» Monday, December 11, 2006

Press Conference

Asked if there were to be any special guests or slide shows, the PMOS said that the questions hadn't been asked with the necessary respect but there were no guests or slide shows.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Middle East

Asked what the Prime Minister hoped to achieve in the Middle East, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that above all, what the Prime Minister wanted to do was identify where the problems that were preventing the situation from moving forward. The way the Prime Minister had expressed it in Washington last week was that the door to moving forward seemed to be barred at the moment. Prime Minister Olmert had made a very significant and important speech that recognised the need for Israel to move.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)

Press Conference

Asked if there were to be any special guests or slide shows, the PMOS said that the questions hadn't been asked with the necessary respect but there were no guests or slide shows.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Police Inquiry

No.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Red Tape

Asked for further details regarding the Prime Minister's announcement on cutting red tape for businesses, the PMOS replied that we had said that we were going to set a target for each department to cut regulation by 25% by 2010, and today, the plans for each department would be published. The PMOS said that simplification plans contained over 500 initiatives which would deliver more than £2 billion worth of savings on admin costs for businesses and third sector organisations. Today was only the start, but people could view the plans set out for each department. The Prime Minister was hosting an event today with Pat McFadden, which would be a round table discussion, and there would be individuals attending from the voluntary sector and regulators.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Social Policy

Put that the Prime Minister had said in the past that family was central to social policy, and did he also now think that marriage was as well, the PMOS said that he had to be careful to not get drawn into party politics. However, the core of the issue was about how a relatively small group, but a group nonetheless that had fallen through the net, to be dealt with. That was precisely why we had published a social exclusion plan recently that looked at intensive support for the poorest people in society. That was also why we had appointed an independent advisor, Lisa Harker, on child poverty as well. Therefore, the key, in terms of the Government's response had been to target help for those had fallen through the net.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Turkey

Put to the PMOS that the Foreign Minister's meeting about Turkey today was a "crunch" meeting, the PMOS replied that decisions would not be taken until the end of the week. Our position on Turkey remained that we were very much in support of trying to promote EU membership, whilst recognising that other people had concerns. Margaret Beckett had said this morning that it was in the strategic interest of the EU, as well as in the interest of Turkey that the negotiations continued.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Police Inquiry

No

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Ambassador Appointments

Asked to comment on the Ambassadorial appointments mentioned today in the papers, the PMOS replied that the FCO had put out a statement, so journalists should speak to them.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

NHS

Asked if the Prime Minister had any misgivings about the idea of forcing the NHS to break even by next April, or was it a Treasury idea, the PMOS replied that what was important was that a) we recognised that the majority of trusts were operating perfectly well, b) with regards to the minority, that we identified where the problems were coming from (and we were doing that) and c) that we dealt with that. That process of transparency was one which was being driven by the Government as a whole. In the past, there were hidden deficits, and what was different now was that those deficits had become transparent. Above all, people should recognise that it was a small minority.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

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