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The politicians have set out their stalls at the party conferences


will young voters buy their policies? Welcome to Young Voters'


With me tonight, the rapper wh says sometimes young people need to


blaze up a fire, Speech Debelle. The business woman and winner of


the Apprentice, Stella English. The story who is tipped to be the first


black Prime Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng. Humza Yousaf. Voted the


sexiest MP the newest Liver bird in Liverpool, Luciana Berger and the


unionior minister who quit over tuition fees, Jenny Willott.


So, hello there. Welcome to Young Voters' Question Time. We are live


from Salford. Just down the road from the Tory party conference with


a lively audience of young people. You see! They are ready to tackle


our panellists from left, right and centre. You can get involved too


via twitter. Just include the hash tag yvqt and it will come through


right here. I will read out as many as I can. Let me hear the first


question from Rory Anderson of Leeds University. My question to


the panel is, I want to know if they think Meredith Kercher has


received justice? Has Meredith Kercher received justice? Amanda


Knox is on her way home to Seattle as we speak. Speech Debelle? Um, I


don't... I mean, somebody's died, I'm not sure if there can really be


justice, even if what happened yesterday didn't happen. I think,


already somebody is already in jail for the murder. Rudy Guede is in


jail. Exactly. I mean, to be honest, when I was watching the news


yesterday, when they were revealing the verdict I kind of just felt


like, looking at the family, like, it still just hurts, do you know


what I mean? It still feels the same to them, regardless of whether


she stayed in jail or not, I think that is probably how they would


have felt. It still feels the same. Four years now since the murder?


don't think four years makes a difference if that is the case. In


erms terms of justice whether it was served, I'm not sure. That is


something the family will be more in a position to answer. They said


they are back to square one which is what Meredith's brother said


today. There are unanswered questions. Italy's highest court


said the murderer in prison for this did not act alone. They are


saying who is it if it wasn't Knox incomes and Raffaele Sollecito.


hasn't received justice because she was murdered. We don't know who the


people were who were responsible for it. There was difficulty with


this case because it was a massive media circus with Foxy Knoxy. The


details of the case were obscured.. I'm not sure the family have


received justice. Did it feel strange that you could watch that


verdict? An incredible moment of human drama, wasn't it? You could


watch the verdict being read out. They had a live satellite libg link


to Amanda Knox' family. Were you comfortable being able to see that?


I think this was quied quite odd. They have a different process than


we have. There are talks of CAMRA in court in England? I wouldn't


support that. Any thoughts on this from the audience? The gentleman at


the back. I don't think there was justice. I think that it's just a


clear example that somebody with enough money and enough time,


you'll always be able to pick small little things in a case. I think


that - I don't know what you mean, with enough money? What are you


implied? They found that evidence might have been contaminated or...


Ipg over four years you are going to find small parts of a case that


might have been contaminated. I don't think that they should change


the sentence after four years. I still think she did it. You are,


basically, saying you think Knox and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele


Sollecito, are guilty is what you are saying? Yes. Two things about


that. One, what you described there is the Italian system, the appeal


system. Secondly, they have been found not guilty. That is the view


of the court. That DNA evidence was undermined and dismissed, wasn't


it? I think that the Italian justice system made a big song and


dance about this and they got it completely wrong. I don't see how


you can bang someone up for four years and then just suddenly


overturn the decision for like a life sentence and sent them free


completely. I think they handled -- handled the case completely wrong.


Whether she did it or not, the fact I heard today that Amanda Knox is


possibly getting a book deal from it. Hollywood movies. That is


rubbing it in for the family. you were her and you had four years


taken away and you had been through hell. Let us assume she is innocent.


That is how she was found by the court. Wouldn't you want to profit


from it? From the family's perspective for four years they


thought she was a murderer. For her to be on television etc. To become


a celebrity. What do you think? What about the fact there that she


might make a load of money from that? I think that's untasteful.


She will get compensation, I have no doubt for having time taken away


from her life for what was a horrific experience. People have


been miscarriages of justice have happened in Britain. It's been


longer than four years. We have to recognise that miscarriages can


happen. I agree with Kwasi, maybe the only time - Don't rub it it in.


What this media circus can do is create witch hunts. That is


dangerous. We have seen it time and time again, Rebecca Lleyton she


went through a difficult time. It happens time and time again. Media


in court rooms is a bad area. It's certainly you don't have in


Scotland and something I don't think it should be introduced here.


The SNP and the Conservatives don't agree, really? Amanda Knox some


people think it's distasteful she can make money out of this.


Apparently, her parents re- mortgaged their house to fund her


appeal, what do you think about that? They funded a massive PR


campaign which played out on televisions across the media.


that a bad thing We have forgotten Meredith Kercher. Meredith Kercher


was the daughter and the sister to the Kercher family. That should be


the focus of this discussion not what happened to Amanda Knox.


