21/05/2017 Sunday Politics South West


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


Labour attacks Conservative plans for social care and to means-test


So can Jeremy Corbyn eat into the Tory lead


Theresa May says her party's manifesto is all about fairness.


We'll be speaking to a Conservative cabinet minister about the plans.


The polls have always shown healthy leads for the Conservatives.


In the South West: is Labour narrowing the gap?


The manifestos may be out, but the wait for a storm-proof


alternative to the region's main rail link continues.


And with me - as always - the best and the brightest political


panel in the business: Sam Coates, Isabel Oakeshott


and Steve Richards - they'll be tweeting throughout


the programme, and you can get involved by using


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says pensioners will be up to ?330 a year


worse off under plans outlined in the Conservative manifesto.


The Work Pensions Secretary Damian Green has said his party will not


rethink their plans to fund social care in England. Under the plans in


the Conservative manifesto, nobody with assets of less than ?100,000,


would have to pay for care. Labour has attacked the proposal, and John


McDonnell, Labour's Shadow Chancellor, said this morning that


there needs to be more cross-party consensus.


That's why we supported Dilnot, but we also supported


Because we've got to have something sustainable over generations,


so that's why we've said to the Conservative Party,


Let's go back to that cross-party approach that actually


I just feel we've all been let down by what's come


Sam, is Labour beginning to get their argument across? What we had


last week was bluntly what felt like not very Lynton Crosby approved


Conservative manifesto. What I mean by that is that it looks like there


are things that will cause political difficulties for the party over this


campaign. I've been talking to MPs and ministers who acknowledge that


the social care plan is coming up on the doorstep. It has cut through


very quickly, and it is worrying and deterring some voters. Not just


pensioners, that people who are looking to inherit in the future.


They are all asking how much they could lose that they wouldn't have


lost before. A difficult question for the party to answer, given that


they don't want to give too much away now. Was this a mistake, or a


sign of the Conservatives' confidence? It has the hallmarks of


something that has been cobbled together in a very unnaturally short


time frame for putting a manifesto together. We have had mixed messages


from the Tory MPs who have been out on the airwaves this morning as to


whether they will consult on it whether it is just a starting point.


That said, there is still three weeks to go, and most of the Tory


party this morning feel this is a little light turbulence rather than


anything that leaves the destination of victory in doubt. It it flips the


normal politics. The Tories are going to make people who have a


reasonable amount of assets pay for their social care. What is wrong


with that? First, total credit for them for not pretending that all


this can be done by magic, which is what normally happens in an


election. The party will say, we will review this for the 95th time


in the following Parliament, so they have no mandate to do anything and


so do not do anything. It is courageous to do it. It is


electorally risky, for the reasons that you suggest, that they pass the


target their own natural supporter. And there is a sense that this is


rushed through, in the frenzy to get it done in time. I think the ending


of the pooling of risk and putting the entire burden on in inverted


commas the victim, because you cannot insure Fritz, is against the


spirit of a lot of the rest of the manifesto, and will give them huge


problems if they try to implement it in the next Parliament. Let's have a


look at the polls. Nearly five weeks ago, on Tuesday the 18th of April,


Theresa May called the election. At that point, this was the median


average of the recent polls. The Conservatives had an 18 point lead


over Labour on 25%. Ukip and the Liberal Democrats were both on 18%.


A draft of Labour's manifesto was leaked to the press. In the


intervening weeks, support for the Conservatives and Labour had


increased, that it had decreased for the Lib Dems and Ukip. Last Tuesday


came the launch of the official Labour manifesto. By that time,


Labour support had gone up by another 2%. The Lib Dems and Ukip


had slipped back slightly. Later in the week came the manifestos from


the Lib Dems and the Conservatives. This morning, for more polls. This


is how the parties currently stand on average. Labour are now on 34%,


up 4% since the launch of their manifesto. The Conservatives are


down two points since last Tuesday. Ukip and the Lib Dems are both


unchanged on 8% and 5%. You can find this poll tracker on the BBC


website, see how it was calculated, and see the results of national


polls over the last two years. So Isabel, is this the Tories' wobbly


weekend or the start of the narrowing? This is still an


extremely healthy lead for the Tories. At the start of this


campaign, most commentators expected to things to happen. First, the Lib


Dems would have a significant surge. That hasn't happened. Second, Labour


would crash and plummet. Instead they are in the health of the low


30s. I wonder if that tells you something about the tribal nature of


the Labour vote, and the continuing problems with the Tory brand. I


would say that a lot of Tory MPs wouldn't be too unhappy if Labour's


result isn't quite as bad as has been anticipated. They don't want


Corbyn to go anywhere. If the latest polls were to be the result on June


the 8th, Mr Corbyn may not be in a rush to go anywhere. I still think


it depends on the number of seats. If there is a landslide win, I


think, one way or another, he will not stay. If it is much narrower, he


has grounds for arguing he has done better than anticipated. The polls


are very interesting. People compare this with 83. In 83, the Tory lead


widened consistently throughout the campaign. There was the SDP -


Liberal Alliance doing well in the polls. Here, the Lib Dems don't seem


to be doing that. So the parallels with 83 don't really stack up. But


let's see what happens. Still early days for the a lot of people are


saying this is the result of the social care policy. We don't really


know that. How do you beat them? In the last week or so, there's been


the decision by some to hold their nose and vote Labour, who haven't


done so before. Probably the biggest thing in this election is how the


Right has reunited behind Theresa May. That figure for Ukip is


incredibly small. She has brought those Ukip voters behind her, and


that could be the decisive factor in many seats, rather than the Labour


share of the boat picking up a bit or down a bit, depending on how


turbulent the Tory manifesto makes it. Thank you for that.


We've finally got our hands on the manifestos of the two main


parties and, for once, voters can hardly complain that


So, just how big is the choice on offer to the public?


