25/03/2012 Sunday Politics South


25/03/2012

Andrew Neil and Peter Henley with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including an interview with Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 25/03/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

In the South: Taking out the trash. The

:01:27.:01:29.

government's offering councils extra money to bring back weekly

:01:29.:01:32.

bin collections. But will that encourage us to recycle more or

:01:32.:01:42.
:01:42.:01:42.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1827 seconds

:01:42.:32:10.

Welcome to Sunday Politics South. My name's Peter Henley. On today's

:32:10.:32:13.

show: It may be rubbish to you and me,

:32:13.:32:16.

but to councils, it can be a real headache. We've had umpteen schemes

:32:16.:32:19.

trying to get us to recycle more and throw away less, and now the

:32:19.:32:23.

government's offering extra cash to bring back weekly collections.

:32:23.:32:27.

More on that later in the programme. First, let me introduce you to the

:32:27.:32:30.

politicians who'll be with me for the next 20 minutes. And in a small

:32:30.:32:34.

break with tradition on account of the Budget, we have three this week.

:32:34.:32:36.

George Hollingbery is the Conservative MP for Meon Valley,

:32:36.:32:39.

Gerald Vernon Jackson is the Lib Dem leader of Portsmouth City

:32:39.:32:42.

Council and Richard Williams is the leader of the Labour group on

:32:42.:32:49.

Southampton City Council. A senior Conservative told me what

:32:49.:32:54.

I thought was quite a good one liner after the Budget. He said,

:32:54.:32:58.

the reason that that they are getting rid of the warnings on the

:32:58.:33:04.

back of cigarette packets and making it a blank packet, it is not

:33:04.:33:10.

a healthy thing, it is so that they have got trim for the new policies

:33:10.:33:15.

the accolade -- the Coalition are dreaming up. The freeze on

:33:15.:33:18.

pensioners allowances did feel a little bit like that. I think times,

:33:18.:33:27.

as we know only too well, are very tough. There was a very complex set

:33:27.:33:31.

of release at the top of the tax system for pensioners. After quite

:33:31.:33:35.

a number of decades, is there any real reason why a pensioner should

:33:35.:33:41.

have a different personal allowance? So, it is revenue rising,

:33:41.:33:46.

not simplifying? It is clearly a combination of both. I do not think

:33:46.:33:50.

anybody would be wise if they said it was not about raising money.

:33:50.:33:54.

they make a mistake by not saying that? They think it might have been

:33:54.:33:58.

advisable to put it more on the table, but if you look into it, it

:33:58.:34:03.

does seem to me that pensioners have been protected in many ways

:34:03.:34:09.

across this budget on the previous few. And to take away a small have

:34:09.:34:13.

added that top end does not seem wildly unfair. There is a point in

:34:13.:34:17.

that. The baby boomers who are coming to retire now had a relief

:34:18.:34:22.

on their mortgages, have their tuition fees paid at university.

:34:22.:34:26.

Conveyor for this tax? I think it is completely the wrong choice at a

:34:26.:34:31.

time when we have, as a Government, the Government appears to be

:34:31.:34:38.

reducing tax for the very richest people in the country. Nothing

:34:38.:34:42.

against Wayne Rooney, but does he really needs another 50 of thousand

:34:42.:34:46.

pounds in every million pounds that he earns? One pensioners and people

:34:46.:34:52.

struggling are going to be hit. We were at the other day and it was

:34:52.:34:55.

raised by many people. They went out on Thursday. The amount of

:34:55.:35:00.

people who said, that is just the way this Government is. I think it

:35:00.:35:05.

is a wrong choice that a wrong time. If Labour is not like that, why

:35:05.:35:10.

would the 50 pence rate not go back in the manifesto? I'm sure when I

:35:10.:35:15.

speak to him, I will be suggesting that. Even if it raises more money?

:35:16.:35:21.

Would you say, no, go back to 50p? It certainly needs to be raised and

:35:21.:35:28.

discussed. The Liberal Democrats have been saying, we have got the

:35:28.:35:33.

mansion tax. We have got the tycoon tax. They have not. What

:35:34.:35:40.

concessions have you got? Are a thing two concessions. The first is

:35:40.:35:45.

taking 2 million people out of tax, the people at the very bottom of

:35:45.:35:49.

the pile Hoare of learning... Conservatives like that? Absolutely.

