01/12/2013 Sunday Politics South West


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. George Osborne


announces a ?50 cut to annual household energy bills. We'll talk


to Lib Dem president Tim Farron ahead of the Chancellor's mini


budget this week. Net immigration is up for the first


time in two years. Labour and the Tories say they want to bring it


down, but how? Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper joins us for the


Sunday Interview. The harder you shake the pack, the easier it will


be for some cornflakes to get to the top. The Mayor of London says


inequality and greed are essential to spur economic activity. The


speech And in the South West. Calls to get


credit flowing into our struggling small businesses. And a week of


drama and uncertainty over the future of controversial offshore


wind farms. capital is now a crisis. Another


week, another strategy? Can this one deliver?


And with me throughout today's programme, well, we've shaken the


packet and look who's risen to the top. Or did we open it at the


bottom? Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh and Sam Coates. All three will be


tweeting throughout the programme using the hashtag #bbcsp. So, after


weeks in which Ed Miliband's promise to freeze energy prices has set the


Westminster agenda, the Coalition Government is finally coming up with


its answer. This morning the Chancellor George Osborne explained


how he plans to cut household energy bills by an average of fifty quid.


What we're going to do is roll back the levees that are placed by


government on people's electricity bills. This will mean that for the


average bill payer, they will have ?50 of those electricity and gas


bills. That will help families. We are doing it in the way that


government can do it. We are controlling the cost that families


incurred because of government policies. We are doing it in a way


that will not damage the environment or reduce our commitment to dealing


with climate change. We will not produce commit men to helping


low-income families with the cost of living. Janan, we are finally seeing


the coalition begin to play its hand in response to the Ed Miliband


freeze? They have been trying to respond for almost ten weeks and


older responses have been quite fiddly. We are going to take a bit


of tax year, put it onto general taxation, have a conversation with


the energy companies, engineered a rebate of some kind, this is not


very vivid. The advantage of the idea that they have announced


overnight is that it is clear and it has a nice round figure attached to


it, ?50. The chief of staff of President Obama, he said, if you are


explaining, you're losing. The genius of this idea is that it does


not require explanation. He would not drawn this morning on what


agreement he had with the energy companies, and whether this would


fall through to the bottom of the bill, but the way he spoke, saying,


I am not going to pre-empt what the energy companies say, that suggests


he has something up his sleeve. Yes, I thought so. The energy companies


have made this so badly for so long. It would be awful if he announced


this and the energy companies said, we are going to keep this money for


ourselves. I do not think he is that stupid. The energy companies have an


incentive to go along with this don't they? My worry is that I am


not sure how much it will be within the opinion polls. I think people


might expect this now, it is not a new thing, it is not an exciting


thing. Say in the markets, they may have priced the ten already. If by


Thursday of this week, he is able to say, I have a ?50 cut coming to your


bill. The energy companies have guaranteed that this will fall


through onto your energy bill, and they have indicated to me that they


themselves will not put up energy prices through 2014, has he shot the


Ed Miliband Fox? I think he has a couple of challenges. It is still


very hard. This is an answer for the next 12 months but did is no chance


announced that Labour will stop saying they are going to freeze


prices in the next Parliament. He will say, I have not just frozen


them, I have done that as well and I have cut them. When people look at


their energy bills, they are going up by more than ?50. This is a


reduction in the amount that they are going up overall. Year on 0


will be for George Osborne. He will have to come up with something this


time next year. The detail in the Sunday papers reveals that George


Osborne is trying to get the energy companies to put on bills that 50


has been knocked off your bill because of a reduction by the


government. He is trying to get the energy companies to do his political


bidding for him. It will be interesting to see if they go along


with that, because then we will know how cross the arm with Ed Miliband.


Let's get another perspective. Joining me now from Kendal in the


Lake District is the president of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron.


Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Good morning. Let me ask you this, the


coalition is rowing back on green taxes, I do comfortable with that or


is it something else you will rebel against? I am very comfortable with


the fact we are protecting for the money is going. I am open to where


the money comes from. The notion that we should stop insulating the


homes of elderly people or stop investing in British manufacturing


in terms of green industry, that is something that I resolutely oppose,


but I am pleased that the funding will be made available for all that.


You cannot ignore the fact that for a whole range of reasons, mostly


down to the actions of the energy companies, you have prices that are


shooting up and affecting lots of people, making life hard. You cannot


ignore that. If we fund the installation of homes for older


people and others, if we protect British manufacturing jobs, and


raise the money through general taxation, I am comfortable with


that. It is not clear that is going to happen. It looks like the


eco-scheme, whereby the energy companies pay for the installation


of those on below-average incomes, they will spin that out over four


years, not two years, and one estimate is that that will cost


10,000 jobs. You're always boasting about your commitment to green jobs,


how do square that? I do not believe that. The roll-out will be longer.


The number of houses reached will be greater and that is a good thing. My


take is that it will not affect the number of jobs. People talk about


green levies. There has been disparaging language about that sort


of thing. There are 2 million people in this country in the lowest income


families and they get ?230 off their energy bills because of what isn't


-- because of what is disparaging the refer to as green stuff, shall


we call it. There will be more properties covered. We both know


that your party is being pushed into this by the Tories. You would not be


doing this off your own bad. You are in coalition with people who have


jettisoned their green Prudential is? -- credentials. You have made my


point quite well. David Cameron s panicked response to this over the


last few months was to ditch all the green stuff. It has been a job to


make sure that we hold him to his pledges and the green cord of this


government. That is why we are not scrapping the investment, we are


making sure it is funded from general taxation. I am talking to


you from Kendal. Lots of people struggle to pay their energy bills.


