May 17, 2011 / 4:22 PM / 9 years ago

Highlights - Cameron takes questions on economy, military

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday faced questions on the economy and overseas military operations from parliament’s influential Liaison Committee.

Below are highlights from the session.

ON SYRIA

“What is happening in Syria is unacceptable. The amount of people who have been killed by the regime is appalling.

If you believe the figures from Human Rights Watch, and there is no reason not to, there has been an appalling level of regime intimidation and killing.

We should condemn it in the strongest way, which we have, we should also take steps, which we have, in terms of sanctions and asset freezes and arms embargoes.

But there is a difference between Libya and Syria. One of those differences is that in the case of Libya we were invited to do what we are doing by the Arab League, and there was strong local and regional support. I don’t think we can say that about Syria.”

ON PROJECT MERLIN, BANK TAXES

“The other side of Project Merlin was that we will not introduce further bank levies, taxes, bonus taxes and all the rest of it as long as this lending is forthcoming.

“That is the point of Project Merlin so if they don’t fulfil their side of the deal then clearly the government wouldn’t have to fulfil its side of the deal.”

ON BANK LENDING

“Obviously, the recent figures are disappointing but they only go as I understand it up to March and of course the agreement that we reached with the banks, project Merlin, which was all about increasing bank lending, really runs from the whole of this year. I think we should judge this across the year rather than any one given month.”

ON ECONOMY, SUPPLY SIDE

“Clearly there is no room for a fiscal stimulus, because effectively we inherited a system with a huge budget deficit.

“Clearly the economy has already had a monetary stimulus, and interest rates are pretty much as low as they could be; and so the tool that is left to government is to do everything you can to the supply side of the economy ... and that is what the growth review that the Chancellor and I have been running is all about.”

Reporting by Matt Falloon, Tim Castle and Adrian Croft

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