27/01/2016 The Wales Report


Bethan Rhys Roberts takes a look at issues that matter in Wales. Is business the new battleground between the UK government and the Welsh government?

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 27/01/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Tonight on the Wales Report: Is business the new battleground


between the UK and Welsh Governments ahead of the Assembly


We hear claims that the Welsh Government's tuition fees policy


should governments intervene to change behaviour?


This man is bringing "nudge" to Wales, and he thinks it


Some of the great challenges of our time and behavioural science looks


like it has something to say about that.


On tonight's programme, if the recent job losses


at Tata Steel in Port Talbot have taught us anything,


it's that business here and the welsh economy are often


There have been constant calls for the UK and Welsh governments


to work together to give Wales a voice in the international


So we ask to what extent, if at all, both administrations


are co-operating for the sake of the Welsh economy.


And you can join in the debate on social media - the hashtag


Tonight, we hear frustrations among business leaders in Wales that


delivering key infrastructure projects like the M4 relief road


and improvements to the A55 in North Wales are taking


Our Business correspondent, Brian Meechan, asks if political


squabbles and point scoring too often get in the way of what's good


In a global economy, business does not respect national boundaries. The


Welsh border with England is open when it comes to trade with goods


services and workers moving between the two countries daily. The


question is our our politicians drawing false battle lines between


the two sides? Here in Chepstow, Wales is separated from England by


this river. It might seem perfectly tranquil but skirmishes between the


UK and Welsh governments over education and health in recent years


have caused tensions and ministers on both sides of the border say that


they are the truly progress this governments. What is your plan for a


stronger Wales? If after 16 years in power you cannot provide one thing


quite simply it is time for a change. For the first time ever


Wales is bouncing back from recession faster than regions of


England. Employment is at a record high. Foreign direct investment is


at record levels. That is what we can do as Labour in government. The


Conservatives believe they can build on accusations that Labour under Ed


Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn became anti-business and since the General


Election that Carwyn Jones has been at pains to emphasise Welsh Labour's


pro business position. If business is the new battle ground, what


impact does that have on Wales? In terms of attracting companies and


business to settle here and selling the country to the rest of the UK


and the world. What do firms on the Welsh side of the border as they? A


recent survey found that three quarters of people running companies


thought devolution had failed to deliver. Mark Hooper agrees. He


founded his company five years ago and the company provides space for


start-up firms across Wales. I think they keeping from a business


perspective is recognition from all sides that what has happened to


Wales for too long is not working. The support that we have got is not


driving business growth or GDA, so stop doing the things that do not


work and perhaps listen to people who are making it happen and I would


rather see politicians turn up and walk into places and start talking


to entrepreneurs and that will make a difference. This man has become


chair of CBI Wales this month and he says it is time for more frank


talking from businesses. I know people are scared to speak out


because when they do they are criticised. I will get criticised


but we have to start doing things differently. CBI Wales is message in


the run-up to the election is clear. Mike whose exports products


worldwide says businesses are increasingly frustrated with both


governments arguing about the NHS or devolving powers rather than dealing


with issues like the M4 and Severn Bridge tolls. We have been obsessed


by Wales in the context of Wales and not Wales in the context of the


world. There seems to be fighting over what powers we have or have not


got, we have lots of powers, use the ones we have got and make a


difference. I think that politics is in a mess, it has got tangled up, it


has not got much to do with the reality any more of what we in Wales


need. Why are we not copying the best practice? Look that


infrastructure and services, yes it is making it difficult for big


companies to come here and I think that is really worrying but it will


not take much, a bit of political courage and leadership and we can


start reversing that and making it better. The former director of CBI


Wales who was in post during the devolution referendum in 1997 says


that governments need to provide stability. There are two things that


business generally and individual businesses want and that is


certainty, does not like lots of change and the second is it wants to


make sure that all of the infrastructure around, whether it is


transport or digital is in place so that it can continue to do its


business and do its commerce and the lot of believers around,


particularly true -- travel does not belong to the Welsh Government and


it is taking far too long to try and deliver what we need to help to grow


business in Wales. Yes, political issues and particularly the


regularity of elections is always going to have an impact on those


sorts of decisions but I think what is important is to have a strategic


approach that you know where you're trying to get to even if there are


delays in reaching that objective. As the election battle begins in


earnest it may be too much to ask politicians to avoid point-scoring


on major the clear message from businesses is that they need to be


aware of the damage that can do to the country in the long term.