Back out to the audience. Gentleman there, in the red top. I think that


the prosecutors made a massive mistake in the way they went about


pleading their case. It became a case of character assassination


rather than presenting the facts. They used that to cover the fact


they had little forensic evidence. 50 pieces of forensic evidence were


flawed. The way they went about it didn't help them. Police and


prosecutors came up with this sex game theory, didn't they?? The Foxy


Knoxy thing didn't work in their favour. This became a bigger story


partly because of her looks, didn't it, in the end? It's the media. The


media have control - We watch the media. We are not even, like, half


of the time we are not given the choice whether to watch. It's in


our face all the time. It's rape, murder on the front pages. Whether


this comes to play in the actual court deciding on who is guilty or


not. One more question and move we will move to our next topic. The


lady there. Surely with the amount she changed her story that in


itself is a crime against the courts? OK. Jenny quick comment


from you on this. Well, I think, what it has shown up is significant


differences between the way the media relates to court cases in


Italy from the way we would have it here. Eagree with the gentleman who


said it was a circus the way Amanda Knox was portrayed and the way


prosecutors were speaking in the media. I think it did completely


overshadowed what happened to Meredith Kercher. And, the thing


that has upset me this week is that you would think the entire trial


was about - the entire thing was about Amanda Knox and her boyfriend


whether or not they were guilty or innocent. Completely forgotten the


original crime that took place. I think that the Kercher family have


shown the most amazing resilience and dignity throughout it.


Particularly, this week. APPLAUSE


They were impressive at their press conferences. In a strange way, even


Raffaele Sollecito got for got continue became about Amanda Knox


largely, didn't it? Stella a comment from you on this. I think


the mere fact that what we are all discussing is Foxy Knoxy and her


media persona just is really test month to the fact that the whole


thing went wrong, from my point of view, morally. We shouldn't be


talking about that. It should be about what happened and why and


everything else. So, unfortunately, I think, from the point of view of


taste, the media has played a role here which has knead very


distasteful. Thank you. Our next question. You can tweet us at: That


is if you want to get involved tonight. Thomas Gore, a student for


our next question. My question is, how is it fair that the Scottish


gefplt can charge English students �9,000 per annum in tuition fees


from next year when Scottish students don't have to pay a penny?


I have a feeling this will blow up. You are from the SNP? Absolutely.


The Scottish government gets money, pocket money a block grant where by


it has to take care of those who live in Scotland. You are impeding


the view of the young gentleman. Bethey English Scots, Irish Scots


those living in Scotland don't pay a single penny we in the Scottish


Government believe that education has to be based on the ability to


learn not the ability to pay. If we could extend that...


APPLAUSE If we could extend that and other


policies like our free prescriptions charges to cover


English students and the rest of the UK students, by God, we would.


I wish we really Co on that point shall I respect Jenny for the


position she took, it must have been a difficult position - When


she quit Yes. Those Lib Dems who did the opposite. Scottish MPs


voted for tuition fees even though it doesn't cover Scotland. That is


the biggest betrayal in recent modern British political history.


Those people - it should be - as young people it should be your duty


as young people when the next general election comes you should


make sure it's them out of jobs and not you. In Scotland the students


don't have to pay tuition fees an English student going there would


have pay. Northern Ireland student or Welsh student. Anyone from the


EU would have to pay. In Wales they are getting a subsidy? There are


not enough Welsh university places. EU students would wouldn't have to


pay? It's currently illegal. We are trying to work with the European


Commission to change it. Your thoughts on this. Surely, it should


show that Scottish MPs shouldn't be allowed to vote on English matters


that only affect English citizens? Absolutely.


APPLAUSE Can I make a point on. That I'm a


Welsh member of Parliament, so it's not - it doesn't apply quite the


same in Wales. It isn't quite as simple as that. I have constituents


I represent the area that covers car div University, University of


Glamorgan and so on. I have English students living there at Cardiff


University and Welsh students living there. I have constituents


who come under the Welsh and English system. It affects people


living in my area as well. It's the same for Scottish MPs. None of it


is quite as cut and dry at first glance it might be. The guy who


said Scottish MPs shouldn't be voting on English matters. Which


way did you vote? For tuition fees. They were introduced by the Labour


government in 2004 the debate was about the level. Is it fair English


students will have a bigger debt for the rest of their working


lives? Absolutely not. Than Scottish students Yes. The cap on


Welsh students is just over 3,000 the rest is subsidised. It sounds


unfair. The burden on the taxpayer was so big that we couldn't have a


system which I had, because I am just about old enough to remember


that, where it was entierly free. Free education? Did you just say it


was unfair? I said it's unfair the disparity between Scotland and


England, yes. That is an issue for the Scottish Government. They will


have to subsidise. Loads of hands up. Gentleman there in the glasses.


