PMQs summary (Wed 3rd Apr, 2019)
PMQs today took place in the background of the more important event of the day: Theresa May’s closed door discussion with Jeremy Corbyn about a feasible cross-party way of implementing Article 50.
The topic of Brexit was conspicuously missing from the initial debate between the prime minister and Corbyn. This, is it safe to assume, was because both realised that battling over this subject could have done harm to their more substantive talks later in the day.
However, this was not an altogether truce; the two figures engaged in a heated debate about the status of Britain’s poorest in light of Conservative policy.
Corbyn argued that child poverty has risen by hundreds of thousands, and that the minimum wage is nothing to be satisfied about – indeed, he referred to it as “poverty wages.” He also said that Conservative policy has sent nearly half a million pensioners into poverty.
May’s general defence was that the Conservatives can boast many social and economic achievements, including record employment, an historically large cash boost for the NHS and generation-defining advances for workers’ rights. On top of this, she claimed that her government has in fact increased average state pensions by roughly £1,450 a year.
Corbyn also called on the prime minster to halt the roll-out of Universal Credit so that it can be reviewed.
Her response was that reviews and modifications to Universal Credit can happen without halting the entire scheme. As evidence of this, she mentioned the implementation of greater ease of transferability from one type of benefits to another and the improved waiting time.
Later came a number of substantial questions on Brexit from the backbenches. To see them, view our live Twitter feed of the event.