Asked how much money the Prime Minister had put in the collection box for his poppy, the Prime Minister’s Spokeswoman (PMS), replied that the Prime Minister had put in £10.
Asked for a response to the allegation that the reduction of feed-in tariffs was a binning of the Government’s green strategy, the PMS reiterated Energy Minster Greg Barker’s words from earlier in the day, saying that the priority was to put the solar industry on a firm footing, so that it could remain a successful and prosperous part of the green economy and not fall victim to boom and bust. The PMS added that the plummeting costs of solar meant that we had no option but to act so that we stayed within budget and did not threaten the whole viability of the feed-in tariffs scheme. The PMS said that the Government recognised it would be a big challenge to adjust to the new lower tariffs but it would not come as a surprise to many in the solar industry who have acknowledged the big fall in costs and the big increase in their rates of return over the past year.
Regional Growth Fund
Asked why large companies like JCB and Siemens were getting money from the Regional Growth Fund, the PMS responded that they were providing jobs in areas that needed them. The PMS added that the Government had looked very carefully at the companies that had bid for investment and said that Government investment would provide leverage for much greater investment from the private sector. The PMS said that 201,000 jobs would be created or protected out of the money that had been allocated.
Put that JCB had make record profits and asked why it needed Government subsidies, the PMS reiterated that one of the key criteria of the Regional Growth Fund was to support areas that had been reliant on the public sector and this was where the Government was looking to help companies invest.
Asked for an explanation of what the Prime Minister meant when he spoke about speeding up the process and asked whether the announcement earlier in the day was going to happen anyway, but would now be happening sooner, the PMS clarified that Regional Growth Fund and the two power plant projects announced by the Prime Minister earlier in the day were two separate things. The PMS said that the Prime Minister had announced the decision to go ahead on two power station projects adding that the Government had prioritised projects it could go ahead with now.