16/03/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. George Osborne's fifth


Budget will offer more tax relief for the lower paid, but not for


middle income earners being thrust into the 40p tax bracket. That's our


Top Story. Ed Balls says millions of people aren't feeling any benefit


from the recovery. We'll discuss the economy with big political beasts


from Labour, the Conservatives, and the Lib Dems. Now that Ed Miliband


has effectively ruled out an IN/OUT EU referendum how does UKIP deal


with Tory claims that a vote for UKIP means no chance of a


referendum. UKIP leader Nigel Farage joins me for the Sunday Interview.


Coming up in Sunday Politics Scotland. The Conservatives say


they're committed to more powers for the Scottish Parliament, but are


they serious about delivering them? Lewis and Janan Ganesh. They'll be


tweeting their thoughts using the hashtag #bbcsp throughout the


programme. So, just three months after his last major financial


statement, George Osborne will be at the despatch box again on Wednesday,


delivering his 2014 Budget. The Chancellor has already previewed his


own speech, pledging to build what he calls a "resilient economy". The


message I will give in the Budget is the economic plan is working but the


job is far from done. We need to build resilient economy which means


addressing the long-term weaknesses in Britain that we don't export


enough, invest enough, build enough, make enough. Those are the things I


will address because we want Britain to earn its way in the world. George


Osborne's opposite number, Ed Balls, has also been talking ahead of the


Budget. He says not everyone is feeling the benefit of the economic


recovery, and again attacked the Government's decision to reduce the


top rate of tax from 50 to 45%. George Osborne is only ever tough


when he's having a go at the week and the voiceless. Labour is willing


to face up to people on the highest incomes and say, I'm sorry,


justifying a big tax cut at this time is not fair. We will take away


the winter allowance from the richer pensioners, and I think that's the


right thing to do. George Osborne might agree, but he's not allowed to


say so. That was the Chancellor and the shadow chancellor. Janan, it


seems like we are in a race against time. No one argues that the


recovery is not under way, in fact it looks quite strong after a long


wait, but will it feed through to the living standards of ordinary


people in time for the May election? They only have 14 months to do it.


The big economic variable is business investment. Even during the


downturn, businesses hoarded a lot of cash. The question is, are they


confident enough to release that into investment and wages? Taking on


new people, giving them higher pay settlements. That could make the


difference and the country will feel more prosperous and this time next


year. But come to think of it, it strikes me, that how anticipated it


is, it's the least talked about Budget for many years. I think that


is because the economy has settled down a bit, but also because people


have got used to the idea that there is no such thing as a giveaway.


Anything that is a tax cut will be taken away as a tax rise or spending


cut. That's true during the good times but during fiscal


consolidation, it's avoidable. -- unavoidable. There is a plus and


minus for the Conservatives here. 49% of people think the government


is on roughly the right course, but only 16% think that their financial


circumstances will improve this year. It will be a tough one for the


Labour Party to respond to. I agree with Janan. Everyone seems bored


with the run-up to the Budget. The front page of the Sunday Times was


about fox hunting, the front page of the Sunday Telegraph was about EU


renegotiation. Maybe we are saying this because there have not been


many leaks. We have got used to them, and most of the George Osborne


chat on Twitter was about how long his tie was. Freakishly long. I


wouldn't dare to speculate why. Anything we should read into that? I


don't know. For a long while there was no recovery, then it was it is a


weak recovery, and now, all right, it's strong but not reaching


everyone in the country. That is where we are in the debate. That's


right, and the Conservative MPs are so anxious and they are making


George Osborne announcing the rays in the personal allowance will go


up, saying it might go up to 10,750 from next year, and Conservative MPs


say that that's OK but we need to think about the middle voters.


People are saying the economy is recovering but no one is feeling it


in their pocket. These are people snagged in at a 40p tax rate. The


Tories are saying these are our people and we have to get to them.


He has given the Lib Dems more than they could have hoped for on raising


the threshold. Why is he not saying we have done a bit for you, now we


have to look after our people and get some of these people out of that


40% bracket? Partly because the Lib Dems have asked for it so


insistently behind-the-scenes. Somebody from the Treasury this week


told me that these debates behind the scenes between the Lib Dems and


Tories are incredibly tenacious and get more so every year. The Lib Dems


have been insistent about going further on the threshold. The second


reason is that the Tories think the issue can work for them in the next


election. They can take the credit. If they enthusiastically going to


?12,000 and make it a manifesto pledge, they can claim ownership of


the policy. The Liberal Democrats want to take it to 12,500, which


means you are getting into minimum wage territory. It's incredibly


expensive and the Tories are saying that maybe you would be looking at


the 40p rate. The Tories have played as well. There have been authorised


briefings about the 40p rate, and Cameron and Osborne have said that


their priority was helping the lowest paid which is a useful


statement to make and it appeals to the UKIP voters who are the


blue-collar workers. And we are right, the economy will determine


the next election? You assume so. It was ever that is. It didn't in 1992


or 1987. It did in 1992. Ed Miliband's announcement last week


that a Labour government would not hold a referendum on Europe unless


there's another transfer of powers from Britain to Brussels has


certainly clarified matters. UKIP say it just shows the mainstream


parties can't be trusted. The Conservatives think it means UKIP


voters might now flock back to them as the only realistic chance of


securing a referendum. Giles Dilnot reports.


