13/01/2013 Sunday Politics South West


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And in the South West: A government promise to tackle the crisis in


care for the elderly. But the Prime Minister still isn't saying exactly


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2549 seconds


Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics in the South West.


And for I am joined by Neil Parish, the Conservative MP for Tiverton


and Honiton and Jude Robinson, who sits in solitary splendour as


Cornwall's only Labour councillor. Until this year's elections at


least. Welcome back to both of you. This week the Planning Minister


admitted he is happy to bribe councils to build houses on


greenfield sites. And if it turns out they are above bribery, it is


clear he is happy to force them. they build more houses, which will


help their children have somewhere to grow up, they will get some


money that they can then spend on something for the community. If


they get a few hundred �1,000, they can open up local parks and open up


a community park. If you get them at an incentive, they are more


likely to approve more development. The minister is being called the


terror of Middle England. What do you make of this? We have to give


people a choice. If we can encourage them to take some


development in the little villages where some properties would be most


acceptable, the idea is to encourage them to go for it. We


have got people always objecting at the moment. By at the government


will take away the local discretion. But the whole idea is to... It is


better off being a straight forward and going for something that you


want to see happen rather than force something. But when the


Conservatives were in opposition, he went on about how Labour were


forcing houses on people and you are essentially doing the same


thing. If the local authorities do not come up with a number you think


is a bright... I still think there are villages that could do with


some houses and if we can get people to agree with them it would


be much better if they go for it. We have to give people incentives.


People always say they want affordable homes until we want to


put them in a particular spot. They have to be given encouragement.


Jude, are you a plodding them for getting on with what you did not?


You were effectively doing this with your strategies. We asked the


Government to come up with target areas. What we have not done is


what the Conservative government is doing, giving the power to


developers to say we're the Houses will go, by -- to say where the


houses will go, by developing a framework. There is a great unease


about the the countryside as people see it. The people who really need


the houses are not the people who are getting them. How do you make


houses really affordable? We keep going around endless loop of


affordable housing, and actually, people who really need housing


cannot afford it at all. Affordable homes have to be properties to rent


more than to buy, because they are only affordable once. I think we


can have these schemes and I am working on that. We will have to


leave that for now. For years, governments have been saying that


something must be done to help the elderly pay for long-term care, and


on Monday, David Cameron said it again, to the December event of


those who had he would say how and when he might actually tackle the


problem. -- to the disappointment. No one knows what had they will be


dealt when they reach old age. These people live in shared housing.


84-year-old Barbara still lives independently, but she is worried


about the financial impact if she needs to go into care. Light most


people, we have worked -- like most people, we have worked very hard


for our property, and to relinquish the whole of that property for my


care, when other people who have not worked and have not contributed


at all to society, I do not feel that we should be penalised for


working. That is what we feel, we are being penalised. Barbara's is


not a new problem. 16 years ago, the new Prime Minister set out his


vision for children of the future. I do not want them brought up in a


country with the only way they can get long-term care is to sell their


homes. But the nettle has still not been grasped. The Conservative


government asked for some answers, but hope for detailed commitment


from the Prime Minister were dashed this week. We were certainly hoping


for more detail this week, so we are a disappointment that the


Government did not choose to set out... A set out some things are


but we wanted to see detail at this stage. Currently, an elderly person


who has �21,000 in assets, the council will pay for their care.


More than a quarter of the people who are over 65 are expected to


spend more than �50,000 on care. A report has said that the current


system is confusing, unfair and unsustainable. It suggests setting


a carer bill limit at under �35,000, and recommends that the asset


threshold is raised to one added �1,000. This comes with an


estimated �1.7 billion price tag. - - raised to �100,000. Social care


is not free. It is something that is means tested in a very mean way.


We need to find a way of assuring people. There were some proposals,


but we have to find a way of paying for them. That is why I think the


winter fuel allowance is the right candidate. It has been rumoured


that the Treasury is toying with setting the maximum amount that


someone can pay for care at �70,000, not including accommodation costs.


Some analysts say that it is hardly worth doing. This man found that a


string of care homes and says that waiting around is not an option.


The country has got to find a way of delivering more money into the


sector. Some of it will come from products that the financial


authorities will provide. But whatever happens, we need more.


