01/12/2013 Sunday Politics South West


01/12/2013

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

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

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

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budget this week. Net immigration is up for the first

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

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

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

:01:12.:01:14.

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

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inequality and greed are essential to spur economic activity. The

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speech And in the South West. Calls to get

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

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drama and uncertainty over the future of controversial offshore

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wind farms. capital is now a crisis. Another

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week, another strategy? Can this one deliver?

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

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

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

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

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

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Westminster agenda, the Coalition Government is finally coming up with

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its answer. This morning the Chancellor George Osborne explained

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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bill. The energy companies have guaranteed that this will fall

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

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

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

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

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announced that Labour will stop saying they are going to freeze

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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homes of elderly people or stop investing in British manufacturing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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raise the money through general taxation, I am comfortable with

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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green levies. There has been disparaging language about that sort

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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But all these things pale into insignificance compared to the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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for as increasing the threshold and letting several million people out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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follow the prospect of anything other than a majority of Liberal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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immigration is back on the political agenda, with figures released

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

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

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talking about it again. The issue of immigration has come

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

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

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

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

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apply temporary restrictions on movement. They must be lifted

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

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

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

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The government has played down expectations that the skill of

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migration could be repeated. This week David Cameron announced new

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

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

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

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

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criticised the coalition for not acting sooner on immigration from

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Romania and Bulgaria but the timetable for the unrestricted

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

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

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

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

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

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

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series of measures that the Government still had time to bring

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

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

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

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not have exploitation of cheap migrant Labour which is bad for

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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your failure to introduce controls on the countries that joined in

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

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

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

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did not do in Government was discussed immigration and the

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

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come from people who have come to Britain over many generations

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

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

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

:20:07.:20:11.

that you can introduce now to address the concerns that people

:20:12.:20:15.

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

:20:16.:20:18.

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

:20:19.:20:22.

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

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

:20:27.:20:32.

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

:20:33.:20:36.

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

:20:37.:20:47.

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

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

:20:52.:20:56.

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

:20:57.:21:01.

Overruled have been huge benefits from people that have come to

:21:02.:21:05.

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

:21:06.:21:11.

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

:21:12.:21:15.

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

:21:16.:21:19.

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

:21:20.:21:23.

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

:21:24.:21:29.

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

:21:30.:21:34.

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

:21:35.:21:38.

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

:21:39.:21:43.

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

:21:44.:21:49.

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

:21:50.:21:54.

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

:21:55.:21:59.

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

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

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

:22:10.:22:13.

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

:22:14.:22:17.

with not having transitional controls in place. The Government

:22:18.:22:22.

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

:22:23.:22:27.

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

:22:28.:22:31.

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

:22:32.:22:35.

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

:22:36.:22:40.

We have an increasingly globalised economy. Other European countries

:22:41.:22:44.

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

:22:45.:22:48.

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

:22:49.:22:52.

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

:22:53.:22:57.

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

:22:58.:23:01.

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

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

:23:06.:23:08.

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

:23:09.:23:14.

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

:23:15.:23:17.

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

:23:18.:23:22.

because there are different kinds of migration. University students

:23:23.:23:25.

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

:23:26.:23:29.

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

:23:30.:23:33.

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

:23:34.:23:39.

market. We have to distinguish between different kinds of

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

:23:43.:23:46.

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

:23:47.:23:52.

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

:23:53.:23:57.

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

:23:58.:24:01.

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

:24:02.:24:06.

the Indian subcontinent. Overwhelmingly, these numbers are

:24:07.:24:11.

nothing to do with transitional controls. You can control that

:24:12.:24:14.

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

:24:15.:24:20.

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

:24:21.:24:25.

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

:24:26.:24:29.

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

:24:30.:24:33.

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

:24:34.:24:37.

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

:24:38.:24:41.

number of university students coming to Britain and they have brought

:24:42.:24:44.

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

:24:45.:24:48.

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

:24:49.:24:52.

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

:24:53.:24:56.

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

:24:57.:25:00.

