04/12/2011 The Politics Show London


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Show. We may have less than a week to save the euro. Merkel and


Sarkozy meet tomorrow to try and prevent collapse. They are talking


about individual eurozone countries having far less power over their


own tax and spend. But what would that mean for us? The Energy


Secretary wants a lot more of these. Tens of thousands more, with wind-


turbines providing the electricity to run every car in the land. We'll


ask him why. Do we want a Boris for Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and


Liverpool? Next year we'll find out with Mayoral referendums in many of


England's biggest cities. There will be 41 newly elected police


commissioners too. But who is asking for all this extra local


democracy? In London, what does the Autumn Statement mean for the


capital? We know the Government is borrowing more, but what about us?


Do ordinary Londoners need more protection from short-term lenders


We'll be speaking to Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas


Alexander about that crisis in the eurozone, to the Police Minister


about those new commissioners next year, and to the Energy Secretary,


Chris Huhne, about wind turbines and the big climate change talks in


Durban. Joining me throughout the programme are Tim Montgomerie,


editor of the website ConservativeHome, and by Anne


McElvoy, Public Policy Editor of the Economist Magazine. But first


the news with Tim Willcox. The Deputy Prime Minister Nick


Clegg says the coalition would legislate if necessary to curb


excessive executive pay. Mr Clegg said it was important that the


private sector shared some of the economic pain, along with public


sector employees facing pay caps and increased pension contributions.


His comments came as Lord Hutton, who reviewed public sector pensions


for the coalition, said the Government's proposals for the


sector were perfectly credible. Terry Stiastny reports. Are week


all in this together or are some more in it than others? Well the


government tries to keep the costs of the public sector down, there is


some concern those at the top of the private sector are earning more


than they are worth. These are tough times for everybody, whether


you are in the private or public sector, whether you are a taxi


driver or the civil servant, and we need to make sure people in the


public sector don't feel they are doing the heavy lifting. The public


sector workers who went on strike do feel the heavy lifting is


largely theirs. But Lord Hutton, the former Labour minister who


wrote this Government's report on pensions reform, has warned change


is necessary, or else he says we could be heading for the rocks as


the economy has grown far less than we expected. The ground underneath


the system that has changed radically and in the wrong


direction, so we can't be sure the cost will fall over time. He called


the Government's position a credible offer. For ministers, that


was welcome. He is right that is the right thing to do, but his


warning, given the nature of the economy about us and the Western


world, made in the future mean this will not be enough so in truth this


is a generous package for public sector workers. In the new year,


the government will consider what action it could take on high


executive pay, the question is whether giving more people a share


of the pain will create the conditions for more long-term game.


-- gain. Private health firms could be given access to NHS patient


records and other NHS data, under plans being considered by the


Government. In a speech tomorrow, the Prime Minister will say that


giving researchers access to such information, which would be


anonymous, would encourage more medical research. Campaigners fear


such a move could undermine patient confidentiality but the Government


says all necessary safeguards would be put in place to protect personal


details. Voting has begun in Russia's


parliamentary elections. The ruling United Russia party of the Prime


Minister, Vladimir Putin, is expected to hold on to power. Even


before the polls opened, independent election monitors were


highlighting thousands of alleged violations of electoral law. Mr


Putin has accused foreign powers of meddling in the election process.


Two giant pandas on loan from China will arrive at Edinburgh Zoo this


afternoon. They're the first to stay in a British zoo for 17 years.


Tian Tian and Yang Guang are expected to arrive within the hour


on a specially-chartered flight. Laura Bicker is at the zoo for us.


A long journey and quite an expensive process, Laura? It is a


very expensive process. The zoo will spend around �600,000 a year


for these pandas and it will be �70,000 also in Bamber 0. It is no


ordinary day here, everybody is very excited. These pandas were


loaded on to the specially chartered aeroplane. As you can see


from these pictures. That is expected to arrive at Edinburgh


airport within the next hour, it will then get a police escort for


these pandas and they will arrive by motorcade outside here to these


gates at Edinburgh's it. The air will then be filled with the sound


of bagpipes. They will be piping them into the enclosures. Hundreds


of people are expected to line the streets to try to glimpse these


pandas. There is a lot of hope riding on these pandas, not that


they will just produced cubs, but also that they will help trading


ties with China. Thank you. The former Brazil


captain Socrates has died in hospital at the age of 57. Socrates,


who was widely regarded as one of the greatest ever midfielders,


played in two World Cups, winning 60 caps for his country between


1979 and 1986. He graduated as a doctor of medicine during his


playing career. That's it for now. There's more news on BBC One at six


o'clock. Rarely has a week felt more in need


of the sound of Eric Idle and the Monty Python team belting out


"always look on the bright side of life" because there are not a whole


lot of reasons to be cheerful over the state of the UK economy, over


what is happening in Europe. Can you remember a time like this? It


genuinely feels a bit scary now. does feel scary now. The time it


reminds me and a lot of people of is the 1980s. There was a feeling


everything was being curtailed and we were getting a much more


bitterly divided politics. All it took for me was seeing Billy Bragg


re-emerging the other night on the BBC! It is even scarier because the


eurozone, are back up system on the Continent, is in even more dire


trouble than the British finances. That combination of having these


things playing against each other is scary for politicians and


everyone else. And the headline about a number of dates to save the


euro and whatever, actually we think this time it might be true.


My own feeling is that saving the euro might not be the right thing.


