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News | Published October 31 2018

PMQs summary (Wed 31st Oct)

This week, the autumn budget was the principal topic of discussion. Jeremy Corbyn battled with the prime minister over whether or not the announcements made on Monday will bring the public sector out of austerity.

Corbyn claimed that Philip Hammond’s budget was, in essence, a broken promise. He added that, “councils, schools, police, prisons, public sector workers and those reliant on social workers will face years of austerity.”

May’s response to this was that the Conservative government’s plans would put money back into working people’s pockets and give the NHS the largest cash injection “in its history.” She stated that 32 million people across the UK will see a reduction in the tax they pay. In this session, as in last week’s, little mention was made of Brexit in the initial match of words.

Highlights
  • May and Corbyn battle over what the budget means in terms of austerity
  • Recognition of 100-year anniversary of end of WWI
  • Condolences offered from all corners of House to those affected by Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

A particularly prominent point of contact was Corbyn’s claim that per pupil funding had been reduced by eight per cent. To this, May responded that, in real terms, per pupil funding had been left intact by her government.

Questions relating to Brexit were voiced mostly in the latter part of the session. On the one hand, one witnessed Peter Bone’s suggestion that the titles of Brexit King and Queen would be apposite for Hammond and May. On the other, there was the suggestion by Ian Blackford that Brexit would invite hugely destructive consequences for the supply of medicine into the UK. Division on this topic was no less pronounced today than it usually is.

Across the House, condolences were offered to those affected by the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, and recognition was made of the coming 100-year anniversary of the end of World War One. Regarding the latter, it was deemed especially important to raise the topic, as this was to be the last PMQs session before Armistice Day on 11 November. Today, the choirs of the Bundestag and the British parliament will convene in order to mark this historic event. On this topic, too, the prime minister spent some time paying tribute to the Commonwealth for their contribution to Britain’s victory.

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