Theresa May and Philip Hammond Election 2017

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Theresa May and Philip Hammond

Live coverage of a press conference with prime minister Theresa May and chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond in London, Wednesday 17 May.

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And get the best deal for the United Kingdom and Europe, me or Jeremy


Corbyn. And our economic security will be on the ballot paper on the


8th of June. Over the last seven years, thanks to the hard work of


the British people and the credible economic plan we have pursued in


government, significant progress has been made. We have taken the British


economy out of the danger zone and begun to repair the damage done to


it by Labour. The deficit has come down by almost three quarters as a


share of GDP. The UK economy has grown at one of the fastest rate in


the developed world. Employment has increased by 2.9 million since


Labour were in power. We should never forget what those numbers mean


for ordinary working families. , they mean a better future bloggers


-- more security, more tax revenue to spend on vital public services


like the NHS, schools and events. Just today, we have seen that the


work of fixing Labour's economic mess continues. The government has


sold its remaining shares in Lloyds banking group as we continue to


repair the damage to our banking sector and today's employment


figures show that our credible economic policies are continuing to


deliver greater economic security for families across the country. But


none of this happened by accident. Our economic progress has been


dearly won and could easily be lost if the wrong policies were pursued


in the years ahead. It is frankly all at risk. Any party which asked


the British people to entrust them the responsibility of forming the


next government through the crucial years of our Brexit negotiations and


beyond must demonstrate that it has the credible economic plan and the


capable team to safeguard our economic security. No one good look


at what Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party offered yesterday and conclude


that it passed the test. -- no one could look. The risk which a Jeremy


Corbyn led government would pose to the economy has been laid bare. But


manifestos are also a test of something else. They are a test of


leadership. Later this week, I will publish my body's manifest over the


next five years. Unlike Jeremy Corbyn's fantasy wish list of easy


promises, paid for with imaginary money, I will set out in detail the


five great challenges our country's -- our country faces over the next


five years and layout how we will tackle them. While Jeremy Corbyn and


Labour retreat into an ideological comfort zone, ducking the difficult


challenges which lie ahead I will be straight with people. I won't shy


away from facing the challenges of our time. Rather, I will set out how


we will tackle them head-on. Because that is what leadership is about.


And on this key test, Jeremy Corbyn has failed once again. If you can't


show real leadership of his party now, how could he lead our country


through Brexit? How could he sit down and the prime ministers,


president and chancellors of Europe and get a deal for Britain. At this


election, only be strong and stable leadership of me and my team. Can


deliver this excess or Brexit our country needs. Face up to the


challenges which lie ahead and improve the lives of everyone in our


country. It will be strong leadership and credible policies for


a better future. That starts with getting the right Brexit deal for


Britain, which locks and economic security for our country. The


weakness of Jeremy Corbyn and the chaos of the coalition which will


put him into Downing Street. And with it, the future prosperity of


families across our country. And the Chancellor will now say more about


that. Thank you, Prime Minister.


Yesterday, the Labour manifesto confirmed what we already suspected,


that they do not have a credible plan for our country's future and


they cannot be trusted with our country's finances. What we saw


yesterday is only the latest in a catalogue of chaos. From Labour.


Throughout this campaign, Labour has shown time and time again that they


lack the basic competence and credibility to govern this country.


We have seen Jeremy Corbyn and his closest lieutenants exposed as being


simply not up to the job. Shadow Chancellor, the self-confessed


Marxist John McDonnell, does not know how big the deficit is. The


Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, at one stage was suggesting you


could employ a police officer for ?30 per year. The Shadow Education


Secretary Angela Rayner could not tell us how many children their


class size policy would affect. And yesterday, the Shadow Foreign


Secretary, Emily Thornberry, was unable to explain Labour's policy on


benefits. Labour have simply become a shambles. And as yesterday's


manifesto showed, their numbers simply do not add up. Now that


Jeremy Corbyn has published his manifesto in full, we have been able


to update the analysis which David Davis and I published previously. We


can now set out the full damage is nonsensical plans would do to the


nation's finances by 2021 - 22. The new dossier of analysis we have


published today shows that there is a ?58 billion black coal in Jeremy


Corbyn's plans in just one year alone. -- black hole. Proposal after


proposal in Labour's manifesto mean more borrowing and more debt from


uncosted promises to increase benefits, two unexplained threats to


seize control of private companies. These plans, many of them it can be


questionable in themselves, simply do not add up. Any shred of economic


credibility which Labour had left has now been buried by Jeremy Corbyn


and his acolytes. And this matters to families across the UK. The


economic chaos which would hit our country if Labour were in a position


to implement the shambolic package of policies they unveiled yesterday


would leave every household in Britain counting the cost. The price


of Labour's payers would be felt in higher taxes and steeper mortgage


bills for working families. -- the price of Labour's chaos. This


economic chaos would mean higher running plummet, robbing families of


the peace of mind and security which comes with the job. It would mean


more borrowing, throwing away all of the hard earned progress of the last


seven years and take us right back to square one with a growing


deficit, growing debt, and increasing financial uncertainty for


the next generation. Labour's manifesto is a plan for an


ideological view which would mean economic chaos for the many. Only


Theresa May and her Conservative team have a plan to lock in economic


security and build a better future for our country. The stakes at this


election could not be higher. A vote for any other party is simply too


big a risk to take. Thank you. APPLAUSE


Thank you very much, Philip. We will now take questions. Laura. Thank


you, Prime Minister and Chancellor. You have attacked the Labour plans,


not surprisingly, but if increasing tax and spending overall is such a


bad idea, why has it continued to happen under a government that you


have both been part of for seven years? You have repeatedly missed


your deficit targets and you even still have a black hole in your most


recent budget, Chancellor. If I may, the Chancellor this morning rather


candidly admitting occasionally swearing in rows with number ten. If


Arnaud Djoum, you are re-elected, will you still be next-door


neighbours? -- if after June, you are re-elected. I will ask the


Chancellor to respond as well but first, let's be clear about what we


are saying about the Labour Party manifesto, it simply does not add


up. What we see if this is the ?8 billion black hole we have


identified in their figures. But what matters is that these are large


numbers but also the impact it has an ordinary working families. And it


means people will be paying the price of Labour, they will pay the


price in higher taxes, lower wages, higher prices and an economy which


will be in chaos. The key thing is that over the last seven years, we


have shown we have a credible economic plan and we have a credible


economic plan for the future, to take us forward, to ensure that we


get the right deal for Brexit but also locked in our economic


security. I think it is true to say that the Chancellor and I and every


other member of my team focused on the 8th of June. Our focus is on


winning the general election because it matters for the future of


country. What I candidly admitted this


morning, and my family will confirm this, is that I do occasionally


swear. The difference here between us and Labour is, Labour does not


believe in balancing the budget. The Prime Minister has said many times


that as a country, we have to get back to living within our means, we


have to do that in a sensible and measured way, which balances the


needs of deficit reduction with the needs for balancing the economy and


the needs of our public services and, but we do have to do it. Labour


does not believe in reducing taxes, Labour believes in increasing taxes.


We are a low tax party by instinct. Conservatives will always cost you


less in tax. You're is missing tensions between you and No 10, Mr


Hammond, but I think many people will want to know how bad relations


really have got and whether you will still be Chancellor of the election


if you win? Look, we work very closely together, the Prime Minister


and I have known each other for many, many years. She has got an


extremely strong team around her, I work very closely with hurting, some


of them are people that I have known for many, many years. We do work


very well together as a team, and all this media tittle tattle is just


that. Prime Minister, yesterday, when we were at that screw fix for


me, a father of five who takes home ?300 a week asked you twice about


how you would help him cope with the cost of living, and he is right,


isn't he, because new figures show inflation running at 2.7%, while


weekly earnings are now running at 2.1% in the three months to March.


You admitted to him that Brexit was partly to blame for his family's


struggles - are you now saying that EU also said there would be a of


years of uncertainty. Do you now say that there will be a squeeze on the


cost of living for workers until Brexit is complete? If I may, I did


not actually say that Brexit was responsible for trouble that he had.


I did say that we had of course seen an impact on inflation from changes


to the currency over the last few months, and that, as everybody


knows, we are going to a negotiation on Brexit over the next two years,


and the final deal, that special relationship, special partnership


that we want to build with Europe, will be part of those negotiations.


There are two ways of looking at the impact of cost of living for people.


One is, our desire to ensure that people are in work and that we see


are economy generating higher paid jobs. That's what we want to see.


But if you're going to do that, you have to make sure you have a


credible plan to build on the strength of the economy and not


destroy it with the sort of policies that we have seen from the Labour


Party yesterday in their manifesto. And then, on the other side of the


equation, in terms of cost of living, of course, we can help


people in certain areas, and that's exactly what we're proposing to do


in of energy costs, which as you know, the regulator said the


customers of the big six suppliers are paying ?1.4 billion more a year


than they would if the market was truly competitive. That's why in


government we would take action on that. 2.9 million new jobs, net new


jobs, since 2010, our economy is one of the fastest-growing developed


economies in the world. Yes, of course we have some inflation


passing through the economy, but it will be transient, it is a result of


currency movements last year. And the OBR forecasts that in every year


of the five-year forecast period, real wages will continue to


increase. As the Prime Minister says, the long-term answer to this


question is that only by building a strong and resilient economy can we


deliver sustainable economic road and sustainable, rising living


standards. There is no other way of doing it. It is not done by writing


in a Labour manifesto that we will do this or that. That will not


deliver sustainable, rising living standards, only getting the


fundamentals of the economy right will do that. That requires a good


exit deal and it requires strong leadership to consolidate the gains


that we've made in our economy over the last seven years. A question to


both of you, which verges into the area of political philosophy, I


think. Without asking you to pre-empt your manifesto tomorrow,


philosophy of taxation, would you like to see a shift in the balance


of taxation away from work and enterprise and onto wealth? My


overriding philosophy of taxation is actually that we should be as low


tax a country as possible. It is in that way that we can ensure that


businesses are investing here and creating jobs and that people have


more of their own money to spend. That is my tax philosophy. I think


we have got a challenge as the economy changes shape. That sounds


like yesterday's question. As we move into more digital globalised


economy, the challenge is, how we tax that changing pattern of


activity, how do we make sure that companies operating digitally in the


global economy, who may have a big footprint in the UK but not


necessarily a big tax presence, how do we make sure that they pay their


fair share? This is an international bastion, who only dealt with by


agreement between nations, and Britain has led in the G20 and other


forums in taking forward this debate about how we are going to make sure


that our tax system evolves as the shape of our economy will evolves,


so carry on supporting rising living standards. That is the challenge.


Question to each of you. You have spoken about reducing the deficit,


can you commit today by when, under your chancellorship you would


eliminate the deficit? Prime Minister, you will be very aware of


the other side of the Atlantic, the White House, and allegations of


spying and what is going on with Donald Trump - do you have full


confidence in Donald Trump? Shall I take that last one? We have a very


special relationship, as you know with the United States of America.


This is the most important defence and security relationship that we


have around the world. I was very pleased when I went to the United


States shortly after President Trump's inauguration and he was able


to commit to his 100% commitment to Nato, which is and important bedrock


of our security and that of Europe. We continue to work together and we


have confidence in their relationship between us and the


United States, which helps to keep us all safer. Nobody should be in


any doubt about our commitment to getting the country back to living


within its means, that is essential if we are going to build a


sustainable economy for the future. As to the exact timetable, you will


have to wait, I'm afraid, until the manifesto was published -- is


published. Prime Minister, you've dealt with security matters, you've


dealt with stuff coming from sensitive sources - does the fact


that the President of the United States seems willing to discuss


things really with people in the Oval Office, from Russia or


wherever, does that make you more reluctant to share British


intelligence with the US? Decisions about what President Trump discusses


with anybody that he has in the White House is a matter for


President Trump. We continue to work with the United States and to share


intelligence with the United States space we do with others around the


world, because we are all working together to deal with the threats


that we face. The key threat being that of terrorism, predominantly


from Daesh but we must never forget that Al-Qaeda is still out there.


That is an important part of maintaining our national security,


and we will continue to do so. To accept that Brexit is to blame for


the 17% slide in sterling since June's referendum, and if you don't,


what do you think is the reason? If you look at what happened to


sterling, sterling had started to fall back before the referendum vote


came through. So, there have been adjustments to sterling, and if you


look, it is not just that sterling has gone down, we have seen it move


around a as currencies do. What matters to any government is that we


have a credible economic plan that is able to ensure that we can deal


with the circumstances as they develop. The key thing is to get


started straight after the election with the Brexit negotiations will


make progress as quickly as we can to get the best possible deal for


Britain. Business hates uncertainty, everybody knows that. The sooner we


can create certainty about Britain's future relationship with Europe and


about how people will be able to operate their businesses, the better


it will be for the British economy. That means strong and determined


leadership in those negotiations, and it's very clear to me that


Jeremy Corbyn cannot provide that leadership. Sorry, I don't know


everybody's name, so... Daily Telegraph. A question for both of


you, if I may. Labour has unveiled plans to put up taxes on the top 5%


of earners - can people earning more than ?80,000 expect to hear


similarly bad news in the Conservative manifesto? First of


all, you will not be surprised when I say that we will be setting out


our policies in the manifesto, when we publish it tomorrow. But if you


look at the issue of taxation, let's just look at our record in


government. We have taken 4 million people out of paying income tax


altogether, and 31 million people have seen a tax cut. For a basic


rate taxpayer, that has been worth about ?1000 a year. I come back to


the point Philip made earlier, that actually, there is a very clear


choice between the two parties, it is between a Conservative Party


which has always believed in lower taxes and continues to be a low tax


party and will continue to be so, and Labour, whose natural instinct


is to put up taxes. The election will not just be about taxes, it


will be about jobs lost and higher prices for the consumers, what we


see from Labour's manifesto is that it is ordinary working families up


and down the country who will pay the price. It is worth reminding


ourselves of where we are today. Top 1% of income earners pay 87% of all


the income tax collected in this country. That is a higher


percentage... page 27%. Briefings, if I may.


Firstly, the Conservative position, on families just managing to get


right, and ordinary workers, can you explain why it is a bad idea to put


a payroll tax on salaries of ?330,000 or more. And, Prime


Minister, can you give us an endorsement of the Chancellor? I am


happy to do so, yes! Very happy to do so! Is Philip says, we have


worked together for many years, longer than we would care to


identify, I think! That is an age-related comment, nothing else,,


in case you try and relate anything into that! In relation to what is


happening in the Labour Party manifesto, the key thing is that you


have to ask yourselves, with the in positions that they are proposing to


put on business, what would the impact of that be? It is easy to


think, this is just about business, business will pay and there will not


be any impact on anybody else. Actually, that's not right. If


business does not think this is a good place to be, in the UK, then


they won't come here, we won't see jobs being created and people will


lose out. They will lose out in higher prices in the shops, in lower


wages and fewer jobs. What we need to do is to make sure that the


United Kingdom is the most attractive place to set up and grow


a business, to provide their jobs and investment that will really


secure people's future.