James Forsyth

PMQs: The cost of living versus the economy

PMQs: The cost of living versus the economy
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PMQs has settled into a pattern. Ed Miliband attacks David Cameron about the cost of living and David Cameron responds by attacking Ed Miliband about the economy. With economic growth returning, Miliband needs to make the political argument about the cost of living if he’s to win. But Cameron is trying to stop Miliband from changing the subject. So, today Cameron dismissed Miliband’s energy freeze as a ‘price con’ while trying to wrench the argument back to the economy. The result: no clear winner.

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Interestingly, Cameron again emphasised that the best way to help people with the cost of living was to cut taxes. The Tories do seem to be limbering up for a classic, tax cut election offer.

One area where Miliband did succeed was in pointing out that in opposition Cameron had supported many of the green taxes the Tories are now so exercised about. That Cameron did not hit back on this point, instead mocking Miliband’s rather am-dram delivery, suggests that the Tory leadership is far less confident than it was about being able to do something about these green levies.