23/03/2014 Sunday Politics South West


23/03/2014

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. The dust has barely

:00:37.:00:44.

settled on George Osborne's Budget and, amazingly, for once it hasn't

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all gone horribly wrong by the weekend. So, is this the election

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springboard the Tories needed, and where does it leave Labour? Turns

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out the big Budget surprise was a revolution in how we pay for old

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age. The Pensions Minister says he's relaxed if you want to spend it all

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on a Lamborghini. He'll join us later. And could the man with the

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maracas be on his way to Westminster? Bez from the Happy

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In the South West: Labour claims the plan to become an

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In the South West: Labour claims the budget will make our housing crisis

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worse. And, stay in Axbridge. Are there ways of

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making the European arrest warrant work better? -- Uxbridge. And who

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better to help guide you through all of that than three journalists, who

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dispense wisdom faster than Grant Shapps calls out the numbers in his

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local bingo hall over a pint of beer. Yes, they're hard-working and

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they're doing the things they enjoy. Cup of tea, number three. It's Nick

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Watt, Polly Toynbee and Janan Ganesh.

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So, George Osborne delivered his fifth Budget on Wednesday and had so

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many glowing front pages the day afterwards he must be running out of

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room to pin them up in on his bedroom wall. Although it's probably

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a pretty big wall. For those of you who didn't have time to watch 3.5

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hours of Budget coverage on the BBC, here's Giles with the whole thing in

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three minutes. Budget days have a rhythm of their

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own, driven partly by tradition, like that photocall at 11 Downing

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Street and part logistics, how to get this important statement out and

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explain to those whom it affects - us? Behind-the-scenes of a Budget

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Day is much the same. This ritual red boxery may be the beginning of

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the end of weeks of work behind the scenes in the Treasury and sets the

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clock ticking on the process of finding out the answer to one

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question. You got any rabbits in the box, Chancellor? Yes, there will be

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something in the Budget we don't know about. Time marches steadily

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towards the statement and already commentators are hovering over what

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those potential surprises are. As Big Ben chimes, all focus returns to

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the Commons, where there is Prime Minister's questions and the

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Chancellor gets up and does his thing. Once he's on his feet and

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remembering there is still no copy of the details, the major measures

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are rapidly highlighted as they come and then put up on screen. A cap on

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Government welfare spending set for 2015/16 at 119 billion. Income tax

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personal allowance raised to ?10,500. Bingo duty halved, which

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ticked boxes for some but was unlikely to make anyone a poster

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boy. And the beer tax cut of 1p, or the froth on the top. And changes to

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pensions allowing people to take their money out in one lump sum,

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rather than being forced to accept a fixed annual pay-out, or annuity.

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This is a Budget for the makers, the doers and the savers and I commend

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it to the House. Not everyone can focus on the Budget by listening to

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what the Chancellor says. We need to get a copy of the script. We do not

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get that till he sits down. I'm going to go into the House of

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Commons to get that right now. There will be a response on that and all

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the other things from Mr Miliband. The Chancellor spoke for nearly an

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hour but he did not mention one essential fact, the working people

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of Britain are worse off under the Tories. It is a tricky job answering

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the Budget at the best of times, though some, including Labour MPs,

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think it is better to mention the Budget when you do.

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Here we are. I am going to go. I am not the only journalist missing Ed

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Miliband's speech. Many others leave the Chamber as the Chancellor sits

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down to attend a special briefing from the Chancellor's advisory team.

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I am hotfoot to the studio. There is a little more detail to the Budget

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than the Budget Speech. That detail can be whether words unravel and

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other interpretations emerge. By now the gaggle of supporters and

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detractors are taking the debate onto the airwaves. Are you the BBC?

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Have the Daily Politics packed up? No, we're still standing and, days

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later, still trying to assess whether the measures announced still

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seem fresh and appetising or have already gone stale in the minds of

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voters? How significant are these two poles

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this morning putting Labour and Tory nip and tuck? Osborne gave his party

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a good bounce. It was an astonishingly theatrical coup. At

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first glance, it seems like a huge gift to all people. That is where

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all of the money has been channelled by this government. They have been

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ultra-protected, triple locked. Pensioners have done very well and

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others less well. It is not surprising. Normally a budget which

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is well received on the day and the day after has unravelled by the

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weekend. This time, it has not, so far. The dangerous thing for the

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Labour Party now, George Osborne is the assessment this thing called the

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baseline. He says, in government, you must control the baseline. The

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Labour party controlled in 2001 and 2005 and he needs to control it next

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time. He is controlling it on fiscal policy because labour is matching

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them on everything. The danger for Labour on the big, headline grabbing

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issue, which was freeing up annuities on pensions, that again

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Labour was pretty much saying it was going to support it though it were

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saying it has to be fair and cost-effective. On a big, policy

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issue, they are following on behind George Osborne. George Osborne is

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controlling the crucial baseline. Are we in danger of reading too much

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into the political implications of the budget? The good thing about the

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pensions policy is, if it does unravel, it will not happen for ten

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years and, by that time, George Osborne will have left office.

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Towards the end of his speech, I thought, that is not enough. There

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is not an idea in your budget which is politically very vivid a year

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before an election. What I underestimated was, how many

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frustrated savers that are in the country. There are a lot of people

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who are frustrated by low interest rates and tax rates on pension pots.

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This was an explicit gesture for them. That is what has paid off in

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the polls in the past few days. You spend all of your money on your

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wardrobe, is that right? The bingo poster was a kind of get out of jail

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card for Labour. It gave them something to zoom in on. Everyone

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beat up on Grant Shapps, the Tory chairman. We read in the daily

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Telegraph that the fingerprints of the Chancellor were all over this

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poster. The Chancellor signed off it -- off on it and so did Lynton

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Crosby. They referred to working class people as, they are. How did

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it get into the Telegraph? We can only presume but grant Shapps made

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it clear that it was not him. We had a time when Labour politicians, we

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saw from the response of Ed Miliband onwards, they were not quite sure

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how to react to this budget. A lot of detail had to be absorbed.

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Suddenly, here is something we can talk about. You can see the thinking

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behind the poster was very sensible. We are not Tory toffs, we are

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interested in helping people who do not come from our backgrounds. The

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wording was awful and played into every cliche. It was all his fault.

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It shows how unsophisticated he was. There were people from Tory HQ

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who agreed the budget. A month down the line will the budget look as

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good? Probably. Once people look at it, pensions are fiendishly

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conjugated. Once they look and see what it will do with people having

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to pay for their own care because they can now take capital at their

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pension, that will come as a shock to a lot of people with small

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savings. It all be gone on their care. The polling will be neck and

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neck all the way. In the past, George Osborne has been accused of

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using his Budgets to tinker at the margins or pull cheap tricks on his

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political opponents. Perish the thought. But the big surprise in

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this year's statement was a genuinely radical shake-up of the

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pensions system that will affect most people who've yet to retire. At

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the moment, everyone is saving money into a defined contribution pension,

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that is the type most common in the private sector. They can take 25% of

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the pot is a tax-free lump sum when they retire. The rest of the money,

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for most people, they are forced to buy an annuity, a form of insurance

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which provide a guaranteed monthly income until they die. Annuities

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have hardly been a bargain since interest rates were flat slashed

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following the financial crash. Even with a ?100,000 pension pot would

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only get an income of ?5,800 a year at current rates. From 2018,

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pensioners will not be forced to buy an annuity. They can do what they

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like with their money, even taking the entire pot as a lump some but

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paying tax on 75% of it. With an average pension pot closer

