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tv   Monday in Parliament  BBC News  November 7, 2017 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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after an irish low—tax loophole it used was closed, apple chose the british dependency ofjersey. there is nothing illegal in what apple has done. america is mourning victims of the mass shooting in texas. devin kelley killed 26 people at a baptist church in before fleeing the scene, and was later found dead. it's been revealed that he was discharged from the us air force three years ago for domestic abuse. president trump has left japan and is now en route to the south korean capital, the second leg of his marathon 11—day tour of asia. he's called south korea's president moonjae—in a fine gentleman, saying they would work out a way to deal with the nuclear threat from north korea. now it's time for a look back at the day in parliament. hello, and welcome to
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monday in parliament. our look at the best of the day in the commons and the lords. on this programme, labour calls for a public enquiry over tax avoidance after the leak of millions of documents showing how wealthy firms and individuals investing offshore tax havens. it is obscene that rich people should seek to get even richer by putting their millions in offshore bank accounts. this government is taking tax avoidance very seriously. also, pleas for greater support for the mental health sector. the sticking plaster approach has not and will not be in the future good enough. and mps vent their feelings
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about transport issues in the north of england. the reality is that in recent times we seem to have hit the buffers. but first, the shadow chancellor, john mcdonnell, has claimed the government has failed to crack down on the biggest tax scandal of a generation. it follows the revelations of bbc‘s panorama that millions of leaked financial documents known as the paradise papers disclosed by the programme into how tax havens, such as the indian ocean island of mauritius, have been used to shelter funds. the disclosures include details of how three stars of the bbc show mrs brown's boys have diverted fees into companies in mauritius and sent money back as loans. the papers show how wealthy individuals, multinationalfirms, celebrities and political leaders have used complex financial structures to protect their funds from higher levels of taxation. in the commons, a treasury minister said the government had a good record on cracking down on tax avoidance. hmrc are already benefiting
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from the exchange of financial account information to the common reporting standard, an initiative in which the uk has led the world with over 100 jurisdictions signed up. the crown dependencies and overseas territories are among those signed up to this initiative and have been exchanging information with hmrc for over a year. the use of offshore accounts or trusts do not automatically mean dishonesty but this house should be assured that under this government the hmrc will continue to bear down with vigour on any tax avoidance and evasion activities whenever it may be found. unless there is a critically overriding reason for the chancellor to not be here, i believe the house will consider it unacceptable that he is not here to address the biggest tax
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scandal of this generation. the minister's response today was the same bluster. every pound in tax avoided is a pound taken away from the nhs, our children's education and care for the elderly and disabled. given the chairman of the conservative party and chancellor duchy of lancaster is responsible for: administering the estate of lancaster, has the chancellor or any minister discussed these revelations with the right honourable member for derbyshire dales and will he be apologising to our majesty for the embarrassment this episode has caused? will he now also agree to labour's proposals to establish an independent public enquiry into tax avoidance? because i tell them, if this government refuses to act, this next labour government will. he raises the issue of the measures he and his party put forward in the last finance bill.
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can ijust remind him of two things? it is this party that has put an end to this status. and it was the party opposite that sought by voting against that bill at third reading to stop that happening. seems to be an extraordinary misunderstanding with the shadow chancellor between avoidance and evasion. evasion is wholly illegal, avoidance is normal. people putting their money into an isa are avoiding tax. that is completely legal. what there is is a moral issue. if a political party in a tax—exempt company spending £1 million a year in rent, that is morally wrong avoidance. that is what your party does. does the minister not recognise it is obscene that rich people should seek to get even richer
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by sorting away their billions in offshore bank accounts whilst working people suffer the longest stagnation on wages for 150 years? it is notjust a question of countries such as bermuda and the cayman islands, but also the republic of ireland and the netherlands are regarded as juricdictions where tax advantages could be setup. rather than singling out those jurisdictions, we should just recognise in a global environments where capital is free the importance is the uk tax structure on wealth and that is something the government has got right. it may well be that sheltering from the tax authorities here sums of money greater than the gdp of many countries is not illegal but i would ask the minister to agree with me that that is precisely the problem, and the paradise papers revelations
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and massive sums involve offer no hiding place for those who would deny a public register of beneficial ownership of funds and trusts as well as businesses. is the minister worried about the tangled web of russian money that appears to be involved at very high levels as shown by these leaks? will he not agree that there is now a great public interest in having transparency of ownership and getting these registers published as soon as possible? why doesn't the government just make an announcement that the overseas territories are going to do that and get on with it? i wanted to highlight the new criminal offence we have created for firms that don't stop their staff facilitating tax evasion. the first time under the criminal offences act 2017 companies will be heard criminally liable if they fail to stop their employees facilitating tax evasion. does he agree that this demonstrates that this government is taking tax avoidance seriously,
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more than our colleagues? why will the government not insist that our overseas territories, our tax havens have to have public registers of beneficial ownership? why will they not do that now? as the honourable lady will know, there are many good reasons why perfectly honest and decent individuals use trusts. we have also made a great deal of process in the common reporting standards across 100 different countries including those to whom she alludes. mel stride. and the paradise papers were also being talked about over in the house of lords. does the government not recognise that the ordinary taxpayer hearing again this news today is utterly outraged? that if you are rich or if you are a business then you can avoid tax?
