08/05/2014 The Papers


No need to wait until tomorrow morning 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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England's women retain their 100% start to the World Cup qualifying


campaign, when they took on the Ukraine. That is coming up in 15


minutes. Hello, and welcome to our look ahead


to what the the papers will be bringing us tomorrow. With me are


Paul Johnson, deputy editor of The Guardian, and media commentator Tim


Collins. Tomorrow's front pages, starting


with The Express, leading with a report by MPs that condemns


proposals to allow the taxman to take money out of people's bank


accounts without their permission. That's also the lead in the


Telegraph which says the Treasury plans, which would mean no court


order is needed to take money from accounts, is 'very concerning' given


the history of mistakes by HM Revenue and Customs. The FT goes


with Barclay's announcement to cut 7,000 jobs in their investment


banking division, sounding a retreat from a part of the business that was


once at the heart of its operations. The Mirror has a story from a family


who found their grandmother dead in an NHS hospital before staff


realised. The Guardian leads with a highly critical report by MPs that


calls for radical reform of oversight of the UKs intelligence


agencies. And The Independent also leads with a report by MPs, this


time criticising a lack of financial oversight of free schools by the


Education Department. The Scotsman's picture story is that 'armoured


cars' are ready to protect Nigel Farage when he makes a return visit


north of the border. The Times declares ` It's official: the Great


Recession has ended according to figures from a respected economic


think tank. So let's begin. We will start with


the express, talking about the idea that the taxman can read our bank


accounts without our permission or a court order, this is how it is


reporting it. HM revenue and Customs said that they have a track record


of blunders, customers have been wrongly accused of owing tax, and


they could take the tax, but if they own money, should they cough up?


They should be pursued, and under the current system, they are, you


should not have, this is what George Osborne is putting in place, but the


ability for HM RC, an error riddled organisation, to read people 's bank


accounts without a court order. Sometimes, possibly raiding joint


accounts without the other half knowing. `` raid. The consequences


could be serious, you could damage credit ratings, direct debits would


balance, they could not pay their mortgages on time, it could be


damaging indeed, I don't think it is the right response. We have a huge


fiscal crisis, this is not the right thing to do. We would hope that the


government gets the message, the problem is that we have been


spending too much, and not taxing too little. Interesting timing, when


everything is geared towards the election, this will be hugely


unpopular with people. This was in the small print, as many


controversial elements of the budget are, and last March, in George


Osborne 's budget, it has taken the Treasury Select Committee to bring


this to the forefront. The chair who says, in reference to the fact that


we know that 5 million people are on the wrong tax codes, people need to


ask for the right codes, and pay the right amounts in the first place. He


is worried about vulnerable people and glitches in the system. People


would find this offensive. How can he do this? The system is in place,


but it doesn't always work properly. They do, very few people who ought


to be paying tax escape from doing so completely. Those people who


probably large`scale tax avoidance are not likely to have accessible


bank accounts. The problem is that once you have introduced the


system, it potentially may have started off as something that is


going to be aimed at the worst offenders but could become something


that becomes almost automatically. `` automatic. Napoleon, I think, was


beaten some time ago, and we still have income tax. The Chancellor says


it is a small measure, targeting 17,000 people, that is how it is


trailed in some newspapers. Before we know it, this could be how we all


pay our taxes, I don't think that is sensible. The Times says that it is


official, the great recession has ended, how are we going to


celebrate? Does it depend on the country where you live? This is a


two cheer story, rather than three cheers, it has taken six years to


claw back this growth. Not to put an entire dampener on this, you have to


look under the bonnet of the economy. Unemployment looks quite


good, but once again, when we look at it, we know how many people are


now categorised as self`employed and on zero our contracts. We know the


potential problems of the housing bubble that could come. It was


reported in the daily Telegraph a day or so ago, saying that 1%


increases in interest rates, which we know is coming at some point, but


we don't know when, it could knock 2% of the growth rate. We could be


back to where we were in 2011. I like the fact that the man who was


quoted in this, extensively, is called Jack Meaning. A marvellous


name for someone who is a research fellow! Does this mean, that Mr


Carney, at the Bank of England, he is under more pressure to put


interest rates up? Savers have been moaning that interest rates have


been low for a long time? Not least, because of what is expected, by the


National Institute, that is anything but a pro` Tory think tank. They are


saying that they expect the country to grow rapidly this year, faster


than any other major colony. It could put pressure on interest


rates, but inside of the story, it says that markets do not expect the


first moved to come before April of next year. The general election is


in May next year, we can assume that they will not go up three days


beforehand. I am suggesting that no governor in the Bank of England will


sensibly put interest rates up just before a general election. What is


interesting about the story is that the recession was so deep, and so


start, that inside of the Times story, they have pointed out that


six years after the onset of the 1979 recession, the Margaret


Thatcher recession, it was 8% bigger, and six years after the 1990


recession, the John Major recession, the economy was 16% bigger, and six


years after the 2008 recession, the Gordon Brown recession, it is only


just back to where it was. If you look at this chart, although some of


those who have more memories remember how bitterly fought the


politics and economics were of the 1980s, actually, the drop from peak


to trough in the 1980s was far far less than the drop from peak to


trough in this recession in 2008. There was a 7% collapse in output,


the worst we have had since the 1930s, that is why it has taken so


long to crawl back to basically the starting line. How concerned will


politicians be that everybody enjoys the benefits of the recovery? There


are pockets which seem to be stubbornly refusing to budge. As we


were saying, the nature of the employment market is showing that,


people in part`time jobs, lone parents and so on, have stuck to the


implement market and not drifted away. It is very uneven, it is an


uneven recovery in that sense. Not only geographically but age wise.


