PMQs Twitter round-up: Google tax, bedroom tax and the refugee crisis

In a lively session of PMQs, the issues of corporate tax, the bedroom tax and Zac Goldsmith's mayoral ambitions were discussed.

A notably spikey Jeremy Corbyn used the announcement of Google's pledge to pay £130m to HMRC for the last ten years as a platform to attack the government on its tax arrangements with big companies.

The Labour leader also used his first question to highlight differences of opinion among senior Tories regarding the deal with Google but a well-prepared David Cameron responded by saying that his government had done more to combat corporate tax avoidence than when Labour was last in power.

But Corbyn pressed home the advantage on an issue which has resonance with the public, particularly with the looming deadline for self-asessment forms to be returned by the end of January.

He asked how it was fair for Google to pay "an effective rate of 3 per cent" on revenues of more than £6bn and used his crowdsourcing technique to unusually good effect by asking Cameron if 'Jeff' could also apply to HMRC to enjoy the same favourable rate.

There was also an effective attempt to stop the government from attributing the deal to HMRC after Corbyn claimed that Google had met 17 ministers in 25 meetings in order to agree the deal and asked why there was one rule for big companies and another for everyone else.





Some commentators, perhaps unkindly, made light of 'Jeff's' question.



Questioning moved on to the subject of the bedroom tax and Corbyn asked if the government would scrap the policy, following a court ruling.




Then it was SNP leader Angus Robertson's turn to question the prime minister and he asked if the government to cobat discrimination against women.


The commentators favourite weekly award: 'The bollocking by (Speaker) Bercow Award' this week went to SNP MP Margaret Ferrier, following a question he deemed to be too long.


But the Speaker himself was then left red-faced after failing to call the correct MP to ask a question.

 
Labour MP Caroline Flint then returned to the fray on Google but Cameron ignored her question and attempted to embarrass by claiming she had done nothing about it while in government.




Cameron used the opportunity of a question on housing to hjighlight mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith's credentials on the issue.


The uphill battle the Lib Dems now have to climb was highlighted when party leader Tim Farron got up to ask a question on the refugee crisis, only to be heckled.




However, Cameron's use of the phrase "bunch of migrants" during the session drew condemnation, both from Labout MPs and the public.



Most commentators agreed that Corbyn had enjoyed a good session of PMQs against the Prime Minister, aided by the hot topic of corporate tax.



According to Brandwatch, there were more than 18,000 tweets on PMQs today, with the biggest number of tweets, 6,000, on Cameron's use of the phrase"bunch of migrants". Google and the bedroom tax were the next most mentioned topics.

The gender split of Twitter users watching the session was 63 per cent male and sentiment towards Cameron was 19 per cent positive and 81 per cent negative while with Corbyn, the figure was 27 per cent positive and 73 per cent negative.

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