Joining me now is Denise Lovering and Dan Langford. Thank you for


coming in, Denise if I can start with you, as a businesswoman in


Wales are you frustrated with both administrations? Yes. Business in


Wales would like a level playing field, both sets of government to


talk and do the same thing. If I could pick up on what Elizabeth said


in the clip and Mike, transport is a prime example. There is no real


physical barrier between Wales and England but we have so much problem


with the Severn bridge and the M4 relief road, both governments could


work together and do something now. What is the problem? Is a devolution


or the system or the fact that there are different colours at both ends


of the M4? They should overcome that, sort it out, business need you


to be talking on the same sheet. Do you see it as black-and-white as


that? Not quite. There is potentially an issue with devolution


were we have to avoid the possibility of holding opportunities


and new initiatives up because we are Wales and we have to rethink it


again. Sometimes if there is closer negotiation and engagement between


the two governments we might be able to get some decisions made quicker


and that is where the frustration would be. It is not the projects, we


are spending three years discussing the same thing. There are two sets


of hands on the wheel. Does that mean that they cannot take their eye


off the road because there is competition and it is good or does


it lead to endless point-scoring? I think so. It causes total


frustration. In business you cannot take time to decide, if you decide


to do something by the very nature of the fact you're running a


business and going forward, you have to make a decision quickly. Would it


be easier to run your business in England? I have no knowledge of


running their business in England apart from the fact we have depots


in England and the only problem we have is paying the toll when they


come back. I do not think it is that black-and-white, there are


frustrations and we can take some of the major infrastructure projects


from a business perspective we generally feel things are taking too


long but there are lots of things that have been happening that had


Devenney shown there is an engagement between the governments


which have been good for Wales and we can talk about the work with the


Cardiff City deal, there are lots of complexity is behind-the-scenes and


there are bits of political posturing, but ultimately everyone


is pointing in the same direction and trying to get this through as


the Chancellor said before the March budget. The football European


Championships in 2017 coming to Cardiff would not have happened


without total engagement and dialogue between the two governments


because some of the restrictions and recommendations, the requirement


that Uefa needed, the Welsh Government is not in a position to


give those. That is another debate. The big levers remain in


Westminster, the smaller levers are here, would you like to see more


leaders in Wales? That is a difficult question. I am not happy


with the way they have use the leverage they have got. Devolving


more powers I am not sure is very good. If ministers were here now,


what do Welsh businesses need? What I would like to see is a commitment


from the government who may be in power in Wales act are made to say


that they will carry on with the M4 relief road. We have two sets of


elections, we might have a referendum as well, there is a novel


lot of electioneering on the calendar. And it is painful. The


urgency, commitment, that is what we need. From both governments. Whether


one government might be more in a position to get decision-making


quicker than the other depending on the project, I do not know, but we


need that urgency and conviction, the decision-making about the


economy and infrastructure and business support will never please


everyone, let us just get on with it, that is what we need. I think we


have got so far, there has been engagement between the two


governments, it has got better. There is still a way to go. There is


still point-scoring going on and that should stop. Thank you both


very much. We are looking at How Wales Works. Higher education has


caused a great deal of controversy. Particularly Jewish and fees. The


Welsh Education Minister has said he intends to keep tuition fee grants


for Welsh tunes were they decide to study. That is despite concerns that


the policy could be taking money away from universities here in


Wales. The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales says there is less


money in their budget to put towards Welsh institutions. During the


academic year 2011 to 2012, Welsh universities got ?367 million. This


year, that funding has dropped by more than half to 151 William


pounds. That figure could drop further to ?87 million next year and


this is all fuelling a fierce debate. In the last few days, the


Education Minister pledged his continued support for the policy of


subsidising tuition fees for Welsh students. It comes back to that


principle, what are they primarily investing in and my argument would


be that it is the life chances of the young person. That takes


primacy, even over the very real priorities that you need to address


around the institutions. The universities themselves. That did


not please the vice Chancellor of the largest Welsh university.


The policy I think is holding us back. There is a solution to that


which we propose which just as maintenance grants and means tested


goes to those who really need them the most, if you took the same


approach to tuition fee grants, you could free up considerable funding


to allow Welsh universities to compete in the same way as other


universities in the UK and that is really critical to our future as a


country. There is a concern this policy will have an increasing


impact on Welsh universities. Student number controls have been


removed. There is no limit to the Nebraska does that have -- that can


go to university. And what that means is there is just not enough


money to fund Welsh universities. The latest draft government budget


proposals were in visiting a cut of 40% to funding for Welsh


universities starting in August. We have had no one in this. We have to


make plans to try to achieve that in a short timescale. It will cost


jobs, affect students and staff within the university and it will


cost jobs outside the university as well. We are told there is going to


be a cut of 40%, it could be more, in the next year. We need to plan


for that but we also need to plan for what comes afterwards. It would


be very helpful if the government could be more specific about what is


going to happen in the future and whatever happens to wish on fee


grants, the critical part is the government needs to make sure that


enough money is still available to fund all the areas that tuition fees


cannot fund and that means they can sure that the funding is available


for Welsh universities to be the great success they have been over


the last few years. The future could at sea of the people of Wales relies


on an economy and it is the universities that are building that


economy. A Welsh Government spokesperson said there is no doubt


we have had to make some tough decisions between -- within this


budget and we recognise that a cut to HEFCW will present challenges.


