27/11/2011 The Politics Show London


27/11/2011

Jon Sopel and Tim Donovan are here with the top political stories of the week.


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This week on the Politics Show: It promises to be one of the

:00:05.:00:08.

biggest strikes in British history, but have both sides made avoidable

:00:08.:00:13.

disruption inevitable? We'll ask the TUC General Secretary why he's

:00:13.:00:15.

determined to press ahead with Wednesday's walkout over public

:00:15.:00:20.

sector pensions when talks seemed to be making progress.

:00:20.:00:23.

And Francis Maude, one of the ministers leading the negotiations,

:00:23.:00:26.

joins us to answer charges that his rhetoric has inflamed, rather than

:00:26.:00:32.

calmed, the dispute. And what about Labour? We'll ask

:00:32.:00:35.

Shadow Chief Secretary Rachel Reeves if her party will support

:00:35.:00:43.

the day of action. A yes or no answer will do.

:00:43.:00:48.

With the economy flatlining or even sliding towards a possible new

:00:48.:00:52.

recession, I'll report on how the Chancellor can boost growth while

:00:52.:00:56.

sticking to his plans to reduce the deficit.

:00:56.:01:01.

In London, how constituency boundary changes could affect the

:01:01.:01:04.

capital's make-up. And the proposed relaxation of

:01:04.:01:14.
:01:14.:01:19.

licensing laws for music venues, is With me for the programme today are

:01:19.:01:22.

Jackie Ashley, who's a political commentator for the Guardian, and

:01:22.:01:30.

Tom Newton Dunn, political editor of the Sun. First the news.

:01:30.:01:33.

The Chancellor has been giving more details of his plans to make

:01:33.:01:36.

billions of pounds available in bank loans to businesses. The

:01:36.:01:40.

Government will act as a guarantor for the loans to small and medium

:01:40.:01:43.

sized enterprises. It comes as George Osborne is preparing his

:01:43.:01:47.

Autumn Statement this week. Labour says the so called "credit easing"

:01:47.:01:50.

plan doesn't go far enough, as our business correspondent Joe Lynam

:01:50.:02:00.
:02:00.:02:00.

The eurozone crisis is having what the government calls a chilling

:02:00.:02:04.

effect on the British economy which could in theory lead to a complete

:02:04.:02:08.

seizing up of bank lending to companies here. But as the

:02:08.:02:12.

Chancellor prepares to unveil his Autumn Statement, he was still

:02:12.:02:15.

confident that his deficit reduction plan was going to work.

:02:15.:02:18.

We have got a deficit reduction plan that has brought us record low

:02:18.:02:23.

interest rates, it has turned us that AAA credit rating. We are

:02:23.:02:26.

absolutely going to stick to that plan because that is what is

:02:27.:02:32.

helping Britain weather this storm and is also helping us lay the

:02:32.:02:35.

foundations of a stronger economy. To do that he gave us more detail

:02:35.:02:39.

on credit easing, his plan to boost lending. The Government would act

:02:39.:02:44.

as a guarantor for lending by banks to small firms, by enabling lenders

:02:44.:02:48.

to pass on cheaper borrowing costs to companies. A second programme

:02:48.:02:52.

would see the government taking a stake in investment funds which

:02:52.:02:55.

make loans to medium-sized companies, and the third idea hopes

:02:55.:02:59.

to create an alternative to traditional bank loans by

:02:59.:03:03.

encouraging firms to send -- sell bonds to the market. Although the

:03:03.:03:08.

Treasury said the skins will not affect the deficit, Ed Balls said

:03:08.:03:12.

it still would not be enough to boost growth. It was a big choice a

:03:12.:03:17.

year ago. We were out on a limb in advocating a different approach.

:03:17.:03:21.

Actually, increasingly, the IMF, business organisations,

:03:22.:03:25.

Conservative MPs are all seeing that the plan has not worked. It

:03:25.:03:31.

has led to more borrowing, we need a different course. On Tuesday the

:03:31.:03:34.

Chancellor will set out the rest of the measures aimed at helping a

:03:34.:03:39.

flagging economy. At the same time the Office for Budget

:03:39.:03:43.

Responsibility, which he set up, was likely to say just how weak

:03:43.:03:47.

that economy is. Her 100,000 more jobs could be cut in

:03:48.:03:50.

the public sector, according to an independent forecasting group. The

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Ernst and Young ITEM Club says the Government has been conservative in

:03:53.:03:56.

its estimate of the number of job losses required to meet spending

:03:56.:03:59.

cuts. It expects the predicted losses over the next five years to

:03:59.:04:03.

be increased from 400,000 to around 500,000.

:04:03.:04:06.

A search is continuing for five Russian seamen who are missing

:04:06.:04:09.

after their cargo ship sank in gale force winds off the coast of

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Anglesey. Two crew members were rescued from the sea, a third has

:04:13.:04:17.

also been recovered, but his condition isn't known. The ship,

:04:17.:04:20.

the Swanland, was carrying 3,000 tonnes of limestone. Last year, the

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same ship was grounded off the coast of Cornwall.

:04:23.:04:26.

A four-year-old girl has been killed in a motorway crash

:04:26.:04:35.

involving several cars and a lorry near Birmingham. Second girl in the

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same car was seriously injured. Six other people were taken to hospital.

:04:41.:04:43.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by

:04:43.:04:49.

dangerous driving. Iran's parliament has voted to

:04:49.:04:52.

downgrade diplomatic and economic ties with the UK in retaliation for

:04:52.:04:54.

Western sanctions imposed over Tehran's nuclear programme. If the

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bill is passed, the government will downgrade ties within two weeks,

:04:57.:04:59.

forcing the British Ambassador out of the country. This move comes

:04:59.:05:02.

less than a week after London banned all British financial

:05:02.:05:07.

institutions from doing business with their Iranian counterparts.

:05:07.:05:10.

That's it from me. Thank you.

:05:10.:05:13.

There will be much finger pointing in the Commons on Tuesday when the

:05:13.:05:19.

Chancellor delivers his Autumn Labour and the coalition on how to

:05:19.:05:24.

manage the economy. But are the differences really that great? Do

:05:24.:05:30.

you think there is a sense in which it is convenient for both Tories

:05:30.:05:33.

and Labour to exaggerate how far apart they are? To an extent, if

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you look at the figures, there's not much difference between the

:05:37.:05:41.

amount both sides would be spending, but you have to take into account

:05:41.:05:44.

the Conservatives were dragged kicking and screaming to where we

:05:44.:05:52.

are now by the Lib Dems. A lot of the measures we are seeing, which I

:05:52.:05:56.

call Plan A class... Jobs and infrastructure. They have been

:05:56.:05:59.

pushed by the Lib Dems, I don't think George Osborne by himself

:05:59.:06:03.

would have done them. You are now seeing the Lib Dems, who are more

:06:03.:06:09.

naturally in tune with Labour, have been making some headway. Do you

:06:09.:06:17.

buy that analysis? I'd do. If you look at the numbers, the total

:06:17.:06:21.

spending package of 700 billion. From that perspective it is small.

:06:22.:06:26.

Where I disagree with that is there's still this Faustian gulf

:06:26.:06:29.

between left and right, Tory, Labour, on the bigger picture,

:06:29.:06:36.

which is the deficit reduction targets, whether you stick to that

:06:36.:06:42.

precise spending package, or whether you will get to it in 2015

:06:42.:06:48.

or 2017, or whether you borrow to create growth. Keane's inverses the

:06:48.:06:55.

supply-side. Still far apart. you're going to have measures,

:06:55.:06:58.

infrastructure projects, credit easing, help for small businesses,

:06:58.:07:03.

a jobs fund to get young people back to work. A tacit

:07:03.:07:06.

acknowledgement that the debt reduction will not get there by

:07:06.:07:10.

