16/03/2014 Sunday Politics South West


16/03/2014

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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. George Osborne's fifth

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Budget will offer more tax relief for the lower paid but not

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Budget will offer more tax relief middle income earners being thrust

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into the 40p tax bracket. That's our top story.

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Ed Balls says millions of people aren't feeling any benefit from the

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recovery. We'll discuss the economy with big political beasts from

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Labour, the Conservatives, and the Lib Dems. Now that Ed Miliband has

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effectively ruled out an in/out EU referendum, how does UKIP deal with

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In the South West, the concdrn about means no

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In the South West, the concdrn about the tourist tax. And fresh hopes for

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Cornish nationists. Right on! of cycling. The three areas of

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London getting a cash boost to try something different.

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And with me as always our top political panel - Nick Watt, Helen

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Lewis and Janan Ganesh. They'll be tweeting their

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Lewis and Janan Ganesh. They'll be hashtag #bbcsp throughout the

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programme. So, just three months after his last major financial

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statement, George Osborne will be at the despatch box again on Wednesday,

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delivering his 2014 Budget. The Chancellor has already previewed his

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own speech, pledging to build what he calls a "resilient economy". The

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message I will give in the Budget is the economic plan is working but the

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job is far from done. We need to build resilient economy which means

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addressing the long-term weaknesses in Britain that we don't export

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enough, invest enough, build enough, make enough. Those are the things I

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will address because we want Britain to earn its way in the world. George

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Osborne's opposite number, Ed Balls, has also been talking ahead of the

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Budget. He says not everyone is feeling the benefit of the economic

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recovery, and again attacked the Government's decision to reduce the

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recovery, and again attacked the top rate of tax from 50 to 45%.

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George Osborne is only ever tough when he's having a go at the week

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and the voiceless. Labour is willing to face up to people on the highest

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incomes and say, I'm sorry, justifying a big tax cut at this

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time is not fair. We will take away the winter allowance from the richer

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pensioners, and I think that's the right thing to do. George Osborne

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might agree, but he's not allowed to say so. That was the Chancellor and

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the shadow chancellor. Janan, it seems like we are in a race against

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time. No one argues that the recovery is not under way, in fact

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it looks quite strong after a long wait, but will it feed through to

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the living standards of ordinary people in time for the May election?

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They only have 14 months to do it. The big economic variable is

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They only have 14 months to do it. business investment. Even during the

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downturn, businesses hoarded a lot of cash. The question is, are they

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confident enough to release that into investment and wages? Taking on

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new people, giving them higher pay settlements. That could make the

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difference and the country will feel more prosperous and this time next

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year. But come to think of it, it strikes me, that how anticipated it

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is, it's the least talked about Budget for many years. I think that

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is because the economy has settled down a bit, but also because people

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have got used to the idea that there is no such thing as a giveaway.

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Anything that is a tax cut will be taken away as a tax rise or spending

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cut. That's true during the good times but during fiscal

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consolidation, it's avoidable. - unavoidable. There is a plus and

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minus for the Conservatives here. 49% of people think the government

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is on roughly the right course, but only 16% think that their financial

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circumstances will improve this year. It will be a tough one for the

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Labour Party to respond to. I agree with Janan. Everyone seems bored

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with the run-up to the Budget. The front page of the Sunday Times was

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about fox hunting, the front page of the Sunday Telegraph was about EU

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renegotiation. Maybe we are saying this because there have not been

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many leaks. We have got used to them, and most of the George Osborne

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chat on Twitter was about how long his tie was. Freakishly long. I

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wouldn't dare to speculate why. Anything we should read into that? I

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don't know. For a long while there was no recovery, then it was it is a

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weak recovery, and now, all right, it's strong but not reaching

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everyone in the country. That is where we are in the debate. That's

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right, and the Conservative MPs are so anxious and they are making

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George Osborne announcing the rays in the personal allowance will go

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up, saying it might go up to 10 750 from next year, and Conservative MPs

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say that that's OK but we need to think about the middle voters.

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People are saying the economy is recovering but no one is feeling it

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in their pocket. These are people snagged in at a 40p tax rate. The

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Tories are saying these are our people and we have to get to them.

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He has given the Lib Dems more than they could have hoped for on raising

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the threshold. Why is he not saying we have done a bit for you, now we

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have to look after our people and get some of these people out of that

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40% bracket? Partly because the Lib Dems have asked for it so

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insistently behind-the-scenes. Somebody from the Treasury this week

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told me that these debates behind the scenes between the Lib Dems and

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Tories are incredibly tenacious and get more so every year. The Lib Dems

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have been insistent about going further on the threshold. The second

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reason is that the Tories think the issue can work for them in the next

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election. They can take the credit. If they enthusiastically going to

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?12,000 and make it a manifesto pledge, they can claim ownership of

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the policy. The Liberal Democrats want to take it to 12,500, which

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means you are getting into minimum wage territory. It's incredibly

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expensive and the Tories are saying that maybe you would be looking at

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the 40p rate. The Tories have played as well. There have been authorised

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briefings about the 40p rate, and Cameron and Osborne have said that

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their priority was helping the lowest paid which is a useful

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statement to make and it appeals to the UKIP voters who are the

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blue-collar workers. And we are right, the economy will determine

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the next election? You assume so. It was ever that is. It didn't in 992

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or 1987. It did in 1992. Ed Miliband's announcement last week

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that a Labour government would not hold a referendum on Europe unless

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there's another transfer of powers from Britain to Brussels has

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certainly clarified matters. UKIP say it just shows the mainstream

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parties can't be trusted. The Conservatives think it means UKIP

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voters might now flock back to them as the

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voters might now flock back to them securing a referendum. Giles Dilnot

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reports. When it comes to Europe and

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Britain's relation to it, the question is whether the answer is

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answered by a question. To be in or not to be in, that is the question,

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and our politicians have seemed less interested in question itself but

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whether they want to let us answer it. Labour clarified their position

:08:08.:08:16.

last week. There will be no transfer of powers without an in out

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referendum, without a clear choice as to whether Britain will stay in

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the EU. That seems yes to a referendum, but hold on. I believe

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it is unlikely that this lock will be used in the next Parliament. So

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that's a no. The Conservatives say yes to asking, in 2017, if

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re-elected, but haven't always. In 2011, 81 Tory MPs defied the PM by

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voting for a referendum on EU membership: the largest rebellion

:08:50.:08:51.

against a Tory prime minister over Europe. Prompted by a petition from

:08:52.:09:02.

over 100,000 members of the public. The wrong question at the wrong time

:09:03.:09:05.

said the Foreign Secretary of a coalition Government including

:09:06.:09:07.

selfie-conciously-pro European Lib Dems, who had a referendum pledge in

:09:08.:09:10.

their 2010 manifesto, but only in certain circumstances. So we have

:09:11.:09:12.

the newspapers, and the public meeting leaflets. UKIP have always

:09:13.:09:16.

wanted the question put regardless. But Labour's new position may change

:09:17.:09:19.

things and The Conservatives think so. I think it does, because, you

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know, we are saying very clearly, like UKIP, we want a referendum but

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only a Conservative government can deliver it because most suffer

:09:33.:09:40.

largest would say it is possible in the first past the post system to

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have a UKIP government -- sophologists. And then it's easy for

:09:48.:09:55.

as to say that if a UKIP vote lets in a Conservative government, then

:09:56.:10:02.

they won't hold a referendum. UKIP seem undaunted by the clarifications

:10:03.:10:05.

of the other parties, campaigning like the rest but with a "tell it

:10:06.:10:09.

how it is, just saying what you re thinking, we aren't like them"

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attitude. They seem more worried about us and what we want, and I

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don't see that in the other parties. In parts of the UK, like South

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Essex, it's a message they think is working. They are taking the voters

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for granted again and people have had enough. People are angry, they

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see people saying they will get a vote on the European Union, but then

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it just comes down the road. They were quick to capitalise on the

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announcements, saying only the Conservatives will give you say so

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does it change things? Not really. We have been talking about a

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referendum and having a debate on the European Union for years, and

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the other parties are playing catch up. They have a trust issue. Nobody

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trusts them on the European Union and that is why people come to us.

:11:05.:11:08.

Who the average UKIP voter is, or how they voted before is

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complicated, and what dent they might make on Conservative and

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Labour votes in 2015 is trickier still, but someone's been crunching

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the numbers anyway. We reckon it is between 25 and 30% of the electorate

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broadly share the UKIP motivation, so to top out at that level would be

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difficult. That's an awful lot of voters, but it's not the majority,

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and this is the reason why the main parties can't afford to just openly

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appealed to the UKIP electorate too hard because the elections are won

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and lost amongst the other 70%, the middle-class, the graduate, the

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younger, ethnic minorities. An appeal to the values of UKIP voters

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will alienate some of the other groups, and they are arguably more

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significant in winning the election. Whatever, the numbers UKIPers seem

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doggedly determined to dig away at any support the other parties have

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previously enjoyed. Giles Dilnot reporting. UKIP's

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leader, Nigel Farage, joins me now for the Sunday Interview.

