45.:31:49.

Let's get this right - the context of this is quite important. Housing

:31:50.:31:52.

benefit under the last government doubled under the last ten years to

:31:53.:32:00.

?20 billion. It was set to rise to another 25 billion, the fastest

:32:01.:32:03.

rising of the benefits, it was out of control. We had to get it into

:32:04.:32:07.

control. It wasn't easy but we haven't cut the overall rise in

:32:08.:32:12.

housing. We've lowered it but we haven't cut housing benefit and

:32:13.:32:14.

we've tried to do it carefully so that people get a fair crack. On the

:32:15.:32:19.

spare room subsidy, which is what this complaint was about, the

:32:20.:32:24.

reality is that there are a quarter of a million people living in

:32:25.:32:26.

overcrowded accommodation. The last government left us with 1 million

:32:27.:32:28.

people on a waiting list for housing and there were half a million people

:32:29.:32:32.

sitting in houses with spare bedrooms they weren't using. As we

:32:33.:32:36.

build more houses, yes we need more, but the reality is that councils and

:32:37.:32:40.

others have to use their accommodation carefully so that they

:32:41.:32:43.

actually improve the lot of those living in desperate situations in

:32:44.:32:47.

overcrowded accommodation, and taxpayers are paying a lot of

:32:48.:32:50.

money. This will help people get back to work. They're more likely to

:32:51.:32:55.

go to work and more likely, therefore, to end up in the right

:32:56.:32:58.

sort of housing. We've not got much time left. A centre-right think tank

:32:59.:33:05.

that you've been associated with, on job-seeker's allowance, says 70,000

:33:06.:33:09.

job-seekers' benefits were withdrawn unfairly. A viewer wants to know,

:33:10.:33:17.

are these reforms too harsh and punitive? Those figures are not

:33:18.:33:22.

correct. The Policy Exchange is wrong? Those figures are not correct

:33:23.:33:26.

and we will be publishing corrected figures. The reality is... Some

:33:27.:33:33.

people have lost their job-seeker benefits and been forced to go to

:33:34.:33:36.

food backs and they shouldn't have. No, they're not. What he is

:33:37.:33:42.

referring to is that we allowed an adviser to make a decision if some

:33:43.:33:45.

but it is not cooperating. We now make people sign a contract, where

:33:46.:33:50.

they agree these things. These are things we do for you and if you

:33:51.:33:53.

don't do these things, you are likely to have your benefit

:33:54.:33:57.

withdrawn on job-seeker's allowance. Some of this was an fairly

:33:58.:34:00.

withdrawn. There are millions of these things that go through. This

:34:01.:34:02.

is a There is an immediate review. Within

:34:03.:34:20.

seven days they are able to get a hardship fund straightaway if there

:34:21.:34:24.

is a problem. We have nearly ?1 billion to set up to help people

:34:25.:34:29.

through hardship funds and crisis loans. We use that finance, giving

:34:30.:34:36.

it to local authorities. This is not a nasty and vicious system. It is a

:34:37.:34:41.

system which says, we ask you to do certain things, taxpayers pay this

:34:42.:34:46.

money, you are out of work but you have an obligation to seek work.

:34:47.:34:50.

Recently asked that you stick to doing those. The sanctions are there

:34:51.:34:55.

for people who will not co-operate. I think it is fair to say to them,

:34:56.:34:59.

this is a choice you make. You make choices all through your life. If

:35:00.:35:03.

you refuse to go operate, this is what happens. Is child poverty

:35:04.:35:09.

rising? No, it is falling. Can I show you these figures? These are

:35:10.:35:13.

from the Institute for fiscal studies. That is a projection. It

:35:14.:35:21.

also shows that it has gone up and will rise by 400,000 in this

:35:22.:35:25.

Parliament under your government. But never mind the projection. It

:35:26.:35:32.

will be 400,000 of when this Parliament ends compared to what

:35:33.:35:36.

you've inherited. Child poverty is rising. That is their projection, we

:35:37.:35:41.

will see where we are... That is the actual figures! The last figures

:35:42.:35:47.

show that child poverty has fallen by some 300,000. The important point

:35:48.:35:52.

is, if I can finish this point, child poverty is measured against

:35:53.:35:56.

60% of median income. This is an issue about how we measure child

:35:57.:35:59.

poverty. You want to change the measurements... We have been

:36:00.:36:06.

discussing publicly the figures. We have still got more work to do on

:36:07.:36:10.

them. There is a consensus that the way we measure child poverty right

:36:11.:36:14.

now does not measure exactly what requires to be done. For example, a

:36:15.:36:18.

family with an individual parents who may be drug addicted who gets

:36:19.:36:21.

what we think is enough money to be just over the line, their children

:36:22.:36:25.

may well be living in poverty, but they won't be measured, so the

:36:26.:36:28.

reality is that we need to get a measurement that looks at poverty in

:36:29.:36:32.

terms of how people live, not just in terms of the income levels they

:36:33.:36:38.

have. You can see from that chart, 400,000 rise in child poverty by the

:36:39.:36:41.

end of this Parliament. You are presiding an increase, that is why

:36:42.:36:47.

you want to change the definition. Under the last woman, child poverty

:36:48.:36:52.

rose consistently from 2004. They ended up throwing huge sums of money

:36:53.:36:57.

into tax credits. Tax credits, in six years before the last election,

:36:58.:37:02.

the last government spent 107 to ?5 billion chasing the poverty target

:37:03.:37:08.

and they didn't achieve what they set out to achieve -- ?105 billion.

