08/03/2017 The Wales Report


08/03/2017

As the chancellor delivers his budget, Huw Edwards presents from Westminster with a panel of MPs to discuss the impact on the Welsh economy.


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Tonight on The Wales Report, we are at Westminster for a special

:00:08.:00:10.

Tonight on The Wales Report, we are programme on today's

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at Westminster for a special programme on today's Budget. Who are

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the winners and losers, and what does

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the winners and losers, and what the winners and losers, and what

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does Brexit mean for the Chancellor's plans? Stay with us for

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a special edition Chancellor's plans? Stay with us for

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a special edition of The Wales Report.

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What does the Budget mean to us in Wales? An extra ?200

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What does the Budget mean to us in Wales? An extra ?200 million over

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four years. No detail on a city deal for Swansea. And controversially,

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the increase in national insurance contributions for self-employed

:00:52.:00:55.

people. I am joined by a panel of parliamentarians here in the

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people. I am joined by a panel of parliamentarians here in the studio.

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You can have your say. With me tonight is Guto Bebb,

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Wales Office Minister Jo Stevens, the Labour MP

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for Cardiff Central. For the Liberal Democrats,

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Baroness Jenny Randerson. And we have Hywel Williams,

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Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon. Many thanks to you all

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for being here this evening. I'm going to start, Guto, with you.

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There are clear indications I'm going to start, Guto, with you.

:01:15.:01:22.

There are clear indications that the Conservative party has broken a

:01:23.:01:27.

clear manifesto promise in this national insurance policy - true or

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false? You national insurance policy - true or

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false? You like national insurance policy - true or

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false? You like it is fair to say that the manifesto did say clearly

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there would not that the manifesto did say clearly

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there would not be an increase in national insurance contributions, so

:01:41.:01:42.

the change to class for is a manifesto breach. In the context of

:01:43.:01:47.

someone who has been self-employed for 16 years, the real unfairness

:01:48.:01:50.

for the self-employed was the way they were

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for the self-employed was the way they were treated when it came to

:01:51.:01:51.

their pensions. they were treated when it came to

:01:52.:01:55.

their pensions. If you were self-employed before we brought in

:01:56.:01:58.

the single tier state pension, you would

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the single tier state pension, you the single tier state pension, you

:01:59.:02:00.

would get a pension that was about ?40 a week less than you

:02:01.:02:01.

would get a pension that was about ?40 a week less than you would if

:02:02.:02:05.

you are an employee paying class one national insurance. That has been

:02:06.:02:06.

dealt with national insurance. That has been

:02:07.:02:07.

dealt with and we get the same pension when we retire. There is an

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argument in favour of saying the benefits are recolonised, that there

:02:13.:02:20.

should be more even payments. Class four will go up to 10%,

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should be more even payments. Class four will go up to 10%, which is

:02:23.:02:23.

should be more even payments. Class four will go up to 10%, which is

:02:24.:02:25.

still less than what the employee pay, but it is going up to

:02:26.:02:26.

still less than what the employee pay, but it is going up to reflect

:02:27.:02:29.

the fact that the pension contribution is significantly more.

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It won't be very welcome, and it should be highlighted that no one

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earning less than ?16,000 will pay a penny more. In order to pay more

:02:38.:02:44.

tax, someone self-employed must be earning over ?31,000. Not perfect,

:02:45.:02:50.

but I understand the rationale. You have provided a lot of context,

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which is useful for the discussion, You have provided a lot of context,

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which is useful for the discussion, but if I can condense it, in a way

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you might not like, it is a broken promise but it is worth it in the

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cause of fairness? The changes we have made in terms of pensions are

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cause of fairness? The changes we have made in terms of pensions are

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more significant than the cost of this change. Denying that the

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manifesto in 2015 said no increases in national insurance? No, I'm not

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denying it. The benefits for the self-employed and the employed are

:03:28.:03:30.

different, and the Chancellor announced we would look at that to

:03:31.:03:32.

equalise those announced we would look at that to

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equalise those benefits. Jo, Labour's position is what? Are you

:03:35.:03:39.

saying, we understand fairness argument, that this had to be dealt

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with and argument, that this had to be dealt

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with and that therefore this move argument, that this had to be dealt

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with and that therefore this move is wise one? We understand it was

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with and that therefore this move is wise one? We understand it was a

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broken promise. wise one? We understand it was a

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broken promise. If there was going to be a rise, it could have been

:03:53.:03:58.

targeted at the highest earners, instead of which, it has been aimed

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at the lowest earning self-employed instead of which, it has been aimed

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at the lowest earning self-employed people. What we saw from the

