09/03/2014 Sunday Politics South West


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


He's a man on a mission. But is it mission impossible? Iain Duncan


Smith has started the radical reform of our welfare state. No tall order.


And not everything's going to plan. We'll be talking to the man himself.


Nick Clegg's hosting his party's spring conference in York. He's


getting pretty cosy with the party faithful. Not so cosy, though, with


his Coalition partners. In fact, things are getting a wee bit nasty.


We'll be talking to his right-hand man, Danny Alexander.


And are all politicians self-obsessed? Don't all shout at


In the South West: Concern `bout the once. We'll be examining


In the South West: Concern `bout the rise of foodbanks. And the plan


which could In London, we're focusing on the


biggest social housing landlords. Can Southwark Council really build


11,000 new homes in the next three decades?


And with me, as always, three of the best and the brightest political


panel in the business. At least that's what it says in the Sunday


Politics template. Back from the Oscars empty handed, Helen Lewis,


Janan Ganesh and Iain Martin. Yes, three camera-shy hacks, who've never


taken a selfie in their life. We'll be coming to that later. They just


like to tweet. And they'll be doing so throughout the programme.


Welcome. Now, first this morning, the Liberal


Democrat Spring Conference in York. I know you speak of nothing else!


The Yorkshire spring sunshine hasn't made the Lib Dems think any more


kindly of their Coalition partners. Indeed, Tory bashing is now the Lib


Dem default position. Here's Danny Alexander speaking yesterday.


Repairing the economy on its own isn't enough. We have to do it


fairly. isn't enough. We have to do it


the agenda a decision to cut taxes, income taxes, for working people.


Now, conference, note that word - forced. We have had to fight for


this at the last election and at every budget and at every Autumn


Statement since 2010 and what a fight it has been.


Danny Alexander joins us now. Are we going to have to suffer 14 months of


you and your colleagues desperately trying to distance yourself from the


Tories? It's not about distancing ourselves. It's about saying, " this


is what we as a party have achieved in government together with the


Conservatives". And saying, " this is what our agenda is for the


future" . It's not just about the fact that this April we reach that


?10,000 income tax allowance that we promised in our manifesto in 20 0


but also that we want to go further in the next parliament and live that


to ?12,500, getting that over a 2-term Liberal Democrat government.


It's very important for all parties to set out their own agenda, ideas


and vision for the future, whilst also celebrating what we're


achieving jointly in this Coalition, particularly around the fact that we


are, having taken very difficult decisions, seeing the economy


improving and seeing jobs creation in this country, which is something


I'm personally very proud and, as the Coalition, we have achieved and


wouldn't have if it hadn't been for the decisions of the Liberal


Democrats. Lets try and move on You've made that point about 50


times on this show alone. You now seem more interested in Rowling with


each other than running the country, don't you? -- rowing with each


other. I think we are making sure we take the decisions, particularly


about getting our economy on the right track. Of course, there are


lots of things where the Conservatives have one view of the


future and we have a different view and it's quite proper that we should


set those things out. There are big differences between the Liberal


Democrats and the Conservatives just as there were big differences


between the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party. I believe we're


