08/12/2013 Sunday Politics South West


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The morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. First, some Sunday


morning cheer, if you are an MP, that is. You are set to get an 11%


pay rise. The Chancellor has gone from zero to hero for some, who


credit him for turning the economy around. We will be taking a fine


tooth comb to his Autumn Statement. Should this man get a pay rise?


Complete denial about the central facts... And 11% pay rise for Ed


Balls? He was certainly working hard to be heard last Thursday. We will


be reviewing his performance. What about this man? We will be joined by


And in the South West: The battle to cope with a rising tide of dementia.


And is the Chancellor boosting our town centres and small businesses or


failing working people? had on the capital, its politics and


those who met him. With me, three scruffy eternal


students. They would celebrate if they achieved a C+. But they are all


we could afford and there will be no pay rise for them. They will be


glued to an electronic device throughout the programme and if we


are lucky they might stop there internet shopping and tweet


something intelligent. But don't hold your breath. Janan Ganesh,


Helen Lewis and Nick Watt. Last week, storms were battering Britain,


the East Coast was hit by the worst tidal surge in more than a century,


thousands of people had to be evacuated and Nelson Mandela died.


The downed the news agenda was the small matter of George Osborne's


Autumn Statement. His giveaways, his takeaways and his first opportunity


to announce some economic cheer. It might be winter outside, but in


the studios it is awesome. Autumn Statement time. -- autumn. This is a


moment of TV history. Normally when the Chancellor delivers these


statements, he has to say the economy is actually a lot worse than


everyone predicted. This time, he can stand up and say the economy is


better than everybody predicted. A lot better.


Britain is currently growing faster than any other major advanced


economy. Faster than France, which is contracting, faster than Germany,


faster even than America. At this Autumn Statement last year, there


were repeated predictions that borrowing would go up. Instead,


borrowing is down, and down significantly more than forecast.


But George Osborne said the good numbers still mean more tough


decisions. We will not give up in giving in our country's debts. We


will not spend the money from lower borrowing. We will not squander the


harder and games of the British people. -- hard earned gains. In


other news, further cuts to government departments. The state


pension age will increase in the 2040s, affecting people in their 40s


now. There were some goodies, like discounted business rates for small


businesses, free school meals for infants, favoured by the Lib Dems,


and those marriage tax breaks below that by the Tories. But, as with all


big fiscal events, it takes a while for the details to sink in.


The marriage tax allowance is a long-standing commitment that he


could not abandon. It does help those families were only one goes


out to work. It does not go to higher rate taxpayers, I don't


think. Perhaps it does, I can't remember. It makes me feel guilty, I


am taking them very seriously, but... Shall I give you them? There


is the Autumn Statement. Have that, a free gift from the Sunday


Politics. Is there no limit to the generosity of the BBC?


In the meantime, Twitter was awash with unflattering pictures of a


red-faced Ed Balls giving his response. Some pictures were more


than flattering than others. Is Ed Balls OK? Should we be worrying


about him? He looks very stressed. There is nothing to worry about in


terms of Ed balls and his analysis. He and Ed Miliband have been setting


the pace in terms of the focus on the living standards crisis. It was


very telling that there was not a mention of living standards last


time, we got 12 mentions this time. Never mind what he was saying, by


now everybody has a copy of the all-important paperwork. Time to


hand over to number cruncher extraordinaire Paul Johnson from the


Institute for Fiscal Studies. Of course it means that things are


significantly better this year and next than we thought they would be


just nine months ago. That has got to be good news. But it is also


worth looking at the growth figures a few years out. They have been


revised down a little bit. The reason is, the view of the office of


budget response ability is that the long run has not really changed very


much. We are getting a bit more growth now, but their view is that


it is at the cost of a little bit of the growth we will expect in the


years after the next general election. As the day draws to a


close, the one place there has definitely been no growth is the


graphics budget of my colleague, Robert Preston. It's as good as it


gets these days, I don't think the viewers will mind. It's very Sunday


Politics, if I might say. That is very worrying.


Was this a watershed for George Osborne? Was it a watershed for Ed


Balls? We can all make the case that it is the wrong sort of recovery, a


consumer led recovery. People are spending money they don't have. At


the end of the day, it for George Osborne, it is growth, the first


time he has been able to talk about growth. It allows him to control the


baseline, the fiscal debate for the next generation. For Ed Balls,


nearly not a good performance. But don't write this man off. Judging by


Twitter, Iain Dale, no friend of it all is, said he did a good interview


this morning on a rival TV channel. I feel the fact that the Tories hate


Ed Balls so passionately is probably a good reason that they should hang


onto him, in that Labour sends his effectiveness. May be the Tories


hope that they hold on to him as well? A lot of people shouting at


someone and mocking their speech impediment, that is politics that


doesn't make me want to engage. The takeaway will be lots of people


thinking that none of these people are people they like. Who is the


main heckler on the Labour front bench West remarked I suppose he


can't cast any stones. It would be easier to sympathise with him, if it


were not that David Cameron went through a similar situation and John


Bercow did not step in to stop the wall of noise. It was guaranteed a


good happen to a Labour politician. It's painful to remove him because


he had a Parliamentary following and he will kick up a fuss. I think he's


much more pragmatic on issues like business than Ed Miliband. I'm told


he wasn't keen on the energy price freeze. The problem with Ed Balls,


to have the first words that you say, the Chancellor is in denial,


after he is presiding over growth, it means nobody is listening to you.


Who would replace him? Certainly not Alistair Darling, the side of the


referendum and even afterwards. Ed Balls did get a roasting in the


press and on Twitter. He seemed to disappear from public view following


the Autumn Statement. But a little bird tells me he managed one


interview this morning before he went off to an all-important piano


recital this afternoon. Watch out, Jools Holland, he could be after


your job. How bad was his performance on Thursday? Here is the


Shadow Chancellor in action. The Chancellor is incomplete denial


about the central facts that are defining this government in office.