2015. They have been brought on board by the Lib Dems. We should

:07:10.:07:15.

give them a bit of credit for once for pulling the Conservatives over

:07:15.:07:19.

to the right side! Sounds like you have got the memory already! I

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haven't got that yet. 10 questions to ask... What is most interesting

:07:25.:07:28.

about this week is not the tinkering that George Osborne does

:07:28.:07:31.

in the Autumn Statement, because he doesn't have much room for

:07:31.:07:35.

manoeuvre and we probably had most of it last week with the housing

:07:35.:07:39.

staff and employment law changes and youth culture act. It is to

:07:39.:07:43.

redefine the battlefield on what exactly is Plan A. I can't define

:07:43.:07:48.

it. Is it deficit-reduction by 2015? Not really because that will

:07:48.:07:54.

not work any more. What is it? It is slightly dry stuff that we

:07:54.:07:57.

obsess about, talking about matters that don't mean a lot to normal

:07:57.:08:02.

people, but how do we reshape... Where are the jobs coming from,

:08:02.:08:07.

more importantly? Part of Plan A was we would cut public sector jobs

:08:07.:08:13.

and the private sector would step in, but they haven't. We will leave

:08:13.:08:15.

that there. Now, two million workers are

:08:15.:08:18.

expected to take to the streets on Wednesday. Schools will close,

:08:18.:08:21.

travel and border checks will be disrupted and operations will be

:08:21.:08:23.

cancelled. You might think such drastic action was a measure of

:08:23.:08:26.

last resort, taken after months of talks mired in deadlock. But after

:08:26.:08:29.

a Government concession on public sector pensions which the unions

:08:29.:08:32.

themselves described as a "material move", it might seem puzzling that

:08:32.:08:36.

we are on the brink of one of the biggest walkouts in British history.

:08:36.:08:38.

Earlier this morning, I spoke to the TUC General Secretary Brendan

:08:38.:08:41.

Barber. I began by asking him whether the public would have more

:08:41.:08:44.

sympathy with the strike if the Government hadn't shown such

:08:44.:08:52.

willingness to negotiate. They have been intransigent, I'm afraid. On

:08:52.:08:57.

some of the key issues involved in this difficult issue, they have

:08:57.:09:02.

simply been unwilling to reconsider their position at all. That has

:09:03.:09:07.

made it extremely difficult. said on November 2nd, I'm glad

:09:07.:09:09.

they've made a move, it is important that the government has

:09:09.:09:14.

moved, it has come late and we welcome they have made a move today.

:09:14.:09:18.

It is a material move in their position. That doesn't sound like

:09:18.:09:24.

intransigence. But even on some of those issues that were involved in

:09:24.:09:28.

the proposals they set out early in November, we are still awaiting

:09:28.:09:35.

absolute clarity on exactly what those proposals amount to. Why not

:09:35.:09:39.

wait for the clarity and then go on strike if you're unhappy with what

:09:39.:09:43.

you get? There are a whole number of different issues involved in the

:09:43.:09:46.

negotiations which need to be addressed and need to be resolved.

:09:46.:09:50.

On some of those, as things stand, the government had shown no

:09:51.:09:56.

willingness to reconsider their position. On others, they have

:09:56.:10:00.

failed to even present the information to enable us to clearly

:10:00.:10:04.

understand what some of the proposals amount to. That has made

:10:05.:10:08.

it extraordinarily difficult. But nobody is taking this action this

:10:09.:10:13.

week likely. We have been trying to resolve this problem through those

:10:13.:10:19.

negotiations for almost the whole of this year. Nobody has been

:10:19.:10:24.

rushing to action. But the sense of frustration and a sense of real

:10:24.:10:31.

injustice and anger is enormously strong across a whole range of

:10:31.:10:35.

unions, many of them have never taken action before. What do you

:10:35.:10:40.

say to the mother on low-pay, no gold-plated pension for her, having

:10:40.:10:44.

to take a day off work because her child can't go to school? It is

:10:45.:10:49.

terrible, isn't it? I take no pleasure in seeing ordinary

:10:50.:10:55.

people's lives disrupted by this industrial action. But I think

:10:55.:11:01.

people across the Community realise that sometimes it is right to take

:11:01.:11:09.

a stand. Sometimes you have to show how strongly you feel. But only two

:11:09.:11:11.

to three weeks ago, you were talking about how the government

:11:11.:11:16.

had moved, how this could be a basis for negotiations, yet this

:11:16.:11:21.

strike is going ahead. We have tried in the intervening period to

:11:21.:11:26.

resolve this and reach an agreement. That has not been possible. That is

:11:26.:11:29.

being disingenuous when on 2nd November, you said the government

:11:29.:11:33.

had moved and we are still going ahead with the strike. It might

:11:33.:11:37.

look to some people that you have decided on this industrial action,

:11:37.:11:42.

you have a mandate, come what may it you are going ahead. No, that is

:11:42.:11:47.

not the basis on which something so important is decided, of course not.

:11:47.:11:52.

All of the organisations involved, 30 unions, they made this decision

:11:52.:11:56.

very reluctantly. They don't want to move to industrial action

:11:56.:12:02.

lightly or casually. Yet I urge you to look at the range of

:12:02.:12:06.

organisations, organisations representing our most senior civil

:12:06.:12:09.

servants, head teachers, professional health workers who are

:12:09.:12:12.

dedicated to the service they provide. Many of them have agonised

:12:12.:12:16.

over this decision they have made. But they feel so strongly that this

:12:16.:12:21.

is a real injustice the government is seeking to force through, they

:12:21.:12:26.

have to make a stand. I'm proud of them for doing it. We are about to

:12:26.:12:30.

speak to Francis Maude, who is listening. Is there anything you

:12:30.:12:34.

could say that could get you to call off your action? At this stage

:12:34.:12:39.

I think that is probably unlikely. Nothing he can say? What Francis

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Maude has to do with his colleagues in government is give people

:12:48.:12:53.

confidence that there is a secured, fair pension going to be maintained

:12:53.:12:57.

for the future. At the moment, people simply do not have that

:12:57.:13:03.

confidence. Pensions can be quite complicated, but this is a simple

:13:03.:13:07.

point. Sorry to interrupt. Isn't that a rather extraordinary

:13:07.:13:13.

position? There's nothing the chief negotiator could say on Sunday

:13:13.:13:18.

lunchtime that would get you to call off your action on Wednesday?

:13:18.:13:22.

Well, he could certainly have a try. If he said the government are not

:13:22.:13:25.

going to force through contributions increases, that would

:13:26.:13:29.

help. That they are going to reconsider the change in indexation

:13:29.:13:34.

they have made to reduce the value of the pension so significantly,

:13:34.:13:39.

that they are not just going to force through the increase in the

:13:39.:13:42.

pension Beijing scheme so that people will have to work in some

:13:42.:13:46.

cases quite a number of years longer before they secured their

:13:46.:13:50.

pension. If they would state -- take a step back on some of these

:13:50.:13:54.

issues. But having talked to Francis Maude and his colleagues a

:13:54.:13:58.

lot over written months, I fear he is not prepared to say that, which

:13:58.:14:04.

leaves us with a real difficulty. Of course, we will try to resolve

:14:04.:14:09.

this through the negotiations after the industrial action on Wednesday,

:14:09.:14:12.

but unless he comes up with something very surprising, the

:14:12.:14:17.

action will be going ahead later this week. Grateful to you, thank

:14:17.:14:19.

you. And listening to that interview,

:14:19.:14:24.