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Chancellor was people. What we saw from the

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Chancellor was a big post about a reduction in unemployment, but 80%

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of that production are people who have gone into self-employment

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because they can get a job. And the average

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because they can get a job. And the because they can get a job. And the

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average earnings for someone who is self-employed is ?11,000 a year, so

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this is another hit on the least self-employed is ?11,000 a year, so

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this is another hit on the least wealthy, the poorest, who are really

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trying hard. Taxi drivers, hairdressers, builders, people the

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Tories say they are supposed to stand up for. There has been a lot

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of talk about encouraging people to start businesses and to be

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entrepreneurial start businesses and to be

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entrepreneurial and all the rest, and the self-employed ethos is part

:04:39.:04:42.

of that. What message does this give? Absolutely, it is an important

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issue. The ?11,000 average, they won't pay a penny more, because no

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one earning under ?16,000 will pay a won't pay a penny more, because no

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one earning under ?16,000 will pay a penny more.

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one earning under ?16,000 will pay a penny more. In relation but like

:04:55.:05:04.

someone and ?5,000 would be paying class two, and we are saving them a

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a year. This is fair. Those earning over 45,000, that 2% rate is exactly

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the same as for those in employment. We have a tiered way of paying

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the same as for those in employment. We have a tiered way of paying

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National Insurance. We have a tiered way of paying

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National Insurance. A view from Jenny and Hywel - do you accept

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National Insurance. A view from Jenny and Hywel - do you accept the

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rationale? He seems to be saying that we are increasing national

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insurance buzz it doesn't matter because we

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insurance buzz it doesn't matter because we have -- but it doesn't

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matter because we have -- but it doesn't

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matter because we have these measures in place. People earning

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over 16,000, it clearly does matter. So much of the Welsh economy is in

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the self-employed sector, with single people or perhaps

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partnerships, very small businesses, so I would say that if there is

:05:56.:06:00.

going to be a hit, it will hit us hard. Would you vote against the? We

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will have to see when we hard. Would you vote against the? We

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will have to see when we discuss it in the debate.

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will have to see when we discuss it in the debate. What would persuade

:06:05.:06:14.

you to vote against this? National insurance is regressive and has been

:06:15.:06:15.

seen in the past as job destroying. insurance is regressive and has been

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seen in the past as job destroying. If you are going to go

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seen in the past as job destroying. If you are going to go over the

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16,000 harrier to be paying If you are going to go over the

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16,000 harrier to be paying more, there are lots of reasons to oppose

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it. Lots of conditions there are lots of reasons to oppose

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it. Lots of conditions and qualifications,

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it. Lots of conditions and it. Lots of conditions and

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qualifications, Jenny, as we have heard. Basically, is this a policy

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you can upload or not as heard. Basically, is this a policy

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you can upload or not as Lib Dems? It is not. The Tories

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you can upload or not as Lib Dems? It is not. The Tories have sold

:06:36.:06:36.

you can upload or not as Lib Dems? It is not. The Tories have sold

:06:37.:06:39.

themselves traditionally as the party of small business, and here

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they are breaking a fundamental promise to

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they are breaking a fundamental promise to small business

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they are breaking a fundamental promise to small business people. It

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is worse than that - they are doing it at a time when we are desperate

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to encourage people to be as entrepreneurial as possible, to

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encourage people to go out entrepreneurial as possible, to

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encourage people to go out and earn a decent

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encourage people to go out and earn a decent living because of the

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impact that Brexit is going to have a decent living because of the

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impact that Brexit is going to have on the

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impact that Brexit is going to have on the Welsh economy. We have got to

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use every tool in our on the Welsh economy. We have got to

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use every tool in our tool box in order to try and withstand the shock

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use every tool in our tool box in order to try and withstand the shock

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that that order to try and withstand the shock

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that that will bring to our economy. You make that point clear. We have a

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range of views. One of the announcement today, and the few

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mentions of Wales announcement today, and the few

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mentions of Wales in the speech, the ?200 million of extra money. Jo, for

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people watching, where will this money go? I listened to the whole

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speech, I was in the chamber money go? I listened to the whole

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speech, I was in the chamber for it, and I started out thinking it was

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thin and disappointing, and I and I started out thinking it was

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thin and disappointing, and I certainly wasn't

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thin and disappointing, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. There

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was very little in this Budget for Wales today. Some of that

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was very little in this Budget for Wales today. Some of that money had

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already been announced previously, and we have seen a Budget for the

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Welsh Government cut in real terms and we have seen a Budget for the

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Welsh Government cut in real terms since 2010 by 8%. This is

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Welsh Government cut in real terms since 2010 by 8%. This is a drop in

