Terror Threat Level
Asked if there was any more information on travel advice, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that there was a statement from the Home Secretary at the weekend setting out the US decision and the Foreign Office had updated its advice for France and Germany.
Asked if there was any indication that people would be advised to stop travelling, the PMS replied that all advice to travellers was kept under review and this update had been made at the weekend. There was no suggestion that there would be any further update.
When asked if it was helpful for the US government to issue the advice, the PMS said that the American government made their own announcements and it was a matter for them. We worked very closely with them on these issues and employed a similar policy, which was to update travellers and give them advice as and when it was appropriate.
Asked if the Prime Minister was being kept up to date with developments, the PMS said that the Prime Minister was being kept up to date but he wouldn’t provide commentary on how that happened.
Asked if Peter Ricketts was in daily contact with his US counterparts, the PMS replied that he was in close contact with his counterparts in other countries.
On whether the US had given any indication on how long this advice would be in place for, the PMS said that the US approach was similar to our own; we kept all these things under review and updated them when we saw a case to.
Put that the Americans could be exaggerating the threat, the PMS said that we worked closely with them and acted on the information we had.
Asked if the Prime Minister had asked for a review of the threat level since taking office, the PMS said that this was something that was kept constantly under review and is updated when we had information to suggest it should be updated.
Asked if the Prime Minister had any comment for the millions of middle class families who would lose money on the new proposal, the PMS replied that the Chancellor had set out the position this morning. The PMS said that we had to reflect the financial situation that we faced and our intention was to do that in a way that was fair. As the Chancellor had said this morning, it was difficult to justify taxing someone who was earning £20,000 a year to benefit someone who was on £50,000 a year.
Put that this was just going to hit middle class families, the PMS replied that there were a number of welfare reforms announced in the Budget and there were more to come in the Comprehensive Spending Review.
Put that the Prime Minister had said he would not touch child benefit, the PMS said the point remained the same; we faced a very difficult financial situation and a record deficit that needed to be tackled. Bringing down welfare expenditure was part of the answer and we needed to do that in a way that was fair.
Asked about reports calling on the Bank of England to inject more money into the economy, the PMS said that he was not aware of any particular reports. The PMS added that there had been some comments from Monetary Policy Committee members last week, but those issues were a matter for that committee.