Francis Maude, one of the ministers leading the negotiations.

:14:24.:14:27.

Have you got anything to say to Brendan Barber that might avert the

:14:27.:14:33.

strikes? Yes, I would say, call it off, now. He said we had been

:14:33.:14:40.

talking incessantly, we have. There are conversations going on every

:14:40.:14:45.

day, pretty much. There will be conversations on Tuesday, Thursday.

:14:45.:14:50.

This is going on intensively. The unions have jumped the gun. Brendan

:14:50.:14:54.

slightly let the cat out of the bag. He said there is nothing you can

:14:54.:14:59.

say that will call it off. They set off on this path months ago,

:14:59.:15:03.

calling ballots which jumped the gun, with very low turnouts in some

:15:03.:15:08.

of these ballots. The biggest unions had turnouts of a quarter

:15:08.:15:13.

and a third of their memberships. This was irresponsible, in

:15:13.:15:17.

appropriate, wrong timing, wrong thing to be doing, will inflict

:15:17.:15:27.
:15:27.:15:29.

damage on the economy at a time of When was the last time you spoke to

:15:29.:15:33.

Brendan Barber? I understand there have been four different pension

:15:33.:15:36.

negotiations going on. We had a meeting at the beginning of this

:15:36.:15:41.

month, there have been conversations since then. But that

:15:41.:15:45.

was the beginning of November, we have got a strike on Wednesday.

:15:45.:15:50.

but there are four separate schemes. An agreement has to be reached not

:15:50.:15:54.

in the central body, but in the sector schemes. And that is

:15:54.:15:59.

happening all the time. There have been meetings twice a week going on.

:15:59.:16:03.

So, this is very, very intensive. It is completed disingenuous to say

:16:03.:16:07.

that there have not been conversations. They have been going

:16:07.:16:11.

on all the time. Some people would suggest that your role in this has

:16:11.:16:14.

actually been to stoke the flames of it, you have expressed your

:16:14.:16:18.

irritation, you have talk about the unions going on strike for 15

:16:18.:16:21.

minutes, which I think a lot of them found insulting and

:16:21.:16:27.

patronising. The unions involved in the Royal Mile have on a number of

:16:27.:16:31.

occasions had a five-minute strike to achieve what was needed, which

:16:31.:16:38.

was to keep the ballot mandate open. But this was done for public

:16:38.:16:44.

consumption. We have suggested to them in private, I'm not going to

:16:44.:16:48.

tell you all the discussions which go on in private, and there are a

:16:48.:16:52.

lot, but we have suggested to them in private that there are ways of

:16:52.:16:56.

doing what he said was important, which was to keep open the ballot

:16:56.:16:59.

mandate, because of this eccentricity in the law, which says

:16:59.:17:04.

that if you have got a mandate, you have to exercise it within 28 days,

:17:04.:17:08.

or it goes. So we said, let's think of some ways around this. Some

:17:08.:17:12.

people have called for example a two-hour strike in the middle of

:17:12.:17:16.

the night to get around it. What I was suggesting is completely

:17:16.:17:19.

consistent with what a lot of unions already do. What about this

:17:19.:17:22.

other point which some people thought was provocative, which was

:17:22.:17:28.

to say, if you do not accept this, we reserve the right to withdraw it

:17:28.:17:31.

from the table. Presumably you either think it is a fair deal for

:17:31.:17:36.

workers or not. If you're going to withdraw it, that is hardly fair.

:17:36.:17:43.

We think it is a good outcome. This will still save the taxpayer a good

:17:43.:17:47.

deal of money. But would it not be a sign of good faith if you said

:17:47.:17:51.

you would stick to it come what may? So you think it would be fine

:17:51.:17:54.

for the Government to commit a considerable amount of taxpayers'

:17:54.:17:57.

money to continue to be spent on pension schemes which are still

:17:58.:18:02.

going to be the best anyone will have access to, while actually

:18:02.:18:07.

there is no agreement that the unions will not carry on striking

:18:07.:18:11.

and taking industrial action, working to rule, inflicting more

:18:11.:18:15.

damage on the interests of the public and on the economy? You

:18:15.:18:20.

think it would be fine to do that? No, this is conditional on an

:18:20.:18:24.

agreement. This is a very fair, generous offer. We have said that

:18:24.:18:28.

no-one within 10 years of retiring need fear any change to their

:18:28.:18:31.

retirement age, or any reduction in the value of their pension. We said

:18:31.:18:36.

that no-one earning below �15,000 will actually pay any additional

:18:36.:18:42.

contributions. This is a fair way of treating dedicated public

:18:42.:18:48.

servants who are entitled to good pensions. I want to test this

:18:48.:18:52.

fairness and generosity. David Cameron said that low and middle-

:18:52.:18:55.

income earners would be getting a larger pension at retirement than

:18:55.:19:00.

they do now... That's not right, is it? Many of

:19:00.:19:03.

their will. We have said that many of them will be able to retire on a

:19:03.:19:09.

pension at least as good as the one they can expect now. So, someone

:19:09.:19:16.

aged 37, on �26,000, working until they are 67, they will not be worse

:19:16.:19:20.

off? We are talking about the pension you retire on. Many people

:19:20.:19:24.

will be expected to retire later, because we're living 10 years

:19:24.:19:29.

longer than people were. A 60-year- old today can expect to live 10

:19:29.:19:34.

years longer than a 16-year-old in the 1970s. So it was not correct,

:19:34.:19:39.

factually? Many of them will get a better pension, but what we have

:19:39.:19:43.

always said is that people will be able to retire, particularly middle

:19:43.:19:47.

and low-income earners, on a pension at least as good. The

:19:47.:19:50.

change we made was where we increased the generosity of the

:19:50.:19:55.

offer, which had the effect of meaning that many of them will

:19:55.:19:58.

retire not on a pension just as good, but better than what they

:19:58.:20:03.

currently can expect. Let's talk about the disruption on Wednesday.

:20:03.:20:08.

How worried are you of what it could be like? I think it will be

:20:08.:20:12.

destructive, schools will close, which will inconvenience not only

:20:12.:20:16.

the children, but actually, the real damage will be to the millions

:20:16.:20:20.

of people who depend on the schools being open to be able to go to work

:20:20.:20:27.

themselves. They have got hard pressed household budgets, they're

:20:27.:20:31.

going to work to pay the taxes which go to pay the pensions for

:20:31.:20:34.

public sector workers, better pensions than nearly anyone in the

:20:34.:20:38.

private sector has access to. will say these are only

:20:39.:20:42.

contingencies, but the military are on standby, to do what? To make

:20:42.:20:47.

sure that our borders are secured, and that the inconvenience to

:20:47.:20:53.

travellers, people visiting Britain, is minimised. How many members of

:20:53.:20:57.

the army have been trained up? would have to speak to the UK

:20:57.:21:05.

Border Agency. They have responsibility for keeping the

:21:05.:21:12.

border secure and for minimising the inconvenience to passengers.

:21:12.:21:16.

They are taking that responsibility extremely seriously. People will be

:21:16.:21:19.

arriving at Heathrow on Wednesday morning, and they will find

:21:20.:21:25.

soldiers sitting there at passport control? It is possible, you will

:21:25.:21:28.

have to speak to the Department about that. There will be some

:21:28.:21:32.

disruption, I'm afraid it is inevitable. Passionate in

:21:32.:21:35.

appropriate, irresponsible, the unions have jumped the gun. It is

:21:35.:21:38.

quite wrong to be calling strikes at a time when discussions are

:21:38.:21:42.

still going on, and where we are making progress. The unions have

:21:42.:21:45.

been disingenuous this morning, saying there is no progress. Of

:21:45.:21:48.

course they have to say that because it justifies this

:21:48.:21:56.

irresponsible strike. Are you not worried? One newspaper today has a

:21:56.:22:00.

poll saying the public are blaming the Government for this strike.

