tv Question Time CSPAN December 7, 2014 11:58pm-12:34am EST
>> i have good health and speaking engagements. i have a plan that i would not except from a politician -- accept from a politician. i would scoff at politicians say they are leaving office to spend more time with their family. it is true. i am 67 years old. i have a husband who has supported me. he is a medical doctor. he has never traveled. he was always home. four kids who are wonderful young professionals. a doctor, a lawyer, an entrepreneur, a business executive. i want time to do things with them. honest truth. >> ann compton, 41 years at abc news and 40 years at the white house. thank you. ♪ >> q&a programs are also
s.ailable as c-span podcast q&a is 10 years old. we are the anniversary, featuring one program for each year of the series. december 22 on c-span. here are a few of the comments we have received from viewers. >> i am in my 80's and a big fan of c-span. i want to complement them on oeing able to bring together tw different ideologies like they did this morning with immigration policy. i think you need more programming that way. where people can conduct themselves with a civil tone.
and i applaud you for that. ideology can be overcome to reach a common ground. i think there should be more programming to that effect. thank you very much. >> i listen to c-span on a daily, regular basis. i find it to be very informative. it is a very good look at all our different politicians. so we can understand who we elect and what is being done in congress. because it seems to be that congress is undecided or always fighting. it is important that the citizens have a nice outlet for the goal.e i appreciate c-span. isardless of whether it popular with mainstream culture, i just want them to know that there are young people, i am 18,
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on twitter. next on c-span, british prime minister david cameron takes questions from the house of commons. then former secretary of state hillary clinton talks about middle east issues. discussesac herzog u.s. relations with israel. >> in the british house of commons on wednesday, david cameron pay tribute to the embassy staff in kabul who were recently killed in an attack. he also took questions on the national economy, the health service, and immigration policy. this is about 35 minutes. questions to the prime minister, flello.rt >> i'm sure you'll join me in
paying tribute to the embassy staff in kabul. our thoughts are with their families at this time. we will not allow such inhumanity to prevent us from building a stable future for the afghan people. we have nothing but admiration for the staff of the embassy, who work together, at great personal risk, to help achieve that. this morning i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. in addition to my duties in this house, i shall have further such meetings later today. >> robert flello. >> i would like to associate myself and my constituents with the prime minister's remarks about our brave staff, not just in the embassy in kabul but, of course, across the world in very dangerous places. the prime minister promised to balance the books by 2015 and to cut the debt. despite punishing the poorest with cuts, the deficit has barely been touched, and borrowing has been greater in the last four years than it was in the previous 13.
does this country not desperately need a labour government? >> we have got the deficit down by a third because we have taken tough and difficult decision after tough and difficult decision, and they have all got one thing in common: each and every decision was opposed by party opposite. >> mr. richard bacon. >> on monday morning at norwich research park, i thought i heard the sound of a cuckoo, which was remarkable since we have not even reached christmas, let alone spring. does the prime minister agree that this may be further evidence of the strength of our long-term economic plan? >> i was delighted to meet my honored friend and other norwich mp's at norwich research park to talk about the expansion of infrastructure in our country, and particularly the improvements that we are going to make to the a47, which will
not just help norwich and norwich research park but help all of east anglia right out to lowestoft. i know how important it is to make sure that that important part of our country also benefits from our long-term economic plan. >> i join the prime minister in paying tribute to the british embassy staff killed in the appalling terrorist attack in kabul last week. it is a reminder of the danger that our embassy staff and military personnel still in afghanistan face on a daily basis. all our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who died. the prime minister said earlier this year: "woe betide the politician that makes big promises and then says 'oh, sorry, i didn't really mean it.'" can he recall any time he might have done that?
>> let me tell him the promises we have cap. we promised to get the economy growingit is the fastest growing in the g7. we promised to get unemployment downwe have created 1.8 million new jobs. we promised to make britain a great place to start a businessthere are 760,000 more businesses in this country. this government is a government that has made their commitments, kept their commitments and, as a result, have a plan that is working. >> come to think of it, the prime minister might have broken a big promise quite recently -- immigration down to the tens of thousandsno ifs, no buts. what did he say in his contract with the british people? "if we do not deliver our side of the bargain, vote us out in five years' time." when he said it, did he mean it?