When it comes to Europe and Britain's relation to it, the


question is whether the answer is answered by a question. To be in or


not to be in, that is the question, and our politicians have seemed less


interested in question itself but whether they want to let us answer


it. Labour clarified their position last week. There will be no transfer


of powers without an in out referendum, without a clear choice


as to whether Britain will stay in the EU. That seems yes to a


referendum, but hold on. I believe it is unlikely that this lock will


be used in the next Parliament. So that's a no. The Conservatives say


yes to asking, in 2017, if re-elected, but haven't always. In


2011, 81 Tory MPs defied the PM by voting for a referendum on EU


membership: the largest rebellion against a Tory prime minister over


Europe. Prompted by a petition from over 100,000 members of the public.


The wrong question at the wrong time said the Foreign Secretary of a


coalition Government including selfie-conciously-pro European Lib


Dems, who had a referendum pledge in their 2010 manifesto, but only in


certain circumstances. So we have the newspapers, and the public


meeting leaflets. UKIP have always wanted the question put regardless.


But Labour's new position may change things and The Conservatives think


so. I think it does, because, you know, we are saying very clearly,


like UKIP, we want a referendum, but only a Conservative government can


deliver it because most suffer largest would say it is possible in


the first past the post system to have a UKIP government --


sophologists. And then it's easy for as to say that if a UKIP vote lets


in a Conservative government, then they won't hold a referendum. UKIP


seem undaunted by the clarifications of the other parties, campaigning


like the rest but with a "tell it how it is, just saying what you're


thinking, we aren't like them" attitude. They seem more worried


about us and what we want, and I don't see that in the other parties.


In parts of the UK, like South Essex, it's a message they think is


working. They are taking the voters for granted again and people have


had enough. People are angry, they see people saying they will get a


vote on the European Union, but then it just comes down the road. They


were quick to capitalise on the announcements, saying only the


Conservatives will give you say, so does it change things? Not really.


We have been talking about a referendum and having a debate on


the European Union for years, and the other parties are playing catch


up. They have a trust issue. Nobody trusts them on the European Union


and that is why people come to us. Who the average UKIP voter is, or


how they voted before is complicated, and what dent they


might make on Conservative and Labour votes in 2015 is trickier


still, but someone's been crunching the numbers anyway. We reckon it is


between 25 and 30% of the electorate broadly share the UKIP motivation,


so to top out at that level would be difficult. That's an awful lot of


voters, but it's not the majority, and this is the reason why the main


parties can't afford to just openly appealed to the UKIP electorate too


hard because the elections are won and lost amongst the other 70%, the


middle-class, the graduate, the younger, ethnic minorities. An


appeal to the values of UKIP voters will alienate some of the other


groups, and they are arguably more significant in winning the election.


Whatever, the numbers UKIPers seem doggedly determined to dig away at


any support the other parties have previously enjoyed.


Giles Dilnot reporting. UKIP's leader, Nigel Farage, joins me now


for the Sunday Interview. Nigel Farage, welcome back. Good


morning. So the Labour Party has shot a fox. If Ed Miliband is the


next by Minister, there will not be a referendum customer there's a long


way between now and the next election, and Conservative party


jobs and changes. We had a cast-iron guarantee of a referendum from


camera, then he three line whip people to vote against it, and now


they are for it. What the Labour Party has done is open up a huge


blank to us, and that is what we will go for in the European


elections this coming year in May. I think there is a very strong chance


that Labour will match the Conservative pledge by the next


general election. There may be, but at the moment he has ruled it out,


and if he does not change his mind and goes into the election with the


policy as it is, the only chance of a referendum is a Tory government.


If you think the Tories will form a majority, which I think is unlikely.


