13/03/2016 Sunday Politics Scotland


13/03/2016

Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by Nicola Sturgeon, John Mann, Seema Malhotra and David Davis.


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Morning, folks, and welcome to the Sunday Politics.

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begins a new drive urging Scots to support what she calls

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"the beautiful dream" of independence.

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Tough talk from George Osborne ahead of his Budget on Wednesday.

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The Chancellor wants us to live within our means.

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Fighting talk too, from the man in his shadow.

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John McDonnell wants to revive Labour's economic credibility.

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And does Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party have a problem

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Labour students at Oxford are already being investigated

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and now party students at another university will also face scrutiny.

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And coming up on Sunday Politics Scotland:

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We'll have more from the SNP's conference, where Nicola Sturgeon's

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been making her pitch to continue as First Minister and launching

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And with me three Fleet Street journos, living the dream.

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Nick Watt, Julia Harley-Brewer and Tim Shipman.

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For the rest of us, it is a bit of a nightmare!

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So, four months ago, George Osborne sounded upbeat

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Writing in the Sun on Sunday, ahead of Wednesday's Budget,

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the Chancellor says the world is facing its most uncertain period

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He says Britain has to act now, rather than pay later,

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Let's listen to the Chancellor on the Marr Show a little earlier.

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I think the world is a much more difficult and dangerous place.

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My message in this Budget is that the world is a more

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uncertain place than at any time since the financial crisis.

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We need to act now so we don't pay later.

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That is why we need to find additional savings,

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equivalent to 50p in every ?100 the Government spends by the end

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We have got to live within our means to stay secure.

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That is the way we make Britain fit for the future.

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That was the Chancellor earlier this morning. What did we learn? He is

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preparing the ground for a very difficult budget. Why is he talking

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about the difficult global economic circumstances? We have a significant

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slowdown in China but it helps him in the EU referendum campaign. Why

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risk leaving the EU when it is difficult economic circumstances? It

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helps him with a budget. You need to expend why he was talking in the

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July budget, the Autumn Statement, targeting a 10 billion budget

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surplus by 2020 and now he will be talking back calories and ?18

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billion hole in the size of the economy. Will he be able to meet

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that surplus? He needs an alibi for that. All the global headwinds,

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problems in the emerging markets, the slowdown in China, the Eurozone

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struggling to be overwhelmed. We knew that back in July. Nothing has

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changed. The thing about George Osborne is he is a politician. It is

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always about politics. It is not ideal, coming into local elections,

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London mayoral elections, to be giving a load of cuts to public

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services and possibly tax rises. The reality is he is always looking at

:03:49.:03:53.

the long game and he does always play a brilliant politicians long

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game. He is looking to 2020 and does not care. He also plays a bad shot

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game. Will it be a difficult budget or will it be a steady issues

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budget? What is striking about back in this morning, at least half of it

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was about the European Union and not the budget. The rest of it was about

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the Tory leadership and him taking potshots at Boris Johnson. The

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subtext of this budget is it has been a difficult and dangerous time

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for George Osborne and his teacher. He sat there and said, I am not

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going to sit in this chair and mumble away. Who could he be talking

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about there? We were told week ago that the subtext of the budget would

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be the dangers of Brexit and the Tory leadership. It is not the

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subtext, it is the text. There is hardly anything in it in terms of

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big stuff. Steady as she goes. Can we just have another shout out for

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the brilliant headline, genius political strategist clears up mess

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made by genius political strategist. He may be nursing a little rabbit to

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surprise as always! Now, if a certain referendum had

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gone a bit differently, Scotland, would be an independent

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country in just over ten days' time. Those wanting to leave the UK didn't

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win that argument in 2014 but that hasn't dented the fortunes

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of the SNP, who are riding high It's the party's Spring Conference

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in Glasgow this weekend, and we're joined now

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from there by the First Minister Good morning. A pleasure to be with

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you, Andrew. Had the referendum gone your way, we would be ten days from

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independents. You will be taking a massive and unsustainable ?15

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billion budget deficit, 10% of Scottish GDP. What would you be

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doing to get that down? We would deal with it in the same way the UK

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dealt with its deficit in 2009/ when they had 2.2% of the GDP. -- 2009/

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2010. They will be building on the underlying fundamental strengths of

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the Scottish economy. Our this goal position has been broadly similar to

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the rest of the UK and, in some years, better than the rest of the

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UK. Onshore revenues are growing at a faster rate than the fall in

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offshore revenues. We have higher employment and faster productivity

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growth. The economy is fundamentally strong and that would have been a

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very good basis on which to become an independent country. Did you not

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oppose most efforts of the British government to get the deficit down?

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I opposed many measures that George Osborne has taken. I do not say we

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should not try to get the deficit down. I have opposed and continue to

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oppose the speed at which it is happening in the way in which it is

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happening but no one would deny that countries want to get their fiscal

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positions into a more stable condition and the UK is in right

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now. The point I'm making is the Scottish economy is fundamentally

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strong economy. Much of what I have said illustrates that point. Let's

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look at some of the things you have said. You have said most countries

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have deficits. Can you name another at Fat economy 80s after the

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financial crash that has a budget deficit of 10% of GDP. You do not

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look at just one year full if I go back to that -- two 2008, 2009, it

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was double that of Scotland. Our this goal position has been stronger

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but is not right now because of the particular issues. Is it not the

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case that Scotland's deficit now is the highest in the European Union?

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That is true, isn't it? In the year we had figures published in this

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past week, we have a very difficult and challenging set of figures. It

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is the highest. No country, whether the UK, Scotland or another EU

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country, makes judgments about that this good strength of that country

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on the strength of one year's goes. The point I am making is over the

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past ten years, our fiscal position has been broadly similar to the UK

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and coming summer beiges, has been significantly better. If you project

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forward to the next five years, the future is much more important than

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the past, onshore revenues are likely to Bath the outstrip the

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decline in offshore revenues. -- basked in the outstrip. The North

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Sea contains difficulties for those working in the North Sea and

:08:45.:08:48.

economies on the North East of Scotland. The economy of Scotland is

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fundamentally strong. Let's look at more than one year. You have said it

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is a snapshot. Without oil revenues, and there are no oil revenues now,

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without the revenues, Scotland has run a persistent budget deficit of

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over 10% every year for 13 years. You have a systemic deficit problem.

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Why should you not look at oil revenues? Oil revenues are there and

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have been contributing to the Treasury to the tune of ?300

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billion. They are not there now. Without them you have run a

:09:26.:09:30.

persistent budget deficit and have done for 13 years. I accept it is

:09:31.:09:34.

the future that matters more than the past. If you look at the

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projections for the next five years, our onshore revenues, remember more

:09:40.:09:43.

than 90% of the Scottish economy comes from onshore and not offshore.

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If you look five years ahead, onshore revenues are projected to

:09:49.:09:52.

grow in the region of ?14 billion. That is many times before in

:09:53.:10:00.

offshore revenues in that period. I am not denying the challenge of

:10:01.:10:05.

North Sea and other countries. Norway is facing exactly the same

:10:06.:10:08.

challenge. Because they are better prepared for it and have Stuart did

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oil resources better, Norway, in the last couple of weeks true down on

:10:13.:10:18.

its massive oil fund. The powers that independence would have given

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as and we did not vote yes, we have had -- we would have had ability to

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draw down on that faster. Why are onshore revenues growing less

:10:34.:10:36.

strongly in Scotland than the rest of the UK? That is a long-standing

:10:37.:10:44.

issue. One issue at the heart of that is growth in the heart of

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London. We are seeing a narrowing in some of the long-standing gap there

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has been between aspects of the Scottish economy and the UK economy.

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If we take productivity, for a long time Scotland lags significantly

:10:59.:11:01.

behind the rest of the UK. Over the past years we have close that gap is

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it that can leave. We still lag behind our European competitors and

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that is a problem. I am not standing here denying the challenges that the

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Scottish economy has. In the same way you have been talking about the

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Chancellor's budget and the same way the UK economy has challenges and

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across the European Union, they have challenges. There are real strength

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is in the Scottish economy. The real question should be how we build on

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and accents are the big strengths. Revenues per person in Scotland

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where ?10,700 in the years 2011, 20 12. They are now ?10,000, 700 ( even

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with the growth in revenues. The offshore has offset that. We still

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have a fundamental deficit problem. I am not denying we have a deficit.

