tv Question Time CSPAN January 26, 2014 9:00pm-9:34pm EST
>> tonight on c-span, british prime minister david cameron answers questions in the house of commons, followed by a review of the house, senate, and governor races for 2014. and then, a winter meeting in washington dc. later, another chance to see "q &a." >> bill and hillary began their teaching careers at the university of arkansas. in 1973 andom yale hillary clinton came later. hillary's career began right inside this building, where she was a professor and taught classes such as criminal law, trial procedure. well-educated, ivy
league law school grad that part of thec. as nixon impeachment campaign. he had been impeached about two weeks before hillary taught her first class. 3,live on c-span and c-span also on c-span radio and c-span.org. next, david cameron answering questions about the u.k.'s humanitarian aid to syria and the future of refugees. other topics included scottish independence and the unemployment rate. time" in london, this runs 30 minutes. >> questions for the prime minister. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i am sure the whole house would want to join me in paying simon,e to dell and
tragically killed in kabul on saturday in a cowardly terrorist attack. both sought to improve the lives of the afghan people. he was a friend to many in this house and had given so much time and dedication -- and dedication to troubled regions across the world. our thoughts are with their family and friends at this difficult time. this morning, i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others and i shall have further such meetings later today. corrects condolences the prime minister expressed. the trust coordinates the fast-growing network numbering some 400 of church-based food banks which provide food for inf a million people december of last year. with the prime minister be willing to meet representatives to discuss the big challenges they are grappling with? withwould be happy to meet
them. we have listened carefully to the trussell trust. wanted to things they see done by this government and forprevious government was food banks to be promoted in job senses. we have allowed that to happen. that has increased the use of food banks. i think it is important to do the right bank and something that just seems poetically convenient. olitically convenient. >> the prime minister is aware of the tragic case of a two-year-old boy taken to a urgent care center for the emergency care he needed. despite the best efforts of a senior nurse and the paramedics, he was tragically pronounced dead at 4:00 a.m. in the morning. i know that we cannot comment on the case until a full report is published. does he agree with me that the effects of reconfigurations off and through by local opposition am including from myself, means that we are asking people to decide where to go for help at
moments of great personal stress and how we much do more -- we must do more to explain the choices and help them decide? he agree with me that there are changes that need to be made? >> i am happy to meet with my honorable friend. this is an absolutely tragic case. i offer my deepest sympathies to his family. anyone who takes a desperately ill child to a hospital in the middle of the night knows what an incredibly desperate time that can be. i understand there will be a full and comprehensive investigation into the circumstances. i have asked the health secretary to discuss the findings with my friend once it is completed. we must assure everything is done to avoid these terrible incidents from happening in the future. >> ed miliband. >> i want to start by paying tribute to the two british nationals who were killed in a suicide bomb attack in
afghanistan. my condolences go to all of the family and friends. sing was 1 -- dell was one of the most decent people you could hope to meet. he was an international development worker who dedicated his life to helping people around the world and we all grieve for his family. the murder of of thousands of innocent civilians in the regime in syria is a reminder of the horror unfolding there. minister,, the prime the deputy prime minister, and i've made a joint statement about the plight of syrian refugees, which welcomed the government leadership the cousin of the aid program. be --n was called on to to assemble a small number of refugees. 18 countries are part of that program. britain is so far not one of
them. as the prime minister agree that we should be? >> i completely agree just how dreadful the news is that has come out of syria about allegations of torture and worse in that country. i think we are fulfilling our moral obligations to the people of syria. we are the second-largest bilateral aid donor. the money the british taxpayers are providing is providing food and shelter and water and medicine for hundreds of thousands of people. we are also fulfilling all of our obligations in terms of asylum-seekers. over 1000 in recent months. we are also making sure that, where we can help very vulnerable children who are ill, including a child in a british hospital today, we take action as well. i do not believe that you can solve a refugee crisis of this almosthen you have got half of the 9 million population
of syria either displaced or at risk of displacement with a quota system where countries are taking a few hundred refugees. where i do agree with him is that if there are very difficult cases of people who do not belong in refugee camps, who have been either disabled by these dreadful attacks or very difficult circumstances, i am happy for us to look at that argument. -- alwaysways claims plays the right role in these desperate humanitarian crises. >> i think the prime minister for that answer. minister forprime that answer. it is an important issue. i think we can all agree that this government, in relation to the syrian aid, i want to talk about asylum-seekers. those are people who are able to get here. we are talking about people in the refugee camps at the moment. that this cannot
solve the problem, of course it cannot. the u.s. is talking a small number of the most vulnerable people, including children who have lost their parents and victims of torture. proud of britain's tradition in taking refugees. why don't we look again and say that britain will actually participate in this program and take a few hundred refugees? there isot think disagreement between us. the problem i see is that some countries are using this system therefore, iaying fulfilled my obligations. when you have half of a 9 million population that risk of -- at risk of displacement, the notion that you will take a few hundred people, that is not fulfilling your obligations. whereas the massive amount of aid that britain is putting forward, the second-largest in the world, i think is playing