:37:09.:37:26.

It is not a projection up to 2014. I put one final point to you. Again

:37:27.:37:30.

and again you say it is your mission to make work pay, that people will

:37:31.:37:33.

be better off if they work rather than living on welfare. More people

:37:34.:37:38.

in poverty are now in working families than in workless families.

:37:39.:37:43.

For them, work is not paying. Let me deal with those figures. They refer

:37:44.:37:47.

to the last government's time in power. What is interesting about it

:37:48.:37:54.

is up until 2010, under the last government, those in working

:37:55.:37:58.

families rose by half a million, those in poverty. It has been flat

:37:59.:38:04.

under this government. The only point I made about this, these

:38:05.:38:11.

figures are from the last government. The truth is, even if

:38:12.:38:16.

you are in poverty in a working family, your children, if you are in

:38:17.:38:20.

a workless family, are three times more likely to be out of work and to

:38:21.:38:24.

suffer real hardship. In other words, moving people up the scale

:38:25.:38:33.

into work and then on into higher areas is important. What we are

:38:34.:38:38.

doing now is changing the system so that you progress of woods and go

:38:39.:38:43.

out of poverty through work and up beyond it. Those figures you are

:38:44.:38:46.

referring to actually refer to the last government's tenure Tom and

:38:47.:38:53.

they spent ?105 billion on a tax credit which still left people in

:38:54.:38:58.

work in poverty. Even 20 minutes is not enough to go through all this!

:38:59.:39:02.

There is much more I would like to talk about. I will come back. Thank

:39:03.:39:08.

you very much. You are watching the Sunday

:39:09.:39:09.

Politics. We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who now leave us for

:39:10.:39:16.

Sunday Politics Scotland. Good morning and welcome to Sunday

:39:17.:39:19.

Politics Scotland. Coming up on the programme, UKIP supporters in

:39:20.:39:22.

Scotland demand a rerun of the selection process for their European

:39:23.:39:27.

parliament candidate. The women from South Lanarkshire who fought and won

:39:28.:39:30.

parity of pay at work. And the Liberal Democrats

:39:31.:39:34.

I would just say, don't be scared and stand up for yourself. The time

:39:35.:39:41.

is now and it has got to change. And the Lib Dems are poised to publish

:39:42.:39:44.

their chance -- plans for further devolution. UKIP are on the march

:39:45.:39:50.

down South and they're hoping for success here in Scotland at the

:39:51.:39:53.

European parliamentary election in a couple of months.

:39:54.:39:55.

They're confident of winning at least one seat. But the party's

:39:56.:39:58.

perennial problem of in-fighting has reared its head here, with

:39:59.:40:01.

long-standing members calling for a re-run of the ballot which selected

:40:02.:40:04.

their MEP candidates for the May poll. Here's Andrew Kerr.

:40:05.:40:16.

UKIP are standing out, seen by many as driving the Conservatives'

:40:17.:40:21.

agenda, immigration and the UK's out -- relationship with Europe are

:40:22.:40:24.

never far from the headlines. Neither is their leader Nigel

:40:25.:40:28.

Farage. They are hoping to make news in Scotland in the European

:40:29.:40:32.

elections in May. This is their number one candidate. We have a good

:40:33.:40:35.

chance of getting at least one, possibly two, members of the

:40:36.:40:40.

European. That will give us a good stepping stone to getting people in

:40:41.:40:44.

to Westminster and into Holyrood. That is really our hope -- our

:40:45.:40:55.

objective. It is an ambition that seems fairly realistic, according to

:40:56.:41:00.

one political commentator. If you listen to UKIP, they feel they

:41:01.:41:04.

already have one seat in the bag. Some people within UKIP are talking

:41:05.:41:08.

about two seats. I think two an exaggeration. They might not get

:41:09.:41:14.

that, but they might get one. They probably need 10%, 9% of the vote to

:41:15.:41:21.

get a seat, a European seat in Scotland. That is within their

:41:22.:41:26.

reach. Scotland's MEPs stack up like this. We have two labour, two SNP,

:41:27.:41:33.

one conservative and one Lib Dems. Looking at UKIP's performance over

:41:34.:41:37.

the last year, their share has not been impressive in the by-elections.

:41:38.:41:41.

