Press release

Press briefing: morning 24 January

The Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) answered questions on the EU referendum bill, take home pay, Ukraine, and interest rates.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Drifting ship

Asked if the PM had been briefed on the ship that is reported to be drifting towards the UK, the PMS said that he was not aware if the PM had been briefed.

EU referendum bill

Asked if the PM was concerned about the number of amendments tabled in the bill, the PMS said that if people did not want the British people to have their say, that would be for them to explain.

Civil service contracts

Asked if the PM had any comment on reports that jobs previously done by civil servants were now being done by a company based in France, the PMS said that the government was making sure that it got maximum value for taxpayers’ money.

Take home pay

Asked whether the government would produce figures which included the impact on take home pay of changes to the benefits system, the PMS said that HM Treasury would publish a full distributional analysis alongside the next fiscal event.

Asked why the figures published on take home pay are only for one financial year, the PMS said that there had been a widely reported debate on take home pay, and the figures published demonstrated the specific impact the cut in income tax has had on take home pay.

Asked if the PM recognised that some people might not feel better off, the PMS reiterated that the PM, Chancellor and Skills and Enterprise Minister had all recognised that the UK had been made poorer by the great recession, but as the figures published today showed, the long term economic plan is having an impact.


Asked whether there were any plans to summon the Ukrainian ambassador over the protests in Kiev, the PMS said that the Europe minister has already summoned the charge d’affaires to outline the government’s concern.


Asked whether the PM is concerned about any particular new EU regulations being introduced around fracking, the PMS said that the PM is worried about how unnecessary regulation and red tape may stifle the industry and that we need to be vigilant to prevent that happening.

Interest rates

Asked for the PM’s view on the Bank of England Governor’s plans to drop forward guidance, the PMS said that the PM and Chancellor had both spoken about this point that morning, and pointed people to those words.

Published 24 January 2014