the most important role. as i have said to him, i think there are individual cases where we should be looking. i am happy to look at those arguments and those issues. system cannot solve the problem of syrian refugees. feel that we are gradually inching forward on this issue. let me be clear about this. excuse for be an failing to provide aid. about are not talking either providing aid or taking vulnerable refugees, we are talking about doing both. given the reasonable tone of the prime minister, will he now open discussions with the united itsons about britain making contribution to this program? colleagues on all sides of this one this to happen. will he now do so? abouts is the argument how we can help the most
vulnerable people in the refugee camps. just to correct him, some of the countries that are participating include in their quotas both the asylum numbers and refugee numbers. that is not the argument we should be making. britain is leading the world in terms of humanitarian aid to syria. we should be proud of that. we are fulfilling our obligations on asylum and we should be proud that we do give home to those who flee torture and persecution and where there are extreme hardship cases, i think we should look at those again. that is the approach we should take. i think there should be all-party support for it and i think that britain can be proud of the role we are playing. >> i hope you will take this away and will open discussion with the united nations. i do not think honorable members should groan on this issue. i really do not read -- i really do not. we know that britain can make a
greater contribution on this specific issue. i want to move on to another subject. i want to move on. today's unemployment -- crowd cheers and jeers] we welcome the fall in unemployment. whenever an individual gets back into work, good for them and good for their family. i do have to say to honorable members, that does not do anyone any good. today'sonfirm that figures also show that average wages are down by 1600 pounds a year since the election, meaning that, for many ordinary families, life is getting harder? >> pausing for a moment over what the statistics show today,
youth unemployment coming down, long-term unemployment coming down, the claimant out coming unemployment overall coming down, but what we have seen today is the biggest-ever quarterly increase in the number of people in work in our country. ounce ofuld not be one complacency. there is still a huge amount of work to do to get britain back to work. there are 280,000 more people in work. people with the security of a regular pay package coming in for themselves and their family. of course, we are seeing a slow growth in wages. why? because we are recovering from the longest and deepest recession in living memory. because they, leader of the opposition keeps the figure with the tax cuts we put in place, he is not recognizing that we are better off because we have controlled spending and cut taxes.
>> all he has done is shown that he is absolutely complacent about the situation. he is trying to tell millions of families around this country that they are better off when they know they are worse off. it does not help the prime minister to tell them the opposite. that me take this figure. in britain today, there are 13 million people living in poverty. that is a shocking figure. for the first time ever, the majority of those people are living not in jobless families, but in working families. what is his explanation for that? explanation is what the institute for physical studies have said. wages have increased much less quickly than inflation. it is not surprising. we had the biggest recession we had in 100 years.
it will be astonishing if household incomes have not fallen and earnings have not fallen. the fact is, we are recovering from the mess that they have left us. here andk, he comes raises a new problem that he created. andad the bedding problem then the banking problem and then the deficit problem and now we have the cost of living problem. he is like an arsonist who goes around setting fire after fire and then complains that the fire brigade are not putting out the fires fast enough. why doesn't he start with an apology for the mess that he left us? week andes here every does that routine. is that he has absolutely no understanding of the lives and people up and down this country. that is the reality. ordinary families are working harder, longer, for less. he is cutting taxes for
millionaires and not helping them. the minimum wage is falling in value. theannot be a solution to cost-of-living crisis because he just does not understand the problem. >> we are cutting taxes for everyone in our country. we are able to do that because we have controlled spending. what he cannot face is the fact that the economy is improving. for months, they told us to listen to the imf. remember that? month, the in one shadow chancellor said to listen to the imf. now the imf is telling us the economy is growing, stick to the plan ghana -- stick to the plan. we have one million more people in work. he predicted the deficit to go up and the deficit is going down. the fact is, our plan is working. there are 1.3 million people more in work and more with the security of a regular pay
package. we are securing britain's future. >> the systematic torture and killing of 11,000 people detained by the syrian state is surely a war crime. there can be no lasting peace without justice. will the prime minister resist conceding any immunity from prosecution for war crimes? so that the next time a target is turned on their own people, international law is unlawful. >> britain is going further than that by making sure we play our the humanitarian crisis we discussed and collecting evidence about war crimes so that people can be held to account for the dreadful things they have done. >> does the prime minister agree with lord stevens and the host secretary that stock research needs to reform? >> stop and search does need reform. int the report shows is that
27% of cases, the police have not been following their own guidance in terms of stop and search. report stop and search. if it is necessary to legislate, legislate. if it is not, we will not. >> the government will double the number of homes and that will receive broadband from 40% to 80%. can the government work with me to deliver that extra 20%, because it is very much part of our long-term economic plan. >> my honorable friend is absolutely right. for those of us who represent rural communities, broadband is not just part of the economic plan, it is a vital part. without that connectivity, small businesses and entrepreneurs
will not be able to benefit. we have seen massive investment going into broadband. we will shortly be sending out plans for the 250 million pounds to extend superfast broadband coverage to 95% of the u.k. by 2017. we are connecting tens of thousands of homes and businesses every week. >> does the prime minister except that the remarks by the irish foreign minister about the house talks and some kind of intervention by scottish ?overnment is deeply unhelpful the vast majority of talks are internal to ireland. they have been engaged and agreed upon the most helpful thing that the irish government could do is the role of state authorities in collusion with the irs. >> there is no question of an imposed solution.