More than one in five people in the South West is over 65 and that


figure is rising. For now, the portion of assets the government is


prepared to protect is unclear. Was it right to say that the battle has


not been grasped? We know everybody thinks something needs to be done.


The it is affordability of the whole thing, that of the argument.


I think that people who have worked hard to keep their homes, I think


what we have got to do, we are putting forward for... By 2015


people should not be able -- should not have to sell their homes in


their lifetime. �7,000 has been rumoured. Whichever figure --


�70,000 has been rumoured. Whichever figure you plug out of


the air, it has got to help. People want their pension increases and


winter fuel allowance. There has got to be a balance. In terms of


the cap, the report was saying �35,000. The Government is talking


about �75,000. That figure of �75,000 seems to be in the equation


at the moment. But who knows? In the next spending round, we will


actually look at the cost of all of this. We still have a large deficit


to get on top of that we inherited from the last government and we


cannot just increase it to cover the cost. Jude, Labour has been


very critical of putting this off yet again. But you are not coming


up with a solid commitment yourself. Actually, the Labour government did


tackle some of the big issues, and the idea that people still have to


sell their houses to pay for care is just wrong. Tony Blair said that


a long time ago. That was sorted. People do not have to sell their


houses. They can defer payment until after they die at the moment.


That is nothing new. Before the last election, the Labour


government did offer cross-party talks to but Liberal Democrats and


Conservatives on how to Sir -- sort that out. Do you can -- you could


say that the report has brought forward some brilliant ideas, but


none of you want to commit. We saw what happened and the last election.


There are they have to be cross party? -- in the last election.


Does it have to be cross party? have to get through the period...


That was a strong economy. That was a time when the money was there. We


have got to find a solution. The situation is much more difficult.


We agree on cross-party support, but if Labour wants to come forward


with an idea, let us see it. We are not getting any policy from Labour.


We are getting a lot of criticism but no real policy. Whether he


speaks for David Cameron and Nick Clegg, I do not know! Probably not.


Bobby -- probably not. This week the government announced


a new pub ombudsman to police the relationship between pub companies


and their tenants. MPs of all parties think tenants are currently


getting a raw deal. The mood has pleased almost everybody, except


the pub companies themselves. And Labour thinks the government needs


to go much further. Around half of all pubs in the UK


are owned by pub companies, large companies who leased pubs out to


tenants to run as a business. Often, these landlords are contractually


obliged to buy beer from that company and not from the open


market. Campaigners say that this makes it extremely difficult for


mallards. -- landlords. Last year, I was doing the cooking and the


shopping and filling in the bar shifts whenever I could, but really


enjoying it. Add some point, you have to realise that you cannot


enjoy something that is not giving you a return. Until November,


Russell ran this pub in Cornwall. In the 10 years he was here, he


invested �70,000 of his end money. But the owners, it Punch Taverns, a


make it difficult for him. The was paying nearly twice the price -- I


was paying nearly twice the price for my stock from British Beer and


Pub Association. -- from British Beer and Pub Association. -- from


Punch Taverns. A new statutory code to regulate the relationship


between public and Lloyds and publicans... It is hard to see how


you can ensure a change. It is hard to ensure that their Lloyd's will


be better off. The spirit of the Government's intentions... There


has to be eight option for the tenants, because, as I have said


earlier, the Ian Lloyd are taking - - the landlords er taking...


think many will be bludgeoned by the pub companies into taking this


option, so I think that the default should be that there is no tie


unless they are opting for a tie. But that idea now seems hopelessly


optimistic, given that even the optional arrangement was rejected


by coalition MPs earlier this week. Consultation on the Government's


proposals will begin in the spring. Meanwhile, any new measures will be


too late for Russell. He is still trying to pay off debts from his


time in the pub trade. The pub company mentioned in that


report, Punch Taverns, says it works hard to resolve -- resolve


problems with tenets. They say that most of their tenants are satisfied


and the relationship with them. We are joined now by the chief


executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, Brigid Simmonds.


Welcome to the programme. This double whammy of high rents and


high beer prices looks as if it gives the punters be poisonous


cocktail. If you bought your pub, you would be investing between


�500,000 and �1 million. This tie offers a low-cost way to run your


own business at a relatively young age, and the deal is that you pay


less in what we would call variable prices for a beer, and you would


pay more for a variable prices. You pay for the fixed rate prices,


which is indeed for the rent, that is how it works, and we would be


mad to get rid of that system. We would close more pubs. What about


the tenants that we heard in the package? He claims that his beer


costs twice as much as it would otherwise if he had a free house.