:22:00.:22:05.

That was not what they were asked. Actually, the public are very much

:22:06.:22:09.

supporting, as far as I can see, the changes the Government is

:22:09.:22:13.

making. People look at their own pension arrangements, and they look

:22:13.:22:16.

at the pension arrangements for public sector workers, which, at

:22:16.:22:20.

the end of this, will be far better than what anyone else can expect.

:22:20.:22:24.

And they say, is it right that my life should be disrupted, I will

:22:24.:22:29.

not be able to go to work, because my children cannot go to school,

:22:29.:22:33.

when actually I'm paying out in many cases as much in my taxes to

:22:33.:22:37.

support their pensions as I am to support my own. It seems obvious

:22:37.:22:44.

now that both sides, if they do not want this, that nothing will change

:22:44.:22:51.

before November 30th. But what about after November 30th? Would

:22:51.:22:55.

you then be able to offer the unions something more, to give them

:22:55.:22:59.

some sort of face-saving exercise? What we have made absolutely clear

:22:59.:23:03.

is that there is still a lot of flexibility, there are a lot of

:23:03.:23:07.

moving parts. The reason why we have been talking so intensively is

:23:07.:23:10.

that because in each of these schemes, which all have different

:23:10.:23:15.

workforces, different profiles of salaries, different age ranges, to

:23:15.:23:18.

work out within each one the best way to put the pieces together to

:23:18.:23:23.

provide the best pension schemes, and the best outcome for most of

:23:23.:23:26.

their members. That's what we're trying to do. There are not any

:23:26.:23:31.

more parts we can put on the table. We have made a big, generous offer,

:23:31.:23:34.

on November 2nd. Everybody acknowledges that it is a generous

:23:34.:23:39.

offer. The unions have said it is a big move forward. We now need to

:23:39.:23:43.

finalise it, to work out the way to use those moving parts to provide a

:23:43.:23:53.
:23:53.:23:54.

fair and affordable outcome. Thank you very much for being with us.

:23:54.:23:57.

The big walkout should be a no- brainer for the Labour Party. But

:23:57.:24:01.

with the strike three days away, the Labour Party is sitting firmly

:24:01.:24:05.

on the fence. In a moment I will be speaking to the Shadow Chief

:24:05.:24:10.

Secretary to the Treasury, Rachel Reeves, about that. But first, some

:24:10.:24:18.

maths homework. She's one of Labour's brightest young things.

:24:18.:24:22.

Only elected last year, Rachel Reeves is already in the shadow

:24:22.:24:26.

cabinet. Can this maths buff and former Bank of England economist

:24:26.:24:31.

help save Labour's two classic conundrums - how to manage the

:24:31.:24:34.

relationship with the trade unions and how to rebuild its battered

:24:34.:24:38.

economic reputation. But what does the relationship between Labour and

:24:38.:24:41.

the trade unions at up to at a time when strikes on the agenda? Well,

:24:41.:24:46.

the party was formed by the unions. Ed Miliband was elected thanks to

:24:46.:24:52.

their support. And figures out this week show that they donate 89% of

:24:52.:24:55.

Labour's money. But it is a complicated equation when it comes

:24:56.:24:59.

to solidarity on strikes, with the party offering sympathy for

:24:59.:25:03.

strikers but refusing to back Wednesday's action. As for the

:25:03.:25:09.

economy, despite the coalition's troubles, voters are sceptical that

:25:09.:25:14.

the two Eds can really do their sums. 50% say they do not trust

:25:14.:25:17.

Labour to make the right decision, and many blame them for the current

:25:17.:25:26.

slowdown. But Rachel Reeves continues to argue for tackling the

:25:26.:25:32.

deficit more slowly to avoid another recession. As we await an

:25:32.:25:34.

autumn statement designed to deliver growth, she believes that

:25:34.:25:38.

Labour are starting to win that argument. But it will be for the

:25:38.:25:42.

public to decide if her calculations really do add up.

:25:42.:25:50.

Rachel Reeves joins us now. Thank you very much for being with us.

:25:50.:25:57.

Simple question, yes or no will do - do you support the strikes?

:25:57.:26:00.

understand why public sector workers are going on strike, but I

:26:00.:26:03.

think it could have been averted if the unions and the Government had

:26:03.:26:07.

been sitting down talking to each other this weekend rather than

:26:07.:26:13.

talking separately to you. But they have said they have been talking.

:26:13.:26:17.

Francis Maude said he spoke to Brendan Barber at the beginning of

:26:17.:26:21.

November. We have got strikes looming on Wednesday. I would have

:26:21.:26:24.

thought that Francis Maude would have spent this weekend negotiating

:26:24.:26:27.

with Brendan Barber and public sector workers to avert these

:26:28.:26:33.

strikes. That's what people up and down the country want. That's what

:26:33.:26:36.

businesses want, and yet they have not spoken since the beginning of

:26:36.:26:41.

the month. Let me ask the question again - do you support the strikes?

:26:41.:26:46.

I don't think that is the right question. It is the question I want

:26:46.:26:50.

to ask. But the real question is, what has right done to avert the

:26:50.:26:53.

strike? If Labour were in power, this weekend we would have been

:26:53.:26:57.

sitting down with the unions to thrash out a deal, to negotiate an

:26:57.:27:01.

outcome which is acceptable both to taxpayers and for people and the

:27:01.:27:03.

public sector. The Government and Francis Maude has admitted

:27:03.:27:06.

yesterday, have not done that. there not a role of political

:27:06.:27:12.

leadership, whereby you should be able to shake, one way or another,

:27:13.:27:16.

there was an important new offer put on the table, and the unions

:27:16.:27:20.

have said it looks interesting, we need clarification on it - why are

:27:20.:27:23.

you striking when you're still getting clarification and still

:27:23.:27:27.

talking about the offer? Surely it would have been better to delay the

:27:27.:27:31.

strike action until some time in the future, when you think actually,

:27:31.:27:36.

this is a lousy deal, or it is OK. What you saw on the 2nd November

:27:36.:27:40.

was some concessions from the Government on the a crawl rates and

:27:40.:27:46.

on the transitional protection for some people coming up to retirement.

:27:46.:27:49.

But the across-the-board increases in contribution, that is not on the

:27:49.:27:54.

table, it is being imposed. If you're a low-paid worker, part-time,

:27:54.:27:57.

particularly a woman working in the public sector, a community nurse, a

:27:57.:28:02.

dinner lady, they will be facing increasing contributions of between

:28:02.:28:06.

�5 and �10 a week. They're already struggling to make ends meet, with

:28:06.:28:09.

a two-year pay freeze. They will find it very difficult to absorb

:28:09.:28:12.

this increase, but it is not even on the table. That is one thing we

:28:13.:28:17.

think the Government should have been negotiating on. Don't Labour

:28:17.:28:20.

get themselves into a difficult position, where the unions think,

:28:20.:28:23.

you're a bit mealy mouthed in supporting us, and the public think,

:28:23.:28:28.

you are not condemning the strikes? I have sympathy for the people who

:28:28.:28:32.

rely on public services. The kids are supposed to be getting an

:28:32.:28:35.

education on Wednesday. Francis Maude said it was not a big deal,

:28:35.:28:39.

but I think it is, for many kids. But you could show political

:28:39.:28:44.

leadership and say, they should not go on strike. I do understand why

:28:44.:28:49.

people, teachers, people in the Border Agency, I understand why

:28:49.:28:54.

they're so frustrated, because they feel the Government are being

:28:54.:29:01.

disingenuous. Also, they are being asked to contribute 3% extra from

:29:01.:29:04.

their pay packet, effectively a tax on public sector workers which will

:29:04.:29:08.

not even be going into their pension pots. If Labour were in

:29:08.:29:11.

power, the difference would be that we would be sitting down

:29:12.:29:15.

negotiating, rather than upping the rhetoric and threatening to

:29:15.:29:20.

withdraw the deal, as Francis Maude did again today on this programme.

