23/03/2014 Sunday Politics West


David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew Neil is joined by pensions minister Steve Webb, Labour's Chris Leslie and Happy Mondays star Bez.

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


In the West, we remember thd life of plan


In the West, we remember thd life of the Bristol MP Tony Benn. Hd was a


tireless stay in Axbridge. Are there ways of


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


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


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


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


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


Watt, Polly Toynbee and Janan Ganesh.


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


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


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


a pretty big wall. For those of you who didn't have time to watch 3 5


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


three minutes. Budget days have a rhythm of their


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


towards the statement and already commentators are hovering over what


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


other interpretations emerge. By now the gaggle of supporters and


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


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


later, still trying to assess whether the measures announced still


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


voters? How significant are these two poles


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


before an election. What I underestimated was, how many


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Telegraph that the fingerprints of the Chancellor were all over this


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that is the type most common in the private sector. They can take 2 % of


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


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


which provide a guaranteed monthly income until they die. Annuities


have hardly been a bargain since interest rates were flat slashed


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


lead to pensioners splurging all their savings on supercars. What


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


average pension pot is between 5000 and 30,000. Lamborghinis aren't an


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


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


mortgage, paying off outstanding debts. Maybe spending more money


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


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


there is someone to have a conversation with talking through


the implications of spending the money early and options of investing


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


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


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


to take it all out at once. You will lose huge chunks of it at the 4 %


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


unforeseen consequences? Pension companies this morning are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


from the Government's policy of keeping interest rates abnormally


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


was predominantly people in retirement have not had the benefit.


Obviously people of working age will have benefited from the tax


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


yet even when the Office for Budget Responsibility takes into account


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


people are little profligate with their private pensions, they will


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


for the great privilege of receiving council tax benefit or housing


benefit. There will be people on the margins and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


in the category of optimistic contentment, people who feel they


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


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


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


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


dislike the cultural changes they see as altering Britain for the


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


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


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


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


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


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


more towards the despair side. Things are getting tougher,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


link. And we're joined now by the


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


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


recognition that or politician - all politics these days is like


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


but you will probably have different kinds of conversations because


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Republican and the blue-collar workers and some academics and


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


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


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


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


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


temperament and lifestyle and manageable. In America there were


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


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


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


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


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


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


Miller band. Thank you for being with us today.


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


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


Good morning and welcome to the minutes:


Good morning and welcome to the Sunday Politics East and thd West.


We will look back at the life and times of Tony Benn, whose ftneral is


next week. He served Bristol as an MP for over 30 years and relains


much loved in the city but will be ever see the divided politics of his


era again? Here to look forward as well is back at two MPs frol


Bristol. K McCarthy and Charlotte Leslie. Charlotte has compared her


job but that of being a fairy godmother. Did the Chancellor man


judge `` managed to sprinkld some fairy dust?


Yes, he did. There have been a problem with savers not being


rewarded and the government taking too much of our money and then


telling us how to spend it when we reach pensionable age. It is very


welcome. I have been campaigning on reducing the price of beer `nd bingo


hall tax. Labour has been strangely qtiet


about the budget, hasn't it? The devil is in the detail. The NUT


's industry is already raishng some concerns about the pensions impact


`` annuities. More signific`nt was what wasn't there such as mdasures


to tackle the cost of living. More people can't afford to feed their


families, heat their homes `nd get a roof over their heads. Lots of


people can't even make meastres meet so there is no question of them


saving money. That is why at `` what I would want to see action being


taken on. Our answer is to solve the cost of


living crisis is to get people into work. Also, we need to sort out the


long`term economic crisis that we have been through otherwise we can


do quick fixes like fixing prices which we now doesn't work.


The funeral takes place on Thursday of Tony Benn, the Labour MP who was


a political giant in Bristol for 30 years. People across the political


divide paid tribute to a man whose date true to his socialist


principles. Towards the end, he became the kindly grandfathdr of the


left but Tony Benn never wanted to be regarded as harmless and that


height of his powers was a tough operator.


He was a telegenic front man for Labour in the 60s and went on to


become an outspoken critic of the party's leadership and policies


Sometimes his views changed. He opened this power station in the 60s


but later turned against it. He was always at odds with most of his


colleagues. Transfer all of the powers back to


the House of Commons in a m`tter of weeks.


He helped Labour in the 60s and 70s. Later on, history will be more


critical and he will be held, partly unfairly, for the kind of the vocals


is that Labour experienced hn the 1980s. `` kind of difficulthes.


Tony Benn lost a battle to be deputy leader but the next election


manifesto was dubbed the longest suicide note in history.


He was prophetic in the way he spoke. He was seeing the grdat


vision but the vision belonged to the past. For such a modern minded


man technically, he was acttally quite old`fashioned politic`lly


He longed for a society that had gone. Even in Bristol there was


fighting. All of us would say that we spent a


little too long looking inw`rds when we should have been embracing change


and arguing for our politics in a much more passionate way outside the


Labour Party. Rejected by voters in Bristol, he


moved geographically to Chesterfield and politically to the left even as


his party moved the other w`y. His funeral will be here on


Thursday. The night before, has caught them will be on the other


side of the road in a chapel in the Houses of Parliament were friends


and foes alike took turns to Peter Bute.


He can rest in peace knowing that he doubts make a difference to his


fellow commoners. He left Parliament in 2001 to spend,


he said, wartime politics. He went to Glastonbury with charm and


humour. If there is anybody here from new


Labour, your money will be refunded if you leave quietly.


His diaries have already shhpped our review of the last 70 years. History


will now start to judge Tonx Benn. Councillor Ron Stone new Tony Benn


for many years and used to drive him round the campaign trail. W`s he a


man who understood working people did he have a romantic idea of them?


No, he was somebody who really hard a good grasp of his constittency and


he fully understood the isstes of local families. He took a vdry deep


interest in it. That was his strength as a completely outstanding


MP and constituency MP. When he stepped down from Parliament, he had


a weekend where he toured hhs old constituency and the whole lain road


came to a standstill and people got out their cars to shake his hand.


That answers your question. This was in wealthy man with a privileged


background but that didn't seem to matter.


No, because he led a nation`l campaign to reject his peer`ge and


to stay in Parliament. He w`s passionate about trying to represent


people and being able to get them to grasp the initiative that politics


can change their lives and to get them involved in it. His other great


skill was he could come to ` local meeting when he was a minister and


he could explain the most dhfficult issues nationally at a level that


wasn't patronising but people fully understood what he was about and


where it works. People say they like Tony Bdnn but


his views were barmy. Have xou come across that?


Of course I have. Most of them are in the Tory party.


The tributes have been very generous but I suppose the Tories can afford


to because they have won thd arguments.


In some ways. I am fascinatdd to hear what he was like because I


never got a chance to meet him. But if you really believe what xou say


and are genuinely there to represent people. The point of politics is


that there should be opposed in use. You can get everyone to agree


with you that you can get everyone to respect you.


I think that's what Tony Benn did. But the rate were more respdctful to


Tony Benn than the left with Margaret Thatcher.


I think Tony Benn was less divisive.


Labour was so inward facing during the 1980s that that was the


problem. We weren't reaching out to people. Tony Benn inspired people in


quite a generalised way. Thdre were people who were very convinced by


what he was saying but he inspired people to believe that politics


could make a difference and they could make a difference. He very


much believed that uptake of politics. The thing is that Margaret


Thatcher did things in government that damaged people 's lives so that


is why they was vilified. He was involved in stop the war but


they haven't said much in the case of Crimea, if anything coming out in


the side of Russia. He was a man from the establishment


who was prepared to challenge the establishment. The reason hd moved


left words was because he noticed how the establishment was trying to


stand in the way of politic`l progress. The fact he was prepared


to take on the establishment was quite right.


Any young versions of Tony Benn around these days?


Yes, we had one in the City Council.


Would they get elected? He hs aged ten. He campaigned about dog


fouling. It is quite intimidating for someone to come to a cotncil


meeting but he spoke with p`ssion and believed in what he was saying.


I am signing him up for the Labour Party.


Is socialism dead or are sole of Tony Benn's ideas surviving?


Socialism is never dead. You might have thought that the fox


hunting debate was the stuff of the previous government but there has


been talk of relaxing of thd ban. It has provoked anger from somd people


who think it is the beginning of the end of the ban.


The return of an old argument. Nine years have passed since the ban on


hunting with dogs but farmers claim more and more of their sheep are


being picked off by a growing number of foxes. Foxes, they say, that


would have been controlled by hunting.


There is some evil smelling stuff you can put on the back of the Rams


but you still get about 3% killed, that equates to about ?5,000 worth.


The government is considering relaxing the rules so that people


could use a pack of hounds. Animal rights campaigners say that is


tantamount to a repeal of the law. The league against cruel sports went


on the offensive with newsp`per adverts this weekend.


The whole point of the act was it was against cruelty. You have got a


pack of hounds chasing a fox around, it is not humane. To revert back to


the previous way would be cruelty. Any change would require a vote in


both houses of parliament and there is no word when that might be. The


government has committed to a free vote. You will find that tucked away


on page 18 of the coalition agreement.


This farmer is used to getthng two parts others can't reach. Hd is a


member of the National Park authority who knows ex`Mothdrwell.


I would think the majority of people are pretty ambivalent. Therd is that


sense of tradition but if I see a hunt, it is quite spectacle. I


haven't got any desire to t`ke part in mind.


Why is he so obsessed with bringing fox hunting back?


Some say the return of this contentious argument may be more


literal than populist. There is no doubt it is back in the


Westminster fold. Joining md is the former director of the Leagte


Against Cruel Sports. Is thhs a clever way of getting hunting back


on the agenda? No, it's not. Parliamentari`ns


should know that... If you go after a fox with ` dog, it


is hunting. The Scottish act allows any number


of dogs to flush out foxes. Can I do that again?


No, because we knew exactly what she meant.


The problem is in Scotland xou are allowed to use up to 40 dogs and


that is a day facto hunting process. But he prays that as a good act


Either hunting is banned in Scotland or it is not.


There are different rules in Scotland as there are in England.


There have been no prosecuthons with that system in Scotland. Thdre has


been a number of successful proctors `` prosecutions in England.


You used the words, it was ` way of ringing back hunting for thd


privileged few. He didn't s`y anything about cruelty or anything


else, just about the privildged few. Is it just class war?


If you look at what else I was seeing in the question. This was


very much about David Cameron. He hunts. His father was a master of


the foxhounds. His friends `re wedded to the idea that it should


come back. I am opposed bec`use of the cruelty but David Cameron is


wedded to the idea of bringhng back hunting because that is what his


friends do. It is pretty cruel but nature is


pretty cruel. The law allows farmers to bd able to


protect their sheep but there has to be a balance to be struck. There is


a real difference between something that happens in nature and ` pack of


people deliberately going ott on horses with the aim of tearhng an


animal to pieces. What has happened to this vote? It


is in the coalition document? I think with everything elsd that is


going on, I don't think hunting is the thing to talk about. Thd Labour


Party brought it up a lot btt the Conservatives hardly talk about it.


Nature is cruel but the key thing is that it is not a privileged few


This is a hard`working farmdrs who put the food and our shops. I used


to be against hunting until I looked into the facts. It is far more cruel


to have these animals shot. We have heard that farmers cannot


work with this to dog exemption Both sides agreed to this


exemption. It doesn't work. If you can't praise one country th`t has


this exemption but say it is bad down here.


I didn't say it was good, I said there was no prosecutions in


Scotland. There are plenty of prosecutions in


Scotland, just not the hunts. The hunts haven't been prosdcuted in


Scotland because of the different law there that they are tryhng to


introduce an England let thdm get away with it.


Scotland says you can use a certain number of dogs were England says you


can just use two. What is the difference between two and six?


You can get quite a chaotic situation where it is impossible to


know if the foxes being hunted. I have seen people using a full pack


and that fox gets shot. Simhlar to what happens in Scotland. It wasn't


cruel. You agree with. The dxemption doesn't work at all this is doing is


making the exemption work. Let is take a look back through the


week. Bristol Rovers were celebrating


after they were given permission to sell their home. A judge dismissed a


legal challenge from campaigners who claimed the City Council had fudged


a planning decision. The cltb can now move to their new home.


There were good news for drhvers. More money has been pledged to


repair roads. A conservative council in Bristol


has urged the minister to do more on cold calling. They claim people are


being plagued with unwanted phone calls.


And George Osborne's budget had a sweetener for cider makers, giving


them a tax`free. He said it was compensation for the damage Apple


farmers suffered in the floods. The week has just gone. Let's pick


up the story from Bristol Rovers and the judicial review. Are we seeing


too many judicial reviews? I think there is a danger wd are.


They have a valuable role so we don't want to do away with the whole


process altogether at this one wasn't in the public interest and it


has cost taxpayers money. It was to give the people and ability to


challenge. When I started in journalisl, I had


never heard of a judicial rdview and though we have a role `` and we now


have one every month. Is that right? The planning process


is very much removed from politicians and that is right. I


wish more people had the abhlity to challenge those decisions btt as


Charlotte has already noted you do get these quite frivolous


applications or applications moated `` motivated by the wrong rdasons. I


don't believe in the cap prdventing people paying the fees.


That is it from us. Bank yot to our guests. We will be back next week


with a look at decision, she will weigh up the


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


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


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


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


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


comfortable reading for Labour with two separate polls showing the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Budget. The borrowing figures were announced and Ed Miliband made


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


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


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


remodel world capitalism whilst George Osborne is firing some love


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


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


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


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


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


in favour of the pension reforms announced by the Chancellor on


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


whether people are optimistic because they see figures as if they


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


sense that suddenly things will be getting better. Particularly the


younger generation are really feeling quite down about the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


can imagine they will be sufficiently nervous about that next


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


in action. And Bez joins us from our Salford


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


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


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


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


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


mainstream politics who is discussing or saying anything about


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


speaking to Salford councillors They are going to lend me their


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


all in of the European Union. I will do it for Nick Clegg. Since 200 , I


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


delivering a popular line and responding to the second question of


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


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


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


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


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


European Union. That is unlike Eurosceptics who tie themselves up


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


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


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


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


Sunday Politics.


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

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