One recent poll did suggest support was at 7%, not far off what they

:41:42.:41:46.

need for a seat. But infighting is always to the fore. UKIP's former

:41:47.:41:52.

Scottish chairman received a 100 year ban from the party for speaking

:41:53.:41:56.

to the press over concerns about the European candidate selection

:41:57.:41:59.

process, which saw David Cockburn come out on top. The ban has been

:42:00.:42:05.

lifted, and he is calling for the selection process to be rerun. We

:42:06.:42:10.

have a ballot which is being taken place, which is skewed. We do not

:42:11.:42:17.

know who is actually the number one candidate. We are simply calling for

:42:18.:42:22.

a new ballot which we would run here in Scotland. We would actually

:42:23.:42:25.

publish the votes, because we still don't know what the votes were cast

:42:26.:42:31.

for whom, and we are the only region where that has not happened. UKIP

:42:32.:42:36.

has had an interesting journey. Remember them, the referendum party?

:42:37.:42:41.

This is from the 1997 general election. They paved the way for

:42:42.:42:44.

UKIP with a fairly unique anti-European attitude. A new

:42:45.:42:50.

Scottish UKIP MEP would fairly shake up the consensus amongst the current

:42:51.:42:54.

crop. Wouldn't it? Yes, very much so. If you have been an MEP in

:42:55.:42:59.

Scotland at any time in the past until now, you have been

:43:00.:43:03.

pro-European. It has been a qualification for the job to like

:43:04.:43:06.

Europe and the on side of the European Parliament. Now we have the

:43:07.:43:09.

possibility of one of the Scottish MEPs, possibly more, coming into

:43:10.:43:15.

that mix, who is defiantly anti-European. That will stir things

:43:16.:43:21.

up. The Labour MEP David Martin agrees. He is critical of UKIP's

:43:22.:43:26.

pager, dismissive of the right-wing parties with whom they choose to

:43:27.:43:30.

sit, and of their work ethic, which she has been observing since 1999. I

:43:31.:43:35.

stand to corrected, but I cannot -- I can only think of one campaign in

:43:36.:43:41.

a 15 year appeared -- period on which they make any impact, which

:43:42.:43:44.

was to do with Elektra next cigarette. Nigel Farage even did a

:43:45.:43:50.

video promoting electronic cigarettes. There must have been

:43:51.:43:55.

other major issues that they could have taken up in that time, but they

:43:56.:43:59.

haven't. This is the video in question, with Nigel Farage leading

:44:00.:44:04.

the charge as usual. UKIP success could tie in Scotland with the rest

:44:05.:44:08.

of the UK. They are expected to do well overall, but UKIP failure would

:44:09.:44:11.

highlight how diverging Scotland and England were on and perhaps impact

:44:12.:44:17.

on the referendum debate. Joining me now is UKIP chairman

:44:18.:44:21.

Steve Crowther who's in our Plymouth studio. Thank you for joining us.

:44:22.:44:26.

Good afternoon. Will you rerun the ballot for your candidate? No. The

:44:27.:44:31.

point about this if there are a small number of people who are

:44:32.:44:34.

unhappy with the outcome and the way in which we did it. We did it

:44:35.:44:38.

according to our rules, and David Cockburn came top of that process by

:44:39.:44:42.

absolutely a fair and square process. By how many votes? I have

:44:43.:44:47.

not released the vote of any of the ballot in any part of the UK. But

:44:48.:44:50.

there are figures on your website for the part of the UK, but not for

:44:51.:44:56.

Scotland. There was a situation where the National Executive

:44:57.:44:58.

Committee decided that they wished to take over the approval of the

:44:59.:45:04.

Scottish list, but I can tell you that David Cockburn came top of that

:45:05.:45:08.

ballot, and I will absolutely confirm that. And will you receive

:45:09.:45:18.

-- release the figures? No. Why not? The National Executive

:45:19.:45:21.

Committee runs this process. It is its prerogative to do so and it has

:45:22.:45:25.

fully backed the way in which it has been done. It has announced our list

:45:26.:45:31.

are we to go. It is a strong list. David Cockburn has always been our

:45:32.:45:34.

lead candidate from the time the ballot was run, and it is an

:45:35.:45:39.

extremely strong team of people. Were you surprised that your London

:45:40.:45:44.

chairman came out top on the ballot in Scotland? Not at all. He is a

:45:45.:45:51.

very able politician. He is Glasgow born, Scottish to his fingertips, he

:45:52.:45:56.

took part in the Scottish hustings during the process and he is

:45:57.:46:02.

absolutely the best candidate. Is there a UKIP framework in Scotland?

:46:03.:46:10.

Union is there an organisation? Yes. Yelena we have had a 50% increase of

:46:11.:46:14.

membership in Scotland over the last 12 months. To how many? Yelena

:46:15.:46:26.