Since the Liberal Democrats and SNP have ruled out


coalitions after June 8th, Adam Fleming compares the Labour


Welcome to the BBC's election centre.


Four minutes from now, when Big Ben strikes 10.00,


we can legally reveal the contents of this, our exit poll.


18 days to go, and the BBC's election night studio


This is where David Dimbleby will sit, although there is no chair yet.


The parties' policies are now the finished product.


In Bradford, Jeremy Corbyn vowed a bigger state,


the end of austerity, no more tuition fees.


The Tory campaign, by contrast, is built on one word - fear.


Down the road in Halifax, Theresa May kept a promise to get


immigration down to the tens of thousands, and talked


of leadership and tough choices in uncertain times.


Strengthen my hand as I fight for Britain, and stand with me


And, with confidence in ourselves and a unity


of purpose in our country, let us go forward together.


Let's look at the Labour and Conservative


On tax, Labour would introduce a 50p rate for top earners.


The Conservatives ditched their triple lock, giving them


freedom to put up income tax and national insurance,


although they want to keep the overall tax burden the same.


Labour offered a major overhaul of the country's wiring,


with a pledge to renationalise infrastructure, like power,


The Conservatives said that would cost a fortune,


but provided few details for the cost of their policies.


Labour have simply become a shambles, and, as yesterday's


manifesto showed, their numbers simply do not add up.


What have they got planned for health and social care?


The Conservatives offered more cash for the NHS,


reaching an extra ?8 billion a year by the end of the parliament.


Labour promised an extra ?30 billion over the course of the same period,


plus free hospital parking and more pay for staff.


The Conservatives would increase the value of assets you could


protect from the cost of social care to ?100,000, but your home would be


added to the assessment of your wealth,


There was a focus on one group of voters in particular


Labour would keep the triple lock, which guarantees that pensions go up


The Tories would keep the increase in line


with inflation or earnings, a double lock.


The Conservatives would end of winter fuel payments


for the richest, although we don't know exactly who that would be,


This is a savage attack on vulnerable pensioners,


particularly those who are just about managing.


It is disgraceful, and we are calling upon the Conservative Party


When it comes to leaving the European Union, Labour say


they'd sweep away the government's negotiating strategy,


secure a better deal and straightaway guaranteed the rights


The Tories say a big majority would remove political uncertainty


Jeremy Vine's due here in two and a half weeks.


I'm joined now by David Gauke, who is Chief Secretary to the Treasury.


Welcome back to the programme. The Tories once promised a cap on social


care costs. Why have you abandoned that? We've looked at it, and there


are couple of proposals with the Dilnot proposal. Much of the benefit


would go to those inheriting larger estates. The second point was it was


hoped that a cap would stimulate the larger insurance products that would


fill the gap, but there is no sign that those products are emerging.


Without a cap, you will not get one. We have come forward with a new


proposal which we think is fairer, provide more money for social care,


which is very important and is one of the big issues we face as a


country. It is right that we face those big issues. Social care is


one, getting a good Brexit deal is another. This demonstrates that


Theresa May has an ambition to lead a government that addresses those


big long-term issues. Looking at social care. If you have assets,


including your home, of over ?100,000, you have to pay for all


your social care costs. Is that fair? It is right that for the


services that are provided to you, that that is paid out of your


assets, subject to two really important qualifications. First, you


shouldn't have your entire estate wiped out. At the moment, if you are


in residential care, it can be wiped out ?223,000. If you are in


domiciliary care, it can be out to ?23,000, plus you're domiciliary.


Nobody should be forced to sell their house in their lifetime if


they or their spouse needs long-term care. Again, we have protected that


in the proposals we set out. But the state will basically take a


chunk of your house when you die and they sell. In an essence it is a


stealth inheritance tax on everything above ?100,000. But we


have those two important protections. I am including that. It


is a stealth inheritance tax. We have to face up to the fact that


there are significant costs that we face as a country in terms of health


and social careful. Traditionally, politicians don't address those


issues, particularly during election campaigns. I think it is too Theresa


May's credit that we are being straightforward with the British


people and saying that we face this long-term challenge. Our manifesto


was about the big challenges that we face, one of which was


intergenerational fairness and one of which was delivering a strong


economy and making sure that we can do that. But in the end, someone is


going to have to pay for this. It is going to have to be a balance


between the general taxpayer and those receiving the services. We


think we have struck the right balance with this proposal. But it


is entirely on the individual. People watching this programme, if


they have a fair amount of assets, not massive, including the home,


they will need to pay for everything themselves until their assets are


reduced to ?100,000. It is not a balance, you're putting everything


on the original two individual. At the moment, for those in residential


care, they have to pay everything until 20 3000. -- everything on the


individual. But now they will face more. Those in individual care are


seeing their protection going up by four times as much, so that is


eliminating unfairness. Why should those in residential care be in a


worse position than those receiving domiciliary care? But as I say, that


money has to come from somewhere and we are sitting at a proper plan for


it. While also made the point that we are more likely to be able to


have a properly functioning social care market if we have a strong


economy, and to have a strong economy we need to deliver a good


deal on Brexit and I think Theresa May is capable of doing that. You


have said that before. But if you have a heart attack in old age, the


NHS will take care of you. If you have dementia, you now have to pay


for the care of yourself. Is that they are? It is already the case


that if you have long-term care costs come up as I say, if you are


in residential care you pay for all of it until the last ?23,000, but if


you are in domiciliary care, excluding your housing assets, but


all of your other assets get used up until you are down to ?23,000 a


year. And I think it is right at this point that a party that aspires


to run this country for the long-term, to address the long-term


challenges we have is a country, for us to be clear that we need to


deliver this. Because if it is not paid for it this way, if it goes and


falls on the general taxpayer, the people who feel hard pressed by the


amount of income tax and VAT they pay, frankly we have to say to them,


those taxes will go up if we do not address it. But they might go up


anyway. The average house price in your part of the country is just shy


of ?430,000, so if you told your own constituents that they might have to


spend ?300,000 of their assets on social care before the state steps


in to help...? As I said earlier, nobody will be forced to pay during


their lifetime. Nobody will be forced to sell their houses. We are


providing that protection because of the third premium. Which makes it a


kind of death tax, doesn't it? Which is what you use to rail against.