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The UK has a deficit. Take revenues per head of population, which is

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what you decided to me there. In the most recent year, our revenues per

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head of population are broadly similar to the UK. In every one of

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the past 35 years, revenues per head of population have been higher than

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the rest of the UK. I accept we have a challenge in the North Sea. I

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accept that like all oil-producing countries, we have challenges about

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how we transition away from oil and gas over the years to come, though

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there is a great deal of attention in the North Sea. These are

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challenges we should embrace and challenges we should be working out

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how we face up to and address. Scotland is doing that and we'll do

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that on the basis of fundamental strengths in our economy. -- will do

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that. Scotland pays per capita about the same as the UK average. I am

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talking about the current year. What I am saying is, you cannot judge the

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economy in one year. It is similar in one year in 34 of the past 35

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years and has been higher. That is the point I am making. The reason

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you are running a deficit, per capita spending is so much higher

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than in Scotland it is ?1400 higher public spending per person.

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Westminster that is that build it is the difference between tax revenues

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and what you spend. -- fits that bill. It is a deficit. The UK is in

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deficit in Scotland is in deficit. It is twice as big! In 2008, 2009,

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the UK deficit was twice as big as Scotland it will vary from year to

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year. In terms of the point about per capita spending, there are very

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good reasons why someone who knows Scotland well, we have a country

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where one in five of the population lives in a row and remote community.

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I was Health Secretary for five years. It cost more to deliver

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health services on an island or rural community than it does in

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Glasgow. Westminster pays for that, it makes up the difference. If you

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are independent you would either have to raise taxes or cut spending.

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What would it be? By how much would you raise taxes and cut spending? We

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set a budget in devolved Scotland every year. We make choices,

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sometimes these are tough choices. If Scotland were independent, we

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would do that as well. The point I am making, the economy of an

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independent Scotland would face challenges like other economies do.

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We're in a fundamentally strong position. Employment is higher than

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any other UK nation. Productivity is growing faster. We have a number of

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key strengths in the economy. One of the challenges is how we build on

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these strengths and get our economy growing faster. We have a number of

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world leading sectors in our economy.

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The fact is your deficit was ?15 billion, moving with oil revenues at

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2 billion last year. This year oil revenues are reckoned to be at zero

:15:18.:15:20.

so your budget deficit would get even worse. Two cut your deficit to

:15:21.:15:30.

anything like acceptable levels you would have to increase tax to 16% or

:15:31.:15:38.

cut spending by 14% or a combination of the two, what would it be? We

:15:39.:15:42.

would deal with the deficit in the same way the UK is dealing with the

:15:43.:15:50.

deficit and dealt in the deficit -- with the deficit in 2009/ ten. We

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would be in the same position as many other countries but we would be

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in a position where we have got a fundamentally strong economy. I wish

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Scotland have voted yes in 2014, if it had done we would have spent the

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last almost two years preparing for Scotland becoming independent. In a

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negotiation around independence, there would have been discussions

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about assets, liability, the share of defence spending, so that's what

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would have been the case if we voted for independence. Looking ahead, we

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have a strong economy and the challenge is how we grow it even

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faster. You accept surely that you wouldn't be allowed to join the

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European Union with a 10% deficit, you would have to agree to Brussels

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programme, correct? We are getting into some ridiculous territory here

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and one of the most ridiculous arguments. Scotland wouldn't have

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been out of the EU, we wouldn't have been in the position of an accession

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state. It is a bit rich for anybody, given where we are right now, with

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the prospect of being taken out of the EU ahead of us, for

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scaremongering about the prospects of that. With two weeks to go until

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independence, instead of increases in public spending which you

:17:18.:17:22.

announced yesterday... They didn't vote yes. But if it had been, you

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would have been looking at the list of hospitals and schools to close,

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you would be the austerity party, that's what you would have to do.

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That's ridiculous. Countries the world over have deficits and deal

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with them. We would also have been taking on the greater powers to grow

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our economy, particularly our own short economy. Italy and Greece had

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10% deficit and you know the austerity they had to go through. I

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think this argument starts to tip over into being incredible, we start

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to compare Scotland, with all of the strength of the Scottish economy, to

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countries like Greece and Italy. I have spoken about the fundamental

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strengths of our economy, not least the fact we have had the longest

:18:12.:18:15.

period of economic growth since the devolution. You have said all of

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that. Yes, we have challenges, but Scotland has a strong economy. Then

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why do your revenues like you're spending by ?2400 per person? -- lag

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your spending. We have a deficit like many other countries... Nobody

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has a deficit like Scotland's. We have a particular issue because of

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the fall in North Sea revenues. It is an indictment of Westminster

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mismanagement that unlike Norway, we don't have a massive oil fund to

:18:58.:19:06.

help deal with that. Westminster is paying for your deficit, Westminster

:19:07.:19:09.

is paying for the difference for the rest of the deficit, would you like

:19:10.:19:13.

to thank the rest of the people of the United Kingdom for making up for

:19:14.:19:18.

the deficit you have got? Westminster has a deficit of its

:19:19.:19:24.

own, it is ?1 trillion in debt. That is not the deficit, that is the

:19:25.:19:32.

debt. That is why I said debt, I understand the difference between

:19:33.:19:35.

deficit and debt, but it has accumulated debt of ?1 trillion, it

:19:36.:19:40.

has an annual deficit just like Scotland and many other countries

:19:41.:19:45.

do. It is actually 1.5 trillion, even worse than you think. I was

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being kind to them, Andrew! You should be kind because they are

:19:51.:19:52.

saving you quite a bit of money! Does Labour have a problem dealing

:19:53.:19:56.

with allegations of anti-semitism? The party is worried enough to have

:19:57.:19:59.

established an inquiry into the Labour Club

:20:00.:20:01.

at Oxford University where there are accusations that

:20:02.:20:03.

members used off-colour language And the Sunday Politics has been

:20:04.:20:05.

told that the investigation will look at new claims

:20:06.:20:08.

from another university. It comes after an activist

:20:09.:20:13.

with controversial views was allowed back into the party then promptly

:20:14.:20:15.

chucked out again last week. Does Jeremy Corbyn's support

:20:16.:20:18.

for causes like the Palestinians or Stop The War mean he's not tough

:20:19.:20:22.

enough when there are allegations It's seen that way by some

:20:23.:20:26.

students at Oxford. Last month the vice-chair

:20:27.:20:30.

of the Labour club there resigned, claiming some members had a problem

:20:31.:20:32.

with Jews and used words like Zio, a nickname for Jewish people that

:20:33.:20:38.

many find offensive. It's now being investigated

:20:39.:20:41.

by the Labour peer Baroness Royle, who is also looking at the wider

:20:42.:20:44.

issue of behaviour in We understand she's now

:20:45.:20:47.

extended her investigation to include students

:20:48.:20:49.

at the London School of Economics. This week, they have been electing

:20:50.:20:52.

a new general secretary One of the candidates,

:20:53.:20:55.

Rayhan Uddin, who's also in the Labour group,

:20:56.:21:02.

has been criticised for some Facebook posts that emerged

:21:03.:21:04.

during the campaign. In one, he talked about leading

:21:05.:21:08.

Zionists wanting to take over the student union to make it right

:21:09.:21:11.

wing and Zio again. Facebook post:

:21:12.:21:17.

of language, writing in another He has been referred to Labour's

:21:18.:21:33.

investigation into student politics by someone

:21:34.:21:34.

who now works for an MP. We've seen the letter they wrote,

:21:35.:21:38.

which said: Because it was an older generation

:21:39.:21:48.

of activists that came up at Prime Minister's

:21:49.:21:57.