Joining me now is Nick Ramsay and Beth button. Why do you think that


the current system is fair? The first question we have to ask


ourselves is is it fair that students should be leaving with this


amount of debt. Does the current system recognise that the benefits


that a society and individuals get from higher education, the cost


should be shared by the society and individual. It is good for Welsh


students. Wherever they study, they get the money but what about the


universities which suffer because lots of the money is going across


the border? We need to be clear that this money is lost from


universities. It is misleading. It makes sure that a student is making


a choice that is right for them and not the cost. This idea, we have to


be clear that issues of competitivity and quality existing


before this was introduced. This idea of graduates going across the


border, it is one we need to address but we should be supporting students


and incentivising them to come back. Bringing them back and then we will


see a return on that investment. Nick Ramsay, this division, if the


money does go with the students across the border, it is not going


to Welsh universities. It is misleading question mark no one


wants students to be leaving university with debt. We want to


keep that down but the policy is unsustainable. The review has


revealed it will not be able to be continued beyond the next election


for any length of time. We need to look now at ways of properly funding


students in a way that will benefit them. The Welsh Conservatives would


target the resources for those students that needed most. Whether


they are studying in England or in Wales, we would make sure the


students that need our support at it. Which is the system across the


border, isn't it? We have seen the figures from a steady at Edinburgh


University, retention and accesses broader in England than it is in


Wales and Scotland. Actually some recent 's research shows that for


the first time in many years the access has actually dropped in


England as a result of the policy. Edinburgh University has found that


access in England is better. We have to look at the access... It is


targeted by a support system that enables choice for all students


regardless of their background. Of course we think that targeting


support where it is necessary is important but we have to look at it


as a wider thing. It is not just about a tuition fee policy. We think


the Welsh Government should go further. We want to see this


principle extended through increased investment across the board. Maybe


the Welsh Government have got it right. In an ideal world, I would


agree with that but the funding simply is not there. We know that


budgets are tight at the moment and over ?1 billion has gone into this


policy. The many are simply not there. The other big to pick up on


access in England, last week, the Westminster government scrapped the


maintenance grants for the poorest students. They are now graduating


with even more debt than their wealthier counterparts. That is


actually a very important point. It is not just about tuition fees. A


lot of students are suffering because of cuts to maintenance


grants. We would be better off looking at tuition fees and looking


at maintenance grants. If you were to win in May, your party, what sort


of difference would students see question mark it would not be across


the board coverage. We would target those students that need the


support. Whether they are studying England and sometimes they have to


because of the courses, or study on this side of the border, they would


get the support. But we have to recognise we cannot fund everything.


Is there not a danger you are being idealistic Castle Market if


universities are going to see further cuts, where is the research


going to happen? We are concerned about that. I think we have to


recognise that there is a choice about where the money is invested in


the budget. It would relieve this competition. I do not like the fact


we are deciding whether higher education deserves a better cut --


bigger cut this year or further education. It is a bit ago choice.


It would enable us to direct investment into all forms of


education. The student lobby is a powerful lobby. It is a very bold


party that will mess with this lot. Yes, I think it probably is that at


the end of the day, we are just being written -- realistic. The


universities are saying this as well. They feel that they are not


getting the sort of support they need. Hopefully we can come forward


with a policy that will do the necessary.


The Behavioural Insights Team, more widely known as the Nudge Unit,


was set up by David Cameron back in 2010 to advise the Government


on how to improve public services and save money.


Applying insights from behavioural psychology, the team aims to give us


all messages to help us make the best choices in many


aspects of our lives, from getting a job to what we eat.


And now the Welsh Government has asked the unit to start work here.


In a moment, the Welsh Government minister responsible will be joining


us, but first let's hear from the director of the unit,


David Halpern, about the art of nudging.


A lot of policy issues concern human behaviour.


It is about people eating more healthily or committing less crime


or being effective in schools, in terms of how hard kids study


By introducing a more realistic of human behaviour,


it often leads to different kinds of solutions which don't necessarily


involve regulation or spending lots of money and it turns out


The big issue, getting people into work faster.


We went into job centres to understand what is that process,


we made some relatively simple changes on the face of it,


we were able to get people back to work much faster.


So for example, for 30 odd years, we have been asking people


in the job centre, you have to show that you are looking for work,


so what three jobs did you look for last week?