What it is people paying for the services they have paid out of their


assets. But with that very important protection that nobody is going to


be wiped out in the way that has happened up until now, down to the


last three years. But when Labour propose this, George Osborne called


it a death tax and you are now proposing a stealth death tax


inheritance tax. Labour's proposals were very different. It is the same


effect. Labour's were hitting everyone with an inheritance tax. We


are saying that there are -- that there is a state contribution but


the public receiving the services will have to pay for it out of


assets, which have grown substantially. And which they might


now lose to social care. But I would say that people in Hertfordshire pay


a lot in income tracks, national insurance and VAT, and this is my


bet is going to have to come from somewhere. Well, they are now going


to pay a lot of tax and pay for social care. Turning to immigration,


you promised to get net migration down to 100,020 ten. You failed. You


promised again in 2015 and you are feeling again. Why should voters


trust you a third time? It is very clear that only the Conservative


Party has an ambition to control immigration and to bring it down. An


ambition you have failed to deliver. There are, of course, factors that


come into play. For example a couple of years ago we were going through a


period when the UK was creating huge numbers of jobs but none of our


European neighbours were doing anything like it. Not surprisingly,


that feeds through into the immigration numbers that we see. But


it is right that we have that ambition because I do not believe it


is sustainable to have hundreds of thousands net migration, you're


after year after year, and only Theresa May of the Conservative


Party is willing to address that. It has gone from being a target to an


ambition, and I am pretty sure in a couple of years it will become an


untimed aspiration. Is net migration now higher or lower than when you


came to power in 2010? I think it is higher at the moment. Let's look at


the figures. And there they are. You are right, it is higher, so after


six years in power, promising to get it down to 100,000, it is higher. So


if that is an ambition and you have not succeeded. We have to accept


that there are a number of factors. It continues to be the case that the


UK economy is growing and creating a lot of jobs, which is undoubtedly


drawing people. But you made the promise on the basis that would not


happen? We are certainly outperforming other countries in a


way that we could not have predicted in 2010. That is one of the factors.


But if you look at a lot of the steps that we have taken over the


course of the last seven years, dealing with bogus students, for


example, tightening up a lot of the rules. You can say all that but it


has made no difference to the headline figure. Clearly it would


have gone up by much more and we not taken the steps. But as I say, we


cannot for ever, it seems to me, have net migration numbers in the


hundreds of thousands. If we get that good Brexit deal, one of the


things we can do is tighten up in terms of access here. You say that


but you have always had control of non-EU migration. You cannot blame


the EU for that. You control immigration from outside the EU.


Have you ever managed to get even that below 100,000? Well, no doubt


you will present the numbers now. You haven't. You have got down a bit


from 2010, I will give you that, but even non-EU migration is still a lot


more than 100000 and that is the thing you control. It is 164,000 on


the latest figures. There is no point in saying to the voters that


when we get control of the EU migration you will get it down when


the bit you have control over, you have failed to get that down into


the tens of thousands. The general trend has gone up. Non-EU migration


we have brought down over the last few years. Not by much, not by


anywhere near your 100,000 target. But we clearly have more tools


available to us, following Brexit. At this rate it will be around 2030


before you get non-EU migration down to 100,000. We clearly have more


tools available to us and I return to the point I made. In the last six


or seven years, particularly the last four or five, we have seen the


UK jobs market growing substantially. It is extraordinary


how many more jobs we have. So you'll only promised the migration


target because you did not think you were going to run the economy well?


That is what you are telling me. I don't think anyone expected us to


create quite a number of jobs that we have done over the last six or


seven years. At the time when other European countries have not been.


George Osborne says your target is economically illiterate. I disagree


with George on that. He is my old boss but I disagree with him on that


point. And the reason I say that is looking at the economics and the


wider social impact, I don't think it is sustainable for us to have


hundreds of thousands, year after year after year. Let me ask you one


other thing because you are the chief secretary. Your promising that


spending on health will be ?8 billion higher in five use time than


it is now. How do you pay for that? From a strong economy, two years ago


we had a similar conversation because at that point we said that


we would increase spending by ?8 billion. And we are more than on


track to deliver it, because it is a priority area for us. Where will the


money come from? It will be a priority area for us. We will find


the money. So you have not been able to show us a revenue line where this


?8 billion will come from. We have a record of making promises to spend


more on the NHS and delivering. One thing I would say is that the only


way you can spend more money on the NHS is if you have a strong economy,


and the biggest risk... But that is true of anything. I am trying to


find out where the ?8 billion come from, where will it come from? Know


you were saying that perhaps you might increase taxes, ticking off


the lock, so people are right to be suspicious. But you will not tell us


where the ?8 billion will come from. Andrew, a strong economy is key to


delivering more NHS money. That does not tell us where the money is


coming from. The biggest risk to a strong economy would be a bad


Brexit, which Jeremy Corbyn would deliver. And we have a record of


putting more money into the NHS. I think that past performance we can


take forward. Thank you for joining us.


So, the Conservatives have been taking a bit of flak


But Conservative big guns have been out and about this morning taking


Here's Boris Johnson on ITV's Peston programme earlier today:


What we're trying to do is to address what I think


everybody, all serious demographers acknowledge will be the massive


problem of the cost of social care long-term.


