Asked why the government had scrapped visa bonds, the PMS said consideration was given to a range of policy measures. The main measures had been set out in the Immigration Bill. A decision had been made on what would be the most effective measures.
Asked what the Prime Minister’s (PM) view was on the living wage, the PMS said the PM supports those businesses that choose to pay the living wage. Employers were taking the decision that was right for them. Government had already asked the Low Pay Commission to look at further increases to the National Minimum Wage.
Asked whether the PM was supportive of Enda Kenny taking a top position in the European Commission, the PMS said that the PM and Mr Kenny had a strong relationship but decisions for future European portfolios were for further down the line.
Asked what action the government was taking to address water prices, the PMS said that the sector is one area that government was looking at and more detail would be announced shortly.
Asked if the price of carriers would go up again, the PMS said the government had been in negotiation with the supplier. This was about making changes to the original contract to address concerns raised by the Public Accounts Committee.
Asked if G4S should be stopped from bidding for government contracts, the PMS said there is an audit of every contract in government and this continues. It was important for the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to get to the bottom of their investigation. The Secretary of State for Justice’s decision taken in July to ask the SFO to consider whether an investigation was needed, along with the Cabinet Office’s work on government contracts, had been, and remained, the right approach.