We put this to Punch Taverns and they have not disputed any of this.


By cannot commence -- I cannot comment on that aspect, but there


are benefits that he would have received from that or any other pub


company. They do a lot of marketing and there is work around insurance


and there could be free wi-fi. We are closing more pubs without the


tide and with the tide. If you are tied, the pub company is doing a


lot. We have introduced a system that we thought would work. We have


had about 10 complaints on rent and other issues this year, which will


be resolved as a result. We would have reserved -- preferred to go


one of the self regulation system. We believe that system is working.


I am not convinced that a different system will be better for publicans.


The argument from the pub houses is that they are helping people get


into the industry and that they are self-regulated and that is working.


They would say that, wouldn't they? The pubs are closing regularly. The


profits are being squeezed, and I think we are seeing that in all


walks of life, corporate companies, big companies have the company --


power and the abuse it. You have got to give some kind of mechanism


for the small business people to stand up to that. We have seen a 42


% increase in beer taxation in the last four years. The Labour Party


put in a beer duty escalator which goes up at 2% plus inflation.


Publicans are suffering because of government policies on beer


taxation. No other industry could cope with that sort of increase.


have got a lot of sympathy! And I think Neil has as well. Let's take


a local example. There is a wonderful local brewery. It is a --


it has a short term a brewery ties that keeps it open. They were


probably only making a penny a pint in terms of the Act will be a.


in terms of the actual beer. They do provide tenants with good income.


But we must have an adjudicator to make sure that the companies do not


take most of the income. You have to expect that the companies will


have some return on their investment, but you have to make


sure that the tenant has a reasonable living. If the pub


companies are acting properly, they have nothing to fear from an


adjudicator. I think we do actually need an adjudicator are likely to


in the food industry, to make sure that the -- adjudicator likely to


in the food industry, to make sure everything is balanced. Some people


are saying that the tide is the problem. Most pubs are owned by pub


companies and the tie is still there. It is still there, but you


can expect that the company, if they invest in pubs, they have got


to have a return on their income. We have to make sure that they do


not abuse their position. We have to bring in the right balance.


they could lose the tie. If those companies are overcharging for the


beer, the tenant should be able to make us -- make representation.


Where are you going to get the investment in, especially when you


have a good, a local brewery that can produce good beer and do a good


job for the tenant? Let's not cast everybody with the same brush.


have got to leave it there. Brigid Simmonds, thank you for leading --


joining us. Now for the 62nd round up of the political week. -- now


for the round-up of the political weight in 60 seconds. Fire service


cuts for Devon and Somerset. So X machines will be missing that are


available -- six machines that we have now will be missing in the


future. And no improvement in the business plan, and no idea how to


stop this from happening again. this is not acceptable for local


passengers. It has not acceptable for the long-term interest of Our -


- it is not acceptable for the long-term interest of our country.


A lot of people could be walking around with Type 2 diabetes and not


knowing it. Car parks are being used as cash cows in some regions.


I do not think it is realistic. They were not interested in


Cornwall when they earn -- when they were in government and they


are not interested doubt that they are in opposition. -- and they are


not interested doubt that they are in opposition. That is the seat


that you fought at the last election. Have you been cut adrift


by Labour high command? Absolut the knot. To say that the Labour


government forgot about -- absolutely not. To say that the


Labour government forgot about Cornwall... For 48 seats, I think,


at the last election. The Liberal Democrats are trying to play a game


of being in a coalition and supporting the Tories and try to be


in opposition in Cornwall. I agree that the Liberal Democrats squeezed


the vote by claiming to voters that they would keep the Conservatives


out. I do not think people will fall for that twice. Neil, I will


not allow you to speculate! There has not been much about the


flooding problem in Exeter. We will have to deal with that. Getting the


flooding right and getting the railway put right and long-term


future is key. Asset in the House of Commons that the West Country


does not -- I sat in the House of Commons that the West Country does


not stop in Bristol. We are fighting for more because I believe


we have got to have a good railway that comes through the West Country,


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