Geddes over 800. It does look like your party is in disarray when six

:46:27.:46:30.

of your ninth European candidates pull out of the ballot. There was a

:46:31.:46:38.

dispute, but we now have a list of approved candidates, and extremely

:46:39.:46:43.

strong list. What is important is we are arriving in the polls at about

:46:44.:46:48.

17% in Scotland. You said early on that we are on the march down South,

:46:49.:46:52.

and rightly so. It is interesting to note that in a recent by-election,

:46:53.:46:59.

the Lib Dems were beaten by ten -- by an Elvis party. We have a good

:47:00.:47:05.

chance of getting our first seat, possibly two seats, in Scotland. But

:47:06.:47:14.

looking at recent by-elections, you have fallen in numbers. There is a

:47:15.:47:21.

clear explanation. The Scots are aware of democracy and sensitive to

:47:22.:47:24.

it, and first past the post elections are always challenging for

:47:25.:47:27.

small parties. In the European elections, proportional

:47:28.:47:33.

representation elections, every vote counts. UKIP is the only party

:47:34.:47:38.

offering a vote against the predations of the European Union.

:47:39.:47:43.

But when David Cockburn says that ultimately you need representation

:47:44.:47:46.

in Holyrood and Westminster, would you argue that ultimately that is

:47:47.:47:51.

not going to happen? No. It is absolutely going to happen. We have

:47:52.:47:54.

a tremendous momentum and what you were going to see in the European

:47:55.:47:58.

elections is a strong move forward for UKIP and that will be a platform

:47:59.:48:03.

for us to break into Westminster and Holyrood in the following year. But

:48:04.:48:07.

there is no electoral evidence of this, is there? 610 votes in the

:48:08.:48:13.

most recent by-election. As I said, there is the mention. But the

:48:14.:48:19.

momentum is going in the wrong direction! I don't think it is. Down

:48:20.:48:23.

South in the last year we have proved ourselves to be a viable

:48:24.:48:27.

electoral concept. Our successes in the county council elections are

:48:28.:48:38.

very close to success. The Scottish situation is essentially catching up

:48:39.:48:43.

with that and we will see after the European elections where we will

:48:44.:48:48.

make our breakthrough. The Scots will see that UKIP is a very viable

:48:49.:48:52.

electoral proposition. But do you accept the issues of immigration, a

:48:53.:48:59.

central plank of your policy, is different in Scotland? I dare say it

:49:00.:49:07.

is different in Scotland, but many people in Scotland said they wanted

:49:08.:49:10.

controls on immigration in Scotland and one third of people in Scotland

:49:11.:49:14.

said they would vote out if we had a referendum on EU membership, so

:49:15.:49:19.

clearly that momentum is in our direction. That when it comes to

:49:20.:49:24.

balancing the economy in Scotland, immigration is an important part of

:49:25.:49:27.

that, bringing in key workers. Is that something you could support?

:49:28.:49:32.

Absolutely. Our policy is not to ban immigration wholesale, but to

:49:33.:49:37.

control it. While we are in the EU, we are not capable of controlling

:49:38.:49:41.

immigration because the free movement of labour of 500 million

:49:42.:49:46.

people across Europe. We want to manage that situation, have people

:49:47.:49:51.

come here and our people go elsewhere, but on a managed basis.

:49:52.:49:58.

When people say there is a lack of professionalism in your party, does

:49:59.:50:01.

the infighting we have seen recently back that up? I don't think that's

:50:02.:50:12.

true. Political parties have strong minded people. It has been said that

:50:13.:50:22.

your party is run by racists with extremist, right-wing views. That

:50:23.:50:27.

comes from the man who used to run your party. Use the two, being the

:50:28.:50:36.

operative word. -- Used to. There is an influx of members of young people

:50:37.:50:49.

in Scotland. When you get comments like Glasgow is for -- Glasgow City

:50:50.:50:56.

Council is for gays, Communist and Catholics, as quoted by one of your

:50:57.:51:02.

members. He is an excellent chairman, making a comment within a

:51:03.:51:06.

context, he comes from a mixed background himself and is a fine man

:51:07.:51:13.

who works full-time for charity. You endorse those comments? I don't know

:51:14.:51:19.

what that situation is. He was speaking in context about the

:51:20.:51:23.

perception that persists about Glasgow City Council.

:51:24.:51:31.

Thank you for joining us. Now to a long-running battle over

:51:32.:51:35.

equal pay for women. You might think that belongs to the history books.

:51:36.:51:38.

Well, you'd be wrong. In recent years, there have been several

:51:39.:51:41.

claims against Scottish councils where women argued they were earning

:51:42.:51:44.

less than men doing similar jobs. One long-running dispute involving

:51:45.:51:47.

thousands of current and former workers in South Lanarkshire has

:51:48.:51:50.

just been settled and the women affected will receive cash, but

:51:51.:51:52.

other cases remain unresolved. Here's our local government

:51:53.:52:01.

correspondent Jamie McIvor. This struggles for equality for women may

:52:02.:52:04.

seem like the other from another era. As, the struggle for the boat

:52:05.:52:11.

one century ago. Then the claim to outlaw sex discrimination was

:52:12.:52:18.

finally won in the 1970s. The big battles were fought and won a while

:52:19.:52:27.

ago, but skirmishes can still take place. One has been rumbling for

:52:28.:52:31.

several years. That is all of us now. Fighting for equality. This

:52:32.:52:37.

group of women are just a tiny number of the latest group to win a

:52:38.:52:40.

victory. Perhaps getting some inspiration from Mrs Pankhurst. This

:52:41.:52:53.

