Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned that sex offenders would be able to appeal and be taken off the sex offenders register after the court ruling, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said the last thing we wanted to see was these people disappearing off the radar. We had some very tough restrictions in place in this country and we were not intending to let our guard down. We were already looking at the system and the way it operated.
The PMS said we were trying to think of how we could close existing loop holes, for example, we would be making it compulsory for sex offenders to report to the authorities before travelling abroad in future. There were various issues with the present system which were currently under review.
Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned about the rise in youth unemployment, the PMS said yes, but it was worth recognising that youth unemployment had been a problem for many years.
We had seen persistently high levels of youth unemployment even when unemployment was falling overall so it was clearly something we were concerned about and something we intended to address.
On whether the Prime Minister accepted that the cuts programme would make things worse for youth unemployment, the PMS said that what we needed was an economic policy that saw a rebalancing in the economy and that was what we were doing through our deficit reduction plan.
Asked whether the Prime Minister was relaxed about interest rates rising, the PMS said people should look at the Chancellor’s letter from yesterday. Monetary policy was clearly an issue for the Monetary Policy Committee, but he said for its part, the Government’s commitment to delivering its fiscal consolidation plan continued to provide the MPC with the space it needed to target low inflation.
In the current context stepping back from our commitment for fiscal consolidation would make the MPC’s job harder by putting further upwards pressure on inflation and would risk prompting an offsetting monetary tightening, such that overall there would be little if any impact on demand.