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to around ?30,000, pensioners would be more likely to buy a Skoda

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instead of a Lamborghini. Most newly retired people who take the cash are

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more likely to spend the money paying off their mortgage, helping a

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family member to buy a property or investing the money elsewhere. Well,

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earlier I spoke to the Pensions Minister. He's a Lib Dem called

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Steve Webb. I began by asking him if he still thought the reforms might

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lead to pensioners splurging all their savings on supercars. What

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this reform is about is treating people as adults. For far too long,

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we have said, we will make sure you save for your old age and then we

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will control each year how much is spent on what you spend it on. What

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we are saying is because we have formed -- reformed the state

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pension, we will be much more relaxed about what people do with

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their own money. The evidence is that people who have been frugal and

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saved hard for retirement do not generally blows a lot. They will

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spin it out. It is treating people as adults and giving them choices

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they should have had all along. It is a red herring, isn't it? The

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average pension pot is between 25000 and 30,000. Lamborghinis aren't an

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option, correct? I gather only about 5000 people a year retiring can buy

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a flashy Italian sports car. It might be about paying off a

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mortgage, paying off outstanding debts. Maybe spending more money

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earlier in retirement when they are fit and able and can enjoy it more.

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We will give people guidance. We will make sure when they retire,

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there is someone to have a conversation with talking through

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the implications of spending the money early and options of investing

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it. This will be a real step forward. Even if you have a much

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bigger pension pot, say half ?1 million, which is way bigger than

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the average, even then the marginal rates of tax will be a disincentive

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to take it all out at once. You will lose huge chunks of it at the 40%

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band and then the 45% band. The tax system gives you the incentive to

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spread it out if the tax threshold is a bit over 10000 and the state

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pension is a bit over 7000, the first 3000 you draw out in a given

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year is tax-free. The next band is at 20%. Spreading your money will

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mean you pay less tax. That is why, in general, people will not blow the

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lot up front. They will spread it out over their retirement. You have

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kept this policy quiet. Not even a hint. How did you test it? How did

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you make sure it would be robust? You did not do a consultation. I

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have been talking about freeing up the annuity market for a decade. The

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idea of giving people more choice. The government has relaxed rules

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over this Parliament. It was not a completely new idea. We know in

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places like Australia and America, people have these freedoms. We

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already have something to judge it by. We will spend the next year

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talking to people, working it through. There will be a three-month

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consultation. I want people to have choices about their own money. There

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is detail still to be worked out and we are in listening mode about how

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we implement it. When you announce something you cannot do widespread

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consultation, for the reasons I have given, you do run the risk of

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unforeseen consequences? Pension companies this morning are

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indicating, you, the government can write you are looking for ?25

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billion of infrastructure investment from us. You hold our shell below

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the water line. That may not happen. We spoke internally about the

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implications for instruction -- infrastructure. It seems to me there

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will still be long-term investments. Many people want to turn their whole

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pot into an income. I understand the insurance companies are lobbying,

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but I'm convinced there will still be plenty of money for investment

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and infrastructure. If the Chancellor's pro-savings measures

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work, that will generate more savings. With no requirement now to

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buy an annuity, surely it is the case that pension pots are another

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ordinary savings fund, so why should they continue to get favourable tax

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treatment? Bear in mind that a lot of the tax treatment of pensioners

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is tax deferred so most people pay tax at the standard rate. If they

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put money into a pension, they don't pay tax when they earn it, but they

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do at retirement. We do want, we will still have automatic enrolment

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into workplace pensions, we do want people to build up, because at age

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20 and 30 nobody thinks about retirement. It is still vital that

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people do reach retirement to have these new choices with a decent

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sized pension pot. Pensions. Tax breaks because they were supposed to

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provide an income in retirement, that is how it was structured, but

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that is no longer a requirement, surely that undermines the case that

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if they get tax breaks, other forms of savings should get tax breaks.

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Other forms do get tax breaks, of course. The return with ISAs is tax

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free. The point with pensions is that you are simply deferring your

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earnings. There is a bit when high tax rate payers get a kick when they

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are working and then retire on standard rate, so there is the issue

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of the top getting too many tax breaks, but the basic principle that

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you pay tax when you get the income seems right to me and isn't affected

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by these changes. You have announced save friendly measures, are we right

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to look at them as a consolation prize because savers have suffered

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from the Government's policy of keeping interest rates abnormally

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low? It is certainly the case that very low interest rates have been a

:18:45.:18:50.

huge boon to people of working age with mortgages, and people who have

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retired said they thought they could have got a better deal on their

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savings. I think there is a recognition that whilst we have done

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the right thing with pensioners on the state pension, we have brought

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in the triple lock, and many will bent on -- benefit from these

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changes. Why don't savers who are not pensioners get the same help?

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They have been hit by low interest rates as well. Those of working

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age, many of them say they have benefited from low interest rates

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was predominantly people in retirement have not had the benefit.

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Obviously people of working age will have benefited from the tax

:19:45.:19:52.

allowance so it is a myth to say the Budget was all about pensioners. And

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yet even when the Office for Budget Responsibility takes into account

:19:59.:20:01.

your new measures, it still shows that over the next five years

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households will save less and less, indeed the savings ratio falls by

:20:08.:20:14.

50%. You haven't done enough. One of the things we know is that the

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economy is picking up strongly, and as we have more confidence about the

:20:19.:20:23.

future they will be more willing to consume now, so without these

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measures it may be that the saving rate would have fallen further. We

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want people to save and spend, it is about getting the right balance. As

:20:33.:20:38.

the economy picks up, people will want to spend more of their money

:20:39.:20:43.

and it is about getting the balance right. You make the point that if

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people are little profligate with their private pensions, they will

:20:49.:20:52.

have the state pension to fall back on and it will be higher than it has

:20:53.:20:57.

been, but it is also the case that in these circumstances they will

:20:58.:21:02.

still be entitled to housing benefit and even to perhaps some council tax

:21:03.:21:07.

benefit as well. Do you know by how much this could put the welfare bill

:21:08.:21:14.

up? We think the impact will be relatively modest because the sort

:21:15.:21:19.

of people who save for a pension and make sacrifices while they are at

:21:20.:21:23.

work are not the sort of people who get to 65 and decide to blow the lot

:21:24.:21:30.

for the great privilege of receiving council tax benefit or housing

:21:31.:21:33.

benefit. There will be people on the margins and

:21:34.:21:45.

benefit. There will be people on the who retire with some capital want to

:21:46.:21:45.

put some money away for their funeral. People like to save even

:21:46.:21:52.

into retirement so the myth of the spendthrift pensioner I don't

:21:53.:21:58.

believe. I think this has been rightly welcomed. Ever fancied a

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Lamborghini yourself? If you turned the camera around you would see my

:22:05.:22:19.

2-door Corsa! What's your favourite thing about an

:22:20.:22:22.

election? Could it be the candidates ringing on your door while you're

:22:23.:22:25.

having dinner? The leaflets piling up on your doormat? Or the endless

:22:26.:22:28.

adverts aimed at hardworking families? Well, if you thought that

:22:29.:22:31.

was bad enough, then you might want to consider going overseas for the

:22:32.:22:34.

2015 election because the parties are going to be aiming their message

:22:35.:22:37.

at you like never before. Adam's been to Worcester to find out more.

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One of the most famous political figures in history lived here, she

:22:44.:22:48.

is called Worcester woman. She was in her 30s, working class with a

:22:49.:22:53.

couple of kids, aspirational yet worried about quality of life. But

:22:54.:22:57.

she wasn't a real person, she was a label for the kind of voter new

:22:58.:23:02.

