15/06/2011 The Record


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 15/06/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Welcome to The Record. The headlines and David Cameron and Ed


Miliband battle over welfare changes for cancer patients.


Ministers urge unions to call off co-ordinated strikes. Anger over


plans to make the cheque book a thing of the past. This is a


shocking mess and a scandal. eyes were on Ed Miliband during


Prime Minister's Questions after what was considered a poor


performance by him last week. He concentrated on welfare changes set


out in the Welfare Reform Bill, which MPs were due to discuss later


today. It would mean thousands of cancer patients would lose money.


Mr Speaker, when Andy Prime Minister signed off his welfare


Bill, did he realise it would make seven thousand cancer patients


worse off by a �94 per week? That is simply not the case. We are


using the same definition of people suffering as a terminally ill as


the last government. We want them helped and protected. If you are in


favour of welfare reform, you encourage people to do the right


thing, it is no good talking about it, you have got to vote for it.


Miliband insisted his figures were Macmillan Cancer Support says... I


think they should listen to what they have to say! This is what they


have said, I think it is a disgrace Conservative members are shouting.


This is what they have said... Many people will lose this benefit


simply because they haven't recovered quickly enough. Mr


Speaker, I asked him the question, will he admit seven thousand cancer


patients are losing �94 per week? Let me try and explain it again.


Order! Order. I think it is a disgrace members on both sides of


the House are shouting their heads off when matters of serious concern


are being debated. I repeat what I have said before, the public


despise this behaviour. This is important and I want to explain why


Haitink he has got it wrong and why I think we are right. -- why I


think. These are horrible things do have to discuss. The definition is


the same one which as I have said is six months or stop anybody out


of work living longer than that will get the extra support. That is


irrespective of a person's income or assets and that will last for 12


months, not the six months that he said. This additional support can


last indefinitely. It is the same test as the last government. It is


put in place fairly and we have listened carefully to make melon


and we have made sure somebody is reviewing the medical tests. --


Macmillan Cancer Support. I understand he is distracting us but


he should answer my question, why will he not back the Bill? I asked


the questions and he fails to answer them. Let me try and explain


it. The chief medical officer of Macmillan Cancer Support said in my


experience, one year is not long enough for many people to recover


from cancer. The side-effects can last for months or even years after


treatment. It is vital people are not forced to return to work before


they are ready. Macmillan Cancer Support and Britain's cancer


charities have been making this argument for mums. Why does he not


know about these arguments? The House of Commons is a doting on his


Bill tonight. Will he now admits that 7,000 cancer patients are


losing up to �94 per week? I have answered his question or three


times with a full explanation. The point of the benefit reforms is


that there are proper medical tests are. We support people that cannot


work as a compassionate country showed. We make sure people that


can work go out to work so that we do not reward that behaviour. He is


putting up a smokescreen because he has been found out. He talk about


the importance of welfare reform but he cannot take his divided


party with temples DUP it is weak leadership of a divided party. --


divided party. Weak leadership of a divided party. What a disgrace to


talk about a smokescreen. This is about people out in the country and


people concerned on their behalf of. It is not about people terminally


ill. It is people recovering from cancer. The we understand he does


not think his policies through. Is this not one occasion to pause,


listen and reflect? Why does the not too bad? What we have seen this


week is the honourable gentleman get on the wrong side of every


issue. With cutting the deficit, we have got the International Monetary


Fund, his brother, Tony Blair, they are all on our side and he is alone.


On welfare reform we have got everybody recognising welfare


reform apart from the honourable gentleman. On the health service we


have the Royal College of GPs, nurses, positions, the former


Labour Health Minister and Tony Blair all on the side of reform. He


is on his own. A weak leader of a The Government has called on unions


to call off a series of co- ordinated strikes in protest at


changes to pensions, job cuts and a pay freeze. As many as a 750,000


public sector workers are expected to walk out on June 30th. PC as an


two teacher unions have decided to strike on the same day in England


and Wales will stop -- PCS --. -- The unions had been accused of


jumping the gun while talks continued on pension changes.