This is a responsible, grown-up, conservative approach,


trying to deal with a long-term problem in a way that is equitable,


allows people to pass on a very substantial sum,


still, to their kids, and takes away the fear


Joining me now from Liverpool is Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary


Petered out, welcome to the programme. Let's start with social


care. The Tories are saying that if you have ?100,000 or more in assets,


you should pay for your own social care. What is wrong with that? Well,


I think the issue at the end of the day is the question of fairness. Is


it fair? And what we're trying to do is to get to a situation where we


have, for example, the Dilnot report, which identified that you


actually have cap on your spending on social care. We are trying to get


to a position where it is a reasonable and fair approach to


expenditure. But you will know that a lot of people, particularly in the


south of country, London and the south-east, and the adjacent areas


around it, they have benefited from huge house price inflation. They


have seen their homes go up in value, if and when they sell, they


are not taxed on that increase. Why should these people not pay for


their own social care if they have the assets to do so? They will be


paying for some of their social care but you cannot take social care and


health care separately. It has to be an integrated approach. So for


example if you do have dementia, you're more likely to be in an


elderly person's home for longer and you most probably have been in care


for a longer period of time. On the other hand, you might have, if you


have had a stroke, there may be continuing care needs paid for by


the NHS. So at the end of the date it is trying to get a reasonable


balance and just to pluck a figure of ?100,000 out of thin air is not


sensible. You will have heard me say about David Gold that the house


prices in his area, about 450,000 or so, not quite that, and that people


may have to spend quite a lot of that on social care to get down to


?100,000. But in your area, the average house price is only


?149,000, so your people would not have to pay anything like as much


before they hit the ?100,000 minimum. I hesitate to say that but


is that not almost a socialist approach to social care that if you


are in the affluent Home Counties with a big asset, you pay more, and


if you are in an area that is not so affluent and your house is not worth


very much, you pay a lot less. What is wrong with that principle? I


think the problem I am trying to get to is this issue about equity across


the piece. At the end of the day, what we want is a system whereby it


is capped at a particular level, and the Dilnot report, after much


examination, said we should have a cap on care costs at ?72,000. The


Conservatives decided to ditch that and come up with another policy


which by all accounts seems to be even more Draconian. At the end of


the day it is trying to get social care and an NHS care in a much more


fluid way. We had offered the Conservatives to have a bipartisan


approach to this. David just said that this is a long term. You do not


pick a figure out of thin air and use that as a long-term strategy.


The Conservatives are now saying they will increase health spending


over the next five years in real terms. You will increase health


spending. In what way is your approach to health spending better


than the Tories' now? We are contributing an extra 7.2 billion to


the NHS and social care over the next few years. But you just don't


put money into the NHS or social care. It has to be an integrated


approach to social and health care. What we've got is just more of the


same. What we don't want to do is just say, we ring-fenced an out for


here or there. What you have to do is try to get that... Let me ask you


again. In terms of the amount of resource that is going to be devoted


in the next five years, and resource does matter for the NHS, in what way


are your plans different now from the Conservative plans? The key is


how you use that resource. By just putting money in, you've got to say,


if we are going to put that money on, how do we use it? As somebody


who has worked in social care for 40 years, you have to have a different


approach to how you use that money. The money we are putting in, 7.7,


may be similar in cash terms to what the Tories claim they are putting


in, but it's not how much you put in per se, it is how you use it. You


are going to get rid of car parking charges in hospital, and you are


going to increase pay by taking the cap on pay off. So it doesn't


necessarily follow that the money, under your way of doing it, will


follow the front line. What you need in the NHS is a system that is


capable of dealing with the patience you have. What we have now is on at


five Asian of the NHS. Staff leaving, not being paid properly. So


pay and the NHS go hand in hand. Let's move onto another area of


policy where there is some confusion. Who speaks for the Labour


Party on nuclear weapons? Is it Emily Thornbury, or Nia Griffith,


defence spokesperson? The Labour manifesto. It is clear. We are


committed to the nuclear deterrent, and that is the definitive... Is it?