Remember, two thirds of our voters would never vote Conservative


anyway. There is still this line of questioning that assumes UKIP voters


are middle-class Tories. We have some voters like that, but most of


them are coming to us from Labour, some from the Lib Dems and a lot of


nonvoters. But it come the election you failed to change Mr Miliband's


line, I repeat, the only chance of a referendum, if you want a


referendum, if that is what matters, and the polls suggest it doesn't


matter to that many people, but if that is what matters, the only way


you can get one is to vote Conservative. No, because you have a


situation in key marginals, especially where all three parties


are getting a good share, where we will see, and this depends a lot on


the local elections and the European elections, there are target


constituencies where UKIP has a reasonably good chance of winning a


seat, and that will change the agenda. Every vote for UKIP makes a


Tory government less likely. Arab voters are not Tory. Only a third of


the UKIP boat comes from the Conservative party -- our voters are


not Tory. -- the UKIP vote. It was mentioned earlier, about blue-collar


voters. We pick up far more Labour Party and nonvoters than


conservatives. On the balance of what the effect of the UKIP boat


is, the Tories should worry about us, they should worry about the fact


they have lost faith with their own electorate. Even if there is a


minority Ed Miliband government, it means no referendum. Labour and the


Liberal Democrats are now at one on the matter. The next election is in


a few weeks time, the European elections. What happens in those


elections will likely change the party stands and position on a


referendum. The fact that Ed Miliband has said this means, for


us, our big target on the 22nd of May will be the Labour voters in the


Midlands and northern cities, and if we do hammer into that boat and we


are able to beat Labour on the day, there's a good chance of their


policy changing. One poll this morning suggests Labour is close to


you at 28, the Conservatives down at 21, the Lib Dems down at eight. You


are taking votes from the Conservatives and the Liberal


Democrats. We are certainly taking votes from the Lib Dems but that is


comparing the poll with one year ago when I don't think most people knew


what the question really was. You seem to be in an impossible position


because the better you do in a general election, the less chance


there will be a referendum by 2020. No, look at the numbers. Only a


third of our voters are Conservatives. When we have polled


voters that have come to us, we asked them if there was no UKIP


candidate who would you vote for, less than one in five said


Conservative. Less than one in five UKIP voters would be tempted to vote


Conservative under any circumstances so the arithmetic does not suggest


we are the Conservative problem, it suggests we are hurting all of the


parties and the reason the Tories are in trouble is because they have


lost their traditional base. Why do you think Nick Clegg is debating


Europe? I think they are in trouble, at 8% they could be wiped


out, they could go from 12 to nothing and I think it is a chance


for Nick Clegg to raise their profile. They are fringe party with


respect to this contest so I see why he wants to do it. One of our big


criticisms is that we have not been able to have a full debate on


national television on the alternatives of the European Union


so I am looking forward to it. How are you preparing? I think you can


be over scripted with these things. Are you not doing mock debates? No,


I am checking my facts and figures and making sure that I can show the


British people that in terms of jobs, we would be far better off not


being within the European Union, not being within its rule book, not


suffering from some of the green taxes they are putting on the


manufacturing industry. The idea that 3 million jobs are at risk, I


want to show why that is nonsense. Who do you think is playing you in


their mock debates? They probably went to the pub and found someone!


We will see. You have promised to do whatever it takes to fund your


European election campaign, how much has been given so far? Just give it


a few weeks and you will see what Paul is planning to do. He has made


a substantial investment in the campaign already. How much? I'm not


answering that for now. We are well on our way to a properly funded


campaign and our big target will be the big cities and the working vote


in those communities. Your deputy chairman Neil Hamilton is another


former Tory, he says so far we haven't seen the colour of his


money. Exactly two weeks ago, and things have changed since then. Mr


Sykes has written a cheque since then? Yes. This morning's papers


saying you will be asking MEPs to contribute ?50,000 each, is that


true? Over the next five years, yes. Not for the European campaign. So


lack of money will not be an excuse. We will have a properly funded


campaign. How we raise the kind of money needed to fund the general


election afterwards is another question. What is UKIP's policy on


paying family members? We don't encourage it and I didn't employ any


family member for years. My wife ended up doing the job and paid for


the first seven years of my job. She is paid now? Until May, then she


comes off the payroll am which leaves me with a huge problem. In


2004 you said, UKIP MEPs will not employ wives and there will be no


exceptions. An exception was made because I became leader of the


National party as well as a leader of the group in European


Parliament. Things do change in life, and you can criticise me for


whatever you like, but I cannot be criticised for not having a big


enough workload. No, but you didn't employ your wife when you had told


others not to do it your party. Nobody else in my party has a big


job in Europe and the UK. We made the exception for this because of


very unusual circumstances. It also looks like there was a monetary


calculation. Listen to this clip from a BBC documentary in 2000. It


is a good job. I worked it out because so much of what you get is


after tax that if you used the secretarial allowances to pay your


wife on top of the other games you can play, I reckon this job in


Stirling term is over a quarter of ?1 million a year. That is what you


would need to earn working for Goldman Sachs or someone like that.


I agree with that. More importantly the way you really make money in the


European Parliament is being their five days a week, because you sign


in every day, you get 300 euros every day, and that is how people


maxed out. The criticism of me is that I am not there enough so


whatever good or bad I have done in the European Parliament, financial


gain has not been one of the benefits. There have been


allegations of you also employing a former mistress on the same European


Parliamentary allowance, you deny that? I am very upset with the BBC


coverage of this. The ten o'clock news run this as a story without


explaining that that allegation was made using Parliamentary privilege


by somebody on bail facing serious fraud charges. I thought that was


pretty poor. You have a chance to do that and you deny you have employed


a former mistress? Yes, but if you look at many of the things said over


the last week, I think it is becoming pretty clear to voters that


the establishment are becoming terrified of UKIP and they will use


anything they can find to do us down in public. Is an MEP employs his


wife and his former mistress, that would be resigning matter, wouldn't


it? Yes, particularly if the assumption was that money was being


taped for work but was not being done. Who do you think is behind


these stories? It is all about negative, it is all about attacks,


but I don't think it is actually going to work because so much of


what has been said in the last week is nonsense. A reputable daily


newspaper said I shouldn't be trusted because I had stored six


times for the Conservative party, I have never even stored in a local


council election. I think if you keep kicking an underdog, it will


make the British people rally around us. Is it the Conservatives? Yes,


make the British people rally around and the idea that all of our voters


are retired colonels is simply not true. We get some voters from the


Labour side as well. Would you consider standing in a Labour seat


if you are so sure you are getting Labour votes? Yes, but the key for


UKIP is that it has to be marginal. Just for your own future, if you


fail to win a single soul -- single seat in the general election, if Ed


Miliband fails to win an outright majority, will you stand down as


UKIP leader? I would think within about 12 hours, yes. I will have


failed, I got into politics not because I wanted a career in


politics, far from it. I did it because I don't think this European


entanglement is right for our country. I think a lot of people


have woken up to the idea we have lost control of our borders and now


is the moment for UKIP to achieve what it set out to do. Will UKIP


continue without you if you stand down? Of course it will. I know that


everyone says it is a one-man band but it is far from that. We have had


some painful moments, getting rid of old UKIP, new UKIP is more


professional, less angry and it is going places. Nigel Farage, thank


you for being with us. So, what else should we be looking


out for in Wednesday's Budget statement? We've compiled a Sunday


Politics guide to the Chancellor's likely announcements.