There are very divergent economies in a very one-size-fits-all


interest rate. I am not sure if Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy


have a plan that will succeed, but more significantly I don't want to


because the country should be free from having to live under one


interest rate. A my gut would be with Tim on that one, I do think


the price of breaking it up now... It was welded together so firmly


and I think the price of breaking it up would be perhaps too high and


we would therefore have to tolerate this fiscal union between France


and Germany. That has huge implications for how David Cameron


pursues his economy. How does this play out in terms of UK internal


Conservative Party politics? Hearing Iain Duncan-Smith earlier


about what it would require for there to be a referendum if the


whole treaty negotiations get reopened. Nick Clegg earlier said


there would not need to be a referendum if British sovereignty


was not affected, then you have very different body language from


Iain Duncan Smith suggesting a referendum would be needed if in


some way Britain was affected. This is the problem. The referendum lock


that has been passed, that is only triggered if British sovereignty is


somehow eroded but most Euro- sceptics believe if you have fiscal


union on the Continent, although we may not lose powers, this emergence


of like an aircraft carrier, which we will be towed along by, it


affects us so much that if we don't have referendum it won't work at


all. Thank you for the moment. Christmas is coming, presents are


being wrapped, and turkeys all over the country are getting more than a


little bit nervous. According to one survey this week, we Brits are


a satisfied bunch. Ask us if we're happy and apparently we give you a


score of seven and a half out of 10. But that survey obviously didn't


poll many economists! And this week we've had little in the way of


tidings of comfort and joy. Behind every door of the advent calendar


this week, it was bleak midwinter. On Monday the OECD warned that


Britain would fall back into a recession. We live in very


difficult times. I believe we can define this political moment. The


situation in the euro area it is deteriorating. On Tuesday, the


Chancellor admitted austerity would have to last for years, much longer


than he had hoped. Our debt challenge is even greater than we


thought because the boom was even bigger, the bust even deeper, and


the effects were last even longer. Wednesday saw public sector workers


out on strike. Not everyone was impressed. It looks like something


of a damp squib. Come Thursday, it was the Bank of England's turn.


Faced with a crisis of the euro area system, we are seeing the cost


of financial instability first hand. So deck the halls with those of


holly, and keep cheerful, but the message this Christmas is that


economic midwinter is here to stay, and stay for quite some time.


Very cheery and festive. The Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne is here,


just before he sets off for a major round of climate change talks in


South Africa. For the past two years, the coalition has been


working on the premise you will do everything you can to clear the


structural deficit by 2015, then go into election and set out your own


agendas. When did you realise that wouldn't happen? The Autumn


Statement had to take on board the things that have been happening in


the global economy. We have seen an increase in gas prices, and we have


had the happenings in the eurozone so the Treasury is projecting


things on even beyond general elections. Unfortunately the


economy and the numbers don't stop at the time the general election.


Do you believed the figures? I used to be an economic forecaster and we


are not very good at doing forecast one year ahead, let alone five


years ahead, so I would be confident the world will not look


like the Treasury thinks it will in 2015,/16. The reality is there are


bound to be changes and a change in directions, as there always are,


and we have to take into account what is happening. But the Treasury


is right to make the best possible guest at the time and the markets


expect that. They say with forecasting it is like a grenade,


you throw it as far away as possible so you don't get hit by


the shrapnel. Or you make a forecast so far away that no one


will remember it. Do you think that is what they have done? Do you


share the analysis this is best guess? No, I think we have a


reasonable stab, but not a perfect one given what has happened over


the last year, at what can happen in the near term, but when you look


at five years away, you are basically trying to at least make


sure your policies are consistent, that they add up, and there are


going to be so many things that can change over that time that frankly


it doesn't make sense having a row about something. Let me consider


the implications for your party. How do you go into an election in


2015 differentiating yourselves from the Conservatives when you


have supported the same policies. OK, you can say it was a national


emergency, but you will have the same projections going forward.


Obviously there is a difference between projections in terms of the


overall aggregate on borrowing and so forth, and the values of what


you do in terms of meeting particular objectives which will be


the balance between tax and spend, how you intend to spend particular


pot of money, and that seems to leave an enormous field open for


political disagreement, as we have seen. Danny Alexander has set you


on the same course until 2017. the number of overall aggregate,


first of all there is the question of whether they are likely to be in


the ballpark by the time we get there, but also of there is the key


issue which is the overall aggregate still leave an enormous


field of different over how you intend to make the splits between


tax and spend, how you intend to do that within spending, in particular


projects, and the values of the parties will be very clearly on


display in the run-up to the election. We will be fighting as an


independent party with an independent programme and a very


clear manifesto. What do you mean when you said George Osborne was a


Conservative Chancellor delivering Exactly that. He has constituencies


within the Conservative Party, Tim Montgomery will be one of them,


that he wants to keep on board. he care about keeping you on board?


He doesn't have to keep me on board, I have my own constituency is with


the Liberal Democrats. The key point, surely, is that you, as a


journalist, should judge people by what they do and not by what they


say. If you look at the actions the Government has taken... So you did


not like the speech? I think that the reality is that the


announcement in the speech that there would be another �200 million


to make a success of our pioneering Green Deal programme was very


sensible. Do I think that we can solve financial debt problems today


at the cost of creating environmental debt problems


tomorrow, no, I do not. Did he consult with you before that


passage in the speech? Government should never discuss


what goes on within government. would always tell us if he had


consulted you! You would have been absolutely on the same page...


