Prime Minister David Cameron visited Lincoln on Thursday, June 16, where he was questioned by over 200 Lincolnshire Co-operative colleagues.
The visit took place at Co-op’s Pharmacy Warehouse on Proctors Road, Lincoln and was part of an initiative called PM Direct, where Cameron visits workplaces and takes questions from members of staff.
The question time was 40 minutes long, with topics covered including sports facility provision in Lincolnshire, public sector cuts, fuel tax, and overseas aid.
Speaking about reducing the sales tax back to 17.5% in order to stimulate consumer spending, bring down inflation and boost job creation, Cameron said:
“Those who say ‘Well, you ought to go out and slash taxes, or spend more money, or do some more government investment’, all you would be doing if you did that would be making the problem of your deficit, your overdraft, worse.
“If you have maxed out your credit card, if you put off dealing with the problem, the problem gets worse.
“As a country, if you go on borrowing like we are, you are putting the problem on to your children and I think that’s totally irresponsible.
“So here we are today, spending £120 million a day just on the interest on our debt. If we go on doing that I think it’s totally irresponsible to the next generation.”
Parts of the Prime Minister’s PM Direct session in Lincoln were broadcast live on Sky News during the day, and the whole talk is still available through the iPad app.
Lincolnshire Co-operative CEO Ursula Lidbetter said: “We were pleased and surprised to be chosen to host a visit from our Prime Minister, especially in our 150th birthday year.
“We were happy to show Mr Cameron around our pharmacy warehouse and also to talk to him about who we are and what we do, particularly our role in the local community.
“Our staff were also pleased to have the opportunity to ask him challenging questions which reflected some of the issues that concern our colleagues and the wider public in Lincolnshire.”
Lincoln’s MP Karl McCartney also welcomed the visit by the Prime Minister: “I am very pleased that Prime Minister David Cameron was able to visit our city and spent some time with our local Lincolnshire Co-Operative organisation.
“I am sure he will have met many local people, and has heard first hand of the good work in the community that they and the Co-Op are involved in.
“I am sure he will have been pleased to see the Co-Op fully engaged with many aspects of The Big Society here in Lincoln and Lincolnshire,” McCartney added.
Earlier in the day, Cameron also attended a graduation ceremony at RAF College Cranwell, where he said the RAF is not just important to the nation’s security, but also “completely and utterly essential”.
“Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, our fighters are standing ready to launch to protect UK air space,” Cameron said.
“I know that, I get those telephone calls each and every time there’s a plane in UK air space that we don’t know about.”
The Prime Minister made the speech after inspecting the officer cadets at RAF Cranwell.
He watched a flypast by the Red Arrows and presented annual prizes including the Sword of Honour, the International Sword of Honour and the Queen’s Medal.
Cameron, who is the third Prime Minister to visit RAF Cranwell, told the graduates the RAF would remain a “formidable and world-class air force”.