06/07/2014 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include Nick Clegg, Alistair Darling, Frances O'Grady and Matthew Hancock.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 06/07/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Good morning and welcome to the Sunday Politics. Up to 1 million


public sector workers will strike this week. It is one of the biggest


walk-out since 2010, the country's top trade union and the Business


Minister go head-to-head. The Tour de France seems to have cheered him


up. Just as well. Nick Clegg has nothing more to smile about. He


joins me live from Sheffield to discuss the Lib Dem plight.


Just over ten weeks until Scotland determines its future, the man


leading the campaign against independence, Alistair Darling,


joins me from Edinburgh. Coming up on Sunday Politics


Scotland, an independent report commissioned by the Scottish


Government recommends cutting taxes and overhauling regulation in the


North Sea. journalists always ahead


of the peleton - Nick Watt, They'll be tweeting faster than Tour


de France cyclists can pedal. The news is dominated this morning


by stories swirling around allegations of an historic


Westminster paedophile ring. Concern has grown because


of the disappearance of a dossier handed over to the Home Office in


1983, along with over 100 official files related to it and possibly


containing details of historic child Labour is calling for a public


inquiry led by a child protection But speaking earlier on


The Andrew Marr Show this morning the Education Secretary Michael Gove


ruled that out. The most important thing that we


need to do is ensure that the due process of law pursues those who may


be guilty of individual crimes and we also learn lessons about what may


or may not have gone wrong in the past, but it is also important to


emphasise that many of the allegations that are being made are


historic. And what we do now in order to keep children safer is


better and stronger than was the case when 20 or 30 years ago.


Without getting into a boring tit-for-tat, public inquiry, "yes"


or "no"? No. Helen, can the Government go on resisting calls for


a full-scale inquiry? It is very hard. There are cynical and


non-cynical reasons for calling for an inquiry. The cynical one allows


you to say I can't comment on this. The non-cynical is it manages to get


people to air allegations in a way that is safe. What we saw at the


Leveson Inquiry was helpful, people who felt they had been shut out from


justice getting a chance to tell their side of the story. A public


inquiry in this case is a good idea. Labour have called for a lot of


public inquiries. A list was made in 2012 of how many they called for.


Not only Savile, but the West Coast Main Line and breast implants. On


this particular issue, the people don't trust the politicians, they


don't trust the police either because they may have been complicit


in a cover-up. They may not trust the Home Office who we are told some


of their officials were mentioned in the dossier? That is what David


Cameron is hanging on to. This is a matter now because they are alleged


criminal activity, it is for the police to investigate. In that big


piece in the Sunday Times, Tim Shipman reports one of the people


making the allegations lives in the United States


making the allegations lives in the been out to the United States to


interview him. The Prime Minister would say that is how serious the


police are taking it. The problem for the Prime Minister - he


police are taking it. The problem allergic to big public inquiry. His


finest moment was his response to the Bloody Sunday inquiry shortly


inrequest -- that inquiry took 12 years to report. The problem is the


dossier has gone missing, the files have gone missing, more allegations


keep coming out either directly or indirectly. It doesn't look like it


is going to go away? The fact the dossiers are missing means it is


inappropriate for the Home Office to be investigating this. There is


inappropriate for the Home Office to a police investigation. If after


that, there are questions unanswered which can only be answered by


that, there are questions unanswered public inquiry, or which require


resources that can only be commanded by a public inquiry, I could see the


case for going down that road. I fear that sometimes in this country


we invest almost supernatural powers in what a public inquiry can do. I


wonder whether there is another example of a country that goes


through this stale ritual every few years of a scandal emerging, the


opposition calling for an inquiry, the Government saying no and then


holding the line or giving in. I don't know what we think this


inquiries can do. It comes back to your point, Helen, you should be


careful what you call an inquiry on so it doesn't devalue the concept.


On Thursday up to a million public sector workers - including teachers,


firemen and council workers - will go on strike.


Their unions have differing gripes but the fact they're all striking


on the same day is designed to send a strong message to the government.


As the economy picks up again they're demanding an end


Growth has returned strongly to the UK economy


and unemployment is at its lowest level for more than five years.


So why is there still talk of austerity


The deficit is coming down but much more slowly than the government


And accumulated deficits - the national debt -


The UK is now in hock to the tune of ?1.3 trillion - and rising.


In fact, we're only 40% of the way through George Osborne's planned


austerity, with the chancellor now saying he won't manage to balance


Unions are now rebelling against tight pay controls.


Since 2010, average public sector pay, which goes to about 1 in 5


Over the same period, prices increased by 16% -


meaning the average public sector worker saw their pay squeezed


Going head-to-head on the public sector strikes and austerity -


the general secretary of the TUC Frances O'Grady, and Conservative


We have seen it, public sector pay squeezed by 9% under the Coalition


Government. Isn't it time to take your foot off the brake a bit? I


don't think it is the right time to let go of the public finances at


all. We were always clear that this is what's called a structural


deficit, it doesn't go away just because the growth is returning and


the economy is coming back. We have protected and are protecting the


lowest paid public sector workers who weren't part of the pay freeze


and now pay going up by 1%. These are difficult decisions. We have had


that discussion many times. They are necessary in order to keep that plan


on track and as we can see in the wider economy, it is working.