:35:49.:35:53.

I'm glad we have been able to persuade the Government do that. We

:35:53.:35:58.

have also persuaded the Government to reduce taxes for 21 million

:35:58.:36:02.

people in are the country. I think that is extremely good. I do not

:36:02.:36:05.

like everything in the Budget. what you not like? A I would have

:36:05.:36:11.

cut the 50 pence tax rate. If you have done that and maybe offered

:36:11.:36:14.

him more to people at the end of the scale? In all these things, you

:36:14.:36:18.

have to have a debate. The issue, even though it is important for the

:36:18.:36:22.

image of the 50 pence tax rate, so that people realise everybody has

:36:22.:36:27.

to pay it, but it actually was not a very effective tax. It did not

:36:27.:36:31.

bring in very much money. If we are going to increase the stamp duty on

:36:31.:36:37.

homes, very expensive homes, to 7%, that is probably a reasonable thing

:36:37.:36:42.

to do. But the image of it is the problem. Is the Coalition and

:36:42.:36:48.

stronger after this Budget? I think it is stronger by default in that

:36:48.:36:52.

everyone has nailed their colours to the mast. They are part of the

:36:52.:36:55.

Government. This is not a difference between, we have got

:36:55.:36:59.

this out of the Government. They are part of the Government. Adair

:36:59.:37:04.

would say about the 45p tax rate, instinctively, all politicians at

:37:04.:37:07.

the moment want to leave it where it does. But I really want to go

:37:07.:37:12.

out and talk about people -- talk to people about reducing the top

:37:12.:37:18.

rate of tax? No, I do not. But, surely the right thing to do is put

:37:18.:37:21.

the tax rate at the point where it raises the most money. That is the

:37:21.:37:25.

problem we are facing. Politically, it would have been terribly easy

:37:25.:37:29.

for George Osborne to turn round and say, it is not the right time.

:37:29.:37:35.

It is raising �500 million. Has he done the brave thing here? I think

:37:35.:37:39.

it is the wrong thing to do. The humour of the optimum level for tax,

:37:39.:37:43.

I believe that is �48. everybody seems to have a different

:37:43.:37:48.

version. I think the �50 level sent a message that if you were more,

:37:48.:37:52.

you pay more. That people want to avoid tax, this is what no one has

:37:52.:37:56.

talked about, why are you wanting to be part of the United Kingdom?

:37:56.:38:01.

If you would be part of the United Kingdom and the won �150,000 a year,

:38:01.:38:05.

you have a legal and moral responsibility to pay their tax. If

:38:05.:38:12.

you want to have provided, then live abroad. What we need to be

:38:12.:38:19.

making sure is that the attack that -- cut down on tax havens. People

:38:19.:38:23.

should be paying tax on everything. That has been a real feeling for

:38:23.:38:28.

decades, that we have not cracked the issue of tax havens. What about

:38:28.:38:33.

regional pay? Do you think that is a good idea that we should be able

:38:33.:38:37.

to pay more on the south from we have got shortages? It is a real

:38:37.:38:42.

complexity. There are going to be at odds effects throughout the

:38:42.:38:45.

country if you put that in place. They have been talking about the

:38:45.:38:49.

difficulties we have more depressed areas like a bigger cities against

:38:49.:38:53.

wealthier areas and how that most staff around. But the simple fact

:38:53.:38:57.

is that in parts of the north-east, the public sector is the but for --

:38:57.:39:01.

biggest employer. It depresses private business. They cannot

:39:01.:39:04.

compete to get the best people because the public sector pay is

:39:04.:39:09.

higher than they can afford. provide flexibility. Would you be

:39:09.:39:13.

in favour of it gravlax certainly. But we have to be careful how we

:39:14.:39:22.

implemented. It is a very dangerous policy to step on. The hall purpose

:39:22.:39:25.

-- the whole purpose is that we try to work together in local

:39:25.:39:28.

Government so that for the worry health worker or a social worker in

:39:28.:39:31.