>> yes, and we have cut immigration from outside the eu by 24%. with immigration, every single step we have taken in the past four years was opposed by the labour party for the last four years. what did they do for 13 years in government? they put immigration up as a deliberate act of policy. this government made promises to our pensionerspromises kept; promises on our nhspromises kept; and above all, a promise to turn our economy around from the mess left by those two. >> so he did mean it: throw him out because he broke his promise. what he ought to be saying, but dare not say, is that he made a solemn promise, and he broke it. let us turn to another one of those big, solemn promises. this is what he said to the nurses' conference just before the last election.
"i want to tell you what we're not going to do. there will be no more of those pointless reorganizations that aim for change but instead bring chaos." when he said it, did he mean it? >> what we have done is seen more doctors, more nurses, more patients treated. but if we are on promises, mr. speaker, i have a little list. right, here we go. mr. speaker, he promised -- however long it takes. i have all day, and i can tell you, i am looking forward to what is coming next, and i think he will be too. he promised detailed plans for a
graduate tax. where is it? he promised an alternative spending review. that was in 2010. where is that? he promised he would tell us the list of business people he had dinner with in 2011. where is that one? he promised to stand up to the unions on public sector pay. when has he ever done that? he promised he would not let the unions run the labour party, and they run it more than ever. >> what he ought to be saying, but dare not, is that he made a solemn promise of no top-down reorganisation of the nhs, and he broke that promise. let us turn to his promise on living standards. the 2010 conservative manifesto made this big promise of "an economy where our standard of living rises steadily." when he said it, did he mean it?
>> yes, i meant it, and 26 million people are having their taxes cut, and 3 million people >> order. both the questions and the answers must be heard. >> 26 million people have had their taxes cut, and 3 million of the poorest people have been taken out of income tax altogether. the minimum wage has been increased for the first time since his great recession. now, people who have been in work for a year are seeing a 4% increase in their pay. they bankrupted our economy. we know that "mrs. brown's boy"" was a comedy; "mr. brown's boy"" was a tragedy. >> mr. speaker, he has obviously been visiting the david mellor
school of charm recently. what he ought to be saying, but dare not, is that he made a solemn promise to improve living standards and he has broken it. what about his biggest promise of all, on the deficit? in october 2010, he promised "in five years' time, we will have balanced the books." when he said it, did he mean it? >> we promised to cut the deficit. it is down by a third. in a moment or two, we will see the progress that has been made. obviously, i cannot reveal what is in the chancellor's autumn statement, as that would not be proper, but i make this prediction >> order. the answers must be heard. >> i simply make this prediction. in a moment or two, he will be looking as awkward as when he
ate that bacon sandwich. if we are talking about predictions, let us remember his predictions. he said that our policy would lead to the disappearance of 1 million jobswrong. he said that it was a fantasy that the private sector would create the jobswrong. they told us that there would be a lost decade, that there would be a double-dip recession, and that there would be 1 million more people unemployed. they have been wrong on every single economic issue. he has failed every test he set himself. the thing about this prime minister is that he has turned breaking promises into an art
form. as the election approaches, the thing the british people know about this prime minister is that when he says it, he does not mean it. >> what a contrast. this is a prime minister, and this is a government who have turned our economy around, sorted out our public finances, and got the economy growing. no one in this country will ever forget that they are the people who sold the gold, who broke the economy and who bankrupted the nation, and still they sit there, completely hopeless and unelectable. >> the city of york is truly benefiting from the government's northern-led economic plan. the government is rightly investing in transport infrastructure across yorkshire. with that in mind, will the prime minister meet me and a delegation of local businesses to discuss their campaign to
dual york's northern ring road, which, given the high levels of congestion, is seen as a serious barrier to further economic growth in our city? >> my honorable friend is absolutely right. i know what a problem that road can be. infrastructure investment does unlock growth. that is why, on monday, we announced the biggest roads program in a generation, including £2.3 billion for major roads in yorkshire and the northeast. i am very happy to arrange a meeting between him and the secretary of state for transport to discuss the matter. >> does the prime minister intend to devolve corporation tax to northern ireland and scotland in tandem, or, in contrast with the vow, has he decided to veto the devolution of corporation tax to scotland entirely? >> we are implementing the smith commission.