But all these things pale into insignificance compared to the


threat of climate change and we must hold the Prime Minister to account


on this issue. Argue reconciled to the idea that as long as you're in


coalition with the Tories you will never get a mansion tax? I am not


reconciled to it. We are trying to give off other tax cut to the lowest


income people. What about the mansion tax? That would be


potentially paid for by another view source of finance. That would be


that the wealthy... We know that is what you want, but you're not going


to get that? We will keep fighting for it. It is extremely important.


We can show where we will get the money from. I know that is the


adamant. That is not what I asked you. Ed Balls and Labour run in


favour of a mansion tax, have you talked to them about it? The honest


answer is I have not. It is interesting that they have come


round to supporting our policy having rejected it in power. So if


Labour was the largest party in parliament but not in power, you


would have no problem agreeing with a mansion tax as part of the deal?


If the arithmetic falls in that way and that is the will of the British


people, fear taxes on those who are wealthiest, stuff that is fear,


which includes wealth taxes, in order to fund more reductions for


those people on lowest incomes, that is the sort of thing that we might


reach agreement on. You voted with Labour on the spare room subsidy.


Again, that would be job done in any future coalition talks with Labour,


correct? I take the view that the spare room subsidy, whilst entirely


fail in principle, in practice it has caused immense hardship. I want


to see that changed. There are many people in government to share my


view on that. So does Labour. The problem was largely caused Labour


because they oversaw an increase in housing costs both 3.5 times while


they were in power. The government was forced into a position to tidy


up an appalling mess that Labour left. You voted with Labour against


it, and also, you want... No, I voted with the party conference


Let's not dance on the head of the ten. Maybe they voted with me. - on


the head of a pin. You are also in favour of a 50% top rate of income


tax, so you and Labour are that one there as well? No, I take the view


that the top rate of income tax is a fluid thing. All taxation levels are


temporary. Nick Clegg said that when the 50p rate came down to 45, that


was a rather foolish price tag George Osborne asked for in return


for as increasing the threshold and letting several million people out


of paying income tax at the bottom. So you agree with Labour? In favour


of rising the tax to 50p. I take the view that we should keep our minds


open on that. It is not the income tax level that bothers me, it is


whether the wealthy pay their fresh air. If that can be done through


other taxes, then that is something that I am happy with. -- their fair


share. Given your position on the top rate of tax, on the spare room


subsidy, how does the prospect of another five years of coalition with


the Tories strike you? The answer is, you react with whatever you have


about you to what the electorate hand you. Whatever happens after the


next election, you have got to respect the will of the people. Yes,


but how do you feel about it? We know about this, I am asking for


your feeling. Does your heart left or does your heart fall at the


prospect of another five years with the Tories? My heart would always


follow the prospect of anything other than a majority of Liberal


Democrat government. Your heart must be permanently in your shoes then.


Something like that, but when all is said and done, we accept the will of


the electorate. When you stand for election, you have got to put up


with what the electorate say. I have not found coalition as difficult as


you might suggest. It is about people who have to disagree and


agree to differ. You work with people in your daily life that you


disagree with. It is what grown ups do. A lot of people in your party


think that your positioning yourself to be the left-wing candidate in a


post-Nick Clegg leadership contest. They think it is blatant


manoeuvring. One senior figure says, this is about you. Which bit of the


sanctimonious, treacherous little man is there not to like? What can I


see in response to that. My job is to promote the Liberal Democrats. I


have to do my best to consider what I'd defend to be right. By and


large, my position as an MP in the Lake District, but also as the


president of the party, is to reflect the will of people outside


the Westminster village. That is the important thing to do. Thank you for


joining us. David Cameron has said he wants to get it down to the tens


of thousands, Ed Miliband has admitted New Labour "got it wrong",


and Nick Clegg wants to be "zero-tolerant towards abuse". Yes,


immigration is back on the political agenda, with figures released


earlier this week showing that net migration is on the rise for the


first time in two years. And that's not the only reason politicians are


talking about it again. The issue of immigration has come


into sharp focus because of concerns about the number of remaining ins


and Bulgarians that can come to the UK next year. EU citizenship grants


the right to free movement within the EU. But when Bulgaria and


Romania joined in 2007, the government took up its right to


apply temporary restrictions on movement. They must be lifted


apply temporary restrictions on end of this year. According to the


2011 census, about one eyed 1 million of the population in England


and Wales is made up of people from countries who joined the EU in 004.