What Kwasi done has cut the ladder so we cannot climb the ladder of


suck kes -- success we will not be where you are today because of what


you have done. I will collate a few points, right. We will come back to


My opinion on the matter is that the British Government and the


British economy created a derth in opportunity by driving every single


young person in England and Britain through university and not creating


vocational opportunities and making boy technics -- polytechnic


universities, and creating a... It's a Labour policy to get 50% of


people into university and that was a mistake is what you are saying?


The economics don't work. The market will not support a majority


of young people who have professional degrees. There needs


to be more of a balance. OK, the gentleman in front of you. I have


to be honest, Kwasi, I disagree, there is no need to put this


massive burden on students. can't be afforded. Tax bankers. Why,


why...? Can I come back to that. Why are you taxing students?


your objection to the principle of fees generally, or the level?


level. �9,000 a year is just unrealistic for the majority of


young people. You are willing to pay, you are not saying it - some


people are saying it should be free. I am willing to pay, but not a


level where the majority of people - education should be a right for


everyone. Sure. Many people cannot afford the level that your


Government has put in place. More have gone for the �9,000 level.


People only start paying back when they start earning �21,000 a year.


It's still a debt that hangs over them, like a mortgage. The interest


on that is �7 a month, which is a lot of money but for the quality of


an education, the price of education I think it's a price


worth paying. I think a lot of people would agree with me. If I


went to university for �9,000 and the rest of my life never earned


above �21,000 I would feel a bit short-changed. APPLAUSE.


Speech Debelle, Stella English, neither of you went to university,


did you? I didn't and I think - I didn't have the opportunity to do


it. I don't think it's something that one should have to think about


whether they can afford it or not. I think we have got a whole


generation of people that need to be educated, they're our future.


They can't afford until they don't pay back until they're earning


money. We are talking about here people are worried about getting in


debt, they're thinking about how they're going to cope going forward.


Why should they have to think like that? Exactly,ed problem is that


it's - I don't think it boils down to whether they can afford it or


can't. If you have a situation where a generation of people feel


like now they're some sort of, you know, to a certain extent like an


enemy, to the point they feel they have to go out and riot, know what


I mean, because of a decision that's been made that puts them in


a position that isn't good. I don't think a generation of people in our


country should feel like that. I think that's a problem. Whether


they can afford it, necessarily or not, I don't think we can afford to


make them feel like there's a level of hopelessness in their future. I


think that's probably the biggest debt that's going to have to be


paid there. You think it's unfair because there are certain people


will feel that and other people would never feel that way. It boils


down to how we feel as society and I don't think we can afford to let


young people feel as though they're not going to be part of it. A lot


of hands up. We go to the lady with blonde hair up there. Good evening.


Hi, I was going to say the average age of the first-time house buyers


is 37, which is obviously shockingly high and David Cameron


said this was appalling but when you are charging us that much to go


to university how can you expect us to get into the property ladder, to


get into society and earn the high figures? I don't think it's


something that can be justified. The average repayments are about �6


a week, they're low. It doesn't matter. When you go to any new


agreement people will want to know whatets you have got. -- what debts


you have got. It might not seem like much to people on the panel.


The The tuition fees have only gone up. They went up a few years ago


and that was a lot to some people. There's a lot of people aren't


willing to pay at the risk of going through university and not getting


a job at the end of it. It's a big risk for people to take and a lot


of people wouldn't. On this point, at the Labour Party conference last


week Ed Miliband, your leader, was talking about tuition fees and it


seems there have been a policy U- turn, where he was against putting


them up, right. And now he is saying they do support a �6,000


tuition fees. That's not what he said before. What Ed Miliband said


at our conference only last week was that right now we could put


fees down to a cap of �6,000, rather than �9,000. An increase


from where they were. In terms of what we can promise and deliver,


someone mentioned the bankers, if we introduced a bankers' bonus


bonus - forgive me, if we didn't cut the corporation tax of banks,


it's gone from 29% to 23% and bankers are benefiting from that.


If we scrap that for banks and allocated that to tuition fees we


could reduce the cap to �6,000 and the point is we can't make promises


we can't keep. We saw that with the Lib Dems at the last election.


There's so many students in my constituency that feel let down


because they made promises they couldn't keep. Now we need to


regain trust with the British public and ensure that what we


promise is what we can deliver. Some tweets have come in. One says:


I want to go to uni and not live in debt. Matthew is impressed by the


wonders of devolved Government, the Scots in my opinion, wisely, spend


the money on higher education as an investment. Another says: The


English Government should try to be like Scotland, but they're not. A


lot of people won't now go to uni. Kenny says well done for showing it


isn't Scotland's fault, the English Government want to give their


students a huge financial burden but it's strange how the UK's taxes


subsidise Scottish tuition fees. Do they? There's a formula and under


that Humza would know, each person has to get more... That's true.


