16/03/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


16/03/2014

The latest political news, interviews and debate in Scotland.


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

:00:35.:00:42.

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

:00:43.:00:45.

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

:00:46.:00:50.

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

:00:51.:00:53.

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

:00:54.:00:56.

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

:00:57.:01:02.

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

:01:03.:01:05.

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

:01:06.:01:08.

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

:01:09.:01:18.

Coming up in Sunday Politics Scotland. The Conservatives say

:01:19.:01:21.

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

:01:22.:01:22.

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

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tweeting their thoughts using the hashtag #bbcsp throughout the

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

:01:45.:01:46.

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

:01:47.:01:52.

delivering his 2014 Budget. The Chancellor has already previewed his

:01:53.:01:55.

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

:01:56.:02:05.

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

:02:06.:02:09.

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

:02:10.:02:12.

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

:02:13.:02:16.

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

:02:17.:02:20.

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

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

:02:25.:02:27.

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

:02:28.:02:30.

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

:02:31.:02:37.

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

:02:38.:02:41.

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

:02:42.:02:43.

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

:02:44.:02:47.

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

:02:48.:02:53.

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

:02:54.:02:57.

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

:02:58.:03:03.

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

:03:04.:03:06.

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

:03:07.:03:10.

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

:03:11.:03:14.

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

:03:15.:03:20.

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

:03:21.:03:24.

The big economic variable is business investment. Even during the

:03:25.:03:28.

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

:03:29.:03:33.

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

:03:34.:03:37.

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

:03:38.:03:40.

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

:03:41.:03:46.

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

:03:47.:03:51.

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

:03:52.:03:54.

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

:03:55.:03:58.

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

:03:59.:04:02.

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

:04:03.:04:07.

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

:04:08.:04:11.

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

:04:12.:04:17.

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

:04:18.:04:22.

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

:04:23.:04:24.

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

:04:25.:04:29.

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

:04:30.:04:35.

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

:04:36.:04:40.

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

:04:41.:04:45.

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

:04:46.:04:50.

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

:04:51.:04:55.

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

:04:56.:04:59.

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

:05:00.:05:06.

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

:05:07.:05:13.

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

:05:14.:05:16.

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

:05:17.:05:22.

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

:05:23.:05:28.

George Osborne announcing the rays in the personal allowance will go

:05:29.:05:32.

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

:05:33.:05:40.

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

:05:41.:05:44.

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

:05:45.:05:47.

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

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

:05:53.:05:56.

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

:05:57.:06:02.

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

:06:03.:06:06.

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

:06:07.:06:13.

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

:06:14.:06:15.

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

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

:06:20.:06:22.

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

:06:23.:06:27.

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

:06:28.:06:32.

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

:06:33.:06:38.

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

:06:39.:06:41.

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

:06:42.:06:46.

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

:06:47.:06:51.

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

:06:52.:06:55.

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

:06:56.:07:00.

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

:07:01.:07:04.

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

:07:05.:07:07.

their priority was helping the lowest paid which is a useful

:07:08.:07:10.

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

:07:11.:07:16.

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

:07:17.:07:21.

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

:07:22.:07:24.

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

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

:07:35.:07:37.

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

:07:38.:07:39.

certainly clarified matters. UKIP say it just shows the mainstream

:07:40.:07:44.

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

:07:45.:07:47.

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

:07:48.:07:50.

securing a referendum. Giles Dilnot reports.

:07:51.:07:54.

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

:07:55.:07:58.

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

:07:59.:08:03.

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

:08:04.:08:05.

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

:08:06.:08:09.

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

:08:10.:08:22.

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

:08:23.:08:24.

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

:08:25.:08:30.

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

:08:31.:08:34.

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

:08:35.:08:37.

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

:08:38.:08:47.

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

:08:48.:08:50.

membership: the largest rebellion against a Tory prime minister over

:08:51.:08:53.

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

:08:54.:09:04.

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

:09:05.:09:06.

coalition Government including selfie-conciously-pro European Lib

:09:07.:09:08.

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

:09:09.:09:11.

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

:09:12.:09:14.

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

:09:15.:09:17.

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

:09:18.:09:25.