People's living standards will have to continue to fall if you are in


the public sector? We need to keep public spending under control and


pay restraint is one of the main ways of being able... The answer is


yes? The answer is this is necessary. The answer is yes, this


is necessary. It isn't because we want to. We have to. This strike


isn't going to change the Government's mind, is it? It does


seem like the Government isn't listening. We have had years... They


are listening, they just don't agree. Ordinary people, including


those in the public sector, are finding it really tough. What really


sticks in the throat is the idea that money can be found to give tax


cuts to billionaires, to millionaires and to big


corporations. But it can't be found to help 500,000 workers in local


government, dinner ladies, school meal workers, lollipop men and women


who are earning less than the living wage. What do you say to that? We


have protected those who are the least well-paid in the public


sector. But this is about a long-term... How can you? Hold on.


You have said you have protected them. This involves ordinary people,


many watching this programme, they have had a 1% pay rise in some cases


since 2010. The average gas bill is up 57%, electric bill up 22%, food


costs up 16%, running a car 11%, in what way have you protected people


from spending they have to make? Firstly, you read out the average


increases in public sector pay. That has had the biggest impact at the


top end and those at the bottom end have been best protected, as best we


could. Of course, we have also taken two million people out of income tax


and increased the income tax threshold which has a big positive


impact. We have frozen and then cut fuel duty, which would have been 20


pence higher. I wanted to take on this point about priorities. We have


got to make sure that we get the economy going at the same time and


we raised more money from those at the top than we did before 2010,


partly because we have encouraged them to invest. And this is a really


important balance of making sure we get the books back in order, we have


stability for family finances and we get the economy going. Why not


spread the living wage? We know you could pay for that pay increase


itself if you spread the living wage through the private sector and


guarantee... The living wage being above the minimum wage? Absolutely.


?7.65 in the rest of the country, ?8.80 in London. What is the answer?


I'm a fan of the minimum wage. But not for public sector workers. Being


able to pay low-paid workers as much as possible within the constraints


of the public finances is something I have pushed very hard. The


evidence we can increase the minimum wage has to be balanced which the


Low Pay Commission do with the impact on the number of jobs... Even


after a pay freeze for quite a while among public sector workers, they


are still paid 15% on average more than those in the private sector?


That is not true. It is, according to the ONS figures. I read that


report this morning. If you look at the whole package, what they are


saying is public service workers are worse off. Average earnings in the


public sector are ?16.28 an hour compared to ?14.16 private. You are


comparing apples and pears. It's the kind of jobs and the size of the


workplace that people work in. They are still overall on average better


off? Lower paid workers tend to be better off because unions negotiate


better deals for lower paid workers. They are more unionised in the pry


private sector. The public sector is worse off. This is a political


strike, isn't it? There is a whole disparate range of reasons. The


strike is saying that you are against this Government, that is


what this is about? I this I what firefighters, local government


workers and health workers who are protesting, too, alongside teachers


are saying is that this Government is not listening, it is out of


touch, people can't carry on having cuts in their living standards


depending on benefits. When will the public sector worker ever get a real


increase in their pay under a Conservative Government? Well, we


certainly hope to have the books balanced by 2018. Not before then?


2018 is when we hope to be able to be in surplus. It is testament...


So, no real pay increase for public sector workers before 2018?


Interestingly, this isn't just about the Conservatives and the Lib Dems,


the Labour Party leadership have said it is a test of their


credibility that they support the squeeze on public sector pay. I look


forward to them, they ought to come out and say very clearly that these


strikes are wrong and they are against the strikes and stop taking


union money. It is a democratic right. Hold on. They are - they


think the policy of pay restraint is necessary. Alright. On this point


about democracy... Ask yourself why so many ordinary decent public


service workers are so fed up. They have seen so many billions of pounds


wasted through outsourcing to organisations like G4 S. In Unite


and UNISON the turnout in this vote was under 20%. Alright. OK. One


final question... Hold on. You said millions and millions voted on


this... I want to ask you this question. Is the story in the Mail


on Sunday today that Mr Cameron's planning a big crackdown on the


unions over balloting, is that true? Well, strikes like this... I know


the cases, is it true you are going to dhang the law? Strikes like this


make that argument stronger. The Conservative Party is in Government


on the basis of 23% of the electorate... We have run out of


time. Thank you very much. "Should Scotland be


an independent country?" That's the question the people of


Scotland will answer in a referendum If the polls are to be believed,


the voters will answer "no". But in 2011 - ten weeks before


the Holyrood elections - the polls told us that Labour was going to win


and look what happened there - a Alistair Darling is leading


the campaign against independnence. is one that puts the matter of


independence to bed for a generation. In numerical terms, what


would that be? We need a decisive result in September, I think we will


get that provided we get our arguments across in the next couple


of months. What would it be in figures? I am not going to put a


number on it. People will look at it and say, OK, you have had two and a


half years of debate and Scotland has now decided. The polls may be


encouraging at the moment but I am not complacent, there is still a


long way to go. Speculating... If you don't want to answer that, that


is fair enough. Your side claims that a vote for independence is a


vote for massive uncertainty but if it is a no vote there is lots of


uncertainty too. All of the Westminster parties are promising


devolution but there is no timetable, no certainty. Yes, there


is. For the first time I can remember, all three parties are more


or less on the same page in terms of or less on the same page in terms of


additional powers, we already have powers in terms of policing and


transport, now more powers are planned in relation to tax and


welfare. But you are all saying different things. Between 2009 and


2012, the three parties have slightly different proposals but


they came together and there was an agreed series of reforms in relation


to tax which are now on the statute book. If you go back to the


devolutionary settlement in 1998, people unified around a single


proposition so there is history here and these three parties have


delivered and they will deliver in the event of people saying we will


stay part of the UK. If Scotland vote no to independence, when will


Scotland get these extra powers? I would imagine that in the general


election all three parties will have something in their manifesto and you


would expect to see legislation in the session of Parliament that


follows that. Imagining is not certainty. Because the three parties


have said this is what they will do, and it is important having said that


they stick to it. If you look in the past when the Nationalists said the


same thing, when they cast doubt over what would happen in 2012, we


delivered. The only party that walked out of both of these


discussions were the Nationalists because they are not interested in


more powers, they want a complete break. You cannot say that if


Edinburgh gets more devolution that wouldn't mean fewer Scottish MPs in


Westminster, can you? Nobody has any plans to reduce the number of MPs.