It's the investment. Let me come back to two points - I will come


back. Under the formula you are? we gave 9.4%, we gave that in tax


money and got less in spending how is that a subsidy? Let me come back


to the affording point. Politician after politician saying we can't


afford it, but why don't you try not spending �100 billion on


replacing nuclear weapons and Trident? Billions of pounds on


wars? Why don't you try spending the money on higher education


instead of money on that? Exactly what your tweet says, it's about


where you choose to spend your money. Nuclear weapons are these ar


cane cold war relics. Young people don't like the nuclear deterrent,


who would have thought! Let's have a few points and move on to the


next question. You look very enthusiastic. From a graduate's


point of view, I graduated a few years ago under the old system and


I am on about �18,000 a year, I wouldn't be paying anything back. I


am paying about �30 a month back which is a lot of money for me, I


would be paying less back under the new system. I would prefer the new


system even though you will be paying back more in the long run


it's more affordable. The main issue is maintenance, that's what I


found cost me the most money at university. I had to get a part-


time job because I had to pay maintenance and rent and going out


having a few beers. Books, that's what you spend money on. The


tuition fees, that's what you pay for after you graduated. Right so


your real cost is your drink bill! One point, the gentleman here with


the beard. I found it hard to respect decisions made by


politicians who didn't have to pay for their education at university


and how can they empathise with us making us pay �9,000? APPLAUSE.


This generation of politicians didn't have to pay tuition fees and


these guys are. Let's move on to other questions. Can I come back on


one thing, I don't agree with Tuesday and volted -- tuition feess


and voted against them. One positive thing, students will have


a much bigger stay - universities will have to pay more to what


students want out of their course. We have to see how much more


influence students, because they're paying, will be able to have over


universities, over the courses and be able to change universities to


give them more what they want and I hope people take the opportunity to


use that power that they will now have to get what they want from


universities. You are reducing investment in higher education so


students will pay �9,000 but reducing the money that goes to


universities so you are not getting a better quality education in


return. We are going to move on. We are going to Megan Caulfield, I


believe. A law student, what's your question, please. Other than on a


political level, how can you justify the sentences given to this


year's rioters? OK, here we go back on riots. How can the sentences be


justified? There are remarkable stats relating to this. Here in the


Manchester area, those that were convicted of organising riots or


looting commercial properties were given eight years and above. Eight


years and above. So, a very dramatic sentence. Who would like


to go first? I will. Stella, you are smiling at me. I think that's


ridiculous. Why is it ridiculous? Because if you look at the broad


range of crimes that go on that is just not proportional... Organising


a riot is not a serious crime? this the Mafia, organised crime? We


are talking about - I thought it was looting and know what I mean,


if you are talking about those crimes in the riots, then no, it


wouldn't justify. If you were to set fire to a building that would


be regarded as arson. Regardless of organised crime. People who got


convicted of arson again here in the Greater Manchester area got six


years and upwards. Those who looted commercial property and those were


seen as ringleaders got eight years and above. There were tough


sentences but I will explain why Lordship. You -- you don't think


too tough? I am trying to explain what the thinking is. There was a


breakdown of civil order and people were generally scared about what


was going on. The idea was to try and get a very strong message out


to the public that this sort of behaviour wouldn't be tolerated. We


haven't seen riots for 30 years on this scale. It was quite terrifying


for people. And the public generally wanted to see that


justice was done. Now these were tough sentences and some people


would say they were too tough. But I think the right message went down


and restored faith in our justice system. When did we start


sentencing to please the public? The most important thing...


August. It's quite important for the public as a whole to feel safe.


They don't determine determine sentencing because they're angry?


There has to be confidence in the system. Once there isn't confidence


in the system, then you can lead to breakdown and in a way that was


what happened in the riots. People said that they didn't think the


sentences would be tough enough and that's why they went on the streets.


And to keep order as well. It was civil order. Anyone here think


that's right, those sentences I already mentioned, it's a good


thing that the sentencing was that harsh on the people that organised


riots? The gentleman there. I think the problem with it, I mean, it's


important to have sentenced the two half-wits who tried to start riots


in... The Facebook ones? Yeah, it was like, I didn't feel necessarily


comfortable with that being the case but they could have caused a


lot of damage but four years is a lot. They never left their bedrooms.