the only party that can marry that commitment delivering a strong


economy, which Labour can't do, and that commitment to delivering a


fairer society, which the Tories can't be trusted to do by


themselves. You are going out of your way to pick fights with the


Tories at the moment. It's a bit like American wrestling. It is all


show. Nobody is really getting hurt. I've been compared to many things


but an American wrestler is a first! I don't see it like that It


is right for us as a party to set out what we've achieved and show


people that what we promised on 2010 on income tax cuts is what this


government is delivering. But nobody seems convinced by these


manufactured rows with the Tories. You've just come last in a council


by-election with 56 votes. You were even bitten by an Elvis


impersonator! Yes, that is true -- beaten. I could equally well quote


council by-elections that we've won recently, beating Conservatives the


Labour Party and UKIP. Our record on that is pretty good. You can always


pick one that shows one or other party in a poor light. Our party is


having real traction with the electric and the places where we


have a real chance of winning. If you're not an American wrestler


maybe you should be an Elvis impersonator! You told your spring


forum... You don't want to hear me sing! You want to raise the personal


allowance to ?12,500 in the next Parliament. Will you refuse to enter


into Coalition with any party that won't agree to that? What I said


yesterday is that this will be something which is a very high


priority for the Liberal Democrats. It's something that we will very


much seek to achieve if we are involved... We know that - will it


be a red line? If you are a number in 2010, on the front page of our


manifesto, we highlighted four policies... I know all that. Will it


be a red line? It will be something that is a very high priority for the


Liberal Democrats to deliver. For the fifth time, will it be a red


line? It will be, as I said, a very high priority for the Liberal


Democrats in the next Parliament. That's my language. We did that in


the next election. The number-1 promise on our manifesto with a


?10,000 threshold and we've delivered that in this Parliament.


People can see that when we say something is a top priority, we


deliver it. Is it your claim... Are you claiming that the Tories would


not have raised the starting point of income tax if it hadn't been for


the Liberal Democrats? If you remember back in the leaders'


debates in the 2010 election campaign, Nick Clegg was rightly


championing this idea and David Cameron said it couldn't be


afforded. Each step of the way in the Coalition negotiations within


government, we've had to fight for that. The covert overtures have


other priorities. -- the Conservatives. I don't want to go


back into history. I'd like to get to the present. Have the


Conservatives resisted every effort to raise the starting point of


income tax? As I said, we promised this in 2010, they said it couldn't


be done. We've made sure it was delivered in the Coalition. Have


they resisted it? We've argued for big steps along the way and forced


it on to the agenda. They've wanted to deliver other things are so we've


had to fight for our priority.. Did the Conservatives resist every


attempt? It has been resisted, overall the things I'm talking


about, by Conservatives, because they have wanted to deliver other


things and, of course, in a Coalition you negotiate. Both


parties have their priorities. Our priority has been a very consistent


one. Last year, they were arguing about tax breaks for married


couples. They were arguing in 2 10 for tax cuts for millionaires. Our


priority in all these discussions has been a consistent one, which is


to say we want cutbacks for working people. -- we want to cut tax for


working people. That has been delivered by both parties in the


Coalition government full top So what do you think when the Tories


take credit for it? I understand why they want to try to do that. Most


people understand what we have just said. Not if the polls are to be


believed... You're under 10%. This is one of the things, when I talk to


people, but I find they know that the Lib Dems have delivered in


government. People know we promised it in 2010 and we're the ones who


forced this idea onto the agenda in our election manifesto. You've said


that five times in this interview alone. The reality is, this is now a


squabbling, loveless marriage. We're getting bored with all your tests,


the voters. Why don't you just divorced? -- all your arguments I


don't accept that. On a lot of policy areas, the Coalition


government has worked very well together. We're delivering an awful


lot of things that matter to this country. Most importantly, the mess


that Labour made of the economy we are sorting out. We are getting our


finances on the right track, making our economy more competitive,


creating jobs up and down this country, supporting businesses to


invest in growth. That is what this Coalition was set up to do, what it


is delivering, and both myself and George Osborne are proud to have


worked together to deliver that record. Danny Alexander, thanks for


that. Enjoyed York. Helen, is anybody listening? I do worry that


another 40 months of this might drive voter apathy up to record


levels. There is a simple answer to why they don't divorced - it's the


agreement that Parliament will last until 2015. MPs are bouncing around


Westminster with very little to do. They are looking for things to put


in the Queen's Speech and we are going to have rocks basically the 40


months and very little substantial difference in policies. Do you


believe Danny Alexander when he says there would have been no rise in the


starting rate of income tax if not for the Lib Dems? He's gilding the


lily. If you look back at papers are written in 2001 suggesting precisely


this policy, written by a Tory peer, you see there are plenty of Tories


which suggest there would have been this kind of move. I can see why


Danny Alexander needs to do this and they need to show they've achieved


something in government because they are below 10% in the polls and


finding it incredibly difficult to get any traction at all. The other


leg of this Lib Dem repositioning is now to be explicitly the party of


Europe and to be the vanguard of the fight to be all things pro-Europe.


