Tax credits, once more, alongside the NHS led the agenda at this week’s PMQs. Josh Lambkin and Ben Winter watched it so you don’t have to.
Despite several valiant attempts from Corbyn to press Cameron on Tax Credits and NHS junior doctor contracts, the Prime Minister was able to confidently deflect the questions. Considering the significant establishment opposition to Osborne’s welfare reforms, and Cameron’s visible discomfort answering the same questions last week, Corbyn’s inability to pressure the PM today may concern the opposition leader’s team. Verdict: A win for the Conservatives.
Issue of the week
Corbyn picked up where he left off last week with an attack on the Conservatives’ plans to cut tax credits. Questions from the public are taking more of a backseat since Corbyn’s first PMQs but he did relay one from a former solider facing welfare cuts – an interesting angle but unfortunately for Corbyn, it opened him up to attacks from Cameron on foreign policy and national security.
Pay cuts for junior doctors were also on the agenda after the Government’s reported climb-down this morning. Cameron’s well-worn line that a ‘strong NHS relies on a strong economy’ was just about enough to dodge Corbyn’s predictions of another winter of suffering for patients.
The Tories were once again the rowdiest party as Corbyn continued with his strategy of disapproving head-masterly glares. He even called on the Speaker to hold the house to order – a first in this parliament.
Nadhim Zahawi got a name-check from the Prime Minister for in his new role as “apprenticeships czar”.
Procat, a provider of technical vocational education, received a mention from Stephen Metcalfe (MP for South Basildon) as he praised the Government for its work on apprenticeships.
Joke of the week
A somewhat humourless affair this week but Cameron did have his backbenches cheering with his evaluation of Corbyn’s recent appointments: ‘a Trotskyist, a Communist and a Stalinist.’
In 140 characters
Corbyn on tax credits once more, but Cameron confidence increasing. Missed opportunity for JC on the NHS #pmqs