Eyes down everyone, it's time for a bit of budget bingo. Let's see what


we will get from the man who lives at legs 11. Despite some good news


on the economy, George Osborne says that this will be a Budget of hard


truths with more pain ahead in order to get the public finances back


under control. But many in the Conservative party, including the


former chancellor Norman Lamont, want Mr Osborne to help the middle


classes by doing something about the 4.4 million people who fall into the


40% bracket. Around one million more people pay tax at that rate compared


to 2010 because the higher tax threshold hasn't increased in line


with inflation. Mr Osborne has indicated he might tackle the issue


in the next Conservative manifesto, but for now he is focused on helping


the low paid. It's likely we will see another increase in the amount


you can earn before being taxed, perhaps up another ?500 to ?10,500.


The Chancellor is going to flesh out the details of a tax break for


childcare payments, and there could be cries of 'house' with the promise


of more help for the building industry. The Help To Buy scheme


will be extended to 2020 and there could be the go-ahead for the first


Garden City in 40 years. Finally, bingo regulars could be celebrating


a full house with a possible cut in bingo tax.


And I've been joined in the studio by the former Conservative


chancellor Norman Lamont, in Salford by the former Labour Cabinet


minister Hazel Blears, and in Aberdeen by the Lib Dem deputy


leader, Malcolm Bruce. Let me come to Norman Lamont first, you and


another former Tory Chancellor, Nigel Lawson, have called in the


fall in the threshold for the rate at which the 40p clicks in. I would


have preferred an adjustment in the Budget but I agree with what you are


saying, it sounds like the Chancellor will not do that. My main


point is that you cannot go on forever and forever increasing the


personal allowance and not increasing the 40% tax threshold


because you are driving more and more people into that band. It is an


expensive policy because in order to keep the number of people not paying


tax constant, you have to keep adjusting it each year. When this


was introduced by Nigel Lawson, it applied to one in 20 people, the 40%


rate, it now applies to one in six people. By next year, there will be


6 million people paying base. Why do you think your Tory colleagues seem


happy to go along with the Lib Dems and target whatever money there is


for tax cuts rather -- on the lower paid rather than the middle incomes?


They are not helping the lowest paid. If you wanted to really help


the lowest paid people you would raise the threshold for national


insurance contributions, which is around ?6,000. Is it the Lib Dems


stopping any rise in the 40p threshold? We are concentrating on


raising the lower threshold because we believe that is the way to help


those on lower incomes. Whilst they haven't benefited as much as the


lower paid they have participated and I think people understand right


now, if you were going to prioritise the high earners, when we are still


trying to help those on lower and middle incomes who haven't enjoyed


great pay increases but have got the benefit of these tax increases, that


is why we would like to do it for the minimum wage level. But the


poorest will not benefit at all. The poorest 16% already don't pay tax.


Why don't you increase the threshold at which National Insurance starts?


You only have two earned ?5,500 before you start to pay it. You've


got to remember that the raising of the threshold to ?10,000 or more was


something the Tories said we could not afford. Why are you continuing


to do it? If you want to help the working poor, the way would be to


take the lowest out of national insurance. The view we take is they


are benefiting, and have benefited from, the raising of the tax


threshold. You now have to earn ?10,000, we hope eventually 12,500,


and that means only people on very low wages. If you opt out of


national insurance, you're saying to people that you make no contribution


to the welfare system, so there is a general principle that people should


participate and paying, and also claim when they need something out.


We thought raising the threshold was simple and effective at a time of


economic austerity and the right way to deliver a helpful support to


welcoming people. -- working people. With the Labour Party continue to


raise the threshold, or do they think there is a case that there are


too many people being dragged into the 40p tax bracket? If Norman


Lamont thinks this is the right time to benefit people who are reasonably


well off rather than those who are struggling to make ends meet, then


genuinely, I say it respectfully, I don't think he's living in the world


the rest of us are. Most working people have seen their wages


effectively reduced by about ?1600 because they have been frozen, so


the right thing is to help people on modest incomes. I also understand


that if the 40% threshold went up, the people who would benefit the


most, as ever, are the people who are really well off, not the people


in the middle. The Conservatives have already reduced the 50p tax on


people over ?150,000 a year, and we have to concentrate on the people


going out to work, doing their best to bring their children up and have


a decent life and need a bit of help. I think raising the threshold


is a good thing. We would bring back the 10p tax, which we should never


have abolished, and do things with regard to childcare. At the moment,


childcare costs the average family as much as their mortgage, for


goodness sake. We would give 25 hours free childcare for youngsters


over three and four years old. That would be a massive boost the working


families. We are talking about nurses, tube drivers, warrant


officers in the army. There are many people who are not well off but have


been squeezed in the way everybody has been squeezed and they are


finding it continuing. I am stunned by Malcolm's argument where


everybody should pay something so you should not take people out of


national insurance, but the principle doesn't apply to income


tax. You can stand that argument on its head and apply it to income tax.


