Call Clegg: As It Happened - 10th January 2013
Thursday 10th January 2013
Nick Clegg has been answering LBC listeners' questions in a historic radio show this morning - here is how it went.
The Deputy Prime Minister became the first senior minister to have a weekly radio phone-in when he is on Call Clegg with Nick Ferrari.
Here are the key moments of Call Clegg.
9:31: Call Clegg ends. The Deputy Prime Minister will return to answer your questions the same time next week - Thursday 9-9.30am
9:30: Have you ever worn a onesie? "I was given a big green one in my constituency but it is still in its packaging. Maybe [I will] in the comfort of my own home."
9:29: Foreign aid "it's not just the morally right thing to do but the right thing to do. If you want to keep people in their own country rather than mass immigration you have to tackle the problems at source."
9:28: On being unpopular - no matter which party we'd chosen to form a coalition with, we couldn't please everyone.
"Where we can get on a doorstep - or a microphone - and explain to people why we're doing what we're doing... people see why we are making the decisions we are."
9:24: Sara from Salisbury - a military wife - rings in. She asks what support is the Government going to offer families who are losing jobs due to military cuts.
"Because defence spenditure was so mishandled in the past we have to do something to bring that down.
"We want the majority of redundancies to be voluntary. I know that the Ministry of Defence has spent a lot of time working on support."
9:22: On American officials saying Britain must stay part of Europe: "If you want to lead around the world you've got to be strong in your neck of the woods - I think that's what they are saying"
9:16: Lauren, Birmingham - student studying despite increases. Questions how young people can trust the Lib Dems after the tuition fees rises, which the Lib Dems promised to be against in the election.
Nick: "Actually the irony is that the new system is that students won't have to pay fees upfront. Even though you'll have to pay back for longer you'll have to pay back less as the threshold for repayments is higher than the scheme under Labour."
"Whether you or I like it we are living in a country at the moment facing the consequences of one of the biggest independent meltdowns."
"We've got a big job to do and that requires hard decisions"
"I t is certainly one of my biggest regrets that I made a promise that we were clearly unable to do. Maybe if I had been made Prime Minister..."
9:09: Caller John has torn up his Lib Dem membership card. He is questioning how Nick Clegg can reconcile the Lib Dem values with changes made.
Nick Clegg: "I am extremely proud of what we have achieved." - proceeds to list examples of tackling poverty, including tax threshold changes, childcare for two year olds and greater educational support.
"At least grant us the credit for what we have achieved."
9:03: Claire rings in to ask about changes to child benefits - Nick: "there is always a problem when you say there is a point where you stop getting benefit - a 'cliff edge' - but otherwise you face means testing everyone. It only affects about 15% of families. It is a really, really difficult decision."
"The only other option is means testing - an absolutely huge task"
9:02: "I admire any politician from any party who makes difficult decisions"
9.01: Nick Clegg is live in the studio
8:49: Nick Clegg is already trending across the UK in Twitter. If you have a question you want to ask him, call 0845 60 60 973.
8:47: Political pundit Owen Jones has tweeted: "Livid at Lib Dems voting to attack the working poor and unemployed? Nick Clegg does his new @lbc973 weekly phone-in 9am."
8:45: Nick Clegg is almost ready. The first Call Clegg starts in 15 minutes.