I come back to is the key point, if you look at what the Government is


doing, the key issues that have been brought forward on renewable


subsidies so that they can be clear support their, electricity market


reform, a big thrusts towards low- carbon electricity. We have the


support for clean heat. �800 million from the Treasury. An extra


�200 million in the Autumn Statement. So there are these


massive road-building programmes, which has led people to say that it


is the least green friendly government they have seen. You are


gliding over substantial achievements, including achievement


that the Government has set out that our world firsts, a real


pioneering programmes on energy- saving and on clean heat. They have


been done nowhere else in the world. George has absolutely signed up and


been very supportive on all of those. Judge people on what they do,


not what they say. So you didn't like the words, but you like the


actions. Good summary? That is not what I said, that is what you are


saying. Or wind turbines, is it right we are going to go from 3000,


up to 32,000? The Sunday Times's maths is out of date. We have set


out what, on one scenario, would be a substantial increase. As it


happens, we will continue to use very small turbines. The latest are


seven megawatts, more than three times the size. The reality is that


the actual number... Where would they go? A large number would go


out to sea. Dogger Bank is a shallow area of the North Sea, the


same size as Wales. If we can get serious amounts of electricity


based in that area, we could enormously increase our ability to


withstand the shocks we have had. Let me go on to cars... And let me


finish this. Will we have electric cars by 2050? We will have to


import nine out of �10 of our energy by 2050. If we don't see


Wisley generate, from domestic By 2050, every car will be


electric? Our vision is that the future of the economy will be an


electric future. That is the way we know, from existing technology,


that we can have a sustainable future without destroying the


planet for our children, our grandchildren. Electric cars are


probably the way forward. There are a lot of uncertainties and other


possibilities like hydrogen fuel cells. A on Durban, earth do you


think that there is anything concrete going to come out of it?


Or is it just a lot of talk? All of these international negotiations


take time. They always have done, this I think there is a potential


big step forward. That we can get the world committed to coming up


with a global, overarching treaty by 2015 so that we are all at least


heading in the same direction with a clear road map, so that we get


global emissions down by 2020. That is what the science is telling us


is essential. I have to bring you in, because he brought you into the


interview so much earlier wrong. What do you make of that? Chris,


unfortunately, from my perspective, is one of the Cabinet's most


effective ministers. Despite some of the shift in rhetoric, he is


pursuing his green agenda relentlessly. My worry,


particularly in the international context of climate change, is that


we have had so many promises that these international conferences are


going to deliver something. The only people that seem to do


anything our countries like our own. That means domestic bill players in


Britain are paying higher energy bills and the world's carbon


footprint goes higher and higher. Two key points. Energy bills,


because of the rise in gas prices, may be going up. But the impact of


our policy will be to bring them down. Not in the short term, the


contrary. Within three years we will actually been seeing, having


dealt with the inheritance of the Labour government, we will be


seeing the impact of the Government policy will be to reduce energy


costs. According to the forecasts. Well, it is easier to forecast on


that than it is the economy. The point about other countries not


doing anything, a other countries say the same thing. Why does my


country have to do things when nobody else's? We have over 70


countries signed up to targets. Look at what the Chinese are doing.


A quarter of the population are covered by low-carbon Soames. They


have the six biggest renewable energy companies in the world. They


have 10 kilometres of high-speed Let's look at the wind farm


situation in Britain. You have a story today, and I don't agree with


the calculations. If I can just get to the end of half descendants. You


have a situation where you have a big expansion in wind farms. You


make it sound as if wind and renewables, by extension, it is a


guaranteed answer to energy supply, security in terms of dealing with


energy sources in the outside world. I don't think it is that simple.


There are still major doubts about what wind power and renewables can


deliver. You have your argument on it being as effective as it could


possibly be. We simply do not know that is the case. You are also


I don't accept we are damaging the environment. There are


uncertainties about the technology is and the global outlook for oil


and gas prices. We need a portfolio of different options, to make sure


we are not betting the barn. Wind and renewables are part of it, so


his nuclear and clean coal. If we can use wind power, that is what


the market will determine. What we mustn't do is to decide now, when


there are still some substantial uncertainties about the future of


this technology, that we are going to get everything on one thing.


Chris Huhne, a final question before we go. A crucial week for


the euro. Do you believe that it is going to survive intact, with all


17 countries as members? The one key thing to learn about the


lessons of the European Union, since it was started in the 1950s,


is that it proceeds through crisis. There has never yet been a crisis


where it has not come out with a resolution. Has there been a crisis


like this one? There has, over the years. They have been at crisis


around the exchange rate mechanism, all sorts. The key point is that


there has never been a situation yet where the European Union has


not emerged with a revolution. -- Resolution. It would be foolhardy


to bet against that. The French President and German


Chancellor are meeting tomorrow with the euro in crisis. What they


will be discussing may decide whether the currency and even the


whole European project lives or dies, even with Chris Huhne's


cautionary words. They are expected to agree to a full fiscal union


with central oversight of how each and every eurozone country raises


its taxes and spends its national budget. Financial penalties would


be put in place for any nation that breaks the rules. They hope that


would be enough to calm the current storm in the market. Our current is


the leader of a conservative group of MPs. Do you think that full


fiscal union is the way to go? could well be. What we should never


forget is that treaty change on this level could take several years.


It has to be ratified in 27 member- state parliaments. Member countries


will probably have a referendum on it. It will not solve the problem


in the immediate future, it is a long way down the tracks. Angela


Merkel clearly wants a treaty change. Do you support that? I am


not sure it is completely necessary. As I said, it is not going to solve


the problems in the short term. She clearly does want to pursue it.


What Germany wants, Germany normally gets in the EU. It looks


like the summit will be dominated with apocalyptic warnings of all


the things that will happen if they don't reach an agreement. She will


probably get the treaty change that she wants. But it is a long,


complicated road before it is finally agreed. If you go down the


option of a treaty change, does there have to be a UK referendum on


it? Iain Duncan-Smith says anything that is a sizable change, you have


to. Nick Clegg says it is not like that, it is only if we are giving


substantial new powers. How do you read it? We will have to wait and


see what it says. We are dealing with hypothetical tier. We don't


even know what the proposals are yet. We had a pretty clear idea.


will have to see the details, how much it affects the UK, what David


Cameron manages to achieve in terms of negotiations. I hope he will


manage to build in a number of safeguards for the EU. It has a


number of potential problems for the UK. We want to see a


repatriation of powers in areas that can help the economy grow. It


is a huge hypothetical question. In principle, I have no problem with


the referendum. I think we have had far too few referendums. If there


had been more when the euro was established, not least in Germany


itself, we might not have the same problems we do now. How do you see


fiscal union affecting the UK? main problem for the UK is the


corpsing aspect of it. If the countries of the euro-zone draw


together, if they do vote as a block in the European Union, that


is a qualified majority. They could out to vote the UK. We are already


seeing a number of quite blatant attacks on the City of London, on


financial services. However unpopular they might be in the UK,


they are a critical part of the UK economy. There are lots of people


with an agenda to transfer that business to Paris and Frankfurt. We


have to protect our position in that, as well as in areas that are


key for our growth. How do you do that when you are marginalised?