should not go in for industrial action. It schools close because of


that, the disruption to education and to be lives of parents depended


on schools being open will be very considerable. We are trying to keep


public sector pensions among the best. But other taxpayers have had


their pension schemes affected and I think people will be upset if


industrial action goes ahead. should they be surprised? Many of


them are poorly paid and they have got an onslaught on patients --


pensions. It would be surprising if they did not fight back. If we had


not inherited the biggest budget deficit in the developed world, we


might not have to take these steps. I would remind them that a civil


servant on medium a, �23,000, retiring after 40 years, will have


a pension costing half a million pounds to purchase in the private


sector. Nobody has access to pensions like that now. May I


commend them for engaging with the public sector unions to avoid


industrial action? But he does not rule out a legislative changes. Can


I plead on behalf of the Select Committee that we do this in an


orderly fashion? Perhaps he should consult about what changes should


be made and then we can have a proper debate instead of being


propelled into legislative changes. I do not have responsibility for


industrial legislation. That rests with the Secretary of State for


business. But we did not rule out changes. Changes have not been


ruled out from outside. We think these legislation works well at the


moment but we keep that under review. Does he agree pensions


should be deferred wages? It should come as no surprise that people are


trying to protect future income. That is why we are engaging with


these discussions at the behest of the TUC. These discussions are


continuing. I remind him that Lord Hutton, the previous Labour


Secretary recommended these reforms to recommend that they are


sustainable and affordable for the future. Any public servant


contemplating strike action currently is jumping the gun.


he understand why public sector unions are balloting members on


strike action now when talks regarding pension dorm are still


ongoing? Only three unions have done that. The majority are


engaging in good faith with the ongoing discussions. We are


determined public sector pensions at the end of the reforms proposed


by Lord Hutton, the Labour pension Secretary, will be among the best


available. We will ask people to work longer because they are living


longer. We want a balance between what they pay and what others paid.


To what extent does he expect PCS action to have an effect on public


services? People are imbued with a strong ethos and will recognise


what we are trying to do is get pensions but continued to be among


the best available. -- that continued. There is a balance


between what they pay and what other taxpayers paid. Some people


have taken a hit. The plan to phase out chequebooks have been attacked


by the Treasury committee. -- has been attacked. They want to get rid


of them by 2018 it a viable alternatives are found. It says


they are in terminal decline as people look at automated payment.


Concerns have been raised about the impact on business and the


vulnerable. The chairman went on the attack. Was this an error of


judgment? I did it is the right thing to do but actually we could


have managed it bettered. -- I think it is. -- better. I am trying


to get clarity on way you think the judgements that you have made which


have triggered these concerns, were they broadly right and was the


presentation that or are these judgments themselves questionable?


I think on balance the approach was right. I think the presentation has


not been good. This is a presentation issue? The big issue


was presentation. What we are trying to do is protect the


position of the Bible. We are trying to insure -- abominable. --


the vulnerable. We are trying to have an acceptable alternative. Had


we not actually take them this Abridge, -- of this method, we


would not have had safeguards in place. What are the alternatives?


The alternatives that he will put him place it chequebooks are ended?


We are looking at a viable alternative. We do not have a clear


alternative? Work is being damned. We are looking at mobile payment. -


- accomplished. Was it foolish to embark on a decision to get rid of


chequebooks before working out at the by alternative? I did not think


it is a colossal error of judgment. Not only have no decision has been


made. In five years we do not have a guarantee that decisions will be


considered. He will not come to a view for at least two five years.


