EDITORIAL VERDICT: Clear win for David Cameron. Brown was put on the defensive over underwriting bank lending. DC is determined to make it clear that the Conservatives are not the ‘do nothing’ party on the economy. But PMQs won’t be remembered for the serious exchanges but for Brown’s ‘We not only saved the world gaffe’. Thanks to Crown Blogspot it’s already on YouTube. Watch it here.
Highlights, not verbatim:
12.24pm: Replying to a question from on the programme that will broadcast an assisted suicide, the Prime Minister says he has always opposed legislation to introduce assisted dying. Programmes have a duty to cover these sensitive issues without sensationalism.
12.15pm: Clegg raises the case of a single parent who came to his constituency surgery with young children [before he could go any further there is much laughter – you can guess why] facing legal action because of Brown’s "cruel, bureaucratic and confusing" tax credits system. He calls for a new system of simple and fixed payments. A fixed system, says Brown, would mean that people would not receive extra help when they hit severe difficulties.
12.12pm: Brown is on the wrong side of maths, counters Cameron. Labour is only supporting 0.2% of potential lending to business. Brown has brought Britain to the brink of the deepest recession in the G7. Brown says Tories are not fit for government because they are trapped in the 1980s.
12.10pm: The key issue, reiterates Cameron, is to get bank lending flowing again. That’s the Bank of England Governor’s view. The VAT cut is pointless. Will the Prime Minister endorse our National Loan Guarantee Scheme? The IoD, CBI and FSB all have. On the day that Labour is copying Tory welfare ideas this is another idea that the Government should copy. Brown says that Labour already operate schemes that underwrite financing to businesses. Nothing will help the economy, the PM concludes, without a supporting fiscal stimulus. The Tories are on the wrong side of history.
12.08pm: If things are going so well why is the Council of Mortgage Lenders talking about about "conflicted" government policies? Brown says Tories would let recession take its course.
12.06pm: David Cameron says all over the country there are businesses having overdraft facilities withdrawn. The world is NOT copying the details of the Government’s recapitalisation plan. The Government is lending to banks at 12% but insisting that they lend at 6%. Brown responds by defending his fiscal stimulus. The Tories are clinging to the failed policies of the 1980s, he says.
12.04pm: David Cameron asks about getting bank lending flowing again. Recapitalisation’s main aim was to get credit flowing again and it has failed. Brown replying accidentally says "we not only saved the world"! Hysterical laughter from Tory benches.