You're not, of course. David Cameron has a detail. That is the


thing about negotiations. -- AVG Cho Seung-Hui. All national


parliaments have to approve. The democratic problems that are going


to be caused by this, and what the Germans are talking about doing is


imposing treaty change that will say that every tax decision, every


spending decision, every fiscal policy is not set in the individual


country but by a committee in Brussels, presumably dictated to by


Germany. It has tremendous democratic implications. What about


elections in those countries? It will not be long before an


extremist party puts forward an alternative vision, and then you


will see proper break-up. Thank you so much for be with us. I am joined


by the shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander. Thank you for


being with us. If you have the 17 countries that pursue full fiscal


union, what are the national governments of that country for?


Let's see what is proposed that the European summit. We have a very


strong national interest in making sure that the single market, the 27


members of the European countries in the single market, continue to


be the body that makes decisions about British exports and have a


profound effect on British jobs. As we have seen from the comments of


Iain Duncan-Smith and Nick Clegg, we have a coalition that is not


talking to each other, never mind talking to European partners, at a


critical point for the economy and the future of Europe. But the point


is, let's decide what it looks like before we work out if we need a


referendum? I think people will struggle to reconcile the language


we have heard from Iain Duncan- Smith and Nick Clegg. That is not a


source of joy, it is a source of concern to me. One of the reasons


Britain is in the position it is in at the moment is because David


Cameron is obliged to spend more time negotiating with backbenchers


than European partners. I welcome the fact he was in Paris. I welcome


the fact that, even at this late hour, there are discussions with


European partners. The stakes are extremely high for Britain's it


national interests. There have been crisis in the European Union before,


if you look at history, they tend to get sorted. Chris Huhne seemed


pretty sanguine. He was saying that the European Community grows


through crisis. But even the greatest advocates of the European


Union's nerve would be tested by what we are witnessing. We have a


situation where the European economy is minutes from midnight.


We need a European summit that, for once, actually get ahead of the


markets rather than being behind the markets. That is why I think


change is inevitable in the eurozone. It is overdue. I hope we


see a comprehensive enough package emerging from European leaders that


it will command confidence, rather than lose confidence. That involves


the political support being given to the European Central Bank, that


But there is a fundamental problem that Angela Merkel and Nicolas


Sarkozy don't see it in the same way. My sense is they are moving


closer together. I think there will be a joint paper produced by the


French and the Germans anticipating the conference that takes place at


the end of the next week, and that will look at how you make sure


there is broader oversight, but that carries significant


implications in terms of the broader functioning of the European


Union. We do support a referendum if there was a treaty change?


law is there will be a referendum if there is significant change in


powers for Britain giving up powers, but let's see what emerges next


week. I can see how fiscal union might solve the problems going


forward for the eurozone, but that doesn't deal with the immediate


problem that we have a Continent burdened by debt and countries on


the periphery like Greece that are uncompetitive within the eurozone


and I can't see that changing unless they have the option of


devaluation. Is it the Labour Party's position that the eurozone


has to stay as one single currency area? Our judgment is it is up for


them to make those decisions. Issues of Greece leaving the


eurozone have to be resolved by the countries themselves but it is in


Britain's interest that it does resolve these problems.


Schadenfreude is not a good economic strategy for Britain at


the moment. The Labour Party has been broadly EU comic even went


through a period of being brought me he knew, and you seem to be


suggesting a more sceptical tone without coming out directly and


saying that. We always thought economics should lead the politics.


We should maintain a position that economics leads the politics. More


broadly, we need a clear-headed sense of where Britain's national


interest is, and I think it is served being part of the European


Union. The way we can advance global public goods, whether it is


climate change, security, global poverty, Britain's interests are


amplified by being part of the European Union, but we also want to


be a part of the single market. It is crucial David Cameron can do


what he can to secure a global market, because to shrink our home


market is just daft. Are you sure you can get away with being in a


single market if you're not in the fiscal union? I believe we need to


see the endurance of the single market. The break-up of that would


be as disastrous for Britain as would a break-up of Europe. We have


heard about the caucus in aspect, how can you stop that? So unthought


is being given to an emergency brake procedures before next


weekend so you could have issues relating to financial services that


largely affect the City more than any other part of the European


economy, if they are significant enough being graduated up to a


government decision, so there are various ways you can work to


protect Britain's national interest but that requires a prime minister


who knows what his premises are. My genuine fear it is that if you


maintain the position that you are overriding national interest as the


repatriation of powers, not only would you likely be unsuccessful


but you would also miss the opportunity to get the guarantees


the British economy needs. Thank you.


Later in the programme, the political impact of pandas - all


will be explained, but first the Politics Show near you.


