14/02/2016 Sunday Politics Scotland


14/02/2016

Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 14/02/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Morning, folks, and welcome to the Sunday Politics.

:00:37.:00:37.

David Cameron says a manifesto shouldn't be a wish list,

:00:38.:00:40.

He says he's been ticking off the commitments his manifesto made

:00:41.:00:52.

Well, today, we launch our own manifesto tracker and we'll be

:00:53.:00:56.

talking to the minister responsible for implementing it.

:00:57.:00:58.

The Government wants to crack down on the gender pay gap.

:00:59.:01:00.

But is it really as bad as everyone seems to make out?

:01:01.:01:03.

We'll be talking to TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady.

:01:04.:01:06.

And we'll be asking, who's wooing who in the putative

:01:07.:01:08.

Plans for land has a? There certainly are. Not involving you so

:01:09.:01:22.

far. Coming up on Sunday

:01:23.:01:23.

Politics Scotland: What are the outstanding obstacles

:01:24.:01:25.

to an agreement over And with me, as always,

:01:26.:01:27.

a match made in heaven. Nick Watt, Polly Toynbee

:01:28.:01:39.

and Tim Shipman, who'll be tweeting

:01:40.:01:41.

throughout the programme. First, this morning let's turn

:01:42.:01:44.

to the situation in Syria. A nationwide "cessation

:01:45.:01:51.

of hostilities" is due But, despite that agreement,

:01:52.:01:55.

the prospects for peace The truce does not apply

:01:56.:01:58.

to the battle against what Russia calls terrorist targets and means it

:01:59.:02:01.

will continue its heavy bombing Meanwhile, Turkey has shelled

:02:02.:02:04.

Kurdish positions in Northern Syria and the Turkish Foreign Minister has

:02:05.:02:10.

said his country is pondering This morning, the Foreign Secretary

:02:11.:02:13.

said Russia had to begin complying The situation in Aleppo

:02:14.:02:18.

is extremely worrying, the Russians are

:02:19.:02:23.

using carpet-bombing tactics, indiscriminate

:02:24.:02:25.

bombing of civilian areas Yes, we demand that the Russians

:02:26.:02:28.

comply with their obligations under international law and their

:02:29.:02:35.

obligations under the UN Security Council resolutions

:02:36.:02:38.

that they have signed up to. Nick, you get a feeling that given

:02:39.:02:53.

this deal was signed in Munich, it it is living up to deal is signed in

:02:54.:02:58.

Munich reputations. When we hear the Foreign Secretary saying we demand

:02:59.:03:02.

Russian do something when they are creating facts on the ground and we

:03:03.:03:06.

are not, that will have a hollow ring. Russia is now. President's

:03:07.:03:14.

Asad air force. They have ensured that President Assad cannot lose

:03:15.:03:18.

this war but he cannot also win it. They have the air force but no

:03:19.:03:23.

forces on the ground. Now that President Assad cannot lose this war

:03:24.:03:27.

has changed the dynamics. We can whistle in the wind as much as we

:03:28.:03:31.

like but Russia is the reality and power. Sir Roderick Lyne, the former

:03:32.:03:38.

UK ambassador to Moscow was on radio five this morning and he said we

:03:39.:03:42.

should not get too carried away with quite how powerful Russia is, they

:03:43.:03:45.

don't have troops on the ground, they have a faltering economy and

:03:46.:03:49.

they are nervous about going into far because of the disaster of

:03:50.:03:54.

Afghanistan 35 years ago. They do have some troops on the ground, they

:03:55.:04:00.

have proxy forces on the ground from Hezbollah and the uranium National

:04:01.:04:04.

Guard. Although they can't take back the whole of Syria, they will take

:04:05.:04:09.

back enough of it -- Iranians National Guard. Making success in

:04:10.:04:14.

the south, the border with Turkey, controlling the Mediterranean

:04:15.:04:17.

coastline. When they have done that, they might be serious about peace

:04:18.:04:20.

talks. Then they are stuck with it. It is not clear if Vladimir Putin

:04:21.:04:26.

thinks beyond tomorrow. It is not clear what the long-term strategy

:04:27.:04:31.

could do. It could be like the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, an

:04:32.:04:35.

absolute disaster. President Assad is saying that they intend to take

:04:36.:04:38.

over the whole of the country, entirely unrealistic. There will be

:04:39.:04:44.

some sort of partition. What is happening is very frightening in the

:04:45.:04:47.

sense that everybody is fighting a proxy war, the Iranians and Saudis.

:04:48.:04:54.

The one thing that people keep saying is Barack Obama was so weak

:04:55.:04:59.

that it is quite unclear what he could have done. Perhaps he could

:05:00.:05:04.

have given Syria's weapons to the more moderate rebels. Hillary

:05:05.:05:08.

Clinton wanted him to do that in July 2012. She put a plan together

:05:09.:05:13.

along with the general and he turned it down. What would have happened is

:05:14.:05:17.

that they would be shooting down Russian planes with American

:05:18.:05:20.

weapons. Or Russia might not have gone to war. We don't know.

:05:21.:05:25.

Everything has a dynamic to it. This dynamic is leaving the west pretty

:05:26.:05:30.

much as onlookers. It is clear that at least in the short-term, Mr Putin

:05:31.:05:34.

will get back enough ground for Assad to then say we have got rid of

:05:35.:05:40.

a lot of these "Terrorists" because they are not Islamic state. It is

:05:41.:05:45.

now asked versus Islamic State. Exactly, we sound like the mouse

:05:46.:05:49.

that squeaked this morning. I disagree with Polly. One of the

:05:50.:05:53.

great powers in the world has now got very involved in a situation and

:05:54.:05:57.

the other hasn't. President Obama had options. He did not explore them

:05:58.:06:03.

to any sort of extent that it put off the Russians. Britain is left on

:06:04.:06:13.

the sidelines, waiting for a new US president, to get engaged in this

:06:14.:06:16.

issue and do something proactive. What could have been done that would

:06:17.:06:19.

have been any use at all? Either useless or worse than useless, stuck

:06:20.:06:22.

us in there... He did say he had chemical weapons and it was an

:06:23.:06:27.

important red Line. And he let them cross the red line. He totally

:06:28.:06:31.

ignored it. What would you have done that would have been useful? You

:06:32.:06:35.

could have set up a humanitarian safe haven and protected it with

:06:36.:06:39.

force and armed the rebels to deter the Russians and make it a situation

:06:40.:06:45.

where Assad could not continue. We now have a situation where Assad is

:06:46.:06:49.

now a fact of life, he is not going anywhere. There is not much you can

:06:50.:06:53.

do without you were serious involvement. I am glad we touched on

:06:54.:06:57.

Syria, it is an important developing story.

:06:58.:06:58.

Now, what's black and white and not read all over?

:06:59.:07:01.

Even if you did read it, would you be able to remember

:07:02.:07:06.

all the promises and whether the Government had delivered them?

:07:07.:07:08.

which charts the progress of the pledges

:07:09.:07:15.

Sort of like a blue virtual Edstone, or maybe not!

:07:16.:07:24.

Over the next four years, we'll be monitoring the Government's

:07:25.:07:26.

progress on all of the commitments the Conservatives made ahead

:07:27.:07:29.

of the 2015 general election in their manifesto, and a few big

:07:30.:07:33.

promises they made during the campaign.

:07:34.:07:43.

So, we've identified 161 pledges, and loaded them into our Manifesto

:07:44.:07:45.

We've grouped them into categories covering all the major areas

:07:46.:07:51.

of Government policy, from the constitution

:07:52.:07:53.

And we've given each of the promises a colour rating.

:07:54.:08:00.

Red signalling little or no progress so far.

:08:01.:08:06.

Amber when the Government has made some progress.

:08:07.:08:08.

Let's start by looking at the Conservative commitments

:08:09.:08:14.

As you can see they've made at least some progress on all of them.

:08:15.:08:24.

Easily the party's biggest promise here was to hold a referendum

:08:25.:08:27.

on Britain's membership of the EU by December 2017.

:08:28.:08:32.

We've marked that amber, to show that some progress

:08:33.:08:34.

The bill setting the vote has passed through Parliament and it's looking

:08:35.:08:41.

likely the poll will be held this year.

:08:42.:08:45.

The cornerstone of the Conservative election campaign last May was how

:08:46.:08:47.

they would handle the economy, and as you can see, that's

:08:48.:08:53.

where we've found the greatest number of promises.

:08:54.:08:59.

Let's look at one of the policies they identified

:09:00.:09:02.

as part of their plan to eliminate the deficit.

:09:03.:09:06.

That was to reduce the welfare bill by ?12 billion.

:09:07.:09:10.

Again, we've given that an amber rating.

:09:11.:09:13.

The savings were outlined in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement

:09:14.:09:15.

But it's too early to say if they'll all be achieved.

:09:16.:09:24.

When it comes to the constitution, the Government's made some progress

:09:25.:09:32.

But it promised to scrap the Human Rights Act, and replace it

:09:33.:09:35.

That gets a red rating, as although there have been reports

:09:36.:09:41.

something is in the pipeline, as yet there is no sign

:09:42.:09:43.

of the legislation required to introduce it.

:09:44.:09:50.

Some manifesto commitments have already been delivered in full.

