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tv   International Programming  CSPAN  January 19, 2011 7:00am-7:30am EST

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>> and now to london for prime minister's question time live from the british house of commons. every wednesday while parliament is in session, prime minister david cameron takes questions from the members of the house of commons. prior to question time, the house is wrapping up other business. this is live coverage on c-span c-span2. >> 100 million to the transition fund and fashion as i've mentioned on repeated occasions there are huge new opportunities for voluntary bodies. >> can i thank for the minister for his answer and that the ultimate responsibility for providing a safety net for the most vulnerable people in society still rest with the state?
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>> of course, responsibility for sharing that people are cured and that people are taught and people are protected from criminals rests with the government and with the state. of course, it does. the question is how that is best fulfilled that responsibility. in our view, there are some areas it's far bertha these are done by voluntary community groups rather than being directly by public authorities. >> questions to the prime minister, andrew george. >> question 1, mr. speaker. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this morning i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. in addition to my duties in this house i shall have other further meetings today. >> mr. speaker, they face massive reorganization while same time seeking the greatest savings in its 62-year history. respected professional medical bodies warn that giving -- warn about the risks to public
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service of giving -- of giving private companies the easy pickings. before pursuing this gamble, will the prime minister carefully about the coalition program which we agreed last may? >> we will listen very carefully for the responses but making modernization of the nhs a priority, is this, we have in this country european levels of health spending but we don't have european levels of success in our health service. what we want to see other organizations to come into the nhs what we had in labour was success. >> mr. speaker, does the prime minister think it's a sign of success or failure that unemployment is rising and employment is falling?
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>> well, of course, every increase in unemployment is a matter for huge concern and that is why we are launching the biggest back to work program that this country has ever seen in the work program. what i would say about the figures today, of course, there are some very disappointing figures particularly on youth unemployment and i'm sure we'll talk about that in a moment. but there are some mixed pictures because the claimant count has gone down for the third month in a row. the number of vacancies is up and also the average of independent forecasters today see growth upwards. the biggest task for this and frankly to this country is to get to grips with the long-term structural problem that youth unemployment going up and it went up 40% under labour. >> mr. speaker, after that
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complacency people without work, the truth is he's cutting too far, too fast and it is british people who are paying the price. now, youth unemployment, he mentioned youth unemployment. it's at the highest level yet he is abolishing the jobs fun and the new program doesn't come in to force until the middle of the year. after these figures why doesn't he change his mind, reinstate the future jobs fund and help create an extra 100,000 jobs this year? >> well, first of all, i think it is a good idea to listen to the answer before you read out your next question. let me deal first of all -- first of all, let me deal with the future jobs fund. we looked at the future jobs fund we found out it was expensive, it was badly targeted and it didn't work. we now have -- we now have the figures for the future jobs fund. it was five times more expensive
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as some other employment programs. and within one month, within one month 50% of those taking part were back on benefits. hardly, hardly any of the jobs -- hardly any of the jobs under the future jobs fund were actually in the private sector. the scheme in birmingham, for instance, had just 2% of its jobs in the private sector. far too many were make-work jobs in the public sector and they weren't solving the problem. >> this week, a parents group worked to starting a new preschool, it enjoyed cross-party support before the general election and yet i hope my right honorable friend in not wishing the new academy well and to say to the other unions a campaign vilification against those parents, time to back off.
