30/04/2017 Sunday Politics South West


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It's Sunday Morning, and this is the Sunday Politics.


Theresa May says she has no plans to increase tax levels,


but refuses to repeat David Cameron's 2015 manifesto


promise ruling out hikes in VAT, national insurance and income tax.


The leaders of the EU's 27 member states unanimously


agree their negotiating strategy for the upcoming Brexit talks, but


And in the last of our series of interviews ahead of Thursday's


In the South West: to the leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne


A local election special, we put your questions to candidates.


They hit an all-time low after coalition government,


but are the Lib Dems poised to bounce back,


And with me to analyse the week's politics,


Isabel Oakeshott, Steve Richards, Tom Newton-Dunn.


They'll be tweeting using the hashtag #bbcsp.


So when Theresa May was interviewed just over an hour ago


on The Andrew Marr Show, the Prime Minister was asked


to confirm that she would repeat David Cameron's 2015 election


promise not to raise VAT, national insurance and income tax


We have absolutely no plans to increase the level of tax,


but I'm also very clear that I don't want to make specific proposals


on taxes unless I'm absolutely sure that I can deliver on those.


But it is, would be my intention as a Conservative Government


and a Conservative Prime Minister, to reduce the taxes


The Tories like to have a clear tax message in elections, are they


getting into a bit of a mess? That method wasn't clear, but does it


mean, saying they have no plans to increase the level of tax? We are


clear there will not be a rise in VAT, a lot of commentators will get


overexcited about that, but there was no great expectations there


would be a rise in VAT. Tempting as it is, because even one percentage


point on VAT rate is 4.5 billion for the exchequer so it is tempting but


there has been no speculation that would happen. We can see that she


clearly wants to reiterate the language about hard-working families


but I don't think we are that much the wiser. Even if she does not put


up rates, according to projections the overall tax burden, as a


percentage of GDP, is rising, will rise in the years ahead. That is why


it was an odd phrase, I know she is doing it to be evasive but to say


they have no plans to raise the general level of taxation, they do


have. We also know they have specific plans because it was in the


last budget, they had a tax rise which they had to revise, National


Insurance rises, so very wisely in my view they are keeping options


open, the 2015 tax-and-spend debate was a fantasy world, totally


unrelated to the demands that would follow. They now have the


flexibility, one of the arguments you had heard last time was Philip


Hammond saying to her, we have to break away from the 2015 manifesto


commitment and we can only do it this way, that is one of the better


arguments. The Tories like to talk about tax cuts in elections, whether


they do it is another matter, but they are not being allowed to talk


about tax cuts, they are now on the defensive over whether they will


raise taxes. That is not a healthy position for the campaign to be in.


If you look at the numbers, quite frankly, if you will not do this at


this election with eight 20 point lead over Labour, then when will you


take these tough decisions? Reading between the lines of what Theresa


May has said all over different broadcasters this morning, income


tax will go down for low-income families, such as the threshold rise


that microbes that was already factored in. She has had to commit


to it again. VAT will be fat, national insurance contributions


will go up. Do you think they will go up? I think so, she had plenty of


opportunity to rule it out and she didn't. There was a terrible mess


with the budget, it is a good tax argument but not a good electoral


argument that you are eroding the base so heavily with people moving


into self-employment that as you raise national insurance


contributions for everybody but the self-employed, it is something the


Treasury will have to look at. The other triple lock on pensions, we


don't know if they will keep to that either? If they are sensible they


will find a form of words to give them flexibility in that area as


well. I would say there is no question over that, that has gone.


As Mrs May would say, you will have to wait for the manifesto. That is


what all the party leaders tell me! Labour have spent the weekend


pushing their messages Speaking at a camapign rally


in London yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn promised a Labour


government would fix what he called People are fed up, fed up with not


being able to get somewhere to live, fed up waiting for hospital


appointments, fed up with 0-hours contracts, fed up with low pay, fed


up with debt, fed up with not being able to get on in their lives


because we have a system that is rigged against so many.


I've been joined from Newcastle by Labour's elections


and campaigns co-ordinator, Ian Lavery.


Good morning. To deal with this rigged economy, as Mr Corbyn calls


it, the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has a 20 point plan for