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there are schemes on an industrial scale, and they are protected by lack of transparency. what's we are seeking is the development of a full public enquiry into tax avoidance. nothing less than that, my lords, will restore confidence in our nation that in fact this government is inadequate in its approach to the whole wretched issue. i declare my interest as an investor in a wide range of assets including offshore investments. would my noble friend agree that millions of uk savers and pensions let alone her majesty benefit directly or indirectly from offshore investments and to suggest that they are avoiding tax is simply fake and false news? for those who take the time to properly understand offshore
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investment vehicles, they would realise that their underlying purpose is to provide an efficient and predictable umbrella structure to track the widest possible range of investors from around the world. they are in fact set up to minimise the amount of tax paid within the offshore entity and consequently to maximise the returns flowing back to investors, allowing them to pay tax directly in their own countries. coincidentally, the head of revenue and customs — the taxman to you and me — was appearing in front of the commons public accounts committee. so what did he know about the paradise papers? have you seen the papers that were leaked to the guardian and the bbc? the so—called paradise papers? no. did you know anything about this and whether it was coming? we knew there was a leak coming, we have known for some time, but we do not have access to the material provided by the international consortium of investigative journalist to the bbc or to the guardian. we have not had access to that.
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we have requested access two weeks ago. how long have you known about it? rumours have said it was coming for a few months. so you requested it two weeks ago? what has been the result of the request? we have not received a reply. asking the international consortium ofjournalists to provide you with more information? we will take intelligence from any source. we have 100,000 leads provided by a large range of organisations. we would happily take the data so we could investigate whether there is tax evasion. from what has been released so far do you believe that hmrc did not know already? potentially in one case. i need to be careful because i cannot get
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into the particular case and i understand there is a second episode of panorama today where there may be further information given, as i think you know. under the 2005 act, we can't discuss any individual taxpayer. you are prepared to look at every allegation in full? we certainly are. at the same way we did with panama, we will look at every case of tax evasion very seriously. we have secured significant revenues from overseas, from those trying to hide oversees more than {2.8 million. i head read the press release on that. it is worth the repeating that because i don't want anyone to feel like we are complacent in any way. we will chase those people down who try to hide money offshore and evade their tax. you sent a serious enquiry
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regarding the paradise papers two weeks ago. you have had no response. there are key british institutions here, the bbc and the guardian. does this not become an issue that needs to be resolved when hmrc makes an enquiry of a british institution or taxpayer it should respond to you? in my opinion, it should. to be clear, the icij is based in the united states. we will continue to request information. they are making a decision to not give it to us. this is non—compliance by the bbc and the guardian? they have to make a decision. i am not responsible for the bbc or the guardian or the icij. they have processes they have to go through over how they obtain
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the data and at the minute we have not received a reply. clearly, we would want them to. the saga of the paradise papers. you are watching our round—up of the day in the commons and the lords. still to come, why the north needs a powerhouse to improve its transport system. mps from all parties have urged the government to do more to tackle mental health problems problems amongst school pupils in england. in a debate in westminster hall, one conservative described the current situation as a national crisis. the mps were considering a petition signed by more than 100,000 people calling for mental health education to be mandatory for all schools. these statistics are startling. education uk highlight some of them. some 850 children are affected by this. we can actually teach them
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in schools through positive psychology and mindfulness to meet a flourishing lives. it is the whole well— being curve of mental health that could be shifted if we took this written branch approach to put mindfulness and mental education into our schools. a number of mps refer to camhs — the child and adolescent mental health services. the real scandal is the fact of the broken camhs system. i have constituents who were facing crisis and waited months or years for diagnosis. i am sorry, but the camhs system isjust broken. this is something of a real national crisis. this scale is onlyjust beginning to be realise. i know the minister will take this very seriously. this whole question of training
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teachers as cardinal. i have concerns and perhaps sound a note of caution about the compulsory element for all schools. across the country, there is patchy provision. to my mind, it is camhs provision which is patchy. i want to be slightly wary that we don't want to impose upon teachers yet another burden thatjust becomes a tick box exercise that they can say we have done this, end of, we have dealt with mental health care of children. we gave that half—hour lesson in social education and we don't have good deal with it any more. norman lamb was the initiator of an initiative called future in mind. it secured some funding
