Prime Minister’s Questions – 27th Jan 2016 12:00 pm – At The House of Commons, The Palace of Westminster
Normal service resumed as Corbyn googles on tax with no search results
After an improvement last week Jeremy Corbyn resumed normal service with a dire performance as he was skewered again and again by David Cameron in the commons. It began with an announcement on a Holocaust Memorial Day and a new memorial to be built. Corbyn began by welcoming this, I’m sure Cameron could have scored some cheap points as a result but wisely decided against it. Corbyn for once went on the obvious subject of the week, the taxation deal with Google that Mr Corbyn claims has them paying a tax rate of 3%. Cameron was ready, this was tax that should have been collected by Labour, they didn’t, his Government has. He also stated details should be done by HMRC who are rightly independent. Cameron made clear he did dispute the figures, this answering the question, making Corbyn’s claim he didn’t answer in a response he wrote before listening, look pretty feeble.
Corbyn tried to invoke Boris Johnson’s comment that this was ‘derisory.’ In theory an attempt to sow the idea of division, but done with such low energy it was difficult to believe that even Corbyn had conviction in what he was saying. Cameron pointed out Google’s tax rate under Labour was 0% setting out a list of tax measures which has brought in over £100bn extra business taxes ‘Allowed under Labour, stopped by the Tories.’ He then attacked ‘New Labour’ advising if Corbyn wants to contact those responsible for Google paying nothing he could contact Tony Blair, Gordon Brown or Alaistair Darling ‘They are running to catch up but don’t have a leg to stand on.’
Corbyn stated the inquiries into Google were begun under Labour to derision from the Conservative benches. He then invoked his ‘people’ question, Jeff apparently asks if he can join a scheme to pay Google’s tax. ‘What does he say to Jeff?’ Corbyn demanded, He also calimed corporate tax receipts were down under the Tories, something Cameron corrected as untrue, then telling ‘Jeff’ he would be paying less tax under the Tories, unlike under Labour, more tax, more debt, more borrowing, etc. Cameron was in full flow. Corbyn’s economic policies lay exposed yet again. Cameron also managed to have a dig as Shadow Chancellor John McDonell started pointing. Those two cannot be trusted on anything Cameron went on. hammering the Labour frontbench on picketing, the Falklands and his migrant policy. ‘They only people they never stand up for is hard working tax payers’ Again and again, Cameron easily on top and in confident form
Corbyn tried to change tack and brought up the so called ‘bedroom tax’ asking Cameron to get rid of it. Cameron was ready again, pointing out it was unfair to private council tenants to do so and introducing it into the public sector was fair. He also pointed out getting rid would cost over £2 billion which would be paid for by ‘Jeff’ and everyone else in taxes, borrowing etc. Ouch, using Corbyn own failed policy against him, it seems almost cruel, but worked. The only trick Cameron missed was pointing out the Private sector element of this was introduced by Labour. Corbyn again read a clearly pre prepared line about Cameron not answering the questions, some weeks this would be fair that he doesn’t, but this week he answered every question which further exposed how weak Corbyn looked today.
Corbyn finished with a question about Yemen, a non controversial subject in which he clearly hoped to cut Cameron’s normal final flourish about Labour in general, it failed as Cameron had already done this today anyway and by moving to this territory at the end of an exchange in which he had been well beaten, felt like a give up play from Corbyn. Cameron even got a dig at Corbyn’s communications officer Seumus Milne by stating he would not run ‘Foreign policy by press briefing.’ An easy day in one of the most one sided exchanges so far where Cameron hammered Corbyn and ‘New Labour’ all at the same time.
Elsewhere Lib Dem leader Tim Farron was called to shouts of ‘Who?’ He asked about Britain joining the EU migrant programme. Cameron pointed out Britain had met their targets of housing migrants and this was more than the EU policy has in all of the other countries put together. Not content with sweeping aside Corbyn and New Labour, his response saw off Mr Farron while he was at it.
MOON OF LIBERTY VERDICT (Out of 5)
David Cameron 4 – Jeremy Corbyn 0 – A near perfect performance from the PM, demolishing his opponent with ridiculous ease.