:09:51.:09:54.

Like the introduction of English votes for English laws to give

:09:55.:09:56.

English MPs a veto over laws that only affect England.

:09:57.:10:05.

Other changes promised in the manifesto are less well known.

:10:06.:10:08.

Like the promise to recover ?500 million from migrants

:10:09.:10:10.

and overseas visitors who use the NHS by the middle

:10:11.:10:12.

We will give that amber, because some new charges have

:10:13.:10:21.

already been introduced, and the Department of Health

:10:22.:10:23.

Let's add on the rest of the promises in each

:10:24.:10:30.

of the policy areas and have a look at how the government

:10:31.:10:33.

Taken together, of the 161 Conservative election commitments,

:10:34.:10:41.

we think ten are red, 111 are amber, and 40 are green.

:10:42.:10:50.

We'll be returning to the manifesto tracker every few months,

:10:51.:10:52.

but in the meantime you can find the full data on the politics

:10:53.:10:56.

And with us now the Cabinet Office Minister and Paymaster General,

:10:57.:11:07.

Matt Hancock, he oversees the implementation

:11:08.:11:09.

Welcome to the programme, do you regard this manifesto as a contract

:11:10.:11:19.

with the British people and do you intend to intimate it all? It is

:11:20.:11:23.

certainly the commitments on which we were elected. We take it

:11:24.:11:28.

incredibly seriously -- goals to implement it. That is the goal. We

:11:29.:11:33.

have got about a quarter delivered, we have had less than a year. In

:11:34.:11:38.

fact, I really welcome this scrutiny and this project you have been on.

:11:39.:11:42.

We will implement and publish our own plans and make sure that each

:11:43.:11:48.

individual manifesto commitment has an individual minister responsible

:11:49.:11:51.

for delivering it. And publish that. We will nationalise you and this

:11:52.:11:58.

process. You will nationalise us? We can't afford you, probably, but we

:11:59.:12:02.

will do this as a government. Let's see if you still want to do that at

:12:03.:12:06.

the end of this interview. Your manifesto promised to scrap Labour's

:12:07.:12:09.

Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights, and

:12:10.:12:11.

Human Rights Act and replace it with abolition Bill would be drafted

:12:12.:12:14.

within the first hundred days after the election. It didn't happen. Why?

:12:15.:12:20.

The work is in progress. Internally, we will publish it. Why have you not

:12:21.:12:25.

kept to the timetable? The timetable of the whole manifesto is to deliver

:12:26.:12:29.

within the parliament. You said this would be done, the draft bill within

:12:30.:12:33.

the first 100 days. Clearly, we will deliver against the commitment. I

:12:34.:12:39.

thought it was a bit harsh to call that read, I would call that Amber.

:12:40.:12:45.

It is not delivered yet. We called it red because the justice minister,

:12:46.:12:49.

Mr Bove, said the consultation had been delayed yet again. The question

:12:50.:12:53.

is what we deliver over the five-year parliament. -- Mr Gove. We

:12:54.:12:59.

are less than a year in and we have got one quarter delivered and that

:13:00.:13:01.

is one where there is work in progress but we are committed to

:13:02.:13:04.

doing it. The manifesto promised to make the UK's Supreme Court "The

:13:05.:13:11.

ultimate arbiter of human rights in the UK". That will not happen. This

:13:12.:13:15.

is all part of the same package which we have committed to

:13:16.:13:21.

delivering. We are less than a year in and we have a few years to go.

:13:22.:13:25.

Whatever the package, the Supreme Court will not be "The ultimate

:13:26.:13:30.

arbiter" on human rights, will it? That is part of the proposed

:13:31.:13:35.

package, as part of the replacement of the Human Rights Act. We will get

:13:36.:13:40.

to that. There is a bigger picture, which is making sure that we deliver

:13:41.:13:46.

on the overall set of commitments in the manifesto where we are making

:13:47.:13:50.

good progress. But, you can enhance the role of the Cyprian Court on

:13:51.:13:53.

human rights, I understand that. Maybe the British Bill of Rights

:13:54.:13:57.

will do their -- Supreme Court. But at the end of the day, the European

:13:58.:14:01.

Court of Human Rights is the ultimate arbiter. That is the

:14:02.:14:05.

factual legal situation. It all depends on the changes that you

:14:06.:14:09.

make. We will bring forward a package of changes to be able to

:14:10.:14:12.

deliver against these commitments in the Parliament. Mr Gove says we are

:14:13.:14:18.

not planning to derogate from the European Court of Human Rights.

:14:19.:14:21.

Let's see what happens when we published the proposals on this

:14:22.:14:24.

particular package. Immigration, probably your biggest fail, I would

:14:25.:14:29.

suggest. The 2050 manifesto repeated the pledge in the 2010 manifesto to

:14:30.:14:33.

get annual net migration down to tens of thousands -- 2015. After

:14:34.:14:38.

five years, far from getting it down, net migration reached a record

:14:39.:14:44.

336,000 last year, that is a spectacular failure. Clearly, this

:14:45.:14:51.

is a commitment. To get immigration down to tens of thousands, that

:14:52.:14:55.

remains the goal. But we haven't yet reached it. Presumably you did not

:14:56.:15:02.

call that green. No. It is red. That the commitment remains because we

:15:03.:15:06.

think it is reasonable to control immigration in this country, so that

:15:07.:15:10.

while some immigration can be very good for the economy and more

:15:11.:15:13.

broadly, actually it has got to be done at a reasonable level.

:15:14.:15:18.

It's not just that you didn't get it down enough, it's actually risen

:15:19.:15:23.

since you came to power. Why would you promise what you have failed

:15:24.:15:27.

dismally to deliver again? I think it is a reasonable goal. Clearly we

:15:28.:15:33.

put it in the manifesto for a reason, to get immigration down. And

:15:34.:15:41.

we are less than a year into the Parliament and we've got four years

:15:42.:15:45.

to go. Is it a goal or a pledge? Do you pledge to the British people

:15:46.:15:49.

today that net migration will be down to the tens of thousands by

:15:50.:15:55.

2020? Well I pledge to fulfil what was in the manifesto on which I and

:15:56.:15:58.

every other Conservative MPs was elected. Well that pledge was to get

:15:59.:16:04.

it down to the tens of thousands. It was meant to be in the tens of

:16:05.:16:10.

thousands by 2015, it is 346,000, is there a pledge that it will be down

:16:11.:16:14.

to the tens of thousands by 2020? There is a whole series of actions

:16:15.:16:19.

that we are taking, not least the EU renegotiation to try to tackle

:16:20.:16:24.

immigration and make sure that it's brought down to a reasonable level.

:16:25.:16:28.

Again there is a broader point, of the 160 odd commitments that you are

:16:29.:16:33.

measuring, delivering an accord of them, of course some are quicker

:16:34.:16:36.

than others to deliver on, it's fair to say. But the whole point of

:16:37.:16:40.

having the manifesto and tracking it as we are doing is to make sure we

:16:41.:16:45.

know where we are up to. Lets come onto the European negotiations, that

:16:46.:16:52.

was in the manifesto. The manifesto promised several key things in the

:16:53.:16:56.

renegotiation, a four-year ban on EU migrants claiming in work benefits,

:16:57.:17:02.

a new residency requirement for social housing, and no child benefit

:17:03.:17:06.

for EU migrants if their children live abroad. The draft deal contains

:17:07.:17:12.

none of these things. Well, firstly, as you say, the centrepiece of our

:17:13.:17:18.

European policy was to have the referendum, and we will be having

:17:19.:17:22.

the referendum. Although you call that Amber it is certainly going to

:17:23.:17:25.

happen. I understand that but none of the things you said we would get

:17:26.:17:28.

to vote on in this referendum have been delivered. We then sat out --

:17:29.:17:39.

set out what we wanted to negotiate and that negotiation is not

:17:40.:17:41.

complete. We have a lot of work to do this week to get the best

:17:42.:17:45.

possible deal we can. I hope we will have a good deal and be able to vote

:17:46.:17:49.

to stay in a reformed Europe. There is a version of the ban on EU

:17:50.:17:55.

migrants benefits, there is not no child benefits, now there will be 28

:17:56.:18:00.

different child benefits that Britain will pay but there is no

:18:01.:18:04.

mention of residency requirement for social housing, no mention of that

:18:05.:18:09.

in the deal, so that has gone? Look, we don't know the outcome of this

:18:10.:18:12.

negotiation until the end of this week. There is a week of hard work

:18:13.:18:17.

to get the deal. But there is a bigger picture here. Social housing

:18:18.:18:22.

is not on the agenda? Let's see what we get in this deal over the next

:18:23.:18:28.

week. But there's a bigger point here, which is that we said we'd

:18:29.:18:33.

have the renegotiation, lots and lots of people said you are never

:18:34.:18:35.

going to get these things on the table. A question of in work

:18:36.:18:41.

benefits, child benefit, we were told you couldn't even put that on

:18:42.:18:45.

the agenda. The discussion in Europe this week is exactly how far we go

:18:46.:18:49.

on those. People said that we couldn't deliver anything in this

:18:50.:18:52.

space and we've managed to deliver already the draft deal, and we will

:18:53.:18:57.

