Not a great start.
Boris Johnson was savaged in his first Prime Minister’s Questions, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tearing chunks into the PM over Tuesday’s historic defeat.
It seems the PM relied on falsehoods to get him through it.
Dodging a question from Corbyn on poverty, the PM replied: “[Corbyn]…would put a £300 billion tax on every company in the country… and he is calling incessantly for a general strike.”
Mr Johnson appeared to be referring to Labour’s Inclusive Ownership Fund policy, announced last year.
Under Labour’s plans, every company with over 250 employees will be expected to create an Inclusive Ownership Fund. Each year, companies would transfer at least 1% of their ownership into the Fund, up to a maximum of 10% total IOF shareholding.
“Equal dividends will be paid from the IOF to the workforce, up to a capped limit of £500. Dividends from the IOF above that cap will be placed into the social dividend fund….The IOF shares will not be available for sale or transfer, being held through an “asset-lock” mechanism like that used by John Lewis and other employee-owned enterprises.”
And here’s the crux of it: “Payments from the IOF will be made to individual, eligible employees.”
Analysis by the Financial Times this week – which Johnson seemed to be drawing on – said it would amount to workers getting “£300bn of shares in 7,000 large companies.”
That would be workers getting that money – not the state. (There would be a – far smaller – tax dividend for the Treasury.)
So – not ‘all’ companies – only very large ones – and not a ‘tax’ at all, but a share ownership scheme for workers.
On Johnson’s point about Corbyn ‘backing a General Strike’ – there doesn’t seem to be any record of Mr Corbyn saying any such thing in recent months. The Mirror has more break-downs of the PM’s half-truths.
Boris Johnson said, caused some giggling on his own benches saying: “The shadow Education Secretary says their economic policy is ‘s**t or bust’. I say it’s both.”
Dare we say Johnson is talking s**t? And he may soon find he’s bust, too – the post-PMQs lobby ‘huddle’ saw intense discussion about whether the PM would resign if the anti-No Deal Brexit Bill passed. Not a good first proper week for bumbling Boris.
Of course – today would not be the first time the PM told porkies…
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.
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