Press briefing - morning 7 March 2013
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The Prime Minister's Spokesperson (PMS) took questions on the PM's economy speech, Sir David Nicholson and remit of the Bank of England.
PM economy speech
Asked whether the Prime Minister (PM) believed there was a case for borrowing more money for capital spending, the PMS said that the PM’s view was as set out in his forthcoming speech. He added that the PM thought it very important to stick the course and that on infrastructure spending the government had already increased capital spending plans by £20bn.
Asked about the PM’s views on the Business Secretary’s comments, the PMS said that as the Business Secretary had set out earlier that the government has the right approach.
Asked about the Deputy Prime Minister’s (DPM) suggestions that the Treasury Guarantee schemes were taking too long and whether the PM was concerned, the PMS replied that the government’s growth policy was imbued with a sense of urgency and that would be reiterated in the PM’s speech.
Asked several questions about the approval process for the Business Secretary’s speech, the PMS said that the PM’s speech was the government’s approach.
Asked what sticking to the course mean, when the two parts of the fiscal mandate as set out in the emergency budget had been broken, the PMS said it was the one clearly set out in the 2012 Autumn Statement. He added that there was a rolling five year mandate and supplementary debt target.
Asked that as the PM had suggested we are seeing green shoots, was he confident that we would avoid a triple dip recession, the PMS pointed to the PM’s speech in which he said that there are signs that the government’s plans is beginning to work but added that forecasting is for the Independent Office of Budget Responsibility.
Asked what the danger was in borrowing more money, the PMS said that this was about maintaining fiscal credibility which had helped deliver historically low borrowing costs for mortgage holders and small businesses.
Sir David Nicholson
Asked if the PM agreed with the DPM that sacking Sir David Nicholson would falsely satisfy the families of those who died at Mid Staffordshire Hospital, the PMS said the PM had set out his views on a number of occasions.
Bank of England remit
Asked if the government planned to widen the remit of the Bank of England, the PMS said that it was annual requirement for government to set a remit for the Bank, and this had been in place since the Bank’s independence.