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Nigel Farage, welcome back. Good morning. So the Labour Party has

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shot a fox. If Ed Miliband is the next by Minister, there will not be

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a referendum customer there's a long way between now and the next

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election, and Conservative party jobs and changes. We had a cast iron

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guarantee of a referendum from camera, then he three line whip

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people to vote against it, and now they are for it. What the Labour

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Party has done is open up a huge blank to us, and that is what we

:12:44.:12:46.

will go for in the European elections this coming year in May. I

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think there is a very strong chance that Labour will match the

:12:51.:12:53.

Conservative pledge by the next general election. There may be, but

:12:54.:12:57.

at the moment he has ruled it out, and if he does not change his mind

:12:58.:13:01.

and goes into the election with the policy as it is, the only

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and goes into the election with the a referendum is a Tory government.

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If you think the Tories will form a majority, which I think is unlikely.

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Remember, two thirds of our voters would never vote Conservative

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anyway. There is still this line of questioning that assumes UKIP voters

:13:18.:13:22.

are middle-class Tories. We have some voters like that, but most of

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them are coming to us from Labour, some from the Lib Dems and a lot of

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nonvoters. But it come the election you failed to change Mr Miliband's

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line, I repeat, the only chance of a referendum, if you want a

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referendum, if that is what matters, and the polls suggest it doesn't

:13:42.:13:44.

matter to that many people, but if that is what matters, the only way

:13:45.:13:47.

you can get one is to vote Conservative. No, because you have a

:13:48.:13:52.

situation in key marginals, especially where all

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situation in key marginals, are getting a good share, where we

:13:56.:13:59.

will see, and this depends a lot on the local elections and the European

:14:00.:14:05.

elections, there are target constituencies where UKIP has a

:14:06.:14:08.

reasonably good chance of winning a seat, and that will change the

:14:09.:14:13.

agenda. Every vote for UKIP makes a Tory government less likely. Arab

:14:14.:14:19.

voters are not Tory. Only a third of the UKIP boat comes from the

:14:20.:14:22.

Conservative party -- our voters are not Tory. -- the UKIP vote. It was

:14:23.:14:28.

mentioned earlier, about blue-collar voters. We pick up far more Labour

:14:29.:14:32.

Party and nonvoters than conservatives. On the balance of

:14:33.:14:36.

what the effect of the UKIP boat is, the Tories should worry about

:14:37.:14:40.

us, they should worry about the fact they have lost faith with their own

:14:41.:14:45.

electorate. Even if there is a minority Ed Miliband government it

:14:46.:14:48.

electorate. Even if there is a means no referendum. Labour and the

:14:49.:14:50.

Liberal Democrats are now at one on the matter. The next election is in

:14:51.:14:54.

a few weeks time, the European elections. What happens in those

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elections will likely change the party stands and position on a

:15:00.:15:02.

referendum. The fact that Ed Miliband has said this means, for

:15:03.:15:06.

us, our big target on the 22nd of May will be the Labour voters in the

:15:07.:15:10.

Midlands and northern cities, and if we do hammer into that boat and we

:15:11.:15:14.

are able to beat Labour on the day, there's a good chance of their

:15:15.:15:24.

policy changing. One poll this morning suggests Labour is close to

:15:25.:15:31.

you at 28, the Conservatives down at 21, the Lib Dems down at eight. You

:15:32.:15:38.

are taking votes from the Conservatives and the Liberal

:15:39.:15:42.

Democrats. We are certainly taking votes from the Lib Dems but that is

:15:43.:15:49.

comparing the poll with one year ago when I don't think most people knew

:15:50.:15:55.

what the question really was. You seem to be in an impossible position

:15:56.:15:59.

because the better you do in a general election, the less chance

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there will be a referendum by 2 20. No, look at the numbers. Only a

:16:06.:16:10.

third of our voters are Conservatives. When we have polled

:16:11.:16:16.

voters that have come to us, we asked them if there was no UKIP

:16:17.:16:20.

candidate who would you vote for, less than one in five said

:16:21.:16:25.

Conservative. Less than one in five UKIP voters would be tempted to vote

:16:26.:16:30.

so the arithmetic does not suggest so the arithmetic does not suggest

:16:31.:16:36.

we are the Conservative problem it suggests we are hurting all of the

:16:37.:16:39.

parties and the reason the Tories are in trouble is because they have

:16:40.:16:44.

lost their traditional base. Why do you think Nick Clegg is debating

:16:45.:16:51.

Europe? I think they are in trouble, at 8% they could be wiped

:16:52.:16:59.

out, they could go from 12 to nothing and I think it is a chance

:17:00.:17:04.

for Nick Clegg to raise their profile. They are fringe party with

:17:05.:17:10.

respect to this contest so I see why he wants to do it. One of our big

:17:11.:17:15.

criticisms is that we have not been able to have a full debate on

:17:16.:17:20.

national television on the alternatives of the European Union

:17:21.:17:24.

so I am looking forward to it. How are you preparing? I think you can

:17:25.:17:38.

be over scripted with these things. Are you not doing mock debates? No,

:17:39.:17:44.

I am checking my facts and figures and making sure that I can show the

:17:45.:17:48.

British people that in terms of jobs, we would be far better off not

:17:49.:17:54.

being within the European Union not being within its rule book, not

:17:55.:17:58.

suffering from some of the green taxes they are putting on the

:17:59.:18:04.

manufacturing industry. The idea that 3 million jobs are at risk I

:18:05.:18:10.

want to show why that is nonsense. Who do you think is playing you in

:18:11.:18:14.

their mock debates? They probably Who do you think is playing you in

:18:15.:18:19.

went to the pub and found someone! We will see. You have promised to do

:18:20.:18:25.

whatever it takes to fund your European election campaign, how much

:18:26.:18:31.

has been given so far? Just give it a few weeks and you will see what

:18:32.:18:36.

Paul is planning to do. He has made a substantial investment in the

:18:37.:18:46.

campaign already. How much? I'm not answering that for now. We are well

:18:47.:18:51.

on our way to a properly funded campaign and our big target will be

:18:52.:18:55.

the big cities and the working vote in those communities. Your deputy

:18:56.:19:01.

chairman Neil Hamilton is another former Tory, he says so far we

:19:02.:19:07.

haven't seen the colour of his money. Exactly two weeks ago, and

:19:08.:19:14.

things have changed since then. Mr Sykes has written a cheque since

:19:15.:19:21.

then? Yes. This morning's papers saying you will be asking MEPs to

:19:22.:19:28.

contribute ?50,000 each, is that true? Over the next five years, yes.

:19:29.:19:35.

Not for the European campaign. So lack of money will not be an excuse.

:19:36.:19:42.

We will have a properly funded campaign. How we raise the kind of

:19:43.:19:47.

money needed to fund the general election afterwards is another

:19:48.:19:57.

question. What is UKIP's policy on paying family members? We don't

:19:58.:19:59.

encourage it and I didn't employ paying family members? We don't

:20:00.:20:04.

family member for years. My wife ended up doing the job and paid for

:20:05.:20:10.

the first seven years of my job She is paid now? Until May, then she

:20:11.:20:18.

comes off the payroll am which leaves me with a huge problem. In

:20:19.:20:25.

2004 you said, UKIP MEPs will not employ wives and there will be no

:20:26.:20:31.

exceptions. An exception was made because I became leader of the

:20:32.:20:35.

National party as well as a leader of the group in European

:20:36.:20:39.

Parliament. Things do change in life, and you can criticise me for

:20:40.:20:43.

whatever you like, but I cannot be criticised for not having a big

:20:44.:20:49.

enough workload. No, but you didn't employ your wife when you had told

:20:50.:20:58.

others not to do it your party. Nobody else in my party has a big

:20:59.:21:01.

job in Europe and the UK. We made the exception for this because of

:21:02.:21:07.

very unusual circumstances. It also looks like there was a monetary

:21:08.:21:11.

calculation. Listen to this clip from a BBC documentary in 2000. It

:21:12.:21:18.

is a good job. I worked it out because so much of what you get is

:21:19.:21:24.

after tax that if you used the secretarial allowances to pay your

:21:25.:21:27.

wife on top of the other games you can play, I reckon this job in

:21:28.:21:36.

Stirling term is over a quarter of ?1 million a year. That is what you

:21:37.:21:38.

would need to earn working for Goldman Sachs or someone like that.

:21:39.:21:45.

I agree with that. More importantly the way you really make money in the

:21:46.:21:48.