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the ocean and is not very since 2010 by 8%. This is a drop in

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the ocean and is not very much to do since 2010 by 8%. This is a drop in

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the ocean and is not very much to do anything with. The Welsh Government

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will make up its mind about how to deal the capital part and how

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will make up its mind about how to deal the capital part and how to

:08:02.:08:03.

deal with the revenue part, but it is not much to play with. You are

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clear on the is not much to play with. You are

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clear on the amount and what is not much to play with. You are

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clear on the amount and what you think of it, but again, where is the

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priority to use this money, in your view? The Welsh Government may look

:08:12.:08:17.

at business rates again. They previously put ?20 million in to

:08:18.:08:20.

an additional scheme help small businesses, and there was

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an additional scheme to help with business rate relief. They may look

:08:23.:08:25.

at that, but the pressures on public services in Wales because of that

:08:26.:08:29.

real terms Budget cuts are huge. That small

:08:30.:08:29.

real terms Budget cuts are huge. That small amount of money will have

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to be spread thinly. Jenny, argue as critical as Jo of the amount and the

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Welsh profile? I think it is very disappointing, all told. It is

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particularly disappointing for Wales, which is one of the poorer

:08:47.:08:48.

economies in the Wales, which is one of the poorer

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economies in the UK. Taiwan to draw out of this the actual amounts of

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economies in the UK. Taiwan to draw out of this the actual amounts of

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money. For example, ?50 million over format years for infrastructure.

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Now, that is absolute peanuts. That goes absolutely nowhere when you are

:09:05.:09:07.

talking about repairing the A55 and improving that road, this south

:09:08.:09:21.

wales metro, M4 relief measures. It is a minute amount of money over

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format years. The amount of is a minute amount of money over

:09:24.:09:25.

format years. The amount of money for the revenue Budget would not

:09:26.:09:26.

make the for the revenue Budget would not

:09:27.:09:35.

make the difference to the NHS that is needed. ?200 million over format

:09:36.:09:42.

years, peanuts according to the Lib Dems

:09:43.:09:42.

years, peanuts according to the Lib years, peanuts according to the Lib

:09:43.:09:46.

Dems - your perspective? That is ?400 million to do up Buckingham

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Palace, 5 billion to do up the Palace of Westminster, ?200 million

:09:55.:09:55.

Wales. Palace of Westminster, ?200 million

:09:56.:10:00.

Wales. We are looking at things like health and education, where

:10:01.:10:02.

inflation is higher than the general economy and there are huge pressures

:10:03.:10:05.

because of the nature of our population, so it isn't a lot.

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because of the nature of our population, so it isn't a lot. I

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welcome population, so it isn't a lot. I

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welcome every extra pound. We need a good deal more. Notwithstanding your

:10:10.:10:14.

concerns about the, where should the money be spent and what can Welsh

:10:15.:10:17.

voters expect to see different after money be spent and what can Welsh

:10:18.:10:18.

voters expect to see different after this money is spent? I have no idea.

:10:19.:10:26.

The butter will have to be fed the spread very thinly indeed. There are

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pressures on health. Social care is another, but this money won't go

:10:32.:10:32.

pressures on health. Social care is another, but this money won't go

:10:33.:10:32.

very far. another, but this money won't go

:10:33.:10:37.

very far. There is money for a somethings, Guto, where should this

:10:38.:10:44.

be spent? You highlighted that this is the last spring Budget, and the

:10:45.:10:47.

reason is we will have an Autumn Statement in future. The Chancellor

:10:48.:10:51.

is clear that the two things should be

:10:52.:10:51.

is clear that the two things should is clear that the two things should

:10:52.:10:54.

be merged into one, so there is ?700 million of extra capital spending

:10:55.:10:58.

announced in December for the Welsh Government. I'm sure they wouldn't

:10:59.:11:03.

refer to that is peanuts. We now have another ?200 million coming in

:11:04.:11:04.

in terms of revenue spending, so in have another ?200 million coming in

:11:05.:11:07.

in terms of revenue spending, so in less than

:11:08.:11:07.

in terms of revenue spending, so in less than four months, the Welsh

:11:08.:11:12.

Government Budget has been increased by almost ?1

:11:13.:11:12.

Government Budget has been increased by almost ?1 billion. A fiscal

:11:13.:11:16.

framework for Wales is something that was never delivered by Labour

:11:17.:11:25.

when they were in power. ?700 million from the Autumn Statement,

:11:26.:11:29.

200 million today, it is good news. As

:11:30.:11:29.

200 million today, it is good news. 200 million today, it is good news.

:11:30.:11:30.