Labour were trying to reach and she was later joined by Mondeo man and

:23:03.:23:09.

several others. Doesn't that all seem a bit 90s? The technique,

:23:10.:23:13.

called segmentation, was used by George Bush in 2004. Then refined by

:23:14.:23:20.

Barack Obama. Rather than focusing on crude measures like cars and

:23:21.:23:26.

hometowns, they delved into the minds of voters. It is not just

:23:27.:23:29.

women, not just people who live in cities, but if you start to put

:23:30.:23:35.

together these groups of people you can even in an anecdote or way

:23:36.:23:41.

imagine who they are, what types of language and imagery might relate to

:23:42.:23:49.

them. We have been given access to a new polling model being used here by

:23:50.:23:54.

this firm, which is pretty close to the one we are told is being used by

:23:55.:24:00.

the Tories. It carves the country into six personality types, and we

:24:01.:24:05.

are trying it out on Worcester woman and wast of man. We are using an

:24:06.:24:11.

online quiz to work out who is in which segment. Meet new monk,

:24:12.:24:19.

Susie. She feels well represented. I know the Budget and the increases to

:24:20.:24:26.

childcare, I think at the moment I am fairly represented. This puts her

:24:27.:24:31.

in the category of optimistic contentment, people who feel they

:24:32.:24:36.

are doing OK. Terry, on the other hand, isn't happy about Britain

:24:37.:24:44.

today. Health and safety and all that! I hardly recognise the country

:24:45.:24:53.

a living in any more? Yes. Are you ready for the result? He is Mr

:24:54.:25:00.

comfortable nostalgia, they tend to favour the Tories and UKIP. They

:25:01.:25:04.

dislike the cultural changes they see as altering Britain for the

:25:05.:25:10.

worst. That sums me up. Tony is worried as well but feels much less

:25:11.:25:18.

secure. I look forward to the future with optimism or anxiety? Anxiety.

:25:19.:25:26.

Optimist or pessimist? Pessimist. His category is... You feel a bit

:25:27.:25:36.

insecure, you think the Government could probably help you more? Yes.

:25:37.:25:43.

Labour picks up a lot of these voters. This man is being asked to

:25:44.:25:49.

do more and more at work, but he is getting less and less. I am getting

:25:50.:25:57.

more towards the despair side. Things are getting tougher,

:25:58.:26:02.

generally? It puts him into the segment called long-term despair,

:26:03.:26:08.

people who feel left out. Finally, this is ever thoughtful Carol. I am

:26:09.:26:18.

a bit of an idealist. Her idealism makes her a cosmopolitan critic. I

:26:19.:26:25.

am a liberal person. Apparently a lot of the media fit into this

:26:26.:26:29.

category as well. There is one group of voters we have not come across,

:26:30.:26:34.

people who show calm persistence. They hope things will get better but

:26:35.:26:39.

don't expect them to. They are coping, rather than comfortable.

:26:40.:26:44.

Presumably they are all out of work. Which group are you win? You can

:26:45.:26:49.

take the poll on the BBC website, and in the coming weeks we will be

:26:50.:26:53.

doing our own polling using the six segments to see of the politicians

:26:54.:27:01.

really have worked out how we think. And as Adam said, if you want to try

:27:02.:27:05.

the survey for yourself, you can go to the BBC website and click on the

:27:06.:27:07.

link. And we're joined now by the

:27:08.:27:16.

pollster, Rick Nye. Welcome to Sunday Politics. We have had

:27:17.:27:23.

Worcester woman, Worcester man, is this any different? It is a

:27:24.:27:30.

recognition that or politician -- all politics these days is like

:27:31.:27:43.

this. It enables them to cut them more finally. You think all politics

:27:44.:27:51.

is coalition politics, you think they have to put together these

:27:52.:27:56.

groups of people, not that the Lib Dems will always be in power? No,

:27:57.:28:02.

and if you listen to the coverage these days you might think it is

:28:03.:28:08.

about grumpy old men on the one hand with Guardian readers on the other.

:28:09.:28:13.

It is far more complicated than that, there is a lot of churning

:28:14.:28:16.

going on underneath which is driven by people's value systems. A lot of

:28:17.:28:24.

this has been pioneered in the United States, very sophisticated on

:28:25.:28:29.

their election techniques, and in Britain we are always the first to

:28:30.:28:33.

grab whatever the New Year will is from America. How do you think this

:28:34.:28:39.

will translate to this country? I think it means that if you are

:28:40.:28:42.

target photo you will still get the same of leaflets and people calling,

:28:43.:28:48.

but you will probably have different kinds of conversations because

:28:49.:28:53.

people on the other side, the party campaigners, will think they know

:28:54.:29:00.

more about you. Will I know who you are? If I am a party campaigner,

:29:01.:29:04.

will I know, looking down the street, who fits into which

:29:05.:29:09.

category? You will be able to approximate that with all of the

:29:10.:29:12.

other data that you have gathered through polling, or doing local

:29:13.:29:18.

campaigning, that is the idea to make sense of this vast quantity of

:29:19.:29:24.

data people have about voters. We asked our panel to fill in your

:29:25.:29:29.

survey. Nick is optimistic contentment, 99%. He was 1%

:29:30.:29:35.

cosmopolitan critic, which is how he keeps his job at the Guardian.

:29:36.:29:40.

Polly's job could not be more secure, 100% cosmopolitan critics,

:29:41.:29:47.

and Janan Ganesh, optimistic contentment, which is what you would

:29:48.:29:50.

expect from a financial Times columnist. What do you make of this

:29:51.:30:07.

technique? Why are you only 99? It sounds really clever. 95% of the

:30:08.:30:16.

population five years ago voted Labour or the Conservatives. We have

:30:17.:30:21.

got away from that. It is coalition politics. You need sophisticated

:30:22.:30:27.

methods. Presumably you must not lose touch with basic points. You

:30:28.:30:34.

said it was used in the US presidential elections. Wasn't there

:30:35.:30:39.

them moment emit Romney 's sweet when the initial response was, we

:30:40.:30:44.

did not know the sort of people voted. His next response was, we did

:30:45.:30:51.

not know these people existed. Unless you know about certain key

:30:52.:30:55.

demographics, you are wasting your time. Is it important in modern

:30:56.:31:01.

campaigning? I think it is useful because it is about attitude. We

:31:02.:31:12.

have got Mosaic. We have got Acorn. It does not tell us very much. What

:31:13.:31:17.

people think and feel may be different to their income. You can

:31:18.:31:21.

be quite a high earner and anxious. You can be quite a low earner and

:31:22.:31:25.

feeling aspirational and optimistic about the future. I think this does

:31:26.:31:32.

get something else. In days gone by, particularly in America,

:31:33.:31:37.

overwhelmingly, if you are in the better of segment, you would be

:31:38.:31:41.

Republican and the blue-collar workers and some academics and

:31:42.:31:45.

Liberals voted Democrat. In the last election, the richest 200 counties

:31:46.:31:50.

in America voted Democrat. That is an attitude thing. Income does not

:31:51.:31:55.

tell you how people will vote. There is a huge, working-class base of

:31:56.:32:00.

support for the Republicans. It is unavoidable. Add a time when people

:32:01.:32:04.

no longer identify with ideologies or class blocks, you have to go the

:32:05.:32:13.

temperament and lifestyle and manageable. In America there were

:32:14.:32:22.