Museum respects the achievements of women in the past, but we are

:52:54.:52:57.

delighted that women in the present are making equality and reality.

:52:58.:53:04.

It has been a long-running and contributed dispute. At its root,

:53:05.:53:10.

the overall pay package for certain jobs, once things like bonuses were

:53:11.:53:15.

included. As a job mostly done by women, such as IKEA will -- such as

:53:16.:53:25.

a care worker the same as a job done by men, such as a refuge collector.

:53:26.:53:34.

It boils down to our jobs not being as regarded as equal. I couldn't

:53:35.:53:40.

believe when I was told it was still happening in this day and age. I

:53:41.:53:47.

just felt that we did work hard and I think they are entitled to the

:53:48.:53:55.

same wage as the men were getting. Definitely the future generation

:53:56.:53:59.

will be doing that type of work and people get equal pay. Don't be

:54:00.:54:03.

scared and stand up for yourself. The time has come and has to

:54:04.:54:10.

change. It is a victory for women. The battle is won by the

:54:11.:54:13.

suffragettes were much more fundamental. They were about

:54:14.:54:18.

changing the law and society. South Lanarkshire Council says it was

:54:19.:54:22.

always committed to the principle of equal pay, but the exact details of

:54:23.:54:30.

this latest settlement are confidential.

:54:31.:54:36.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats are to outline the next step in their

:54:37.:54:40.

plans for more powers early next week. The Campbell II report will

:54:41.:54:43.

set out areas of common ground between parties on which further

:54:44.:54:46.

powers could be devolved to Scotland. But first, here's what the

:54:47.:54:48.

other parties are saying. Earlier this week, the Deputy First

:54:49.:54:51.

Minister cautioned an audience in Glasgow that anything less than

:54:52.:54:54.

independence would fall short of tackling the problems facing the

:54:55.:54:58.

country. None of the parties against independents have produced

:54:59.:55:02.

substantial proposals capable of meeting those national challenges.

:55:03.:55:07.

There is no joint agreement or timescale. To vote now is to leave

:55:08.:55:13.

Scotland's future in Westminster's hands. I believe it is time to take

:55:14.:55:17.

Scotland's future into Scotland's hands.

:55:18.:55:20.

At its spring conference in Perth in two weeks' time, Scottish Labour is

:55:21.:55:23.

preparing to unveil the recommendations of its internal

:55:24.:55:25.

devolution commission. MP Douglas Alexander has urged them to act

:55:26.:55:28.

boldly, transferring new powers on tax, elections and employment

:55:29.:55:31.

schemes to Holyrood. The Scottish Conservatives have previously

:55:32.:55:33.

resisted demands for further powers, but leader Ruth Davidson has now

:55:34.:55:36.

appointed an expert commission to examine the issue. It will report in

:55:37.:55:43.

May. So just how can the three pro-Unionist parties reach that

:55:44.:55:46.

common ground and in what time frame? To answer this, Scottish

:55:47.:55:52.

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie joins me now along with

:55:53.:55:54.

Professor John Curtice from Strathclyde University.

:55:55.:56:01.

Willie Rennie, how can you outline a report that talks about common

:56:02.:56:04.

ground when we have not had the reports from Labour and the

:56:05.:56:07.

Conservatives? If you look at where we have come from since the report

:56:08.:56:12.

was produced in 2012, where a substantial transfer of financial

:56:13.:56:18.

and constitutional power was set out, there has been a massive shift

:56:19.:56:22.

of gravity in this debate. We have had contributions from Douglas

:56:23.:56:27.

Alexander and with Davidson, but we have also had Gordon Brown, and Jim

:56:28.:56:35.

Murphy making substantial contributions. There has been a

:56:36.:56:39.

major shift. It is inevitable that we will get more powers. What is

:56:40.:56:43.

this new report say about these areas of common ground? What I have

:56:44.:56:50.

tasked Sir Menzies Campbell with doing is to draw together the

:56:51.:56:56.

different strands of the argument that have been put by people from

:56:57.:57:00.

different parties, and he will set out a timescale, a route map for

:57:01.:57:08.

more powers for the Scottish Parliament. What is that timescale?

:57:09.:57:14.

We are told that if there is a yes in September's vote, we could reach

:57:15.:57:18.

a point of independence in 18 months. Is this same true for

:57:19.:57:25.

further powers for the parliament? I believe that to Sir Menzies

:57:26.:57:31.