If you step back from this moment, what people have been asked to do in


September is to vote on the future of their country, Scotland, and


whether we should be part of the UK. When I say part of the UK, full


members of the UK with representation in the House of


Commons and the institutions that affect our lives. This is a


critically important vote. We want to see more decentralisation of


power to Scotland, and to local authorities within Scotland, but we


don't want a complete break with the uncertainties, the risks and the


downright disadvantages that would throw Scotland's away if we were to


make that break. The economic arguments are dominating people's


thinking, the polls show, that is what is dominating at the moment.


You cannot guarantee continued membership of the European Union


given all the talk now about an in-out UK referendum. Firstly I


don't think anyone has ever argued Scotland wouldn't get back in. The


big question is the terms and conditions we would have to meet and


we are applying to get into something that is established, it


wouldn't be a negotiation. What we have said is there is no way Europe


would let Scotland keep the rebate which Scotland has, there would be


big questions over whether we have to join the euro, and other terms


and conditions. The European Union does not act with any great speed,


on average it takes eight and a half years to get into Europe. I don't


want that uncertainty or the disadvantages that would come


Scotland's away that come with losing clout in the European Union.


The second point you asked me about is in relation to the UK's


membership of the European Union, and if you look at polls, the


majority of people still want to stay in the UK. Frankly, a lot of


people on my side didn't make the argument against independence for a


long time, we have been doing that over the last two and a half years


and we are making progress and that is why I can say I think we will win


provided we continue to get our arguments across. Similarly with the


European Union, the case needs to be made because it is a powerful case.


Isn't it true that the Nationalists win either way? They win if it is a


yes vote, and they win if it is a no vote. They wanted devolution max so


they win either way. There is a world of difference between


devolution and further devolution where you remain part of the UK.


There is a world of difference between that and making a break,


where Scotland becomes a foreign country to the rest of the UK. You


lose that security and those opportunities. You lose the same


currency, the opportunity with pensions and so on. They are


entitled to argue this case with passion, they want a break, but the


two things are worlds apart. Gordon Brown said that the no campaign was


too negative, have you adjusted to take that criticism into account?


Ever since I launched this campaign over two years ago I said we would


make a strong powerful case for remaining part of the UK. Look at


our research, where we have had warnings from people to say that if


we do well with research in Scotland we get more than our population


share of the grand and we gain from that. There is a positive case but


equally nobody will stop me from saying to the Nationalists, look at


the assertions you make which are collapsing like skittles at the


moment. Their assertions don't stand up. They assert that somehow milk


and honey will be flowing. It is perfectly healthy within a


referendum campaign to say that what you are saying simply isn't true.


You have been negative, we all know about the so-called Cyber Nats book


you compared Alex Salmond to the leader of North Korea. On! The


context was that Alex Salmond was being asked why it was that UKIP had


additional seat and he appeared to blame television being been doing


from another country, from BBC South of the border. If you cannot have


humour in a debate, heaven help us. I think it is important in this


debate that people from outside politics should be allowed to have


their say whatever side they are on because that will make for a far


better, healthier debate. Nobody should be put in a state of fear and


alarm by worrying about what will happen if they stand up. Despite the


nastiness, more and more people are making a stand. We have run out of


time. Thank you. I will be talking to the SNP's


hippity leader, Nicola Sturgeon, next week on Sunday Politics.


Scotland: For Richer or Poorer will be on BBC Two at 9pm tomorrow.


Disastrous results in the European elections, it is fair to say the Lib


Dems are down in the doldrums. In a moment I will be speaking to Nick


Clegg, but first Emily has been asking what Lib Dems would say to


the Prime -- Deputy Prime Minister on Call Clegg. Our phone in this


week is the challenges facing the Liberal Democrats. They are rock


bottom in the polls and have dire results in the local and European


elections so what can the party do to turn things around? Get in


touch, we are going straight to line one and Gareth. How much is a


problem of that loss of local support? It is a massive problem


because those are the building blocks of our success. The


councillors who gets the case work done are also the people who go out


councillors who gets the case work and deliver the leaflets and knock


on doors. Interesting, and it is not just local support the party has


lost, is it? In the next general election there are some big-name


Liberal Democrat MPs standing down like Malcolm Bruce and Ming


Campbell, how much of a problem will that be? That is a real challenge


and we have some of our brightest and best reaching an age of maturity


at the same moment so that is quite an additional test in what will be a


difficult election anyway. So how does the party need to position


itself to win back support? Let's go to Chris online free, has the party


got its strategy right? There is always a danger of appearing to be a


party that merely dilutes Labour or dilutes the Conservatives. We have a


of is serious, positive messages and we need to get those across in the


next election because if we don't people will vote for the Tories.


Nick, what do you think of the party's message at the moment? I


have had a look at early draft of our manifesto and there is some good


stuff in there but the authors are probably too interested in what may


think we have achieved in the last five years and not really focusing


on what the voters will want to be hearing about the next five years.