He used to say he would balance the books in 2015. Now he wants us to


congratulate him for saying he will do it in 2019, Mr Speaker. With this


government, it is clearly not just the badgers that move the goalposts.


No mention of the universal credit in the statement. IDS, in deep


shambles, Mr Speaker. Chris Leslie is the Shadow Chief Secretary to the


Treasury. He is Ed Balls's deputy, in other words. Why do more and more


of your Labour colleagues think that your boss is below the water line?


I'm not sure I accept the premise of your suggestion. I don't think my


colleagues believe that George Osborne has a superior argument. I


think Ed Balls will certainly trying his best, loud and clear, to make


the case there is a cost of living crisis in this country and the


Chancellor doesn't understand this. That was essentially the heat of the


debate on the Autumn Statement day. One leading Labour MPs said to me


that Ed Balls is always looking back, fixated with the rear-view


mirror, that was the exact quote. A Labour MP told Sky News, Labour has


a strong argument to make, unfortunately it was not made well


in the chamber today. Quoting the Daily Mail, this is two poor


performances. A quote that I can't use because it uses too many four


letter words. Baroness Armstrong, speaking at Progress, a former


Labour Cabinet minister, we are not sufficiently concerned about public


spending, how we would pay for what we are talking about. Quite a


battering? There were two sets of quotes you were giving. The couple


were about the strategy for tackling public expenditure. I think it's


fair that we talk about that. The rest were pretty unattributed,


nameless sources. You have never given and of the record briefing? We


have conversations off camera, but I don't think you have a wealth of


evidence to say that somehow Ed Balls's arguments were wrong. He was


making the point that, ultimately, it is a government that does not


have its finger on the pulse about what most of your viewers are


concerned about, that wages are being squeezed and prices are


getting higher and higher. You have had time to study the Autumn


Statement. What part of it does Labour disagree with? It is a very


big question. I think the overall strategy the Autumn Statement is


setting out does not deal with the fundamental problems in the economy.


What measures do you disagree with? A lot of it is the absence of


measures we would have put in if we were doing the Autumn Statement. If


you are going to deal with the cost of living crisis, you have got to


get productivity levels up in our society. One of the best ways of


doing that is on infrastructure. We believe in bringing forward 's


investment and housing, getting some of the fundamentals right in our


economy. By planting, the business lending we have to do. We have seen


a lamentable failing. There are big structural reforms that we need.


Ultimately, the public are concerned about the cost of living crisis.


That has got to be childcare help, a 10p starting rate of tax. Above


all, and energy price freeze, which still this government are refusing


to do. On Friday, you told me you supported the principle of a welfare


cap. But you change bling claim the Chancellor's cap included pensions.


You have now seen the figures, and it does not include pensions,


correct? We do want a welfare cap. The government have said they are


going to put more detail on this in the March budget. But it does not


include pensions? We think they have a short term approach to the welfare


cap. They put in some pension benefits. The state pension is not


in the short-term plan because, as we believe, a triple lock is a good


idea. In the longer term, if you are talking about structural welfare


issues, you do have to think about pensions because they have to be


sustainable if we are living longer. I think that is about the


careful management. Let me show you what Ed Balls said on this programme


at the start of the summer. As for pensioners, I think this is a real


question. George Osborne is going to announce his cap in two weeks time.


I don't know if he will exclude pension spending or including. Our


plan is to include it. Pension spending would be included in the


welfare cap? That is our plan, exactly what I just said. Over the


long-term, if you have a serious welfare cap structural welfare


issues, over 20, 30, 40 year period, you can't say that we will


not work and pensions as part of that. Pensions would be part of the


Labour cap? In the longer term. What is the longer term? If you win 2015?


We want to stick with the triple lock on the pension, that is the


Government approach to their short-term welfare cap. In the


longer term, for example, on the winter fuel allowance, we should not


necessarily be... There are lots of benefits... I understand that, I am


talking about the basic state pension, is that part of your


welfare cap or not? In a 20, 30, 40 year frame... Even you will not be


around in government, then. You are writing me off already. You have to


focus on welfare changes, pensions have to be affordable as part of


that. It's dangerous to say, well, if you are going to have a serious


welfare cap, we should not look at pensions cost. It would be


irresponsible. Will pensions be part of the cap from 2015 until 2020 if


Labour is in power? In our long-term cap we have to make sure... I'm


talking about 2015-16. We haven't seen the proposition the Government


has put before us. You claim people of ?1600 worse off


under the coalition. That is true when you compare to pay and prices.


Can you confirm that calculation does not include the ?700 tax cut


from raising the income tax threshold, huge savings on mortgages


because of low interest or the freezing of council tax? It doesn't


include the tax and benefit changes. If you do want to look at


those, last year, the ISS said they could be making people worse off. It


might not include those factors. The VAT increase, tax credit cuts, child


benefit cuts, they all add up. My understanding is that the ISS


figures have said people are ?891 worse off if you look at the tax and


benefit changes since 2010. You have to look at wages and prices. The ISS


confirmed our approach was broadly the right way of assessing what is


happening. The Chancellor was saying, real household disposable


incomes are rising. He is completely out of touch. Can you sum up the


macro economic policy for Labour? Invest in the future, make sure we


have the right approach for the long-term politicking. Tackle the


cost of living crisis people are facing.


Now, let's talk to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid


Javid. Discovery, underpinned by rising


house prices, increasing personal debt, do you accept that is


unsustainable? I accept the OBE are also said the


reason why this country is facing more these challenges -- OBR.


