Number 10 Press Briefing - Morning 31 October 2012
The Prime Minister's Spokesperson (PMS) answered questions on the EU Budget, wind farms, Heseltine review and electoral boundaries.
Answering question on the EU budget, the PMS said that our message had been consistent over the last two years. We had been asking for budget restraint at a time when all countries were having to make cuts.
Responding to questions on the Government’s policy on wind farms, the PMS said the Government was committed to supporting a balanced energy mix, we have provided subsidies to different forms of technologies in order to achieve that balance. We have kept these subsidies under review as the cost of these technologies change, we have reduced the subsidy to onshore wind because it was one of the cheapest forms of renewables. Asked about a speech by the Energy Minister, John Hayes, on wind farms the PMS said John Hayes had said that we are committed to a balanced energy mix. The issue of onshore wind had been a topic of debate because there had been concerns in some communities about the impact of those onshore wind farms. The Prime Minister and the Energy Minister have recognised these concerns which was why we have begun a call for evidence to engage local communtites and examine the future costs for this technology.
Answering questions on the Heseltine Review the PMS said that the review would be read widely as there were lots of significant recommendations. The Chancellor and the Business Secretary, had said that it would take time to consider the report properly. The central analysis of the review, that our economy had become unbalanced and focused in one sector and one region of the country, was on the Government agreed with. Asked about the report’s recommendations on airports capacity the PMS said an independent review had been set up to consider the issue so that we can agree the right long term choice for the country.
Asked about the status of the electoral boundaries the PMS said that the Boundaries Commission are carrying out work which they will report back on in the autumn of 2013, after which there will be a vote in the House of Commons. Asked whether the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime had discussed this issue the PMS said that they met most days to discuss a range of issues such as this. The Prime Minster believed there should be a vote and the Deputy Prime Minister had made clear that he would instruct his MPs to vote against it.