As to where it should be spent, the vast majority of the 200 million is

:11:31.:11:33.

As to where it should be spent, the vast majority of the 200 million is

:11:34.:11:33.

the result vast majority of the 200 million is

:11:34.:11:35.

the result of a change to business rates in England. I would ask the

:11:36.:11:39.

Welsh assembly Government to prioritise those two areas. There

:11:40.:11:43.

are businesses in my constituency who would be glad of the support

:11:44.:11:44.

are businesses in my constituency who would be glad of the support

:11:45.:11:44.

that can come their way. In the who would be glad of the support

:11:45.:11:46.

that can come their way. In the same way,

:11:47.:11:46.

that can come their way. In the same that can come their way. In the same

:11:47.:11:48.

way, there we know there are issues that can come their way. In the same

:11:49.:11:50.

way, there we know there are issues with social

:11:51.:11:50.

way, there we know there are issues with social care. Changes in England

:11:51.:11:54.

will result in a barn at consequential

:11:55.:11:54.

will result in a barn at will result in a barn at

:11:55.:11:57.

consequential for Wales. The way the Barnett system works is, you have

:11:58.:11:59.

consequential is Barnett system works is, you have

:12:00.:12:00.

consequential is as a result of increased spending in England. This

:12:01.:12:03.

was a fiscally neutral Budget, so the fact that Wales still gets ?200

:12:04.:12:06.

million is still a very good deal. the fact that Wales still gets ?200

:12:07.:12:10.

million is still a very good deal. So it is ?900 million if you take in

:12:11.:12:14.

the previous statement. The three of you are giving us a misleading

:12:15.:12:18.

picture? If we talk about what we didn't see today, nothing on the

:12:19.:12:23.

Swansea tidal lagoon. There is huge cross-party support for that an

:12:24.:12:24.

Government has sat cross-party support for that an

:12:25.:12:26.

Government has sat on its hands and done nothing with Charles Hendry's

:12:27.:12:31.

report. It is an opportunity for us to become world leaders in marine

:12:32.:12:34.

technology engineering, and the Government is doing. Nothing on the

:12:35.:12:41.

Swansea City deal. We are waiting for projects to deliver jobs and

:12:42.:12:42.

growth, and for projects to deliver jobs and

:12:43.:12:44.

growth, and nothing is happening. That is exactly what I wanted to

:12:45.:12:46.

growth, and nothing is happening. That is exactly what I wanted to

:12:47.:12:53.

raise. The city deal, the lagoon - what does the silence signify today?

:12:54.:12:54.

raise. The city deal, the lagoon - what does the silence signify today?

:12:55.:12:59.

Nothing, there will be a Swansea City deal. The discussions are

:13:00.:13:01.

progressing well and it has been described as a good deal. There are

:13:02.:13:04.

things we want to tweak, but I described as a good deal. There are

:13:05.:13:06.

things we want to tweak, but I am confident there will be a deal. It

:13:07.:13:09.

was never stated that the decision would be made at this Budget. I

:13:10.:13:11.

would remind listeners that when we would be made at this Budget. I

:13:12.:13:13.

would remind listeners that when we set out the Cardiff City deal, the

:13:14.:13:16.

same opponents said there would not be won, and we have ended up with a

:13:17.:13:19.

contribution from the UK Treasury be won, and we have ended up with a

:13:20.:13:22.

contribution from the UK Treasury of one million pounds. They also said

:13:23.:13:27.

they would underwrite the ?600 million of

:13:28.:13:27.

they would underwrite the ?600 million of European funding,

:13:28.:13:28.

they would underwrite the ?600 million of European funding, and yet

:13:29.:13:28.

none of the million of European funding, and yet

:13:29.:13:30.

none of the work on the Metro has commenced. We need money coming from

:13:31.:13:35.

Westminster, additional money on top of the Welsh block grant, but we

:13:36.:13:36.

also need of the Welsh block grant, but we

:13:37.:13:38.

also need to see the Welsh Government starting to spend that

:13:39.:13:43.

money. When we have a city deal for Cardiff weather over ?1 billion,

:13:44.:13:43.

money. When we have a city deal for Cardiff weather over ?1 billion,

:13:44.:13:47.

let's see some action. We will have a deal for West Wales as a

:13:48.:13:48.

let's see some action. We will have a deal for West Wales as a result of

:13:49.:13:52.

the Swansea regional deal. I am confident we will have a growth deal

:13:53.:13:56.

in North Wales in due course as well. For people watching in Swansea

:13:57.:14:03.

and West Wales today, and North Wales, let's take Swansea Festival,

:14:04.:14:04.

will they get news before the end Wales, let's take Swansea Festival,

:14:05.:14:07.

will they get news before the end of the year on that? This fiscal year

:14:08.:14:13.

calendar year? I would be confident in this calendar year. It would be

:14:14.:14:14.

tough to have it before in this calendar year. It would be

:14:15.:14:16.

tough to have it before the end of match. But in the calendar year,

:14:17.:14:21.

there will be a decision. And you are absolutely confident it will

:14:22.:14:26.

come about? The bid we have put together has been described as

:14:27.:14:30.

exciting, wetter than some of the deal is signed in England. There are

:14:31.:14:33.

some issues to be tweaked and improved. It is a bottom- up deal.

