» Tuesday, December 9, 2008


The Prime Minister s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that Cabinet this morning had lasted for about an hour. They predominantly discussed the economy and there was also a discussion on the Children s Plan led by Ed Balls and on the situation in Zimbabwe led by the Foreign Secretary.

On the economy, the Chancellor reminded Cabinet about the action the Government was taking to ensure families and businesses could get through the downturn fairly. He made it clear that had we not taken this action, the downturn would undoubtedly be longer and deeper. The Chancellor referred to the announcement from the French Government last week of a fiscal stimulus of equivalent size to that seen in the UK, the announcement from the German Government a few weeks ago of a fiscal stimulus there and the increasing likelihood of a significant fiscal stimulus in the US as President elect Obama had been outlining at the weekend.

The Prime Minister also emphasised the importance of the action we were taking in addition to the reduction in VAT; the 145 permanent tax cut for basic rate taxpayers, the increase in child benefit and pensions and also the action that we needed to continue to take, such as addressing peoples fears of repossession as we had set out in the Queen s Speech debate last week.

There was also some discussion led by Lord Mandelson on how we were working with the banks to ensure lending to small businesses and a discussion round the Cabinet table of the action we were taking to bring forward capital spending, for example, the 100,000 jobs that were associated with the schools building programme alone.

Asked if there was any discussion about welfare reform in Cabinet, the PMS said that there had been a brief discussion on the subject in the context of the economic discussion. However there was a lengthy discussion on welfare reform last week when the main contents of the White Paper were discussed.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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