Questions this week. I was completely appalled to see

:21:58.:21:59.

yesterday that the Labour Party has readmitted someone to their party

:22:00.:22:02.

who says, and I believe that the 9/11 suicide bombers,

:22:03.:22:06.

and I quote, must never be condemned and belongs to an organisation that

:22:07.:22:12.

says "we defend the Islamic State He was referring to Gerry Downing,

:22:13.:22:15.

who had also blogged about what he called

:22:16.:22:20.

the Jewish question, after being readmitted to the party

:22:21.:22:24.

this week he was resuspended. He reckons it's really a battle

:22:25.:22:27.

between different wings in Labour. You've said there is a conspiracy

:22:28.:22:31.

of people out to get Jeremy Corbyn, Well, Dan Jarvis and these people

:22:32.:22:34.

of course, obviously there's the whole Blairite wing of the party

:22:35.:22:39.

and others, who have been absolutely disgusted at the membership

:22:40.:22:45.

and the left-wing surge Whereas the Labour MP Wes Streeting

:22:46.:23:01.

says there is a problem I think in certain parts

:23:02.:23:07.

of the British left, there has always been a virulent

:23:08.:23:10.

form of pretty bigoted politics, particularly in terms

:23:11.:23:14.

of anti-Semitism, which has been There's also a mentality

:23:15.:23:24.

which I think has been epitomised is simply not acceptable

:23:25.:23:37.

in the modern Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn's supporters,

:23:38.:23:47.

like those in the grass roots campaign group Momentum,

:23:48.:23:49.

say none of this is fair on him. Corbyn comes under the most

:23:50.:23:54.

incredible level of attacks and one of the things that he's attacked

:23:55.:23:56.

for is his long-standing commitment to anti-war, anti-imperialism,

:23:57.:23:59.

peace in the Middle East. And I think that's where some

:24:00.:24:07.

of this comes from. He does absolutely condemn

:24:08.:24:10.

anti-Semitism, he has time There is not a shred

:24:11.:24:12.

of anti-Semitism in his personal make-up, in his moral make-up

:24:13.:24:15.

or in his political make-up. And as for Labour's investigation

:24:16.:24:20.

into anti-Semitism among students, there's no time frame

:24:21.:24:22.

for when it will report. Let's speak now to the Labour MP,

:24:23.:24:30.

John Mann, who's chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group

:24:31.:24:35.

against Anti-Semitism. He's in Berlin at an

:24:36.:24:41.

Anti-Semitism Conference. Is there an anti-Semitism problem in

:24:42.:24:50.

the Labour Party? Of course, that's why these issues have got attention.

:24:51.:24:52.

It is not a big why these issues have got attention.

:24:53.:24:58.

problem when it comes to racism needs to be dealt with. We have been

:24:59.:25:05.

here before. I can recall 30 years ago when there were extremists

:25:06.:25:07.

trying to ban Jewish ago when there were extremists

:25:08.:25:12.

some of the universities, and we clamped down on them very hard then

:25:13.:25:15.

and they weren't in the Labour Party but it is the same kind of people,

:25:16.:25:21.

the same ideology. Some of that has crept into the Labour Party and it

:25:22.:25:25.

needs to be removed. Why has it come back? People could write big

:25:26.:25:34.

academic books on why it has re-surged but what we have seen in

:25:35.:25:38.

history is that anti-Semitism never seems to go away. But why in the

:25:39.:25:45.

Labour Party has come back? People have obviously chosen to dissociate

:25:46.:25:48.

with the Labour Party in the growth of membership, some of those people

:25:49.:25:51.

have attitudes that are very outdated and prejudiced. There is no

:25:52.:25:58.

space for them in the Labour Party and the reason that is important is

:25:59.:26:03.

because I am getting young Jewish activists posturing whether the

:26:04.:26:06.

Labour Party is the place for them in terms of their support, their

:26:07.:26:11.

vote and their activity, and we cannot tolerate a situation where

:26:12.:26:20.

any part of society doesn't feel that a major political party like

:26:21.:26:23.

the Labour Party is not the place for them, which is why prompt

:26:24.:26:27.

effective action and vigilance on this is required, including from

:26:28.:26:31.

Jeremy as the leader of the Labour Party. Is the Labour leader doing

:26:32.:26:38.

enough? Or the fact he has talked about his friends, Hamas, Hezbollah,

:26:39.:26:44.

and shared platforms with people who have been very hostile to Israel and

:26:45.:26:51.

so on, is that a disadvantage? Is it encouraging anti-Semitism or is it

:26:52.:26:55.

not relevant? I have met Jeremy recently to discuss anti-Semitism in

:26:56.:27:00.

the Labour Party and it is clear to me that he does not tolerate or

:27:01.:27:05.

support it but what he has to do is follow that free with actions and

:27:06.:27:10.

ensure that others in the Labour Party follow it through with actions

:27:11.:27:15.

because the kind of thing, the atmosphere that is being created in

:27:16.:27:20.

Oxford University is not a one-off. This has been happening elsewhere as

:27:21.:27:25.

well. While these can be seen as small incidents, if you are the

:27:26.:27:30.

young Jewish person who is impacted by it, it is not small for you and

:27:31.:27:37.

it is magnified in the universities, which are pretty tolerant places and

:27:38.:27:42.

rightly so, if there is in tolerance to any particular group and to

:27:43.:27:46.

Jewish students. We are not prepared to have that in the Labour Party,

:27:47.:27:50.

there has got to be action, it has got to be led from the front and it

:27:51.:27:54.

has got to be decisive action. There is no space for these people in the

:27:55.:28:01.

Labour Party or is there space for people in any way excusing their

:28:02.:28:06.

actions. But there is an inquiry into what has been going on at

:28:07.:28:12.

Oxford, but is your party doing enough about this? Because I

:28:13.:28:17.

understand these inquiries may be subsumed into a much bigger inquiry

:28:18.:28:20.

into bullying and so on. What is your feeling? It is action by

:28:21.:28:28.

results. If there is a decisive action, there will be an almighty

:28:29.:28:30.

row which wouldn't be helpful but the idea that those of us who fought

:28:31.:28:38.

over decades, challenging anti-Semitism and other forms of

:28:39.:28:43.

racism, are going to accept other than the highest of standards in our

:28:44.:28:48.

own party, well I can tell you it is going to happen. There are many of

:28:49.:28:55.

us who will only accept absolutely the highest standards. We are not

:28:56.:29:00.

prepared to tolerate any form of anti-Semitism or any excuse for it

:29:01.:29:05.

in the Labour Party or anywhere else in society. But in our own party

:29:06.:29:09.

absolutely not and therefore there has got to be action, words are not

:29:10.:29:14.

good enough. Historically the Labour Party has done well from the Jewish

:29:15.:29:20.

vote. The Jewish vote over time has tended to vote Labour. If this

:29:21.:29:23.

anti-Semitism continues in your party, are you in danger of losing

:29:24.:29:30.

the Jewish vote? We prepared a report ten years ago on a

:29:31.:29:34.

cross-party basis that highlighted anti-Semitism in all of its aspects

:29:35.:29:38.

including from the right but also what was described by some as the

:29:39.:29:42.

new anti-Semitism on the left. It is not new but it had been dormant for

:29:43.:29:47.

a long period of time. People have been accustomed to the Labour Party

:29:48.:29:51.

and that part of the left being highly tolerant to everybody. That

:29:52.:29:59.

has got to happen, you cannot have a progressive party of any substance

:30:00.:30:03.

in politics if it allows any form of intolerance and therefore we are not

:30:04.:30:07.

prepared to have second-class citizens, second-class form of

:30:08.:30:12.

racism allowed in the Labour Party. Anti-Semitism has got to be

:30:13.:30:17.

challenged, including anti-Semitism on the left, and so robustly and put

:30:18.:30:23.

back in the dustbin again. That is my intention in the Labour Party. I

:30:24.:30:31.

am looking forward to Jeremy and the National Executive being decisive,

:30:32.:30:35.

removing the anti-Semites, going into where there is intolerance and

:30:36.:30:39.

explaining what is anti-Semitism and why we are not prepared to have it

:30:40.:30:44.

in our party. Thanks for joining us this morning.

:30:45.:30:47.

Labour's Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell ran Jeremy Corbyn's

:30:48.:30:49.

leadership campaign on a platform fighting not just austerity,

:30:50.:30:51.

Now though, he wants to be the new voice of fiscal

:30:52.:30:55.

responsibility, and says he's going to re-write

:30:56.:30:56.

In a moment we'll be talking to John McDonnell's number two,

:30:57.:31:00.

the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

:31:01.:31:02.

But first let's hear what Mr McDonnell had to say

:31:03.:31:04.

It is a wider ambition then just Labour's fiscal credibility.

:31:05.:31:07.

I want to try to restore credibility to economic policy-making generally,

:31:08.:31:11.

not just within the Labour Party but across politics too.