see where we end up. But not what was in the manifesto. We will see

:18:58.:19:00.

where we end up at the end of this week. We will indeed. Not

:19:01.:19:05.

necessarily next week but in the weeks ahead we will be coming back

:19:06.:19:08.

to go through this. Onto the economy, you put in place a charter

:19:09.:19:12.

for budget responsibility which commits you to running a surplus, a

:19:13.:19:13.

legal obligation as well as a commits you to running a surplus, a

:19:14.:19:19.

policy. The in situ for fiscal studies says that will require tax

:19:20.:19:22.

rises or spending cuts as yet unannounced, do you agree? Not in

:19:23.:19:27.

the latest financial forecast put out by the office for budget

:19:28.:19:30.

responsible to who independently advise on these, and we have a

:19:31.:19:33.

budget in just over a month's time so we will see what the figures say,

:19:34.:19:38.

then. Clearly in the latest forecast from the government, yes, we have

:19:39.:19:45.

that surplus. You have not hit a surplus. We have hit it in the

:19:46.:19:52.

forecast. And they change. They do, as the economy changes. On that

:19:53.:19:56.

economic front there was an awful lot in the manifesto on that, it is

:19:57.:19:59.

all about economic security, generating jobs, in the same way

:20:00.:20:03.

that the national Security ones were all about national security. And

:20:04.:20:07.

those were the two elements at the heart of this manifesto that we were

:20:08.:20:12.

elected on. I would say that we are delivering very strongly on both. In

:20:13.:20:15.

terms of the big picture of what you are getting from the message that we

:20:16.:20:19.

said we were going to deliver. Let me come down to the smaller but

:20:20.:20:23.

still very important picture. You have a legal obligation to reach a

:20:24.:20:28.

surplus by 2020. If, to reach that surplus, you had to raise taxes,

:20:29.:20:32.

would you? Look, much as I'd love to, I'm not going to set out tax

:20:33.:20:37.

policy on Sunday morning. To meet the legal obligation, if it required

:20:38.:20:43.

tax increases, would there be tax increases? We've set out the plans

:20:44.:20:47.

and the plans hit a surplus. We did that in the Autumn Statement in

:20:48.:20:52.

November. Clearly the economy changes all the time,

:20:53.:20:55.

internationally, people have seen falls in the stock market in the

:20:56.:21:01.

last few months. But we will have a budget in more than a month's time.

:21:02.:21:06.

But I voted to have that surplus and that is clearly what we will set out

:21:07.:21:10.

to do. You promised a lower tax society. Yes. Yet on the forecast,

:21:11.:21:16.

the overall tax burden is rising as a percentage of GDP and on the

:21:17.:21:22.

forecast, not the buoyancy but extra tax that you have introduced will be

:21:23.:21:26.

?50 billion higher. So you have previous on this, you could raise

:21:27.:21:28.

taxes again because you already have? Clearly there are some areas

:21:29.:21:32.

where we have tightened things up, especially on tax avoidance. We took

:21:33.:21:37.

an extra ?5 billion from tax avoidance measures. And what about

:21:38.:21:45.

the billions in addition to that? We have reduced the tax burden

:21:46.:21:49.

especially on people in lower wage jobs, they are going to get the

:21:50.:21:52.

national minimum wage but we are well on the way to the manifesto

:21:53.:21:55.

commitment of making sure you don't have to pay any income taxed until

:21:56.:22:01.

you make ?12,500. We have made progress but there is more to do.

:22:02.:22:06.

The manifesto talks about reducing the tax relief on pension

:22:07.:22:08.

contributions for people earning more than ?150,000, people on 45%,

:22:09.:22:17.

the highest income tax band, you are going to cut tax relief on their

:22:18.:22:21.

pension contributions. If you were to also cut the tax relief of those

:22:22.:22:26.

on the 40% rate, that would be breaching the manifesto? There we've

:22:27.:22:33.

done what we said we would do in the manifesto. We've followed the

:22:34.:22:37.

manifesto clearly in terms of the commitment that it made. Outside the

:22:38.:22:41.

manifesto there's always going to be other things that you do. On pension

:22:42.:22:46.

tax review were explicit that it would be those in the 45% wouldn't

:22:47.:22:51.

get it, you didn't mention any other bracket, the imprecation is that

:22:52.:22:55.

it's only the 45%. If you took away tax relief from the 40% taxpayers

:22:56.:23:00.

that would be broken manifesto commitment? That's not how I see it,

:23:01.:23:04.

you can add things to the manifesto. Look at the whole reform programme a

:23:05.:23:09.

massive reform programme which was not in our manifesto because we've

:23:10.:23:13.

built it up as a proposal since then. Likewise the Prime

:23:14.:23:16.

Ministerspeech on social mobility and an tackling an just inequalities

:23:17.:23:23.

-- an just inequalities. We've done a huge amount of that on the autumn.

:23:24.:23:30.

Delivering on the manifesto commitments is absolutely essential.

:23:31.:23:36.

But it is not the only thing you do in government because you respond to

:23:37.:23:40.

events. But the purpose of this interview is to hold your manifesto

:23:41.:23:43.

to account. Hunting, when will you give Parliament the chance to repeal

:23:44.:23:48.

the hunting act. We are committed to doing that. When? In this

:23:49.:23:53.

Parliament. We looked at doing it early on. You dropped that. We

:23:54.:23:57.

decided not to do it then, but we are committed to its. You set a

:23:58.:24:03.

target of ?1 trillion of exports by 2020, most forecasters including

:24:04.:24:09.

your own oh BR say you will be at least ?350 billion short. Can we

:24:10.:24:13.

agree that you will not hit that target? It's fair to say that it is

:24:14.:24:18.

stretching target, but it remains our target, our aspiration. But you

:24:19.:24:23.

will miss it. There is an awful lot of work going into achieving it.

:24:24.:24:31.

Thank you for that, come back and we will see the progress in the months

:24:32.:24:32.

ahead. Look forward to it. And remember if you want to see how

:24:33.:24:34.

the government is doing in detail our manifesto tracker

:24:35.:24:37.

is available for you to peruse On Friday, new measures to tackle

:24:38.:24:39.

the pay gap between genders From 2018, companies with more

:24:40.:24:47.

than 250 employees will have to publish the differences in salary

:24:48.:24:57.

between men and women. Businesses failing to address

:24:58.:24:59.

the problem will be named Here's what Women and Equalities

:25:00.:25:01.

Minister Nicky Morgan had to say. Transparency about the gender pay

:25:02.:25:06.

gap in companies and public sector organisations is going to be very

:25:07.:25:09.

important in driving behaviour. So we are going to require

:25:10.:25:15.

companies, under the regulations, companies of over 250 employees,

:25:16.:25:18.

to publish their gender pay gap We, as a government, will then

:25:19.:25:21.

compile those league tables. It will be two fold, one,

:25:22.:25:30.

companies will hopefully, and we expect from

:25:31.:25:32.

the response we have, to think a lot harder about where

:25:33.:25:36.

women are in their workforce. How they are distributed,

:25:37.:25:39.

what they are being paid. But it will also drive

:25:40.:25:41.

applications to work in certain organisations because I think women

:25:42.:25:43.

will look and see what is the gender pay gap in this organisation

:25:44.:25:47.

and is this somewhere And with us now, General Secretary

:25:48.:25:49.

of the TUC, Frances O'Grady. Welcome back. We know there is a

:25:50.:25:59.

gender pay gap. In some age groups, not all, but still in some age

:26:00.:26:03.

groups. Where is the evidence that it is a result of dissemination, of

:26:04.:26:08.

employers not paying properly, as opposed to lifestyle and choices? We

:26:09.:26:14.

still do have this pretty crazy situation where women have Giroud

:26:15.:26:22.

and 80p for everyone pound that men do across the economy. -- where

:26:23.:26:26.

women earn 80p for every pound that men do. This is a welcome step, this

:26:27.:26:30.

initiative, but it is a very small step. It is about reporting, not

:26:31.:26:35.

about telling us why this is going on, not coming up with actions to

:26:36.:26:39.

deal with it. When you dig down from the headline figure, and you have

:26:40.:26:43.

just used one, you begin to see some quite deep-seated cultural issues,

:26:44.:26:47.

not just a matter of economics. The labour market study shows that men

:26:48.:26:51.

tend to work in occupations that pay more, that's been a historic thing.

:26:52.:26:56.

