Asked whether the government has a view on what the bank lending rate for mortgages should be, the PMS said that these were decisions for banks to make. He added that the Prime Minister’s view on the housing market was one of vigilance and it was right that the government had set up the Financial Policy Committee and created a new system of tighter regulation. He added that the Bank of England had already made changes to regulation of mortgages, with tighter approvals introduced in April.
Asked about passports, the PMS said that the Prime Minister very much shared the concerns of people facing delays. He added that action taken on security checks was right, as were the actions being taken to deal with the delays.
Asked about the European Commission’s intention to increase its budget, the PMS pointed out that this was an annual budget, which formed part of a 7 year spending period. And, as a result of negotiations led by the Prime Minister last year, the EU budget would fall in real terms over that period.
Asked about the Private Member’s Bill on the EU Referendum, the PMS said that the Prime Minister very much hoped that the EU Referendum Bill would be able to return in this parliamentary session.
Asked about the situation in Iraq, the PMS said that the G7 last week held discussions directly relevant to the situation in Iraq, looking at how to work with partner countries in the region in terms of security and blocking terrorist related financing. He added that the Department for International Development was working with the Iraqi and Kurdish governments to establish what humanitarian assistance we could offer.