PM Speech on Compensation Culture
Asked if this was the Prime Minister's fiercest criticism of the European Union, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that he had said this before. We had already heard him say in the past that the EU, like the UK, had to do better impact assessments of regulations. It was one of the things that we had been pushing for some time within the EU. It was also one of the things that we would be taking forward during our Presidency. Reforming the way in which you regulate from the EU was part of the economic reform process. This did not call into question your overall support of the EU but it did say you should be more sensitive to the impact of regulation.
Asked what the Government was doing about teenage pregnancy and whether the Prime Minister was dismayed at the high rates the PMOS said that Beverley Hughes had responded in a very intelligent way at lunchtime to questions about this. What she had said was that first of all we needed to recognise that the figures showed a slight increase and we should not get that out of proportion, though any increase was disturbing. Secondly the Government would not buck its responsibility through the education system in this area and thirdly the evidence suggested that the people who had the most influence on this were parents. This was because it was parents that teenagers felt most comfortable talking to about these issues. Therefore that was where the primary responsibility lied. This was not bucking the Governments responsibility but parents should respect their responsibility too.
The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) spoke to journalists about the Cabinet meeting that morning. It began with the Cabinet discussing in some detail the Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan last night. The Prime Minister described it as brilliant victory for Liverpool. Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey had telephoned to send his congratulations. The Cabinet then went on to discuss the Olympics and Tessa Jowell updated colleagues on where we were and yesterday's meeting with Lord Coe and Ken Livingstone. Tessa Jowell and Dick Caborn would be visiting some 14 countries between them over the next 6 weeks. This gave some idea of the seriousness with which we were taking this. The Prime Minister re-iterated his view of yesterday that the bid team led by Seb Coe and Tessa Jowell had done a fantastic job.
Compensation Culture Speech
Prime Minister’s Travel/G8
Asked why, given the overlap between the Olympic bid announcement and the G8, the G8 had not been put back a few days so that the Prime Minister could attend both fully, the PMOS said that by the time the Prime Minister left Singapore for the G8 summit he would have done all that he could. He would have been on the ground for 48 hours and by that point he would have seen all that the people that he needed to see.
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