They need to be proportional, something like a year of community


community service for being a lunatic but someone who breaks


stuff needs a lot more. It all needs to be within proportion. If


you do something really bad that needs to be a hell of a lot longer


than someone who just thinks about or tries to encourage others. Maybe


a community sentence. Thank you. Who thinks the sentences are about


right? The gentleman there. Both of you can speak. As a guy from


Salford who was witnessing my local area, I think it's right, because


it puts people off. But also an added sentence on top of that was


the fact all those people who cleaned up afterwards deserve


credit for what they did and it rubbed in how terrible they were.


There was a Lidl burned down in Salford. Bricks thrown at


firefighters. Gentlemen there. think it's absolutely ridiculous


that the Conservatives can go on about how the big society, because


that was an explosion of the big society. The people who the


Conservatives are creating the underclass of people who if they


were in jobs they would not have rioted. They simply would not have


done. It's ridiculous how the Conservatives are going oh no, this


is all to do with social order and breaking social order and we need


to punish them. We need people to be rehabilitated because that is


proven to work better than punishing them by just throwing


them in prison and locking away the key. It's ridiculous. APPLAUSE. Are


you saying, to break that down, that's an example of the big


society, people going out and rioting? This is the big society


where people are extremely annoyed at the Government, at the coalition


and Labour can't really talk, because they didn't help in their


13 years of Government. They did not help the people of Great


Britain. You really think those people rioting were thinking about


David Cameron and Nick Clegg? Not in particular, they didn't think I


will smash into this shop because of David Cameron. Of course they


didn't. You are saying it was politically motivated. If they had


good jobs and in square jobs and if they had -- square jobs and people


around them who supported them they would not have rioted. It's it's


Conservative Party's fault that those people didn't have a job.


The fact they are sending them to to prison for eight years will be a


strain on the prison system thesm are forming gangs, as you have


heard on the news. The families are getting evicted. Where are you


going to put those families? Evicting those problem families


will not sort the problem out. member of your family rioted you


might lose your social housing, which has happened. What would you


do for people who rite rioted? would imprison them I wouldn't give


them eight years. What would you give them? Lower than that. Hard to


think of a year. Three if they were ringleaders. It will be a huge


strain the amount of people they arrested. You said it's a strain on


the prison population you would still put them in prison anyway.


You accept a message has to be sent? Yes. What rewe are dealing


with here is an interference in the judicial system by -- by the


political system. I don't think so. I agree. To the lady there, second


from back row. Megan's question was on a non-political level bg how can


you justify the sentences. How can you just a sentence depending on


what is going on in politics? If you want a coherent system when you


know what the sentence is people will get for the crimes, you have


to know what you will get for doing the crime. The judges listened to


what the politicians said. They shouldn't do that? Yeah they should


don't that. The lady behind. It has nothing to do with the Big Society


and David Cameron's plan. We can't give credit to the rit rioters. It


wasn't organised. It was young people stealing Tesco value rice


for the fun of it. The sentencing issue is different to the politics


and should be dealt with in different ways it's a legal issue


sentencing nothing to do with politics. They may have nicked down


rice, miss Selfridges was burnt down. It was diverse. The


sentencing needs to reflect that. It can't be one long sentence.


There were no riots in Scotland. That is not because it's the land


of milk and honey and everything is pure. We have plenty of problems.


Taking the sentencing point. There can't and shouldn't be inconsistent


cyst in sentencing. If Kwasi denies there was any political


interference in that, that is ridiculous. You can go with that


line of thought if you wish. You have to ask the question, why were


people rioting? There were opportune criminals. Our Police


Service work with the gangs and work with the young people. They


say, if you want to have a life of crime, go on and have a life of


crime we will come after you. Here are the opportunities. Here is the


Keating. Do people in England have any of that? You are not telling me


that people in England were rioting because the educational maintenance


was taken away? People didn't riot in Wales, why not? Lots of places


in England where there weren't riots. It's to do with community


relations and policing and so on. One of the concerns I have about


sentencing, a lot of people involved in in this have criminal


records and have been in prison. Sending them to prison for longer


and longer doesn't work. We need to look at what does work. One of the


early speakers talked about pay back to the community, looking at


community sentences. I think we should look Mott more at restorive


justice making people realise the impact they have had on their


community and make improvements to their local. That has been shown to


be successful than sending people to prison. Sending people to prison


when they are much less likely to get a job at the end of it, their


families will be broken down and can't get good housing they will be


in a position - A long-term to serve eight years. If you have a


criminal record you find it harder to get work and rehabilitate


yourself afterwards. Some of the looters were ten years old? There


is a big issue with parenting, with educational opportunities. That has


been mentioned already. Putting money into deprived areas. There


are interesting projects that have been looking - working closely with


families and helping the specific families, problem families in an


area. We need to do more of that across the UK. Some tweets that


have come in. We are live on BBC Three. Our address is: Jemma Fox,


sentences are not in proportion with other crimes, maybe the other


sentences are wrong. Another one, the sentencing was ridiculous


regarding the riots. Everyone knows the prison system in England


doesn't work. Another one, sentencing policy has always been


to please the public. You are a Liverpool MP. I am, yes. Young as


ten? There were lots of young people right across the country.