:31:12.:31:13.

We have had too long, for example, the last six

:31:14.:31:15.

years we have had fiscal rules which have not been met,

:31:16.:31:18.

I am trying to encourage a better economic debate.

:31:19.:31:23.

What I have said is quite clearly, when we go back into government,

:31:24.:31:27.

we will eliminate the deficit, reduce debt, and will

:31:28.:31:30.

ensure that is supervised independently by the Office

:31:31.:31:33.

And Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Seema Malhotra,

:31:34.:31:39.

Welcome to the Sunday Politics. You would balance current spending with

:31:40.:31:52.

revenue and borrow to invest. How does that differ from Mr Brown and

:31:53.:31:57.

Mr balls? You are right about there being two key parts to the new

:31:58.:32:03.

fiscal credibility were all. In a sense, this builds on very much

:32:04.:32:07.

where we have been before. It also responds to the criticisms that were

:32:08.:32:13.

made of Jaws -- George Osborne's this school charter where he was

:32:14.:32:17.

criticised for tying his own hands and not allowing for investment. --

:32:18.:32:23.

fiscal charter. There are two key differences. It makes it more

:32:24.:32:27.

explicit, that there should be independent voices. We have said we

:32:28.:32:31.

want the OBR to be an independent voice around deficit reduction

:32:32.:32:35.

targets, and also reporting directly to Parliament. The second area is

:32:36.:32:42.

that we want to make sure there is the opportunity for investment and

:32:43.:32:46.

also, if there are difficult times, like we had in 2009, when monetary

:32:47.:32:52.

policy does not seem to be working, it gives an opportunity for fiscal

:32:53.:32:57.

policy to work alongside. It builds on but has two key differences. Mr

:32:58.:33:02.

Brown defended his rules as well when times got bad. It was described

:33:03.:33:17.

as being austerity light. This must be as well? It has been developed

:33:18.:33:23.

and the reason... It is not about austerity. It is a framework that

:33:24.:33:26.

will allow us to make spending and tax decisions in the future. It

:33:27.:33:32.

responds to the criticisms, the universal criticisms of George

:33:33.:33:38.

Osborne's this dull charter. -- fiscal charter. It says we need to

:33:39.:33:45.

invest for the future. I understand all that. Mr Brown and Mr Balls also

:33:46.:33:51.

wanted to invest and that was criticised by the Shadow Chancellor

:33:52.:33:56.

as austerity light. If that were austerity light, this is steroid to

:33:57.:34:05.

-- night as well. We're in a situation where George Osborne is

:34:06.:34:14.

blaming everyone but himself. -- this is austerity light as well.

:34:15.:34:22.

George Osborne's Member of Parliament for the Tory Party has

:34:23.:34:26.

said, what we have seen our warm words. He has talked about

:34:27.:34:30.

investment and an export led strategy. This is built on debts,

:34:31.:34:37.

household debt. How much is public investment? Around 30 billion, if

:34:38.:34:44.

you take into account the difference in spending. It is 34 billion in

:34:45.:34:50.

public spending at the moment. It should be much higher. How much more

:34:51.:34:55.

should it be? It should be higher. There is no excuse for what George

:34:56.:35:01.

Osborne has done. I am not asking about Mr Osborne. I am asking about

:35:02.:35:06.

your policy. 34 billion at the moment, rising to 40 billion by 20

:35:07.:35:11.

20. How much more would it be? It focuses on where it needs to be

:35:12.:35:21.

regarding GDP. You need to have a good level of investment so you are

:35:22.:35:27.

creating jobs for the future. What I am trying to work out is what this

:35:28.:35:30.

creating jobs for the future. What I means in hard cash for investment,

:35:31.:35:36.

how big would investment be under a Labour government? It is clear that

:35:37.:35:39.

George Osborne has been cutting investment. It was around 3%, 3.5%,

:35:40.:35:45.

and is now 1.4% in terms of infrastructure. If you want jobs of

:35:46.:35:51.

the future coming through, if you want to turn around the situation

:35:52.:35:56.

where young people... By how much more would public investment

:35:57.:35:59.

increase under this formula? What we have said is you need to make sure

:36:00.:36:03.

that we have a balance of where the economy needs investment so we can

:36:04.:36:05.

that we have a balance of where the get tax receipts and growth for the

:36:06.:36:10.

future. We had economists saying that George Osborne, if you talk

:36:11.:36:14.

about fairness in the future... I am here to talk about the labour policy

:36:15.:36:17.

and not that of George Osborne. Nor here to talk about the labour policy

:36:18.:36:23.

has there been balanced growth. If you want a balanced budget, you need

:36:24.:36:28.

to balance growth. Let's talk about labour. John McDonnell has talked

:36:29.:36:35.

about the difference between short-term and long-term investment.

:36:36.:36:38.

What is the difference? What we have said as she want to see investment

:36:39.:36:42.

that will see us having a big stake in the future. If you want to look

:36:43.:36:48.

at energy investment, you are talking out about -- about 20, 30

:36:49.:36:57.

years. It is about supporting companies, entrepreneurs and

:36:58.:37:02.

supporting the long-term growth for the country as well. If you're

:37:03.:37:06.

talking about rail, roads and infrastructure, you will be aware, I

:37:07.:37:12.

am sure, of the reports that showed recently we have fewer buses than

:37:13.:37:17.

2010, our rolling stock and trains are in poor condition, people are

:37:18.:37:21.

taking longer to get to work and the trains are more crowded. That should

:37:22.:37:25.

be a wake-up call to George Osborne he is not working in the interests

:37:26.:37:30.

of the British public and people are asking if the decisions are based on

:37:31.:37:35.

political interest and not on the country's future. You would balance

:37:36.:37:40.

current spending, day-to-day spending. At the moment there is a

:37:41.:37:46.

deficit. What would you cut to balance current spending? There are

:37:47.:37:50.

two things. The first is about spending decisions and the second

:37:51.:37:53.

about tax receipts. We are arguing that if you want to see tax receipts

:37:54.:38:00.

grow, George Osborne has seen them for in regard to productivity

:38:01.:38:09.

growth. What would you cut? We would want to see that growth increases in

:38:10.:38:13.

that you see an increase in tax receipts. You cannot spend if it is

:38:14.:38:19.

not within your means. What would you cut? You cannot spend if it is

:38:20.:38:23.

not within your means. What the announcement from the Labour Party

:38:24.:38:27.

is about is how we earn our way in the world and survived in a

:38:28.:38:31.

competitive economy. We will leave it there. Thank you very much.

:38:32.:38:40.

Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland.

:38:41.:38:42.

Coming up on the programme: Nicola Sturgeon delights party

:38:43.:38:50.

This summer, the SNP will embark on a new initiative to build support

:38:51.:38:58.

for independence. Nicola Sturgeon delights party members with that

:38:59.:39:03.

announcement at the SNP conference, but what exactly does it mean?

:39:04.:39:06.

And as she nears the end of her time as Presiding Officer,

:39:07.:39:09.

Tricia Marwick joins us to discuss how the workings

:39:10.:39:11.

of the Scottish Parliament can be improved.

:39:12.:39:13.

With the polls all showing the SNP are likely to win another majority

:39:14.:39:16.

in May and with their triumph in the General Election

:39:17.:39:18.

under their belt, it's hardly surprising the mood at the SNP

:39:19.:39:21.

During Nicola Sturgeon's speech yesterday, delegates applauded

:39:22.:39:24.

But their biggest cheers were for an issue where the party

:39:25.:39:27.

Our reporter Andrew Black's been soaking up the atmosphere.

:39:28.:39:48.

The SNP has now been in power since 2007. That is longer than any other

:39:49.:39:56.

party at Holyrood. In just a few months' time, it will ask voters to

:39:57.:40:00.

give it an unprecedented third term in office. At the moment, all the

:40:01.:40:04.

indications are that is exactly what will happen. Now, given all this

:40:05.:40:13.

celebration, you may well think the SNP membership, now at 115,000, is

:40:14.:40:18.

all singing from the same hymn sheet. But not entirely, because a

:40:19.:40:22.

lot of these new members have come to the conference wanting to have

:40:23.:40:27.

their say and managing their expectations has been an issue for

:40:28.:40:31.

the SNP leadership. And on that note, the very first delegate to

:40:32.:40:35.

speak at the conference had a problem with the agenda. With some

:40:36.:40:41.

exceptions, the overall tone of the motions is one of complacent

:40:42.:40:45.

self-congratulation. It pains me to say this. This conference is

:40:46.:40:49.

beginning to resemble the later party in the Tony Blair era. -- the

:40:50.:40:58.