a proposalions were of the northern ireland parties themselves. i wish this process well. i think they did a good job providing the architecture of a future solution on parades and flags. i think the parties can come together and continue to work. the northern ireland secretary will do what she can to facilitate network. it is important to go on discussing this with the government of the republic of ireland. they have taken steps to come to terms with some things that happened in their past. if the parties work together and the british and irish governments are there to help, we can make some progress. >> mr. speaker, i am incredibly myud to represent constituency. would my right honorable friend agree with me that, despite the views of some, that the weather
in brighton is nearly always very summary -- summer-y. >> brighton does have this superb microclimate that people should be encouraged to take advantage of. he stands up for all of his constituents with great vim and vigor. it would only be fair if brighton was put in place on the shipping forecast, somewhere between dover and white. this everyshould get morning. >> to establish a university technical college in my constituency, can the prime minister assured me he will support the college and make sure the decision is taken quickly so that employers and young people can acquire the skill they need? >> i am a big supporter of university technical colleges.
i think they provide a new set of skills for our country to focus on occasional training and education. the new college will open its doors in 2017. i look forward to working with him on that issue. >> just two more companies that have recently set up shop in my constituency, bringing hundreds of new jobs to an area where youth unemployment is near 40%. will my honorable friend commend the good sense of these companies for coming to town and will he encourage more to do the same and will he consider visiting himself so he can see how our long-term economic plan is delivering results? happy to visit tamworth and spend the time under the shadows of sir robert peel. recoverye are seeing a , particularly in terms of jobs
and getting people off the on appointment register. it is worth noting that today's figures show full-time 0, comparedup 220,00 with 60,000 in part-time employment, meaning people are getting a full-time jobs they want. happy toened -- i am welcome the businesses he is touting. >> the futures of economic recovery are not being recognized across the entire u.k. does he intend to make the governor of the bank of england any signs or increase in inflation will undoubtedly be a devastating impact on many households? to thepoint i make honorable gentleman, of course we want to secure a recovery in every region of our country and every nation of our united kingdom. if we look at scotland the last actually, the
unemployment level went up by 10000 and there are 90,000 more people in work than a year ago. i think progress is being made, but we should do everything we can to help make that happen. if we want to keep interest rates down, that is a matter for the bank of england. we must continue to get the deficit down. in doing that, we have to make ethical decisions on spending. it is not helped by the fact that all the difficult decisions we have made, not one single decision has been supported by the party opposite. >> the leader of the opposition has suggested we learn lessons from the labor government with cuts to the nhs budget and the worst education system in the u.k. does he agree that the only lesson we can learn about public services should be from conservatives? >> i think it is now possible to look very closely at the
decisions that the labor government have made in wales. the decisions they have taken and the effect of those decisions. the nhs has not followed our approach of attacking the spending. there has been an eight percent cut to the budget in wales. as a result, they have not met any targets since 2009. i also worry about some of the changes being made in education in wales, because we want more children in our country to get the benefits of good education, robert test. -- proper tests. wilson weekend, nigel urged the government to abandon its scheme in london. does he agree with mr. wilson that we should use the money to build new schoolrooms across the united kingdom -- new homes across the united kingdom?