Newcastle or Portsmouth or Southampton, you will pay for the

:39:31.:39:36.

same job. That is what this is about. Is someone in Newcastle poor

:39:36.:39:40.

is looking after vulnerable children worth less than somebody

:39:40.:39:44.

looking after vulnerable children in Portsmouth? They are being paid

:39:44.:39:49.

more in Newcastle because the cost of living is less. Everybody should

:39:49.:39:54.

be treated the same for the same job. There are other factors. There

:39:54.:39:57.

are housing differences. There are economic differences. Where do you

:39:57.:40:02.

draw the line? Is the wrong thing to do. It is sending the wrong

:40:02.:40:05.

message that you what was more in this part of the country than in

:40:05.:40:09.

that part of the country. It is the job that they perform which is

:40:09.:40:14.

equally important as in Newcastle as anyone else. The practical

:40:14.:40:17.

problems with a target when you break things into small units and

:40:17.:40:22.

negotiate, the employers tend to be pushed up to pay more.

:40:22.:40:26.

Buckinghamshire broke away from the local-government pay deal which all

:40:26.:40:29.

councils are normally done, and they have ended up paying more than

:40:29.:40:33.

the surrounding areas. I think is good news for people who want to

:40:33.:40:36.

push up pay for people in the public sector, it is bad news for

:40:36.:40:43.

those who have to run the businesses. If you keep up pay

:40:43.:40:46.

rates high in places like the north-east, you make that sector

:40:46.:40:50.

much larger and in difficult times like we are facing, the public

:40:50.:40:54.

sector has to pay less and spend less and you automatically make

:40:54.:40:59.

things more difficult. Do you devalue the work that people do in

:40:59.:41:03.

different parts of the country if you give them different pay rates?

:41:03.:41:08.

How do you judge house prices? According to Eric Pickles, having

:41:08.:41:11.

your bins emptied every week is a basic right. He's so keen on it

:41:12.:41:14.

that he's offering �250 million to help councils bring back weekly

:41:14.:41:18.

collections. But the department won't say how many have expressed

:41:18.:41:22.

an interest. The deadline for that was ten days ago. And anyway, as

:41:22.:41:24.

Tiffany Foster reports, there are almost as many different schemes

:41:24.:41:34.
:41:34.:41:40.

for taking out the trash as there It is all rather a mess. A lot of

:41:40.:41:44.

people do not know what is going on. The beauty of local Government is

:41:44.:41:49.

that each council, and they are locally elected and are able to

:41:49.:41:53.

choose which system of collection may think their residents like.

:41:53.:42:02.

just wish that we could do it a In the past 20 years, what we throw

:42:02.:42:05.

away and how we deal with waste has changed dramatically. Things like

:42:05.:42:08.

landfill tax, improved ways to recycle rubbish has meant big

:42:08.:42:18.
:42:18.:42:18.

changes in the way we think about It's exceedingly confusing,

:42:18.:42:22.

especially if you live in Berkshire. Here, the unitary authorities act

:42:22.:42:26.

independently of each other. Every one has a collection and disposal

:42:26.:42:32.

system slightly different to the neighbouring one.

:42:32.:42:36.

In Reading, they're sticking to fortnightly collections. So it's

:42:36.:42:39.

general rubbish one week and recycling the next. So you get a

:42:39.:42:44.

grey bin, a red bin and a green bin, and it's free.

:42:44.:42:47.

In West Berkshire, they also collect on alternate weeks. So one

:42:47.:42:51.

week it's the black bin for general rubbish, the next it's a green box

:42:51.:42:58.

for bottles and glass, card and paper. A green sack for plastics

:42:58.:43:03.

and tin, a green bin for food waste and a green bin for garden waste.

:43:03.:43:07.

And it's all free. In Wokingham, it's weekly

:43:07.:43:13.

collections. So it's black bags, soon to be blue bags, black boxes

:43:13.:43:16.

for recycling, green sacks, soon to be brown bins, for garden waste,

:43:16.:43:25.

but this will now cost you �60. There's no food waste collection or

:43:25.:43:34.

Long-time residents like Peter Teague in Wokingham have embraced

:43:34.:43:44.

the changes. But the latest round is a step too far. It is ridiculous.

