23/03/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


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The dust has barely settled on George Osborne's Budget and,


amazingly, for once it hasn't all gone horribly wrong by the weekend.


So is this the election springboard the Tories needed. And where does it


leave Labour? Turns out the big Budget surprise


was a revolution in how we pay for old age. The pensions minister says


he's relaxed if you want to spend it all on a Lambourghini, he'll join us


later. And could the man with the maracas


be on his way to Westminster? Bez from the Happy Mondays tells us


about his unlikely plan to become an MP.


Coming up on Sunday Politics Scotland: At the party conference in


Perth, Johann Lamont reasserts Labour's roots as a movement of


social justice, but was she short on policy detail for the future?


local bingo hall over a pint of beer. Yes, they're hard-working and


they're doing the things they enjoy. Cup of tea, number three. It's Nick


Watt, Polly Toynbee and Janan Ganesh.


So, George Osborne delivered his fifth Budget on Wednesday and had so


many glowing front pages the day afterwards he must be running out of


room to pin them up in on his bedroom wall. Although it's probably


a pretty big wall. For those of you who didn't have time to watch 3.5


hours of Budget coverage on the BBC, here's Giles with the whole thing in


three minutes. Budget days have a rhythm of their


own, driven partly by tradition, like that photocall at 11 Downing


Street and part logistics, how to get this important statement out and


explain to those whom it affects - us? Behind-the-scenes of a Budget


Day is much the same. This ritual red boxery may be the beginning of


the end of weeks of work behind the scenes in the Treasury and sets the


clock ticking on the process of finding out the answer to one


question. You got any rabbits in the box, Chancellor? Yes, there will be


something in the Budget we don't know about. Time marches steadily


towards the statement and already commentators are hovering over what


those potential surprises are. As Big Ben chimes, all focus returns to


the Commons, where there is Prime Minister's questions and the


Chancellor gets up and does his thing. Once he's on his feet and


remembering there is still no copy of the details, the major measures


are rapidly highlighted as they come and then put up on screen. A cap on


Government welfare spending set for 2015/16 at 119 billion. Income tax


personal allowance raised to ?10,500. Bingo duty halved, which


ticked boxes for some but was unlikely to make anyone a poster


boy. And the beer tax cut of 1p, or the froth on the top. And changes to


pensions allowing people to take their money out in one lump sum,


rather than being forced to accept a fixed annual pay-out, or annuity.


This is a Budget for the makers, the doers and the savers and I commend


it to the House. Not everyone can focus on the Budget by listening to


what the Chancellor says. We need to get a copy of the script. We do not


get that till he sits down. I'm going to go into the House of


Commons to get that right now. There will be a response on that and all


the other things from Mr Miliband. The Chancellor spoke for nearly an


hour but he did not mention one essential fact, the working people


of Britain are worse off under the Tories. It is a tricky job answering


the Budget at the best of times, though some, including Labour MPs,


think it is better to mention the Budget when you do.


Here we are. I am going to go. I am not the only journalist missing Ed


Miliband's speech. Many others leave the Chamber as the Chancellor sits


down to attend a special briefing from the Chancellor's advisory team.


I am hotfoot to the studio. There is a little more detail to the Budget


than the Budget Speech. That detail can be whether words unravel and


other interpretations emerge. By now the gaggle of supporters and


detractors are taking the debate onto the airwaves. Are you the BBC?


Have the Daily Politics packed up? No, we're still standing and, days


later, still trying to assess whether the measures announced still


seem fresh and appetising or have already gone stale in the minds of


voters? How significant are these two poles


this morning putting Labour and Tory nip and tuck? Osborne gave his party


a good bounce. It was an astonishingly theatrical coup. At


first glance, it seems like a huge gift to all people. That is where


all of the money has been channelled by this government. They have been


ultra-protected, triple locked. Pensioners have done very well and


others less well. It is not surprising. Normally a budget which


is well received on the day and the day after has unravelled by the


weekend. This time, it has not, so far. The dangerous thing for the


Labour Party now, George Osborne is the assessment this thing called the


baseline. He says, in government, you must control the baseline. The


Labour party controlled in 2001 and 2005 and he needs to control it next


time. He is controlling it on fiscal policy because labour is matching


them on everything. The danger for Labour on the big, headline grabbing


issue, which was freeing up annuities on pensions, that again


Labour was pretty much saying it was going to support it though it were


saying it has to be fair and cost-effective. On a big, policy


issue, they are following on behind George Osborne. George Osborne is


controlling the crucial baseline. Are we in danger of reading too much


into the political implications of the budget? The good thing about the


pensions policy is, if it does unravel, it will not happen for ten


years and, by that time, George Osborne will have left office.


Towards the end of his speech, I thought, that is not enough. There


is not an idea in your budget which is politically very vivid a year


before an election. What I underestimated was, how many


frustrated savers that are in the country. There are a lot of people


frustrated savers that are in the who are frustrated by low interest


rates and tax rates on pension pots. This was an explicit gesture for


them. That is what has paid off in the polls in the past few days. You


spend all of your money on your wardrobe, is that right? The bingo


poster was a kind of get out of jail card for Labour. It gave them


something to zoom in on. Everyone beat up on Grant Shapps, the Tory


chairman. We read in the daily Telegraph that the fingerprints of


the Chancellor were all over this poster. The Chancellor signed off it


-- off on it and so did Lynton Crosby. They referred to working


class people as, they are. How did it get into the Telegraph? We can


only presume but grant Shapps made it clear that it was not him. We had


a time when Labour politicians, we saw from the response of Ed Miliband


onwards, they were not quite sure how to react to this budget. A lot


of detail had to be absorbed. Suddenly, here is something we can


talk about. You can see the thinking behind the poster was very sensible.