Labour Party. I am grateful to Malcolm from making some of those

:40:59.:41:02.

points because we have heard them a number of times in recent years, and

:41:03.:41:07.

particularly with regard to the agenda in front of us. But what is a

:41:08.:41:12.

pre-election conference... Said agenda was duly approved and it was

:41:13.:41:18.

on the conference. Outside, a small-scale storm was brewing.

:41:19.:41:22.

Protesters called on the SNP Government to extend its temporary

:41:23.:41:27.

ban on fracking to a permanent one, a move favoured by some grassroots

:41:28.:41:31.

SNP members, although Scottish ministers say they are still

:41:32.:41:36.

assessing the situation. But the big issue on which SNP supporters want

:41:37.:41:41.

an answer is when might be another independence referendum. Nicola

:41:42.:41:45.

Sturgeon announced a plan for that and they liked what they heard. Our

:41:46.:41:48.

success will depend on the strength of our argument is and the clarity

:41:49.:42:01.

of a revision. It will mean convincing the people of this

:42:02.:42:03.

country that independence is right, not for yesterday's world, but for

:42:04.:42:05.

the complex, challenging and increasingly interdependent world

:42:06.:42:07.

that we live in today. And right also for the world that our children

:42:08.:42:12.

will inherit and live in tomorrow. Making and winning in that case is

:42:13.:42:17.

our challenge and our opportunity. That is why I can tell you today

:42:18.:42:23.

that this summer, the SNP will embark on a new initiative to build

:42:24.:42:27.

support for independence. APPLAUSE

:42:28.:42:35.

Afterwords, Nicola Sturgeon's Deputy elaborated on the initiative. What I

:42:36.:42:40.

want to signal is the willingness of the SNP to engage in an open

:42:41.:42:45.

conversation with the people of Scotland, to understand their

:42:46.:42:48.

concerns, to address those concerns and find ways of addressing those

:42:49.:42:56.

issues. There were some policy announcements. More resources for

:42:57.:43:01.

the NHS and education, and a commitment to delivering superfast

:43:02.:43:04.

broadband to all of Scotland. And even though at this stage it is

:43:05.:43:09.

unlikely the SNP will commit to a second referendum in its election

:43:10.:43:13.

manifesto, Nicola Sturgeon has once again put independence at the

:43:14.:43:15.

forefront of her party's ambition. And Andrew Black joins me now

:43:16.:43:17.

from the SNP conference at the SECC. What are they doing today, Andrew?

:43:18.:43:33.

In terms of the atmosphere here, and we are almost at the end of the

:43:34.:43:38.

Scottish party conference Spring season. We have already had the

:43:39.:43:43.

Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. In terms of the attendance and tone

:43:44.:43:47.

of those first two, they seemed pretty lacklustre compared to the

:43:48.:43:51.

SNP conference here, where thousands of delegates have attended. There

:43:52.:43:56.

has been the odd grumble, but really, overall, the atmosphere has

:43:57.:44:00.

been pretty upbeat. Yesterday, we had Nicola Sturgeon making that big

:44:01.:44:04.

announcement on the new drive towards independence. Today, things

:44:05.:44:08.

don't a different tone because first things first, there is a Holyrood

:44:09.:44:13.

election to fight. John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister, will deliver

:44:14.:44:15.

election to fight. John Swinney, the an election rally call to the

:44:16.:44:19.

conference this afternoon. They will show off their new candidates for

:44:20.:44:24.

the Holyrood election. It is a bit silly, the party itself would admit,

:44:25.:44:27.

to start setting targets for the amount of seats they will win in the

:44:28.:44:34.

election, but if you think back to the last election in Scotland, the

:44:35.:44:39.

SNP won almost all the seats in Scotland. Labour were just left with

:44:40.:44:43.

that one Westminster seat. I think it is pretty safe to say that going

:44:44.:44:48.

into the selection, we are still seeing the SNP with a huge load of

:44:49.:44:52.

popularity. They will certainly be hoping that they could when pretty

:44:53.:44:58.

much every single Holyrood constituency in May. Thanks for

:44:59.:44:59.

that. And I'm joined here in the studio

:45:00.:45:00.

by the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure,

:45:01.:45:02.

Investment and Cities, As we saw, Nicola Sturgeon God by

:45:03.:45:13.

far the biggest round of applause when she said there would be a new

:45:14.:45:19.

initiative on independence. What is it? Before I answer that question, I

:45:20.:45:21.

am the Member of Parliament for... it? Before I answer that question, I

:45:22.:45:25.

am sorry. I did mean to ask it? Before I answer that question, I

:45:26.:45:30.

about Dunblane. My apologies. I am the Member of Parliament for

:45:31.:45:33.

Clackmannanshire and Dunblane and today is the 20th anniversary.

:45:34.:45:37.

People in Dunblane, including the families, will have different ways

:45:38.:45:40.

of dealing with this. Some will want to speak about it and some will be

:45:41.:45:46.

quieter, but I think it is important that we remember and pursue a people

:45:47.:45:49.

involved in the tragedy that we will never forget what happened on that

:45:50.:45:55.

day back in 1986. You, presumably being there of the past period, is

:45:56.:46:00.

it possible to recover from something like that?

:46:01.:46:04.

it possible to recover from is very difficult for the families

:46:05.:46:07.

to recover. They have got personal tragedy to deal with. But the town

:46:08.:46:10.

itself has tragedy to deal with. But the town

:46:11.:46:14.

never forget what happened, of course.

:46:15.:46:24.

will never forget the individuals got

:46:25.:46:32.

will never forget the individuals back to the conference. This

:46:33.:46:42.

initiative, which got all the applause, what is it? You can get

:46:43.:46:45.

the shape of it from what the First Minister said yesterday and what the

:46:46.:46:46.

Deputy First Minister said. Minister said yesterday and what the

:46:47.:46:49.

which concerned people in Scotland about

:46:50.:46:51.

which concerned people in Scotland negatives and it is important we

:46:52.:46:52.

listen negatives and it is important we

:46:53.:46:54.

those who support independence but with those who

:46:55.:46:56.

those who support independence but independence if those concerns can

:46:57.:46:58.

be alleviated. That might mean that we have to change

:46:59.:47:01.

be alleviated. That might mean that stances in response

:47:02.:47:05.

be alleviated. That might mean that respect those who voted no and

:47:06.:47:09.

rebuilding a case for independence. Stances on what? That is the purpose

:47:10.:47:14.

of the engagement. We will see close engagement with the First Minister

:47:15.:47:19.

herself. What do you think? Why prejudge that's some of the concerns

:47:20.:47:23.

herself. What do you think? Why we have had have continued to be

:47:24.:47:25.

herself. What do you think? Why expressed as concerns, some of

:47:26.:47:26.

defence expressed as concerns, some of

:47:27.:47:34.

engagement in order to find out. A very obvious when you mentioned

:47:35.:47:36.

there is very obvious when you mentioned

:47:37.:47:40.

has talked about how, in the eventuality that Britain forced

:47:41.:47:44.

has talked about how, in the there will be pressure for another

:47:45.:47:47.

referendum, which would presumably be in some months' time. If there is

:47:48.:47:51.

one, which currency would you say we should be part of? The point I am

:47:52.:47:55.

just making is that we understand the fact that there were concerns

:47:56.:47:59.

people had and the purpose of what the First Minister said yesterday is

:48:00.:48:03.

to talk to these people and find out those concerns. Sure, but as the SNP

:48:04.:48:11.

leadership, you've had 14 months or something like that to think about

:48:12.:48:13.

this. What currency... I mean, if Britain was to leave the EU and

:48:14.:48:16.

