PMQs: Johnson clashes with Rayner over Owen Paterson
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has slapped down Labour’s Deputy Leader at PMQs after Angela Raynor attacked the Government for not making enough coronavirus vaccines available for the developing world. The Prime Minister defended Britain’s record on exporting vaccines to poorer countries and told MPs that the Labour frontbench did have a grasp on the facts. Mr Johnson blasted Ms Rayner as “completely wrong.”
Mr Johnson told MPs: “She’s completely wrong about the facts, as far as for what she said about vaccines, I’m afraid it is an insult to the incredible work that’s been done by the UK vaccine rollout programme across the world.
“1.5 billion people Mr Speaker have had access to cost-price vaccines thanks to the deal this government did with Oxford AstraZeneca a record that no other country in the world has.
“To say nothing of the £548 million extra that we put into GAVI, or the extra 100 million vaccines that we’re donating by June next year.
“This country has an absolutely outstanding in supporting vaccination around the world and if she wants to go and look at the details, I urge her to go off and study it.”
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Mr Rayner had said it was revealed last week the UK is “lagging behind all other G7 countries bar one in sharing surplus vaccines with poor countries.
“This is shameful,” she told MPs.
Labour deputy leader also pressed the Prime Minister on the “tax cut he gave to the banks” in the Budget.
She said: “The Resolution Foundation found that by 2026, taxes will be £3,000 more per household since he took office.
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“My constituents and his constituents are feeling the pinch and they are worried about Christmas as well, their bills are going up every week and the Budget did nothing to help them.
“So can the Prime Minister tell them how much was the tax cut that he gave to the banks instead?”
Boris Johnson replied: “As she knows very well, it is the banks and the bankers who are paying far more proportionally as a result of our tax measures to cover the cost of the NHS.
“It is a very good point, the £36 billion… 50% of it comes from the 14% of the richest in this country, overwhelmingly from the banks and financial services industry who can pay the most.
“And the astonishing thing, when it came to voting for that £36 billion increase in 48 new hospitals, in 50,000 more nurses, in looking after our public services, they voted against it.”
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