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

:25:01.:25:05.

university graduates coming to Britain in the same way as low

:25:06.:25:09.

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

:25:10.:25:14.

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

:25:15.:25:17.

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

:25:18.:25:23.

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

:25:24.:25:27.

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

:25:28.:25:31.

figure that has increased substantially in recent years. They

:25:32.:25:41.

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

:25:42.:25:44.

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

:25:45.:25:47.

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

:25:48.:25:50.

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

:25:51.:25:52.

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

:25:53.:25:55.

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

:25:56.:26:00.

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

:26:01.:26:05.

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

:26:06.:26:28.

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

:26:29.:26:31.

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

:26:32.:26:34.

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

:26:35.:26:36.

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

:26:37.:26:39.

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

:26:40.:26:42.

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

:26:43.:26:44.

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

:26:45.:26:48.

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

:26:49.:26:52.

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

:26:53.:26:57.

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

:26:58.:27:01.

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

:27:02.:27:06.

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

:27:07.:27:11.

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

:27:12.:27:14.

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

:27:15.:27:23.

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

:27:24.:27:28.

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

:27:29.:27:33.

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

:27:34.:27:36.

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

:27:37.:27:41.

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

:27:42.:27:47.

about an approach to policing that has been incredibly successful over

:27:48.:27:50.

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

:27:51.:27:54.

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

:27:55.:27:58.

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

:27:59.:28:03.

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

:28:04.:28:07.

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

:28:08.:28:11.

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

:28:12.:28:17.

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

:28:18.:28:19.

about preventing crime but also respectful law and order, working

:28:20.:28:22.

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

:28:23.:28:26.

their expertise and the 30 different universities that they have involved

:28:27.:28:30.

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

:28:31.:28:33.

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

:28:34.:28:40.

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

:28:41.:28:45.

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

:28:46.:28:48.

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

:28:49.:28:53.

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

:28:54.:28:56.

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

:28:57.:29:01.

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

:29:02.:29:08.

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

:29:09.:29:13.

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

:29:14.:29:18.

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

:29:19.:29:24.

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

:29:25.:29:30.

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

:29:31.:29:35.

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

:29:36.:29:40.

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

:29:41.:29:44.

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

:29:45.:29:55.

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

:29:56.:30:00.

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

:30:01.:30:04.

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

:30:05.:30:08.

think the issues with police and crime commissioners have fragmented

:30:09.:30:13.

things and made it harder to get collaboration between police

:30:14.:30:17.

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

:30:18.:30:23.

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

:30:24.:30:29.

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

:30:30.:30:38.

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

:30:39.:30:42.

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

:30:43.:30:46.

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

:30:47.:30:52.

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

:30:53.:31:00.

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

:31:01.:31:04.

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

:31:05.:31:15.

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

:31:16.:31:32.

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

:31:33.:31:35.

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

:31:36.:31:41.

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

:31:42.:31:43.

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

:31:44.:31:46.

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

:31:47.:31:49.

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

:31:50.:32:00.

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

:32:01.:32:05.

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

:32:06.:32:10.

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

:32:11.:32:18.

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

:32:19.:32:23.

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

:32:24.:32:29.

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

:32:30.:32:37.

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

:32:38.:32:43.

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

:32:44.:32:45.

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

:32:46.:32:50.

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

:32:51.:32:56.

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

:32:57.:33:03.

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

:33:04.:33:06.

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

:33:07.:33:10.

And disloyalty is punished by Conservatives. Boris knows the man

:33:11.:33:12.

who brought down Margaret Thatcher. Michael Heseltine, who Boris

:33:13.:33:15.

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

:33:16.:33:21.

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

:33:22.:33:32.

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

:33:33.:33:37.

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

:33:38.:33:51.

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

:33:52.:33:54.

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

:33:55.:33:58.

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

:33:59.:34:05.

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

:34:06.:34:08.

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

:34:09.:34:17.

some Chinese expression for a complete and perfect harmony. Ying

:34:18.:34:21.