Most people don't see a difference between income tax and national


insurance, it's the same thing to most people. It is true that it


isn't really an insurance fund and there is an argument from merging


both of them. But we have concentrated on a simple tax


proposition. Norman is ignoring the fact the people on the 40% rate have


benefited by the raising of the personal allowance. To say they have


been squeezed is unfair. The calculation is that an ordinary


taxpayer will be ?700 better off at the current threshold, and about


?500 better off at the higher rate. It is misleading to say the better


off we'll be paying more. I agree with Hazel, if you go to the 40%


rate, it's the higher earners who benefit the most, and we won't do


that when the economy is not where it was before the crash. How much


will the lower paid be better off if you reintroduce the 10p rate?


Significantly better off. I don't have the figure myself, but they'd


be significantly better off and the Budget should be a mixture of


measures to help people who work hard. That is why I think the


childcare issue has to be addressed. ?100 a week of the people


with childcare payments. It is a massive issue. We want the job is


guaranteed to get young people back into work. There's been hardly any


discussion about that, and we have nearly 1 million people who have


been out of work for six months or more, and as a country we need to do


something to help that. 350,000 full-time students, so it is a


misleading figure. It is not a million including full-time


students. All parties do this. It sounds to me, Malcolm Bruce, you


have more in common Good morning and welcome to Sunday


Politics Scotland. Coming up on the programme.... The Conservatives say


they're committed to more powers for the Scottish Parliament, but CAN


they, WILL they deliver? Do we need more laws to protect the public from


dangerous dogs? Brothers and sisters we have come out to give support,


while finishing as a result of the policy of the current government.


And we pay tribute to Tony Benn, who died on Friday. A party in fine


fettle with a fight on its hands ahead of the referendum. That's the


message the Scottish Conservatives have been pushing at their


conference in Edinburgh, along with a promise from the Prime Minister


about more powers for Holyrood IF Scots vote No. At the start of a


very busy conference season, here's our political correspondent Glenn


Campbell. You would not buy a house without getting a survey done, you


would not choose a car without an MOT, those were David Cameron's


words to conference, he wants voters to fully test all the arguments over


independence, before decisions are made on how to vote in the


referendum. What about his alternative to independence? More


devolution, maybe we should put that to the test as well. Let me be


clear, a vote for Noel is not a vote for no change. We are committed to


making devolution work better, not because we want to give Alex Salmond


a consolation prize in Scotland votes no, but because it is the


right thing to do. Not everyone agrees with that. It sounds like I


am in the menorah tea who does not think that further powers for


Scotland and further tax-raising powers would be a good thing. She


was not alone. It seems crazy to be thinking about more powers when they


are not using the powers they have. They were the only two to question


this. But when some of those sitting on the party commission, which is


reviewing the powers, discussed their work. The difficulty is that


the constitutional debate has moved on beyond feeling that the status


quo is an option. In 1997, the Conservatives campaigned against the


creation of a Scottish Parliament. In the 1979 devolution referendum,


the former Prime Minister suggested a no vote might be a better offer.


The offer never came. So why should the Tories be trusted to deliver


this time? We have seen, even without a referendum, the British


Government, both the previous Labour government and the current


government, have been willing to get additional powers to Holyrood. David


Cameron hopes to keep voters sweet by coming up with a new recipe for


devolution which includes power for the Scottish Parliament to raise


more of the money it spends. At least one senior Conservative once a


radical shift on tax powers. Scotland has to stand on its own


feet and be fiscally responsible. That will stop the drift to


independence. I would like full fiscal autonomy. We should be


standing on own feet and be responsible for raising and spending


our own money. That is too radical for this former Cabinet minister. I


think you have to look at two things, first of all, is any


proposal, would it be good for Scotland, but also is it fair to the


rest of the UK if we want to remain part of the UK? You need balance.


Whatever model of devolution the Conservatives have in mind, the


mechanics are still being worked on. At this stage they want to convince


voters that the party that did not want devolution is now prepared to


drive the next phase of the development if the referendum puts


the brakes on independence. Ruth Davidson isn't available for


interview at the moment, she's preparing her conference speech


which she'll be making at 1.15pm. However, Glenn Campbell caught up


with her during the conference for an interview... That is picked up on


the Prime Minister's speech and what he had to say about a no vote. How


do we know that a no vote did not mean any change from a Conservative


point of view? I think we have gone past whether there is a point to be


made for a devolution settlement and we are now on to what the case


should be, what the changes should be and how we deliver it. The Prime


Minister came on board over a year ago so that we could look at how we


increased responsibility and you need to look at the record of the


Prime Minister. Were he has been asked to deliver, he has delivered.


He has stuck with the process. People have pointed out that he said


a no vote can mean further devolution, but does not necessarily


mean it will, does it? You are dancing on their head of a pen. The


Prime Minister has made it clear, not just when he was speaking on


Friday, he has done for over a year, that E is on board with the process.


