» Monday, April 2, 2007


Put that Adair Turner, former Director-General of the CBI, had told the BBC that it was completely untrue to suggest that publicly or privately, he was responsible for any lobbying that took place in 1997, yet Ed Balls said the opposite on Saturday and the CBI had lobbied the Government, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that what was more important was to focus on the actual substance of this issue. This was a decision about getting the balance right between incentivising investment versus paying out dividends. It was a tough decision, but the Prime Minister fully backed the Chancellor's decision at the time, and he still did because it believed that it was in the long-term health of the economy, as it was for long term interest of the economy, including pension funds, to increase investment. As the Treasury had pointed out, this decision was part of an overall package, which included cuts in corporation tax, which had 50% increase in investment over the last ten years. Corporation tax had been cut from 33% to 31%, the small business rate from 23% to 21%. Temporary capital allowances for SMEs had been doubled. The reduction of corporation tax had benefitted 450,000 companies. Therefore, there was an overall package within which this was one part.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)


Asked what actions the Government was going to take this week on the Iran hostages, the PMOS replied that the Iranians knew our position. They knew that stage-managed TV appearances were not going to affect that position. They knew that we had strong international support, and we had responded to the Iranians initial letter, and we were now waiting for their response. There was a lot going on behind the scenes, but as people knew, it was better not to discuss this in any way. We remained very clear in our position and what our objective was, and we would judge our response day to day accordingly. At this stage, it was better that we waited to see what the Iranian response was.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (5)

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