:29:20.:29:27.

Just one more question on Labour's relationship with the unions - we

:29:27.:29:30.

talk about the fact that nine tenths of your funding comes from

:29:30.:29:35.

the unions, should it not be an ambition to reduce that? Since the

:29:35.:29:38.

general election last year, our membership has gone up by more than

:29:38.:29:43.

50%, and the biggest supporters of the party are our members, who pay

:29:43.:29:49.

through their subscriptions and off road through donations. -- and also

:29:49.:29:55.

through donations. What we were talking about was the levy that

:29:55.:29:58.

members of the trade unions pay. That is not quite an answer to the

:29:58.:30:02.

question. That is the decision of people to pay the political levy

:30:02.:30:06.

for the trade unions, and that many then comes to the Labour Party, and

:30:06.:30:09.

I'm proud of that relationship. The Labour Party was formed by the

:30:09.:30:14.

trade unions, it is part of our tradition. Just on the economy,

:30:14.:30:17.

let's talk about the wider UK economy, with the Autumn Statement

:30:17.:30:22.

coming up on Tuesday - why do you think it is that if the Government

:30:22.:30:32.
:30:32.:30:35.

is making such a mess of this, the We should have done more with

:30:35.:30:38.

banking regulation. But we are now seeing the impact of this

:30:38.:30:45.

Government's policies. Increasing taxes, VAT, cutting public spending

:30:45.:30:52.

at such a rate is now risking a double-dip recession in the UK.

:30:52.:30:56.

talk about the failure of banking regulation. Don't you also need to

:30:56.:31:01.

say we spent too much? Until 2008, the Conservatives were backing our

:31:01.:31:06.

spending. How I'm not asking about what they did, I'm asking you for

:31:06.:31:09.

your judgment on whether Labour spent too much. I don't believe we

:31:09.:31:17.

did. Between 1997 and 2007 we reduce debt as a share if GDP, but

:31:17.:31:21.

during the financial crisis, we made a decision to bring forward

:31:21.:31:25.

spending, to cut taxes, to try to avoid a global recession becoming a

:31:25.:31:29.

global depression. They were the right choices because it stopped

:31:29.:31:35.

unemployment going up to 2.5 and 3 million to as we've seen in the

:31:35.:31:39.

sessions and the past. Your five point plan for jobs involves more

:31:39.:31:44.

borrowing. You haven't said how much more borrowing, have you?

:31:44.:31:52.

point is... So the answer is no? VAT, that is �12 billion. For what

:31:52.:31:56.

makes you think of the markets are going to accept more borrowing when

:31:56.:32:01.

they haven't done in Spain, Italy, Greece? That is a massive gamble.

:32:01.:32:06.

The reality is that the government on a borrowing at least �46 billion

:32:06.:32:10.

more than they had previously planned because of the cost of the

:32:10.:32:13.

failure of their economic policies, they have more people out of work

:32:13.:32:17.

so we are paying more out in benefits and getting less in taxes.

:32:17.:32:22.

With these targeted measures to get jobs and growth back on track, that

:32:22.:32:26.

will get the economy moving and will help us reduce the debt in a

:32:26.:32:29.

sustainable way. At the moment we are borrowing more because of

:32:29.:32:34.

economic failure. Can I go back to the strikes? Francis Maude was

:32:34.:32:40.

talking about eccentricities in the strike ballot. You have to take the

:32:40.:32:46.

industrial action within 28 days of the ballot. Do you agree with that?

:32:46.:32:49.

As Francis Maude said, the unions could do something different league

:32:49.:32:55.

to keep that mandate available. But they have decided to take strike

:32:55.:32:58.

action on Wednesday because of the strength of feeling about this

:32:58.:33:04.

issue. You think the 15th minute idea was a constructive proposal?

:33:04.:33:08.

don't think that... Are you suggested that was the right way

:33:08.:33:12.

forward? What I was saying is you could keep the mandate by just

:33:12.:33:16.

taking small action. On this occasion the unions feel so

:33:16.:33:21.

strongly about this issue, that is not on the table. That might be a

:33:21.:33:26.

better idea. Negotiations are quite close to reaching an agreement.

:33:26.:33:30.

doesn't sound like they are close to reaching agreement. The fact

:33:30.:33:33.

that Brendan Barber and Francis Maude have not spoken since the

:33:33.:33:37.

beginning of the month suggests they are a long way off a deal.

:33:37.:33:41.

That is unfortunate because people who rely on public services will

:33:41.:33:44.

see massive disruption that could have been avoided if the government

:33:44.:33:48.

were sitting down with the people in the public sector this week

:33:48.:33:51.

rather than coming on the television and saying they might

:33:51.:33:59.

withdraw their offer. You do seem to suggest, and I am interested in

:33:59.:34:04.

this, that some sort of token strike action, whether in the

:34:04.:34:09.

middle of the night, would have been a way forward that would have

:34:09.:34:14.

allowed the talks to continue and still keep the mandate. Jackie is

:34:14.:34:17.

saying is it appropriate to say you have to take action within 28 days

:34:17.:34:21.

to keep that mandate? There are ways to keep that mandate going

:34:21.:34:25.

that fall short of full strike action, but the unions have decided

:34:25.:34:28.

and balloted on strike action and they are going ahead with that

:34:28.:34:35.

because they don't think the government have listened. Thank you.

:34:35.:34:38.

We will have more on what to expect from the Chancellor's statement

:34:38.:34:48.
:34:48.:34:51.

later. First, The Politics Show Hello and welcome to The Politics

:34:51.:34:53.

Show in London. Coming up later...

:34:53.:34:57.

It is the biggest change to parliamentary boundaries for

:34:57.:35:02.

decades, we consider one MP's fight to save his constituency. Self-

:35:02.:35:06.

interest or commonsense? But first, and next year's Olympics

:35:06.:35:08.

there are big commercial opportunities both legal and

:35:08.:35:13.

illegal. Fielders profession in the world might anticipate an upturn in

:35:13.:35:17.

business as millions visit the capital for the Games. But as

:35:17.:35:20.

police rampart their efforts to shut Brussels and London, could

:35:20.:35:24.

prostitutes be driven onto the streets and therefore Integrator

:35:24.:35:28.

danger? -- brothels. According to the English collective

:35:28.:35:33.

of prostitutes, there's a degree of prosecution going on towards sex

:35:33.:35:43.
:35:43.:35:57.

workers as police target human Now Conservative assembly mender

:35:57.:36:06.

Andrew Goff has claimed... -- He added that brothels were

:36:06.:36:10.

targeted under the guise of the police going after trafficked women

:36:10.:36:14.

and asked if this was the best way to attack trafficking. He also

:36:14.:36:18.

called for the police to turn a blind eye to prostitutes working in

:36:18.:36:22.

Brussels, for them to be decriminalised and licensed, adding

:36:22.:36:24.

it would do some power pence and make it easier to allow health

:36:24.:36:34.
:36:34.:36:35.

His remarks have been questioned in some quarters, with critics

:36:36.:36:39.

claiming it will give a green light to prostitution, enabling a red

:36:39.:36:44.

light districts to spring up in every area of town.

:36:44.:36:49.

