May and Corbyn face off on inequality

May and Corbyn face off on inequality
Copyright REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
By Euronews
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In a particularly heated exchange during PMQs, the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn faced off on inequality.


Jeremy Corbyn challenged UK PM Theresa May on inequality in Britain during PMQs.

Citing a new study by Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton for the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Corbyn asked May about income taxes and inequality.

He said the UK had the second worst record on inequality after the United States.

May countered that the top 1% are paying more income taxes and that wages are increasing. She also said youth unemployment had fallen by 50%.

Corbyn asked the Prime Minister why a government ministry had a food bank.

May replied by stating that the way Corbyn is talking you would think that unemployment started in 2010. She said the conservative government had established a National Living Wage.

"When the wealth of the richest 1,000 people in Britain has increased by £50bn [€57.5bn] in one year, but there's not enough money to properly feed our children or pay workers a decent wage, then we have failed as a society," Corbyn said.

"This country is seeing the rich get richer while the poor get poorer, while the government is in the pockets of a super-rich elite," he added.

Several questions came up on Brexit after it emerged last night that May will bring her thrice-defeated Brexit deal back to Parliament in June in order for MPs to vote on key legislation to begin the UK's departure from the European Union.

The UK will take part in EU elections on May 23 as a deal has not yet been ratified by Parliament.

The SNP's Ian Blackford asked about the Brexit deal coming back to Parliament demanding to know if the Prime Minister had done a backroom deal with Labour to sell out Scotland. May responded that only the SNP wanted to sell out Scotland.

May said later that in leaving the EU, they plan to end free movement and end the days of sending money to the EU.

"We will not pay for market access," she said.

Thangam Debbonaire, Labour MP for Bristol West, said MPs have voted against both the Prime Minister's deal and no deal options even though May insists it is her deal or no deal. Debbonaire asked if the Prime Minister would consider a second referendum.

May responded that "the people were given the choice," in the 2016 referendum. She repeated that it was up to the House to implement Brexit.

Peter Bone, a Conservative MP, talked about conservatives campaigning for the EU elections. He said he had a letter from conservative members saying that the Prime Minister's deal is worse than staying in the EU. He said those who signed the letter wanted the Prime Minister to resign before the EU elections.

May thanked Conservatives for campaigning. May said that if the government had voted with the majority of conservatives, the country would have already left the EU.

Several reporters tweeted that the Tory benches looked empty.


"It's looking a bit threadbare on these benches here," Pete Wishart from the SNP said referencing the conservative benches. He said the UK looked like a laughing stock.

The Prime Minister answered several questions about education saying that she supports simple tests for children and that with a strong economy, the government can invest more in education.

May had started off PMQs by talking about mental health, commending mental health awareness week.

She also said she would be going to Paris for an international summit with leaders and internet companies on stopping terrorists on the internet.

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