27/12/2017 The Papers


27/12/2017

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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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to our look ahead

to what the the papers will be

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bringing us tomorrow.

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With me are Josie Cox,

business editor at the Independent,

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and Tom Bergin, business

correspondent for Reuters.

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Here for the Long Haul -

The i reports that Jeremy Corbyn

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says he's ready to fight an election

at any time, and will wait

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until 2022 if the Government

survives for a full term.

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The Times claims that

the Metropolitan Police is failing

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to protect vulnerable children.

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The Financial Times reports that

companies have made a record amount

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from floating on stock exchanges,

mainly because of deals

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in the US and China.

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The Daily Express runs

with a story about people

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seeing their pension funds whittled

away by hidden charges.

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The Telegraph leads

with a warning that patients

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are going blind while waiting

for cataract operations.

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The Guardian leads with a story

claiming the rise of automation

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and the machine will affect

the poorest hardest.

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The Mirror claims hospitals made

£500,000 a day from NHS carparks.

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The Mail's front page has a report

claiming half of local authorities

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haven't had a bobby on the beat

for the past year.

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So, let's begin...

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Your stablemate at the Independent

has Jeremy Corbyn in for the long

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haul, he says. He has been giving

interviews, one suspects, to make

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everyone realise he's still around?

Yes, absolutely, it looks like it.

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To me, this looks like a bit of a

battle cry. There have been some

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developments around Theresa May

which might give the impression that

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she has stabilised a little bit and

I think that this could be a

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response to that, Jeremy Corbyn just

saying, I am here, too. All these

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election promises that we made, they

still count, we're still to be

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reckoned with. He doesn't really say

anything particularly new however,

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he's reiterating what we've already

heard from him, that he expects he

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could be Prime Minister next year,

reiterating all his commitments to

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education and health care and

housing. All of these really

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traditional Jeremy Corbyn promises.

So, it's reaffirming most of what

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he's already put out there. But Tom,

is there a sense also that perhaps

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Labour haven't kicked on the way

that those within the labour

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movement would have hoped following

the relative success that they

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enjoyed back in the summer in the

election?

True, may be one challenge

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they face in that area is around

Brexit, an issue on which they're

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being deliberately ambiguous. And in

this interview he talks about

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clarifying the position, which has

been quite confused of late,

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regarding a second referendum.

Earlier in the month Tom Watson

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indicated he was possibly supportive

of a second referendum, but he has

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come out and apparently settled the

issue by saying they're not

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advocating a second referendum! Of

course that's very different to

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actually explaining your position on

it!

I'm none the wiser! Is that

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fundamentally part of the problem,

then, that they do have a poor

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constituency in some of the

traditional Labour Heartlands

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Hospital were pro-Brexit, sorry, who

were pro-Remain, but then you have

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got a lot of other people who would

see themselves as middle of the road

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Labour supporters who believe that

Europe is in fact the future?

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Absolutely. So, is it a problem or

is it a strength? It is working out

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pretty good if you take the view

that the Brexit will unravel,

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because the promises they made

cannot be delivered, and we've seen

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some of that already, the fact that

we could walk away without paying

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any money - well, that didn't work

out. So, from his perspective may be

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the thing is to sit back and not

Express a view and let everyone

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else's view be shown to be

inaccurate.

That's Theresa May has

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now moved onto the second stage of

negotiations to talk trade - and it

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could go swimmingly from there, so

it is a fine line for Labour?

I

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think for them it is about momentum

and keeping it up, and as Thomas

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says, clarifying some of the issues

which got them the support in the

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first place. I think there was

definitely a ground swell,

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particularly amongst younger voters

perhaps, for clarity - they want to

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know where Labour stands.

The Daily

Telegraph, Tom, Mr Heseltine, he

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should lose the whip apparently?

Yes, some very outraged people!

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Current and former Tory grandees. It

is a statement made by Michael has a

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time in the past day or two around

the conundrum that people may face

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upon whether to vote Corbyn with the

aim of having a softer Brexit, or

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potentially remaining, and doing it

out of interest for the economy and

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the country generally, or voting

Conservative, and I gets the

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calculus here is, if you don't

support naturally Labour, if you're

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a Tory, you might think, he's got

all these terrible ideas, he wants

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to nationalise the railways,

increase taxes... And the view of Mr

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has a time is that if it all comes

to pass, and, of course, that is

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uncertain, then we could change it

in four years' time, whereas Brexit,

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that is forever. And these are the

kind of things which come up, we had

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people like the Bush family coming

out and saying that would not be

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voting for Trump. He's not looking

for a Cabinet is a shot at this

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point in time, Mr Heseltine, but of

course many people are happy to say

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he should lose the whip.

Why should

he lose the whip over saying

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something like this, I don't

understand?

I agree with you, I

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think the rhetoric itself is not

actually that surprising, coming

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from him as well. But I think taking

the sea word, Corbyn, it is another

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level I suppose! But these aren't

Labour supporters who are angry that

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he mentioned Jeremy Corbyn, these

are people within the Conservative

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Party, so why are they angry that he

has spoken about Brexit in this way,

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because we know he was a Remainer,

we know he is pro-EU.

As Josey said,

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mentioning his name and Prime

Minister in the same sentence

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perhaps! Before the election we had

the position of the Conservative

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Party that it was just inconceivable

that Jeremy Corbyn would be Prime

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Minister, because his policies were

too left-field. Now, we're actually

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seeing a senior Conservative talking

about, actually it might not be such

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a bad thing. So, for them...

So, is

it the calculation that it would be

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better...?