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

:09:26.:09:31.

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

:09:32.:09:36.

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

:09:37.:09:42.

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

:09:43.:09:50.

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

:09:51.:09:58.

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

:09:59.:10:04.

seem undaunted by the clarifications of the other parties, campaigning

:10:05.:10:07.

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

:10:08.:10:10.

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

:10:11.:10:16.

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

:10:17.:10:21.

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

:10:22.:10:28.

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

:10:29.:10:31.

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

:10:32.:10:38.

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

:10:39.:10:43.

were quick to capitalise on the announcements, saying only the

:10:44.:10:49.

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

:10:50.:10:54.

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

:10:55.:10:58.

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

:10:59.:11:02.

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

:11:03.:11:06.

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

:11:07.:11:09.

how they voted before is complicated, and what dent they

:11:10.:11:12.

might make on Conservative and Labour votes in 2015 is trickier

:11:13.:11:15.

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

:11:16.:11:23.

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

:11:24.:11:27.

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

:11:28.:11:30.

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

:11:31.:11:35.

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

:11:36.:11:38.

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

:11:39.:11:44.

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

:11:45.:11:49.

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

:11:50.:11:52.

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

:11:53.:11:56.

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

:11:57.:11:59.

any support the other parties have previously enjoyed.

:12:00.:12:02.

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

:12:03.:12:05.

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

:12:06.:12:22.

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

:12:23.:12:25.

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

:12:26.:12:29.

way between now and the next election, and Conservative party

:12:30.:12:33.

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

:12:34.:12:36.

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

:12:37.:12:41.

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

:12:42.:12:44.

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

:12:45.:12:48.

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

:12:49.:12:52.

that Labour will match the Conservative pledge by the next

:12:53.:12:55.

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

:12:56.:13:00.

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

:13:01.:13:03.

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

:13:04.:13:10.

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

:13:11.:13:14.

Remember, two thirds of our voters would never vote Conservative

:13:15.:13:17.

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

:13:18.:13:22.

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

:13:23.:13:25.

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

:13:26.:13:31.

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

:13:32.:13:37.

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

:13:38.:13:41.

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

:13:42.:13:44.

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

:13:45.:13:48.

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

:13:49.:13:52.

situation in key marginals, especially where all three parties

:13:53.:13:56.

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

:13:57.:14:00.

the local elections and the European elections, there are target

:14:01.:14:07.

constituencies where UKIP has a reasonably good chance of winning a

:14:08.:14:11.

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

:14:12.:14:17.

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

:14:18.:14:20.

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

:14:21.:14:27.

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

:14:28.:14:31.

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

:14:32.:14:34.

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

:14:35.:14:38.

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

:14:39.:14:41.

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

:14:42.:14:46.

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

:14:47.:14:50.

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

:14:51.:14:54.

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

:14:55.:14:59.

elections will likely change the party stands and position on a

:15:00.:15:02.

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

:15:03.:15:06.

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

:15:07.:15:10.

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

:15:11.:15:14.

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

:15:15.:15:24.

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

:15:25.:15:31.

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

:15:32.:15:38.

are taking votes from the Conservatives and the Liberal

:15:39.:15:42.

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

:15:43.:15:49.

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

:15:50.:15:55.

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

:15:56.:15:59.

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

:16:00.:16:05.

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

:16:06.:16:10.

third of our voters are Conservatives. When we have polled

:16:11.:16:16.

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

:16:17.:16:20.

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

:16:21.:16:25.

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

:16:26.:16:30.

Conservative under any circumstances so the arithmetic does not suggest

:16:31.:16:36.

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

:16:37.:16:39.

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

:16:40.:16:44.

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

:16:45.:16:51.

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

:16:52.:16:59.

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

:17:00.:17:04.

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

:17:05.:17:10.

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

:17:11.:17:15.

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

:17:16.:17:20.

national television on the alternatives of the European Union

:17:21.:17:24.

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

:17:25.:17:38.

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

:17:39.:17:44.

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

:17:45.:17:48.

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

:17:49.:17:54.

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

:17:55.:17:58.

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

:17:59.:18:04.

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

:18:05.:18:10.

