13/11/2011 The Politics Show Scotland


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This week on the Politics Show: Vince Cable offers sympathy to the


St Paul's protesters and threatens tough action on Executive Pay.


But what about the economy? The Business Secretary tells us his


plan for growth and we get the And are Government plans to take


child benefit from higher rate And on the Politics Show Scotland:


We hear from the Chancellor, George Osborne, who warns the prospect of


an independence referendum is causing uncertainty in the Scottish


economy, with major international companies worried about investing


here. And we take a look at a new export


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1312 seconds


- education. How big a draw is a Trying to cut too far tried to cut


too far and too fast. The longer this goes on, the bigger the pain


is going to be. I do not think they We have heard from Vince Cable


saying the need to get the growth back into the economy. We read that


there may be many bought forward for infrastructure projects. D U


Welcome mat? The fittest true. Your first question to Vince Cable was


this is the equivalent of a war in the economy. That is quite right.


But after the Second World War, we took a number of years to repay at


a higher number of debt. The Government and Vince Cable tried to


get this done in one Parliament and it is backfiring, leading to higher


borrowing as well as slower growth. We have set out a plan more


balanced on the deficit and which acts now to get growth and jobs


moving. It used the case that the Government is now adopting one of


those plans by bringing forward infrastructure investment then good


but it has to be real, it has to have a stimulus for the economy.


George Osborne is talking about �50 billion. That has all got to come


from private investment. We have had this idea for a year... I just


want to ask you about your plan. How much will your growth plant


cost? We have been very clear that one of the elements will be a


temporary cut for one year which will cost �12 billion. We have said


repeat the ban bonus tax... Do you think it should be for one year or


five years? It all depends how long it takes his recovery to get moving.


I think that if we act now and we will get the recovery moving over


the next year. A year ago we had a recovery and falling unemployment.


Vince Cable was ignored, the Liberal Democrat manifesto was


whipped up... I would like to go with your plans. �12 million in VAT.


What about the rest of it? second part would be a repeat of


the bank and its tax, raising �2 billion from and bonuses to spend


on 100,000 jobs for young people and housing. That pays for itself.


We call for a cut in national insurance, with small firms taking


on new employees and the Government had is denied it has failed. There


was half a billion pounds for that and it did not work very well. We


have also said, but VAT for a year, for help for small companies.


People think that might cost half a billion pounds but if you get more


growth and jobs that will then pay for itself. Finally, bring forward


projects but you cannot have the big investment projects if you do


not affect borrowing, which somehow relies upon the private sector.


George Osborne is a saying �50 billion but there is no meet there.


He's been will not work. You have to hold him to account. We need to


Labour's plan for jobs in Britain right now. And executive pay. Vince


Cable is talking about possibly introducing legislation in the New


Year. Will you be backing him? he brings forward legislation we


will balk at hit. I think Vince Cable was confused it is in dispute


about the past as well as the future. We actually introduced in


Government legislation which says that every person paid more than �1


million, be paying owners should be made public. The Conservative-


Liberal Democrat Government have used that. Vince Cable does not


need a new bill. He can do that right now. Why doesn't he just out


rather than prevaricate? He has also talked about legislation to


have work representatives on board, more transparency, voting by


shareholders. Quite right. We just get on with it. You cannot just sit


there and say, I have got a problem, and prevaricate about action. On


executive pay, growth, jobs, we do not want these things that are all


over the place and confused. We want action to get jobs and grid


moving out to get our deficit down. We needed quickly and I am afraid


in the interview today we did not see any signs of leadership action,


just excuses. Good afternoon. Welcome to The


Politics Show Scotland. Coming up, in an exclusive interview, the


Chancellor wars -- and warns the SNP's independence referendum is


putting off big business from coming here. I think the


uncertainty is damaging investment in Scotland and there are major


businesses around the world who have asked me in the last tee, tell


us what is going on in Scotland. We are worried about making an


investment. He as the Scottish Government's


consultation on same-sex marriage nears a close, will Scots say "I


do", and will ministers listen? And selling Scottish education to


India. How big a brand is a degree from one of our universities?