:14:34.:14:38.

We're not saying Westminster knows best. We are saying that there are

:14:39.:14:41.

some things best. We are saying that there are

:14:42.:14:43.

some things that are promising and we would like to look at again. I am

:14:44.:14:50.

confident we will have a good deal for Swansea which shows that

:14:51.:14:53.

Westminster not only delivers for the capital city

:14:54.:14:54.

Westminster not only delivers for the capital city of Wales but for

:14:55.:14:57.

the second city. I will come to Hywel, and the North Wales context?

:14:58.:15:05.

The work being put in by the six authorities in North Wales is to be

:15:06.:15:10.

applauded. The group of local authorities looking to improve

:15:11.:15:12.

transport links with the North West of England are doing fantastic work,

:15:13.:15:16.

so we're confident we will deliver the North Wales growth deal. Swansea

:15:17.:15:19.

first, then the North Wales deal. the North Wales growth deal. Swansea

:15:20.:15:22.

first, then the North Wales deal. Confidence on both, - do you share

:15:23.:15:30.

that? We would like to see the deal being made at this time so

:15:31.:15:31.

that? We would like to see the deal being made at this time so we would

:15:32.:15:31.

be confident that it was going ahead being made at this time so we would

:15:32.:15:33.

be confident that it was going ahead in Swansea. There are implications

:15:34.:15:36.

in North Wales because there are plans for a

:15:37.:15:37.

in North Wales because there are plans for a lagoon there as well.

:15:38.:15:39.

One other thing about capital plans for a lagoon there as well.

:15:40.:15:42.

One other thing about capital spending, we still don't have a

:15:43.:15:44.

single spending, we still don't have a

:15:45.:15:45.

single inch of electrified rail in Wales, whatever

:15:46.:15:45.

single inch of electrified rail in Wales, whatever happens. After a

:15:46.:15:55.

Labour Government for many years, a coalition and then a Conservative

:15:56.:15:56.

Government... We know it's on the way but we know

:15:57.:16:05.

it is over budget in England at this point in time. But we know it will

:16:06.:16:11.

arrive. The work has been done on the seven tunnel. Nobody is more

:16:12.:16:15.

frustrated than the on the fact that it is behind budget but we will have

:16:16.:16:22.

faster trains going all the way to Swansea, and it is a commitment I

:16:23.:16:26.

want to take that I understand the frustrations. To bring it to a close

:16:27.:16:32.

here before we move on. On the infrastructure, looking at the

:16:33.:16:35.

Swansea deal which Guto has been positive about, are you confident

:16:36.:16:39.

that we will see this coming to fruition? Is it again something that

:16:40.:16:43.

the Liberal Democrats think is a good template for economic

:16:44.:16:49.

regeneration? I hope it comes in to fruition but we need to keep up the

:16:50.:16:53.

pressure to make sure electrification goes beyond Cardiff

:16:54.:16:57.

to Swansea. Because, it is absolutely essential the job is

:16:58.:17:01.

finished. But, you know, that is just the beginning of the South

:17:02.:17:09.

Wales valleys, we need to get the Metro going and we need the

:17:10.:17:15.

infrastructure investment. We need to be working with UK Government to

:17:16.:17:21.

revitalise that area. And we will need that impetus in the years to

:17:22.:17:26.

come, because of the Brexit shock. You mentioned Brexit, I want to

:17:27.:17:31.

pause for a second there. By the way, electrification for Swansea,

:17:32.:17:35.

people are expecting that, it would be an even better project,

:17:36.:17:41.

obviously! There's no need to go mad, go all the way to Carmarthen.

:17:42.:17:47.

As Jenny mentioned, one of the surprise aspects was very few

:17:48.:17:50.

mentions of the Brexit process. A couple of mentions from the

:17:51.:17:54.