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>> i think the honorable lady speaks for opening our education system and saying to academies and to free schools, you are welcomed to come in and provide a great education for free to children and to parents in our country. and i have to say it's a very big choice for the party opposite, whether they stick with the party reform, opening up education or whether they side with the trade unions. >> leaked figures that i managed to get hold off show -- show that the -- show that the police forces -- calm down! [laughter] >> show that the police forces none of wales are going to have to cut their numbers by 1,600 police officers and staff. and the police force told me this morning that just in that one force, 688 officers are going to have disappear. the prime minister said on the second of may last year, that
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any front line cuts he would support, why is he backing down on his promise? >> well, i find the best way of -- the best way of calming down is reading the own gentleman's poetry to find it very instructive in all police forces are facing a difficult financial settlement. i accept that. the context for all of this is the vast budget deficit we were left and the huge mess we have to clear up. i have the figures for the south wales police force. next year they have to find a 5% cut. that will take them back, not to some figure of the 1980s. that would take them back to the spending they had in 2007/2008. now, her majesty's group have said it's difficult to make those sorts of reductions. if he wants to ask the question, frankly he should have the manners to listen to the answer. yes, the fact her majesty's inspection says it's possible to
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achieve those reluctantions while not losing front line officers and that's what needs to be delivered. >> would my right honorable friend agree that the reform program that we have on social security is the first serious attempt since bev randall to get back to the principle that to coin a phrase we should be offering people a hand up and not a hand down? >> my honorable friend is entirely right. this is an old and radical reform that basically mean that any single person on welfare would be better off in work and better off doing work. and so many of the reforms have simply moved the poverty trap up the income scale and we should always make it worthwhile for people to work harder or to work more and that's what our reforms will do. >> david simpson. >> thank you, mr. speaker. fuel prices in northern ireland
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chronically are rising forcing many motorists to go to the republic of ireland to fill their car which is a major loss to the exchequer. would the prime minister consider introducing a similar scheme of a rural scheme in northern ireland? >> i do understand the problems of cross-border issue that he raises and also the problem of fuel smuggling which has been a real problem between northern ireland and the reluctant. the chief secretary of the treasury would have heard what he asked. and obviously we are looking hard at how we can help families and motorists with their fuel and motoring bills. but what i would say is this, everyone should remember the last four increases in fuel duty were all put through from the last labour budget. >> thank you it, mr. speaker. i know like me the prime
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minister is a fan of the british history in schools. does he think of the political history in the last 13 years are written it will allow pupils to borrow, borrow through the boom or learn from labour's mistakes? >> i hope -- i hope that we can get into the curriculum. the idea that you should fix the roof while the sun is shining. and it is interesting what we heard at the weekend from the right honorable member. he's now had nine months to digest labour's mistakes. and he's come up with the answer. they didn't spend too much. they didn't too much. and his message to the british people, vote for me and we'll do it all over again. >> dave miliband. >> mr. speaker, can the prime minister guarantee that under his nhs plans hospital waiting times will not rise? >> we want to see waiting times and waiting lists come down. and what i'd say -- what i would say to the right honorable
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gentleman is the whole aim of these nhs reforms is to make sure we get the value for the money we put in. now, i have to ask him, it's quite clear now that labour -- >> i apologize for interrupting, prime minister. last week's prime minier's questions a 10-year-old constituent of mine came and observed and asked me afterwards why does so many people shout their heads off. it's rude and it shouldn't happen. the prime minister. >> the point is this, we are putting the none, 10.6 billion extra during this parliament. money which by the way the labour party doesn't support. but we want to get value for that money because frankly today we don't have the right cancer outcomes. we don't have the right outcomes in terms of heart disease. we want to do better. now, is he in favor of reform or is he going to propose it all? >> mr. speaker, i noticed he
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didn't answer the question. patients want to know something quite simple. how long will they have to wait for treatment? they all remember waiting for years under the last conservative government. and they know that we have the shortest waiting times in history because of what the last labour government did. if he thinks his reforms are so good, why can't he give us is simple guarantee that waiting times will not rise? >> i tell you how waiting times will rise if we stop putting the money into the nhs, yes. and this is what his shadow -- his shadow chancellor isn't here today. but what his shadow chancellor said about our spending plans to increase nhs spending by more than inflation every year, he said there is no logic or rationale to it. that is the answer. you get investment in the nhs from this coalition government. you'll get cuts from the party opposite. >> mr. speaker, he can't make a guarantee because he's abolished the guarantees. he's abolished the guarantees
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the labour brought in like the 18 week waiting list. he's taking the national out of national health service. now patients are worried. doctors and nurses say his reforms are extremely risky and potentially disastrous. why is he so arrogant to think he is right and all of the people who say he is wrong are wrong? >> well, first of all, the right honorable gentleman is simply wrong what he said. the waiting time points that he made are written into the nhs constitution and will stay under this government. so first of all, he's wrong. the second point, is we won't be able to get waiting times down. we won't be able to improve in our public health in this country unless we cut the bureaucracy in the nhs. that is what this about. now, we are spending 1.4 billion pounds to save 1.8 billion pounds that will save 5 billion pounds by the end of this
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parliament. if you oppose the reforms, where is that money going to come from? >> mr. speaker, he obviously hasn't noticed that people aren't convinced by his reforms. even the gp sitting on his own benches says this is like tossing a hand grenade into the nhs. isn't the truth, mr. speaker, that just like on every other issue, we get broken promises from this prime minister. he's breaking his promise on no top-down reorganization of the nhs. he's breaking his promise on the real terms rise and nhs funding. he's breaking his promise on a promise of 3,000 more midwives. and he's breaking his promise to put patients first. it's the same old story. you can't trust the tories on the nhs. >> the same old usual, feeble prescripted lines he practices