One of the dangers we are falling into is that the government are


demonising young people. That is not very helpful. Demonising young


people? When have they done that? We heard today from the Justice


Secretary about a feral underclass. There are people in my community


who joined the clean-up. Jenny picked up on restorive justice.


With. We need to look at ways to ensure we have effective


rehabilitation. We want to ensure if people commit a crime they are


punished for trk it's about how we support those people to make sure


they don't commit crimes again. Intervention that is Jenny talked


about are being cut down. Whether that is through the Early


Intervention Grant, within the justice sector the justice budget


cut down by 23%. Those frontline police officers and frontline


probation officers and prisoners who are supposed to be there to do


that work are already pressed. My fear is what will happen going


forward. Another question. Is it time for the UK to leave the dying


EU and use the money we save to tackle our economic issues at home


Is it time to pull out of the EU altogether. Here we are in Salford


down the road from the temperature conference, is it something of an


issue at the conference? Let us go to Kwasi? There are big issues


about our relationship with the EU, no doubt about it. People on the


streets are saying, certainly in my constituency, are saying, what will


we do about the EU? That is a discussion we should have. If you


look at the eurozone and the greater political intergration we


are seeing there, there is a debate to be had in this country about our


relationship with the EU. It cost �230 for every household to be in


the EU. Is that a good deal? will look at that bien line byeline


especially in austerity times as we are now. You don't want to you will


pull out altogether but repatriate some powers. Repatriate powers.


seems to be a bigger issue for Conservative Party members than it


does for the public at large. Why is it such an issue? It's also an


issue, this is beared out by older voters, people under 30, 35% of


them think, come out of the EU, people over 60, it's 60%. Yes. It


is an issue for all the parties certainly within the Conservative


Party, you are right - Why are they obsessed with it? I don't think


people are obsessed with it. If you look at where we are, in terms of


the economy, every country in Europe is cutting back its budget,


trying to spend less. The EU is spending more money as an


organisation, year-on-year. That can't be rielt right. People have


issues. Could we exist outside the EU? That is a big almost a


philosophical question. Of course we could exist without the EU. I


don't believe - We wouldn't all die? Or the skies would fall in the


moment we left. That is not on the table. We should debate and have a


discussion about the basis - think we would do. 60% of our trade


is with Europe. You could set up a single market. Three million jobs


in the UK depend on Europe. They will still trade with us. If we


left they wouldn't stop trading with us. Do you think we should


pull out of the EU? Gentleman there. Go on. I think the cost is just far


too much to justify really. The amount of parliamentary time that


is wasted by the EU, the amount of judicial time that is wasted by the


UEU is unacceptable. Judges having to refer to the European courts of


justice for rulings on what they can and can't do with renches to


peoples' crimes or the relationship between The Human Rights Act and


the European Convention on Human Rights. It's ridiculous. Why is it?


Why don't you like human rights? I have got myself confused there. I


prefer sovereignty of the state rather than sovereignty of the


European Union. I would prefer our Parliament to be able to do what it


thinks is right for the state than what it thinks is right for the EU.


Are you a member of the Conservative Party? No. No, I'm not.


People always complain about Europe but don't complain about America


when you lose sovereignty to America or NATO. They complain


about it with Europe, why? What is wrong with Europe? They are going


for a Federal system where they want to include as part as one


state. I want to correct you on one point the European Convention of


human right isn't from the EU that separate. One day the human race is


going to become to the part where we have to accept we are a world of


one people much we are one planet. I know I sound like a hipy now.


sound like John len lon. We will have to get along. The human race


will evolve beyond this planet. We will have to get along and live.


Ail agains aside - I'm not separate from you. You are not separate from


anyone else in the world. You're not that special. You're not that


special from the rest of the world. Two points, there one, you are not


special. Two, that's it. We just need to get along. Basic logic. Why


hasn't any politician thought of that?! The gentleman there at the


back. I think it's quite a strange situation that we have really. I


mean, obviously, you know, all the countries in Europe being closely


intergrated is a good thing because of the history of Europe and the


wars and conflicts we had in the past. You might say that is a long


time back, Second World War is two or three generations ago. People


are still alife live who thought fought in that. Winston Churchill


was in favour of a United States of Europe which I'm not personally. I


think we have to find a way to work together. I'm not saying there are


not problems with the EU, of course there are. It's better overall to


work within that, to change it, rather than sitting on the outside


- If we pull out there will be another world war? I'm not saying


that. Back to the pan el. Stella, you are a business woman. You have


done trading with Europe. EU, do we pull out? It's a difficult question.