Chancellor at the start of the speech but it is the context for the

:17:55.:17:58.

biggest economic debate of the moment. And the issue that comes up

:17:59.:18:03.

most often is Welsh access, continued access, to the European

:18:04.:18:13.

single market. Two economic experts take us through their views on the

:18:14.:18:15.

next movements... There is no denying that the single

:18:16.:18:32.

market is important to Wales. Something like two thirds of its

:18:33.:18:40.

exports are EU related. But, one must not forget that although it is

:18:41.:18:45.

important to Wales, that the rest of the world is also open to Wales.

:18:46.:18:51.

But, as you said, at the moment two thirds of exports from Wales are

:18:52.:18:55.

into the EU. That is not going to change overnight, just because there

:18:56.:19:00.

might be a shiny new free trade agreement with a country like Korea

:19:01.:19:08.

or Japan. Businesses trade with businesses. Relationships are

:19:09.:19:12.

established over a long period of time. At the moment it is very

:19:13.:19:16.

hassle-free and straightforward. I think it will actually deter smaller

:19:17.:19:21.

businesses from importing or exporting, just because it is more

:19:22.:19:22.

difficult. I think that free movement of labour

:19:23.:19:36.

is very important and vital for British industry. And, it is too

:19:37.:19:42.

simplistic to say that we need to have full control of immigration.

:19:43.:19:47.

Immigration is usually a good thing. We will control immigration simply

:19:48.:19:50.

because we need to have a kind of system that filters the right kind

:19:51.:19:55.

of quality labour that we need, which improves our economy and

:19:56.:20:00.

increases Value added. I do not see immigration necessarily falling, it

:20:01.:20:07.

might even rise, who knows? What I do believe is that there will be

:20:08.:20:17.

control. All of a sudden, those with imported

:20:18.:20:25.

and exported from into the EU, with little paperwork, they will be faced

:20:26.:20:28.

with quite a substantial amount. We would have to be faced with delays,

:20:29.:20:34.

we had to be faced with warehousing, and all associated costs. It needs

:20:35.:20:38.

to be factored in and I'm not sure, at the moment, whether the Welsh

:20:39.:20:42.

economy is prepared for that. If you look at it dispassionately from an

:20:43.:20:47.

economic point of view, removing ourselves from the year, from the

:20:48.:20:51.

customs union, and freeing ourselves to enable us to trade freely with

:20:52.:20:55.

the rest of the world, that would actually be good for Britain and

:20:56.:20:56.

good for Wales. -- a rather intriguing game of chess

:20:57.:21:16.

there. Let's pick up with our guests. Jo, let's pick up with

:21:17.:21:21.

Wales's future outside of the EU. Whether or not there is some sort of

:21:22.:21:26.

access, into the single market, on which we currently depend. Your

:21:27.:21:30.

perspective on this, and how the government is going about it? What I

:21:31.:21:33.

thought was most shocking about the budget today was the absence of any

:21:34.:21:37.

reference to Brexit, it is the biggest thing that will hit our

:21:38.:21:41.

economy in Wales and the UK, there was no mention. The budget speech

:21:42.:21:47.

was trailed with some kind of ?60 billion reserve to protect us

:21:48.:21:49.

through Brexit and there was no mention.

:21:50.:21:57.

It seems if I was someone who worked at Ford, Vauxhall Airbus, and was

:21:58.:22:00.

watching the budget speech today and was thinking about Brexit and market

:22:01.:22:03.

access, I would be really worried, there was nothing to reassure me or

:22:04.:22:07.

the people of Wales that the funding we get from the EU will continue

:22:08.:22:12.

once we leave. Earlier, in this very studio, Paul Johnson of the

:22:13.:22:15.

Institute for Fiscal Studies was here, and when I asked about it, to

:22:16.:22:19.

said it was nonsense. There was no thing as a Brexit war chest. They

:22:20.:22:24.

are busy dealing with the state of public finances. But the point

:22:25.:22:28.

being, there is an issue about how much of the Brexit perspective there

:22:29.:22:34.

was in the speech, even if it was implied? Not explicitly spelt out.

:22:35.:22:39.

For you, Hywel, where does it position Wales? Let's have a

:22:40.:22:46.

specific point. Some farmers will be experiencing a very difficult

:22:47.:22:49.

position when we leave the EU, some of them will be facing paying more

:22:50.:22:53.

national insurance. That's an obvious Brexit issue here. It is not

:22:54.:22:59.

just industry. It is our country areas. And, the system that we have

:23:00.:23:05.

within country areas. The farmer pays the person who runs the garage

:23:06.:23:12.

who pays the guy who fixes things. It has profound implications. I was

:23:13.:23:17.

surprised there was not a lot in there about Brexit. It is the

:23:18.:23:21.

context for everything we do at the moment. There is a prison that

:23:22.:23:24.

everything is viewed through and will be for the next two years at

:23:25.:23:30.

least. And for years after that, as our economy adjusts -- prism. It is

:23:31.:23:36.

a bit disingenuous of the Chancellor, not to put it centre

:23:37.:23:42.

stage. Because, I would say that he is

:23:43.:23:43.

bound to be setting aside money for the times to come. He would not be a

:23:44.:23:52.

sensible Chancellor unless he was doing so. I think if he had not had

:23:53.:23:57.