Andrew off is here with me now along with Labour assembly member

:36:49.:36:53.

and candidate for deputy Mayor, Val Shawcross. What do you say to the

:36:53.:36:58.

reaction to what you say? Police are going into hard against

:36:58.:37:03.

brothels and prostitution? police quote is they want to make

:37:03.:37:07.

London a hostile environment for pimps, but some of their actions

:37:07.:37:11.

make it a hostile environment for women working in the sex industry.

:37:11.:37:15.

I want to see a regime whereby women feel able to report attacks

:37:15.:37:19.

against them, to report whether or not they have been trafficked orca

:37:19.:37:23.

worse, and I think currently the conduct of the police is not

:37:23.:37:27.

helping that, but they have a law which mitigates against the safety

:37:27.:37:32.

of women. What is your evidence that it is not working? I think we

:37:32.:37:38.

have seen an increase in raids, for example, in the five Olympic

:37:38.:37:42.

boroughs. 80 raids in the past year whereas in all the remaining

:37:42.:37:48.

boroughs of London, we have only had 29. They are concentrating on a

:37:48.:37:54.

particular area. The messages I am getting from people in that

:37:54.:37:58.

industry, from prostitutes, is they are feeling it is a more unsafe

:37:58.:38:02.

environment. They are cautious that if they were to report an attack,

:38:02.:38:07.

for example, to the police, it might be then criminalise rather

:38:07.:38:13.

than the attacker. What do you say about this? I think the police are

:38:13.:38:17.

absolutely right to carry on trying to stamp down on this. The concept

:38:17.:38:21.

that somehow or other a woman in a brothel is making a career choice

:38:21.:38:28.

is absolutely ridiculous. Enormous numbers of women are Coe worst,

:38:28.:38:33.

traffic, drug abuse is implicated in this, extreme violence. There's

:38:33.:38:37.

absolutely no sensible research that shows women makes this as a

:38:37.:38:43.

career choice. Of course they don't. Poverty is one of the biggest

:38:43.:38:47.

drivers of women into this industry and it is very important that we

:38:47.:38:55.

don't give any signals that this is a legal industry. It is very

:38:55.:38:58.

implicated with a gang criminals. What about if the police were going

:38:58.:39:06.

in harder because of the Olympics? 90% of the women in prostitution in

:39:06.:39:10.

London are thought to be migrants and the police themselves think a

:39:10.:39:14.

very, very large number have actually been trafficked. It is

:39:14.:39:17.

really important that they keep the pressure up because at the moment

:39:17.:39:22.

the danger is that there could be an increase in violence against

:39:22.:39:24.

women and the growth in broth and prostitution. A do you recognise

:39:24.:39:30.

that? I don't recognise that picture. Val is not looking at any

:39:30.:39:35.

research into this area. For research suggests there's not a

:39:35.:39:37.

massive number of women being trafficked, though there are

:39:37.:39:42.

trafficked women. My interest in those women being trafficked,

:39:42.:39:47.

research suggests the figure of colours of Lee trafficked women

:39:47.:39:51.

into Prof is well below 5% and that is independent research. The police

:39:51.:39:59.

themselves are saying that they have seen no rise in the amount of

:39:59.:40:04.

trafficking in the run-up to the Olympics. This is being based...

:40:04.:40:07.

That research has been debunked thoroughly by the police themselves.

:40:07.:40:13.

It hasn't. It has been debunked. That study went into about 100

:40:13.:40:18.

brothels, spoke to women under circumstances where they were

:40:18.:40:22.

probably under coercion and threats of violence. It was a very small

:40:23.:40:28.

sample and has been comprehensively debunked. I really do think...

:40:28.:40:32.

last word with each. You should talk to some of the women in this

:40:32.:40:35.

industry. Your caricaturing every single one as being coerced into

:40:35.:40:39.

doing that. Some people have made choices and you don't liberate

:40:39.:40:44.

women by taking their choice away. Women do not make a choice to be

:40:44.:40:48.

victims of sexual violence, to be abused by gangs in London. You can

:40:48.:40:54.

shut your eyes to it. You should look a little bit more seriously at

:40:54.:40:58.

the implications of this issue. that's all we have time for. Thank

:40:58.:41:02.

you. The political map of London looks

:41:02.:41:05.

set to change under new proposals to reduce the number of MPs. The

:41:05.:41:09.

capital will lose five of its 73 seats and House of Commons. Nearly

:41:09.:41:14.

every constituency in London is being redrawn to some extent. Some

:41:14.:41:20.

MPs are not happy. This is Andy Love, MP for Edmonton.

:41:20.:41:25.

Although maybe not for much longer. Under proposed changes, his

:41:25.:41:30.

constituency will cease to exist and merge with Chingford, which he

:41:30.:41:35.

says is bad news for residents. represent some of the most deprived

:41:35.:41:41.

people who need public services, who need somebody to champion their

:41:41.:41:45.

rights in the community. A member of parliament, that is their role.

:41:45.:41:49.

The new seat of Chingford and Edmonton is divided by the Lea

:41:49.:41:54.

Valley. Industrial land, but most importantly a reservoir, leaving

:41:54.:41:58.

only two road crossings more than two miles apart. We followed Andy

:41:58.:42:03.

to the local shopping centre as he tried to canvass support. I am

:42:03.:42:08.

running a campaign to save Edmonton. What we are doing is trying to stop

:42:08.:42:12.

them linking Edmonton with Chingford. One has -- one of his

:42:12.:42:15.

big contentions is the amount of time it will take people to get

:42:15.:42:19.

from Edmonton to Chingford and on these leaflets it says Chingford,

:42:19.:42:22.

one hour and 30 minutes by foot. Not that many people would fancy

:42:22.:42:26.

that walk. We're going to see how long it would take by public

:42:26.:42:31.

transport. Destination Chingford, Conservative Association. The

:42:31.:42:36.

journey might be one that residents wanting to see their MP have to get

:42:36.:42:40.

used to. The proposed new seat, if it had existed at the last election,

:42:40.:42:48.

would have been won by Iain Duncan Smith, the Conservatives. The

:42:48.:42:51.

reaction you get from some members of the public is that politicians

:42:51.:42:55.

are interested in this because they are trying to save their own skins.

:42:55.:42:59.

Inevitably there will be the case and I would be the last to say

:42:59.:43:01.

politicians don't have a critical interest in the boundaries under

:43:01.:43:07.

which they operate. Of course. But we have tried to separate the

:43:07.:43:10.

politics from the issues that should concern everybody. It is

:43:10.:43:15.

about community, it is about links, it is about how the difficulties of

:43:15.:43:19.

accessing your representative. Chingford & Woodford Green

:43:19.:43:29.
:43:29.:43:31.

Fantastic. I suggested it was an hour to an hour and a half, it has

:43:31.:43:36.

turned out to be spot on the middle. Chingford is a very different place

:43:36.:43:39.

compared to the at the side of the tracks. It is notably well fear.

:43:39.:43:44.

But while economics and a huge body of water may separate the two parts

:43:44.:43:47.

of the proposed new constituency, and he thinks he might have found a

:43:47.:43:54.

quicker way to bridge that divide. -- Andy. You're wearing a

:43:54.:43:58.

lifejacket, you have taken us to the King George Sailing Club on the

:43:58.:44:02.

reservoir. Why is that? That is Edmonton straight across the

:44:02.:44:06.

reservoir on the other side. That is the most direct route and that

:44:06.:44:09.

is the one I'm going to take to show you how ludicrous these new

:44:09.:44:19.
:44:19.:44:27.

boundaries are. We are going by Only the eye Ps! -- VoIPs.

:44:27.:44:34.

Andy Love is Here. How long did it take you to get across the lake?