workers out today. When you add up everything he plans to do to help


workers, how much will it cost? The full costings, one thing I need to


say at the very beginning, the costings of any policy which we have


already ruled out and any policy we will be ruling out in the next few


days and weeks will be fully costed in the manifesto and in addition to


the fact that it will be fully costed, we will see it in the


manifesto how indeed it has been funded, so we are very clear,


anything we have seen already, and there are some exciting policy


releases and there will be more in the future, anything we are going to


do will be fully costed and in the manifesto. You announced a 20 point


plan but cannot tell me what the costs will be this morning so at the


moment it is a menu without prices? It is not a menu without prices, it


is a fantastic opportunity. This 20 point plan is something which will


transform the lives of millions of millions of people in the


workplace... But what is the cost? It will be welcomed by many people


across the UK. The fact the costings have not been released, you will


have to be patient, it will be released very clearly, it will


identify that in the manifesto. Let me come down to one of the points,


the end of the public sector pay freeze. Can you give us any idea how


much that will cost? The end of the public sector pay freeze, so


important to the future of the Labour Party, it is an massive


policy decision. Let me say at this stage, Theresa May, the Prime


Minister, this morning, on The Andrew Marr Show, did not have the


common decency, courtesy all respect to condone the fact that nurses, the


heroes of the NHS, have had a reduction of nearly 14% in their


wages since 2010 and are using food banks to feed themselves! Does that


not say everything that is wrong with today's society? So can you


tell me what it will cost, which is what my question was? What I will


say is everything the Labour Party pledges, everything that we come out


with, what we will roll out between now and the 8th of June, will be


fully costed, people will be very much aware of how much the costings


will be, where the funding will come from, when the manifesto is


published. What about doubling paternity leave, nu minimum wage,


four new bank holidays, any idea what it will


cost? These are exciting new proposals and of course today cost


money but we are the sixth richest economy in the world. It is about


redistribution of the wealth we create. We are seeing growth in the


economy, it is how we utilise the finances in the best way we possibly


can for a fairer society for the many and not the few. You just can't


tell me how much it will cost? That is why I will repeat again that you


need to be very patient. Do you know the cost yourself? You are the head


of the campaign, do you know the cost of these things yourself? I am


very much aware of how much the costings are likely to be, they have


been identified, they will be published in the manifesto. You


really do understand I would not be releasing today, live on your show,


any costings or predictions with regards the manifesto. Why not? You


have released the policy, why not the cost? Because there is a fine


detail and we will identify it to the general public in the manifesto.


We not only explain how much it will cost but we will explain where the


funding comes from. Be patient. Will some of the costs be met by


increasing taxes? I would think at this point in time there is not any


indication to increase basic taxes and again the taxes and spending of


the Labour Government with the proposals of the 20 point plan, the


issues we have got, housing, the NHS, crime, education will all be


identified with the costings in the publication. Can you tell us this


morning, we'll tax for most people rise or not to finance this? We in


the Labour Party are looking to a fair tax system which will be


clearly identified in the manifesto. Mr McDonnell also wants to ban all


0-hours contracts. Would that include those who actually like


those contracts? There are nearly 1 million, depending on which figured


you'd use, there are nearly 1 million people on zero-hours


contract and the vast proportion of those want to be able to live a


decent life, a secure life, they want to understand whether they will


be at work the next day, they're included hours... I understand a lot


of people don't like zero-hours contract and your proposal will


address that, but there are those, I saw one survey where 65% of people


on zero-hours contract like the flexibility it gives them. Will you


force them off zero-hours contract or if they like them will they


continue with them? We will discuss it with employee is to make sure


individuals in the workplace have the right to negotiate hours in that


workplace. Guaranteed hours is very, very important. Zero-hour contracts


are an instrument in which employers abuse and exploit mainly young


people, mainly female people in the workplace. We would be banning


zero-hour contract. But there are those, students for example, who


like them, would they be forced off zero-hour contracts in your


proposal? Our proposal would be banning zero-hour contract and


introducing contracts which have set hours in the workplace. You also say


no company will be able to bid for a public contract unless the boss


earns no more than 20 times the lowest paid, or the average wage,


I'm not quite sure which. What would happen if British Aerospace bids to


build more joint strike Fighters and the boss is paid more than 20 times?


I understand the point you raise but we have an obscene situation in this


country, Andrew, in which the bosses at the very top make an absolute


fortune... But what would happen then? Who would build joint strike


Fighters... The difference in wages between the top earners in the


country and the people in the factories, in the workshops,


producing the goods, is vast. I understand that is the reason you


want a ratio. What I am saying is, what happens if the ratio is


greater? Who gets the contract if not British Aerospace? Who else


builds the planes? We are going to introduce a wage rate CEO of one to


20. -- wage ratio. We want to close the gap between the people at the


very top and people who produce the goods. Let me try one more Time, who


would build the joint strike fighter? We would look at the issue


as it came along but the policy is clear... Can you name a single


defence contractor weather boss' salary is less than 20 times average


earnings? We are not reducing, we have rolled that out as part of this


fantastic plan to transform society to get rid of discrimination, to try


and bring together our communities. We will introduce a pay ratio of one


to 20. Fair enough, thank you very much.


It's a month after the triggering of Article 50, and EU leaders -


with the exception of Britain - met in Brussels this weekend


to agree their opening negotiating stance, to get the divorce


It is inside this psychedelic chamber where Britain's 'Grexit'


future will be decided over the next two years, but there is a vast gulf


in rhetoric coming from the UK and the EU. With parallel narratives


emerging for both sides. There is broad agreement that an orderly


withdrawal is in the interests of both sides. But Theresa May's


position is that the terms of our future trade deal should be


negotiated alongside the terms of our divorce. Meanwhile the EU says


the terms of the UK's exit must be decided before any discussion on a


future trade deal can begin. But don't forget that divorce


settlement. Don't remind me. In Brussels, many think written should


pay even more, while in the UK ministers said the divorce bill


should be capped at 3 billion. After you. Thank you.


For are you looking forward to it? Isn't that divorce bill a bit high?


Isn't this about punishing Britain? We are very united, you all seem so


surprised but it's a fact. How soon can we get a deal? We have to wait


for the elections. It was the decision of Mrs May. It took over an


hour for the leaders to make their entrances but once inside it's just


a few minutes to agree the negotiating guidelines. They set out


three main areas. The first phase of talks on the divorce settlement will


deal with the existing financial commitments to the EU, the Northern


Ireland border and the rights of EU citizens in the UK. They said a UK


trade agreement can be discussed when the first phase of talks


reaches significant progress. And that there must be unity in the


negotiations, that individual EU members won't negotiate separately


with the UK. They are quite good here at negotiating because they are


used to it. They set a maximum and then they have to recede a little


bit depending on what the other side is prepared to offer. I think there


is room for manoeuvre in some issues, but I don't think some of


the baseline things will change that much. For example I don't think the


European Union will concede on the rights of citizens who are already


in the UK. It will be very difficult for them to accept that they will


not be any exit bill, and the question of Northern Ireland is very


important as well, the hard order question. The baseline things are


not going to move that much, then you have room for manoeuvring


between. On security, defence and the fight against terrorism, the


guidelines said the EU stands ready to work together. And after lunch,


friendly signs from some EU leaders as they gave individual press


conferences. Paul and said the talks should open doors to new


opportunities and even German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had


earlier said some in Britain were deluded about Brexit, softened her


tone saying there was no conspiracy against the UK. Unity was the


buzzword at this summit and for once everybody seemed to be sticking to


the script. That unity is not only amongst the 27 states, it's also


among the institutions so many of the divisions we have seen in the


past at European level do not exist. That is very important and it's not


be unity that is directed somehow against the UK because I think we


all want this to be an orderly process and part of that is that the


EU side is unified. So although there are no surprises here, what


took place in this room was a significant step towards the real


Brexit negotiations which will begin soon after the general election in


June, said to be the most complex the UK has faced in our lifetimes.


