Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was flanked by Dennis Skinner - the 'Beast of Bolsover' - who was ejected from the House of Commons by the speaker on Monday for refusing to withdraw his "Dodgy Dave" comment aimed at Prime Minister David Cameron. He did not look contrite.
Corbyn asked if the Government would support an EU measure of country by country tax reporting which, Corbyn noted, Tory MEPs had voted against in the European Parliament.
Cameron said he welcomed the proposal and outlined measure the Government was taking to tackle tax avoidance.
Corbyn then asked, if this was the case, why the Government was reducing the number of HMRC tax inspectors and cutting the agency's budget.
Corbyn: "If the tax gap is £34bn, why is the Government cutting down HMRC?" #PMQs— Bellenden (@BellendenLtd) April 13, 2016
Jeremy Corbyn asks why the Government has cut funds to HMRC if he wants tax evasion to be prevented.— Portcullis (@Portcullis_says) April 13, 2016
Instead of answering, Cameron used the question to ridicule Corbyn's tax return, which was notable for being both six days late and written in messy handwriting.
PM replies with wit on Corbyn's tax reform being metaphor for Labour economic policy "it was late, chaotic, inaccurate and uncosted" #PMQs— Bellenden (@BellendenLtd) April 13, 2016
But Corbyn had his own quip at the ready, noting that he had paid more tax personally than the owners of certain companies who Cameron might know personally.
Corbyn on strong form as he says he paid more tax than company owners PM knows and pushes on HMRC cuts. #PMQs— Bellenden (@BellendenLtd) April 13, 2016
Corbyn did manage to force the admission from the Prime Minister that government measures to create a public register of beneficial ownership in the UK would not extend to overseas territories such as the Cayman Islands and highlighted how the premier of the islands had scored a victory over Cameron.
PM will not be offering a public register, but a private one. Cayman Islands apparently celebrating this victory over the PM. #PMQs— Bellenden (@BellendenLtd) April 13, 2016
PM affirms that UK register will be public and only overseas territories will be private. #PMQs— Bellenden (@BellendenLtd) April 13, 2016
But for some commentators, Corbyn had, once again, missed his opportunity by focusing too much on the detail of tax.
Corbyn focuses too much on the detail and not enough on the "upstairs/downstairs" tone of this subject - misses the jugular yet again #PMQs— BM Public Affairs (@BMPubAffairs) April 13, 2016
Next, it was SNP leader Angus Robertson's turn to grill Cameron and he used his questions to highlight how the UK is top of the list for financial secrecy. Robertson called on Cameron to tell MPs what action British authorities had taken in the wake of the publication of the Panama Papers.
Angus Robertson ask what the UK has done since the publication of the Panama papers, criticising the UK for high levels of tax secrecy.— Portcullis (@Portcullis_says) April 13, 2016
Robertson then sought to play on inequalities in the collection of tax and the pursuit of benefit fraudsters.
PM very quick to dismiss SNP claims that 10x more staff are chasing benefit cheats than tax avoiders #PMQs— BM Public Affairs (@BMPubAffairs) April 13, 2016
The chamber's sole UKIP MP Douglas Carswell repeated a question that has been asked of Cameron several times since the referendum was announced and received short shrift for his trouble: Would he resign if the UK voted to leave the EU?
Carswell asks if PM will stay in his role to oversee leaving process in case of Brexit. Brisk "Yes." from the PM. #PMQs— Bellenden (@BellendenLtd) April 13, 2016
But Cameron was not out of the EU-woods yet, and the genial Jacob Rees-Mogg called on Cameron to explain the true meaning of a pro-EU leaflet sent to every household in the land by the Government.
Jacob Rees-Mogg asked if the Government's EU referendum sheet was accurate as it suggested we could stop free movement of people in the EU.— Portcullis (@Portcullis_says) April 13, 2016
The PM said we could stop free movement of non-EU nationals - the sheet was accurate, Brexit-exponents were not.— Portcullis (@Portcullis_says) April 13, 2016
According to Brandwatch, there were 8,350 mentions of PMQs, with 3,300 concerning the issue of tax, while more than 400 were on the subject of "Dodgy Dave".
Tweets about Cameron were 26 per cent positive and 374 per cent negative while tweets about Corbyn were 57 per cent positive and 43 per cent negative.