Perhaps they should get out more and test some of these messages on the


doorstep. So you want to see the top ranks of the party on the doorstep.


Gareth online one also wants to make a point about the manifesto. There


is clearly a problem somewhere near the top and there are some people


who seem to be obsessed with power for power's sake, and happy with a


timid offer but the Liberal Democrats want to change things. We


are running out of time so let's try to squeeze one more call in. What


are your thoughts on the long-term future of the party? I think serious


long-term danger is that the party could be relegated to the fringes of


the UK and no longer being a national party. We have gone back


decades if that happens because for many years we have been represented


in every part of the country at some level and we have got to rescue


ourselves from that. Some interesting views but we are going


to have to wait until the general election next year to find out how


well the Lib Dems face up to these challenges. Thanks for listening, we


are going to finish with an old classic now.


# I'm sorry, I'm sorry... #. Nick Clegg, welcome to the


programme. I want to come onto your situation in a minute but as you


will have seen in the papers, there is mounting concern over and


historic Westminster paedophile ring, and files relating to it


mysteriously disappearing. Why are you against a full public enquiry


into this? I wouldn't rule anything out. I think we should do anything


it takes to uncover this and achieve justice.


delivered, even all these many years later. How do you do it? There is an


inquiry in the Home Office about what's happened to these documents,


serious questions need to be asked about what happened in the Home


Office and those questions need to be answered. There are inquiries in


the BBC, in the NHS and most importantly of all the police are


looking into the places where this abuse was alleged to have taken


place. All I would say is, let's make sure that justice is delivered,


truth is uncovered and I think that the way to do that, as we have seen,


is by allowing the police to get on with their work. You say that, but


there are only seven police involved in this inquiry. There are 195


involved in the hacking investigations. We can both agree


that child abuse is more important and serious than hacking. The Home


Office, there are reports that Home Office officials may have been


mentioned in the dossier, people don't trust people to investigate


themselves, Mr Clegg? No, I accept that we need to make sure that - and


the police need to make sure that the police investigations are


thorough, well resourced. I can't think of anything more horrendous, I


can't, than powerful people organising themselves and worse


still, this is what is alleged, covering up for each other to abuse


the most vulnerable people in society's care - children. But at


the end of the day, the only way you can get people in the dock, the only


way you can get people charged, is by allowing the prosecuting


authorities and the police to do their job. I have an open mind about


what other inquiries take place. A number of other inquiries are taking


place. I assume any additional inquiries wouldn't be able to second


guess or look into the matters which the police are looking into already.


All I would say is that people who have information, who want to


provide information which they think is relevant to this, please get in


touch with the police. Alright. Let's come on to our own inquiry


into the state of the Lib Dems. You have attempted to distance yourself


and the party from the Tories, but still stay in Government - it is


called aggressive differentiation. Why isn't it working? It's not


called aggressive differentiation. It is called "coalition". It is two


parties who retain different identities, different values, have


different aspirations for the future. But during this Parliament


have come together because we were facing a unique national emergency


back in 2010, the economy was teetering on the edge of a


precipice. I'm immensely proud, notwithstanding our political


challenges, which are real, I'm immensely proud that the Liberal


Democrats, we stepped up to the plate, held our nerve and without


the Liberal Democrats, there wouldn't now be that economic


recovery which is helping many people across the country. Why


aren't you getting any credit for it? Well, we won't get credit if we


spend all our time staring at our navals. If it wasn't for the Liberal


Democrats, there wouldn't be more jobs now available to people. They


don't believe you, they are giving the Tories the credit for the


recovery? Well, you might assert that, we will assert and I will


shout it from the rooftops that if we had not created the stability by


forming this Coalition Government and then hard-wired into the


Government's plans, not only the gory job of fixing the public


finances, but doing so much more fairly than would have been the


case, if the Conservatives had been in Government on their own, they


wouldn't have delivered these tax cuts. They wouldn't have delivered


the triple lock guarantee for pensions or the pupil premium. OK.