And women in jobs that pay less. For example men in construction, women

:26:57.:27:00.

in retail. Men in computer programming, women in nursing. That

:27:01.:27:03.

is one of the explanations for the page gap. There is certainly still

:27:04.:27:10.

big job separation, but one of the questions we must ask is, is it case

:27:11.:27:14.

of equal values? People paying for the work of equal value. It is

:27:15.:27:22.

illegal to pay anybody less than a man is getting or vice versa, equal

:27:23.:27:29.

pay for equal jobs. For example, why is looking after children considered

:27:30.:27:34.

to be less valuable than mending a car? The problem is, in order for

:27:35.:27:37.

women to prove it, they've got to be able to take employment tribunal

:27:38.:27:40.

claims, and of course we've seen this government introduce very

:27:41.:27:44.

significant fees that have massively reduced the number of women being

:27:45.:27:50.

able to take pay and six dissemination claims. Is on the

:27:51.:27:54.

gender pay gap really a generational matter, and it might be resolving

:27:55.:27:58.

itself? I'd like to show you this chart, here, which looks at

:27:59.:28:02.

different age groups. For women aged 40 to 49, there is a gap, it's

:28:03.:28:07.

coming down but there is still a substantial gap. For younger women

:28:08.:28:12.

in the 22 to 29, there is no pay gap, indeed there is some evidence

:28:13.:28:16.

now that the gender pay gap is the other way among younger people than

:28:17.:28:23.

it is amongst men. What I think it shows you is that the real problem

:28:24.:28:27.

kicks in when women have babies. Yes. That's when women are much more

:28:28.:28:32.

likely to work part-time, much more likely to need nurseries, and as we

:28:33.:28:36.

get older and we are looking after elderly parents, too. Elder care as

:28:37.:28:42.

well. Some of those public service cuts are hitting our sure start

:28:43.:28:45.

centres and care for the elderly. I think you hit on something, there.

:28:46.:28:49.

You can begin to see the return of the gender pay gap as women hit

:28:50.:28:55.

their late 20s or early 30s, because the average age that women have

:28:56.:29:01.

their first child is 28 and a half. So that suggests that the policy

:29:02.:29:04.

response will have to be quite sophisticated to get rid of a later

:29:05.:29:07.

developing pay gap. Stopping cuts on this is would help but also helping

:29:08.:29:13.

dads as well. A lot of men nowadays want to be more involved with their

:29:14.:29:16.

children but they need more paid paternity to be able to do that. I

:29:17.:29:22.

want to show you another chart that suggests there are developers. This

:29:23.:29:27.

shows you a figure that is not widely known, there are now every

:29:28.:29:33.

year 100,000 more women applying for university than men. 100,000 more.

:29:34.:29:40.

Women from poor backgrounds are 50% more likely to go to university than

:29:41.:29:43.

men. Women now take most of the first in medicine and law, two

:29:44.:29:47.

professions that are pretty well paid. Again, isn't this sense that,

:29:48.:29:54.

even in the later years, now, the gender pay gap could begin to

:29:55.:29:56.

resolve itself? I really hope so the TUC analysis

:29:57.:30:04.

shows that at this rate of change it would take another 45 years. No, I

:30:05.:30:11.

looked at these figures. Frances O'Grady, you took one year of the

:30:12.:30:15.

pay gap, which strode it came down by 0.2%. Dodt which showed. If you

:30:16.:30:23.

had taken the last ten years it still takes too long but it is not

:30:24.:30:27.

47 years, that was a propaganda figure. You can't do a trend on one

:30:28.:30:32.

year. Most people agree we need bold action to change it. Given we have

:30:33.:30:37.

agreed that it is a complicated picture and now becomes an issue

:30:38.:30:40.

primarily for women who have taken time off and then go back into the

:30:41.:30:45.

workforce again, get me one thing that the government could do that

:30:46.:30:50.

would stop this gender pay gap re-emerging in their 30s and 40s?

:30:51.:30:55.

Stop cuts to nurseries. Provide a proper system of care for old

:30:56.:31:00.

people, that allows women and men to combine those caring

:31:01.:31:02.

responsibilities with a responsible job. That is what would really

:31:03.:31:08.

make... I can see how it would help. It is about progression and people

:31:09.:31:12.

feeling they can go for that promotion or training course that

:31:13.:31:12.

would get them a better job. It is a lot better than the

:31:13.:32:39.

boardroom and a lot better than many sat around the Cabinet table. Take

:32:40.:32:48.

the NASUWT, 74% female membership, only 30% women of full-time

:32:49.:32:56.

officers, only 35 are on the TUC delegation, only 20 are on the NEC.

:32:57.:33:02.

Led by Ormond general secretary. For the first time in history, it is

:33:03.:33:09.

50/50 -- a woman general secretary. And the TUC has its first. I'm

:33:10.:33:18.

delighted to say. She loves unions. It has just won 11:30am. You are

:33:19.:33:23.

watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who

:33:24.:33:26.

Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland.

:33:27.:33:30.

Another week, another round of fiscal framework talks.

:33:31.:33:34.

Are the Treasury and the Scottish Government inching their way

:33:35.:33:37.

towards agreement or is there an insurmountable gulf?

:33:38.:33:42.

All parties agreed that an independent body should produce

:33:43.:33:45.

the official economic forecasts for the Scottish Government.

:33:46.:33:48.

So why did Holyrood's Finance Committee vote against it this week?

:33:49.:33:54.

The Tories are campaigning to be the second-largest party at Holyrood

:33:55.:33:57.

after the elections, but how important is the Ruth Davidson brand

:33:58.:34:01.

The next round of talks on the fiscal framework begins

:34:02.:34:10.

Despite neither of the principal players being willing to talk

:34:11.:34:14.

about it, there's been no shortage of official letters released

:34:15.:34:16.

But have they shed any light on the issues at stake

:34:17.:34:20.

I'm joined from London by David Phillips, who's a senior

:34:21.:34:27.

research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

:34:28.:34:35.

He wrote a paper with David Bell, the Scottish economist, going

:34:36.:34:39.

through some of the details with this. Having looked at the paper,

:34:40.:34:46.

and it's shrunk from the various tables and equations, the first

:34:47.:34:49.

thing that struck me about it is, actually, when you look at how any

:34:50.:34:53.

system could work, it is much more complicated than the politicians are

:34:54.:34:57.

letting on. I think you're right there. It's a very complicated

:34:58.:35:03.

picture and that's because of the no debt principles and the taxpayer

:35:04.:35:06.

principles in the Smith commission's report. So the issue at stake is

:35:07.:35:10.

that there are these two principles that the agreement has to try to

:35:11.:35:16.

satisfy. The first is the principle which says that Scotland should

:35:17.:35:18.

neither gain nor lose from the decision to devolve the tax would

:35:19.:35:22.

evolve the spending power. That's the first principle. And there's

:35:23.:35:28.

another no detriment principle, called the taxpayer fairness

:35:29.:35:29.

principle, which says that Scotland should neither win or lose when tax

:35:30.:35:33.

rates are changed in the rest of the UK. You might think those are both

:35:34.:35:37.

very sensible principles and I agree, they sound like the building

:35:38.:35:41.

blocks of a fair system, but it turns out that with the Barnett

:35:42.:35:46.

formula in place, you can't design a system which simultaneously

:35:47.:35:48.

satisfies both those principles and is simple and transparent. Let's

:35:49.:35:53.

just take one of the political issues. Obviously from the British

:35:54.:35:58.

government's point of view, they don't want a situation where, should

:35:59.:36:04.

they raise income tax, for example, to pay for schools and hospitals in

:36:05.:36:11.

England, and there's no rise in income tax in Scotland, that somehow

:36:12.:36:16.

the money raised would leap into Scotland's public spending. MPs

:36:17.:36:19.

would stand up and say it was completely ridiculous and unfair.

:36:20.:36:23.

The so-called levels deduction principle, which you discussed in

:36:24.:36:26.

your paper and which Greg Hands, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury,

:36:27.:36:30.

seems to be promoting, appears to be the only way of avoiding that

:36:31.:36:35.

happening. Yes, so what this levels deduction method does... It says

:36:36.:36:39.

that when tax rates change in England, you increase the block

:36:40.:36:45.

grant adjustment and take off the block grant by the equivalent to

:36:46.:36:51.

Scotland's population share of that. So if it was 10 billion in England,

:36:52.:36:55.

the Scottish population is 10% so you take 1 billion more off the

:36:56.:37:00.

block grant. The reason that satisfies the taxpayer fairness

:37:01.:37:02.

principle you mentioned is that that is exactly symmetric with the way

:37:03.:37:05.

the Barnett formula works on the spending side. The Scottish

:37:06.:37:11.

Government's position is that that is a detriment to Scotland because

:37:12.:37:13.

that would require Scottish levels to go up more quickly in percentage

:37:14.:37:17.

terms, because they start lower, to keep up with that form of

:37:18.:37:20.

adjustment. So it's really about balancing these two principles. Just

:37:21.:37:25.

to give an illustration of the problems here, the levels deduction

:37:26.:37:30.

method politically gets you off that problem, that people say, look, this

:37:31.:37:35.

is ridiculous that taxes go up in England to pay for Scottish spending

:37:36.:37:39.

but taxes don't go up in Scotland but the downside, according to your

:37:40.:37:43.

paper, is that should Scotland's population not grow as fast as

:37:44.:37:47.

England's, Scotland's budget appears to be clobbered in the medium-term.

:37:48.:37:52.

There are two issues. Scotland is it by two factors under this method.

:37:53.:37:57.

First of all the population difference. Scottish populations

:37:58.:38:00.

tend to go up less quickly than in the UK and this method doesn't take

:38:01.:38:06.

that into account. Also, the method doesn't take into account the fact

:38:07.:38:09.

that Scottish revenues start of less per capita. Income tax revenues in

:38:10.:38:15.

Scotland are about 89% of the same amount per person of the rest of the

:38:16.:38:19.