that is what we believe should be implemented. the chancellor will set out our position in a moment or two. let us be absolutely clear about the big differences between northern ireland and scotland: northern ireland has a land border with the republic and had all the difficulties and troubles. and him shaking his head in that way, he shows how little the scottish nationalists care about the rest of our united kingdom. >> mr. speaker, 56 years ago, simon wingfield digby, the then honorable member for west dorset, made the first plea for improvements to the a303 in this house. thanks to the government's careful management of the economy, the prime minister was once again warmly welcomed in wiltshire this week to announce £1.3 billion investment in the tunnel under stonehenge. will the prime minister reassure
the people of the south-west that we will not have to wait another 56 years for it to be delivered? >> i can certainly make that commitment. i was one of a number of people who made their way to stonehenge this week to see how important this will be. the tunnel will be at least 1.8 miles and is part of an overall plan to create that expressway all the way between the m3 and m5 and down into cornwall, to ensure that we improve that vital road network. as for stonehenge, the tunnel will ensure that this extraordinary monument has the setting and attention it deserves. >> graham jones. >> a haslingden constituent, 20-year-old sophie lancaster, was brutally murdered in 2007, kicked to death in a park by a group of males simply for being part of a sub-culturea goth. he was a victim of hate crime, and the implications of that tragedy continue today.
will the prime minister meet the sophie lancaster foundation to see its excellent work, and do everything he can to ensure the clear message that there are no exceptions to hate crime? >> i remember that tragic case and the appalling way that she was treated and beaten. i am happy to see what meeting i can arrange to ensure that the agenda of how we combat hate crime in all its forms is properly addressed in our country. >> mike crockart. >> this week, 40 banks and building societies issued a joint declaration to deal with the multimillion pound crimes of phishing and courier fraud, when people are called by criminals posing as police officers or bank employees and asked to hand over bank cards and pin numbers to assist fraud inquiries. i have worked with age uk, the alzheimer's society, and call blocker manufacturers to build a scheme to protect the most
vulnerable in society from that crime, but dcms ministers are too busy to discuss it. it seems that they are able to block my nuisance calls, so will the prime minister help the vulnerable to do the same? >> will certainly ensure that ministers meet the gentleman if necessary. >> the 2010 conservative manifesto promised an economy in which not just our standard of living, but everyone's quality of life would rise steadily and sustainably. why in the last year have wages grown by the smallest amount since records began? >> i am delighted that after four and a half years, the labour party wants to debate the economy at prime minister's questions. this is a golden day for us. it means we can talk about the 1.8 million jobs created and the fact that those who have been in work for a year are seeing their pay go up by 4%. it means that we can talk about
how we have lifted the threshold for the basic rate of income tax and taken 3 million people out of tax. all these things are helping to make sure that millions more of our countrymen and women have the dignity and security of a job, and the ability to provide for their families. the economy has been turned round from the disastrous situation left by the labour party, and that is something the whole country can be proud of. >> bernard jenkin. >> may i commend to my right honorable friend the debate, kicked off in westminster hall this morning by my honorable friend, the member for meon, on the catastrophic decline of sea bass stocks across northern europe? we heard that successive governments have been trying to persuade the eu for decades to address that problem. will he undertake to put the entire weight of the government's into
addressing the collapse of sea bass stocks when considering european union fisheries policy this month? >> my honorable friend raises an important point about sea bass stocks but also about fish stocks more broadly. under this government there have been improvements in the way that fisheries policies work in the eu, with a greater level of devolution. we need to keep pushing that forward to ensure that our fisheries and stocks can recover, as that is the only way to ensure a long-term, sustainable industry. >> mary glindon >> will the prime minister please explain why the government has borrowed almost £4 billion more this year than at the same time last year? does he regret his firm promise to balance the books by next may? >> the reason this government has had to borrow a lot of money is because we inherited the biggest budget deficit in the world.