Why are you 8% in the polls? Well, because I think where we get our


message across - and I am here in my own constituency - this is a


constituency where I am a campaigning MP - we can dispel a lot


of the information and say we have done a decent thing by going into


Government and we have delivered big changes, big reforms which you can


touch and see in your school, in your pensions, in your taxes and


then people do support us and, in our areas of strength, we were


winning against both the Conservative and Labour parties. It


is a big effort. Of course, there are lots of people from both left


and right who want to shout us down and want to vilify our role in


Government. What we also need to do - and Nick Harvey was quite right -


having been proud of our record of delivery, we also need to set out in


our manifesto as we are and as we will our promise of more, of more


support in schools. So why is it then... Why is it then that a Lib


Dem MP in our own film says you are in danger of no longer becoming a


National Party. That could be the Clegg legacy, you cease to be a


National Party? are in danger of no longer being a


National Party, that could be your legacy. I am a practical man and I


believe passionately in what we have done in politics. I don't spend that


much time speculating endlessly that the end might be nine. Let's get out


there, which is what I do, which is what thousands of activists do, and


say we are proud of what we have done, we've done a good thing for


the country, we've delivered Maud Lib Dem policies than the party has


ever dreamt of delivering before, and we have a programme of change,


of reform, of liberal reform for the future which is very exciting. I


have been setting out our plans of providing more help to carers, to


making sure that teachers are properly qualified, that all


children in schools are being taught a proper for curriculum. That part


company from the ideological rigidity with which the


Conservatives deal with education policy. Those are things which speak


to the values of people who support us in the past and might do in the


future. You say that but when another senior Lib Dem gets out and


about, he told this programme two weeks ago that he finds that you,


personally, are toxic on the doorstep! As everybody knows, being


the leader of a party which, for the first time in its history, goes into


government, which is already a controversial thing to do because


you are governing -- of winning without erstwhile enemies, the


Conservatives, and then doing the difficult and unpopular things to


fix the broken economy, left to us by Labour, of course, as leader of


that party, I get a lot of incoming fire. The right to say that I am


stopping the Conservatives doing what they want. There is a good


reason for that, they didn't wind the election. The left say that we


have left our soul, when we haven't. That happens day in and day


out. That will have some effect, but my answer is not to buckle to those


criticisms, those misplaced criticisms, but to stand up proudly


for what we have done and what we want to do in the future. Is it


still your intention to fight the next election against and in out


referendum on Europe unless there is a major change? Our position hasn't


wavered. It won't. We will not flip flop on the issue of the referendum


like the Conservatives do. We want and in out referendum, and we have


legislated for the trigger when that happens. That is what we have said


for many years. We have legislated for that. There is no change. We


expect a reshuffle shortly, will you keep Vince Cable as Business


Secretary all the way to the election? I am immensely proud of


what he has done. Yes, I am absolutely intent on ticking sure


that Vince Cable serves the government in his present capacity.


Look what he has done on apprenticeships, industrial policy.


He's done more than many people to make sure we build up manufacturing


in the north, not just the south. We've have talked about some heavy


things, let's finish on a lighter note. You got into kick boxing to


get fit, is there any danger of you becoming a middle aged man in


Lycra? Will the Tour de France influence you to become one?


Absolutely not. Having seen the grant apart, the Tour de France


start yesterday near Leeds, I have the yellow Yorkshire sign on my


pullover, I am going to see them later whisked through my


constituency, they are very impressive but I will not try to


emulate them. To the relief of a grateful nation. Nick Clegg, thank


you very much. Coming up to 11:40am, we say goodbye to viewers in


Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland.


A commission of independent experts calls for an overhaul of tax


and regulation systems for the North Sea oil and gas sector.


Ryanair moves a third of its flights from Prestwick to Glasgow.


We'll ask the Transport Minister Keith Brown what


the future holds for the Ayrshire airport bought for ?1.


I name this ship Queen Elisabeth. May God bless her and all who sail


in her. HMS Queen Elizabeth,


described as the jewel in the crown of UK defence, but questions remain


over her deployment. The North Sea needs a new tax


and regulation regime, An independent commission set up


by the Scottish government is recommending "fundamental change"


to encourage new investment The Scottish government promises


a more stable tax regime if there's a yes vote in the


independence referendum, but the UK government argues that it's better


placed to support the industry. The commission, chaired by


Campbell, is working on the bases there are around 24 billion barrels


of oil store be -- to be extracted from the North Sea, and they see


that as a major opportunity but one which the UK continental shelf is


not as attractive in investment as it was. We are at a tipping point


and there is part of the tax regime which would be appropriate going


forward with some changes, but there are other parts where, if we will


target accessing the more difficult oil and more expensive oil, we will


have to modify and update the tax regime. To change that, they say


government needs to work out a more stable, predictable and


internationally competitive tax regime and they suggest lower taxes


with a modified allowances could incentivise new development. The


Scottish covenant has welcomed their report and promised a stable tax


regime if Scotland becomes independent. If you are investing


several billion dollars, then you want to know you're not going to be


hit with sudden tax hikes. The tax regime in the UK has been


characterised, I'm afraid, by a series of unheralded tax breaks,


most recently by Danny Alexander in 2011, brought forward without any


consultation whatsoever. That was a disaster. The UK Government argues


that the industry's best supported within a large economy, less


dependent on oil and gas revenues. Well, joining me now is


the economist and journalist George Kerevan and, in London, Kiran Stacey


who's a political correspondent One of the things I found very


sobering is there has been talk about so much oil left, and


investment at record levels, but what it says is that while it is


true that investment is at record levels, exploration activity are at


a record low, which kind of puts this into perspective, doesn't it? I


don't think... The UK Treasury has treated this will industry as a


piggy bank to squeeze out as much cash as much as possible. This is


not a farmer working the field, squeezing the crops and destroying


the fields, you need to think longer term. They want to get away from a


policy of get as much tax revenue out as possible as quickly as


possible to let's grow the industry, let's grow the jobs and


technology and look longer term. If you do that, you'll get the money as


well. That is a fundamental shift. The problem is the Scottish covenant


have made so many promises about independence which are reliant on


these oil revenues. The aggregate revenues over a number of years


might increase if you could get the North Sea to go on longer but, in


the short time, with these proposals, it would mean taking it


on annual. It doesn't actually say cut taxes as such. It does,


actually. Cutting the headline rate, right. The tax regime in the North


Sea is fiendishly complicated. We are not getting into it! Do not do!


