Cameron’s maths gaffe hands Corbyn the PMQs win

“I went to Oxford but I still don’t know 25 is more than 21!” He didn’t say that but we all found out anyway.

Some of the pundits will tell you otherwise, but when a prime minister of the UK makes such a serious mistake, nobody in their right mind can say he came out best in the weekly PMQs battle.

The issue at question was student maintenance grants. Jeremy Corbyn quickly established that abolishing them was not in the Conservative manifesto – a point confirmed by Cameron’s insistence on talking about something else (and lying about it, too).

Then he made his big blunder. Corbyn told the PM about a student named Liam who will have to clear £50,000 of debt when he finally qualifies as a maths teacher.

Quick as you like, Cameron rushed to point out that nobody has to pay back student debt until they start receiving more than £21,000 a year in pay.

How sad for him. He had leapt in before Corbyn pointed out that Liam’s initial salary would be £25,000 – well above that threshold.

Not only that, but Corbyn went on to wipe the floor with the PR prime minister, pointing out that Cameron had tripled tuition fees to £9,000 per year in 2010, and defended it by saying that they would increase maintenance grants for students from less well-off backgrounds. They are now scrapping the very same grants they used to boast about increasing.

Cameron’s lame response – that the Tories were “uncapping” university places, so that as many young people in our country who want to go to university can go to university – is a nonsense; without grants, far fewer students from poorer backgrounds will be able to afford higher education.

He knows that perfectly well. It’s what he wants. But he thinks the public will be fooled if he makes a completely different claim.

“Can the PM tell us where in his election manifesto he put his plan to abolish maintenance grants for all students?” he says.

[Cameron ignored the question, claiming the manifesto included promises to cut the deficit – irrelevant to this question – and uncap student numbers, and claiming (falsely, in terms of at least the deficit) to have done both.]

Jeremy Corbyn says: “The Prime Minister has form here because there was no mention of cuts to tax credits either” in the manifesto.

He quotes student Liam who is training to be a maths teacher. Now he will end his course with £50k debts – twice his annual income.

“We’re uncapping aspiration – he wants to put a cap on it”, says Cameron.

He adds Liam won’t have to pay back because there’s a £21,000 threshold.

Corbyn: “Liam is trying to be a maths teacher, which may help the Prime Minister” [as Liam did say that he was earning £25,000, which is more than £21,000]… well over the threshold.

Source: PMQs recap: David Cameron faces Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions over student grant cuts – Mirror Online

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19 thoughts on “Cameron’s maths gaffe hands Corbyn the PMQs win

  1. Terry Davies

    imbecile PM supported by imbecilic tory voters. just admit you were idiots to let this man take the role of PM.
    shame on you if you dont. your families, neighbours, and you eventually will suffer from your poor choice and lack of humanity. Remember the holocaust !! there are parallels happening now.

  2. John

    You know I’m sick of hearing Camoron’s lies, and PMQs is just getting ridiculous. What particularly irritates me isn’t so much the PM dodging the questions now, but the ridiculous lies about Corbyn that the PM spouts all the time. The PM is just beyond pathetic now. Only thing is, isn’t he dragging the Tory party down with him, and does his sidekick Gideon realise that? Or are they all living in fairytale land?

  3. Phil Parkin

    But will Labour reverse all that what Conservatives have done? Blair never did only to keep up a different conservative but dressed different.

  4. Dez

    “It may help the prime minister” Jeremys quick witted closing maths teacher remark against that dozy, pig ignorant, lying toady Camoron…..that response I liked….he gets a star for that one. Moron…gets a could do better…(but never will).

  5. Rachel Harvey

    To be fair, for most students it will make little difference financially as the repayments are set at 9% of income, not loan value (and very few of those in receipt of grants will have earned enough in their lifetime to repay the full loan plus interest).

    The bigger issue is psychological – the bigger the debt the less likely someone from a poor background is to take advantage of the loan. From that perspective the aim becomes very clear – this is about loading the biggest debts on to those with least money and discouraging the ‘undeserving’ (aka poor) from gaining an education.

  6. Tony Fourinone

    As a glutton for punishment, I watched this exchange, and I am sure I heard Mr Corbyn say Liam was going to be getting £25,000 before Cameron inserted his shoe in his oral orifice. Still, our [corrected] erroneous user of the truth, should have known nurses and teachers start on more than £21k!

    1. John

      Just listened to that bit, and Corbyn says “debts in excess of £50,000, which is roughly twice as much as what his annual income would be” – So FAO Mike, he does appear to give Liam’s initial salary before Camoron’s response.

  7. John

    With reference to the comment I made in response to Tony (that you responded to Mike), unless I’m getting my wires jumbled, it actually really makes no difference. You’re point still stands Mike, because Cameron should have worked out from what Corbyn said, that Liam would have been ABOVE the threshold anyway. But Camoron just said about Liam not paying anything back, which wasn’t right of course. Does that make sense?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I don’t see that anyone has implied any inaccuracy – the additions are just for clarity.

  8. paradoxicalsculder

    So if Liam, the Maths teacher is going to be earning £25,000. Goodie for him. Threshold before payment of any Student Loan is £21, 000. The current system means that he only pays 9% on £4,000 NOT £25,000. Wish they would get the facts right. I’m a recent graduate who currently has a debt of £27,000 (three years tuition fees) The grant part I don’t have to repay ONLY the tuition element. Wish people would get the facts right before they start pouting, MP’s included.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      What a shame you didn’t stop to get your own facts right.
      The issue was whether Liam would pay back anything at all – not the amount he would have to pay.

  9. paradoxicalsculder

    With regard to Corbyn’s wish of opening the flood doors to all these refugees/immigrants, who will enjoy a beautifully furnished home, learn English, receive free food vouchers or coupons, etc all to the cost of the British Taxpayer. May I ask you to think about this:

    What will happen when said refugee/immigrant become disillusioned with the British/Western way of life and insists on Sharia Law being practiced in the UK, then decides that they wish to return to their homeland. In time, is not happy about their homeland being occupied by British Soldiers decides to pick up arms and shoots British Soldiers?

    Do you think this is acceptable to the British People, the British Taxpayer, Continual threat on British soil or on our British Soldiers.

    Also, ask yourself: How many IS activists are living in that refugee Camp waiting and hoping to come into the UK to bomb London, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol etc. I stand by Cameron, he for once is thinking about the Welfare of the British People.

    Or do you wish to send a Trident without it’s Warhead. My analogy of Mr Corbyn, a headless Trident, ie NO BRAINS

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The claim that Jeremy Corbyn said what you suggest is a lie spoken by David Cameron.
      None of what you suggest will happen because it is based on a lie spoken by David Cameron.
      How do you feel about the fact that David Cameron has lied to you about this?

      1. John

        Here, here! Paradoxical (if you read this), with respect, I think you need to WAKE UP and realise EXACTLY what Cameron is trying to do. Also, listen PROPERLY to what Corbyn ACTUALLY says!!!

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