Emily Thornbury said that Trident could be scrapped in the defence


review you would have immediately after taking power. On LBC on Friday


night. She didn't, actually. I listened to that. What she actually


said is, as part of a Labour government coming in, a new


government, there is always a defence review. But not the concept


of Trident in its substance. She said there would be a review in


terms of, and this is in our manifesto. When you reduce


something, you review how it is operated. The review could scrap


Trident. It won't scrap Trident. The review is in the context of how you


protect it from cyber attacks. This will issue was seized upon that she


was saying that we would have another review of Trident or Labour


would ditch it. That is nonsense. You will have seen some reports that


MI5 opened a file on Jeremy Corbyn in the early 90s because of his


links to Irish republicanism. This has caused some people, his links to


the IRA and Sinn Fein, it has caused some concern. Could you just listen


to this clip and react. Do you condemn what the IRA did? I condemn


all bombing. But do you condemn what the IRA did? I condemn what was done


with the British Army as well as both sides as well. What happened in


Derry in 1972 was pretty devastating as well. Do you distinguish between


state forces, what the British Army did and the IRA? Well, in a sense,


the treatment of IRA prisoners which made them into virtual political


prisoners suggested that the British government and the state saw some


kind of almost equivalent in it. My point is that the whole violence if


you was terrible, was appalling, and came out of a process that had been


allowed to fester in Northern Ireland for a very long time. That


was from about two years ago. Can you explain why the Leader of the


Labour Party, Her Majesty 's opposition, the man who would be our


next Prime Minister, finds it so hard to condemn IRA arming? I think


it has to be within the context that Jeremy Corbyn for many years trying


to move the peace protest... Process along. So why wouldn't you condemn


IRA bombing? Again, that was an issue, a traumatic event in Irish -


British relations that went on for 30 years. It is a complicated


matter. Bombing is not that complicated. If you are a man of


peace, surely you would condemn the bomb and the bullet? Let me say


this, I condemn the bomb and the bullet. Why can't your leader? You


would have to ask Jeremy Corbyn, but that is in the context of what he


was trying to do over a 25 year period to move the priest process


along. Thank you for joining us. It's just gone 11.35,


you're watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers


in Scotland and Wales. Coming up on the Sunday Politics


here in the South West: The manifestos may be out,


but the wait for a storm-proof alternative to the region's main


rail link continues. I'm joined by the Ukip candidate


for North Devon, Steve Crowther, and the Green candidate for the


Totnes constituency, Jacqui Hodgson. Welcome, both of you,


to the programme. Let's start with the legal


challenges which are being launched against plans to halve the number


of in-patient beds in community It's the latest local manifestation


of widespread concern at the huge This is a massive issue so I'm


looking for an overview of your proposals. Neither of you have


manifestos out yet. We have a Green guaranteed coming out tomorrow. And


you have some bullet points and you say you will close the spending gap


which gives access to GPs and hospital treatment. We believe in


bringing back NHS completely into public ownership. The privatisation


by stealth since the 1970s has been chipping away and challenging the


and it is not always obvious that we and it is not always obvious that we


would like to close that, take away that private element and we would do


it by looking at some of the spending in other areas, for example


we wouldn't be looking at spending ?100 billion on renewal of Trident.


Hood tax which it is estimated could Hood tax which it is estimated could


bring money back into the NHS, 0.5% of high financial transactions.


Steve, remembering previous Ukip manifestos suggest you will not take


money away from the defence budget for the NHS. No, we have made a


strong link between the foreign aid strong link between the foreign aid


budget and the NHS, we would look to reduce the foreign aid budget from


0.7% to 0.2% and put many of those billions into the NHS to close the


gap and I would advocate a considerable proportion of that


would come to the chaos that is would come to the chaos that is


happening here. I think one of the things that is sad about this is


that communities are coming out in force, forced onto the streets, I


went to one of the Clinical Commissioning Group consultations


last year in Totnes and it was last year in Totnes and it was


alarming to find out that not only was the sustainability and


transformation programme presented, although it was a public


consultation the measures had already happened, they were


recruiting for the new programme and yet the hospital closures we are


facing, judicial reviews are at being brought in.


More than three years after the main Paddington to Penzance line


collapsed into the sea at Dawlish, transport campaigners are still


waiting for the politicians to commit to


a major, modern upgrade for the region's rail links.


If they were hoping that wait would be cut short by


the parties' election manifestos, they were in for a disappointment,


Trainspotters will know this steam locomotive is not from the right era


but there was talk in the new Conservative manifesto


this week of the largest investment in railways since Victorian times.


The 1937 Sir Nigel Gresley is seen here travelling along the sea wall


at Dawlish just six weeks after the line reopened


Three years on, while some resilience work has been carried


out, there is still no final decision on a permanent solution


or a positive alternative route and the former


Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin did little to raise hopes


on a visit to Plymouth station on Tuesday.


I'm pleased in the next few years we will be getting


brand-new trains down here, new Hitachi trains,


so that is a huge investment and work that went on around Dawlish


and we would like to reinforce that but it is a very difficult


The Conservative manifesto does mention a ?40 billion investment


in roads and railways over the rest of the decade.


There is funding to improve key roads in areas of the country


which feel left behind because of poor transport links,


and even more money so local authorities can improve cycle


networks but no specific mention of any more money


There is direct reference made to HS2 and northern powerhouse rail.


The Conservative chairman of the peninsula rail task force


says he is not overly concerned at the lack of regional detail.


If there's nothing in there and nobody else has detail on it,


It's important that we want to make sure the government carries


It has made commitments, it said it will sort out the railway


But this Labour councillor is not convinced the region


I'm very disappointed that the government,


despite us being one of the richest countries in the world,


is failing to invest in places like the South West.


We are very important and I think there could be a lot done.


We have an opportunity that could be taken to reopen a link


between Exeter and Plymouth, it's not just about another train


route but imagine what that would do to our communities in that part


of the world, bringing communities together,


a good link to Exeter and beyond, so that's what we should do.


The government points to investment in new high-speed trains


due to enter service on the Great Western line


The hope is funding for the region's only mainline


into Devon and Cornwall will arrive before then.


Scott Bingham, and to discuss this we're joined by Conservative


candidate in Exeter, James Taghdissian.