Isabel, Steve and Tom are still with me.


Isabel, doesn't the British media have to be a bit careful here? We


would never take at face value anything a British politician tells


us. We would question it, put it in context and wonder if they are


bluffing, but we seem to take at face value anything a European


politician says about these negotiations. You only have to look


at the front page of the Sunday Times today to see that. They quoted


at length Juncker, who didn't like the food at the reception and this


and that, and I think the mood is very optimistic. The key thing is


the EU trade Commissioner has said we will get a free trade deal and a


lot of people seem to be wilfully ignoring that incredibly big


concession. That is what will happen in their view. Everything that is


said at the moment needs a slight rerun over. They are all in


negotiating positions, plus we seem to be completely unaware that they


all have their own domestic constituencies as well. Angela


Merkel has an important election coming up in September,


Euroscepticism is quite different from Britain of course, but there's


a different kind of euro scepticism in Germany, she has got to deal with


that. Of course she has, which is why you are right, nothing should be


taken too seriously out of the mouths of British politicians or


European politicians until October this year. We have got to wait for


the French elections, then German elections, and if you look through


this you can see a way forward. There's no trade talks until pay up,


but what was actually written was no trade talks until we make


significant progress on the money. You can define significant progress


in a lot of ways but come December, fireworks over the summer, we all


get very excited about it, in these chairs I'm sure, come December


things will look a lot smoother. The German elections are at the end of


September but I've seen reports in German press, depending how it goes


it could take until Christmas before a new coalition government is put


together. The Brussels long-standing negotiating tactic of nothing is


agreed until everything is agreed, then I guess the British could say


we agree a certain sum of money if that's what it takes but that


depends on them, what good trade deal we get. If we don't get that,


the sum of money is off the table. In that sense, the two are going


parallel. However, I wouldn't entirely dismiss what people are


saying in their pre-election periods to their own electorates because


they have to some extent to deliver subsequently. Of course Angela


Merkel is campaigning and electioneering, who wouldn't, she


has a tough election to fight, but she is measured and thoughtful and


when she says things like some of the British are delusional, that is


unusually strong language for her. What was she referring to? I don't


know, it wasn't specific. Have the cake and eat it perhaps the


sequencing the British don't want. When they thought the British


government was going to effectively demand membership of the single


market, that's not going to happen now. Unless you sign up to the four


pillars, that's the cake and eat it proposition, which they are right in


saying Theresa May has made. But everybody has access, even with no


deal you have access. The other side of it is I think there will be a


united position from them. And so, as somebody pointed out in that


report, they are experienced, tough negotiators, so I don't think it


will be quite as easy as some think. I spoke to one of those who drew up


Article 50 and they said to me they deliberately put this two year


timetable in to make it impossible for anybody to think about leaving.


This is really tight, this negotiation. Easy, it isn't.


This coming Thursday, voters up and down the country


will be going to the polls in this year's local elections.


Over the past few weeks I've interviewed representatives


of the Conservative Party, Labour, the Liberal Democrats,


Today it's the turn of Plaid Cymru and the SNP.


A little earlier I spoke Alex Salmond, who until 2014


I started by asking him why Scots should vote SNP in local elections


when the Scottish Government had just cut central Government funding


It's actually a funding increase going into Scottish councils this


year, and if you look at the funding position for example between


Scottish councils and those in England, which are obviously


directly related through the Barnett formula, the funding in Scotland has


been incomparably better than that in England so there's a whole range


of the -- of reasons... What's happening south of the border


indicates the protection the Scottish Parliament has been able to


put in that helps vital services in Scotland. But there hasn't been a


funding increase, the block grant from Westminster to Edinburgh was


increased by 1.5% in real terms but the grant to councils was cut by


2.6%. It was going to be a cut of 330 million, the Greens got you to


reduce it to 170 million but it is still a cut of 2.6%. Your own


Aberdeenshire Council has had a cut to 391 million. You have cut the


money to councils. Yes, but councils have available to them more


resources this year, and as you say the budget increased that further


which is why we put forward an excellent local government budget in


Aberdeenshire and resisted a Tory attempts to knock ?3 million off...


You asked me about Aberdeenshire, and Aberdeenshire has put forward a


budget for investment expansion and resisted a Tory attempts to knock ?3


million off the education budget, and I'm very grateful you have given


me the opportunity to make that point. The Government in Edinburgh


has cut the money to Aberdeenshire by ?11 million. It is a cut. But


there is an investment budget in Aberdeenshire that has been made


available by the ability to increase the council tax by 2.5% after a


nine-year freeze in Scotland, and that has brought more resources into


local government and that's why the butchered in Aberdeenshire has been


an investment budget including protection of the education budget


in the face of a Tory and liberal attempt to cut bit. You have to


compare what is happening in Scotland and England, and there's no


doubt Scottish local authorities have been much better funded than


those in England over the last few years and that's been the ability of


the Scottish Government to protect the services at local level. A good


reason for voting SNP. If they have been so well funded, why after a


decade of SNP rule do one in five Scottish pupils leave primary school


functionally illiterate? You have got to take these things... Nicola


Sturgeon has made it a top priority to address these challenges but


let's take another statistic. 93% of Scottish kids are now emerging from


school to positive destinations, that means to further education,


apprenticeships or work. Why are one in five functionally illiterate? You


argue one statistic, I'm arguing Scottish education is putting in


some substantially good performances like the 93% going on to positive


destinations. You can't have a failing education system if you have


got that 93%, and incidentally a record low youth unemployment in


Scotland without the second lowest unemployment rate in Europe. These


pupils are being prepared by the Scottish education system. Let's


take the figures in the round on education. It's so important. Under


your watch, under your government, the Scottish schools in the most


important global comparison have fallen from tenth to 19th in


science, and 11 to 24th in maths, that is a record of decline and


failure. That is by the OECD and first questions about that, but the


OECD has also described Scotland is one of the best educated societies


in the world. That was from the school system in previous years gone


by. For those who are currently in Scottish schools, you have fallen


from 11th to 24th in mathematics. The OECD was commenting on


introduction of the new curriculum for excellence in which they have


given a resounding thumbs up to it, and that's the same source as the


rankings which you are comparing. Nicola Sturgeon has said there are


challenges on Scottish education, particularly the access through the


education system and the attainment gap but don't tell me it's failing


when 55% of our pupils have gone on to higher education. That's one of


the most impressive figures in the world. Why have you cut 4000


teachers? The pupil numbers in Scotland have been falling over


recent years as well and now of course we are increasing the number


of people going through teachers training so we can make sure that


number increases, but listen, the Scottish Government and Scottish


Parliament, as you very well know, are subject to real terms spending


cuts over the last few years and all public services have been under


pressure. The main reason in terms of teacher numbers has been an


attempt on the Scottish Government to protect the teacher pupil ratio,


and that will now be enhanced by a further taker -- intake. You


promised you would reduce primary class sizes to 18 and instead they


are now 23.5 and rising. You broke that promise. You didn't mention


where we started from. We have kept the teacher pupil ratio very solid


in Scotland and that's been against a range of public expenditure cuts


but the new intake of teachers into the new teacher training in Scotland


I think will enhance the system. You have spent in the pasty in


Hollywood 43 hours on Government time debating independence. How many


hours have you debated education on Government time? I don't have that


they get a hand... The answer is zero, you have spent zero-hours


debating education on Government time. Isn't it time the SNP got back


to concentrating on the day job? Andrew, as you very well know Nicola


Sturgeon has identified a key priority, closing the attainment gap


in Scottish education. That is exactly what she has done. Let me


answer the question, it is difficult to be in a remote location, if you


talk before I answer the question then the view was will not be able


to listen. I let you answer that without saying a word. Is this


general election about independence, as you say it is, or not about


independence, as Mrs Sturgeon says it is? No, I have said exactly the


same as Nicola Sturgeon on that. The issue what independence will be


decided in a national referendum of the Scottish people. The mandate for


that referendum was gained in last year's Scottish elections. What this


election is about is backing the right of the Scottish parliament to


exercise that mandate and also providing real opposition to this


Tory Government and allowing the Scottish Parliament to reverse


austerity and some of the public expenditure cutbacks you have been


talking about, that is what this is about, backing our Scottish


Parliament. Alex Salmond, speaking


to me earlier. I'm now joined by the leader


of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood. You accuse the Government of wanting


an extreme Brexit, those are your words. What is the difference


between hard Brexit and extreme Brexit? My concern is the way in


which we leave the European Union could be very damaging to Wales if,


for example, there are tariffs introduced then that would have a


real impact in terms of Welsh jobs, and I want to make sure that we have


a Brexit that doesn't cause the damage to Wales that could be


caused. But what is the difference between extreme and hard? Anything


that puts Welsh jobs at risk is either extreme or hard and


unacceptable to Plaid Cymru, and we will do what we can to protect those


jobs. You want Wales to remain a member of the single market even if


the UK isn't, which would mean Wales having to accept the free movement


of people, still being under the jurisdiction of the European Court,


and you also want to stay in the customs union which means you could


not do your own free trade deals. What is the difference between that


and being a member of the European Union? We would be like Norway,


outside the European Union and inside the single market. The key


question is the issue of jobs and the ability to continue to trade.