:44:34.:44:39.

4 minutes. Tony Travers is also hear from the LSE. How long does it

:44:39.:44:47.

take to go by car from one side of your constituency to the other?

:44:47.:44:49.

my constituency... The new one. takes somewhere between 15 and 20

:44:49.:44:54.

minutes. That doesn't make it sound so bad. You have to remember that

:44:54.:44:58.

the people who want to act as a Member of Parliament, they are

:44:58.:45:02.

often the very people who don't have access to a car and it is to

:45:02.:45:07.

my unconcerned about. Don't you feel it is geographically not right

:45:07.:45:13.

I think I am saying more than that. They have ignored geography all

:45:13.:45:17.

over the country and I would not stand out if it was the only thing

:45:17.:45:22.

of matter to me. What matters is this enormous geographical barrier

:45:22.:45:27.

that exists between the two parts of the constituency. There are no

:45:27.:45:31.

links between Chingford and Edmonton. We will never build them

:45:31.:45:35.

because of the barrier. And we are losing the links we currently have

:45:35.:45:45.
:45:45.:45:51.

Almost none of these cases are typical, without being unhelpful.

:45:51.:45:54.

Some of the constituencies will remain exactly the same. Others

:45:54.:45:58.

will be dismembered, but there are some clear examples. This is one of

:45:58.:46:02.

them, where what feels like a single place ends up being on

:46:02.:46:08.

either side of a river or road, and is undoubtedly separated. But I

:46:08.:46:13.

thought the promise was that what was meant to be happening would be

:46:13.:46:16.

to iron out those problems to make things more integrated.

:46:16.:46:20.

difficulty is that when you start to change boundaries, and

:46:20.:46:23.

particularly when you reduce the number of constituencies, which is

:46:23.:46:27.

what lies behind all of this, it leaves the people drawing the

:46:27.:46:31.

boundaries with a terrifically difficult job. If you move the

:46:32.:46:35.

boundaries for one, in order to get just the right number of voters,

:46:35.:46:40.

you have knock-on effects in the next one. And you end up with

:46:40.:46:44.

constituencies which in some cases do not fully makes sense. We cannot

:46:44.:46:49.

get an absolute, scientific indication of this, but we can get

:46:49.:46:52.

some indications from previous election results, which indicate

:46:52.:46:56.

that it would make it less likely that you would hold the seat next

:46:56.:47:01.

time - is that one factor? course it is a factor for me,

:47:01.:47:10.

personally. We have tried to separate out the issues. Everybody

:47:10.:47:13.

can tell when an argument is essentially political. We have

:47:13.:47:18.

tried to stick to the criteria which the Boundary Commission has

:47:18.:47:22.

suggested - it is about geographic links, community links, it is about

:47:23.:47:27.

all of the other issues which make up a constituency. If

:47:27.:47:31.

constituencies are going to be all in this together... You're making

:47:31.:47:34.

this case to the Boundary Commission, any indication from

:47:34.:47:40.

then yet that they might admit they have got this one slightly wrong,

:47:40.:47:44.

with this big body of water it adds that we invited them to come up and

:47:44.:47:47.

see for themselves, but they resisted the temptation. I hope

:47:47.:47:51.

they will review this seriously. We have got significant concerns

:47:51.:47:55.

expressed by my constituents, it just does not make any sense. Let

:47:55.:48:01.

me just say, as a comparison, they had to cross the River Thames, they

:48:01.:48:07.

did so at the narrowest point in London. They have crossed the River

:48:07.:48:12.

Lea at the widest point. If you look at the overall result,

:48:12.:48:17.

comparing it with last time, it looks as if Labour would lose

:48:17.:48:22.

probably two or three seats, and so, they would be slightly worse off,

:48:22.:48:25.

the Conservatives might lose one, too. But overall, the Conservatives

:48:25.:48:31.

would do slightly better. And what about some key senior figures?

:48:31.:48:38.

south London, there's a number of MPs, including Tessa Jowell, Kate

:48:38.:48:42.

Hoey, Sidique Khan, all finding their constituencies are being cut

:48:42.:48:47.

up. But of course there will be some new constituencies which

:48:47.:48:51.

arguably will make more sense as communities after the reform, even

:48:51.:48:55.

though it means dismembering a constituency, from the point of

:48:55.:48:59.

view of the MP. They will all end up fighting with each other, which

:48:59.:49:02.

they like less, of course, even than fighting with opponents in the

:49:02.:49:08.

other party. If you run a venue in London where you have live music

:49:08.:49:11.

and it is under a certain size, soon you may not need an

:49:11.:49:14.

entertainment licence. The Government is considering getting

:49:14.:49:18.

rid of some regulations which they believe to be burdensome. But some

:49:18.:49:21.

of London's councils are worried about what this could unleash. When

:49:21.:49:26.

it comes to getting permission to put on live music events, there are

:49:26.:49:34.

lots of inconsistencies within the system. You do not need a licence

:49:34.:49:37.

to have a carol concert in a church, but you do if it is in a church

:49:37.:49:41.

hall. You would not need a licence for a free school concert, but you

:49:41.:49:48.

would if there was charity fund- raising going on. Punch & Judy

:49:48.:49:51.

shows, pianists in restaurants and other things all need licences to

:49:51.:49:57.

go ahead. It is these anomalies and disadvantages for small music

:49:57.:50:00.

events which the Government hopes to remove by changing the licensing

:50:00.:50:04.

system. They are proposing that all venues with an audience of less

:50:04.:50:08.

than 500 people will no longer have to buy licences to host musical

:50:08.:50:14.

events. -- 5,000 people. It is a relief for many small venues which

:50:14.:50:18.

currently struggle to pay. Kensington & Chelsea Council have

:50:18.:50:21.

almost 1,000 venues which would be free to host events under the new

:50:21.:50:25.

regulations. The council are worried that this could lead to

:50:25.:50:31.

music being played around the clock, leading to an increase in noise and

:50:31.:50:36.

anti-social behaviour. But laws on noise nuisance, alcohol licensing

:50:36.:50:39.

and disorder will remain the same, so are the council just standing in

:50:39.:50:42.

the way of what many would say is his implication of an overly

:50:42.:50:52.
:50:52.:51:04.

complicated system? -- is an -- is a simplification. Joining me now, a

:51:04.:51:07.

representative of Kensington & Chelsea council. We are very

:51:07.:51:09.

supportive of the creative industries, we want people to have

:51:09.:51:12.

a good time, but actually, if you remove all the regulation which is

:51:12.:51:17.

currently in place, as this threatens to do, you run the risk

:51:17.:51:19.

that residents will be immensely that residents will be immensely

:51:19.:51:24.

inconvenienced. The only section they will have is to make a

:51:24.:51:29.

complaint or to see to have a premises closed down after the

:51:29.:51:33.

event. We want some control, to give residents some degree of

:51:33.:51:38.

security. John Smith, making this easier for the venues, and for the

:51:38.:51:43.

musicians, is all very well, but for the people living nearby?

:51:43.:51:46.

think they have got legislation in place now which can deal with that.

:51:46.:51:50.

You have got environmental legislation, anti-social behaviour

:51:50.:51:53.

legislation, health and safety legislation, which we think deal

:51:54.:52:00.

with this. What happens with the Licensing Act is that they have to

:52:00.:52:03.

sign up to a complicated set of restrictions before they even play

:52:03.:52:08.

music. When we did some research, just after the Licensing Act was

:52:08.:52:11.

passed, it was clear that most complaints were about domestic

:52:11.:52:17.

music, from parties and things like that, and recorded music, which is

:52:17.:52:21.

exempt from the Licensing Act. So it only punishes live music.

