Conservative Party chairman sparks anger by telling people ‘earn more money’ if they are struggling with bills

2 October 2022, 13:15 | Updated: 2 October 2022, 13:19

Jake Berry said people "can either cut their consumption or they can get a higher salary"
Jake Berry said people "can either cut their consumption or they can get a higher salary". Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Conservative Party Chairman Jake Berry was accused of ‘tone deaf’ comments after he said people struggling with the cost of living “can either cut their consumption or get a higher salary.”

In an interview this morning, while making a point about the need for the government to economise, he said the same could be said of households in Britain.

“People know that when their bills arrive, they can either cut their consumption or they can get a higher salary, higher wages, go out there and get that new job,” he said.

He also confirmed he attended a Champagne reception where hedge fund bosses are said to have ‘egged on’ the Chancellor to press ahead with the tax cutting plans in the mini-budget.

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He said people should be “lauded” for supporting political parties in the interview on Sky News.

Mr Berry said: "We often have drinks receptions for donors in the Conservative Party and in fact these people should be lauded because we don't have public funding of political parties and these are people who go out and make money and donate to political parties in the same way as they do for the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats."

He said the event had not been for hedge fund managers, although there was at least one in attendance, but instead had been for "Britain's leading entrepreneurs" as part of the "normal drumbeat" of party fundraising events.

Mr Berry added that he thought the Chancellor himself had been drinking a soft drink rather than champagne.

On his comments on the cost of living, one person responded: “Where are all these higher paid jobs Jake Berry is talking about?”

Another said: “Ask Jake Berry where my 80 year old dad should go to get the wage rise he needs to pay his bills?”

Rachel Clarke, a palliative care doctor, posted online: “Naked cruelty from Conservative Chair Jake Berry today.”