06/01/2014 The Papers


No need to wait to see what's in the papers - tune in for a lively and informed conversation about the next day's headlines.

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fortunes of English critic. We will also see how Portugal said farewell


to a footballing legend. And bad news for British tennis ahead of the


Australian open next week. Hello. Welcome to our lookahead at


what the papers will be bringing us tomorrow. With BR broadcaster Penny


Smith and Randeep Ramesh, the social affairs editor at The Guardian. We


will start with the Express. It says the good run for the FTSE 100 means


pensioners are due a windfall. The Financial Times says that Britain's


car industry is now the most buoyant in Europe thanks to improved


consumer confidence. The Telegraph says speed limit will be lowered on


some roads to reduce air pollution. The independently each with spending


cuts proposed I George Osborne, which have been criticised by the


Liberal Democrats. The Guardian says talks of a Cabinet clash over the


policy. The Mail says that the Environment Secretary wants shoppers


to buy British food in season, instead of imports. It also pictures


a giant wave in south Wales, and the people risking the storm for a front


row seat. We're going to start with this story that has been dominating


the news throughout the day, the announcement by the Chancellor that


if the Conservatives win the next election they will have more


spending cuts. ?25 billion worth, and about half of that is going to


come from the welfare budget. Let's show you some of the front pages,


detailing that. There you have the Guardian. Cabinet clash over Osborne


welfare cuts. The Independent, happy New Year from George Osborne. That


is his New Year message, there are going to be more cuts. Let's have a


look at... Well, that is it, actually. It is on the front page of


the Daily Telegraph as well, welfare cuts spark fury from Nick Clegg. It


is on the front there, as well. Randeep, it is not the New year's


message that people want to hear, but the Tory half of the coalition


is saying it is very necessary? George Osborne is doing two things,


looking for votes, and secondly he is pitching the political debate


where he wanted, talking tough about welfare. His thing is that Labour


does not have an offer in that space and he is going to win the argument


by talking tough on welfare. You can see the reaction from his Cabinet


colleagues, they are gassed. Iain Duncan Smith thinks, I have


delivered you ?18 billion worth of spending cuts. -- they are I --


aghast. I think it is an interesting political debate. It may never come


to pass, because we have to see who wins the election. It is


interesting, one assumes that the Treasury, or at least the


Conservatives and Mr Crosby, have told this to within an inch of its


life and think it is a good idea? They must do. The thing is, they


keep on. Nick Clegg has been talking about it as being an unrealistic,


unfair attack on the poor while demanding no sacrifices from the


wealthy. In fact, I think the big point here is, can they, if they did


when, if the Conservatives did win in 2015, could there be a coalition?


You have the death of a minister talking about how you have a


Conservative Party driven by two ideological impulses. One is too


remorselessly pare back the state for ideological reasons, secondly, I


think they are making a monument of the stake in doing so. -- monumental


mistake in doing so. When you are talking about politicians that are


used to pussyfooting around, being careful, that seems extraordinarily


strong. You obviously know more than me about that, but it seems quite


strong? I think it is just politics. Or economic sap best.


Really, the welfare budget has been pared back pretty drastically. You


are really talking about the disabled carers, taking it from the


electorally important ground the squeezed middle, which is not


somewhere you want to go to. I suggested that perhaps they have


polled this within an inch of its life, but what if they think, this


is the kind of thing that will get me down to rode. Russell Brand told


me not to! The real risk is that the numbers do not add up. He's asking


for ?25 billion worth of cuts, 12 billion from welfare, that is a lot


of money from somewhere else. Do you raise taxes? That is how he would


like to position Labour, a tax and spend party. What he really doesn't


tell people is that the economic solid is that you can change how


much you repay your debts at. This is all a technical argument about


whether you want to be in surplus. That is George Osborne's vision,


nobody has to agree to that. Labour could come in and say, we don't have


to stick to those plans in 2018 and therefore we can turn the taps on.


That is the problem for George Osborne. It is a long election


campaign. Does this argument get lost when people are struggling, pay


is stagnating? I think those arguments will linger in people's


mind. Very interesting. A warning of 60 mph motorway limits. This is all


too meaty EU rules on air pollution because we are not meeting those


roles at the moment? -- to meet EU rules. They say 60 mph on the M1,


and sections of the M3 in Surrey, 13 other stretches of motorway.


Motoring organisations are saying it is going to the lowering of the


speed limit through the back door. It's interesting, only last year or


the year before, they were about raising the speed limit. We were


talking about how much that could save us, the cuts to journey times,


it would be a brilliant idea. That is dead in the water. We are going


to 60 mph. I don't know about you, it says from 7am to 7pm. I don't


understand why, if it is about congestion, which is what they are


saying, about slowing down and speeding up, changing through the


gears, because certainly just by braking it does not cause any more


pollution, I can't imagine it does. I might be wrong. Cars are more


efficient at a slower speed, apparently. They pump out less


nitrogen, or whatever. In this case, if this is going to be the new


thing, shall we just stop making fast cars? Let's make cars with a


top speed limit of 60 malls per hour. A Ferrari with a 60 mph top


speed limit? Well, we could get rid of Top Gear. Some people would not


mind that. We were promised our way races, being able to whizz around in


coalition Britain at 80 mph. Now we have to go to the continent. I do


think it is a bit odd. If you do drive on the motorway, you often


have to slow down because there was lots of traffic and congestion.


There are 50 mph signs. This does not appear to affect HGVs,


apparently the worst polluters, and there is no speed limit on them at


the moment. I still can't believe in 2014, what is it? 2014? Just gone.


And you were working on New Year's Eve, not getting smashed. When I was


a kid and I thought about 2014, I thought there would be bubble cars


flying around, you programme it and they just go off, beam me up,


Scotty. The Independent, really dramatic picture of a huge tidal


surge. This is South Wales. And those people just standing there,


taking photographs of it. Presumably somebody standing a bit more


sensibly took this particular photograph. It is dramatic, scary.


Amazing, this winter weather. Actually, London has been really


quite warm. A beautiful day. But they have raised the Thames barrier.


Exactly. But I think that would have come over the top, possibly right up


to the Shard. But they are cutting the flood budget? That is the


decision, you have to make those decisions. That would not be stopped


by flood defences. But it is odd timing and the Government look


stupid. I think David Cameron, in his own constituency, when he had


his ear bent. But I'm not sure politicians can be blamed for the


weather. It's about climate change, the fact that the climate is


changing without a shadow of a doubt. They are saying these events


are going to happen more and more often. They are actually saying,


this is what we are going to be doing, so let's do... I don't know.


We are taking it seriously with driving slower. On to the Daily


Express. We mentioned a little bit, Randeep about the coalition, or at


least the Tory half, their calculation in perhaps not hitting


pensioners as hard as some people might feel they should, when it


comes to austerity. Millions will get pensions windfall. Now, this is


because the FTSE is doing very well and annuities and pension funds are


doing OK on shares. But is there a perception that pensioners are


getting a bit of a free ride when it comes to deficit reduction? Well, it


looks like it when you just look at the figures on the face of it, but


the point is that pensioners are being squeezed for years now,


because of course they have savings. They can't make any more money. They


have savings and their savings in real terms are dwindling in a huge


way. They've been getting less and less. Only recently, there was a


story on the front page of the Express, elderly steal to survive as


pensions dwindle and prices soar. Talking about they're finding


89-year-olds being arrested for stealing to keep going. But,


Randeep, winter fuel allowance and the freedom Bass, bus passes, there


does seem to be in the coalition's calculation the idea that these


people vote therefore we are not going to take some of these away? I


think there are two different groups. There are the poor


pensioners that Penny is talking about and they are get ing wiped and


they're having to live with a high rate of inflation. The people who


have a lot of money and perhaps can do without their bus pass and free


television licence are the people who Nick Clegg and Iain Duncan Smith


would like to target. The sums are trifling. Even if we got rid of the


entire free bus pass budget it's ?1 billion. You still need to find


another ?11 billion. Pensioners were historically very badly treated and


it's only really in the last decade that they've made anything, so I


think it will be difficult to make an argument to crack down, unless


you means test them. Let's move on to the Financial Times. Lawyers


having been going on strike. Some of them don't get paid very much. Some


people out there might think that's not the case. But actually,


according to the Criminal Bar Association half their members


earned ?27,000 a year. Yes, they are saying they earn ?27,000 and that


this is going to be cut by 30% and they're saying that the trouble is


that people will just say we don't want to do Legal Aid. Therefore,


they're saying that justice is at stake and this is a problem. This is


the first strike I think, the walk-out by the profession in 400


years. It is - you look at the pictures and you just go, yes, they


look like they're 400 years. I know. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to make


light of it. But, really, it's the wig-wearing lawyers. They're saying


it's about British justice at stake. The Government have taken the old


adage crime doesn't pay to heart. If you're a criminal barrister it


certainly won't. Is that self-serving, the idea that they're


saying it's all about justice and people not having access to Legal


Aid and they're worried about their pay packets. The Government have


played a dicey game with the statistics. 84,000 was the average


income, but when you took out the people who earn over 500 grand to a


year you got down to 54,000. But that's everything. You have to pay


rent and VAT off that and - And there are a lot of them who are paid


?27,000. It's like the banking. There are still people being paid


?1.5 million bonuses. But many are on a quarter of that. 25 grand. Good


if you're at the top and bad if you're at the bottom. Thank you


both. We'll look at some of the stories later. Stay with us here on


BBC News for that. Also, coming up at 11.00pm, we'll have more on the


extreme weather, as storms and huge waves continue to batter western and


southern parts of the UK. Coming up now, it's Sportsday.


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