Mr Clegg is going to debate Nigel Farage in the run-up to the European


elections. If, despite that, the Lib Dems come last of the major parties,


doesn't it show how out of touch different. They are targeting a


section of the electorate who are a bit more amenable to their views


than the rest. They wouldn't get 20% of the vote. They are targeting that


one section. They have to do disproportionately well amongst


those and it will payoff and they will end up with something like 15%.


How many seats will the Lib Dems losing the next election? Ten. 0.


15. Triangulation! We'll keep that on tape and see what actually


happens! The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain


Duncan Smith is a man on a mission. He's undertaken the biggest overhaul


in our welfare state since it was invented way back in the


black-and-white days of the late 1940s. A committed Roman Catholic,


he's said he has a moral vision to reverse the previous welfare system,


which he believes didn't create enough incentive for people to work.


But are his reforms working? Are they fair? As he bitten off more


than he can chew? In a moment, we'll speak to the man himself but first,


here's Adam. Hackney in north London and we're on


the road with the man who might just be the most ambitious welfare


secretary there's ever been. It s a journey that started in the wind and


rain on a Glasgow council estate 12 years ago when he was Tory leader.


He came face-to-face with what it meant to be poor. A selection of


teddy bears. It's where he discovered his recipe for reform,


according to one of the advisers who was with him. There are things that


if you do get a job, keep your family together, stay off drugs and


alcohol, make sure you have a proper skill - that's what keeps you of


poverty. He, very ambitiously, wants to redefine the nature of what it


means to be poor and how you get away from poverty. Back in north


London, he's come to congratulate the troops on some good news. In


this borough, the number of people on job-seeker's allowance has gone


down by 29% in the last year, up from around 1700 to around 1200 But


the picture in his wider changes to the welfare state is a bit more


mixed. A cap on the total amount of benefits a family can get, of


?26,000 a year, is hugely popular but there have been howls of protest


over cuts to housing benefit, labelled the bedroom tax by some.


Protests, too, about assessments for people on disability benefits,


inherited from the previous government. Iain Duncan Smith has


been accused of being heartless and the company doing them, Atos, has


pulled out. And then the big one - and universal credit, a plan to roll


six benefits into one monthly payment, in a way designed to ensure


that work always pays. Some of the IT has been written off and the


timetable seems to be slipping. Outside the bubble of the


stage-managed ministerial trip, a local Labour MP reckons he's bitten


off more than he can chew. The great desire is to say, " let's have one


simple one size fits all approach" . And there isn't one size of person


or family out there. People need to change and they can challenge on the


turn of a penny almost. One minute they are doing the right thing,


working hard. Next minute, they need a level of support and if this


simple system doesn't deliver that for them, they're in a difficult


position. And that's the flying visit to the front line finished. He


does not like to hang about and just as well do - his overhaul of the


entire benefits system still has quite a long way to go. And Iain


Duncan Smith joins me now. Before I come onto the interview on welfare


reform, is Danny Alexander right when he claims the Lib Dems had to


fight to get the Tories to raise the income tax threshold? That is not my


recollection of what happened. These debates took place in the


Coalition. The Conservatives are in favour of reducing the overall


burden of taxation, so the question was how best do we do it? The


conversation took place, they were keen on raising the threshold, there


were also other ways of doing it but it is clear from the Conservatives


that we always wanted to improve the quality of life of those at the


bottom so raising the threshold fit within the overall plan. If it was a


row, it was the kind of row you have over a cup of tea round the


breakfast table. We have got a lot to cover. There are two criticisms


mainly of what you are doing - will they work, and will they be fair?