Welcome to the programme. We heard from Patrick McLoughlin who was


Transport Secretary around the Dawlish disaster. Given he had that


background of expertise, it was a bit woolly and disappointing. I


don't think so, he has moved on to a different post with new


responsibilities. He would have anticipated those questions. He gave


his answer, and that an insert rail task force sent a report to


Parliament in December, it was always due to report after the


election but in terms of the Conservative Party, we have a good


record in terms of investment in rail in the South West in the last


seven years. Network Rail were asked to come up with a long-term solution


to shore up Dawlish, they submitted that report in the autumn but the


government can't still not come back and say, they don't have this


problem with HS2, they cannot say they will crack on with this and pay


for it, a cast iron guarantee. He's talking about things which have been


done, patching up Dawlish and reminding us we will get new trains,


which we have known for 12 months. It's part of a wider programme of


act covertly. When you have something as dramatic as happened in


2014, you have to go through a number of steps before you can get a


new line up and running and what I think we will find is you have


allowed number of local authorities, Andrew Leadbetter who was cabinet


member for Exeter, a good friend of mine and he was chairing the


peninsula rail task force and we share a great interest. He didn't


seem happy with the lack of detail. -- he did seem happy. You have


commitment from Devon and other local authorities to make sure there


is an alternative route to the Dawlish line, the Dawlish


alternative, that has been put forward and is being considered by


the government but you will never get these things off the ground


unless you get the economics right and this is an election where that


is the main focus. I want to bring Jacqui in. The greens are very keen


on rail links. Are the Conservatives a good job? Know, and even your


piece before showed the new high-speed rail coming in, but it is


only coming in as far as Exeter. The task force strategic plan which came


out in November was very comprehensive and good and I


understand it was agreed that announcements would be made in July,


so the election has come before that but I think that is an important


document which sets out what needs to come in, it looks that resilience


in terms of whether we can anticipate, it was fantastic to see


Dawlish restored so quirkily... Is it patching up? It was our patching


up, I attended some meetings after that which showed how it is more


resilient but they are looking at 470 million to restore that line and


build that resilience in an investment that day. The strategic


rail task force report also suggested 327 million but other


measures and reflected on the value of tourism and everyone to get cars


off the road and freight onto range... It is fundamental. I don't


want to stray. Steve, you were laughing when I was introducing that


piece but what would Ukip du? We always had a commitment to rail


travel and rebuilding rail, and the rail infrastructure in the


south-west is a disgrace. I think the way in which the Conservatives


have treated this over the last two governments indicates how they see


Devon and Cornwall, a place to go on holiday and retire to, and Cameron


and Osborne, two years ago they came down and made a grandstanding speech


about audience of pounds they thought would be attracted here and


they got a lot of Tory MPs and there is no chance of that happening. I


would like to make a bet that they could put a proportion of the


overspend of HS2 into putting proper rail infrastructure into Devon and


Cornwall. You said we haven't got a good record in terms of rail but we


do you have a good record. You have a new station put in, the new court


development in Exeter, plans for two more at stations, one on Marsh


Barton to alleviate traffic, you have another one ends up pipeline


which would serve Hill Barton. You have stations going in on local


lines and a government which is committed... The peninsula task


force tried to deliver its report underlying was washed away and it


couldn't make it to London. The Conservative manifesto says on page


26 that the government is committed to improving greater capacity on


trying to get that ship. Get rid of trying to get that ship. Get rid of


HS2 and you could solve this. I agree, reclaim that 59 billion back


into public ownership. We have got to end. James, thank you.


The gaping chasm between average wages and average house prices


in the South West makes the national shortage of housing


The parties are all grappling with the problem in their pre-election


pledges but Tamsin Melville's been talking to somebody who thinks


It's the question that's part of our national psyche,


But for some it's the wrong question.


If you go back over 30 years, half of Cornwall's rented housing stock,


council housing stock, has disappeared under right to buy.


That was never replaced, when those councils were sold off


years ago under Margaret Thatcher, that money was not allowed to be


used to build more housing and we're behind on building social housing


Brothers Matt and Adam Ellis work at a Penzance jewellery factory.


Born after the council house sell-off began,


like many people their age, getting onto the housing ladder


Adam is 27 and living with mum and dad while he saves up for a deposit.


Matt is 29 and after years of saving, managed to buy a house


with his partner last year, with a 5% deposit and


I would like to move out and get my own place but it's


finding a house you can afford, with the wages we're on


Affordable homes aren't really affordable.


They need to build them to buy, they need to be cheaper.


What young couple will have ?20,000 to spend, unless they're lucky


enough to have parents that will give them the money?


I wasn't in that situation so I had to save.


Those unachievable ?20,000 deposits have led to various schemes


over the years like the current government offering of Help To Buy


but there are those who say what's really needed is for councils


to have the tools to build more homes like this.


They might look like any other houses but these 16 properties


near Truro are a rare example of recently built council housing,


funded by the Labour government in 2010.


A three-bedroom property here costs just under ?400 a month to rent.


Since these were finished in 2011, there have been just 44 houses


The man in charge of Cornwall's housing brief back then is clear


The political parties should be concentrating


on no more right to buy, social housing must remain social


housing and rented for local people to live in and until that happens,


councils will be very reluctant to pour tens of millions of pounds


or hundreds of millions of pounds into local housing if they will be


It's not an issue going unnoticed by the political parties


in their manifestos, with the Conservatives promising


a new generation of fixed term council houses to be sold off


after 10-15 years with any proceeds reinvested into social housing.


Labour says it would suspend the right to buy policy and build


half a million council and housing association homes over five years.


The Lib Dems have also said they would stop the right to buy


Back at the factory, there's not much interest


in the idea of renting and it's seen as a waste of money.


Any bids to take the shine off those dreams of home ownership may


Tamsin Melville, and to discuss this we're joined by Liberal Democrat


candidate in St Austell and Newquay, Stephen Gilbert.