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them -- he practices them every week. i'm sure they sound fantastic in the bathroom mirror. the fact -- the fact is, as we can see, this government is putting the money into the nhs. they don't support that. this government is cutting the bureaucracy in the nhs, they don't support that. this government is reforming the nhs so we got the best in europe. they don't support that. so that is his policy. no to the money. keep the bureaucracy, don't worm the nhs. i go back to the blank sheet of paper. >> mr. bob russell. >> i want to hear mr. russell, bob russell. >> prime minister, our government says it wants to help disabled people back to work. two years ago, my constituent, mr. robert oxley had a serious motorcycle accident leaving one leg amputated and the other leg
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no longer functions. a year later, he recovered. his firm gave him back his job, which has continued through the disability allowance and mobility. regrettably, those in charge including on the tribunal have taken away his dls, his mobility car on monday. he is now out of work or will be. could i ask the prime minister where in that story do the words "fairness" all in together feature? >> i am very happy to take up the honorable gentleman's case. we have all in our constituencies seen cases where tribunals have come to conclusions that completely fly in the face of commonsense. i'm very happy to take up that case and have a look at it and see what could be done. we should -- we should do what we can to help disabled people particularly with the mobility needs that they have. i know -- i know having filled
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out those forms myself how soul-destroying and complicated it can be and we need to help people who can't get around to make sure they do. >> tony lloyd? >> thank you, mr. speaker. the prime minister will be aware that my constituents in manchester have some of the worst health and brutally die younger than people in other parts of the country. if you won't give a guarantee about waiting lists nationally will he make a solemnly and binding pledge to my constituents to at least to the inner cities waiting lists will not go up either in numbers or in time? >> the pledge i would make? -- make is this. we have health inequalities in our country are as bad as victorian times. we've had that after a decade of increased money into the nhs, but we're not getting it right. that's the reason for carrying out these reforms. if you just stay where we are, which now seems to be the policy of the party opposite, we'll get a lag behind on cancer.
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we're going to lag behind on heart disease and we're going to have a situation where his constituents will die longer than mine because we don't have a fair system. let's get it sorted out. >> did my right honorable friend tell the prime minister of france last week that britain will never permit fiscal control of its economy by the european union? >> short answer, yes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the prime minister has repeated his claim that the government is putting more none in the nhs and the durham hospital trust are told they must make cuts of 15% over the next four years. why? >> first of all, let me just remind her that her own shadow chancellor says there is no logic or rational to our policy
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of real terms increases in the nhs. now, what we are cutting in the nhs we are cutting the bureaucracy of the nhs. if you look at the primary care trust and the strategic health authorities, since 2002, under labour, their spending increased by 120% on themselves. on their bureaucracy. now, we can go on spending this money and not put it into patient care and better public health. i think that's wrong. that's why we're making these changes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. severe disruption to the train services in the winter of 2009 led auto urgent severe weather audit. this winter saw disruption with services leaving some stranded south of the river. a 75% cut in peak services over criticisms for my constitutes. what steps are the government going to take to shake up network rail and bring about a radical improvement to our train services? >> well, the honorable lady makes a very good point and
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that's why my honorable lady the secretary of transport will have an audit how they perform during the worst weather in december. there are some particular issues we got to look at, like the frozen third rail that affected so many services and she's right to call -- to account network rail on the train operators. we want to make sure they improve the service that they provided and also the way they communicate with the public when things aren't going right. >> graham m. morris. >> thank you, mr. speaker. does the prime minister see the conflict of interest in private health care companies which stand to benefit most from his health care reforms to have 750,000 pounds to the conservative party? is that what it means that we're all in it together? >> let me -- let me tell him the big difference that there will be in the health reforms between what we are proposing and what the labour government did. what the labour government did was rigged the market in favor of a few hand-picked independent private sector suppliers. that's what they did.
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what we are saying there should be a level playing field. and before he complains about it, he should have a look at his own party's manifesto and i quote it almost directly, the private sector should be allowed into the nhs alongside the nhs. those are the words from the labour manifesto written by his right honorable friend. >> will tony blair's correspondence with george bush be pushed before mr. blair's next appearance in front of the iraqi inquiry. >> there's a very long-standing intention quite rightly that a serving prime minister does not and cannot order the release of papers that refer to a previous prime minister and that's why the cabinet secretary will be looking at this issue and it's a matter for him. anyone who is unhappy with the conclusions is clearly able to write to tony blair and to make their views known. for my own part, i hope this inquiry can be as open and as clear as possible so we get to
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the bottom of the very important issues that we're looking at. >> thank you, mr. speaker. as the prime minister will be aware, i spent most of my working life in schools and colleges. i have overwhelming evidence of the benefits of education maintenance allowances. to bring benefits to teenagers from modest backgrounds both in terms of employeeibility skills and in raising achievement. so can i urge the prime minister to go back to his position where he claims to support the eme so we can support our economy as we move forward. >> the problem as the honorable gentleman knows we have, we want more people to stay on in school, but we have to look at the current system and how it's working. and the last labour government commissioned research and found that 90% of those on ema's would be attending school in any event. we also got to look at the context in which educational maintenance allowances were
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introduced to this country. this is what it is former prime minister, his parliamentary colleague, said at the time. we will fund this major advance in educational opportunity from savings we've made from our success in reducing debt. [laughter] >> is it any surprise we're having to look at these spending programs and work out how we get better value for money to clear up the mess that we've been left? >> my constituencies are still suffering today from the disastrous top-down housing targets imposed by the last labour government. can my right honorable friend assure me that the localism bill will restore planning power to local people in colby and in east northampton shire? >> i can't give the assurance because the whole failure of the top-down housing targets is not only did they create huge unease around the country but they didn't actually result in a building of very many houses.