128 segments according to lifestyle and Outlook. Once you get to that

:32:23.:32:28.

stage, it becomes close to useless. We were talking about the budget

:32:29.:32:33.

earlier. What other polls saying about the budget? The lead of labour

:32:34.:32:41.

has been narrowed over the Conservatives. -- Labour. Osborne

:32:42.:32:49.

and Cameron as an academic team have always had a lead over Miller band

:32:50.:32:55.

and Balls. This week it is about economic management. -- over Mr

:32:56.:32:57.

Miller band. Thank you for being with us today.

:32:58.:33:13.

It's just gone 11:30am. You're watching the Sunday Politics. We say

:33:14.:33:17.

goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now for Sunday Politics

:33:18.:33:20.

Hello, I'm Martyn Oates. Coming up minutes: We'll

:33:21.:33:31.

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

:33:32.:33:35.

West: Is the wind from Westminster blowing against the renewable energy

:33:36.:33:38.

industry? For the next 20 minutes, I'm joined

:33:39.:33:41.

by Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter and Anne Marie Morris,

:33:42.:33:45.

Conservative MP for Newton Abbot. Welcome to the programme. This week

:33:46.:33:48.

residents of a mid`Devon village laid claim to the country's biggest

:33:49.:33:52.

pothole. The people of Sandford have been referring to this as the

:33:53.:33:55.

swimming pool. Some help was at hand though from the Chancellor, who

:33:56.:33:57.

pledged another ?200 million nationally to mend damaged roads.

:33:58.:34:01.

That, though, according to the Local Government Association will

:34:02.:34:03.

disappear into an enormous hole itself as the total backlog of road

:34:04.:34:09.

repairs will cost ?10.5 billion. The Budget also saw the Chancellor

:34:10.:34:10.

offering more help for house buyers. Potholes, pensions, fuel duty frees

:34:11.:34:25.

and possibly more regional flights. It was a good budget for the West

:34:26.:34:31.

Country, wasn't it? Potholes is probably the biggest issue I hear

:34:32.:34:39.

about. If you are on four wheels they are bad enough and if you are

:34:40.:34:44.

on to, they are lethal. Generally, the pothole money is part of a

:34:45.:34:49.

package of measures which is appealing to people in the

:34:50.:34:54.

south`west? You have to be careful about the pension changes as there

:34:55.:34:58.

is a lot to be discovered about the detail and concerns about whether it

:34:59.:35:01.

will further inflame the property market.

:35:02.:35:05.

There have been suggestions in quite a lot of financial papers since the

:35:06.:35:11.

budget that it could lead to a further inflammation of a property

:35:12.:35:21.

bubble. Anne Marie Morris, the local

:35:22.:35:24.

government Association says here is money for road and pothole repairs

:35:25.:35:29.

but at the same time, the government is cutting local council budgets.

:35:30.:35:36.

Councils are saying free up the money as we could do the job better.

:35:37.:35:42.

That is a fair point and I have been lobbying government hard because the

:35:43.:35:47.

rural counties get a much lower deal than the urban communities and we

:35:48.:35:51.

are 50% underfunded. The government repeatedly completely

:35:52.:35:59.

ignores you, doesn't it? They listen but we have an economic challenge

:36:00.:36:04.

left by the previous government and so finding the extra money without

:36:05.:36:08.

taking it away from urban communities will be a problem. It is

:36:09.:36:13.

a real issue. Generally, quite a big welcome from

:36:14.:36:19.

business for the budget. Except from small and micro businesses, an area

:36:20.:36:26.

you are interested in. I am not even classed as a small

:36:27.:36:29.

business and I don't think micro businesses factored in the budget at

:36:30.:36:34.

all. I don't export of manufacture so the budget has completely missed

:36:35.:36:38.

me entirely. What do you make of that?

:36:39.:36:44.

This budget was more focused on big business but when you take into

:36:45.:36:49.

account the national insurance changes and employers allowance and

:36:50.:36:54.

business rights and ?1000 for small high`street businesses in addition

:36:55.:37:01.

to the cap, all of those things we've had in previous budgets.

:37:02.:37:05.

Frankly, the last two budgets have been focused on the small business.

:37:06.:37:11.

Let us stick with this budget which saw the chancellor offering more

:37:12.:37:13.

help for house buyers. He's extending the Help to Buy scheme

:37:14.:37:16.

which sees the Government playing mortgage lender and backing loans to

:37:17.:37:19.

people trying to climb the property ladder. The basic premise of the

:37:20.:37:22.

scheme is controversial, though, with critics claiming it could make

:37:23.:37:24.

the affordable housing crisis worse. John Henderson reports.

:37:25.:37:28.

Itchy feet and the same is true for six`month`old Toby's parents. The

:37:29.:37:32.

dream of owning their own home is close to reality. They are about to

:37:33.:37:35.

complete on a four`bedroom house in Plymouth which means Toby can leave

:37:36.:37:40.

his granny's house. It is possible due to the governments help to buy

:37:41.:37:43.

scheme which allows people to buy with just a 5% deposit. We wouldn't

:37:44.:37:50.

have been able to afford it if we didn't have the 5%. If it was 10%,

:37:51.:37:55.

we'd be staying with nan. I had to go back to work early on maternity

:37:56.:37:59.

leave to get the mortgage as it was already on the 5% otherwise we would

:38:00.:38:01.

still be here today. This week, the Chancellor confirmed

:38:02.:38:10.

that the scheme, a mix of guarantees and money to stimulate new builds

:38:11.:38:14.

and sales on older houses, would be extended. Taken all together, the

:38:15.:38:20.

housing policies I announce today will support over 200,000 new homes

:38:21.:38:25.

for families. We are getting Britain building. But the scheme isn't

:38:26.:38:31.

without its critics. Not a game changer was how the Royal Institute

:38:32.:38:33.

of Chartered Surveyors described it and labour was also unimpressed.

:38:34.:38:41.

They will not stand up to vested interests, developers sitting on

:38:42.:38:43.

land, even though they cannot solve the housing crisis without it.

:38:44.:38:49.

Labour has issued a "use it or lose it" threat to big developers. House

:38:50.:38:53.

builders say they are not hoarding land and other says the planning

:38:54.:38:57.

system needs changing. On this site in Exeter, they have been trying to

:38:58.:39:01.

build three houses for three years and some say central government

:39:02.:39:04.

should do what it can to make things happen. What you could regard as

:39:05.:39:09.

sterile land needs to be brought back into production. Anything that

:39:10.:39:13.

can be done to incentivise builders and local authorities to produce

:39:14.:39:15.

land that is necessary is really important. Others feel the scheme

:39:16.:39:24.

will stoke up the market and lead to a housing bubble. We must not now

:39:25.:39:28.

settle for a short`term spurt of growth fuelled by an old`fashioned

:39:29.:39:30.

property boom. But the estate agents who have

:39:31.:39:38.

helped Laura say that while transactions are up 40%, prices are

:39:39.:39:44.

sensible. But more sellers would help. It is getting the balance

:39:45.:39:49.

right. It isn't in anyone's favour for there to be a bubble in the

:39:50.:39:53.

market. We want steady growth, for people to be able to move and for

:39:54.:39:57.

there to be a similar amount of sellers and buyers. That's the best

:39:58.:40:02.

market I've seen. Toby and Laura should soon be on

:40:03.:40:06.

their way. Goodbye granny's house and hello new home. Bye!

:40:07.:40:16.

This concern that we might be fuelling another housing bubble,

:40:17.:40:24.

people in your party are concerned as well. It is a concern, isn't it?

:40:25.:40:32.