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during the coalition government of £1.25 billion to be spent over the next five years. this should amount to about £250 million each year and only 143 million has been released in the first year of the programme in 2015 - 16. shouldn't we all urge the minister to continue the commitment that was secured in the last coalition government budget? the sad plans is the government's plans for school budgets will result in future cuts to counselling and well—being services. we have said we will ensure that every secondary school in england and wales will offer of counselling. sticking plaster approach of this government to our children's health will not be good enough. the prime minister has committed to a range of other activity with regard to children and young people's mental health,
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supporting mental health in schools and colleges. 90% of schools have offered at least some training to staff. the department of health is hosting a training offer for every primary and secondary school in england. 1000 schools should receive this by the end of the year. it should help teach us how to identify those with mental health problems as early as possible. the debate over mental health. now, three years have passed since the former chancellor george osborne announced a concept of the northern powerhouse. the idea was to close the wealth gap between the north and the south of england. the then chancellor believed a key way to doing that was by improving the north's transport links.
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starting with railways to improve connectivity between the large urban centres of liverpool, manchester and leeds. the powerhouse concept also included greater investment in industry and science and more devolution for the north. in a general commons debate, a labour mp contrasted spending on transport in the north with spending on transport in london. crossrail one, a single project in london, cost more than the north will get in this entire put parliament, 111.8 billion. the new station at tottenham court road cost £1 billion. it takes longer to travel from liverpool to halt when it does from london to paris. if the north had received the same transport investment as london over the past decade, we would have received an additional 59 billion. so we cannot afford to ignore three regions with a population almost twice that of london and an economy
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larger than the three devolved nations put together. there are immense economic games to be realise of the plug the gap in transport investment. the government recognises the need for investment. in my constituency, upgrades to the a1 and a 66 are welcome. but there is much more to do. the northern powerhouse is a wonderful phrase. but the people of northern england deserve more than a slogan, they need action. and many of us were hopeful that transport for the north would become a powerful advocate for rebalancing our economy and closing the divide in investment between the north and the south. with the powers to back that up. but the reality is that in recent times we seem to have hit the buffers. as the transport secretary recently seen in the yorkshire post,
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it was not his responsibility to invest in yorkshire's railways. this came shortly after he universally cancelled electrification projects planned for some of the busiest routes in the country outside of london. very importantly, there has to be political will. this is critical. at a local level and national level. all credit to the government as to a large extent a start has been made. there is a recognition of the importance of the north. and delighted this covers what i consider to be the true north, carlisle. if the same had been spent in the north as has been spent in london over the last ten years, there would have been £59 billion more spent in the north. desai wedgwood could not get his product around the country. he had to persuade governments and investors to invest in roads and canals to get product around the country. otherwise the industrial revolution would have petered out.
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any business person will tell you they want the government to put the infrastructure in place and business will come in to fill the gap. i had to travel to lewisham via charing cross united go. when i arrived, i was struck by how quiet it was. all i could hear were the footsteps of the commuters as the ignored each other on our way home. as i watched my train, i was puzzling why the station didn't sound the same as the one in half. i wondered if it was the stereotype of people from the north been more chatty and friendly was true. that wouldn't explain the difference in the air. as my train pulled away, the answer struck me. the reason why the station is silent and here is different is because all the trains are electric. there are no noisy engines spewing out diesel fumes in london or creating dart. now, after a bit of a breather
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in the story of brexit, it is back. or at least it will be back later this week. on thursday, the european commission's chief negotiator, michel barnier, and the brexit secretary, david davis, will resume negotiations on the terms of britain's eu departure. the previous round of talks left michel barnier sounding warnings about apparent deadlock. but do we care very much about the future shape and direction of the eu after britain has left? that was an issue for question time in the house of lords. the minister has given three replies now which imply that from the day we leave the european union we shall not have the slightest interest in how it develops but we will not think it proper to express our views on how it develops. i think his successor on those benches may find that a pretty hard one to swallow.