We are not Tory toffs, we are interested in helping people who do


not come from our backgrounds. The wording was awful and played into


every cliche. It was all his fault. It shows how unsophisticated he


was. There were people from Tory HQ who agreed the budget. A month down


the line will the budget look as good? Probably. Once people look at


it, pensions are fiendishly conjugated. Once they look and see


what it will do with people having to pay for their own care because


they can now take capital at their pension, that will come as a shock


to a lot of people with small savings. It all be gone on their


care. The polling will be neck and neck all the way. In the past,


George Osborne has been accused of using his Budgets to tinker at the


margins or pull cheap tricks on his political opponents. Perish the


thought. But the big surprise in this year's statement was a


genuinely radical shake-up of the pensions system that will affect


most people who've yet to retire. At the moment, everyone is saving money


into a defined contribution pension, that is the type most common in the


private sector. They can take 25% of the pot is a tax-free lump sum when


they retire. The rest of the money, for most people, they are forced to


buy an annuity, a form of insurance which provide a guaranteed monthly


income until they die. Annuities have hardly been a bargain since


interest rates were flat slashed following the financial crash. Even


with a ?100,000 pension pot would only get an income of ?5,800 a year


at current rates. From 2018, pensioners will not be forced to buy


an annuity. They can do what they like with their money, even taking


the entire pot as a lump some but paying tax on 75% of it.


With an average pension pot closer to around ?30,000, pensioners would


be more likely to buy a Skoda instead of a Lamborghini. Most newly


retired people who take the cash are more likely to spend the money


paying off their mortgage, helping a family member to buy a property or


investing the money elsewhere. Well, earlier I spoke to the Pensions


Minister. He's a Lib Dem called Steve Webb. I began by asking him if


he still thought the reforms might lead to pensioners splurging all


their savings on supercars. What this reform is about is treating


people as adults. For far too long, we have said, we will make sure you


save for your old age and then we will control each year how much is


spent on what you spend it on. What we are saying is because we have


formed -- reformed the state pension, we will be much more


relaxed about what people do with their own money. The evidence is


that people who have been frugal and saved hard for retirement do not


generally blows a lot. They will spin it out. It is treating people


as adults and giving them choices they should have had all along. It


is a red herring, isn't it? The average pension pot is between 25000


and 30,000. Lamborghinis aren't an option, correct? I gather only about


5000 people a year retiring can buy a flashy Italian sports car. It


might be about paying off a mortgage, paying off outstanding


debts. Maybe spending more money earlier in retirement when they are


fit and able and can enjoy it more. We will give people guidance. We


will make sure when they retire, there is someone to have a


conversation with talking through the implications of spending the


money early and options of investing it. This will be a real step


forward. Even if you have a much bigger pension pot, say half ?1


million, which is way bigger than the average, even then the marginal


rates of tax will be a disincentive to take it all out at once. You will


lose huge chunks of it at the 40% band and then the 45% band. The tax


system gives you the incentive to spread it out if the tax threshold


is a bit over 10000 and the state pension is a bit over 7000, the


first 3000 you draw out in a given year is tax-free. The next band is


at 20%. Spreading your money will mean you pay less tax. That is why,


in general, people will not blow the lot up front. They will spread it


out over their retirement. You have kept this policy quiet. Not even a


hint. How did you test it? How did you make sure it would be robust?


You did not do a consultation. I have been talking about freeing up


the annuity market for a decade. The idea of giving people more choice.


The government has relaxed rules over this Parliament. It was not a


completely new idea. We know in places like Australia and America,


people have these freedoms. We already have something to judge it


by. We will spend the next year talking to people, working it


through. There will be a three-month consultation. I want people to have


choices about their own money. There is detail still to be worked out and


we are in listening mode about how we implement it. When you announce


something you cannot do widespread consultation, for the reasons I have


given, you do run the risk of unforeseen consequences? Pension


companies this morning are indicating, you, the government can


write you are looking for ?25 billion of infrastructure investment


from us. You hold our shell below the water line. That may not happen.


We spoke internally about the implications for instruction --


infrastructure. It seems to me there will still be long-term investments.