Campbell. He will set out in detail what we want to do for the next

:57:32.:57:36.

stage. People like the Scottish parliament, but they know that

:57:37.:57:38.

something is missing. And that is the ability to raise and set our own

:57:39.:57:44.

taxes so that we not only decide how to cut up the cake, but the size of

:57:45.:57:50.

the cake. But that is the very issue valuable find any consensus at all.

:57:51.:57:54.

You are talking about what Gordon Murphy and Jim Murphy has said, that

:57:55.:57:59.

there were disagreements within the Labour Party who are very unhappy

:58:00.:58:02.

about the idea of devolving tax powers. And the Tories might look at

:58:03.:58:10.

further devilish and, but corporation tax -- devolution max,

:58:11.:58:15.

but corporation tax is not one area he would not concede. There are

:58:16.:58:26.

significant senior figures in the Labour Party that are making a

:58:27.:58:29.

strong case for more powers. I like Brian Taylor's comparison he talks

:58:30.:58:35.

about living diagram where there is a considerable degree of overlap

:58:36.:58:38.

between the different parties. I think it will become apparent as we

:58:39.:58:44.

move forward as the other parties publish their proposals that

:58:45.:58:52.

everybody is heading in the same direction. Is your message vote now

:58:53.:58:58.

and you may get more powers? You cannot guarantee that those powers

:58:59.:59:03.

will be delivered, it is down to the Westminster Parliament. I think it

:59:04.:59:10.

is clear that the change, but shift in the centre of gravity in this

:59:11.:59:15.

debate now means that we are going to get more powers. Of course there

:59:16.:59:18.

will be discussions as to what those powers will be, but David Mundell

:59:19.:59:30.

has said in an article, he has said they will not be the block that they

:59:31.:59:36.

have been in the past. More is yet to come. Is Willie Rennie's optimism

:59:37.:59:45.

well-placed? I think he is correct that there are movements both in

:59:46.:59:48.

labour and the Conservatives towards more devolution. But getting an

:59:49.:59:53.

agreed consensus between the parties may be more difficult than

:59:54.:00:03.

constructing and then diagram -- a Venn diagram. The problem will not

:00:04.:00:08.

be with the Conservatives, but the Labour Party. Ruth Davidson has been

:00:09.:00:22.

arguing for more tax devolution. I think the Labour Party is more

:00:23.:00:28.

reluctant to come to any agreement. If you look at the interim report

:00:29.:00:39.

became with 12 months ago, the main area of disagreement was corporation

:00:40.:00:46.

tax. They are looking forward to the prospect of a majority Labour

:00:47.:00:51.

government in 2015 and they will then see the other party of

:00:52.:00:55.

devolution and they will deliver. I think we will find that it is Labour

:00:56.:01:00.

who will be reluctant to sign up to any agreement. We know that the

:01:01.:01:07.

public like the idea of devo max, but how do you campaign on that in a

:01:08.:01:14.

referendum when the parties are offering different propositions? One

:01:15.:01:19.

of the difficulties of the no campaign is that they cannot paint

:01:20.:01:24.

an agreed picture for their vision of their vision of -- an agreed

:01:25.:01:34.

picture of their vision for a united kingdom. At the end of the day, it

:01:35.:01:42.

is difficult to persuade the other three parties to agree on

:01:43.:01:46.

substantive political policy. Insofar as they are struggling to

:01:47.:01:50.

come up with an agreed vision of the powers of the Scottish Parliament,

:01:51.:01:54.

they are potentially exposing themselves to risk. For the most

:01:55.:01:59.

part, it looks as if the supporters of more devolution are going to vote

:02:00.:02:03.

now rather than years and that is because the group still has

:02:04.:02:08.

considerable reservations about whether independence is a good idea

:02:09.:02:12.

for Scotland, but that is the potential soft underbelly of the no

:02:13.:02:18.

vote. If I was campaigning for the no side, I would try to minimise

:02:19.:02:24.

that risk. But all three parties are not only fighting for the

:02:25.:02:28.

referendum, they are positioning themselves for the elections in 2015

:02:29.:02:34.

and 2016. In terms of the margin of victory, one way or the other, if it

:02:35.:02:47.

is a narrow no vote, does that... Will some people in England see

:02:48.:02:50.

there is not another tape for change? If people want to continue

:02:51.:02:56.

devolution max on if they vote for independence, they are ending that.

:02:57.:03:00.

There is a danger that if you think you can vote yes in comfort that you

:03:01.:03:04.

will not get independents and you will get more powers, it is a

:03:05.:03:09.

dangerous game to play. Alex Salmond has written to the

:03:10.:03:13.

Ministry of Defence and David Cameron about this radiation leak at

:03:14.:03:19.