Hello and welcome to the London part of the Politics Show, where


coming up later - Christmas comes but once a year but for some their


debts go on and on. We look at the rise of short-term credit lenders


and loan sharks. It has been quite a week for the economy. The Autumn


Statement, thousands protesting on the streets of the capital, and


dire warnings about rapidly lowering living standards. There


were promises about future transport improvements and a


handout to soften the mayor's planned fare rises, but where else


was there to here? Perhaps Greg hands, Conservative MP for Chelsea


and Fulham can provide it. You had seen the statement, presumably,


before it was delivered? Not much before. Did you expected to be


quite so gloomy? Actually, I think it is quite good news for London,


in terms of some of the extra spending and in terms of the good


provision for London pensioners, for those having to pay petrol tax,


and also keeping interest rates down, doing everything the


government can to make sure businesses can borrow at a


reasonable rate and that mortgage rates are kept down. Do you think


that is how Londoners feel? The Autumn Statement? We will have to


see. The overall package has turned out to be good for London. It is a


difficult set of circumstances at the moment with the economy, which


obviously the Office for budget responsibility forecast showed the


economy slowing for Europe and the rest of the world, but within that


context London has done very well. How do you think Londoners will


feel about household income going down almost to record levels? The


last decade we have been 2016 hearing about? Clearly these are


difficult times and we haven't tried to avoid that question. Most


Londoners will realise this is a follow-on effect from the recession,


the deepest recession this country had been the year's 2008/2009, and


when we became the government last year we inherited the largest


budget deficit in the G20. Most Londoners will recognise the


economic inheritance that Labour passed on makes our job very


difficult. They might think that, they also know you felt you could


get a lot of the pain out of the way in four years, but now we know


it will be much longer. And a 1% pay rise Cap for public sector


workers in a couple of years' time, projections of tens of thousands


more public sector workers out of work, really? We tried to make sure


some of the savings are shared out equally, and that everybody shares


some of the paint and some of the game. Do you think we have shared


it? Yes, we have the new bank levy raising 2.5 million from the banks,


there is the 50p tax rate, and others measures to make sure people


right across the income curve will be sharing it out. Are they paying


as much as, for instance, those children who will not get the rise


in the child tax credit? The child tax credit is still rising, it just


won't be rising as fast or by as much as we had projected last year.


It will be in line with inflation, which will still be a real benefit


for Londoners in difficult circumstances. What is the idea


behind, and how convinced are you, that this can work and generate


growth in the economy? These ideas of infrastructure projects?


Infrastructure is very important for London to make sure it keeps


its competitiveness as a world city, that we keep London moving, that we


make sure London has got the right transport in place, and schools


will also be very important. will look at that in some detail


now, about that Investment. Was it as presented a shot in the arm for


London? Investing, building, creating jobs? The main focus was


on the river, or have to get across it. In the 20 miles between


Kingston Bridge and the City, there are 19 ways to drive across the


Thames, but then it all comes to a halt. Unfortunately for people in


East London, they are not so lucky. Between Tower Bridge and the


Dartmouth tunnel, there are no bridges whatsoever over a 10 mile


stretch of river. The links their art are slightly random. The best


bet by car are these tunnels, both notorious for delays. Two ft Dolls


at Greenwich and Woolwich are both being refurbished, and the


Greenwich ferry runs once every 10 minutes. Next year, east London as


slightly eccentric river crossings will be joined by another. The


mayor of London's cable-car across the Thames put on show for the


first time this week. Transport for London reckon they will take about


500 passengers a day on these things. They are pretty cool on the


inside and you get a great view crossing the Thames but are they


any use for a business that need to transport a large amount of


freight? The Chancellor's Autumn Statement this week appears like it


could be good news if that is what you want. We will work with the


mare on options for other new river crossings... He made reference to


two potential Crossens, one in the east of the City and another just


outside it, possibly at Dartford, but both projects have been opposed.


According to Labour, it is hardly an announcement at all. There is


very little in this statement for London, and I think this is a


window-dressing announcement. He is trying to make it look like There


is more for London but there is nothing. This was meant to be the


Thames Gateway Bridge. Ken Livingstone's solution to the


problem, but the six-lane road bridge would have been noisy and


polluting, and was unpopular with some locally. The plan was scrapped,


although he has now committed to another crossing at the same point.


But when the mayor scrapped this bridge, old with it went the


funding. The project could have been paid for. The difficulty is


now but the mayor and the Government are committed to


building a new crossing, there is very little detail on where the


cash for that will come from. understand their issues with


private finance initiative, that is how it would have been financed,


and if you look at other projects like the DLR, they are not


delivering what they should have done and they are costing the


taxpayer more. It was right to look at the finance, but to scrap some


of these major projects was a huge mistake. Another Road Bridge in


East London have some sort has been in the pipeline for about 50 years


but some will question whether this announcement will move us any


closer to building one. Joining us now, the deputy mayor


for Transport. Some felt it was fairly flimsy, these transport


improvements, apart from the first themselves which are quite fat. --


the trouble first themselves. Anybody who lives in Newham or


Bexley knows exactly what you are talking about, that the absence of


a river crossing is cataclysmic for regeneration. Transport is almost


the secondary objective. We could have had the bridge completed by 20


did team if we had gone for that in 2008. When you look at the road,


where it would have been, you understand why thousands of locals


would have died in a ditch, opposed to that. Did you back the decision


when you were there? That was ages ago, nothing to do with me.


probably thought it was a good idea, back when. I didn't get involved.


How much further forward are we? There is no money on the table, but


the Chancellor said he would work with you. The key thing for these


projects is political will. You can spend all the time in the world


consulting on it, developing finance packages. If you look at


the Northern Line extension that has been proposed, that is one of


the big regeneration opportunities in London, but unless people


actually want to build it, we can spend a lot of time coming up with


finance packages... I will come on to that. These are the 48 words


from the Chancellor - right here in London, we will work with the mayor


for options on all the new river crossings, for example on


Silvertown, and we will support the extension of the Northern Line to


Battersea in partnership with the private sector. This could bring


25,000 new jobs to the area. The Chancellor was there on Monday with


the mayor, saying the developers would pay three-quarters of a


billion pounds of the cost for these two new tube stations on the


Northern Line. Two days later, the developers heading for


administration. In terms of the overall development, this is


fantastic news. What about that though? Doesn't it show the


difficulty immediately? The Chancellor says this will be built


by the private sector developer, Owen lots of money, looks like


have to see on that, but the important thing is this is a


fantastic opportunity. You mentioned twenty-five 1000 jobs,


also 16,000 new homes that would be built, making sure the central


government support working with Boris Johnson, making sure the


central government does what it can. The aspiration sounds fantastic.