Wales exports, we are the biggest exporter in the whole of the UK, so


there are many jobs reliant upon those goods being able to be sold to


the single market. Is it central to the UK? Out of the four countries


that make up the UK... Proportionally, yes. If you remain


in the single market, it is hard to see how Wales could stay in the


single market if the UK -- when the rest of the UK was not, you cite


Norway, that has free movement, it has to be said, it effectively have


to accept the jurisdiction of the European Court, it is not in the


customs union so it can do some of its own free trade deals, but the


Welsh people voted to leave. We have to accept the principle of free


movement if there is not going to be a hard border between the north and


south of Ireland. There is going to be free movement within Ireland and


therefore freedom of movement, as we said in the referendum campaign,


would be very, very difficult to rule out. You lost that campaign, as


you know, Wales voted to leave, 17 Council areas voted to leave, only


five voted to remain. Doesn't it explain why your party is going


nowhere? A majority in Wales voted to leave but you effectively want to


support that and de facto remain in the EU? I don't accept that, we


accepted the result but Plaid Cymru now is about defending Wales. There


are so many risks facing our people from the jobs perspective, the


privatisation perspective, the cuts perspective, and from the fact that


the Tories would like to grab power was back from our National Assembly,


so the key point... If you look at the Wales bill that went through


recently, the list of reserved powers there suggests there are some


powers currently within the Welsh Assembly jurisdiction that would be


dragged back. Which power was will Westminster take back? They could


take powers back over the NHS, for example. There is no indication they


want to do that. The Tories have attacked the Welsh NHS. That is my


point! Quite viciously. If they increase their mandate, I wouldn't


put it past them to try to take power was back over the NHS and then


of course we risk our NHS being privatised though this election is


all about defending Wales, protecting Welsh people from further


privatisation and cuts and a power grab from the Tories. Why is there


never a breakthrough for your party, Plaid Cymru? Labour dominated in


Wales for years, the Tories do quite well, Ukip had a surge for a while,


it looks like the Tories will have another surge, never you, always the


bridesmaid, never the bride. Wait until Thursday and I think you will


see that in many parts of Wales we will increase our representation at


a local council level. In the Rhondda, where I am assembly member,


we are looking to increase our representation... You are only 13%


in the polls will stop which is half of even the Tories in Wales! If you


don't breakthrough in the selection, if the real problem is going


nowhere, do you think you will pack it in? Robert Green not, I have a


job to do, a vision of Wales which is about building up our nation and


standing on our own two feet and my job is not done yet. Thank you for


being with us as part of your job, we will see how it goes on Thursday.


It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now


Coming up here in 20 minutes, the Week Ahead.


Hello, I'm Lucie Fisher, coming up on the Sunday Politics


Politicians standing in Thursday's local elections face


I'd like to know what you're going to do about social care.


And for the next 20 minutes, I'm joined by four candidates hoping


to be elected to Devon County Council.


The Conservative group leader and current leader


of the council John Hart, if his party loses more than seven


Lib Dem leader Alan Connett, one of ten Liberal Democrats.


Ukip group leader Robin Julian, currently one of four


And Labour's Rob Hannaford, the only one of Labour's seven Devon


county councillors not retiring at these elections.


OK. Rob, if we start with you before we go to questions. Let's get a


sense of what you think is the most important issue of this election. I


think it's the chronic underfunding of local government. Local


government have taken the brunt of austerity measures that haven't


worked. We've got to readdress that. Front line services are being cut


and reduced and we can't go forward in this way anymore. John, that


makes it difficult for you, doesn't it? You've got a Tory government is


making these cards and you as a Tory have got to put them forward? In


2009 when I took it control of this council I said the country had been


spending money it hadn't got for ten years. Local government was going to


get hurt. We've restructured and reorganised Devon County Council.


We've reduced spending by 267 million pounds. It has meant a 5%


hike, hasn't it? But the biggest problem in local government in my


view is the care cost. Social care. Looking after the old. The


vulnerable. That's very much what is going to be a very big Bill. A big


Bill for local government and for Devon. As a Lib Dem would you agree


that social care and is a key issue? It is at the top. As well as school


budget, fixing roads, these are the things people talk about today in,


day out. Robin, Ukip, are you hearing the same thing? Certainly.


We've had underfunding. We started We've had underfunding. We started


at a low ebb before cuts came in. The biggest problem we've got is


hospitals and community hospitals. And part holds. It is a nightmare.


it is panicking the people in our it is panicking the people in


We will come back to these issues. We will come back to these issues.


But first of all, Thursday's local elections are taking place in all


four counties and our reporters have been out listening to the voters.


These local elections across our four counties are your chance to


have your say about the issues that matter to you. Not least here in


Cornwall. Closing hospitals. Hospitals. Get some carers, get them


fully trained and pay them what they deserve. Funding for schools. Stop


building on every scrap of land available. Leave space for nature.


What about Devon? Exeter, here we come. It's probably best not to take


a megaphone in here. With cuts in funding the county council has had


to make savings. One way to do that to make savings. One way to do that


is give the responsibility of charities. We've been able to be


more flexible. We've had friends we wouldn't have been able to access.


You must consider building more You must consider building more


hospitals before building more houses. Pot holes another talking


point but another way the county council is saving money is by asking


volunteers to fail in small roles like this one. The council do the


big holes. We do them before they get big. It's the old story, a


stitch in time, saves nine. Over to you in Dorset. This is Dorset's


traditional Tory heartland. The traditional Tory heartland. The


Conservatives are the largest voice in local democracy. Austerity


budgets have seen the library service paid to the bone, and the


rural bus network decimated. But the letters dominate the backdrop to


this election. Elegy are. Local government reorganisation. The plans


to merge into unitary authorities may not seem much to shout about,


but it's a big issue here. There are too many councils. What matters to


you locally? Funding for schools. If plans for the new structure get


approval by the government it will mean new elections in two years'


time. People here will have to go to the polls all over again. So, what


about Somerset? People have been making their voices heard on key


issues be a children's services, rated inadequate, superfast


broadband or improvements to key roads in Somerset. The next voice we


hear really will be yours, at the ballot box next week.


So let's kick off the debate between these Devon councillors,


with our first question from a voter...


Hello, I'd like to know what you're going to do about social care. We


have a friend who was having trouble with her hip, and she's having great


difficulty getting any social care to give her a hand. OK, so as


predicted, one of our first questions about social care. John,


we come to you as leader of the council. What will you do about


this? We've already reorganising lot of these social care. We've brought


in islet work in Exeter, integrated care. We've got to work close with


our partners in health and a voluntary sector in order to improve


the opportunity for people. We put ?19 million into the budget this


year. By putting up council tax. By putting up council tax we raised ?10


million. We put ?19 million into the budget. Rob, is this enough? I think


we've done some good work. In terms of paying carers, for example, but


as John has said this was not enough. We should have had more


money to make this workable. What would you have done though? You


raise council tax to the maximum allowed to cope with social care,


why should people vote Labour? I supported the rising council tax to


support social care because that goes some way to help people. We


need to readdress this balance between central and local government


where they expect us to do a large number of services without adequate


funding. This is a pure example of this. We are not having a realistic


conversation in terms of integrated health and social care. The other


big issue is getting the carers to see as a valid profession. Better


training, seeing it as a vocation. Better paid? Better pay is also part


of it. But bad money is got to come from somewhere. What is more


important banking for people in their own homes. Allen, do you agree


with Rob? For us this is about the fact that people are frightened of


getting old. They are frightened of becoming unwell. Good work is


happening but there is an issue about recruiting, keeping and caring


staff. Carers do some incredibly personal tasks. And the issue is


about raising money. But we need and nationally, to fix a broken system.