It has cost two governments and billions of euros but still the


economic crisis in Europe ranges on. The turmoil is having an impact


here, as forecasts predict the UK economic growth will suffer because


of the crisis on the Continent. Plenty to attract the attention of


Chancellor George Osborne, them. I caught up with him in a distillery


in Elgin and asked him how Europe should get out of its current mess?


There are the issues of leading with -- dealing with the crisis in


hand, dealing with Italy, the questions raised over even


countries like France, and that is what all our efforts are fixed on


at the moment but I do not think that will be the lasting answer.


The lasting answer is that the countries of the eurozone will have


to corporate much more closely on the issues of tax and spending,


where there has got to be more integration. Be kind of thing,


actually, that Britain would not tolerate. One of the reasons we did


not jewel the euro. But we have to allow the euros and to do it well


protected are our interests and making sure that the European Union


can work for all its members even those that are not in the euro.


that fiscal union? Something like it. If you think of currency unions


anywhere in the world, in the UK, in the United States, we do


transfer money around the country in order to try to get greater


equality and -- in the economy. That is what needs to happen in the


Europe. We are not there yet and there is instability in the euro.


It is having a huge impact on the Scottish and UK economy and I am


afraid it is hitting growth and heeding jobs. Gyms says that when


the evidence changes so do his opinions. Shouldn't you change


direction to? I fully accept we need to go further, have more


initiatives, have plans to stimulate housing, getting Hames


being built, help with more infrastructure, help small


businesses. I accept all that and we will announce plans for all


those things in the coming weeks but let's not forget you one not


into being a European buyer -- finance minister who is terrified


that he cannot sell his country's debt tomorrow. Severe austerity


programme continues? The austerity programme, as you put it, I would


say a country living within its means, is an essential part of


Britain demanded confident within the world and I think all of those


who said over the last year that there was some room for Britain,


that we could spend more Korek -- spent more, Barrymore, we must


remember that our deficit is higher than that of Greece, Italy,


Portugal. It means that alternative path, plan B, it would have been a


total disaster for this country, Proust -- pushed interest rates up.


Alex Salmond won a famous victory in May and he says that gives him a


mandate to demand more Palmer's from your Government. What would


convince you to devolve corporation tax to Edinburgh? I have had


several discussions with Alex Salmond about corporation tax and


other things he has asked for. First, we are passing through


Parliament the biggest devolution of taxation since the Act of Union.


Second, specifically on corporation tax, there are some very important


questions about how much money this would forgo for the UK Exchequer,


how much money the Scottish Government... How much is it?


is precisely the discussion I want with Alex Salmond. We have asked


him questions about his proposal and actually he has had very little


idea of the answers. The impressions I have had from


discussions with the Scottish Government is that they have not


really thought through the detail of additional powers. Maybe now


they will in the next few months. We have asked them some questions.


It is time for them to come back with some answers but let's not


forget, currently going through the UK parliament, promoted by the


coalition Government, the United Kingdom, is the biggest devolution


of taxation since the Act of Union and that status was a lot of what


the Scottish people want to see. that his may be on corporation tax.


Before you go through each one of these, I am not saying that any of


these are necessarily things we will do. I am saying, let us hear


the answers to the detailed questions and I have not had those


answers yet. And frankly, I think the bigger issue at the moment is


not this particular power or that particular power. I think the


instability and the uncertainty that hangs over the Scottish


economy because of Alex Salmond raising the prospect of


independence without actually providing any detail, I think that


answer is damaging investment in Scotland and they are major


businesses around the world who have asked me, as Chancellor, in


the last year, tell us what is going on in Scotland. We are


worried about making an investment in that country. I have told them,


go ahead with that investment, but I have to say, those questions are


being asked and I think they are having an impact on Scottish jobs


and prosperity. Which companies and how much investment? I do not want


to go into specifics but some of the largest companies in the world.


These are private conversations. I always answer, in best in Scotland.