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

:18:11.:18:16.

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

:18:17.:18:24.

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

:18:25.:18:27.

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

:18:28.:18:34.

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

:18:35.:18:40.

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

:18:41.:18:49.

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

:18:50.:18:53.

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

:18:54.:19:00.

in those communities. Your deputy chairman Neil Hamilton is another

:19:01.:19:04.

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

:19:05.:19:09.

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

:19:10.:19:16.

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

:19:17.:19:25.

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

:19:26.:19:33.

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

:19:34.:19:39.

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

:19:40.:19:45.

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

:19:46.:19:48.

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

:19:49.:19:59.

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

:20:00.:20:04.

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

:20:05.:20:10.

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

:20:11.:20:18.

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

:20:19.:20:25.

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

:20:26.:20:31.

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

:20:32.:20:35.

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

:20:36.:20:39.

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

:20:40.:20:43.

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

:20:44.:20:49.

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

:20:50.:20:58.

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

:20:59.:21:01.

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

:21:02.:21:06.

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

:21:07.:21:11.

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

:21:12.:21:18.

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

:21:19.:21:24.

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

:21:25.:21:27.

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

:21:28.:21:36.

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

:21:37.:21:38.

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

:21:39.:21:45.

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

:21:46.:21:48.

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

:21:49.:21:54.

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

:21:55.:21:59.

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

:22:00.:22:04.

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

:22:05.:22:08.

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

:22:09.:22:13.

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

:22:14.:22:18.

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

:22:19.:22:23.

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

:22:24.:22:28.

explaining that that allegation was made using Parliamentary privilege

:22:29.:22:32.

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

:22:33.:22:40.

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

:22:41.:22:48.

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

:22:49.:22:53.

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

:22:54.:22:57.

the establishment are becoming terrified of UKIP and they will use

:22:58.:23:03.

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

:23:04.:23:10.

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

:23:11.:23:16.

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

:23:17.:23:21.

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

:23:22.:23:27.

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

:23:28.:23:34.

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

:23:35.:23:38.

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

:23:39.:23:42.

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

:23:43.:23:47.

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

:23:48.:23:51.

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

:23:52.:23:56.

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

:23:57.:24:04.

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

:24:05.:24:11.

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

:24:12.:24:20.

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

:24:21.:24:25.

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

:24:26.:24:33.

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

:24:34.:24:39.

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

:24:40.:24:45.

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

:24:46.:24:51.

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

:24:52.:24:57.

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

:24:58.:25:02.

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

:25:03.:25:05.

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

:25:06.:25:09.

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

:25:10.:25:14.

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

:25:15.:25:21.

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

:25:22.:25:26.

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

:25:27.:25:35.

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

:25:36.:25:38.

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

:25:39.:25:45.

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

:25:46.:25:48.

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

:25:49.:25:50.

Politics guide to the Chancellor's likely announcements.

:25:51.:25:52.

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

:25:53.:25:56.

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

:25:57.:25:59.

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

:26:00.:26:03.

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

:26:04.:26:06.

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

:26:07.:26:08.

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

:26:09.:26:12.

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

:26:13.:26:18.

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

:26:19.:26:22.

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

:26:23.:26:27.

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

:26:28.:26:30.

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

:26:31.:26:36.

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

:26:37.:26:39.

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

:26:40.:26:45.

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

:26:46.:26:48.

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

:26:49.:26:51.

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

:26:52.:27:08.

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

:27:09.:27:12.

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

:27:13.:27:15.

a full house with a possible cut in bingo tax.

:27:16.:27:17.

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

:27:18.:27:19.

chancellor Norman Lamont, in Salford by the former Labour Cabinet

:27:20.:27:22.

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

:27:23.:27:25.

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

:27:26.:27:30.

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

:27:31.:27:35.

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

:27:36.:27:46.

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

:27:47.:27:49.

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

:27:50.:27:56.

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

:27:57.:28:00.

personal allowance and not increasing the 40% tax threshold

:28:01.:28:04.

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

:28:05.:28:08.

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

:28:09.:28:12.

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

:28:13.:28:19.

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

:28:20.:28:26.

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

:28:27.:28:32.

