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Brown refuses to rule out £20,000 death levy in clashes with Cameron

VERDICT: Clear victory for the Tory leader with Brown evasive on the £20,000 death levy; refusing to rule it out. Another bad week for John Bercow as he allowed Brown to make constant party political points and not focus on Government business. The same problem occured last week.

Highlights, not verbatim:

Screen shot 2010-02-10 at 12.29.15 12.29pm: John Redwood asks why Britain has the highest inflation of major economies and the weakest recovery. Brown offers no explanation at all but says Redwood has the most extreme economic policy.

12.27pm: In response to a question from the Labour MP for Dover the Prime Minister promises that there'll be no forced privatisation of the Port Authority.

12.23pm: Asked by Labour's Gordon Prentice MP about Lord Ashcroft, the PM says the Opposition has questions to answer about the tax status of their "chief fundraiser". He quotes the Information Commissioner's suggestion that the party has been "evasive" in explaining Lord Ashcroft's tax status.

12.20pm: Douglas Carswell MP asks Brown to rule out any UK money going to bailout Greece. The Prime Minister replies by saying that the G20 have put in place financial mechanisms to help any country badly impacted by economic events.

12.11pm: Cameron asks the Prime Minister, 'Yes or No', to rule out a £20,000 levy on the dead to pay for this policy [the subject of last night's 'RIP OFF' Tory poster]. Brown declines to say 'yes' but attacks Cameron for soundbites. Cameron asks the question again. Brown again declines to rule out the £20,000 levy.

Screen shot 2010-02-10 at 12.09.2812.07pm: Cameron warns that council tax could increase by £26 because of Labour's unfunded plans. He quotes Labour peers who are unhappy with the policy. Brown says the Tories voted for this measure but are now unwilling to fund it. He accuses the Tories of breaking a cross-party consensus.

12.05pm: David Cameron kicks off with concerns from councils of all political persuasions that the Government's plans for social care are unfunded. Brown responds by saying that the Government has put aside £670m for the programme.

Tim Montgomerie


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