I think it is a great place to invest. But people have to be aware


that the uncertainty about independence, about what sort of


referendum Alex Salmond once, the question that he wants to posted


Scottish people, all of those things, at a time when there is a


lot of economic uncertainty, or adding economic uncertainty in


Scotland. As a Conservative Cabinet minister, do you feel comfortable


in Scotland, the country which has so often rejected your party?


say, I think this is a fantastic part of the UK. One of the best


places to do business. As Chancellor I am very interested in


that. I actually came up here with my Liberal Democrat chief secretary


earlier today. I have spent the afternoon with are fantastic new


leader of the Scottish Conservatives, with Davidson, and I


should say, my door is always open to her to come and put his case for


Scotland. I am optimistic about Scotland's future. And the


Conservatives' future? I am optimistic. We have a fantastic


leader. She is a breath of fresh air just not for the Scottish


Conservatives but for the Coral Scottish politics. She is going to


be an important force for Scotland. Classes.


You can see a longer version of that interview on our website at


bbc.co.uk/scotlandnews. One interested observer is the First


Minister. Just before we came on air, Alex Salmond gave us these


reaction to the Chancellor's claims. The great companies of the world


are investing in Scotland at the present moment. Companies like Amla


arm -- Amazon, Mitsubishi. That is one of the reasons even in these


difficult economic times when unemployment in Scotland is lower


than in the rest of the UK. The instability in Scotland has nothing


to do with an independence referendum, and everything to do


with George Osborne and Tory economic policies. This is juvenile


and it is not going to work. We have already given huge economic


detail on corporation tax. We have said what we want to do. We want to


control corporation tax so that we can attract corporation companies


to Scotland, to get greater investment in Scotland. We have


given them all this stuff. This is a Chancellor of wants to give as


powers -- give powers to Northern Ireland but not Scotland.


Should same-sex couples be able to get married? That is the question


currently being posed by the Scottish Government. Ministers say


they are open-minded but have hinted they would remind --


consider reform. Some of those campaigning for the change say


those -- it is not just about religion.


We knew as soon as we met each other... Sandy and Kevin became


civil partners last Christmas Eve but given a chance, they would


rather have got married. We believe that a civil partnership is like a


legal contract. You get the same rights and responsibilities as


someone married but we feel it is a lesser status. While they would not


have had a religious ceremony they think it should be an option for


gay couples, but only if the judge involved agrees. I do not think


anyone should force them to conduct these ceremonies. It is up to their


religion and for them to decide and for people who are religious to


take it up with their ministers. That is what the Scottish


Government is considering. Up until now, any A8 man and a woman could


get married in Scotland. Gay couples must enter a civil


partnership instead. The new proposals would give same-sex


couples equal marriage rites and the chance to have a religious


ceremony. But despite reassurances from ministers, knows celebrant


would be made to conduct a same-sex wedding, proposals have got strong


opposition from some faith groups, particularly the Catholic Church


who has warned of serious problems with relations with Government if


proposals go ahead. Some smaller face which said they are in favour


of gay marriage but how important is the religious aspect for gay


couples? Let's be clear. This is not about millions of gay people


smashing down doors of judges demanded to be married but there


are some people in the church for whom it matters. They married


within a church matters a lot. For some people it will be a civil


marriage in a registry office. Again it is down to Joyce. Eric and


Paolo got married in Brussels in 2006 per was surprised to find out


it was not recognised in Scotland. The number of times I said, Yes, We


Are married, and people say, so you have visible partnership, and I


have to explain... They do not know... They are not meaning to


make it less but it is less because it was deliberately designed to not


be the same. They would not have married in church but feel


religious groups should not be able to opt out of gay marriage. If you


expect to have the right to conduct these legal ceremony then you


should be expected to deliver it to anybody who wants it. I have said


minutes times before and I will say again... Last week in Parliament,


the Deputy First Minister reiterated the Government's


position that it is tending towards change but still consulting on the


issue. But should ministers stick to their guns? In all the history


of these complex issues, you have to take a moral decision and stick


by it and articulate it clearly. In suddenly, as Tony Blair did, a


decade ago, during the Great Rock about Section 2 a, about


homosexuality in schools, when he came north and said these are


grinders fears, -- groundless fears. Let's just be reasonable about it.