Why are you due saying you would get rid of the right to buy for housing


associations but not council house tenants? Why not do what Labour is


doing and saying you will suspended across-the-board? We need action


across-the-board to tackle the housing crisis, that means enabling


councils to build new homes and making it easier for people to save


to bite and is quite the Liberal Democrats introduced the rent to buy


scheme in our manifesto which means if you are a social housing tenant,


you will pay rent and at the end of 30 years you will secure your home,


so you can't plan to use funds in a measured way. How do you facilitate


council house building? It is difficult to get the finance to


build? You take off the block on Cornwall Council borrowing which the


Conservatives put in place. We saw huge amounts of council housing


being sold off, which has led to the crisis we are in today and the


Conservative crisis is not even giving councils the ability to


borrow their way out and build the homes people need. That would make a


huge difference in the ability... With that the red line for the Lib


Dems and a coalition situation? We will not be in a coalition situation


again, but we need to tackle the housing crisis. We saw how it is


affecting people in Cornwall. It means action across-the-board,


increased investment to make sure we provide homes for the future. Steve,


on the issue of council housing, the Ukip have any sympathy? Yes, but


what we will address in our manifesto on Wednesday is the issue


of how you physically build a lot more houses, especially at the lower


end of the market, the affordable end, in the current environment? The


Farber reports said we don't have the resources to build them so we


will address that because we need a new way to build houses and we will


look at creating volume construction correctly. That's interesting


because like the Green Party, looking back at previous housing


statements, you have been concerned about logging on greenfield sites


but if you are somewhere like that south-west, there is not much


brownfield. I'm not sure that is true, there is a lot of brownfield


and it is often bypassed because big and it is often bypassed because big


developers Professor greenfield sites for their economics and


another part of policy I am keen on is that we move away from the


housing market being dominated by the developers because they don't


behave like we want, they behave as their balance sheets demand. We need


more local construction, smaller units and smaller amounts of


development happening in places where needed rather than great big


estates being built. You need to deliver the volume as well, we have


heard this before but we need a lot of houses? There has to be a


brownfield register and then we will look at ways we can use that


quickly. Jacqui, we had a bit of agreement between you earlier on,


looking at the Green Party in the past you were talking about bringing


social housing stock into use and renovating existing stock, now you


say you will build... 20,000 new homes a year. Has this represented a


shift? Sorry, 200,000 in the next five years. There is a lot of


days, it doesn't have to be the days, it doesn't have to be the


green field full of houses design, we can have smaller developments and


we need to look at ways to be innovative about timber framed


housing, which can be high spec and make it more affordable for people


on low incomes and as Green councillors, I have been involved in


groups that looked at this, you can build a decent timber frame home for


100 grand. A lot of local authorities are shedding land assets


so they have land that could be converted. How many new homes does


Cornwall need? We have to cater for the needs that there is. You need to


be able to assess that. We had the Conservatives and Labour saying we


have had to deal with this problem for too long, I am asking people in


Saint Austell and new kit to elect someone who will champion their


needs. We will leave it there. -- Newquay.


Before we move on, a reminder that there's a full list of election


candidates on the BBC website - and while nominations may have


closed, there's still time for you to join the audience


for the BBC Spotlight Election Debate.


The programme will be on Tuesday 30th of May in Plymouth.


If you'd like to request an application form


Now our regular round-up of the political week in 60 Seconds.


The Conservatives finally confirm they plan to withdraw


from the agreement which allows foreign fishing boats


within 12 miles off the coast but they still won't say when.


There is a clause in there that enables you to give two years'


notice and we would want to do that very early in the next Parliament.


GPs say money for patient care will be diverted to parking charges


after Plymouth City Council increases the fee for


For some of them a ?6,000 parking bill may be the straw that


Calls for council-owned travellers' sites in Cornwall to be closed down


after a series of fires and claims of anti-social behaviour.


I'm living there and I find it's got very bad and it can't be sorted out


And two weeks after the Conservatives became the largest


party on Cornwall Council, Lib Dems and independents agree


That's the Sunday Politics in the South West.


cancelled. And rent to own is still our policy. Thank you very much, Tom


Brake. Andrew, back to you. So, two and half weeks


to go till polling day, let's take stock of the campaign


so far and look ahead Sam, Isabel and Steve


are with me again. Sam, Mrs May had made a great thing


about the just about managing. Not the poorest of the poor, but not


really affluent people, who are maybe OK but it's a bit of a


struggle. What is in the manifesto for them? There is something about


the high profile items in the manifesto. She said she wants to


help those just above the poorest level. But if you look at things


like the winter fuel allowance, which is going to be given only to


the poorest. If you look at free school meals for infants, those for


the poorest are going to be kept, but the rest will go. The social


care plan, those who are renting or in properties worth up to ?90,000,


they are going to be treated, but those in properties worth above


that, 250,000, for example, will have to pay. Which leads to the


question - what is being done for the just about managings? There is


something, the personal allowance that David Cameron promised in 2015,


that they are not making a big deal of that, because they cannot say by


how much. So you are looking in tax rises on the just about managings.


Where will the tax rises come from. We do not know, that there is the 40


million pounds gap for the Tories to reach what they are pledging in


their manifesto. We do not know how that is going to be made up, more


tax, or more borrowing? So that is why the questions of the


implications of removing the tax lock are so potentially difficult


for Tory MPs. The Labour manifesto gives figures for the cost of


certain policies and where the revenue will come from. You can


argue about the figures, but at least we have the figures. The Tory


manifesto is opaque on these matters. That applies to both the


manifestos. Looking at the Labour manifesto on the way here this


morning, when you look at the section on care for the elderly,


they simply say, there are various ways in which the money for this can


be raised. They are specific on other things. They are, and we heard


John McDonnell this morning being very on that, and saying there is


not a single ? in Tory manifesto. I have only got to page 66. It is


quite broad brush and they are very open to challenge. For example, on


the detail of a number of their flagship things. There is no detail


on their immigration policy. They reiterate the ambition, but not how


they are going to do that, without a massive increase in resource for


Borders officials. We are at a time where average wages are lagging


behind prices. And in work benefits remain frozen. I would have thought


that the just-about-managings are people who are in work but they need


some in work benefits to make life tolerable and be able to pay bills.


