19/03/2014 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 Clive Myrie.

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ahead of their first match of the tournament against New Zealand on


Saturday. Welcome to our look ahead to what


the papers will be bringing us tomorrow. With me are the political


editor of the Sun on Sunday and the financial commentator Louise Cook.


As you can imagine, the Budget is dumb and 80 many of them. The


Financial Times says the Chancellor's reforms to tension is a


revolution. `` the Chancellor's reforms to pensions is a revolution.


The Telegraph says George Osborne has placed savers at the heart of


the economic recovery. The Metro has a more traditional tabloid look and


feel about it. The Daily Mirror does not lead on the Budget, it focuses


on the new lead in the Madeleine McCann case. The Guardian is calling


the Budget a blatant attempt by the Conservatives to stem defections to


UKIP. We can have a nutter about that one, without a doubt. The Daily


Telegraph, Louise, the fact is, savers and pensioners, they have


paid an additional price, haven't they, for the Government's attempts


to cut the deficit and deal with the economic problems, because of low


interest rates? Savers have borne a very large cost. As we know, five


years ago, interest rates were cut 20.5%. For the first couple of years


in the crisis, inflation was running substantially above that. `` cut to


.5%. So you were actually getting hit in terms of the purchasing power


of your money, year`on`year. Within the first 60 seconds, Osborne had


mentioned saver, savour and savour, but we did not get the details until


the very end. It was his grand finale. Interestingly, last year was


all about house`buying, the house buyer, and this year it is all about


the saver. And David? Pensioners, of course. One of the big problem is


that they have suffered over the years, and savers in general, is


that interest rates have been so low. While it has been good for the


borrowers, and let's be honest, borrowing is what has put the


country is in this mess, it might be good for growth, but people who are


saving for retirement, particularly those in their 50s, 15 years away


from retirement, do not know what to do with their money. Saving it is


not a good option at the moment. Though this might give some added


incentive. The Daily Telegraph, its readers tend to be slightly older


and so on, so, if you have got money that you want to put in and I say,


you can put more money into that now, and you can mix it up with


shares all`cash, one or the other? Yes, he has announced lots of things


for savers. He has said you can put ?15 a year `` ?15,000 a year into


ISAs. He also announced a pension bond, with up to 4% interest. The


key thing, as you said earlier, was the reform to the pension industry,


which came as a massive shock to the financial services industry. Some of


the stock price reactions are quite dramatic. Legal and general, it is


as enormous company, its stock price was down 9%. Essentially, what


Osborne is saying is, you have saved for your pension all your life, you


can make the decision as to what you want to do with it. In the past, you


have been forced to buy annuities, which, with interest rates at .5%,


you have been absolutely screwed. If you have retired over the last five


years, you have been screwed by this .5% interest rate. Now, finally, you


can choose what you want to do with your money. You can buy a house if


you want to and went it out, you can keep your money in the stock market.