Alex Salmond has to do exactly the same thing. This is the 21st


century. We do not accept prejudices against sexual


minorities and I am afraid those subject to that will just have to


put up with it. Legislation for same-sex marriage is not featured


on this year's programme for Government. Consultation ends on


December 9th. Joining in the studio is the SNP's


John Mason, and the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie


What is your view it as to whether there should be legislation on


this? I think we should wait till the end of the consultation and I


thing that is something all the main parties agree on. The do you


personally support a change in the law? I think this is a time for the


politicians to listen to what comes out of the consultation. But surely


you must have an opinion on that? Do you support the question of


whether same-sex couples should be able to get married? Most of the


rates are already there, so we are arguing really about a word. What


is your view? I want a society which is as bloat pluralistic as


possible. But it should be the case that if Christians and other groups


want to opt out, they should be allowed to. But what about your


view. I am asking you as an elected Member of Parliament what your


opinion is. What I am not wanting his Christian views been forced


upon the rest of society. But I am relaxed about it. So you agree with


it? No, I am relaxed about it. disappointed with John's response.


I think we could have a vigorous debate about this. The judge has


make a reasonable 0.0, do they not, that if you look at all the legal


rights and responsibilities, you have them in become legislation


regarding civil partnerships. the belief that the faith groups


would say that marriage should only been between a man and a women.


There has never been an option that churches would be forced into


performing same-sex marriages. But the Church do not own the word


marriage. There are marriages that are conducted not within religious


settings now. Society owns the word marriage. It is important that we


have a society that supports all groups, it should be open to all


groups. So do you not think the Church should be listen to? A a


absolutely not. My father was a Minister and the church. You talked


about the Equality Act there was being passed at the time, if you


think Holyrood does legislate on this it could be undermined by the


Equality Act? There is a belief that they there could be a clash


between report the Equality Act says and this could be problematic.


At the moment, if the churches cannot do civil partnerships and


equal marriage or gay marriage, it should be then that a couple could


then come up to the charge and challenge that. There is that


slight fear or that of the Scottish Parliament agrees to protect


religious people that they could go to court and the courts could


decide against it. Should it courts decide against it? Are we going to


say that the judge should be squeezed into a corner. But if that


is the question of equality, surely the Church should have to abide by


that? Well, you have to take into account conscience. Why should not


churches be forced to allow gay marriage? I am not seeking to


impose my views on the church. society should be equal until you


get to the steps of a church? think it should be a free society


where people can do what they want. I do not want to impose upon the


churches and I do not want them to impose upon me. How do you think


the SNP colleagues will listen to the churches? I have got great


respect for Nicola Sturgeon. say it does legislate against the


judges? There is probably a majority that support gay marriage,


even did David Cameron says he does, but I think it is fair to say that


not a majority of Conservative voters would do. To the judges have


too much influence over Scottish politicians? I think the judges


have to be careful about how they speak on behalf of the people who


follow that faith. I was very unfavourable over for the Minister


in Paisley said about the judge having the block vote of 600,000


Roman Catholics in the country. I think that was wrong. A church


leaders not supposed to lead on religious issues? And surely it


same-sex marriage is a moral issue and therefore they should be


speaking out about it? Yes, but this is different. I certainly


think the Church cannot affect the government. They are a minority


these days. They should put out their views and put them out


strongly. If they are defeated and have bought, they are in the


minority. The the consultation ends in the next few weeks. Thank you


both very much. Government ministers have become


travelling salesmen in recent weeks. Alex Salmond was barely off the


plane from a tour of the Gulf States when the Education Secretary,


Mike Russell set off for India. His job was to lead the largest-ever


university delegation to the country. So what is the pitch? Our


business and economy editor Douglas Fraser has been investigating.


India has get issues market as a potential for Scottish exports and


for learning. We have some of the best universities and the world and


have a long tradition of higher education. Scholl and is known as


the provider of education and I think it is the major competitor


with other countries and the world. I think it is succeeding become


because of its reputation. numbers are staggering. There are


over 200 million student studying. That is said to increase in the


next 10 years. That means another 1,000 universities are needed. The


only way that that gap between supply and demand to draw extra


capacity can be filled is by working in partnerships with


universities from overseas. Fees for a masters are Strathclyde


Business School run to �22,000. It is a big ask by Indian standards.


It opens the doors by having international access and not simply


been restricted to India. Coming over here, I met a lot of new


people who wear experienced. They were from Europe and America.


is a mix of culture and experience that you get to study here. When


you study people from different backgrounds and experiences. You


share your own experiences. people in industry can bring real


insight into the industry. Men the of the universe days have opened


campuses abroad. Yesterday, on this visit to a cemetery, a partnership


deal was signed between the university and its counterpart in


India. We have a great interest in the likes of art history. Calcutta


is a city with some fantastic historical links to our country.