How could the Chancellor go to the site like this for a photo


opportunity and claim it as the kind of thing the government is


doing? When there is no central government money going into it.


There is a lot of central government money going into the


Into that project. Specifically, there is no central government


money. It is often showing the political will, showing that the


Government will support this, is supporting this... How important is


that to you? Political will. A Chancellor there with a hard hat,


next to Boris Johnson in a hard hat. Would you like the money?


Battersea development that you talked about is only part of quite


a lot of activity in that area. you're not going to tell me that


Battersea Power Station is and the single most important part, and


they were paid for the most part of it? Do you agree? Yes. But it is


quite counter-intuitive. That project, with that particular


structure collapsing, it is a good thing to push that forward. You


don't want something languishing for years, and there has been a


succession of those problems. point is, the significance of that


and the Autumn Statement for Londoners, that was that George


Osborne could be photographed next to Boris Johnson and they say, we


want this to happen sometime? is in place for the Northern Line


extension is a detailed package that has been discussed between the


boroughs, the mayor and government. What is missing, it is not the case


that it is all coming from the developer, it is a complex


financing structure. What is missing is that we need a few tools,


financing mechanisms, and that is where we are looking for the


Government to come forward. could happen anyway, it is nothing


to do with a way out of the financial or economic difficulties


we have got, is it? We have been waiting for some of those tools for


a couple of years. If we can get movement, that will be fantastic.


One thing that is undeniable is that they raise more money to


soften the blow of what was going to be fare rises. 2% above


inflation will now be 1%. What difference will that make? It is


quite significant on a certain product in particular. If you look


at buses, the fare rises will be slightly below plus one. If you


look at the weekly bus pass, that a lot of low-income workers used, we


have managed to reduce that significantly. For the first time,


you are putting up a bus fare by 10 -- 5p. It has always been 10 before.


Why five? We have been trying to spread the benefits across so


everybody can benefit. Why haven't you done that before, a five pence


increase? There is a long story behind that. A fair has to be


offered at a 50% discount, for example, if it is �1.35, you get


into all kinds of complicated calculations. But he didn't do that


last year, or the year before. Has it got, be honest, has it got


anything to do with the fact there is an election next year. We really


have tried to spread that funding from government, which has enabled


us to protect every penny of investment across the packages. We


were conscious that buses are especially used by... Did the head


of the Commission for Transport suggest the five pence increase was


sensible? This discussion happens between TfL and the mayor. TfL puts


forward a proposal for how that money is going to be spread out so


that everybody in London can benefit. How welcome do you think


it will be? Did the Chancellor do this because of the anger there is


about the fare rises on the railways up and down the country?


He just felt he had to bring London in line? Or is this actually to


help Boris Johnson? You'll know that is where Ken Livingstone, his


opponent, will try to make the most hey, about the effect of


Conservatives running it. I think it is designed to help Londoners in


general. They are facing a loss of fixed cost pressure on things like


energy bills, transport bills. We wanted to do something, in a very,


very import of the -- important part of the economy, to bring costs


down for regular people. My constituency has more commuters in


than any other constituency in Britain. It will be hard pressed


people that will welcome it. Annual travel cards, they are still going


to have to pay �120 per year? will not be going up as much as


previously thought. This will keep it down for Tim or three years? You


agree? The whole cost of reducing affairs has been covered. But two


or three years. What happens then? You are going to put them up even


more to compensate for what will be removed in two or three years'


time? What we are proposing, with RPI plus 1%, it is a far more


realistic proposition than that being put forward by Ken


Livingstone. He says he wants to cut fares, but he has and said how


he would pay for it. But you recognise that Boris Johnson has


said, supported by you, supported by Transport for London, that he


would not alter that trajectory affairs, it was needed for


investment. The first sign of trouble, you have distorted that by


putting some money back in? I think central government recognised this


was an important thing to do because of the pressures facing


Londoners. Contrast that with somebody that has recklessly gone


out to pledge a completely unfunded, huge cut in tube fares, which he


knows he will not be able to deliver, I think that shows the


contrast between Boris Johnson, a sensible approach to running London,


and Ken Livingstone, going back to the past. A final thought, at this


time of particular financial trouble, is it right for fare


payers to be paying more, well above inflation, or a above-


inflation still, for improvements tomorrow, instead of central


government paying for it? It it's a difficult message. I take the Tube


every day. I understand why people find that difficult. I'm amazed how


well people understand and are prepared to accept that everyone


knows there is unprecedented amounts of people on the Tube. We


have never seen so many people on the buses. They've got no choice,


they had to get round. A final thought? There is huge government


investment going in. One of the first things George Osborne decided


was to put the money in for Crossrail and to put the money in


for the Tube improvements at a time when central government inherited a


situation where the public finances were in a total mess. We made sure


that Crossrail and the Tube improvements were protected and


It may be a bleak economic forecast, but short term, up to Christmas, at


least, spending is expected to rise. For many people, that might only be


possible because without much credit for coming from banks they


are turning to other sources of finance.


To get extra seasonal cash, it can be very tempting to take up the


offers that many high-street loans, credit and pay-day companies offer.


Louise took out a short-term loan and struggled with my repayment


rates. She eventually paid it off, but then found herself being


bombarded with offers from similar companies. Christmas is one of the


worst times. If you have children, you on your own, you don't have


money coming from other places, you've not got anywhere to turn to.