can guarantee that, yes. Why is it that Barclays under the heading,


preparing for the future, why are they telling their customers,


chequebooks are becoming a thing of the past? I have got a letter from


Barclays. I cannot account for what they have said. But what have you


down? Did you know anything about this? What they are telling me is


that it is imperative that we have a viable set up alternatives in


place. Otherwise Barclays cannot support the withdrawal of


chequebooks as set by the payment Council in 2016. Barclays is


prepared to accept chequebooks beyond 2016 it the criteria is not


met. Writing it is clear they are not saying it is definitely


happening. -- I think it is clear. If it is not realistic, they are


saying, then we delay the timetable. That is my position as well. It is


not definitely set. If we can get an acceptable alternative by 2016,


we will deliver or otherwise we What effect do you think that has


on customers who rely on cheques? Look, I need the look at the bank


mandate, without seeing it, I don't know. This is an appalling mess


isn't it. This is a shocking mess. In fact sit a scandal. I mean, here


you are trying to tell us, that there hasn't been a colossal error


of judgment but it is worse than a colossal error of jums. You have


the banks out there, telling customers, that cheques for for the


chop. Look, I am sorry. I obviously will speak to Barclay, I can't


account for what they are saying, I can only represent the payments


council and I can represent do you what they are telling me, and what


they are telling me is what I have just said. And the main news again.


David Cameron has clashed with the Labour leader Ed Miliband during


prim's questions over the issue of welfare payments for cancer


patients. Mr Miliband claimed 7,000 people would be �94 a week worse


off under the Welfare Reform Bill. Mr Cameron accused him of using the


issue as a smoke screen. Still to come: After the recent row over


super-injunction, the Justice Secretary treads carefully on the


issue of parliamentary privilege. want to feel free to say what the


devil I like on legitimate subjects as long as I am taking part in the


proceedings of Parliament. before that, Labour MPs say victim


os domestic abuse will be put at a serious financial disadvantage by


the Government's changes to the system of emergency welfare


payments to vulnerable people. The removal of the Social Fund is


contained in the Welfare Reform Bill which ministers say will bring


about the biggest overhaul of the benefit systems in 70 years. The


bill hands over to local councils the power to make the crisis


payments, but several opposition MPs saucers you problems with the


plan. It is with my experience, that I am so concerned about the


Government's proposals and what it could mean for them. Now a woman


fleeing domestic violence often has to leave her home with nothing more


than the clothes she is standing in without money or access to money


but still needs vital items for herself and her children. A group


of the women's charities have written to the Home Secretary


warning some council also not be financially able or willing to help


women to escape violent partners for, on the grounds of this part of


the legislation, they believe there will be an increased postcode


lottery of provision which doesn't reflect the previous claim that


tackling domestic violence is a priority. They fear that councils


could impose a local connection test which could disadvantage women


fleeing domestic violence wo are often and almost by definition


forced to move into another area. They say many women fleeing the


home have to leave everything behind including household few


nishing and essential items which most families take for granted to


rebuild their lives in a new home. If it is to be localised, if


emergency support is to be localised, what we need is a strong


and unam by -- unambiguous clear statutory duty to support


vulnerable people. I don't think that Status Quo really is an option


because of the level of abuse that we have in the system at the moment.


First, I would point out that in terms of crisis loans, the number


of loans since 2006 has tripled, and we don't really believe that


this increase reflects an underlying increase in genuine need.


Either as a result of the recession or the result of any other things,


because we have looked in detail at the those individuals who are


increase, causing that increased level of demand, and that analysis


has shown it is being driven by young single people, on JSA, many


of whom are still living at home. don't think I would be against the


principle of welfare reform, but what I am against is how it will


affect the people that come to me on a regular basis. There wouldn't


be a week pass in my office and indeed in the offices that I


organise, and look after, that we don't have people in for crisis


loans and people under pressure financial pressure all the time.


Would he agree with me part of the difficulty is in those


circumstances where people's finances are very stretch and where


Tay are very vulnerable, this, the crisis loan system stands between


them and the kind of extortion ath interest lender, which can impact


on their financial welfare but their health anding with bell.