>> we are building new homes across the united kingdom. what we have done is give the power to the bank of england to advise on any potential problems in the housing market or any other market. we have cleared up the mess of by regulatory system left the party opposite so that proper warnings can be given in proper time. >> under the party opposite, manufacturing was neglected. , thethis government manufacturing technology center in my constituency, companies like jaguar-land rover and rolls royce, does the prime minister agree that to reserve the manufacturing sector is a long-term path to prosperity? >> rebalancing our economy is part of our economic plan. we want to see a balanced recovery, balance between manufacturing and services, drop
really balanced between north and south and making sure we win back these jobs. theyompany that he quotes, have the full backing and support of the government. they have investment going into the apprenticeship schemes that are helping them. around the them sell world. we are doing everything we can to encourage them to bring jobs back into the u.k. manufacturing exports and investment are responding well. >> as the deputy prime minister knows, sorriest of the harvest word to say. does the prime minister agree owes the people for theand an apology way he apologizes? >> i say to members on both sides of the house, this is supposed to be questions to the prime minister, not a duty show. >> does the prime minister agreed that alex salmon owes the
people of scotland an apology? that entry explain fees will go up -- lending fees will go up a cousin the scottish lender of -- because the scottish lender of last resort held be a foreign bank? >> left the most important questions about the future of the currency and scotland's place in the european union, about the future of defense jobs, the future of financial services, he left all of those questions unanswered. that is why he is struggling to get his argument across. levels of investment in oil and gas production in the north sea. we do have to recognize there is growing concern. will the prime minister recommit the government to its tax stability policy and encourage
future investment? >> i can certainly give my honorable friend that assurance. it is very important that we make the most out of the asset that is the north sea. that is what the wooden report is all about. we are putting those proposals in place. i know that my right honorable friend the chancellor listened very carefully to what he says about making sure that the taxes for the long-term encourage the maximum recovery. >> an extraordinary person, a warm and generous friend, and a passionate campaigner for peace and justice, dedicated his life to working in areas of conflict, including afghanistan. and the prime minister assure the house that after the drawdown of troops this year, that the work of people like him will continue to be supported by this government? >> i very much share what she said and it reminds us of the risk that aid workers take to deliver this vital assistance
around the world. assurance her the that she seeks. it is important for everyone to recognize that while our troops are coming home at the end of 2014, our commitment to afghanistan will continue. our commitment to its armed forces and our commitment, over $100 million a year in terms of aid and its future development. we will need many more people, brave people to go on working with the afghan government to deliver for the afghan people. >> thank you, mr. speaker. is the one team mclaren largest employer in my constituency. with the prime minister join me in congratulating them on the hundreds of new jobs that they are creating locally and the sellout of their sports car and the 50 million pounds of exports that they will achieve this year in china? an example surely of the success of british business and our long-term economic plan. >> i absolutely share my
honorable friend's enthusiasm ronmclaren and the work of dennis, who helpfully brought one of his cars to our great meeting in china, where we are encouraging investment into the u.k. the finest of british manufacturing and it is worth mentioning that we have a vehicle rolling off a british reduction line every 20 seconds. >> can i also think the prime minister and the leader of the opposition for their kind work about my friend dell? a man who devoted his life working for peace and justice in afghanistan. new stock in affordable homes have fallen by a third since 2010. why is that? is it because tory councils are
demolishing the most affordable-priced housing and selling the land for private development? >> i am afraid that he has his figures wrong. housing starts are actually 89% inher than what they left us 2009. when it comes to affordable homes, we have delivered over 100,000 affordable homes and we will deliver 170,000 in total by 2015. the rate of affordable housebuilding has -- will soon be the highest it has been in two decades. if he does not believe me, he might want to listen to this quotation. refuse to prioritize building of new social housing." who said that? anyone? that is the leader of the opposition. thank you very much. commend the prime
minister for his first firm action against unscrupulous payday lenders and the expansion project? will he urge more employers to look at their local credit union so many more people can access , convenientredit savings? >> i want to commend my honorable friend for his consistent campaigning and speaking out on this issue. we are taking the tough action that is needed on payday lending. the positive side is that we need to expand credit unions faster. we should be looking at all the ways in which this can be done, including other organizations partnering with credit unions and encouraging their work. was report on the crisis commissioned by the u.k. government in february of last year and was given to ministers in early summer. it is still being suppressed. what is the prime minister afraid of and why doesn't he publish and be done? >> what this government is
publishing is the fact that we have hundreds of thousands more people getting into work, able to provide for their families and get the peace of mind and security that the people want in this country. that is what we are publishing today and that is real progress for our nation. >> 45% of people do not pay their utility bills. one million of them do not have bank accounts. energy companies are charging 115 pounds extra for people who do not pay by direct debit on a hitting pensioners the most. i direct debit, hitting pensioners the most. >> i am happy to look into this issue. that is why we have taken steps to compel energy companies to put people onto the lower tariffs. we want to make sure that everyone can make a budget of that. we have also cut energy bills by 50 pounds by rolling back costs of some of these green measures.