UK. That's some thing the Scottish Government need to say, this is not

:38:20.:38:24.

consistent with the idea of no detriment. We see new proposals from

:38:25.:38:27.

the Scottish Government and the UK government in the last week that try

:38:28.:38:30.

to inch towards an agreement and compromise on some of these

:38:31.:38:34.

principles. The point is, to some extent there is a clash of right

:38:35.:38:37.

against right. It is personally reasonable for the British

:38:38.:38:40.

government to say, we can't ever situation where taxes go up in

:38:41.:38:43.

England and end up paying for things in Scotland but are not paying for

:38:44.:38:48.

their but the Scottish Government is quite reasonable to say, we can't

:38:49.:38:52.

take full responsibility if Scotland's population doesn't grow

:38:53.:38:55.

as fast in England because we don't have any control over immigration

:38:56.:38:59.

policy. I think you are right. There are two principles which are both

:39:00.:39:04.

reasonable and the situation now is that they are trying to come to an

:39:05.:39:09.

agreement which tries to compromise on certain elements. The Scottish

:39:10.:39:14.

Government has said, we will use our method for the day to day increases

:39:15.:39:21.

in revenues. That satisfies the no detriment principle. That means that

:39:22.:39:24.

Scotland would lose out from population growth and from starting

:39:25.:39:29.

off with lower revenues. But we will use the level method for the tax

:39:30.:39:33.

rate changes. The difficulty there is, there are two methods working at

:39:34.:39:36.

the same time so it could be quite complicated. How do you know what

:39:37.:39:40.

part of the change in revenues is to do with the rate changes and what

:39:41.:39:44.

part is to do with economic growth, especially when there can be

:39:45.:39:47.

affected of tax policy changes on behaviour and growth? But is that

:39:48.:39:54.

fudge which you've just described... Is it at least a workable forge? It

:39:55.:40:00.

depends on to what extent they'd want to make it as accurate a fudge

:40:01.:40:06.

as possible. You could do it with a good approximation if you took been

:40:07.:40:10.

no behavioural response estimates of policy change but those can be very

:40:11.:40:14.

different to the real effects. So on the 50p tax rate, that would raise

:40:15.:40:18.

lots of money if there was no behavioural response but the

:40:19.:40:23.

difference is very little once people respond. So you need to have

:40:24.:40:26.

some really big assumptions or leave a lot of effects out. I think that

:40:27.:40:31.

could potentially work if there is goodwill on both sides but if there

:40:32.:40:34.

is an goodwill, it could lead to scope for argument and slow

:40:35.:40:38.

unravelling of the system as it becomes unworkable because of trying

:40:39.:40:41.

to debate and argue about each of tax policy changes. Something that

:40:42.:40:46.

hasn't been talked about very much is that presumably there would have

:40:47.:40:50.

to be provision for some special transfers under certain conditions.

:40:51.:40:53.

Let me give you an example. I've tried to make this as controversial

:40:54.:40:59.

as possible. Let's say the British government says, we want to pay for

:41:00.:41:02.

Trident and are going to put income tax up by 1p, but a a bit Scotland.

:41:03.:41:08.

They will say, Scotland gets the benefit of Trident as much as much

:41:09.:41:10.

as England does so the Scottish Government will have to make some

:41:11.:41:13.

sort of sub mention of money to make up for the fact that taxes have not

:41:14.:41:17.

gone up in Scotland to pay for that. There would have to be a provision

:41:18.:41:21.

for that and if you want an explosive one, there you have it.

:41:22.:41:27.

Indeed. Actually, both the methods chosen by the Scottish Government,

:41:28.:41:30.

the per capita indexation method and the levels deduction method proposed

:41:31.:41:35.

by the UK government, would both deliver that kind of transfer

:41:36.:41:40.

automatically. What would happen is tax revenues would go up in the rest

:41:41.:41:43.

of the UK, there for the block grant adjustment would go up, and both

:41:44.:41:48.

methods, although by somewhat different amounts, and that would be

:41:49.:41:50.

Scotland's contribution to paying for things UK wide. It could be

:41:51.:41:56.

Trident or it could be increases in the state pension, which go to both

:41:57.:42:02.

Scotland and the rest of the UK. Just briefly, because we will have

:42:03.:42:06.

to leave this, under the method... We talked about the levels

:42:07.:42:10.

distribution which Greg Hands is now arguing for but as I understand it,

:42:11.:42:15.

under the method, the per capita method, that the Scottish Government

:42:16.:42:18.

is arguing for, you would have a risk that taxes raised in England

:42:19.:42:22.

would have a over spending in Scotland without any concomitant

:42:23.:42:26.

rises in Scotland. You would have that risk indeed. You have that risk

:42:27.:42:30.

both from tax increases in the rest of the UK, when they put up the tax

:42:31.:42:35.

rate, but also, over time, as tax revenues go up. Greg Hands has said

:42:36.:42:40.

a proportion of those extra tax revenues in England and Wales would

:42:41.:42:42.

be transferred to Scotland. That's true but that goes on at the moment

:42:43.:42:48.

under the Barnett formula and without taxes devolved and the

:42:49.:42:50.

Scottish Government has been saying that it thinks that should continue

:42:51.:42:54.

and the no detriment principles are satisfied. Greg Hands has come back

:42:55.:42:58.

with a modified version of the levels deduction method, which moves

:42:59.:43:04.

a long way in that direction. The method he proposes is to adjust the

:43:05.:43:08.

level deduction method two, in effect, continue to give these

:43:09.:43:11.

additional transfers in income tax to Scotland. The key issue they're

:43:12.:43:15.

now debating about, it seems, is what happens to population growth

:43:16.:43:19.

and what happens to taxes other than income tax, like stamp duty.

:43:20.:43:23.

Potentially, they solve the issues on income tax and then move on to

:43:24.:43:26.

population growth and what happens to stamp duty, landfill tax, air

:43:27.:43:30.

passenger duty and taxes like that. We have to leave it there. Thank you

:43:31.:43:32.

very much. Listening to that in Aberdeen

:43:33.:43:35.

is the SNP MP Kirsty Blackman, who sits on the Scottish

:43:36.:43:38.

Affairs Select Committee. If Greg Hands's proposal is amended

:43:39.:43:45.

in the way that David Phillips has just suggested he has amended it,

:43:46.:43:49.

that sounds fairly reasonable, doesn't it? Not exactly. What the UK

:43:50.:43:56.

government are now suggesting is doing a method of Dutch and that

:43:57.:44:00.

involves taking ?7 billion away from Scotland and the May going to give

:44:01.:44:05.

us 4.5 billion back over ten years. But we have still got a funding

:44:06.:44:09.

formula that is unfair to Scotland and doesn't fulfil the Smith

:44:10.:44:13.

commission. The point is, you would presumably accent it would be an

:44:14.:44:16.

should taxes raised in England somehow leak income tax into

:44:17.:44:22.

spending in Scotland and that seems to be the problem with what the

:44:23.:44:25.

Scottish Government was suggesting originally. I think the key argument

:44:26.:44:30.

here is talking about what we've got a mandate for. So what is the UK

:44:31.:44:35.

government have a mandate for here? The UK government has a mandate to

:44:36.:44:38.

preserve Barnett because that's what it said in its manifesto. My point

:44:39.:44:44.

about leaking taxes... Surely just because you are a Scottish

:44:45.:44:46.

nationalist doesn't mean you have to abandon a British sense of fair

:44:47.:44:50.

play. It just wouldn't be fair play if taxes went up in England than

:44:51.:44:54.

some of that spending ended up being spent in Scotland, even though taxes

:44:55.:44:56.

haven't gone up in Scotland. That's just not fair. But what nobody has

:44:57.:45:02.

here is a mandate to overrule the Barnett formula so what we are

:45:03.:45:05.

trying to do is the Scottish Government are putting forward the

:45:06.:45:08.

per capita deduction system, which is the closest method to Barnett. It

:45:09.:45:12.

manages to integrate Scotland from the fact that we got lower

:45:13.:45:17.

population growth. Nobody is talking about overruling Barnett. We're

:45:18.:45:19.

talking about what should be deducted from the money that comes

:45:20.:45:22.

to Scotland under the Barnett formula in order to compensate...

:45:23.:45:28.

But that's what the method does. What the levels deduction method

:45:29.:45:31.

does is it systematically reduces the block grant that is provided to

:45:32.:45:35.

Scotland, so what it is doing is overruling Barnett by the back door,

:45:36.:45:41.

if you like. Do explain. What do you mean, exactly? The levels deduction

:45:42.:45:45.

method means that Scotland has to grow its population faster in

:45:46.:45:50.

proportional terms than the rest of the UK population. As you just heard

:45:51.:45:56.

David Phillips explaining, the advantage of that is that should

:45:57.:45:59.

income tax go up in England but not in Scotland, the advantage of the

:46:00.:46:02.

levels deduction method is it simply puts the Barnett formula up and

:46:03.:46:08.

Scotland gets extra money because of the tax increases in England, and

:46:09.:46:11.

takes it back again through the deduction, so there for their is no

:46:12.:46:14.

unfair increase in Scottish spending. That's the point. But what

:46:15.:46:18.

the levels deduction method does is it produces in Scotland's budget

:46:19.:46:25.

without Scotland having to make any detrimental decisions without the

:46:26.:46:26.