Brexit full in his view, then he would have been able to spend a

:23:58.:24:02.

great deal more money and invest a great deal more in the economy, in

:24:03.:24:07.

skills, the NHS... Even with a deficit at these levels? Yes, I

:24:08.:24:10.

think he would have felt that the economy was doing well enough to

:24:11.:24:18.

apply some stimulus. Was it a Brexit free speech? All three panellists

:24:19.:24:23.

have already said that Brexit is the context for everything. This was a

:24:24.:24:26.

physical lean neutral and careful budget because we are going through

:24:27.:24:32.

the Brexit process. We talk about Brexit all the time in Westminster.

:24:33.:24:37.

We will be having ping-pong as a result of decisions taken in the

:24:38.:24:41.

House of Lords. It's a budget put together in a careful manner because

:24:42.:24:44.

of Brexit but I find the idea that a country which is running a deficit,

:24:45.:24:49.

as we still are, despite the fact we talk about austerity, we still had a

:24:50.:24:54.

deficit, putting money aside is not realistic. We are in a position

:24:55.:24:58.

slowly better than anticipated and better than we anticipated on the

:24:59.:25:02.

day after Brexit. This is the context where we are working but the

:25:03.:25:09.

fact the Chancellor did not use that magic word does not mean that the

:25:10.:25:11.

budget today does not reflect the fact we need to be careful with

:25:12.:25:14.

public finances. When will we get the good weather so that we can fix

:25:15.:25:19.

the roof? I don't understand the question, the situation is the

:25:20.:25:22.

Brexit White Paper prepared by the Labour government with the Liberal

:25:23.:25:27.

Democrats and signed up to buy Plaid Cymru, a lot of the issues there

:25:28.:25:31.

similar to what the government wants to achieve in Westminster as well.

:25:32.:25:36.

We want as little friction access to the single market, and a good level

:25:37.:25:43.

of access to the single market. We have these discussions in a Welsh

:25:44.:25:47.

context and ultimately there was a decision made by the Welsh people.

:25:48.:25:51.

Not a decision I subscribe to, I campaigned on the other side of the

:25:52.:25:55.

debate but concerns have been expressed by the Welsh people and we

:25:56.:25:59.

have responsibility to deliver Brexit in as painless a fashion as

:26:00.:26:03.

possible and to see we can build on the opportunities that will come our

:26:04.:26:07.

way. One of the concerns, if not the main one, was the level of

:26:08.:26:12.

immigration. It leaves Labour where now, today? In terms of your input

:26:13.:26:17.

into the debate has it develops? Questions around the freedom of

:26:18.:26:22.

movement. Carwyn Jones has said that needs to be addressed. What does

:26:23.:26:28.

that mean in terms of how you view the government's handling of the

:26:29.:26:32.

debate. It's interesting, in the package we saw the possibility that

:26:33.:26:36.

immigration levels might rise, and my constituency is a city centre,

:26:37.:26:43.

Cardiff, they voted to remain. Concerns about immigration which

:26:44.:26:46.

have been planted on to the discussion about the vote when the

:26:47.:26:50.

views I heard in Cardiff. Looking at areas of Wales where there were

:26:51.:26:53.

higher levels of immigration, there was not the concern, looking at

:26:54.:26:58.

areas of Wales where there are very low levels, there's a perception it

:26:59.:27:02.

is a problem. It's more complex than that if I may say so, my

:27:03.:27:07.

constituency and the next along voted to remain. People could see

:27:08.:27:12.

the point of it. We will have problems with our university, with

:27:13.:27:17.

huge numbers of people and staff in Wales. They don't know where they

:27:18.:27:25.

stand. So, there are huge problems. Because one of the sensitivities,

:27:26.:27:28.