When he talks about greater responsibility for Holyrood to raise


more of the money it spends, how much more? I will not pre-empt what


Tom will bring forward, we have a lot of work going on over the course


of a year, including support from people who are expert in the


economy, business owners, constitutional lawyers, I will not


give you a figure, because I do not know. What about Struan Stevenson,


your outgoing member of the European Parliament, he reckons that Holyrood


should raise all the money it spends, that all taxes raised in


Scotland should be under a Holyrood control and that a certain amount


should be paid to Westminster for the services it provides, is that a


possibility? We have a vast array of views. Would you support that? We


set up the commission to find out what would work. Some serious work


has gone into that. What is interesting about the conference,


our tails are up and we have had some of the best attendances in


years, we had an open session on Friday and some senior people said


they should not do that, I should not have this broad open and


transparent discussion, in case anyone said anything. You are at the


leader and you will take forward the proposals, I wonder what the


parameters are, might it include a proposal, which sounds like full


fiscal autonomy? We have looked at a number of areas, taxation, personal


taxation and other taxes as well. They have looked at the powers that


the Scottish Parliament has and how it uses them, things like the


committee structure, whether it has been tested to breaking point. It


also looks at how devolution can be further pushed out so it is not all


about power is being held in Holyrood, but how it can be pushed


out to local authorities and even beyond, to local individuals as


well. It has looked at lots of different areas, what it comes back


with, we will wait to see and I will make sure you are the first to know.


Do you rule out full fiscal at an Army? I know what you are trying to


do. I will wait and see what Tom brings back. You are putting words


in my mouth. We will wait until the recommendations come back. Gordon


Brown said that the 80, National Insurance should all remain at


Westminster, do you agree with him? The recent ruling in the European


Court shows that the 18 is not able to be devolved, it is illegal --


VAT. It is not something we can consider here, because the finest


legal mind say it is not allowed. What about National Insurance? If


you're going to look at corporation taxes, you need to see what business


wants. Three of our commissioners have come from the world of


business, whether they are business owners or whether they represent


business organisations, it is something they are looking at, but I


cannot tell you what the result is because I do not have it. By May you


will see what both Labour and the Liberal Democrats are proposing, any


possibility of a three party agreement ahead of the referendum?


For me, I do not think that you want to have a common position, I do not


think politics stops because a referendum is happening. The way we


have always done things is that individual parties see what they


want to implement and they take it to the nation and in the manifesto


and people vote on it. That is what democracy is about. I do not see


that there will be a joint position between the three parties, but I


think when all of the publications are out, it will be clear where the


areas of overlap bar and people will have a clear idea of the direction


of travel. Let us talk about the budget. You have been urging the


Chancellor to take action on whiskey. I want him to suspend the


alcohol duty escalator. In calling for that, you must have an inkling


that he is likely to do that. I am coming at this from two areas, one


as a Scot who will point out that I have a vested interest in that I am


a whiskey drinker. It is in the blood. I am also a Conservative. At


the moment, because of the way it is locked in, taxes rise above


inflation on whiskey and spirits, we are hitting a point where more than


80% of a bottle of whiskey that is sold in this country is going to be


tax and duty and I think it is a disgrace that any product is taxed


at 80%. I am making a principled argument that we suspend this, do


not take it further so that we can benefit our industry. This is one of


our great success stories. As a percentage of food and drink exports


for the UK, it is massive. The amount of whiskey being sold here


has dropped. There is a direct correlation between price and the


level of duty and tax involved. If The Scottish government are calling


for the same things I have. A suspension of duty for the whiskey


industry. Help for oil and gas. The difference between them and us is I


the same room as the chancellor whilst they are on the sidelines.


That is the difference between Alex Salmond and me. They also seek to


mitigate the impact of the bedroom tax. The UK government will this


week announced that they will lift a cap on the amount of money the


Scottish government can spend in that area. This has been an issue


for some time. The Scottish government has money at its disposal


to mitigate that policy. It has worked with the Labour Party to do


so, that is their chance as the government was Scotland. But I think


there are a lot of technical issues. As I understand it, the Treasury has


suggested it is incredibly difficult to do. I am not a Treasury employee.


I must take on trustworthy civil servants down south tell me. -- what


the civil servants. It is incredibly difficult to do. No doubt we will


return to that and some other issues in the days ahead. Thank you very


much. The number of people attending


hospital after a dog attacks in Scotland has almost doubled in the


last 15 years. The Scottish government has been carrying out a


public consultation on whether additional measures are needed to


protect people. It follows a meeting between the First Minister and the


parents of three child victims earlier this year. Megan Paterson


reports. More than 1000 people were attacked by dogs last year. Brogan


was one of them. Viciously mauled by two American Bulldogs. It left her


with a broken leg and lasting scars. It has been hard. Up and down to the


hospital. And her mental health, one minute she is fine, the next minute


she is crying. She is up and down all the time. She cannot go out to


play. And with better weather coming, she is still in the same


house. She will not go out of play. This government consultation aims to


stop attacks like that. It promises compulsory micro-chipping, the


reintroduction of dog licenses, and most controversially, muzzling in


public places. The plans have been met with a mixed reaction. We think


that healthier micro-chipping is the way forward. It is a straightforward


and easy thing to offer. With the other things on the agenda we do


have some reservations. Regards the muzzling of dogs outside, and


licensing laws. We do not think they will help the situation. Dogs must


exhibit natural behaviours when out and about and muscle can find them.


That may lead to more stress. -- a muzzle confines them. Willmore


legislation help? Make richer thing might be useful. -- micro-chipping.


