Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon From 24 March 2011

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on the budget.


Asked if the conversation with the Japanese Prime Minister was the first time the Prime Minister expressed his condolences, the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) told the assembled press that she would check and report back.

Asked for the Prime Minister’s views on the IFS claim that he is breaking his promise on NHS funding, the PMS referred to the IFS statement which said that the Government is meeting its pledge. The PMS also referred to the Prime Minister’s comment from December 2010 where he said that he was confident that we will fulfil our goal of real terms increases every year in the NHS.

Asked about the Moody’s credit rating agency possibly downgrading the triple A rating if slower economic growth makes tackling the deficit harder, the PMS said that the Chancellor had set out a fiscally neutral Budget that builds on plans to tackle the deficit, and that plan is still on course.

Asked what would happen if there is lower than expected growth, the PMS said that the Budget was specifically about growth and getting the economy moving. The PMS said this was in line with the Prime Minister’s priorities for the European Council.

Asked for a comment on what Nick Clegg was overheard saying at the PM Direct event earlier in the day, the PMS said that she couldn’t comment on the remarks as she hadn’t heard them.