Dounreay. He is very angry that Scottish ministers were not told

:03:20.:03:24.

about this for two years. This is a very serious issue. We need to make

:03:25.:03:27.

sure that in the matter of nuclear power, we are abiding by all the

:03:28.:03:32.

regulations very strictly. As far as I understand, the appropriate

:03:33.:03:38.

environment agency, SEPA, was informed. Should ministers have been

:03:39.:03:52.

followed -- informed? I believe the rules were followed.

:03:53.:03:58.

You're watching Sunday Politics Scotland. Time now for the news from

:03:59.:04:01.

Reporting Scotland with Andrew Kerr. Good afternoon. Alex Salmond has

:04:02.:04:05.

written to the Prime Minister, demanding an apology after it

:04:06.:04:07.

emerged Scottish ministers were not told about a radiation leak at

:04:08.:04:14.

Dounreay two years ago. The Defence Secretary revealed details of the

:04:15.:04:17.

incident for the first time on Thursday. Labour wants an inquiry,

:04:18.:04:19.

saying public confidence has been damaged. The Ministry of Defence

:04:20.:04:22.

says relevant agencies were kept informed.

:04:23.:04:27.

The Liberal Democrats will spell out their plans for getting more powers

:04:28.:04:30.

for the Scottish Parliament tomorrow if independence is rejected. The

:04:31.:04:35.

senior Lib Dem MP, Sir Menzies Campbell, has updated an earlier

:04:36.:04:38.

report which looked at devolving new tax powers to Holyrood. Speaking on

:04:39.:04:47.

this programme, the Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said there had

:04:48.:04:51.

been a massive shift in the stands of prounion parties to favour more

:04:52.:04:57.

devolved powers. A yachtsman from Shetland is waiting

:04:58.:05:00.

to be rescued by Chilean coastguards after his mast broke in a huge

:05:01.:05:03.

storm. 54-year-old Andrew Halcrow was attempting to sail

:05:04.:05:05.

single-handed, nonstop round the world. His wife said that he was

:05:06.:05:07.

uninjured. Now let's take a look at the weather

:05:08.:05:08.

with Judith. single-handed, nonstop round the

:05:09.:05:11.

Good afternoon. A fairly cloudy afternoon and damp in nature.

:05:12.:05:15.

Actually been and is for many parts of the country thanks to a weather

:05:16.:05:22.

front sinking southwards. Drier conditions developing across the far

:05:23.:05:24.

north-west. Quite a brisk wind here. Later when thes further south.

:05:25.:05:31.

As we head into the evening, the wind returns to most places for our

:05:32.:05:35.

time, but then it becomes drier overnight, turning colder.

:05:36.:05:38.

That is it for now. I am joined by Robbie Dinwoodie, the

:05:39.:05:56.

Herald's correspondent, and freelance journalist Anna Burnside.

:05:57.:06:06.

The Ministry of Defence has been accused of deception over a

:06:07.:06:10.

radioactive leak at Dounreay. Alex Salmond seems very angry about the

:06:11.:06:15.

situation. There is a degree of manufactured outrage about this. The

:06:16.:06:18.

most effective -- offensive thing was when Philip Hammond said that

:06:19.:06:27.

all the relevant time -- authority said the -- authorities had been

:06:28.:06:32.

informed. If you do not consider the Scottish Government to be a relevant

:06:33.:06:36.

authority, there is something wrong. There has been no major league. I

:06:37.:06:39.

think it would be wrong to talk this up into some massive environmental

:06:40.:06:49.

story. He says that the way this has been handled is underhand and

:06:50.:06:57.

disrespectful foot. As Robbie said, this is the kind of thing they have

:06:58.:07:01.

been waiting for, an issue that everyone in Scotland can look at and

:07:02.:07:05.

say, that is a piece of nonsense. But would you not expect Scottish

:07:06.:07:10.

ministers to be insulted by this? Of course I would. I am not denying

:07:11.:07:13.

that they are right to be making a fuss about this. It is nonsense that

:07:14.:07:19.

it took two years for any of to find this out, but I think we can be

:07:20.:07:23.

prepared for plenty more manufactured indignation. That's

:07:24.:07:32.

talk about further powers for the Scottish parliament if there is a no

:07:33.:07:43.

vote in the independence referendum. There is a strand of Labour thinking

:07:44.:07:49.

that agrees with that. There is also a strand of Labour thinking that

:07:50.:07:51.

disagrees with handing over powers, British elite -- particularly income

:07:52.:07:58.

tax and welfare. The problem is not whether or not these are good or bad

:07:59.:08:02.

ideas, the problem is that the party this is being pitched to is in

:08:03.:08:09.

itself in disagreement. That disagreement is coming from MPs, not

:08:10.:08:12.

exclusively, but quite a vocal number of MPs, and they are the ones

:08:13.:08:18.

that will have to steer this through Westminster if it is to be

:08:19.:08:21.

proposed. Yes, good look with that! There is much to commend in this

:08:22.:08:31.

story. It makes a lot of sense, but will it ever be pulled together?

:08:32.:08:37.