That is because we went through a Labour recession, the worst we have


seen in 100 years. But do you accept that a recovery underpinned by these


things I have just read out isn't sustainable? We set out a long-term


plan for recovery, and again this week. We have shown with the tough


decisions we have made already, the country can enjoy a recovery. There


are still a lot of difficult decisions. The biggest risk are


Labour's plans. The March projections work at for those -- for


both business investment and exports. Suddenly it is expected to


rise 5% next year, a 10% turnaround in investment. How is it credible? I


have been in business before politics. Any business person


listening will know, when you have gone through a recession, the


deepest in 100 years, it will hit investment, profits, you can't make


plans again until you have confidence in the economy. That is


what this country is seeing now under this government. This is an


assumption made independently. The fall in business investment is


because of the recession. The forecast increases, 5% next year,


and so on, it is based on the independent forecast. Based on fact.


If you look at the investment plans of companies, this week, the


Chancellor went to JCB, Jaguar Land Rover has plans to create more


jobs, these investment plans are coming through now because of the


confidence generated by this government, such as the cut in


corporation tax which Labour would increase. Are the export forecasts


more credible? The 15 years, our share of world trade decline.


Suddenly starting next year, it stops falling. That's not credible.


I worked in finance the 20 years. I have yet to find any forecast which


is fully right. Under Labour, we would have forecasts made by Gordon


Brown who would announce he would hit all his targets. Now we have an


independent system. Do you accept, if exports or


business investment do not pick up, then a purely consumer led recovery


is not sustainable? We need more than a consumer led recovery. We


need consumer investment to go up. On Xbox, it is noticeable that


experts are primarily down because the markets we trade with, the


eurozone markets, are depressed. Many have just come out of


recession. Or they are still in recession. If you look at exports to


non-EU countries, they are up 30%. 120% to China. 100% to Russia.


Will you keep the triple lock for the state pension beyond 2015? Yes,


long term. That's why it is not part of our welfare cap. Chris Leslie


cannot answer that question. It is straightforward.


House prices are now rising ten times faster than average earnings.


That's not good. House prices are rising, partly reflecting recovery.


Ten times faster than average earnings, how can people afford to


buy homes if it carries on? What you would hope, this is the evidence, if


you look at the plans of the month companies, they are planning new


homes which will mean that, as this demand spurs that investment, more


homes will come about. We need to give people the means to buy those


homes. We have introduced the help to buy scheme. I accept the OBR says


it will start rising again but as household debt rises again Petr Cech


reduces, -- as household debt reduces, we need to make sure there


are checks in place. Wages have not been rising in real terms for quite


some time. Over the next five years, even as the economy grows, by about


15% according the OBR to the OBR -- but people will not benefit. These


hard-working families will not share in the recovery. What is the best


way to help those families? The government doesn't set wages. What


we can do is influence the overall economy. We don't have a magic


lever. Wages have been stagnating for five years. When will people get


a proper salary? The best way for wage growth is a growing economy,


more jobs. We have more people employed in Britain today than at


any time in our history. The biggest risk to recovery is if we let Labour


into the Treasury with more spending and more debt. Which got us into


this trouble. By whatever measure you care to choose, would people be


better off come the 20 15th election than they were in 2010? Yes, they


will be. Look at jobs. Already more people employed than at any other


time in history. Will they be better off? The best way for anyone to


raise their living standards is access to a growing job market. But


will they be better off? I believe people will be. Compared to 2010.


Yes. In terms of take-home pay. This is a credible measure.


Now, what do you think the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, was like at


school? Hard-working? Hand always up? Top of the class? Well, if he


wasn't passionate about education then, he is now. In fact, since he


took office, it seems he hasn't stopped working very hard indeed.


When the coalition came to power, Michael Gove evoked Mao, saying they


were on a long march to reform education. Just like Mao, they faced


a baby boom, so pledged ?5 billion for new school places. They extended


Labour's academy programme. There's now about 3,000 in England. But


then, they marched even further, creating free schools run by


parents, funded by taxpayers. 174 have opened so far. The schools


admission code was changed, to give parents more choice.


And a pupil premium was introduced, currently, an extra ?900 funding for


each disadvantaged child. An overhaul of the national


curriculum provoked criticism. Chairman Gove mocked detractors as


"bad academia". But exam reforms didn't quite go to plan. Although


GCSEs got harder, plans to replace A-levels had to be abandoned.


Ultimately, the true test of these reforms will be what happens in the


classroom. The person in charge of making sure those classrooms are up


to scratch in England is the Chief Inspector Of Schools, head of


Ofsted, Michael Wilshaw, who joins me now.


Over the past 15 years, we have doubled spending on schools even


allowing for inflation. By international standards, we are


stagnating, why? I said last year that mediocrity had settled into the


system. Too many children were coasting in schools, which is why we


changed the grading structure, we removed that awful word,


satisfactory. Saying that good is now the only acceptable standard and


schools had a limited time in which to get to that. We are seeing


gradually, it is difficult to say this in the week we have had the


OECD report. Things have gradually improved. I will come onto that in a


minute. Explain this. International comparisons show us flat-lining or


even falling in some subjects, including science. For 20 years, our


domestic exam results just got better and better. Was this a piece


of fiction fed to us by the educational establishment, was there


a cover-up? There is no question there has grade inflation. I speak


as an ex-headteacher who saw that in examinations. Perceptual state is


actually doing something about that. Most good heads will say that is


about time. We have to be credible. Do politicians and educationalists


conspire in this grade inflation? It might suit politicians to say things


are going up every year. As a head, I knew a lot of the exams youngsters


were sitting were not up to scratch. The latest OECD study places us 36th


for maths, 23rd reading, slipping down to 21st in science. Yet,


Ofsted, your organisation, designates 80% of schools as good or


outstanding. That's another fiction. This year, we have. If we see this


level of progress, it has been a remarkable progress over the last


years since we changed our grading structure, then... In a year,


absolutely. We have better teachers coming into our school system.


