8am, Mr Cameron is due to be talking about the economy but my guess is that he’ll be questioned on a certain other matter!  Highlights (not verbatim) follow:

8.07am: Begins with joke about host Policy Exchange. It’s not always my favourite think tank!  He welcomes Neil O’Brien as new Head of PX.

8.08am: Economy speech begins with concern about banks’ behaviour towards small businesses.

8,09am: Labour doesn’t attempt to address real recession, only recession in its poll rating. It focus is politics, not policies.

8.11am: The Government is being distracted from the most important task: "Monetary activism".

8.12am: Monetary activism means lower interest rates and better credit lines to business.  Four-out-of-ten businesses are reporting poorer access to credit.  It was not for this that the Conservatives supported bank recapitalisation.  It is now clear that recapitalisation is failing.

8.15am: Labour’s cut in VAT is the wrong solution. It may even make the recovery more difficult.

8.17am: Conservatives believe that there should be a new and temporary National Loan Guarantee Scheme to underwrite billions of facilities to business and require a commercial insurance fee, in return, to protect the taxpayer.  France has just introduced a similar scheme.

8.19am: These measures have been welcomed by the CBI and Federation of Small Businesses.

8.22am: Closing line; "We must act now to save the real economy."


8.23am: Damian Green has done a good job as immigration spokesman
and I intend for him to stay in post. We now need to find out how much
ministers knew of yesterday’s developments and whether ministers
approve of MPs being treated in this way.

8.26am: Loans made under the NLGS would be more expensive than
commercial loans because in addition to the interest rate there would
be an insurance fee.

8.28am: In answer to my question he said that Oliver Letwin was NOT
– as has been reported – conducting a review into government waste.
George Osborne is doing an "excellent" job and he is responsible for
the party’s efforts to find economies.

8.30am ENDS

Tim Montgomerie

15 comments for: Live highlights from David Cameron’s 8am event

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