Asked what was discussed at Cabinet in relation to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) made clear the Health Secretary gave an update on recent events. Questioned on whether there would be further prosecutions, the PMS said this was a matter for the police and the CQC were looking into disciplinary procedures.
Asked if the Prime Minister was in favour of migrant bonds, the PMS said the government was looking at ways of deterring overstaying. He said that bonds were one option that would be piloted. Questioned on whether the Prime Minister was expecting a diplomatic fallout over migrant bonds following his trip to India, the PMS said the UK was looking at a range of policy measures to bring down net migration and to deter overstaying in all countries. Asked if migrant bonds are a discriminatory policy, the PMS reiterated that it was one of a range of options to deter those that overstay in a bid to recover costs. Questioned on how the 6 countries were selected, the PMS made clear the details of the pilot scheme are still under consideration, with the Home Office due to announce the finer details in due course.
Marriage tax breaks
Asked if the Coalition government would bring in tax breaks for married couples during this parliament, the PMS said the Prime Minister was committed to honouring the Coalition Agreement to bring in tax breaks. Questioned on the timings behind the legislation and whether it will be brought in before May 2015, the PMS made clear that an announcement on how the government will legislate will be made by the Chancellor in due course. Asked how committed the Prime Minister was to bringing in the new legislation, the PMS reiterated that the Prime Minister was absolutely committed to recognising marriage in the tax system and it was a key part of the Coalition Agreement.
Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned that government agencies might have hacked mobile phones, the PMS said that all government agencies operated in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework. Questioned on whether police should look into the Serious and Organised Crime Agency’s report, the PMS made clear that the allegations of illegal activity were cause for concern but further investigation was a matter for the police.