Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to Good Morning Britain
The Prime Minister, David Cameron spoke to ITV’s Good Morning Britain today about Europe, tax avoidance and the rise of UKIP in an interview with Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard. He also commented on the BBC Radio Devon DJ who lost his job for playing a song with offensive language.
Speaking about his view of tax avoidance schemes, Cameron said:
“I’m against these aggressive tax avoidance schemes but I’m not just against them, this Government has taken a huge amount of steps to legislate and toughen the laws and go after aggressive tax avoidance schemes for the very simple reason that if people go after these schemes and aggressively avoid tax they’re making it the case that everyone else has to pay higher taxes as a result so I think we should be very clear, tax evasion is illegal and for that you can be prosecuted, you can go to prison for tax evasion. Tax avoidance is in these cases, very aggressive tax avoidance schemes, they are wrong and we should really persuade not to do them and that’s why we have these court cases where the court looks at whether a scheme is really about avoiding tax rather than anything else and the court was very clear in this case.”
His thoughts on Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, suggesting that Gary Barlow should give back his OBE:
“I don’t think that’s necessary frankly, Gary Barlow has done a huge amount for the country, he’s raised money for charity, he’s done very well for Children in Need so I’m not sure, the OBE was in respect of that work and what he’s done but clearly what this scheme was was wrong and it’s right that they’re going to pay back the money.”
On the European Elections:
“I think the problem with the Europe debate is you’ve got Labour and the Liberals who think there’s nothing wrong with Europe who just say keep it as it is and you’ve got UKIP who think there’s nothing right with Europe and just get out and go it alone whereas I think the right approach, the one I take is to have a very clear plan to change Europe, to change our relationship with Europe, to make sure we get powers back, to make sure we’re not involved in ever closer union, to make sure our financial contributions are going down. Having secured those things, then to go to the British people before the end of 2017 and say ‘Right it’s your choice now, do you want to stay in this reformed organisation or do you want to leave?’”
On envisaging a time as Prime Minister when he’d lead Britain out of Europe:
“You can’t hold a country in an organisation against the will of it’s people, we are a democracy and part of the problem with the whole European debate is we voted in 1975 but since then… powers have been passed from Westminster to Brussels - not by the Government I lead, we got power back - and the public haven’t been consulted and so I think it is right once I’ve secured these changes then to ask the British public in a referendum, ‘stay or go?’ And the truth about British politics is you’ll only get that with me as Prime Minister. Labour and the Liberals won’t give you a referendum, UKIP can’t give you a referendum, I offer a clear plan: reform, renegotiation, referendum, all very much in Britain’s interest.”
On him being able to stay as Prime Minister should the British public vote to get out of Europe:
“That is not the outcome I’m envisaging. I have a very clear plan to get these powers back, to make these changes and then to hold a referendum where I will be advising people to stay in a reformed European Union, I think that is the right answer.”
On Nigel Farage engaging with the British public on Europe:
“I think when you’ve had a difficult recession, when you’ve had problems like a welfare system that needs reform and problems with the European Union, it’s quite easy for someone to come along with some popular messages and some great rhetoric but what I’m asking people to do is look through the rhetoric and try to find the politics of what I call the answer… Who’s got the plan and my argument is, I’m the only one with a plan.”
On the BBC Radio Devon DJ, David Lowe, who lost his job for playing a song with offensive language, Cameron commented:
"The word in question is awful and unacceptable and people shouldn't use it... I don't run the BBC so I have to be careful [about saying who the BBC should or shouldn't employ] but it does seem in this case where if he really didn't know what was on the record, it does seem slightly unfair and as I understand it the BBC have talked about taking him back on again... Well as I say, I don't know all the facts of the case but from reading the papers like everyone else, it looked a bit odd."