it was 11% of our gdp when we came to government. we have already cut it by a third, and we will hear in a moment or two how we are now getting on. i would like to highlight something the shadow chancellor said this week. he said that he would be tough on the deficit and tough on the causes of the deficit. as he is one of the causes of the deficit, i think we have just found the first ever example of political maso-sadism. >> order. we all know what the prime minister meant. daniel kawczynski. >>thank you very much, mr. speaker. >> order.
i understand that the house gets excited, but mr kawczynski will scarcely be able to hear himself, let alone will anybody else have the chance to hear him. let the honorable gentleman be heard. >> thank you, mr speaker. i would like to thank the prime minister sincerely for all the help he has given to all shropshire mps in securing our direct train service to shrewsbury, which starts later this month. it is a vital boost for tourism and inward business investment in shropshire. will he take advantage of our now being connected to london, and visit shrewsbury and the wonderful new university we are creating in our beautiful town? >> i look forward to the opportunity of visiting shrewsbury if i can. let me be clear. i meant to say, "masochism." i am sorry, mr speaker.
normally i say that the shadow chancellor likes to dish it out but can't take it, but after this quote i think he obviously quite likes taking it as well. so there we are. [laughter.] >>we have learned a lot of interesting things today. what is happening in shrewsbury is magnificent. there have been improvements to 400 stations across the country, including kings cross. >> stephen timms. >> the prime minister said that his economic policy would eradicate the deficit in this parliament. all he can claim today is that, after four years, it came down by a third, but in the past few months it has been going up. will he accept that the big fall in real wages since the election is a large part of the explanation for why his economic policy has fallen so far short on its central objective? >> after four years of never mentioning the deficit and opposing every single spending cut we have had to make, there seems to have been a damascus-like conversion.
suddenly they are all suddenly interested in the deficit. let me give him a bit of a lesson. yes, we have had to make very difficult decisions, cutting some government departments and some by as much as 20%, but every single decision was opposed by the party opposite. in terms of what is happening on wages, as i have just said, the recent figures out show that people who have been in work for more than a year are seeing pay increases of 4%. the only way to sustainably raise living standards is to grow the economy, create jobs and cut taxes three things we are doing, three things labour would never do. >> mr. speaker, this morning, more people went to work than ever before in the history of our nation. is the prime minister aware that in dover and deal unemployment has fallen by 37%, thanks to our welfare reforms and thanks to our long-term economic plan? why would we ever return to where we
were less than five short years ago? >> my honorable friend is absolutely right. in dover, the claimant count is down by 24% since the election. across the southeast, the number of people employed is up by almost a quarter of a million. we have record levels of employment. anyone getting a job is someone else who has the security and stability to provide for their family. at the same time as this increase in employment, we have also seen the pay gap between men and women, particularly under 40, reduced to its lowest ever level. so we are seeing a strong and solid recovery. but as the chancellor will explain in a moment, there is no room for complacency. we have to stick to the long-term economic plan and deliver it. >> dennis skinner. >> is the prime minister proud of the fact that, in this parliament, the government has
added £430 billion to the national debt, which is more than all the labour chancellors of the exchequer this century? he cannot blame labour for that figure. >> oh, yes, i can. we inherited the biggest budget deficit in britain's peacetime history. the labour party had the longest and deepest recession in a century. that was what we were delivered. since then, we have turned the economy around. we have cut the deficit. 760,000 more businesses are operating in our country. and we have the fastest-growing economy of any g7 or major european country. that is an economic record that no labour government could ever match. >> droitwich spa boxing academy, run entirely by volunteers,
trains talented boxers and provides a highly valued community resource, turning around the lives of many disruptive and troubled young people. does the prime minister understand my deep concern that the blinkered decision of hmrc to insist on a draconian interpretation of the vat rules for its new building will result in the academy's closure? >> first of all, i know what an important job the droitwich spa and boxing academy does. it is run entirely by volunteers, and i know how hard my honorable friend works for his constituents. we will look carefully at this case. as he might know, unfortunately the zero rating of vat is limited and does not apply to buildings used as sports clubs, but hmrc is willing to discuss flexible arrangements for paying the vat through its time to pay scheme with the owners..