European Parliament is being their five days a week, because you sign

:21:49.:21:54.

in every day, you get 300 euros every day, and that is how people

:21:55.:21:59.

maxed out. The criticism of me is that I am not there enough so

:22:00.:22:04.

whatever good or bad I have done in the European Parliament, financial

:22:05.:22:08.

gain has not been one of the benefits. There have been

:22:09.:22:13.

allegations of you also employing a former mistress on the same European

:22:14.:22:18.

Parliamentary allowance, you deny that? I am very upset with the BBC

:22:19.:22:23.

coverage of this. The ten o'clock news run this as a story without

:22:24.:22:28.

explaining that that allegation was made using Parliamentary privilege

:22:29.:22:32.

by somebody on bail facing serious fraud charges. I thought that was

:22:33.:22:38.

pretty poor. You have a chance to fraud charges. I thought that was

:22:39.:22:46.

that and you deny you have employed a former mistress? Yes, but if you

:22:47.:22:51.

look at many of the things said over the last week, I think it is

:22:52.:22:56.

becoming pretty clear to voters that the establishment are becoming

:22:57.:22:59.

terrified of UKIP and they will use anything they can find to do us down

:23:00.:23:07.

in public. Is an MEP employs his wife and his former mistress, that

:23:08.:23:13.

would be resigning matter, wouldn't it? Yes, particularly if the

:23:14.:23:17.

assumption was that money was being taped for work but was not being

:23:18.:23:23.

done. Who do you think is behind these stories? It is all about

:23:24.:23:31.

negative, it is all about attacks, but I don't think it is actually

:23:32.:23:35.

going to work because so much of what has been said in the last week

:23:36.:23:40.

is nonsense. A reputable daily newspaper said I shouldn't be

:23:41.:23:45.

trusted because I had stored six times for the Conservative party, I

:23:46.:23:49.

have never even stored in a local council election. I think if you

:23:50.:23:55.

keep kicking an underdog, it will make the British people rally around

:23:56.:24:04.

us. Is it the Conservatives? Yes, and the idea that all of our voters

:24:05.:24:11.

are retired colonels is simply not true. We get some voters from the

:24:12.:24:20.

Labour side as well. Would you consider standing in a Labour seat

:24:21.:24:25.

if you are so sure you are getting Labour votes? Yes, but the key for

:24:26.:24:33.

UKIP is that it has to be marginal. Just for your own future, if you

:24:34.:24:39.

fail to win a single soul -- single seat in the general election, if Ed

:24:40.:24:45.

Miliband fails to win an outright majority, will you stand down as

:24:46.:24:51.

UKIP leader? I would think within about 12 hours, yes. I will have

:24:52.:24:57.

failed, I got into politics not because I wanted a career in

:24:58.:25:02.

politics, far from it. I did it because I don't think this European

:25:03.:25:05.

entanglement is right for our country. I think a lot of people

:25:06.:25:09.

have woken up to the idea we have lost control of our borders and now

:25:10.:25:14.

is the moment for UKIP to achieve what it set out to do. Will UKIP

:25:15.:25:19.

is the moment for UKIP to achieve continue without you if you stand

:25:20.:25:24.

down? Of course it will. I know that everyone says it is a one-man band

:25:25.:25:34.

but it is far from that. We have had some painful moments, getting rid of

:25:35.:25:36.

old UKIP, new UKIP is more professional, less angry and it is

:25:37.:25:41.

going places. Nigel Farage, thank you for being with us.

:25:42.:25:47.

So, what else should we be looking out for in Wednesday's Budget

:25:48.:25:49.

statement? We've compiled a Sunday Politics guide to the Chancellor's

:25:50.:25:51.

likely announcements. Eyes down everyone, it's time for a

:25:52.:25:54.

bit of budget bingo. Let's see what we will get from the man who lives

:25:55.:25:58.

at legs 11. Despite some good news on the economy, George Osborne says

:25:59.:26:01.

that this will be a Budget of hard truths with more pain ahead in order

:26:02.:26:05.

to get the public finances back under control. But many in the

:26:06.:26:07.

Conservative party, including the former chancellor Norman Lamont

:26:08.:26:10.

want Mr Osborne to help the middle classes by doing

:26:11.:26:12.

want Mr Osborne to help the middle 4.4 million people who fall into the

:26:13.:26:18.

40% bracket. Around one million more people pay tax at that rate compared

:26:19.:26:22.

to 2010 because the higher tax threshold hasn't increased in line

:26:23.:26:27.

with inflation. Mr Osborne has indicated he might tackle the issue

:26:28.:26:30.

in the next Conservative manifesto, but for now he is focused on helping

:26:31.:26:36.

the low paid. It's likely we will see another increase in the amount

:26:37.:26:39.

you can earn before being taxed perhaps up another ?500 to ?10, 00.

:26:40.:26:45.

The Chancellor is going to flesh out the details of a tax break for

:26:46.:26:48.

childcare payments, and there could be cries of 'house' with the promise

:26:49.:26:51.

of more help for the building industry. The Help To Buy scheme

:26:52.:27:08.

will be extended to 2020 and there could be the go-ahead for the first

:27:09.:27:12.

Garden City in 40 years. Finally, bingo regulars could be celebrating

:27:13.:27:15.

a full house with a possible cut in bingo tax.

:27:16.:27:17.

And I've been joined in the studio by the former Conservative

:27:18.:27:19.

chancellor Norman Lamont, in Salford by the former Labour Cabinet

:27:20.:27:22.

minister Hazel Blears, and in Aberdeen by the Lib Dem deputy

:27:23.:27:25.

leader, Malcolm Bruce. Let me come to Norman Lamont first, you and

:27:26.:27:30.

another former Tory Chancellor, Nigel Lawson, have called in the

:27:31.:27:35.

fall in the threshold for the rate at which the 40p clicks in. I would

:27:36.:27:46.

have preferred an adjustment in the Budget but I agree with what you are

:27:47.:27:49.

saying, it sounds like the Chancellor will not do that. My main

:27:50.:27:56.

point is that you cannot go on forever and forever increasing the

:27:57.:28:00.

personal allowance and not increasing the 40% tax threshold

:28:01.:28:04.

because you are driving more and more people into that band. It is an

:28:05.:28:08.

expensive policy because in order to keep the number of people not paying

:28:09.:28:12.

tax constant, you have to keep adjusting it each year. When this

:28:13.:28:19.

was introduced by Nigel Lawson, it applied to one in 20 people, the 40%

:28:20.:28:26.

rate, it now applies to one in six people. By next year, there will be

:28:27.:28:32.

6 million people paying base. Why do you think your Tory colleagues seem

:28:33.:28:36.

happy to go along with the Lib Dems and target whatever money there is

:28:37.:28:51.

for tax cuts rather -- on the lower paid rather than the middle incomes?

:28:52.:28:57.

They are not helping the lowest paid. If you wanted to really help

:28:58.:29:02.

the lowest paid people you would raise the threshold for national

:29:03.:29:07.

insurance contributions, which is around ?6,000. Is it the Lib Dems

:29:08.:29:12.

stopping any rise in the 40p threshold? We are concentrating on

:29:13.:29:22.

raising the lower threshold because we believe that is the way to help

:29:23.:29:30.

those on lower incomes. Whilst they haven't benefited as much as the

:29:31.:29:33.

lower paid they have participated and I think people understand right

:29:34.:29:38.

now, if you were going to prioritise the high earners, when we are still

:29:39.:29:42.

trying to help those on lower and middle incomes who haven't enjoyed

:29:43.:29:46.

great pay increases but have got the benefit of these tax increases, that

:29:47.:29:51.

is why we would like to do it for the minimum wage level. But the

:29:52.:29:57.

poorest will not benefit at all The poorest 16% already don't pay tax.

:29:58.:30:03.

Why don't you increase the threshold at which National Insurance starts?

:30:04.:30:08.

You only have two earned ?5,500 before you start to pay it. You ve

:30:09.:30:16.

got to remember that the raising of the threshold to ?10,000 or more was

:30:17.:30:19.

something the Tories said we could not afford. Why are you continuing

:30:20.:30:28.

to do it? If you want to help the working poor, the way would be to

:30:29.:30:32.

take the lowest out of national insurance. The view we take is they

:30:33.:30:38.

are benefiting, and have benefited from, the raising of the tax

:30:39.:30:42.

threshold. You now have to earn ?10,000, we hope eventually 12, 00,

:30:43.:30:47.

and that means only people on very low wages. If you opt out of

:30:48.:30:51.

national insurance, you're saying to people that you make no contribution

:30:52.:30:56.

to the welfare system, so there is a general principle that people should

:30:57.:31:00.

participate and paying, and also claim when they need something out.

:31:01.:31:06.

We thought raising the threshold was simple and effective at a time of

:31:07.:31:09.

economic austerity and the right way to deliver a helpful support to

:31:10.:31:16.

welcoming people. -- working people. With the Labour Party continue to

:31:17.:31:19.

raise the threshold, or do they think there is a case that there are

:31:20.:31:23.

too many people being dragged into the 40p tax bracket? If Norman

:31:24.:31:29.

Lamont thinks this is the right time to benefit people who are reasonably

:31:30.:31:32.

well off rather than those who are struggling to make ends meet, then

:31:33.:31:36.

genuinely, I say it respectfully, I don't think he's living in the world

:31:37.:31:40.

the rest of us are. Most working people have seen their wages

:31:41.:31:45.

effectively reduced by about ?1 00 because they have been frozen, so

:31:46.:31:50.

the right thing is to help people on modest incomes. I also understand

:31:51.:31:55.

that if the 40% threshold went up, the people who would benefit the

:31:56.:31:58.

most, as ever, are the people who are really well off, not the people

:31:59.:32:03.

in the middle. The Conservatives have already reduced the 50p tax on

:32:04.:32:09.

people over ?150,000 a year, and we have to concentrate on the people

:32:10.:32:12.

going out to work, doing their best to bring their children up and have

:32:13.:32:16.

a decent life and need a bit of help. I think raising the threshold

:32:17.:32:20.

is a good thing. We would bring back the 10p tax, which we should never

:32:21.:32:25.

have abolished, and do things with regard to childcare. At the moment,

:32:26.:32:29.

childcare costs the average family as much as their mortgage, for

:32:30.:32:34.

goodness sake. We would give 25 hours free childcare for youngsters

:32:35.:32:37.

over three and four years old. That would be a massive boost the working

:32:38.:32:44.

families. We are talking about nurses, tube drivers, warrant

:32:45.:32:48.

officers in the army. There are many people who are not well off but have

:32:49.:32:52.

been squeezed in the way everybody has been squeezed and they are

:32:53.:32:57.

finding it continuing. I am stunned by Malcolm's argument where

:32:58.:33:00.

everybody should pay something so you should not take people out of

:33:01.:33:04.

national insurance, but the principle doesn't apply to income

:33:05.:33:08.

tax. You can stand that argument on its head and apply it to income tax.

:33:09.:33:14.

Most people don't see a difference between income tax and national

:33:15.:33:16.

insurance, it's the same thing to most people. It is true that it

:33:17.:33:21.

isn't really an insurance fund and there is an argument from merging

:33:22.:33:24.

both of them. But we have concentrated on a simple tax

:33:25.:33:30.

proposition. Norman is ignoring the fact the people on the 40% rate have

:33:31.:33:36.

benefited by the raising of the personal allowance. To say they have

:33:37.:33:40.

been squeezed is unfair. The calculation is that an ordinary

:33:41.:33:44.

taxpayer will be ?700 better off at the current threshold, and about

:33:45.:33:49.

?500 better off at the higher rate. It is misleading to say the better

:33:50.:33:53.

off we'll be paying more. I agree with Hazel, if you go to the 40

:33:54.:33:58.

rate, it's the higher earners who benefit the most, and we won't do

:33:59.:34:01.

that when the economy is not where it was before the crash. How much

:34:02.:34:07.

will the lower paid be better off if you reintroduce the 10p rate?

:34:08.:34:14.

Significantly better off. I don t have the figure myself, but they'd

:34:15.:34:20.

be significantly better off and the Budget should be a mixture of

:34:21.:34:23.

measures to help people who work hard. That is why I think the

:34:24.:34:27.

childcare issue has to be addressed. ?100 a week of the people

:34:28.:34:31.

with childcare payments. It is a massive issue. We want the job is

:34:32.:34:37.

guaranteed to get young people back into work. There's been hardly any

:34:38.:34:40.

discussion about that, and we have nearly 1 million people who have

:34:41.:34:44.

been out of work for six months or more, and as a country we need to do

:34:45.:34:49.

something to help that. 350,000 full-time students, so it is a

:34:50.:34:53.

misleading figure. It is not a full-time students, so it is a

:34:54.:34:58.

students. All parties do this. It sounds to me, Malcolm Bruce, you

:34:59.:35:04.

have more in common with the Labour Party than you do with the

:35:05.:35:07.

Conservatives. You want an annual levy on houses over ?2 million, so

:35:08.:35:12.

does Labour. A lot of your members want to scrap the so-called bedroom

:35:13.:35:15.

tax and so does labour. You think every teacher should have a teaching

:35:16.:35:20.

qualification, and so does Labour. Your policy on the EU referendum is

:35:21.:35:25.

the same. Let me go on. And you want to scrap the winter fuel allowance

:35:26.:35:30.

for wealthy pensioners. We want to make sure we get the public finances

:35:31.:35:33.

in order and we have grave reservations about the Labour Party

:35:34.:35:39.

promises. But they followed your spending plans in the first year.

:35:40.:35:46.

The point we are making is we can make a fairer society and stronger

:35:47.:35:49.

The point we are making is we can economy if you keep the public

:35:50.:35:51.

finances moving towards balance. We don't think the Labour Party will

:35:52.:35:55.

take a stand that track. It is interesting that the Labour Party

:35:56.:35:58.

want to introduce the 10p rate that Gordon Brown abolished. We consider

:35:59.:36:04.

that before we can -- committed to the 0% rate -- we considered that.

:36:05.:36:11.

It makes a complicated system difficult and we think it's better

:36:12.:36:16.

doing it that way. As a fiscal conservative, why are you talking

:36:17.:36:20.

about any tax cuts when the deficit is over ?100 billion, and

:36:21.:36:23.

effectively, anything you propose today can only be financed by more

:36:24.:36:28.

borrowing. I totally agree with you. I said that this week. I thought the

:36:29.:36:33.

best thing would have no Budget. The main thing is to get the deficit

:36:34.:36:37.

down. My argument is is that you have an adjustment in tax rates it

:36:38.:36:40.

should be shared between the allowances and the higher rate, but

:36:41.:36:46.

I don't think that the progress on the deficit is something we can give

:36:47.:36:51.

up on. This is still a very long way to go. We're only halfway through.

:36:52.:36:54.

Hazel, does it make sense to borrow to go. We're only halfway through.

:36:55.:37:00.

for tax cuts? I am reluctant to do this, but I agree with both Norman

:37:01.:37:06.

and Malcolm. Malcolm Bruce wants to borrow for tax cuts. We absolutely

:37:07.:37:11.

need to get the deficit down and get finances on a strong footing. But we

:37:12.:37:15.

also have to think about having some spending in the system that in the

:37:16.:37:18.

longer run saves us money. We all know we need to build new homes. I

:37:19.:37:22.

don't think it's necessarily the right priority to give people in

:37:23.:37:28.

London mortgage relief in terms of ?600,000. We have to get the balance

:37:29.:37:33.

right. Sometimes it is right to spend to save. I'm afraid we have

:37:34.:37:39.

run out of time. There will be plenty more discussion in the lead

:37:40.:37:41.

up to the Budget on Wednesday. It's just gone 11:35am. You're

:37:42.:37:46.

watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who

:37:47.:37:49.

leave us now for Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up here in 20

:37:50.:37:52.

Coming up on the Sunday Polhtics in General Secretary of the TUC, joins

:37:53.:38:11.

Coming up on the Sunday Polhtics in the Southwest...

:38:12.:38:15.

Fresh hope for Cornish nationalists. Right on! And for the next 20

:38:16.:38:24.

minutes, I'm joined by Consdrvative MEP Julie Girling, and Labotr

:38:25.:38:27.

councillor Chaz Singh. Welcome to both of you.

:38:28.:38:31.

This week, Julie was disappointed by a letter she received from the

:38:32.:38:34.

floods minister making it plain that the government will not be `pplying

:38:35.:38:37.

for money from the European pot designed to help with natur`l

:38:38.:38:39.

disasters. The Environment Secretary said the damage caused by the floods

:38:40.:38:43.

wasn't bad enough to justifx a claim.

:38:44.:38:47.

I would be perfectly happy to apply if we qualify, but I would have to

:38:48.:38:50.

talk to other colleagues in government, but when I last looked

:38:51.:38:53.

at it, we needed to get a threshold of three billion.

:38:54.:38:58.

One MP described that as tosh, saying the real reason the

:38:59.:39:01.

government isn't applying is to spare the blushes of Euroscdptic

:39:02.:39:12.

Tories. If Europe came in whth a serious amount of money to sort out

:39:13.:39:16.

some of the problems in Somdrset and other parts of the country, it is

:39:17.:39:19.

going to be slightly embarr`ssing. They will not be able to sax

:39:20.:39:22.

anything rude about Europe. Julie, as an MEP, how likelx is it

:39:23.:39:25.

if the UK applies for this grant, that they could get it? It depends

:39:26.:39:29.

on the amount of damage. It's based on the percentage of GDP of each

:39:30.:39:33.

member state. We got it in 2007 when we had serious flooding. 130

:39:34.:39:39.

million, wasn't it? When thd Labour government was in power. I was

:39:40.:39:43.

involved then because I was on the county council in Gloucestershire. I

:39:44.:39:49.

don't see any reason why thd claim shouldn't get to the same sort of

:39:50.:39:52.

magnitude as it did then. I can t say for sure because I'm not privy

:39:53.:39:56.

to all the numbers. Would it be worth a go? I certainly think we

:39:57.:40:03.

should apply. Tessa Munt is talking nonsense when she says about it s

:40:04.:40:06.

sparing the blushes of Eurosceptic Tories. The letter I've had is from

:40:07.:40:13.

Dan Rogerson as the Minister for floods and he's a North Cornwall

:40:14.:40:16.

Liberal Democrat. It's got nothing to do with whether you are pro`or

:40:17.:40:19.

anti`Europe, it is just abott reaching the threshold. I would like

:40:20.:40:24.

government, and I have written to the secretary of state and Dan to

:40:25.:40:27.

look at this again because H think you are wrong. The EU Commission

:40:28.:40:37.

press office said that the president, Jose Manuel Barroso has

:40:38.:40:40.

said an application to the fund by the UK would be viewed

:40:41.:40:42.

constructively. It would indeed We've done work behind the scenes in

:40:43.:40:46.

Brussels to make sure that the commission would look at it

:40:47.:40:48.

constructively. It doesn't lean we would get it. There is a lilited

:40:49.:40:52.

period of ten weeks to applx. We are getting very close to the end of

:40:53.:40:56.

that. I just think it's wrong not to apply. I think we should apply. If

:40:57.:41:00.

we don't reach it, we don't reach it, but it's wrong not to try. I've

:41:01.:41:04.

tried very hard to get that message across. What do you make of that? As

:41:05.:41:09.

Julie said, 2007, Labour did apply for the money and got that loney. It

:41:10.:41:14.

helped those very people th`t need help now. It's no good saying that

:41:15.:41:19.

we're not speaking to the rhght people. I think it is a question of

:41:20.:41:22.

making sure that if that cl`im does go in, speaking to the right people,

:41:23.:41:26.

it is more importantly who `re the people and even though Dan Rogerson

:41:27.:41:29.

does live in North Cornwall, that is not, for me, a strong enough

:41:30.:41:32.

argument just because he resides in North Cornwall. So there was

:41:33.:41:44.

confusion... The argument w`s not because he lives there, he hs the

:41:45.:41:47.

Minister responsible. Only the government can apply. I can't apply

:41:48.:41:53.

as an MEP. People keep asking me to but I can't. Only the state

:41:54.:41:58.

government can apply. And in your opinion, it would be a big listake

:41:59.:42:02.

not to? Dan is a minister in this government. It is divisive to start

:42:03.:42:05.

talking about Tories and Lib Dems... But that is a realistic

:42:06.:42:15.

argument. You can't not sit there with Europe on the agenda, there is

:42:16.:42:19.

no way in the world that we can say it is not an issue. It is an issue.

:42:20.:42:25.

It is affecting everybody. @s is this situation, it's their life and

:42:26.:42:30.

happening to those very people. Tourism has long been a key part of

:42:31.:42:33.

the south`west economy, providing many thousands of jobs. Talk this

:42:34.:42:38.

week of a tourism tax has ldd to warnings that anything that might

:42:39.:42:41.

put visitors off might lead to a slowdown in the region's recovery.

:42:42.:42:45.

But a local government minister said charging tourists an extra pound a

:42:46.:42:46.

night could help our cash strapped Falmouth Harbour, with views that

:42:47.:42:57.

attract thousands of visitors to the area every year. But as loc`l

:42:58.:43:01.

government budgets are squedzed should these visitors be asked to

:43:02.:43:04.

pay ?1 a night tourist tax for the privilege? Would it put you off I

:43:05.:43:11.

guess so, yes. Being a penshoner, I guess it would.

:43:12.:43:17.

It is estimated the page th`t population of Cornwall swells from

:43:18.:43:19.

500,000 to millions during the summer months. These visitors are

:43:20.:43:22.

using things like public tohlets, the roads and the buses. A Lib Dem

:43:23.:43:25.

local government Minister h`s suggested a tourist bed tax could be

:43:26.:43:28.

one way local authorities in places like Cornwall could raise more of

:43:29.:43:31.

their own money. Not all holiday`makers agree?

:43:32.:43:37.

You are helping the local economy by being here anyway. The local shops

:43:38.:43:42.

get your money, the hotel gdts your money.

:43:43.:43:46.

Figures from the Tourism Alliance suggest across Devon and Cornwall,

:43:47.:43:49.

hundreds of millions of pounds are paid to the Treasury through VAT on

:43:50.:43:51.

to this spending. It says direct taxation on things

:43:52.:44:03.

like alcohol and petrol dutx raises around ?460 million a year hn

:44:04.:44:05.

Cornwall, ?480 million in Ddvon Even if a tourist tax went straight

:44:06.:44:09.

to the local coffers, those at the sharp end are not convinced and

:44:10.:44:12.

would rather see a cut in [email protected] The high rates of VAT are very

:44:13.:44:16.

difficult. We have seen a cttback in services in terms of cleaning

:44:17.:44:20.

beaches, keeping toilets opdn. VisitCornwall, our marketing body

:44:21.:44:23.

has been cut, we are in a thme of public cuts and more tax and

:44:24.:44:32.

demands. I think it doesn't sound a lot, a pound, does it? But H think

:44:33.:44:38.

it may be the straw that wotld break the camel's back at a time when we

:44:39.:44:41.

are all trying to recover from a difficult recession.

:44:42.:44:43.

But one Dartmouth business owner thinks extra cash for services would

:44:44.:44:47.

be good for traders. I don't think it would deter people.

:44:48.:44:53.

I'm sure that people realisd the pressure rural communities `re

:44:54.:44:57.

under. I don't think people would look at it like that. I think they

:44:58.:45:00.

would think if it helps somdwhere like Dartmouth to stay spechal, they

:45:01.:45:05.

would be happy to pay it. It's not a huge amount of money.

:45:06.:45:09.

The concept of councils being more in control of their own tax`raising

:45:10.:45:12.

powers is generally welcomed by those in local government, but there

:45:13.:45:15.

is less agreement on whether a tourist tax is the way to go. The

:45:16.:45:21.

simple answer is if we charge too much, people won't come to Cornwall,

:45:22.:45:24.

they will stay in Devon. We need to make sure that people come `nd enjoy

:45:25.:45:28.

Cornwall and not put them off. Let's think about what's right for

:45:29.:45:31.

Cornwall, but let's make sure that those decisions are being t`ken in

:45:32.:45:35.

Cornwall, not in Westminster. Whatever form it takes, one thing we

:45:36.:45:38.

all agree on is the need for support for the tourism industry with all

:45:39.:45:40.

eyes on next week's budget. Tax on tourism, is that a good idea?

:45:41.:45:51.

No, it's not a good idea. In the piece it clearly said, at the end of

:45:52.:45:55.

the day, Cornwall is trying to encourage people to come and visit,

:45:56.:46:01.

not put people off. The ladx at the front of the piece did say, as a

:46:02.:46:05.

pensioner, it would affect her. One pound a night is not the answer to

:46:06.:46:10.

everything. I think you havd to look at other things that will hdlp more

:46:11.:46:14.

businesses in terms of making sure that they can look at their business

:46:15.:46:19.

rates. Like the VAT? Maybe the VAT, look at that as an option. This idea

:46:20.:46:24.

has been plucked out of the air to say this is what we need to do. What

:46:25.:46:30.

about the figures that Tamshn gave there, Cornwall has a popul`tion of

:46:31.:46:33.

500,000 which goes to millions in summer and you have to provhde those

:46:34.:46:36.

services for the tourists to use with such a small percentagd of the

:46:37.:46:39.

population paying the costs for road use, public toilets? If you pay

:46:40.:46:47.

?1000 for holiday accommodation ?5 a week does not seem that mtch? But

:46:48.:46:52.

when you start multiplying the figures, people going away `nd

:46:53.:46:54.

talking about it and saying, last year we paid this much... It is a

:46:55.:47:05.

bit of a bedroom tax. Is th`t going to turn people off? I think it will.

:47:06.:47:09.

But there are other options have to look at.

:47:10.:47:15.

Will it turn people off? I think it will. I'm delighted to hear Chaz say

:47:16.:47:19.

that he doesn't support it because Siddique Khan is on record of

:47:20.:47:22.

actually putting forward thd idea of tourist tax. It is not Labotr

:47:23.:47:30.

policy, but it is being talked about. I think it is the wrong way

:47:31.:47:34.

to go. I very much support the reduced VAT. It is absolutely proven

:47:35.:47:39.

across Europe and in other places such as the States that if xou

:47:40.:47:43.

reduce local VAT, you can rdduce costs. 20% VAT on your meal

:47:44.:47:49.

currently, if that was reduced to six or 7%, that will be

:47:50.:47:51.

significantly less you are paying for a meal and you will be going out

:47:52.:48:03.

more. Several MPs are calling for that. Adrian Sanders wants ht down

:48:04.:48:07.

to 5%. The absolute amount hs up for debate. But I do think that would be

:48:08.:48:12.

a much better campaign for Westminster politicians to get

:48:13.:48:16.

behind. Compared to France for example where it is somewhere

:48:17.:48:23.

between seven and 9%. We ard competing with that. If you go to

:48:24.:48:28.

France, they do have a tourhst tax, you see that on the tariff. When

:48:29.:48:33.

you've reduced the VAT, and you ve stimulated the tourist industry and

:48:34.:48:35.

actually stimulated growth, then you can talk about tourist tax. You cut

:48:36.:48:43.

VAT and introduce a secondary tax? You could, and I'm not suggdsting

:48:44.:48:47.

that, but if you look at thd American example, that's wh`t they

:48:48.:48:52.

do. Would that work or would hotels and guesthouses still have to remain

:48:53.:48:55.

competitive and they end up paying this cost? There would be an element

:48:56.:48:58.

of competitiveness for any business that has a certain amount of people

:48:59.:49:05.

coming in as tourists. Most importantly, we have seen the rise

:49:06.:49:08.

of the staycation so we know that less people are flying into

:49:09.:49:17.

Cornwall, but coming from UK cities. People will be thinking, if there is

:49:18.:49:20.

an opportunity where there hs a reduction in VAT, that would

:49:21.:49:27.

probably work far better. I think it makes sense to almost pilot a scheme

:49:28.:49:34.

first and see how that goes. I will have to stop you there.

:49:35.:49:37.

The Liberal Democrats are promising to give Cornwall its own assembly.

:49:38.:49:42.

The pledge, which was voted in at the party's Spring conference last

:49:43.:49:45.

weekend does depend on the Lib Dems securing a majority, but it has

:49:46.:49:47.

given new life to the devolttion Another week where Scotland's bid

:49:48.:49:56.

for devolution tops the news agenda. This time, it was Gordon Brown who

:49:57.:50:01.

made the headlines. But Scotland isn't the only place fighting for

:50:02.:50:03.

independence. Right on! Promise me one thhng, you

:50:04.:50:09.

will not stop singing and d`ncing and playing music and feasthng. .

:50:10.:50:16.

At the Lib Dems Spring confdrence, the party voted to allow Cornwall to

:50:17.:50:19.

create a lawmaking assembly like Wales. That is if they get dlected

:50:20.:50:26.

of course. We haven't heard a national party hitherto comlit to

:50:27.:50:28.

looking at the Cornish case seriously, looking at the provision

:50:29.:50:34.

for Cornwall. Locally, in Cornwall, we've had a number of polithcal

:50:35.:50:36.

parties at different times flirt with the idea, locally. The Liberal

:50:37.:50:47.

Democrats are the first UK wide party to say that we understand that

:50:48.:50:50.

there is a case for devoluthon to Cornwall and we have set th`t

:50:51.:50:53.

alongside the progress that is being made elsewhere.

:50:54.:50:56.

The Lib Dems might feel there is a case for Cornwall, but do voters?

:50:57.:51:00.

I think it would be a good hdea At the moment, everything is governed

:51:01.:51:02.

by people who don't live in Cornwall.

:51:03.:51:04.

I'm Cornish born and bred and nobody is more Cornish than I am, but I

:51:05.:51:08.

don't think we need to alter anything.

:51:09.:51:13.

The establishment of a Cornhsh assembly is not a new idea. 12 years

:51:14.:51:18.

ago, a 50,000 name petition was handed to Downing Street calling for

:51:19.:51:22.

one to be created. Since thdn, the language has been undergoing a

:51:23.:51:25.

revival. SPEAKS IN CORNISH.

:51:26.:51:30.

Dual road signs are becoming a common sight. But all of thhs is

:51:31.:51:34.

making leading business figtres in the county feel increasinglx

:51:35.:51:38.

uncomfortable. I don't think this is a realistic

:51:39.:51:40.

proposal in any meaningful timescale. We are too far away from

:51:41.:51:48.

a self`sustaining point. Incomes are too low, we need to work on getting

:51:49.:51:51.

Cornwall together, working together, income levels to the nation`l

:51:52.:51:54.

average before we talk about devolution.

:51:55.:51:58.

But for this film producer, it's not just about numbers, it's about

:51:59.:52:04.

Cornwall's heritage. Most Cornish people I know `re very

:52:05.:52:07.

happy to be considered Brithsh and want to be part of Britain `nd

:52:08.:52:09.

actually the decentralisation argument is one of allowing us to

:52:10.:52:13.

take charge of our own desthny, our own future, be consulted our own

:52:14.:52:16.

aspirations so we can be a proper player in the British familx.

:52:17.:52:30.

Joining us to discuss this we have Dick Cole, the leader of Mebyon

:52:31.:52:37.

Kernow. Lovely Celtic music we heard there. You have been campaigning for

:52:38.:52:43.

a devolved Cornish assembly for years, are you now pleased that the

:52:44.:52:48.

Lib Dems have adopted this stance? I have got to say that I would welcome

:52:49.:52:52.

any of the London centred p`rties taking initiatives in favour of more

:52:53.:52:56.

power to Cornwall. When I bdcame the leader of MK some years ago, the

:52:57.:53:00.

first thing I asked for was for a cross`party campaign to givd bring

:53:01.:53:03.

people together to argue for a Cornish assembly. As you have

:53:04.:53:09.

referenced in that piece, the 5 ,000 declarations that were taken to

:53:10.:53:11.

Westminster, all members of different parties joined in that

:53:12.:53:20.

campaign. If we had a Cornish assembly, would it be able to offer

:53:21.:53:23.

residents the same kind of benefits as Scottish and Welsh assemblies

:53:24.:53:26.

provide? For example, free university education for Cornish

:53:27.:53:29.

students, free residential care in care homes, is that the sort of

:53:30.:53:32.

thing you think it may be able to offer? The key to the argumdnt we

:53:33.:53:43.

are making and we brought ott a document last night called Towards a

:53:44.:53:46.

National Assembly, it is about people in Cornwall having ddmocratic

:53:47.:53:49.

control over the public sector, making the decisions that m`tter. At

:53:50.:53:52.

the moment in Cornwall, you have got local government and three puarters

:53:53.:53:55.

of the public sector is controlled from outside of Cornwall. Wd take

:53:56.:54:00.

the view that the whole public sector should be controlled within

:54:01.:54:03.

Cornwall. We should be making the decisions. In Scotland, thex have

:54:04.:54:07.

done such things as to safeguard the NHS from what happened in England,

:54:08.:54:10.

they have had no prescription charges for example, that is a

:54:11.:54:13.

political decision that whodver is in charge of the assembly would make

:54:14.:54:17.

in the future. It is about being ambitious for Cornwall and not

:54:18.:54:20.

sitting back and doing what Westminster tells us.

:54:21.:54:23.

Julie, at the moment, Scotl`nd offers Scottish students frde

:54:24.:54:25.

education, EU rules prevent there being any discrimination across

:54:26.:54:28.

European states so it has to offer free education to students from

:54:29.:54:30.

across European states, but not England and Wales because

:54:31.:54:32.

discrimination within a nathon is permissible. Obviously, if they

:54:33.:54:35.

become independent that would become a problem because they may have an

:54:36.:54:38.

influx of thousands of studdnts applying from England and W`les Is

:54:39.:54:41.

this the kind of thing that you think Cornwall could also do? Is it

:54:42.:54:55.

possible? I have no fundamental princhpled

:54:56.:55:03.

objection to it. I have an hssue about the size and whether `

:55:04.:55:06.

population of half a million can sustain that level of indepdndence,

:55:07.:55:19.

independent decision`making. That is round the costs of that. If you are

:55:20.:55:25.

going to take control entirdly of public spending at that levdl, you

:55:26.:55:28.

have got to have the political structure to do so. I know that the

:55:29.:55:31.

Mabyon Kernow suggestion is they would effectively return fotr

:55:32.:55:34.

district councils so we would end up with a lot more elected people in

:55:35.:55:37.

Cornwall, how would that be paid for? How would it work? Are we too

:55:38.:55:48.

small in Cornwall, you won't have the clout that, say, Wales `nd

:55:49.:56:01.

Scotland have? I think people in Cornwall get very fed up behng told

:56:02.:56:05.

we are too poor, or not clever enough to do that. I did not say

:56:06.:56:09.

that. I said it's a question of scale. I was coming onto th`t. The

:56:10.:56:12.

comment was made that we ard too poor. The reason we are too poor is

:56:13.:56:16.

that we live in an overcentralised state and the further away xou are

:56:17.:56:19.

from London, the less well off you are. It is about devolution, trying

:56:20.:56:22.

to get the whole of the United Kingdom refashioned in a more

:56:23.:56:25.

democratic way so that it is more even and there is less regional

:56:26.:56:27.

disparity. Regional disparities, if Cornwall

:56:28.:56:30.

were to get an assembly, yot could end up a neighbour, how would that

:56:31.:56:32.

affect you? `` a poor neighbour. Just go back to

:56:33.:56:52.

your piece, 12 years ago, 50,00 people signed. What happened from

:56:53.:56:57.

there? I think this, from mx point of view, I think towards thd end of

:56:58.:57:01.

December, this is the Lib Ddms saying we are going to go it alone.

:57:02.:57:06.

This is another of their far`fetched ideas where they think they can make

:57:07.:57:12.

Cornwall independent. I do not think it is structured in a way that there

:57:13.:57:24.

is no background evidence... There was a petition... 12 years `go. But

:57:25.:57:31.

is it something we are trying to do prior to the election? At the end of

:57:32.:57:36.

the day, it is one of those punching in the air policies where you think

:57:37.:57:40.

are we going to get anything out of this? There's more to Cornw`ll

:57:41.:57:42.

becoming independent, it dodsn't need to be. The fear is that our...

:57:43.:57:53.

Could I just see please stop using the word independence, this is about

:57:54.:57:56.

devolution within the United Kingdom. We despair when it is

:57:57.:58:02.

misrepresented in that manndr. I dare say that the Liberal Ddmocrats

:58:03.:58:05.

are using this politically, they have said it before and failed to

:58:06.:58:10.

follow through. We presented 50 000 signed declarations to a Labour

:58:11.:58:15.

government and they did nothing They threw it in the dustbin and

:58:16.:58:19.

didn't have the decency to consider devolution to Cornwall and H think

:58:20.:58:27.

that was a real missed opportunity. If it was, maybe it wasn't ` proper

:58:28.:58:32.

job. This is part of a biggdr debate. You are right about that.

:58:33.:58:36.

With the Scotland independence debate, it is interesting, there are

:58:37.:58:38.

discussions about English ddmocracy as opposed to Scottish and Welsh.

:58:39.:58:43.

They are really in their early stages, but the promoter on after

:58:44.:58:55.

September. `` they will motor on. If Scotland becomes independent, we

:58:56.:58:58.

will have to deal with the hssue of how we govern the UK, and that is

:58:59.:59:01.

when this will become reallx important.

:59:02.:59:03.

We will be discussing that lore as time goes on.

:59:04.:59:05.

It is time for our regular round`up of the political week in 60 seconds.

:59:06.:59:12.

Pupils in Devon were promisdd ? 00 a year as the schools minister

:59:13.:59:18.

announced a funding shake`up. It is the biggest step towards

:59:19.:59:24.

fairer schools funding in a decade. There was concern about plans for

:59:25.:59:27.

some 999 calls in Cornwall to be answered in North Yorkshire.

:59:28.:59:33.

People are going to have serious problems if they are ill.

:59:34.:59:39.

The badger cull debate was back at Westminster.

:59:40.:59:42.

This is a devastating disease having a devastating impact on cattle

:59:43.:59:46.

farmers. Ministers were told they must do

:59:47.:59:49.

more to stop the spread of wind farms. One Conservative MP said

:59:50.:00:00.

small rural communities are plunged into what can only be descrhbed as a

:00:01.:00:04.

miserable... It was revealed that parking meters

:00:05.:00:07.

which don't give change are making Cornwall Council ?300,000 a year.

:00:08.:00:08.

It's disgusting. Let's look at the parking charges.

:00:09.:00:20.

This is something that alwaxs annoys people. If vending machines can give

:00:21.:00:27.

change, why can't parking mdters? They can in some places. It's costs.

:00:28.:00:32.

You put in more sophisticatdd machines, they will cost more. This

:00:33.:00:38.

is a local decision. We just talked about local authorities. ?300,0 0,

:00:39.:00:45.

the money is there, the will has got to be there in order to takd on

:00:46.:00:50.

board new technology. That is the Sunday Politics in the

:00:51.:00:52.

south`west. Thanks to my gudsts industrial action is a sign of

:00:53.:01:00.

failure marked success. -- not success. Andrew, back to you.

:01:01.:01:10.

Has George Osborne got a rabbit in his Budget hat? Will the Chancellor

:01:11.:01:15.

find a way to help the squeezed middle? And how do Labour respond?

:01:16.:01:17.

All questions for The Week Ahead. And joining Helen, Janan and Nick to

:01:18.:01:28.

discuss the budget is the general secretary of the Trades Union

:01:29.:01:30.

Congress Frances O'Grady. Welcome back to the programme. I know the

:01:31.:01:35.

TUC has a submission, but if you could pick one thing that you wanted

:01:36.:01:39.

the Chancellor to do above all, what would it be? We want a budget for

:01:40.:01:46.

working people, which means we have to crack the long-term problem of

:01:47.:01:49.

investment in the British economy. Certainly I would like the

:01:50.:01:57.

Chancellor to merit that title they want of the new workers party, and

:01:58.:01:59.

take action on want of the new workers party, and

:02:00.:02:02.

if they're going to do that it's got to be about unlocking investment. In

:02:03.:02:12.

the period where the economy has been flat-lining there has been

:02:13.:02:15.

little business investment, but there are signs towards the end of

:02:16.:02:19.

last year that it is beginning to pick up. But a long way to go. The

:02:20.:02:25.

problem is we have key industries like construction and manufacturing

:02:26.:02:28.

that are still smaller than they were before the recession. The

:02:29.:02:34.

government itself, of course, has slashed its own capital investment

:02:35.:02:39.

budget by half. There is plenty of good and important work that needs

:02:40.:02:43.

to be done from building houses to improving the transport system, to

:02:44.:02:49.

improving our schools. And the government really needs to pick up

:02:50.:02:53.

that shovel and start investing in our economy to get the decent jobs

:02:54.:02:58.

we need, the pay increases we need, and that in itself will help

:02:59.:03:03.

stimulate demand. It was Alistair Darling who cut in 2011, and it s

:03:04.:03:09.

interesting that Ed Balls in his plans for the next parliament would

:03:10.:03:13.

run a current budget surplus by the end of the parliament as opposed to

:03:14.:03:17.

George Osborne who would have an overall budget surplus. That gives

:03:18.:03:22.

Ed Balls or -- more wriggle room to do what you talk about, but he is

:03:23.:03:25.

reticent to talk about it. He does not want to say that he has an

:03:26.:03:28.

opportunity to spend on investment because he fears if he says it he

:03:29.:03:31.

will be attacked by the Conservatives for being

:03:32.:03:35.

irresponsible. Why is business doing this? The recession was deeper than

:03:36.:03:42.

any since the war and the recovery was slower than almost any since the

:03:43.:03:48.

war. The lag, the time it takes to get over that is longer than anyone

:03:49.:03:53.

expected. I read the same evidence as you towards the end of last year

:03:54.:03:57.

pointing to money being released, and it depends what it is released

:03:58.:04:02.

on, whether it is capital investment or bringing in people on higher

:04:03.:04:06.

wages. The one surprise in the downturn is how well the employment

:04:07.:04:11.

figures have done, but they have not invested in new capacity and they

:04:12.:04:14.

are sitting on a lot of dosh. I looked at one set of figures that

:04:15.:04:18.

said if you took the biggest company in Britain, they have about 715

:04:19.:04:24.

billion pounds in corporate treasury -- the biggest companies. I think

:04:25.:04:28.

it's reduced a little but they are sitting on a mountain in dash of

:04:29.:04:35.

skills. Yes, but they're not investing in skills, wages, or

:04:36.:04:36.

sustainable jobs. The new investing in skills, wages, or

:04:37.:04:41.

have seen created since 2010, the vast majority of them have been in

:04:42.:04:47.

low paid industries, and they are often zero hours, or insecure, or

:04:48.:04:51.

part-time. So it's not delivering a recovery for ordinary working

:04:52.:04:56.

people. Government ministers, as you know when you lobby them, they are

:04:57.:04:59.

anxious to make out that they know the job is not done and the recovery

:05:00.:05:05.

has just begun, but the one bit they are privately proud of, although

:05:06.:05:10.

they can't explain it, is how many private-sector jobs have been

:05:11.:05:15.

created. A lot of unions have done sensible deals with employers to

:05:16.:05:17.

protect jobs through this period, but it's not sustainable. The

:05:18.:05:23.

average worker in Britain today is now ?2000 a year worse off in real

:05:24.:05:28.

terms than they were. On a pay against price comparison?

:05:29.:05:32.

terms than they were. On a pay take into account tax cuts. The

:05:33.:05:39.

raising of the personal allowance is far outweighed by the raising VAT.

:05:40.:05:47.

Does the raising of the threshold which the Lib Dems are proud of and

:05:48.:05:50.

the Tories are trying to trade credit for, does it matter to your

:05:51.:05:55.

members? -- take credit for. It matters that it is eclipsed by the

:05:56.:06:00.

cuts in benefits and know what is conned any more. We're going to hear

:06:01.:06:03.

a lot about the raising of the allowance, but as long as the real

:06:04.:06:09.

value of work, tax credits, things like that, people won't feel it in

:06:10.:06:13.

their pocket, and they will find it harder and harder to look after

:06:14.:06:17.

their family. When you look at the other things that could take over

:06:18.:06:20.

from consumer spending which has driven the recovery, held by house

:06:21.:06:22.

price rising in the south, driven the recovery, held by house

:06:23.:06:26.

exports and business investment and you look at the state of the

:06:27.:06:29.

Eurozone and the emerging markets which are now in trouble, and the

:06:30.:06:34.

winter seems to have derailed the US recovery. It won't be exports.

:06:35.:06:38.

Indeed, the Obie Eich does not think that will contribute to growth until

:06:39.:06:46.

2015 -- OBI. So the figures we should be looking at our business

:06:47.:06:52.

investment. And also the deficit. The deficit is 111 billion, and that

:06:53.:06:56.

is a problem, because we are not at the end of the cutting process,

:06:57.:07:01.

there are huge cuts to be made. I understand we are only a third of

:07:02.:07:05.

the way through. That will definitely affect business

:07:06.:07:09.

confidence. It is clear that the strategy has failed. Borrowing has

:07:10.:07:13.

gone up and it's not delivered improved living standards and better

:07:14.:07:14.

quality jobs, so cutting out improved living standards and better

:07:15.:07:21.

recession is not going to work. The structural budget deficit was going

:07:22.:07:24.

to be eliminated three weeks today under the original plan. They missed

:07:25.:07:30.

target after target. Every economist has their own definition of that. I

:07:31.:07:36.

think Mark Carney is right when he says that fundamentally the economy

:07:37.:07:41.

is unbalanced and it is not sustainable, growth is not

:07:42.:07:45.

sustainable. But if it clicked on, it would be more balanced. It is not

:07:46.:07:51.

just north and south and manufacturing a way out with

:07:52.:07:54.

services, but it is also between the rich and everybody else. What do you

:07:55.:08:00.

make of the fact that there will effectively be another freezing

:08:01.:08:03.

public sector pay, or at least no more than 1%? Not even that for

:08:04.:08:11.

nurses and health workers. But they will get 3% progression pay. 70 of

:08:12.:08:16.

nurses will not get any pay rise at all. They get no progression pay at

:08:17.:08:20.

all. I think this is smack in the mouth. Smack in the mouth to

:08:21.:08:26.

dedicated health care workers who will feel very, very discontented

:08:27.:08:31.

about the decision. Danny Alexander, I saw him appealing to

:08:32.:08:36.

health workers do not move to strike ballots and said they should talk to

:08:37.:08:42.

their department. But about what? Is that real pay cut has been imposed,

:08:43.:08:48.

what are workers left with? So do you expect as a result of yet more

:08:49.:08:53.

tough controls on public sector pay that unrest is inevitable? I know

:08:54.:08:59.

some unions will be consulting with their members, but ultimately it's

:09:00.:09:03.

always members who decide what to do. It does seem to me insulting not

:09:04.:09:08.

to at least be honest and say that we are cutting real pay of nurses,

:09:09.:09:17.

health care workers, on the back of a ?3 billion reorganisation of the

:09:18.:09:20.

NHS that nobody wanted and nobody voted for. Their long-term changes

:09:21.:09:28.

taking place here that almost talks about -- there are long-term

:09:29.:09:32.

changes. It is how lower percentage wages have become of GDP on how big

:09:33.:09:39.

the percentage of profits is. It seems to me there is a strong case

:09:40.:09:44.

for some kind of realignment there. The biggest event of my life, in

:09:45.:09:48.

this world, is the entry of a couple of billion more people into the

:09:49.:09:52.

labour supply. At the end of the Cold War, India and China plugged

:09:53.:09:56.

into the global economy. If there is a greater supply of that factor of

:09:57.:10:00.

production, logically you conclude that wages will fall or stagnate and

:10:01.:10:05.

that has been the story in this country and America and large parts

:10:06.:10:07.

of Western Europe in the last generation. What is not possible is

:10:08.:10:12.

for governments to do much about it. They can ameliorate it at the

:10:13.:10:15.

margins, but the idea that the government controls living

:10:16.:10:19.

standards, which has become popular over the last six months, and the

:10:20.:10:22.

Labour Party have in establishing that, and I don't think it's true.

:10:23.:10:28.

George Osborne's options are astonishingly limited compared to

:10:29.:10:32.

public expectations. If wages have reached a modern record low as

:10:33.:10:37.

percentage of GDP, who is going to champion the wage earner? We have

:10:38.:10:43.

lost Bob Crow, Tony Benn passed away, so who is the champion? The

:10:44.:10:48.

trade union movement is the champion of ordinary workers. We need those

:10:49.:10:53.

larger-than-life figures that we will mess. Have you got them yet? We

:10:54.:11:00.

have a generation of workers coming through. One thing about the loss of

:11:01.:11:04.

Bob Crow is that the whole union movement has responded strongly to

:11:05.:11:08.

that, and we want to say that we are strong and united and here to stand

:11:09.:11:11.

up for working people and we will fight as hard as Bob Crow did.

:11:12.:11:16.

Whoever replaces Bob Crow or Tony Benn, we can be sure they will not

:11:17.:11:20.

come from Eton because they all have jobs in the government. I want to

:11:21.:11:24.

put up on the screen what even Michael Gove was saying about this

:11:25.:11:26.

coterie of Old Etonian 's. He's right, is he not? He's

:11:27.:11:40.

absolutely right. We have the idea of the manifesto being written by

:11:41.:11:46.

five people from Eton and one from Saint Pauls. A remarkable example of

:11:47.:11:52.

social mobility that George Osborne, who had the disadvantage of going to

:11:53.:11:55.

Saint Pauls has made it into that inner circle. Here is the question,

:11:56.:12:03.

what is Michael Gove up to? If you saw the response from George

:12:04.:12:06.

Osborne, there was no slap down and they know this is an area they are

:12:07.:12:10.

weak on an David Cameron will not comment on it. If this had been a

:12:11.:12:14.

Labour shadow minister making a similarly disloyal statement, they

:12:15.:12:19.

might have been shot at dawn. But there is a real tolerance from

:12:20.:12:22.

Michael Gove to go freelance which comes from George Osborne. It's

:12:23.:12:26.

about highlighting educational reforms that he wants to turn every

:12:27.:12:30.

school in to eat and so it won't happen in the future. But it's also

:12:31.:12:32.

school in to eat and so it won't pointing out who did not go to Eton

:12:33.:12:35.

school and who would be the best candidate to replace David Cameron

:12:36.:12:39.

as leader, George Osborne, and who did go to Eton school, Boris

:12:40.:12:42.

Johnson. Michael Gove is on manoeuvres to destroy Boris

:12:43.:12:50.

Johnson's chances of being leader. It's a good job they don't have an

:12:51.:12:55.

election to worry about. Hold on. I think they are out of touch with

:12:56.:12:59.

businesses as well as working people. You ask about who is talking

:13:00.:13:04.

about wage earners. Businesses are. They are worried that unless living

:13:05.:13:06.

standards rise again there will be nobody there to buy anything. We are

:13:07.:13:12.

running out of time, but the TUC, are enthusiastic about HS2? We

:13:13.:13:18.

supported. We think it's the kind of infrastructure project that we need

:13:19.:13:23.

to invest in long-term. He could, if we get it right, rebalance north and

:13:24.:13:27.

south and create good jobs along the way -- it could. Thank you very much

:13:28.:13:34.

tool. I have to say that every week -- thank you very much to you all.

:13:35.:13:38.

That's all for today. I'll be back next Sunday at 11am, and Jo Coburn

:13:39.:13:41.

will be on BBC Two tomorrow at midday with the Daily Politics.

:13:42.:13:46.

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

:13:47.:13:49.

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