Leslie Roberts, one of our viewers, wants to know why so much has


already been written off due to failures of the universal credit


system even though it has been barely introduced. Relatively it has


been a ?2 billion investment project, in the private sector


programmes are written off regularly at 30, 40%. The IT is working, we


are improving as we go along, the key thing is to keep your eye on the


parts that don't work and make sure they don't create a problem for the


programme. 140 million has been wasted! The 40 million that was


written off was just do with security IT, and I took that


decision over a year and a half ago so the programme continued to roll


out. Those figures include the standard right down, the aggregation


of cost over a period of time. The computers were written down years


ago but they continue to work now. Universal credit is rolling out we


are doing the Pathfinders and learning a lot but I will not ever


do this again like the last government, big band launches, you


should do it phrase by phrase. Even your colleague Francis Maude says


the implementation of universal credit has been pretty lamentable.


He was referring back to the time when I stopped that element of the


process and I agreed with that. I intervened to make the changes. The


key point is that it is rolling out and I invite anyone to look at where


it is being rolled out to. You were predicting that a million people


would be an universal credit, this is the new welfare credit which


rolls up six existing welfare benefits and you were predicting a


million people would be on it by April, well it is March and only


3200 are on it. I changed the way we rolled it out and there was a reason


for that. Under the advice of someone we brought from outside he


said that you are better rolling it out slower and gaining momentum


later on. On the timetables for rolling out we are pretty clear that


it will roll out within the timescale is originally set. We will


roll it out into the Northwest so that we replicate the north and the


Northwest, recognise how it works properly. You will not hit 1 million


by April. I have no intention of claiming that, and it is quite


deliberate because that is the wrong thing to do. We want to roll it out


carefully so we make sure everything about it works. There are lots of


variables in this process but if you do it that way, you will not end up


with the kind of debacle where in the past something like ?28 billion


worth of IT programmes were written off. ?38 billion of net benefits,


which is exactly what the N a O Z, so it is worth getting it right


William Grant wants to know, when will the universal credit cover the


whole country? By 2016, everybody who is claiming one of those six


benefits will be claiming universal credit. Some and sickness benefits


will take longer to come on because it is more difficult. Many of them


have no work expectations on them, but for those on working tax


credits, on things like job-seeker's allowance, they will be making


claims on universal credit. Many of them are already doing that now


there are 200,000 people around the country already on universal credit.


You cannot give me a date as to when everybody will be on it? 2016 is


when everybody claiming this benefit will be on, then you have to bring


others and take them slower. Universal credit is a big and


important reform, not an IT reform. The important point is that it will


be a massive cultural reform. Right now somebody has to go to work and


there is a small job out there. They won't take that because the way


their benefits are withdrawn, it will mean it is not worth doing it.


Under the way we have got it in the Pathfinders, the change is


dramatic. A job-seeker can take a small part time job while they are


looking for work and it means flexibility for business so it is a


big change. Lets see if that is true because universal credit is meant to


make work pay, that is your mantra. Let me show you a quote Minister in


the last -- in the last Tory conference. It


has only come down to 76%. Actually form own parents, before they get to


the tax bracket it is well below that. That is a decision the


Government takes about the withdrawal rate so you can lower


that rate or raise it. And do your reforms, some of the poorest


people, if they burn an extra pound, will pay a marginal rate of


76%. -- if they earn an extra pound. The 98% he is talking about is a


specific area to do with lone parents but there are specific


compound areas in the process that mean people are better off staying


at home then going to work. They will be able to identify how much


they are better off without needing to have a maths degree to figure it


out. They are all taken away at different rates at the moment, it is


complex and chaotic. Under universal credit that won't happen, and they


will always be better off than they are now. Would you work that bit


harder if the Government was going to take away that portion of what


you learned? At the moment you are going to tax poor people at the same


rate the French government taxes billionaires. Millions will be


better off under this system of universal credit, I promise you, and


that level of withdrawal then becomes something governments have


to publicly discussed as to whether they lower or raise it. But George


Osborne wouldn't give you the extra money to allow for the taper, is


that right? The moment somebody crosses into work under the present


system, there are huge cliff edges, in other words the immediate


withdrawal makes it worse for them to go into work than otherwise. If


he had given you more money, you could have tapered it more gently?