Many people want to turn their whole pot into an income. I understand the


insurance companies are lobbying, but I'm convinced there will still


be plenty of money for investment and infrastructure. If the


Chancellor's pro-savings measures work, that will generate more


savings. With no requirement now to buy an annuity, surely it is the


case that pension pots are another ordinary savings fund, so why should


they continue to get favourable tax treatment? Bear in mind that a lot


of the tax treatment of pensioners is tax deferred so most people pay


tax at the standard rate. If they put money into a pension, they don't


pay tax when they earn it, but they do at retirement. We do want, we


will still have automatic enrolment into workplace pensions, we do want


people to build up, because at age 20 and 30 nobody thinks about


retirement. It is still vital that people do reach retirement to have


these new choices with a decent sized pension pot. Pensions. Tax


breaks because they were supposed to provide an income in retirement,


that is how it was structured, but that is no longer a requirement,


surely that undermines the case that if they get tax breaks, other forms


of savings should get tax breaks. Other forms do get tax breaks, of


course. The return with ISAs is tax free. The point with pensions is


that you are simply deferring your earnings. There is a bit when high


tax rate payers get a kick when they are working and then retire on


standard rate, so there is the issue of the top getting too many tax


breaks, but the basic principle that you pay tax when you get the income


seems right to me and isn't affected by these changes. You have announced


save friendly measures, are we right to look at them as a consolation


prize because savers have suffered from the Government's policy of


keeping interest rates abnormally low? It is certainly the case that


very low interest rates have been a huge boon to people of working age


with mortgages, and people who have retired said they thought they could


have got a better deal on their savings. I think there is a


recognition that whilst we have done the right thing with pensioners on


the state pension, we have brought in the triple lock, and many will


bent on -- benefit from these changes. Why don't savers who are


not pensioners get the same help? They have been hit by low interest


rates as well. Those of working age, many of them say they have


benefited from low interest rates was predominantly people in


retirement have not had the benefit. Obviously people of working age will


have benefited from the tax allowance so it is a myth to say the


Budget was all about pensioners. And yet even when the Office for Budget


Responsibility takes into account your new measures, it still shows


that over the next five years households will save less and less,


indeed the savings ratio falls by 50%. You haven't done enough. One of


the things we know is that the economy is picking up strongly, and


as we have more confidence about the future they will be more willing to


consume now, so without these measures it may be that the saving


rate would have fallen further. We want people to save and spend, it is


about getting the right balance. As the economy picks up, people will


want to spend more of their money and it is about getting the balance


right. You make the point that if people are little profligate with


their private pensions, they will have the state pension to fall back


on and it will be higher than it has been, but it is also the case that


in these circumstances they will still be entitled to housing benefit


and even to perhaps some council tax benefit as well. Do you know by how


much this could put the welfare bill up? We think the impact will be


relatively modest because the sort of people who save for a pension and


make sacrifices while they are at work are not the sort of people who


get to 65 and decide to blow the lot for the great privilege of receiving


council tax benefit or housing benefit. There will be people on the


margins and benefit. There will be people on the


who retire with some capital want to put some money away for their


funeral. People like to save even into retirement so the myth of the


spendthrift pensioner I don't believe. I think this has been


rightly welcomed. Ever fancied a Lamborghini yourself? If you turned


the camera around you would see my 2-door Corsa!


What's your favourite thing about an election? Could it be the candidates


ringing on your door while you're having dinner? The leaflets piling


up on your doormat? Or the endless adverts aimed at hardworking


families? Well, if you thought that was bad enough, then you might want


to consider going overseas for the 2015 election because the parties


are going to be aiming their message at you like never before. Adam's


been to Worcester to find out more. One of the most famous political


figures in history lived here, she is called Worcester woman. She was


in her 30s, working class with a couple of kids, aspirational yet


worried about quality of life. But she wasn't a real person, she was a


label for the kind of voter new Labour were trying to reach and she


was later joined by Mondeo man and several others. Doesn't that all


seem a bit 90s? The technique, called segmentation, was used by


George Bush in 2004. Then refined by Barack Obama. Rather than focusing


on crude measures like cars and hometowns, they delved into the


minds of voters. It is not just women, not just people who live in


cities, but if you start to put together these groups of people you


can even in an anecdote or way imagine who they are, what types of


language and imagery might relate to them. We have been given access to a


new polling model being used here by this firm, which is pretty close to


the one we are told is being used by the Tories. It carves the country


into six personality types, and we are trying it out on Worcester woman


and wast of man. We are using an online quiz to work out who is in


which segment. Meet new monk, Susie. She feels well represented. I


know the Budget and the increases to childcare, I think at the moment I


am fairly represented. This puts her in the category of optimistic


contentment, people who feel they are doing OK. Terry, on the other


hand, isn't happy about Britain today. Health and safety and all


that! I hardly recognise the country a living in any more? Yes. Are you


ready for the result? He is Mr comfortable nostalgia, they tend to


favour the Tories and UKIP. They dislike the cultural changes they


see as altering Britain for the worst. That sums me up. Tony is


worried as well but feels much less secure. I look forward to the future


with optimism or anxiety? Anxiety. Optimist or pessimist? Pessimist.


His category is... You feel a bit insecure, you think the Government


could probably help you more? Yes. Labour picks up a lot of these


voters. This man is being asked to do more and more at work, but he is


getting less and less. I am getting more towards the despair side.


Things are getting tougher, generally? It puts him into the


segment called long-term despair, people who feel left out. Finally,


this is ever thoughtful Carol. I am a bit of an idealist. Her idealism


makes her a cosmopolitan critic. I am a liberal person. Apparently a


lot of the media fit into this category as well. There is one group


of voters we have not come across, people who show calm persistence.


They hope things will get better but don't expect them to. They are


coping, rather than comfortable. Presumably they are all out of work.


Which group are you win? You can take the poll on the BBC website,


and in the coming weeks we will be doing our own polling using the six


segments to see of the politicians really have worked out how we think.


And as Adam said, if you want to try the survey for yourself, you can go


to the BBC website and click on the link.


And we're joined now by the pollster, Rick Nye. Welcome to


Sunday Politics. We have had Worcester woman, Worcester man, is


this any different? It is a recognition that or politician --


all politics these days is like this. It enables them to cut them


more finally. You think all politics is coalition politics, you think


they have to put together these groups of people, not that the Lib


Dems will always be in power? No, and if you listen to the coverage


these days you might think it is about grumpy old men on the one hand


with Guardian readers on the other. It is far more complicated than


that, there is a lot of churning going on underneath which is driven


by people's value systems. A lot of this has been pioneered in the


United States, very sophisticated on their election techniques, and in


Britain we are always the first to grab whatever the New Year will is


from America. How do you think this will translate to this country? I


think it means that if you are target photo you will still get the


same of leaflets and people calling, but you will probably have different


kinds of conversations because people on the other side, the party


campaigners, will think they know more about you. Will I know who you


are? If I am a party campaigner, will I know, looking down the


street, who fits into which category? You will be able to


approximate that with all of the other data that you have gathered


through polling, or doing local campaigning, that is the idea to


make sense of this vast quantity of data people have about voters. We


asked our panel to fill in your survey. Nick is optimistic


contentment, 99%. He was 1% cosmopolitan critic, which is how he


keeps his job at the Guardian. Polly's job could not be more


secure, 100% cosmopolitan critics, and Janan Ganesh, optimistic


contentment, which is what you would expect from a financial Times


columnist. What do you make of this technique? Why are you only 99? It


sounds really clever. 95% of the population five years ago voted


Labour or the Conservatives. We have got away from that. It is coalition


politics. You need sophisticated methods. Presumably


Their initial response was that we did not know that these sort of


people voted. The next response was, we did not know these people


existed. You have all of these very clever method, but unless you know


about certain key demographics you are wasting your time. Is it


helpful, or imported in modern campaigning, or is it a gimmick? It


is useful, it is about attitudes. We have a core, mosaic, we have ways to


do its street by street depending on their income or occupation. This


increasingly does not tell us very much. It may be different to their


income, you can be quite a high error and anxious, quite a low


earner and be fuelling aspirational and optimistic about the future. I


think this does get at something closer to the issue. Kilmer Polly is


right on attitudes, in days gone by, particularly in America,


overwhelmingly if you were in the better off segment you voted


Republican in the blue-collar worker voted Democrat. In the last


election, the richest 200 counties in America voted Democrat, and that


is an attitude thing. Income does not tell you how people will vote.