Jenny I will come to you in a second, let me pick up Guto on that

:27:29.:27:33.

point. The status of EU nationals, there is such a big debate. I read

:27:34.:27:39.

about a French teacher who had been living here since 1974, now facing a

:27:40.:27:43.

very difficult situation. Is that where you thought you would be at

:27:44.:27:48.

this point? Well, no. You have to be aware that on three separate

:27:49.:27:51.

occasions the government offered to deal with this issue separate to the

:27:52.:27:56.

other negotiations. People who said no European partners, which is

:27:57.:27:59.

clear. We always get the blame from other parties, the government. But

:28:00.:28:04.

on three separate occasions the Prime Minister made it clear she

:28:05.:28:07.

would like to deal with the issue of EU nationals in the UK and the EU

:28:08.:28:10.

separately from main negotiations which has been the rejected. We have

:28:11.:28:16.

an obligation to the 3 million EU nationals in the UK, I 100% agree,

:28:17.:28:20.

but also the nationals in the European Union. We need an

:28:21.:28:25.

agreement. The 27 countries in the EU need to talk to the government on

:28:26.:28:30.

this issue. It is symptomatic of the problem. We have a specific issue

:28:31.:28:34.

where on both sides of the argument, we agree that the status of these

:28:35.:28:39.

people must be settled. But, even on this particular one, we cannot get

:28:40.:28:45.

agreement. This is going to show how complex the whole thing is going to

:28:46.:28:50.

be, over the next few years. Because, absolutely every aspect of

:28:51.:28:56.

leaving the year, that you touch, it becomes a hugely complex issue. And

:28:57.:29:00.

I think that what people in general, and certainly I did not appreciate,

:29:01.:29:07.

I campaigned strongly to remain. But, I don't think I realised half

:29:08.:29:11.

of the complexity of what is faced now. And, in the immigration issue

:29:12.:29:20.

is only one tiny aspect. Jo, what were you going to say? I was going

:29:21.:29:25.

to say to Guto, I would want to start negotiations on a positive

:29:26.:29:28.

footing. Make a gesture, she could do it now. It is easy to make a

:29:29.:29:38.

gesture... But you do have a responsibility to UK nationals in

:29:39.:29:41.

the European Union as well. And you need to be honest. The Spanish

:29:42.:29:46.

government seriously do not want to have 800,000 pensioners from the UK

:29:47.:29:50.

in Spain. There would be an issue in, do we pick up the medical bills,

:29:51.:29:55.

for example? We cannot say, well, everybody can stay in the UK, until

:29:56.:29:59.

we know what will happen to relatives of people in my

:30:00.:30:05.

constituency. Tell that to the academic staff at Cardiff University

:30:06.:30:10.

from the EU... But why is this government wrong? Why aren't you

:30:11.:30:14.

complaining about the EU not making a gesture? It is a moral issue...

:30:15.:30:20.

For the EU in exactly the same way as the UK Government. You cannot say

:30:21.:30:25.

it is a moral failure on the heart of this government... But we are the

:30:26.:30:28.

country that wants to leave. And therefore, we need to leave by --

:30:29.:30:35.

lead by example. And we said firmly, can we have it separate from Brexit

:30:36.:30:39.

negotiations quit at the offer was rejected. I take your point, Guto,

:30:40.:30:43.

but it does not solve the problem for the people in Swansea, Newport,

:30:44.:30:50.

everywhere else. It will solve the problems for some people but not

:30:51.:30:53.

others. We want to solve the problem for everybody. 3 million in the UK

:30:54.:30:59.

and 1.3 million in Europe. It would be morally wrong if we abandoned the

:31:00.:31:04.

1.3 million citizens in Europe. You are showing by example and putting

:31:05.:31:08.

the EU in a position where they cannot possibly treat them less than

:31:09.:31:13.

well. You are ignoring the reality of where UK citizens are in the EU.

:31:14.:31:19.

You need a position where the whole of the EU deal as one. There are

:31:20.:31:29.

very few Spanish nationals in the UK. Europe has to deal with it

:31:30.:31:34.

together and do it now. They cannot do it without... Where does it leave

:31:35.:31:41.

the quick and easy Brexit? UK nationals living abroad in Europe,

:31:42.:31:45.

to vote in the referendum committee would not let European nationals

:31:46.:31:49.

living in the UK vote on the referendum but if they had been able

:31:50.:31:53.

to, that would have had a different result. That takes us in a very

:31:54.:31:59.

different direction. Thank you for joining us today. On budget day.

:32:00.:32:02.

My thanks to Guto Bebb, Jo Stevens, Hywel Williams and Baroness Jenny

:32:03.:32:05.

We'll be back next week, but in the meantime, you can get

:32:06.:32:09.

in touch with us by email: [email protected]

:32:10.:32:11.

From Westminster, thanks for watching.

:32:12.:32:13.

Award-winning comedian Rhod Gilbert is back for a new series.

:32:14.:32:46.

Please tell me you've got something else I can wear.

:32:47.:32:48.

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