:43:44.:43:52.

I cannot believe that something that was working so well, they

:43:52.:43:56.

divided into three separate sections and three different bits

:43:56.:44:00.

of organisation. It seems madness. The solution is simple, the council

:44:00.:44:05.

insists. Households should just throw away less. We need to reduce

:44:05.:44:12.

that down to about 8.8 kilograms per property per week. We have

:44:12.:44:15.

introduced our blue Agnes scheme which gives a residents' eight blue

:44:15.:44:21.

bags, 6,400 litres a year that they can use throughout the year. That

:44:21.:44:29.

is equivalent to more 8240 litre wheelie bin ends at every fortnight.

:44:29.:44:33.

-- emptied every fortnight. What a lot of numbers. But do the

:44:33.:44:35.

figures really add up? Local opposition group councillors think

:44:35.:44:41.

not. The intention is right but I do not understand it how just

:44:41.:44:45.

providing people with a tea bags a year for their normal rubbish is

:44:45.:44:50.

going to make the rest of the rubbish away. They are predicting a

:44:50.:44:54.

20% reduction in the amount of landfill waste, but they are not

:44:54.:44:58.

saying how they're going to get people to will throw us away.

:44:58.:45:01.

Looming large over all of this is the Secretary of State Eric

:45:01.:45:03.

Pickles' promise of cash for councils who bring back weekly

:45:04.:45:07.

collections. Since even some Tory councils have rejected this, it

:45:07.:45:17.
:45:17.:45:22.

begs the question, is this all a You are going to tell me that the

:45:22.:45:26.

way they collected in Portsmouth is the best way, but, you are, aren't

:45:26.:45:30.

you? A I'm going to say it is right for Portsmouth. It might not be

:45:30.:45:35.

right for somewhere else. But Sydney is not right for Wokingham.

:45:35.:45:38.

Surely all these ideas are always full. But everybody adopted the

:45:38.:45:44.

same, it would be more efficient. But Manchester is a rural area.

:45:44.:45:49.

Portsmouth is different. We are a city. We have got terraced streets,

:45:49.:45:53.

block of flats. They have got to work out a system. In Portsmouth,

:45:53.:45:58.

we have cut the weekly rubbish collection. I take the point about

:45:58.:46:03.

the city and the country, but that man said it is wasteful, ridiculous,

:46:03.:46:09.

badness. Difficult for people to get their heads around. I do not

:46:09.:46:13.

think it does. People manage to make it work reasonably well. In

:46:13.:46:20.

each local area, we can work out what is right. While it is a Eric

:46:20.:46:24.

Pickles spending all this money, so determined to get the weekly

:46:24.:46:28.

collection? Is it one of those promises he made that has come to

:46:28.:46:32.

regret? I agree this is a local matter. It is entirely down to

:46:32.:46:36.

local councils tooth of the issue of the way they see fit. That is

:46:36.:46:41.

what local Government is for. While this does -- Willey's different

:46:41.:46:49.

schemes? It is down to local councils to resource and spend the

:46:49.:46:54.

money the way babies it -- they said, the way they see fit. If Eric

:46:54.:46:58.

Pickles wants to make money available to help them make choices,

:46:58.:47:02.

let them make their choices. But what I have to say, when I was a

:47:02.:47:09.

councillor, it was put in by a weekly collections. One is

:47:09.:47:12.

recycling and won his domestic refuge. There were a few teething

:47:12.:47:16.

problems, but on the hall, everybody thinks it is fine.

:47:16.:47:20.

know how much people care about their rubbish. During the strike,

:47:20.:47:24.

it piled up. People in Southampton would like the council to collect

:47:24.:47:28.

the waist. They have not done that. The Tory administration has been

:47:28.:47:32.

rubbish about it. They have caused so much anger and dissatisfaction.

:47:32.:47:39.

I think it was the strike. He will -- we will decide whether your

:47:39.:47:41.

wallet to the strike or not. There are some leaflets around

:47:41.:47:46.

Southampton. They are not made by us, they are made by the Tories.

:47:46.:47:49.

They are pointing out that people were very unhappy about the strike

:47:49.:47:53.

when the pins were not collected. They quite rightly want their bins

:47:53.:47:57.

emptied. This council cannot guarantee to do that. But the

:47:57.:48:01.