Scottish Government having to make any bad decisions. It looks like you

:46:27.:46:33.

don't want to take any... I can understand the argument that

:46:34.:46:37.

Scotland has no control over immigration and there for if the

:46:38.:46:39.

population grows here at a lesser rate than in England, all the

:46:40.:46:45.

responsibility for that should not fall on the Scottish budget. But

:46:46.:46:49.

surely at least some of it should. The whole point about more

:46:50.:46:52.

devolution of powers is that Scotland does take responsibility

:46:53.:46:55.

for things that can attract people to come and live here. The Scottish

:46:56.:47:00.

Government at the Scottish Parliament should have

:47:01.:47:01.

responsibility for all of those areas with which they have the

:47:02.:47:05.

powers to deal with. So they should take the risks and they should take

:47:06.:47:08.

the benefits of policy decisions that they make on things that are

:47:09.:47:13.

devolved. On things that are reserved, the policy is not a policy

:47:14.:47:17.

we would have chosen, there for the UK government has to bear the risks

:47:18.:47:24.

of that. Are you saying that nothing the Scottish Government can do with

:47:25.:47:28.

all these extra powers it has will have any influence on the Scottish

:47:29.:47:33.

population at all? I'm saying that there are things that we can do and

:47:34.:47:38.

things that we can currently do that will work to increase the Scottish

:47:39.:47:41.

population but in terms of the Scottish population in comparison to

:47:42.:47:44.

the population of the rest of the UK, it is very difficult and a

:47:45.:47:51.

professor and David Bell who work before the Scottish affairs

:47:52.:47:53.

committee, they both said Scotland doesn't have the leverage to grow

:47:54.:47:55.

its population. The professor pointed out that Scotland's

:47:56.:48:01.

population in terms of the rest of the UK population, which is what we

:48:02.:48:04.

are talking about, Scotland's population has not grown at a faster

:48:05.:48:08.

rate than the rest of the UK since the act of union. If the SNP walks

:48:09.:48:13.

away from this, as it has threatened to do, would you be comfortable

:48:14.:48:18.

facing your electorate and saying, look, we were offered control over

:48:19.:48:21.

half Scotland's budget and we said no? I don't think the new devolution

:48:22.:48:29.

can come at any cost. I don't think that the Scottish Parliament should

:48:30.:48:33.

sign up to a deal that is going to systematically reduce the block

:48:34.:48:35.

grant for Scotland and systematically reduced the amount of

:48:36.:48:39.

money. ?3.5 billion over ten years is not pennies. It is quite a lot of

:48:40.:48:45.

money. One of the things we've committed to doing is we are going

:48:46.:48:49.

to publish a manifesto commitment on what we would do with these devolved

:48:50.:48:53.

powers. It is not in anyway about hiding. We are going to be upfront

:48:54.:48:56.

and honest about what we would do if these powers were devolved. But you

:48:57.:49:00.

would be happy to walk away from it, is that what you are saying? We

:49:01.:49:05.

wouldn't be happy. We should point out that your estimates of what

:49:06.:49:11.

would be gained or lost under various systems over ten years are

:49:12.:49:17.

simply estimates, so you'd be saying, we've done estimates on what

:49:18.:49:21.

will happen in 10-years' time and because we don't like what would

:49:22.:49:24.

happen in 10-years' time, we refused to take more powers to the Scottish

:49:25.:49:26.

Parliament now. Open the course of ten years, not in

:49:27.:49:36.

ten years' time will stop it could be less, it could be more. I think

:49:37.:49:41.

the electorate understand that. People are saying, yes,

:49:42.:49:45.

absolutely... Are they? Your political opponents are murmuring

:49:46.:49:52.

that actually, you want to delay this because you don't want to have

:49:53.:49:57.

the next election fall on your record of running Scotland. You'd

:49:58.:50:03.

rather turn it into a constitutional Barney so you can say you are hard

:50:04.:50:08.

done by by London. All this is quite intentional on the part of the SNP.

:50:09.:50:15.

It is absolutely not intentional. It does not advantage the SNP in any

:50:16.:50:22.

way. We will still publish policies so people can argue about whether or

:50:23.:50:29.

not they think that our policies, and the Scottish Government has an

:50:30.:50:32.

excellent record and we will fight this election on it. Thank you very

:50:33.:50:36.

Well, one thing all sides do agree on is the need to strengthen

:50:37.:50:40.

Or at least they did agree on it until this week,

:50:41.:50:44.

when the Finance Secretary was accused of killing off proposals

:50:45.:50:46.

to give an independent body greater powers to scrutinise

:50:47.:50:48.

that the fiscal commission should produce official economic forecasts,

:50:49.:50:54.

But this week SNP MSPs overturned their previous stance

:50:55.:50:57.

Well, we did ask for a member of the Finance Committee to come on,

:50:58.:51:02.

So joining me now is the MSP James Dornan and Labour MSP

:51:03.:51:07.

Can you explain to us why an idea that the SNP is thought was

:51:08.:51:21.

brilliant in a few months ago is no rubbish? I think you are

:51:22.:51:26.

exaggerating both sides of it. At stage one we suggested these moves

:51:27.:51:30.

but then when the Cabinet Secretary and explain the complexities and

:51:31.:51:33.

what the outcomes would be if we went along with those, they agreed

:51:34.:51:37.

on the Scottish Government position. This is a case of when the evidence

:51:38.:51:43.

changes, so does my view. Let me read you what Kenny Gibson, the

:51:44.:51:48.

finance Chase said. We are calling for the build to be changed to give

:51:49.:51:55.

it responsibility for producing the official forecast. Will the new

:51:56.:52:00.

commission have that responsibility? It doesn't look like it. 120 out of

:52:01.:52:06.

23 countries that have a similar system, only three of them have

:52:07.:52:13.

these powers. What we are saying is the Scottish Government position

:52:14.:52:15.

will be in keeping with the international one. The old BR is one

:52:16.:52:25.

of my Reagan policies. Hang on. Let me just get this very precise point.

:52:26.:52:30.

In the UK Parliament, a motion is put forward to say that George

:52:31.:52:38.

Osborne should set the economic forecasts and not OBR. The

:52:39.:52:43.

Westminster government has nothing to do with me. I thought you were

:52:44.:52:49.

the main opposition party. I am in the Scottish Government will stop I

:52:50.:52:52.

am here to talk about the Scottish Government position on this. We

:52:53.:52:57.

should not be using OBR is the perfect example. We have had

:52:58.:53:01.

previous politicians saying that the OBR was just another part of the

:53:02.:53:05.

Conservative government. So you are against the OBR? They collect

:53:06.:53:11.

information from government officials, so you could quite

:53:12.:53:15.

drizzly, the HRC said what happened was there was no change, it used to

:53:16.:53:19.

be that officials collected it and gave it to the government and now

:53:20.:53:23.

they give it to be BR. It's the exact same information. Can you

:53:24.:53:31.

explain to us why it is a bad idea for a commission which is

:53:32.:53:34.

independent of the government to set the official forecast? It should be

:53:35.:53:40.

the government's responsibility. If you have the Scottish risk of

:53:41.:53:43.

commission doing that, who are they going to be held responsible by? It

:53:44.:53:47.

should surely be the government of the day. So the British government

:53:48.:53:52.

cannot hold George Osborne responsible for his own budget? Its

:53:53.:53:59.

OBR. What happens is they put forward a forecast, but the Scottish

:54:00.:54:03.

Government would be in keeping with the rest of Europe, and the rest of

:54:04.:54:12.

the countries. So what about that. I'm afraid the Scottish Government

:54:13.:54:17.

have got it badly wrong. Two years ago, I think, they produced a report

:54:18.:54:20.

on the back of an enquiry saying they wanted a strong fiscal

:54:21.:54:25.

commission. The stage one report was literally a couple of weeks ago, and

:54:26.:54:28.

in that time they've changed their mind. The only conclusion people can

:54:29.:54:34.

draw is that they've been got at. We need, because we've got power was

:54:35.:54:38.

coming to us, we have new powers now and have more coming in the future,

:54:39.:54:42.

a substantial power over taxation and welfare. We need a robust fiscal

:54:43.:54:48.

commission to scrutinise our public finances. Actually, we're asking it

:54:49.:54:52.

to do more than that. It's not just forecasting. What the SNP voted down

:54:53.:54:56.

last week was looking at the long-term sustainability of public

:54:57.:54:59.

finances and the Scottish Government... But he says its OBR

:55:00.:55:08.

who are the operation? It's not. Other countries have bodies that do

:55:09.:55:12.

this job, who looked at the finances. In Scotland we don't have

:55:13.:55:17.

that capacity. It is critical that any fiscal commission is not just

:55:18.:55:20.

independent but seem to be independent. At the moment, that's

:55:21.:55:25.

not the case. We had an opportunity, not just to scrutinise government

:55:26.:55:30.

finances, but finances for the future. The SNP denied it. You

:55:31.:55:35.

accept that the SNP members were arguing for the opposite position to

:55:36.:55:39.

you you said they were technical reasons they changed their mind.

:55:40.:55:44.