The government has played down expectations that the skill of


migration could be repeated. This week David Cameron announced new


restrictions on the ability of EU migrants to claim benefits. That was


two, send a message. That prompted criticism is that the UK risks being


seen as a nasty country. Yvette Cooper joins me now for the Sunday


interview. Welcome to the Sunday Politics, Yvette Cooper. You


criticised the coalition for not acting sooner on immigration from


Romania and Bulgaria but the timetable for the unrestricted


arrival in January was agreed under Labour many years ago, and given the


battle that you had with the Polish and the Hungarians, what


preparations did you make in power? We think that we should learn from


some of the things that happened with migration. It would have been


better to have transitional controls in place and look at the impact of


what happened. But what preparations did you make in power? We set out a


series of measures that the Government still had time to bring


in. It is important that this should be a calm and measured debate. There


was time to bring in measures around benefit restrictions, for example,


and looking at the impact on the labour market, to make sure you do


not have exploitation of cheap migrant Labour which is bad for


everyone. I know that but I have asked you before and I am asking


again, what did you do? We got things wrong in Government. I


understand that I am not arguing. You are criticising them not


preparing, a legitimate criticism, but what did you do in power? Well,


I did think we did enough. Did you do anything? We signed the agency


workers directive but too slowly. We needed measures like that. We did


support things like the social chapter and the minimum wage, but I


have said before that we did not do enough and that is why we


recommended the measures in March. I understand that is what you did in


opposition and I take that. I put the general point to you that given


your failure to introduce controls on the countries that joined in


2004, alone among the major EU economies we did that, should we not


keep an embarrassed silence on these matters? You have no credibility. I


think you have got to talk about immigration. One of the things we


did not do in Government was discussed immigration and the


concerns people have and the long-term benefits that we know have


come from people who have come to Britain over many generations


contributing to Britain and having a big impact. I think we recognise


that there are things that we did wrong, but it would be irresponsible


for us not to join the debate and suggest sensible, practical measures


that you can introduce now to address the concerns that people


have, but also make sure that the system is fair and managed.


Immigration is important to Britain but it does have to be controlled


and managed in the right way. Let's remind ourselves of your record on


immigration. The chart you did not consult when in power. This is total


net migration per year under Labour. 2.2 million of net rise in


migration, more than the population of Birmingham, you proud of that? --


twice the population. Are you proud of that or apologising for it? We


set the pace of immigration was too fat and the level was too high and


it is right to bring migration down. So you think that was wrong?


Overruled have been huge benefits from people that have come to


Britain and built our biggest businesses. -- overall. They have


become Olympic medal winners. But because the pace was too fast, that


has had an impact. That was because of the lack of transitional controls


from Eastern Europe and it is why we should learn from that and have


sensible measures in place now, as part of what has got to be a calm


debate. These are net migration figures. They don't often show the


full figure. These are the immigration figures coming in. What


that chart shows is that in terms of the gross number coming into this


country, from the year 2000, it was half a million a year under Labour.


Rising to 600,000 by the time you were out of power. A lot of people


coming into these crowded islands, particularly since most of them come


to London and the South East. Was that intentional? Was that out of


control? Is that what you are now apologising for? What we said was


that the Government got the figures wrong on the migration from Eastern


Europe. If you remember particularly there was the issue of what happened


with not having transitional controls in place. The Government


didn't expect the number of people coming to the country to be the way


it was. And so obviously mistakes were made. We have recognised that.


We have also got to recognise that this is something that has happened


in countries all over the world We travel and trade far more than ever.


We have an increasingly globalised economy. Other European countries


have been affected in the same way, and America, and other developing


countries affected in the same way by the scale of migration. I am


trying to work out whether the numbers were intentional or if you


lost control. The key thing that we have said many times and I have


already said it to you many times, Andrew, that we should have a


transitional controls in place on Eastern Europe. I think that would


have had an impact on them level of migration. We also should have


brought in the points -based system earlier. We did bring that in


towards the end and it did restrict the level of low skilled migration


because there are different kinds of migration. University students


coming to Britain brings in billions of pounds of investment. On the


other hand, low skilled migration can have a serious impact on the


jobs market, pay levels and so on at the low skilled end of the labour


market. We have to distinguish between different kinds of


migration. You keep trying to excuse the figures by talking about the


lack of transitional controls. Can we skip the chart I was going to go


to? The next one. Under Labour, this is the source of where migrants came


from. The main source was not the accession countries or the remainder


of Europe. Overwhelmingly they were from the African Commonwealth, and


the Indian subcontinent. Overwhelmingly, these numbers are


nothing to do with transitional controls. You can control that


immigration entirely because they are not part of the EU. Was that a


mistake? First of all, the big increase was in the accession


groups. Not according to the chart. In terms of the increase, the


changes that happened. Secondly in answer to the question that you just


asked me, we should also have introduced the points -based system


at an earlier stage. Thirdly there has been a big increase in the


number of university students coming to Britain and they have brought


billions of pounds of investment. At the moment the Government is not


distinguishing, it is just using the figure of net migration. And that is


starting to go up again, as you said in the introduction, but the problem


is that it treats all kinds of migration is aimed. It does not


address illegal immigration, which is a problem, but it treats


university graduates coming to Britain in the same way as low


skilled workers. If Labour get back into power, is it your ambition to


bring down immigration? We have already said it is too high and we


would support measures to bring it down. You would bring it down? There


is something called student visas, which is not included in the


figures, and it does not include university graduates, and it is a


figure that has increased substantially in recent years. They


come for short-term study but they do not even have to prove that they


come for a college course. They do not even have to have a place to


come. Those visas should be restricted to prevent abuse of the


system and that is in line with a recommendation from the Inspectorate


and that is the kind of practical thing that we could do. Can you give


us a ballpark figure of how much immigration would fall? You have


seen the mess that Theresa May has got into with her figures. She made


a target that it is clear to me that she will not meet. I think that is


right. She will not meet it. Can you give as a ballpark figure by which


we can judge you? If she had been more sensible and taken more time to


listen to experts and decide what measures should be targeted, then


she would not be in this mess. You cannot give me a figure? She has


chosen net migration. She has set a target, without ifs and buts. I


think it is important not to have a massive gap between the rhetoric and


reality. Not to make promises on numbers which are not responsible.


OK, you won't give me a figure. Fine. Moving on to crime. 10,00


front line police jobs have gone since 2010 but crime continues to


fall. 7% down last year alone. When you told the Labour conference that


you do not cut crime by cutting the police, you were wrong. I think the


Government is being very complacent about what is happening to crime.