I think, you know, it's very problemic. We are in the situation


we are in now and I think to think about pulling out... You know, what


are the repercussions of it? Is it something we can really do? I don't


know. A lot of polling shows, Wyles it's a big issue for a lot of


Conservatives, which it is, for the public at large it's a long way


down their list, it comes in number eight behind NHS, education and


defence. Do you care? I just don't really have an opinion on, it to be


honest, do you know what I mean? And... There is nothing wrong with


not having an opinion. Yeah, do you know what I mean? I just - I don't


have an opinion on it, to be honest. There are a lot of other things


that - That might be the problem for the Conservatives. They are


going on about it, that is how people think. Given the economic


difficulties we have had this issue has become much more important. We


are, at the moment, giving Europe a lot of money. When the times were


good, people didn't really in the that. Now, people are much more


aware of it. Jenny? I agree with Luciana, it would be catastrophic


to business and job fs we pulled out of the EU. It's true that we


could. We could, but we would lose a huge amount of trade. It's


possible for businesss to carry on trade if anything we weren't in the


EU. We have huge advantage, we don't have to have tariff barriers.


We have a level playing field for British businesses who operate on


the same rules as the businesses across the rest of Europe which


gives us a massive advantage against people who are not within


the European bloc. As a group, the European states are much more


powerful. We have much more powerful voice globally as we ever


would as individual countries. That is not to be forgotten. It's very


important that we make sure that we get good value out of the eurozone,


out of the rest of Europe, that we support them and make sure the


eurozone and the current crisis doesn't bring down the rest of the


Let's move on to another question from David Hughes, a member of


Greenpeace. Yesterday George Osborne said we are not saving the


planet by cutting our country out of business. Have the Tories back-


pedalled on their pledge to become the greenest Government. You guys


are all from Greenpeace? Yeah. Thought so. Are you angry, because


that was one of the big deals from yesterday's George Osborne's speech.


He said we are going to cut emissions no slower and no faster.


Are you angry? Before he came in he pledged he would be a green ally


and that was one of the the reasons he won votes. He's gone back on


that, at the conference it's all come out his opinions. What is


wrong with that as a statement, we won't go slower or faster.


Shouldn't he be showing leadership. He is going on about innovators and


leadership, he is just we will do it how they do it. David Cameron


did say this would be the greenest Government when the coalition was


formed. Britain's total emissions about 2% of global emissions, China


and America together about 40%. George Osborne's point was let's


not bankrupt companies or the country when actually we can't make


that much difference. We can't save the world because we produce 2% any


way? I come back to my point, I don't think it's right to refer to


exact figures when it's about setting an example to other


countries. The gentleman there. we are only saving a certain amount


we should be looking at no why don't we save the world, we should


no matter what the cost. It's not just about the savings, it's what


you can make. I don't think it's just about the economics. It's our


generation that's going to have to pay for the consequences, and our


children. What about the money you can make. Scotland as an example,


we have climate change targets. 100% of our electricity to be


produced, we are a third there. 16,000 jobs in the renewable sector.


Mitsubishi investing �100 million. Look at the opportunities. We have


the opportunity as a country where we are to be the world leaders in


renewable technology. Let's seize that opportunity and be leaders,


not fall back and lose that money. APPLAUSE


you are a Conservative, what happened to this? No one is going


to say we are going to stop being innovators in renewable energy.


What George Osborne, the point he was making, was that he is not


going to tax British business to try and save the world when we


can't save the world. As you said it's only 2%. It's a shift, the


point these guys are making, it's a shift. Your Government were going


to be the greenest ever, actually let's prioritise... What he said is


what we can do will not affect the global picture. We are not going to


run... We will give up? We are not. It would extend the logic of his


argument. It's not what he meant, that's not what I mean. We are not


going to tax British business for the sake of a goal we can't achieve


ourselves. OK. You are a shadow Minister for energy and climate


change. Yes, I am. Firstly, it's 2% but it's also, that doesn't include


our imports so there's more emissions we generate from


importing things from other countries. It's not just it's a


moral obligation, I think that we need to play our role, this


Government should be showing leadership as we previously did


under the last Government. Ed Miliband and the work he did in


Copenhagen was held by the Green groups and businesses as well.


