13/03/2014 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. Presented by Martine Croxall.

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the Cheltenham Festival provided a shock in the big race, and a


champion's tail after it. That is all after the papers.


Hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the the papers will be


bringing us tomorrow. With me are Amol Rajan, editor of the


Independent, and the blogger and journalist Susie Boniface, also know


as the Fleet Street Fox. Not Suzanne, don't want to cause a


family upset. Let's start with tomorrow's front pages.


The Independent leads with a story about GM crops, reporting that some


advisers warn that European regulations are "no longer fit for


purpose". The Financial Times reports that bad debts are on the


rise. The Daily Express have the story that's emerged from the


hacking trial - that Diana is alleged to have leaked royal


secrets. The Guardian have an exclusive interview with Yoko Ono,


but their main headline is Osborne's 1bn sweetener. It goes on to say,


the money will help fund a series of infastructure projects. The main


headline in the Daily Mirror refers to the story about public sector pay


- it says "Betrayal of the NHS nurses".


A couple of these stories are linked. We start with the Guardian,


which says Osborne's ?1 billion sweetener, ministers squeeze NHS


pay, but offers Budget infrastructure boost. They will not


be paying for the infrastructure with the money they are saving by


not giving the nurses a pay rise. This ?1 billion sweetener is not so


sweet once you drill down into the story and find out whether money is


coming from. Not paying the nurses there only saves ?100 million. This


1 billion is coming from a raid on public sector pensions. Basically,


Osborne has done a little shuffling between budget headings and found ?1


billion which individual departments will have to come up with. Those are


things like the Department for Education and the Department of


Health. He has changed the way they put their pension money in the pot.


So many will still be paid into those public sector pensions, but it


will not come away central pot 's it is effectively coming out of the


money that could be put into the pensions of teachers, nurses, social


workers. That is how he has found this ?1 billion. The other


interesting thing is that this is coming a month before the NHS -- the


HS2 bill is coming back to Parliament. It is already have the


billion pounds for the whole thing, and there are fears that there will


be ministerial resignations when they find out how much it is. So he


is trying to say he is putting money into something else, when in a


month's time, we will have a horrible bill for HS2. They have a


line which says a source says this is very much in George Osborne's


BNA. It is in the DNA of all chancellors to find spare billions


before a Budget comes out. This is in a specific political context,


which is that lots of potential Tory voters are worried about a and HS2.


In partial defence of Osborne, to give his version of events, he says


this is the recommendation of a report into pensions by Lord Hutton,


a Labour minister. So he says he is following what a New Labour figure


would have recommended. But it does stink a bit, because it comes just


before an election and it is a raid which has come along with a story


about nurses. You say it stinks because it comes just before an


election. People will realise that that is why it is the sweetener. But


won't they be glad if they are benefiting from these infrastructure


projects, rather than a nurse getting a 1% pay rise? It depends.


Infrastructure is meant to be a long-term boost to the economy and


all governments would say that if they spend money here, they have to


cut money elsewhere. It is curious how chancellors have to go about


manufacturing billions. As Susie says, the money Osborne is talking


about saving is 200 million, so the money that will be saved on the NHS


is 200 million out of a Budget of 100 billion. I think this is a


political gesture towards disenchanted Tory voters. It has got


to be infrastructure they are going to see. If your road is covered in


potholes, if your trains are not running well, it does not matter if


there is a headline saying they have put 1 billion into it. That 1


billion does not go very far. Not far at all. We will come back to the


Guardian later. Let's move on to the Daily Mirror, with a related story.


Betrayal of the NHS nurses. This is Jeremy Hunt announcing that not


everyone in the NHS will get this 1% public sector pay rise. Meanwhile,


Jeremy Hunt himself will get 11%. He might forego it, I suppose. He


might, but none of the party leaders have said they are going to order


their MPs to forego this 11% pay rise. He also might not come back


into Parliament in 2015. He will have to fall back on the 17 million


he made from selling his company not long ago. You sound disappointed. He


made it to Smedley. Shouldn't we wish him well? Nurses were just


expecting a 1% pay rise, which is ?300, not a lot. In the NHS budget


alone, it is peanuts, and there is no reason it can't be done.


Interestingly, managers are getting 7%. Why are they still getting that?


If you have to give rises to people, why not the front-line staff that


the nurses and doctors and dentists is? Again, this is a political


gesture. The NHS is still a toxic issue for the Tories. If you look at


the areas where they are trusted, they are more trusted than Labour on


the economy, but less on the NHS. Jeremy Hunt was put in there to be


this fantastically ameliorative, understanding, compassionate guy who


would get on with the nurses and bring the NHS with him. A year away


from an election, this move disenfranchises a lot of people. It


is not the antidote. It is pretty dumb, because the pay review body,


the one they are ignoring, was set up by government and endorsed by


them and has been since the 1970s as a way of making sure there is no


strike action in public services. The government and unions both make


representations to an independent body which is under the Department


of Health umbrella. It has professors on it and it is


apolitical. They find a middle suggestion and everyone goes along


with it, in return for the government going along with it, the


unions promised no strike is. For the government to give evidence to


it and then go, actually, we convert bothered with this, there are


suggestions of strikes and militancy. Aside from whether it is


the right thing to do, it is just smart politics to give a pay rise.


Obviously, it costs a lot of money. We have had raised to the income tax


threshold. A gesture like this although costly, would have been a


useful comeback when Labour say in Prime Minister's Questions and


elsewhere that the Tories, be trusted with the NHS. But they don't


want to be seen to be helping nurses. The ?200 million, we say it


blithely these days, for people out there who say the cuts are the right


way to go about getting the economy in control, they will say it has to


be done. Something has to be done about controlling public spending,


but 200 million in the context of tens of ileum is of pounds... And


also, we have had immense pub exec to restraint over the last four


years. So this would have been a relatively small amount of money


which would be both the right thing to do and a political victory. The


government say they have had to make these cuts, otherwise they have to


sack 6000 nurses. But if you just sack four managers, it would be


fine. I think your job is safe. The Independent has a story on GM


crops. The suggestion is that there are these EU regulations which say


they are too dangerous and not good for the environment and outdated and


that Britain should decide for itself. The EU line is one we have


gone on because it is the freshest. I know this is a deeply objective


show and we have to have an interest in balance for both sides. But there


has never been any evidence for any harm to humans or the environment by


GM crops. There is a tremendous amount of his dairy and stupidity,


frankly, about them. And you can get away with that in a time of plenty


and when it is a nascent technology. We now know that we urgently need


around the world to increase crop yields and food production, and GM


crops are good way of doing it. It is funny to me that GM crops, which


have split people politically, are now being stopped in Britain, not


necessarily by the government. The Environment Secretary is behind


them, but they are being stopped by EU regulation. You can see a UKIP


and paint tomorrow. Vote UKIP to stop GM crops being banned. But to


stop it, you would have to leave the EU. The whole thing is a mess. We


would have to say goodbye to Nigel Farage, because he would not have a


job any more. It is not the first time this has happened. A similar


story has been repeated by the coalition over the years. Last year,


the same scientists said much the same thing. They said, we need to


think about GM crops. David Cameron was asked to think again about


policy on GM crops. He was asked ten or 12 times. His advisers were


asked, would he feed GM crop to his children, and there was no answer.


Such hysteria, it's nonsense. Frankenstein views. And you get away


with that if you live in a country where there's no food production. We


urgently need to feed people and people who campaign against the


crops are supporting the starvation of millions of people. Which is Nick


Clegg and that's the trouble. It won't happen because Lib Dems are


the only ones against it. A political enough criticism? Deeply.


Financial Times. China are saying they are not going to prop up


failing companies as much as they have in the past? There is a


terrifying comparison, the idea of a Lehmann moment. China's been slowing


but has since the crash of 2008 been driven by credit. Private credit's


gone from being 140% of the economy to something like 200% in just six


years. Not sure how you say the Chinese premier's name and I won't


try because I'll get it wrong. He said China won't guarantee the big


companies won't default and it's made people very jittery because the


interdependence on the global economy means we are fantastically


reliant on China growing fast and stable. It's certainly not done


that. What The interesting thing about this is that it's a communist


super power who said they want to come into the modern world and


everything but still retain their communist ethos. They have been


bailing out companies for a very long time because the state needed


that. Now they are saying we'll leave you to it and stop that. For


them to allow some of the most important businesses to fail is them


accepting it and saying, we are as interested in making a buck as the


next man and if you are not making a buck, you are on your way. There are


so many other countries that desperately need China to do well.


It's a new phenomena where people have an uncentive because they want


to reach China's markets. Us as well. They need China, everyone


needs China. It's on the Stock Exchange now. Very quickly, the


Guardian. New drugs fast tracked for patients. These are drugs that


haven't got a licence necessarily yet but are for people with


debilitating conditions. Are you going to be the Guinea pig


effectively? Yes. This is a case where a company says they think


their drug will work, therefore it can be prescribed by some doctors.


It What comeback would there be if you have agreed to take this?


There's huge numbers of people affected by long-term conditions who


have some hope when a drug comes on the scene an can't realise that.


Ethiopiafully this means some people will be cured who otherwise wouldn't


be. That's it. Gosh, it's very hard to get a word in edgeways. Then


again, who wants to hear from me. We'll be back at 11. 30 to have a


look at the papers making the headlines tomorrow. At 11, we'll


have the latest on the helicopter crash in Norfolk in which four


people are thought to have died. Next, the Sportsday.


Welcome to Sportsday. Tottenham's problems pile


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