Asked if the Prime Minister (PM) agreed with the Business Taskforce’s recommendation to exempt small companies from employment laws, the PMS said the PM thought the report was excellent and it was important to cut red tape for all companies, whatever their size. Small companies were critical in driving growth which was why the government had recently raised with the EU Council the requirements forcing small businesses with regards to the holding of consumer information.
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
Asked if the PM was concerned that the IPCC had claimed 3 police officers gave false accounts of their meeting with Andrew Mitchell, the PMS said there had been serious allegations and it was now for the relevant authorities to get to the bottom of the matter.
Social care funding
Asked about the claim that the government’s care cost proposals would mean people are still required to sell their home, the PMS said that this was wrong. Nobody would have to sell their home under the government’s approach. He went on to say that the government was consulting on the level at which people should make a contribution to their care costs alongside the help from the state, but the figure of £23,250 was the start of a range and excluded the value of their home. The government was also capping care costs at £71,000 and all measures were to give people greater security in their old age.
Spare room subsidy
Asked for information about research into the spare room subsidy mentioned by the Deputy Prime Minister today, the PMS referred to the Department of Work and Pensions statement on this earlier in the year.
Asked if the PM had a view on a call for a public enquiry into the huge rise in food banks, the PMS said that alongside the benefits system, food centres played an important role in supporting people on low incomes, and the government had lifted the previous ban on job centres referring people to them.