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

:34:22.:34:25.

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

:34:26.:34:30.

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

:34:31.:34:37.

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

:34:38.:34:41.

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

:34:42.:34:46.

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

:34:47.:34:50.

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

:34:51.:34:56.

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

:34:57.:35:02.

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

:35:03.:35:07.

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

:35:08.:35:11.

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

:35:12.:35:17.

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

:35:18.:35:24.

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

:35:25.:35:28.

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

:35:29.:35:34.

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

:35:35.:35:39.

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

:35:40.:35:45.

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

:35:46.:35:48.

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

:35:49.:35:56.

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

:35:57.:36:01.

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

:36:02.:36:07.

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

:36:08.:36:11.

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

:36:12.:36:14.

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

:36:15.:36:20.

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

:36:21.:36:26.

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

:36:27.:36:30.

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

:36:31.:36:38.

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

:36:39.:36:43.

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

:36:44.:36:52.

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

:36:53.:36:57.

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

:36:58.:37:05.

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

:37:06.:37:12.

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

:37:13.:37:15.

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

:37:16.:37:20.

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

:37:21.:37:24.

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

:37:25.:37:34.

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

:37:35.:37:37.

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

:37:38.:37:45.

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

:37:46.:37:51.

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

:37:52.:38:00.

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

:38:01.:38:05.

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

:38:06.:38:10.

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

:38:11.:38:15.

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

:38:16.:38:34.

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

:38:35.:38:38.

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

:38:39.:38:42.

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

:38:43.:38:49.

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

:38:50.:38:52.

Austell and Newquay and Chris Penberthy, Labour councillor from

:38:53.:38:55.

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

:38:56.:38:59.

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

:39:00.:39:01.

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

:39:02.:39:05.

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

:39:06.:39:15.

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

:39:16.:39:19.

competition which is being introduced for businesses and for

:39:20.:39:22.

charities and for public sector organisations will help drive down

:39:23.:39:27.

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

:39:28.:39:32.

domestic residences. Any what customers should be able to shop

:39:33.:39:37.

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

:39:38.:39:42.

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

:39:43.:39:47.

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

:39:48.:39:55.

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

:39:56.:39:59.

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

:40:00.:40:03.

gives us an opportunity to bring competition into the domestic market

:40:04.:40:07.

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

:40:08.:40:17.

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

:40:18.:40:24.

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

:40:25.:40:29.

seems bizarre that business can benefit from competition but local

:40:30.:40:35.

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

:40:36.:40:39.

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

:40:40.:40:42.

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

:40:43.:40:45.

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

:40:46.:40:49.

pulling the plug on the scheme because the economics no longer

:40:50.:40:56.

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

:40:57.:41:00.

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

:41:01.:41:05.

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

:41:06.:41:08.

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

:41:09.:41:13.

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

:41:14.:41:17.

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

:41:18.:41:22.

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

:41:23.:41:27.

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

:41:28.:41:35.

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

:41:36.:41:39.

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

:41:40.:41:45.

miles and the company claim the turbines could produce enough

:41:46.:41:49.

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

:41:50.:41:53.

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

:41:54.:41:59.

celebrations be premature. Those who are proclaiming victory should be

:42:00.:42:06.

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

:42:07.:42:10.

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

:42:11.:42:14.

simply not viable considering the technical challenges and the current

:42:15.:42:17.

market conditions and those market conditions have not been helped by

:42:18.:42:22.

the uncertainty created by David Cameron's alleged green rubbish

:42:23.:42:26.

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

:42:27.:42:32.

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

:42:33.:42:37.

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

:42:38.:42:41.

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

:42:42.:42:47.

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

:42:48.:42:52.

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

:42:53.:42:58.

say the London array successfully overcame similar obstacle in ``

:42:59.:43:09.

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

:43:10.:43:17.

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

:43:18.:43:19.

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

:43:20.:43:26.

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

:43:27.:43:33.

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

:43:34.:43:37.

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

:43:38.:43:42.

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

:43:43.:43:46.

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

:43:47.:43:51.

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

:43:52.:43:55.

energy generating infrastructure. We know we want to decarbonise our

:43:56.:44:00.

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

:44:01.:44:07.

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

:44:08.:44:12.

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

:44:13.:44:16.

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

:44:17.:44:21.

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

:44:22.:44:25.

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

:44:26.:44:31.

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

:44:32.:44:35.

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

:44:36.:44:40.

once David Cameron started talking about rolling back green levies.

:44:41.:44:44.

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

:44:45.:44:52.

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

:44:53.:44:58.

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

:44:59.:45:02.

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

:45:03.:45:06.

seriously undermining it, particularly the Treasury. George

:45:07.:45:10.

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

:45:11.:45:16.

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

:45:17.:45:20.

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

:45:21.:45:31.

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

:45:32.:45:36.

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

:45:37.:45:40.

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

:45:41.:45:45.

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

:45:46.:45:48.

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

:45:49.:45:52.

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

:45:53.:45:56.

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

:45:57.:46:01.

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

:46:02.:46:15.

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

:46:16.:46:18.

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

:46:19.:46:20.

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

:46:21.:46:24.

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

:46:25.:46:30.

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

:46:31.:46:35.

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

:46:36.:46:42.

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

:46:43.:46:49.

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

:46:50.:46:56.

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

:46:57.:47:02.

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

:47:03.:47:06.

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

:47:07.:47:12.

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

:47:13.:47:19.

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

:47:20.:47:25.

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

:47:26.:47:32.

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

:47:33.:47:36.

wind farm. The discussion of technical difficulties goes to show

:47:37.:47:44.

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

:47:45.:47:48.

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

:47:49.:47:51.

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

:47:52.:47:56.

environment in which energy prices rocketing and now they are fighting

:47:57.:48:01.

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

:48:02.:48:05.

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

:48:06.:48:10.

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

:48:11.:48:14.

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

:48:15.:48:18.

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

:48:19.:48:22.

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

:48:23.:48:27.

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

:48:28.:48:34.

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

:48:35.:48:37.

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

:48:38.:48:40.

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

:48:41.:48:45.

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

:48:46.:48:51.

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

:48:52.:48:55.

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

:48:56.:48:59.

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

:49:00.:49:03.

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

:49:04.:49:16.

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

:49:17.:49:18.

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

:49:19.:49:21.

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

:49:22.:49:25.

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

:49:26.:49:28.

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

:49:29.:49:34.

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

:49:35.:49:37.

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

:49:38.:49:46.

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

:49:47.:49:49.

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

:49:50.:49:56.

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

:49:57.:50:02.

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

:50:03.:50:06.

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

:50:07.:50:10.

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

:50:11.:50:16.

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

:50:17.:50:20.

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

:50:21.:50:24.

dinner generations `` Michael generations. If you start thinking

:50:25.:50:28.

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

:50:29.:50:32.

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

:50:33.:50:39.

support renewables providing they are supporting the reliable energy

:50:40.:50:43.

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

:50:44.:50:47.

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

:50:48.:50:52.

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

:50:53.:50:57.

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

:50:58.:51:02.

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

:51:03.:51:06.

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

:51:07.:51:11.

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

:51:12.:51:15.

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

:51:16.:51:21.

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

:51:22.:51:26.

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

:51:27.:51:32.

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

:51:33.:51:36.

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

:51:37.:51:41.

government and the Bank of England announced that the Funding for

:51:42.:51:44.

Lending scheme will soon stop supporting mortgages, amid fears of

:51:45.:51:46.

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

:51:47.:51:50.

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

:51:51.:51:54.

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

:51:55.:51:57.

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

:51:58.:52:04.

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

:52:05.:52:09.

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

:52:10.:52:13.

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

:52:14.:52:18.

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

:52:19.:52:24.

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

:52:25.:52:29.

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

:52:30.:52:34.

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

:52:35.:52:41.

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

:52:42.:52:47.