You cannot go to the bank and you have a letter saying, borrow �500


instantly. You are going to say, right, that will pay my Christmas


for me. You are not sinking -- thinking in the long term. What


London MP has been calling for a change in law and more regulations


for the short term loan industry. I asked how big a problem it is in


the capital. London is always at the sharp end of anything to do


with debt and the cost of living. It is expensive to live in the


capital city. There are 500,000 people who have put mortgages on


credit cards, according to Shelter. They are not borrowing money to buy


fancy goods and flash TV's, 40% are to buy basics like food and


transport costs. Do you think the Government has been willing to


listen or act in any way? really frustrated with the


Government. When they were elected, they made a number of commitments.


18 months on, they have done nothing about this and problems are


getting worse. We know that capping the cost of credit means that less


people go to illegal lenders. It is the illegal loan sharks that people


are worried about. It also means that credit is more affordable.


When we are facing an economic downturn, we need people to have


access to credit. The impact these loans can have is all too clear.


Whether it is the man that ended up with nine different Pay Day Loans


because he was trying to pay one off with another, or the woman who


borrowed �100, got chased by the company that she owed the money too,


ended up paying back �300, and 48 hours later they rang her back and


asked if she wanted another one. A 16-year-old who took out a loan


with doorstep lenders, he will never pay that off. His family paid


it off because they were so worried about what it would do to him, to


Troy Deeney is Gavin Hayes, general secretary of Compass. In our


Manchester studio, John Laver Day from the Consumer Finance


Association. You recognise some of those issues, presumably. What do


you want to be done? Firstly, there is no panacea to this problem. As


Stella was alluding to, we are calling for a total cap on the cost


of credit. That would include not only the interest rates. Often,


people get charged various administration fees and so on. Also,


we would like to see things like that rolling over of loans stopped.


We would also like to see the number of Pay Day Loans people can


take out in any 12 month period limited. That is pretty clear.


Would that work? Would it work to do what? You have to take the idea


of borrowing short-term, small sum loans in context. Pay Day Loans are


just one method. You can also use your bank overdraft, or an


unauthorised bank overdraft. Or you might go over your limit on your


credit card. What I would say to you is, no, it will not work. Cabin


the cost of Pay Day Loans will not make loans cheaper. It will reduce


choice for consumers. It will actually push them to more


expensive alternatives such as unauthorised overdrafts and going


over their credit card limit. accept that people seeking short-


term loans are often vulnerable and do need more protection? Absolutely


not. We leant across age ranges, across income bands. Pretty equally


loans to anybody who has got a bank account, a job and disposable


income, 94% of our customers come from a household where there is at


least one full-time worker. In the country as a whole at the moment,


one in five households have no full-time worker are tall. We are


not lending to people on the margins. We are lending to normal,


ordinary people, that just want to smooth out the peaks and troughs of


income and expenditure. They just want to smooth them out, if you


make that impossible, they will go to loan sharks. There is absolutely


no evidence of that, if you look at how caps on the cost of credit


worker. I think actually the point that we are trying to make is that


we accept the fact that pay-day lenders have a role to play in


terms of helping people in financial emergencies. But I think


it has become very clear in recent years that some of these pay-day


lenders are charging excessive interest rates. I looked on the


interest -- internet the other day, there was one charging over 5000 %


APR for short-term loans. Do you recognise that, in the 30 seconds


we have left? There is huge competition. A Pay Day Loans will


cost you between �10.30 pounds for every �100 that you borrow. One


company is offering a totally free deal at the moment. They got


lambasted in the media for doing it. You can't really win. I'm afraid,


actually, we have come to the end. I wish we had had a bit longer, but


that is all we had time for. Back Well, there have been poles not


just to choose councillors, but police commissioners. There will


also be referendums on whether or not to have directly-elected mayors


in cities like Liverpool and Leeds. Is it a much needed democratic


revolution, or a costly PR exercise that will accomplish the square


This government is going to break up concentrations of power and


handed back to people. It is why we want elected mayors in our great


cities. We are drawing up even more radical plans to open a public


Power to the people - the warcry of revolutionaries up to and including,


er, Nick Clegg and David Cameron. Who wouldn't want a greater say


over how local services are run, or over policing priorities? Nick and


Dave believe they can deliver that through directly elected mayors and


police commissioners. But here's a thought - what if the people aren't


actually sure if they want the power? We do already have a fair


few elected mayors in England. Here's one you may know. It is a


system which is directly accountable. It means you know that


there's some person who is accountable to you for your


services, the state of your roads, the success of your police in


fighting crime in that area and you can hold them to account. And if


they're not succeeding, then you can chuck them out, it's very


important. Actually, it was Labour who introduced directly-elected


Mayors, but not every Blairite thinks it's always a good idea.


theory, all of this is very good, providing people with the power to


cut through red tape and bureaucracy, the all-powerful


leader actually going ahead on a white charger. In practice, of


course, it means you're centralising rather than diffusing


power. We're obsessed with putting power into the hands of charismatic


individuals. And if you've got a Boris Johnson or a Ken Livingstone


in London and if you've got a Mayor Bloomberg in New York, you can pull


it off, but actually most people want somebody at very local level,


their councillor, that they can hold to account. In May next year,


11 of England's biggest cities will be asked if they'd like an elected


mayor. A consultation is underway about exactly what powers they


should have. The pay? Not formally set yet, although so far, the


average is just under �70,000 a year. But 38 cities have already


held referendums in the last few years. 13 have said yes, but 25


said no. Outside London, there'll be 41 police commissioners in


England and Wales. Salary? Between �65-100 grand. Chief Constables


will still run the police, but the Commissioner will control the


budget, hold senior officers to account and set local policing


priorities. But recent polls have suggested that few members of the


public actually realise they'll be here in less than a year's time.