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

:28:33.:28:36.

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

:28:37.:28:51.

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

:28:52.:28:57.

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

:28:58.:29:02.

the lowest paid people you would raise the threshold for national

:29:03.:29:07.

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

:29:08.:29:12.

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

:29:13.:29:22.

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

:29:23.:29:30.

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

:29:31.:29:33.

lower paid they have participated and I think people understand right

:29:34.:29:38.

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

:29:39.:29:42.

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

:29:43.:29:46.

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

:29:47.:29:51.

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

:29:52.:29:57.

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

:29:58.:30:03.

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

:30:04.:30:08.

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

:30:09.:30:16.

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

:30:17.:30:19.

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

:30:20.:30:28.

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

:30:29.:30:32.

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

:30:33.:30:38.

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

:30:39.:30:42.

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

:30:43.:30:47.

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

:30:48.:30:51.

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

:30:52.:30:56.

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

:30:57.:31:00.

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

:31:01.:31:06.

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

:31:07.:31:09.

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

:31:10.:31:16.

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

:31:17.:31:19.

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

:31:20.:31:23.

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

:31:24.:31:29.

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

:31:30.:31:32.

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

:31:33.:31:36.

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

:31:37.:31:40.

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

:31:41.:31:45.

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

:31:46.:31:50.

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

:31:51.:31:55.

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

:31:56.:31:58.

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

:31:59.:32:03.

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

:32:04.:32:09.

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

:32:10.:32:12.

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

:32:13.:32:16.

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

:32:17.:32:20.

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

:32:21.:32:25.

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

:32:26.:32:29.

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

:32:30.:32:34.

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

:32:35.:32:37.

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

:32:38.:32:44.

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

:32:45.:32:48.

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

:32:49.:32:52.

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

:32:53.:32:57.

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

:32:58.:33:00.

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

:33:01.:33:04.

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

:33:05.:33:08.

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

:33:09.:33:14.

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

:33:15.:33:16.

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

:33:17.:33:21.

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

:33:22.:33:24.

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

:33:25.:33:30.

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

:33:31.:33:36.

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

:33:37.:33:40.

been squeezed is unfair. The calculation is that an ordinary

:33:41.:33:44.

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

:33:45.:33:49.

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

:33:50.:33:53.

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

:33:54.:33:58.

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

:33:59.:34:01.

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

:34:02.:34:07.

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

:34:08.:34:14.

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

:34:15.:34:20.

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

:34:21.:34:23.

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

:34:24.:34:27.

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

:34:28.:34:31.

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

:34:32.:34:37.

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

:34:38.:34:41.

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

:34:42.:34:44.

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

:34:45.:34:49.

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

:34:50.:34:55.

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

:34:56.:34:58.

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

:34:59.:35:02.

have more in common Good morning and welcome to Sunday

:35:03.:37:58.

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

:37:59.:38:03.

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

:38:04.:38:08.

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

:38:09.:38:14.

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

:38:15.:38:22.

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

:38:23.:38:29.

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

:38:30.:38:36.

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

:38:37.:38:38.

message the Scottish Conservatives have been pushing at their

:38:39.:38:41.

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

:38:42.:38:44.

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

:38:45.:38:48.

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

:38:49.:38:54.

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

:38:55.:39:00.

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

:39:01.:39:05.

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

:39:06.:39:10.

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

:39:11.:39:16.

referendum. What about his alternative to independence? More

:39:17.:39:20.

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

:39:21.:39:26.

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

:39:27.:39:37.

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

:39:38.:39:40.

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

:39:41.:39:42.

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

:39:43.:39:48.

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

:39:49.:39:51.

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

:39:52.:39:58.

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

:39:59.:40:03.

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

:40:04.:40:09.

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

:40:10.:40:12.

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

:40:13.:40:19.

the constitutional debate has moved on beyond feeling that the status

:40:20.:40:26.

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

:40:27.:40:31.

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

:40:32.:40:37.

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

:40:38.:40:43.

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

:40:44.:40:48.

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

:40:49.:40:53.

Government, both the previous Labour government and the current

:40:54.:40:57.

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

:40:58.:41:01.

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

:41:02.:41:06.

devolution which includes power for the Scottish Parliament to raise

:41:07.:41:10.

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

:41:11.:41:16.

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

:41:17.:41:20.

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

:41:21.:41:34.

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

:41:35.:41:36.

standing on own feet and be responsible for raising and spending

:41:37.:41:38.

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

:41:39.:41:41.

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

:41:42.:41:46.

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

:41:47.:41:51.

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

:41:52.:41:56.

Whatever model of devolution the Conservatives have in mind, the

:41:57.:42:01.

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

:42:02.:42:05.

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

:42:06.:42:10.

drive the next phase of the development if the referendum puts

:42:11.:42:16.

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

:42:17.:42:19.

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

:42:20.:42:22.

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

:42:23.:42:25.

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

:42:26.:42:29.

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

:42:30.:42:35.

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

:42:36.:42:40.

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

:42:41.:42:44.

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

:42:45.:42:48.

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

:42:49.:42:59.

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

:43:00.:43:01.

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

:43:02.:43:09.

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

:43:10.:43:14.

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

:43:15.:43:19.

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

:43:20.:43:26.

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

:43:27.:43:29.

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

:43:30.:43:39.

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

:43:40.:43:47.

When he talks about greater responsibility for Holyrood to raise

:43:48.:43:51.

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

:43:52.:43:57.

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

:43:58.:44:02.

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

:44:03.:44:06.

economy, business owners, constitutional lawyers, I will not

:44:07.:44:12.

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

:44:13.:44:17.

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

:44:18.:44:21.

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

:44:22.:44:25.

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

:44:26.:44:29.

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

:44:30.:44:35.

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

:44:36.:44:41.

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

:44:42.:44:48.

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

:44:49.:44:51.

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

:44:52.:44:56.

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

:44:57.:44:59.

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

:45:00.:45:05.

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

:45:06.:45:10.

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

:45:11.:45:15.

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

:45:16.:45:21.

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

:45:22.:45:26.

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

:45:27.:45:31.

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

:45:32.:45:34.

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

:45:35.:45:39.

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

:45:40.:45:44.

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

:45:45.:45:48.

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

:45:49.:46:01.

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

:46:02.:46:04.

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

:46:05.:46:07.

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

:46:08.:46:10.

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

:46:11.:46:18.

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

:46:19.:46:25.

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

:46:26.:46:30.

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

:46:31.:46:36.

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

:46:37.:46:47.

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

:46:48.:46:52.

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

:46:53.:46:58.

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

:46:59.:47:03.

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

:47:04.:47:08.

business, whether they are business owners or whether they represent

:47:09.:47:14.

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

:47:15.:47:18.

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

:47:19.:47:23.

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

:47:24.:47:28.

possibility of a three party agreement ahead of the referendum?

:47:29.:47:33.

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

:47:34.:47:37.

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

:47:38.:47:41.

have always done things is that individual parties see what they

:47:42.:47:46.

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

:47:47.:47:51.

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

:47:52.:47:55.

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

:47:56.:47:58.

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

:47:59.:48:02.

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

:48:03.:48:10.

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

:48:11.:48:13.

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

:48:14.:48:18.

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

:48:19.:48:25.

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

:48:26.:48:30.

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

:48:31.:48:37.

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

:48:38.:48:42.

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

:48:43.:48:46.

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

:48:47.:48:50.

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

:48:51.:49:30.

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

:49:31.:49:33.

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

:49:34.:49:35.

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

:49:36.:49:38.

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

:49:39.:49:41.

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

:49:42.:49:43.

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

:49:44.:49:54.

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

:49:55.:49:58.

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

:49:59.:50:05.

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

:50:06.:50:09.

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

:50:10.:50:14.

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

:50:15.:50:20.

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

:50:21.:50:28.

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

:50:29.:50:30.

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

:50:31.:50:38.

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

:50:39.:50:43.

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

:50:44.:50:46.

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

:50:47.:50:57.

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

:50:58.:51:01.

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

:51:02.:51:07.

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

:51:08.:51:18.

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

:51:19.:51:27.

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

:51:28.:51:35.

much. The number of people attending

:51:36.:51:38.

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

:51:39.:51:41.

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

:51:42.:51:43.

public consultation on whether additional measures are needed to

:51:44.:51:46.

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

:51:47.:51:49.

parents of three child victims earlier this year. Megan Paterson

:51:50.:51:55.

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

:51:56.:52:04.

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

:52:05.:52:12.

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

:52:13.:52:19.

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

:52:20.:52:26.

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

:52:27.:52:32.

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

:52:33.:52:39.

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

:52:40.:52:47.

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

:52:48.:52:52.

reintroduction of dog licenses, and most controversially, muzzling in

:52:53.:52:57.

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

:52:58.:53:04.

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

:53:05.:53:11.

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

:53:12.:53:18.

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

:53:19.:53:22.

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

:53:23.:53:28.

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

:53:29.:53:37.

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

:53:38.:54:03.

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

:54:04.:54:17.

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

:54:18.:54:20.

bigger push for education, encouraging people to take their

:54:21.:54:26.

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

:54:27.:54:30.

that the responsibility for good behaviour lies with those on two

:54:31.:54:38.

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

:54:39.:54:42.

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

:54:43.:54:47.

Christine Grahame. Christine Grahame, you were instrumental

:54:48.:54:56.

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

:54:57.:55:08.

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

:55:09.:55:11.

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

:55:12.:55:24.

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

:55:25.:55:27.

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

:55:28.:55:37.

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

:55:38.:55:44.

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

:55:45.:55:53.

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

:55:54.:56:00.

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

:56:01.:56:13.

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

:56:14.:56:21.

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

:56:22.:56:26.

radical overhaul of existing measures and to consider additional

:56:27.:56:36.

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

:56:37.:56:42.

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

:56:43.:56:47.

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

:56:48.:56:54.

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

:56:55.:57:03.

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

:57:04.:57:12.

circulation, we must look responsible ownership, preventing

:57:13.:57:15.

certain individuals from being able to own one. Assessing the

:57:16.:57:21.

environment. Ensuring that Brogan and others can be given that

:57:22.:57:27.

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

:57:28.:57:30.

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

:57:31.:57:38.

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

:57:39.:57:47.

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

:57:48.:57:51.

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

:57:52.:57:58.

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

:57:59.:58:11.

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

:58:12.:58:19.

become aggressive and attack. We already have regulation for

:58:20.:58:26.

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

:58:27.:58:30.

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

:58:31.:58:35.

certainly not opposed to anything leading to responsible ownership. I

:58:36.:58:41.

want to see how this legislation, proposed by the Scottish

:58:42.:58:43.

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

:58:44.:58:52.

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

:58:53.:58:57.

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

:58:58.:59:08.

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

:59:09.:59:14.

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

:59:15.:59:21.

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

:59:22.:59:26.

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

:59:27.:59:33.

will rule out muzzling. We should interrogate the opportunities

:59:34.:59:37.

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

:59:38.:59:40.

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

:59:41.:59:44.

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

:59:45.:59:49.

Reporting Scotland. Good afternoon. The Scottish

:59:50.:59:52.

Conservative leader Ruth Davidson is due to tell her party conference

:59:53.:59:55.

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

:59:56.:00:07.

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

:00:08.:00:10.

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

:00:11.:00:16.

The Scotch Whisky Association is calling on the Chancellor to scrap

:00:17.:00:19.

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

:00:20.:00:23.

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

:00:24.:00:27.

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

:00:28.:00:31.

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

:00:32.:00:34.

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

:00:35.:00:38.

frozen. A man has been arrested following

:00:39.:00:42.

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

:00:43.:00:44.

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

:00:45.:00:47.

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

:00:48.:00:53.

connection with the incident. And now the weather.

:00:54.:00:59.

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

:01:00.:01:09.

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

:01:10.:01:17.

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

:01:18.:01:23.

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

:01:24.:01:28.

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

:01:29.:01:34.

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

:01:35.:01:37.

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

:01:38.:01:42.

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

:01:43.:01:45.

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

:01:46.:01:48.

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

:01:49.:01:59.

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

:02:00.:02:05.

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

:02:06.:02:14.