>> mr. speaker, cancer waits for no one, and with fast-growing cancers in particular, time is of the essence. the cancer treatment target in england has been missed for nine months and more than 15,000 patients are waiting more than two months to start treatment. does this not prove, yet again, that you cannot trust the tories with the nhs? >> i share the honorable lady's concern about how rapid our cancer treatment must be, which is why i am proud that, under this government, an extra 460,000 people per year are getting cancer treatment, are getting referrals. there are about seven key cancer targets, and we are meeting all but one of them. that is quite a contrast with wales, where the labour party has been in control of the nhs for the last four years and where it has not met a cancer target since 2008.
it is no good, shaking her head. her party is in charge of the nhs in wales, and it is letting down cancer patients day after day. >> greg mulholland. >> thank you. following the threat of a legal challenge, nhs england have scrapped their processes for approving drugs for rare conditions. this is affecting 200 children in the country, including six-year-old sam in my constituency, who has morquio. will the prime minister today instruct the health secretary to re-establish the highly specialized commissioning service so that we can approve these drugs and ensure that children get the drugs they need immediately before a new process is put in place? >> as he knows, we have a procedure for licensing drugs, and for cancer drugs, we have
the additional benefits of the cancer drugs fund, but i am happy to discuss his point with the health secretary. >> the prime minister promised the british people that this government would eliminate the deficit and significantly reduce immigration. why has he failed the british people on both counts? >> the labour party's approach seems to be this. we created an enormous problem, and we have come here today to complain that you have not cleared it up fast enough. that is really the extent of intellectual analysis of britain's problem. it is quite ridiculous, as they have left us with the biggest budget deficit since the war, which we have started to get on top of, and we will make more progress. >> given the record number of small businesses today in chiswick, brentford, isleworth and hounslow, and given that
small and medium-sized businesses represent 99% of the business commodity, will my right honorable friend join me in encouraging everyone to shop small, shop local, on saturday, as well as making small businesses a priority in our long-term economic plan? >> i absolutely agree with my honorable friend. we now see a record number of small businesses in our country, a total increase of 760,000 over this parliament. we will kick-start this event on friday with a small business fair in downing street. it is a good moment to make sure that small businesses are benefiting from all the changes that we have made, such as the cut in the jobs tax for businesses and charities of £2,000, the abolition of national insurance contributions for under-21-year-olds when they employ them, the doubling of the small business rate relief and, of course, the cutting of corporation tax for small business as well.
>> thank you, mr. speaker. skelmersdale, in my constituency, is the second largest town in the northwest without a railway station, a station that would bring social and economic benefits to the town, as we have heard happened in shrewsbury. as the prime minister is in spending mood, albeit a little bit further south, i wonder whether he could give the people of skelmersdale an early christmas present with the promise of a railway station. >> i am very happy to look at what the honorable lady says. what we are seeing are more railway lines opening, more stations opening, and more railways being electrified. in the entire period of the last labour government, i think they electrified just 13 miles of track, and absolutely pathetic record for a government that had 13 years to do something about it.
under this government, stations, lines and electrification are all taking place. >> will my right honorable friend meet me to help get more beds for hereford hospital? will he send a minister to meet the magnificent staff and, possibly, welsh patients who have acquired addresses in england so that they can access life-saving cancer care drugs that are not available under the labour-run welsh nhs? >> i am sure my honorable friend will welcome the £2 billion for the nhs in england, which the chancellor announced at the weekend. that money will go directly to the front line. obviously, we want to see continued improvements at the hereford hospital. there are pressures from people from wales crossing the border and wanting to use services in england. that is why it is so important that the welsh nhs has the improvements that we have been talking about. in terms of meetings and visits to the hospital, i will look very carefully at what we can do to help.