Actually it's the opportunity and the fact is that within, the


transition from a high carbon to low carbon economy could create


hundreds and thousands of jobs across the UK and we are already


seeing companies going to other countries like Germany and China


where there is the opportunity and they are making the investment in


low carbon technologies in infrastructure for charging for


cars, and if we don't - it's a tragedy this Government is letting


down the country on making that investment. Because of the


challenges... What George Osborne said yesterday is a tragedy? Yes.


don't think this is what's happening. I would be disappointed


if it was going to happen because the potential is phenomenonal. We


have, this is one of the windiest countries in the world, we have


huge tidal ranges. There's potential for renewable


technologies and it can generate hundreds of jobs and the Government


is investing in significantly in this area. We are going to be


creating 1,000 apprentices in renewables and with the green new


deal it's generating 100,000 new jobs. It might not be enough, but


it's not saying, at least let's say we are not doing anything. Some Lib


Dems must have been uncomfortable with what George Osborne said.


have to confess I am one of them, I don't agree with the idea that it's


either or. You don't have to be either friendly or good for the


sraoeur. Being good for the environment and investing in that


can be good for business as well. come back on that. We are going to


move on to one more topic. We covered that. Let's go on to Mark


Scarborough. Should Britain follow Denmark's example and impose a fat


tax to help tackle obesity? LAUGHTER. A fat tax? This has been


brought in, in Denmark. The tax is on food with more than 2.3%


saturated fat. It costs the NHS �4.2 billion a year of obesity at


the moment. Recently I read this it's 1.00am pwhrapbs service


service --am pwhrapbs service had to buy new ambulances. Should we


bring in a fat tax? I am a student nurse and I deal with an awful lot


of people who are suffering really significant health problems because


of their weight and because of their lifestyle. What I found from


talking to them is that people don't realise the effects that


being overweight can have on you. Everyone knows you can have a heart


attack and join problems but they don't realise the effect on other


bits of your body, increasing chances of cancer and respiratory


problems. The answer is not to change the affordability of food or


the sraeupblt of -- availability of food but is to paint a realistic


picture of what a lifetime of obesity can do to you. If you make


the food more expensive fewer people will buy it and eat it.


depends entirely on your income. If that was the case you would see a


return to diseases of lifestyle which diabetes used to be but isn't


any more. Who thinks it's a good idea? Put your hands up if you


think we should have a fat tax? The gentleman in the front row from


Greenpeace. Well, smokers generate more money than the NHS spends on


treating them, surely they could do the same with fatty foods.


should turn a profit out of people's obesity? Not turn a profit,


but we should bring down smoking tax a little bit, but relative tax.


Speech Debelle, what do you think? I think investing in food education


would probably be a better idea. I notice there's a lot of people that


seem to be overweight and from having conversations with them


about food they don't actually know about food groups and which are the


right types of food to eat and which are not the right type to eat.


That's food education and I don't think that as much TV programmes


and we have, you can see different fat from different angles and stuff


or their bones, that doesn't seem to be working. Talking about those


programmes and it's just entertainment. I think food


education, you know the programme I am talking about? OK. What the


nurse is saying at the back of the room as well, we are, I believe,


the fattest nation in Europe, the fattest nation in Europe.


Something's got to be done, tax? The distinction between smoking and


eating is you choose to smoke, whereas you have to eat. We have to


be careful not to punish families... You don't have to eat really fat


food? The challenge is it's cheap tore buy food with more fat --


cheaper to buy food with fat. We have to make sure we can't put a


tax on people that can't afford the food that they get. APPLAUSE.


I am not sure I would go the whole hog, as it were, to go for a fat


tax. But I understand that people have to take responsibility for


their own choices and you can't endlessly bail people out if they


just keep doing the wrong things. So having a fat tax is saying well


actually, if you are going to buy this food you have to pay extra.


it's a good idea. I think the principle is a fair one, not sure I


would bring it into this country, I don't think it's right but I


understand... How can it be a good principle and not right? I think


the idea of making people responsible for their own actions


is a good one. It's not just fat people that buy fattening foods, so


if you put a fat tax on a chocolate bar it's not just fat people that


are going to eat chocolate. I think it's a - it punishes everyone for a


minority or even a majority's decisions and at the same time I


can see the logic in it and it's better than investing in things


that don't teach people anything. Stella? What it might do is just


make people think about what they're actually eating, which is


what you are trying to say. Whether it's the best way of doing it or


not I don't know. Glasgow, the place is associated with fried Mars


bars, but I agree in this time of austerity it's not a good idea,


though more in food education certainly would be welcome. That is


it for this edition of Young Voters' Question Time. Thank you


very much to the panel and thank you to our audience. Thank you! And


thank you to those of you who joined in on Twitter. I am back


with a new show from 17th October, it's about unemployment, it's about


For three weeks the political parties have been having their say, and now it's the turn of an audience of people all aged under 25. Richard Bacon presents live from Salford, as the Conservative Party conference takes place in neighbouring Manchester. In a year that has witnessed widespread looting and thieving, as well as violent protests over increases to tuition fees, young voters put their questions to a panel of decision makers. Viewers at home can also join the debate via text and social network sites.

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