You can choose what to do with your pension pot, and that is a very,


very big change. Clearly from the stock price reactions from some of


the big pension providers, the view is, they have made a lot of money


out of the fact that you have had no choice. Interestingly, it used to be


the case that we had no idea what was in the little red box when the


Chancellor came out, but now, of course, we get titbits. This, on


pensions, that could not be leaked. That would have completely messed


things up for the insurance companies. They kept a big lid on it


this year. One job I have to do is to try to get the leaks. I got quite


a bit right. But nobody got a sniff of the pensions. I was getting some


people from certain industries ringing me, texting me last night,


as late as this morning, asking me, have I got a sniff of what was


happening in their particular field? And nobody knew. Louise was


talking about stocks and shares going up. I'll tell you who's stock


has gone up today, that of George Osborne. There is a piece in the


Telegraph, which says, an improving Chancellor. If you turn the clock


back two years to the Omni shambles, it was a disaster. George's stock


went through the floor, he was regarded as a no hope Chancellor,


the pasty tax and everything. Now, he is growing in confidence. He is


leaving going out once a week and meeting people! I hear the reason it


was kept so quiet was that essentially, it is inside


information. Regarding the stock price, if you did that, there could


be criminal charges. Moving onto the Guardian, you talked, David, about


Mr Osborne's stock going up. Attention, he would say, and the


Tory half of the coalition would hope, that all their stock is up,


with the election next year. Hence the Budget being aimed at older


people, savers and pensioners, people who vote. Is that what the


photo is about? I thought it was a printing error. What I want to know


is what you would have to vote to go back to blonde again. That is what I


want to know. Now, this is an attempt to get back some of the core


Conservative vote who have fled to UKIP. They are the people, probably


in their 50s, who are fed up with the Conservative Party and David


Cameron generally. And verily holding this out. It is also savers,


as we said, younger people saving up, those who want ISAs, those


coming up to retirement, and those who are retired. He is giving savers


the chance to claw the moneyback. So, we have got a guaranteed


referendum, 2017, under the Tories, pensioners have been helped, savers


have been helped, he has sorted it out, hasn't he, as far as his base


is concerned? The trouble is, he has so little fiscal room to move. This


is the problem. It still lasted 15 minutes, however long it was, but he


did not actually say that much `` 50 minutes `` in terms of impact on the


economy. That is Labour's point. The government is so indebted, he cannot


do very much. And so, there was quite a lot of typical rallying


cries, Thatcher rallying cries, it is your money, we will give it to


you. Attach any, many Tory backbenchers want him to cut


spending a lot faster and to cut taxes. `` actually. But he is not in


the position to be able to do it. So, the Thatcher rallying cries may


have been there, but the debt position is dire and remains dire.


The bottom of the front page of the Financial Times also talking about


pensions revolution, with Osborne wooing the silver haired, and the


savers. At the bottom, he says, a totem for Thatcher's ageing


children. This idea that it is about you having control of your pension,


being able to save more. You are the agent of your own destiny,


basically. One wonders why Thatcher did not have this revolution, or


even Tony Blair, who apparently was advised to have these pension


changes? Well, to me, it shows the lack of financial knowledge, that


nobody could get out a financial calculator and work out the damage


to annuity rates done by .5% interest rates and ?370 billion of


QE. Anybody who has retired in the last five years has bought an


annuities at rates which are unheard`of, which means that their


pension is affected for ever. They have bought that annuity, end of.


You are done. And so, to me, they could have done with some financial


brains in there, going, if we are cutting rates 2.5%, then the people


who are really going to get shafted is those retiring right now. This


should have been done as soon as the rates were cut. It wasn't, it has


taken them five years. I am really sorry for anybody out there who has


retired in the last five years. Because now, you would not have to


buy an annuity. One person sent in an e`mail question ` can it be


retrospectively applied? It can't. We were talking about going grey and


pensions. It's ` the "grey vote" is more likely to turn out. 76% of over


65s voted in the last election. This is clearly a vote`winning strategy.


This is clearly... It is. This is clearly, you know, savers ` I said `


I predicted help for savers. I thought it might come through


monetary policy ` interest rates are going to go up before the general


election rather than this. There was no chance of that. It could still


happen. He knew he had to do something for the savers. It looks


like he's done it through fiscal policy. Let's go on to the Metro. In


the pub landlord did budgets, Osborne rewards... LAUGHTER This is


a traditional tabloid red top ` blue top in this case. He did talk about


scrapping above`inflation rises for wine, freezing duty on whisky ` a


boost for the Scottish economy. He called it a great British export!


Indeed. Cut beer tax by 1p. Indeed, Mr Grant Shapps of the Conservative


Party, he put out a tweet this evening and he said, "Budget 2014 `


cuts ` bingo, and beer tax." The implication for some people is is


that all hard`working people interested in ` beer and bingo?


Grant Shapps is trying to show he is a man of the people! I don't think I


have seen him with a bingo pen in his hand. I did tweet an Al Murray


line ` a glass of wine for the lady. Some of my Twitter followers didn't


get it was an Al Murray joke. Clearly, as far as savers are


concerned, pensioners, it seems like it is good news. The devil is in the


detail. That is what the Labour Party are saying. This stuff on


bingo and beer and wine and that kind of stuff, is that an obvious


attempt to rope in another section of society? Let's not underestimate


this. Yeah. A lot of people do enjoy a pint. They do have their


cigarettes and cigarettes did go up 23p, I think it was. Still above


inflation. They do have their pleasures in life. These little


things are important. People look out for that. You can't


underestimate that. I would say there were a lot of frivolities like


the cut in bingo hall tax, but in terms of the British economy and the


big picture, how much wealth we generate, that is irrelevant. When


we are so indebted, he can't do that much. Let's get back to what Ed


Miliband and why he has been so successful ` the cost of living


crisis. Everybody is feeling the squeeze as wages are going down, or


being frozen and the cost of living is going up. That's why knocking a


penny off a pint hits you directly, or people can feel the benefit and


understand that. A lot of people don't understand the fiscal big


picture and growth. Growth means nothing to a lot of people unless


they can feel it in their pocket. That will be the central issue when


it comes to the election. You will be back in an hour's time. Stay with


us for that. So, here, now on BBC News, it is time for Sportsday.


Hello and welcome to Sportsday ` I'm John Watson. On the way this


evening: Relief for David Moyes, as


Manchester United qualify for the quarterfinals of


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