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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the developed world. Employment has increased by 2.9 million since

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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figures show that our credible economic policies are continuing to

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deliver greater economic security for families across the country. But

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

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

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

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the British people to entrust them the responsibility of forming the

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next government through the crucial years of our Brexit negotiations and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Labour retreat into an ideological comfort zone, ducking the difficult

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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country. It will be strong leadership and credible policies for

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

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

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

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

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

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that. Thank you, Prime Minister.

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Yesterday, the Labour manifesto confirmed what we already suspected,

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

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

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

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

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lack the basic competence and credibility to govern this country.

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

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

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

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

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

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Secretary Angela Rayner could not tell us how many children their

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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uncosted promises to increase benefits, two unexplained threats to

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

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

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

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

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

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to implement the shambolic package of policies they unveiled yesterday

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

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

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

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economic chaos would mean higher running plummet, robbing families of

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

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

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

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deficit, growing debt, and increasing financial uncertainty for

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

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

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

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

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

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big a risk to take. Thank you. APPLAUSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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candidly admitting occasionally swearing in rows with number ten. If

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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winning the general election because it matters for the future of

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country. What I candidly admitted this

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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and the final deal, that special relationship, special partnership

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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deliver sustainable economic road and sustainable, rising living

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

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

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deliver sustainable, rising living standards, only getting the

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

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exit deal and it requires strong leadership to consolidate the gains

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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businesses are investing here and creating jobs and that people have

:15:42.:15:44.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:17:10.:17:13.

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

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

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This is the most important defence and security relationship that we

:17:23.:17:26.

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

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

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

:17:37.:17:40.

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

:17:41.:17:44.

have confidence in their relationship between us and the

:17:45.:17:46.

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

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

:17:54.:17:56.

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

:17:57.:17:58.

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

:17:59.:18:04.

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

:18:05.:18:21.

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

:18:22.:18:23.

dealt with stuff coming from sensitive sources - does the fact

:18:24.:18:30.

that the President of the United States seems willing to discuss

:18:31.:18:36.

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

:18:37.:18:41.

wherever, does that make you more reluctant to share British

:18:42.:18:46.

intelligence with the US? Decisions about what President Trump discusses

:18:47.:18:50.

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

:18:51.:18:55.

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

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

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

:19:04.:19:08.

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

:19:09.:19:19.

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

:19:20.:19:24.

That is an important part of maintaining our national security,

:19:25.:19:35.

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

:19:36.:19:42.

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

:19:43.:19:46.

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

:19:47.:19:50.

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

:19:51.:19:55.

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

:19:56.:20:00.

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

:20:01.:20:05.

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

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

:20:10.:20:12.

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

:20:13.:20:19.

started straight after the election with the Brexit negotiations will

:20:20.:20:23.

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

:20:24.:20:28.

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

:20:29.:20:31.

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

:20:32.:20:37.

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

:20:38.:20:40.

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

:20:41.:20:45.

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

:20:46.:20:47.

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

:20:48.:20:59.

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

:21:00.:21:05.

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

:21:06.:21:10.

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

:21:11.:21:14.

similarly bad news in the Conservative manifesto? First of

:21:15.:21:19.

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

:21:20.:21:22.

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

:21:23.:21:28.

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

:21:29.:21:32.

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

:21:33.:21:36.

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

:21:37.:21:41.

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

:21:42.:21:46.

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

:21:47.:21:49.

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

:21:50.:21:52.

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

:21:53.:21:59.

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

:22:00.:22:04.

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

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

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

:22:15.:22:17.

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

:22:18.:22:22.

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

:22:23.:22:28.

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

:22:29.:22:31.

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

:22:32.:22:50.

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

:22:51.:22:57.

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

:22:58.:23:01.

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

:23:02.:23:08.

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

:23:09.:23:13.

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

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

:23:20.:23:23.

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

:23:24.:23:28.

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

:23:29.:23:35.

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

:23:36.:23:42.

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

:23:43.:23:45.

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

:23:46.:23:50.

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

:23:51.:23:54.

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

:23:55.:23:57.

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

:23:58.:24:02.

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

:24:03.:24:06.

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

:24:07.:24:11.

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

:24:12.:24:14.

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

:24:15.:24:17.

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

:24:18.:24:20.

secure people's future.

:24:21.:24:28.