International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Asked for a response to an IMF report published today, the PMS said the IMF’s report highlighted the risks economies continue to face around the world. He said that although the UK is forecast to have stronger growth than France or Germany in 2013, difficulties in the Euro area still create economic head winds.
Asked if the report was about austerity measures, the PMS said the fact that the IMF had highlighted the global economic risks principally linked to the Eurozone was of central importance. He repeated what the Chancellor has said: we are slowly but surely fixing this country’s economic problems, the deficit is down by a third and 1.2 million private sector jobs have been created.
Questioned on the decision to revise planning policy, the PMS shared the view of the Communities and Local Government Secretary: we want to try and establish a broad consensus and the government believes there is an opportunity to do that.
Asked what kind of consensus the government wanted to establish, the PMS said the government would listen to the representations that had been made and would respond consistently with the timetable of the bill going back to the Lords next week.
Asked what the Prime Minister thought about Npower’s corporation tax arrangements, the PMS said he was not aware of those reports and would not comment on individual taxpayers.
More broadly, he said the Prime Minister’s view was that companies should pay tax that is due.
Lady Thatcher’s funeral
Asked whether the Prime Minister would attend Lady Thatcher’s chapel service this evening, the PMS said he was not aware of plans to do so.