From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: Hospitals, the Chancellor, Family income.
Asked if why the Prime Minister (PM) supported the closure of the Accident and Emergency and maternity unit at Chase Farm Hospital, the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) said that all possible options for Chase Farm had been explored. She explained that further evidence had come to light that had led to the decision made today. She highlighted that the Government’s priority had been to put patients’ safety and local services first. The decision around Chase Farm was not about money, nor cuts to health services. She stressed that the Government remained committed to delivering a first rate NHS.
Asked if the PM was content with the decision, the PMS said that it had been a difficult decision, but was made on the basis of evidence which pointed to the fact that changes needed to be made.
Asked if the PM had spoken to the Chancellor today or if he was aware of media reports concerning him, the PMS said that PM routinely had discussions with the Chancellor and was being kept abreast of events.
Asked if the PM agreed with the Institute of Fiscal Studies’ prediction that families could face ten years of falling income, the PMS said that the Government’s priority had been to deal with the deficit. She said that the UK had a record deficit which had to be put under control. The Budget had included some measures to help families, such as delaying fuel duty rises, to lessen the impact of the difficult times people are facing.