In Devon I'd like to see a public enquiry bringing health and social


get-together. There is an epidemic of loneliness and we are not finding


a solution. Do you think John has a fair point, money is tight and be


doing the best they can? No. There is a lot of waste. More money could


be directed towards caring. The county are spending a lot of money,


some of which could be redirected. John, you are spending money that


could be redirected to social care? Allen is a spin doctor in the county


council. He talks about ?2.8 million, ?2 million is payment. We


have members of staff. We spent ?500,000 on communications which we


have to do for all sorts of things including getting more care workers.


So you refer to that suggestion? I referred to the suggestion that


there is a waste. I will say that we can, and will, we go through this


all the time, but the point is that ?2.8 million. I know I've got to


take ?30 million over 2018 budget. We will be reviewing everything we


spend money on. Robin, social care, is John making sense to you? We are


starting from a low ebb before we had these cuts. Eight years. John


has just said that in 2018 another ?30 million. You are looking at ?300


million being cut out of this county. We should not be giving more


money to central government. We should be asking them to leave


the money where it is so we can work on it.


I go round on the streets and the elderly are so worried that they


might lose their homes. might lose their homes.


Why should they vote Ukip? We are the local people in the party. Local


issues. That's what I've been fighting. It's


the United Kingdom Independence the United Kingdom Independence


party. Why would they vote you? We are independent of Ukip. I am an


independent person looking at local issues and working jolly hard. We've


hospital. Also with other parties hospital. Also with other parties


we've been fighting to keep out at hospital. It's vital we are...


John, can you do anything about the closure of cottage hospitals?


It's not the responsibility of local government. We supported a unanimous


vote at the council: two tell the EJB to look at what they are doing.


They need to put in place whatever they want to do before they start


It is time for a second question It is time for a second question


from the voters. We have a question from Ivybridge this time. What will


you do about the housing situation for young working families. We


managed to get onto the housing market but it was a struggle. It's a


bigger struggle for a lot of young families in Devon.


Alan, I know that Devon County Council doesn't have authority


over planning applications, but you do think about housing numbers. Is


this something that should be in your control? Should there be a


regional to make sure Devon County Council does have influence over


housing? Ie personally favour a change in the way local government


is set up. We have to deal with the reality now. If we are going to


create jobs for people, we need to create the housing that is available


and local. Here is the issue. So many of our council set out to


developments, 20, 25, 30%, but trade developments, 20, 25, 30%, but trade


it's not viable. I think the role it's not viable. I think the role


the county can play is to take an overview and look at the land it's


got. The buildings it got to make that available. Although John says


there is no waste, there is waste at County Hall, believe me. I've seen


it. I know it. We need to do a better job. All of this plays into a


much more positive and vibrant approach will get in Devon back on


its feet. John, what are you going to do about this? We are no longer


responsible for housing numbers as we used to be. Is that a shame?


Should you have responsibility? We put the housing into the devolution


bid. The issue we have at the moment is money, price, Carr house, land.


If the land is cheap, the price of how should become cheaper. It


doesn't work like that. doesn't work like that.


We have a cohort of developers who are building for the private sector.


There is a small demand for the public sector, we need more money


into the public sector... I have to move on, because, Rob, is


this something you would agree with? The devolution bid to be looking at


bringing housing into the remit of the county council?


I would be happy to do anything that would alleviate the housing crisis.


It's the biggest domestic political issue we've got and it's a scandal


that the government is not doing something about it.


We need a mass building programme. A lot of families we spoke to said


that affordable isn't affordable. Yes, affordable does not mean


affordable. We need social houses, better regulation and thousands of


people in Devon having secure tenancies and poor conditions. This


needs to be at the top of the agenda both locally and centrally.


Briefly, are you happy with the progress of the devolution bid, the


idea of more powerful unitary authority? We are not moving in


Devon to a unitary authority. What we are doing is bespoke bits of work


on issues such as transport, housing growth and economic growth. You


wouldn't like it to be a unitary authority? I don't support that. I


didn't last time and wouldn't this time. The issue is not the


structures, it's the funding coming into local government so that we can


do the job we need to do. Robin, is this fast enough for you? I feel


that when you get property perspective is going in for housing


they say they will build X amount of thousands of homes, 500 homes, then


they start backtracking. They backtrack. And in the end there's


very little social housing. I would like to see council houses back.


I think we should reverse the whole thing. Is that something that the


county council or to be able to... They should be looking at it. We


really should be starting to demand, people can't afford it.


They are still at home at 45. It's ridiculous. John, something that you


could deal with? There needs to be more involvement in social housing,


more pressure to find social housing. Low-cost housing is not low


cost, and it is a problem. It's a problem in a low-wage authority led


Devon. We have more questions. Third, final question. My concern is


pot holes. I got my car damaged, it they did pay for me to get it fixed


but I've noticed there are pot holes around on the road and they want to


know when this is going to be resolved?


Robin, you mentioned this at the start of the programme. What are you


won't do about pot holes? I'd like to see more money invested. Not have


the cut central government are imposing so we would have more


money. We are eight point 5000 miles of road, we are billions of pounds


short looking after the roads. People's cars are getting damaged.


Half ?1 million of the people that actually reported it, and even more


on doorstep to haven't even bothered.


Alan, is this ridiculous? People are claiming to mend their cars and Rob


Hannaford was being filled back in. Increasingly people have their cars


damaged. But even when the pot holes are fixed, it is shoddy. So what is


the solution? This comes down to the fact that the Conservatives have


taken a ride off the ball. We would have put more money into pot holes.


