A Treasury minister has faced a backlash after railing against young “plodders” who are not talking more risks with their money.
Richard Fuller argued that the chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s tax cuts costing up to £45 billion annually in his mini-budget would encourage people in their 20s earning around £26,000 to make more adventurous investments.
He told LBC young people should be “taking that risk and not doing the plodding normal thing”.
Fuller said: “Back when I was 25, ironically, it was about the time we had a Conservative government that was looking to cut taxes. What I felt then is that this meant an opportunity for me.
“This meant if it took a risk with the way I wanted to run my career, I didn’t go down the plodding path of just step by step.
“That I would have a government that was on my side. It encouraged me to look at things like venture capital and look at ways to grow a business. If you’re 25 and see an opportunity, the government will get out of the way and do what it can to enable you to take up an opportunity.”
Asked by presenter Tom Swarbrick what plodding looks like, Fuller replied: “It’s a bit like you just putting your money in the bank, if you’ve been idle with your cash and not looking for a good return.”
He said the growth plan was about helping people think about “doing something with your life”.
In response, Labour MP Jess Phillips MP wrote on Twitter: “I had 2 kids when I was 26 plodding along building up a career supporting the vulnerable not being a venture capitalist what a plodder I was. Plodding along, working, raising two kids, volunteering with abused kids. Such a loser.”
Using more than £70 billion of increased borrowing, Kwarteng on Friday set out a package which included abolishing the top rate of income tax for the highest earners.
He cut stamp duty for homebuyers, and brought forward a cut to the basic rate of income tax, to 19p in the pound, a year early, to April, as part of tax cuts costing up to £45 billion annually.
Kwarteng told the Commons tax cuts are “central to solving the riddle of growth” as he confirmed plans to axe the cap on bankers’ bonuses while adding restrictions to the welfare system.
But the pound dived to a fresh 37-year low as “spooked” traders swallowed the cost of the spree launched by the chancellor and prime minister Liz Truss two years ahead of a general election.