And some Coalition MPs think mayors and elected police chiefs are an


idea best left alone. I think Nick and Dave both come back from a sort


of PR background so something which to me is polishing the shiny bits


to them sounds a good idea. The problem is the good idea is to


elect somebody and then leave them to get on with it for four years


without any checks and balances, so if they go off the rails there's no


one to put them back on the rails, unless they get sectioned. Even


some of the high priests of people power are a bit sniffy about


elected police chiefs. What do they want? Super-mayors with super


powers! I don't support individual public services having elected


chiefs. What you want is mayors or local authorities which can join up


across the public services. If you have individual elected head of the


police, why not have an individual elected head of the education


service or the NHS and so on? And that really just isn't feasible and


wouldn't bring the joining up that you need. So I hope in due course


we'll have not just mayors of city councils but of regional, metro


mayoral authorities where you could bring together the police,


transport, urban regeneration, housing other regional functions,


as happens with the Mayor of London. And guess what that mayor thinks


that Nick, Dave, and especially George here, have to do if they


really believe in power to the people. I think the most important


thing that central government needs to do is to recognise that all


other big cities in Europe, around the world which have successful


mayoralties have a greater ability by the central city authority to


spend taxes that are raised locally and for that tax money to be


democratically accountable and that's the way, I think... The


Treasury's got to relax and the Treasury's got to accept that


there's got to be real devolution in this country. Good luck with


that Boris - because some critics think that for all the talk of


people power, these Westminster types speak with forked tongue.


of the absolute paradoxes at the moment is that the Government are


preaching localism when every step they take from mayors and police


commissioners through determining whether local government should


empty the bins one week or two, they're actually determining the


major policies from the centre. They've also got the idea that you


can centralise the power and devolve the pain and individuals -


police commissioner or mayors - take the flak. Gesture politics or


a real desire to listen to the people? Ultimately, the success of


elected mayors and police commissioners might just depend on


how much power really flows from this place to your place.


The Police Minister and the man who has pioneered this whole idea is


Nick Herbert, and he joins me now from his rather lovely looking


constituency in Sussex. Thank you for being with us. Who wants these


police commissioners? There is plenty of survey evidence that


people feel they don't have enough say over policing and would like


more of a say and they are attracted to the idea of being


given one. We know from London that this has been broadly very popular.


The mayor has been given responsibility for policing in


London, that is a quarter of all police officers in the country, and


that means the mayor can respond to what the public are saying. He has


responded on things like knife crime, keeping police officers on


the street. If you were to ask Londoners now if they wanted that


taken away and given a quango, people invisible, unaccountable to


you, deciding those priorities, people would give a pretty dusty


response. We want to extend it across the rest of England and


Wales, and that will happen with elections in November next year.


What if they are elected on a very low Democratic turnout, does that


give them legitimacy? Any turnout will confirm a greater legitimacy


that we -- than we have at the moment. The public simply don't


know who to go to, they can't name their police authority chair, so


there will be a greater legitimacy. It is interesting that a poll


recently conducted found that two thirds of the public, when asked,


said they would vote, and we know there is a great deal of concern


about crime. It is always a top priority for the public, and people


will be motivated turnout because they care about these matters


aren't there will be a lot of local media interest as we approach the


elections next November. Who will be funding the campaigns for these


people? I know that it sounds a very granular question, but


political parties are strapped for cash so they will not one to. Who


will run these campaigns? Were have been clear that political parties


are free to field candidates if they want to, but we have also


served as the government that we are more than happy for


independents to stand. We are looking for people of real Kaaba,


people who have run big organisations, who have a track


record of success, to put their names forward for election. They


don't need to be party candidate. What matters is that we have Virk


group of people who think they can make a difference and it is


important to understand they won't be interfering in the operational


independence of police officers but they will be holding them to


account and they will be the voice of the people. Have you got big


figures coming forward? I think there will be. We have already seen


a lot of interest in these elections. Can you name a few?


know that Colonel Tim Collins has put his name forward in Kent.


know that - any other names? just wait, I think there will be


them, and parliament has just agreed this policy. You will find


that interesting people put their names forward, and it is not you or


me deciding who will be elected, it is the people deciding who they


want to put in office to hold the police to account, to make sure


there is a better deal for victims, and that people's priorities are


reflected in policing. People have not had a say outside London in


that before. This policy is about people power. Don't you worry about


the populism that might follow from this, that you might have elected


police commissioners coming to the end of their term, they will need


to come up with an eye-catching initiative. If the case hasn't been


sold, they will be calling for heads to roll - is that the best


way to do policing? They can't interfere with individual


operations, but we have not seen that in London. The mayor stood on


a platform of wanting to deal with things like a knife crime,


responding to public concern. In the end, I trust the people to


elect who they think will be best to hold the police to account. I


don't believe this argument about extremism is a valid one because it


is tantamount to saying you can't trust the public to make a decision


in their area so we will leave this to be decided by independent or


unelected bodies with no accountability at all. Let's trust


the people, give them the say for the first time outside of London.


Thank you. A pint designed -- behind you looks quite enticing.


Didn't David Blunkett have it right in that film that politicians love


to talk the talk of handing power down, and hate the idea of it in


practice? Yes, having said that we must give the coalition a fair


hearing on this. They have said from the beginning they wanted to


do this. The question is how this works in practice and how they then


feel about it because they have these things they want to deal of


local mayors and police commissioners. In Birmingham they


have a strong candidate for mayor, among many, but she wouldn't


control policing buyer would tease. How can this makes sense? This


person is capable senior political person, and then she has to deal


with another police commissioner. It seems you could add more layers


than you have suggested. I agree, the London model is of course where


Boris is in charge of the police but also in charge of transport and


budget as well. What we are lacking is almost a lack of integration. We


have too many people being elected here. I think it is a good idea,


but the question you asked about, there have candidates would be


addressed if it was integrated. Both of you, thank you. That is it


for this week. Thank you took all of our guests. By next week, two


giant pandas will be installed in London Zoo. They had just landed


from China. They first are the first of these creatures to live in


this country for many years, but let's face it the most dangerous


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