But where is the money coming from? John is quite right the council have


had to deal with a budget. But there is waste. I will show you an


example. This envelope sent to me by county Hall yesterday.


First class. This envelope with another envelope inside and only


five bits of paper for an event in May.


This is a simple one or ?2, but there are thousands going out at


County Hall which wasted. We can put about money where it is really


needed. John, if you stopped sending out


things like this mail you could fix the pot holes. We put our own money


into the pot holes. We got ?3.1 million from the government fought


pot holes. And patching. That's on top of the standard budget. It's


still not enough. I was going to ask Rob here is it enough and is


volunteer is the answer? I'm not sure that volunteers are the answer.


At a time of our study the best thing any government can do is


invest in infrastructure such as roads and pavements. The issue we


also have here is the directive which covers these issues is in


competition with the people side of it which is demand led. Vulnerable


children and elderly people are always competing against pot holes.


You will put money in? From where? Pot holes is the number-1 issue in


our postbag but that doesn't mean we can't child protection issues. We


should have managers inspecting these holes when they finished and


they should have look at them. That would cost money. We have two move


on. It's not being done properly! There are a full list of candidates


on the elections on Council websites.


In Devon they include representatives of the East Devon


Independent Alliance, the Liberal Party, 18


Independents and 43 candidates representing the Green Party.


party because they will hold the party because they will hold the


Tories to account on the worst excesses of austerity. People quite


often say that we can't afford these policies. But often there is a


question of priorities. What Green councillors will do is not be afraid


to ask the awkward questions and challenge the Tories on their


priorities. Now our regular round-up


of the political week Devon's Conservative MPs write to


the PM asking her to put more money into the county's schools in the


manifesto. Meanwhile Devon's Lib Dem councillors called for a local


public enquiry into the state of the NHS. Callers submits its bid to


become the UK's first spaceport. It happens in other countries, in


America and Russia. We are confident that it could happen right year. Why


the government has asked to save the county's post opposites. Can I ask


the Minister to take account of rural post office services in places


like Cornwall to make sure people get the they want. And the Seagull


menace to bring new twist this week as one bird bit off more than he


could chew in stealing some false teeth in Torquay. All the fun things


happening Torquay! School funding, Rob, if I come to you first. Devon's


served MPs have asked the PM to put more money for the county's schools


in the manifesto, is that fair? I think the question that needs to be


asked is at the moment, all of the region's MPs are conservatives.


Apart from one. If we lose that and more are elected naturally the


attraction to get fit funding could be last in a huge majority.


In terms of school funding the consulting needs to stop. We know


our schools are dreadfully underfunded.


We need action. Alan, what do you make of the politics? The politics


is quite cynical. The government has been underfunded for years. Add to


that the Conservatives putting a further 2.2 million in. They have a


big down on education in Devon and we need to put that right. John,


this is cynical of the Tories, can they say we need more funding? I was


one of the founders of the group complaining about underfunding.


Devon did get ?160 million extra for schools. I'm delighted BMPs are


fighting with us this time instead of sitting on the fans.


OK. Thank you all very much, sorry Robin to cut you off there.


That's the Sunday Politics in the South West.


Now back to Andrew with the Week Ahead.


we will take the mandate that we want. To all three of you, thank


you. Andrew, back to you. So, how will Thursday's local


election results affect Who's winning the


election ground war? And as he celebrates 100


days in the White House, We have the local elections, Metro


elections in Liverpool, greater Birmingham, West Midlands, how will


they play into the general election? Significantly, it is very unusual.


People keep comparing this with the election in 83, not! Margaret


Thatcher was nervous and to wait until after the local elections to


call the election to see the result. We are getting these result in the


middle of an election campaign so it will be important, whoever does


badly will suffer a dent in confidence in terms of how they


approach the election and we are also going to have mayoral figures


as a reminder of another big difference with the 80s that however


big, say, the Conservatives win in Westminster, there are now sectors


of power in other parts of the United Kingdom which were not there


in the 80s. One of the reasons niches that are rated in 83 was


memories were still alive in political circles of 1970, Wilson


saw the local election results and thought, I can win, he was told he


would win by the Economist magazine, who had done the analysis, and of


course he lost, so that is why she waited, Mrs May does not need to


wait for that at all now, and on the Metro elections, the one she will be


looking at is the West Midlands, that is the one that is a


competition. I think she can really lose on Thursday in the local


elections, governing parties are supposed to take effect again,


losing lots of council seats. She is projected to put on 100 or so seats,


Labour projected to lose around 200, the first time the main opposition


party has shed seats since something like 83 so clearly the local


elections give Mrs May great momentum going into the general


election campaign but there is a downside in that, which is what we


have already heard fighting about this morning, if it looks like it is


going too well for the Tories, it says to voters, why bother turning


up? Sushi comes up with totally unbelievable sound bites this


morning that this is the most important general election in her


lifetime. Really?! For her it is! It always is until the next one! I


wonder if voter turnout is a problem? Tory voters are more likely


to vote than Labour voters. If there is a sense that it is all over bar


the shouting, the overall turnout will be low that Tory voters are


still likely to turn out more than Labour voters so she would still win


some. I don't think she needs to be too worried, I think there will be a


significantly low turnout, even I am finding it hard to be that excited


about this general election. Really, the policies, we have spent a lot of


time talking about them today and we have to examine them, but all this


is about is, do you want Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn in Number Ten?