I will not. Every new field has a new tax regime. The accountants


cannot cope with it. What they are suggesting, the industry


heavyweights, is let's simplify the whole thing. The overall tax take


home will be the same. So, the headline rate might come down but


there might be changes for different fields. So, they are not suggesting


to cut the tax. What they want instability, knowing that when you


wake up on budget day, they haven't changed the taxes so your whole


business plan is out of the window, which is what has happened in the


past. There is nothing, is there, that the UK Government would


necessarily disagree with in this report. The fundamental point,


taking the politics out of it is that the existing tax regime was


developed when it was on the rise. It is now a declining area. And they


want to maximise investment because it is higher cost to get things out,


therefore you need a different tax regime. I think that's right. We


have already had another review which has been accepted across the


political divide which suggests something similar, they suggest


there needs to be more collaboration both within the industry and between


government and the industry to get more stability into the tax and


regulation regime. It talks about a lot of collaboration, even after


independence. What the industry has in mind is what happened in 2011,


that you hinted at, which was caught Osborne mounting a 2 billion pound


tax rate on the industry, which frightened a lot of people out


there. It made people think again about what kind of regime they need


to have. The facts are stark. The cost of developing oil have gone up


five times over the last decade, but the review thought that if those


proposals were carried out, it could mean an extra ?200 billion worth of


oil and gas coming through into Scottish covers, or UK cough is, as


a result of that. So this is pushing in the same direction, talking bout


collaboration, stability of tax regime, talking about people having


the time to plan because it is harder and harder and more and more


expensive to get oil and gas out of the North Sea. You, presumably,


would agree with that. Moffatt Campbell made the point that he


would like this to be taken on board, irrespective of the


referendum, said if it is no vote, he'd like the UK Government to say


it is quite sensible and to have a look at it. This is common-sense.


The question is will the politicians deliver North and South? I think


what you might find from the Scottish Government is that it will


take on board the proposal... That individual fields, with the license


is provided to them, that is a commitment that the Scottish


Government will have to consult if there are any changes. It is too


easy for politicians to say they will consult, that has to be a legal


basis. Written into the contract? Yes. Are you preventing the kind of


tax grab that we were talking about? Consultation doesn't stop


politicians changing the taxes but what you are committed to doing is


having a formal period of consultation. If you do that, you


create stability long-term. The problem is that it has happened time


and time again, you wake up on the morning of the budget, and things


have changed, and your entire investment strategy is dead in the


water. Is there an elephant in the room here, which is that we all


assumed... I am not getting your question, sorry. Is there an


elephant in the room that oil prices would stay high, but with shale oil,


shale gas, huge new reserves coming on stream, renewables and great


efficiencies, the outlook for the North Sea might be more trouble than


has been assumed? That is exactly right. The tax regime is beside the


point. The reality is, as I mentioned before, it's hard and more


expensive to get oil out, but it is cheaper and more profitable to get


it out of other places, particularly in the States with the massive shale


gas boom. That kind of development is driving down oil costs, so what


the industry has to cope with is this situation where it is more


expensive to get oil out, they are not getting as much money for it as


they sell it on, and the tax regime is not that much to do with it,


although it does generate certainty if the government can say over a


long period of time this is what we will taxi. What these companies want


is for the oil prices to be higher, and there's nothing that the


government can about that. Thank you both.


Last month, the Scottish Government outlined its multimillion pound


investment plans for the recovery of Prestwick Airport.


This week, the airport's only passenger carrier, Ryanair,


announced new routes from Glasgow and Edinburgh airports with a


What does this mean for the airport's commercial viability?


Bought for ?1 and with an eye watering amount


of excess baggage, the future of Prestwick Airport is a key concern


The Scottish Government is making an investment in the airport. That


investment will be in the form of loan funding, and we want a


long-term return for taxpayer money. That investment is worth nearly


?10 million on top of ?5.5 million The money will fund repairs and make


improvements to the terminal, but there's concern fewer passengers


will be passing through its doors as It is clearly serious reducing the


number of flights and passenger movements. We are slightly


disappointed that it did not support those at Prestwick airport but


Ryanair will continue to have a role at Prestwick which is quite


positive. The change will move brutes away from Prestwick bringing


the number of Ryan near passengers down to 500,000 per year. The firm


insists it is not backing away from your sure. We are in discussions


with Prestwick airport and the Scottish Government. We have a large


presence with over 300 staff employed at Prestwick airport. The


passenger side seems to have taken a bit of a blow this week. Additional


routes will attract more customers in an overcrowded market. I do


believe there is enough business for everyone


believe there is enough business for but at the end of the day the


airlines will fly wherever they want, where they think they will


make more money so the airlines will decide on their plans for the


future. There is a growing focus on the main


competitors in the central belt. There was a monopoly in the central


belt but Ryan near enabled the first low-cost flights to come in to


Stansted. Now that they are competing heavily you do not need


that degree of competition so Prestwick which was a useful


bargaining chip simply is not that relevant to the low-cost airlines


today. Only half of the airport's current income is generated by


passenger trade, the rest is dedicated to free it. It is a unique


airport in the UK, it is fog free, it is linked to the real network. We


are hopeful the is a sustainable future. -- rail network. Industry


experts say unwanted delays should be expected. I am joined by the


transport minister and a Conservative MP from Aberdeen. Isn't


the sad reality that you might have been better at keeping your pound in


your pocket and alarming Prestwick to close. As was being said their


comedy does not seem a lot of point to it? There are 400 people directly


in Clwyd and more than 3000 rely on it directly for their employment. In


economic terms and aviation terms wouldn't it be better to move those


jobs elsewhere. -- directly employed. Whether it is freed or


aircraft repair, crucially in terms of passenger services the airlines


will move around. We have to make sure the facilities are such that we


can attract new flights in. Have you got any proposals? Are their any


discussions going on to get new airlines to operate from Prestwick?


There is a prospect. The fact that Ryanair have moved and are tripling


the flights to Dublin rather than from Glasgow and Prestwick. Who are


these airlines that are going to move in? EasyJet? You do not


restrict yourself to one carrier. Name one. There is no restricted


list, any of them. You can surely tell us who you are discussing


with? That is up to the airport and the people in charge of marketing.