Psychologically, we think that is not as good as doing


something different, which is asking people,


And to ask them in quite concrete terms where are you going to look,


what kind of thing you looking for, what time of day, after I have


If you ask people about the future instead of the past,


it turns out they are much more likely to get into work faster.


They just become more effective in their searches.


We notice in job centres that quite often people,


even when they were booked in by the job centre,


to have an interview the next weekend, only one in ten people


would turn up, so we ran a trial, we were giving texts to tell them


you have been booked into this thing.


If you add the person's name, it goes from 10% to 15%.


If you add my name, the job centre adviser,


If you have one line in there to say, I have


booked your place, good luck, it goes up to nearly


Introducing psychology and humanity to the exchange can have a huge


One of the key points to understand information is not


People sort of know things but there are lots of other things


that are driving our behaviour when we eat so we are often not


Plate size, enormously, how big your plates are at home


influences how much you eat, how big the portion sizes,


the bigger the boxes, the more food you will eat,


The way in which food is presented in a school,


what comes first, the salad or the chips?


These things turn out to be incredibly powerful influences


There is a lot of reason to think that this will be driven


by local innovation, rather than just national


prescribing, partly because people do not want national government


saying this is how big your plate size can be.


But you can well imagine communities can shape for example how many


fast-food outlets are around the school, what is the food


You can imagine a community being able to mobilise on some


of the things and actually making a very big difference,


probably more effectively sometimes than a national government saying


Some of the great challenges of our time, behavioural science


looks like it has got something to say on that so obesity


and lifestyle issues, it actually includes


People sometimes forget but a lot of what happens in the economy


is essentially psychological, confidence.


What do you think everybody else is doing?


That affects whether you decide to employ another person or not,


so yes, we think that it is up to some of the big challenges on us,


a lot of the focus of our work these days.


I'm joined now by the Minister for Public Services,


To what extent are you nudging us at the moment in Wales? I think we are


starting to nudge a bit more but I think there are ways in which


government always nudge in any case. David rightly referred to health


issues for example and clearly we seek to encourage people to smoke


less, to eat more healthily, to drink more wisely. So there are


those traditional areas of government but what has been


interesting from the work of the behavioural insights team as they


have also targeted quite concrete economic and social policy issues as


well. You mentioned smoking. That is not nudging. That is a ban. A ban on


smoking in public places. A ban on smoking in cars with children. That


is not nudging. Many would say that is more nannying. It is a fine line.


I think there are different courses for different courses. I think we


know that the work that was done in respect of a ban on smoking in


public places has led to impact on behaviour. We have laws in place for


example on discrimination which have changed public behaviour but what is


quite clever here I think is that the work of the behavioural analysis


goes to areas where government has not traditionally been able to


reach, with things like regulation or spending. And instinctively as a


minister, are you more of a nanny or a nudge? I think there is a


correlation that you need. It is right that we have regulations


against his commission. It is right that people can breathe clean air.


Those things are important. I think you have got to stop this binary


divide. It is not a binary divide. There is a room for nudging and


there is a route for regulation. Give us an example of where you


would like to nudge Western Mark it has to be settled? I would like to


see improvements in voter registration rates amongst those


under 25 for example. I would like to see an improvement in council tax


payment levels. Those are areas where we will six ball work with the


team in the future. That is work... I am not the expert on this. There


are people with the experience who can tell us. We have brought the


team into the Welsh Government, we are starting work with them at the


present time. They have got insights, they have done good work


for the UK Government and they have done good work for the Inland


Revenue and others and we want to see what we can learn from that. The


whole ethos of nudging is that we as citizens are meant to know we are


being nudged. Once we know, does it feel question mark it appears to be


working in the areas that the team has targeted in the recent past. I


think we are all subject to nudging. We know that the big supermarkets


are seeking to nudge our behaviour all the time. What we are trained to


do here is work with the grain of human nature and identify ways in


which policies can be better explained to people, put in terms


they understand and respond positively to. The beauty of nudging


is it is cheap. Sometimes it generates a real return. If you


speak to the team and the Inland Revenue about the way in which they


have improved tax collection rates, for example, we are talking about


tens of millions of pounds being collected. And if you do for me next


didn't -- administration, you would go big on nudging, would you tell us


we are by Ian nudged? I am telling you now. There is nothing secret


here. We brought the team into talk to us. They spoke at our summit.


David spoke in November. And I know that people in local government, the


health service and others have been impressed by what they have heard


and are talking with them. Thank you very much.


If you'd like to get in touch with us:


We'll be back next week, but until then, thanks for watching.


Let your New Year start with a bang and visit an explosive new China.


On The Wales Report with Bethan Rhys Roberts this week: is business the new battleground between the UK government and the Welsh government ahead of May's Assembly Election? And nanny or nudge - do we need to change the law to change people's behaviour?

Download Subtitles