27/11/2011 The Politics Show East


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Here in the east, there may be hope for the sounds of thousands of


drivers who struggle along the A 14 every day. And our small businesses


getting short shrift from the bank who could be offered a lifeline in


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2007 seconds


Welcome to the part of the programme which is just for us in


the east. I am a million Reynolds. It is a critical week for the


Government. George Osborne is under considerable pressure to increase


growth. And then there is the bigger strike in a generation. The


struggling businesses hoping for credit easing help from the


Chancellor. I would be interested in looking at it with the banks


were not forthcoming in supplying loans. And we will hear from unison


as members prepare for their day of action.


There is no doubt the economy has weakened since last year, so George


Osborne's autumn statement is absolutely key. His challenge - how


to challenge -- stimulate the economy. We will look at some ideas


that could be a huge benefit to the east. First to the A14. It is a


road that strikes fear to many a motorist in this region, dogged by


congestion along its 125 mile route, a run from Felixstowe in the east


to well past Northampton in the West. A plan to increase the


section around Cambridge or -- to six lens was scrapped last year


because it was just expensive but we believe it could be at hand. In


his Autumn Statement the Chancellor is expected to announce plans that


may even include making it a toll road.


It is a well-known fact that Chris Rea wrote his classic anthem road


to hell while stuck in the traffic jam on the M25. But he could easily


have ended on the A14. You listen to the radio and whenever there is


a trap for related feature on it. Sometimes you can be sitting on it


for an hour without moving. They get so congested. There were plans,


quite advanced, to widen it. were disappointed when the scheme


was dropped. At one point Wheen realise there was no money for it.


We need creative, inventive ways of looking at this. If things are bad


now, think how bad things will be once the economy is moving forward


quickly again. Now it seems a creative solution has been found,


thanks to the private sector. The A14 is likely to be mentioned in


the Chancellor's speech on Tuesday as an example of an infrastructure


project which can go ahead, creating jobs and ultimately making


life easier if there is -- British business. This was the last set of


plans. Since they were rejected, there has been a lot of work being


done to bring down any cost. With little public money available,


involving the private sector seems the best way forward. Are there


enough people in the private sector to stump up money for this. There


are large parts of private sector resources that are looking for a


place where they feel they are confident of getting a return. They


are not buying Greek bonds. They might be big buying Government


bonds in this country, but they are looking for something that they see


as a worthwhile return on their investment. It could be part


private part public. It could be in leasing option, like what we


currently have between Huntingdon and Peterborough. That piece of


road is not on by the state, it is rented by the state. There are many


options. The smart money is on a toll road.


Open a years ago, it has led to quicker journeys if you are


prepared to pay. A recent survey found that 80% of motorists were


put off by the prices. Most of the continental countries, there tolls


are a third of the price and for the distance travelled. So


basically I think they have got to cut it at least by one-and-a-half.


The hauliers say they are willing to pay a toll in order to no longer


having to pits have an hour or so into their timetables because they


expect their 14 to be blocked regularly. -- A14. This will be a


controversial project with concerns about the way it is funded and the


environmental impact. But supporters are ready for it. They


think the A14 time has come. -- A14's time.


From large-scale schemes to help for the high street. In the past 12


months, the UK economy has only grown by 0.5%. The Bank of England


has cut its 2011 and 2012 growth forecasts to about 1%. And real


incomes in the UK have fallen by 1.6% over the past three years. All


of this spells bad news for small businesses, which make up 99% of


the East's economy. Saw, what are they want? The bans -- the banks to


lend. When do they want it? Now. Christmas shopping in Ipswich. If


ever businesses needed our Christmas cash, it is now. But the


Santa effect has seems -- seems to have gone west. I got cuts -- I got


made redundant in August. I am not spending as much this year.