It was losing between one and ?3 million per year, we are only in the


first three months of taking over the airport. It is not making money,


is it? Faced with the prospect of closure and the massive


redundancies... So you do not actually, in response to why you did


not close it and redeploy the people elsewhere, your answer is you are


not sure. You are having unspecified negotiations with unspecified


carriers who might do unspecified things that sometime in the future?


That was not the answer. There are other services that go on at


Prestwick, whether the fleet services, unique services such as


the train service. We think there are real selling points for the


airport. One of the reasons for not having publicly owned airports in


the first place was because the airlines do more than ministers for


them. The Conservatives keep saying there must be a proper business


case, are you convinced there is one? I am not convinced the is one.


They did the right thing by not allowing the airport to collapse


overnight but the government is not taking the opportunity it has to go


forward and do other things as a government to improve the prospects


of Prestwick airport. I have been talking for years about the


replacement for the group development fund. Prestwick could


benefit enormously from one of those which supported the creation of new


routes. Give us an example, Keith Brown could not, will you be more


specific? Tell me an airline or the route that you could get into


Prestwick. I cannot tell you the name of an airline that may be


interested but in the past Prestwick found a niche as an airport on the


extreme north-west of Europe that serve all airlines by refuelling


aircraft crossed the Atlantic and after the arrived here. The Scottish


Government is talking about bringing long-haul flights to Scotland in a


way we have not done in the past. That could involve the use of


extremely large passenger aircraft and Prestwick may be the place to


land and take them off in Scotland. Perhaps I was wide off the mark with


Korean airlines but he is suggesting they may well come? I did not say I


could not give you an airline but I would not. It is sensitive matter


shall activity. He is suggesting use the runway to do intercontinental


flights that at the moment do not come into Scotland. Alex Salmond is


keen on more links with China, would Prestwick be the place for that? It


could be. We have to get the right package to these airlines. He knows


it is outlawed by The European Commission and we have been


successful at getting new routes into Lascaux, Edinburgh and Aberdeen


by providing a package. We use that same expertise to attract new


business into Prestwick as well as the vitally important freight and


ground-based activities going on just now. I'd macro if the worst


comes to it and Prestwick airport has to close, that whole operation


could be moved somewhere else, could it not? Or it could stay at


Prestwick even if it was not an airport? Our plan is to keep it as


an airport. It is a long-term proposal. It is the long-term skill


to get them back into the operation we would like to see. It will take


some time to get this back. We will have to leave it there. Thank you


both for joining us. Now let us cross for the news. Good afternoon.


Oil and gas experts are recommending a new tax and regulation regime for


the North Sea. There are calls for fundamental change to encourage


funding. There are estimates that 24 billion barrels of oil are still to


be extracted. We are at the tipping point. There are parts of the tax


regime that could go forward with changes. If we are going to target


accessing the more difficult oil we will have to modify and upgrade the


tax regime. The Scottish Government has welcomed the report and promised


a stable tax regime if Scotland becomes independent. A search is


continuing today after a canoeist went missing in Perthshire. Boat


capsized shortly before five yesterday evening in culling area.


One of the occupants made it to shore. A 29-year-old man is still


missing. -- Killin. Friends of the Earth has criticised organisers of


the Commonwealth Games. The say they have fallen short of the original


promises to create low emission zones. Time for a look at the


weather. Good afternoon. Little change in terms of the weather this


afternoon. More in the way of sunshine and showers. The focus of


the showers will be across the West Highlands and into Western


Aberdeenshire. There could be some heavy and thundery downpours.