Better leaders. Better schools. The big challenge for our country is


making sure that progress is maintained which will eventually


translate into better outcomes. These figures are pretty much


up-to-date. Are you saying within a year 80% of the schools are good


enough? All of the schools we upgraded have had better grades in


GCSE and grade 2. We have to make sure that is maintained. The


Government has based its reforms on similar reforms in Sweden. In


opposition they were endlessly going to Stockholm to find out how it was


done. Swedish schools are doing even worse than ours in the tables. Why


are we copying failure? The secretary of state believes, and I


actually believe, as somebody who has come from an academy model, that


if you hand power and resources, you hand autonomy to the people on the


ground, to the people in the classroom, in the corridors, in the


playgrounds, things work. If you allow the great monoliths that used


to have responsibility for education in the past to take control again,


you will see a reverse in standards. You have got to actually empower


those people that make the difference. That is why autonomy and


freedom is important. We spent a lot of money moving what were local


authority schools to become academies and new free school czar


being set up as well. When the academies are pretty much the same


level of autonomy, the free school is maybe a little bit more, the


evidence we have had so far is that they don't really perform any better


than local authority schools? Indeed, Encore GCSE subjects, they


might even be doing worse? These are early days. We will say more about


this on weapons they when we produce the annual report. The sponsored


academies that took over the worst schools in the country, in the most


difficult circumstances, in the most disadvantaged communities, are doing


much better now. What about GCSE? They are doing GCSE equivalents, the


lass academic subjects question my cull OK, but they are doing better


than previous schools. If you look at the top performing nations in the


world, they focus on the quality of teaching. The best graduates coming


to education. They professionally develop them. They make sure they


spot the brightest talents and get them into positions as soon as


possible. We have got to do the same if we are going to catch up with


those jurisdictions. This isn't just a British problem. It seems to be a


European problem. The East Asian countries now dominate the top of


the tables. What's the most important lesson we should learn


from East Asia? Attitudes to work. We need to make sure that we invest


in good teachers, good leaders. We have to make sure that students have


the right attitudes to work. It's no good getting good people into the


classroom and then seeing them part of teaching by bad behaviour,


disaffected youngsters and poor leadership. We see young teachers


doing well for a time and then being put off teaching and leaving from


that sort of culture in our schools. Are you a cheerleader for government


education policy rather than independent inspectors? I am


independent, Ofsted is independent. I believe we are saying the right


things on standards. The Association of teachers and lecturers say you


are an arm of government. The NUT has called for your resignation.


Another wants to abolish or Inspectorate. Have you become a


pariah amongst teaching unions? If we are challenging schools to become


better, that is our job, we will carry on doing that. I am not going


to preside over the status quo. We will challenge the system to do


better, we will challenge schools and colleges to do better. We will


also challenge government when we think they are going wrong. Many


people in the education establishment think your primary


purpose is to do the Government's bidding by shepherding schools into


becoming academies. Not true at all. You are a big supporter of


academies? Yes, I believe the people that do the business in schools are


the people that are free to do what is necessary to raise standards. I


am a big supporter of autonomy in the school system. But where we see


academies Vale, where we see free schools fail, we will say so. The


study does not find much evidence that competition and choice raise


standards, but it does go with you and say that strong school


leadership, coupled with autonomy, can make a difference. Can somebody


with no experience in education be in charge of a school? A lot of hot


air has been expounded on the issue of whether teachers should be


qualified or not. If qualified teacher status was the gold


standard, why is it that one in three teachers, one in three lessons


that will observe are not good enough. Taught by qualified


teachers. I've not yet met a headteacher that has not appointed


by qualified staff when they cannot get qualified teachers. Their job is


to make sure they get accredited as soon as possible and come up to


scratch in the classroom. Do you support the use of unqualified


teachers? I do. I have done it. If I could not get a maths, physics or


modern languages teacher and I thought somebody straight from


university, without qualified teachers start this, that they could


communicate well with youngsters, I would get that person into the


classroom and get them accredited if they delivered the goods. If we are


going to allow schools to have more autonomy and not be accountable to


local authorities, free schools academies, don't you have to do...


New entrants will be coming into the market, the educational marketplace.


Do you not have to act more quickly when it is clear, and there has been


examined recently, where it is clearly going badly wrong and


children's education at risk? Absolutely. I made a point to the


secretary of state and it is something I will talk more about


over the coming year. We need to be in school is much more often. If a


school fails at the moment, or underperforms, goes into this new


category, Her Majesty 's inspectors stay with that institution until it


improves. Sometimes we don't see a school for five or seven years. That


is wrong. My argument is that Ofsted should pay a much greater part in


monitoring the performance of schools between those inspections.


Are you enjoying it? It is a tough job. Are you enjoying it? This is a


tough job, but I enjoy it. Sometimes.


You are watching Sunday Politics. Coming up in just over 20 minutes,


Diane Abbott will be joining us. And we


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


West: The Government says half the dementia cases in the region aren't


being picked up by the NHS and the disease is relentlessly increasing.