Those are the only question is, apart from possibly how strong do


you feel about Brexit, that will be on the voters' minds. You may say


that but I will not be put off from going through a list of policies


that we have already had in the last 24 hours. On the Conservatives, more


powers to stop company bosses under pensions, of course Philip Green was


in mind there. Labour has come up with quite a few policies, actually,


give all work of equal rights, whether part-time or full-time,


temporary or permanent. Ukip, scrap VAT or takeaway -- on takeaway food


and end the BBC licence fee. The Liberal Democrats have come out


posed to the runway at Heathrow. I thought I knew that already? Will


any of these policies make a difference? They are all nice handy


things that people quite liked but probably not, is the answer. They


are an awful way away from polling day now for people to remember and


latch onto. I don't think you make your mind up on small issues like


Heathrow, unless you live in Richmond-upon-Thames, maybe, but the


problem Labour have got with unfailing a lot of these retail type


policies which, in themselves, are very popular, is no one will listen


to them until they get over the leadership credibility issue. Jeremy


Corbyn could the world on a stick, but if no one believes he can


deliver it then he will not be listened to and he has not done much


apart from a speech yesterday in which is claim to fame was getting


arrested, I don't see how that would work for him getting to Number Ten.


They are not making progress on it. Labour has rolled out a number of


policies which, taken individually, would have certain traction in


normal times, quite interesting ideas, this sense of unfairness, a


feeling that ordinary workers have not done well out of the recovery,


those who caused the crash have, 20 points, I went through some of them


earlier, putting aside they are not costed, we are assured they will be.


The problem I suggest is not the costing but the cut through? Every


election has a context which is determined by opinion polls, however


sceptical we are these days, and if one party is way ahead it is


difficult for the other party to appear relevant, because if people


assume they are not going to win, even some of its own MPs are saying,


we are not going to win this, so you can vote for us, it is very hard to


get attention and relevance. Where I think all the parties are bad with


their current leaders is framing arguments, so those policies you


have highlighted makes sense. The best leaders are brilliant framers


of an argument and neither Theresa Maynor Jeremy Corbyn R. They have


been campaigning, their manifestos are not out yet, both sides have


been telling us we have to wait for costings, but it has not stopped


them campaigning. Let's remind you of where they have been and what


they have been doing so far. Let's start with Jeremy Corbyn, his


first official visit was in the ultra-marginal Conservative seat of


Croydon Central where the MP Gavin Barwell has a lead of just 165. That


is not the only Conservative seat he has visited, along the way he popped


in on Bristol North West, a Conservative majority of nearly


5000. The Tory seat of Cardiff North, a lead of just over 2000,


Warrington South, just over 2700, and Crewe and Nantwich, Tory


majority of three and a half thousand. Yesterday he visited


Bethnal greed and Bob, a Labour lead of 20 4000. Theresa May kicked off


her campaign in Bolton, Labour majority of over 4000. On her way


round the UK she had a comfy stop in her own maidenhead seat, where she


is defending a majority of nearly 30,000, before travelling to other


Labour marginals including Dudley North, a Labour lead of 4000.


Bridgend, a lead of just under 2004 Labour, before becoming ambitious


and visiting shadow minister Richard Bergen's Leeds East seat, which he


won by over 12,500 votes. Yesterday she went north of the border to


Aberdeenshire, where amongst other places she visited the SNP seat of


West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, where the Tories would have to gain


over 7000 votes to unseat the NP. What do you make of it all so far?


It is remarkable she is doing these visits in Scotland. Past but even


five years and the idea of a Tory Prime Minister going round Scotland


would be utterly counter-productive, and actually they are ambitious for


Scotland now under with Davidson, a prospect of multiple seats, and that


would be a real genuine shift in Scottish politics, the likes of


which we have not seen for 15 or 20 years. If she gets that, that helps


towards 100 seats, because if she wins ten in Scotland, it is


effectively 20, the SNP lose ten, she gains ten, she wants to do that


in the Midlands with Labour, and the North. To get the 100 majority,


other than Scotland, she has to win Labour seats, that is all that is


there. And clearly she has been told, it is obvious, that she has a


chance of doing so, otherwise you don't go to these parts of the


country in the first few days of the campaign. All logic points to her


being able to pull it off as well. The opinion polls, the state of the


Labour Party. The only qualification I have in this is that politics is


so wild and free Braille at the moment, it doesn't feel like


landslide to rain. That is true, it doesn't. It is early days, we


haven't yet had the manifestos, the campaign is yet to gather momentum.


It doesn't feel like landslide territory. I disagree, look at every


single poll, the Tory lead is 10% in Wales, you can see her picking up 20


seat there. Put this together, I am told by the way she is going into


traditional Labour heartland again tomorrow, the key is the Ukip vote.


That will implode... Crumble towards Tories? If she can hoover that up


and retain the Tory vote, she will have a majority of 150.


I cannot let you go without reminding you that it is Donald


Trump's 100 days. He's not making a lot of it now, this is what he said


last night. We are just beginning in our fight


to make America great again. Now, before we talk about my first


100 days, which has been very exciting and very productive,


let's rate the media's 100 days. Because, as you know,


they are a disgrace. There you go, still bashing the


media, that was at a rally in Virginia, the 100 days was last


night. He seems happier campaigning than running the country. You each


have 20 seconds to give me your board on the first 100 days.


Remarkable, he will not stop slagging off the media but America


first has not meant America first in terms of national policy, he has


reneges on what he said about Nato being obsolete. He is moving from


the old right to the centre because that is where you get things done,


he is a pragmatist, also is about's friend Nigel Parrott is no longer


welcome, we read this morning! Allegedly! He loves campaigning but


finds governing much more difficult. Who would have thought being


president of the United States was a difficult job?! He loves rallies but


being president and politics is a very difficult thing indeed. Thank


you, there we go, Mr Trump's 100 days, we will see what the next 100


brings. The Daily Politics is back


on BBC Two after the bank holiday on Tuesday at midday,


with all the latest And I'll be back here


on BBC One next Sunday Remember - if it's Sunday,


it's the Sunday Politics.


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