I had a conversation with

a senior banker a few days ago who

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said, absolutely Labour would be a

better option, because the concern

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is that the Conservative Party has

already taken their industry to the

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edge of the cliff, and many of them

seem to want to go over it as

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quickly as possible. So, this banker

is saying, I could face higher tax

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but the other alternative is no

industry whatsoever, if we continue

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to go with a hard Brexit with the

Conservative Party.

OK. Well, if

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that is what he is saying, then that

is very interesting! The Times,

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Josie, apparently David Davis, the

Brexit secretary, has been sidelined

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as a civil servant takes over the

Brexit negotiations - could this be

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true?

If it is, it is certainly a

very worrying development. The

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person in question apparently taking

over response abilities is Oliver

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Robins, the former Permanent

Secretary. The Times cites these

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sources and it would be quite

worrying. They say that he has gone

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on a significantly more official

visits to Brussels than Mr Davies

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between July and September, and that

he now also reports directly to

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Theresa May. Now, I think the

interesting thing here is that David

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Davis has of course been the face of

Brexit

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Davis has of course been the face of

Brexit, and as we all know, the

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negotiations have not exactly gone

swimmingly despite the recent

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breakthrough. So, perhaps this is a

development which is from the EU

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side, a move away from David Davis

in an attempt to try and sort of

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make that process easier, and try

and remove some of the barriers that

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have perhaps been in place.

Has

David Davis been seen as a stumbling

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block?

One of the things, of course,

with the latest breakthrough, which

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was basically Britain gave the EU

most of what it wanted, so it is a

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capitulation...! I'm sure Theresa

May would not look at it that way,

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she would say she has done rather

well! When you get to about 90% of

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what they're asking for, most people

would consider that to be a good

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negotiation! But there have been

questions, in that case, of course,

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people say Theresa May stepped in to

confirm her hand and this particular

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civil servant is now of course HER

civil servant, within her

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department. But also over recent

months, the depiction of David

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Davis' competence is not quite what

it used to be.

The depiction, or his

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competence itself?!

I cannot speak

in detail about that! But certainly

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arriving for the beginning of the

negotiations with no paperwork

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whatsoever across the table from

people who have stacks of it, which

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is of course going to be

photographed and tweeted almost

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instantaneously, did not start off

very well, giving interviews where

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he said, I don't have to be clever

in my job, I just have to be very

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calm. Calmness is not necessarily

associated with cleverness in terms

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of the intellectual spectrum, so

he's choosing words and things where

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he does not really elevate himself

necessarily. So, the position, his

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position, does not seem to be one

but has really been enhanced through

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the last six months or so.

But he

will still be there at the press

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conference with Michel Barnier,

right? After whatever discussions

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take place?

You would think so but I

guess... Anything could happen! It

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could be the civil servant! OK!

Staying with the Guardian, the

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poorest, Josie, will be faring worse

in the age of automation with jobs

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threatened and £90 billion in wages?

I suppose it is not very surprising

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that we got the robot story between

Christmas and New Year, because it

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is a traditionally quieter news time

and robots always make for good

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discussion. It is a report from a

left-leaning think-tank, which is

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saying that robots, I should say

automation, isn't necessarily going

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to take over jobs, it is not going

to create a society where robots do

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all of our jobs for us, but it could

contribute to a reader tradition of

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wealth, which could lead to more

inequality. The logic behind it is

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that the low-wage jobs are most

likely to be automated in future,

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and that as a result of that, wages

will get pushed up at the top end.

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The think-tank is calling on the

government to do whatever it can to

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prevent that from happening, to

maintain the balance.

What would you

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do, then?

A lot of it is about

including things in the industrial

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strategy that will educate employers

around retraining staff where

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necessary, making sure that people

can be redeployed into different

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roles that aren't automated. And

just making the workforce future

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proof, I suppose.

I suppose making

sure that society is aware of the

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spectrum of consequences that there

could well be as a result of

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automation.

Very much. The question

is, do you take incremental measures

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like that, or do you look more

fundamentally at things like minimum

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wage, universal... Robot taxes, an

idea that Bill Gates came up with.

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So, we have not necessarily, we have

had the gig economy but we have not

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adopted regulations very quickly to

that and we have ended up in

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situations - the question is, can we

move faster on this trend?

And

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finally, the Daily Express, new

pensions disaster, rip-off fees, we

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knew this, didn't we?

We did, it

seems the City regulator has come

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out with some new data to show that

most people are staying with an

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existing provider when they ask the

provider to take it out and put it

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into something which is more

accessible to them. And the provider

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typically charges higher fees. Fees

are the kind of things which can

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destroy your pension, if you listen

to Warren Buffett, he said that's

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the surest thing to make you poorer.

These were very controversial

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measures, giving people access to

use their money as they wish rather

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than to purchase an annuity. We're

really starting to see more and more

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data that raises the question as to

whether people will be financially

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better off as a result of this.

But

putting power into people's hands

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was seen as a good thing by some

people, when Mr Osborne decided to

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make these changes?

And it was

welcome to largely at the time. But

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I think increasingly over the last

couple of years, what we've seen is

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that the responsibility that comes

with that is perhaps not hatched by

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the education that pensioners have

around this. And we've seen examples

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of this which are terrible but also

examples of scams, where pensioners

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are accessing their pension pot,

because they want that money, and

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they haven't got, returns are

terrible elsewhere, in bonds, for

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example, and they're accessing that

money, and doing irresponsible

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things with it just because they

don't have the education. So this is

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going to shine a fresh light on the

responsibility of the regulators

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etc.

All does yellow Lamborghinis

that we're seeing whizzing around

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out there as a result of this! Thank

you to both of you. Coming up next,

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it's the weather.

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