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

:52:48.:52:52.

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

:52:53.:52:55.

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

:52:56.:53:02.

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

:53:03.:53:07.

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

:53:08.:53:14.

Finance is being called for. The government has introduced the

:53:15.:53:16.

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

:53:17.:53:21.

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

:53:22.:53:28.

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

:53:29.:53:33.

ministers suggested there could be changes, especially for those firms

:53:34.:53:37.

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

:53:38.:53:43.

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

:53:44.:53:50.

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

:53:51.:53:54.

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

:53:55.:54:00.

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

:54:01.:54:05.

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

:54:06.:54:10.

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

:54:11.:54:13.

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

:54:14.:54:20.

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

:54:21.:54:24.

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

:54:25.:54:30.

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

:54:31.:54:37.

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

:54:38.:54:40.

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

:54:41.:54:48.

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

:54:49.:54:52.

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

:54:53.:54:57.

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

:54:58.:55:03.

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

:55:04.:55:14.

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

:55:15.:55:18.

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

:55:19.:55:22.

businesses, the type of retail environment that we have going

:55:23.:55:27.

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

:55:28.:55:30.

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

:55:31.:55:34.

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

:55:35.:55:39.

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

:55:40.:55:51.

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

:55:52.:55:54.

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

:55:55.:55:56.

environment. Concerns about the potential changes to maternity and

:55:57.:55:59.

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

:56:00.:56:03.

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

:56:04.:56:15.

will recognise that spending time with their children when they are

:56:16.:56:19.

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

:56:20.:56:22.

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

:56:23.:56:27.

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

:56:28.:56:31.

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

:56:32.:56:35.

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

:56:36.:56:42.

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

:56:43.:56:45.

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

:56:46.:56:52.

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

:56:53.:56:58.

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

:56:59.:57:01.

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

:57:02.:57:06.

businesses, flexibility is key, because quite often, small

:57:07.:57:09.

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

:57:10.:57:14.

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

:57:15.:57:18.

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

:57:19.:57:23.

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

:57:24.:57:28.

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

:57:29.:57:39.

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

:57:40.:57:44.

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

:57:45.:57:47.

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

:57:48.:57:53.

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

:57:54.:57:58.

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

:57:59.:58:07.

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

:58:08.:58:10.

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

:58:11.:58:14.

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

:58:15.:58:18.

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

:58:19.:58:23.

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

:58:24.:58:27.

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

:58:28.:58:34.

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

:58:35.:58:44.

force today. We had the independently of Cornwall Council

:58:45.:58:48.

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

:58:49.:58:52.

agree? Councils have to face difficult decisions and there are

:58:53.:58:55.

different ways of balancing the books and making those provisions.

:58:56.:58:59.

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

:59:00.:59:06.

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

:59:07.:59:13.

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

:59:14.:59:19.

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

:59:20.:59:25.

underestimate the difficulties. I know the leader of the council

:59:26.:59:32.

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

:59:33.:59:36.

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

:59:37.:59:39.

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

:59:40.:59:45.

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

:59:46.:59:50.

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

:59:51.:59:54.

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

:59:55.:00:01.

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

:00:02.:00:07.

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

:00:08.:00:13.

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

:00:14.:00:17.

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

:00:18.:00:24.

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

:00:25.:00:31.

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

:00:32.:00:36.

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

:00:37.:00:41.

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

:00:42.:00:47.

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

:00:48.:00:56.

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

:00:57.:01:04.

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

:01:05.:01:17.

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

:01:18.:01:18.

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

:01:19.:01:26.

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

:01:27.:01:41.

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

:01:42.:01:47.

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

:01:48.:01:54.

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

:01:55.:02:02.

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

:02:03.:02:06.

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

:02:07.:02:10.

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

:02:11.:02:15.

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

:02:16.:02:20.

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

:02:21.:02:23.

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

:02:24.:02:29.

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

:02:30.:02:33.

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

:02:34.:02:43.

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

:02:44.:02:47.

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

:02:48.:02:52.

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

:02:53.:02:57.

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

:02:58.:03:03.

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

:03:04.:03:06.

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

:03:07.:03:12.

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

:03:13.:03:16.

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

:03:17.:03:27.

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

:03:28.:03:30.

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

:03:31.:03:38.

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

:03:39.:03:43.

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

:03:44.:03:47.

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

:03:48.:03:53.

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

:03:54.:03:59.

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

:04:00.:04:02.

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

:04:03.:04:08.

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

:04:09.:04:12.

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

:04:13.:04:17.

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

:04:18.:04:24.

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

:04:25.:04:29.

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

:04:30.:04:32.

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

:04:33.:04:39.

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

:04:40.:04:44.

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

:04:45.:04:48.

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

:04:49.:04:53.

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

:04:54.:04:58.

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

:04:59.:05:04.

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

:05:05.:05:11.

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

:05:12.:05:15.

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

:05:16.:05:23.

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

:05:24.:05:28.

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

:05:29.:05:33.

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

:05:34.:05:39.

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

:05:40.:05:44.

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

:05:45.:05:50.

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

:05:51.:05:57.

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

:05:58.:06:03.

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

:06:04.:06:09.

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

:06:10.:06:14.

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

:06:15.:06:20.

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

:06:21.:06:26.

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

:06:27.:06:32.

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

:06:33.:06:38.

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

:06:39.:06:42.

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

:06:43.:06:48.

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

:06:49.:06:53.

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

:06:54.:07:01.

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

:07:02.:07:04.

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

:07:05.:07:07.

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

:07:08.:07:38.

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

:07:39.:08:04.

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

:08:05.:08:09.

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

:08:10.:08:14.

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

:08:15.:08:18.

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

:08:19.:08:23.

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

:08:24.:08:29.

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

:08:30.:08:35.

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

:08:36.:08:40.

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

:08:41.:08:44.

not think that Britain has been doing this enough compared with

:08:45.:08:48.

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

:08:49.:08:54.

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

:08:55.:09:01.

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

:09:02.:09:05.

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

:09:06.:09:11.

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

:09:12.:09:16.

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

:09:17.:09:19.

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

:09:20.:09:26.

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

:09:27.:09:31.

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

:09:32.:09:35.

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

:09:36.:09:43.

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

:09:44.:09:50.

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

:09:51.:09:55.

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

:09:56.:10:02.

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

:10:03.:10:06.

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

:10:07.:10:12.

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

:10:13.:10:15.

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

:10:16.:10:20.

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

:10:21.:10:24.

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

:10:25.:10:32.

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

:10:33.:10:35.

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

:10:36.:10:42.

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

:10:43.:10:46.

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

:10:47.:10:51.

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

:10:52.:10:55.

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

:10:56.:11:00.

delegations from other countries go to these places because the addict

:11:01.:11:05.

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

:11:06.:11:17.

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

:11:18.:11:21.

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

:11:22.:11:26.

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

:11:27.:11:32.

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

:11:33.:11:36.

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

:11:37.:11:44.

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

:11:45.:11:50.

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

:11:51.:11:57.

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

:11:58.:12:01.

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

:12:02.:12:07.

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

:12:08.:12:12.

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

:12:13.:12:18.

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

:12:19.:12:25.

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

:12:26.:12:29.

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

:12:30.:12:34.

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

:12:35.:12:38.

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

:12:39.:12:44.

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

:12:45.:12:48.

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

:12:49.:12:52.

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

:12:53.:12:59.

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

:13:00.:13:04.

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

:13:05.:13:09.

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

:13:10.:13:13.

let the economic recovery continue, maybe business investment joins

:13:14.:13:18.

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

:13:19.:13:21.

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

:13:22.:13:30.

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

:13:31.:13:32.

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

:13:33.:13:36.

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

:13:37.:13:39.

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

:13:40.:13:42.

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

:13:43.:13:46.

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

:13:47.:13:49.

Andrew Neil and Martyn Oates with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron.


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