Of course, but the Chancellor can always ultimately make that


decision. These decisions are made by chancellors like tax rates, but


it would be much easier under this system for the public to see what


the Government chooses as its priorities. At the moment nobody has


any idea but in the future it will be. Under the Pathfinders, we are


finding people are going to work faster, doing more job searches, and


more likely to take work under universal credit. Public Accounts


Committee said this programme has been worse than doing nothing, for


the long-term credit. It has not been a glorious success, has it?


That is wrong. Right now the work programme is succeeding, more people


are going to work, somewhere in the order of 500,000 people have gone


back into work as a result of the programme. Around 280,000 people are


in a sustained work over six months. Many companies are well


above it, and the whole point about the work programme is that it is


setup so that we make the private sector, two things that are


important, there is competition in every area so that people can be


sucked out of the programme and others can move in. The important


point here as well is this, that actually they don't get paid unless


they sustain somebody for six months of employment. Under previous


programmes under the last government, they wasted millions


paying companies who took the money and didn't do enough to get people


into work. The best performing provider only moved 5% of people off


benefit into work, the worst managed only 2%. It is young people. That


report was on the early first months of the work programme, it is a


two-year point we are now and I can give you the figures for this. They


are above the line, the improvement has been dramatic and the work


programme is better than any other back to work programme under the


last government. So why is long-term unemployment rising? It is falling.


We have the largest number of people back in work, there is more women in


work than ever before, more jobs being created, 1.6 million new jobs


being created. The work programme is working, our back to work programmes


are incredibly successful at below cost so we are doing better than the


last government ever did, and it will continue to improve because


this process is very important. The competition is what drives up


performance. We want the best performers to take the biggest


numbers of people. You are practising Catholic, Archbishop


Vincent Nichols has attached your reforms -- attack to your reforms,


saying they are becoming more punitive to the most vulnerable in


the land. What do you say? I don't agree. It would have been good if


you called me before making these attacks because most are not


correct. For the poorest temper sent in their


society, they are now spending, as a percentage of their income, less


than they did before. I'm not quite sure what he thinks welfare is


about. Welfare is about stabilising people but most of all making sure


that households can achieve what they need through work. The number


of workless households under previous governments arose


consistently. It has fallen for the first time in 30 years by nearly


18%. Something like a quarter of a million children were growing up in


workless households and are now in households with work and they are


three times more likely to grow up with work than they would have been


in workless households. Let me come into something that he may have had


in mind as being punitive - some other housing benefit changes. A


year ago, the Prime Minister announced that people with severely


disabled children would be exempt from the changes but that was only


after your department fought a High Court battle over children who


couldn't share a bedroom because of severe disabilities. Isn't that what


the Archbishop means by punitive or, some may describe it, heartless We


were originally going to appeal that and I said no. You put it up for an


appeal and I said no. We're talking about families with disabled


children. There are good reasons for this. Children with conditions like


that don't make decisions about their household - their parents do -


so I said we would exempt them. But for adults with disabilities the


courts have upheld all of our decisions against complaints. But


you did appeal it. It's just that, having lost in the appeal court you


didn't then go to the Supreme Court. You make decisions about this. My


view was that it was right to exempt them at that time. I made that


decision, not the Prime Minister. Let's get this right - the context


of this is quite important. Housing benefit under the last government


doubled under the last ten years to ?20 billion. It was set to rise to


another 25 billion, the fastest rising of the benefits, it was out


of control. We had to get it into control. It wasn't easy but we


haven't cut the overall rise in housing. We've lowered it but we


haven't cut housing benefit and we've tried to do it carefully so


that people get a fair crack. On the spare room subsidy, which is what


this complaint was about, the reality is that there are a quarter


of a million people living in overcrowded accommodation. The last


government left us with 1 million people on a waiting list for housing


and there were half a million people sitting in houses with spare


bedrooms they weren't using. As we build more houses, yes we need more,


but the reality is that councils and others have to use their


accommodation carefully so that they actually improve the lot of those


living in desperate situations in overcrowded accommodation, and


taxpayers are paying a lot of money. This will help people get


back to work. They're more likely to go to work and more likely,


therefore, to end up in the right sort of housing. We've not got much


time left. A centre-right think tank that you've been associated with, on


job-seeker's allowance, says 70 000 job-seekers' benefits were withdrawn


unfairly. A viewer wants to know, are these reforms too harsh and


punitive? Those figures are not correct. The Policy Exchange is


wrong? Those figures are not correct and we will be publishing corrected


figures. The reality is... Some people have lost their job-seeker


benefits and been forced to go to food backs and they shouldn't have.


No, they're not. What he is referring to is that we allowed an


adviser to make a decision if some but it is not cooperating. We now


make people sign a contract, where they agree these things. These are


things we do for you and if you don't do these things, you are


likely to have your benefit withdrawn on job-seeker's allowance.


Some of this was an fairly withdrawn. There are millions of


these things that go through. This is a very small subset. But if you


lose your job-seeker benefit unfairly, you have no cash flow.


There is an immediate review within seven days of that decision. Within


seven days, that decision is reviewed. They are able to get a


hardship fund straightaway if there is a problem. We have nearly ?1


billion setup to help people, through crisis, hardship funds and


in many other ways. We've given more than ?200 million to authorities to


do face-to-face checks. This is not a nasty, vicious system but a system


that says, "look, we ask you to do certain things. Taxpayers pay this


money. You are out of work but you have obligations to seek work. We


simply ask that you stick to doing those. Those sanctions are therefore


be but he will not cooperate" . I think it is only fair to say to


those people that they make choices throughout their life and if they


choose not to cooperate, this is what happens. Is child poverty


rising? No, it is actually falling in the last figures. 300,000 it fell


in the last... Let me show you these figures. That is a projection by the


Institute of fiscal studies. It also shows that it has gone up every year


and will rise by 400,000 in this Parliament, and your government, and


will continue to rise. But never mind the projection. It may be


right, may be wrong. It would be 400,000 up compared to when -- what


you inherited when this Parliament ends. That isn't a projection but


the actual figures. But the last figures show that child poverty has


fallen by some 300,000. The important point is... Can I just


finished this point of? Child poverty is measured against 60% of


median income so this is an issue about how we measure child poverty.


You want to change the measure. I made the decision not to publish our


change figures at this point because we've still got a bit more work to


do on them but there is a big consensus that the way we measure


child poverty right now does not measure exactly what requires to be


done. For example, a family with an individual parent who may be drug


addicted and gets what we think is enough money to be just over the


line, their children may be living in poverty but they won't be


measured so we need to get a measurement that looks at poverty in


terms of how people live, not just in terms of the income levels they


have. You can see on that chart - 400,000 rising by the end of this


Parliament - you are deciding over an increase. Speedier I want to


change it because under the last government child poverty rose


consistently from 2004 and they ended up chucking huge sums of money


into things like tax credits. In tax credits, in six years before the


last election, the last government spent ?175 billion chasing a poverty


target and they didn't achieve what they set out to achieve. We don't


want to continue down that line where you simply put money into a


welfare system to alter a marginal income line. It doesn't make any


sense. That's why we want to change it, not because some projection says


it might be going up. I will point out again it isn't a projection up


to 2013-14. You want it to make work pay but more people in poverty are


now in working families than in workless families. For them, workers


not paying. Those figures referred to the last government's time in


government. What is interesting about it is that until 2010, under


the last government, those in working families - poverty in


working families rose by half a million. For the two years up to the


end of those figures, it has been flat, under this government. These


are figures at the last government... You inherited and it


hasn't changed. The truth is, even if you are in poverty in a working


family, your children, if they are in workless families, are three


times more likely to be out of work and to suffer real hardship. So, in


other words, moving people up the scale, into work and then on is


important. The problem with the last government system with working tax


credit is it locks them into certain hours and they didn't progress.


We're changing that so that you progress on up and go out of poverty


through work and beyond it. But those figures you're referring to


refer to the last government's tenure and they spent ?175 billion


on a tax credit which still left people in work in poverty. Even 20


minutes isn't enough to go through all this. A lot more I'd like to


talk about. I hope you will come back. I will definitely come back.


Thank you for joining us. You're watching the Sunday


Politics. We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now for


Sunday Politics Scotland. Gove is right to focus. We've run


out of time. Thanks for being here. Andrew, back to you.


Now, without further ado, more from our political panel. Iain Martin,


what did you make of Iain Duncan Smith's response to the Danny


Alexander point I'd put to him? I thought it was a cheekily put


response but actually, on Twitter, people have been tweeting while on


air that there are lots of examples where the Tories have demanded the


raising of the threshold. The 2 06 Forsyth tax omission is another


example. Helen, on the bigger issue of welfare reforms, is welfare


reform, as we head into the election, despite all the


criticisms, still a plus for the government? I don't think so.


Whatever the opposite of a Midas touch is, Iain Duncan Smith has got


it. David Cameron never talks about universal credit any more. The


record on personal independence payment, for example... We didn t


get onto that. Only one in six of those notes have been paid. A toss


pulling out of their condiment has been a nightmare. It's a very big


minus point for the Secretary of State. -- Atos pulling out of bed


contract. Welfare cuts are an unambiguous point for the government


but other points more ambiguous I don't think it's technical


complexity that makes IDS's reform a problem. The IT gets moved out with


time. But even if it's in fermented perfectly, what it will achieve has


been slightly oversold, I think and simplified incredibly. All it does


is improve incentives to work for one section of the income scale and


diminishes it at another. Basically, you are encouraged to go from


working zero hours to 16 hours but your incentive to work beyond 1


goes down. That's not because it's a horrendous policy but because in


work benefits systems are imperceptible. Most countries do


worse than we do. -- benefits systems cannot be perfected. They


need to tone down how much this can achieve even if it all goes


flawlessly. There are clearly problems, particularly within


limitation, but Labour is still wary of welfare reform. -- with


implementation. Polls suggest it is rather popular. People may not know


what's involved were like the sound of it. I think Janan is right to


mark out the differences between welfare cuts and welfare reforms.


They are related but distinct. Are we saying cuts are more popular than


reform? They clearly are. The numbers, when you present people


numbers on benefit reductions, are off the scale. Reform, for the


reasons you explored in your interview, is incredibly


compensated. What's interesting is that Labour haven't really


definitively said what their position is on this. I think they


like - despite what they may see in public occasionally - some of what


universal credit might produce but they don't want to be associated


with it. We probably won't know until if Ed Miliband is Prime


Minister precisely what direction Labour will go. Immigration is still


a hot topic in Westminster and throughout the country. This new


Home Office minister, James Brokenshire, made an intervention.


Let's see what he had to say. For too long, the benefits of


immigration went to employers who wanted an easy supply of cheap


labour or to the wealthy metropolitan elite who wanted cheap


tradesmen and services, but not to the ordinary hard-working people of


this country. With the result that the Prime Minister and everyone else


has to tell us all whether they ve now got Portuguese or whatever it is


Nanny is. Is this the most cack-handed intervention on an


immigration issue in a long list? I think it is and when I saw this


being trailed the night before, I worried for him. As soon as a


minister of the Crown uses the phrase "wealthy metropolitan elite"


more likely we see it in recession. We've just had the worst recession


in several decades. It's no small problem but compared to what


ministers like James Brokenshire has been saying for the past few years


and also the reluctance to issue the report earlier, I thought that,


combined with the speech, made it quite a bad week for the department.


Was this a cack-handed attempt to appeal to the UKIP voters? I think


so and he's predecessor had to leave the job because of having a foreign


cleaner. It drew attention to the Tories' biggest problem, the out of


touch problem. Most people around the country probably don't have a


Portuguese nanny and you've just put a big sign over David Cameron


saying, this man can afford a Portuguese Nanny. It is not the


finest political operation ever conducted and the speech was


definitely given by the Home Office to Number Ten but did Number Ten


bother to read it? It was a complete shambles. The basic argument that


there is a divide between a wealthy metropolitan elite and large parts


of Middle Britain or the rest of the country I think is basically sound.


It is but they are on the wrong side of it. What do you mean by that The


Tory government is on the wrong side. This is appealing to UKIP


voters and we know that UKIP is appealing to working-class voters


who have previously voted Labour and Tory. If you set up that divide


make sure you are on the right side stop When you talk about


metropolitan members of the media class, they say that it is rubbish


and everyone has a Polish cleaner. No, they don't. I do not have a


clean! I don't clean behind the fridge, either! Most people in the


country don't have a cleaner. The problem for the Tories on this is,


why play that game? You can't out-UKIP UKIP. After two or three


years of sustained Tory effort to do that, they will probably finish


behind UKIP. Do we really want a political system where it becomes an


issue of where your nanny or your cleaner is from, if you've got one?


Unless, of course, they're illegal. But Portuguese or Italian or


Scottish... And intervention was from Nick Clegg who said his wife


was Dutch -- his mum was Dutch and his wife was Spanish. Not communism


but who your cleaner is! It's the McCarthy question! Where does your


cleaner come from. A lot of people will say are lucky to have a


cleaner. I want to move onto selfies but first, on the Nigel Farage


Nick Clegg debate, let's stick with the TV one. Who do you think will


win? Nigel Farage. Clegg. He is a surprisingly good in debates and


people have forgotten. I think Clegg is going to win. I think Farage has


peaked. We're going to keep that on tape as well! Two 214 Clegg there.


Selfies. Politicians are attempting to show they're down with the kids.


Let's look at some that we've seen in recent days.


Why are they doing this, Helen? I'm so embarrassed you call me reading


the SNP manifesto, as I do every Saturday! They do it because it


makes them seem authentic and that's the big Lie that social media tells


you - that you're seeing the real person. You're not, you're seeing a


very carefully manicured, more witty person. That doesn't work for


politicians. It looks so fake and I'm still suffering the cringe I see


every time I see Cameronserious phone face. Does Mr Cameron really


think it big Sim up because he's on the phone to President Obama? Obama


is not the personality he once was. There is an international crisis in


Ukraine - of course we are expecting to be speaking to Obama! And if you


were in any doubt about what a man talking on the telephone looks like,


here's a photo. I must confess, I didn't take my own selfie. Did your


nanny? My father-in-law took it Where is your father-in-law from?


Scotland. Just checking. Janan, I think we've got one of you. The 1%!


What a great telephone! Where did you get that telephone? It looks


like Wolf Of Wall Street! That's what I go to bed in. It showed how


excited Cameron was to be on the phone to Obama. All our politicians


think they are living a mini version of US politics. President Obama goes


on a big plane and we complain when George Osborne goes first class on


first Great Western. They want to be big and important like American


politics but it doesn't work. We'll see your top at next week!


That's it for this week. Faxed all our guests. The Daily Politics is on


all this week at lunchtime on BBC Two. We'll be back here same time,


same place next week. Remember, if it's Sunday, it is the Sunday




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