Scotland is to have another independence referendum with a view

:48:17.:48:22.

to steam in the EU and becoming independent, you presumably would

:48:23.:48:26.

not be seen... Would you be saying that we should still have the pound

:48:27.:48:29.

and that all the politicians in London were lying when they were

:48:30.:48:33.

saying we couldn't? We have seen in the last week a statement to say

:48:34.:48:38.

that it was perfectly possible that the SNP's proposition could have

:48:39.:48:42.

been workable. But there are two very big Fs. If that is then

:48:43.:48:52.

followed by a vote on independence very soon thereafter... Rather than

:48:53.:48:55.

get into those hypotheticals, I think it is.... Hang on, this is a

:48:56.:49:00.

campaign you would have to be running within a matter of months. I

:49:01.:49:04.

have no way of knowing that. Nicola Sturgeon has said there would be

:49:05.:49:09.

pressure for another independence referendum should this eventuality

:49:10.:49:13.

arise. It is surely not unreasonable for myself and indeed for viewers to

:49:14.:49:17.

think that currency thing didn't go very well for them last time. What

:49:18.:49:25.

is their policy now? Our policy, as was explained during the campaign...

:49:26.:49:31.

Just to be clear on this, is your policy still that Scotland would be

:49:32.:49:36.

part of the sterling zone? You are asking what our policy might be in

:49:37.:49:37.

the event of a future referendum. asking what our policy might be in

:49:38.:49:42.

am asking what the policy is now. You have asked me and I am trying to

:49:43.:49:44.

get a sentence out. The fact is, we You have asked me and I am trying to

:49:45.:49:49.

do not face a referendum just now. What we are meant to do in the

:49:50.:49:53.

course of anticipating a further referendum is to get the views of

:49:54.:49:56.

people, especially those we failed to convince in the past. That

:49:57.:50:01.

respect those who voted no. You asked about the last 14 months. We

:50:02.:50:05.

have been getting on and governing this country. The opposition parties

:50:06.:50:10.

have lined up to say forget about the referendum, forget about the

:50:11.:50:12.

constitution and run the country. We have been doing that very

:50:13.:50:17.

effectively. I do not understand. My question was is it still SNP policy

:50:18.:50:20.

that an independent Scotland would There have been a number of comments

:50:21.:50:33.

made. The policy was perfectly workable. We wanted to listen to

:50:34.:50:39.

people which is what the First Minister said yesterday. In addition

:50:40.:50:44.

to a very good track record in governing the country. We want to

:50:45.:50:51.

move forward. This initiative, talking to people, what does that

:50:52.:50:58.

mean? Coffee mornings, rallies? We will have more detail on that at the

:50:59.:51:03.

manifesto launch. Of course it is talking to people, not just rallies,

:51:04.:51:09.

we have to talk not just at people but to people. I would hope it is

:51:10.:51:13.

not just outputting to people but we do that all the time and accumulate

:51:14.:51:17.

intelligence. This would be a continuation of that with the very

:51:18.:51:23.

clear focus. After the referendum on talking to those people that had

:51:24.:51:27.

concerns about the referendum. Do you think there should be another

:51:28.:51:33.

referendum within the next period of the Scottish Parliament? I said this

:51:34.:51:36.

on the very morning of the referendum, it has got to be at the

:51:37.:51:39.

point the people of Scotland see there should be one. All ratings is

:51:40.:51:46.

one way to take the temperature. It could be because of a material

:51:47.:51:50.

change in circumstances such as the one you recommended. Labour are

:51:51.:51:58.

proposing is losing the top rate of tax in Scotland, back up to 50p, is

:51:59.:52:07.

that a good idea? We will wait until we have our manifesto before we

:52:08.:52:11.

decide what to do with the tax powers. We will not be imposing

:52:12.:52:15.

further tax increases on those on the lower rungs and also not having

:52:16.:52:21.

tax cuts for those on the higher levels of taxation. We will wait

:52:22.:52:26.

until we have the manifesto before really a proposal then tens of tax.

:52:27.:52:30.

until we have the manifesto before Will newly out the proposals in your

:52:31.:52:34.

manifesto on what you will do with the new powers coming out under the

:52:35.:52:40.

Scotland Bill? If we have not bought an agreement through the work of

:52:41.:52:43.

sturgeon and Swinney through the fiscal framework we will not do that

:52:44.:52:49.

as a reason to lay out we will be doing it because of the manifesto.

:52:50.:52:55.

Let me give you one example. George Osborne intends to raise the

:52:56.:53:02.

threshold at which you start paying 40p tax to 50,000. Is that something

:53:03.:53:07.

you think should happen in Scotland? I tend not to go with what George

:53:08.:53:12.

Osborne is reported to be going to do. That is why we will await

:53:13.:53:15.

Osborne is reported to be going to proposals. Nicola Sturgeon said we

:53:16.:53:22.

will await. He has already said that. He has said lots of things in

:53:23.:53:27.

the past. It is only after we know the tax proposals in the budget we

:53:28.:53:32.

can put forward the tax proposals we have an response. Would you be

:53:33.:53:36.

comfortably raising? We might have to change tax allowances. That is

:53:37.:53:45.

before tax calculations. Andrew Neil was talking about the budget deficit

:53:46.:53:47.

Scotland might have in ten days' was talking about the budget deficit

:53:48.:53:48.

time if they had become independent, was talking about the budget deficit

:53:49.:53:54.

never sent of GDP. Nicola Sturgeon said on this programme before the

:53:55.:53:57.

general election you borrow the money, it needs to borrow the money

:53:58.:53:58.

but there's also desktop of if we money, it needs to borrow the money

:53:59.:54:03.

were an independent Scotland we would do all these things which

:54:04.:54:06.

would make the economy grow faster than the rest of the UK so we cut

:54:07.:54:11.

that deficit, can you give me a single example of something you

:54:12.:54:17.

would do? I can give you a number, you have had a substantial cut in

:54:18.:54:21.

our programme in Scotland since 2010 and we have increased deployment,

:54:22.:54:26.

the highest climate in the UK. You would have to grow this economy

:54:27.:54:29.

faster than the UK, give me one example. We have increased

:54:30.:54:36.

appointment and population is not falling. One of the ways you could

:54:37.:54:42.

do that is APD, it proposal that is having a substantial impact on

:54:43.:54:44.

do that is APD, it proposal that is economy. Cutting carbon capture or

:54:45.:54:49.

renewables. Investing in infrastructure of course you can

:54:50.:54:55.

grow the economy. Your answer to how to get over the deficit is we would

:54:56.:55:03.

all more money? We have shown infrastructure projects without

:55:04.:55:06.

increasing public sector borrowing, it is possible to do that, it is

:55:07.:55:09.

what we have done and will continue to do.

:55:10.:55:14.

The Chancellor has been sounding an ominous note ahead of his budget

:55:15.:55:17.

on Wednesday, warning of further spending cuts.

:55:18.:55:19.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr programme this morning,

:55:20.:55:21.

George Osborne said he wanted to cut 50p from every ?100 spent

:55:22.:55:23.

by the Government by the end of 2020.

:55:24.:55:25.

I'm joined now from London by Robert Hutton

:55:26.:55:27.

Presumably you heard what George Osborne had to see earlier on, what

:55:28.:55:36.

do you make of it? It is a frightening world idea. That is his

:55:37.:55:40.

message at the moment, the phrase cocktail of risks which we have been

:55:41.:55:45.

hearing and I think we'll hear for a while longer. It is to try to get

:55:46.:55:49.

around the fact is forecasts are not coming in. That is as even if you

:55:50.:55:55.

months ago he hoped the wood. He has got to find another 18 billion more

:55:56.:56:00.

or less from savings and tax rises and the best way to

:56:01.:56:04.

or less from savings and tax rises the public, he seems to feel, is

:56:05.:56:14.

or less from savings and tax rises about the

:56:15.:56:20.

or less from savings and tax rises impression I got this morning that

:56:21.:56:21.

he might impression I got this morning that

:56:22.:56:30.

what you think? The problem he has got, normally the first proper

:56:31.:56:32.

budget one year into got, normally the first proper

:56:33.:56:37.

government is when you do all the painful and unpopular stuff

:56:38.:56:40.

government is when you do all the basis you have then got three or

:56:41.:56:41.

four years for the voters basis you have then got three or

:56:42.:56:45.

about it. The problem he has this time as the European referendum with

:56:46.:56:51.

it turns out Cameron and Osborne slightly misjudged where the

:56:52.:56:55.

it turns out Cameron and Osborne Parliamentary party is. Half of the

:56:56.:56:56.

Parliamentary party is on the other Parliamentary party is. Half of the

:56:57.:56:59.

trying to buy them off to do that is a cut to the headline

:57:00.:57:05.

rate of personal tax. to do that is a cut to the headline

:57:06.:57:08.

will be a rabbit. We to do that is a cut to the headline

:57:09.:57:12.

what the rabbit is back after half an hour of the budget he

:57:13.:57:15.

what the rabbit is back after half something out

:57:16.:57:15.

what the rabbit is back after half do with a rabbit with

:57:16.:57:23.

what the rabbit is back after half flag attached to each year. One

:57:24.:57:23.

thing being flag attached to each year. One

:57:24.:57:25.

example he could ask the old BR to flag attached to each year. One

:57:26.:57:32.

Brexit. I would not be surprised if there was

:57:33.:57:41.

his prebudget debate today turned into an about Europe. That might

:57:42.:57:43.

upset some of the dumpy Tories who into an about Europe. That might

:57:44.:57:47.

feel that the government should stay out of this debate about the

:57:48.:57:52.

nation's future. He would be upset that they use the OBR to do that. It

:57:53.:58:01.

is that they use the OBR to do that. It

:58:02.:58:06.

ask them? Is there an opportunity for Labour here as was mentioned in

:58:07.:58:11.

Andrews programme earlier? It has been a swing among the economy and

:58:12.:58:19.

in no warnings that monetary policy and quantitative easing might not be

:58:20.:58:24.

enough to get it back on its feet. There should be a move

:58:25.:58:32.

enough to get it back on its feet. economy. Labour can sort of say now

:58:33.:58:36.

we are not just wild eyed left-wingers but the major

:58:37.:58:38.

international organisations are now saying what we are saying? The

:58:39.:58:46.

Labour Party over the last five years have seen a really good

:58:47.:58:49.

sensible international economic argument that says these kinds of

:58:50.:58:53.

incredibly low interest rates, startling growth, this is time for

:58:54.:58:58.

the government to step in, billboards, build houses, spend

:58:59.:59:01.

money, put people back to work. It billboards, build houses, spend

:59:02.:59:06.

does not cost much as when interest rates are higher and you can

:59:07.:59:10.

stimulate the economy that way. That is what was being said on Friday and

:59:11.:59:15.

the problem is for Labour turning that sensible economic argument into

:59:16.:59:19.

a widely should be in government and can you trust us kind of argument.

:59:20.:59:26.

That is a much trickier problem. That, as it were, is about the whole

:59:27.:59:32.

package. It is not enough just for Labour to say sensible things that

:59:33.:59:35.

they can say look at all these economists who agree with us but

:59:36.:59:40.

they have got to say to the public you can trust us, when I am tough

:59:41.:59:43.

they have got to say to the public you can trust me and I really mean

:59:44.:59:48.

it. Thank you for joining us this morning.

:59:49.:59:50.

The Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament,

:59:51.:59:52.

Tricia Marwick, is standing down as an MSP at the coming election.

:59:53.:59:54.

But she believes work to improve how business is done at Holyrood needs

:59:55.:59:58.

to continue, and among the possible reforms she suggests

:59:59.:00:00.

Ms Marwick is the fourth Presiding Officer, but the first

:00:01.:00:03.

woman to take on the role, which she's held since 2011.

:00:04.:00:11.

Tricia Marwick is elected as Presiding Officer of the Scottish

:00:12.:00:21.

Parliament. There is far too much shouting across the chamber. And the

:00:22.:00:28.

marriage and civil partnership Scotland Bill is passed. Can I

:00:29.:00:39.

suggest that members review the footage of First Minister's

:00:40.:00:42.

Questions and consider whether they showed themselves and this

:00:43.:00:55.

parliament in the best light? Before I

:00:56.:00:55.

end First Minister's Questions, can I thank all of the party leaders for

:00:56.:01:00.

their brevity today? You floated the idea, didn't you,

:01:01.:01:13.

the second chamber in the Scottish Parliament but you also seem to

:01:14.:01:18.

concede it is not going to happen? It was in response to a journalist

:01:19.:01:23.

asking if they should be a second chamber and I said I have always

:01:24.:01:27.

believed there should be a second chamber but I have also acknowledged

:01:28.:01:31.

until you work out how that second chamber is working it is not going

:01:32.:01:34.

to happen. Politicians will be going to the public saying we need more

:01:35.:01:40.

politicians? I think if you argue for an increase in the number of

:01:41.:01:44.

members in the Scottish Parliament or arguing for a second chamber, you

:01:45.:01:48.

need to be very clear what those arguments are and be very sure you

:01:49.:01:53.

have all-party support for them because if one party made such an

:01:54.:01:56.

argument I imagine it would not go down well on the doorsteps. Do you

:01:57.:02:02.

think there is a case for getting all the parties together and saying

:02:03.:02:07.

we need a proper second chamber in the Scottish Parliament, let's

:02:08.:02:09.

discuss how we do it and make a joint approach to the public and say

:02:10.:02:16.

actually, folks, this is what we need? I think that is a matter for

:02:17.:02:21.

the future. We need to continue to perform procedures and structures

:02:22.:02:25.

within the Scottish Parliament itself. I would suggest that is the

:02:26.:02:31.

number one priority. The problem is that the underlying problem is that

:02:32.:02:37.

there was this hope in 1999 that the committee system of the Scottish

:02:38.:02:40.

Parliament would be different from the House of Commons in London.

:02:41.:02:46.

Actually, it has not really been. Arguably bodies like the Finance

:02:47.:02:50.

committee in the House of Commons, the way it held ministers to account

:02:51.:02:53.

during and after the financial crisis, have operated better than

:02:54.:02:59.

anything that has happened in Holyrood? I think it was the desire

:03:00.:03:05.

from the constitutional committee to do things different from

:03:06.:03:07.

Westminster, we ended up with the system that was different from the

:03:08.:03:14.

standing committees at Westminster. That presents problems because the

:03:15.:03:17.

committees at Westminster you talk about that have been extremely

:03:18.:03:25.

effective ID select committees -- have been the select committees and

:03:26.:03:29.

do not have a legislative role as well so they of course can do more

:03:30.:03:33.

in terms of interrogation, holding the government to account than a

:03:34.:03:40.

midi of the Scottish Parliament that has two consider legislation, called

:03:41.:03:43.

ministers to account, all their own enquiries and initiate the on

:03:44.:03:48.

legislation. The reality of the situation is that since 1999 the

:03:49.:03:54.

committees have never worked in the week the CSG envisaged that they

:03:55.:04:00.

should. I think it is fair to say that the administration of those

:04:01.:04:05.

committees by the CSG and others were seriously misplaced. Part of

:04:06.:04:08.

the problem is the Scottish Parliament was not designed for a

:04:09.:04:13.

party having a majority. It so happens your party have bought a

:04:14.:04:17.

majority but in a way that is not the point. What has happened as the

:04:18.:04:25.

perception of the public is that parties are just falling party

:04:26.:04:29.

lines. We have talked about the houses of commons early in his term

:04:30.:04:33.

but that has not really happened, we have not really had Labour people

:04:34.:04:38.

standing up and criticising the previously but administration or the

:04:39.:04:43.

SNP people standing up saying this is not good enough. I do not have a

:04:44.:04:50.

party, I gave up my party in 2011. Your background! I think for

:04:51.:04:56.

accuracy, I think you know the point I am making is that it is difficult

:04:57.:05:02.

for the communities to do all of these things. That has been true

:05:03.:05:07.

since 1999 as you rightly point out. If the government wants to get its

:05:08.:05:12.

own legislation through. The point I'm making is that in Westminster

:05:13.:05:17.

you have select committees where legislation is not dependent on it

:05:18.:05:21.

so, of course, people can be a lot more critical.

:05:22.:05:26.

Is it possible to have a similar system here? These committees are

:05:27.:05:32.

not working. I have tried for the past five years to get all parties

:05:33.:05:37.

to address the need for formal committees. That has not been a

:05:38.:05:45.

battle but I have one. But I am confident that the time of committee

:05:46.:05:48.

reform is yet to come and it will come because it needs to. Forget all

:05:49.:05:54.

that. What are you going to do? I have not a clue. I have absolutely

:05:55.:05:59.

no plans whatsoever. I hope that I will still have some sort of role in

:06:00.:06:06.

public life. I am open to offers. I do not get a pension until I am 65.

:06:07.:06:11.

You do not want to get involved in politics. You left the SNP because

:06:12.:06:15.

you'd became Presiding Officer. But you do not want to rejoin? I do not

:06:16.:06:20.

intend to stand for any elected office in the future. Once you have

:06:21.:06:26.

been the Presiding Officer, everything else is second to that.

:06:27.:06:31.

Anyone thinking of setting up grand public bodies should be listening

:06:32.:06:33.

very closely to what you have just said. You are available. I would

:06:34.:06:39.

hope that I have got some skills and qualities that people might find

:06:40.:06:43.

attractive. Tricia Myrick, thank you very much indeed.

:06:44.:06:45.

Time now to take a look at the week's big stories,

:06:46.:06:48.

and what's coming up in the week ahead.

:06:49.:06:55.

And I'm joined from the SNP conference by the press

:06:56.:07:01.

Association's Lynsey Bews and by the political editor of the Career,

:07:02.:07:03.

Kieran Andrews. Give us a bit of atmosphere. One of

:07:04.:07:11.

the things John Swinney said yesterday was that he reckoned the

:07:12.:07:15.

SNP conference was not just bigger than Labour, but bigger than all the

:07:16.:07:20.

other party conferences combined. Well, there is rather be a bit of

:07:21.:07:25.

truth in that. It is a massive venue here. It is packed. Fringe events

:07:26.:07:32.

are overflowing. There really is a bit of buzz around here. That bars,

:07:33.:07:37.

funnily enough, during the cluster Jim's speech yesterday came during a

:07:38.:07:43.

mention of independence, not during the mention of three key domestic

:07:44.:07:46.

policies. There is an segment and anticipation. -- there is

:07:47.:07:56.

excitement. We mentioned a delegate getting up and criticising the party

:07:57.:08:01.

for being too easy on itself with its agenda and harking back to Tony

:08:02.:08:06.

Blair, which is practically heresy in these parts with the SNP.

:08:07.:08:11.

Overall, though, the atmosphere has been quite good and positive. More

:08:12.:08:17.

charged than the SNP's opponent conferences. Lynsey, as keirin said

:08:18.:08:23.

there, the biggest applause was for the mention of independence. I do

:08:24.:08:27.

not know if you heard the view we did with Keith Brown, but at the end

:08:28.:08:32.

I was not sure if I was any I was at the beginning exactly what this

:08:33.:08:34.

initiative is other than talking about independence. No, exactly.

:08:35.:08:40.

Just when you thought that independence was off the agenda and

:08:41.:08:44.

Nicola Sturgeon was perhaps concentrating more on the new powers

:08:45.:08:48.

coming to Holyrood, and what she will do with those powers, she

:08:49.:08:52.

announced this initiative for building the case again for

:08:53.:08:56.

independence. As Keith Brown was failing to tell you, really, the SNP

:08:57.:09:00.

has not really given us much detail about what this initiative will

:09:01.:09:04.

involve. What we can garner from what Nicholas Turgeon said yesterday

:09:05.:09:09.

is that this will be a different approach in terms of tone. -- from

:09:10.:09:15.

what Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday. Maybe a move away from the very

:09:16.:09:19.

antagonistic, polarising debate we had leading up to the 2014 fold.

:09:20.:09:26.

Really, a bit of an omission from Nicola Sturgeon yesterday that there

:09:27.:09:29.

are some serious, key issues that need to be addressed in the case for

:09:30.:09:33.

independence before she can secure that yes vote. The problem is that

:09:34.:09:39.

if this was really just code for some of our arguments were not very

:09:40.:09:43.

convincing, we will come up with some new ones, that's not really

:09:44.:09:48.

going to satisfy, is it, the people who were wildly cheering what they

:09:49.:09:51.

thought was good to be some big new campaign? Yes, but I think Nicola

:09:52.:09:58.

Sturgeon is really trying to tell her supporters that they need to

:09:59.:10:01.

play the long game on this. Even if there is a Brexit and a second

:10:02.:10:09.

referendum was put forward, there are still key issues which need to

:10:10.:10:12.

be addressed which will not go away. The SNP will be challenged on these

:10:13.:10:15.

be addressed which will not go away. again if there was to be a second

:10:16.:10:19.

referendum. She is really laying the groundwork for a looking again at

:10:20.:10:23.

some of those policy positions the SNP have taken. Clearly, there has

:10:24.:10:28.

been a detailed postmortem of what went wrong in that independence

:10:29.:10:33.

referendum of 2014. Nicola Sturgeon is recognising there are key issues

:10:34.:10:39.

which need to be revisited and challenged. She said the SNP was

:10:40.:10:42.

prepared to change some of its answers. Presumably, Kieran Andrews,

:10:43.:10:49.

this is a bit of a challenge. The SNP are any great position with

:10:50.:10:52.

thousands of new members. The challenge is keeping them. All this

:10:53.:10:57.

talk about new benefits for children and all the rest, I am sure all the

:10:58.:11:01.

delegates agree with that. They all agree with things like air passenger

:11:02.:11:07.

duty. But it is not what gets them out of bed in the morning, is it? It

:11:08.:11:11.

will not keep them excited. It certainly isn't. And it is not why

:11:12.:11:17.

so many new members joined the SNP. Nicola Sturgeon is walking a bit of

:11:18.:11:20.

a tightrope on this. She has to decide when she wants another

:11:21.:11:25.

call another referendum is the mac call another referendum is the mac

:11:26.:11:37.

-- independence referendum. If a second referendum is lost, then it

:11:38.:11:40.

is off the table for a proper generation, not to the fuzzy version

:11:41.:11:48.

we have had promised so far. But the longer she weaves it, the more she

:11:49.:11:51.

risks antagonising those new members who joined to declare independence,

:11:52.:11:58.

to fight for the yes cause, as it were. You can imagine that if Nicola

:11:59.:12:06.

Sturgeon is not careful, little factions might begin to break off,

:12:07.:12:11.

break away and show a little bit more of the descent we saw yesterday

:12:12.:12:15.

morning over the coming years. It is a difficult one to play, balancing

:12:16.:12:22.

political reality with the fervour of members and a new grassroots

:12:23.:12:27.

members. Lynsey, on taxation and what they will do with new powers,

:12:28.:12:34.

it is all terribly cautious. They say they will not release their

:12:35.:12:37.

manifesto until they release their manifesto. Unless they have got

:12:38.:12:40.

something hidden away, it is basically don't frighten the horses,

:12:41.:12:47.

isn't it? It seems that way. Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday they would

:12:48.:12:50.

be no change to the basic rate of tax. They are against the policy put

:12:51.:12:56.

forward by Scottish Labour and by the Scottish Liberal Democrats. Also

:12:57.:13:04.

kicking into... Taking a decision only 40p threshold and waiting to

:13:05.:13:07.

see what George Osborne does with that in the budget. We already know

:13:08.:13:13.

those plans for the top rate, sorry, for the 40p rate of tax. John

:13:14.:13:18.

Swinney did tell us that if the fiscal framework was agreed, we

:13:19.:13:22.

would get more detail on the SNP's new tax plans by mid-March. I am

:13:23.:13:26.

sorry, I do not mean to cut a cross but we're running out of time.

:13:27.:13:29.

Lynsey Bews and Kieran Andrews, but we're running out of time.

:13:30.:13:30.

thank you both for joining us. Now, before we go, as part

:13:31.:13:32.

of our Holyrood election coverage, BBC Scotland has announced two

:13:33.:13:35.

televised Scottish leaders debates. The first takes place on the 24th

:13:36.:13:37.

of March in Glasgow. If you'd like to apply to be

:13:38.:13:39.

part of the audience, you can find the details on our BBC

:13:40.:13:42.

Scotland news website. I'll be back at the

:13:43.:13:44.

same time next week. What will he say this time about

:13:45.:13:49.

the state of the British economy, and what will that mean for you

:13:50.:14:05.

and your family's finances? Join me, Huw Edwards, for

:14:06.:14:08.

live coverage and expert analysis.

:14:09.:14:13.

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

Andrew is joined by Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism John Mann, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Seema Malhotra and David Davis MP.

On the political panel are Julia Hartley-Brewer, The Sunday Times's Tim Shipman and Nick Watt from The Guardian.


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