It is something we need to be careful of. The reality is from all

:40:33.:40:36.

the reports I've seen, house prices are gently going up although not

:40:37.:40:44.

very much in the south`west, nobody is laying that at the door of this

:40:45.:40:52.

scheme. There is a revision of figures for growth up and says `

:40:53.:40:59.

report says house prices will increase by 8.5% by the end of this

:41:00.:41:02.

year and that is something, isn't it? It would be if it translates to

:41:03.:41:13.

that. It is about what is the driver. The economy is improving so

:41:14.:41:17.

house prices are moving back to where they are and if that is

:41:18.:41:21.

happening that is a good thing. If we break `` build houses, prizes ``

:41:22.:41:28.

prices should not go up as fast. The more supply there is to meet the

:41:29.:41:33.

demand, inevitably the prize doesn't keep rising. It sounds as if the

:41:34.:41:38.

government is singing from the Haim sheep `` same hymn sheet as Labour?

:41:39.:41:46.

It is not doing nearly enough to encourage supply and that is why

:41:47.:41:50.

house prices are projected to rise this year. I agree with Vince cable

:41:51.:41:54.

that there is a danger the government is stoking a pre`election

:41:55.:41:58.

house price bubble for political reasons and the recovery objectively

:41:59.:42:02.

there in the economy is not being felt because it is based on property

:42:03.:42:08.

value and private debt. But planning minister said a few months ago that

:42:09.:42:13.

to have more houses, you need to have more people in a position to

:42:14.:42:17.

buy them and that makes sense as well?

:42:18.:42:21.

But there aren't enough affordable houses out there. People 's wages

:42:22.:42:27.

are going up 1% if they are lucky and house prices by much more.

:42:28.:42:33.

People in the south`west already have the biggest gap between house

:42:34.:42:35.

prices and salaries and it is getting wider.

:42:36.:42:42.

What about the point Ed Miliband was making saying the developers are

:42:43.:42:45.

sitting on land waiting for the value to go out? It is a scatter`gun

:42:46.:42:56.

approach policy. We are trying to have a proper approach which means

:42:57.:43:01.

looking at where is the best place to have the development involving

:43:02.:43:05.

local communities. That was part of the Regent `` reason for the changes

:43:06.:43:09.

we put in place and it will help enormously but we're not doing

:43:10.:43:15.

anything to help the supply? There is a lot we are doing. In the budget

:43:16.:43:19.

there was an extra pot set aside for the small developers so if they have

:43:20.:43:24.

not been able to get finance, they can build.

:43:25.:43:29.

Do you back this notion of forcing developers to develop? Identically

:43:30.:43:37.

with that. Local authorities know where this land is. Local

:43:38.:43:39.

authorities are certainly know that and they will be given the power if

:43:40.:43:44.

they are aware of pockets of land which would make good development

:43:45.:43:48.

for housing and if developers are sitting on it. Anything we can do to

:43:49.:43:51.

increase the supply and not just the demand has to be the right thing.

:43:52.:43:59.

The problem continually sits there. We have been flat`lining in terms of

:44:00.:44:03.

house`building under both governments. No, it has gone up 23%

:44:04.:44:12.

since we came into power. We have been building a lot more houses.

:44:13.:44:18.

Down in the first two years but it has gone up in the last year. We

:44:19.:44:22.

need a lot more affordable home `` homes to rent and we need more new

:44:23.:44:29.

towns. We need affordable new hands as well as market. We need them

:44:30.:44:35.

properly plan not urban stretch like out of Exeter.

:44:36.:44:38.

The Chancellor also moved to cut energy bills on Wednesday by

:44:39.:44:40.

freezing the tax on burning carbon. He insists the Government's

:44:41.:44:43.

commitment to support green energy remains unchanged. But voices in the

:44:44.:44:46.

renewable energy industry say it's another nail in the coffin for the

:44:47.:44:49.

Coalition's claim to be the greenest government ever. Tamsin Melville

:44:50.:44:50.

reports. Green campaigners were at

:44:51.:44:57.

Westminster this week ahead of EU carbon cutting talks. Wind farms `

:44:58.:45:05.

one way of tackling these climate issues, but the government is under

:45:06.:45:08.

increasing pressure on the number of applications.

:45:09.:45:13.

Small, rural communities are plunged into what can only be described as a

:45:14.:45:20.

miserable ordeal. Immediately, there is a cloud of uncertainty over their

:45:21.:45:27.

lives. A carbon tax freeze in the budget has left another question

:45:28.:45:29.

mark over the government's commitment to green energy. We need

:45:30.:45:35.

to think about where our energy is coming from. I think my complaint at

:45:36.:45:40.

this point is that the government's policy is all over the place and it

:45:41.:45:43.

really isn't coherent enough to enable business to plan. A few years

:45:44.:45:52.

ago, George Osborne announced a measure called the Carbon Price

:45:53.:45:55.

Support which increased the cost of burning fossil fuels and was opposed

:45:56.:45:58.

to encourage low`carbon plants like nuclear and wind farms. When he

:45:59.:46:04.

introduced it, George Osborne said investment in green energy would

:46:05.:46:07.

never be certain unless there was some stability to the price of

:46:08.:46:10.

carbon, but now he is scrapping his plan to increase the cost of high

:46:11.:46:16.

carbon energy. I am capping the carbon support rate

:46:17.:46:20.

of ?18 per tonne of carbon dioxide from 2016/17 for the rest of the

:46:21.:46:23.

decade, saving a mid`size manufacturer almost ?50,000 on their

:46:24.:46:32.

annual energy bill. The Chancellor is keen to stress it

:46:33.:46:36.

will not mean a reduction in investment of renewable energy, but

:46:37.:46:38.

the industry says it sends an unwelcome message to the sector. It

:46:39.:46:44.

is bad news for investors because a long`term framework was supposedly

:46:45.:46:47.

stable and robust but George Osborne has changed it at the first sign of

:46:48.:46:52.

trouble. It doesn't give a strong message that low`carbon investment

:46:53.:46:55.

in generation is a good place to put money. Late last year, the plug was

:46:56.:47:01.

pulled on the Atlantic Array project, plans for a massive wind

:47:02.:47:05.

farm off the north Devon coast. Developers said it was not

:47:06.:47:07.

financially viable and other ambitious South West projects have

:47:08.:47:14.

also fallen by the wayside. Plans for wind turbines on this old World

:47:15.:47:17.

War II airfield near Davidstow were scrapped earlier this year. There

:47:18.:47:24.

has been a lot of local opposition but the company behind the plans,

:47:25.:47:26.

Community Windpower, blames it on what it called the government's

:47:27.:47:29.

constantly shifting position on UK renewables. The company also closed

:47:30.:47:37.

its office in nearby Camelford that offered people energy advice. The

:47:38.:47:44.

Chancellor say his carbon tax freeze will save people ?15 a year on their

:47:45.:47:47.

energy bills and that it does still care about the climate but has to

:47:48.:47:50.

act to keep British business competitive.

:47:51.:47:55.

Tamsin Melville reporting and to discuss this we're joined by Mark

:47:56.:48:00.

Robins from the RSPB which is a member of the Climate Coalition ` a

:48:01.:48:03.

lobby group concerned about global warming. I noticed you were nodding

:48:04.:48:14.

away while the representative for saying it was a terrible thing. In

:48:15.:48:18.

fairness, a lot of people in the green lobby thought the carbon price

:48:19.:48:24.

was in itself a bad thing. The climate change committee and

:48:25.:48:28.