Doesn't she has to do more for them? Maybe, but this whole manifesto was


her inner circle saying, right, this is our chance to express our... It


partly reads like a sort of philosophical essay at times. About


the challenges, individualism against collectivism. Some of it


reads quite well and is quite interesting, but in terms of its


detail, Labour would never get away with it. They wouldn't be allowed to


be so vague about where taxes are going to rise. We know there are


going to be tax rises after the election, but we don't know where


they will be. 100%, there will be tax rises. We know that they wanted


a tax rise in the last budget, but they couldn't get it through because


of the 2015 manifesto. Labour do offer a lot more detail. People


could disagree with it, but there is a lot more detail. More to get your


teeth into. About capital gains tax and the rises for better owners and


so on. The SNP manifesto comes out this week, and the Greens and Sinn


Fein. We think Ukip as well. There are more manifestos to come. The Lib


Dems have already brought theirs out. Isn't the Liberal Democrat


campaign in trouble? It doesn't seem to be doing particular the well in


the polls, or at the local elections a few weeks ago. The Liberal


Democrats are trying to fish in quite a small pool for votes. They


are looking to get votes from those remainers who want to reverse the


result, in effect. Tim Farron is promising a second referendum on the


deal at the end of the negotiation process. And that is a hard sell. So


those voting for remain on June 23 are not low hanging fruit by any


means? Polls suggesting that half of those want to reverse the result, so


that is a feeling of about 20% on the Lib Dems, and they are getting


slightly less than half at the moment, but there are not a huge


amount of votes for them to get on that strategy. It doesn't feel like


Tim Farron and the Lib Dems have promised enough. They are making a


very serious case on cannabis use in a nightclub, but the optics of what


they are discussing doesn't make them look like an anchor in a future


coalition government that they would need to be. I wonder if we are


seeing the re-emergence of the 2-party system? And it is not the


same two parties. In Scotland, the dynamics of this election seemed to


be the Nationalists against the Conservatives. In England, if you


look at what has happened to be Ukip vote, and what Sam was saying about


the Lib Dems are struggling a bit to get some traction, it is


overwhelmingly Labour and the Conservatives. A different 2-party


system from Scotland, but a 2-party system. There are a number of


different election is going on in parallel. In Scotland it is about


whether you are unionist or not. Here, we have the collapse of the


Ukip vote, which looks as though it is being redistributed in the


Tories' favour. This is a unique election, and will not necessarily


set the trend for elections to come. In the Tory manifesto, I spotted the


fact that the fixed term Parliament act is going to be scrapped. That


got almost no coverage! It turned out to be academic anyway, that it


tells you something about how Theresa May is feeling, and she


wants the control to call an election whenever it suits her.


Re-emergence of the 2-party system, for this election or beyond? For


this election, yes, but it shows the sort of robust strength of parties


and their fragility. In other words, the Lib Dems haven't really


recovered from the losses in the last general election, and are


therefore not really seen as a robust vehicle to deliver Remain. If


they were, they might be doing better. The Labour Party hasn't


recovered in Scotland, and yet, if you look at the basic divide in


England and Scotland and you see two parties battling it out, it is very,


very hard for the smaller parties to break through and last. Many appear


briefly on the political stage and then disappear again. The election


had the ostensible goal of Brexit, but we haven't heard much about it


in the campaign. Perhaps the Tories want to get back onto that. David


Davis sounding quite tough this morning, the Brexit minister, saying


there is no chance we will talk about 100 billion. And we have to


have power in the negotiations on the free trade deal or what ever it


is. I think they are keen to get the subject of the manifesto at this


point, because it has not started too well. There is an irony that


Theresa May ostensibly called the election because she needed a


stronger hand in the Brexit negotiations, and there was an


opportunity for the Lib Dems, with their unique offer of being the


party that is absolutely against the outcome of the referendum, and


offering another chance. There hasn't been much airtime on that


particular pledge, because instead, this election has segued into being


all about leadership. Theresa May's leadership, and looking again at the


Tory manifesto, I was struck that she was saying that this is my plan


for the future, not ABBA plan. Even when talking about social care, he


manages to work in a bit about Theresa May and Brexit. And Boris


Johnson this morning, an interview he gave on another political


programme this morning, it was extraordinarily sycophantic for him.


Isn't Theresa May wonderful. There is a man trying to secure his job in


the Foreign Office! Will he succeed? I think she will leave him. Better


in the tent than out. What did you make of David Davis' remarks? He was


basically saying, we will walk away from the negotiating table if the


Europeans slam a bill for 100 billion euros. The point is that the


Europeans will not slam a bill for 100 billion euros on the negotiating


table. That is the gross figure. There are all sorts of things that


need to be taken into account. I imagine they will ask for something


around the 50 or ?60 billion mark. It looks that they are trying to


make it look like a concession when they do make their demands in order


to soften the ground for what is going to happen just two weeks after


general election day. He makes a reasonable point about having


parallel talks. What they want to do straightaway is deal with the bill,


Northern Ireland and citizens rights. All of those things are very


complicated and interlinked issues, which cannot be dealt with in


isolation. I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up with parallel talks,


just to work out where we are going with Northern Ireland and the


border. Steve, you can't work out what the Northern Ireland border


will be, and EU citizens' writes here, until you work out what our


relationship with the EU in the future will be. Indeed. The British


government is under pressure to deal quickly with the border issue in


Ireland, but feel they can't do so because when you have a tariff free


arrangement outcome, or an arrangement that is much more


protectionist, and that will determine partly the nature of the


border. You cannot have a quick agreement on that front without


knowing the rest of the deal. I think the negotiation will be


complex. I am certain they want a deal rather than none, because this


is no deal thing is part of the negotiation at this early stage.


Sounding tough in the general election campaign also works


electorally. But after the election, it will be a tough negotiation,


beginning with this cost of Brexit. My understanding is that the


government feels it's got to make the Europeans think they will not do


a deal in order to get a deal. They don't want no deal. Absolutely not.


And I'm sure it plays into the election. I'm sure the rhetoric will


change when the election is over. That's all for today,


thank you to all my guests. The Daily Politics will be


back on BBC Two at 12.00 And tomorrow evening I will be


starting my series of interviews with the party leaders -


first up is the Prime Minister, Theresa May,


that's at 7pm on BBC One. And I'll be back here at the same


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


it's the Sunday Politics. We've made great strides


tackling HIV. Imagine if we could


create a movement


Andrew Neil and Lucie Fisher with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

Andrew is joined by chief secretary to the Treasury David Gauke and shadow Treasury minister Peter Dowd. Journalists Isabel Oakeshott, Steve Richards and Sam Coates on the political panel comment on the week's events and there is a film looking at how the Labour and Conservative manifestos differ.

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