Everyone is being careful, stretching and about more. Bad news


for the Chancellor because the economic forecast in the Autumn


Statement are expected to deepen the gloom. The Government says the


meltdown in Europe is not helping. Be honest, it is hard to get your


head around it. The figures are so huge it could almost be Monopoly


money. To our economic leaders really know what the future holds


or are they just taking a chance? Photograph bankers and their


natural habitat. The banks are not helping matters. Small businesses


are the bedrock of the East's economy but some say the banks are


holding them back. The frustrating is for small businesses because


banks have been so tight with their cash, the small businesses cannot


get loans. They cannot get past goal. Like this man. He showed me


how his taxi company had done so well in the first two years. He


wanted and a -- a loan to buy another vehicle. We approached sand


and there, we approached NatWest. We even approached one of the


independents. It was a flannel. could not believe it. If the banks


are not prepared to support it and back businesses, then what has -


Michael has anyone else got? George Osborne announces a credit easing


scheme. Basically banks will make loans to small businesses which


they are not giving at the moment. That will be packaged into a bond


so there could be a bond for East Anglia, and that Government for by


that bond. Their British taxpayer will be supporting all of the


lending that is given to small businesses. Essentially, the


taxpayer is, writing a .(TRM), back in Ipswich, this woman is getting


her homeware shop ready for the Christmas rush. She says small


businesses that cannot get loans, should necessarily blame the banks.


Some people think making going and get a loan. It is not that easy.


Unita have a sound business plan from the get a goal. Do not give up.


If one says no, go somewhere else. If you are going to be in business,


and a small business like this, you have to have so much energy. If you


getting not back, you have got to pick yourself up and get on with it.


This woman is one of the shop's suppliers. She is thinking of


approaching a bank for a loan to help her jewellery business growth.


She likes the idea of so-called Reddick -- credit easing. It sounds


good. But we need to find out all the details first to see exactly


how they are going to set it up. I would be interested in looking at


it if the banks were not very forthcoming in supplying a loan.


The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce would welcome credit easing but


says the policy needs to make a difference right now if it is to


have any impact. Meanwhile, being Chancellor of the economy in the


state it is in, must be is about as much fun as playing Monopoly on


your own. Gareth George was not get out of jail card. Joining me is the


Labour MP for Luton South who is also a shadow death-camp Minister.


And the MP for South -- suffered. Let's start with the A14. Plans


were scrapped last week -- last year because of costs. Now there


are plans could be reinstated. Are we UN to plan the then?


certainly not. This is not necessarily about more Government


spending. It is about finding other ways to finance and stretch up --


infrastructure projects. One of the things about the economy at the


moment is that lots of company, lots of funds, have got cash but


they are waiting for the opportunity and the confidence to


invest it. So unlocking some of that investment, for example making


the A14 wider, is something I would welcome. Getting the private sector


is something that is a good idea? Labour did not do anything on the


Afor 14 years. I do not except that. We had plans that would have been


put in place if we had one. I have no problem with the private sector


getting involved. The current business climate is not one where


there is confidence from consumers from businesses to put their money


where their mouth is. I look forward to the announcement on


Tuesday about the A14. I do hope that will ease the congestion


problems there. The Government should be doing this across these


are not just in one place. Nick Clegg said the Government has


levers to pull to stimulate the economy. How well to think the A14


plans to do that. Is it just fiscal stimulus, which was Labour's plan,


under another name? No, because there are still stimulus involves


bonds. The money was not in place to do that scheme. The plan was on


the table but there was no money there. While public money be


involved? If they find some are how it is financed in the end, we do


not know how it will work out in the end. I look forward to the


details. This sort of investment can really get the economy moving,


for instance, the 11th which is elsewhere in the region in my


constituency, the showers around the ground there and there are


people employed on site and it will be a big boost to the economy was a


gets going. A what will Labour do? All are about releasing finance


find out to get this economy growing. We know we have a major


problem with the deficit. The only way you can get that down is to


have a structure for growth. That is where these guys are lost his


seat. There is no competence in terms of getting cross going in the


economy. Bank bonuses. If you look get the announcements from Nick


Clegg, we are yet to see whether money is going to come from far


young people to be released to go back into the labour market. We say


that that should be a tax on bankers bonuses to get people back


to work. You're going to use that money to pay for that. You want to


build 25,000 new homes. You want to be is the regional growth fund.