I would walk around and try to ask to go home. I don't live here. I


don't recognise my wife. And for the next 20 minutes, I'm


joined by Ben Bradshaw, the Labour MP for Exeter, and Sarah Wollaston,


Conservative MP for Totnes. The story that's dominated headlines


everywhere this week is, of course, the death of the former South


African president and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela. I think you


tweeted, Ben, that you got into politics because of the apartheid. I


got involved in a letter writing campaign for Amnesty International


to the South African press calling for Northland Mandela's release. ``


Nelson Mandela. One of them was published in a South African


newspaper. I got a deluge of reaction saying, why are you


interfering? I got a taste of what political activism can achieve. Did


you get to meet him? I never met him 121. I remember his historic visit


to the Labour Party conference in 2000. For many people of our


generation, we got involved in politics because of the


anti`apartheid antiracism movement that he symbolised many of us never


thought he would you free to lead a free South Africa. He came to the


conference and got a choice reception. For many of us, he was an


inspiration `` eight to mulch was reception. I do not think you at key


nontribal politics, Sarah. He was a symbol of courage, dignity and


forgiveness. What he brought, to save South Africa from Civil War and


his extraordinary achievements and to have suffered as he did, 27 years


in prison, much of that and a half later `` much of that and a hard


labour. In his first speech out of prison, he talked about, let bygones


be bygones. One of Ben's Labour Party colleagues says you could not


see him barracking the opposition in the House of Commons. Absolutely.


Unifying. An extraordinary man. You also tweeted that you avoid PMQs. It


is horrible. It is a bearpit. I think he represents a different


culture. I heard Tony Blair say in an interview this week that without


him he does not think the Northern Ireland peace process would have


succeeded. He was a valuable source of advice and wisdom for Tony Blair


during that process. The consensus will dissolve pretty quickly, I


imagine. Tax breaks for small firms,


motorists and married couples were set out by the Chancellor in his


Autumn Statement this week. But George Osborne also confirmed plans


to raise the state retirement age and says the Government must carry


on taking difficult decisions. Tamsin Melville reports.


It wasn't exactly sunshine George Osborne delivered this week. I


cannot decide whether to invest it or spend it. Bloated. `` blow it. It


is an insult. At this Plymouth Age UK centre,


June, Una and Joyce aren't that impressed their state pension will


rise by nearly ?3 a week or that retirement ages are going up. It is


going to be really hard on some people, people who do a very


physical job. They do not have a clue. They do not have to worry


about the bills. I think this winter will be hard for a lot of people.


There were some small giveaways. Next year's fuel duty rise


cancelled. A tighter cap on rail fares. A tax break for married


couples. And a ?50 measure to cut energy bills. But the Chancellor


stuck to the austerity script. George Osborne says his plan is


working but there's more to be done. Labour says the Chancellor's in


denial about the nation's cost of living crisis. Here in Plymouth is


it Christmas cheer or winter gloom? There is always a blue Monday bust.


There will be better times ahead Which? boom and a bust. I do not


think the honest working person sees it in their back pocket at the


moment. It is not getting better. Inflation has gone up so your pay


packet does not reflect it. We are struggling. It might get better. See


what happens. Mr Osborne targeted help for


business on the high street and at the South West's many small


companies. I think it is positive. It will build on the growth we are


starting to see come through. The Chancellor's speech made it clear we


have a lot of hurdles to cross, a lot of pain. For small businesses,


positive messages coming through. But this Plymouth entrepeneur thinks


a cap on a business rates rise isn't enough. It will mean very little for


us. There is much more that could be done to help small businesses,


issues that are more pressing. Businesses reach a certain level and


they have to pay VAT and that level racing would help us hugely. And


helping businesses borrow money to expand. That is very difficult.


Meanwhile, with the economy on the up, the Chancellor says he's fixing


the roof while the sun is shining. Labour accusing you of smoke and


mirrors, Sarah. This was a tremendous Autumn Statement. This


weekend, small business Saturday. Premises being able to have ?1000


back on their rent. We are looking at measures to fill gaps on high


streets. I think there are some really important measures here to


get people back into employment, measures to encourage employment for


young people. The overall... This is just focusing on the best way out of


poverty to be employment. Employment is rising, unemployment is falling.


I think this is a tremendous encouragement. The Chancellor was


making the point that the Labour Party had made dire predictions that


public sector job cuts would not be replaced by the private sector. The


coalition came up with one prescription, you came up with


another. There's is being proven right. We have talked about this


before. People are working shorter hours for o there are more jobs in


the economy. Some are. The consequences of keeping people in


jobs, their pay is stagnant and in real terms pay has gone down. What


there was not in this statement was anything on the cost of living


crisis. As the people you interviewed showed, they are still


really hurting and they did not see anything in this that will help them


Aikens meet. Looking at the big picture, it is true, isn't it, to


say that in many ways you have changed the goalposts `` make ends


meet. Now you are saying that it is the wrong kind of recovery and the


wrong kinds of jobs. Remember what George Osborne predicted in 2010, he


predicted it would have grown by 7.7%. It has grown 2.5%. Less than a


third of the growth he predicted when he became Chancellor. That is


because his extreme austerity measures as we have discussed many


times killed off the growth he inherited. We would be in a much


better place if we had more growth. I am glad the economy is growing


now. But people are not feeling it except those at the top and he


failed to address it. That is a reasonable point. You cannot have


people thinking the Conservative Party are good at book`keeping and


good for business, but the average person is not feeling the benefit.


