Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, says inflation is at is highest rate for a decade. Prices are going up when workers can least afford it. There is a Tory poverty pandemic that will only get worse. How much will welfare cuts cost the average nurse?
Johnson says the government is protected the wages of people on low income by freezing fuel duty and supporting childcare. The government is investing massively in health and social care, he says.
Blackford says the PM either does not know the answer to the question, or does not care. The average nurse will lose more than £1,000, he says. The PM does not know how much his cuts will hit people, and the DWP secretary does not know how the system works. He says any Scottish Tory MPs with a backbone would be advised to find it. Or has the PM brought them off with the promise of a job.
Johnson says nurses have access to a training bursary worth £5,000, and another bursary worth £3,000 for childcare. And their pay has gone up 3%, he says. He says if Blackford is really saying the SNP is opposed to that investment, he would be better off banging on about a referendum.
Johnson says the government is working to address the lorry driver shortage. It has changed the licensing rules. After a long period of stagnation for drivers, they are seeing wages going up. Labour is opposed to that, he says.
Starmer says he wonders what people facing a £1,000 cut will make of that. The fact is that taxes are going up, national insurance up, council tax up and energy prices up. The PM could change course and vote with Labour against the universal credit cut earlier.
Johnson says the panto season has come earlier. (Some Labour MPs were chanting up with Starmer.) Johnson does his own version: the highest employment in the G7, employment up, wages up.
He says Starmer is due to publish a 14,000 word essay on his philosophy. Having listened to Starmer he can compress those 14,000 words to four: vote Labour, wait longer. He says his plan for jobs is working, his plan for Covid is working.
Starmer says an unfair tax that will not fix social care is not a plan. He says some low paid workers will lose £1,000 a year under the universal credit cut. Yet the government has wasted billions on contracts for cronies, he says.
Johnson says the government is paying nurses more, hiring more of them, and putting £36bn into the NHS. One person in 10 is on an NHS waiting list. He says Labour has no plan for that.
Starmer says low paid people cannot work the extra hours to recoup the money. And they would need to do that because of the broken tax system. For every extra pound earned, the government will take 75p. Why is the PM hammering them with a tax rise?
Johnson claims payments are being increased. He claims it was incredible that the party of Nye Bevan voted against more money for the NHS last week. They do not have a plan to fix the NHS, he says.
Starmer says people would have to work an extra nine hours to make up the money. That is an extra day. How will people find the time?
Johnson says the government is taking measures to raise wages. It is investing in skills. The government wants a high wage economy, with controlled immigration. Labour wants low wages and uncontrolled immigration, he says.
Starmer says Johnson did not answer the question. The work and pensions secretary thinks the answer is two hours. Is the correct answer higher or lower?
Johnson says wages are rising. Labour want to take money from people and put them into higher benefits. Johnson says he wants people to earn more. He praises a Costa Coffee initiative and says if we had listened to “Captain Hindsight” (Starmer) we would still be in lockdown.
Sir Keir Starmer offers his condolences following the death of the PM’s mother and asks how many extra hours someone on universal credit would have to work to make up for the £20 they will lose under the government’s cut.
Johnson says every single UC claimant would lose under the Labour’s plan because they want to abolish the benefit.
Caroline Nokes (Con) asks about children affected by sodium valproate.
Johnson says the government is committed to accepting the recommendations of the Cumberlege Review, that considered this.
Boris Johnson starts by congratulating Emma Raducanu and other players for their victories in the US Open.
PMQs is starting shortly.
Here is the list of MPs down to ask a question.
Here is some more reshuffle comment/speculation.
From the FT’s Sebastian Payne
From my colleague Jessica Elgot
From the Telegraph’s Cat Neilan
From the Daily Mirror’s Rachel Wearmouth
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