What I said was that when the Deputy first minute explain the

:55:45.:55:46.

complexities and the possibility that they would be a lack of

:55:47.:55:51.

independence from it if it was... What are these complexities? First

:55:52.:55:57.

of all it would be outside the financial memorandum. If government

:55:58.:56:03.

officials collected information it would be given to the Scottish

:56:04.:56:07.

fiscal commission, exactly the same information the same people would be

:56:08.:56:11.

given to the government just now. Where is the requirement for them to

:56:12.:56:16.

do this? That is nonsense! The fiscal commission would be able to

:56:17.:56:20.

collect information from wherever. They could commission people to do

:56:21.:56:25.

so. They would be nothing there. They can still hold the government

:56:26.:56:30.

to account. Do you know what happens now? What happens now is there is a

:56:31.:56:34.

degree of challenge and scrutiny that has the commission working with

:56:35.:56:37.

the government producing reports that the government sees in advance,

:56:38.:56:44.

having some have described it as cosy conversations. I wouldn't go

:56:45.:56:50.

that far but I do think that lack of independence, that lack of scrutiny,

:56:51.:56:54.

is a problem for us as we proceed. We need something robust. We don't

:56:55.:56:58.

want a laptop which is what the SNP want to give us. We need a

:56:59.:57:03.

commission with teeth. I don't understand why you think OBR is a

:57:04.:57:11.

bad idea. I still don't understand what these complexities are to stop

:57:12.:57:15.

that happening here. Despite the fact that Jackie seems to think that

:57:16.:57:20.

OBR is a good thing, it is only two years ago that Alistair Darling said

:57:21.:57:24.

it was part of the Westminster government. We need a completely

:57:25.:57:28.

independent Scottish fiscal commission that can give an

:57:29.:57:31.

alternative forecast and hold someone to account. What you want,

:57:32.:57:36.

you wanted to be almost like part of the government. It should be... What

:57:37.:57:42.

is it that the SNP didn't understand before that they understand having

:57:43.:57:48.

been enlightened by John Swinney? John Swinney went in front of the

:57:49.:57:52.

committee and explained the possible costs that would be involved in it

:57:53.:57:58.

on the dangers of it as part of that whole system. I was that the finance

:57:59.:58:03.

committee. That is just nonsense! I have to say. Oh dear. We are talking

:58:04.:58:11.

about the future of the nation's finances. This is a new low in SNP

:58:12.:58:14.

politics. I think we have to leave it there.

:58:15.:58:17.

Thank you very much indeed. It's become a truism

:58:18.:58:19.

of this Scottish election that the interesting thing is who's

:58:20.:58:20.

going to come second - The Tory revival, if there is one,

:58:21.:58:23.

is down in part to Labour's difficulties, but is also

:58:24.:58:27.

being credited to the leadership She's young, from a blue collar

:58:28.:58:29.

background, and seems to be helping the party connect with voters

:58:30.:58:33.

who would never have thought That'll be underlined this week

:58:34.:58:36.

as the Conservative leader in Scotland sends out

:58:37.:58:39.

600,000 letters to voters, Preparing to hit the streets in the

:58:40.:58:55.

West end of Glasgow with a Conservative message, which oddly,

:58:56.:58:59.

seems to be about their leader. We were seen to be the party of people

:59:00.:59:03.

with money that came from a certain background. I didn't go to

:59:04.:59:08.

university. I went to college for a couple of years, we need to

:59:09.:59:12.

represent the people of Scotland and under Ruth Davidson that is what we

:59:13.:59:17.

are doing. We bring all sorts of Conservatives into the fold to

:59:18.:59:20.

represent everyone in Scotland. Ruth is leading from the front. You

:59:21.:59:25.

only have to watch chain Holyrood to see that she is the only opposition

:59:26.:59:28.

leader who is holding the SNP to account.

:59:29.:59:35.

So how has Ruth Davidson managed to park her tank on the opposition 's

:59:36.:59:39.

lawn? She is energetic, she does well in

:59:40.:59:44.

debates and high tariff shows like question Time. She is popular and

:59:45.:59:49.

shall do well in this campaign. But there are other factors, one is the

:59:50.:59:53.

Labour Party situation, moderate Labour voters who are still voting

:59:54.:59:58.

Labour, there aren't many of them left, but Jeremy Corbyn will put

:59:59.:00:02.

them off and cows you don't do's tax rises would put them off. It is

:00:03.:00:08.

possible they will go to the Tory party.

:00:09.:00:14.

But haven't the Tories been here before, led by a powerful

:00:15.:00:17.

charismatic woman who somehow seems much more popular than the party

:00:18.:00:24.

itself we had a situation five years ago in terms of individual

:00:25.:00:28.

popularity, but the Tories did not output the Labour Party. We need to

:00:29.:00:34.

be cautious about this, the leader is popular, but the party is not as

:00:35.:00:38.

popular as the leader is. That can play against them. It has done in

:00:39.:00:43.

the past. Some argue that the Conservatives only look good at the

:00:44.:00:47.

moment because labour in Scotland is falling so fast and so far. If that

:00:48.:00:56.

were the case Labour's polling is would-be brewer, but we are seeing

:00:57.:01:00.

not just a building on the support we have always known we had in

:01:01.:01:04.

Scotland, but people responding positively to this combination of

:01:05.:01:08.

vibrant, dynamic leadership from Ruth and a clarity of political and

:01:09.:01:16.

policy position. Voters, if they want anything, it's clarity. If I

:01:17.:01:20.

support these people, what will they do? With the Conservatives that

:01:21.:01:26.

question is answered. Become a's elections watch what a quirk of the

:01:27.:01:28.

system which could benefit the Conservatives. The SNP will win

:01:29.:01:35.

every constituency bar two or three, what that means is the SNP will not

:01:36.:01:39.

win a lot of regional seats. Those seats have got to go to somebody.

:01:40.:01:45.

There are 56 of them up for grabs. The Greens have got a good chance of

:01:46.:01:49.

getting some of them if they can persuade SNP voters to switch to

:01:50.:01:53.

green in the vote, but if they can't the Greens are not likely to do all

:01:54.:01:58.

that well. Votes will stay with the SNP and the main beneficiaries are

:01:59.:02:02.

likely to be the Conservative Party. They are likely to get more seats on

:02:03.:02:08.

the same butcher as they had before. There were other people giving out

:02:09.:02:12.

leaflets in Glasgow, gospel tracts, it's not yet clear if the

:02:13.:02:15.

Conservatives will be relying on divine intervention.

:02:16.:02:17.

Joining me from our Edinburgh studio is the Conservatives' Environment,

:02:18.:02:20.

Fishing and External Affairs Spokesperson Jamie McGrigor,

:02:21.:02:21.

who is standing down at the May election.

:02:22.:02:26.

You're standing down, Jamie, so you can stand back from it a bit, do the

:02:27.:02:35.

Tories have any chance of being the main opposition party? I think they

:02:36.:02:40.

will be. Ruth Davidson has been a breath of fresh air. What has been

:02:41.:02:47.

said about her is very true, showing to people what can be offered, and

:02:48.:02:55.

also, one of the main Unionist parties, and people want a home if

:02:56.:03:00.

they don't want separation. The danger with this is that we are

:03:01.:03:05.

hearing so much now about how Ruth Davidson and her Conservative Party

:03:06.:03:09.

will become the main opposition party in Scotland that if it doesn't

:03:10.:03:18.

happen she could have a problem? We are going to see an improvement in

:03:19.:03:22.

the Conservative vote anyway. I am sure of that. I don't think she will

:03:23.:03:27.

have a problem because she is so dynamic and will go forward. She's

:03:28.:03:32.

going forward all the time. One of our main groups of voters, the most

:03:33.:03:38.

powerful groups of voters are the 18 to 25-year-olds. I think it's all to

:03:39.:03:42.

play for. I look forward to the future for the Conservative Party in

:03:43.:03:47.

Scotland, it's a Scottish party and she's made it a more Scottish party.

:03:48.:03:52.

We are, after all, the only party with a link to the old parliament

:03:53.:03:58.

before the act of union. The only problem with this rosy story is the

:03:59.:04:03.

evidence to back it up. You're sharing the general election went

:04:04.:04:07.

down. In the general election? But recent

:04:08.:04:12.

polls show we are pulling about 20%, I remember when I first got off the

:04:13.:04:18.

boat in Stornoway as a candidate for the Western Isles back in 1997, I

:04:19.:04:22.

said I was a Conservative candidate and someone said URA Rabbani

:04:23.:04:27.

cornflake. I can tell you now, I'd love to go to that same Labour man

:04:28.:04:32.

and tell him that Labour are pulling less than the Conservatives.

:04:33.:04:43.

Give us your view about what the Tories should say about tax. You've

:04:44.:04:48.

had this idea of a middle band, a 30p rate of tax. Do you think that

:04:49.:04:52.

is a good idea? The details of it will have to be worked out but one

:04:53.:04:56.

thing is for sure. We are against tax rises, which is what Labour

:04:57.:05:01.

once, and we would like to see... We would like to have the powers to do

:05:02.:05:05.

things and, if possible, the power to lower tax at some point. Do you

:05:06.:05:09.

think you should go to the election campaign saying, we will put your

:05:10.:05:13.

taxes down, in the same way Labour are going to the campaign saying

:05:14.:05:17.

they will put them up? I think we should go into the campaign saying

:05:18.:05:21.

that when we ever get to power, we will look at the tax situation then

:05:22.:05:25.

but the one thing we do not want is tax rises at this point. That would

:05:26.:05:30.

make people in Scotland worse off than they are in England. I'm sure

:05:31.:05:34.