People are struggling. That is why measures such as the fuel duty


frees, we have not had any rises under this coalition. Particularly


in a place like Devon where people are so reliant on their cars... We


felt it was a very important way to try and help bring bills down. But


there is no doubt, it would not be fair not to acknowledge that people


are struggling. The cost of living will be an issue. We need to make


sure... The best way to lift people out of poverty is to help them to be


in jobs. That has been a great success story for the coalition. You


were rattled by the Labour Party's proposal to frees energy bills. I'd


do not feel it is realistic to expect people to believe you can


freeze international energy costs. You cannot do it. The profit`taking


from these companies is not as great a share of people's bills as they


have been led to believe. However, what we can address is taking many


of the fuel subsidies... Sorry, the renewable subsidies out of people's


hills and shifting them to general taxation. What was happening in


effect was we were getting a transfer from people who were


fuelled Porter fuel rates. `` fuel poor to fuel rich. Some people would


argue it is making fuel poverty worse. We have John Major saying


there should be a windfall tax on the energy companies. What George


Osborne did in this regard, the ?50 less of an increased and there would


have been, the impact of that will mean that jobs in the renewable


sector will be affected as a number of renewable energy companies... The


level of investment will be the same. People felt it was


transferring money from people who were poor to people who were not


fuel poor. It was important to acknowledge that we need to invest


in renewables. I believe that passionately. But we should not take


it directly out of people's bills. There is a real reduction in the


support for the insulation scheme which will be damaging. You are


delaying it. Overall, the point that there will be a crash on investment


in renewables, I would not accept it. But there will be a delay for


some people in getting access to insulation. Ed Balls this week, you


have basically decided to approach this by making further concessions


to the big six energy companies who have been told by Ofgem they should


be providing more for less. We need to bring in more companies so that


we have greater competition in the energy sector. That is very


important. One of the things that would happen as a result of an


artificial price fix, a promise that cannot really be delivered, is that


some of the smaller players, the people so important in bringing


prices down, they would go to the wall. Although it sounds great in


theory, all you get in practice with an artificial price freeze is you


get prices going up before and after and unfortunately you get less


investment in infrastructure. We could see blackouts. That is a


really significant problem for everybody. That is exactly the same


as what the energy company said in 1997 when we introduced the windfall


tax. There needs to be a separation in the energy markets between


generation and supply. I think there is a growing recognition that the


energy market is broken and needs fixing and I wish the government had


addressed this rather than letting the big six off scot`free. The


margin has narrowed. We are down to a few percentage points by 2015 in


the extra capacity we have. That is why an artificial price fix at this


point would risk the lights going out. Try not to call on your


specialist skills. `` time now. Leaders from around the World


converge on London next week for the G8 summit and this year the focus is


on dementia. The Government's using its presidency to push nations to


find new treatments and a cure. It follows the publication of a


dementia map by the Health Secretary which shows fewer than half of


people in Devon, Dorset and Somerset who suffer from dementia are being


identified by the NHS. Anna Varle reports.


Norman was only 50 when he was diagnosed with dementia. He was told


to expect to live for another ten to 12 years. I am in dead buying `` in


bed by 10pm. I walk around this flat and try to find a way out and asked


to go home. I want to go home all of the time. I don't recognise my wife.


He's been living with the disease for six years now. Initially he was


told he was too young to have dementia. But despite this, he says


he's one of the lucky ones because he was diagnosed early. But this


isn't the case for many. The Health Secretary has recently


published a dementia map. It shows less than half of people with the


disease are being diagnosed in Devon, Dorset and Somerset. North,


East and West Devon have the worst diagnosis rates in the region at


42.7% with Cornwall coming out on top with just over 50%. But The NHS


says a lot of progress has been made. Referrals to memory clinics


are up four fold, waiting times have been reduced and after care has been


improved. We have dementia adviser services that are commissioned by


local authorities to provide support, information and care for


people from the point of diagnosis through to end of life. Next week


the UK will lead the global fight against the disease by bringing G8


countries together to help find treatments and a cure.


You are a former Health Minister and a former GP. The diagnosis rates are


shockingly low. The point is they have always been shockingly low.


Since this government made it a real priority, the situation has


improved. What these maps give us now is a useful baseline. We would


like to see this improve further. Unless you start measuring things,


they are much easier to ignore. I think this is a step in the right


direction. I do not think people should feel too despondent. It is an


improving situation. We need to focus on individuals and carers and


I hope in the care bill we will see further improvements for carers will


stop that will be coming before Parliament in the next few weeks. In


addition, we need to focus on research and treatment for the


future. Ben, when you were in the Department of Health, was this an


issue on your radar was back yes, dementia was the coming thing. We


published the first`ever strategy and I am glad it has been picked up


by discouragement. My own interest in this, my mother died 59 of


early`onset Alzheimer's and I was a teenage carers are her `` for her.


There was no support them. There is now. I can understand why some


people may be terrified of getting a diagnosis, but in terms of the care


and support available and being able to plan and understand what is


happening and get help and therapy, it is so important in terms of the


quality of people's lives. It is good the numbers are going up. They


need to go up further. In Devon, this week we launched a new memory


service for Devon which will bring things together better and ensure


people get early diagnosis and support. I don't know whether there


are any parallels with diabetes. Diabetes campaigners are saying that


it ruins peoples lives and costs the NHS a lot of money because it is not


diagnosed early enough. And there were different types of dementia.


People think of Alzheimer's but there are other types linked to


vascular disease. And other forms of lifestyle advice that can make a


real difference. People drinking too much, that is an important cause.


Having a proper diagnosis and access to treatments that can delay some of


the symptoms of the disease, I think that is a very important thing. You


need to have a correct diagnosis. More than that, it is for those


around you, putting in place the kind of support networks that they


might need going forward. Now our regular round`up of the


political week in the South West in 60 Seconds.


The Marine convicted of murdering an Afghan insurgent is finally and


controversially named. It is all very well sitting there with the


benefit of hindsight, but do they really understand the pressures our


men have to endure? Particularly the Royal Marine commandos. NPP as a


farmer should not lose too much of their subsidies to environmental


schemes `` NPs say that farmers. You have to get the money to the


livestock producers. And could farmers lose vital manpower when the


government scraps the scheme for migrant workers? It is


short`sighted. It worked well for us. In two of three times, we will


be back to where we were ten years ago. We were screaming we could not


get enough labour to do horticultural pipe jobs. And an


Exeter `based airline announces more cuts. Last time it was jobs, this


time it is flights. That's the Sunday Politics in the


South West. I noticed you nodding vigorously when the farmer was


talking about seasonal workers, Ben. It is not the case that there are


British workers lining up to get the jobs. The debate in this country on


immigration is wholly dishonest. Many sectors in our part of the


world, farming, processing, picking the daffodils in Cornwall, they


would not be able to function without migrant workers. The


producers are reliant on them and when the scheme stops they will be


in real trouble. As Ben says, what we have to remember is that migrants


are very put into our economy. But what we want is for British workers


to be applying for those jobs. There is an argument that says that if you


make it too easy to employ people from elsewhere, we are hearing


stories about employers actively advertising elsewhere and not


advertising in the UK. We want them to encourage local people to apply


for the jobs. Is that a reasonable point? Absolutely. But as your food


producer said, there are times and are coming when there are labour


shortages and let us be frank, quite a lot of local people are not


prepared to do the hard graft and grubby work and put in the hours.


They are interested in easier jobs, better paid. If we do not want these


sectors to suffer, we have to think carefully about locking the door to


these people who are keeping these sectors very important to the


south`west economy ticking over. It seems this scheme is disappearing by


default. Countries which currently benefit from it getting the broader


benefits of EU membership. The farmers are saying, couldn't we


extend it to other countries outside the EU to fill the gap? I think we


still have to focus on trying to encourage young people in our


country to take these jobs and make sure that employers advertise


actively at home rather than abroad. A huge row over the naming of this


Marine who was convicted of murdering the Afghan insurgent. A


former Marine feels very strongly that civilians do not understand the


pressures people are under. There should be special circumstances


here. He should have remained anonymous. I am very reluctant to


second`guess a decision a court has been made when I have not sat


through the evidence. I was not the judge or the jury. I think it is


concomitant on all of us to be slightly careful about how we


comment. We all think the Armed Forces do an amazing job and put


their lives at risk all of the time. But if you will forgive me, I will


not, on a court case which I have not sat in on and pretend to know


more about it than the judge did. I cannot add to that. It is absolutely


right that there are things about this case and looking at the footage


from the headcount, I think that was deeply shocking footage `` the head


camera. I think it protects other soldiers so they do not find


themselves in a position where they are pressured to do things that are


unacceptable. There is more to this than we know and we should leave it


to the courts to make the judgement. This row about whether farmers


should lose money to environmental schemes. I was slightly puzzled


because as I understand it, this has been a long`term shift in subsidy


from food production to more environmental schemes to encourage


diversity and biodiversity, so it is still often farmers benefiting. I


think the DEFRA select committee are saying the move should be slower.


work... That's all we've got time for. It's back now to Andrew.


Tomorrow, the House of Commons will pay its tributes to Nelson Mandela.


Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.


The first thing I ever did that involved an issue or policy, or


politics, was protest against apartheid.


I think his greatest legacy, to South Africa and to the world, is


the emphasis which he has always put on the need for a conciliation, on


the importance of human rights. He also made us understand that we can


change the world. We can change the world by changing attitudes, by


changing perceptions. For this reason, I would like to pay him


tribute as a great human being, who raised the standard of humanity.


Thank you for the gift of Madiba. Thank you for what he has enabled us


to know we can become. We are joined now by the Labour MP


Diane Abbott. You met Mr Mandela not one after he was released from


prison in 1990. He went as an election observer for the first one


person, one-vote in South Africa. I would guess, of all the people you


met in your life, you must have been the most impressive and biggest


influence? He was extraordinary. He had just come out of prison, 28


years in reason. He had seen a lot of his colleagues tortured, blown up


and killed. He was entirely without bitterness. That is what came


across. That was key to his achievement, to achieve a peaceful


transition. Everybody thought that if you have black majority rule, you


might have a bloodbath. It's down to Nelson Mandela but didn't happen. I


remember FW de Klerk saying that Mandela was the key to getting a


peaceful transition. Absolutely the key, an amazing man. London was one


of the centres, people talked about it as being the other centre of the


anti-apartheid struggle. That anti-apartheid struggle in London,


it had an effect on black politics in Britain? Oh, yes. If you were


black and politically active at the time, the apartheid struggle, the


struggle against white supremacy in South Africa, was very important.


Whatever your colour, the anti-apartheid struggle, for our


generation, was the political campaign. We have the 50th


anniversary of Kennedy's assassination. Mr Mandela's death.


We are kind of running out of people that inspired us? I will never


forget where I was when I saw him come out of prison, hand-in-hand


with the women, I might add. If you have spent your whole teenage years


and 20 is boycotting, marching, picketing, to see him actually come


out was amazing. Do you think it was more exciting to meet you or the


Spice Girls? I think the Spice Girls. What did the Labour


backbenchers think about Ed Balls's performance after the Autumn


Statement? Luck, Ed Balls is a brilliant man, but I think even he


would say that it was not his best performance. But if you look at the


polls, the public liked the points he made. The backbenchers were


quiet, there was something wrong? I noticed that. It was like a wall of


sound, deliberately. They know that under pressure his stamina might


come back and it is difficult for him. That is what they were trying


to incite. I have had experience first hand, a look at all of these


anonymous and sometimes not anonymous quotes in the media. The


spinning has begun against him? This is the party of brotherly love, no


matter what the Tories say, we can say worse about each other. How


could it be that two former aides to Gordon Brown do not like each other?