Greenpeace said it is precisely the sort of measure that destroys public

:48:29.:48:31.

confidence in environmental policies.

:48:32.:48:36.

I don't think there are many in the environment movement which `` who

:48:37.:48:43.

say it was a wonderful mechanism but taking it away creates mixed

:48:44.:48:46.

messages for those who want to do the right thing and develop low

:48:47.:48:52.

carbon. You are talking about general signals, but in terms of the

:48:53.:48:57.

specific policy, there is an argument that people like yourself

:48:58.:49:08.

yourself make that it doesn't cut emissions either. You have to be

:49:09.:49:14.

careful about who is picking up the cost of climate change. The Prime

:49:15.:49:19.

Minister himself reaffirmed his commitment to climate change being

:49:20.:49:22.

the biggest threat to humanity on this planet. It includes all life on

:49:23.:49:30.

this planet. This issue about who picks up the cost about climate

:49:31.:49:35.

change has been exposed this winter by those suffering from floods and

:49:36.:49:39.

the railway industry `` infrastructure. The south`west has

:49:40.:49:44.

been hit hard. The carbon price floor doesn't do anything for the

:49:45.:49:49.

environment but it puts energy bills up so it is a lose, lose policy? But

:49:50.:49:55.

George Osborne took it away and put nothing else in its place. Better

:49:56.:50:00.

mechanisms could be found but he has replaced it with nothing. OK, Anne

:50:01.:50:06.

Marie Morris not a ringing defence of the carbon price floor itself.

:50:07.:50:12.

Looking at previous cuts in renewable energy subsidies and

:50:13.:50:16.

reports there said that people were pulling out of investments. The

:50:17.:50:20.

general message to the renewable industry isn't great, is it? The

:50:21.:50:28.

comment a moment to bow `` the moment ago was incorrect, he has

:50:29.:50:32.

capped it. We have to bear in mind that renewables are important but

:50:33.:50:37.

wind doesn't blow all the time and the sun doesn't shine all the time

:50:38.:50:41.

so you still have to have the more old`fashioned carbon technologies

:50:42.:50:45.

and you cannot price them out of viability. The challenge is getting

:50:46.:50:49.

the level right and the chancellor admits he set it too high. We are

:50:50.:50:53.

not competitive with Europe at the moment. Our manufacturers are

:50:54.:50:57.

seriously thinking of going abroad because electricity is cheaper. But

:50:58.:51:04.

this government is chipping away, making various productions

:51:05.:51:07.

effectively in its financial commitment to renewables. A lot of

:51:08.:51:12.

people might look ahead and think, if the Conservatives get a majority

:51:13.:51:16.

and a fair number of people share the view that wind power is

:51:17.:51:23.

pointless, why would we invest? I would agree. Yes, there has been

:51:24.:51:27.

tinkering but would you rather a government put in a measure and

:51:28.:51:30.

ignored whether it was hitting the spot or would you rather have one

:51:31.:51:37.

who looked at it and said, we are trying to sport renewables but we

:51:38.:51:40.

don't want to penalise the carbon industry. We have to realise there

:51:41.:51:45.

has to be some energy to boil the kettle at other times. The result of

:51:46.:51:51.

the decision is to favour the dirtiest form of energy we have. It

:51:52.:51:59.

is a Chancellor `` disaster. You are nodding, but Labour isn't keen on

:52:00.:52:05.

the carbon price for itself, is it? Mark is right. It was the only

:52:06.:52:14.

instrument we had. The constant changing of the goalposts. In a

:52:15.:52:18.

country like Germany with a far higher level of renewable energy

:52:19.:52:22.

production, they have done it with long`term incentives for the

:52:23.:52:26.

renewable industry. When you have constant changing, where is the

:52:27.:52:31.

incentive for our fledgling renewable industry? It is important

:52:32.:52:37.

in our region. Big players in the industry say that. You have to look

:52:38.:52:43.

at who is saying it and from what interest? There are always two

:52:44.:52:49.

sides. But business likes of security and they like to know they

:52:50.:52:54.

can invest with as much security as they can reasonably expect? But in

:52:55.:52:57.

terms of the comment it will help the dirty energy, there is an

:52:58.:53:01.

additional provision in the budget which says Waite who have combined

:53:02.:53:08.

heat and power which is the most efficient, 55% efficiency, and there

:53:09.:53:14.

is a subsidy for them, and they have been exempt when complying with this

:53:15.:53:20.

carbon floor levy. We need to have a balance. This is relatively new

:53:21.:53:24.

territory and we have done more than Labour did in the grand scheme of

:53:25.:53:29.

things. I believe we are giving business security but we need to

:53:30.:53:32.

make sure it gives the right security and the right message.

:53:33.:53:39.

Investment in renewables has fallen from when we were in government. We

:53:40.:53:44.

are having fewer wind farms approved, onshore and offshore. We

:53:45.:53:48.

are going backwards. Now, our regular round`up of the

:53:49.:53:49.

political week in 60 seconds. Calls for a new railway mainline

:53:50.:54:00.

through Central Devon from the MP for Central Devon. Could I urge my

:54:01.:54:04.

right honourable friends to take the proposal seriously and perhaps to

:54:05.:54:07.

visit Okehampton with me to perhaps visit local businesses and others to

:54:08.:54:10.

hear their case for the advantages it presents to them.

:54:11.:54:15.

Calls to legalise euthanasia as a Dorset man gets a suspended prison

:54:16.:54:18.

sentence for the attempted murder of his mother. How much better would it

:54:19.:54:25.

have been if there was a law in this country where the lady herself could

:54:26.:54:28.

have requested upfront an assisted death.

:54:29.:54:32.

?120,000 of government money to support the Cornish language.

:54:33.:54:37.

The possibility of new flights from regional airports including Exeter

:54:38.:54:42.

and Newquay. We want all parts of our country to see better links with

:54:43.:54:47.

the markets of the future. And the Chancellor freezes duty on

:54:48.:54:49.

ordinary cider specifically, he said, to help flood sodden West

:54:50.:54:51.

Country farmers. You represent Dawlish. We've heard

:54:52.:55:09.

this call for an additional line through Central Devon. There is a

:55:10.:55:13.

risk that when a railway needs upgrading, we get involved in

:55:14.:55:22.

conflicting schemes and infighting? In large measure, MPs across the

:55:23.:55:26.

South West to recognise that line which goes through Dawlish is

:55:27.:55:30.

mission critical. Whatever else we do, that must be maintained. We are

:55:31.:55:37.

talking ten plus years and millions of pounds.

:55:38.:55:43.

Then, your constituency isn't affected but you took a keen

:55:44.:55:49.

interest? Yes and everyone will plead for their own line but what

:55:50.:55:53.

matters is that there is a resilient line for the whole of the

:55:54.:55:56.

south`west. We should wait for the outcome of the Department of

:55:57.:56:02.

Transport's review. We can't have you on the programme without talking

:56:03.:56:09.

about cider. A freeze on duty... I am still waiting for my crate of

:56:10.:56:15.

cider by the way! I am delighted the duty was present but puzzled by

:56:16.:56:20.

their duty wasn't. That's the

:56:21.:56:23.

decision, she will weigh up the factors. Andrew, back

:56:24.:56:24.

The big news is the popular server is struggling to control all of the

:56:25.:56:40.

people who want to find out where they fit in the political spectrum.

:56:41.:56:45.

It hasn't quite crashed but it is queueing up those people. Who would

:56:46.:56:50.

have thought the Sunday Politics had so many viewers? It has never

:56:51.:57:00.

happened on the X factor. This morning's papers don't make

:57:01.:57:02.

comfortable reading for Labour with two separate polls showing the

:57:03.:57:05.

party's lead over the Tories is down to just one point. And there's been

:57:06.:57:08.

plenty of criticism of Ed Miliband's response to the Budget. Let's take a

:57:09.:57:12.

look. You know you are in trouble when even the Education Secretary

:57:13.:57:15.

calls you and out of touch bunch of elitist. Where is he? He is hiding!

:57:16.:57:27.

I think he has been consigned to the naughty step by the Prime Minister.

:57:28.:57:34.

The naughty step! And we're joined now by shadow chief secretary to the

:57:35.:57:39.

Treasury, Chris Leslie. There was a widely criticised response by Ed

:57:40.:57:43.

Balls to the Autumn Statement, now a widely criticised response by Ed

:57:44.:57:49.

Miliband to the Budget. Does this show you are struggling at the

:57:50.:57:55.

moment? Of course Ed Balls and Ed Miliband don't want to hear the fact

:57:56.:58:00.

that in reality, for most people, life is getting harder and there is

:58:01.:58:04.

the cost of living crisis. Did we get any mention of that in the

:58:05.:58:14.

Budget? Of course we didn't. We were waiting for action on the cost of

:58:15.:58:18.

living and it wasn't forthcoming. Ed Miliband came up with the tactic of

:58:19.:58:23.

responding to the Budget without mentioning anything that was in it.

:58:24.:58:28.

He mentioned the fact the personal tax allowance was a bit of a

:58:29.:58:32.

giveaway but he takes more with the other hand. He is in favour of that,

:58:33.:58:39.

right? Anything we can get but we need a lot more. Let me tell you

:58:40.:58:43.

something else he mentioned, the fact the national debt has risen by

:58:44.:58:52.

a third and George Osborne and David Cameron... They knew that before the

:58:53.:58:55.

Budget. The borrowing figures were announced and Ed Miliband made

:58:56.:59:01.

reference to those. There is not a lot of happiness on Labour

:59:02.:59:06.

backbenchers about this, is there? And indeed not a lot of happiness in

:59:07.:59:11.

the shadow cabinet. There is concern that Ed Miliband is on a journey to

:59:12.:59:16.

remodel world capitalism whilst George Osborne is firing some love

:59:17.:59:20.

bombs at Middle England by talking about freeing up the pensions market

:59:21.:59:24.

and there is real nerves that what Ed Miliband is saying is not going

:59:25.:59:29.

to be in tune with those middle income earners that the Labour Party

:59:30.:59:35.

has got to attract if they are going to win the general election. When

:59:36.:59:42.

Rachel Reeves used the medium of Radio 4 to announce you were broadly

:59:43.:59:46.

in favour of the pension reforms announced by the Chancellor on

:59:47.:59:50.

Friday night, was that a result of a decision taken by the shadow

:59:51.:00:00.

cabinet? Is With annuities, they are a very old-fashioned product. There

:00:01.:00:07.

are some serious questions which need to be addressed. Was that the

:00:08.:00:14.

result of a Shadow Cabinet decision? We have not had a Shadow

:00:15.:00:18.

Cabinet since the budget. We all want to make sure that we understand

:00:19.:00:23.

the point about flexibility. No one is arguing with that. There are some

:00:24.:00:28.

serious concerns. Let me give you a couple of examples. This is

:00:29.:00:31.

something the Chancellor has done, he claims, for reasons of freedom

:00:32.:00:36.

and flexibility. Is it a coincidence he is grabbing quite a lot of tax

:00:37.:00:40.

from pensioners early on to plug a hole which is necessary because the

:00:41.:00:48.

deficit has not gone down? Forgive me for being slightly cynical about

:00:49.:00:54.

motives. For or against it? We need to have safeguards for protection of

:00:55.:00:59.

pensioners. What will it do for the annuity market if most people still

:01:00.:01:02.

want to have a steadying come for a third of their lives? -- steady

:01:03.:01:10.

income. What does Labour have to do to get it show back on the road? The

:01:11.:01:19.

question is, how do people feel? How many people will still not be

:01:20.:01:23.

feeling better by the next election? Wages may be rising slightly but not

:01:24.:01:26.

for a large and significant number of people. They were just looking at

:01:27.:01:32.

the YouGov poll. If you look at the middle to low earners, they are

:01:33.:01:35.

overwhelmingly pro-labour. Can Labour get those people out to vote?

:01:36.:01:40.

They are really hurting. There are plenty of them. The question is

:01:41.:01:44.

whether people are optimistic because they see figures as if they

:01:45.:01:49.

look as if they are on the up or whether they vote according to how

:01:50.:01:54.

they feel, which will still be very far behind. Cost of living has been

:01:55.:01:59.

a major mantra from Labour. That's that this chart shows how things are

:02:00.:02:04.

beginning to change. What this shows is that, sometime this year, after a

:02:05.:02:10.

long time at which average earnings trailed inflation, they now overtake

:02:11.:02:14.

it in the run-up to the election and they stay there for the forecast

:02:15.:02:21.

period. What do you now do if your cost of living mantra is running out

:02:22.:02:27.

of steam? I am not sure that, for most people, they will recognise the

:02:28.:02:31.

sense that suddenly things will be getting better. Particularly the

:02:32.:02:34.

younger generation are really feeling quite down about the

:02:35.:02:40.

pressures they are facing to make ends meet. You can see the lines are

:02:41.:02:47.

exaggerated because the Y axis on the side starts quite high up. It

:02:48.:02:52.

does not start at zero. The other statistic from the OBR is that we

:02:53.:02:56.

will not be getting back to the point where wages are exceeding

:02:57.:03:00.

prices from the pre-banking crisis period until late 2017. There are

:03:01.:03:08.

some really serious pressures that people are under. What they wanted

:03:09.:03:12.

was a budget that would address concerns and, for the vast majority

:03:13.:03:17.

of people, they will have heard the statement by George Osborne and

:03:18.:03:23.

think, how is it really help them now? It did not address it. It is

:03:24.:03:31.

clear that by 2015, average living standards will probably not have

:03:32.:03:36.

returned to where they were in 2010. Average wages will not have

:03:37.:03:40.

done that. On the other hand, the chart shows the sense of direction

:03:41.:03:44.

is moving in the right way. Which one matters more with the

:03:45.:03:50.

electorate? I suspect it is sense of direction. People sense of

:03:51.:03:53.

prosperity does not need to be buoyant. It has to be something

:03:54.:03:58.

worth preserving. We have to fear the all turn. That is what intrigued

:03:59.:04:04.

me this week. People make too much of a fuss about the Parliamentary

:04:05.:04:08.

response by Ed Miliband. People will forgive a bad day at the dispatch

:04:09.:04:13.

box. What they will not forgive is the absence of a macro economic

:04:14.:04:20.

mess. Labour have a very powerful message on living standards and lots

:04:21.:04:25.

of popular, targeted interventions like the energy price freeze. You

:04:26.:04:31.

can imagine they will be sufficiently nervous about that next

:04:32.:04:36.

year. If living standards are not back to where they were, Labour can

:04:37.:04:44.

say, are you better off now than when you were four years ago? The

:04:45.:04:52.

reason why break and -- wallowed waken one that is because Jimmy

:04:53.:05:04.

Carter mucked it up -- Ronald Reagan. Labour have to say, vote for

:05:05.:05:12.

us and you will get 2 million homes. At the moment, the offer is very

:05:13.:05:16.

modest. You need to find the money to do that. People need to

:05:17.:05:20.

understand that housing is at the very heart of the economy, as well

:05:21.:05:24.

as young people and their aspirations. At the moment, Labour

:05:25.:05:31.

's offer is not spectacular in. If the focus group shows the cost of

:05:32.:05:34.

living crisis have no longer has the attraction it did, what line do you

:05:35.:05:40.

move onto? Yellow McCoy must remind people of the wasted years and the

:05:41.:05:43.

cost of living pressures they have been under. -- we must remind

:05:44.:05:50.

people. We want a recovery which has low growth, low wage. A race to the

:05:51.:05:59.

bottom. They want a recovery that is felt by everyone, shared and felt by

:06:00.:06:05.

all. Now, here's an idea to twist your melon. Mark Berry, better known

:06:06.:06:10.

as Bez, it says here he's a member of something called The Happy

:06:11.:06:12.

Mondays, wants to stand for parliament. He's best known for

:06:13.:06:16.

being in a band, and not doing very much, so he might fit in. Here he is

:06:17.:06:21.

in action. And Bez joins us from our Salford

:06:22.:06:49.

studio. Good to see you. Is this a genuine candidacy or are you

:06:50.:06:57.

twisting my melon? Amazing how time flies when you're having fun! You

:06:58.:07:06.

having fun doing this candidacy? I am doing the job of the politicians

:07:07.:07:10.

and standing up for the people and bringing attention to the horror of

:07:11.:07:16.

fracking, which is a totally unsafe technology. There is no one in

:07:17.:07:20.

mainstream politics who is discussing or saying anything about

:07:21.:07:25.

it. It is an unsafe technology and it has been proven in America. You

:07:26.:07:30.

see the process in America and the people out on the streets. The whole

:07:31.:07:40.

atmosphere has been made toxic. These people are allowing it to

:07:41.:07:45.

happen in the name of profit. This has been a Labour seat you are

:07:46.:07:51.

fighting in Salford since 1945. It is a tough mountain. Supposing you

:07:52.:07:56.

were to win, could you ever see yourself entering a coalition? With

:07:57.:08:03.

a bit of luck I may be able to shame Labour politicians to do the job

:08:04.:08:06.

properly and stand up for the rights of people. They are not and I am

:08:07.:08:10.

having to do that job. All I am doing is causing debate and bringing

:08:11.:08:16.

to attention the horror that is hanging on our doorsteps. It is not

:08:17.:08:20.

only fracking but GM modified foods that they want to bring into this

:08:21.:08:25.

country as well. Owen Paterson is one of the main lobbyists. Lobbying

:08:26.:08:33.

is legalised bribery, by the way. It is run by the bankers. Basically, we

:08:34.:08:39.

have to stop these monsters from getting into our country and turning

:08:40.:08:43.

our land into a toxic waste. That is what I am trying to say. You are

:08:44.:08:49.

raising the debate, as you are doing with us here. We do not really need

:08:50.:08:55.

fracking. You have done that and you have talked about other things as

:08:56.:09:00.

well. In terms of a new integrity, if you were to become an MP, would

:09:01.:09:07.

you claim expenses? If I ever do get in charge, I would completely enter

:09:08.:09:11.

the banking system and there would be expensive, but they would be like

:09:12.:09:16.

bus passes and train passes. You behave like the people and you are

:09:17.:09:20.

in touch with the people, you move with the people and do understand

:09:21.:09:25.

what the people want. You do not live in acre Kuhn of your own making

:09:26.:09:29.

of luxury, wealth and total disregard of everyone else. -- a

:09:30.:09:37.

cocoon. If you did get into the Palace of Westminster and had to

:09:38.:09:40.

mingle with all these people, who would you rather have in night out

:09:41.:09:46.

with - Mr Cameron, Mr Miller band or Mr Clegg? I would be willing to

:09:47.:09:55.

discuss politics with anybody. I would make them realise what they

:09:56.:10:03.

are doing. I am glad too have a debate and with anyone. The people

:10:04.:10:10.

of Salford, quite a lot people people behind me. I have been

:10:11.:10:16.

speaking to Salford councillors. They are going to lend me their

:10:17.:10:24.

support. The people of Salford, and not to forget the people of Eccles,

:10:25.:10:30.

sending you much. We must stop this horror. There is a monster on our

:10:31.:10:35.

doorstep and we must stop it, people. Do not forget to take your

:10:36.:10:41.

maracas on campaign trail. Would you like a pair to shake yourself? You

:10:42.:10:49.

shake your maracas against fracking! Thanks, Bez, goodbye. Thank you for

:10:50.:10:55.

giving me a little platform to express my views. Now if there's one

:10:56.:11:02.

thing that gets us hot under the collar here at the Sunday Politics

:11:03.:11:04.

it's European elections. The only thing we like more than the

:11:05.:11:07.

elections themselves is a TV debate about them. And we're in luck! Take

:11:08.:11:12.

a look at this. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome leader of

:11:13.:11:15.

the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. Gives

:11:16.:11:23.

the most fantastic welcome to Nigel Farage. I would challenge Nigel

:11:24.:11:31.

Farage to a public, open debate, about whether she we should be out

:11:32.:11:38.

all in of the European Union. I will do it for Nick Clegg. Since 2009, I

:11:39.:11:49.

have taken part in 45% of votes in the European Parliament. Nigel

:11:50.:11:56.

Farage has not tabled a single amendment since July 2009. Mr Clegg

:11:57.:12:04.

has only taken part in 22% of votes in the House of commons. You can

:12:05.:12:11.

watch the debate at 7pm on the 2nd of April over on BBC Two. And for a

:12:12.:12:23.

chance to be part of the studio audience on the night and put your

:12:24.:12:26.

question to the two party leaders, e-mail the question you'd like to

:12:27.:12:29.

ask to [email protected] or tweet it using the hashtag

:12:30.:12:31.

#europedebate. And Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage will be limbering up

:12:32.:12:35.

this week with their first debate on LBC radio on Wednesday. Who is going

:12:36.:12:43.

to come out the best? I suspect Nigel Farage. It is easy to portray

:12:44.:12:49.

Nick Clegg as morally compromised, who has not asserted himself in

:12:50.:12:53.

government. I do wonder about Nigel Farage, whether he is much better at

:12:54.:12:58.

delivering a popular line and responding to the second question of

:12:59.:13:03.

third question. Nick Clegg will win it hands over fist because he knows

:13:04.:13:07.

this stuff. He is right. The evidence that he can produce about

:13:08.:13:11.

what will happen if we pulled out of Europe will, I think, overwhelm

:13:12.:13:19.

Nigel Farage 's one-liners. They will both be winners because you

:13:20.:13:26.

will have the rare sight of the pro-European saying he likes the

:13:27.:13:30.

European Union. That is unlike Eurosceptics who tie themselves up

:13:31.:13:36.

in knots. 14 Nigel, one for Nick and one for both. There you go. Here is

:13:37.:13:49.

a mess, it is Janen Ganesh. That's all for today. The Daily Politics is

:13:50.:13:53.

on BBC Two at Lunchtime every day this week, I'll be back here next

:13:54.:13:56.

week with Energy Secretary Ed Davey. Remember if it's Sunday, it's the

:13:57.:13:58.

Sunday Politics.

:13:59.:14:04.

Martyn Oates with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew Neil is joined by pensions minister Steve Webb to discuss the government's pension reforms, while Labour's Chris Leslie will talk about his party's response to the Budget. Finally, Happy Mondays star Bez will explain why he wants to become an MP.


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