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

:02:15.:02:22.

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

:02:23.:02:26.

years of courtroom appearances and he changed the British constitution.

:02:27.:02:34.

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

:02:35.:02:40.

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

:02:41.:02:51.

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

:02:52.:02:57.

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

:02:58.:03:06.

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

:03:07.:03:10.

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

:03:11.:03:16.

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

:03:17.:03:22.

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

:03:23.:03:29.

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

:03:30.:03:32.

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

:03:33.:03:41.

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

:03:42.:03:47.

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

:03:48.:03:53.

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

:03:54.:03:58.

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

:03:59.:04:03.

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

:04:04.:04:08.

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

:04:09.:04:14.

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

:04:15.:04:22.

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

:04:23.:04:27.

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

:04:28.:04:34.

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

:04:35.:04:41.

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

:04:42.:04:49.

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

:04:50.:04:57.

gas, electricity. He was against corruption and the undemocratic

:04:58.:05:03.

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

:05:04.:05:08.

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

:05:09.:05:13.

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

:05:14.:05:20.

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

:05:21.:05:24.

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

:05:25.:05:29.

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

:05:30.:05:40.

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

:05:41.:05:46.

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

:05:47.:05:54.

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

:05:55.:05:58.

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

:05:59.:06:05.

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

:06:06.:06:11.

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

:06:12.:06:18.

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

:06:19.:06:21.

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

:06:22.:06:26.

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

:06:27.:06:32.

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

:06:33.:06:40.

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

:06:41.:06:45.

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

:06:46.:06:50.

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

:06:51.:06:58.

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

:06:59.:07:03.

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

:07:04.:07:20.

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

:07:21.:07:26.

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

:07:27.:07:31.

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

:07:32.:07:36.

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

:07:37.:07:44.

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

:07:45.:07:52.

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

:07:53.:07:55.

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

:07:56.:08:07.

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

:08:08.:08:12.

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

:08:13.:08:15.

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

:08:16.:08:19.

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

:08:20.:08:22.

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

:08:23.:08:29.

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

:08:30.:08:33.

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

:08:34.:08:39.

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

:08:40.:08:46.

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

:08:47.:08:56.

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

:08:57.:09:00.

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

:09:01.:09:07.

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

:09:08.:09:14.

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

:09:15.:09:19.

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

:09:20.:09:25.

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

:09:26.:09:29.

keeping with Conservative ideology and principles. Power is for a

:09:30.:09:37.

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

:09:38.:09:47.

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

:09:48.:09:53.

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

:09:54.:10:00.

the powers or the proposals announced before conference does not

:10:01.:10:03.

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

:10:04.:10:07.

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

:10:08.:10:13.

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

:10:14.:10:21.

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

:10:22.:10:25.

earlier and she seemed to suggest that the commission would produce

:10:26.:10:30.

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

:10:31.:10:36.

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

:10:37.:10:41.

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

:10:42.:10:48.

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

:10:49.:10:52.

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

:10:53.:10:58.

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

:10:59.:11:02.

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

:11:03.:11:09.

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

:11:10.:11:14.

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

:11:15.:11:19.

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

:11:20.:11:23.

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

:11:24.:11:27.

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

:11:28.:11:34.

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

:11:35.:11:37.

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

:11:38.:11:43.

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

:11:44.:11:57.

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

:11:58.:12:00.

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

:12:01.:12:02.

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

:12:03.:12:06.

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

:12:07.:12:11.

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

:12:12.:12:18.

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

:12:19.:12:24.

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

:12:25.:12:29.

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

:12:30.:12:36.

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

:12:37.:12:42.

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

:12:43.:12:47.

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

:12:48.:12:53.

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

:12:54.:12:58.

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

:12:59.:13:03.

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

:13:04.:13:08.

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

:13:09.:13:15.

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

:13:16.:13:22.

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

:13:23.:13:29.

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

:13:30.:13:35.

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

:13:36.:13:41.

party political broadcast, of appealing to amass constituency.

:13:42.:13:45.

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

:13:46.:13:49.

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

:13:50.:13:53.

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

:13:54.:13:57.

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

:13:58.:14:02.

Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.


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