I'm right in saying that you've been an MP since it was set up. Yes, in

:05:35.:05:38.

the Scottish Parliament, yes, I have. Looking back on it, hasn't

:05:39.:05:43.

lived up all lived down to your expectations? It's been very

:05:44.:05:47.

exciting for me. It's been something I've enjoyed enormously and I've

:05:48.:05:56.

learned a great deal. And I think that it will go forward and it is

:05:57.:05:59.

getting better all the time but what we do need is to get rid of this

:06:00.:06:04.

massive SNP majority which is blocking everything. We will have to

:06:05.:06:08.

leave it there. Thank you very much. Time to review the past week

:06:09.:06:11.

and look ahead to what's coming up I'm joined by the political

:06:12.:06:14.

commentator Hamish Macdonell and by the former SNP special

:06:15.:06:22.

advisor Ewan Crawford. Hamish, you've been furiously

:06:23.:06:30.

scribbling equations as we were talking about the fiscal framework.

:06:31.:06:35.

What do you make of this fairly incompressible talk? I would like to

:06:36.:06:40.

say that I think we are heading towards a deal. That seems to be the

:06:41.:06:43.

impression because the UK government do appear to have changed a bit the

:06:44.:06:49.

way that they have approached the key discussions over the levels for

:06:50.:06:53.

Miller and so on. The Scottish Government appears to be moving a

:06:54.:06:57.

little bit towards them. But we only have ten days to go and we have

:06:58.:07:01.

these discussions... We don't. We've got as long as you want. Do we? I

:07:02.:07:07.

don't think we do because if we do not get a resolution before the 23rd

:07:08.:07:11.

of February, the Scottish Parliament will not have the time to approve it

:07:12.:07:14.

and if it doesn't approve it, there are very, very big question marks

:07:15.:07:17.

over the legitimacy of the Scotland bill in Westminster. What do you

:07:18.:07:24.

think of this? I kind of disagree. I read Greg Hands' article this

:07:25.:07:27.

morning and I was a bit more pessimistic about the deal but

:07:28.:07:33.

clearly there are probably legitimate political interests on

:07:34.:07:35.

both sides, both the Scottish side of the UK side, and there are

:07:36.:07:41.

separate constituencies. He seemed to concede that, that the Scottish

:07:42.:07:44.

Government does have a legitimate interest in saying, it's not fair

:07:45.:07:47.

that you have to take the full effects of population growth but at

:07:48.:07:52.

the same time the British government obviously has to say, you can't have

:07:53.:07:55.

tax increases in England but not in Scotland to spilling over into

:07:56.:07:59.

Scotland. In terms of the technicalities, the IFF doesn't

:08:00.:08:02.

believe you can come up with a method of reducing the block grant

:08:03.:08:04.

that is committed web of consistent with the Smith commission. What I

:08:05.:08:11.

detected from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury's article was almost a

:08:12.:08:13.

rerun of some of the arguments the Conservatives used during the

:08:14.:08:16.

general election, when they appealed to people in England to say, there

:08:17.:08:20.

is this terrible threat from the SNP and they want to take your taxes. I

:08:21.:08:25.

was surprised by just how explicit the Chief Secretary to the Treasury

:08:26.:08:28.

was in that, which is not really, to me, the kind of thing that makes you

:08:29.:08:32.

think they are moving toward the deal. There is a point here. I can

:08:33.:08:38.

ask you to about this because you are not politicians. The politicians

:08:39.:08:41.

all have to keep the Barnett formula because they are committed to it but

:08:42.:08:45.

that's what's causing the problem. If you did something like what the

:08:46.:08:48.

Liberal Democrat peer Jeremy Purvis was suggesting, say there is no

:08:49.:08:52.

rush, have a conference... Much more sensible. There was an imbalance.

:08:53.:08:57.

They're trying to make a compromise while saying at the start that the

:08:58.:09:00.

Barnett formula can't be changed or adjusted. There are many better ways

:09:01.:09:04.

that this could have been approached but we are where we are and the two

:09:05.:09:08.

sides are still far apart. One of the problems is that there seems to

:09:09.:09:13.

be a level of mistrust on both sides, but both sides are now

:09:14.:09:17.

leaking to the press about allsorts of things. These are supposed to be

:09:18.:09:22.

secret talks. You can read each letter in the newspaper. To be fair,

:09:23.:09:28.

for the first couple of months the UK government sat back and didn't

:09:29.:09:31.

look anything but over the last few weeks, they've got quite annoyed by

:09:32.:09:34.

some of the things appearing in the press and have started leaking, too.

:09:35.:09:37.

That generates even further a sense of mistrust which is not going to

:09:38.:09:42.

help with a deal. With your academic hat on, rather than your SNP hat on,

:09:43.:09:47.

it would be sensible if you could have trust between the Scottish

:09:48.:09:49.

Government on the British government, wouldn't it, to have a

:09:50.:09:56.

quasi-federal deal, let's talk about it and not have a timetable. We

:09:57.:10:00.

don't have to sorted out before the elections. Let me take my academic

:10:01.:10:06.

hat off and put my slight SNP hat back on. I'm no longer fully in the

:10:07.:10:11.

SNP but I certainly don't work the Scottish Government. But when I did

:10:12.:10:14.

work of the Scottish Government in the run-up to the referendum, one of

:10:15.:10:17.

the big beers, if something was going to happen after a no vote was

:10:18.:10:22.

a reopening of the Barnett formula. The Conservative Party doesn't like

:10:23.:10:26.

it and perhaps what we are seeing is some attempt to open that up. They

:10:27.:10:32.

wouldn't like that because what they would here is a chorus saying, it

:10:33.:10:36.

needs reassessment and I might disagree with it but there is at

:10:37.:10:42.

least a possibility that it would say public spending in Scotland is

:10:43.:10:47.

about the UK. Maybe it has to be a bit higher but not that much. We've

:10:48.:10:51.

traditionally raised a lot more taxpayer had done the UK as well.

:10:52.:10:56.

And you mention acquires I federal system. The point is, you have so

:10:57.:11:02.

much political economic culture in one part of the UK which inevitably

:11:03.:11:06.

disadvantages the rest of the UK. All right. Tories - could they be

:11:07.:11:12.

heading for a fall? Only heading for a fall if you start from a position

:11:13.:11:16.

of height. They keep saying they are going to be second. I think they

:11:17.:11:21.

have to talk up their chances to an extent because they are almost a

:11:22.:11:24.

level pegging in some of the polls with Labour, there is nothing wrong

:11:25.:11:27.

with talking up their chances, particularly as the Labour vote is

:11:28.:11:31.

to be haemorrhaging. Maybe it will get some of the Tartan Tories back

:11:32.:11:36.

to vote for them. Enough of them. Let's have a drink, shall we? There

:11:37.:11:40.

we are. We can get the tray out without spilling it. Let's sing our

:11:41.:11:46.

sorrows in the beer. This, I should explain to people,... Is this

:11:47.:11:53.

because we've been talking about the risk of framework? This is a beer

:11:54.:11:58.

which is named after the leader of the Scottish Greens. What do you

:11:59.:12:05.

think? I was going to say that if it is a green project, it is probably

:12:06.:12:10.

very expensive and slightly over subsidised, but... I would say it's

:12:11.:12:17.

got taste, it's got flavour. If it lasts beyond election, who knows?

:12:18.:12:23.

I'm no expert on beer. I could degenerate into a political cliche

:12:24.:12:26.

and say the Greens after the Liberal Democrat vote and their four

:12:27.:12:30.

sandals, beer, real ale and all that type of stuff. I suppose Patrick

:12:31.:12:34.

Harvie had a very good referendum. A bit of public that he is not going

:12:35.:12:39.

to do any harm. Has this happened before? I don't remember a beer

:12:40.:12:42.

coming out the was named after a leader of a political party. I

:12:43.:12:47.

certainly... There have been quite a few publicity stunts but they

:12:48.:12:49.

normally don't tend to involve alcohol, that's true. What else

:12:50.:12:54.

could we have? And just tried to think. We could have pot noodles and

:12:55.:13:02.

things like that. I think it is slightly odd, in a situation where

:13:03.:13:05.

everybody is talking about the perils of Scotland's drink culture

:13:06.:13:08.

that you actually have a leader who is prepared to go out there and have

:13:09.:13:11.

a beer named after him. I think it is quite refreshing. What do you

:13:12.:13:19.

reckon? Is it all right? I think it's OK. Perhaps a little in the

:13:20.:13:22.

morning to be taking a huge judgment on a particular BA you have just

:13:23.:13:27.

tested. It's better than I expected. It's a little cloudy so it perhaps

:13:28.:13:30.

lead suspend a little longer in the bottle but it's good. I notice you

:13:31.:13:36.

haven't taken any. I'll have the rest of the bottle later! It is made

:13:37.:13:42.

by a microbrewery in Glasgow, we should point out.

:13:43.:13:46.

That's all we have time for this week. Thanks to our guests today and

:13:47.:13:51.

we will be back next week. Goodbye.

:13:52.:13:56.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS