» Friday, October 21, 2005

Public Sector Pensions deal

Asked about the article in the Times suggesting displeasure in Downing Street at the way Alan Johnson handled the public sector pensions agreement, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that people should look at what we had said in the press briefings on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon where we had set out why we believed this was a good deal. It would save £13bn between now and 2050. It was always a case that the bulk of that saving, 85%, would come from new entrants. Asked how much displeasure had the Prime Minister felt at the way Alan Johnson handled things, the PMOS said that Downing Street's attitude was contained in those two briefing notes.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Clare Short’s Bill

Asked what the Government's attitude to Clare Short's Bill requiring a vote in Parliament before troops could be deployed, the PMOS said that the fact of the matter was that there had been a vote before Iraq. As both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary had said on the record in the past that no government would want to put itself in a position, that could not be foreseen at the moment, where action had to take place very quickly and it could not react quickly without giving an enemy, in those unforeseen circumstances, advanced notice and robbed itself of the element of surprise. That was the basis on which the Government approached this issue.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (4)


Asked if was the Prime Minister still comfortable that this was the right time to raise the overall tax burden on the economy following today's economic growth figures that showed another slowdown in the third quarter, the fifth quarter of sub trend growth, the PMOS said that tax questions were a matter for the Chancellor at the budget time and a matter for the Treasury to comment on. In terms of the fundamentals of the economy we believed the economy was strong.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

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