09/03/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


performing in Scotland after some supporters demand a rerun of the


ballot to select their European parliament candidate.


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


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


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


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


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


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


Welcome. Now, first this morning, the Liberal


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Statement since 2010 and what a fight it has been.


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


you and your colleagues desperately trying to distance yourself from the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


are, having taken very difficult decisions, seeing the economy


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


lots of things where the Conservatives have one view of the


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


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


Democrats and the Conservatives, just as there were big differences


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


the only party that can marry that commitment delivering a strong


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


government is delivering. But nobody seems convinced by these


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


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


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


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


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


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


having real traction with the electric and the places where we


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


debates in the 2010 election campaign, Nick Clegg was rightly


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


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


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


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


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


Conservatives resisted every effort to raise the starting point of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


creating jobs up and down this country, supporting businesses to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


months and very little substantial difference in policies. Do you


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


one section. They have to do disproportionately well amongst


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


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


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


happens! The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


inherited from the previous government. Iain Duncan Smith has


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


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


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


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


timetable seems to be slipping. Outside the bubble of the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


recollection of what happened. These debates took place in the


Coalition. The Conservatives are in favour of reducing the overall


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


already been written off due to failures of the universal credit


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


your colleague Francis Maude says the implementation of universal


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


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


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


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


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


is the new welfare credit which rolls up six existing welfare


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Let me show you a quote Minister in the last


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


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


that. That is a decision the Government takes about the


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


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


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


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


parents but there are specific compound areas in the process that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


billionaires. Millions will be better off under this system of


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


becomes something governments have to publicly discussed as to whether


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


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


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


in other words the immediate withdrawal makes it worse for them


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


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


always ultimately make that decision. These decisions are made


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


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


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


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


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


universal credit. Public Accounts Committee said this programme has


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of employment. Under previous programmes under the last


government, they wasted millions paying companies who took the money


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


competition is what drives up performance. We want the best


performers to take the biggest numbers of people. You are


practising Catholic, Archbishop Vincent Nichols has attached your


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


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


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


attacks because most are not correct.


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


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


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


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


they need through work. The number of workless households under


previous governments arose consistently. It has fallen for the


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


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


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


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


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


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


announced that people with severely disabled children would be exempt


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


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


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


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


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


about families with disabled children. There are good reasons for


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


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


for adults with disabilities the courts have upheld all of our


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


overcrowded accommodation. The last government left us with 1 million


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


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


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


others have to use their accommodation carefully so that they


actually improve the lot of those living in desperate situations in


overcrowded accommodation, and taxpayers are paying a lot of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


is a There is an immediate review. Within


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


you very much. You are watching the Sunday


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


Sunday Politics Scotland. Good morning and welcome to Sunday


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


Scotland demand a rerun of the selection process for their European


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


parity of pay at work. And the Liberal Democrats


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


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


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


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


European parliamentary election in a couple of months.


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


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


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


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


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


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


never far from the headlines. Neither is their leader Nigel


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to the press over concerns about the European candidate selection


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


video promoting electronic cigarettes. There must have been


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


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


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


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


highlight how diverging Scotland and England were on and perhaps impact


on the referendum debate. Joining me now is UKIP chairman


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Scotland. There was a situation where the National Executive


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


small parties. In the European elections, proportional


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


offering a vote against the predations of the European Union.


But when David Cockburn says that ultimately you need representation


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


electoral concept. Our successes in the county council elections are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


immigration because the free movement of labour of 500 million


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


perception that persists about Glasgow City Council.


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


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


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


claims against Scottish councils where women argued they were earning


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


thousands of current and former workers in South Lanarkshire has


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


other cases remain unresolved. Here's our local government


correspondent Jamie McIvor. This struggles for equality for women may


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


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


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


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


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


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


victory. Perhaps getting some inspiration from Mrs Pankhurst. This


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


suffragettes were much more fundamental. They were about


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


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


this latest settlement are confidential.


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


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


set out areas of common ground between parties on which further


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


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


Minister cautioned an audience in Glasgow that anything less than


independence would fall short of tackling the problems facing the


country. None of the parties against independents have produced


substantial proposals capable of meeting those national challenges.


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


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


Scotland's future into Scotland's hands.


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


preparing to unveil the recommendations of its internal


devolution commission. MP Douglas Alexander has urged them to act


boldly, transferring new powers on tax, elections and employment


schemes to Holyrood. The Scottish Conservatives have previously


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


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


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


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


Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie joins me now along with


Professor John Curtice from Strathclyde University.


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


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


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


was produced in 2012, where a substantial transfer of financial


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


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


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


Murphy making substantial contributions. There has been a


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


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


tasked Sir Menzies Campbell with doing is to draw together the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


there were disagreements within the Labour Party who are very unhappy


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


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


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


significant senior figures in the Labour Party that are making a


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


about living diagram where there is a considerable degree of overlap


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


move forward as the other parties publish their proposals that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


labour and the Conservatives towards more devolution. But getting an


agreed consensus between the parties may be more difficult than


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


referendum when the parties are offering different propositions? One


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


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


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


is difficult to persuade the other three parties to agree on


substantive political policy. Insofar as they are struggling to


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


they are potentially exposing themselves to risk. For the most


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


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


considerable reservations about whether independence is a good idea


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


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


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


referendum, they are positioning themselves for the elections in 2015


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


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


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


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


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


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


dangerous game to play. Alex Salmond has written to the


Ministry of Defence and David Cameron about this radiation leak at


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


written to the Prime Minister, demanding an apology after it


emerged Scottish ministers were not told about a radiation leak at


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


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


saying public confidence has been damaged. The Ministry of Defence


says relevant agencies were kept informed.


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


for the Scottish Parliament tomorrow if independence is rejected. The


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


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


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


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


devolved powers. A yachtsman from Shetland is waiting


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


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


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


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


with Judith. single-handed, nonstop round the


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


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


front sinking southwards. Drier conditions developing across the far


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


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


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


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


Herald's correspondent, and freelance journalist Anna Burnside.


The Ministry of Defence has been accused of deception over a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


prepared for plenty more manufactured indignation. That's


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


this split goes. What was interesting recently about


interventions from Douglas Alexander and Jim Murphy, they were clear


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


is left of your. From everyone here, goodbye.


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.

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