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as house-building feel to a low level. our local version will make sure where councils go ahead and build houses they will benefit from doing so. >> tom clark. >> while we all welcome -- does the right honorable gentleman accept that there are hundreds of thousands of southerners seeking to move from the north back home and will he ensure that they have the maximum protection as well as the maximum of humanitarian aide. >> i think the right honorable gentleman to highlight what a relative success this process has been given some of the warnings that were made about the dangers of the referendum and the process that was being followed. part of the reason for that, and i pay tribute to previous governments as well, the countries who care about the sudan and want it to work well
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have put a huge amount of effort including my right honorable friend who was at the united nations about this. i will listen to what he said and the movement of people is carried out in the best way possible. >> thank you, mr. speaker. would my right honorable friend agree with me that as part of the nhs reforms we must tackle straight away the facts of senior management in both nhs trusts and pct's are being rewarded for failure by being prompted or given large payoffs and it should stop now? >> my honorable friend is entirely right. there have been too many occasions where a manager in the nhs has failed in one pct or one strategic health authority and gone on and failed in another. one of the answers to this is the greater transparency that we are bringing to all these arrangements so people can see how much they're paid, what the results are, how successful they were before they go on and land another well-paid job. >> the government has announced this week that it will not be extending the uk rules around
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political party donations to northern ireland at this time. can i ask the prime minister could he clarify what drove that decision most? was it the security concerns or was it the lobbying of local parties who simply do not want to be exposed to transparency? >> well, i will look carefully at what she says. i mean, clearly the situation in northern ireland in terms of security is a very difficult and sensitive one that at the moment and the government is giving it a huge time and attention to help the authorities in everything they are doing to combat the terrorist threat but in terms of the specific question she asked perhaps i can write to her and give her a considered response. >> my right honorable friend be aware that it's pretty disgraceful to lay in filibustering tactics? in an attachment -- in an attempt to delay the introduction of the a.b. referendum bill. will my right honorable friend give the house that this
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government will make no concessions to those who filibuster? >> i think my honorable friend is entirely right. we should not be making concessions to a budget mainly of former mp's who are supposed to be supporting the right honorable gentleman who wants the a.b. referendum to take place. so i have to ask him, if he's so in favor of this, and so wants to stand on a platform, how has he lost control of his party? >> nick smith? >> thank you, mr. speaker. always logistics from south wales of a fleet of 270 bodies, last year they brought maybe 11 million liters of fuel, paid over 6 million in fuel duty. they've shouldered a 14% increasing fuel bills this past year. what's the prime minister going to do about high fuel bills?
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>> i make two points to the honorable gentleman. first of all, there is the point about the fuel duty increases. they were all part of the labour government's budget. that is a -- it's no good shaking your head. you all supported it and voted for it at the time. but there is another answer, which is we should be looking at britain's people and see how we can help them with a discount with those who are british based and looking at that and looking at what could have been. british holidays and have been put down and we would like to get that right. >> thank you, mr. speaker. does the prime minister agree with me that what has happened -- what has napped birmingham with the closure of our unit are the transfer of a children's unit in blackburn would not happen when they tack over with our gp's to take it over? >> the honorable gentleman is entirely right. under the last government and
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under the previous arrangements, hospital closures and decisions were driven by bureaucrats in whitehall and strategic authorities in pct's. they didn't depend on the decisions patients and gf's were making about the structure of health services in this country. that is the big change we're making. in future the success of your hospital, your health center will depend on the choices you make with your gp. that's the big change. and it will drive a better health service. >> the money lending teams in order to encourage saving and safe lending. after all this hard work his government website assigned for vulnerable people to loan companies offering rates of 2869% apr will the prime minister meet with me

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