» Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Swine Flu

Asked if the Government was putting so much time and energy into the issue of swine flu as it was the only crisis facing the world that wasn t being blamed on the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister s Spokesman (PMS) said no; it had to do with the fact that many people in this country were worried about swine flu and the consequences of a pandemic.

Put that the Government had been stoking the issue up, the PMS that he completely rejected that statement; the Government had been responding to the advice from the scientific community and the World Health Organisation (WHO), as you would expect any responsible government to do, and it was WHO that had recently increased the alert to phase five.


Put that the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) had just published a report that said it was very concerned with the public finances, the PMS said that we had not seen the report yet so it was difficult to comment. However, every country had been affected by the global downturn and that we, like many other governments, were setting out a strategy and specific commitments as to how we were going to ensure that public finances were on a sustainable path. We shouldn t be under any illusions that if we had not taken action in order to shorten the depth and length of the recession in the way that we had, then the impact on the public finances would have been even greater.

Put that the TSC report also claimed that the Government had failed to take sufficient action to ensure that child poverty targets were met, the PMS said that the Government had taken considerable action on child poverty over the years.

Put that the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) latest quarterly report said that the size of this year s deficit had been underestimated, the PMS said that this was a global problem that was affecting all countries. We also had a forecast recently from the European Commission, which suggested that the UK was not going to fair as badly this year, or next, as the Euro area. The forecast from the NIESR for public sector net borrowing was lower than the Government s forecasts for this year and next year, which suggested if anything that we were being too pessimistic about the public finances for this year and next.

original source.

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

1 Comment »

  1. The novel H1N1 flu virus is spreading from person-to-person. Consulting a health care professional is important if you experience severe flu-like symptoms. The illness is treatable if medical attention is sought in the early stages. Stay informed read here Swine Flu FAQ

    Comment by Carol Brooks — 9 May 2009 on 8:05 am | Link

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