» Monday, July 25, 2011


Asked if the Bank of England should engage in more quantitative easing, the PMS replied that it was a matter for the Bank of England. On whether Vince Cable was right to suggest that the Bank of England should do that, the PMS advised journalists that what Vince Cable had said was that it was a judgement for the Bank of England.

Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with the comments made by Vince Cable when he had said that the state of the economy was worryingly weak, the PMS replied that we had always been very clear that it was going to be a tough year and if you looked around the world at this time, the backdrop was pretty challenging. There were a lot of uncertainties over what was happening in the Eurozone and elsewhere in the world; we had seen rising energy and commodity prices. So it would be a difficult period ahead.

The PMS said that Vince Cable had also made clear yesterday that we had inherited significant problems that needed to be sorted out, not least the aftermath of a banking crisis and a very challenging situation with the public finances.

Asked if the Prime Minister thought aspects of the Government’s economic policy should be changed, the PMS said that as the Chancellor had made clear at the weekend, we intended to stick to our plans to tackle Britain’s debts; because of the action we were taking, interest rates in this country had remained low.

Asked if this had been a tougher year than expected, the PMS replied that we were under no illusions that this was going to be a tough year. We had just come through a banking crisis, we had record levels of borrowing and there were significant problems around the world. The PMS said that that backdrop was going to make life difficult for this country.

Asked about Vince Cable’s comments about right wing nutters in the US, the PMS said that Vince Cable had been making a point about the discussions in the US and essentially saying that they needed to deal with those issues.

Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned about the impasse in the US, the PMS said that clearly these were issues for the Americans and he didn’t think we needed to provide extra commentary on the subject.

Asked if the Government would argue that it had no control over exterior world events after tomorrow’s growth figures, the PMS advised people to wait and see the figures would be published by the ONS tomorrow. It was certainly true that there was a great deal of uncertainty in the world economy at the present time and we were dealing with a challenging set of economic circumstances.

Asked why the ONS was wasting money on the National Wellbeing scheme, the PMS replied that the ONS had actually had a very positive response to the work they were doing.

On whether the PMS was satisfied with the Government’s growth strategy, the PMS said that there was always more work we could do and people would see more on Thursday when the Business Secretary was setting out what we were doing to cut red tape.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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