Labour take control, we will take the bins when there should be taken.

:48:01.:48:06.

Are they being properly corrected? What you think about weekly

:48:06.:48:11.

collections? In Southampton, there are more ready weekly collections.

:48:11.:48:15.

We are excluded from that process already. But as a bit of a non-

:48:15.:48:19.

issue. We bid to get some money out of it on the basis that we went to

:48:19.:48:24.

keep the weekly collections. dear. Competition.

:48:24.:48:28.

Now our regular roundup of the political week in the South in 60

:48:28.:48:38.
:48:38.:48:42.

Well to police brought in night- vision goggles this week to crack

:48:42.:48:46.

down on the spate of midnight vegetable threat -- fest. The

:48:46.:48:50.

parish council paid for the far- sighted solution. Winchester City

:48:50.:48:55.

Council had to apologise after a 1000 people were sent someone

:48:55.:48:58.

else's personal information along with council tax bills. And

:48:58.:49:02.

Wiltshire and Dorset buses are struggling with a fuel bill of

:49:02.:49:07.

nearly �1 million. Fares will rise substantially. The three Armed

:49:07.:49:11.

forces combine to sign a covenant on Wednesday for better treatment

:49:11.:49:16.

from Portsmouth council. It can be about getting on to the local GP

:49:16.:49:20.

waiting list of getting to see a dentist. And sometimes, that can be

:49:20.:49:24.

more difficult for servicemen and women and their families.

:49:24.:49:30.

Dorset MP for got his military training. He was late on parade.

:49:30.:49:33.

But the Speaker called in for a question about rescue helicopter

:49:33.:49:43.
:49:43.:49:45.

When you have got a complaint to the boss on his big day on budget

:49:45.:49:49.

day, it is best to be in the right place. A indeed. I was sitting

:49:49.:49:54.

right next to him. Slightly awkward moment. He was a bit embarrassed.

:49:54.:49:59.

The military Government. The roll- out was plain that. It was not the

:49:59.:50:02.

case at all. Surely, if you are signing an agreement with these

:50:02.:50:05.

people, what you're doing is saying, we will give you some extra

:50:05.:50:09.

treatment. A no, it is saying we will work hard with the military

:50:09.:50:12.

and military families to try and make sure that they get the

:50:12.:50:16.

services. They are different from other people. But we need to be in

:50:16.:50:20.

tune with that and work with them. A whole series of things we can do.

:50:20.:50:24.

We can try to make sure all schools across the country recognise that

:50:24.:50:27.

same this families and children need different things. Put a line

:50:27.:50:30.

in the Ofsted report on every school things, how what we working

:50:30.:50:34.

with service families? You are not doing that with other groups of

:50:34.:50:37.

people. He won not saying you will find a special way of dealing with

:50:38.:50:42.

them. We have lots of different groups and we work for them in

:50:42.:50:45.

different ways. Council house tenants are a different group. We

:50:45.:50:48.

would be them differently. The elderly get a different service. It

:50:48.:50:51.

is Trent Bridge sure we do not provide exactly the same for

:50:51.:50:54.

everybody because that does not work. Service families have

:50:54.:50:58.

particularly needs that we'd be recognised. There was extra money

:50:58.:51:02.

for the military in the Budget. Indeed. There was money for

:51:02.:51:06.

refurbishing service accommodation and dealing with Council Tax what's

:51:06.:51:09.

the men are a way fighting. There is a clear recognition from the

:51:09.:51:13.

Government that more needs to be done. He managed to get a good play

:51:13.:51:23.

again for the Labour campaign and the local election in a Southampton.

:51:23.:51:27.

His the effect going to make a difference? Obviously. A very

:51:27.:51:32.

tragic situation. All credit to everybody involved in overpowering

:51:32.:51:36.

what was obviously a very deranged individual. All credit for people

:51:36.:51:41.

involved. Just thinking about this local elections which are coming,

:51:41.:51:46.

is it going to be difficult? They are never easy. You have good days

:51:46.:51:52.

and you have not so good days. Thank you very much for being are

:51:52.:51:55.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS