Special representative for WWI commemorations
The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) informed journalists that the Prime Minister has appointed Dr Andrew Murrison MP as his special representative and coordinator for the commemorations to mark the centenary of World War One. The PMS said we expect there to be a number of events to commemorate WWI between 2014-2018 both in the UK and in other countries, and that Dr Murrison will support Government plans for those commemorations and liaise with other countries.
Asked if the role of special representative was paid, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) replied that the role was unpaid.
Asked if there was any update from the Attorney General’s visit to Strasburg, the PMS said that the Attorney General was essentially setting out the UK position.
Financial transaction tax
Asked if the Prime Minister agrees with the view that the Chancellor is sending nods and winks to the banks over a Financial Transaction Tax, the PMS said no. Asked if the Prime Minister though the Chancellor had set a hare running, the PMS said he thought not. The PMS added that in the Chancellor’s letter to the banks, the Chancellor was setting out the Government’s position which is that we agree in principal with the idea of a Financial Transaction Tax but believes that it should be implemented at a global level. The PMS said the Chancellor was also pointing out that there are practical issues that would need to be worked through.
Global governance report
Asked if he was able to summarise the Prime Minister’s report on Global Governance, the PMS said a summary of the points he addresses in the report would be available shortly. He added that the full report would be published at the G20 summit.
Family justice review
Asked if the Government would accept the recommendations of the Norgrove report and if this was compatible with the commitment to being the most family friendly government, the PMS said the report was due out tomorrow and the Government will carefully consider its recommendations before making any decisions on policy. Asked if the Prime Minster was still committed to having the most family friendly government, the PMS said the Government was committed to family friendly policies.
Women in boardrooms
Asked if he could explain any linkage between having more women in the boardroom and lower pay, and if there were equal pay issues, the PMS said that in Prime Ministers Questions the Prime Minster had made more general point about reform of Britain’s boardrooms. The PMS said the Prime Minster was essentially making the point that as the same people were appearing in different boardrooms over and over again, we could do with some new blood and seeing that in the past most boardrooms have been filled with men, bringing in more women would be a good thing.
Public sector pensions
Asked if the improved offer on public sector pensions was a capitulation, and if this was the Government’s final offer, the PMS said the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Minister for the Cabinet Office had set out the position. The PMS said the next step was to continue negotiations on the individual schemes. The PMS said the Chief Secretary to the Treasury had said the offer was as good as it gets.
Asked why the Government had made an improved offer, the PMS said the Government had always been clear about the principles behind public sector pension reforms. He said the reforms need to address rising costs, but that the Government also wants to make sure the offer is fair to public sector workers, and fair to the taxpayer. He said the Government believes these proposals strike the right balance.