People who are vulnerable, on a low income, particularly have got a


great sense of pride, when claiming benefit. I won't give way at the


moment thank you. And I do believe, I absolutely believe that to force


people into the arms of charity will mean that some people will not


go down that route, and will go to high cost lenders, rather than do


that. I maybe wrong but is the honourable lady really criticises


the charities that provide these services, excellent second-hand


furniture facilities through CBS and so on, because these are not


undignified. These are providing good quality goods that people can


have at reasonable prices and are very worthwhile. Now the Justice


Secretary and land lors Kenneth Clarke has warned the dangers of


MPs an pierce abusing parliamentary privilege. It allows members of


Parliament to say what they like in the Commons and Lords would without


fear of legal reprising. Last month John Hemming was accused of taking


it for granted when he used it to talk about Ryan Giggs. He told a


committee how the privileged principle was ap plied was being


looked at You have to decide what do about the danger, somebody who


wants to defame a rival or enemy, could conceivably find a peer or


member of the House of Commons prepared to use parliamentary


privilege to make statements about the victim with complete privilege


and then it is open season for everybody to print it. I mean, I


don't think it is for the Government necessarily, but I think


the growing habit of court orders being defied by people making


pronouncements using parliamentary privilege which are plainly defying


the court order is something House authorities and members of both


Houses should consider with care. There is a relationship between the


courts and Parliament. There is, and I think we ought to be careful.


I put it as cautiously. Normally like most MPs I rally to the flag


of parliamentary privilege with vehemence. I want to say what the


devil I like on legitimate subjects as long as I am taking part in the


proceedings of Parliament, but perhaps some guidance or measures


by either house to give a steer to members to what is proper and what


is not would be helpful, but it is not easy, not at the moment,


subject either of these hearings or anything I have taken positive


action about. We are looking at it. Elsewhere in the session, the


committee asked the Culture Secretary about the role of the


Press Complaints Commission where people can lodge complaints. Jeremy


Hunt says he saw it as a mediation service. Most of the time they


resolve satisfactorily issues in those 98% of cases by getting an


agreement secured between the press concerned the individual concerned.


But that doesn't always happen, and I think the issue as far as the PCC


is concerned, is that its credibility and its success rests


on confidence of the public. It's a self-regulatery mechanism, not on a


statutory basis and we have deliberately as a country gone down


that route, precisely to avoid the chilling effect that we fear that


statutory regulation might have on the press, but that does depend on


the public having confidence in the way it works, and I think that, I


mean I am sure you are going to come on and talk about phone


hacking, but when issues like that have gone through the courts, and


when that process is complete, then I think people will want to reflect


on whether the PCC has been as effective as it might be and what


it needs to restore public confidence in self regulation of


the press. Is is the confidence of the public more important than the


confidence of the editors? Or equally important or less


important? Well, I would go back to the point Mr Philips said. I think


it is equally important, because effectively, their role is a


mediation role. They are set up as way to ensure a speedy cheap


resolution of people have about the way the press has behaved. If it is


going to be a mediator, it needs to have the confidence of both sides.


The government's saeped report by the former Liberal Democrat leader


Lord Ashdown into Britain's response into international


disasters. In his document published in March, Lord Ashdown


said changes to the system could save lives. He wants to improve


local resilience in at risk countries and help make the


leadership of international responses better and more joined up.


The review followed concerns about the effectiveness of the UK


response to among other things the Haiti earthquake. Lord Ashdown


argued the large numbers killed in the disaster were in part because


of infrastructure and the intablt to respond. The International


Development Secretary welcomed the report. Lord Ashdown's reports sets


a challenging agenda for the 21st century. It recognises that while


disasters are nothing new, we have experiencing a sudden increase in


their intensity -- intensity and frequency. It makes clear this


trend will only grow with climate change, population growth, and


greater urban anyisation. The review concluded that Dyfed has


played a strong patrol in improving the quality of response. This is an


area where Britain is well- respected and well regarded, but


there is no room for complacency which is why I commissioned the


review and why this Government will take action to implement it. There


are some fundamental principles that will guide our response to


humanitarian emergencies. First, we will continue to apply the core


principles of humanity, impartiality and neutrality, to all


British Government humanitarian action. Second, we will respect and


promote respect for international humanitarian law. Third, and


crucially, we will be motivated not by political security or economic


objectives, but by need, and need alone. The Ashdown report is an


important step forward. In Government, Labour provided a


strong lead in Government on this issue which produced real reform


but we know there is more to do. As Lord Ashdown said humanitarian work


cannot be the sticking plaster for a lack of political action, but it


can make an important contribution to alleviating suffering round the


world. Today's welcome words, now need to be transferred into the


concrete action for this needed to enshower that in times of crisis it


Download Subtitles