The young, and most barometers here, have done the worst. Then the more


elderly. That is a significant factor. It is worth bearing in mind


the contrast between us and the rest of Europe, in Spain, youth


unemployment is over 50%. That is under the age of 30. I have someone


working for me in Brussels who is a German undergraduate, she says she


is the only one in her entire age group who left university a couple


of years ago who is in work. Although there are undoubtedly


problems with youth unemployment and prospects in Britain, we are much


better than those in the Eurozone. Let's have a look at the


Independent. The MPs savage lack of proper oversight, over ?1 billion


has been spent on the free schools programme from Michael Gove, a


rebuke from Margaret Hodge, among others. `` Margaret Hodge. Has this


project not delivered? Having had a pop at Michael Gove and hour ago, I


will defend him on this one! The Independent is, it is left wing to


other newspapers, it's not surprising that they have taken this


angle. They would be desperate to see free schools fail, as people on


the left are, they want state`controlled monopolistic


education to be the only option available to people who cannot


afford it. Isn't proper oversight what they want to see? What they


want to see is these problems in state schools, that is not the


reason for having a state education system, but overall, free schools


have raised standards, they have improved standards and exam results


overall, they are doing extremely well in tackling some severe


problems of social deprivation, where people have given up on what


state which commission should provide. The numbers that are used


here, some of them are the old Gordon Brown techniques `` state


education. It is about 250 million a year out of each of the four years


that this particular programme has been running. We know, from Sweden,


not a massively right`wing country, a very strongly socially democratic


country, there are huge improvements in standards. Margaret Hodge, I


understand, she wants to knock this, you can pick out individual


stories, there are some stories that are causing my eyebrows to go out,


like the salary figures, weighted by individuals, but if we can make this


work and put parents in charge, we could have important improvements ``


the wages of certain individuals. We cannot criticise all free schools


when you think it is a small number who are not doing well, and haven't


been run properly. This is the redoubtable Margaret Hodge, this is


the second story we have from a Select Committee tonight. Five of


the national newspapers lead from stories of three select committees,


it shows how a dynamic chairman with an energetic set up like the Select


Committee, with the ability to call witnesses, it can be effective. But


coming back to this, Margaret Hodge is fine, she can talk about proper


financial accountability, but the broader worry, about free schools,


is the necessity to enforce a broadly balanced curriculum, and the


fears that are more widely felt about the ability to employ


unqualified teachers, a lot of people are worried about that,


whether they are on the left or right of this argument. Let's move


on to the Scotsman, Farage is on the front cover of this. Armoured cars


are ready to protect him on his return to Scotland, the paper says.


They are supposed to protect him from protests. Family friends does


he have in Scotland? All of us, when we first saw the front pages, we


thought it was a joke. As you unpack it, it turns out to be less of a


joke. The first thing to note is that, my eyebrows went up when I saw


the headline, they are talking about the far right making plans for


Nigel. They are not talking about UKIP but an organisation I had never


heard of, it is called "Britain first". They are quite right wing,


and it is not UKIP asking for the armoured cars, or the police, this


is the far right group trying to get some publicity for themselves. If


you dig back into the history, the last two times that Farage has gone


to Scotland, I am not a UKIP supporter, you could play a key role


in taking me out of Polmont, I owe them no favours whatsoever. He was


not physically assaulted but abused `` Parliament. He had to flee into a


pub. I think if you do not agree with UKIP, whether you are in


Scotland or England, which have a civil debate and not have one where


even a political leader who we do not agree with is held down, shouted


out, abused, and told where he can put the union jack, all of that has


happened to him. He is a legitimate leader of a party, and if those who


disagree debate at, do not shout him down. `` debate with him. The phrase


"armoured cars" is' is, that means it could not be true. Farage travels


with a couple of mind is these days since he was hit over the head with


a placard. We did an interview with him last week, he is relaxed about


having those minders. He thinks it is probably a necessity of any party


leader who is gaining the National Forum in the way that he is. And


such predominance in a recognisable character. A comment from each of


you. Comments that ethnic minority voters will flock to UKIP. Tell that


to Lenny Henry. 99.4% of UKIP supporters are white and most


studies have shown they are far less tolerant of ethnic minorities and of


immigrants. This is wishful thinking. This is very much a part


of what is clever strategy for Nigel Farage, saying, don't believe in the


line. I'm going to get minority voters. Everyone knows which pool he


fishes from. So much to talk about. We have run out of time. It bubbly


my fault. Paul and Tim, lovely to see you both. `` it is a bubbly my


fault. The latest of the abducted schoolgirls from Nigeria as some of


those who escaped tell their story. Coming up next, it is time for


Sportsday. Hello and welcome to Sportsday. I'm Karthi Gnanasegaram.


The headlines this evening: Pushing for promotion to the Premier League,


it's Championship play`off time and Derby have the early advantage




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