That is a lot of things. And not only that, we want to reduce VAT.


We look at small businesses on the rapport there. The Federation of


Small businesses are looking for that as well. We recognise that the


key issue is to get growth going. Next week the Office for budge a


responsibility, is expected to confirm that the country's death as


it will not be closed by the end of Government -- Parliament. So you


plan is not working. Let's see what they have to say. Everybody knows,


everybody watching this knows, that these are very difficult economic


times. Most people know that when you are any debt crisis, borrowing


more money is not going to get you out of it. And so you need


innovative approaches. One of the examples that Gavin was mentioning


was a good one. The idea of having more or work experience. In my


constituency, they brought in a work experience programme in May.


Youth unemployment then was to London 71 young people unemployed.


There is now 233 unemployed young people. That is a 50% drop since


they brought their stamen. Nick Clegg has announced that that type


of scheme is going nationwide. I warmly welcome mat. We have got to


be in a fit of, of all, we have to do everything that we can. But the


idea of throwing -- throwing more borrowed money at it is not the


answer. They would cancel the future jobs front. For 18 months we


have had no such project in place. The fundamental problem with this


economy is not by Government action to get people at their back into


work, the jobs are not there in the first place. If we had not


committed to the east austerity matters, we would be paying any


worse situation than we are now. The marker one is a pride of ball


plan. On Tuesday, the Chancellor does not have a credible plan any


more. He will not be able to do what he said. We are borrowing more


than getting less worried. I want to introduce another guest. In this


key week for the Government, the Chancellor's autumn statement will


be followed by a national day of action. Two out of three are


expected to close. The strike of a public sector pensions has been


described as the biggest trade union globalisation for


regeneration. Joining us is the eastern region secretary for Unison.


What is this day of action all about? It is about public service


workers demonstrating their anger, their dismay, their disappointment


at the attacks or been made on their pensions. The message from


Downing Street is that there are not going to be any concessions.


Why are you bothering? The day before the Unison ballot was


announced, the Government came to us finally and said that they were


prepared to negotiate. I cannot say that there is no way to be any


change at all. We do not take this action lightly. We never take


industrial action lightly. We have something that has very important


at stake and we want to see a resolution to that. Orly 25% of


Unison members voted for the strike. 23% of unite. How much support do


you think you're actually going to get? I think we are going to get a


lot of support on the day. There are 23 in unions involved in this


action. The result that we have had from the ballot is a very good one


and we have had a growing level of support as we have been talking to


people getting involved with union members, talking to people in


communities. There will be a lot of support and the day. When this


Government came into power, they had to do something to sort out the


country's finances. This strike is just a political statement. I fear


the thing that they hope to do it was impose a 3% tax on these pay


and conditions. There needs to be a proper and the glossy to settlement.


If you are asking me to condemn the people who are fighting for the


rights, I will not do it. Matthew Hancock, the Government has tried


its feet over negotiations here. If he had done better with the


negotiating, we might not be facing the biggest drive for a generation.


The Government has been negotiating all along. Gavin just spoke about


the need for a credible plan. And every time we talk about anything


that you do with dealing with debts that Labour Left, Gavin is against


it. People will be appalled at the idea of the strike. Millions of


people across this region will not be able to rely on public services,


on schools, on hospitals were ill people, next week on Wednesday. The


deal on the table is eminently reasonable. People, 10 years from


retirement are lies, will be affected. Low pay it public sector


workers will get better pensions. So what the union representative or


is asking for is a tax on private sector employed people, often with


no pensions at all, in order to pay the pensions of the best a public


sector workers, who sometimes, those pensions would be bigger than


the income of the taxpayers who are paying for them. It is


extraordinary. As a some of those famille. I can answer the first one.


There is no offer. The day before the result was announced, the


Government finally said that they would open the way for serious


negotiations. The Government are not the employers, they are not the


employers that runs these pension schemes. Unison and the other trade


unions have said we will negotiate anytime, anywhere, any place. It is


no coincidence the Government said that the day before the ballot


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