Crime patterns are changing. There has been an exponential increase,


and that is in the words of the police, in online crime. We have


also seen, for example, domestic violence going up, but prosecutions


dropping dramatically. There is a serious impact as a result of not


having 10,000 police in place. You have talked about the exponential


increase in online and economic crime. If those are the big growth


areas, why have bobbies on the beat? That would make no difference. It is


about an approach to policing that has been incredibly successful over


many years, which Labour introduced, which is neighbourhood policing in


the community is working hard with communities to prevent crime. People


like to see bobbies on the beat but have you got any evidence that it


leads to a reduction in crime? Interestingly, the Lords Stevens


commission that we set up, they have reported this week and it has been


the equivalent of a Royal commission, looking at the number of


people involved in it. Their strong recommendation was that this is


about preventing crime but also respectful law and order, working


with communities, and so they strongly took the view with all of


their expertise and the 30 different universities that they have involved


with it, that on the basis of all that analysis, the right thing was


to keep bobbies on the beat and not push them cars. Instinctively you


would think it was true. More visible policing, less crime. But in


all the criminology work, I cannot find the evidence. There is


competing work about why there has been a 20 year drop in overall crime


and everybody has different opinions on why that has happened. The point


about neighbourhood policing is that it is broader than crime-fighting.


It is about prevention and community safety. Improving the well-being of


communities as well. Will you keep the elected Police Commissioners?


Big sigh! What the report said was that the system is flawed. We raised


concern about this at the beginning. You will remember at the elections,


Theresa May's flagship policy, at the elections they cost ?100 million


and there was 15% turnout. You have to have a system of accountability


at the police. Three options were presented, all of which are forms.


So you have to have reform. It is not whether to have reformed, it is


which of those options is the best way to do it. The commission set out


a series of options, and I thought that the preferable approach would


be collaboration and voluntary mergers. We know they won't


volunteer. There have been some collaboration is taking place. I


think the issues with police and crime commissioners have fragmented


things and made it harder to get collaboration between police


forces. Everybody is asking this question, just before you go. What


is it like living with a nightmare? Who does all the cooking, so I can't


complain! Says Miliband people are wrong, he is a dream cook? He is!


In a speech this week, Boris Johnson praised greed and envy as essential


for economic progress, and that has got tongues wagging. What is the


Mayor of London up to? What is his game plan? Does he even have a game


plan and does he know if he has one? Flash photography coming up. Boris.


In many ways I can leave it there. You'd know who I meant. And if you


didn't, the unruly mop of blonde hair would tell you, the language.


Ping-pong was invented on the dining tables of England. Somehow pulling


off the ridiculous to the sublime. It is going to go zoink off the


scale! But often having to speed away from the whiff-whaff of


scandal. Boris, are you going to save your manage?


There's always been a question about him and his as role as mayor and


another prized position, as hinted to the Tory faithful this year at


conference, discussing former French Prime Minister Alan Juppe. -- Alain


Juppe. He told me he was going to be the mayor of Bordeaux. I think he


may have been mayor well he was Prime Minister, it is the kind of


thing they do in funds -- AvD in France. It is a good idea, if you


ask me. But is it a joke? He is much more ambitious. Boris wants to be


Prime Minister more than anything else. Perhaps more than he wants to


be made of London. The ball came loose from the back of the scrum. Of


course it would give great thing to have a crack at, but it is not going


to happen. He might be right. First, the Conservatives have a leader


another Old Etonian, Oxford, Bullingdon chap and he has the job


Boris might like a crack at. What do you do with a problem like Boris? It


is one of the great paradoxes of Tory politics that for Boris Johnson


to succeed, David Cameron must feel. Boris needs David Cameron to lose so


that he can stand a chance of becoming loser. -- becoming leader.


And disloyalty is punished by Conservatives. Boris knows the man


who brought down Margaret Thatcher. Michael Heseltine, who Boris


replaced as MP for Henley, never got her job. In 1986, she took on the


member for Henley, always a risky venture. And why might he make such


a jibe, because he's won two more elections than the PM. Conservatives


like a winner. Boris, against Robert expectations, has won the Mayor of


London job twice. -- public. He might've built a following with the


grassroots but he's on shakier ground with many Tory MPs, who see


him as a selfish clown, unfit for high office. And besides, he's not


the only one with king-sized ambition, and Boris and George are


not close, however much they may profess unity. There is probably


some Chinese expression for a complete and perfect harmony. Ying


and yang. But in plain black and white, if Boris has a plan, it's one


he can't instigate, and if David Cameron is PM in 2016, it may not be


implementable. He'd need a seat and it wouldn't be plain sailing if he


did make a leadership bid. My leadership chances, I think I may


have told you before, or about as good as my chances of ying


reincarnated as a baked bean. Which is probably quite high. So if the


job you want with Brown-esque desire is potentially never to be yours


what do you do? He is, of course, an American citizen by birth. He was


born in New York public hospital, and so he is qualified to be


President of the United States. And you don't need an IQ over 16 to find


that the tiniest bit scary. Giles Dilnot reporting. Helen Lewis,


Janan Ganesh and Sam Coates are here. Is there a plan for Boris and


if so, what is it? I think the plan is for him to say what he thinks the


Tory activist base wants to hear just now. He knows that in 18 months


time they can disown it. I think he is wrong, the way the speech has


played has a limited number of people. He has cross-party appeal.


He has now reconfirmed to people that the Tories are the nasty party


and they have been pretending to be modernised. Is it not the truth that


he needs David Cameron to lose the 2015 election to become leader in


this decade? It is very interesting watching his fortunes wax and wane.


It always seems to happen in inverse proportion to how well David Cameron


is doing in front of his own party. There is no small element of


strategy about what we are doing here. The problem with Boris is that


he's popular with the country, but not with the party's MPs and its


hard-core supporters. This was an appeal to the grassroots this week.


He is not the only potential candidate. If we were in some kind


of circumstance where Boris was a runner to replace Mr Cameron, who


with the other front the? I think it will skip a generation. The recent


intake was ideological assertive. I do not buy the idea that it will be


Jeremy Hunt against Michael Gove. I then, that generation will be


tainted by being in government. It is interesting, what is he trying to


pull? He is ideological. He does not believe in many things, but he


believes in a few things quite deeply, and one is the idea of


competition, both in business and academic selection. He has never


been squeamish about expressing that. We do make mistakes sometimes,


assuming he is entirely political. Look at all the Northern voters who


will not vote for the Tories even though they are socially or economic


the Conservatives. I do not think he helps. Who in the Tories would


help? That is a tough question. To reason me has also been speaking to


the hard right. -- Theresa May. I have been out with him at night It


is like dining with a film star People are queueing up to speak to


him. Educational selection is one of the few areas that he can offer He


has gone liberal on immigration, as are made of London would have to.


Hello, I'm Martyn Oates. Coming up on the Sunday Politics in the South


West... Disarray in the wind industry as plans for a major wind


farm off Devon's coastline are dropped... And for the next twenty


minutes, I'm joined by Stephen Gilbert, Liberal Democrat MP for St


Austell and Newquay and Chris Penberthy, Labour councillor from


Plymouth, welcome both of you to the programme... It's been a dramatic


week for both wind and water, with South West Water's announcement that


it plans to freeze our bills. Meanwhile a rare Rainbow Coalition


of MPs wants us all to be given the choice to buy our water from


somebody else entirely. I think if we accept that the principle of


competition which is being introduced for businesses and for


charities and for public sector organisations will help drive down


bills for those groups, then that should be extended to households and


domestic residences. Any what customers should be able to shop


around and find the best tariff and continue to drive down the cost of


water. Thanks to botched privatisation it is too high. The


government insists that water metering is key to this. I suggested


that we pilot competition. Already eight out of ten households in this


area are metered. It strikes me that we are ahead of the curve and this


gives us an opportunity to bring competition into the domestic market


and allow people to shop around and allow people to find cheaper water


bills. John Redwood agrees. I know that when I am talking to people


locally, fuel costs and water and food costs are worrying people. It


seems bizarre that business can benefit from competition but local


residents cannot. There was something of a shock on Tuesday when


plans for one of the world's biggest offshore wind farms, just off the


coast of North Devon, were suddenly scrapped. The ?4bn Atlantic Array


would have powered nearly a million homes, but RWE npower said it was


pulling the plug on the scheme because the economics no longer


stacked up. Scott Bingham reports. The Atlantic Array had been battling


strong head wounds from the first day. Councils rejected the scheme


and there was a determined campaign against it claiming it would damage


tourism and the environment. So there were plenty of local people


delighted to hear of its apparent demise. They realise the way the


wind is blowing and they realise that they need to put expensive


money into this and it is no longer viable. The Atlantic Array would


have been twice the size of this in London. The most recent plans from


RWE npower would have seen up to 240 turbines off the North Devon coast.


It would have covered an area of 200 square: Otters, about 77 square


miles and the company claim the turbines could produce enough


electricity to power 9000 homes. There was shock when the company


suddenly pulled the plug on the ?4 billion project, but could the


celebrations be premature. Those who are proclaiming victory should be


careful of hubris, the wind is still there and it will still be


attractive to others in the future. The company said the scheme was


simply not viable considering the technical challenges and the current


market conditions and those market conditions have not been helped by


the uncertainty created by David Cameron's alleged green rubbish


remarks and Ed Miliband's calls for an energy price freeze. Something


which is so important, to keep the lights on, has become a political


Punch and Judy show. Industry is saying we have got a bit of this


going on for a while and we will keep our heads down. It affects new


capital into the industry and across Europe, offshore wind is probably


cutting back to 25 gigawatts because the money is not there. Optimists


say the London array successfully overcame similar obstacle in ``


obstacles. For now, the Atlantic Array looks dead in the water. Steve


Crowther, UKIP chairman who led the campaign against the turbines in


North Devon, welcome to the programme, but before we come to


you... You work in government for the Energy Secretary and I imagine


he was horrified. I think it was disappointing that they have taken


this view. It is for technical reasons. It is to do with the


complexity of being able to drive the foundations, deep into the sea


bed. As Nick Harvey said, the wind resource is still there and as we


move forward we know we will need ?110 billion worth of investment in


energy generating infrastructure. We know we want to decarbonise our


economy. Actually that resource will be harnessed at some point. This


would have provided 17% of renewable energy in the South West. It is


leaving a big home. We have seen from the Department a whole bunch of


schemes which have been consulted. We must not think we are losing all


our eggs in one basket. The wind resource will still be there. When


firms look at the technical issues again, we might be considering


another ad Atlantic Array. It is the costs associated. We know that


Labour and the Green Party are saying that this would happen at


once David Cameron started talking about rolling back green levies.


Lord Teverson said as much last week. This is not pretend politics.


The whole reason we have been going through an energy bill over a


two`year period is to get in best confidence in the industry to make


sure the lights stay on in the long`term in Britain. This is


seriously undermining it, particularly the Treasury. George


Osborne does not believe in this and he is driving David Cameron to a


degree. It is a split in the Tories and Coalition government. For big


businesses looking at investing, this is bound to create concern.


Businesses want stability. I think that is why the discussions that are


going on about how we move some of the green levies from energy bills


onto general taxation need to be completed as quickly as possible and


I am sure we will have an announcement by Thursday. What is


also causing uncertainty is Labour's idea of a price freeze and


if you look at the investment companies, the people who are taking


these decisions, what they are saying is it is not actually the


internal Coalition issues which are causing a reluctance to invest, it


is the uncertainty of being unable to look ahead and see what the


resume will look like them. That is a good point. You are contributing


to this. Most companies are quite happy to offer a fixed term deals.


Why does Ed Miliband have to get involved? The whole system needs


looking at and to do that in a point at which the maximum price is


frozen, just for 19 months, while that whole system is put in place,


then we have more competition and a different regulator in the market.


It is a short`term thing, prices are offered as frozen into the future


and we have heard one company say they could do it. It is not a


permanent freeze. It is 19 months. You cannot control what happens to


prices before the freeze or after the freeze. Ed Miliband's own energy


company have said that they will go out of business if this continues. I


will bring in Steve Crowther. The discussion they are having is


quibbling over details. You do not think this should continue. There


are two different issues, Bristol Channel is the wrong place for a


wind farm. The discussion of technical difficulties goes to show


that. It is what we have been fighting this on. What is


interesting is that you can see the disarray is not about the Bristol


Channel, it is about the main parties. They have created an


environment in which energy prices rocketing and now they are fighting


over who can try and push them back. The ?18 billion a that year the


climate change act is adding to costs is the nature of the problem.


Ed Miliband is trying to do both things, create this environment of


climate change course and at the same time trying to persuade energy


companies not to put prices up. It is not surprising it does not work.


The financiers that have been asked to put the money up for a building


these projects are now saying no thanks. If you scrap wind, what


would you do instead? One of the interesting things about the Bristol


Channel and I noticed that one of the spokesman said this week that


they would be looking for someone with less tidal range, everyone


knows that the Bristol Channel has the highest tidal range in the world


and one of the fastest tidal flows. It is a perfect location to mass


produced tidal and green current energy. It was never the right place


for this wind project. The idea that suddenly after all of these years in


an inshore site that developers have found that the water was deeper than


they thought were the sea bed was made of something different is


ridiculous. Nigel Farage talks about the lights going out soon. It is


true the lights will go off and he does not only say that, the chairman


of Ofgem says it. There has been a catastrophic mismanagement of our


energy policy over the last 20 years and we are facing blackouts.


Fortunately, we have been offered a short`term bridge through shale gas


which means we can buy ourselves the time to build proper power stations.


The other thing we should not do is closing down perfectly serviceable


power stations according to an EU dictate. There are six closing which


are perfectly able to close the gap. We are fixated on targets. We are


fixated on making sure that there is a planet we can lead to our


children. There is nothing unethical about that. He is rolling his eyes.


I suspect he does not think that climate change is happening. This is


a clear policy imperative that we have to decarbonise our economy. We


need to take the right steps to protect our environment for future


dinner generations `` Michael generations. If you start thinking


that climate change is not happening, we do not need to invest


in renewables, it is a deathly debate. That is not my position. We


support renewables providing they are supporting the reliable energy


we need. We have clearly got to invest in the nuclear industry


because that provides no carbon power of the sort of level that we


need going into the future. UKIP and Nick Harvey would share the view


that we rely too heavily on a small number of big foreign companies and


that this flags up the problem. Possibly. What is interesting is


when it comes to renewables there is lots more local ownership of


renewable power generation. In Plymouth next year there will be a


community share issue on a solar project. We are finding already that


it saves money and saves carbon footprint. We can do that through


local ownership, it does not have to be the big six. For me, that is a


really exciting opportunity, to put control of power back in the hands


of the people who use it. We have to leave it there. This week the


government and the Bank of England announced that the Funding for


Lending scheme will soon stop supporting mortgages, amid fears of


another housing bubble and refocus on helping small businesses. But the


Newton Abbot MP Anne Marie Morris is calling on ministers to do more for


the micro businesses she says are the heartbeat of the community and


the backbone of the economy. Jenny Kumah reports. Lee Kelly has been


Tatooine for more than ten years in Okehampton, working out of a room at


the back of his house. It is only this summer that he managed to have


enough money to start this salon on an industrial estate in the town.


How I did it was through pure hard work, saving, finding the right


property, it took years and years. We looked at all aspects in the town


centre and in the end we came out of the town centre to afford the rent.


He used money raised by himself as he found it hard to get loans. Banks


were not prepared to take the risk. You prepare business plans and you


go there and you meet with people, you're met with hesitancy. I know it


is not their fault, the budget is the same, everyone is struggling,


but it should be made that little bit easier. You can ask, if you do


not ask you do not get, but a lot of the time people do not get. This


week Anne`Marie Morris raised these concerns in the House of Commons.


Finance is being called for. The government has introduced the


Funding for Lending scheme which has gone well, start`up loans have been


extended, the enterprise plan has been very helpful. We cannot rest on


our laurels. There are key issues which need to be addressed. The


ministers suggested there could be changes, especially for those firms


who wanted to appeal against the decision to refuse credit. Another


member raised an issue about appeals amongst banks and I do not want to


pre`empt my right honourable friend, the Chancellor, who will be giving


the Autumn statement in a week's time, but I recommend that he


attends the House on that day. Lee is determined that he will not be


held back even if lenders continue to refuse to help him. I am feeling


positive. I would like to expand, but it is hard to, because there is


a lack of funding available and the banks do not want to lend money. I


will struggle through, I will save and I will expand eventually,


because I will not give up. Lee Kelly ending that report there from


Jenny Kumah. Anne`Marie Morris wants the government to do more. There has


been a report that says there is lots happening, but it is happening


under so many different schemes it is difficult for small businesses to


understand. There needs to be clearer information. We hear that


the business rates are big sting and that is in the government's pocket.


Local authorities can help. We are doing things to help and implement


we are really positive about what we can do to support small businesses.


There is an issue with business rates and there is a view over the


next few months to review whether the regime is fit for the kind of


businesses, the type of retail environment that we have going


forward. They are based on the area that business occupies, not


necessarily the value added to the economy. In the modern age with


internet retailing, developing with lots of people in micro`businesses,


perhaps run from home, rather than the High Street, I am not sure we


have got it right with business rates. He is right, there is an


opportunity to look again at whether that is right for the modern retail


environment. Concerns about the potential changes to maternity and


paternity leave. It could be spread out, shorter notice for employers,


this would fall harshly on small businesses. People who are parents


will recognise that spending time with their children when they are


first`born and in their early years is important. Most business people


have been parents as well. There is a balance to be struck, but we often


talk in this country about working too long hours, not having the right


worklife balance, most people I speak to want to spend time with


their children when they are newly born. It is necessary to get the


time right, not too much of a burden on businesses, but I think we should


celebrate a step forward to reinforcing the family. You think it


is not a big enough step. We need to think about how we balance family.


The old assumption that it is the mother who stays at home and the


father goes out to work is quite dated. If we are talking about small


businesses, flexibility is key, because quite often, small


businesses are started up by young people and young people in need to


have families. We need to have a flexible approach, at the same point


we know that time spent with children when they are young, helps


attainment in the long term. That is really important for education. Now


our regular round`up of the political week in the South West in


sixty seconds... Cornwall Council sets an early budget for next year,


including a council tax rise of nearly 2%. I think everyone is


reluctant to do this, but we have to do it. We are in a situation where


lack of government funding and support and huge cuts is making a


difference. Cornish hotelier is refused a ruling to a gay couple and


ruled against the Supreme Court. I am disappointed that they did not


take the opportunity to make room for an alternative lifestyle and for


our lifestyle. Anonymity or not for the Marine who murdered an Afghan


insurgent, should he have been convicted of murder at all? I think


this should be a separate offence for something like this, a killing


on active service, an unlawful killing on active service. And


farmers and beekeepers clash over an EU pesticide ban which comes into


force today. We had the independently of Cornwall Council


accusing the government of not giving them enough money, do you


agree? Councils have to face difficult decisions and there are


different ways of balancing the books and making those provisions.


What the council has decided to do is put up council tax. I think we


should have a fairer funding system. I think councillors face difficult


decisions. Those in no particular problem in rural areas? There is a


disproportionate amount of money going to urban areas. I do not


underestimate the difficulties. I know the leader of the council


thinks cities have a raw deal. It varies on the funding formula. In


public health in Plymouth we get a fraction of what other areas get. We


know that we have major problems with health and that is part of our


funding formula. There are in balances in rural areas and in urban


areas in the South West, we are deemed as rich by Westminster and we


all know we are not. Turning to the issue of the Marine convicted of


murder, what about this idea that there should be a separate lesser


offence? I have not been across the detail. I have seen the newspapers.


These should be matters for the court martial is for the military to


look at themselves. They would have to create a new offence. It sounded


pretty clear that he was taking the steps that he was found guilty of,


so I am not sure. They have to found him `` they have to find him guilty


of the offence on the statute. It was pretty horrific. Where we send


our forces out to do a difficult job, we expect them to uphold the


values that we are sending them there to do. What do you think?


Having spoken to Marines in my own ward, a lot of Marines were feeling


quite worried about how they were going to be viewed because of this.


It was really disturbing, listening Tacloban I knew different offence or


not? That is really up to picked out. People thought he was


touching on eugenics and things like that. That is all we have time for.


Thank you. What rabbit has George Osborne got up his sleeve? And


what's David Cameron up to in China? All questions for The Week Ahead. To


help the panel led, we are joined by Kwasi Kwarteng, Tory MP. Welcome to


the Sunday Politics. Why has the government been unable to move the


agenda and to the broad economic recovery, and allowed the agenda to


stay on Labour's ground of energy prices and living standards? Energy


has been a big issue over the last few months but the autumn state and


will be a wonderful opportunity to readdress where we are fighting the


ground, the good economic news that we delivered. If you look at where


Labour were earlier this year, people were saying they would they 5


million people unemployed. They were saying that there should be a plan


B. He is not in the Labour Party? Elements of the left were suggesting


it. Peter Hain told me it would be up to 3 million people. Danny


Blanchflower said it would be 5 million people. So we have got to


get the economy back to the centre of the debate? Yes, the game we were


playing was about the economy. That was the central fighting ground of


the political debate. We were winning that battle. Labour have


cleverly shifted it onto the cost of living. It is essential that the


government, that George, talks about the economy. That has been its great


success. I do not think this has been a week of admitting that Labour


was right, plain cigarettes packaging, other issues. If you look


at the big picture, where we are with the economy, we have the


fastest growing economy in the G-7. Despite Labour's predictions, none


of this has happened, none of the triple dip has happened. The British


economy is on a good fitting. That is a good story for the government


to bat on. You say that people have stopped talking about the economic


recovery, but it is worse than that, people have stopped talking about


the deficit? As long as people were talking about the deficit, the


Tories were trusted. But people have forgotten about it. This country


still spends ?100 billion more than it raises. Yes, I am of the view


that the deficit, the national debt, is the biggest question facing


this generation of politicians. You are right to suggest that the


Conservative Party was strong on this. That head, not deficit, is not


going to come down in the foreseeable future? It is rising.


This is a test that George Osborne is not going to pass. We know what


is coming in the Autumn Statement, it is lots of giveaways, paying for


free school meals, paying for fuel duty subsidies. We are still talking


about the cost of living, not changing it actively wider economy.


There might be extra money for growth but it is not clear what will


happen to that. If it is time for giveaways, let's speak about Labour.


I have never been a fan of giveaways. Fiscal prudence is what


our watchword should be. Look at the headlines. Each time, the deficit


figures, the debt figures, were always worse than predicted. This


year it will be significantly better. I think that is significant.


Any kind of recovery is probably better than no recovery at all. When


you look at this recovery, it is basically a consumer spending boom.


Consumer spending is up, business investment is way down compared with


2008, and exports, despite a 20 devaluation, our flat. Let's get one


thing straight, it is a recovery. Any recovery is better than no


recovery. Now we can have a debate about, technical debate about the


elements of the recovery. It is not technical, it is a fact. There is


evidence that there is optimism in terms of what are thinking...


Optimism? If I am optimistic about the economy, I am more likely to


spend money and invest in business. So far you have not managed that?


Exports have not done well either? Exports are not a big section of the


British economy. But of course, they are important. But given where we


were at the end of last year, no economist was saying that we would


be in this robust position today. That is true, in terms of the


overall recovery. Now the PM loves to "bang the drum abroad for British


business" and he's off to China this evening with a plane-load of British


business leaders. And it's not the first time. Take a look at this


Well, you might not think exports unimportant, but clearly the Prime


Minister and the Chancellor do. They are important, but they are not what


is driving the growth at the moment. We used to talk about the need for


export led recovery is, that is why the Prime Minister is going to


China. Absolutely, and he's doing the right thing. Do we have any


evidence that these tend of trips produce business? The main example


so far is the right to trade the Chinese currency offshore. London


has a kind of global primacy. London will be the offshore centre. Is that


a good thing? I have no problem at all with this sort of policy. I do


not think that Britain has been doing this enough compared with


France and Germany in recent years. I am optimistic in the long term


about this dish -- about British exports to China. China need machine


tools and manufacturing products. In 20 years time, China will be buying


professional groups, educational services, the things we excel at.


All we need to do is consolidate our strengths, stand still and we will


move forward. The worst thing we can do is reengineer the economy towards


those services and away from something else. We have a lot of


ground to make up, Helen? At one stage, it is no longer true, but at


one stage you could say that we exported more to Ireland, a country


of 4 million people, than we did to Russia, China, India, Brazil, all


combined. I believe we form 1% of Chinese imports now. The problem is


what you have to give up in exchange for that. It is a big problem for


David Cameron's credibility that he has had to row back on his meeting


with the Dalai llama. This trip we have been in the deep freeze with


China for a couple of years. This trip has come at a high cost. We


have had to open up the City of London to Chinese banks without much


scrutiny, we have had to move the date of the Autumn Statement, and


there is no mention of human rights. It is awkward to deal with that all


in the name of getting up to where we were a few years ago. A month


after strong anchor -- one month after Sri Lanka, where he apologised


three human rights abuses, this is difficult to take. Do we have any


idea what the Prime Minister hopes to do in China this time? I am not


sure there is anything specific but when you go to these countries,


certainly in the Middle East China, they complain, why has the Prime


Minister not come to see us? That is very important. High-level


delegations from other countries go to these places because the addict


-- because they are important export markets. You might look at the Prime


Minister playing cricket over there, and wonder, what is that for? I do


not mind the Prime Minister Rajoy cricket. This is a high visibility


mission, chose that politicians in Britain care. You are part of the


free enterprise group. It had all sorts of things on it like tax cuts


for those on middle incomes or above the 40% bracket, tax cuts worth 16


billion. You will get none of that on Thursday, we are agreed? No. But


he does have two budgets between now and the election and if the fiscal


position is using a little bit, he may have more leeway than it looked


like a couple of months ago. Yes, from a free enter prise point of


view, we have looked at the tax cuts that should be looked at. The 4 p


rate comes in at quite a low level for people who, in the south-east,


do not feel particularly wealthy. They are spending a lot of money on


commuting, energy bills. The Chancellor has been very open about


championing this. He says that the 40p rate will kick in at a slightly


higher rate. Labour had a bad summer and the opinion polls seem to be


narrowing. Then they had a good hearty conference season. The best.


Has the Labour lead solidified or increased the little, maybe up to


eight points? If it is a good Autumn Statement, or the Tories start to


narrow that lead by the end of the year? If they go into 2014 trailing


by single digits, they cannot complain too much. That gives them


18 months to chip away at Labour's lead. But do they do that chipping


away by eight bidding Labour or do they let time take its course and


let the economic recovery continue, maybe business investment joins


consumer spending as a source of that recovery, and a year from now,


household disposable income begins to rise? That is a better hope than


engaging in a bidding war. Be assured, they will be highly


political budgets. That's all for today. The Daily Politics is on BBC


Two at midday all this week, except on Thursday when we'll start at


10:45 to bring you live coverage and analysis of the Chancellor's Autumn


Statement in a Daily Politics special for BBC Two and the BBC News


Channel. Remember if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.


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