News story

Number 10 Press Briefing - Morning 14 May 2012

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

Business leaders, NHS reforms and Mitt Romney were among the topics discussed at this press briefing.

Business Leaders

Asked whether the PM would tell business leaders attending a meeting later that day to “stop whingeing”, the PMS said that the meeting was private.

Asked whether the PM agreed with the Foreign Secretary’s remarks, the PMS said that the PM thought we needed a private sector-led recovery and the Government had taken steps to help achieve that. We have taken action to increase bank lending, we were cutting red tape and reducing corporation tax year on year to the lowest level in the G7.

Asked whether the PM was frustrated that those efforts were not recognised by the business community, the PMS said that the country was recovering from a very deep recession. It would take time to rebalance the economy, which would require hard work from the private sector and Government.


Asked if the Government would respond to any new economic packages announced by Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, the PMS said that Britain had been discussing growth and the European economy with European partners for some time.

Asked whether there would be any concrete outcomes from the G8 meeting, the PMS said that we had been taking steps to support our economy, but we were also pushing for more action at the European level to complete the single market.

Asked whether the UK could be called upon to contribute to a clean up fund if Greece left the Eurozone, the PMS said that the Government had been consistent in saying that Eurozone countries needed to support their own currency.

Asked whether the PM thought the UK economy would suffer is Greece left the Eurozone, the PMS said that what happened in the Eurozone affected the UK. We have seen in the past how problems in one country could spread to another and we had therefore argued that the Eurozone needed to put in place an effective firewall.

Asked whether there would be a recapitalisation of the European Investment Bank, the PMS said that there were no proposals on the table but we would consider any proposals on their merits.

Asked whether the PM was confident that the UK had contingency plans in place to deal with a Greek exit from the Eurozone, the PMS said that we had a range of contingency plans in place, but we did not comment on them.

NHS reforms

Asked for a reaction to claims from the Royal College of Nurses that 61,000 NHS jobs were at risk, the PMS said that we did not recognise those figures.

Asked whether the PM was concerned by the issues raised by the Royal College of Nurses, the PMS said that the PM had been clear that he wanted to work with healthcare professionals to reform the NHS. We were protecting the NHS budget but could not stand still given the challenges of an ageing population and the rising cost of health treatments.

Mitt Romney

Asked whether the PM would be meeting Mitt Romney this summer, the PMS said that there would be a lot of people in London over the summer because of the Olympics. The PM would be having a number of meetings but we wouldn’t confirm these until nearer the time.