Glasgow and the south-west hold onto drier weather with the West Coast


seeing plenty sunshine. That is the forecast. That is all for now. Back


to the studio. The first Sea Lord describe it as the first dual in the


crown of the UK sea defence. The largest warship ever built for the


Royal Navy was officially built and -- was officially commemorated by


the Queen. The ship still has to be fitted out and launched. Significant


spending decisions which will decide how the carriers are used in the


future are yet to be decided. A further order is expected in the


next three months but the carriers will be without any planes until


2020. The role of the second carrier is still in the balance. Others are


still to be commissioned. We are joined by an expert now. Can I ask a


very basic question, someone in a radio programme the other day said


the problem with these carriers is that the Russians already have


missiles which can blow them out of the water so they are obsolete as


they are launched, is there any truth in that? The military


capability exercise by many nations, not just Russia but Japan, China,


Iran, Israel, everyone holds anti-ship missiles which could


theoretically take on any aircraft carrier, whether British, US,


Chinese, Korean, Japanese, they could be hit and sunk by one of


these missiles. Normally when a ship goes to see it is surrounded by


layers of protection which enable that threat to be defeated. It is


not just those on board but other ships around it which enable those


risks to be exercised at sea. Be allowed on board systems and they


have them on-board frigates and destroyers surrounding it, with the


guarantee it could not hit? There are concerns that there aren't a


sufficient number of destroyers to provide protection against a


high-end thread. On the other hand, you can mitigate against such


threats by how you position and use the carrier. If you go back to the


Falklands in 1982, eight destroyers were used to protect the carrier in


various ways. It was still felt there was a significant threat is


not from missiles but from submarines, and, as such, both of


the carriers that were used words kept it significant distance for


periods of time, and then surged as they moved forward. They mitigated


the risk both from missiles and from submarines. These are conjugated


questions. I understand, but there is an element here to say that don't


take the carrier anywhere dangerous, yet the hall point is precisely to


take it somewhere dangerous. I think that's right. There are degrees of


risk and danger. If you're going up against a very sophisticated


high-end threat, you'd want to be taking most of the Royal Navy to


protect this carrier and you'd be wanting to have some extra


assistance, perhaps from American or French colleagues and counterparts,


perhaps as part of a NATO group, but for 90% of the time, when you're


doing constabulary operations, perhaps supporting operations with


the French in North Africa, you require less protection. It depends


on the situation and the risk you're willing to take. What about HMS


Prince of Wales? Danny Alexander said it would be available to the


British Armed Forces, but is it down there in black-and-white? Have a


definitely decided to keep it? And if they have, have they decided to


keep it in such a way that it could be operational when the first


carrier is in dock for maintenance? This is a good question and it


hasn't been codified yet. So far, the position with Prince of Wales is


that it could be put in, but they could also sell it to the Brazilians


or another state, they could mothball it, and not use it at all,


they could bring it out and use it in an amphibious role with just


helicopters. I think these decisions are ready important. It will


characterise how Britain will do intervention in the future. With one


carrier, we are limited like the French to Britain going in, going in


fast, hard, turning around and going home so your mission is done within


eight or nine months. That is attractive with some models of


intervention like the recent operations in Africa. But for


something long-term, you need to have more than one carrier. And here


we look at Kosovo, Bosnia, those ones that have had real success. Not


just in the war fighting or deterrence. In the 1960s, Iraqi was


going to invade Kuwait, and it looked likely that it that region


was going to be taken over with the threat to the UK because of the


cut-off of supply. They walked in, fronted up, they didn't even need to


launch aircraft because that statement of intent prevented that.


Thanks very much indeed for joining us.


Now it's time for a look at the week ahead.


Our guests this week are Alan Roden, Scottish political editor


of the Daily Mail, and Murray Ritchie,


former political editor at the Herald.


Just a quick comment on this oil and gas report which came out this


morning. You could argue it either way. It will be used by both sides


of the referendum campaign. Of course, the Scottish Government will


-- has responded, and the UK Government will respond. The UK


Government will say that the tax regime is better with the UK, the


Scottish Government will say the opposite. The UK Government will say


the oil is harder to get out, the Scottish Government will say there


is lots left. The Scottish Government have welcomed it, which


is significant. Oil is more expensive to get out, and the tax


regime reflects that. So it is a perfectly sensible report, and both


governments will welcome it although the UK Government is being a bit


iffy. Other stuff, a story about academics and independence, Sir Paul


nurse is asking the Scottish and British government is to pledge that


academics will not be penalised. Is this academics worrying needlessly?


There was some evidence earlier this year when a Dundee University


academics spoke out and then the university was contacted by a


Scottish government minister, said there is some evidence that there


might be some element of intimidation going on, but academics


are bright enough to know they should be able to speak out, and


plenty of them have spoken out and will continue to do so. Whatever the


details of that is, the suggestion that somehow or other, you will be


penalised in the sense you might not get research funding, is there any


evidence for that? There is no strong evidence, but there are fears


of that, which is what we have seen entered a's papers. More


interestingly, it is businesses that are concerned about the impact of


this. They are more scared to speak out because of fear of being


penalised. Even if the Scottish Government has listened to this,


there is a bit of fear around. People laugh hearing... Part of the


problem is that lots of places are tied to the state. Yes, but nobody


is being deliberately silenced. Their arguments all over the place.


Academics are reticent, they are always desperate to give their


latest eye views and opinions. So I don't see why they shouldn't. And it


looks the independence referendum look positively polite! Other


stories, the police and guns. Graham Pearson has written to Kenny


MacAskill over the lack of consultation. This is about... We


should make it clear, the police have had guns for some time, but


they were carried by guns, you had to contact a senior officer to


unlock them, but we are moving to a situation where the police are


carrying them around on the street and there seems to be a blip


concern, and I am not sure whether the fact that there was no


consultation is the worry. It is worrying. I am comfortable with the


fact that the police are not routinely armed, unlike America or


Belfast. At the airport, when you see a machine gun, it can be


disconcerting. So when people are aware the police are armed and not


telling us they are armed, it is alarming. If they told us they were


doing it for a specific purpose, if there was a terrorist threat or


security problem, but if they are doing it covertly, we have to watch


that carefully. The latest case was people complaining that in a


McDonald's restaurant in Inverness, there were policeman in their openly


carrying weapons. I agree with Murray. It is the Highland region


where we have seen police carrying the guns. I think because it has


spread to there. It didn't happen in that area before. The lack of


consultation is worrying. We've seen other examples of this with Police


Scotland now that it is centralised, we were not being told


enough, and the public are rightly concerned. If the police are


carrying guns, that would cause alarms. With the stop and search


issue, there are allegations that police are making up stop and


searches in their reports because they are being bullied into senior


officers. And they are also doing a lot of stop and searches that have


no statuary bases. There's a lovely quote saying you breach and rights


by doing it, but you expect us to do it. Stop and search is a big issue


and happening a lot more in Scotland than in England. Add there is a


problem. If they catch someone with a knife, that's a good thing.


Excessive bureaucracy, and we should stop it. Right, so don't do any


more? All right. That is all we have time for this week. I'll be back at


the same time next week. From all of us, goodbye.


Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate including interviews with the deputy prime Minister, Nick Clegg, former chancellor Alistair Darling, Frances O'Grady of the TUC, and skills minister Matthew Hancock.

Download Subtitles