Asked if the Prime Minister could do anything to alleviate the affect of rising oil prices on British consumers, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that the Prime Minister had spoken about oil prices during his speech at the Google Zeitgeist Conference on Monday. He said that this was something that he was concerned about and that had an affect on the UK economy, which was why he was working with international partners to look at what could be done to work with OPEC in order to free up supply into the market. This was one of the things the Prime Minister intended to discuss when next in an EU forum and also at the G8 in July.
Asked if there was anything the Prime Minister could do domestically regarding fuel prices, the PMS said that that had been dealt with in the last Budget but that, as journalists knew, taxation was a matter for the Chancellor.
Asked if the Prime Minister believed that the rise in oil prices was as great a threat to the economy as the credit crunch, the PMS referred journalists to what the Prime Minister had said in the Q&A section of the Google conference on Monday where he spoke quite extensively about the impact oil and food prices were having on the international economy, and the importance of looking internationally to introduce measures that reduced protectionism in both these areas.
Asked if there was anything the Prime Minister could do sooner as the EU summit was at the end of June and the G8 summit was in July, the PMS replied that these issues were being discussed on an international level all the time. On food prices, for example, the Prime Minister met with a wide range of international representatives last month and the Chancellor was having a private meeting on this issue in No 11 Downing Street today.
Put that Cabinet had discussed on Tuesday how to make the economy less dependent on oil and asked for some examples as to how that could happen, the PMS replied that the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) was already looking at how we could increase the proportion of renewables in our fuel mix and pointed to the decisions that had been taken on nuclear energy.
Asked if we should be driving our cars less, the PMS replied that issues of cars and emissions particularly, were taken into account in the Budget.
Asked who the Chancellor was meeting with today, the PMS said that it was a private meeting about food prices and it was best to check with the department for details.
Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news
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