But it only ever applies to a responsible dog owner anyway, a


bigger push for education, encouraging people to take their


dogs for training. Approaches to the problem vary but there is agreement


that the responsibility for good behaviour lies with those on two


legs rather than war. -- four. I'm now joined here in the studio by


Paul Martin the Labour MSP and from Edinburgh we have the SNP MSP


Christine Grahame. Christine Grahame, you were instrumental


behind the 2010 at all -- act. What more needs to be done? We could do


with more publicity for that act. It puts responsibility firmly in the


hands of the owner, where it should be. There have been, in fact, in the


past two years, up to 2013, a doubling of investigations where


people have reported at the local authority level. My concern, and I


firmly believe in voluntary micro-chipping, my concern is that


compulsory micro-chipping will not necessarily lead to an end of


attacks. It is the wrong dog, in their hands of the wrong owner. We


need education before we even begin to think about having a dog.


Paul Martin, you are keen on a list, and expanding it? Absolutely. We


need to look at all measures that have to be considered. We need a


radical overhaul of existing measures and to consider additional


measures. We must assess ownership in the first place, some people


should not own a dog. We need legislation that ensures dogs do not


fall into the wrong hands in the first place. Does a list not place


more of an onus on the blog itself rather than the owner? -- dog. We


have an over breeding of staff as in the UK. The number of dogs in


circulation, we must look responsible ownership, preventing


certain individuals from being able to own one. Assessing the


environment. Ensuring that Brogan and others can be given that


protection that they need. There is the issue of the propensity and


ability of the dog to cause destruction. Paul mentions breeders,


that is a step above owners. You are keen on targeting them. There are


perhaps a lot of irresponsible ones. First of all, there are huge


difficulties in making a list of specific breeds to ban. The


Staffordshire was known for having a good temperament, but people muddle


them up with it pulls. -- pit bull. Any dog in the wrong hands can


become aggressive and attack. We already have regulation for


breeders, poppies, and kittens. I asked all the local authorities in


Scotland if anyone ever used the regulation, they answered, no. I'm


certainly not opposed to anything leading to responsible ownership. I


want to see how this legislation, proposed by the Scottish


government, would actually improve the situation. It will not solve


everything. It requires, right at the start, education of proposed


owners. You make that point also, Paul Martin. What is your opinion on


muzzling? I cannot meet with the family of Brogan and say that should


be ruled out. My overriding concern is protecting communities. We must


look at the experience of the legislation delivered. But I will


not look the family Brogan in the eye and say, I, as a politician,


will rule out muzzling. We should interrogate the opportunities


available to us and not rule it out. Thank you both very much.


You're watching Sunday Politics Scotland from the BBC. The time is


coming up to midday, let's cross to Graham Stuart for the latest news in


Reporting Scotland. Good afternoon. The Scottish


Conservative leader Ruth Davidson is due to tell her party conference


that she would scrap free prescriptions in order to pay for an


extra 1,000 midwives and nurses. In her keynote speech in Edinburgh


later, she's expected to say that the Scots would pay ?6.85.


The Scotch Whisky Association is calling on the Chancellor to scrap


planned increases in alcohol duty in his budget next week. At the moment,


79 % of the price of an average bottle of Scotch Whisky is made up


of duty and VAT. If the alcohol duty escalator were implemented again,


this would go up to 81%. The SWA, together with the Wine Spirit


Trade Association and the Taxpayers' Alliance, is asking for this to be


frozen. A man has been arrested following


the death of a man in the Easterhouse area of Glasgow.


29-year-old Ryan McNeil was discovered at a house in


Conisborough Road yesterday morning. A 27-year-old man is being held in


connection with the incident. And now the weather.


The words that spring to mind about the weather today, mild and breezy.


MacLeod will possibly thicken up and produce some rain and drizzle. --


the cloud. Across eastern Scotland, a different story, good spells of


sunshine coming through. A fresh to strong westerly wind. Highs of 16


Celsius possibly in the north-east. That's all for now, our next update


is at 6:05pm tonight. Now, back to Andrew.


Today tributes continue to appear for Tony Benn, who died on Friday at


the age of 88. A saint to the left, a bogeyman to the right, whatever


you think of him it's undisputed he had an extraordinary career. Joining


me now, a friend, a former colleague, the former Labour MP


George Galloway, who's in London. Thank you for coming to speak to us.


Was it the fight to renounce his title in the real making of the man?


It was one of the constitutional changes he pioneered. Nobody had


ever done it or imagine that it could be done. It took him three


years of courtroom appearances and he changed the British constitution.


Which he later did in 1975, when with other allies, Michael foot, but


mainly him, he forced the very first referendum in British politics. We


are rather used to referenda now, but then they were constitutional


novelty. He has been cold a whizz kid, as Minister for technology, but


what is interesting is that he saw it impact on working people and was


almost trying to mitigate the effects, to save jobs. He was very


interested in the fate of the Clyde shipbuilders. He intervened a very


decisively as the Minister for industry in the work in. He was for


ever in and out of the yard with Jimmy Reid and the other great


leaders on the River Clyde at that time. He defended motorcycle plants


in the Midlands. He had a whizz kid figure for technology in the 1960s,


by the 1970s, when he saw the impact on working class communities, he was


a decisive advocate, the bosses demanded he would be sacked by Mr


Wilson from that job, he duly was. He went on to energy where he


advocated public ownership of North Sea oil, just coming on stream. If


we had followed that advice, instead of in bankrupt, this country would


be booming. Following the electoral defeats in the 70s, he criticised


the past performance of the government. He would move to the


left. Would he not be more pragmatic to move the right? To get in with


the electorate? He was perhaps far more left-wing than working people.