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could you perhaps consider again what he has been saying, because they do not think it is the case that we no longer have any interest in the future of europe, even after we have left? i don't think i said that. we have an interest and cooperation with our european partners. we will want to take forward a close and constructive partnership, including on security and defence matters. of course we will have an interest. if the government feels to get anything but the hardest of hard brexit and these ideas of the future of europe developed, will he confirm that the government still has the option to withdraw its article 50 application. we had a referendum on the subject and both houses 42 trigger article 50. we are leaving the european union in march 2019. with the noble lord agree we should be talking to our european friends about a special relationship
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with the eu after march 2019, and not about being at war with them? i would agree totally with the noble lady and i'm sure she's not asking me to comment on everything the media and the press save. we will be here for a long time if we were going to do that. i agree with those points. as his predecessor accepted, the normal standard in treaty negotiations is that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. will he confirm that today and confirm that it is on the basis of everything being agreed that this house, as the rest of parliament, will have a vote on what the future relationship should be? yes, i can confirm that to the noble lord.
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nothing is agreed and everything is agreed, that is a standard principle in european negotiations that i have taken part in. we are committed to a meaningful vote at the conclusion of those negotiations. lord callinan. and that is it for this programme. one more day before parliament goes off on its brief half term break. but for now, from me keith mcdougall, goodbye. change in the weather on the way for many parts of the uk. monday was a
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spectacular day, with clear blue skies, beautiful autumn colours. picture from lincolnshire, but the clouds started rolling in during the course of the evening and overnight. and many western and northern areas have been very cloudy so far. we've had some rain, and all of this now is shifting in an easterly direction. so are very different early tuesday morning on the way. nowhere near as frosty. we had temperatures around minus viable minus six degrees monday morning. tuesday morning is going to be some eight or 10 degrees higher. so this is what is happening. this weather front, the cloud, the rain in the wind is advancing from the west towards the east. that is going to prevent towards the east. that is going to p reve nt a ny towards the east. that is going to prevent any frost forming in the early morning temperatures on tuesday will be around five or seven in the south—east. even double—figure temperatures down across the south wales and into plymouth, 12 degrees expected here. a little bit fresher in the north—west of the country. the front is through here at this stage so that means the cold atlantic air has
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arrived. five in stornoway, six in belfast, chilly for glasgow, six degrees. the rain at this stage, this is sam, is flirting with lancashire, western parts of wales and cornwall. at this stage just spots of central and southern england, and maybe some sunshine from hull all the way down towards brighton but then that weather front, as it moves in an easterly direction, the wind will increase, the clouds will increase, and in fa ct the clouds will increase, and in fact for a time we could have some heavy rain across the midlands in the lincolnshire, as well. now, noticed that just about the lincolnshire, as well. now, noticed thatjust about norwich that, maybe kent, hanging on to some of that brightness through the course of tuesday. so not everyone is going to get the rain on tuesday. now, this is the following night. so tuesday night in the wednesday that weather front finally pushes towards the east. the sky is clear once again so through the early hours of wednesday morning it is going to turn clear. starry skies, and we are going to get another frost. so the frost is going up and down a little bit. we had a frosty monday morning, it is going to be frost free on tuesday, and then another frost on
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the way wednesday morning because of those clear skies. maybe on wednesday morning it won't be quite so wednesday morning it won't be quite so frosty in the south—east because of the weather front, because of the cloud of the spots of rain, but many of us will wake up to a chilly start before more rain moves in. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: the latest revelations from the paradise papers. technology giant apple has been managing billions of dollars offshore to avoid tax, but what they've been doing is not illegal. america mourns victims of the mass shooting in texas. donald trump says the attacker‘s mental health was the problem, not his guns. the us president bids farewell to japan, the first leg of his marathon asia tour. next stop — south korea. and a century after the russian revolution — we assess how successive soviet leaders shaped the past
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and the present.


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