:52:21.:52:26.

the DJs can be loud, but not live music. Is this too prescriptive,

:52:26.:52:31.

just putting burdens in the way? I don't think so. You saw from the

:52:31.:52:37.

film, we have nearly 1,000 licensed premises in our Burgh. What is

:52:37.:52:41.

appropriate in one place, where it might make sense to relax the rules,

:52:42.:52:47.

is not appropriate in a built up, inner city area, where one person's

:52:47.:52:50.

noise and good fun really makes another person's life a misery. We

:52:50.:52:57.

have got to take account of that. This fails to do that, there is no

:52:57.:53:02.

balance. We have lobbied for a long while for an exemption for the

:53:02.:53:06.

smaller venues. We did not like the way that music was licensed under

:53:06.:53:09.

the Licensing Act. And we know that this particularly hit the smaller

:53:09.:53:14.

venues, because they are using recorded music, rather than live

:53:14.:53:19.

music. So the opportunity is not there to grow young acts. I was

:53:19.:53:22.

doing some research into the borough, and there is a small venue

:53:22.:53:28.

on the King's Road called the 3p, where Mumford & Sons and Laura

:53:28.:53:34.

Marling started. That is the kind of venue we want to encourage.

:53:34.:53:39.

the bureaucrats of Kensington and Chelsea could have prevented major

:53:39.:53:44.

bands! We have a great history of being the home of lots of creative

:53:44.:53:49.

bands. We do not want to stop that, but there is a right place and are

:53:49.:53:53.

well placed to make lots of noise. We have plenty of licensed premises,

:53:53.:53:57.

we have music licences, it has not stamped out creativity. But it

:53:57.:54:02.

gives residents some support. think they have already got powers

:54:02.:54:07.

which they could use? We think they exist already, yes. If there is an

:54:07.:54:12.

issue, people can be taken to task. Why can't you just do that, it

:54:12.:54:16.

would save you time and money, wouldn't it? No, because that puts

:54:17.:54:21.

the onus on to the nearby residents, on to the neighbours, on to the

:54:21.:54:25.

miscreant. What's wrong with saying, this is a venue where we want some

:54:25.:54:30.

live music, we can manage it properly, we can control the crowds.

:54:30.:54:35.

The idea that up to 5,000 people can go to a venue, and there is no

:54:35.:54:39.

control whatsoever, is ludicrous in central London. It may work in the

:54:39.:54:46.

middle of pull. That's all the time we have on that for now. Back to

:54:46.:54:54.

you, Jon. As we have been discussing, the Chancellor's Autumn

:54:54.:55:02.

Statement has a lot of hype to live up to. Treasury sorties -- treasury

:55:02.:55:07.

sources quoted today say it will be a game-changer. That is a big claim.

:55:07.:55:13.

So, what can we expect from the Autumn Statement? This is what

:55:13.:55:17.

rebuilding the economy looks like. Today, we're using concrete. I'm

:55:17.:55:21.

not joking, because getting billions into infrastructure

:55:21.:55:25.

projects like roads and railways is one of the two main lines of attack

:55:25.:55:29.

which Mr Osborne will be using on Tuesday in his battle to stimulate

:55:29.:55:35.

economic growth. Building, for example, a new railway means jobs

:55:35.:55:39.

in the construction industry, in transport and associated businesses

:55:39.:55:45.

and a revenue stream when passengers start queuing up. If I'm

:55:45.:55:49.

standing here in seven years' time, I will be running a serious risk of

:55:49.:55:55.

getting mowed down by a train coming out of this tunnel behind me.

:55:55.:55:59.

This is the Canary Wharf Station for CrossRail, and the entire

:55:59.:56:05.

project is costing �14.8 billion. I have been told that the Government

:56:05.:56:08.

will be announcing another big infrastructure project this coming

:56:08.:56:14.

Tuesday. But where is the money going to come from? The Government

:56:14.:56:18.

can spend money on capital infrastructure projects without

:56:18.:56:21.

interfering with their own mandate to reduce the deficit. But they

:56:21.:56:27.

would rather involve the private sector, too. There's a lot of

:56:27.:56:30.

companies and Investment funds with a lot of cash on their balance

:56:30.:56:33.

sheets, and on looking back, getting the planning consent ready,

:56:33.:56:38.

and the Government putting in the necessary support, is important not

:56:38.:56:41.

just for getting jobs now, but also in preparing the economy for the

:56:41.:56:48.

future. The second weapon in the Government's armoury is going to be

:56:48.:56:51.

something called credit easing. The banks are hoarding money, rather

:56:51.:56:55.

than lending it, which is bad news for businesses, particularly small

:56:55.:57:00.

ones. We now know the Treasury will underwrite �20 billion worth of

:57:00.:57:04.

loans to small businesses, targeting companies that turnover

:57:04.:57:09.

less than �50 million. The Government guarantees the funds, so

:57:10.:57:12.

that taxpayers' money would not be at risk if one of the businesses

:57:12.:57:16.

went under. But some people in this attack think this is a wrong and

:57:17.:57:25.

risky strategy. -- some people in the City. It is quite a risky thing,

:57:25.:57:30.

because we would be seeing the taxpayer once again taking on risk.

:57:31.:57:35.

People think that loans are too risky, and yet the Government is

:57:35.:57:38.

going to start underpinning this. And there is a trend here. We saw

:57:38.:57:43.

it also on the policy of guaranteeing 95% mortgages. The

:57:43.:57:46.

Government is turning into a bank, turning into a vehicle to guarantee

:57:46.:57:50.

debt, for private individuals or firms, and I think that is

:57:50.:57:55.

dangerous. It also shows that the coalition has learnt nothing from

:57:55.:58:02.

the disaster of some time lending. -- of subprime lending. When you

:58:02.:58:05.

start to think you know better than lenders, you end up in trouble.

:58:06.:58:09.

That is the big stuff, infrastructure and credit. But this

:58:10.:58:13.

autumn statement is also going to mean difficult decisions about us,

:58:13.:58:16.

and how we cope with falling standards of living. We know for

:58:16.:58:19.

example but the Chancellor is going to cap increases in rail fares for

:58:19.:58:23.

commuters, but what will happen about increasing benefits, for

:58:23.:58:30.

instance? The Government's policies to upgrade benefits against the

:58:30.:58:38.

consumer price index have been using the rate from the previous

:58:38.:58:42.

September. This time the Government will have to spend more next year

:58:42.:58:47.

than they had been expecting on benefit recipients, about which

:58:47.:58:50.

more and more than they had been expecting in March. That's why

:58:50.:58:54.

people are talking about the Treasury backing away from such a

:58:54.:58:56.

large and direct increase in benefits. And what is going to

:58:56.:59:02.

happen about fuel bills? Fuel duty is helping to reduce the deficit,

:59:02.:59:06.

but there is talk of a freeze. Government has plans to increase

:59:06.:59:11.

fuel duty next January by 3p, which will raise the Government about

:59:11.:59:15.

�1.3 billion each year. That is part of what is helping to

:59:15.:59:17.

contribute to closing the gap between government spending and

:59:17.:59:22.

revenue. Juggling conflicting needs, like the need to save money and the

:59:22.:59:26.

needs of car drivers, for example, is going to require some careful

:59:26.:59:30.

manoeuvres this Tuesday. But most of all, George Osborne wants

:59:31.:59:34.

British business to say, yes, this is a radical strategy to encourage

:59:34.:59:38.

growth. This time, a bit of tinkering is not going to do the

:59:38.:59:45.

trick. Just to say, there will be full coverage of the Chancellor's

:59:45.:59:50.

statement in a special programme on BBC Two on Tuesday at noon. That is

:59:50.:59:54.

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