If you analyse them, as now, the individual causes which he espoused,


the majority of issues he was onside with the public. Railways, post,


gas, electricity. He was against corruption and the undemocratic


nature of the European Union, is, overwhelmingly, are the majority of


the British people. He was famously against war. Marching and leading


marches. The majority of British public opinion was with him on that


also. This is one of the revisions of history that is being made after


his death, that he was charming and eloquent, but his views were crazy.


But actually they were views are shared by the majority. You mention


the war. Then the obituary in the Guardian, Brian said while not


making it clear, that included the war against Hitler. That was the --


an interesting point. It is unfair, because Tony Benn fought in the war


against Hitler and lost his brother in the war against Hitler. He was


not a pacifist and he regarded the Second World War as our finest hour.


We saved the world for a time, alone, against fascist barbarism. He


was not a tree hugging peacenik in all circumstances, he was against


unjust wars, wars which had alternatives and in that, the vast


majority of people in Britain, then and now, regard that as entirely


correct. All political careers ended failure, that is a phrase, Labour


was not electoral -- because successful in elections, do you not


think he's should have spent time fighting that? The leaders that led


us to defeat were not Tony Benn, Michael foot led us to defeat, Neil


Kinnock as well -- Michael Foot. If we had had Tony Benn as leader, if


he had not been cheated of the deputy leadership by less than 1% of


the vote, it would have been better. It is a re-writing of history. If we


had had Tony Benn who was the best advocate we ever had of socialist


politics, we would have won one of those three elections. You first met


Tony Benn 40 years ago, what is your fondest memory? His kindliness. He


was one of the most generous and on rubble and dignified people I have


ever met. -- honourable. Thank you. Let's have a look at the stories


making the news today and the events coming up in the week ahead. Joining


me to talk about the events and what is coming up and stop Joining me to


talk about the week's events and what's coming up from Labour in


Perth is writer and broadcaster David Torrance and in the studio is


Natalie McGarry who stood as an SNP candidate in the Cowdenbeath by


election and is a Twitter personality... First of all to you


David at the Conservative conference, it seems to have been a


fairly upbeat conference, Ruth Davidson seems upbeat. Yes, of


course we will be hearing from her in about an hour's time as she


rounds off and untypically logged conference. It has been much busier


than previous years. Well over 1000 delegates. It has been broadly a


successful conference, the most important thing was the line in the


speech about Ruth Davison wanting more powers after a no vote. That


has been reinforced on subsequent days. It is very much the message


the party is trying to get across, this is not an opportunistic pursuit


of more powers to try and defeat the yes campaign in September, it is in


keeping with Conservative ideology and principles. Power is for a


purpose, to borrow a phrase from the Scottish Labour Party. What do you


make of that? I was a bit prize to. The commission was meant to deliver


the first draft of the powers -- surprised. I think that not having


the powers or the proposals announced before conference does not


give the Conservative Party much of a chance to have a look over them


and there is not going to be the same level of scrutiny within the


ranks. I think some of the thought within the party is that these would


be published in the next you weeks -- few weeks. I saw Ruth Davidson


earlier and she seemed to suggest that the commission would produce


the results in May. You are shaking your head. I am not sure it was ever


said that anything was emerging in the next few weeks, it has been the


line for quite a while that it would be published in May. Towards the end


of May, there are European elections on the 22nd and the official


referendum starts on the 29th and we will see the proposals in between


those states. The ball was in the firmly pro-union parties court,


Labour are announcing the results of their condition on Tuesday, how is


the yes campaign gauging this? It is dependent on what powers come


forward. The narrative seems to suggest that the Labour Party will


give a certain degree of power on welfare. Looking at opinion polls,


there is appetite for a lot more powers than seemed to be emerging


from the Labour Party proposals. I wait to see what they will be but


they do not seem to go far enough. I saw the Tories talking about raising


all the taxes, the Labour Party proposal seems to be about 40% of


taxes moving up. Whether or not that will have an impact on the narrative


going forward to the referendum, I do not know, I wait to see what they


are and I will not prejudge and say there will be sufficient. I want


independence. We will wait and see. Let us look to the past. We were


talking about Tony Benn hearing the tributes from George Galloway, what


did you make of that? George Galloway is obviously of a section


of the Labour Party as was, he is not there any more, who would hold


Tony Benn in high regard. Tony Benn was without doubt a substantial


figure, a fixture of my childhood and well beyond that. His diaries


are enormously entertaining as a minister in the 1960s, he was an


impressive figure with a firm legacy, but he was also a divisive


figure. If you go back to the early 1980s in particular, he was as much


resented by his own side as his political enemies on the right. The


important thing to remember about him is although he is seen as a


left-winger and a man of principle, he came to left-wing politics in the


Labour relatively late, I think it Denis Healey who said this. Until


the 1970s, he was on the right of the party. What did you make of Tony


Benn's legacy? In the last few weeks, we have lost a lot of people


from a socialist left perspective. Tony Benn was quite a progressive.


Some people forget that actually he pioneered being in the BBC, the


party political broadcast, of appealing to amass constituency.


Thank you very much. That brings us to the end of Sunday Politics


Scotland but I'm back in 45 minutes over on BBC2 for live coverage of


the leader's speech at the Scottish Conservative conference. But for


now, from all us on the programme, thanks for your company, bye.


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.

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