Far be it from me to say. If he wanted to do it, and I'm not saying


he does, is Mr Miliband ruthless enough to get rid of Ed Balls? I


mean, he got rid of you, he got rid of his brother? One thing you should


not do is under estimate Ed Miliband's capacity for


ruthlessness. If he feels it is the right thing to do, he will do it.


It's not just a matter of... Ed Balls is a big, powerful


personality. He's great to interview because he is across his subject,


you can have a really good argument with him, a man that knows his


brief, his facts. But it's not just about the personality. There is a


kind of sense that Labour needs to look forwards more on economic


policy. Of course, the standard of living has been hugely successful


for Labour. But it needs more than that on economic policy? I think he


has been one of the most effective member 's Shadow Cabinet, and he's


always associated with the Brown years, where there is always an


element about, you were the guys that got it wrong. I think Ed


Miliband will be very tempted to replace him with Alistair Darling.


The scenario goes like this, Alistair Darling saves the union and


then in September he saves the Labour Party. Ultimately, I don't


think he would do it. Talk about shifting tectonic plates, it would,


wouldn't it? But it is a step too far. Ed Balls would not be too


happy. It is not something you would want to do lightly. That sounds a


bit of a threat. Not from you. I can't see Ed Balls magnanimously


retreating and say, go on, Alistair Darling, take the job I have been


after all career. Where do you put him? Do you make him a middle


ranking business or welfare secretary? He wouldn't do that. If


you sack him, he would retreat to the backbenchers. He might take up


knitting and practices piano scales, or he might have a blood feud with


Ed Miliband. I don't know which could be. You look back to when he


was schools Secretary, you could feel he was constantly fuming. I


think he is better inside the tent, looking out, than the other way


around. The thing one Labour strategist said to me was that he is


too much looking into the rear-view mirror, when it comes to economic


policy. He needs to look ahead through the windscreen. That had


some resonance? He was at the centre of Labour's economic policy-making


from the mid-90s. So it's hard for him but he has to look forward.


There is an interesting comparison with 2009. Gordon Brown got in


trouble when he said the choice is between Labour investment and Tory


cuts. Everybody knew it was between Labour cuts and Tory cuts. In other


words, he was not acknowledging reality. With Ed Balls, OK, we can


say it is the wrong sort of recovery, but there is a recovery.


Does he not need to absorb that punch and say there is a recovery,


then people will listen to him? Possibly. We know that the


macroeconomics are looking better. We also know people are not


experiencing it as a recovery in living standards. No one, not even


Tories, really believe that David Cameron knows what it is like for


middle-income people to live normal lives. Living standards is


particularly powerful because of the composition of the government? Don't


go away. This time last year we ambushed our political panel with a


quiz. They didn't come out of it smelling of roses, but they did come


out rather smelly. Will the coalition still be in place


a year from now? Yes. Definitely. I say definitely as well. From now,


one year, will we know the date of the European referendum? Yes. No. I


say no as well. How much growth will there be? Less than 1%. Father


Christmas is less qualified than me, but I will go for one. I will go for


a quarter of that. 0.4%. Sorry, a third of that. I am with you, and


1%. We didn't do too badly. What will growth be next year? I will


remind you, the OBR has upgraded to 2.4%. Better stick with the OBR, got


it wrong last year. Well, they went down in March and then went back in


December. I'm going to go under and claim credit where it's higher. I'm


going to say 1%. Deliberately get it wrong. Given our record, if we say


there is going to be spectacular growth, does it mean we're going to


go into recession? There is incentive to be cautious. 2%. 2.4%,


because the housing market in London is rocketing. It would be closer to


3% and 2.4, mark my words. We'll Ed Balls be Shadow Chancellor by this


time next year? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes, I value my life. Will UKIP mean the


European elections, by which I mean have the highest percentage of the


vote? Yes. Second behind Labour. Second behind Labour. Will Alex


Salmond win the independence referendum? No, but it will be


closer than we think. No, unless they do something catastrophic like


let Cameron debate him. Too close to call. Controversial. How many


Romanians and Bulgarians will come to Britain in 2014? Far fewer than


anyone thinks. The entire population of Romania and Bulgaria, like Nigel


Farage thanks. I'll go with that, I'm confident. A change of tone for


your magazine. Not many will come, but a lot here already will


normalise and be counted into figures. Too many for most


right-wing commentators. I think quite a few will come, but not the


kind of numbers that made such a huge difference. This time,


everybody is open. They do like to speak English, that is the reason


they want to come. We'll all three of you still be here by this time


next year? Yes. Would you recommend that? Yes, keep them. And he has


lovely boots. Shiny red boots. If you can keep affording me, I will be


here. I hope so, it sounds like you have a firing squad outside. I hope


so, maybe you will find some true talent. Very pragmatic, aren't they?


Let me put this to you, I think you will agree. The coalition will not


break now, this side of the election next year? There will not be... They


will not go their own ways by this time next year? Of next year, maybe


just after. Early 2015. This side of the election? What is the UKIP view?


I don't think there is an advantage to either of them. If the Lib Dems


pulled out, they would look like there were a lodger in the Tory


house of government. I think it would suit the Lib Dems to break


just before the election. I think that is what Vince Cable wants to


do. I don't think it is what Nick Clegg would like to do. The Tories


would love it. They would have all of the toys to themselves. Yellow


marker they would look like the grown-ups. The problem for Vince


Cable is that he's not the force that used to be after his temper


tantrum at the Conference. I will be back with the Daily


Politics next week. If Santer gives you a diary in your stocking, pencil


in Sunday the 20th of January, the first Sunday Politics of 2014.


Remember, if it is Sunday, it is the Sunday Politics. Unless it is


Christmas. And New Year.


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