Today’s PMQs was visceral stuff. Ed Miliband accused the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of being Bullingdons Boy who were taking decisions about ‘people they’ll never meet, people, people whose lives they’ll never understand.’ Cameron gave as good as he got, attacking Labour as the ‘party of unlimited benefits’ and said that Miliband ‘only stands up for those who claim.’
These exchanges over the decision to limit the increase in working age benefits to 1% in the autumn statement cheered up both side of the House, the Lib Dem benches looked a bit glum though. Labour and the Tories are both comfortable with these battles lines—convinced that the public is with them.
One other thing that was striking today is just how personal things are getting between the two front benches. Ed Balls gleefully waved an IFS chart which led Cameron to declare that Balls ‘’like bullies all over the world can give it out but can’t take it.’ Miliband shot back, ‘have you trashed a restaurant recently?’–a reference to the Bullingdon Club. Later in the session, as Balls and Miliband, gossiped on the front bench, Cameron crossly complained that Miliband was ‘catching the disease from the Shadow Chancellor of being unable to keep his mouth shut for more than five seconds’.