That is what would have to take the rain check on, I think. The Sunday

:08:38.:08:46.

Herald is saying that the next chair of MPs, Michael McCann, has branded

:08:47.:08:52.

Devo Max has not serious politics. This is another example of the way

:08:53.:08:59.

this split goes. What was interesting recently about

:09:00.:09:01.

interventions from Douglas Alexander and Jim Murphy, they were clear

:09:02.:09:05.

attempts to say it is not all MPs versus MSPs. It is not all hostile

:09:06.:09:16.

down there. If you are going to talk about a partial boycott of their own

:09:17.:09:19.

conference in protest at this, it is a sign of deep division. Do you get

:09:20.:09:23.

the sense that Johann Lamont will be able to give -- bring all the sides

:09:24.:09:30.

together? That would be a first. She has not got a strong track record.

:09:31.:09:35.

Again, good luck. We will all be watching. Interesting story on the

:09:36.:09:41.

front page of the Sunday Times. According to an EU law expert, Aidan

:09:42.:09:46.

O'Neill, the First Minister acted illegally by denying exiled Scots

:09:47.:09:50.

vote in the referendum. This is being challenged to allow Scots

:09:51.:09:56.

living outside to actually vote in the referendum. Where do you see

:09:57.:10:01.

this going? Is I am curious about the story. It comes from a complaint

:10:02.:10:08.

from James Wallace, a lawyer living in London. Aidan O'Neill is

:10:09.:10:20.

undoubtedly an EU expert, but he's the go to man for sceptics. If you

:10:21.:10:28.

think same-sex marriage might reach European law, he is the money go to.

:10:29.:10:32.

Fair enough, an interesting story, but if he is accusing the Scottish

:10:33.:10:36.

Government of getting this Arab League wrong and ignoring EU law, he

:10:37.:10:40.

is also accusing the UK government, because it is based on the Edinburgh

:10:41.:10:46.

Agreement. A spokesperson for the Scottish Government has said that it

:10:47.:10:56.

is full -- beyond question. Having worked at the Sunday Times, the

:10:57.:11:01.

whole story had the air of, can we say about it. It felt like a

:11:02.:11:07.

speculative story, and you have just identified one of the holes in

:11:08.:11:11.

this. Would anybody actually pursue this? We watch with interest. The

:11:12.:11:15.

Sunday Express has carried out a poll, and they extrapolate a

:11:16.:11:20.

suggestion which says that more than 500,000 Scots have been abused or

:11:21.:11:23.

threatened over their views on the referendum. They say that some

:11:24.:11:26.

people are afraid to speak up. You get this business, afraid to speak

:11:27.:11:32.

of. I don't see that in recent days! It is hard to prove. It

:11:33.:11:38.

depends what level of threat there has been. Everyone is busy having

:11:39.:11:42.

their say. I do not see much sign that people are being cowed into

:11:43.:11:47.

silence. People are also suggesting that people have been writing the

:11:48.:11:51.

newspapers writing to express a view, and men have received letters

:11:52.:11:57.

expressing striding oppositional views. If that is happening, that is

:11:58.:12:02.

wrong. That is not something I have been aware of. On Twitter, if you

:12:03.:12:10.

put your head over the parapet, get your tin hat on, because the debate

:12:11.:12:15.

is robust, to put it mildly. That is good! A range of people are involved

:12:16.:12:20.

in this debate, the likes of which we have never seen before. It is the

:12:21.:12:25.

roundabout and the swings. To go back to what we are going to get

:12:26.:12:33.

from the Campbell II report, do you expect it will make much progress? I

:12:34.:12:39.

think it will lay out more of the Lib Dem position, which is easy for

:12:40.:12:43.

them, because they are the natural party of Home Rule. They do not have

:12:44.:12:47.

internal divisions on this. They want a federal Britain. For then it

:12:48.:12:50.

is easy. The problem is, they can say all they like, what influence

:12:51.:12:55.

will they have left on the Labour Party and the Tories in the years to

:12:56.:12:59.

come, because the perception appear if they are going to pay a heavy

:13:00.:13:03.

price for being part of the Coalition in Westminster. We have

:13:04.:13:07.

Gordon Brown making a speech, taking a greater role in this campaign

:13:08.:13:15.

lately. I wonder if the SNP feel interventions from ministers at

:13:16.:13:18.

Westminster are helpful to the yes campaign? Is the same view taken of

:13:19.:13:23.

Gordon Brown? Yes, I would say so. That has been the second air punch

:13:24.:13:28.

of the week after Dounreay. Extremely unpopular in Scotland. It

:13:29.:13:34.

is treated with suspicion by quite a few people, so good news for them, I

:13:35.:13:41.

would say. Thank you very much. That is all from us this week. The

:13:42.:13:45.

programme is back at the same time next week. Until then, do enjoy what

:13:46.:13:49.

is left of your. From everyone here, goodbye.

:13:50.:13:55.

Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.


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