15/04/2012 Sunday Politics West


Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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End the West: We meet Steve Wyatt the Minister of the key to you and


fireman plans. Is there any chance to the days where factory workers


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1729 seconds


can expect their gold plated Good afternoon from the team here


and the West Country. Today we're asking how are we going to pay for


our old age? In the good old days, workers here enjoyed great pension


rights from the company that looked after them. Now many are facing


huge uncertainty about how we will pay for the golden years. I am


shocked -- joined by Steve Webb, there Pensions Minister in the


coalition Government. Welcome to you. The Chancellor expressed a


shock this week were that wealthy people are not paying tax in some


cases. Do you share that astonishment? I think there is


confusion between tax avoidance and tax evasion. The Government sets up


schemes that allow people... Some of the rich people are really


paying 10% tax. There is no indication that they are doing


anything illegal. Steve Webb? is why you have to ask if these are


right. If you pile them all together, people are not paying


their fair share... Are you shocked? I wasn't entirely startled.


I think putting a floor under all these exemptions so that people are


paying a fair share is the right direction to go end. One to our


main story this week: Pensions. Young people are given a job today


will find it almost impossible to get employment with a nice index-


linked pension. The public sector is cutting back benefits and most


private employers have closed their own schemes, which leave employees


with envious schemes. Dave Harvey has been looking at the crisis in a


pension funds. They urge drawing the generous


company pension. Only 500 people work for that tobacco industry


today. It is the same story and dozens of firms. N is a day, this


company employed well over 10,000 people. Today, less than half that


number work there. And that is the problem. On the balance sheet of a


typical company pension fund, the number of people paying and is


falling fast, Meanwell the army of pensioners -- people needed to keep


up these funds are growing. Male expectancy was 65. Not one penny of


that pension may be paid. The average man now list is 78, drawing


his pension now for 13 years. The balance sheet is bust. Experts say


there is a total deficit of �2 billion in West Country pension


schemes. Edge in a worse. There should be a third way and that


should be state pensions. State pensions to �300 a week like in


Scandinavian countries and in Germany. On that basis we would not


be interested in what business was doing from Monday to the next. By


making a serious point. solution is simple, close the door.


Already many final salary schemes have been closed to new members.


Companies replacing them with schemes that are both less generous


and less predictable, relying instead on the stock market. While


the accounts may be having combat workers are not. -- while the


accountants may be happy, the workers are not.


Steve Webb, a lot of people do not have a company pension. Others at


been switched to schemes that pay nothing. The public sector is


reducing benefits. Millions of us are facing a miserable old age.


we do nothing, that is right. There are three strands to what the


Government is doing. First the state pension. We're trying to


nature it is simpler. It will never be a king's ransom. The second is


to get millions more people into a pension saving for the first time.


10 million workers who do not have a pension, will be placed into work


placed pensions. They will be free to opt out but only after they have


been going. And also to see if firms are want to do more, can


offer schemes that will give workers some certainty, not in


previous days, but some certainty to what their pensions will go.


want to sign workers up to the private scheme. There is no


guarantee lot benefits will be? That is their issue. Having a


pension is a start and it could be great, it could be quite small.


depends on how much you pretend. The firm is putting money end as


well. All that period of time, these things can go up and down. In


time you are putting money end, that firm are putting money in, you


will get a return on that. But you could get less? But in the long run


you will get more. Tom, you have been running -- you have been


listening. The policy that was put in place by the previous Government,


is absolutely the right thing to do. The starting point is not -- we do


not have enough people saving for retirement. This will kick-start a


solution to that. It will bring millions of people into the culture


of saving. When people need every penny they need to get by, if you


are 20 years old and you want a pension of �15,000 when you're 65,


how much do you have to be to ride every month? I can give you an


answer now which would be something around 10 to 15% of your salary.


But that will change with time. The stock market will move interest


rates will move, circumstances will change, so the message is don't


just start saving now, but monitor your savings of a time. And try and


work towards a case where Enya 60s you have saved enough to retire.


But it is a huge pot that you need. -- when you are in your 60s. If you


assume that in the next 20 years as people come towards retirement,


interest rates normalise, that amount will also go down. There is


some potentially good news on the stockmarket. The index is still


about 20% below its 2000 peak. This is unusual. The stock market's 10


to go up rather than down so we could be at a point were


stockmarkets are stronger, interest rates go up, and there are pension


saving becomes much easier. Unfortunately, the Government, has


been putting in the right policies so we are prepared to. In the


meantime, the public are at the mercy of the stop market. That is


why it is important that Government is putting in the minimum floor.


Some people have a minimum standard of living without means testing.


have got some of the lower state pensions and Europe. We have and


partly because someone mentions Scandinavia. In Scandinavia people


fall for a much higher taxes. People will vote for that.


union man mentioned a pension of �300. No other state help for


pensions, why can we do that then we would not have to bother with


all this? A because we would have to pay higher taxes quest --. I


think we will see a state pension of 70 before very long. We cannot


afford to give generous state pensions and you're early 60s, it


is simply too expensive. retirement age of 70, can you see


that, you are the person who decides when we retire? What the


Government has said as people are living longer, that will be kept


under review. There is nothing beyond 60 it that is being told


about. The good news is that people are on average living for 20 odd


years in retirement. Their parents look for maybe 10. We have to


adjust to that. If things do not improve, then people will retire --


reach retirement age and they will be very poor. And nearly people


they will come to Farnell will be the state. Many people will want to


work the and 65 -- beyond 65. You want it remarked -- encourage


people to remain active and continue earning an income. Thank


you very much indeed. Remember David Cameron's dream of a


people power "big society"? 5,000 organisers are now being hired to


turn that off came into a reality. Some are being trained in the West.


We send our man to a "big society" bit camp and Bath. -- boot camp


these are the latest recruits and the Prime Minister's "big society"


army. Their mission - to help communities


in austerity Britain to help themselves. Their target - to


listen, really listen to the views of 500 different people. Community


are organiser Danny brothers as patrolling his beaten Bath. Hello,


my name is Stan Lee. I am here to talk about your area. Do you feel


you have a say in the way it is run at all? As he listens, he learns as


resident is unhappy with the lack of parks and public toilets. And he


is a lot, she volunteers to tackle the issues head-on. When you want


to do something, you are frustrated because you do not know where to


start. They are scarce you the chance to help out and say, yes, I


am willing to do it. I am ready to fight I go out and do it all.


have become part of the "big society". How much do you know


about the "big society" at the moment? A nothing. Nothing Atul.


what does it mean for the street where you live? -- nothing at all.


Here in Bath, it is early days, but in some areas, the work of these


community are organisers is starting to bear fruit. This estate


has seen fly-tipping stop and crime followed by 80%. And here they have


set up the run Arts Club. But is David Cameron tried to sculpt


something out of nothing? If in practice these local projects are


often difficult to get off the ground and there can hardly fill in


the gaps left by huge cuts to public services. What is more, does


anyone have the time to spare? have got increasing working hours,


job insecurity making people less likely to spend time. Things like


childcare commitments. It is very difficult to find the time when you


are committed unmotivated. For the recruits, it is back to barracks


for their weekly training session. How many people have you spoken to?


600 people. Each community and organiser is being paid �20,000 for


one year of listening. But the key test for this will be Gething can


persuade others to pay their way when the money runs out. Likely


sponsors say they are already being squeezed by the Kaplan tax relief


for donations. And without proper funding, they could be forced to


disband. -- by the cap on. The man in charge for training the


volunteers is here for us now. It is costing �20,000 to do this


training. Is it worth it? I think it is absolutely worth it. The


whole concept a sculpting something out of nothing, actually there are


hidden assets and every single community. The solution to most


problems is just sitting there waiting, all we need to do is stop


to people and asked them how they feel about the future of the


communities, whether or not they want to take action and they will.


We will volunteers for only be used to plug gaps in state provision?


do not think that is right at all. We have been working at this for


the last 20 years. During that time we have found people end their


homes who have not known how to get involved in anything and they have


ended up setting up projects. One dance company now employs people in


Poole, a centre end Salford. There is a worry that as the cuts take


effect, there will be gaps where volunteers are expected to sell


those gaps. I think people want to. People want to take responsibility


for their communities. There is nothing new there. When I hear


about the "big society", I am reminded of John May's there's


Citizen Charter. -- John Major's. In my own constituency, you see a


huge number of committees to want to do something but they want


guidance on how to do it. How to unlock the doors to what they want


to do anyway. Is asked what David Cameron means? -- is this what


David Cameron means? When he started talking about this, I could


hear the groans from the delegates. He does not know what he is ducking


about. In are the summer to that it is very clear, it is the village


communities and our communities getting together to improve the


environment in which the 11th. -- in which they live again. I think


it is very exciting. If we train more volunteers, they will need


donations to pay for that. The Government is clamping down on big


charity donations. So how is it going to be affordable? It is worth


keeping perspective. This has not happened yet. A lot of this is


fairly small-scale funding. One person for a year and then tried to


get themselves sustainable. In my constituency, they have got a


village shop going and bubble stuff was going. They got some money to


keep that going. Communities can do that. Sometimes they need that


extra help, someone coming in, someone who knows how to access


funding. Have you got a view on this? What you think about the big


donors losing their tax relief? What is crucial is that in most


committees reworking, most people are prepared to do the work for


themselves. They can do that in small ways and they can also build


up a sense of belonging. We looked at the example in one area where


people have put money in themselves. They have put money in themselves


to us all some of the issues. There they hold a lottery every month and


the raise funds and the use those funds to develop work. They have


also developed a small business there and they generate income. So


there is a sense of power right in the heart of the community and that


is important for us. Thank you very much indeed for coming in.


Time now to take a look at some of the other political stories making


the headlines this week. We have done it in just 60 seconds.


It was the shock defeat of the 1992 General Election. This is a moment


the Lib Dem MP beat the then Conservative Chris Patten. He


celebrated 20 years as an MP this week. Prisoners have been asked to


be given the right to vote. Involving offenders and anything


they can be possibly means they are represented and there for the


country it is focused on addressing the needs of offenders and reducing


offending in the future. This Post Office will stay open thanks to a


new rural communities fund. It is in Somerset. Other villagers are


being encouraged to vote -- apply for money. There is a competition


to find the green city of Europe. Another busy week. Let's pick up on


one of those stories. Prisoner should have the right to vote. Is


that Lib Dem policy? It is. Most prisoners are in for a short period


of time. I have three prisons in my area. When we go inside a prison


Smidt, if we all have an interest that of how prisons work. We could


have a brighter at the prison system. Do you say yourself going


around a prison saying, vote for me? If they had the right to vote,


I would have no problem done that. Most importantly, it should be


decided by the UK Parliament, not by an overseas court. But the


argument is that they have been removed from society and therefore


that means you are excluded for some time. Our prison system does


not work. Reoffending rates are high. Politicians do not engage


what goes on inside a prison is as much as they should. They would not


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