There is a huge working-class support for the Republicans. It is


unavoidable. At a time when people no longer identify with ideologies


or parties or class blocks you have to go with temperament and a


lifestyle in Outlook. The danger is that you over segment. I think it


was Karl rove who said that the end up with something like 128 segments,


according to lifestyle and Outlook. Once you get to that feed it becomes


close to useless for the strategist. We have the budget, how


do you read the polls? What are they telling us? Wait Mac you to be have


seen today have narrowed the beat of labour over the Conservatives. I


think you have two week and see if the trend set in over the next few


weeks. Osborne and Cameron as an economic team have always had a lead


over Miliband and Ed Balls, and this week has always been about economic


management. Next week it is about my own personal circumstances, we will


see if that is sustained as a trend. We will see how we get on in these


segments. Thank you for being with us.


It has just gone 11:30am, we say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who


leave us now for something Politics Scotland.


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


moves to reclaim the ground on social justice from the SNP but is


accused of being short on policy detail. Look beyond the sole tyre,


look beyond the plague, look beyond the Scotland the Nationalists are


building and what they plan to build. Scotland's manufacturers


welcomed the budget announcement on reducing the costs of energy. The


Scottish government say this increases uncertainty to the


renewables industry. In one of's addressed to her party faithful in


Perth yesterday was full of criticism of her opponents. Joanne


Lamb at's addressed. She said the SNP where is honest and she was


criticised for a lack of detail. I will speak to draw had one shortly.


-- Speaker Jalan laminate. What reasons do Labour people have


to be cheerful? What is there to smile about? Leading a party that is


out of power at Westminster and Holyrood is not the happiest lot,


but at this conference, Labour 's leaders have sought to present an


alternative to the SNP 's independence offer. Nationalists


tell us to have the confidence to leave the United Kingdom. I say to


Scotland, have the confidence to lead the United Kingdom. Johann


Lamont believes that can be done by devolving more power to the Scottish


Parliament. All those in favour... The plans of the devolution


commission she set up regular analyst endorsed by conference. And


when the UK party leader was asked if he would deliver the package he


replied... Yes, because it is the right thing to do and it is the


right way to combine fairness and redistribution across the United


Kingdom with bringing power closer to people in Scotland. What is the


big picture Labour has painted here in Paris? If there is a no vote in


the independent referendum and Labour wins the next UK general


election in 2015 Ed Miliband is promising a package of extra powers


for Holyrood including control of housing benefit, responsibility for


the first 15p of income tax, the power to raise the top rate of


income tax. That is Labour 's alternative to the independence


offer. The commission watered down its original proposal to fully


devolved income tax. And to avoid what the leadership of Europe would


become a race to the bottom in corporation tax competition between


Scotland and the rest of the UK, they have rejected transferring that


power. Some in the party would have liked them to be bolder. For me it


is slightly disappointing in the sense that we could have gone


further and initial ideas were thrown around as I thought it would


be a more radical package but the main thing is they now have a


package, the Lib Dems have a package and be unwitting or the


Conservatives. The key thing for the Unionist parties is to make sure we


explain what a no vote means. And agreed plan between Labour and the


other prounion parties is unlikely. The shadow Foreign Secretary


believes Labour has the right offer. New powers on taxation and welfare


and democratic powers we are again the party of Scottish home rule.


That is not the comfortable lesson for the Nationalists and I believe


it is a winning formula for Scottish liver. That will be tested in the


referendum campaign. In which those in favour of independence will argue


the additional powers a yes vote would deliver are needed to make


Scotland a wealthier and fairer country. Labour said that can be


achieved by returning their party to government and Holyrood and


Westminster. The Nationalists say my country, right or wrong. We see, my


country, we will rate the wrongs. Wedding back power tends to make


politicians cheerful, for the time being Johann Lamont will have to


settle for winning a party round to a more powers plan and running an


ovation from conference. The Scottish Labour leader joins me


from the party conference. Good afternoon. You said yesterday that


the Nationalists had failed to distribute wealth from rich to poor,


what are your plans to do that? We have said over the next period we


are going to look at how we invest in education, health and protection


of our older people. Keep people secure and work and throughout the


process we will make sure that we do address need but be very clear, we


are on the road to 2016 in our manifesto, we made very clear our


spending proposals. You said the hundred million you would generally


only 50p rate of income tax would go to the NHS. That benefits everyone


so there is nothing redistributive about that. What other measures are


you likely to bring forward? With respect there is always a balance.


What we said was that with the hundred million pounds Regal said


that was not much money but we made the point that you could have 3000


nurses. But ahead of 2016 we will make very clear what our spending


proposals are. We will invest in the health service or everyone


benefits... That does not specifically help people. I agree


with you, I am seeing that in any spending decisions there are things


that you will spend, clearly the health service is a good example of


how you meet need where it arises. We also have said that the


medication policy we must look at second chance education. We have


140,000 places out of our college sector in the last period. If you


invest in that not only do you support people who have perhaps feel


that schools a number of reasons but you skilled people are in a way that


business is telling us they require. That is the balance. We will make


sure everyone knows our spending proposals ahead of 2016. Those who


fall into the 50p tax rate make up half of 1% of the population. When


it comes to the rich in this context is it's just that group you are


talking about? What we said is that we made a specific commitment on the


50p tax rate. I am surprised that the First Minister is able to commit


to big business that he will cut corporation tax by 3p on the pound.


I am asking you who you deem to be rich. He does not feel he can make


that commitment. He can't make that commitment on income tax. That is


surprising. What we have also said is that in relation to this the


people in Scotland get, who matter how much the, that it is about


fairness and we make sure that we can contribute and share that. Above


what level of earnings and people expect to pay more tax under Labour?


With respect I have said the commitment is on 50p. Half of 1% of


the working population. What about the rest? It is significant but what


we have said about our general tax proposals is that we will bring them


forward ahead of 2016. What we are talking about at this conference and


it has been a fantastic conference for us, with great excitement in the


hall and on the fringe, what we have said is that it is really important


that we address these questions more brightly. Why can't you tell us who


you regard as being rich in Scotland at this stage? Who has the broadest


shoulders? I made a specific commitment on 50p. We believe that


is a fair decision. Don't those out with that half of 1% have a right to


know whether you are considering taxing them more? And they will, but


across Scotland people tell me regardless of the individual income


they are concerned about education, secure work for their sons and


daughters, and they are anxious about what is happening to their


parents. That is not an issue about income, it is about how you for the


services. What people need. That is something that across Scotland


people understand. Have made a specific commitment on the 50p and


will bring forward attacks were Poles head of 2016. I think they


stand in very good comparison with the Scottish government who talks


about dealing with poverty, takes ?1 billion out of poverty programmes,


will permit the tax cut for big business but has nothing to say


about what they would do about the tax cut form billionaires that


George Osborne delivered. We have a reasonable idea about the priorities


of the SNP, but not from you. You talk about Scotland is not being a


something for nothing society so do you anticipate the axe falling on


benefits that people receive? I don't accept that we have a clear


view of the Scottish government priorities, they say one thing and


do another. The biggest challenge I would put to them is that they say


they believe in equal CDs of things that are entirely unconcerned about


the consequences at local level of people not being able to access


services. But having a care package. In terms of your


priorities... I have been very clear that our priorities will always be


to meet need and be honest with people. In that spirit of honesty,


which NES -- which areas do you feel the axe should follow? Do you


believe that free prescriptions in a step too far? Free bus travel?


Jewish and he's been paid? With respect, people don't recognise the


way that you are describing this conversation. I am not talking about


an axe falling, I am talking about tough times, how do we make sure


those most in need get the support they can? We have a bus pass but no


bus. The prescriptions by people travel to England for cancer drugs.


As one understands that in tough times we must look at what our


priorities are. We are looking at all of these things but we start


from a basic principle of understanding what people really


need and what their concerns are and that is how we are looking at this.


Are looking at these things... We are talking about the Scottish


government that says everything is perfect except the things over which


we have no control and somehow everything will be sorted in the


future. People understand these are tough times and we must treat them


with respect. Avenue commitment to the crew that we talked about


yesterday, do you support the benefits cap proposed at


Westminster? You said we want the welfare system that is there,


want a limit, the managing limit on welfare. The individual needs and


should be met. This is not about an individual cap. There will be an


important benefit coming to Scotland. One of the opportunities


is to look at the way in which the Housing benefit is abused by rogue


private landlords. They not only provide good tenancies for those


living in their properties, do not manage those tendencies and there


are some things consequences for our order communities, that is a huge


opportunity for us and about making sure our wealth is spent will


meeting need. We don't accept the division that the Tories want to


create that somehow there is a world where there are people who work in


people who shirk. The Scottish government know that, to be fair to


them. On your plans that you announce that this week, you wrote


back on your plans of one year ago for full devolution of income tax.


Was that vetoed by Ed Balls? Absolutely not. Video concerns? What


we have said to you that in the devolution commission be said that


we were minded to devolve all income tax and then we said this would not


be to the detriment of the people of Scotland. We have spent the past


year looking at that in one of the things that emerges very strongly is


that there is a balance to be struck. At what point do you take


too much risk? What are the benefits of being part of the United Kingdom,


we share a benefits and risk and resources. I think people understand


that. Equally, there is uneven growth in the economy, for example


in London, this can be redistributed along the United Kingdom and we want


the benefit for that we want to find out what is the balance and ensure


fiscal accountability that matches the degree of political devolution


but at the same time does not turn our face away from that


redistribution of the United Kingdom which protectors in tough times. We


have the balance absolutely right. I am absolutely confident going


forward that these strengthening of the Scottish Parliament, being


strong inside the United Kingdom, is the balance the people of Scotland


need. If there is a Labour government after the next general


election, would you work with the Tories and Lib Dems on their plans


for further devolution? This is an interesting discussion, indeed


currently we work with our colleagues in Better Together. We


have decided that we will put aside party division and separation on the


one thing that we agree on, which is about Scotland standing strong in


the United Kingdom. People will combat. I made two points. -- people


welcome that. I said I would never turn my face away from co-operation


if we can achieve it, and I believe it is important for the country. So


does that mean that your announcement may not be the final


version of what we get? I would never create a false agreement in


order to get us past September because we must be honest and act in


good faith with the people of Scotland. When we can agree we


shall, where we can't we can people not pretend. There are some things


in this adamant we medically on, whether it is representation of the


Barnett formula, whatever. But what we did this weekend is identifying


the Labour proposals to the power of a Scottish Parliament and don't


forget some of the key elements that may be of less interest to the


commentators, the key elements of this is for example simple issues.


The fact that in Scotland we have a disproportionate number of working


people who go to work and support their families and end up injured.


We will enforce health and safety. And make sure we address that gap.


Devolution is a U make a difference to the lives of ordinary people.


Some people interpreted what you said about the First Minister as an


attack on him for not having children but bringing in child


care, new childcare policies. Why did you make your speech so


personal? Absolutely not. I need a simple point. I have never heard the


First Minister take about -- talk about childcare. I have campaigned


for childcare all of my political life and my poor is that what


happened with the burst Minister is that he has been told he does not go


down well with women and he therefore creates a policy about


childcare. That felt cynical to me and I don't think it is appropriate.


Now we discover his childcare proposal is only a work in progress,


it is not a commitment to people in Scotland. People do not like that


kind of cynicism. Thank you for joining us from Perth.


This week's budget was hailed by the Chancellor as containing measures to


enable the country's "makers and doers." He said he wanted UK


industry to be more competitive and to that end George Osborne announced


a freeze on one green levy on our energy bills. It could save each


household up to ?50 a year by 2020 and has been welcomed by business


leaders. It was part of a wider package to help cut energy costs for


manufacturers but what do those measures tell us about the country's


commitment to renewable energy? Megan Paterson reports.


Green levies are the government's way of making companies pay out for


what they put into the atmosphere. So if you are a business run lion


phone call or gas burning, you will pay the price for pollution. --


e-business reliant on coal or gas burning. Our steelmakers, chemical


plants, paper mills, and other heavy energy users a cup 35% of our


manufacturing exports and employ half a million people. This scheme


helps the companies most at risk of leaving to remain in the UK. That


support has been well received by Scotland's heavy industries. It has


been a positive budget that has demonstrated for the first time in a


long time that the Government is willing to actually do something to


stimulate manufacturing growth. And it addresses an issue of lack of


competitiveness with other European countries. Especially lack of


competitiveness with the USA, where the energy element of course is


significantly advantageous for companies exporting into Europe from


the US. The main measures include the phasing of the carbon support


rate, the tax on businesses emitting CO2 was introduced last April. This


year, Mr Osborne confirmed it will be frozen from 2016 but at the end


of the decade. Government compensation to offset the carbon


rate for businesses were due to come to an end next year. It has now been


extended until 2020, and George Osborne says there will be more


financial help available for energy intensive industries. There was no


reduction in investment in renewable energy in the budget, but there is


some concern the measures signal a change in the government's green


agenda. This Government came in with a very clear promise that it would


be the greenest Government ever. There is very little evidence of


that in actual practical terms because every time we see the


Government and I'm something, it rolled back on the fuel price


escalator, it reduces the target for carbon reduction. And now it has


reduced its carbon price escalator for using carbon in generating


electricity. All of these price increases are trying to send a


message to industry and citizens that we need to be more efficient in


using carbon. We must find weight of -- we must find ways of capturing


carbon. I think there is no environmental benefit to having a


steelworks or a chemical plant in the UK closed down just to reopen in


Belgium or Germany or France, and emit exactly the same amount of


pollution in those countries. The most important thing we can do is to


make sure that more of the power that those factories are consuming


is generated from renewable sources. The Scottish Government disagrees,


claiming that the policy changes add uncertainty to the energy industry,


and industry experts say that uncertainty could affect investment.


There are 34,000 people employed in the industry, that could double by


2020 but only if we get the policy right. That is why the Government


are sending this long-term signal. If the Government change their mind,


investors have to go back to the drawing board and rethink what is


best for them. There has been no sign of investors changing plans


yet, but with the Scottish Government reasserting its


commitment to renewables, and the referendum on the horizon, it would


seem future energy plans like prices are far from fixed.


I'm joined now in the studio by MSP Patrick Harvie from the Scottish


Green Party, and from Aberdeen by Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone.


Good afternoon. Patrick Harvie, do you welcome the moves from the


Chancellor on green levies? Can you guess just how much I welcome them?


No. The Chancellor is very clearly enacting the slogan that David


Cameron was rumoured to have used in Downing Street, which is to cut the


green expletive deleted. The removal of the enterprise investment scheme


from renewable energy industries, the additional subsidies to heavily


polluting industries, whether domestic industries or indeed long


haul aviation gets an additional subsidy. The tinkering about the


edges with the signals, the price signals that are supported to


support investment in renewables, at the same time as saying he wants


certainty for investors we can extract every last drop of oil, this


is clearly a Government which has decided that the greenest Government


ever was just a bad joke. On the carbon price floor, it will reduce


our energy bills, we are told it could reduce them by ?50 per year


for people by 2020. Why should consumers bear the burden? There is


no guarantee that that will be passed onto individual household


electricity consumers. Energy companies will be under pressure to


do that. They have been for a long time and they don't always do that.


It will save heavily polluting industries some money. The carbon


price floor is not the only way to send a signal. There is a reasonable


case for getting rid of it and using that money in a different way. If it


is going to be there, it is clear that it only can deliver carbon


savings if it is a long-term consistent approach. But it is


regressive, isn't it? They are adding this levy to people's bills,


those who are on the lowest incomes hardest hit. The best way to support


people on lowest incomes to make sure they are living in really


high-quality, well insulated homes that don't require them to use up


lots of energy and money to heat their home. There is a case against


the carbon price floor as a mechanism. There could be better


ways of spending the money. If that policy is going to continue instead


of being scrapped, it is only going to deliver benefits if it is


gradually increased over the long-term instead of frozen. Alex


Johnstone, those who work in the renewable industry say that they


operate these changes by the Chancellor might have a bad effect


on cleaner ways of generating energy. Is that a price worth paying


so that we can all save ?50 in the next five years? They should not


worry. There has no -- be no cut in the support. But we have to


recognise here is that the effect of the carbon floor price on some of


our large enemy consumers -- energy consumers would have been twofold.


We had continued upward trajectory of the carbon price floor it would


have made business in Britain more expensive then it would be in other


European countries. Simply exporting those carbon emissions to other


European countries and at the same time export jobs, that is at a time


when the British economy is showing genuine signs of recovery. We need


to actually foster that recovery to entrench our position in terms of


carbon emissions and by giving this level of confidence, this level of


predictability to the carbon floor price over the next decade, the


Chancellor has sent out the right signals. This particular policy was


only introduced in the last couple of years, it should not have, it


should not have come as a surprise that by introducing it, prices would


go up year on year. It does not show much faith in the policy, doesn't


it? The policy is found, the Government has decided to pursue it


in a different way. What we must remember is that we must remain


positive. To remain competitive we have to ensure we are doing roughly


the same thing to our industries at roughly the same time. We need to


reduce carbon emissions at an international game, that should be


obvious to everyone. There is nothing to be gained by Britain


sibling making an example of itself and destroying its own industry and


destroying jobs simply to prove a point when all we are doing is


exporting the emissions and the jobs as well. Is taxation the best way of


encouraging more development in the renewables and other sectors? I


would love to see a Government, either in Scotland or the UK, put


its weight behind a drive to produce a publicly owned or community owned


large-scale renewable energy industry, so that we can start


investing with public money and generate profits that come back to


the public. That does not need to be a monolithic approach. It could be


part of a mixed market with public, community owned and private sector


investors as well but that is not going to happen from the UK


Government. I don't expect that to happen. There are approaches to have


a market and this kind of corporate welfare is review the likely little


bit of money here are there to give companies incentives. If what they


were doing is writing a cheque for 20 million quid or whatever the


equivalent is of the carbon price floor, and seeing two businesses,


you will get this money if you stay, invest in this country, support jobs


in this country and at the same time reduce your emissions, I am not


cover the bowl with corporate welfare is but that wouldn't sure we


get the investment. The budget him in the same day the Scottish


Government give consent to very large wind farm operations in the


Moray Firth. Is there not an argument that says this industry has


now reached critical mass and it is time for it to stand on its own two


feet? On shore, we are close to that. The prices getting very close


to what they call grid parity, were effectively it does not need


additional support. This is how an industry develops. It gets to that


point and then it can fly on its own. Offshore wind is going to take


a while to get to that point, it will take more investment and


certainty and clarity from the Government around issues like the


carbon price. Issues like regulation. This is the same


argument we hear from the Tories, the Liberals, the Labour and SNP in


relation to the oil industry. They show great commitment to extracting


every last drop of the substance that is causing this problem in the


first place. They are not showing the same commitment and clarity for


renewable energy. Woodlock told that the Government at Westminster was


going to be the greenest ever. -- we were told that the Government. But


now they are backing off on one of the main planks of its green policy.


Does this tell us that they are more concerned with the fortunes of their


election than they are with the environment? Learn that the


electoral cycle will always play a part. But this is not evidence that


the UK Government is backing off from its green priorities. It


continues to support renewable energy. There has been no reduction


in that. What we are talking about in terms of the carbon price floor


is limiting the rise rather than suggesting it should be reduced.


That is not the only thing that has been changed. Some companies are


exempt from renewable obligations, which was designed to support the


renewables sector. This is about making the economy greener. This is


not an economic suicide mission. It is not our duty to destroy industry


in this country and simply export jobs along with emissions in order


to try to achieve some personal satisfaction here. The Government


has a duty to ensure that industry is coerced gently toward achieving


all it can, but also at the same time allowed to expand and create


the jobs it can and remember, these changes have a disproportionate


effect in areas like Scotland, Wales and the North of England where these


taxis have had the most significant impact. We are saving jobs and


communities where they are essential. Thank you both. We're not


going to meet these targets if we see this approach continue. Thank


you both very much indeed. Coming up after the news, our look


at the week ahead. You're watching Sunday Politics Scotland. Now it's


time to cross to the news from Reporting Scotland with Andrew Kerr.


Good afternoon. Police are investigating what's being described


as a serious incident at a house in Thornton in Fife. An ambulance crew


alerted officers yesterday evening at 7.50pm when they were called to a


house. More details are expected to be released shortly.


A new report says the Treasury's reasons for rejecting a


post-independence currency union are "unsubstantiated". The Scottish


Government has welcomed the analysis by Professor Leslie Young. The


businessman, Sir Tom Hunter, commissioned the report. Better


Together says the analysis is flawed - and the First Minister must tell


voters his Plan B. In the next hour, thousands of


Aberdeen fans will pack the city's Union Street to welcome the Scottish


League Cup trophy parade. The Dons beat Inverness 4-2 last weekend in a


penalty shoot out. Fans will find out this afternoon if the "Don't You


Want Me" song has topped the charts - made popular by the "Peter Pawlett


Baby" lyrics. Now let's take a look at the weather


with Judith. Now let's take a look


Good afternoon. It is not often I can come on and say it is a gorgeous


afternoon on the cards across much of the country, Spring chancing.


Someone took showers across more northerly parts but they will become


more confined to the Northern Isles, eventually clearing. -- spring


sunshine. The wind will ease down and size of around seven or eight


Celsius. As we head into the evening, we lose any showers in the


north so it will be dry across-the-board. A cold night under


those clear skies, widespread frost and the winds will be light.


and the That is all for the moment. I will


hand you back to Gary. Thanks, Andrew. Now in a moment,


we'll be discussing the big events coming up this week at Holyrood. But


first, let's take a look back at the Week in Sixty seconds.


With six months until the independence referendum, the former


Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy called for no campaigners to


be more positive. And for a more coherent blueprint for further


devolution to be agreed before the vote. Scottish ministers agreed that


opponents needed to be clearer about their plans. In the budget, the


Chancellor announced measures to help pensioners, Sabres to support


investment in North Sea oil and the. There was good news for another


industry as well. Scottish whiskey is a huge British success story. To


support that industry instead of raising duties on Scotch whiskey and


other spirits, I am today going to freeze them. It was revealed


Scottish police and the UK security agencies have held discussions about


plans for sharing intelligence if there is a Yes vote. Security and


intelligence is currently reserved for Westminster. Falkirk MP Eric


Joyce admitted a breach of the peace at Edinburgh Airport last year. He


says he is considering whether to continue as an independent MP.


It's time to have a look at the stories that are making the news


today and in the week ahead. I am joined this week from Perth by


two journalists, David Clegg from the Daily Record and Tom Gordon from


the Sunday Herald. Good afternoon. As you are in Perth, let's start


with your analysis of what Johann Lamont had to say yesterday. What


did you make of the speech? I thought it was a pretty strong


speech. One of the problems with the referendum campaign for Labour so


far has been it has not spoken to their base and we have seen that in


the fact that almost one quarter of Labour supporters in 2011 were


planning to vote for independence. They need to give them positive


reasons to vote no in the referendum. To think a Labour


Government in Hollywood will be something they want to see. They


have started to move towards doing that. Did we get that positivity? We


heard criticism of the SNP, but very little in the way of specifics on


policy from Labour for the period ahead. That's right. It was a


positioning speech for the referendum. I agree, it has been


driven by Labour voters. It was a speech given by anxiety rather than


self-confidence. I think a sign that also was a pretty relentless attack


she made on SMP and nationalists and Alex Salmond personally. It did not


seem a positive speech. Does that work for the wider electorate, that


attack on the SNP? Opinion polls tell us the First Minister's


approval ratings are still pretty high. It is part of a wider Better


Together campaign strategy to undermine the honesty and integrity


of the First Minister. A lot of what is being asked of voters in the


referendum is to take a bit of a leap in the dark, and if they can


undermine Alex Hammond as someone who you would not trust, that is the


tragedy they are pursuing. How it works with voters outside the wider


public, I am not sure. -- that is the strategy they are pursuing.


There is a great deal of dispute on these issues on currency and unit


and people are having to go with who they feel is telling the truth. --


currency and Europe. The world's biggest investment fund manager has


set out that analysis of Scottish independence. They said it would


bring uncertainty, cost and risk. If this significant for another


interjection that will reinforce positions? This will have a


cumulative effect, it is yet another intervention. This is the world 's


largest fund manager, $.5 trillion worth of assets. What it says will


be listened to. It has the phrase kilted securities, the idea that


Scotland would have to pay more for raising debt in the international


market. It is significant because of the skill of the organisation and it


makes the point that Scotland may be better off with its own currency


rather than pursuing this ambition of a currency union with the UK that


the UK is hostile to. On that issue we have an economics professor


disputing the UK Treasury, David Clegg, the reason for refusing a


currency union. This is Lesley Young from the University of Beijing


saying that the totally position does not stand up to scrutiny. It


sounds as though the positions of the main parties are pretty


entrenched. Absolutely entrenched that I believe the totally have


already said that no matter what this sub report says that there will


not be a currency union in the event of the yes for. It is part of the


problem that both sides are willing out experts that find their position


in this once was financed by Sir Tom Hunter who has attempted to get


useful information to the public domain, but you look at this is an


eminent academic and a well respected economist but at the same


time he is saying something that is exactly different to what the


Blackrock report as saying. Who do you believe? Indeed had on that


subject people are beginning to make up their minds as we get closer and


closer to the referendum. Tom Gordon, a poll said a narrowing of


the gap between yes and no is happening, it said that if you take


out the don't knows you have 45% supporting yes and 55 supporting


now. It is a very interesting Paul, another poll that shows the


direction of travel for the Yes campaign, the polls are narrowing.


There seems to be no doubt about that. We talk about wavy lines in


the polls, that there is an ebb and flow of polling. But I don't think


they can stick by this position any more. It is very clear that support


for the union is eroding support for independence is gathering. Very


interesting as well, this poll shows that people are becoming less


sceptical about the impact of independence on the economy. Only 5%


of people think it will be bad for the economy rather than good for the


economy. That gap of pessimistic eggs of the mist was 17 points just


six months ago. Now it is almost neck and neck. Very significant. We


had Henry McLeish and seeing that the no campaign is too negative,


good these poll results be a reflection that the public agrees? I


think there should be deep concern in the Better Together campaign that


this is the case, their strategy is to undermine the economic arguments


and they have unloaded a lot of weapons to that cause the last


couple of months. All of the businesses that have expressed


uncertainties, the Chancellor 's announcement that we have already


discussed at what they don't seem to have worked because the polls are


moving in the opposite direction. Tom is absolutely right, there can


be no doubt that things have tightened. It is not only does poll


this morning that has shown that the raft of polls that have shown things


closing down. Everyone is the view that the economy will be the


decisive factor here and people becoming more confident about the


economics of an independent Scotland then those in the no camp should be


very concerned. A couple of items in the week ahead, tomorrow Tom Gordon


B have Bob Crow's funeral, Tony Benn 's funeral later in the week, the


left have lost two big figures. It has indeed, we will not see their


like again. There will be a lot more cross-party respect shown for Tony


Benn 's funeral on Thursday, Bob Crow was a very much more divisive


figure but Ben was regarded as an outstanding parliamentarian by all


parties and he has been given the honour of an overnight stay at the


except at Westminster, just before the funeral and that was last


accorded to Margaret Thatcher as a sign of respect across all parties.


On Wednesday we have the first of two debates between Nick Clegg and


Nigel Farage. This is a radio debate ahead of their television clash. Is


this Nick Clegg fighting for his political life? Yes, I think the


Liberal Democrats are in deep trouble, and Nick Clegg is aware of


that. It is a desperate, a great sign of desperation that he agreed


to this debate with Nigel Farage. The Deputy Prime Minister debating


with a man who has no representation in Westminster, the volumes about


where he think the political climate is at the minute. It will also be


interesting to see how that plays. Sorry to adopt. I wanted to ask Tom


Gordon what would a loss of the only Scottish Lib Dem MEP at the European


election mean to the Lib Dems in Scotland? We now find out. The


general opinion is that your client is toast. It is all about who gets


his seat, the SNP UKIP or an extraordinary day but draw the line


is probably gone. Thank you both for joining is as tomorrow night Isabel


Fraser, one better and myself will be grilling Jim Sellers and George


Galloway about their views on independence. That is a new Skype on


special at 10:30pm tomorrow. That is all from Sunday politics. Back at


the same thing next week. Goodbye.


Political magazine presented by Andrew Neil and Andrew Kerr.

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