That is one of the things we want to develop. If there is one thing


which defines the industry, it is the crack down on visas which the


British Government is threatening. After independence, things could be


very different, but before then, we have to make sure we have the best


possible reception for students. That is why some of the funds may


not find themselves going to Scotland. Many of the student's


want to do so or were seized, but many more are now staying at home.


That is why we are now introducing a hour programmes in India. As the


partnership shifts East, the partnership is now going to we.


After long, is this where astute Scottish students will want to


study? Joining us in Edinburgh is the


Guardian's Scotland correspondent Severin Carrell and with me in


Glasgow, the chief reporter for The Herald, Lucy Adams.


On that issue of selling markets to India, how impressive in brand his


Scottish education? There is this very strong Scottish tradition of


engagement, particularly through the Empire and the Indian


government. I think, in many ways it is a very attractive one,


especially in the likes of Engineering. I suspect it is quite


the profoundly strong brand and there is also the strong Scottish


intellectual tradition. The is it possible for universities in


Scotland to sell the brand to other countries? Is it not just


distracting. Should they not just be focusing on educating students


here? For the most part, yes. But it is clearly that India is the


very interesting place for us to be connected with. Scotland can be


criticised for being too inward- looking and to look out towards the


other countries such as Brazil, China and India, this is perfect


timing. They are all very big growing economies. We have big


businesses telling the Chancellor that they are worried about the


possibility of Scottish independence. What are the politics


involved in this? There is undoubtedly going to be some


anxiety and uncertainty about the medium to long-term outlook,


because of Scotland has become independent, the independence of a


lot of the subsidies and mechanisms that are part of the overall


picture in the UK, will undoubtedly change. It is a difficult question


for the UK Government to pick. You ask the quite credible question to


the Chancellor, name the companies involved. Name companies which have


refused to become involved in Scotland. Alex Salmond can then


tripped off the trunk a list of other companies that are involved.


There is something that Alex Salmond has to recognise here. You


have the European crisis and the European debt it is all going to be


playing on people's minds. There are a lot of confidence issues he


has to wrestle with. People think that this mantra of complete


optimism that Scotland is always going to be open for business, is


simply not true. It is not just a question of what the UK Government


is doing with rich austerity programme, there are much bigger


things at play. There is undoubtedly going to be and it


issue for investors. There is also going to be uncertainty about what


will happen in the run-up to an independence referendum. How much


will these issues become part of the economic concerns? They think


they will be absolutely crucial. I think most people vote on economic


issues. There are so many contradictions coming from


politicians. You have the Conservatives talking about the


need for confidence, they talk about how the the Eurozone is


undermining confidence. Cameron yesterday was talking about that we


should prepare for the worst. That is not something which fills people


full of confidence. So it will be a critical question and the problem


at the minute as there is so much contradiction and uncertainty and,


if anything, the Eurozone is the huge cloud over everything. That is


creating far more uncertainty than anything to do with Scottish


independence. The Labour leader was saying yesterday that as it stands,


the UK Government is using that as the clock to say this is the


problem, this is why we're not dealing with domestic issues and


the economy. Do you think most people realise the impact that the


Eurozone crisis could have on them personally? We think that is one of


the most frustrating aspects of it. It is very difficult to report,


because it is so complicated. The language is the language of


technocrats and economists. For people on the street will


understand it is virtually impossible. The Guardian was saying


that people's pensions will have been down 10 %. These dated a


tangible impact of what people want to know about. The arguments


between technocrats and politicians and the top of trillions of debt,


to the average person and the street, it is almost meaningless.


Is it almost a danger of democracy what has happened in the last few


weeks? It is a point. The dangers to democracy maybe even more so if


the Eurozone collapses. There are obviously key questions which will


have to be answered in Europe. They have to build up Democratic


confidence. It is one of the ironies that the are now seeing the


consequences of the Eurozone crisis is that they're going to have to in


increase the interdependence of all the countries. That is all from The


Politics Show this week. We will be back at the usual time of 12.30pm


Political magazine presented by Jon Sopel and Isabel Fraser.

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